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Rebbe Nachman explains the difference between Moshiach ben Yosef and Moshiach ben David

Over Shabbat, I was reading one of Rebbe Nachman’s stories, which I realized is describing the difference between Moshiach ben Yosef and Moshiach ben David. I’m bringing an abridged version of it below, together with the commentary that goes together with it from Rav Natan, and from Likutey Moharan I:20 [in bold, square brackets]. My own comments will be underlined.

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New Stories: #209 in Tzaddik, by the Breslov Research Institute

 

The beginning of the Summer, 5564 (1804). The Rebbe said: I will tell you what I saw. And you tell your children.

There was someone lying on the ground and around him people were sitting in a circle.

This is Moshiach ben Yosef.

Around this circle was another circle. And around that circle was another circle, and so on – many circles. Then around them were sitting more people in no particular order. The circles contain Moshiach ben Yosef’s followers.

The one who was sitting in the middle – he was leaning on his side – was moving his lips and all those around him were moving their lips after him.

[This refers to teaching / learning Torah – this soul is the source of all Torah explanations.]

After this, I looked and he was not sitting there – the one in the middle, that is. And all those sitting around stopping moving their lips. I asked, “What is this?” They answered me that he had become cold and had expired and he had stopped speaking.

After this, they started to run, and I ran after them. I saw two palaces – very fine, beautiful buildings. Sitting there were two commanders. They all ran to these two commanders and started arguing with them.

[This refers to the concept of machloket and controversy – the opposition which is aroused against the Tzaddikim when the power to draw forth Torah explanations is withdrawn.]

“Why did you deceive us?” They wanted to kill them.

The followers of the original Moshiach ben Yosef are very unhappy that they didn’t actually get Moshiach / geula, in the end. Rebbe Nachman now explains the spiritual reasons for this, by way of a parable.

The commanders fled outside. I saw them, and their nature was very good in my eyes. I ran after them and I saw in the distance a beautiful tent. From there they cried out to the commanders: “Turn back and seek out all the merits you have and take them in your hands and go to the light which is hanging there. There you will accomplish everything you want.”

They turned back and took their merits – i.e. all their mitzvahs – there were bundles of merits there – and they ran to the light. I ran after them and saw a gleaming light suspended in the air. The commanders came and threw their merits to the light.

[They mentioned their merits and good deeds, and tried to get the geula that way.]

From the light, sparks fell into their mouths. Then the NoR, lamp, turned into a NahaR, river, and everybody drank from the river, and creatures were formed inside them. When they started to speak the creatures came out of them and I saw them running and returning. They were neighed men nor any kind of animal – just creatures.

[These creatures are angels, who get their strength from Edom, who has been appointed over all the punishments of the wicked.]

After this they decided to back to their place.

This is referring to Eretz Yisrael / Beit HaMikdash / the state of spiritual purity that existed at the time of the Garden of Eden, and which will exist again in the world-to-come.

But they said: “How can we go back to our place?” Somebody said: “We should sent to the one who stands there holding a sword which reaches from heaven to earth.”

[This is a reference to the angel of Edom, Esav’s angel, aka the Samech Mem himself.]

Edom, i.e. the West / Christianity is what’s stopping the Jews from returning to Israel en masse and rebuilding the Bet HaMikdash, and also has the ‘power’ the Jewish people requires to punish and subdue the wicked.

They said: “Who should we send?” They thought they should send for the creatures, and the creatures went there. I ran after them and I saw him. He was terrifying. His stature reached from the heaven to the earth. In his hand was a sword reaching from heaven to earth. It had many blades.

One of them was sharp – this was for killing. One of them was for poverty, one of them for weakness. There were also many other blades for other punishments.

They started pleading: “All this long time we have been suffering at your hands. Now help us and bring us to our place.” He said: “I cannot help you.” They pleaded: “Give us the blade for death and we’ll kill them.” But he didn’t want to. They asked for a different blade, but he did not want to give them a single blade.

[He didn’t want to help them to subdue the wicked people, because of the mistake they made by trying to ‘force’ the geula via good deeds etc, instead of breaking their hearts, begging and entreating Hashem to bring it.]

They went back.

Either back to ‘normal’ life and forgot about Moshiach / geula, or back to their bad habits before they made teshuva as a result of learning the Moshiach ben Yosef’s Torah teachings.

In the meantime, there was an order to kill the commanders, and they cut off their heads.

[The ‘head’ can refer to daat, internalized spiritual knowledge, as well as the more obvious connotation as the ‘head’ of a particular movement or group.]

Meanwhile, the sequence of event returned to what it had been before – namely that someone was lying in the ground surrounded by circles of people, and so on.

This is now referring to Moshiach ben David, and his followers.

They ran to the commanders – everything happened as described before – except that now I saw that the commanders did not throw their merits to the light. They simply took their merits and went to the light and broke their hearts i.e. did some hitbodedut, which Rebbe Nachman frequently characterizes as spending an hour being broken-hearted before Hashem, while you do a cheshbon hanefesh and acknowledge your faults, flaws and errors.

And they began to beg and make entreaties before the light-  another reference to praying – and sparks fell from the light into their mouths. They entreated more and the light turned into a river, and the creatures were formed etc.

They told me, “These ones will live” – i.e. Moshiach ben David and his followers will actually make it through to geula and the world to come – because the first ones deserved to be killed for throwing their merits to the light and not making entreaties like these latter ones. I didn’t know what this meant.

They said to me: “Go into that room and they will tell you the explanation of this.” I went and there sat an old man. I asked him about the matter. He took his beard in his hand and said to me: “My beard is the explanation of what happened.” I still don’t know,” I said. “Go to that room,” he replied, “and there you will find the explanation.”

I went there and saw a room infinitely long and broad, entirely filled with writings. Wherever I opened I saw the explanation of the story.

[This vision is connected to Lesson 20 in Likutey Moharan Part 1.]

====

HERE IS SOME OF WHAT REBBE NACHMAN WRITES IN 1:20:

“When one prays before giving over a [Torah] lecture, one must pray with supplication, begging God for gratis instead of asking for one’s due….

“But Moses [i.e. the redeemer / Moshiach ben Yosef] did not do this. He rather cited his own goodness and righteousness…as one who grabs something forcefully and without consent, for he sought in the power of his good deeds….

“…whoever tries to ‘force the moment’ (literally, ‘pressures time’) – the ‘time’ pressures him, causing one to die before one’s time. [This is why Moshiach ben Yosef died ‘prematurely’, before the job of bringing the geula was completed.] For this reason, one should never pressure oneself for anything, but beg with supplication. If God grants it, good, and if not, not.”

====

Next, Rabbenu turns to the subject of attaining the Land of Israel.

“[T]he land of Israel is one of the three things that can only be attained through suffering (Brachot 5a) and the main suffering is the obstacles of the wicked, who slander the land. These wicked must first be subdued with a sword and death, and only then can one enter the Land of Israel.

“However, the power to punish the wicked can only be acquired from the power of Edom, for that is his power, as in: “You will live by your sword” (Genesis 27:40), and he draws sustenance from the astrological sign of Mars. [Which is related to bloodshed and war, and the Jewish month of Nisan – the month of redemption.]”

====

Rebbe Nachman now explains that the Angels which can defeat and kill the wicked are formed from the original Torah insights of the Tzaddik / Moshiach ben Yosef / Moshiach ben David.

But, when the Tzaddik’s followers don’t put an emphasis on personal holiness – i.e. guarding the brit, guarding the eyes, modest behavior and dress – these Angels then lack the power to actually destroy the wicked people who are slandering the Land of Israel.

Depending on how ‘weak’ these angels become, in descending order:

They can’t kill them; then they can’t punish and intimidate them; then they can’t rouse the nations of the world against them; then they can’t even silence them from speaking evil in our presence “so that their words do not enter the ears of the masses. And sometimes even this power they lack – all according to the degree of holiness that is lacking.”

====

Rabbenu then goes on to explain that the lack of personal holiness amongst the Jews is the main thing empowering the wicked people who are slandering the land, and preventing the Jews from returning to the Land of Israel.

Moshiach ben David succeeds where Moshiach ben Yosef failed, because he prays before he gives over his Torah lessons, and he focuses on increasing personal holiness amongst his followers, not just doing more good deeds and mitzvahs.

====

Rebbe Nachman then explains the nine rectifications of the beard, and how they lead to the Land of Israel, as follows:

  • Take the staff – this refers to the Tzaddik’s Torah lectures that he gives over to his followers. This Torah has to be drawn with prayer, not with ‘force’, in order for the rest of the process to work.
  • Gather the people together’ – to subdue the evil elements the community contains.
  • Speak to the rock with supplications’ and prayers – this refers to the need to have yirat shemayim, or Fear of Hashem.
  • ‘In their presence’, to bond with them – the Tzaddik’s soul has to become ‘bound up’ with his followers / the Jewish people.
  • To draw fiery words – actually an allusion to drawing down Divine mercy on the Jewish people.
  • To draw Torah – the Tzaddikim are judged to a hairsbreadth, and if they are blemished in some way, they can no longer draw the Torah required to bring geula.
  • To create angels.
  • To receive power from Edom to subdue the enemies / wicked who are slandering the Land of Israel.
  • To enter the Land of Israel.

If any of these steps are missing, we can’t ‘enter the Land of Israel’ / truly get to the geula shleima.

====

Ad Kan.

There is so much more to say about all this, and it seems to me that so much of what we’ve been discussing here on the blog is alluded to in this lesson in quite an awesome way.

(If you want more insights into the very deep concepts being brought in this story, take a look at Day 3 of Rebbe Nachman’s tale of the Seven Beggars. The ‘heart of the world’ also refers to Moshiach ben Yosef and his followers.)

Moshiach ben Yosef failed to bring geula, because the emphasis was on stressing how many mitzvoth and good deeds were going on, as opposed to praying heartbroken prayers that God should bring the geula, as a free gift. Trying to force the issue just led to the Moshiach ben Yosef dying prematurely, leaving his movement without a ‘head’, i.e. a real direction, or daat, internalized spiritual knowledge of what to do next.

Hopefully, Moshiach ben David will have more success.

These things are so awesomely deep, there are so many spiritual rectifications going on. It’s totally beyond us to understand what’s really happening by ourselves, and only our true Torah sources and real rabbis can tell guide us in the right direction.

The identity of Moshiach Ben David has been announced over on dani18.com.

Can you guess who they said he is?

You can see their messages for yourself, in HEBREW and ENGLISH, here:

http://www.dani18.com/

I have totally conflicting feelings about Dani18, for a lot of reasons. But anyone with their eyes open can see that at least in this instance, you can trust what they are saying 100%.

Things are about to get really interesting!

A WORD ABOUT COMMENTS:

I know that this announcement probably going to trigger quite a few people’s psycho tendencies, so let’s be clear on what comments will be going up, and which comments I will be deleting:

Anything that is lashon hara / slander / personal attacks – will be deleted.

While I’m flexible on being personally insulted, there is a zero tolerance policy for lashon hara against tzaddikim (or anyone else, besides me) on this site.

