When it comes to ‘Edom’ and Trump, let’s focus on truth, not politics.

Baruch Hashem, right from the beginning with Trump I didn’t set my stall out as a ‘ra-ra’ Trump supporter. I thought he was better than Hillary Clinton (probably, also Stalin or Saddam Hussein would have that distinction, too) – but I never thought Trump was ‘good’.

How can a billionaire property developer from New York, who is also a (secret…) freemason and obvious narcissist with massive bad middot issues be ‘good’?

That always was – and still is – the question.

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At the same time, I was also never a rabid ‘anti-Trumper’.

If I have learnt one thing from Rabbenu and the Breslov path, is that the ‘truth’ isn’t found on the edges of the argument, at one extreme or the other.

There’s always at least 1% of truth on the other side, and the whole point is to dive deep, throw away our own preconceptions, and to ask God to show us, what’s the truth, here?

Because there is always at least 1% of ‘truth’ that is God’s message to us, about what ourselves might need to acknowledge, challenge or change.

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Over the last four years, I’ve been trying to steer that course between the propaganda been churned out by both sides, to collect the nuggets of truth.

That’s why in this post, I am VERY happy to bring your attention to the full text of Trump’s outlining the scale of the massive voter fraud that definitely just occurred in the US election.

Joe Biden is a senile creep (at best…), and his family members are proven violent, serial pedophiles.

He’s ucky, ucky, ucky.

You can read the full text of Trump’s 50 minute speech on the subject of voter fraud HERE, if that’s what you want to do:

https://www.sott.net/article/445183-As-Not-Reported-in-The-Media-Trump-Gives-50-minute-Address-to-The-Nation-on-Election-Fraud

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But, get this: that doesn’t make Trump good.

It doesn’t make him a gentile, American moshiach, like he’s been portrayed for 4 years by Q-Anon – that deviously clever Russian propaganda tool.

It makes him less bad than Biden, and the people behind Biden. But as we said, arguably Stalin and Saddam Hussein are also in that camp, so it’s not exactly something to write home about.

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Daisy commented on the last piece HERE that I am confusing the CIA / Deep State with ‘patriotic America’, as headed by Trump.

Here’s what I responded to her:

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Take a look at these headlines, and then honestly tell me if this doesn’t 100% fit the ‘economic hit man’ paradigm’ set out [in THIS post]:

“Donald Trump threatens Iraq with sanctions, says US won’t leave unless ‘they pay us back’ for air base.” – https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/01/05/donald-trump-threatens-iraq-sanctions-expel-us-troops/2821255001/

And this, about the same story:

“We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there,” Mr. Trump said of Iraq. “It cost billions of dollars to build. Long before my time. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it.”

Mr. Trump then escalated his language, saying: “If they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”

“If there’s any hostility, that they do anything we think is inappropriate, we are going to put sanctions on Iraq, very big sanctions on Iraq,” Mr. Trump added.

In making his warning, the president was threatening sanctions on a country for forcing out American troops whom he himself had pledged to bring home during his 2016 presidential campaign.”

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I can’t find the link now, but I covered it in ‘real time’ on my blog that the outgoing President of Iraq, Adel Abdul Mahdi, publically accused Trump’s government of sparking off the ‘wave of civil unrest’ that forces his resignation back in January 2020, because his government was negotiating with China to rebuild Iraq’s (American-destroyed…) infrastructure, in return for 20% of Iraq’s oil revenue.

Trump wanted 50%.

Mahdi said ‘no’ – so the Trump administration pressed the nuclear button on his government, began a wave of civil unrest that saw 500 Iraqis killed in 2 weeks – and forced Mahdi – and his agreement with China – out.

BTW – something similar is happening with the new port in Haifa, that was meant to be being completed 2021, and built by the Chinese. There is a massive fight going on over that, too, behind the scenes, with the Americans.

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And then, there’s this uncomfortable fact:

None other than George Soros a) invested millions in Trump’s doomed ‘Trump Towers’ project when no-one else wanted to touch it, and b) effectively cancelled his loan to Trump, which was worth a couple hundred million of dollars.

Why would George Soros give ‘free’ money to Trump?

https://steemit.com/trump/@derpmcdergal/look-who-bailed-out-trump-towers-and-spent-a-christmas-eve-with-donald-trump-george-soros

The more I’ve researched Trump, the more I’m convinced he’s just a front man for the other ‘global mafia’ group  – which is probably being headed up by Russia, and the Jewish / Israeli mafia that is so closely linked with the political and economic system throughout the former Soviet Union, it’s impossible to unpick them.

There are no good guys here, only ‘bad’ and ‘even worse’.

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I know that Trump has been extremely popular with certain segments of the orthodox Jewish world.

If you look closely at who is so vociferously banging the drum for Trump in the Jewish world, you’ll find that – surprise surprise!!! – they are also very closely linked to Russia, and the Jewish / Israeli dominated mafia that controls both the political system and the the economic decisions on the other side of the fence.

If people still want to make the argument that ‘Trump is representing the good in Edom’, then honestly, they should be saying that ‘Edom’ in this equation is Putin’s Russia, not America.

There is so much about to come out, they can’t keep the lid on this stuff for too much longer.

And when that happens – a great many of our remaining certainties will be exploded.

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UPDATE:

I found where I referred to what was going on in Iraq, as it was happening. You can see the full post HERE, but here’s a couple of pertinent snippets:

Abdul-Mehdi spoke angrily about how the Americans had ruined the country and now refused to complete infrastructure and electricity grid projects unless they were promised 50% of oil revenues, which Abdul-Mehdi refused.

The complete (translated) words of Abdul-Mahdi’s speech to parliament:

This is why I visited China and signed an important agreement with them to undertake the construction instead. Upon my return, Trump called me to ask me to reject this agreement. When I refused, he threatened to unleash huge demonstrations against me that would end my premiership.

Huge demonstrations against me duly materialized and Trump called again to threaten that if I did not comply with his demands, then he would have Marine snipers on tall buildings target protesters and security personnel alike in order to pressure me.

I refused again and handed in my resignation. To this day the Americans insist on us rescinding our deal with the Chinese.

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This is text book ‘Economic Hit Man’ procedures, using economic sanctions and threats of assassination and then more military violence against a developing nation that has natural resources the USA / Edom wants, at any price.

And the person heading this up was not ‘CIA / Democrats’ – it was Trump.

Is the penny starting to drop now?

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‘They’ are on both sides of the political fence, turning us all against each other, so we keep too busy to focus on who the real enemy actually is, and where the real evil actually is.

All this boils down to economics, and control of the money supply.

The people who print the world’s money control the world’s economy, and by extension, the world’s people.

All the politicians they allow to stay in office are playing ball with these people, one way or another.

Or to put it another way: the whole political, economic, judicial and military system is totally and utterly corrupt everywhere in the world, regardless of who is president, or prime minister, or chief of staff.

“Edom’ is everywhere – even in Israel, even in Saudi Arabia.

And any country who tries to stand up to this totally corrupt economy system – like Iran, and Libia and North Korea, or Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela – will be economically isolated and / or bombed back into the stone age, until they come around, and put a ‘puppet politician’ in place.

Now, do you understand why our world looks the way it does?

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Back in October 2019, I questioned the idea that Edom had a ‘good’ side.

You can see that original article HERE, and man, did I get a lot of flak for it.

When I wrote that piece, I was trying to figure out if Trump really was the ‘gentile Moshiach’ he was being hailed as, by certain people.

By the time I’d combed through the sources, I’d come to the conclusion that nope, that whole idea of Edom having a ‘good side’ is a bunch of baloney.

Which got a lot of people’s backs up, because ‘Edom’ is very closely identified with the West, and especially the USA.

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So much has happened since I wrote that piece.

Like, the US-sponsored assassination of Iranian General Solamani, on Iraqi soil, which preceded the COVID-19 plandemic by just a few short months.

And then of course, we had (and sadly, still have…) ‘COVID-1984’ to deal with since February. So it’s taken me a while to return to this subject.

But I’ve almost finished reading a book called: ‘The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man‘ which has opened my eyes to a bunch more ways that the USA is definitely NOT ‘good Edom’.

