Geula (or some spell it ‘Geulah’) is the Jewish term for the spiritual redemption of the Jewish people, which will occur at the end of days.

Here, we take a look at:

  • Geula and Geulah
  • Geulah Meaning
  • Geula Blog
  • Geula Definition
  • Geula Moshiach
  • Geula News
  • Meaning of Geula

Rabbi Berland said they would attack us on Tuesday. He was right.

For the last couple of weeks, Rabbi Berland has made some very clear and specific statements that there was another ‘decree of shmad’, or decree of destruction, hanging over the Jewish people.

Last week, he publically said:

“Now, we are declaring a fast, because the situation is awful. The situation is already lost, because America has already abandoned the Middle East. They abandoned Syria. On Tuesday next week [i.e. November 13, 2019], they are already going to launch a nuke.

Because every day, they are launching rockets at Sderot and Ashkelon. Everything will already be hefker (ownerless).

Rockets already fell on Ashdod, but no rocket fell in the chareidi areas. But, we will already be completely hefker….

The son of Eitan Cohen was killed close to Bet El. So, we’ve organized fasts for Monday, Thursday and Monday.”

This has been up on the ravberland.com site for a few days already, you can see it for yourself HERE.

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But that’s not all.

For literally months, the Rav has been saying that a war will break out in Cheshvan.

You can see a few examples of him saying that HERE, HERE and HERE.

There has been quite a debate going on amongst the English speakers who follow the ravberland.com site, because the Rav also said that the holocaust that was meant to happen every 70 years had been postponed for 200 years.

People got confusedif the holocaust has been postponed for 200 years, then does that still mean a war in Cheshvan?

The answer, today, is clearly yes  – but it’s all being sweetened.

Who knows how bad things still might get, a war is a war, after all, but Israel’s ‘wars’ are so very different from the wars that happen anywhere else in the world.

The rockets continually miss their targets.

The rockets continually fail to explode, even if they hit their targets.

The rockets continually fall into empty car parks, and building lots and parks and fields.

The rockets continually fail to cause any major or numerous injuries – although in the last round, there were still a handful of people killed in Ashdod, which shocked the whole country precisely because we’re so used to massive open miracles.

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Two weeks ago, Channel 13 ran a fake news ‘expose’ against the Rav. Last week, a fake news complaint was filed against the Rav for ‘manslaughter’. The public disgrace and persecution is starting up again – right on time!

Exactly as the Rav predicted would need to happen, many, many months ago, in order to sweeten all the harsh decrees he could see coming down the pipe.

At this stage, who can’t see this?

At this stage, who can really still be so brazen and arrogant to deny that the Rav:

  • Clearly and obviously has ruach hakodesh.
  • Is working overtime to sweeten the judgments and the ‘holocaust’ that otherwise would occur, God forbid.
  • Is ONLY experiencing all this public opposition and slander because that’s what he’s agreed to undertake, in order to rescue the Jewish people from these harsh decrees?

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Last week, Rabbi Berland also put out a separate message where he told the kehilla to take on learning 5 chapters of Rambam, and 8 pages of Gemara a day, to conclude by Succot of 5781.

The Rav said:

“We must study five chapters of Rambam, and eight pages of Gemara, because there is going to be a terrible holocaustand whoever holds by this holy learning schedule will be saved.

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So, there are a few options for how you can help the Rav help the Jewish people to stave off disaster, God forbid:

  • Make a commitment to never say, read or believe a negative word about Rabbi Berland again. And especially not the fake news from the anti-Torah media and police in Israel.
  • Start doing some hafatzah to let more people know about the Rav’s writings, and his teachings. Because getting close to the Tzaddik HaDor is the only way to get through the next few months without going totally bonkers. There’s a bunch of books out in English now, there’s a bunch of prayers, you can send them to the ravberland.com site and let them see with their own eyes how what is going on now has all been specifically foreseen.
  • Join in the fast the Rav called for last week, Monday-Thursday-Monday. Even if you only fast a little bit, every intention for the good carries tremendous weight. Yesterday, I could only manage to fast to midday, but I still tried, and that’s what is important.
  • Join the learning schedule, to complete the Rambam and Shas by next Succot 5781.

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In case you haven’t noticed, there is a war going on.

The rockets are just a reflection of the real war, the war against God and His Torah, that the State of Israel has been waging even before it was officially the State of Israel.

Months ago, Rabbi Berland also stated that Gantz and Lieberman would be happy to form a government with the ‘anti-Israel’ Arab Joint List, despite all their protests that they would never do that…

Guess what?

That appears to be what’s going on right now.

All these people care about is gaining power and keeping control, and trying to smash every last bit of Torah observance in the State of Israel.

Recently, they approved public transportation to operate on Shabbat in Tel Aviv.

Today, the schools and non-essential work have been shut down in Gush Dan, because the rockets are reaching Holon, and explosions are being heard in Tel Aviv. The trains are grinding to a halt – on a Tuesday.

Can you see how this is working?

BH, the Rav will sweeten all this, but he needs our help. He needs our prayers, he needs our support, he needs us to counter the fake news about him with all our might, hard as that is, because that brings us face-to-face with all the psychos out there, religious and otherwise, who can’t stand the Rav.

But that is the test.

And I hope more of us will start to pass it.

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What does it really mean to ‘go to yourself’?

This week, we’re reading Parsha Lech Lecha, where Avraham Avinu is given a clear steer by Hashem that he needs to leave his birth place, his family, his status and go to some unknown destination.

We know that the deeds of the forefathers are a ‘sign’ or message for their descendants, and that each of us will have to face some form of lech lecha in the service of Hashem. What do you think that would look like, for us today?

I was pondering this after my piece on Who is Armilus? over on the RavBerland.com site attracted some comments that caused me to raise an eyebrow.

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Apparently, few sacred cows are as sacred as Donald Trump…. Again, I’m not political in the least, and I really couldn’t give a monkeys who sits in the White House, or what party they belong to.

The political system everywhere in the world is an illusion, a Greek-inspired fantasy world that keeps us all at each other throats arguing partisan politics while the real baddies continue to pull the strings from behind the scenesAt this point, it seems sensible to assume that:

All politicians are bad, and are serving a system that is bad.

Are some better than others? Maybe. Who knows? Who really cares? It’s a shade of grey that only distracts from the underlying clarity that the political system is a fantasy that’s used to manipulate and confuse people into believing that they have some choice, or some say, in how the planet is really being run.

Really? We don’t.

And personally, I’m so weary of all these pointless discussions about impeachment, and Democrats vs Republicans, and Brexit yes or no, and Lieberman and Blue and White, and all the rest of it.

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All of this stuff is just keeping us away from the tachlis, the main point, the purpose of life:

To get closer to Hashem, and work on our own bad middot.

All this other stuff is just a pointless distraction. Partisan politics replaced religion as the ‘opium of the masses’, and it’s so frustrating to see how many people are literally wasting their time, their lives, on something that is 100% fantasy.

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The facts are these:

The US is interested in one thing, and one thing alone: it’s economy.

The US is using its army for one thing, and one thing alone: threatening and taking over third world countries so it can asset-strip them of their valuable natural resources, especially oil and natural gas.

The US ‘recognised’ the Golan Heights as belonging to Israel for one reason, and one reason alone:

There is a massive oil field there, that the Israeli mafia who run the country, together with the corrupt billionaires who are pulling the strings in the US and the UK have already divvied-up between them.

US company Genie was granted the contract to start exploring for oil in the Golan in 2013 – conveniently 18 months after Syria’s civil war began. The following information on Genie comes from the petroleum-economist site:

Genie was founded by Howard Jonas, who also founded the telecoms company, IDT. Jonas tried to emigrate to Israel in 2005 but found it impossible to manage his business from there. IDT is one of the largest private employers in Jerusalem, which Jonas has called the “centre of the world”.

Genies’ advisory board includes Rupert Murdoch, Dick Cheney and Jacob Rothschild.

The chairman of Genie’s Israeli subsidiary is Effie Eitam, a former leader of the Israeli National Religious Party, which represents Israeli settlers, and former minister for infrastructure. Eitam fought in the Golan and lives in one of its settlements.

Uzi Landau, the minister of infrastructure until last month, who granted the licence to explore for oil to Genie was a cabinet colleague of Eitam in at least two Israeli governments.

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Are you starting to see how all this works?

What’s amazing to me is that no-one is talking about what went on with the obvious corruption and croney-ism that’s behind this Genie / Golan Heights deal.

(Read THIS for more. I’m not sure how far down that rabbit hole I want to venture, at this point, and let me also point out that while this author is making some very interesting connections, clearly not everything he’s saying is true.)

But make no mistake, that any profit from these natural resources that should be going to you and me, the citizens of Israel, and to building the country, has already been slated to inflate the bank accounts and power-bases of the tiny handful of ‘elites’ who already own everything else in the world.

Trump good, Trump bad – who cares?

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Jews all over the world have a duty to stop lying to ourselves about what is really going on in the world.

The truth is, the Muslim regimes that the US and the West are trying to overthrow actually have far more in common with authentic Judaism than the ‘enlightened’ forces battling them. Of course, I’m not condoning ISIS violence, or Sharia law, or chopping people heads and hands off, God forbid, anything but.