So, if you stick to just insulting me personally, your comment may still go up.

Otherwise, very happy to discuss, and this is big news, massive news.

Whatever is coming next, hopefully it will only be the sweet way, and will include everyone in the next stage of geula.

Also, see this:

https://ravberland.com/moshiach-is-already-here/

====

UPDATE: FULL TEXT FROM DANI18:

“Your servant the Son of David will come, and he will redeem us” – Binyamin
Golden, 24th Nissan, 5779

There is nothing to worry about. The Son of David will continue, he will live, and ultimately, he
will bring us to the Beit HaMikdash. But it’s not going to be easy. The Son of David was sure that
he would be able to fight against the Sitra Achra more easily. But the Son of David is not going to
give up and say “that’s it!”.

He can’t, because he loves Am Yisrael so very much. He’s not going to abandon us so easily.
There are moments of despair, but ultimately, HaKadosh Baruch Hu chose him to bring the
complete redemption in its entirety.

The situation is very difficult. The situation is more than ‘very difficult’. The Sitra Achra, may his
name be erased, is running wild and he’s sure that he’s running the show, G-d forbid. But even if
only 10 believing Jews remain, to fight against the lies, Hashem will destroy all the evildoers with
them. He will rebuild the world to come with the few who will remain faithful.

He is going to demolish, wipe out and erase those who prefer the lies over the truth. The
believers don’t need to worry, but those who prefer lies, all of them will disappear.

Hashem created the world for Am Yisrael, and in order to take Am Yisrael and to raise them up
to a spiritual level that I can’t even describe. I can only say this, that whoever reaches this level
will achieve an eternal life that is so very good, and I don’t even have any words to describe it.

Don’t despair, just stay with the Tzaddik. Hashem loves the Tzaddik, and the Tzaddik loves Am
Yisrael no less than Moshe Rabbeinu did. The Tzaddik is not going to give up, and he’s not going
to abandon us. He cries over every single Jewish man, and over every single Jewish woman, and
these tears have a very great influence in shamayim. The Tzaddik is not going to leave us.

“Shuvu Banim” is eternal. Even though amongst us, there are still some who don’t really believe.
We will have to go through another birur, another clarification process: who really does believe,
and who really doesn’t.

Now, the world is about to enter a period that will be even darker, and even more frightening
than before. The believers will always see the light – whoever really believes in HaKadosh Baruch
Hu, and whoever will ‘hang on’ to the Tzaddik very tightly, so-to-speak, because they know that
this is what will bring them to true eternal life.

Only a few will remain, they will be the chosen few, the perfect ones that Hashem will build the
future upon. The believers need to know that only a few will remain, but those who remain, the
chosen ones, will be those who go with the Tzaddik. The future will be so very good, that it will
be worth all the suffering that we will have to go through to get to it. There are no words to even describe it.

I want to bless all the true Jews who believe in HaKadosh Baruch Hu, and in His faithful
representative, the Son of Dovid, that they shouldn’t fall into despair, because the future of the
world depends on the love that you have for Hashem. Love for Hashem, and absolute and total
faith in the Creator of the world, the almighty, and in His representative, Eliezer ben Etia,
Moshiach ben Dovid.

He will not abandon Am Yisrael under any circumstances. Am Yisrael is so very beloved by him,
as it was by Moshe Rabbenu, who stood by them, by Am Yisrael, and who acted as their
defender before the kisei hakavod, even though they sinned greatly against HaKadosh Baruch
Hu.

Eliezer ben Etia loves Am Yisrael. He weeps over every single Jew that strays from the true path,
and he is completely faithful to the Almighty. He is more beloved than anyone else in shamayim,
more than any other soul. He came to this world around 81 years ago, and despite all the
difficulties he’s had in trying to bring Am Yisrael to the truth, he didn’t abandon them – just as
the Almighty won’t abandon us, either.

He is our defender, Eliezer ben Etia, even though he is a little weak from some despair, he will
bring us to eternity, bezrat Hashem.
==

Finally, finally, the King Moshiach has come – Menachem, Parshat Kedoshim Tehiu
“Be Holy”, 5779

Baruch Hashem, Hashem has finally, finally sent us the redeemer. Yes, the Redeemer with a
capital R. And so we, the brain-damaged ones, the autistics, or whatever you want to call us,
don’t need to continue writing any longer.

For the last 26 years, we’ve been writing essays all the time, in order to strengthen Am Yisrael,
and to demonstrate where the sheker, all the lies are to be found, and where the truth is to be
found.

But now, there is no more need for our talents. We are now obligated to leave this work,
because the King Moshiach has come. And he will provide the answers to all the questions
everybody has, and he will direct Am Yisrael towards the complete redemption. We are going
into retirement.

But we will also be praying, and begging HaKadosh Baruch Hu that even us, the autistics, can be
with all of Am Yisrael, once the geula shleimah, the complete redemption, arrives. And that we
can also, with the greatest joy, accompany the King Moshiach to the Beit HaMikdash, and
sacrifice offerings there, etc.

Am Yisrael, don’t worry! Moshiach will guide you on the right path, and he is the shaliach, the
messenger who will save every single Jew. But, every Jew has to do teshuva, and all those who
are really Erev Rav, or something like that, they won’t make it to the complete redemption.

But Eliezer ben Etia, he will bring us from this world, to the spiritual world, and to the Third
Temple.

The end.

UPDATE #2:

Everyone should think for themselves about how to take this development, because no-one can or should be ‘persuaded’ of things they don’t really believe in themselves. Personally, I don’t believe any pronouncement made about the future that comes from the autistics, as asking them about the future was strictly prohibited by the rabbis who gave them haskamot (brought below).

I don’t think this announcement is predicting the future, it’s stating a conclusion that many people – including many of the biggest rabbis in the Jewish world – have already come to independently. But the stuff about only a small number of people surviving, etc, is still predicting the future and so I don’t hold by that part of the statement.

The Tzaddikim can and are sweetening things all the time. Rabbi Berland has sweetened so many of the harsh decrees in the past, and BH, the more people start to understand what’s going on, and listen to his directives about making teshuva and praying more, the easier this whole geula process will be for everyone.

Rav Yekutiel Fish stated the following about the recent 4.6 earthquake in Israel (that I felt in Jerusalem, btw):

“The earthquake on Wednesday marked the end of the waiting period,” Rabbi Fish said. “It was the official day of the beginning of the birth of the Messiah.”

(BTW, don’t hold your breath for Breaking Israel News to cover this story in any way, shape or form. It’s a website for christians, and all the geula information on it is carefully skewed to feed a christian audience who loves all the end of days stuff, but is totally allergic to the idea of a real, Jewish moshiach showing up any time soon. They have their candidate for the post already figured out, lo alenu.)

I’ll continue to update this page with anything else that’s relevant, but I can see that most of us seem to be either totally past caring that Moshiach could / has come; and / or strangely unhappy or discomfited by the idea that it could actually happen in practice, and not just talked about in theory.

I guess that fulfills the midrashim that said that Moshiach will only show up when everyone has fallen into the biggest despair, and totally given up on the idea of redemption. Another prophecy being fulfilled before our eyes….

HASKAMOT ON THE AUTISTICS:

(From HERE🙂

FACILITATED COMMUNICATION (FC) FROM THE TORAH’S POINT OF VIEW:

One should not ask a person with brain damage questions of any kind, and especially not personal questions or questions about the future. One should not rely on their statements in matters of halacha, health, marriage partners, etc.

One should address any question to a proper rabbi. This will provide the Torah view. The messages, which are meant for families and the nation, are for their tikun, the tikun of the family and help in the tikun of the nation.

STATEMENTS OF APPROVAL BY TORAH LEADERS OF OUR TIME

HAGAON RAV ARYEH LEIB STEINMAN SHLITA OF BNEI BRAK

Speaking about Facilitated Communication with the brain-damaged, Rav Steinman personally informed Rabbi Srevnik that “he sees in this the great mercy of Heaven to wake up the sleeping who forget the truth amid the ephemeralities of routine life, and abuse their whole life with empty pursuits and indulgences.

It is also a source of moral inspiration for the Torah community, who today are also
in need of strengthening. The statements of the brain damaged are fiery mussar [admonition, i.e., inspiration to search one’s soul and improve conduct] and bestir all those who read them.

It is a worthy cause to distribute and publicize these statements. Rav Steinman has personally attended communication sessions with the brain damaged and was
very impressed by the answers they gave to his questions.

In Rav Steinman’s opinion, it is very important to contemplate their messages and search one’s soul. One should not ignore them.

He also warned that one should not use the statements of the brain damaged for any specific purpose or halachic ruling. He also warned against asking them about the future.

“We have had the zchut of the discovery of this phenomenon for one purpose only: to bring the hearts of the Jewish people to their Father in Heaven.”

====

RABBI NOSSON M. WACHTFOGEL

“The people which walk in the dark saw great light.” We are living in a period with great darkness and confusion. Many of our people are not even aware of their Father in Heaven; and even of those who walk on the path of truth, many some are still far from perfection.

The Creator had mercy on his people and, in His great mercy, sent us something capable of waking people up from their deep sleep, namely a new form of communication with the brain-damaged.

Through this form of communication, we see that the spiritual world is revealed to them. Despite the fact that the world regards them as devoid of understanding and awareness of what is going on around them, by means of this new form of communication, which is called Facilitated Communication, we discover that their knowledge of the spiritual affairs of the world, of the Creator, of ethics and morals are on a very high level.

This fact has already inspired many Jews to return to their roots or to heighten their devotion to Torah and mitzvot. Due to my many commitments, I was unable to read through this book and asked a talmid chacham [proficient Talmudic scholar], whom I trust implicitly, to review it.

He indeed reviewed a large part of the book and conveyed its contents to me. In addition, his first hand observations of this form of communication caused him to conclude that it is authentic and highly valuable.

At the same time, it must be stressed that while the messages conveyed by the brain damaged are suitable for strengthening and bringing people closer to the truth, a person should not act on what they say without referring to a Rov [rabbi]. For as is known, only Torah sages may guide our nation.

I should like to bless all those who seek to publicize these important messages with a view to sanctifying the name of Heaven and magnifying His name in the world. May Hashem help them and desire the success of their endeavors.

====

RABBI GABRIEL KRAUSZ, A MAJOR DAYAN IN ENGLAND

(Extract from the Forward of his pamphlet on the religious messages of the brain-damaged, Shimu Vetichyeh Nafshechem)

All the mentally disabled in Israel, communicating through Facilitated Communication, have recently expressed their wish that those of their statements which compare with passages from source texts be published with the appropriate references from the Bible, Chazal [the Mishnaic and Talmudic sages] other works as far as possible.

I feel that doing this will provide great inspiration since it shows how far their pronouncements are anchored and rooted in our holy sources. The sources for their
statements which I found show us that we cannot ignore what they say…

For thousands of years, sufferers from autism, Down’s syndrome and cerebral palsy were thought of as “imbeciles.” Now we have discovered that they are of sound, clear mind and capable of expressing themselves – by means of communication – on a level far above ours.

