So, you remember my sceptical husband was encouraging me to go straight to the top, halachically-speaking, to get approval for all the JEMI stuff I’m trying to do (emotional healing; emuna medicine; energy medicine – whatever takes your fancy)?

So after weeks of trying to track down the right person to speak to, we finally got a number for him, and the first thing he wanted to know is: ‘Is she G-d fearing?’

He wouldn’t even begin to discuss any details with us, until we could give him some evidence, from a notable rabbi who knew us, that we were Yireh Shemayim.

I clearly then had a whole big crisis about whether I really am G-d-fearing, or at least, G-d-fearing enough. I know I talk to G-d every day, and I often try to do what He tells me, but I also have occasions when I can be quite cheeky and rude to the Creator of the World.

Luckily, it wasn’t up to me to decide it. We asked my husband’s Rav for a ‘reference’, and he was happy to oblige. That’s the first hurdle crossed.

The next hurdle, was that I had to talk to the Rav myself, directly, to get specific guidance.

I have this weird ‘gift’ that whenever I get a bit excited or super-stressed, I can take out every piece of electrical equipment within 10 miles. Things just stop working, or pack up, or go on strike.

So I called the Rav yesterday – and within 5 seconds, I’d managed to take his mobile phone out of operation. And then by the time it came back to life, he was busy with something else, and we had to reschedule the call.

So I’m still anxiously waiting to hear about whether I can go ahead with all my planned JEMI stuff how I want, or whether it’ll need some tweaking.

In the meantime, it made a big impact on me that the first criteria for working with Jews, and Jewish energy, in an halachically-acceptable way, is that the practitioner has to be ‘G-d-fearing.’

In Israel, maybe it’s easier to find those people (although still not easy) but in the rest of the world? And especially in places with very few Jews? Fuggedaboudit.

Swami so-and-so, Yogi whatever-there-name-is; Joan the sweet Buddhist who’s really ‘into’ their Hatha whatever-it-is – what harm can they be doing, spiritually? I’m still trying to track down the answer – and I’ll share whatever I find out with you, dear reader.

But in the meantime, whatever else you’re doing with your Jewish energy – whether it’s stretching, exercises, ‘healings’, or even massage (and don’t even get me started on all the REALLY dodgy stuff out there…) – make sure your practitioner or teacher is genuinely G-d-fearing.

How’d you do that? Great question!

I don’t know.

But if they aren’t keeping mitzvoth and they don’t believe in G-d (our version, as opposed to ‘the universe’, whatever that means), that’s probably a pretty clear answer.

If you’re still not sure, talk to G-d about it, and see what He tells you. And in the meantime – don’t risk yourself, spiritually, by doing things that appear ‘harmless’ to us, but could be causing us a lot of damage. I’ll come back to this idea more, in the next post.

You know that dictum that ‘fools rush in where angels fear to tread’?

Well, I feel that my credentials as an official ‘fool’ must have finally been stamped, as the last week, I’ve been sticking my neck out all over the place.

One day, I decided to tear down a pornographic poster for some ‘club’ event that was posted up near Jerusalem’s crack alley. Usually, I would just make a lot of disapproving, tutting noises about how disgusting it was, that my husband and kids (and others…) had to walk past such offensive smut.

This time, instead of tutting I took action: I ripped the poster off the wall proudly, and I wasn’t scared to defend my actions should some crazed club promoter come storming out from under his rock to angrily berate me for removing his pornography from Jerusalem’s holy walls.

No-one said anything – and I felt really good that for once, I didn’t just put my head down and ‘accept’ the nastiness swirling all around without complaint.

I had the clarity, however brief it may turn out to be, that people who stick pornographic posters up on walls are acting in a mentally-ill, anti-social way, and that behavior needs to be challenged, not excused.

L’havdil, the next day I was walking into Geula via Meah Shearim and the frum yobbos had decided to tip over a bunch of bins and set the contents on fire. (Given that the garbage disposal people are currently on strike, it’s kind of a mixed blessing.)

Usually, I would just walk past and tut. But this time, I was seriously considering going over and picking the bins up, or complaining – something! – to register the fact that this is mentally-ill, anti-social, unacceptable behavior, whatever the excuse for it. My daughter stopped me from doing it (she’s seen what can happen when I get all fired up, and I’m not sure who she was more scared for, me or the yobbos), and after we spent a couple of minutes discussing it, I backed down.

The next day, one of my neighbours knocked on my door to ask me to start cleaning the outside stairs by my house.

Some of the building’s girls were doing it up until now, but they quit and now he wanted everyone to ‘do their part’. It’s not an unreasonable request, but the truth is that for the last few weeks, I’ve been struggling to stay on top my basic cleaning chores inside my own house.

Between trying to get the book out, trying to ‘be there’ for my kids in whatever way God decides I need to be, and trying to get out more so that I’m not stuck in ‘anti-social’ hermit mode, I don’t have a lot of spare time at the moment. And if I do, I want to spend it cooking a nice supper for my family, or finally putting on a wool wash, or having a good conversation with my husband, instead of schlepping up and down the stairs outside to keep my neighbor happy.

I don’t know if this is right or wrong. What I can tell you, is that just before he told me I should clean the stairs every week, I was thinking I’d like to go and give it a sweep. But now I’ve been ‘commanded’ to do it by someone else, I can’t!

It’ll have to wait another three weeks now, or something, for it to get really bad and for my own free choice to kick in again, and decide I should do a bit of cleaning.

The last few weeks have been so weird, and changeable, and pressured, and strange, I’ve been having troubles pinning it all down, or knowing what I think about anything. You might have noticed that in my writing, too, which has been quite ‘light’ while I’m figuring out what God really wants from me.

The last couple of days, some big shifts have happened, and BH, I’ll share more with you about it all this week, because I think it may help you too, if you’ve been going through anything remotely similar.

In the meantime, caveat emptor: I may be writing and acting from the place of a fool, and not the place of an angel at the moment. But if that’s what God really wants, so be it.