First, please watch this short (2 mins) video (shmirat eynayim friendly), that sums up how the modern American / Western / economic system is based on violent exploitation and pillage of poorer countries:

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Now, let me quote you something from New Confessions of an Economic Hitman, from the chapter called: “Honduras: The CIA Strikes’.

The author, John Perkins, is talking to a Panamanian businessmen, ‘Joel’, about how the CIA just keeps overthrowing or assassinating one Latin American leader after another, if they dare to stand up to American corporate interests.

(Quotes from the book are italicised. I’ve interspersed them with pertinent facts so you can follow what’s really going on here.)

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Joel said that he and his friends, like most of Latin America, had known that the plane crash that had killed [former Panamian President Omar] Torrijos was a CIA assassination, and they had hated the United States.

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From Wikipedia:

Torrijos was regarded by his supporters as the first Panamanian leader to represent the majority population of Panama, which is poor, Spanish-speaking, and of mixed heritage…. He opened many schools and created new job opportunities for those less fortunate. Some say he even spent his weekends giving a thousand dollars to random people and charities.[2]

Torrijos instituted a range of social and economic reforms to improve the land lots of the poor, redistributed agricultural land and prosecuted the richest and most powerful families in the country, as well as independent student and labor leaders. The reforms were accompanied by an ambitious public works program, financed by foreign banks.

[Ed note: Torrjos was killed because he insisted on re-nationalising the Panama Canal, and bringing it back under Panamian control, as opposed to US control.]

Back to ‘Joel’:

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“But things changed. Just like you forgave Japan and Germany, we forgave you……Now, this thing in Honduras…. well, it triggers memories and old resentments….”

....[Honduran President] Zelaya had advocated a 60 percent increase in the minimum wage, which had infuriated two US companies, Chiquita Brands International (formerly United Fruit) and Dole Food Company….

…American CEOs know that if Honduras’s hourly wage rate rises, so will that of all the other Latin American countries. Honduras, along with Haiti, sets the minimum wage benchmark. No-one will go below the benchmark.

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We talked about many liberal policies introduced in Honduras during the 3 1/2 years of Zelaya’s presidency. These included subsidies for small farmers, free education and meals for poor children, a reduction in interest rates on bank loans to homeowners and local businesses, and free electricity for people who could not afford to pay for it, as well as the increase in the minimum wage.

The policies paid off: Honduras enjoyed a nearly 10 percent decline in the poverty level.

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So what did the USA do?

It engineered a coup in 2009 to overthrow President Zelaya, and to put a stop to all of his policies that were benefitting the poor majority – but hurting the super-rich shareholders of Chiquita Brands and Dole Food Company.

Really? You’re still telling me the USA is ‘good Edom’?

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And what happened in Honduras is by no means the only example of the USA’s ‘evil empire’ behavior.

If anything, it was ‘milder’ than the treatment so many other countries have had, at the hands of America, because at least it didn’t end with an outright war.

Here’s some more countries, where the democratically-elected leaders where either exiled, assassinated or carpet-bombed out of office by the USA, because they dared to stand up for the economic interests of their own people:

Mohammed Mossadegh, the democratically-elected Prime Minister of Iran was ousted in a coup in 1953, arranged by the CIA and Britain’s MI6.

Jacobo Arbenz, the democratically-elected president of Guatemala, who was brought down by the CIA in 1954, because he opposed United Fruit.

Salvador Allende, the democratically-elected president of Chile was assassinated by the CIA in 1973, for opposing ITT (International Telephone and Telegraph).

The USA has been behind so many coup d’etats in developing countries, it’s hard to keep up with them. Here’s a very partial list of some of the more notable ones:

Haiti, in 2004;

Grenada (invaded by the USA in 1983)

And let’s not even talk about Iraq.

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Then, there’s the whole ‘Operation Condor‘ thing, that happened across most of South America (this from Wikipedia:)

Operation Condor  was a United States-backed campaign of political repression and state terror involving intelligence operations and assassination of opponents, officially and formally implemented in November 1975 by the right-wing dictatorships of the Southern Cone of South America….

…the so-called “Archives of Terror” list 50,000 killed, 30,000 disappeared and 400,000 imprisoned…

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Does this still sound ‘good’ to you?

Really?

When Trump was campaigning to ‘make America great again’, what he forgot to mention is that America only got ‘great’ in the first place by using blackmail, threats, extortion and violence to boot out one democratically-elected leader after another in the developing world, to replace them with brutal CIA puppet-dictators.

Of course, that’s not how it was billed to the gullible public.

We all got told that these economic wars against the world’s poorest peoples were being waged to root out the Commies, or to fight dictators with weapons of mass destruction, or as part of the all-pervasive ‘war on terror’.

But really?

It all just boils down to America and the other Western elites using their armies to continue exploiting the natural resources of poorer countries at gun point.

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Why am I writing about this, today?

Because it’s part of that whole ‘Moshiach scene’ we’ve been discussing, when the world of lies finally crumbles.

Just like we’ve all been lying to ourselves about our bad middot and horrible, hurtful tendencies towards other people (especially our kids…) at the personal level, at the national level, Western countries like the US, UK, France – and a bunch more, including the State of Israel – have also been lying for decades about what they are really up to in the world.

People hate the USA for a reason.

Not just because they are commies, or terrorists, or radical muslims, or anti-democratic (although sometimes, some of them are.)

People hate the USA because the USA has literally turned many places in the world into a literal hell on earth, in pursuit of the mighty dollar.

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The wars going on in Libya and Iraq and Syria right now?

They are all about oil and controlling natural resources.

All the fake ‘peace processes’ being rolled out between Israel and Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and [fill in the blank]?

They are all about oil and controlling natural resources.

All this COVID-1984 plandemic stuff, that the USA and the State of Israel are bang, smack in the middle of?

It’s all about controlling natural resources, and ensuring that the tiny group of super-rich people in the world stay that way, while stomping the rest of the planet even further down into the mud.

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Trump isn’t ‘good’.

Biden isn’t ‘good’.

America isn’t ‘good’.

And the sooner more of us wake up and stop lying to ourselves about the USA being a force for ‘good’ in the world, the easier and faster Moshiach can come.

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TBC

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I’m cutting and pasting this from the Ravberland.com website.

BH, I managed to get to Hevron yesterday with my husband.

We got there on time, for 8pm, (which means we got there ‘early’ by Israeli standards).

10 minutes after we arrived, the Border Police put barriers all over the Hevron plaza, and stopped the other members of Shuvu Banim from actually getting to the Mearat HaMachpela.

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By the time I left at 9pm, there was a scene developing that was eerily reminiscent of what was going down on the Belarus / Ukraine borders pre-Rosh Hashana.

In case you forgot, that was when there were around 1,000 Breslov chassidim squared off against a wall of heavily-armed Ukrainian soldiers.

It was the same scene yesterday, just instead of Ukrainians guards with who had grandparents who quite liked Hitler, it was Israeli soldiers.

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BH, the Rav will finally be freed today.

I read in one of his recent shiurim that he said all the secrets get revealed on Chanuka.

I’m hoping and praying that some of the stuff I’ve been uncovering the last month will start to come out, and that we’ll all finally be ‘shocked enough’ to stop making excuses for the state of our communities, and our families, and the world generally, to move forward to geula the sweet way.

Hating ‘bad’ doesn’t make me a ‘hater of Israel’, God forbid.

I know it’s not popular to keep harping on the FACT that we all have tons of bad middot, believe me, I know.

But there is a venomous snake wrapped around a barrel of figs.

And we all need to gird our loins to remove that ‘snake’ in our own dalet amot – and from within our own neshamas.

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THIS IS THE ARTICLE FROM THE RAVBERLAND.COM SITE, HERE:

After repeated attempts by the Israeli court system to put off the hearing of our Rebbe, Rabbi Eliezer Berland shlit”a, the critical hearing has been set for this Tuesday (Dec 1, 2020) at the Supreme Court.

To that end, prayer gatherings have been scheduled around Israel for his immediate release and speedy recovery.

The unprecedented persecution of Rav Berland, who at 84 is the oldest prisoner in the Israeli prison system, and who suffers no less than 26 different illnesses, has reached a point of a matter of life and death.  As had been reported over the last several weeks, the Rav suffers from, among other illnesses, heart problems (he has a pacemaker), has only one kidney, and has gangrene in his leg.