God forbid, I’m not condoning the Iranian nuke, or it’s aggression against Israel.

But let’s take the blinders off, and ask ourselves a serious question, for a moment:

If we are really honest about what the US has done and is doing in the world, in the name of ‘democracy’ and ‘justice’, we will find that the US has wrecked and pillaged one country after another, both overtly and covertly, to service its insatiable greed.

(Let’s be clear that the European colonialists were doing all this before them, just the US has taken over where the Brits, French, Dutch and Belgians apparently stopped.)

The CIA, the NSA, MI6 and some of the other spook agencies have deliberately destabilized one country after another politically, so they could install a ‘puppet regime’ who would be very happy to let the Americans asset-strip the country. American companies get the fat contracts to ‘exploit’ the resources, and the American government sets the ‘fair’ price they are willing to pay for them.

And who loses out?

The poor citizens of these countries.

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I’m pointing this out because unless there is some massive, sincere teshuva unleashed in the US and the West, and particularly in the Jewish communities there, sooner or later God is going to pull the rug out from the USA’s feet.

The earth is already shaking, although the media is studiously ignoring all the signs that the seismic pressure is alarming, and pointing to the distinct possibility that the North American landscape may soon be about to change in a whole bunch of ways.

And I’m not talking about politics.

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Iran hates America, because the US overthrew its democratically-elected government back in the 1950s, to install their corrupt puppet, the Shah. The Shah oppressed his people ruthlessly – but sold oil to the Americans for a knock-down price. So he was painted as the good guy!!!

And the same thing has happened all over Latin America and Africa, too.

The world is in the awful mess it is in today, with billions of people stuck in a permanent ‘Third World’, because the US and NATO and the CIA went in time and time again to overthrow a democratic government that was inimical to Western economic interests, to replace it with a brutal, corrupt dictatorship that let the Americans and Europeans asset-strip to their hearts’ content.

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So what does all this have to do with lech lecha, and the Jews?

Rebbe Nachman teaches that each of the 70 nations of the world has a particular evil ‘trait’ that the Jews who live in that nation will have to overcome, in order to rectify it.

It’s as clear as daylight that the main evil trait of the USA is a lust for money.

It’s as clear as daylight, that the US has totally wrecked and corrupted half the world in their blind pursuit of oil, gas, and economic abundance.

It’s as clear as daylight, that the lust for money is also the main reason why more of America’s orthodox Jews aren’t moving to Israel – and why so many Jews in the US abandoned their yiddishkeit and assimilated in the first place.

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This week, God is giving us a prod in the back, and He’s telling us:

Lech Lecha!

Leave all that materialism, all that phoney talk about ‘justice and democracy’, all those lies about America being the world’s ‘good guy’, all that Greek fantasy about politics mattering an iota – and get real.

Get real.

Understand that the Jews who are living in America – and of course everywhere else in the world – have an awful lot of teshuva to make.

Enough with the pretend perfect.

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All God really requires of us, is for us to be honest about what the problems really are, and to ask for His help to overcome them.

But for as long as we’re pretending that the USA is ‘justice’ embodied, and for as long as we’re pretending that all the awful, bad, disgusting things that we ourselves do to other people are ‘justified’, we are a million miles away from really doing Lech Lecha, and leaving the bad behind to return to Hashem.

But maybe, just maybe, 5780 is the year to finally face that truth down.

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The New Madrid Seismic Zone in the US is being hit by quakes.

If you don’t know what the New Madrid Seismic Zone is, or why that’s such a big deal, read this.

To give you a potted history, back in 1811, New Madrid in the USA was hit with a number of quakes that totally destroyed a massive part of the Mid-USA.

The quakes started on December 16, 1811, with a quake that registered 8.1 on the Richter scale and continued throughout March of 1812.

Over that 4-month period, there were up to 10,000 quakes in the New Madrid area itself close to where the Ohio and Mississippi rivers meet, including an enormous quake on February 7, 1812, that was estimated to be as much as 8.8 on the Richter scale.[1]

After that earth-shaking strike which wrenched the land 15 miles south of New Madrid, a new lake was created, an American Indian village was destroyed by flooding, thousands of acres of forest were destroyed almost instantly, and a number of boatmen on the river reported that the Mississippi River started running backward for many hours.

Crew and passengers aboard the Mississippi’s first ever steamboat recorded how some of the islands in the Mississippi literally sank overnight.

If that wasn’t catastrophic enough, a number of crevices also began to open up in the ground around New Madrid as the terra firma continued to spasm, and some were up to 5 miles long. There were many reports of people who went missing at this time, presumed to have fallen into a fissure and been swallowed up by the earth.

There were also reports of the earth receding to a depth of 5 meters in some places.

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Meanwhile, water gushed out of ruptures and craterlets, literally creating huge new lakes overnight like Lake Saint Francis in eastern Arkansas, which measures some 64 kilometers long by 1 kilometer wide.

The earthquakes also caused a number of sand boils, or sand volcanoes to form around New Madrid, including one that measured 1.4 miles long and 136 acres across that was dubbed ”the Beach” by locals.[2] And small golf ball-size tar spheres of solidified petroleum also appeared in the fissures and sand boils after the earthquakes.

All told, an area measuring between 78,000 and 129,000 square kilometers was dramatically affected by land caving in or being uplifted, landslides, sand volcanoes, sinkholes, and rifts which completely changed the topography of the area overnight. Today, you can see what’s called the Lake County uplift, which towers 10 meters over parts of the Mississippi River Valley for about a 50-kilometer stretch.[3]

Modern geologists are keen to assure us that:

“Most of the uplift occurred during prehistoric earthquakes.”[4]

But at least part of this uplift, called the Tiptonville Dome, which measures 14 km wide and 11 km long was formed sometime between just 200 and 2000 years ago.[5] That is, mountains were formed in the American Midwest well within modern times.

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And now, the whole of the North American craton is moving, and the seismic pressure under the US is building to a crescendo again.

Smaller quakes have been hitting New Madrid and Missouri all through the summer, but now they are going up in frequency and intensity. On September 30, 2019, the New Madrid seismic zone was hit by 6 ‘medium’ earthquakes.

Now, according to DutchSinse, the quakes are on the rise across the whole of North America. And the fires that are connected to the underground methane gases rising up and igniting are still burning all over America’s West Coast. And so many of North America and Canada’s volcanoes are experiencing increased seismic activity.

And there’s a new, bigger, swarm of earthquakes going on in the New Madrid Zone.

You can take a look for yourself, here:

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Dutchsinse is calling for new 6.0+ earthquakes to strike over the next week.

This is a forecast, not a prediction, and like all forecasts, it’s not 100% accurate. Dutchsinse is right around 70% of the time, so this shouldn’t be ignored out of hand. Hashem is trying to get our attention.

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I’m having some interesting conversations over email around the last post. One reader suggested that maybe this could be a carry-on from the ‘Geula Gatherings‘ of last year, that kind of crashed and burned and left a lot of people who’d participated feeling very empty and despairing, when after all that effort, nothing really happened.

Or at least, that’s how it looked from the outside. From the inside, from the soul-side, who knows what was really being accomplished? But one thing is clear:

IF WE REALLY WANT GEULA TO COME, WE HAVE TO START DOING THE REAL WORK OF BRINGING IT.

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As you know, I’m a Breslover (trying to be…) The Breslov path set out by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov teaches that while we can’t do anything without being connected to the True Tzaddik, he can’t do anything without our effort and prayers either. Breslov is not xtianity; we can’t just sit back and get ‘saved’ by our leader. We need to be active participants in the geula process, but following the lead of the True Tzaddik.

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HERE’S SOME SOURCES, ON WHY WE NEED TO BE CONNECTED TO THE TRUE TZADDIK:

(You can find more Breslov sources on this topic HERE.)

Everyone must intend, when praying, to bind himself to the Generation’s Tzaddikim, because only
they know how to elevate each and every prayer to its destined place. (Likutey Etzot, Tzaddik 1)

By attaching to the Tzaddikim and following their advice, one becomes engraved with Truth and
merits to attain Faith and Prayer, the Land of Israel, and Miracles. And through this will come the
Redemption. (Etzot, Tz. 9)

Before one draws near to the Tzaddik, he is categorized as ‘fat-hearted’, meaning that his heart is sealed, his ears are shut, and his eyes are blind to the Truth, and he is unable to arouse himself to repentance. When he attaches himself to the Tzaddikim, however, and accepts their advice, then his heart, eyes, and ears are opened, and he understands the Truth and merits Repentance. (Etzot, Tz. 10)

There are souls that are so corrupt that, even after they come to the True Tzaddikim, they remain immersed in all their desires and are unable to move away from profanity towards holiness by even a hairsbreadth. It is surely impossible to elevate and renew souls like these, to make them born again. Yet there is a Tzaddik who is so wondrously and awesomely great that he is able to elevate even these blemished souls through rebirth, thereby renewing them for the good.

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Drawing close to the ‘True Tzaddikim’ is the beginning of redemption – but it’s not where it ends.

Back in January 1987, the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, z’tl was recorded as saying this:

“My father-in-law [Rabbi Yosef Yitzhak Schneersohn], the Rebbe, gave us a mission: “Stand ready to greet Moshiach.” “Everything is already prepared, all that remains is to ‘polish the buttons.'”