For many, this is not easy to accept. But this does not change the fact that this is true, as has been proved beyond a doubt on many occasions. Finally, two outstanding Talmudic scholars passed on this pamphlet to one of the Torah sages of our time on my behalf. He warmly and heartily approved its publication and said it is a tikun
[rectification] for their souls; and will be a great zchut for us, if it inspires us to do tshuva.

The same sage warned against possible mishaps linked to FC. We must listen to his warning that one should not ask them questions which can lead to making decisions, for example in matters of halacha and medical affairs, since they do not serve as a substitute for sages, rabbis and doctors …

====

CHAZAL ON THIS FORM OF COMMUNICATION:

The Talmud in Massechet Baba Batra, p.12, states,

“From the day the Beit Hamikdash was destroyed … prophesy was given to imbeciles and infants.”

Harav Dessler in Michtav MiEliyahu, part 4, explains,

“Prophesy was given to imbeciles – because their screen [i.e., brain] is not so strong.”

The Zohar, parshat Shemot, p.6:2, states:

“Rebbe Chiyya said,  ‘30 days prior to a country receiving power and strength or before a country goes through crisis and destruction, they announce the matter throughout the whole world, and sometimes the matter is passed on to the mouth of infants
and sometimes to those imbecilic people who have no minds, and sometimes the matter is passed on to the mouth of birds.

“They announce the news in the world and there is no one who will see [hear] and understand the announcement. And when the nation is composed of men of zchut and tzadikim, the affair is passed onto the heads, the tzadikim of the world, in order that they inform the people of the matter of the decree and they will return to God.

“And when the nation is not composed of men of zchut, the procedure adopted is as we said — the affair is placed in the mouths of infants or imbeciles or birds. And the people are not aware of the matter so that they are not prompted to do tshuva and prevent the implementation of the decree.”

The Talmud in Massechet Nida (30:2) states of the embryo in the womb of its mother that:

“A light shines over its head and it observes and sees from one end of the world to the other.”

How can an embryo, whose eyes are closed and is inside the womb of its mother, see everything which takes in place in the world from one end of the world to the other? The Talmud tells us “A light shines over its head” — this refers to the soul whose powers of vision are not limited. The soul is that which sees from one end of the world to the other and all the secrets of the higher worlds.

The following was said by Shulamit Gad, mother of Galia and author of the book, ‘Messages from Heaven’:

In one particular session, Galia wrote out a message, telling me to go to a certain rabbi. She wrote out the name of the rabbi and his address.

As a baalat tshuva [someone who has become religious], making her first steps, I didn’t know how you decide which rabbi to take as your counselor. Galia chose for me a great rabbi who is a tzadik and well known, one of the major halachic authorities of our time. The rabbi encouraged me to give talks to women. Of course, there is no prohibition on communicating by means of FC.

The Torah states, “Do not seek out the dead,” meaning it is forbidden to communicate with dead spirits. Séances or any other form of communication with the dead are a serious offense and involve enormous tuma. I communicate with the living, with the soul of a living person, and, therefore, there is no prohibition.

Rabbanim forbid consulting people with brain damage and autism as though they are our umim and tumim.

In the Biblical era, a plate of precious stones with letters engraved upon them. In answer to a question, the letters would light up and convey divine messages.

It is important to stress that if a person has a question, he should consult a rabbi and obtain the Torah’s answer to his question. Galia wrote, “Rabbanim are the messengers of Hashem. And those who refer personal questions to people with autism are likely to compromise the requirement to apply free choice in their lives and possibly ruin their tikun too in this world.”

Great and famous rabbis, yeshiva principals, great scholars and halachic authorities who have
examined all of Galia’s messages, confirm that all Galia’s messages are remarkably similar to what is
found in traditional source works, and even recommended their students to read them, obviously
warning them at the same time to apply all the caution necessary in using Facilitated Communication.”

====

Lastly, you might also want to read this again, from a couple of years ago:

Why is the geula blogosphere so quiet about Rabbi Berland?

 

Why ‘aliyah bullying’ is just a massive red herring.

For most of us who live in places where Chabad has a presence, we’ve got used to their ubiquitous little tables set up with tefillin, and the inspiring way they encourage so many Jews who otherwise wouldn’t give the mitzvah of laying tefillin a second thought, as they run around their busy lives.

Come rain or shine, those Chabad shlichim don’t miss an opportunity to call Jews over to them on the street, and ask them if they’d like to lay tefillin.

Let me ask you something:

Is that ‘tefillin bullying’?

I mean, there are 613 mitzvahs, and not everyone is going to have the privilege of doing all of them in one lifetime. Surely, when the Chabad shlichim are coaxing people to spend a few precious moment connecting to God, and putting God’s mitzvah of laying tefillin ahead of what they themselves wanted to be doing at that precise moment, that is a good thing, isn’t it?

Let’s explore another example.

Say, we have a guy who doesn’t eat kosher. Say, that guy has a ‘religious’ sister who is trying to encourage him to swear off the pork, and to only eat kosher meat. Let’s eavesdrop on that conversation, a little:

Sister: You know, my dear brother, every time you eat another rasher of bacon, it’s disconnecting you from God and doing terrible damage to your soul. You are such a refined Jewish neshama! Eating pork products is so beneath you, sweet brother. And also, God doesn’t like it very much.

Brother: I find your comment to be kosher bullying. You telling me that God doesn’t like it when I eat pork doesn’t help me to feel good about myself as a Jew, and it doesn’t help anyone.

Do we agree with him?

What about the Jewish boy who is seriously dating that nice, non-Jewish girlfriend? His mother realizes that things are getting serious, and arranges to have a last-ditch talk with him:

Mother: I know I didn’t raise you right, I know I didn’t take the Torah seriously, I know I put what was easy and comfortable for myself ahead of what God really wanted me to do, and how He really wanted me to live, as a Jew – but please, I’m begging you, don’t marry that girl! It’ll devastate me, and end 3,000 years of Jewish continuity, because your kids won’t be Jewish!

Son: Mother, I feel intimidated by these kind of comments. I’m fed up with all your nonsense about your grandchildren not being Jewish. I’m standing up for my rights to live exactly how I want. There are many, varied reasons why I just couldn’t find a Jewish girl to date, and at this stage, I don’t believe I need to.

[Mother bursts into heart-wrenching sobs].

Son (increasingly defensive…): I’m just defending my right to live my life and not be attacked because I can’t just break up with the woman I love and marry someone Jewish instead. Well done to you, mother, that you married a Jew, but spare a thought for those who have tried and failed to find a Jewish spouse. I had to date outside the faith just to get a girlfriend, and I have other Jewish friends who won’t even consider marrying a Jew now, because it was so hard for them on the Jewish dating scene.

Is this “don’t marry out” bullying?

And if the answer is ‘yes’, is that a bad thing?

If something is a mitzvah, if something is a Torah commandment, then surely we should be encouraging other Jews to do it, with all our strength? Part of the reason I’m so in awe of my local Chabad shlichim here in Jerusalem is that they are actively encouraging Jews to do mitzvahs every single day.

Come listen to the Purim Megillah!

Come join us for the Pesach Seder!

Come participate in Kaparot, come listen to a lecture on the Tanya, come give some tzedaka to build our new shul!

Do I have the wrong end of the stick here?

Instead of thinking how awesomely inspiring it is that they are constantly encouraging me to move out of my comfort zone, and to move past my laziness and apathy and yeoush and disinterest, I should be accusing them of mitzvah bullying, instead?

That doesn’t sound right to me.

Everyone has their reasons why certain mitzvahs are hard for them. For example, the mitzvah of covering my hair as a married woman is really, really hard for me. It was so hard for me, I didn’t do it for the first eight years I was married.

But that doesn’t meant that I started justifying what I was doing to myself, and explaining how my ‘mission’ in life didn’t include covering my hair, or how my big, important job working for the British government meant I had a free pass on covering my hair.

I didn’t cover my hair because I wasn’t sufficiently motivated to cover my hair, and my personal circumstances, outlook, work (and crazy, crazy big hair!) all made it very difficult to do.

But I still acknowledged I was in the wrong, and that God really did want me to cover my hair.

And, I was still very impressed by my friends and acquaintances who were covering their hair full-time, because I knew how much inner strength and determination that required.

So what changed?

Things changed when we finally got to Israel, and my parnassa hit the skids, and I started to realise that me not covering my hair – as well as a whole bunch of other ‘little’ things, like not benching after bread, and wearing jeans, and going to the movies – actually had some serious spiritual consequences, and was causing me a lot of issues in my actual day-to-day life.

I started covering my hair with such a bad grace – but my shalom bayit picked up instantly, and my parnassa also rebounded (not immediately. God likes to maintain something of an illusion with these things, to preserve our free choice.)

So now, I happily choose to cover my (still crazy….) hair, not because I like the mitzvah, not because it’s easy – it’s still so very, very hard, and I’ll post about all that another time – but because:

I realized this is what God wants.

And that doing what God wants makes my life so much easier and nicer.

There are certain spiritual rules God put in place for how He wants Jews to live, and how Jews can best maximize their spiritual potential. Sadly, plenty of Jews today don’t even know about these spiritual rules, and the mitzvoth that they are clothed in.

The fewer of these ‘rules’ a Jew operates by, the more difficult, stressful and challenging their lives inevitably will be.

So let’s ask this again, is it right to ‘lecture’ other Jews about doing mitzvoth?

That’s an interesting question, isn’t it? When people put out memes with “love your fellow Jew as yourself”, is that considered ‘lecturing’? How about if they share a shiur on avoiding sinat chinam and lashon hara?

Is that considered ‘lecturing’?

Couldn’t every single one of us turn around and say something like:

Nice for you, that you’re managing to avoid slandering people all the time and hating other Jews who are different, but some of us just couldn’t get there, hard as we tried. Some of didn’t have the strength to avoid participating in all the juicy gossip on Facebook. Some of us just couldn’t continue seeing the good in other people, some of us just had way too many bad middot to overcome to have the energy to start working on our own sinat chinam, even though we know deep down that’s preventing the geula and causing us so much suffering in our own lives.

But God is surely going to save me, despite all my bad middot and unrepentant aveirot! I don’t doubt that for a moment!

Couldn’t we all make that same argument about every mitzvah we find hard, and that we don’t really want to do?

And then what? Where does reward and punishment fit into this picture?

If a Jew can do anything they want, pick and choose their mitzvahs, then state that for sure, God is going to reward them exactly the same regardless of the mitzvahs they’re actually striving to do, or are saying they are ‘exempt’ from doing, that totally negates the concept of reward and punishment.

This is Judaism 101. This comes from Jewishvirtuallibrary.org:

The doctrine of reward and punishment is central to Judaism throughout the ages; that man receives his just reward for his good deeds and just retribution for his transgressions is the very basis of the conception of both human and divine justice.

