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When my family got ‘frum’, when I was around 16, I started reading a whole lot of biographies and stories by interesting Baal Teshuvas. In nearly every case, Jerusalem had a starring role. People would be surfing, studying for university, back-packing in some 3rd world country, and somehow, the call of Jerusalem would reach them, and they’d stop everything to come and answer it.

If they were writing a book for Baal Teshuvas, it always meant that they’d got hooked on Jerusalem, on holiness, on G-d, on yiddishkeit, and that now they were here to stay.

I used to get very starry-eyed about the Holy City portrayed in those books: a place of quiet simplicity, homemade challot, tzaddikim on every corner, and colourful, real people who’d sacrificed every aspect of ‘normal’ and ‘comfortable’ to follow their souls towards G-d.

Of course, after living in Israel for 9 1/2 years, I kind of forgot all that starry-eyed stuff, and Jerusalem became much more a place where I could find long skirts, kosher ‘mehadrin’ falafel and a great zoo.

When we moved here in the Summer, that vision of ‘Jerusalem, past’ got even more blown to smithereens. My neighbours were dutch goyim; the Old City was a war zone; and my own striving for spirituality got so severely curtailed it almost evaporated.

A few days’ back, someone lent me a book to read called ‘I remembered in the night your name’, by Varda Branfman. It was a collection of short stories and poems, based around the author’s experience of making teshuva in the 70s, and coming to live – where else? – in Jerusalem.

There were a couple of things that caught my attention in the book; the main one for this post is that she was describing the holiness and simplicity of the Jerusalem neighbourhood called Geula.

I nearly fell off my chair.

Geula is a 10 minute walk from me, via Meah Shearim, and ‘holy’ and ‘simple’ are not the first words that spring to mind. Try: ‘glatt pizza’; ‘clothing stores’; ‘hustle and bustle’; ‘trendy opticians’; and ‘Brooklyn Bake Shop’.

I go to Geula to spend money, and that’s about it. It’s always been one of the least spiritually inspiring neighbourhoods in Jerusalem.

So I was stunned by the author’s description of it. Was I just not seeing all the holiness there, or has it changed beyond all recognition in the last two decades?

Varda’s book reminded me of all those ‘BT biographies’ I used to read, and I suddenly got a lump in my throat about ‘Jerusalem, past’. I remembered how I yearned to be here, 25 years’ ago, and how I was sure it was full of holy, crazy, friendly, amazing people, that would invite anyone and anything for Shabbat, and literally exude ‘connection to G-d’ and spiritual inspiration.

Now I actually live here, and I wonder what happened?

Does that place still exist, and I just haven’t found it yet? Or did it disappear under all the ‘gashmius’ and 5 star apartment complexes?

I don’t know what the answer is. But it gave me renewed strength to start searching again. Jerusalem IS the holy city; even with all the face-lifts, and all the xtians, and all the politics and all the pizza, somewhere underneath all that, is a city of spiritual gold.

And now, I’m on a mission to rediscover it.

Have you ever had one of those days when you kind of feel like G-d forgot about you? Yes, He made you, He gave you life, and maybe even a husband and kids and a mortgage – but now He’s busy with the civil war in Syria, or ISIS in Iraq, or the Israeli elections, and you’ve just kind of fallen through the gap…

I was feeling that way yesterday. I’ve been praying for things to turn around for ages, and they haven’t (as far as I can tell) and yesterday, I was convinced that G-d had forgotten about me.

Where’s my book deal, G-d? Where’s my parnassa? Where’s my ‘success’, my new house, my new car, my new outlook on life?!?!

I was really dejected, but I’d already made an arrangement to meet a friend at a Tu B’Shvat event, and I didn’t want to let her down.

I got there, and it’s a larger than life Temani grandma running the show, making millions of pitas and telling us all about G-d and emuna.

Within the first five minutes, she’d already covered talking to G-d, doing six hours, how G-d answers every prayer, and the stupidity of worrying about tomorrow instead of living for today.

More was still to come: she moved on to the topic of liking ourselves, and how when we don’t like ourselves, we’re always looking for acknowledgement and recognition and praise from outside, and how unhealthy that is.

I sat straight up in my chair.

“Don’t keep whining that no-one’s praising your cookies!” she said. “If the plate’s empty, it’s a sign they like them. Give yourself a pat on the back, and be happy!”