The analogy of “polishing the buttons” is a precise one. In the overall picture, buttons are quite minor; they merely serve to fasten a garment onto the person. Spiritually speaking, “to polish the buttons” means that the Jewish People themselves, their “garments” and even their “buttons” are ready for the Redemption. They need to merely be “polished” in order for Moshiach to come.

In practical terms: Every Jew must do their part in this mission by enhancing their Torah study, observance of Mitzvos, and prayer. All those who work to earn a livelihood, should set aside a time during every work day for Torah study. They certainly want to run their businesses according to Torah guidelines, and fixed times for Torah study are a way to assure that a Jewish business runs according to Torah.”

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While there is a lot of similarity between the Chabad path to geula and the Breslov path, there are also some crucial differences.

Where Chabad is putting the focus on: “enhancing their Torah study, observance of Mitzvos, and prayer” – which is wonderful and a very important part of the equation, Breslov takes all that and adds a crucial element:

Work on your bad middot!!!!!

Fix your bad character traits!!!!

Because working to overcome our anger, our jealousy, our hatred, our depression, our fear, our despair, our harsh judgment of other people, is what the geula and Moshiach really depends on.

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To put this into other words, Rebbe Nachman is telling us: You can’t do anything without me, without the True Tzaddik, but guess what? I also can’t do anything without you!!

There is one reason, and one reason only, why Moshiach hasn’t shown up yet, and why the geula process is stuck. It’s because we aren’t working on our bad middot. 

And that’s the WHOLE REASON WE’RE DOWN HERE.

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Life is not meant to be easy.

Geula isn’t meant to be a passive activity where we just sit on the sidelines ‘polishing buttons’, while we leave all the heavy lifting to the true Tzaddik of the generation. There is a lot of work to do! So many of us – even the ‘frummest of the frum’ people out there – are full of anger, arrogance, jealousy, greed and hatred.

So many of us are living superficial, phony lives where the body is totally in the driving seat, and the soul is left far, far behind. Just doing one more mitzva is not going to fix that fundamental problem. Getting to grips with our bad middot, and finally uprooting the sinat chinam that we all still have, is what’s going to bring the geula.

And that is really hard work!

The hardest work!

But we need to be clear that THIS is what’s going to bring the geula the sweet way, and nothing else.

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The USA is being hit with increasingly powerful earthquakes. The political system is hanging by a thread in pretty much any country you care to mention. The lies are crumbling all over the place.

We really need Moshiach now, don’t we?

But we’re only going to get him, if we’re willing to do the work that God put us down here to do.

And that’s really the basis of the training I want to start doing. So If you’re still interested, please get in touch.

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FOOTNOTES:

[1] 2014 USGS National Seismic Hazard Map – https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/events/1811-1812newmadrid/summary.php

[2] http://www.new-madrid.mo.us/index.aspx?nid=132

[3] 2014 USGS National Seismic Hazard Map – https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/events/1811-1812newmadrid/summary.php

[4] Ibid.

[5]   http://www.new-madrid.mo.us/index.aspx?nid=132 – Abridged from Seismicity of the United States, 1568-1989 (Revised), by Carl W. Stover and Jerry L. Coffman, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1527, United States Government Printing Office, Washington: 1993; Johnston, A.C., and Schweig, E.S., 1996, The enigma of the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812: Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, v. 24, p. 339-384; doi: 10.1146/annurev.earth.24.1.339;Hough, S.E., 2009, Cataloging the 1811-1812 New Madrid, Central U.S., Earthquake Sequence, Seismological Research Letters V. 80, No. 6, p 1045-1053 /doi: 10.1785/gssrl.80.6.1045.

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Photo by Andrew Buchanan on Unsplash

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Rabbi Berland’s Aura is Captured on Film Again.

Shlomo, the YWN Bot with a tendency to repeat himself over and over and over again wanted ‘compelling evidence’ that Rabbi Berland is a tzaddik.

There’s no point arguing with Bots – they can’t process the information you try to give over, no matter how hard you try. So no, I won’t be putting any more of Shlomo’s comments up on here on the site, but in the meantime, let me pose the rhetorical question to that YWN Bot – and all the Channel 13, and Channel 2, and Ynet Bots that are out there too – How do you explain this video?!?!?

And don’t tell me that Shuvu Banim spent $5 million bucks putting this production together in some Hollywood shed.

Puhleeze.

Rabbi Berland is a huge Tzaddik. Full Stop.

And that’s why so many people are so against him. When you have kedusha like this on display, it’s bound to provoke a strong reaction.

Enjoy!

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UPDATE:

Someone just sent me that rarest of creatures, a positive, truthful article about Rabbi Berland that I didn’t write!

My goodness, Moshiach must be imminent.

You can see the article for yourself HERE, on the srugim website.

Hey.

I spoke too soon. Looks like they’ve already been leaned on to take it down.

UPDATE:

The RavBerland.com site is partially reprinting it in English. You can read it HERE.

Also, the husband puts his side of the story (in Hebrew) below. Poor man! Can you imagine losing your wife in such hard circumstances and then also having to deal with a psycho mother-in-law demonising you across the whole of National TV? This man is a saint.

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For years and years, I’ve been thinking that ‘Armilus’ was a Jew, the head of the Erev Rav.

But after re-reading the Midrash in Heichalos, I don’t think that anymore.

Go take a look at some of the sources I discuss on my post about Armilus over at ravberland.com, then read The Good Side of Edom, if you didn’t catch that already, then make up your own mind about what might be unfolding here.

What’s also giving me pause for thought is that the US has an approximate 200,000 soldiers currently in the Middle East – the exact number of soldiers brought in the Midrash. Here’s a headline from the New York Times about it:

Under President Trump, there are now more troops in the Middle East than when he took office, and he has continued the mission for tens of thousands of others far from the wars of 9/11.

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Since Trump took office, I’ve been that rarest of creatures, a Trump Neutral. I don’t have Trump Derangment Syndrome, I don’t think he’s a modern-day messiah, set to ‘drain the swamp’.

But as more and more of these authentic Jewish sources that could easily be describing him are starting to stack up, it’s looking to me more and more likely that Trump is not such a good guy after all.

What that means for the Jewish community in the US, I don’t know. What that means for Israel, I also don’t know.

I know the Rav is sweetening things all the time, and that part of the reason that everything is so confused and confusing right now is because the way all this stuff was ‘meant’ to play out, according to our sources, has got upended and sweetened by Rabbi Berland, in all sorts of different ways.

I don’t know any more than you do, what’s coming next.

But the sources are definitely very interesting. And now that this source has re-surfaced, which again is drawing quite a clear parallel between the description of ‘Armilus, King of Edom’, and so much of the breathless coverage of the ‘Edomite moshiach Trump’ – well, it’s certainly giving me a lot to think about.

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I have no idea where we all got the idea from that Armilus is the head of the Erev Rav, but from what I can see, it’s incorrect. Does anyone have a source they can share, for the idea that Armilus is head of the Erev Rav?

Or is this yet another example of ‘YouTube’ Torah leading us all astray?

TBC

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The media has been unusually quiet in their ongoing campaign against the Rav in recent months.

But that’s about to change. After two whole months of almost no negative stories about Rabbi Berland, Channel 13 has decided to do an ‘expose’ of the Rav doing pidyonot for people and advising them to avoid doctors.

What can we do?

Channel 13 clearly never read Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom, where the Rebbe warned his followers in the starkest terms:

“A physician may use many hazardous treatments and still be totally ignorant of their effect. It is not surprising that they often do more damage than good. Why depend on a natural cure when it is most likely to cause harm?…

“Doctors are agents of death and do little more. Happy is the man who avoids them and depends on God alone.”

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Channel 13 clearly also knows precisely zippy-dee-do-da about what a pidyon nefesh actually is, and what it actually does – and also why sometimes, it doesn’t work.

Rav Yaakov Selma goes through a lot of the sources from Likutey Moharan in Hebrew, below:

But in Lesson I:215 of Likutey Moharan, Rebbe Nachman tells us:

“Know: There are 24 types of pidyon nefesh, corresponding to 24 courts of justice. For each and every court, there is a unique corresponding pidyon nefesh to ameliorate its judgments. Therefore, a ransom is not always effective, since not everyone knows all 24 pidyon nefesh, and even if one does, he cannot perform them, and when one does not perform the specific ransom required by a specific court, it is not effective.

But know: there is a certain ransom that includes all the twenty-four courts of justice and is able to ameliorate [the judgments] of all the twenty-four courts….

“….Only one in a generation knows of it, and sometimes even when this tzaddik performs the ransom, it is ineffective. The reason for this is that this ransom is greatly desired Above, for such a ransom does not frequently come from below that is able to ameliorate all 24 courts simultaneously. Therefore, when this amelioration does come, it is used for other purposes, such as to make converts….[W]hen judgment and wrath are ameliorated, idolatry is ameliorated and people convert.”

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Of course, the secular journalists at Channel 13 who hate the Torah-observant world and everything it stands for aren’t fully conversant with Chassidic thought and Likutey Moharan, and they are also part of this huge, Godless conspiracy being pushed on us all that people are 100% in charge of their own health, and their own destiny.