Rambam states in the 11th of the 13 Principles of Faith that:

“God gives reward to he who does the commandments of the Torah and punishes those that transgress its admonishments and warnings. And the great reward is the life of the world to come; and the punishment is the cutting off of the soul [in the world to come]. And we already said regarding this topic what these are. And the verse that attests to this principle is (Exodus 32) “And now if You would but forgive their sins – and if not erase me from this book that You have written.” And God answered him, “He who sinned against Me I will erase from My book.” This is a proof that God knows the sinner and the fulfiller in order to mete out reward to one, and punishment to the other.”

Can you see the problem, here?

Moving to Israel is a mitzvah. (I know there are apparently ‘frum’ people who are so confused they are even doubting that, so please take a look at the daas Torah in this post, Deconstructing Aliyah, which sets out a whole bunch of real, actual Torah sources on the subject, if you’d like a change from all the ‘daas me‘ flying around the internet.)

So, if we’re going to start accusing other people of ‘aliyah bullying’ then we have to be consistent, and also start accusing other people of ‘kosher bullying’ and ‘tefillin bullying’ and ‘not marrying out’ bullying too, because as you can hopefully see for yourself, the same arguments are effectively playing out in each of these arenas.

It’s always hard to keep mitzvahs, in some ways. God expects us to keep striving out of comfort zone, to keep trying to give Him what He wants, and to not give up on the mitzvoth even when we can’t quite reach them.

I have so many mitzvoth I’m still struggling with, not least my own problems with lashon hara and anger.

I could turn around and give God a bunch of excuses why I still flip out and go ballistic – and they’d all be true! But that doesn’t change the picture that God says that getting angry is a very bad thing, and that He wants me to carry on working on it, until 120.

Sure, I can justify my bad behavior all I want.

But that doesn’t change the fact that God wants me to do better, and He wants me to get Him involved in really solving the issue.

So unless we’re also going to start accusing God of being a “good middot bully”, or a “keeping the Torah bully”,  it seems to me this whole ‘aliyah bullying’ idea is really just a massive red herring.

A Seder Meal for One.

The day before Seder, I had a breathless conversation with an older single I know whose ‘plans had changed’ last minute (as they so often seem to do with this person), who needed a place to go for the Seder meal.

I said no.

I said no for a few reasons, not least because I had my hands full with a ton of non-religious family members who also believe that Seder isn’t actually something you ‘do’, at least, not yourself, but something that you show up for, say your lines, eat your boiled egg, then go home and tick the box.

But the person pulled a half-successful guilt trip on me that they had nowhere else to go blah blah blah so in the end I compromised and invited them for the morning meal after Seder.

I was so exhausted. I was so tired.

And this person stayed in my house for four hours on one pretext after another, until finally when they went to the bathroom, I saw an opportunity to escape and went ‘to sleep’ in my room until they finally got the message and left.

Recently, I’ve been thinking more and more about how so many of us unwittingly ‘enable’ bad behavior, and massive yetzer haras, through some misguided attempt to ‘do good in the world’. Sure, in theory, it’s a great wonderful, amazing thing to have people around your Seder table who otherwise would have no-where to go.

But at what point does it stop being a mitzvah?

At what point does enabling other people’s selfish, freeloading behavior stop being a good thing?

You know why that older single had no-where to go on Seder night? Because she’s exhausting to be around. That’s why. She doesn’t treat people so nicely and she has a lot of bad middot.

Do you know why I’m doing something completely different for Seder next year? Because even the very minimal requests I set for my Seder were ignored.

People didn’t buy haggadot for their kids….they didn’t prepare a tiny something about anything related to the Seder…they didn’t have the patience to sit through Hallel and made the fact they wanted to leave so obvious that there was no choice except to comply…they didn’t help-with-a-single-thing with the Seder.

They left it all to me.

Now, if they were 80 and feeble, fair enough. If they were ‘lost Jews’ who had never seen or heard of a Seder before in their life, fair enough. But that’s not the case. We’re the same age, and they’ve sat at someone else’s Seder every year since they were born, for more than four decades.

After I was inundated with so many people’s ‘freeloading behavior’ this year, and after I found myself getting so upset about it all, I realized there was something else going on, here, that God was trying to draw my attention to, namely:

I was enabling these people’s bad middot.

And I don’t want to do that anymore.

You might be reading this hand to mouth in horror, thinking what is the woman saying?! This is terrible, shocking, awful!!!!

It’s a free country, you’re allowed. We’ve all been so brainwashed into believing that we have to be the ‘solution’ to other people’s problems, it’s totally understandable if you are having that reaction. I also had that reaction to myself, initially, and thought I’d totally lost the plot. But then, I started to think things through more carefully in hitbodedut, and to dig a little deeper, and here’s what I came to:

God for sure wants me to help other people, as much as possible. At the same time, He for sure doesn’t want me to take all the responsibility for ensuring they have a Seder to go to, or people to hang out with, or a nice life.

For example, it says very clearly, that it’s the father of the household’s responsibility to recount the exodus to their children.

If that father has his head permanently in his business affairs, or prefers to play cards at the Seder table, or doesn’t value his own yiddishkeit enough to make any real effort to pass it on to his kids – it’s not down to me, to fix that problem.

What’s more, there’s the law of natural consequence at play here. The natural consequence of having guests who I experience as ungrateful, entitled, freeloaders is that I don’t want to have them back.

IFFFFF, guests make it clear that they really want to share the responsibility, IFFFFF they make a huge effort to participate, IFFFFF they offer to buy in the desserts, and clear the table, and wash up – then I probably would be extremely happy to have them back. Who wouldn’t be?

But, IFFFFF the guest is totally self-absorbed and self-occupied, IFFFFF they act like they are doing you a massive favor, by being there, IFFFFF they make ‘perfunctory’ noises about helping that you know aren’t the least bit sincere, and then scarper before the dishes have even been taken off the table – then, I really don’t want them back, until and unless something massive changes in their behavior and their attitude.

This is the law of natural consequence, and we ignore it at our peril.

As I was mulling all this over, I had a chat with a friend of mine, Gila, who I have invited for Seder a couple of times down the years, but who has always turned me down. Partially, it’s because Gila and I live in different cities. But the real reason is much more awe-inspiring:

Gila often does Seder all by herself.

I asked her if she would share her experience of that more widely, and she very generously agreed. Here’s what she told me, in her own words:

“Seder is a very personal experience, and I wanted to do it my own way, of course still within the framework of halacha. I read the ma nishtana myself, I did both sides of the ‘Mishar rotam’ dialogue that many Sephardim traditionally do at the beginning of the Seder. It could have been a bit weird or awkward, but I embraced Seder night, and I really enjoyed it.”

I asked Gila, why didn’t you want to go out and be a guest at someone else’s Seder? She told me:

“I really wanted to feel the holiday. I wanted to concentrate on the Seder, and not get so distracted by everything else that was going on around me. There are lots of segulot you can do when you’re having a Seder by yourself, so I really took advantage of it. I drank all the wine you’re supposed to, and I ate all the matzah.”

What happened about hiding the afikomen?

“I just put it away somewhere, so I didn’t see it. And I really enjoyed the idea that I really was eating the afikomen – and only the afikomen – for dessert. Usually, you have to supplement the afikomen with more matzah, but I was eating only the real thing. I also really loved preparing for the Seder. “

This year wasn’t the first time that Gila has done a Seder by herself.

I asked her what she finds challenging about doing it by herself.

“Beforehand is the hardest part. When people start asking me, what are you doing for Seder? That can be a hard question. It’s hard anticipating being alone, and worrying about how society views me. Other people’s reactions are the main problem for me, not actually doing the Seder. The first time I did it, my parents thought I was nuts, until I explained to them how the Seder actually went.

“For someone who has never done it, who has never enjoyed the fruits of their own labor at the Seder, it’s so gratifying to be really involved, and to not just be a guest. Even the shopping was enjoyable and meaningful. I was using my own hands to create the Seder!”

Gila has now done Seder by herself on 5 different occasions.

She’s very happy to still be a guest at other people’s tables, if that’s suitable for her and her hosts, but she told me something about the reality of being an older single at other people’s Seder that made a very profound impact on me:

“Even if you have a bad experience at a Seder, you need to take responsibility. You can’t just accept an invitation to someone because you feel you don’t have a better alternative. When I first decided to do Seder by myself, as an older single in my 40s, it’s because I had never made it myself, and I felt it was just time to do it. When I took that decision, it showed me that I really have a choice about how and where I do Seder, and that was liberating. In general, when you know you have a choice it also makes you more tolerant since you take responsibility for what you want to do, instead of blaming other people.”

I will share more of Gila’s tips on how to do a Seder for one below, but I didn’t just find her experience liberating for some of the singles out there, who maybe are sick of being guests around other people’s tables.

I also found it liberating for myself, because it underscored the point God had been trying to teach me that everyone has a choice.

If a person truly wants to experience a Seder, there is nothing stopping them.

I don’t need to relate to people as nebuchs¸ unfortunates, because they aren’t used to making a Seder, or don’t find it easy. It’s a mitzvah! It’s a privilege! It’s an obligation – their obligation to recount the Haggada and eat matzah and drink four cups of wine.

If they care about the mitzvah, they will find a way to pull it off.

(It’s a whole other story, but I have friends in Costa Rica who are going through a very tough time, financially. This year, they only had enough money to buy the minimal matzah and wine for Seder night, and they just ate vegetables the rest of the week. Talk about mesirut nefesh for the mitzvah! Amazing.)

And if they don’t really care about the mitzvah – then having them back year after year is just enabling them to keep ticking a box, and just keeping them stuck in that place of being a permanent, uninterested, entitled guest.

And I’m not going to do that, any more.

It’s not helping me, for sure, but Gila’s story also showed me that it’s also really not helping them. Or their kids.

So, if you’re young enough and healthy enough to change your kitchen over and cook for three days straight – do your own Seder. If you’re single, consider doing it alone, or consider inviting your other single friends and doing it together. If you have a family and you’re approaching your fifties without ever having done your own Seder, make a decision that next Pesach is the year you finally grow up, and take responsibility for yourself and your families.

Making Seder is hard work, for sure, but it’s a mitzvah, and every ounce of effort you put in is repaid, spiritually.

If you want some more guidance on what to actually do on Seder night, take a look at the Seder Guide on the Torah.org website. And HERE is where you’ll find a run-down of the customs and minhagim that Rabbi Berland follows on Seder night. Finally, I have discovered two excellent cookbooks for Pesach, which contain simple, pretty healthy food that is not a pain in the bottom to put together, but tastes pretty good. You can get A Taste of Pesach #1 by clicking the bold, and also check out A Taste of Pesach #2.

And now, let’s end with Gila’s dos and don’ts for how to do a Seder for one:

PERSONAL SEDER DOS:

  • Try to get excited about it.
  • Appreciate that you have a choice of how and where you do Seder, and that if you really want to do it in your own home, you can.
  • Run the Seder exactly how you want it to go, and include any segulot or customs you want.
  • Have realistic expectations.
  • Prepare for Seder properly – and enjoy preparing for it.

