Getting back to talking about God.

It keeps happening to me that I intend to leave all the awful corruption, and ‘politics’, and yucky stuff going on in the world behind, and to try to return to more spiritual matters – but I can’t.

God just isn’t letting me.

I had a couple of nice pieces planned out in my head to write up for the site about my own struggles with the idea of ‘renewal’, and whether it’s possible for me to have ‘renewal’ without also having to move house every five minutes, when I woke up with a brainwave to go and research 666 5th Avenue, NYC.

That number is interesting, isn’t it? It’s the number the xtians like to assign to their ‘anti-Moshiach’, and they call it colloquially ‘the mark of the beast’. It also happens to be 66.6 – the remainder of the 33.3 that the Freemasons are obsessed with, the top third of the pyramid on the back of the dollar that happens to contain Bilaam’s all-seeing evil eye.

There’s a lot going on with that property, and once I’ve finished researching it properly, I’ll lay it all out here for you, dear reader, as long as it’s safe for me to do that.

In the meantime, I’ve had no time to write up anything else….but lucky for me, over on the ravberland.com website, Rabbi Yissachar Berg has started giving classes again. Here’s a taste of his most recent class, about finding the good point within, aka Azamra:

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You can sign up for the full-length webinar classes HERE. And if you’re feeling like you need some uplifting Torah, or feeling like you’re struggling to find the good in others, and particularly in yourself, then this is highly recommended.

And BH, there will be more classes in English coming too. I’m pushing my better half to return to giving classes again online. He did it for years at Chut Shel Chessed, but kind of burned out, and so hasn’t been giving classes for years now.

So far, I’ve twisted his arm hard enough to get an agreement from him to start doing a short ‘Parsha of the week’ shiur based on Rabbi Berland on the Parsha starting this week. I’ll post it here when it’s up, but it’s permanent home will be on the new ‘Breslov TV’ channel over on ravberland.com.

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And then, in turn I’ve also had my arm twisted gently to get on with doing some classes again on Breslov teachings.

Like my better half, I also totally went off the idea for a long time because doing those classes took a lot out of me, n a whole bunch of ways. And they also fed into my ga’ava in a massive way around 6 years ago, which led to a lot of big problems that I simply don’t want to pop up again.

So I’ve been running away from that idea for years.

But in Uman, I had a conversation that brought me around to the idea again, and as I wrote about HERE, I know so many of us are pretty lonely at the moment, because we can’t talk about ‘real’ stuff with most of the people we know, without them thinking we are totally nutso.

So, I floated the trial balloon to see if there is interest, and BH, 17 women came back to me.

We’re going to be trying to apply Rabbenu’s teachings in a real, gentle way to the craziness that is our own life. I’m trying something new with this class, and not structuring it to death. I’m going to try talking from the heart, based on Breslov and Rav Berland sources, around a particular subject, then make some space for others to share their ideas, too.

The idea is to build a community, not just a class, so we can stop feeling so lonely and alone in our emuna, and commitment to really seeing God’s hand in the world, and in our own lives, and sticking by our principles even when ‘everyone else’ thinks we’re crazy.

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The first class will be 10am Jerusalem time this Sunday, February 2nd, via Zoom, and it’s for women only.

I’ll post the link up on the website, and also over on my blog on the ravberland.com site a little closer to the time

If it works, I’ll try to do a class in the evening that will work for people in the US, too, but I’m building up slowly to that. There will also be a recording available for ladies who sign up to the mailing list. You can do that below, and yes, I will also sort that side of things out properly too, going forward, with God’s help, so it’s easier to share links and sign up information around.

There’s only one way to fight all this awful corruption spreading everywhere. And that’s by taking a look inside, connecting to our own good and amplifying our own yearning for Hashem and kedusha.

If that sounds interesting to you, come join me Sunday:

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A crash course in teasing out the truth.

I’ve been deliberately staying away from this topic for months. But now that the ‘Peace Plan’ is upon us, I seem to be getting a strong push from shemayim to set out some of the facts about what appears to be going on with the current occupant of the White House, so that you, dear reader, can make your own mind up about whether Trump is really ‘Israel’s best friend’, or not.

As this subject is so divisive, and as I want to avoid machloket with other Jews as much as possible, I will try to keep my own comments as limited as possible. And I encourage you to click the links wherever you find them, and to uncover more pieces of this puzzle. This is about becoming your own journalist, fitting all this information together, and asking Hashem to show you what’s true, and what isn’t.

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This is the starting point, from something Rabbi Berland said on Chanuka 5780, here:  ravberland.com

The last battle was at Tzur.

Tzur is south of Bethlehem. The last battle took place there. After two or three months, they said now we’re going to Jerusalem, to conquer Jerusalem, that’s to say to begin a world war, and then America and Russia will come, and they began to send armies from all the world.

WHAT? THE JEWS WILL TAKE JERUSALEM? THAT’S THE END OF THE WORLD!

The entire argument between Yaakov and Esav was over who would take Jerusalem.

YAVAN IS IN ALL THE GENERATIONS. NOW TOO, AMERICA IS MALCHUT YAVAN, RUSSIA IS MALCHUT EDOM.

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Take home message:

The world is being fought over by (at least) two different ‘mafias’, one is called the Kings of Edom (headed by Russia) and one is called the Kings of Yavan (headed by the USA).

Both of these mafias have a legal / governmental face, and a very prominent illegal / ‘deep state’ aspect. Both of these mafias are involved in trying to take over as much of the world’s resources as possible, by fair means or foul.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to figure out for yourself which of these mafias Trump is really working for.

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Whilst I was flying to Uman, I took a book along to read called: Trump / Russia: A Definitive History, by Seth Hattena, who is an award-winning investigative journalist for the Associated Press. Here’s the blurb from the back of the book:

“In the early 1990s, a famous real estate tycoon – a regular in Manhattan gossip columns and on celebrity chat shows – found his world collapsing around him. He’d secretly gone bankrupt on three, multi-million dollar projects in a row.

Facing numerous lawsuits, isolated and desperate for cash, but cut off by his American Banks, he turned to dark sources in another country, a country regularly under sanction by the United States: its long-time enemy, Russia.

And thus commenced decades-long deal-making with a growing cobweb of corrupt, criminal and powerful Russians…And ending with a tycoon in the White House.”

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After the Communist USSR fell apart in the late 1980s, Russia and the rest of the former USSR fell into a state of chaos.

The people who stepped forward to take control of the country were essentially those who already had experience of free market economics – i.e. the mafiosos who had been running the black economy under the Soviets.

Many of these mafiosos had ties with Russia’s security services like the former KGB, and these people had gained experience and connections with the West by smuggling things into Russia, and also by helping to smuggle things out.