If Channel 13 would do an expose of all the iatrogenic illnesses and deaths occurring in Israel’s hospitals, then we’d very quickly see who the real ‘killers’ are, who are freely walking around the country.

I’ve lost count of the number of people I know who have been killed or maimed by the treatment they received from doctors.

Like the woman who was talked into having a replacement knee, but wasn’t told she’d need pain-killing injections every month for the rest of her life… Like the woman who had her stomach cut out because of cancer, and then was bombarded with round after round of chemotherapy, only to die shortly afterwards in excrutiating agony from all the surgery and poison anyway… Like the man who went into hospital with an exploded gallbladder and who died on the operating table because the anesthetist misjudged what was going on, and the patient had a fatal heart attack as a result.

I could go on and on. And please, let’s not even get started on anti-depressants, or ‘gender re-assignment’ surgery, or all the weird stuff they are putting in vaccines (go and research MCR 5), and a million other things that are lauded as medical panaceas, but usually are anything but.

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Modern medicine is God-less, modern medicine is far more limited and clumsy than it likes to pretend, and often does far more damage than good, especially when it comes to chronic illnesses.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at this, for starters:

The third-leading cause of death in US most doctors don’t want you to know about

Let Channel 13 gird their loins and do an expose on all the horrendous medical malpractice happening in Israel (and everywhere else…). Like the doctor in Shaarei Chesed who I met over Shabbat lunch a decade ago, who boasted about going around quietly killing people that she’d decided were suffering ‘unnecessarily’.

Don’t hold your breath.

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But in the meantime, let’s return to the question of whether Rabbi Berland’s pidyons always work.

The answer, as provided by Rabbenu, is no. They don’t always work.

Why not?

Because God is still running the world, and sometimes, God decides to take the Rav’s pidyonot and to use them for a greater good, i.e. fighting the general forces of evil in the world and causing non-Jews to want to convert.

Who are we, to think we can fathom the mind of Hashem, the Creator of the world?

So then, does this mean that Rav Berland is doing pidyon nefesh under false pretences?

No.

The vast majority of time, what he says will happen actually occurs. Sometimes, you have to wait a while, often, the miracle is ‘hidden’ in some way, but sooner or later, it shows up.

And on the rare occasions when it doesn’t, of course that’s upsetting to the people involved, especially if they don’t have a lot of emunat tzaddikim, and are really only interested in using the Rav like a miracles-caspomat.

Of course, it requires a lot of emuna tzaddikim to navigate that situation and not come out as an ‘opponent’, who feels justified in dissing the Rav, God forbid. That’s part of how the birur process is working, especially for those who dress themselves up as ‘mega-frum’, at least externally.

At the end of the day, Rebbe Nachman clearly explains that there is no such thing as a pidyon that is 100% guaranteed to work, even when you do it with the One in a Generation who actually controls the 24 heavenly courts.

Why not?

Because God is still running the world, and people aren’t in control, and free choice has to be maintained.

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So, this expose will air Monday night in Israel, and when it does, the people who have weak-to-zero emunat tzaddikim; and the people who hate Torah and religious Jews; and the people who have a vested interest in ‘proving’ that they were right all along, when they were passing off slander and falsehood as self-righteous ‘troof’ all across Facebook will come out swinging.

You know what?

Let them.

It’s all just part of the birur, or clarification process that precedes the coming of Moshiach.

You want to believe Channel 13 over Rebbe Nachman?

Go right ahead.

There’s a special place in gehinnom that’s been set up especially for all these anti-Torah journalists who spend months, years and decades putting so much effort into trying to make Rabbis look bad.

I have no problem with honest journalism.

Like I said, some people don’t see obvious results from doing a pidyon nefesh with the Rav, for the reasons explained above. So sure, cover that angle – but then balance it out by interviewing some of the hundreds and even thousands of people who have mamash seen open miracles from doing a pidyon nefesh with the Rav.

That’s responsible journalism. That’s ethical reporting. That’s enabling people to make up their own minds about something, and not just trying to push your anti-Torah brainwashing agenda down people’s throats.

That is not at all what you’re going to get on Monday night from Channel 13.

But it’s not all their fault. People don’t buy into their brainwashing agenda because it’s particularly convincing or well-reasoned, but because they have their own vested interest in making Rabbi Berland ‘wrong’, and themselves right.

And you know what? Let them.

At this stage, I can’t be bothered fighting or arguing with them, because the faster all the yucky people get birured properly, the sooner we’ll get to the geula.

====

Last week, one of my extended family members asked me to enquire about doing a pidyon with Rav Berland for someone they know who doesn’t really believe in God, or the tzaddikim, but who is rich and extremely desperate for something to change.

The message I got back was ‘no pidyon’.

If Rabbi Berland was really doing pidyonot just for the money, chas v’shalom, how do we explain this?

I know others, too, that simply didn’t have the merit to be able to do a pidyon nefesh with Rav Berland. God stops them by filling their heads full of doubts, or filling their mouths full of slander, or doesn’t even let them get to the point of being told a sum of money to pay.

Every time a person gets the chance to do a pidyon with the Rav, it’s a huge merit, a massive spiritual gift.

I haven’t seen the fruits of all my pidyonot yet, honestly, but I would say that 4/5 of the ones I’ve done have worked tremendously.

And as for the rest?

I accept that either their time hasn’t come yet, and / or they are being put to a higher use, right now, to fight evil in the world.

And judging by Channel 13’s output, there’s still a way to go before it’s totally defeated.

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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Is the United States of America really the ‘good’ side of Edom?

After going into Yom Kippur in Israel with newspapers blaring headlines that Trump had given permission to Turkey to ‘invade’ Syria (!), I thought it was timely to try to track down what the Gemara says about the ‘good side’ of Edom.

I know there’s an idea being floated around that America is somehow the ‘good’ side of Edom, and that Trump is somehow akin to the Roman Emperor Antoninus, who had a very close relationship with Rebbe Yehuda HaNasi around 1800 years ago.

As things continue to get more and more ‘interesting’ in the international arena, I thought it was time to actually track down the sources in the Gemara that talk about Antoninus, most of which I found in Avoda Zara 10a and b. We can learn a lot from seeing what the Sages actually said about ‘Edom’ and its rulers, and how that maps on to modern-day America, and its rulers.

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The discussion begins in 10a, where the Sages are discussing idolatrous holidays and festivals.

They start talking about something called the ‘Ginusya day of their emperors’, and Rav Yehuda explains:

This is the day on which idolaters inaugurate their emperor.

The Gemara then asks:

But do [the Romans] appoint the son of a king as a king?

The Artscroll notes then state:

“The Emperors of Rome did not reign by hereditary right, but were selected by the previous ruler, or by the Senate.”

Does this sound familiar?

The Gemara then goes on to quote a verse from the prophecy of Ovadiah – which is very interesting in its own right, not least because of the following quotes from it:

“Even if you raise [your nest] like an eagle of if you place your nest amongst the stars, I will bring you down from there…..

“[T]he house of Yaakov will inherit those who had dispossessed them. The house of Yaakov will be fire, the house of Yosef a flame, and the house of Esav for straw. And they will ignite them and devour them. There will be no survivor to the house of Esav, for Hashem has spoken.”

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The allusions to Edom being America seem obvious. The bald-headed eagle is the American emblem – and appears on the logo of the CIA, amongst other things – and ‘the stars’ are also prominently linked to the USA, in just about every sense of the word, beginning with their flag, moving through the space exploration program, and ending with Hollywood.

Let’s continue.

American white supremacism

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Rashi explains in his commentary on Genesis 36:43 that Edom is the ‘ancestor’ of Rome.

The Gemara continues to explains that Rome is ‘inferior among nations’ (quoting Ovadiah) because they:

“Do not appoint the son of a king as king.”

Clearly, the Sages aren’t impressed with the idea of ‘democracy’. The Gemara continues that Edom / Rome is “very despised”:

“Because they do not have their own writings or language.”

These descriptions also ‘fits’ the USA perfectly.

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The Gemara now introduces us to the Roman Emperor Antoninus, who had a close relationship with Rebbi, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi. The discussion begins with how the Roman Authorities – aka the Senate – are ‘persecuting’ Antoninus, and how Rebbe advises him to kill them off one at a time, and “to not contend with all of them at once.”

Rebbe is scared to state this openly, because he’s wary of being bugged. The Gemara says:

“One can never be sure that a private conversation will remain secret.”

Admittedly, this does sound a little Trump-like. Let’s continue. The Gemara next explains about how Antoninus has a daughter who is acting in a way that could cause her father to become embroiled in a public scandal, and again Rebbe advises him on what to do with her.

Next, the Gemara describes how Antoninus is secretly sending Rebbi sacks full of crushed gold disguised as wheat, so that Rebbi will have money to pay the greedy Romans who will come after Antoninus. Then, the scene switches to the secret visits Antoninus would make to Rebbe’s house, where he’d kill the servants who accompanied him.

The Gemara says:

“Every day, he would wait upon Rebbi. He would serve him food and serve him drink. When Rebbi wished to climb onto his bed he would bend down before the bed and say [to Rebbi]: “Climb up on me to your bed.”