PERSONAL SEDER DON’TS:

  • Don’t do a Seder by yourself if you’re not in a good frame of mind, or if you feel isolated.
  • Don’t a Seder by yourself if you can’t be alone for a meal on Shabbat.
  • Don’t tell yourself you have no choice, except to be a guest at someone else’s table. You always have a choice to do the Seder yourself, if you really want to.

Why ‘confirmation bias’ is such a big spiritual problem

A long time ago, when infographics were still all the rage, I came across this infographic which clearly showed the 20 main ‘cognitive biases’, including confirmation bias. This infographic basically dissects the playbook the yetzer hara uses to convince us that we’re always right about everything, and that everyone else is always wrong. (Click the link to see a bigger version, this is just for illustration purposes.)

An infographic showing 20 cognitive biases including confirmation biasNow, I wouldn’t care so much, except that I’ve been noticing a strange phenomena around Volume II of One in a Generation, which is that most people don’t want to read it, and don’t want to talk about all the proof it contains about just how corrupt the media actually is.

For as long as the media was coming up with one false, salacious, slanderous story after another about Rabbi Berland (aka ‘Eliezer ben Etia’), my email was glowing red-hot with people wanting to have the discussion with me. Now that the other side of the story is out there, clearly, showing exactly how we all got manipulated, bamboozled and downright deceived by the MSM – no-one wants to know.

Yawn.

Now that we can conclusively show that all the lies about the Rav abusing women, God forbid, came down to the same two people who were trying to extort money out of Rabbi Berland, it’s no longer interesting.

What is still interesting, tho, is that the Rav is taking money to do pidyon nefesh for people. Ooooo, this is still so interesting, because the same ‘anti chareidi’ media who have been behind so many of the lies right from the start ran a whole big ‘splash’ campaign about it.

People paid money, and it didn’t work!!! He took money from people on their death beds!!!!

Etc etc etc.

I haven’t looked into the details of all these stories (yet…. I might do at some point) – but I personally know of two occasions when the pidyon nefesh didn’t work, and the person died. In both instances, the Rav offered to repay the whole sum.

When all is said and done, the Rav is not God, and God will still do as He sees fit.

On the other hand, I know of literally thousands of cases where the Rav’s pidyon nefesh worked open miracles, saved lives and totally turned around a lost situation. (Some of which actually happened to yours truly)

So now, who are you going to believe, the anti-chareidi, anti-God, atheist MSM with massive agendas, or people who have seen open miracles in their own lives?

Or rather, the question is who do you WANT to believe?

Because that’s really a far trickier problem. Here’s why so many people are still having a hard time believing that Rav Berland is a true tzaddik and a very holy man, as opposed to the ucky individual they read about online, and gossiped about with their friends, and attacked on Facebook:

  1. People are over-reliant on the first piece of information they hear – in this case, all the slanderous stories and lies put out by the Rav’s persecutors.
  2. People place too much credence on the limited information they have available – before they know all the facts of the matter.
  3. People like to jump on bandwagons – even when they’re heading in totally the wrong direction.
  4. People have blind spots about their own subconscious motivations and biases – so it suits them when a big Rabbi who spent his whole life telling people to ditch i-Phones and act in a holier way can be totally written off and ignored.
  5. Once people ‘choose’ a side, or a thing, they have a vested interest in protecting it at all costs – even if they’re wrong.
  6. “So many people are saying it, it must be true!!!” – of course they are, because they all read the same ucky, poisonous, anti-religion online news sites that you do.
  7. People only want to hear things that confirm their existing opinion – they are much more interested in being right than being truthful.
  8. People are very slow to change their minds about things – it can take a lot of repetition before they finally grasp what you’re trying to explain.
  9. People prefer to just gather more information, than to actually act on it – if they wait long enough, they are sure that ‘new information’ will emerge that will prove their original view point correct, and absolve them from any need to make teshuva or admit they were wrong.
  10. People are burying their head in the sand about just how bad and corrupted the MSM actually is – it’s a very uncomfortable thought to consider that the media might be spoon-feeding massive lies to the public. Much easier to ignore the whole problem and hope it will just go away by itself.
  11. “But he went to prison! There’s nothing more to discuss!!!” – this is called outcome bias.
  12. People are convinced that they know everything, and are always totally right – i.e. they suffer from tremendous arrogance.
  13. People WANT to believe that the news is factual, so that makes them believe that the news IS factual – the alternative scenario is far too scary.
  14. People believe the newest stuff is always more relevant than the older stuff – hey, all that abusing women stuff is old news!!! We already moved on to how the Rav is extorting money out of terminally-ill people now! Talk to the hand!
  15. People don’t like to re-examine the past – they prefer to deal with what’s in front of their eyes today, i.e. more lies and slanders that haven’t yet been refuted or disproved.
  16. People pander to their own world views – many people are much more ‘comfortable’ with the idea of abusive rabbis than they are with the idea that the press is a lying, manipulative, anti-God, propaganda machine.
  17. People believe what they want to believe. (This needs no additional explanation).
  18. People rely on stereotypes instead of facts – of course, all Breslov rabbis with large followings and mystical tendencies must be ‘crazy’ or ‘bad’.
  19. People believe the media is always right – because the media very rarely, if ever, tells them about the thousands upon thousands of factual errors and false stories it’s putting out there, every single day.
  20. People prefer their comfortable lies to the uncomfortable truth – even though that’s keeping them far away from God, stuck and miserable.

Truth vs lies

Sadly, I’ve come to the conclusion that the number of people who are happy to stay stuck in the web of lies and deceit that is modern life is far greater than those who are looking for the truth. And I can understand where they are coming from, kind of.

Who wants to be a social pariah by calling out all their Fakebook friends who spent two solid years posting up self-righteous rants dripping with lashon hara bout Rabbi Berland? Who wants to really take a look under the bonnet and realize just how many flaws and issues they themselves actually have? Or how many people they are hurting with their own ucky behavior?

Who really wants to ‘fess up to being duped by unethical journalists, or to following rabbis and others who aren’t the real deal, or to having a vested interest in trying to make an elderly Breslov tzaddik look ‘bad’ to make themselves feel better about their own obsessions with internet, licentiousness, gossip, ego-stroking, making money and materialism?

You can see why it’s so challenging, honestly.

But here’s the problem:

All that stuff that’s keeping us away from acknowledging the truth about Rabbi Berland is the same stuff that’s going to keep us away from the world to come, too.

Geula is mamash on the threshold, and we can’t cross over into it for as long as we’re still dragging all that arrogance, hatred and bad middot behind us. God isn’t asking us to be perfect, He knows that’s impossible. He’s just asking us to be truthful, and to put our hands up and to admit that we make mistakes, and we have vested interests, and we do a lot of things wrong and hurt a lot of people, every single day.

A bit of truth and humility is all that’s required to get us into the world to come.

But judging by what’s going on with Rav Berland and One in a Generation Volume II, even a bit of truth and humility is way beyond what most people can apparently manage.

What’s stopping you from moving to Israel – take the quiz

 

I think I’ve covered most of the main challenges and concerns people have about moving to Israel. If there’s something I missed, please feel free to add it in to the comments section, and let’s start to figure this issue out a bit more, together.
For sure, there are some very real, very solid concerns and obstacles in the path to getting to the Holy Land. I know many people who really do want to come, but can’t seem to get here, for one reason or another. So let’s see what’s the biggest issues that are standing in the way, and then I will do my best to put some resources together here on the site, that might help you to find a way past them.
Also, take a look at the aliyah category, for some more pertinent information, discussion and background.

How Eliezer ben Etia – aka Rabbi Berland – predicted the Colombo attacks.

Over on RavBerland.com, they just posted up a video with English subtitles where you can clearly here Rabbi Berland talking about Colombo, Sri Lanka, and urging his followers to fly out there, for two weeks prior to the attacks.

You can see the video for yourself, below:

After the attack occurred on April 21, 2019, the Rav said it was meant to have taken place in Jerusalem, but the plans got switched at the last minute. We can see that the prayer gathering definitely had some impact, baruch Hashem.

Now, I have a question for you:

Can you help me arrange a book tour?

I am trying to arrange a book tour in Israel for One in a Generation Volume 2, where I’ll explain the whole story (kind of…) and answer any questions from the audience, and where the book will be available to buy, too.

I’m happy to speak in front of any and all women only audiences, for free, so if you’d like to host something in your area, please do get in touch and let’s discuss.

I have a feeling that things are about to start moving, in a whole bunch of ways. So buckle your seatbelts, and stay close to the true tzaddikim who can really see what’s coming down the pipe, and who can really help us to dodge it.

UPDATE on Eliezer ben Etia:

See this post:

Rebbe Nachman spoke a great deal about the lofty spiritual level of the land of Israel.

After I wrote Rebbe Nachman on making aliyah to Israel, Rachel wanted to know where Rebbe Nachman specifically praised the greatness of the land. So here that passage is, in all its glory:

(It comes from #141 in Tzaddik, published by the Breslov Research Institute):

The Lesson “Nine Tikkunim” in Likutey Moharan, I, 20 speaks at length about the greatness of the Land of Israel and how the real victory in the war comes when we succeed in reaching there. When the Rebbe actually taught this lesson he started it by speaking about the Land of Israel, saying:

“Whoever wants to be a Jew – which means going from level to level – can only succeed through the Land of Israel.

“When he wins the war he is a called a ‘man of war’ but not before. For ‘let not the one who is putting on his armor boast like the one who is taking it off (I Kings 20:11).’ Only after winning is he called a ‘man of war’.”….

After he finished the lesson, when we were talking, I asked him: “What did you mean when you said that the Land of Israel is so great that this is the main victory?”

He took me to task for this and said: “I meant Israel quite literally with its houses and apartments” – i.e. in all his emphasis on the greatness of the Land of Israel, he meant quite literally the Israel Jews go to.

He wanted every Jew who wished to be a true Jew to go to Israel.

This is what inspired and encouraged me more than anything to overcome the innumerable difficulties I myself had and break through everything to get to Israel. Thank God for helping me to break through the obstacles and get there and back safely…

With regard to the main victory being getting to Israel in spite of the difficulties, there was a time when the Rebbe was speaking about the tremendous obstacles and danger he faced in Istanbul and the rest of his journey to Israel. He then said to us that we would be able to get to Israel easily – as if to say that we would not have to face obstacles and dangers like the ones he endured.

But we should still be prepared to suffer and undergo hardship in order to get there, because Israel is one of the three things attained through suffering.

Once, the Rebbe said there are people who imagine they have a great longing to go to Israel, but only if they can travel comfortably, not with discomfort and suffering. This is not perfect desire. Someone who wants to reach Israel should go there even if he has to travel on foot.

====

As always, Rabbenu sums things up in a very clear fashion. Making aliyah is by no means an easy thing, or a ‘no-brainer’, even with the growing impetus for Jews to run away from the economic, social and anti-semitic fires burning all over the world. It requires an awful lot of mesirut nefesh, and awful lot of self-sacrifice across so many levels.