Google: “The Jackson-Vanik Amendment”, and see what you find.

Russia, and the other former USSR countries, were exclusively run by organized crime for at least a decade. During this time, corrupt leaders in the West collaborated with corrupt leaders in Russia itself, including the alcoholic former Russian President, Boris Yeltsin, to privatize the former USSR’s natural resources.

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In 2011, a Russian anti-corruption campaigner called Marina Salye fled for her life to the US. (It didn’t seem to help much. She died in March, 2012). Many years earlier, she’d been head of a special investigative commission in St Petersburg, who had been investigating Vladimir Putin – then the head of St Petersburg’s Committee of External Relations. Here’s part of her stated complaint against Putin:

“Vladimir Putin has issued licences, without government authority, for the overseas export of bartered oil, timber and non-ferrous and rare-earth metals to questionable and little-known firms, often incorporated the previous day, with licences issued in advance of being signed by Western partners and without documentation of the goods’ availability.

And the prices assigned were for dumping – about two thousand times lower than the prevailing ones. The Commission is now sending documentation of its investigation to the Personnel Office, and Putin may have to answer before his hometown for having deprived municipal coffers of $122 million.”

Instead, Putin became Russia’s president, and the Russian mafia acquired a patina of legitimacy.

This is how so much of the former USSR’s national wealth ended up in the hands of a small group of Russian oligarchs, who became fabulously wealthy overnight. All these people had some connection to the Russian mafia. Many of these people are Jews.

Google:

Jewish Russian Oligarchs

“Davos Pact”

“Boris Birshtein”

And see what you find.

It’s important to note that this type of corruption occurred throughout the former USSR, including the Ukraine.

But life as a Russian Oligarch is risky. Back in 2003, Russia’s richest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was suddenly arrested by Putin’s government, charged with fraud, and stripped of all his fabulous wealth. That sent a very clear message to the other Russian oligarchs and mafia bosses that the best way to protect their wealth was to find a way to get it out of the country, and ‘stored’ in assets in the West, in case the wind one day changed for them, too.

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Starting in the 1970s, there was a huge wave of immigration from the USSR to the USA, which welcomed 200,000 people to its shores. Around 80,000 Russians ended up in Brighton Beach, a community on the periphery of NYC which was subsequently christened “Little Odessa”.

At that same time, Russian organized crime began to flourish in the USA – and the power struggle between the Kings of Edom and the Kings of Yavan took a new turn.

Google the following names, and see what you find:

David Bogatin

Jacob Bogatin

Semion Mogilevich

Vyacheslav Ivankov

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Taking dodgy money from dodgy sources in order to give that money a patina of respectability is technically known as money laundering.

And here is where the story gets interesting.

Guess where so many of these Russian oligarchs and Russian mafia figures and Russian shell companies ended up investing their dodgy money? Here’s a few clues:

Trump Towers

Trump World Tower

Trump SoHo

For example, David Bogatin owned no less than five apartments in Trump Towers before he was arrested for his part in a billion dollar gas tax fraud.

According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, by 2004 a third of the units sold in Trump World Tower went to people or limited-liability companies connected to the former USSR, with one of Trump’s sales agents telling the magazine: “We had big buyers from Russia and Ukraine and Kazakhstan.”

Donald Trump had no problem whatsoever in selling his over-priced condos to fabulously wealthy Russians with murky business connections. Those sales jacked-up the value of his real estate, pulled him out of bankruptcy – and firmly connected him to a whole slew of wealthy people with useful connections on both sides of the legit / mafia business divide.

Google the following names, see what you find:

Sam Kislin

Michael Cherney

Lev Cherney

Fima Shusterman

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Real Estate is big business in today’s world.

Part of the reason so much real estate is going for artificially inflated ridiculous prices is because it’s a great way of laundering ‘black’ money. You buy something with dirty money, you sell it on for an inflated and unjustified profit, and hey presto, all of a sudden your money is ‘legit’ – it’s just the proceeds of a selling a condo.

No-one can ask questions about that….

Trump World Tower opened in 2002. Shortly afterwards, the Trump property brand started to skyrocket, especially with the Russians, many of whom seemed very happy to follow Trump around, wherever he chose to build his next developments.

Take Trump’s Sunny Isles Towers down in Miami, Florida. So many Russians moved into Sunny Isles locals started calling it “Little Moscow”.

Google the following names, see what you find:

Vladimir Popovyan

Peter Kiritchenko

Michael Barukhin

Elena Baronoff

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Trump SoHo was unveiled in 2006, in partnership with a real estate company called the Bayrock Group.

Bayrock’s managing director is a man called Felix Sater, it’s founder was a former Kazakhstani called Tevfik Arif. Sater moved with his family to Brighton Beach, and Sater has a long and very interesting story.

Look him up on Google, and see what you find.

Long story short, he was involved with the mob, went to prison for white collar crimes including a pump-and-dump scheme run out of his ‘White Rock’ organization, and then apparently became an informer for the CIA in the Clinton years, helping the US to track down Osama bin Laden.

(I don’t know about you, but that whole thing just sounds kind of weird to me, and my BS-o-meter is twitching again.)

But by 2006, Sater was working with Bayrock on high ticket real estate details, and became very close to the Trump empire. Sater had business cards printed at this time that said: “Felix Sater: Senior Advisor to Donald Trump.”

Call it a coincidence, but Trump properties continued to fill up with wealthy investors from the former USSR, many of whom had very dodgy backgrounds, and sadly, many of whom are Jewish and closely connected to obviously Jewish organizations. Look up the following names, see what you find:

Vadim Trincher

Alex Sapir

Rotem Rosen

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There’s so much more to say about all this, but I’m going to kind of skip over all the stuff about Paul Manafort helping to rig elections in the Ukraine up until 2013 etc. Look up:

Dmitry Firtash

Oleg Deripaska

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One thing I will say is that the ‘division’ between Democrats and Republicans is really just for show.

It’s just to keep the masses thinking there is a real alternative. The political system in the US is totally corrupt, and really just masking the ongoing battle between the Kings of Edom and the Kings of Yavan for control of the international economy, particularly it’s darker side of drugs, guns and human slaves.

So, it should come as no surprise that ‘pro-Trump’ Manafort was happy to hire the ‘pro-Hilary’ Podesta Group to lobby Congress on behalf of Manafort’s client, Ukrainian President Yanukovych.

What’s more, the original Fusion GPS file on Trump’s connections to Russian mafia figures was originally commissioned by Republican Paul Singer, and then only taken over by the Democrats at a later stage.

The swamp extends in all directions, on both sides of Congress and the Senate, and is also still to be found in the White House itself. All of the politicians are corrupt, and just the ‘legal’ face of the invisible mafias that are running the world.