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Before we get into the next, really interesting part, I feel the urge to state the obvious, namely that Trump isn’t doing this for any Jewish sage, last I heard. He’s not sending Rabbi Berland sacks of gold, he’s not letting Rav Kanievsky use him as a footstool, he’s not asking the Biala Rebbe questions about how to keep Ivanka in line…

For sure, Trump has a problem with his ‘Deep State’ trying to take him out of action, same as Antontinus did, but without any of Antoninus’ corresponding personal piety. Let’s continue.

The Gemara now gets into a very interesting discussion that has reverberations for us, and our generation, and our confusion of how best to handle, and relate to ‘Edom’ / America. Antoninus asks Rebbi if he’s going to enter the World to Come, and Rebbi tells him yes. Antoninus then starts quoting the prophet Ovadiah at him, and says:

But it is written ‘and there will be no remnant to the house of Esav’, which implies that the descendants of Esav (Edomites / Romans) will not enter the World to Come. Rebbi responded: “That verse speaks only of one who acts in the manner of Esav.”

“This was also taught in a Baraisa: And there will be no remnant to the House of Esav. It could have been thought that this applies to all Edomites. To dispel this notion, [the Torah] states: To the House of Esav. By naming Esav, it teaches that only where the Edomite acts in the manner of Esav is he condemned; otherwise, he may enter the World to Come.”

All this is a direct quote from the Gemara.

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In the Artscroll notes it states:

“Edomites are barred from the World to Come only if they act like Esav (a barbarian who scorned God, committed murder and violated women.)….[A]ny gentile (even if he is not a ger toshav, who formally accepts the seven Noahide laws) has a portion in the World to Come, provided he does not emulate the barbaric Esav.”

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American white supremacism

Before we get into a discussion of whether the USA has a history of acting like the arch-hypocrite Esav, pretending to be good, pure and holy while actually rampaging around the world slaughtering anyone who stands in the way of its economic goals and other materialistic desires, let’s just return to the Gemara in Avoda Zara 10b.

Antoninus is still having difficulties believing Rebbi’s assertion that he will make it into the World to Come, and tells him:

But it is written: “There (in Gehinnom) is Edom, her kings and all her presidents.” Apparently, all the leaders of Edom are assigned to Gehinnom!

Rebbi replies that the verse isn’t talking about all Edom’s kings, just most of them; and that the verse states:

All her presidents, and not all her ministers.

The Artscroll notes explain:

“A president is a ruler of Rome who is not a king, but serves at the behest of the Senate (see Tosfos). A minister is a royal adviser (presumably a senator) – Raavad.”

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In other words, every single president of Edom / Rome / America is going to gehinnom, but here and there, there may be some Edomite royal heads of state, and also the odd Senator and Congressman who may actually escape the rampant moral corruption enough to make it into the World to Come.

The Gemara continues with more discussions about the relationship between Antoninus and Rebbe, and the Artscroll notes trace this back to the prophecy that Rebecca is told when she was carrying Esav (Edom) and Yaakov (Israel) back in Genesis, 25:23. I.e. the two babies are two nations, and when one is up, the other will be down.

“Two nations are in your womb…the elder shall serve the younger.”

The Artscroll notes then quote Rabbi Gedalyah Schorr, author of Or Gedalyah who explains that:

“Ideally, Yaakov-Israel and Esav-Edom were meant to enjoy a harmonious and complimentary partnership. Esav…was supposed to defeat evil, while Yaakov…was to promote good. Had Esav fulfilled his role, he would have been equal to Yaakov.”

This view is based on the midrash that states that six tribes should have descended from Esav and six from Yaakov, but this didn’t happen as Esav went bad, failed to live up to his spiritual job, and so Yaakov married Leah instead (who was Esav’s intended bride) and the whole course of Jewish history changed.

Again, Rav Schorr believes that the ‘perfect partnership’ between Edom and Israel did actually occur – uniquely – for one brief interlude in history, when Antoninus was (secretly…) subservient to Rebbe.

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From what I can tell, this passage in the midrash appears to be the basis of the idea that Trump is some sort of Edomite ‘good guy’, but there is absolutely no discussion here of any sort of ‘Edomite’ aspect of Moshiach and there is also a very large distinction made in these sources between EDOM and ESAV.

Parts of the former can make teshuva and get some share in the world to come. But Esav can’t. This is a very important distinction to make, if you’ve been reading articles like this.

Assuming Trump is a retread of Antoninus, the most that would mean is that he’s sneaking Rav Kanievsky sacks of gold and asking Rav Berland coded messages about what to do with Ivanka. Even Antoninus couldn’t and didn’t free Israel from Roman rule, nor give permission for the Jews to rebuild the temple.

And even making that equivalence between Trump and Antoninus seems to be stretching us past reality.  As we already mentioned, Trump is not sneaking billions to any Jewish sage, nor waiting hand and foot on any rabbi. If I’m wrong about this, please do let me know, as clearly that would change things.

Which bring is to the last part of this discussion, which is this:

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Is it realistic to assume that America is the ‘good’ part of Edom, and not actually the bad, unfixable, ‘Esav’ part of Edom?

And that’s where the conversation is going to get a little sticky, because once you move all the brainwashing about apple pie and Uncle Sam out the way, you’ll find that American history is just one, big list of atrocities, genocidal actions and wars. Sure, they were always dressed up as being ‘good’ and holy, but really, they boil down to America using its military might to bully the rest of the world into doing what suited it best, economically.

(Btw, the UK preceded the US, and is also totally corrupt and the ‘Esav’ part of Edom. Anglo Saxon culture also included the Nazis, who were clearly also really bad. However, we’re focusing on the US, because that’s who is still empire-building, and controlling the State of Israel, in 2019.)

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The United States committed the first ever genocide, when it brutally killed off millions of its native Americans over the course of a few decades, as I wrote about HERE.

For 250 years, it built its economy off the back of black slaves who were initially brought to America against their will, and then bred by their slave masters like so much chattel. No-one really knows how many blacks lost their lives amidst brutal conditions, worked to death by their pious, white American owners. No-one knows how many black women slaves were assaulted by their white masters. Blacks didn’t count as real people in America until well into the 1960s and the time of Martin Luther King Jr – and probably well beyond.

Then, we have all the European Jews that were barred from entering the US before and during World War II, even though Roosevelt knew they were being slaughtered by the millions. America held off from really joining the WW2 effort in Europe until the last possible minute, waiting for Stalin to have millions of his soldiers killed by the Nazis, and for the UK to be brought to its knees as an Imperial power.

And then, the US decides they are going to drop not just one nuclear bomb on Japan, but two. And not just on a smallish city of 10,000 people but on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where they killed almost a quarter of a million people, half of them in under a minute. This from Wikipedia:

Over the next two to four months, the acute effects of the atomic bombings killed between 90,000 and 146,000 people in Hiroshima and 39,000 and 80,000 people in Nagasaki; roughly half of the deaths in each city occurred on the first day.

This was totally cruel, totally murderous behavior. You want to try out your nuke? Pick a small target! Keep bombing in increments, until the Japanese gave up! Why bomb two such big cities like that, chik chak, with such terrible loss of life?

To this day, the United States of America is the only country to have actually used its nuclear weapons to destroy tens of thousands of people.

American white supremacism

Post WW2, the Dulles brothers and Eisenhower decided to secretly ship 1,600 hardcore Nazi scientists over to the US, as part of Operation Paperclip.

That Nazi science has morally corrupted the US in a million different ways, particularly in the realms of medicine,  biology and economics and industry, which most people still are blissfully unaware of. (Btw, I think that number is way too low. If you include intelligence assets that were ‘taken over’ by the CIA and the British, the number of former Nazis working for the West bounds into the thousands.)

The US has spent decades since WW2 rampaging around the world, starting wars whenever its economic interests are threatened, that have totally devastated whole countries and left tens of millions of people dead, homeless or totally impoverished and with nothing to look forward to.

Of course, American actions are always dressed up as ‘good’ and ‘holy’ and above reproach ‘, but really?

America is acting exactly like Esav.

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Is everyone in the US acting like Esav? No, clearly not. There are many good noahides / non-Jews in the US – and also in other parts of the Edomite Western world – and these people will be the parts of Edom who will make it to the World to Come, as described in the Gemara, above.

But America’s politicians? America’s presidents? America’s generals? America’s elites?

There is absolutely no basis in fact or Jewish sources for believing that these people are even close to being the ‘good’ part of Edom.

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What the sources do seem to clearly show, however is that the USA = Esav, mamash.

Right down to its ‘presidents’, senators, eagle emblem and stars and stripes flag. Here and there, there might be a good politician, but the Gemara is clear:

[A]ll the leaders of Edom are assigned to Gehinnom.

The LEADERS of Edom are all the politicians, heads of states and European royalty.

But America itself is obviously acting like ‘Esav’, pretending to be 100% kosher, but really just a pig.

And the sources are clear that:

[T]here will be no remnant to the House of Esav.

American white supremacism

Which is why I find statements like this to be extremely puzzling:

“When Esau is seen helping Israel, it is a sign Moshiach is right around the corner,” Rabbi Kessin said.

In explanation, Rabbi Kessin quoted the Bible concerning the prophesied fate of Jacob and Esau told to their mother, Rivka.