After undergoing two difficult surgeries, he was immediately returned to prison without a chance to recover in the hospital.

Moreover, the Israeli authorities have attempted repeatedly to prevent the Rav from receiving the proper medical care, requiring a court petition for something as minor as having his hand checked after suffering severe pain (it was discovered afterward that he had a broken hand).

The Rav’s attorneys have stated that this kind of treatment is without precedent and unexplainable.

It was reported in the name of autistic Binyamin Golden, that this was part of a deliberate attempt to assassinate the Rav while in prison custody.

While the Rav has been sitting for 10 months in prison without charge, and without any evidence brought against him, the court system has repeatedly attempted to delay his hearing.  This Tuesday, December 1, the crucial hearing will finally take place to decide if the Rav will be released.

Last week a prayer gathering was scheduled to be held at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, but in a shocking move, the police closed down the entire city of Hebron to prevent it.

Therefore, prayer gatherings have been scheduled at holy sites all over Israel for the Rav’s speedy release and recovery, Bezrat Hashem.

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I’m so praying, we will all hear some good news soon.

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It’s an interesting question isn’t it?

When you ask xtians – and the other groups that espouse a similar theology, like Frankists and Sabbateans – they will tell you that ‘the messiah’ will show up, and then all evil will just kind of vanish in a puff of smoke.

Yes, that’s right folks!

As soon as ‘the messiah’ shows up, all our own bad middot, all the drug cartels, all the abusive parents, all the evil billionaire oligarchs, all the fake rabbis, all the nasty terrorist gangs, the CIA, the satanists – every last Dr Evil in the world – they will all just vanish!!!

It would be great if this were true.

But it’s not.

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One of the biggest con tricks that the yetzer hara has managed to pull on all of us is persuading us that ‘evil’ is always and only someone else’s problem.

My country is good. My army is good. My government is good. My economic theory is good. Whatever is good for me (regardless of its cost to others…) is good.

I started fleshing this theme out in the last post when I was talking about the ‘Laban Parenting Paradigm’, that basically states:

Everything belongs to MEEEE, so I can do whatever the heck I want in order to protect my own interests!!!!

But as we learnt in that last post, this is the polar opposite of a truly authentic Jewish approach to parenting – and also the opposite of a truly Jewish approach to life.

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Judaism teaches us that every Jew is responsible for each other.

It also teaches us that the Jewish people have a very big job to do, to rectify the world.

Christians, reform people and crypo-Frankists also like to talk about tikkun olam, so things can quickly get confusing. Let’s try to sort out the difference between an authentic Jewish approach to tikkun olamand the other guys’ approach.

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In a nutshell, Judaism teaches that we fix the world, by fixing ourselves.

It’s our prayers, our mesirut nefesh, our working to uproot our own arrogance, anger, pride and jealousy and hatred (to name but a few….) that then radiates outwards, and starts to fix the world around us.

In this paradigm, every single person in the whole world, and certainly every single Jew, has an enormous part to play in the process of rectifying the world in order to bring moshiach.

I used to be very puzzled, when I would hear Rav Berland teach that people like me were the ones holding up the geula, and that the secular people weren’t really to blame.

It took quite a bit of time before I heard other shiurim that filled in the gaps, where the Rav explained that if we supposedly ‘religious’ people would take some time to sincerely pray for our fellow Jews, they would make teshuva in an instant.

Why are there still ‘secular’ people in the world, who are far away from Torah and mitzvot? 

Because we apparently ‘religious’ people don’t care about them enough to pray for them to make teshuva.

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That’s why the Rav puts such emphasis on people getting up to say Tikkun Hatzot.

It’s these prayers, in particular, that create a ruach in the world that bring people back to God.

And when people sincerely come back to God, they in turn start praying, and start really connecting their souls up to their spiritual Source, and – most importantly of all – start really acknowledging their ‘inner bad’, and asking God to help them overcome it.

This is how Jews fix the world, and bring geula and Moshiach.

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Sadly, we don’t see a heck of a lot of that going on, not even in the ‘frummest’ areas of the Jewish world, where people are more obsessed with the length of their Torah learning, and their yichus, and their fantastic ‘predictions’ about geula, and the thickness of their tights, than they are with really working on their bad middot.

For years, this puzzled me greatly.

How can it be, that so much of the Jewish world – even the apparently ‘orthodox’ Jewish world – has adopted this xtian paradigm of pretending to be ‘perfect’ on the outside, while committing all manner of misdemeanors behind closed doors?

How can it be, that so much of the Jewish world is effectively teaching that Jews have nothing left to do except ‘polish buttons’, and that Moshiach is just going to show up and fix everything for them?!

This is a xtian idea. It’s a Sabbatean idea. It’s a Frankist idea.

It’s definitely NOT an authentically Jewish idea.

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When people are caught up in this un-Jewish paradigm of tikkun olam, it comes along with a tendency to believe that the problem is everyone else.

When everyone else believes in Yoshki / Shabtai Tzvi / Jacob Frank / [Fill in the blank] – then that dead guy will rise from the grave, and come save the world!!

And all we have to do is believe in him and polish some buttons.

That dead guy will come back, and then poof!!! All the evil will disappear in the world, just like that.

I’m going to stop yelling at my husband just like that…

I’m going to stop being so stingy with my tzedaka just like that…

Don’t you know, that all my miniskirts are going to magically expand into black maxis, my nasty jealous streak is going to evaporate immediately, and all the horrible things I’ve been saying about my friends and neighbors are all just going to vanish, just like that once Moshiach shows up?!

No?

You don’t believe me?

Good for you.

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Breslov teachings, as amplified and clarified by Rabbi Berland, Rav Shalom Arush, and Rav Ofer Erez – amongst many others – make it very clear that the whole work we got sent back down here to do is to work on our emuna, and fix our bad middot.

These two things go hand-in-hand, because if we don’t really believe in Hashem, we will continue to choose the path of being a pious hypocrite, o so makpid in public, for our neighbors’ consumption, and o so yucky in our every day dealings with friends and family members.

It’s only once we realise that we will have to answer for every single person we hurt, every single ‘stain’ we left to grow and metastize on our souls, that we find the koach we need to start doing the work of acknowledging and digging up our bad middot.

If we don’t believe in God, we just will never really bother even trying.

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But it’s only when we start doing the work of trying to dig up our bad middot that our emuna really grows.

Because then, we’ll see that without God’s help, we can’t do anything.

I have spent years and years working to overcome my nasty temper, particularly in relation to my kids, and I can tell you from first hand experience, that the only reason I’m doing so much better today is because I begged God to help me overcome my anger for 10 years +.

And every now and then, perhaps when a smidgeon of arrogance works it’s way back in and I start thinking that I’ve really done something good here, hey?!? – He’ll take the rug out from under my feet and send me a nasty temper fit.

That’s just to remind me that without God’s help, I can’t do anything.

And that’s really good news.

Because the corollary of this is that with God’s help, I can do anything!!!

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I CAN overcome my temper.

And my inability to get out of bed.

And my nasty tendency to complain and whinge and to feel sorry for myself.

And my arrogant streak that likes to tell me that I’m really perfect, and that the problems in the world are really just everyone else’s, and that all I have to do to bring moshiach is just polish some buttons….

(…and aggressively push my ‘religion’ down other people’s throats, so they’ll be sure to recognize my guy as the real messiah, when he finally rises up from the dead…)

With God’s help, I can do all these things and more.

And so can you.

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So, to recap:

Xtians, Sabbateans and Frankists (of all stripes) believe that when ‘their guy’ shows up as the true messiah, the world will automatically get ‘fixed’, and all anyone has to do to get on the ark to salvation is just to believe in their guy, and their religion, and their path.

There is zero talk about working on our own bad middot.

There is zero genuine emphasis on talking to God every single day, and asking for His help.

And there is zero real interest in moving out of the comfort zone, and making the sorts of difficult changes really required to bring the spirit of Moshiach into our own dalet amot.