For example, Former Ukrainian President Yanukovych was totally corrupt, and there are estimates that $70 billion was illegally siphoned off into foreign accounts during his tenure. (He escaped prosecution in 2014 by jumping on a helicopter that whisked him over to Russia, where presumably he’s still hiding out.)

Meanwhile, Manafort flew back to Washington and went to work for Trump.

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As I’ve written so many times before, there is no such thing as a 0-100% argument.

There is no such thing as one side being 100% wrong about everything, and the other side being 100% right.

It’s all an admixture, and the birur or clarification process God expects from us is to keep challenging our own assumptions, and our own black-or-white thinking to really dig down and discover the truth.

I am totally a-political. Before I started investigating all this stuff, I certainly didn’t hate Trump, and I probably would have voted from him back in 2016.

Back then, I didn’t realise just how endemic the spiritual and moral corruption actually is in the world. I didn’t realise that all these political parties and presidents and Prime Ministers are really just figure heads, puppets that are being moved around by the Kings of Edom and Kings of Yavan who are really running the show here.

Rebbe Nachman explained in his story The Cripple that ‘the talkers’ would take themselves out before Moshiach comes, and that’s what we’re witnessing right now. One set of evil mafiosos is trying to take out the other, but ultimately, they are both totally bad.

The Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans, just as corrupt, just as morally bankrupt. They are all just the window-dressing. As for ‘Q Anon’ – at this point, I’m pretty sure it’s being run by the Russians. Most of the information it puts out is probably true, but there’s another side to the story that most of us just don’t want to believe, namely that there are no ‘good’ guys in this picture.

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The real power behind the throne is just playing us all off against each other, keeping us caught up in petty partisan politics, and fooling us into thinking that real change happens at the polling booths.

There is no real change until the real evil is unmasked and revealed. That real evil is bankrolling all our politicians and all our ‘leaders’ – including here in Israel. Just that real evil is also split into different factions, each one trying to get a bigger piece of the pie.

So, let’s get down to brass tacks now.

Trump is definitely part of the evil mafia, definitely not ‘good’ in any way, shape or form, and definitely not Israel’s ‘best friend’. The only question really is which mafia family is he working for, the Kings of Edom (Russia) or the Kings of Yavan (the USA)?

As to why the Jews should care about this, and particularly the Jews of America, it boils down to this.

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Even a very quick look across the internet shows that there are certain crucial pieces of this whole ‘Trump / Russia’ puzzle that are hidden in very plain sight. I’m not going to spell this stuff out, for a lot of reasons.

But I urge my readers to carefully consider which organisations and charities have deep connections to the former USSR. Who used clandestine routes to smuggle things and people in and out of Russia?

What were the main lynchpins clandestinely connecting the USA and Russia during the Cold War? How were those ‘lynchpins’ affected and potentially corrupted by the Russian mafia’s takeover of the former USSR? Why are the same people, the same organisations, the same charities, coming up again and again and again in connection to Russian mafia figures, and money laundering?

Where are these organisations getting their billion dollar plus annual budgets from?

Who is really funding them, who is really using them as a smokescreen, and what are they getting in return?

These are crucially important questions that I urge the Jews of America to look into, however painful it might be, because ‘before the world of truth can be built, the world of lies has to fall.’

And we are perched on the edge of the next part of that process.

There’s no such thing as a 0-100% argument. Yes, the Democrats are totally rotten and morally corrupt to the core. But that doesn’t mean that everything they’re claiming about Trump is wrong.

Just both sides are only presenting their side of the story, because if they came out with the truth and explained that the whole world is being fought over by two main mafia organizations called ‘The Kings of Edom’ and ‘The Kings of Yavan’, and that all this talk of democracy and governance by the people was a total crock, there would be riots in the streets.

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We live in interesting times.

Do your own homework, become your own investigative journalist, and start to tease the truth out about what’s really going on. Because sooner or later, what I’m only hinting to here is going to become public knowledge.

And then, anti-semitism is going to explode in the USA like never before.

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It’s hard to keep going at the moment.

So much effort that doesn’t seem to have got anywhere, so much yearning for a better world that’s going unrequited.

God, where’s all the fruits of our labours?!?!

It seems that all our good deeds, all our effort to become better people, all our struggles for a drop more holiness, a drop more connection to Hashem, a drop more genuine kindness for others are stalled and stuck.

But really?

They’re germinating.

We can’t see how every second of hitbodedut we do is taking root, we can’t see how every spiritual seed we plant with emuna is getting ready to sprout – imminently – into something way more beautiful than we can even get our heads around.

But it’s coming.

Patience, kinderlach.

It’s coming.

Last week, I had a little nervous breakdown.

The only reason it was little, as opposed to BIG, is because on Thursday morning I told my husband that if I didn’t make it out to Uman for Shabbat, I was probably going to crack up into a million pieces.

The warning signs had been gathering steam for two weeks, but we were deep in a massive cash crunch, so there was just no way I could get to Uman. Then on Tuesday, I was chasing some receipts for my husband’s end of year when we realized we’d been accidentally overcharged for something by 4, 000 shekels – the cost of spending Shabbat in Uman.

So, my husband asked for repayment, and Thursday morning, we booked the flight.

Thank God, because I was in such a low place by that point, I felt like the sky was falling in.

Usually, I’m pretty open about what sparks all this stuff off, and I can tell you that I’m definitely dealing with a million and one big stressors at the moment, that have all been depleting my strength and challenging me. I’ll list them here, to make it neat, but that’s not really what sent me off the deep end.

  • I have to move apartment by end of Feb, and still haven’t found somewhere.
  • I have to complete the purchase of an apt in Harish by end of Feb, and the bank turned down the mortgage.
  • I have to complete my ‘Crush your stress’ masterclass (haha!) and start marketing it properly.
  • I have to somehow figure out tickets for trips to the US and UK for family simchas.
  • My kid wants to drop out of school again.
  • My other kid is leaving her National Service half way through the year

All these stressors could easily pass for ‘the reason I’m cracking up’, and in the past, I’ve made the mistake of thinking they are the root cause of my emotional distress.

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But last week, I realized they are just the icing, not the cake.

The stuff that was really causing me to crack up last week is far more intangible. It just runs so deep, and goes to the heart of this whole idea of what I’m really meant to be doing in the world.

After 46 years, I realized that I’m still the perpetual weirdo, that I’m never going to see things the way other people do, or react to things ‘normally’, or be able to fit myself into the neat little boxes that apparently suit ‘everyone else’ – whoever the heck they are.

I’ve been fighting that clarity since I could think, because it brings a whole big bag of loneliness and self-doubt along with it. For four and a half decades, I’ve been waiting for me to mellow enough to fit in with the world, or for the world to speed up enough to keep up with me.