And Hashem answered her, “Two nations are in your womb, Two separate peoples shall issue from your body; One people shall be mightier than the other, And the older shall serve the younger.” Genesis 25:23

The rabbi noted an ambiguity in the Hebrew text that had vastly different import.

“Due to the absence of pronunciation markings, the wording of the Torah text can be read either as ‘va’ya’avod’, meaning he shall serve, or ‘va’ya’aved’,  he shall enslave,” the rabbi explained. “Esau will help Jacob by either serving him or by causing him to suffer since suffering is a way to bring God back into the world.”

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So, is Trump a possible reincarnation of Antoninus?

It’s possible, especially if you take into account Trump’s pronounced ‘anti war’ stances, but unlikely, especially if you look at recent tweets like this:

“President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world…and the Jewish people in Israel love him like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God… But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore.”

Does this sound like the kind of guy who’d be sending Rav Berland secret sacks of gold, or letting Rav Kanievsky use him as a footstool?….

If you look through the history books, there are other Roman leaders who sound far, far more like Trump than Antoninus Pius. And we’ll take a look at that side of things in the next post, BH.

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5780: Did we turn the corner?

I don’t know about you, but I could describe the last few months of 5779 as some form of: hanging on by my fingernails.

That’s how it felt – for months!

I don’t know why, it just seemed like so many things were kind of permanently stuck, permanently dragging, permanently pointless. It was hard to get out of bed… It was hard to stay focused once I’d managed that part… It was so hard to keep going, to keep doing stuff, to keep my house clean, to keep making food for Shabbat, to keep saying my morning brachot, to go out for a walk.

Everything was such an effort, such a drag.

We are in to the fourth day of 5780, and what I can tell you is this:

The energy of this year is totally different from what came before.

Even Rosh Hashana felt so different this year.

Usually, I hunker down on Rosh Hashana, and wait for the feeling of oppressive din, and panic, and yirah to dissipate a little, so I can come out of hiding and stop holding my breath. The last few years, Rosh Hashana has been mostly difficult, for a whole bunch of reasons.

This year, for the first time in I don’t know how long, I can say that I came close to actually enjoying Rosh Hashana.

Me and the girls were out for two meals, home for the others, and none of us were stressed and fighting. Nobody was moaning that my husband was in Uman. No-one was stressing that they didn’t have the right thing to wear, or that their hair looked horrible (I’d like you to believe that last statement is referring to my children….)

We didn’t feel lonely, we didn’t feel out of place, we didn’t feel lost in the world or lacking.

Even more amazingly, I managed to find a body of water that the Jerusalem municipality couldn’t turn off for Rosh Hashana, to prevent residents from chucking their challah into it at tashlich.

So for the first time in at least five years, me and my girls all managed to do tashlich, and to actually do it on Rosh Hashana itself.

I spoke to someone yesterday who has also had quite a challenging few years here in the Holyland, and they said the same thing: there was a great feeling floating around on Rosh Hashana 5780.

There is hope in the air again, there is a light illuminating the path.

Dawn has finally broken.

That’s how it felt.

Now, I’ll guess we’ll see what happens next.

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What was really the disagreement, between the Vilna Gaon and the early leaders of chassidut?

If we’ve learnt anything at all about the fight between the followers of the Baal Shem Tov and chassidut, and the followers of the Lithuanian path of mitnagdim, as exemplified by the Vilna Gaon and his followers, this is probably what we believe:

The Vilna Gaon and the mitnagdim became ‘anti’ the chassidim and the followers of the Baal Shem Tov, because they were worried about ‘false messiahs’ in the wake of the Shabtai Tzvi affair.

Right?

That’s what we think the whole disagreement was about? That the Baal Shem Tov started this new ‘Tzaddik-centric’ approach to Judaism, and all the Litvak rabbis decided to excommunicate the people practicing chassidut because they were worried that another ‘false religion’ would spring up.

Guess what…that’s not really what happened. Or at least, not at the beginning of this whole story, back in the 1700s. As I started to set out in THIS POST, geula-fever was alive and well in the 18th century, fueled by kabbalistic speculation that the time for ‘the End’ had come, and geula was about to happen.

As I covered in that post, there were a few key dates that the kabbalists had pegged for the final coming of Moshiach, all based on the gematria of the word ‘dawn’, and allusions to that word in the Zohar and in the book of Daniel.

These years were:

1748 – which was proceeded by an ‘elite aliya’ of the Jewish world’s leading kabbalists to Israel, including the Ohr HaChaim from Morocco, the RaMCHaL from Italy, and many kabbalists and mystics from the Ashkenazi world too, including Rabbi Gershon of Kutow, the BESHT’s brother-in-law.

1753 – when three huge kabbalists in Israel including the CHIDA, Rabbi Shalom Sharabi (the Rashash), and Rabbi Chaim de la Roza tried to ‘force’ the end of days via kabbalistic uses of Hashem’s mystical names. Heaven forced them to stop, and the CHIDA had to go into exile for 5 years.

1781 – which was again proceeded by a ‘chassidic’ aliya from the Ashkenazi world, which was led by Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk.

(The last official ‘date’ as the last possible date for the ‘in its time’ redemption, was 1840, but we’ll leave that alone for this post.)

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Between 1748 and 1781, so many of our leading rabbis believed that the geula was imminent, and the Vilna Gaon and the Lithuanian rabbis were counted firmly amongst them.

In fact, pretty much the only leading rabbi at that time who was saying that geula was NOT going to happen imminently was the Baal Shem Tov. I know I quoted this in the previous post, but let’s bring his letter written to Rabbi Gershon in 1747 again here, to keep all the pieces together in one place. The BESHT wrote:

“I asked the Messiah when he would be coming. “This is how you will know,” he replied. “When your teachings become public and revealed to the world, and your wellsprings of my teachings, which you will have mastered, overflow to the outside, so that [others], too, will be able to perform mystical unifications and ascents of the soul like you. Then all the klipot will be eradicated and a time of [Divine] desire and salvation will come.”

The Baal Shem Tov continues:

“[This reply] left me puzzled and severely troubled. Such a long time! When can it possibly come to pass?”

The Baal Shem Tov was explaining to Reb Gershon that the Moshiach is going to come, and the end of days is going to happen, only when the Jews start to really connect to God, and experience ‘ascents of the soul’, and to really learn and understand Torah on the deep level of chassidut.

Moshiach wasn’t just going to show up, regardless of the spiritual state of the Jews, and regardless of all their bad middot and lack of emuna. He was only going to come when the Jews got real, learned some humility, and started talking to God sincerely every single day, and including Him in every aspect of their life.

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So now, the question is:

Why did the mitnagdim fall out so badly with the chassidim, if everyone at that time was eagerly anticipating Moshiach and geula, and the Lithuanian rabbis were pressing for aliya and for ‘the end’ to come just as much as the chassidim?

The answer lies in the different approaches the Vilna Gaon and the chassidim were trying to take, to bring the geula.

We can set it out like this:

1747 – The Baal Shem Tov writes a letter explaining that Moshiach is only going to come when the Jews make teshuva, and approach their yiddishkeit in a more ‘chassidic’ way.

The BESHT’s leading student, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef of Polnoye, sat on that letter for over 30 years, but then published it in 1780, when it started to become obvious that Moshiach was not coming imminently, after all.

In the meantime, the Vilna Gaon had spent years trying to resolve all the kooshiot, or difficulties in the Torah, using just his superb logical abilities and ‘cleverness’. According to documents found by researcher Arie Morgenstern which quotes the Vilna Gaon’s students and sons, as brought in his book The Gaon of Vilna and his Messianic Vision, the Vilna Gaon believed he could bring the Moshiach:

“[B]y force of his supreme halachic authority. [T]he Gaon proposed to move to Eretz Yisrael and write the final halacha there, in order to hasten the redemption. As Joseph Karo[1] had done, so would the Gaon of Vilna do. He wished to be the final arbiter, not in order to write the halacha for its own sake, but rather to hasten the redemption and conclude the ‘sorting’ (birur) process that would usher in the Messiah.”

Here’s what the Vilna Gaon himself wrote, about his aspirations[2]:

“Every unresolved issue is a klipah, and emanates from the Erev Rav that intermingled with the Israelites…This is how unresolved issues insinuated themselves into the halacha. The answer to the unresolved issues is the repair of the klipah.

Elsewhere, he wrote[3]:

“At the end of the galut, in the footsteps of the Moshiach, the tree of life, the Law of Moses will be revealed.”

One of the Vilna Gaon’s senior students, Rabbi Israel of Shklov, explained[4] that his mentor had managed to resolve all the issues in the whole Torah (!) except for in two passages in the Zohar. The Rabbi of Shklov says:

“Had the Gaon resolved these issues, he would have brought the birur (‘sorting process’) to its end, and the path to the Messiah’s arrival would have been readied for use.”

As it was – he didn’t, and it wasn’t.

====

The Vilna Gaon set out for Israel in 1778.

But first travelled to Amsterdam, where he hoped to track down copies of the books and manuscripts that would help him resolve his two last remaining ‘issues’, before he made aliya, wrote a new ‘perfect’ Shulchan Aruch in Israel, and ushered in the redemption.