As if I hadn’t already realised that she’d been scripted by G-d to tell me exactly what I needed to hear, the Temani grandma then started listing all the weird physical symptoms she’d developed a few years’ back, by getting too stressed about things instead of trusting Hashem to come through for her:

Funny eyes; weakness on one side of her body; extreme exhaustion, etc (IE, all the weird physical symptoms I’ve had, the past few years.)

OK, OK, I got it!

G-d is aware of what’s going on with me. He’s noticing everything. The prayers are all being heard, and they’ll be answered in due course.

Ein Od Milvado! The Temani grandma yelled out, and winked at me.

I don’t know if Eliyahu Hanavi ever comes back as a woman, but if yes, I think I may have seen him in action yesterday. And let me tell you, he cooks a mean pita.

I’ve just finished reading a book called: ‘I remembered in the night your name’, by Varda Branfman, and I really enjoyed it.

A couple of things in particular caught my attention, one of which had to do with the author’s experience of seeing a true tzaddik, (who happened to be her Rabbi) in action.

Someone the author knew had been struggling with a massive decision, and didn’t know what course of action to take. Everyone was weighing in with their own opinion, just muddying the waters further, and the person was getting more and more confused.

The person with the big decision decided they needed to visit this particular Rabbi, to ask his advice. For 15 minutes, he gave all the angles of the problem, then sat back and waited for the Rav’s pronouncement. Here’s what happened:

“Until that moment, the Rabbi hadn’t said anything, but then he stood up and slapped our friend on the back. ‘Well, take a shot at one of the other.’ And then he left the room….The Rabbi was telling him that the choice between one or the other was not the crux of the matter. His own personal growth depended…on the way he, himself, chose to respond.”

Sometimes, we can feel so overwhelmed by ‘choice’ that we’re desperate to abdicate our ability to make a decision to others. But as I’m learning more and more, G-d sends us decisions, even very hard decisions, because He wants us to flex our free choice muscle, and decide for ourselves.

If we do that, even if we choose ‘wrong’, we still accomplish so much, spiritually – far more than we would by choosing someone else’s ‘right’.

I loved Varda’s ‘Rabbi’ story because it so simply and poignantly demonstrated this principle in action. When someone is really connected to G-d, they know that you actually can’t make a wrong choice (strange as that sounds…) These individuals believe so strongly in G-d’s goodness, and ability to ‘fix’ what’s broken, that they know that even if you take a wrong turn, or a misstep somewhere along the way, it’s not the end of the world, and you’ll still get to where you need to be.

That’s why even when pressed, genuinely holy people will very rarely make a decision for you, and even when they give you advice, it won’t be forced down your throat: they are issuing guidance to help you make the right decision, not barking out orders that must be followed.

Sadly, I’ve had to learn this lesson the hard way (maybe, there is no other way of learning it.)

The last few months, I’ve been picking over a lot of decisions I felt compelled to make after following other people’s ideas of how I should be running my life. It’s been very hard spiritual work, for a lot of reasons. Firstly, I realised that abdicating my free choice was not the high spiritual level I believed it to be. It was the shortcut that’s ended up taking me and my husband round a very long way.

Secondly, I’ve also had to work pretty hard on developing the emuna that even when we followed the ‘wrong’ advice, it was still exactly what G-d wanted. Let me tell you, when you’re trying to deal with the fallout from making a series of apparently ‘wrong’ decisions, it can be a very big test to see G-d behind it all, believe it’s good, and not start blaming anyone for the big mess you appear to be in.

But that’s the process of growth and development. And that growth, more than anything, has been the spiritual pay-off of all the apparently wrong ‘choices’ we made.

Now I’m seeing first-hand how bad decisions have hidden benefits, it’s making me much more relaxed over the choices my kids are making. My daughter is currently picking her high-school, or ulpana, and I’ve given her guidance, but left the actual decision of where she goes up to her.

She’s the one who has to live with her choice. She’s the one who will grow and develop from her experiences, however they turn out, even if they’re not apparently ‘perfect’ or ‘correct’.

And that’s OK! That’s G-d’s plan for her, for me, for everyone. We think, and we pray, and we choose, and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t, but ultimately it’s all ‘good’. No one can take away what is meant to be ours. No one can give us what G-d doesn’t want us to have.

That’s the real secret of happiness. And without all the mistakes I’ve made recently, I don’t think I ever would have discovered it.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks I’m coming up against with all the energy medicine stuff is that most people, including very religious Jews, simply don’t know Quantum Physics.

If they knew Quantum Physics – even the smallest little bit of it – they would know that each atom is compromised of one particle of ‘stuff’ to between 10,000 and 100,000 particles of space.

