I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday whose husband is going to Uman, BH.
She was telling me how there is some ‘fear’ around making that trip – for both of them – and I totally understood what she was saying.
Even before ‘the war’ in Ukraine, and even before ‘Covid’, going to Uman has always been attended by deep feelings of uncertainty and fear.
When you are travelling to a big Tzaddik, a Tzaddik HaEmet, the journey is never simple and never ‘easy’.
Because it’s the journey that makes the vessel to recieve all the blessings.
And so, the journey itself is fraught with obstacles and difficulties – most of which are 100% in our own heads.
Anyway, she was looking through a book written about how Shuvu Banim fought to keep access open to Kever Yosef all those years ago, when Ehud Barak was trying to ‘give away’ most of biblical Israel.
(As David Ben Gurion had done before him, with his agreement with Jordan’s King Abdullah to ‘give Jordan Jerusalem’, in return for the Galil.)
And in that book, she found a letter that Rav Berland wrote to his students, describing the ‘fear’ attached to travelling to the true Tzaddikim like Yosef HaTzaddik – and how the main ikker is to fear nothing and nobody, except Hashem.
She sent me a scan of it here:
The first line says:
Fear is the biggest issur (forbidden thing)…
And it’s akin to practising avodah zara, to believe, God forbid, that there is any other ‘force’ in the world, other than the Creator.
Ein od Milvado.
When we overcome our fear of going to Uman, or Joseph’s Tomb – of more plandemics, whatever it is – we actually reveal our belief that Hashem is the Only Force in the world.
And then, the evil falls all by itself.