But God didn’t let him do that, his mission to Amsterdam was a failure, and the Gaon returned home to Vilna, without attempting the trip to Israel.

Once home, he decided to take a different tack, and for the first time in his scholarly career, he decided to teach an elite group of students his approach to learning Torah, with a particular emphasis on these students moving to Israel, and helping to lay the practical foundations for the Jews to return to their land.

====

In the meantime, nearly all the Chassidic rebbes dealt with the ‘moshiach let-down’ of 1781 by starting to put the emphasis on personal redemption, as opposed to national redemption, and taking the emphasis off of moving to Israel.

Everyone, that is, except Rabbenu and Breslov chassidut.

Rebbe Nachman continued to stress the importance of living in Eretz Yisrael, as well as the importance of working on the ‘inner dimension’ and developing the good middot that would enable each person to achieve their ‘personal redemption’, too.

====

1781 approaches, the make-or-break date for ‘geula in its time’, and the Vilna Gaon realizes that his approach of trying to ‘perfect’ Torah, and engage in ‘perfect’ mitzvah observance is out of reach, and that he can’t bring Moshiach this way. Instead, he looks to kick-start redemption by placing ‘boots on the ground’ in Eretz Yisrael, and directs a group of his elite students to make aliya after his death.

Meanwhile, after 1781, the different Chassidic leaders put much more focus on the idea that redemption is internal, not necessarily land-based.

Israel is out of reach, so turn inwards and work on your personal and communal redemption instead, wherever you live!

Only Breslov chassidut actually combined these two, very different approaches, continuing to stress the practical aspects of aliya to the real Eretz Yisrael, together with emphasizing the inner work and importance of being connected to the True Tzaddik and praying for redemption.

But there was so much opposition to Rebbe Nachman, and then to Breslov, that this message was muted back then, and really has only begun to flourish in our days.

====

So now, what happened with the excommunication of the chassidim by the Lithuanian rabbis, headed by the Vilna Gaon?

As usual, it’s a sordid tale of petty politics and ego-mania.

In the years leading up to the first ‘excommunication’ of the chassidim, in 1772, The Vilna ‘kahal’, or community leaders had been locked in a vicious struggle with the town’s chief rabbi and rabbinical judge, a fellow by the name of Shmuel ben Avigdor.

Shmuel ben Avigdor had been ‘bought’ his position – as was the custom of the time then, and in many ways still is today – by his wealthy father-in-law. The kahal leaders felt that Shmuel ben Avigdor was throwing his weight around, was out of his depth when it came to making halachically-binding decisions, and – most crucially of all – was impinging on their income by trying to butt into communal affairs that they felt he should play no part in.

So, the kahal went to war against their very wealthy, very connected chief rabbi, to try to get him ousted. His father-in-law had bought him the rabbinate ‘for life’, so the kahal leaders could only get him out of the way if they could prove his was guilty of gross, ‘anti-Torah’ misconduct. So that’s what they set about trying to show.

According to Arie Morgenstern[5]:

“The methods used were illegitimate:…false testimonies, silencing of witnesses, preventing the presentation of exculpatory evidence about the defendants under threat of excommunication, forbidding the lodging of complaints with the rabbinical court by the same means, and even forbidding the rabbinical judges to listen to cries of protest against the abuse being committed.”

Plus ca change.

And having waged war against their town rabbi by dirty means, the kahal then just applied their ‘abilities’ against the chassidim in their midst, too.

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Why did the Vilna kahal turn against the chassidim?

Some researchers claim they were egged on by the Vilna Gaon (more on that in a moment), while others claim that the kahal leadership were worried that people flocking to chassidut would diminish their clout in the Jewish community, and their own legal status vis-à-vis their non-Jewish rulers. (Which in turn, would diminish their ability to levy taxes on the Jewish community….)

In the meantime, the horrible, dirty machloket between the Vilna kahal leaders and their chief rabbi Shmuel ben Avigdor raged almost without let up for approximately 30 years (!) It was so poisonous, Vilna’s Jewish residents were frequently arguing on street corners, and fights would regularly break out in public, even between the women.

That only stopped when the community was hit by a terrible tragedy.

In 1771, an outbreak of plague killed hundreds of small children in Vilna’s Jewish community. It was clear to the kahal leaders that this was some ‘punishment from Heaven’, but rather than accept that their own machloket against the Chief Rabbi could be the cause, they searched around for a scapegoat – and found one, in the nascent movement of chassidim.

According to the mitnaged Maggid of Makow, the reclusive Vilna Gaon was totally unaware of any problem with the chassidim, until the kahal leaders – who were giving the Vilna Gaon a salary of 1400 guilders a year and a rent-free home, even though the Vilna Gaon fulfilled no public duties as rabbi – brought a bunch of false witnesses to slander the chassidim as a ‘deviant cult’.

Rabbi David the Maggid writes:

“Due to his devotion to the Torah and his perseverance, the holy Pious One [the Vilna Gaon] was oblivious to all these matters, until the righteous and honest learners cried out… Then he became their enemy, fighting them and pronouncing the great excommunication of all their rabbis and students… The excommunication went into effect in 1772, after Pesach.”

But none of the other four major Jewish communities in Lithuania, including Horodno, Brisk, Slutsk and Pinsk, joined in with the excommunication of 1772, because they understood that the Vilna kahal was trying to deflect the spiritual heat off its own bad behavior, by using the chassidim as scapegoats. Very quickly, the excommunication died away, and the Lithuanian communities happily sent money to support the Chassidic aliya that began in 1777 – ahead of the ‘end of times’ date of 1781.

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THE SECOND EXCOMMUNICATION

But then, there was a second excommunication of the chassidim that happened in 1781 – and that one stuck, and widened out into a veritable war against chassidut.

What triggered this second attack against chassidut? A few different things:

  • More and more people were flocking to the ranks of chassidut.
  • Chassidut became increasingly organized as a communal force within the Jewish community, and so appeared to be more of a threat to the existing leaders’ status, influence, and ability to use their communal position to make money.
  • The Baal Shem Tov’s students started to print and disseminate some of their ideas and teachings – notably Rabbi Yaakov Yosef of Polnoye, who published Toledot Yaakov Yosef in 1780.
  • May 1781 came and went without Moshiach showing up, and a wave of frustration overtook the Jewish community and led to a whole bunch of internecine fighting.

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The chassidim were not totally blameless, for the war erupting.

By this point, many of them were openly mocking the Lithuanian rabbis for being out of touch with their communities and overly hung-up on pietism and asceticism, instead of serving God joyfully, with their hearts. There were also some Chassidic leaders who were publically complaining about the behavior of other Chassidic leaders, and that might also have fueled external criticism of the movement.

Meanwhile, the mitnagdim communities and their rabbis were having to deal with all these ‘miracle stories’ that started circulating about the Baal Shem Tov – including his infamous ‘conversation’ with Moshiach, in 1747 – after Rabbi Yaakov Yosef’s books came out. To put it bluntly, it was hard for the Lithuanian rabbis to compete, when there was a Tzaddik of the caliber of the Baal Shem Tov wooing their congregants away with his supernatural abilities and awesome, soul-inspiring advice.

In other words: they got jealous.

Plus ca change

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There’s one last thing I want to add here, because clearly what I’m describing above has continued to play itself out in our day and time, too.

At its highest level, there was a dispute for the sake of heaven going on, between the Vilna Gaon and the Baal Shem Tov, about the way to bring Moshiach and geula.

The BESHT said:

Geula will only come when all the Jews make teshuva, and start to serve God sincerely, and not just to pay ‘lip service’ to the external commandments and mitzvoth. And God will wait as long as it takes, for that to happen.

The Vilna Gaon said:

Geula will come ‘in its time’, once we fix the halacha perfectly. And whoever is not on that level of perfection at that time, won’t make it through to the world-to-come.

(I should mention here, that the Vilna Gaon was kind of obsessed with the Erev Rav, and that he and his students both talked and wrote about them a great deal.)

This mirrored the debate that took place in Sanhedrin 97b, between Rabbi Eliezer HaGadol, and Rabbi Yehoshua, that you can read about HERE.

And we are still having that debate today in the Jewish world.

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On the one hand, there are the people saying geula is ready to come NOW!!! Today!!! And that the world is full of evil erev rav types that just can’t change, and won’t make it through, and that millions of people are going to die before Moshiach is revealed, because they just aren’t on the level to make it.

This is the ‘Rabbi Yehoshua’ approach.

On the other hand, we can see with our own eyes that each of these ‘end times’ keeps coming and going; and that the predicted wars keep fading away. And, that the whole ‘erev rav’ approach is basically unworkable in practice (as I cover in my book), and that with daily hitbodedut, regular visits to Uman, and a strong connection to our True Tzaddikim, people can and do transform into better Jews in some fantastic ways.

This is the ‘Rabbi Eliezer HaGadol’ approach.

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The note from Rav Kook, describing Rabbi Berland as a'spark' of Eliezer HaGadolA few years’ ago, Rabbi Dov Kook of Tiveria famously wrote a note where he stated that Rabbi Eliezer Berland is a spark, or reincarnation, of that selfsame Rabbi Eliezer HaGadol.

God is waiting for us all to open our eyes, and see what’s right in front of them.