It’s all flowery ‘bible lessons’, and pointless exegetics, and nice (and often totally untrue…) ‘stories’ and parables about saintly individuals, given over by people who like to pretend that they also belong in that category of ‘saintly’.

Ah yes, plus ‘watch out for the dead guy to rise again and save us’ messaging.

How could I forget that bit?

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By contrast, Jews who are following a path of authentic Judaism believe that the world is only going to get fixed when me, myself and I stop lying to myself about my own bad middot, and about just how much destruction and damage I’m doing every single day – especially to my family members.

Did you spot the difference?

Did you understand that the only way evil is going to ‘vanish from the world’ is when I knuckle down, and start doing the job of digging my own evil out of my own soul, and start praying for others to do the same.

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I love a shortcut as much as the next guy, I really do.

But it pains me a lot to keep reading all this flowery cr*p-dressed-up-as-yiddishkeit about what it’s really going to take to get to geula the sweet way.

That’ll happen when enough of us start to take responsibility for our own actions and negative impact, and stop turning a blind eye to – or even condoning and excusing and perpetrating – evil.

And it can’t happen any other way.

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Over Shabbos, I was reading the parsha.

(Occasionally that still happens 😉

We were in Vayetzei, where Yaakov runs away from his psycho brother, to try and find a wife in the home of his equally ‘difficult’ Uncle Lavan.

As I was reading, I was struck by the parenting paradigm that seems to characterize our holy forefathers of Abraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov – and that of Laban.

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To put it at its most blunt, whereas the Patriarchs and Matriarchs adopted a parenting paradigm that could be summed up as ‘put your kid first, ahead of your own interests’, Laban’s paradigm was the polar opposite.

Laban used his kids to further his own ends.

He ‘sold’ his daughter to Yaakov – as they themselves complain, in the parsha, not even giving them a dowry and instead expecting Yaakov to ‘pay’ for them with 14 years of hard work.

Then, when Yaakov wants to flee, Leah and Rachel tell him Go!!! There is nothing here for us, our father certainly won’t let us inherit anything together with his sons!!! And he didn’t even bother giving us a dowry when we got married, and all his calculations just boil down to what’s best for him.

Or in other words: Lavan didn’t really care a fig about his children, and on some level, they knew that.

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What does all this have to do with us, today?

The Torah is timeless, eternal, don’t you know? Don’t you know, that even today there are parents who will persistently put what is best for them, what suits them, what is most comfortable for them ahead of what is best for their kids.

Sometimes, this is blatant.

Sometimes, it’s clear that the parent is pushing a career, a course of action, a school, a decision, on their kids 100% because it suits them.

Even if it’s the worst thing in the world for their kid.

Other times, it’s way more subtle.

We parents tell ourselves we’re doing everything only for our kids, when we boss them around, use them as a passive ‘audience’ to talk at, push our own ideas and notions down their throats and then react angrily if they dare to disagree.

But if we were a little more honest, a little more humble, a little more willing to explore what’s really going on, inside ourselves, maybe, just maybe, we’d realize that sometimes, we’re actually acting in a very selfish way, when it comes to our children.

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I’d love to tell you that this ‘Laban style’ of me-first parenting is very uncommon, especially in the orthodox Jewish world.

But if I did, I’d be lying.

In the orthodox and not-so-orthodox Jewish world, I’ve seen a long line of parents abusing their children while hiding behind the cloak of kibud av’ v’em.

They rely on a warped understanding of the commandment to respect the parent, which they interpret to mean that the parent can do anything they want to the kid, and hurt them and let them down in any way they wish, and the kid just has to take it and carry on doing what the parent wants.

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Listen, I’m also a parent.

I’m also a flawed human being. I know how easy it is to use kibud av ve’em as a manipulative tool to avoid having to look ourselves in the eye and deal with our own bad middot, and having to make compromises, and having to put up with situations that we’d rather not deal with.

But if I’ve learnt one thing over the last few years, it’s just how much a parent’s mesirut nefesh can heal the soul of their child.

That means the parent is going to give the kid money, time and support – not expect it from their child.

That means that the parent is going to do their best to compromise and back down – not automatically expect that their word should be law.

And it means that as much as we can, we sacrifice what we want, what’s comfortable for us, what’s easiest and nicest for us to choose the path that is genuinely best for our kids.

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Your kid doesn’t want to marry someone from a background you feel comfortable with?

Your kid doesn’t want to join your family business and effectively ‘work for free’ to support you in your old age?

They don’t want to be so frum?

Or maybe, they DO want to be more frum?

There is no way they are going to university…. OR they dafka are going to university?

They do want to vaccinate your grandkids, they don’t want to vaccinate your grandkids….?

All these things – and more, way more – can cut through a parent’s heart like a knife through hot butter.

If we let them. If we adopt Laban’s parenting paradigm.

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What does Laban say to Yaakov?

“The daughters are mine and the sons are mine, everything you see before you is mine.”

When we treat our children as though they are our possessions, to do anything we want with, that’s parenting like Laban.

And if we continue parenting like Lavan, then at some point, for their own mental health, our children will have to leave us stealthily in the night, and run away somewhere far, far away.

For their own mental sanity.

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So, may God help us to put our kids first; to choose what’s right for them over what’s best or easiest for us, and to heal all the broken-hearted children out there (of all ages), who are still so hungry for the real love of their parents.

Amen.

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I had something of an epiphany yesterday evening.

I was in the car with my oldest daughter yesterday, as part of her levuyee 3 month period post passing her driving test, when she has to be accompanied by an adult.

So, we’re driving to Mahane Yehuda, and I was still in the bad mood I’ve been in for a week, on and off.

Suddenly, this song by Yaakov Shwekey started playing:

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I know God uses all sorts of different things to give us messages – even cheesy (but catchy…) tunes by Yaakov Shwekey.

So, I’m listening to it, and I hear these words:

“Life is the people we love
And what we give to one another
Loving is giving, giving is life”

And suddenly, a light bulb goes off in my head.

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The last few weeks, I’ve been struggling with a feeling that nothing really matters. 

I know I’m not alone in that. I see my kids, and my kids’ friends, and I speak to my own peers and relatives, and I know so many of us are struggling in this ‘Covid-1984’ reality, to really find meaning in life.

Suddenly, all the certainties got blown out the water.

The career really isn’t worth as much as we thought. Making enough money has become even harder. Any ‘certainty’ that remained has vanished in a puff of smoke. And all our ‘standards’ and ‘goals’ and ‘plans’ have dissolved, as well.

It’s hard to plan, hope and dream when we literally have no idea what the next 24 hours will bring.

====

And then add on to that the tremendous difficulties and obstacles that we’re all encountering to do even basic mitzvot right now.

As well as the onslaught against holy places, yeshivot, mikvahs and synagogues, and the deliberate closures planned to coincide with every Jewish holiday, there’s also the ‘bog standard’ miniot that accompany every mitzvah.

Even stuff like going for a walk has got so much harder, mentally, wrapped up as it know is in 5 million internal discussions about mask-wearing, dodging the police, how fast to walk in order to be able to claim “I’m exercising”, and all the rest of it.

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So it is, that I’ve been in a place the last few weeks where I’m finding it hard to answer the question:

What is the point of all this?

What’s the point of getting out of bed?

What’s the point of writing more stuff?

Or cooking more things?

What’s the point of trying to build, to create, to unite, when there is just such a huge big enterprise of evil that controls the world (apparently….) and that just continues to destroy, degrade and divide?

I’ve been struggling mightily to answer that question.

And then yesterday, I heard this song by Shwekey, and it something clicked.

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Right now, the whole job is just to work on my bad middot, and to do kindnesses for others.

And also, for myself.

And that’s it.

It’s a big enough job, believe me.

The last few weeks, my tolerance and patience for anyone else has been really low, even for the people I love the most.

I see now, that it’s all just a mirror.

God is making us all super-sensitised to ‘bad’ so we can clean up our act.

But the corollary of that is that we are seeing ‘bad’ all over the place, because the time has truly come to deal with it properly.

Each of us has our own job to do, to clean up our act.

I certainly have a lot of work to do, to start seeing ‘the good’ again, and to stop focussing so much on the bad.

And when I do that, I know the world around me will also automatically start to look like a brighter, nicer and more hopeful place again.

