I’ve been considering writing this post, or something similar for months now. I haven’t, because I’ve had enough other things on my plate to contemplate, and also I didn’t know if my observations on the Erev Rav would be useful or accurate. But a couple of things have kind of jogged my hand now, so here it is, in all it’s glory.
I spent literally a couple of years’ researching the Erev Rav in our holy sources, and you can read a series of articles I wrote on the topic for Rav Arush’s website.
Probably like many people who are reading this, the autistics were the first ones who clued me in to the topic of the Erev Rav in any tangible way, and like many people, I kind of got a bit obsessed with them, hence the whole big write up I did.
When I was writing those articles, I was convinced that if people could just grasp the fundamental ‘badness’ of the Erev Rav, and distance themselves from them, we’d have geula and Moshiach immediately, on a plate.
With time and an awful lot of prayer, I’ve realised that it’s never going to happen that way, and I’ll tell you why:
The Erev Rav are not just evil politicians, mafia bosses and bent judges – they are literally our family members. They are those people who we love, even though perhaps they’ve hurt us badly and repeatedly. They are those people who we really don’t want to give up on, under any circumstances, even when they are so difficult, abusive and nasty.
They’re our siblings, our parents, our children, our cousins, our friends, our kids’ teachers (yup, I’m sure that’s not such a shocker…) etc etc. And that’s why it’s simply never going to work to keep pointing out how bad the Erev Rav are, and what nasty things they’re doing, and how they’re going to permanently disappear from the world very soon.
Let’s be clear that I’m not making any excuses for them at all, but there is another angle to the whole Erev Rav episode, and that is that real Jews are never going to give up on their Erev Rav relatives, because a real ‘non-Erev Rav’ Jew is full of compassion. G-d made us that way.
Which brings me to another realisation that I’ve had recently: G-d wants the souls who comprise the Erev Rav back. G-d Himself doesn’t want us to give up on them. He wants us to understand the full, horrible reality of their (and our) situation, and then to pray, fervently, for His help and salvation.
I know this flies in the face of the autistics, which is why I’ve hesitated to write this. I don’t for one minute think the autistics are ‘wrong’ – everything I’ve always read on Dani18, and Galia beforehand, has always had the indelible ring of truth.
But over the years’, I’ve come to believe that there is a higher truth, maybe you could call it ‘tzaddik’ truth, as Moshe Rabbenu himself was also of the view that G-d really wanted the Erev Rav back in the fold.
Spiritually, the souls of the Erev Rav and Am Yisrael derive from the same root, namely Adam’s sin (not when he ate the fruit, but when he ’emitted seed’ for 130 years’ afterwards. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s all in the Gemara and also the Zohar, so go and look it up for yourselves.)
Those souls came back as the Generation of the Flood; then came back again as the Generation of the Dispersion; they came back again as the people of Sdom; and then they came back again as the sheep Yaacov Avinu took away with him as his wages for working for Lavan. (No, that’s not a typo. Some big rabbis in the past who were aware of their previous incarnations even ‘remembered’ being a sheep in Yaacov Avinu’s flock.)
That was the beginning of their real rectification. The next time these souls – the biggest souls G-d ever created, which is why we Jews have the biggest evil inclinations – came back was in Egypt, with Moshe Rebbenu.
We all know that 4/5 of Am Yisrael died in the plague of darkness; what is less well known is that exactly the same numbers of Egyptians converted, to come out with Am Yisrael.
G-d swapped like for like: the only real difference between the souls of authentic Am Yisrael and the Erev Rav is that the latter group are further back in the process of being rectified.
Whoever didn’t get fixed from that time is now back in our time, which is why there are so, so many people walking around who fit the Sages’ descriptions of the Erev Rav to a tee.
And many of them are the people we love and deeply care for.
Are you prepared to consign those people to ‘eternal damnation’, or spiritual oblivion? Are you prepared to give up on them, even if they are Erev Rav?
The answer for every real Jew is ‘no’ – which is why we’re stuck. We CAN’T separate from them, even if we really know for sure that our horrible sister is Erev Rav, or our tearaway son is Erev Rav, or our nasty mother-in-law is Erev Rav (OK, that last one is probably do-able ☺)
Who arranged things this way?
I can’t say for sure, but I believe with all my heart that He wants us to pray for them, and tap into G-d’s infinite compassion for all of His creations. Yes, I know the autistics wouldn’t approve. But their truth, true as it is, is not necessarily G-d’s truth.
And if I’m correct about that, then instead of wasting our time pointing fingers about the evil Erev Rav – and believe me, a lot of them are even worse than you think – we need to go and do some serious praying for G-d to fix them. Otherwise, I can’t see any other way of Geula coming the sweet way that we all fervently hope it will.