Moving here is one thing, and staying here is another. I’ve seen so many people move away, because they refused to take God’s cues to really dig deep and acknowledge their bad middot, their real relationship issues, their personal flaws, their ego problems.

You go from level to level, spiritually, in Israel, because at every turn God is challenging you to develop more emuna, more bitachon, to let go of more ego, more status, more assumptions about yourself and others. Every day, you have to deal with obviously crazy people going nutso in your direction; or rockets falling on your head; or the fact that you still don’t know what piece of meat is actually a pot roast. (On that score, if anyone can clue me in, I’d be grateful.)

But it’s still worth it.

Eretz Yisrael is only attained through suffering – but at least you get something to show for it, at the end of it all! Inside or outside of Israel, the ‘suffering’ bit seems to be a given at the moment. So, it’s not so much a question of ‘suffer or don’t suffer’, but a question of ‘suffer and acquire something of lasting, permanent benefit, spiritually – or not’:

“Whoever wants to be a Jew – which means going from level to level – can only succeed through the Land of Israel.”

As seems to happen every single time I get a book out, the last week or so I’ve suddenly ‘flopped’ energetically and lost sight of what the real purpose of life is.

True, my nocturnal teenagers aren’t helping things any, but the truth is that even when they haven’t been at home, I’ve still been having troubles sleeping and staying focused.

And this is has been going on for months and months.

It was sparked off by ‘the comfort zone’ – that period of time before I was getting on with One in a Generation #2 when I felt like a total waste of space in the world, just comfortably spinning my wheels.

I had enough food on the table, I could buy some new paints and watercolour paper, a roof over my head, I could petrol in the car (which let me tell you, is getting increasingly miraculous, as what used to cost 170 shekels to fill up a small car now costs double.)

I could even buy the odd frock for chag – nirvana.

But I was finding it harder and harder to get out of bed. I still had stuff to do, stuff to write, stuff to clean, stuff to get on with. But it’s like the oomph disappeared out of my life, and I got a terrifying glimpse into the world of early retirement.

I know that retiring at 55 and jet-setting around the world with your cashmere sweater casually knotted over your shoulders is meant to be the pinnacle of ‘happiness’ in our world, but let me tell you – it’s a lie.

A total lie.

(Not that I have a cashmere sweater, or a cruise booked, but the few days I spent driving up to the coast, and over to places like the art shop in Ranaana was enough to show me that all that traveling around / holiday stuff is totally over-rated.) And it’s definitely not the purpose of life, according to Judaism.

What makes life enjoyable is knowing why you’re alive, what your purpose is, what you are putting out into the world and why – particularly on the spiritual side of things.

Holidays and ‘down times’ are useful to sandwich those times together, but as I write this, I realise that this is what makes Shabbat such a gift: If a person keeps Shabbat in the spirit it’s meant to be kept, it really is a holiday for the soul and a balm for the spirit. That 25 hours of kedusha refreshes much more than even a month on a cruise going around the Bahamas.

Anyway, the point is: I got a dose of early retirement, and it drove me completely bonkers and made me feel soooo pointless and miserable.

We are here to work.

We are here to do things. To fix things. To attempt things. To improve. To challenge ourselves to become better and better people.

That realization sparked off a flurry of activity to get One in a Generation out before Pesach – but now, I’ve flopped again.

Why?

Because I realized this morning in my talking to God session, that I’m lacking focus in my life. I sit here continuing to churn things out and to write things, without really knowing why. I’m not talking about ‘monetizing the site’, or anything gashmius like that (although there is nothing wrong with making money if that is your job and role in life. Just doesn’t seem to be my job or role in life, at this point, but then I’m a woman with a small family, not the breadwinner for a large brood.)

Baruch Hashem.

But, the point is – I need a focus and a strongly-defined purpose.

I need to stop running after all the chimeras and to actually sit down and figure out what it is I’m doing in my life, and why – across the board. And the bloke also needs to do that, too.

There is so much confusion, so much smoke, so much madness in the world, and it’s just spinning faster and faster and faster. I can’t live like that, constantly chasing after ‘new’ and ‘exciting’.

I want to chase after ‘real’ and ‘meaningful’ – wherever it takes me.

And nothing else.

So, the next few weeks I will be re-evaluating how I’ve been spending my time. I think I want to pull out of a few of my side projects that have been ticking along the last couple of years, and to put more energy and focus into this website, amongst other things.

And, I want to put more energy into getting Breslov ideas, and Rav Berland’s teachings, out there more, because I see how much they’ve helped me in the past, and continue to help me every single day.

There’s a lot more to say, but these are the contour of my thoughts, at the moment.

The last thing to tell you is that I took my own advice from this post on marriage guidance, and yesterday I started lighting a candle a day for the hatzlacha of my husband. It’s just a small tealight, and I just spend half a minute asking God to bless the man with happiness, health and success, but I made a commitment to do that for 40 days in a row – and I’ll let you know how that turns out.

No prayer is ever wasted, of that I’m sure.

And right now, I just feel that we both need a lot of prayers. We all need a lot of prayers.

The world is going crazier and crazier.

And only the light of Rabbenu can guide us through it, and help us to hang on to the real purpose of being alive, at this point in time.

 

American White Supremacism

An uncomfortable history lesson.

On July 4th, 1776 the famous American Declaration of Independence was signed. It states, amongst other things:

 “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.[1]

This paragraph is relatively brief, but it explains so much of the modern day ‘schizo’ character of the United States. Firstly, 41 of the 56 signatories to the Declaration of Independence owned slaves at the time of signing.[2]

Just think about that for a moment, that 41 people in high office could put their name to a document stating ‘all men are created equal’ whilst at the same time owning human beings as chattel and complaining about “merciless Indian savages” a little later on in the text.

But it’s really the second highlighted passage that I want to draw to your attention, because when the Founding Fathers said:

“[W]henever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it” – they were basically enshrining the ‘right’ of Americans to violently overthrow their government, if they felt it wasn’t delivering enough ‘life, liberty and pursuit of happiness’.

And that probably explains a lot about why the United States has a huge problem with White Supremacist movements who are looking for ways to overthrow the government: history is repeating itself.

American white supremacism

Like all good patriots, Americans like to believe the best about the country they call home.

That’s natural, it’s human nature. But, when you really lift the cover and take a peek at the violent history of what came to be known as the United States of America, it explains so much of why today, the country is standing on a very dangerous precipice.

The official history always painted the white settlers as the ‘good guys’ who were fending off attacks from bloodthirsty redskins. But there was another side of that story that got airbrushed out of history, namely how millions of indigenous people were murdered in cold blood to make it easier for the Europeans to take their land.

No-one was around to document the violence and murder at the beginning of this process, or to know the scale of what was really going on. But by the mid-1800s, there was enough information circulating for modern historians to have a much clearer view of what was occurring in what became the modern State of California.

Historian Benjamin Madley wrote a book in 2016 called “An American Genocide”.

The book sets out some highly disturbing facts about what occurred in the State of California then, that are rarely taught in American schools, including:

  • 120,000 California Indians met the deaths between 1846 and 1873;
  • A very large proportion of these Indians, including women and children, were brutally murdered by white settlers enticed to California by the goldrush.
  • The American press and most American politicians lauded these murderers (many of whom perpetrated their atrocities wearing the uniform of the American army.) Instead of deriding these wholesale massacres of whole communities as atrocities, they referred to them as ‘battles’, even when they were carried out by vigilantes, and even when the Indians being murdered had not acted with any prior aggression.
  • The US government tacitly and openly encouraged these murders. In 1851, the first California Governor Peter Burnett said in his Governor’s message:

“[A] war of extermination will continue to be waged between the races, until the Indian race becomes extinct.”

  • The State of California started paying high wages to people who would volunteer to participate in ‘anti-Indian’ militias, full expecting the Federal government to reimburse the cost. The US government paid vigilantes money for every Indian scalp, or severed head they presented them with. Many Indians were also deliberately poisoned by food laced with strychnine.
  • The Native people in California were denied the most basic rights by the courts. White people who killed them, enslaved them, stole from them, kidnapped them would not be arrested or imprisoned for their crimes against Indians, because the courts refused to accept any testimony from Indians.

By the end of the 19th century, the few Indians who had survived the massacres understood that moving to a reservation and giving up their rights to their own land was really the only workable option on the table, if they didn’t want to be totally and completed annihilated by the white settlers.

No-one knows how many Indians were killed between 1600 and 1900.

The matter is still being hotly debated. On the low end, historians say there were two million natives in what is now the USA before Europe conquered America, on the high end, that there were 18 million[3].

But what is not in dispute is that by 1900, only 250,000[4] native Americans remained in the whole of the USA, while the rest of the population in the 1890 Census had grown to 63 million.[5]

THE TAKE HOME FROM THIS SECTION:

White settlers from Europe brutally disposed of the native inhabitants of the continental USA, because they wanted exclusive ownership of their land.

American white supremacism

“MANIFEST DESTINY”

In 1845, just prior to the genocide of America’s West Coast natives, an American journalist named John O’Sullivan coined the phrase ‘Manifest Destiny’ to explain the widely-held belief that America and its white, Protestant population were the new ‘chosen people’, and that God had “destined” America to “expand its dominion and spread democracy and capitalism across the entire North American continent.”[6]

But only for whites.

Nearly all of America’s early economic success was built on the back of non-white slave labor. Some historians estimate that between 6-7 million black slaves were shipped to North America from Africa during the 18th century alone. To give some contrast, the official census figures for that same period of time (white only) show that the white population in the US grew from 250,000 in the year 1700, to 5.3 million people by the year 1800.[7] Most of these slaves were literally worked to death.

Officially, the US Congress outlawed the slave trade in 1808, but still permitted domestic trade in slaves, not least because the tobacco and then cotton-based economy of the Southern states was totally dependent on slave labor to continue to run.

This 5 minute video will tell you more about Manifest Destiny:

———————————————-

How ‘Manifest Destiny contributed to the American Civil War

By 1840, the US population stood at around 17 million, and it was at this point that a decision was made at the political level to pursue ‘manifest destiny’ and expand West-ward. When gold was discovered in California in 1848, this accelerated the pace of settlement, and brought ever more rapacious, greedy and brutal prospectors out to the US looking for gold.

With the increase in the size of the continental US, and the murder of millions of Indians who previously had been used by the Spanish on the West Coast as slave laborers, the US ran into a problem:

There was no way these massive additional tracts of land could be farmed properly, without expanding the US slave trade.

The abolitionist movement had started to pick up steam in the Northern states, who were economically far less dependent on slave labor, but even there, it wasn’t only human rights considerations that were in play. This from history.com:

“While many abolitionists based their activism on the belief that slaveholding was a sin, others were more inclined to the non-religious “free-labor” argument, which held that slaveholding was regressive, inefficient and made little economic sense.”

For many abolitionists, it boiled down to an economic argument, rather than moral one. So on the one hand, there were a number of states who were reliant on slavery for their economic growth, and who wanted to continue and expand it, and on the other, there were a number of states who felt that slavery was economically inefficient, and also (incidentally….) not a very nice thing to do.