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I went into a bit of a tailspin, the last couple of days.

That happens, doesn’t it? Even when we’re trying out best to have emuna, and trying out best to pray, and trying out best to keep ‘seeing the good’, there are moments, hours and days when we still feel down about what’s going on.

That’s what happened to me, on Friday.

Sunday, I drove up North with my husband, to the kever of Rava and Abbaye, near Tsfat.

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The kever is situated in one of the most picturesque parts of Israel, up a hill overlooking forest and green. It was gorgeous.

Inside, after a couple of minutes, I started to relax and to feel a little stronger, spiritually, again. Like it’s going to be OK after all. Somehow.

After 10 minutes, I was shocked when a friend from America walked in with her family.

I was doing hitbodedut, so I went outside for a bit, where God had arranged a nice fire for me to sit by.

Literally.

Someone had gone to the trouble of piling 4-5 logs on some embers – and then left.

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So, I did what I do best, and ‘fanned the flames’ until I got a good fire going, that I could sit next to.

After a few minutes, the friend from America came out, and we had a chat. She was there looking for some clarity about whether to stay in Israel, or go back to America.

While we were talking, she started crying a little bit, so I gave her some tissues.

A few hours later, she texted me that her father had died unexpectedly back in America – at exactly the time we were at the grave of Rava and Abbaye, when she started crying ‘for no obvious reason’.

Baruch Dayan HaEmet.

I guess God made the decision for her.

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In the meantime, she showed me a picture of the Rav being loaded into an ambulance barely 4 hours after having major surgery, to send him back to prison.

Because they are trying to kill him.

In case you hadn’t realised that.

My friend said to me:

A lot of things must need sweetening again. That’s why he’s choosing to go back to prison like this.

When she put it like that, I started to cheer up.

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That picture of the Rav showed that the ambulance was totally full of an impossible light – his aura was in full view again:

Ah, Rav.

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Part of the reason I got so down the last few days is that I’m sick to the back teeth of hearing about all these ‘false messiahs’ and false leaders, and false ‘prophets’, who really don’t know anything (at best…) and could well be actively misleading the public.

They are all over the place, with their ‘predictions’ and ‘warnings’ and red herrings, that are just pulling so many of us away from the real work to be done to get geula, which basically boils down to prayer and sincere teshuva for all our millions of bad middot.

But then I realised something yesterday:

The truth is starting to come out.

And all these ‘false messiahs’ are starting to be exposed for what they are, in big and small ways.

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Yesterday, I had a big urge to walk down to the Rav’s shul, on Ido HaNavi Street, and just go and be there a bit. I was doing hitbodedut as I walked, and by the time I got to the Beit HaRav, I was in tears.

My heart has been so full of sadness recently.

And some of that poured out, and down my face.

Ah Rav.

I miss your comforting ‘presence’ so much.

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When I told this to my husband, he told me:

The Rav didn’t go anywhere we can’t reach him. The Tzaddik is hai v’kayam.

When he put it that way, I started to cheer up.

Then, my husband asked me if I’d seen the latest ‘announcement’ about the Rav from the autistics on the hebrew Shuvubanim.org page.

I hadn’t, so I went to look. Here’s a little what it says, freely translated (Hebrew original first, for those who can read it for themselves:)

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“ועם ישראל אין זמן, משיח כבר פה, והוא פועל לעזור לכל היהודים. הוא פה בירושלים עיר הבירה, הוא שוכב חולה בבית חולים והרשעים לא נותנים לו מנוחה, מנסים לגמור אותו, חו”ש.”

Am Yisrael, there is no time. Moshiach is already here, and he’s working to help all the Jews. He’s here in Jerusalem, the capital city, he’s lying sick in the hospital, and the reshaim (evildoers) aren’t giving him any rest. They are trying to finish him, chas ‘v’ halilah.

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בכלל עצרו את הרב ברלנד בלי שום הוכחות שהוא עשה משהו מנוגד לחוק, ולא לקחו אותו בעדינות, אלא התנפלו עליו, אפילו שהוא לא התנגד. בשחרית כשהוא התפלל, הם תפסו אותו וזרקו אותו לרצפה, אפילו שהוא יהודי מבוגר בן 84. יהודי שסובל מנמק ברגל, עם בעיות בלב, עם כליה אחת, שלא התנגד להם, אבל הם קיבלו הוראות, לעשות כאילו שהוא מתנגד, להעניש אותו, ואולי גם חשבו שזה יהרוג אותו.”

Generally speaking, they arrested the Rav Berland without any evidence that he’d done something against the law, and they didn’t take him gently, rather, they attacked him, even though he didn’t resist [being arrested].

At shacharit, when he was praying, they grabbe him and threw him to the floor, even though he was an elderly Jew aged 84 years old. A Jew who suffers from necrosis in the legs, and heart problems, with one kidney, who didn’t try to resist them.

But they received instructions, to make it seem as though he ‘resisted’, in order to punish him, and perhaps they also thought that this would kill him. [God forbid a billion times!]

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“ומאז מעבירים אותו מבית סוהר לבית סוהר, והוא חולה מאוד וסובל מאוד. הוא הצדיק של הדור וזה מרגיז את הרשעים, כי הם לא מצליחים להרוג אותו. כמה שניסו בביה”ח להרוג אותו – לא הצליח להם. שלחו אותו מיד לבית הסוהר אחרי ניתוח של ארבע שעות. ברוך השם, הרופא בבית הסוהר אמר, שהוא לא יכול לקחת אחריות על בן אדם שהוא במצב גופני מאוד קשה, החזירו אותו לבית החולים.”

And since then, they’ve been shuffling him from prison to prison, and he’s very unwell, and is suffering greatly. 

He is the Tzaddik of the generation, and this upsets the reshaim, because they aren’t managing to kill him. As much as they tried in the hospital to kill him – it’s just not working for them. They sent him immediately back to the prison, after a four hour operation.

Baruch Hashem, the doctor in the prison said that he couldn’t take responsibility for a person in such a difficult physical state, so they had to take him back to hospital.

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“בבית החולים גם מענישים אותו, אבל הוא לא מפחד, כי הוא יודע מי הוא, הוא יודע שהשם איתו, והוא יודע שרשעים לא משנה מה הם עושים, הם לא יכולים לפגוע בו.”

In the hospital they are also punishing him, but he isn’t scared, because he knows who he is. He knows that Hashem is with him. And he knows that the reshaim, no matter what they try to do, they can’t really hurt him.

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“עם ישראל, כדי שהמשיח יוכל להילחם נגד הרשעות, הוא חייב את התפילות שלנו, זה נותן לו כוח להילחם נגד הרשעות. ואנחנו צריכים להתפלל עם דמעות, עם לב שבור, שתהיה לו רפואה שלמה, כדי שיוכל לחזור לבית הכנסת שלו, בשביל לחזור לקהילה שלו, שיחזור לעם ישראל.”

“הקהילה “שובו בנים” מחכה לו מאוד עם געגועים חזקים ועם הרגשה של יתומים, כי הוא התקווה שלנו, שהשם שלח לנו עם ישראל, וזה צריך לתת לכול יהודי את הכוח להתפלל עוד יותר חזק – שתהיה רפואה שלמה לאליעזר בן עטיא.”

Am Yisrael! In order for the Moshiach to be able to fight against the evildoers, he needs our prayers!

This gives him the strength to fight against the reshaim. And we need to be praying with tears, with a broken heart, that he will have a full recovery, in order for him to return to his shul, and to return to his kehilla, and to return to Am Yisrael.

The ‘Shuvu Banim’ kehilla is waiting for him, with great yearning, and with the feeling that they are orphans. For he is our hope, that Hashem sent to Am Yisrael.

And this should give every Jew the strength to pray with even more strength – that there should be a complete healing for Eliezer ben Ettia.

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“עם ישראל, העולם מבולבל ואלים ומפוחד. גם מדינת ישראל במצב הזה. הדבר היחיד שיכול להציל אותנו עם ישראל, זה שאנחנו נעשה תשובה מלאה, שאנחנו נתקרב מאוד לקב”ה. שאנחנו נתפלל על הרב שלנו (הרב אליעזר ברלנד בן עטיא), שכ”כ דואג לנו יום ולילה ומתפלל על עם ישראל בדמעות.”