And last week, I finally understood that it’s never going to happen.

That understanding totally blew me out the water, and left me feeling like ET would feel once he understood the Mothership was never showing up to take him back home.

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I am a perpetual weirdo, stuck in a place where no-one is ever going to ‘get’ me.

This has implications for a lot of things, not least all my ongoing attempts to keep trying to ‘brainwash’ people – including my family members – into seeing things and experiencing things the way I do.

Up until last week, I thought it was just a matter of time until everyone comes around and starts to pick up the same vibes I do about things. Just a bit more ‘Moshiach light’ needs to slip under the door, just a bit more ‘Moshiach consciousness’ needs to shine in through the windows, and they will finally understand.

But now, I accept that’s never going to happen.

So last week, I fled to Uman to get some advice about how I’m meant to relate to myself in this new paradigm.

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Now I know I’m just never going to get that meeting of minds I’m craving, that sense of connection, now I know that I have to keep ‘the real me’ mostly under wraps if I want to have peaceful relationships and not cause constant friction, how do I relate to myself? How do I like myself?

How do I use all my ‘weirdness’ in a way that will still benefit the world, without causing me all this heartache because I feel so lonely and misunderstood so much of the time?

That’s why I came knocking on the door of Uman, the only place that makes me feel a little bit ‘normal’.

There was no bolt of lightning, no neon sign that suddenly lit up over the Tziyon saying

Rivka, do THIS!!!!! Be like THIS!!!! Just change THIS!!!!

But I came to Uman dragging a whole big chain of doubt, unhappiness and emotional pain behind me, and mostly, it’s gone.

I’m feeling connected back to my soul and connected back to God and the true Tzaddikim again. I have a lot to figure out still, but somehow, everything is going to turn out for the best.

And now, I have to get on with finding somewhere to live, and putting the finishing touches to my ‘Crush your stress’ course (haha!)

God certainly has a sense of humour.

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You might also like this article:

God never intended for the Jewish people to be so caught up in Esav’s wars.

Last week, we read the final parsha, Vayechi, in Sefer Bereishit, where Yaakov Avinu calls his sons to him for a final blessing. When he gets to Shimon and Levi, he castigates them for adopting the ‘stolen craft’ of his brother Esav.

Rashi explains there:

Klei Hamas – ‘stolen tools’. This craft of murder is in their possession by theft. It is from the blessing of Esav. Yaakov admonished them, “It is his [Esav’s] craft, and you robbed him of it.”

The full verse from the Torah reads:

“Shimon and Levi are brothers, klei hamas are their weapons. Into their design may my soul not enter! With their congregation do not unite, O my honor! For in their rage they killed a man, and in their wish they hamstrung an ox. Accursed is their rage for it is mighty, and their wrath for it is harsh. I will divide them in Yaakov, and I will disperse them in Israel.”

Clearly, Yaakov Avinu is very unhappy about his sons – forbears of the Jewish people – acting like his brother Esav, and killing people left, right and centre whenever they got angry and ‘felt justified’ in doing so.

This is not the Jewish way. The voice is the voice of Yaakov – it’s the voice of prayer, the voice of emuna, the voice of knowing that God is really running the world.

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Following the awful Chanuka attack in the shul in Monsey a couple of weeks ago, I was personally horrified when I saw pictures of orthodox Jews walking around toting what looked like machine guns.

Killing people is not our craft, it’s the craft of Esav. Of course, we’re meant to defend ourselves with all means possible, and to make every effort to save our life (although why moving to Israel doesn’t seem to make it on to that list is a bit of a mystery to me, I have to admit…)

But there is a world of difference between discreetly arranging security for shuls, schools and Jewish neighborhoods and strutting around for the media like Moshele the Terminator. Esav is way, way better at killing people and murdering people than we are. It’s a very dangerous game to get involved.

There are somewhere between 20-25 million people in the US with white supremacist tendencies. They are Esav mamash. A lot of them have machine guns. A lot of them are just waiting for ‘Moishele the Terminator’ to cross the line and actually kill someone, even in self-defense, so they can use that as a pretext to come after Jews all over the place.

Of course, what I’m writing here also has implications for the State of Israel, and for the whole idea that the IDF and the military is what is protecting the Jews here. This is an idea that has profound, far-reaching implications, and I certainly can’t cover off all the angles in one post.

But I will say that every time I hear apparently orthodox Jews advocating for ‘carpet bombing’ Gaza, and other extremely violent acts, I shudder. Is this really how Jews are meant to act and behave? Isn’t ‘carpet bombing Gaza’ a perfect example of klei hamas? Isn’t that just what the terrorists and the neo-Nazis would love to do to us, too?

Anything that puts Jews even tangentially into the same moral space as terrorists and Nazis has to be bad, doesn’t it?

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These are big questions, they need to be dealt with and discussed carefully by our qualified Sages and rabbis, and let’s be clear that in the State of Israel, that’s simply not happening. Our country is run by people who have adopted the ‘stolen craft’ of Esav as their main religion, and we are all paying the price for it.

Which brings me to the next point I want to make, about how the idea that killing and murdering people is somehow the best solution to every problem gained so much traction in the first place.

Let me share something that I received via email yesterday, from a Jew in America:

“I enjoy your writings (on rivkalevy.com) but I must admit, they either entertain me or stress me.  I know you used to be “secular media” and I think you still think like the secular media, like saying Trump “illegally” killed Soleimeni.  Wow,  That’s a stretch. I really can’t believe that you think that.  The man was a terrorist that not only killed thousands of american soldiers, but terrorized his own people.

“He has killed thousands and thousands of people.  The Iranians feared and hated him.  Plus, he was about to attack more Americans.  I know you are not too fond of America, but I know many soldiers (my Dad was a career soldier) and we have jewish soldiers at [army base] that become members of our Chabad.  I care about our soldiers and thank our President for caring  and protecting them, unlike our previous President.  I feel he should be hung as a traitor. I can’t stand the man.

“We are in a war and I thank GD that He mercifully delivered us from the traitor BO and may He destroy all evil among us (leftists) and brought us a strong man like Trump, may Hashem protect him.  Yes,Trump is Esav.  Yes, the west is Esav.  Yes America is Esav, but I was born and raised here and believe me, not all Americans are the enemy.  You want an enemy.  Try Ishmael.

“It seems your hatred of Trump and America has blinded you to reality.”

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My inbox is never a dull place!

So, let’s take my correspondent’s points one by one, to see if we can ascertain where the truth really lies, and what ‘reality’ actually consists of.