That set the stage for America’s civil war, which the Unionists managed to win not least because 186,000 former black slaves from the secessionist South joined the ranks of the Union army – accounting for 10% of its forces.[8]

Slavery was ‘officially’ abolished in the US in 1863, but the ‘white supremacist’ and ‘manifest destiny’ attitudes that underpinned slavery, genocide, and the ruthless economic exploitation of non-whites would continue to flourish in America in many other ways.

And now, we start to bring this story into the modern era.

TAKEAWAY FROM THIS SECTION:

The American economy was built off the back of slave labor. From the middle of the 19th century on, white Americans also came to see themselves as a new ‘chosen people’ who’d been chosen by God to conquer the whole of the continental USA – and beyond.

American white supremacism

SOCIAL DARWINISM AND WHITE SUPREMACISTS

Around the same time that Abraham Lincoln was formally abolishing slavery in the US, in the UK a rich industrialist with scientific ambitions was trying to put together a ‘theory’ to explain why only certain ‘races’ of men deserved the vote, and why it was OK that the rich people at the top of the pyramid continued to exploit and enslave the poorer people underneath them.

This theory came to be known colloquially as ‘survival of the fittest’, and despite the great paucity of any real ‘science’ to back it up, it was swiftly adopted by the great thinkers of the time, as an easy ‘get out’ clause for their consciences.

The pseudo-science behind the “survival of the fittest” arbitrarily divided humanity up into ‘races’, and suggested that the more aggressive and greedier peoples who were exploiting everyone else were ‘the fittest’ specimens that were being naturally selected. Of course, that fit the colonial mindset very nicely, and it made ‘racism’ a virtue.

From the close of the 19th century onwards, Western science strove mightily towards this ideal of creating and perfecting the ‘fittest’ race.

Darwin’s theory led to the creation of the pseudo-science of eugenics, and had white supremacists all over the world preening themselves about their ‘superlative’ gene pool, which they felt entitled them to much greater shares of the world’s wealth and resources than the ‘inferior’ races they were displacing, exploiting and killing.

In a nutshell, Darwin’s ‘theory of evolution’ and ‘natural selection’ bunkum told the European white people who were exploiting everyone else exactly what they wanted to hear: carry on doing what you’re doing, it’s the natural way for the ‘strong’ to oppress and kill the weak, and for the ‘fittest’ to grab the food out of the ‘unfittest’s’ mouth….

For a nation that already believed it was the new chosen people, and that it had a mandate, or ‘manifest destiny’ from God to rule the world, this was music to the ears.

TAKEAWAY FROM THIS SECTION:

‘Natural selection’ and the theory of evolution was invented to give wealthy, white Europeans with a pseudo-scientific excuse for why it was ok to go around killing and exploiting brown and black people, and stealing their land and natural resources.

American white supremacism

AMERICAN EUGENICS

So now we’ve set the scene a little bit more, let’s skip forward to 1916, where a blue-blooded American lawyer called Madison Grant had just published a book called:

THE PASSING OF THE GREAT RACE

Grant was part of an elite set that included the crème of American society, including many wealthy elites, intellectuals, academics, politicians and presidents. At the beginning of the 20th century, this group of well-connected people in America started to feel increasingly upset about the number of non-white ‘inferior’ races that were crowding America’s shores.

In 1916, when the book was published, America’s population stood at a touch under 102 million[9]. Already at this stage, Grant and his group in America started sounding alarms that the proud ‘Nordic Races’ who had founded America were committing what he termed ‘race suicide’ by letting in so many ‘inferior’ races – and Jews were top of the list.

Grant wrote:

“The man of the old stock is being driven off the streets of New York City by the swarms of Polish Jews.”

He continued:

These immigrants adopt the language of the native American, they wear his clothes, they steal his name, and they are beginning to take his women, but they seldom adopt his religion or understand his ideals and while he is being elbowed out of his own home the American looks calmly abroad and urges on others the suicidal ethics which are exterminating his own race.”

In another passage, he wrote:

The cross between a white man and an Indian is an Indian; the cross between a white man and a Negro is a Negro; the cross between a white man and a Hindu is a Hindu; and the cross between any of the three European races and a Jew is a Jew.

Grant was a big fan of eugenics and euthanasia.

In that same book, he wrote:

“Mistaken regard for what are believed to be divine laws and a sentimental belief in the sanctity of human life tend to prevent both the elimination of defective infants and the sterilization of such adults as are themselves of no value to the community. The laws of nature require the obliteration of the unfit, and human life is valuable only when it is of use to the community or race.

(Today, when the State of New York has passed a law enabling parents to murder their newborns right up to the moment of actual birth, it’s becoming clearer and clearer how this awful lack of morality was inspired and encouraged by Darwinian pseudo-science and its associated ‘ethics’.)

Grant concluded:

We Americans must realize that the altruistic ideals which have controlled our social development during the past century and the maudlin sentimentalism that has made America “an asylum for the oppressed,” are sweeping the nation toward a racial abyss. If the Melting Pot is allowed to boil without control and we continue to follow our national motto and deliberately blind ourselves to all “distinctions of race, creed or color,” the type of native American of Colonial descent will become as extinct as the Athenian of the age of Pericles, and the Viking of the days of Rollo.

American white supremacism

Grant’s message fell on very receptive ears – both in the USA itself, which went on to pass laws severely curtailing immigration to the USA in the 1920s – and also in Germany, where one A. Hitler wrote to tell Grant how much he’d enjoyed his book.

Lothrop Stoddard was one of Grant’s acolytes, who was inspired to write his own book warning white Americans against the dangerous ‘colored tide’ about to flood in. In 1921, President Warren Harding (Republican) told a crowd of 10,000 people in Alabama:

“Whoever will take the time to read Mr Lothrop Stoddard’s book The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy…must realise that our race problem here in the United States is only a phase of the race problem that the whole world confronts….if we mean the things we say about democracy as the ideal political state.” In that same speech, Harding stated: “Racial amalgamation there cannot be.”[10]

The next president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, (Republican) was even more unabashedly ‘pro’ white supremacy. Writing in Good Housekeeping in 1921, he said:

“America has…been an asylum for those who have been driven from their homes in foreign countries because of various forms of political and religious oppression….It is a duty our country owes itself to require of all those aliens who come here that they have a background not inconsistent with American institutions. Such a background might consist either of a racial background or a national experience. But in its lowest terms it must be characterized by a capacity for assimilation.”

Coolidge continued:

“[I]t would be suicidal for us to let down the bars for the inflowing of cheap manhood.”[11]

(In case you’re worrying that racism and white supremacy was only a Republican party problem, this is probably a good time to tell you that the Ku Klux Klan was started in Southern America by Democrats seeking to limit Republican political power in the South after the civil war, as so many blacks were voting for the party who’d emancipated them.)[12]

TAKEAWAY FROM THIS SECTION:

America at the turn of the 20th century introduced a number of very restrictive immigration laws, to make it as hard as possible for ‘inferior’ races to enter America and amalgamate with the ‘superior’ white stock. White superiority and a ‘race’ problem were freely and openly talked about by presidents, politicians, lawyers, judges and the cream of American society.

American white supremacism

AMERICAN NAZIS

As we mentioned, Hitler was highly impressed by all this incredibly racist, pseudo-scientific, eugenicist talk coming out of America, much of which went on to actually shape American immigration policy and suffrage.

In 2017, Yale Law Professor James Q. Whitman wrote a book called: Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law. In THIS article, Whitman explains his main thesis, and tells us something incredible about a meeting that was held in 1934 by the Reich’s top lawyers, to plan the Nuremburg Laws that would decide ‘who was a Jew’:

“Throughout the early 1930s, the years of the making of the Nuremberg Laws, Nazi policymakers looked to US law for inspiration. Hitler himself, in Mein Kampf (1925), described the US as ‘the one state’ that had made progress toward the creation of a healthy racist society, and after the Nazis seized power in 1933 they continued to cite and ponder US models regularly.”

Whitman continues:

“Throughout the meeting the most ardent supporters of the US model were the most radical Nazis in the room.”

All this should give massive pause for thought as to what the US really stood for then, and continues to stand for today.

But there’s more. Recently, new footage came to light that shows 20,000 American Nazis gathered together in Madison Square Garden in 1939, a few short months before World War II broke out.

You can watch it HERE – and I highly recommend that you do. And then take a breath, and remember that this took place not in Berlin, but in New York City, in 1939. Here’s some of what the leading American Nazi, Fritz Kuhn, had to say in his speech to the audience on that night:

“We, with American ideals, demand that our government shall be returned to the American people who founded it. If you ask me what we are fighting for under our charter, first: a socially-just, white, gentile-ruled United States. Gentile-controlled labor unions, free from Jewish, Moscow-directed domination.”

That night in Madison Square Garden, Kuhn appeared under a massive 8 metre tall picture of George Washington, who Kuhn liked to call: “America’s first fascist”.

American white supremacism

WHY DIDN’T AMERICA SIDE WITH NAZI GERMANY?

Given the institutionalized racism in America, given the prominent, reverent place accorded to ‘white supremacy’ and ‘manifest destiny’, it’s clear that it wasn’t an automatic choice for the USA to oppose the Germans. Close to 25% of the American population in the 1930s were either German immigrants themselves, or the first generation children of German immigrants to the US[13].

Even after World War II began, there were still Nazi ‘summer camps’ for children – organized along the same lines as the Hitler Youth – operating across many States in America.[14] These were only closed when America actually joined the war in December 1941, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

In the run-up to World War II, there was a sizeable contingent of Americans who shared many of the same views and opinions as the Nazis in Germany.

These views were based on Darwin-inspired eugenics and other horrific theories of ‘race suicide’ (which today has morphed into the term ‘white genocide’, amongst modern white supremacists). These people wanted America to stay out of the war in Europe, and to let Hitler get on with the job of ‘cleansing’ the continent.

Photo by Harris & Ewing

One of the most vocal groups at this time was called the ‘America First Committee’, which had Charles Lindbergh, one of early America’s biggest celebrities, at its head. Lindbergh became famous in 1927 for making the first successful solo flight across the Atlantic, and he was adored by large swathes of the American public.

With his backing, America First quickly swelled to 800,000 members. In May 1940, a week after Nazi Germany had invaded Belgium, the Netherlands and France, an opinion poll was taken in America to see who was in favor of the US entering the war. The results:

“showed that Americans overwhelmingly opposed entering World War II.”[15]

According to Lindbergh and the millions of people in the US who shared his outlook and beliefs, the only people who wanted America to enter the War was the Jews. On September 11th, 1941, Lindbergh denounced American Jews as being ‘war agitators’ in a speech he gave at Des Moines Iowa.

Three months later, in December 1941, America entered World War II, and that’s when ‘America First’ was officially disbanded. But ingrained dislike of Jews, and the racist attitudes about saving the (white, Protestant) American people from ‘race suicide’ continued throughout the war – and beyond.