“הרב שלנו שבוכה יחד איתנו על המצב האישי שלנו, של כל אחד בנפרד, ועל המצב הכללי הקשה שלנו. השלטונות יודעים שהוא מסוכן להם, שהם לא יכולים להרוג אותו ולא יכולים לעצור אותו, אבל הם בכל אופן מנסים עם כל הכוחות שלהם להעלים אותו מהעולם הזה, חו”ש.”

Am Yisrael, the world is confused, violent and scared. Also the State of Israel is in this condition. The only thing that can save us, Am Yisrael, is if we make complete teshuva, and come very close to HaKadosh Baruch Hu. 

That we will pray with our Rav [HaRav Eliezer ben Ettia, Rav Berland], who so very much cares about us, day and night, and prays for Am Yisrael with tears.

Our Rav, who cries with us about our personal situation, about each person seperately, and also about our general hard situation. The government[s] know that he is dangerous for them, that thye can’t kill him, and they can’t stop him.

But nevertheless, they are still trying with all their strength, to remove him from this world, chas ‘v’ shalom.

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“אבל, לא לדאוג עם ישראל, הוא באמת משיח בן דוד, הוא נשלח להציל את עם ישראל, אבל עם ישראל צריכים לרצות. אם כל עם ישראל יקח על עצמו לעשות תשובה עם כל הלב, אז בעתיד הקרוב נקבל משיח בשמחה וששון, אבל לא נראה שככה זה יהיה.”

But, don’t worry Am Yisrael! He is in truth ‘Moshiach ben David’, he was sent to rescue Am Yisrael, but Am Yisrael has to want [this]. 

If the whole of Am Yisrael will take it upon themselves to make teshuva with all their heart, then in then in the very near future, we will receive Moshiach with happiness and rejoicing.

But it doesn’t seem as though this is what’s going to be.

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“אנחנו, כל אלה שמאמינים באמת בגדלות של הרב ברלנד ומתפללים עליו עם כל הכוח, אלה ישרדו בקלות.”
“העולם רועד, העולם בסכנה גדולה, המקום הכי בטוח בעולם זה ירושלים עיר הקודש. והיום המקום הכי קדוש – חוץ מהכותל.. – זה החומה השלישית, איפה שהרב ברלנד גר, וכשהוא יחזור הביתה נרגיש את האור הקדוש הרוחני שייצא משם ויאיר את כל ירושלים, ובסופו של דבר את כל ארץ ישראל, ואפילו מעבר לארץ ישראל, לגלות…”

We, all those who truly believe in the greatness of Rav Berland, and who pray for him with all our strength, these [people] will easily survive.

The world is shaking, the world is in tremendous danger. [But] the safest place in the world is Jerusalem, the holy city. And today, the holiest place – other than the Kotel – is HaHomah HaShlishit, where Rav Berland lives.

And when he returns home, we will feel the spiritual light of kedusha that will come out from there, and which will illuminate the whole of Jerusalem.

And ultimately, [which will light up] the whole of Eretz Yisrael, and even beyond Eretz Yisrael, to the diaspora.

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“מה שאני כותב עכשיו זו אמת. אני יודע שהרבה יהודים לא רוצים להאמין בזה, אבל זו האמת. בעתיד הקרוב כל אחד, כל יהודי אמיתי, יאמין בזה, כי זו האמת…”

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What I’m writing here is the truth. I know that many Jews don’t want to believe it, but this is the truth. In the near future, each person, each real Jew, will believe this.

Because it is the truth.

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Read it for yourself, HERE.

And may God give us all the strength to finally leave all our ‘false messiahs’ and ‘false prophets’ behind, and to make the real teshuva required to get to geula, the sweet way.

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UPDATE:

There is a prayer atzeret for the Rav this evening, November 24th, 2020, in Hevron, between 8-10pm.

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I went over to the ravberland.com website, where I learned that Rav Eliezer Berland is back in jail.

Honestly?

That news totally depressed me.

Just when I was starting to feel a little bit of emancipation from the forces of evil, a little bit of ‘loosening’ of these whole, false COVID-1984 narrative, a little bit of hope – they put the Rav back in jail.

And they rushed him back to the Ayalon Prison a couple of short days after he’d finished having TWO major surgeries, both requiring general anesthetic.

It’s clear as can be that they are trying to kill the Rav, God forbid a million times.

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So I read that and started to feel pretty down, but I still had Shabbat shopping to do, so I headed off to the Mahane Yehuda shuk.

There was a massive depressed vibe all around.

There were gangs of ‘school playground b*tches’ all over the streets around the shuk. These playground bullies grew up, and now have a job working for the Israeli border police.

Everywhere I walked there they were, yelling at random people that their masks weren’t up over their nose, totally covering their eyeballs.

These police bullies were fanned out in a ring of 4 or 5, all with their long fingernails wagging aggressively in people’s faces, as they stabbed their teudat zehut details into their tablets, as a precursor to fining them for breathing.

I was bullied a lot in school by gangs of girls exactly like these. That’s what taught me to fight back. Except now, the bullies are wearing police uniforms and are sanctioned by the State, so fighting back will get me in a whole bunch of trouble.

God, how much longer?

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We parked the car in the underground carpark near the shuk, climbed out and headed off to the elevator, fumbling in pockets to find the mandatory mask. I had mine on, under my nose, by the time we got to the elevator stairwell, but my husband didn’t.

Some middle-aged ‘mask-hole’, with his pointless mask pulled all the way up to his eyebrows, immediately took my husband to task.

What are you thinking?!?!? Walking around like this without a mask?!?!?

Wait. Let me repunctuate that:

What?!?!? Are you thinking?!?!?

God forbid!!!

Don’t think!

Just follow the stupid, destructive dictates that clearly make no sense and are clearly serving another, nefarious, agenda to crash the economy as fast as possible, so we can all become modern-day serfs.

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I’ve got to the stage that my dislike of these misguided ‘do-gooding’ bullying mask-holes is getting so intense, I’m really struggling to not totally passul them as human beings.

Go!!! Go get the vaccine ASAP, as soon as it’s available!!

All the mask-holes should get priority service, let them get five shots of the vaccine, even. They DEFINITELY deserve to have it!

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We walked off into the shuk itself, and the whole atmosphere was totally depressed again.

Partially, it was the obvious, and obviously intimidating, police presence there. Some ‘tough guy’ psychopath motorbike cop had parked his big engine horizontally, across the shuk’s main external thoroughfare.

He stood there like some Borg footsoldier, in his threatening black uniform, helmet under his arm and glaring at all the passersby.

My husband whispered to me:

Do you think he practices that pose at home, in front of the mirror?

Without a doubt! I whispered back. Probably for hours and hours….

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I couldn’t wait to get home.

I rushed around like a person possessed, to get back to the comfort of my ‘bubble’ back home, and away from the police b*tches, and the mask-holes, and the Terminator wannabes.

I turn on the PC to type, and I discover that the Jpost is back to proclaiming propaganda that we will be having another, totally unjustifiable, lockdown on Chanuka.

Of course we will.

They put the Rav back in prison, and so we are all following him back to jail.

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What can we do? What can I do?

One thing I did was to head over to the ravberland.com site HERE, and to give a bit more money to help pay for the Rav’s lawyers. It’s a drop in the bucket, but it gave me a tiny bounce to know that I had contributed something, in some way, to the Rav’s cause.

I will try to pray more for the Rav to get out.

I will try to work on my emuna, that all this is actually for the good, and leading to a good place.

And I will try to work on my almost overwhelming temptation to passul all these people who are deliberately working for ‘bad’, and / or accidentally working for ‘bad’, by buying all the ‘COVID-1984’ propaganda, and continuing with all their self-deception and lies.

And apart from these things, I have nothing else I can do.

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Before we continue, some timely words from Rabbenu, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.

A few weeks ago, when I was first heading into this whole genealogical minefield, I happened to pick up a copy of Tzaddik, and I ‘randomly’ opened it to page 388, where I read this:

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#464:

People had been telling the Rebbe all kinds of stories about various groups of people in Berdichov including, among others, some of the wealthy people there and also a number of popular leaders.