  1. It’s a stretch to say that Trump ‘illegally’ killed Soleimani.

“Extra-judicial killing” is a phrase that’s used by armies, militias and government sponsored ‘death squads’ around the world.

Here’s how Section 3a of the United States Torture Victim Protection Act defines extrajudicial killing:

“[A] deliberate killing not authorized by a previous judgment pronounced by a regular constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. Such term, however, does not include any such killing that, under international law, is lawfully carried out under the authority of a foreign nation.

Was Soleimani brought to a ‘regular constituted court’ and given a trial that afforded him ‘all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples’? Nope.

“Extra-judicial killing” is a spin-doctor way of describing a murder where no legal due process was followed, or to say the same thing in blunter terms, an illegal murder. When Al Capone was mowing people down on the streets of Chicago that was also ‘extra-judicial killing’.

As we can see, ‘extra-judicial killing’ is an extremely murky area, and also very prone to being used and abused by individuals and agencies who don’t want to have to justify their actions or have too much public scrutiny and moral accountability.

When it comes to Soleimani’s murder, the excuse the US used to get around its own regulations as stated above, in their Torture Victim Protection Act, is that Soleimani’s killing was not an assassination, but an act of “National Self Defense”.

This is the same legal justification that Israel uses for many of its targeted killings, and the difference is that when it comes to Israel, I mostly believe it.

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Amongst the many, many problems with ‘extra judicial murders’ tho, is that the people who are carrying them out argue that any given target’s normal legal rights as a civilian – or even as a human being! – should be totally trampled and ignored if that person is deemed to be a threat to national security.

But who is defining what that actually means?

What’s the legal basis for deciding these things? Where is the public scrutiny to ensure that immoral people with a lust for power and taste for murdering anyone who gets in their way doesn’t abuse this idea, to simply get anyone who opposes what they want murdered and out of the picture?

Also, from the viewpoint of halacha, this is not at all a simple matter. One of the 7 Noahide laws is that the non-Jewish nations should create courts of law and follow a judicial process. By definition extra-judicial killings take place outside of any legal framework.

And when non-Jewish nations don’t follow one of the 7 Noahide laws, they are subject to the death penalty. (It’s a post for another time, but if you go through each of the 7 Noahide laws and see how places like the USA are doing, as a nation, let’s just say it doesn’t stack up in their favor.)

So, is it a stretch to say that Soleimani’s killing is ‘illegal’?

I’ll let you make up your own mind.

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  1. “[Soleimani] was a terrorist that not only killed thousands of american soldiers, but terrorized his own people.”

My view is that all senior military men are basically psychopaths, whichever country they happen to live in. Anyone who likes killing people for a living is not a ‘nice’ person, let’s be very clear on that.

But to claim that he’s killed “thousands of American soldiers” – it’s just not credible.

Wikipedia says this for the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq since 2003, which is when the US invaded Iraq:

“As of June 29, 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Defense casualty website, there were 4,424 total deaths (including both killed in action and non-hostile) and 31,952 wounded in action (WIA) as a result of the Iraq War.”

But the US wasn’t fighting Iran then, these soldiers were killed as a result of the US deciding to invade a sovereign nation. Where’s the proof that Soleimani is connected to even one of these deaths in Iraq?

Let’s take a look at Afghanistan now, where again the US decided to invade back in 2001 after 9/11.

“As of July 7, 2018, there have been 2,372 U.S. military deaths in the War in Afghanistan. 1,856 of these deaths have been the result of hostile action. 20,320 American service members have also been wounded in action during the war. In addition, there were 1,720 U.S. civilian contractor fatalities.”

Again, what does this have to do with Soleimani?

Last stop, for now, is Syria.

How many US soldiers had been killed there, by the time Trump said he’d withdraw US troops in April 2018?

Just 2.

And this is the arena where there is the most credible argument to be made that Soleimani and Iran could be behind these deaths.

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Now, let’s flip things on their head, and let’s ask an uncomfortable question:

How many non-Americans have died in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan as a result of the US deciding to launch its ‘war on terror’?

The answer comes from researchers at Brown’s University, who released their findings from the ‘Costs of War Project’ in November 2018:

“Brown’s researchers estimate that at least 480,000 people have been directly killed by violence over the course of these conflicts, more than 244,000 of them civilians. In addition to those killed by direct acts violence, the number of indirect deaths — those resulting from disease, displacement, and the loss of critical infrastructure — is believed to be several times higher, running into the millions.”

While we’re on this subject, back in 2011 Wikileaks released footage of 2 American Apache helicopters mowing down a large group of people standing in the street in the Iraq, which included many civilians and 2 Reuters journalists.

You should watch this brief clip of what happened, even though it’s from the Al-Jazeera news network, because as I keep trying to tell you, there is no such thing as a 0-100% argument. There is some truth on all sides of the discussion, and doing the birur means that we make our best effort to tease it out.

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Releasing this clip was probably the trigger for the NSA to target Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is currently being kept in solitary confinement (!) in Belmarsh Prison in the UK, while the USA tries to ‘extradite’ him to the US on trumped-up charges of hacking computers. Really? It all just boils down to the US trying to keep its grip on the world.

Assange is not an American citizen, he’s an Australian. And publishing footage of American helicopter pilots callously killing Iraqi civilians is the best type of journalism, and the best ‘balance’ against military abuses of power.

But the NSA and President Trump don’t think so. Trump happily signed the extradition order for Julian Assange, the journalist you see here saying ‘war corrupts the people who engage in it’ – and that’s what first clued me in that Trump is not the ‘almost Moshiach’ so many people still believe him to be.

Let’s be clear, this is not about partisan politics.

When he was President, Obama arranged the prosecution of 8 journalists and whistle-blowers under the same Espionage Act they are trying to use to prosecute Assange, including Chelsea Manning, former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake, and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

And Trump is simply continuing the trend.

Back in May 2019, his administration decided to prosecute Daniel Everett Hale, a former intelligence analyst for the Air Force who shared worrying information about America’s use of drones and assassinations in its war on terror with journalist Jeremy Scahill.

Scahill later turned that information into a book and a documentary called ‘Dirty Wars’.

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Here’s a synopsis:

“Investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill traces the rise of the Joint Special Operations Command. He exposes covert operations to capture and kill people, but those agents do not exist on paper.”

And they are still continuing to operate under Trump. So much for draining the swamp.

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3) “We are in a war and I thank GD that He mercifully delivered us from the traitor BO and may He destroy all evil among us (leftists) and brought us a strong man like Trump, may Hashem protect him.  Yes,Trump is Esav.  Yes, the west is Esav.  Yes America is Esav, but I was born and raised here and believe me, not all Americans are the enemy.  You want an enemy.  Try Ishmael.”