TAKEAWAY FROM THIS SECTION:

American laws and racist policies inspired the Nazis, when they formulated the Nuremberg Laws to dehumanize the Jewish population, before World War II. Much of the American population shared the Nazis views on race and white superiority, which may partially explain why it took America two years to enter the war on the side of the Allies.

American white supremacism

WHY DIDN’T AMERICA DO MORE TO SAVE EUROPE’S JEWS?

There is currently an exhibit being shown at the United States Holocaust Memoriam Museum called: Americans and the Holocaust which encapsulates the problem facing America today, because there is currently a tug-of-war between historians about whether Franklin Delano Roosevelt was an anti-semite who deliberately minimized the number of Jews reaching American shores, or whether he was just making the best of a difficult hand.

Critics point to how FDR’s administration turned boat-loads of German Jews – like the St Louis –  away from America’s shores, and stymied attempts to have 20,000 Jewish children shipped from Europe to the US.

It’s always easier to try and portray national dysfunction as the problem of the leader alone, but FDR was a politician before he was an anti-semite, and like all good politicians, he was giving his voters what they wanted. According to THIS article:

“A Gallup poll from January 1939 asked if Americans would support bringing even 10,000 German refugee children into the country, public opinion ran 2:1 against.”

The article continues:

“The wife of the US’ immigration commissioner (who also happened to be a cousin of President Roosevelt) testified that “20,000 charming children would all too soon grow into 20,000 ugly adults.””[16]

If you take FDR in context, if you take a clear look at how the US built itself up on the back of black slavery and Indian genocide, and how white supremacists with guns and pseudo-science about ‘racial purity’ were always a defining characteristic of the country, FDR’s behavior becomes far more understandable:

He was reflecting the will of the people he governed.

 

Was FDR, personally, an anti-semite?

Probably, yes. In 2018 new documents[17] were revealed to the public from the FDR Library which revealed Roosevelt’s plans to “spread thing all over the world” the remnants of Europe’s Jews. ‘Project M’ was begun in 1942, when there was no longer any doubt about the mass murder of Jews going on in Europe. At that time, FDR asked his closest advisors to put together options for where to dump all the Jews who might still manage to survive the war – because he certainly didn’t want them crowding into America.

Roosevelt turned to one Aleš Hrdlička, the curator of physical anthropology at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and a rabid eugenicist and white supremacist in the best ‘pseudo-scientific’ Darwin style, to investigate the options.

In their correspondence, Roosevelt suggested:

“that while most South American countries would be glad to admit Jewish immigration, it was on the condition that the Jewish group were not localized in the cities, they want no ‘Jewish colonies,’ ‘Italian colonies,’ etc.”

When things didn’t progress with Hrdlička – who wanted the last say on the final contours of the project – Roosevelt next turned to Isaiah Bowman, then president of Johns Hopkins University. Bowman had fired a number of Jewish professors at Johns Hopkins, because:

“There are already too many Jews at Hopkins.”

On another occasion, Bowman opined that:

“Jews don’t come to Hopkins to make the world better or anything like that. They came for two things: to make money and to marry non-Jewish women.”

Bowman tried to ‘solve’ his own Jewish problem by placing quotas on Jewish students, particularly in the fields of maths and science. Roosevelt clearly felt he was just the man for the job, writing to him:

“Frankly, what I am rather looking for is the possibility of uninhabited or sparsely inhabited good agricultural lands to which Jewish colonies might be sent.” When he described the M Project to Winston Churchill, Roosevelt explained that it was looking at: “the problem of working out the best way to settle the Jewish question,” and that he believed the solution “essentially is to spread the Jews thin all over the world.”[18]

So FDR probably was an anti-semite and a white supremacist – but so were so many other ‘good Americans’ of that time.

For example, American Poet Ezra Pound was considered to be one of the most original writers and “master critics” of the 20th century in America:

the writer most responsible for making modernism in literature part of our lives.”[19]

That didn’t stop Pound from taking to the airwaves twice a week for Italian Fascist Radio, where he shared gems like these:

“That any Jew in the White House should send American kids to die for the private interests for the scum of the English earth… and the dregs of the Levantine [a term used to describe the Middle East].” – February, 26, 1942.

And this:

“Don’t start a pogrom – an old-style killing of small Jews. That system is no good whatever. Of course, if some man had a stroke of genius, and could start a pogrom up at the top, there might be something to say for it. But on the whole, legal measures are preferable.” – April 30th, 1942.

Which brings us to the core conclusions of this post.

There is so much more to say about ingrained American white supremacism, racism and anti-Semitism. There is so much more to say about a country which made its own ‘pursuit of happiness’ – and economic benefit – the main criteria for its actions both at home and abroad.

American white supremacism

But here are the takeaway points:

  • The United States of America was built on the creed of ‘white supremacy’ and ‘manifest destiny’. And it’s impossible to totally eradicate those ideas from the American psyche, especially as the brutal roots of modern America are still being largely whitewashed and romanticized.
  •  The United States has a very long history of preaching about human freedom, civil rights and equality – but its unpleasant actions have always belied it’s saintly-sounding rhetoric.
  • Hitler and the Nazis were inspired by America’s racial laws and ‘progress’ in the field of applying the Darwin-inspired, pseudo-scientific principles of eugenics in real time. Nazi lawyers studied American laws in great detail, to help them formulate the Nuremburg laws that would turn Jews into dehumanized second-class citizens.
  • FDR and ‘Middle America’ didn’t do more to stop the destruction of Europe’s Jews, and to let more Jews into America because they didn’t want to. Remember, barely two decades before President Calvin Coolidge wrote a piece where he stressed that America could only take in immigrants who were: “characterized by a capacity for assimilation.”
  • After the Nazis lost World War II, eugenics became discredited, and America (and the rest of the West…) rushed to ‘whitewash’ its historical attachment to ‘white supremacy’ and the American belief that God had given it permission to crush other ‘races’ to extinction. Post World War II, that sounded far too ‘Third Reich-y’, so American politicians like John Foster Dulles turned to the ‘Commie Threat’ to explain why America had to keep toppling democratically-elected governments all over the world that were trying to protest American control and exploitation of their natural resources.
  • ‘White supremacy’ in the United States is not an aberration, it’s woven into the very fabric of the country – and it’s not going away any time soon. All the people who are blaming Trump for ‘causing’ a surge in neo-nazi behavior, anti-Semitism and white supremacist activity in the US kind of have things backwards. Half the country (at least…) hold those beliefs, and they elected someone who they felt better represented them.

——————————————————

Do I think Trump is an anti-semite?

On balance, no I don’t. (But I could be wrong.) Trump is a business man who understands that America was ‘made great’ on the back of policies that put the white people in America first, at everyone else’s expense, and he’s trying to turn back the clock.

One thing I can tell you for sure: If it serves America’s economic interest to throw Israel under a bus, he will do it in a heartbeat – but it won’t be anything personal. Just money is the main motivation for people like Trump, and many others like him.

American white supremacism

What does all this mean for America’s Jews?

I’ll expand on that, God willing, in another post, but you can sum the situation up like this:

America is home to millions of ‘entitled’ white supremacists who generally dislike Jews, and who have free access to semi-automatic weapons.

And that’s not going to change anytime soon. The main reason anti-Semitism has stayed so minimal in the USA until recent times is because post World War II, the Nazis gave white supremacy a bad name. Also, the American economy was booming over the last 50 years, so fewer Americans felt aggrieved about ‘immigrants’ stealing their jobs and their wealth.

Things have changed now.

American debt is at catastrophic levels and even a good business man like Trump can’t really turn the tanker around and ‘make America great again’ because internationally, America is no longer in a position to impose its economic will on other countries via its army and covert ‘regime change’ (although it’s still trying…)

At most, Trump just bought America some time.

So now, this is the scenario unfolding in America:

On the one side, all the white supremacists with AR-15 semi-automatic rifles and a very long history of using guns and violence to try to solve their social and economic problems.

On the other side, a growing tide of ‘anti God’ and ‘anti-organized religion’ liberals who are trying to totally trash the family unit and any concept of traditional morality. There’s also a growing number of immigrants who want a piece of the American economic pie, some of whom are Muslim and some of whom (not necessarily the Muslims) are also anti-Semitic and / or anti-white.

And American Jews are in the middle of all this mess.

Historically, the trigger that causes the opposing forces in American society to clash violently is the economy. For as long as the money keeps flowing Stateside, they will be able to keep a lid on the white supremacists agitating that ‘immigrants’ have stolen their jobs. But if the economic situation starts to radically deteriorate – as it so easily could! – then it’s going to get very dangerous for Jews in America.

There are people on both sides of the divide that will try to use the Jews as the scapegoat for the problem.

The white supremacists will target the ‘liberal’ Jews in the US who they say control the media and the economy. And the ‘liberals’ and anti-semites in the other camp will target American support for Israel as being the main problem.

There’s more to say, there’s always more to say. But I wanted to set out something of a ‘potted history’ of white supremacy in the US so that more of the Jews living there understand what they are really dealing with, and that it’s not going away any time soon.

Poway and Pittsburgh could really only be the beginning of a culture clash that could leave American Jews reeling, whichever way it goes.

You don’t need an anti-Semitic president, or an anti-Semitic Congress or Senate, for violent anti-Semitism to become a huge problem in the US, lo alenu, God forbid. God doesn’t do the same thing twice, there will be no new ‘elected’ Hitler arriving on the scene.

There doesn’t need to be. There are already millions of white supremacists with guns in America.

And there is nothing anyone can do to disarm them, or make them go away.

American white supremacism

NOTES:

 

[1] https://www.britannica.com/topic/Declaration-of-Independence

[2] http://www.mrheintz.com/how-many-signers-of-the-declaration-of-independence-owned-slaves.html

[3] While it is difficult to determine exactly how many Natives lived in North America before Columbus,[6] estimates range from a low of 2.1 million[7] to 7 million[8] people to a high of 18 million.[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_history_of_indigenous_peoples_of_the_Americas

[4] https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/7302

[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1900_United_States_Census

[6] https://www.history.com/topics/westward-expansion/manifest-destiny

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_history_of_the_United_States

[8] https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/civil-war-facts

[9] https://fusiontables.google.com/DataSource?dsrcid=225439#rows:id=1

[10] https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1921/10/27/98760670.pdf

[11] http://hearth.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=hearth;rgn=full%20text;idno=6417403_1366_002;view=image;seq=15

[12] https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/grant-kkk/

 

[13] https://gizmodo.com/how-american-nazis-used-summer-camps-to-indoctrinate-th-1743267747

 

[14] Ibid.

[15] https://exhibitions.ushmm.org/americans-and-the-holocaust/main/us-fear-of-spies

[16] https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/27/14412082/refugees-history-holocaust

 

[17] http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/_resources/images/psf/psfc0232.pdf

[18] https://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/FDR-wanted-Jews-spread-thin-and-kept-out-of-US-documents-reveal-553336

 

[19] Page 31, ‘New York Jew’, by Alfred Kazin, published 1978