The Rebbe said:

“If we put all these stories about the various different kinds of people in Berdichov together, including the stories about these ‘Tzaddikim’, they all add up to nothing.

It is like a tree which grows in an orchard or a field among great numbers of other trees. Even in one tree there are all kinds of variations: there might be a branch where the leaves have withered, or places where the fruit has been spoiled because of a worm getting in, or there could be a branch where the fruit near the end has gotten spoiled.

There are all kinds of variations and imperfections even amongst the leaves and fruits of a single tree.

Yet the tree is still a tree, and the orchard itself, which contains large numbers of trees, is certainly still an orchard.

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“The meaning of this comparison should be at least partly clear to someone with intelligence.

Today’s world may well contain many people who are totally corrupt and others, who although they possess a certain decency, also have their various imperfections, including the so-called leaders.

Nevertheless, the holy tree is still a tree.

And even more so, the orchard which contains so many trees – namely souls – is still an orchard.

All the imperfections do not add up to anything.”

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Dear readers, I’m looking at our collective family tree, our collective ‘family orchard’, and I can tell you that there is a lot of withered leaves, rotten fruit and worm infestation going on here.

Before Moshiach comes, it needs cleaning out, the orchard needs a bit of pruning and tidying up.

In some ways, this is going to be a painful job.

Whenever I have to cut back my lavender plants, or lop some branches and twigs off my trees, I always feel a little sorry for my poor plants, that they have to be ‘operated’ on like this. But I do it, because I know that if I don’t the plant won’t thrive.

It needs some shaping, it needs the dead wood cleared out, so new, fresh growth can take place.

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Right now, we are at that part of the story where ‘something’ happens to flip the whole reality on its head.

Up until this point, people have been sitting there in their armchairs, believing that the Rav is the ‘bad one’, God forbid.

They’ve been believing all those news stories, all the breathless headlines from the Yeshiva World News and from Facebook, secure in their judgmental self-righteousness, that something like this could never be said of their Rebbe, or their group, or the public figures they support and admire.

But that’s just not true.

When all the truth comes out, I doubt there will be a person, a community, across the whole Jewish world who won’t be touched in some way, by its healing rays.

When that sun of truth finally rises, with refua in its wings, we’ve already been told that it will heal the righteous, and burn the wicked.

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The test right now is just to love our fellow Jew unconditionally, and to try to put ourselves in their shoes.

That doesn’t mean we excuse or justify bad. We can never excuse, ignore or justify ‘bad’.

But what it does mean, is that we don’t start lording it over people, and other groups, and arrogantly pointing the finger at them, and holding them in contempt, because we consider ourselves to be perfect.

There are a lot of withered leaves going on here.

There is a lot of rotten fruit.

Not just in our neighbors’ ‘trees’, but also in our own.

We are at the stage where very soon, it’s all going to be exposed.

And that’s when ahavat chinam, loving our neighbors and ourselves unconditionally – but without justifying ‘bad’ and ‘evil’ – is going to be what gets us through this next stage, and onwards towards the geulah and Moshiach.

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Remember what Rabbenu is telling us:

“Today’s world may well contain many people who are totally corrupt and others, who although they possess a certain decency, also have their various imperfections, including the so-called leaders.

Nevertheless, the holy tree is still a tree.

And even more so, the orchard which contains so many trees – namely souls – is still an orchard.

“All the imperfections do not add up to anything.”

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I think we’re probably going to get up to part 99 of this saga, the way things are going…

You know, I love a good mystery, and I love the ‘thrill’ of figuring things out. But I have to say, that even I am starting to be overwhelmed by all the twists and turns in the tangled web of ‘Jewish genealogy’ I’m caught up in the moment.

If you haven’t been paying attention, I’m trying to figure out a few things, not least:

  1. How exactly the Vilna Gaon and the Alter Rebbe are connected.

I know they are close family members – brothers, cousins, maybe even father and son, but I haven’t pinned it down exactly yet.

2. Why there are so many deliberate lies and distortions going on around the family trees of Yonatan Eybshutz, the Vilna Gaon, the Alter Rebbe and Jacob Frank (amongst many others…)

As I’ve mentioned, there are a few ‘gatekeepers’ on the geni.com website who keep popping up again and again and again, when I input certain family names.

Whenever I’m pursuing an interesting avenue, all the leads suddenly dry up, and it’s as though these people sprung fully formed from the head of Zeus.

No parents, no siblings, no other children…. always at those intersections where I would start to see how one group, one specific family, might link to another.

But Hashem is sending me more and more leads all the time, and BH, even with all the lies being told, we’re going to figure this out.

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3. How is it, that so many of the ‘leading lights’ surrounding the Vilna Gaon apparently had double identities as the leaders of the haskalah movement?

Let’s give a concrete example.

If you go HERE, you’ll find the following information about ‘Rabbi Yehoshua Zeitlin’, a leading figure in the community of Shklov and the surrounding areas (I’ve screenshotted all of this, to make sure it doesn’t disappear…)

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According to this rosy write up, Rav Yehoshua Zeitlin was a gaon, and a talmid of the Vilna Gaon and Rav Aryeh Leib Ginsburg, the Sha’agas Aryeh.

He was also wealthy – we’re told by this write up, from hamodia.com – and ‘supported many talmidim from his own pocket’.

Now it lists three of his ‘many talmidim’:

  1. Rabbi Menachem Leffin
  2. Rav Binyamin Rivlin
  3. Rav Boruch of Shklov

Here’s where it gets really interesting.

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When I went to look up ‘Rabbi Yehoshua Zeitlin’ (1742-1822, born in Kherson) – this is what I discovered.

He was a Baron – Joshua Von Zeitlin – and the main supplier for Potemkin’s Russian armies, during the Turkish-Russian wars that began in 1768. Count Potemkin was a favorite of the Russian Empress Catherine the Great. You can read more about Potemkin HERE.

Here’s what the translation from an article in alef magazine (now mysteriously taken off line…) said about Baron Joshua Von Zeitlin:

“Yehoshua Zeitlin (1742–1822) is a personality not yet fully appreciated by historians. Meanwhile, he was the first prominent Jewish figure in Russia to combine deep rabbinical scholarship with a passionate desire to familiarize his fellow tribesmen with Russian public life. A prominent Hebraist and subtle interpreter of the Talmud, he at the same time highly appreciated Russian culture.

Yehoshua was a native of Shklov and came from a well-known and noble Jewish family…”

There’s more. Let’s continue. Another one of Catherine the Great’s boyfriends, Count Semyon Gavrilovich Zorich (1745-1799) is ‘retired’ to Shklov in 1777, where he soon creates a court to rival that of St Petersburg. Semyon has bad middot (to put it mildly…) and creates a very loose, immoral atmosphere in Shklov.

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Somehow or other, Rabbi Yehoshua Zeitlin and his brother become Semyon’s main helpers and advisors:

Yehoshua (together with his brother, who was sent by Zorich to Riga to buy antiques and “soft junk” there at a reasonable price) becomes his assistant. It is not known what exactly the Count’s assignments were carried out by Zeitlin, but there is evidence that in the 1770s and 1780s he often visited Berlin on the instructions of this tyrant.

Fortunately, from such voyages, our hero [i.e. Joshua Zeitlin] received not only commercial benefits, but also abundant food for the mind.

He became close to the leaders of the Berlin Haskala and became a frequent visitor to the house of the founder of Jewish enlightenment, “Jewish Socrates” Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1789). Friendship ties tied him with such prominent Maskilim as the Chief Rabbi of Berlin, Hirsch Lebel (1721-1800); the outstanding linguist and exegete Naftali-Hertz Wesseli (1725-1805); the herald of reformism in Judaism, David Friedlander (1750–1834), and others. (Emphasis mine.)

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Before I continue, let’s just recap what we’ve discovered.

On the one hand, ‘Rabbi Yehoshua Zeitlin’ is being lauded as a gaon and a tzaddik, author of the Amudei Gola sefer in the pages of Hamodia.

And on the other, we discover that he’s a leading proponent of ‘haskalah’ in Eastern Europe, and is hanging out with Moses Mendelssohn and others who were men known for pushing the ‘enlightened’ and ‘reform’ agenda.