Yes, we certainly are in a war. Not just one, many. And behind the scenes, you will find the NSA and the CIA and the American military pulling the strings of nearly all of them.

Esav excels at klei Hamas.

It’s no coincidence that these words also translate to the ‘tools of Hamas’, i.e. the terror organization on Israel’s front door step.

Let’s put all the pretense aside and deal with facts for a moment.

The US has been unrivalled in starting and pursuing wars all across the planet, for the better part of 80 years. It doesn’t matter who is in the Whitehouse, it’s the CIA and the NSA and the military, and all the powerful vested interests in the US and the UK and elsewhere who are really calling the shots in the world.

And as I’ve written about elsewhere, those vested interests excel in destabilizing third world countries, installing ‘puppet’ rulers who owe their power to American / Western support, and then asset-stripping those countries of all their natural resources and wealth.

America has been doing this for decades, all over the planet, and murdering people in their hundreds of thousands – including civilians – is a big part of how they operate.

Maybe it’s deliberate, maybe it’s just collateral damage, I don’t know. But either way, America has so much innocent blood on its hands.

I don’t blame my American correspondent for believing that the American military is not ‘the enemy’. But at this stage, there are hundreds of millions of people in the world who have seen their lives, families and countries blown apart by the US military / CIA / NSA.

And all on the flimsiest of excuses.

Human life is valuable, even when a person lives in Iraq or Afghanistan. And not all Muslims are terrorists. America wants wars, because America is good at wars, and wars are good for America’s economy.

But these wars have proven to be so very bad for everyone else.

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4) “It seems your hatred of Trump and America has blinded you to reality.”

Sigh.

Sometimes I wonder, what’s going to happen when Israel finally shrugs off America’s bridle, and stops being America’s pawn in the Middle East.

The IDF is a ‘stolen craft’, and the Jewish people are built for prayer and peace, not war and murder. It’s just a matter of time before our true Jewish nature starts to reassert itself nationally, when we stop believing Esav’s opinion that killing people is the answer to our problems, and when more and more of us start to turn to God for a real solution to our problems.

You know that when Moshiach is finally revealed, that’s going to happen, don’t you? And then what? Will Moshiach also be portrayed as a ‘mad Jewish mullah’ with a beard, another threat to America’s ‘national security’ that will be extra-judicially targeted for extermination, God forbid?

And then what?

What side will my correspondent – and all the many orthodox Jews like her, who believe all the spin and PR and lies about America being the ‘good Esav’ – find themselves on, then?

That is the question.

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Photo by Diego González on Unsplash

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Why did Trump state he was going to attack precisely 52 Iranian sites, if they dared to fight back after the US illegally blew their 2nd in command to pieces in Iraq?

Over Shabbat, I found something that shed some light on what’s going on here, and I wrote about it over on the ravberland.com site, HERE.

I have to say, it’s very interesting reading, especially after a reader got in touch to draw my attention to a prayer that Rabbi Berland wrote a couple of years ago that links in exactly to some of the insights I got on Shabbat.

Long story short, the next piece of the geula puzzle is falling into place, and you can read more about that HERE.

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For years, the Prophet Jeremiah told the people of Judea that the Temple would be destroyed, and they would be exiled.

Jeremiah’s message didn’t go down at all well. He was shunned, imprisoned and threatened, and even his own family in Anatot, his home town, tried to bump him off by poisoning him. But God protected him through all these trials, and sure enough, Nebuchadnezzar showed up in 689 BCE, and laid siege to the rebellious city of Jerusalem.

As the Bablyonian army tightened their squeeze on the nation of Israel, and on the King Tzidkiyahu, even the most resolutely ‘optimistic’ fake prophets fell into despair, and stopped trying to pretend that Jeremiah was a psycho conspiracy theorist who was somehow following the wrong Rebbe.

There’s only so far you can stretch credulity, even when you so desperately want to believe that everything is going to turn out totally for the best, and that all there is left to do before Moshiach shows up is to ‘polish the buttons’.

But then, at that point in time when Jeremiah’s dire warnings were literally manifesting before the eyes of the Jewish nation, God comes to him again, and tells him something pretty strange:

“Prophet Jeremiah, take a break from all that End of Days stuff for a bit, and go buy your cousin Hanamel’s field in Anatot.”

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As you might expect, Jeremiah is a little taken aback by this.

I mean, Jerusalem is about to be totally sacked and destroyed, the Jewish people is about to be cruelly exiled from their land for at the next 70 years, and here’s God obsessed with contracting a real estate deal.

What’s with that?!?!

But, Jeremiah buys the land for seven shekels and 10 silver pieces (bargain!), and then tells his servant Baruch ben Neriah to place the bill of sale in an earthenware pot, where it will be kept safe and “endure for many years.” Why?

“For thus said Hashem, Master of Legions, God of Israel: ‘Houses, fields and vineyards will yet be bought in this land.’”[1]

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What can we learn from this, we who sit here watching the world tip upside down, and chaos and madness encroach from every direction?

I’ve been asking myself that a lot recently, as I find myself way more caught up with gathering potatoes than gathering diamonds at the moment.

(There’s a Rebbe Nachman story about that, which is basically that a man goes to a faraway land to collect diamonds, but when he gets there, gets confused and starts collecting potatoes instead. The parable is obvious.)

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The last few months, I have literally been working like a dog to try to get books out, and self-help courses out, because at some point, I want to be able to buy my own ‘field’ in Jerusalem and finally settle down under my own fig, under my own vine.

In the course of doing that, I’ve been finding it very hard to hang out at the prayers of the Rav as much as I used to; or to sit at the Kotel, or even to recite my daily tikkun haklali. All my time is going on redeeming the field, i.e. acting as though that normal part of the world is going to continue, regardless of all the madness going on around me.

I honestly don’t know what to think about it all.

At the same time, I’ve spent so much of the last two decades trying to mend my ways, and to listen to Hashem’s messages about moving to Israel, quitting my job to focus on raising my kids, working on my emuna, trying to have a bit of humility….

It’s really not like all I’ve been doing the last few years is trying to redeem the field, anything but.

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When I was mulling all this over in hitbodedut, and talking to God about the crazy pace of life at the moment, and my seeming inability to hang on to so many of the spiritual diamonds I put so much effort into collecting over the last few years, He reminded me of Jeremiah and the field.

Sometimes, even in the middle of the madness, you still have to try to continue to do ‘normal’ things, and still to think about tomorrow, even though tomorrow is so very uncertain. I spent years paralysed by ‘geula anticipation’, thinking there was no point doing anything except making teshuva and learning Torah.

Was that wrong?

Probably not. Probably, almost definitely not.