And what keeps all that ‘space’ around all that ‘stuff’ is light.

Everything in the physical universe, from buildings, to cars, to trees to people – you and me – are basically made up of literally a speck of dust, space, and light.

THAT is the physical reality of our world.

Isn’t it amazing that this so closely describes Adam HaRishon, the ‘Being of Light’, who wore garments of revealed light before he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?

After Adam sinned, G-d made him and Chava different, more ‘physical’ garments – skin instead of light. But really? The light is still in there, just a lot more hidden away.

I wish more people in the religious world would learn more Quantum Physics, because then it would make discussions about physical health, and souls and energy that much more straightforward.

When we relate to our bodies and our health as being purely functions of physical matter, apart from the fact that Jewishly, it’s pure heresy, it’s also completely inaccurate, according to cutting-edge science.

And if the one doesn’t bother you, surely the other one should?

Sarah’s mother brought her to me after Sarah’s school forced her to undergo an evaluation for ADHD. The school psychologist was ‘encouraging’ Sarah’s mother to put her daughter on Ritalin, but Sarah’s mother was completely opposed to the use of drugs for children, and she also didn’t believe the ADHD diagnosis was accurate. After all, even though Sarah was 6 and still couldn’t read, she could sit for hours being read to, or absorbed in a game she was playing with her friends. ADHD just didn’t seem to be the right diagnosis, but in the meantime, Sarah was wandering around the classroom, and was starting to disrupt the class.

So Sarah’s mother knew something was ‘off’, but didn’t know what.

Jewish Energy Medicine is not about diagnosing specific issues, it’s about finding out what’s really going on under the surface, and trying to decode the spiritual messages G-d is continually sending us via our health.

The first thing I did was ask if Sarah had any allergies. Any allergy is always a big red sign that the energy in Spleen meridian is weak, and if Spleen is weak, it’s very hard for a person (in this instance, Sarah) to metabolise the new knowledge and information she was receiving in class.

We hit the jackpot: Sarah had a number of food allergies, and well as severe hayfever. Next, I asked if Sarah had an easy or difficult birth (because traumatic circumstances or shock can wipe out Spleen energy in an instant, making it an up-hill battle for the body to cope with it’s food and environment until it’s restored).

Again, jackpot! Sarah’s mother had been in labour for 28 hours, the birth had been extremely difficult, and Sarah had swallowed a lot of meconium and had been whisked away by the attending doctors as soon as she was born to get it all flushed out.

Next, I asked if Sarah spent a lot of time in front of the big screen, either on the computer or watching TV.

Again, jackpot! Electromagnet energy can potentially be another big disrupter of Spleen energy, as can any other environmental pollutant.

The last question was a bit more sensitive: was the environment in the house usually relaxed and encouraging, or more stressed and a bit critical?

To her credit, Sarah’s mother admitted that she was working full time, and with three small children to care for (Sarah was the oldest), she was usually pretty wound-up and tense when she was home. One of the reasons Sarah watched films every day after school was so her mother could have some space to unwind and make supper (often, something you could just pull out of the freezer and throw in the oven. Sarah’s mother rarely had time to cook much from scratch.)

We started to piece all the bits of the puzzle together, and this is what we got:

Spleen meridian is responsible for being able to learn and assimilate new ideas. I believe that together with Triple Warmer, it’s the main meridian affecting most learning difficulties.

Spleen energy is associated with compassion, and is also weakened by environmental pollutants, shock or trauma, electromagnetic energy, junk food and a negative or stressful emotional environment.

Sarah appeared to be struggling on almost all those fronts. I suggested some standard energy exercises to strengthen Spleen which would definitely help, but it looked like there also had to be some changes in Sarah’s environment. Sarah’s mother left our session with some very big decisions to think about.

As the pressure from the school mounted, she took the plunge and started trying to clean up the family’s eating habits. Next, Sarah’s mother realized that it was impossible to give Sarah the time and attention she really needed unless she cut back her work.

It was a hard decision, but after a lot of consideration, Sarah’s mother went part-time. Now, she had time to take Sarah for weekly sessions with a remedial reading teacher, and within six months, Sarah started to reap the benefits of her mother’s self-sacrifice. Now that she was eating more home cooked food, spending less time in front of the computer, and having a more relaxed home environment and emotionally-available mother, Sarah’s marks had improved so much, she was now near the top of the class, and reading voraciously.

The ‘ADHD’ diagnosis disappeared, and the school stopped pressuring Sarah to take Ritalin.