After 200 years of trying the ‘Rabbi Yehoshua’ approach – which has clearly not worked to bring Moshiach and redemption – God is waiting for more of us to adopt the ‘Rabbi Eliezer HaGadol’ approach of sincere teshuva, talking to God, and connecting to our True Tzaddikim, instead.

And when we get that message, geula will finally happen.

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FOOTNOTES:

[1] The author of the Shulchan Aruch.

[2] Vilna Gaon’s commentary on Ra’aya Mehemana, Konigsberg, 1858, 28a.

[3] Yahel Or, Commentaries on the Zohar, Parshat Mishpatim 114b (Vilna, 1882).

[4] In his preface to the book: Pe’at Ha’Shulchan.

[5] Page 237, The Gaon of Vilna and his Messianic Vision

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Sanhedrin 98a tells us when the gate of Rome falls for a 3rd time, it won’t be rebuilt.

Lots and lots going on at the moment, isn’t there? Both personally and nationally, the Nation of Israel is being shaken all over the place. It’s that time described in Sichot HaRan by Rebbe Nachman, when we need to be holding on to the Tzaddik, if we don’t want to be shaken off the world, especially here in Jerusalem…

“It’s written about the time of Moshiach (Job 38:13): ‘To grasp the ends of the earth and shake the wicked from it’. However, one who comes close to a true Tzaddik, [he] can grab hold of him, and not be cast off. When we hold on to the Tzaddik, we can stay firm.”

Yesterday, the day of the State of Israel held its second elections in four months, as no ruling coalition could be formed because all the politicians mamash hate each other and have awful middot.

I woke up yesterday feeling pretty rough.

I had no energy, my legs were shaky, I was totally spaced-out. I could feel the din in the air, and so could at least one of my daughters, who kept muttering about how ‘heavy’ the atmosphere was.

I still got out to vote – because Rabbi Berland had stressed how important it was to vote ‘gimmel’ – but then I came home and just spent the rest of the day in bed, until around 6pm in the evening, when the fog finally started to lift a bit. Something just got sweetened, I thought to myself.

This morning, with 92% of the votes counted, it looks like the State of Israel is still stuck in another stalemate, unless something remarkable happens to break it.

And this is actually the best possible outcome that anyone could hope for, at the moment.

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Why do I say that?

Because all these yucky politicians have effectively ‘checkmated’ each other, and are preventing each other from putting any massive (and massively evil….) policies into action.

Rabbi Berland already warned us in very clear terms that Gantz, Lapid and Lieberman want to launch a war against Torah and the religious population in Israel. (That ‘war’ is currently being conducted covertly, through the corrupt courts, funded by anti-God Jewish Billionaires in the USA, who are using their cash to create all the NGOs who are bringing these court cases in Israel.)

But, there is still a basic line of ‘religious status quo’ in Israeli society that hasn’t been crossed, and which Blue and White et al are determined to totally smash into pieces.

And if they can’t form a government, they can’t do it.

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On the other side of the equation, looms Likud and all the ‘right wingers’, who were hoping to impose another horrible USA-inspired ‘peace plan’ on Israel, that would involve giving the land of Israel away to a bunch of Arab terrorists.

(And let’s not even talk about the terrible degradation in morals and Israeli society generally, that has occurred on the watch of the current Prime Minister, who has been slowly ‘eroding’ the Torah world, as opposed to smashing it to pieces.)

But now, if they can’t form a government, the Likud can’t sign a ‘peace plan’ with anyone.

So, ‘checkmate’ is the best possible outcome right now.

And of course, it’s all connected to the looming geula process, which is gradually unfolding itself more and more obviously, for anyone who has eyes to see it.

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A little while back, this site ran THIS interview with Rabbi Eliyahu Meirav, where he gave his eye-witness account of Rav Kaduri saying 40 years ago that Moshiach is imminent:

“When there will be will elections, but there won’t be a government.”

It seems that could be happening twice in a row, and that a third election (without any government being formed…) could conceivably be on the cards.

And that reminded me of this, from the Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 98a:

Rabbi Simlai says in the name of Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon: The son of David will not come until all the judges and officers will cease to exist from among the Jewish people, and there will be no more autonomous government in Eretz Yisrael, as it is stated: “And I will turn My hand against you and purge away your dross as with lye and take away your base alloy. And I will restore your judges as at the first” (Isaiah 1:25–26).

There’s more. A little later on, Sanhedrin 98a continues:

Rabbi Yosei ben Kisma’s students asked him: When will the son of David come? Rabbi Yosei ben Kisma said: I am hesitant to answer you, lest you request from me a sign to corroborate my statement. They said to him: We are not asking you for a sign.

Rabbi Yosei ben Kisma said to them: You will see when this existing gate of Rome falls and will be rebuilt, and will fall a second time and will be rebuilt, and will fall a third time. And they will not manage to rebuild it until the son of David comes.

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Doesn’t this seem to fit our current circumstances like a glove?

In the old days, the ‘government’ sat inside the gate of the walled town or city. That’s where they’d get all the news, that’s where they could control who was coming in and leaving, that’s where they could levy the taxes, and read their proclamations.

If you go to the Jaffa gate even today, you will see that it’s a big room-like structure, it’s not just a ‘gate’ that leads into the city. So when we take about the ‘gate of Rome’ falling, this could also very easily be a reference to the government falling.

As if that’s not enough of a clue, the Knesset, the Supreme Court, and a bunch of other State of Israel government ministries are located in an area called the Jerusalem Gateway. They are currently in the process of building a massive new business and office complex by the same name, a minute away from the Knesset and the ‘seat of power’ in Israel.

(The video below shows how they are planning to turn Jerusalem into Tel Aviv Mark #2 – and in so doing, they are killing the spiritual soul of the place.)

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For all that it’s body is in Jerusalem, there’s no question that the ‘soul’ and the ‘mind’ of our secular government is 100% in Rome, i.e. the West.

We’ll see what happens next, but if they can’t get a coalition together – and let’s pray they can’t! – then they will have to go to elections a third time.

And if that happens, the actual revelation of Moshich must be so very close.

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GOING BACK TO THE ZOHAR

Over in this piece, I set out a possible timeline from the Zohar, that talked amongst other things of wars kicking off, 5 tzaddikim being killed, and how it was all connected to Moshiach.

It’s uncanny how each time we approached one of the ‘milestones’ for war / something bad happening, as set out in the Zohar, the ‘war’ part somehow got sweetened and sent away again.

I just want to pull out one bit of that post here, but please do go back and read it, and make up your own mind about what’s really going on.

The Zohar on Parshat Balak states:

“But, in the Northern Land and in the Yemenite government, how many hardships upon hardships will be awoken upon Am Yisrael, on that same day. But their prayers will be accepted b’ratzon (favorably), when they will pray about their suffering.”

In that piece, I also pegged the ’32 days’ being talked about in the Zohar, to September 16-17th – the date of the Israeli elections.

On September 14th, 2019, the Houthi rebels in Yemen (apparently…) attacked Saudi Arabia’s biggest oil refinery.

Here’s how Tomer Devorah described the situation, two days ago:

This may actually be “IT” – the point of war between Persia and Edom, otherwise known as WWIII.

(Debka Breaking News) Iran launched nearly a dozen cruise missiles and more than 20 drones from its territory in the attack on key Saudi oil facilities in Saturday, a senior Trump administration official told ABC News on Sunday night. Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for the assault, but the senior US official said that was false. “It was Iran. The Houthis claim credit for something they did not do.” President Donald Trump tweeted that there was “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen,” adding “There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!”

And every Jew should know, if he doesn’t already, that following on these reports is a flood of accusations being brought across the globe that Israel is the real culprit, that this was a “false flag” attack perpetrated by Israel in order to force Trump into a war he doesn’t want, for the sake of Israel.

====

And now?

So far, there is no war.

Even though Trump is talking tough, he fired John Bolton last week, and clearly doesn’t want to be pressured into war with Iran. People, we only need to open our eyes to see what’s going on in front us!

There should have been a war between the US and Iran 5 times over, already. The only person standing in the breach and saying the calamities will only happen in 200 years time is Rabbi Berland.

Rabbi Berland also told us to get as many of his prayers translated and out there ASAP over the last few weeks, because geula coming the sweet way depends on every home having a prayer from the Rav.

And this week, what do we see?

The war between the US and Iran seems to have been ‘paused’ again – totally miraculously! – and the ‘war’ between Israel’s secular politicians and the Torah world seems to have been ‘paused’ again – totally miraculously! – and the US plan to impose ‘peace’ on Israel also seems to have been ‘paused’ again – totally miraculously!

We need to get more of the Rav’s prayers, and more of the Rav’s books out there, ASAP.

====

Which brings me to the last thing I wanted to touch on in this post.

There’s a bunch of new books coming out in English, including today:

 

Rabbi Eliezer Berland’s Advice 

 

Rabbi Eliezer Berland’s Prayers –  should be available on Amazon next week, and they hope to get:

 

Rabbi Eliezer Berland’s Miracles (although that title might still change) – out for Rosh Hashana.

 

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Or Zerua le’Tzaddik.

And hopefully, more and more of us are starting to see that open miracles are mamash being done in front of our eyes, and that Moshiach is on the cusp.

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Photo by Rafael Nir on Unsplash