But in the meantime, life continues, life goes on, and that’s also a reality I have to accept and integrate into my lifestyle. So many of our young people are dropping out of school, and getting depressed, and feeling unable to overcome their tremendous apathy and ennui because they feel there is no point.

There is no tomorrow. Why make an effort, why wake up on time, why try to progress or achieve anything?

I have a lot of sympathy for that outlook. I suffered from it myself for so many years. But these days, I’m in a different space. A space where while I’m still searching for diamonds, I’m also appreciating that you can’t eat them. Sometimes, you need a potato.

Sometimes, the way you serve Hashem is by redeeming the field.

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FOOTNOTES:

[1] See Jeremiah 36:8.

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Photo by Polina Rytova on Unsplash

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Am I the only one who’s got a profound sense of deja vu?

Man, I am so tired at the moment. True, I woke up at 4.15am today, and couldn’t get back to sleep. But why I’m really tired at the moment is because my soul is very tired. I’m not even saying that in a bad way, or a despairing way, it’s just a statement of fact.

Really since last Shavuot, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends, trying to do this, and trying to do that, and trying to work on stuff for Rav Berland, and move my own stuff forward, somehow.

Spiritually, I hope it’s made a difference. But honestly, I’m not so sure.

And while I am one of those dumb people who will continue going long after everyone else gave up, if I really believe in something, I have to say I’m approaching the point of burn out. Maybe, we’ve just reached that stage now where the die has been cast, and whatever is going to happen next is going to happen.

I really hope and pray that Rav Berland and his community, and the rest of the Tzaddikim, are going to continue to be able to sweeten the threat from Iran.

But honestly, part of me is just so tired of being locked up in Geula Ground Hog Day, where every few months we go through the whole pantomime again, with no obvious resolution.

The most primitive part of the human brain hates uncertainty. That’s why fortune tellers, and soothsayers and false prophets have always done such a roaring trade since the dawn of time, and are still going strong today.

The primitive part of the brain, aka the yetzer hara, just wants to have a conclusion already, a decision. It doesn’t really care if we’re going to get nuked to smithereens, it just wants the denouement already, because sometimes the uncertainty is unbearable. At least, for the yetzer.

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They did a research project a little while back where they asked volunteers to play a video game where they had to turn over stones to find a snake.

Every time they found a snake, the volunteer got a small, but unpleasant, electric shock.

The researchers incorporated a bunch of obvious clues in the game, which gave players a reasonable certainty of whether there would be a snake, or not. And they discovered a very interesting thing: players were less stressed about knowing with certainty they were about to find a snake, than if there was a 50-50 chance of finding or not finding.

This study explains something that has always puzzled me, namely why there are so many of us out there that seem to be secretly anticipating Iran nuking Israel. Is life that boring, or that miserable, that this seems like a preferable scenario to soldiering on, even though the uncertainty is sometimes just so hard to take?

Apparently for many people, the answer is ‘yes’.

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Nothing is certain today, is it?

Not the weather, not the economy, not the elections, not the whole idea that hard work and effort inevitably brings reward – so much is up in the air, and for sure, that’s totally stressing us out.

We don’t care too much WHAT is around the corner, Hashem, but the not knowing is driving us totally bonkers…

So what’s the answer to this?

How can we put some ‘certainty’ into what is fundamentally one of the most volatile periods of time in the history of mankind?

The answer is, only be trying to boost our emuna that God is running the world, and our bitachon that whatever God has planned, it’s all for the best.

Apart from this sort of radical emuna, there is no other workable option on the table.

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Three days ago, my husband and I visited the 8th circle of hell that is Bank Mizrachi’s mortgage department.

I warned my husband going in that he was probably going to have a PTSD flashback, after the last time they agreed a mortgage in principle only to revoke their agreement after we’d signed.

But last time it was a complicated property in a complicated part of Jerusalem, and we were asking for a relatively massive mortgage. This time, we were asking for a relatively small mortgage in a new build property in Harish, so what could be the problem?

Aha! Fool that I am.

We sat there, exchanged precisely 1 ½ words of ‘pleasantries’ before the mortgage clerk put the clamp on us and went straight for the jugular. Because my husband switched over from being self-employed to being a business in 2019, whatever paperwork we’d put together apparently wasn’t enough to show them we had the income we were claiming.

Apparently, because his clients don’t pay precisely the same amount into his account, in round numbers, every single month, our mortgage approval (which again, we’d received in theory) was now in jeopardy.

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I watched my husband’s eyes dilate, and all the blood rush from his cheeks as the bank devil continued to dance around him, jabbing her French-accented Hebrew pitchfork into his face. A classic PTSD response. His breathing sped up and went more shallow (ready for fight or flight) and I also felt my stomach muscles tense up (definitely fight…)

But then, a strange thing happened.

I remembered God runs the world, and that if God wants to stuff up our mortgage yet again, then that must be for the very best of reasons, and a million percent what we need.

I started clapping my hands as the bank devil continued to prod my husband, and I stage-whispered at him: “Clap your hands and don’t fight back! There’s nothing you can do, except to clap your hands and dance!”

By this point, the fight response was gathering steam above my husband’s head, so he was effectively carrying on two arguments at once: one, with the bank devil, who was trying to explain to him how even earning a gazillion shekels a year isn’t enough to get a mortgage guaranteed, if it isn’t appearing in his account in a neat little box every single month.

And then a second argument with me, who was stage whispering at him to go outside the bank for a minute, and do some dancing.

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I also nipped off to the toilets, to see if I could do a bit of jumping up and down to stomp on the head of the forces of evil that run Israel’s banking industry.

I couldn’t manage a lot of stomping – I didn’t want the Arab lady cleaning the toilets to report me for borderline psychotic behavior – but even the little bit I did made me feel way better.

I returned to the little booth, where my husband was still caught in a classic PTSD response, and I started clapping my hands again, while the bank devil looked at me a little quizzically.

“Go outside and dance!” I hissed at him. “There is nothing else to do here!”

So he did – literally for half a minute – and when he returned, the bank devil got the phone call we’d been waiting for, announcing that the bank would review her refusal of the mortgage, as long as we would send along a few more documents, and twist ourselves into a few more pretzels, and agree to sacrifice a close family member to the Moloch.

(I made one of these statements up. See if you can guess which one.)

The uncertainty continues, the madness and the unfairness continues. The bad guys are still running the country and holding all the cards in their hand, but I don’t really care anymore.

Mortgage or no mortgage, I can still be happy. Nuke or no nuke, I can still make supper and love my family, and carry on working on my ‘beat your stress course’ – which I have to tell you, has been totally stressing me out for months, already.

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The last few weeks, it seems as though pretty much every source of stress and uncertainty that we’ve ever had to struggle with the last few years has been sent back to us to deal with, as part of the ongoing Geula Ground Hog Day.