Life is such a fragile thing, isn’t it? We don’t like to think of it as being so (especially if we’re parents), because it would make it too hard to function, in some way, if we really ‘got’ how temporary everything is.

But when we don’t grasp the ephemeral nature of life, we can so easily end up missing the whole point of being alive.

The same day I got the terrible news of the car crash involving the Rav’s son and family, my daughter’s pet bird died. (I’m not for one moment suggesting there’s a parity, G-d forbid.)

But my daughter loved her pet, as children do, and was terribly distraught for two days’ afterwards. She also has a hamster, and now that the bird had gone, she was worrying that something ‘bad’ was going to happen to her other pet.

When she found out about the car crash, that seemed to tip her over into some massive ‘where is G-d’ moments, and she was really angry that G-d could let so many apparently horrible things happen in the world.

‘Why was G-d killing innocent pets, and even more innocent people?’ she wanted to know. ‘How can G-d be good, if He’s doing things like that?’

These are not simple questions.

They go to the heart of what it means to really live our emuna. They underpin a whole worldview, and whole perception of life down here as just being ‘prep time’ for the place where it’s really happening.

If it was just the bird, I probably would have managed it better. Bird and crash together meant that G-d was giving me a big exam in emuna, too. Because kids know when you’re sincere, or when you’re just parroting ‘religious’ stuff at them because it’s the right thing to do, and not because you really believe it yourself.

We ended up having a long discussion about it (relatively – she is still 11), and I can’t say that I totally convinced her, at least, not initially, that there was a big plan and that everything was exactly how it should be.

As I was talking to her, I could see I still needed some convincing myself. I mean, Rav Arush is my rabbi, and as I’ve posted here a few times already, he is a very holy, kind, humble, sincere person. And so are his kids.

On some level, I hate what’s just happened.

On some other level, I know that what Rav Arush himself wants from me is to NOT question G-d’s ways, and to accept 100% that G-d is only good.

I went to a ladies’ prayer thing at the yeshiva yesterday, for the refuah of R’ Shimon and his family, and that message came across loud and clear:

We do not question Hashem’s ways!

Rav Arush and his family are being tested so hard because he’s standing in the breach for Am Yisrael. We moan about our parnassa, or about our housing, or about our pet bird dying – instead of trying to be grateful for all the blessings G-d is continually doing for us, and all that complaining creates a massive spiritual debit against Am Yisrael.

That our tzaddikim pay off with their mesirut nefesh and suffering.

But I don’t want Rav Arush to suffer any more on my account!

The other thing that came across loud and clear from my prayer thingy is that GRATITUDE is the main area that really needs the work.

The more I, you, everyone, says ‘thank you’ to G-d, the easier it’s going to be for all of us.

I’ve struggled to really be grateful, especially recently. But I decided I owe it to Rav Arush – and the other tzadikim who are holding the fort for Am Yisrael – to really give it my best shot, now.

I want to hear good news from the hospital. I want to enjoy my own temporary life as much as I can, while I’ve still got it. I want geula to come fast, the sweet way. And I want to really show my children that G-d IS good, even when their pet bird dies unexpectedly. And I think working on my gratitude, and my emuna, is the only way I’m going to be able to do it.

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?

G-d did.

Why?

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.

As you already know if you’ve come to this blog from breslev.co.il, my kids now go to school in the Old City of Jerusalem. Yes, that Old City, with people (apparently) getting stabbed with screwdrivers, knives, bits of rusty fencing – whatever the Arabs have to hand, basically.

Usually, someone tells me a particularly ‘juicy’ stabbing story five minutes after my kids were just in the same location, or are planning to go there tomorrow, to visit some friend who lives in the Muslim Quarter, or Ir David (right next to Silwan Village) or Maalei Zeitim – that has it’s own machine-gun outpost.

Cool!

If you don’t happen to be their mother.

If you’re their mother, what else can you do besides making sure you say Tikkun Haklali pretty much every single day, and doing a ‘mini’ Pidyon Hanefesh for them every time they step out the door.

Because apart from one kid who lives in Har Homa, and another from Givat Mordechai, pretty much every single one of their classmates comes to school under armed guard – what’s called ‘levuyi’, in Hebrew.

Sometimes, when G-d gives me a rare moment to catch my breath, I think about the enormous bizarreness of so much of my life right now, and it almost makes me laugh: I mean, Arabs scare the pants off me! Almost as much as having to wear a tichel…

So the fact that my kids go to school through the Arab shuk, and that all their social engagements involve two big ex-soldier guys with guns is still something I often can’t believe.