What in the world is going on?

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So now, I wanted to find a screenshot of Baron Joshua Zeitlin’s sefer, the Amudei Gola, and God sent me another mystery.

First, here’s the screenshot of the book, from here:

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Sit down for this next bit.

The two people who gave Joshua Zeitlin’s book an approbation are R’Chanoch Henich Shick of Shklov – and the Baal HaTanya, Rav Shnuer Zalman Baruchovitch of Liadi.

Apparently, the auction house tells us that: ‘This is one of the few approbations of the Baal HaTanya that has seen print.’

So now, you tell me how it is that ‘Rabbi Yehoshua Zeitlin’s’ book has got an approbation from the Alter Rebbe, when he is described as being a close student of the Vilna Gaon.

And while you’re at it, please also tell me why one of the ‘few approbations’ of the Alter Rebbe should be found in a book written by a man who was a leading maskil.

And also, why Joshua Zeitlin is listed as the father in law of ‘Reb Alexander Sender’ – apparently one of the Alter Rebbe’s favorite talmidim:

Alexander Sender of Shklov was an outstanding chassid of the First Chabad Rebbe, a generous businessman of exemplary piety. When he passed away, the Alter Rebbe paid a condolence call to his father and testified that he had seen his soul “in exceptionally bright, shining garments” (Beis Rebbe). His grandson, Aharon, was the father of the fourth Rebbe’s wife, Rivka.

In fact, he was SO beloved by the Alter Rebbe that the 6th Rebbe, the Rayatz, wrote a whole chapter about him in his work ‘Her Husband’s Crown’, which you can read for yourself HERE.

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Hey, even more interesting!

That link that I had in the comments section on this post: https://rivkalevy.com/curiouser-and-curiouser/, linking to this: http://www.sichos-in-english.org/books/sefer-hatoldos-admur-maharash/15.htm – has now disappeared.

It seems Chabad have now taken the book offline.

(I downloaded it all anyway, because I had a feeling something like that might happen.)

But hey Chabad, what do you have to hide?

Why remove the sichot of the Rayatz, describing his ancestor’s family tree, and particularly his links to his follower, ‘Reb Alexander Sender‘, and the story of Rebbetzin Lea Golde Broda, mother of the 4th Rebbe?

(Honestly, I’m starting to have a theory about that, but let’s continue.)

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Let’s go back.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about ‘Baron Joshua Zeitlin’:

Joshua Zeitlin (1742 in ShklovBelarus – August 18, 1822, in KhersonNovorossiya) was a Russian rabbinical scholar and philanthropist. He was a pupil of the Talmudist Rabbi Aryeh Leib ben Asher Gunzberg who was the author of Sha’agat Aryeh; and, being an expert in political economy, he maintained close relations with Prince Potemkin, the favorite of Catherine II. During the Turko-Russian war, Zeitlin furnished the Russian army with various supplies, and managed that business so cleverly that he was afterward appointed imperial court councilor.

On retiring from business in the civil rank of Court Counsellor, Zeitlin resided on his estate Ustzia, where he was occasionally consulted by rabbis with regard to rabbinical questions. He rendered pecuniary assistance to many Talmudists and scholars, and supported a magnificent beit midrash, in which many Jewish scholars were provided with all of life’s necessities, so that they could pursue their vocations without worries of any kind.

Among the scholars who benefited from his generosity were: Rabbi Nahum, author of Tosafot BikkurimMendel Lepin, author of Cheshbon ha-Nefesh; and the physician Baruch Schick

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Mendel Lepin = ‘Rabbi Menachem Leffin’ (1749-1826)

(He may well also be the same ‘Menachem Mendel Levin’ who authored a sefer called ‘Cheshbon HaNefesh’.)

Here’s what we learn about ‘Mendel Lepin / Lefin / Levin’ from the Jewish encyclopaedia:

LEVIN (LEFIN), MENAHEM MENDEL (1749–1826), early Haskalah author, translator, and educator. Born in Satanov, Podolia, he had a traditional Jewish education but also studied sciences, mathematics, and medieval philosophy in his youth.

From 1780 to 1783/84 Levin lived in Berlin, where he met Moses *Mendelssohn, through whom he established contact with the leaders of the Haskalah. …

Levin taught mathematics and philosophy to Czartoryski’s children, which was rare at that time, and dedicated his unpublished philosophical treatise, “Aus dem Nachlass eines Sonderlings zu Abdera,” to Czartoryski’s wife. When the great Sejm met in Warsaw (1788–92), Levin participated in discussions on contemporary problems.

Toward the end of the 18th century, he resided in Ustye and in St. Petersburg in the home of the wealthy philanthropist J. *Zeitlin, serving as tutor to his grandson. After 1808 he lived in Brody and Tarnopol, where his influence on the maskilim in Galicia, notably N. *Krochmal and J. *Perl, was so considerable that he is regarded as the father of the Galician Haskalah.

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Isn’t that shocking?

Yet again, we see that the people being lauded as the main disciples of the Vilna Gaon are one and the same as the people mamash leading the haskalah in Europe.

What on earth is going on here?

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I’m still  looking into ‘Boruch of Shklov’ and ‘Rabbi Binyamin Rivlin’, (amongst other things) so expect this series of ‘curiouser and curioser’ to continue for some time.

But there are some very serious questions bobbing up here about who exactly the Vilna Gaon really was, who his students really were – and what they really stood for – and how the Alter Rebbe and Chabad chassidut connects into this whole hot mess.

TBC

(Unless someone in 770 decides to try and take my blog out of action again 😉

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UPDATE:

Here’s what I found about Baruch Schick of Shklov:

He was another radical maskil, and another ‘student’ of the Vilna Gaon. And he’s connected to the Rabbi Chanoch Henich Shick of Shklov who gave approbations for that sefer, above, together with the Ba’al HaTanya:

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SCHICK, BARUCH BEN JACOB (also known as Baruch Shklover , from the name of his birthplace, Shklov; 1740?–after 1812), rabbi, physician, and one of the pioneers of *Haskalah of Eastern Europe.

Schick was ordained as a rabbi in 1764 and subsequently served as dayyan in Minsk. In his youth he was already attracted to the Haskalah and general knowledge. His first scholarly work and his other works were lost in a conflagration. He traveled to London to study medicine and there joined the Freemasons. After qualifying as a doctor he moved to Berlin, where he became acquainted with the maskilim of the town, including Moses *Mendelssohn and Naphtali Herz *Wessely.

In 1778, on his way back to Minsk, he visited Vilna and was in the group associated with Elijah b. Solomon (the Gaon of Vilna), in whose name he published a statement on the need for scientific knowledge for an understanding of the Torah…. He stated that the Gaon of Vilna advised him to translate scientific works into Hebrew in order to make their contents available to Jews….

After some time he settled in Shklov, and there he belonged to the maskilim whose needs were supplied by the wealthy Joshua *Zeitlin of Ustye near Shklov….

Schick devoted his energies to arousing his fellow Jews to the need for studying the arts and sciences. He regarded the neglect of the sciences as caused by the exile. He repeated the accusations of his predecessor, Israel Moses ha-Levi *Zamoscz, against the fanatical rabbis and leaders who persecuted and condemned the maskilim. To restore science to its former place of honor, he pleaded for a revival of Hebrew, in which scientific works intended for his people should be written.”

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UPDATE #2:

The link to the Chabad writings is working again. Baruch Hashem.

UPDATE #3:

Here’s a screenshot mentioned by Aliza, below, in the comments section, that comes from this book:

The Secret Doctrine of the Gaon of Vilna Volume II: The Josephic Messiah, Leviathan, Metatron and the Sacred Serpent

From what I remember from the comments of Netanel Simcha, who mentioned that ‘Metatron’ is the reason Acher turned into an anti-Torah heretic, it seems that this angel is back in the picture here, too.

The book is written by the descendant of the Vilna Gaon’s brother, R Avraham Ragoler, and sets out the Vilna Gaon’s ‘kabbalah’ connected to geula and moshiach.

You’ll notice that the Gaon apparently refers to HIMSELF as Moshiach ben Yosef….

Which is interesting, hey?

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