The last few years, I’ve whinged and complained so much about not having a house, and finding it so hard to find a place to live in Jerusalem, and not having a mortgage, and being strapped for cash, and not getting my books to sell, and not being able to keep my kids settled in school – and a million other things, besides.

But no more! This time, whatever else happens, I’m not going to complain.

God wants to nuke me off the face of the earth? That’s fine with me. Really.

God doesn’t want me to have a mortgage? OK, no big deal. If I have to sell the apartment in Harish, I will.

God wants my kid to drop out of school (again….)? Great! That’s clearly what she needs to do at this point, because I have tried everything I can to keep her in that framework, and I can see how bad ‘school’ actually is, for her soul.

You remember in Ground Hog Day, by the end Bill Murray actually starts to look forward to each repeated day, because he can act like a crazy person and do a bunch of things that otherwise, he’d never do in a million years?

Like sit there clapping in the face of a bank devil who’s telling you they aren’t going to give you a mortgage? Again?

This time around, I’m determined to enjoy the 8th circle of hell that is Bank Mizrachi, whatever else happens. There’s no such thing as ‘certainty’ in 2020, and certainly not in my small corner of it.

The only certain thing is that God is behind all this stuff, and it’s somehow good.

What else do I need to know?

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UPDATE:

I just found this video (above) of a Nanach guy which made the point about dancing and clapping hands sweetening judgments, and also made me laugh. Thank God for strange people who believe in Hashem and have Youtube channels. Where would we be, without them?

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“Mum, did America start World War 3 yesterday?”

That’s what my 16 year old asked, when I picked her up from the Jewish quarter after Shabbat.

Erm, I don’t think so….

I know America has been trying very hard to start a war with Iran for months, but each time the Rav manages to pull the plug on it. I know America killed some top Iranian general in a targeted killing on a foreign nation’s soil.

I know that if Iran had pulled the same stunt on an American General visiting Mexico, the US would have already nuked them off the map…. But the world has been conditioned to accept that ‘rules’ apply to everyone except America.

Why do you think they started World War 3?

“Stam. They are making jokes about it on my friend’s Instagram.”

The jokes on Instagram is how my daughter gets all the latest news. If there aren’t a million jokes in Hebrew about the latest threat / war / crisis, then absolutely no-one takes it seriously.

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The last week, I’ve been rushed off my feet trying to get this ‘stress less course for women’ finished, so I haven’t been keeping up on the news. Even so, I know that Jews have been attacked on multiple occasions in NYC, I know that Australia is burning, I know that the US is doing all it can to start a war with Iran….

Strange times we live in.

So much going on under the surface.

I’m meant to be flying out to the US in the next few weeks, to spend some time with my brother and sister there, and meet their kids. I hate leaving Israel, but I realized that blood really is thicker than water, and that sometimes, you have to go down to Mitzrayim to reunite your family, if only for a few days.

Just as I started looking at tickets online, the internet exploded with stories of Jews in NYC getting chairs thrown on them on the street, Jews getting punched, Jews getting machete’d, Jews getting shot.

I have to say, I got a bit scared. I still haven’t booked the tickets.

Then before Shabbat, I heard an unconfirmed rumor that Rav Berland has said that there will be no more terror attacks on Jews in America until the 7th day of Pesach. I am planning to be there and back long before that…. So I’m warming up to the idea of booking my tickets again.

But in the meantime, I can’t help but wonder: what is meant to happen on the 7th day of Pesach?

Assuming of course, that the rumor is true and that’s really what the Rav said.

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Last week, the corrupt police in Israel took the Rav in for 4 hours of questioning, so that’s at least one war that seems to be continuing unabated. We know from previous experience, that the ‘wars’ on the outside get transformed into ‘wars’ against the Rav and his community, and sure enough, that’s what is going on again.

Are we going to have a war between Iran and the US?

I don’t know.

I know that Rav Berland has been doing everything he can – for years – to prevent that from happening. He’s said, repeatedly, the wars will only be in 200 years time, even when the autistics were continuing to beat the war drum and predict Armageddon imminently.

But the Tzaddik is continually sweetening things.

That’s why the world seems to be so rudderless at the moment, because we passed the points ‘predicted’ for geula / war / something ‘big’ so many times already, we are in totally unchartered water.

In the meantime, the prayers continue to go up on ravberland.com, and the books continue to come out, and each time another Rav book gets published on Amazon, I have the odd feeling that another brick in the rebuilt temple has just been cemented in place.

But I could be wrong. It certainly doesn’t look like that, from the outside.

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When this course is finally done, I will take a bit of time and research what could be causing Hashem to burn up Australia’s coastline.

I have the feeling it’s connected to all those Nazis and pedophiles that Australia has been harboring and protecting for decades.

Like the US, there are a lot of dirty secrets hidden in the deserts down there, and like China Lake got put out of business by a massive earthquake on July 4, 2019, and the Bahamas got crushed by Hurricane Dorian a few months back, I have the odd feeling that God is now dealing with some Australian link in that particular chain.

Strange times we live in.

Each day seems more surreal than the last.

Like so many other people, I’m trying to put my head down and mostly ignore the news, because honestly? No-one has any idea of what tomorrow might bring right now. Except Rabbi Berland, and he’s keeping his cards very close to his chest.

But one thing he has been mentioning is how the Maccabean leaders of Israel died immediately, one after the other, as soon as they made some sort of ‘agreement’ with the Romans or Greeks of their time.

And we know who the Romans and Greeks of our time is, and also, who has probably made an agreement with them. So that’s definitely an interesting angle to watch.

Life is disjointed at the moment, and I guess that’s reflecting in this post.

There’s so much going on, under the surface.

And none of us knows, really, where all this is heading.

So all we can do is keep praying.

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Photo by Ankhesenamun 96 on Unsplash

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This is the best explanation of Azamra I’ve ever heard.

It’s not the first time I’ve posted this up here, but this video by Rabbi Ofer Erez – with full English subtitles – is the single best explanation of how to do Azamra, or seeing the good in bad people without getting corrupted yourself – that I’ve ever come across.

I’m working SO hard at the moment, trying to get my ‘Stressbusters for Mums’ course completed. It’s like doing my finals in Uni, except worse, because no-one cared in Uni if I didn’t wash up for two weeks, but that’s not the case at this stage of my life!

So, posting will probably be slow here for the next week or so.

Unless God decides different.

So in the meantime, enjoy!

This video is probably one of the main reasons Youtube was even created.

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PS: Rav Ofer has a new book out, with his explanation of Rebbe Nachman’s story of the 7 Beggars. I don’t know where you can buy it online, but if I find out, I’ll update this post.

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