It’s a constant, daily reminder that G-d is running the world, not me.

I have to work, constantly, to give control of so much of my life back to G-d at the moment, and to do my best to be happy about my present circumstances.

But that’s the true definition of emuna: being happy with your lot.

It’s definitely easier when your kids are going to some quiet, village prep school with excellent academic standards, you own your own house, your husband has a steady job, and you have maybe half a clue of what you think you’re doing and what it’s all about.

That said, I’m actually starting to enjoy the craziness, in a funny way. The other week, I went to Kever Dovid to do a bit of crochet and personal prayer for an hour. I felt so filled-up by that visit.

The Old City is such a holy, crazy place to be intimately involved with. On the one hand, I’m thrilled my kids are there in school, and on the other hand, I sometimes wish they were anywhere else in the country.

But then, my daughter told me an Arab stabbed some people on a bus in ‘safe’ Tel Aviv this morning (she has all the latest ‘Arab stabbing’ news, often even before Ynet), and I realised that G-d really is in charge.

We need to do what we need to do, and trust in G-d’s goodness, and then let go. We’re really not in control.

Of all the lessons I’ve learnt from my children’s school, that’s probably the most important.

This is one of those posts that’s so hard to write, but so important to set down, some how. We’d all love to live in a world where people only gave out positive energy, and had good characteristics, and treated us with generosity of spirit, kindness and truth.

Thank G-d, that stuff does still happen.

But as people get more and more disconnected from G-d, and more and more disconnected from that spark of G-d in themselves that’s called the neshama, or soul, the more they’re falling prey to all sorts of serious ‘soul sicknesses’.

Rav Arush writes about soul sickness at length in many of his books, but particularly in the Garden of Healing. There, he spells it out very clearly that the further away a person gets from G-d, and from having emuna, the more soul-sick they’ll be.

He defines ‘soul-sickness’ as all those negative emotions that we all have, like jealousy, angry, worry, arrogance etc; and explains that the more severe soul-sicknesses can show up as diagnoses for severe mental illnesses, including personality disorders.

Secular medicine has no cure for things like personality disorders and schizophrenia. Their best effort is to offer pills to try to drug away the worst symptoms, and if that doesn’t work, their next big suggestion is to stick someone away in an institution for the rest of their lives.

Spiritually, there is a solution, and it’s one that works wonders: learn more emuna. Rav Arush, and I’m sure others too, teach that the more emuna a person has, the more they try to see G-d in their lives, and to include Him, and to talk to Him, the more spiritually-healthy they will be.

When everyone starts following that advice, the world will be a peaceful, amazing, sane beautiful place to live in…but in the meantime, I thought I’d put together some energetic advice on how to deal with the crazy people who can suck all the life and joy out of you, if you’re not careful.

The following things have worked for me, or for others, in some very difficult situations, enabling us to deal with ‘negative people’ without getting angry, sick or crazy themselves (no small achievement!)

Some of them sound weird, but don’t knock it until you try it. None of these things can do you any harm, and they could help you tremendously.

1) Shower

Before and / or after dealing with someone you know is ‘difficult’, take a shower. Nothing washes away negativity like a bit of hot water.

2) Do the ‘G-d is everywhere’ exercise every morning (see below)

3) Carry your invisible umbrella ­- if you know in advance you’re dealing with a difficult person who sucks you dry and exhausts, keep them out of your personal space as much as possible. Put up your ‘invisible umbrella’ to keep people at arm’s length; if they’re trying to hug you, stand to close to you, pat your arm etc, gently move away, so they’re no closer to you than they would be if you were holding an umbrella. If you have to, don’t be scared to police your invisible boundary forcefully. They’ll get the message sooner or later.

4) Try to stand with them on your right-hand side – energetically, we absorb far more on the left-side, and are far more vulnerable from that direction.

5) Cross your arms – many of us do this automatically when we’re around people who are a bit ‘too much’ for us. But energetically, it really does repel negative vibes.

6) Understand what you’re dealing with: and that it’s not your responsibility (or fault) if they’re unhappy and negative. We don’t have to ‘fix’ other people – and even if we want to, we can’t! We are each responsible for our own outlook and happiness, so don’t let a negative person make their problem, your problem. Keep your distance from them, emotionally, and try not to take their griping, unhappiness, rage fits and attempts to control and manipulate you personally. If despite all your efforts, you still get zapped with bad vibes, try the following:

7) ‘Give it back to G-d’ exercise – (see below). And then:

8) Take a bath in baking soda – I know this sounds mega-weird, but in practise is really does help a person feel more grounded, ‘together’ and cleaned-off from all the emotional ‘ick’.

B’hatslacha, and I’m certainly looking forward to a time very soon when we won’t need these exercises any more…

‘G-d is everywhere’ exercise

Rub your hands together, and shake them off.

Rub them together again, and then put them palms facing either side of your ears.

Bring your elbows together in front your face, and then cross your arms over each other, and sweep them out to the side.

Cross your arms over in front of you again, and again sweep out to the side. Do these criss-cross movements in front of you all the way down your body and legs, until you get to the floor.

Have in mind that G-d is protecting you, and keeping you cocooned off in His kindness and light.

When you reach the floor, put your two arms together, kind of like an elephant’s trunk, and make sweeping figure 8 movements around your body, as you come back up from your legs to your head.

Take the ‘Figure 8’ movements up to past your head, then put your two arms together, backs of hands touching, above your head, and then bring them gently down to the sides of your body.

Imagine as you do this, that you are literally in a cocoon of Divine protection.

 

‘Give it back to G-d’ exercise

Rub your hands together and shake them off.

Bring your hands together in front of your chest, palms touching.

Zoom one hand up, palm up, to G-d, and zoom one hand down, palm down, as though kind of ‘leaning’ on the ground.

Stretch.

Now, switch sides – zoom the ‘up’ hand to the ‘down’ position, and vice-versa.

While you’re doing this, have in mind that you are giving whatever you need to back to G-d, to take care of, while retaining whatever experience, learning or ‘good’ you need to keep hold of.

Do this another 2 times on both sides.

Then, bend over with your arms down in front of you, and take 2 deep breaths.

Now, slowly stand up, rolling your arms up your body as you do so. (Imagine you’re rolling a beach ball up your body.)

Take your arms above your head, and bring them down to your sides.

Imagine, as you do this, that G-d is covering you in protective mantle of Divine light.

A couple of days’ ago, I was driving on the motorway on the way to Ramat Bet Shemesh. It was the day after the snow/rain/snow storm in Jerusalem, and the roads were still pretty wet, but I don’t think they were icy.

I came over a hill around 70 km an hour, I turned the wheel left to follow the road round – and the wheel stayed turned to the right, putting me into a direct collision course with the barrier.

Uhoh.

I pumped the brakes (I think – I can’t really remember the logistical details) and the car went into a spin. I was sure I was about to have a crash, but G-d did a big miracle for me, and spun my car around 180 degrees, in the emergency lane by the side of the road.

All this happened at the top of a hill, which meant no-one could see that I’d had an accident until they’d already crashed into me, G-d forbid. As I sat on the hard shoulder waiting for the panic to hit after this massive near-miss, I realised something strange: I actually wasn’t panicking.

Yes, I was breathing a bit hard, and I felt a little bit shaken up, but really, almost nothing.

Bizarre!

What could explain my lack of ‘stress response?’ A minute later, I’d restarted the car, turned it around and was driving on to my appointment in RBS. I know myself pretty well, and especially after the accident I had last year, there is no way that I could have normally acted like that straight after a big skid on a motorway with articulated lorries rushing by.

There are two possible explanations: either, my emuna is now really, really high (which I doubt, because I still screamed blue murder at the kid who didn’t want to go to school today. I don’t think I could have ‘accident’ emuna and not have ‘annoying kid’ emuna, but really, who knows what’s the bigger test sometimes…)

OR

My Triple Warmer is practically comatose, because I’ve been sedating it to death every day for two months.

You’ll recall that Triple Warmer meridian governs the fight or flight response, which is occasionally useful (like if a Hamas terrorist was running after you), but otherwise, not.

I reacted so calmly to my near-miss car accident, even at the time it struck me as bizarre. Instead of my brain freezing, I just started talking to G-d about hoping I wasn’t about to have a bad crash.

Energy medicine is sometimes so gentle, even I sometimes wonder if anything’s really happening. I guess I got something like an answer, when I nearly crashed. You can’t fake your reaction in situations like that, and I really was unnaturally calm.

So it looks like this stuff really does work, in whatever way G-d intends it to.

Of course, the real kudos still go to the Al-mighty, for the tremendous miracle He pulled off for me. I doubt the calm state would have lasted very long if I’d gone down the side of the mountain or been hit side-on by a lorry.

Thanks, G-d! You’re the best.