Prayer is really what’s carried the Jewish people through our long, 2,000 years of exile, since the destruction of the Second Temple.

But Jewish prayers can take many different forms. The most well known, perhaps, is the obligation for Jewish men to gather together in a minyan, or quorum of 10 men, to pray three times a day, in the morning, afternoon and evening.

In Hebrew, these are known as the shacharit, minchah and ma’ariv prayers.

But if we define ‘prayer’ as the act of talking to our Creator, or blessing Him in some way, or communicating or connecting to God, then a Jew can literally spend their whole day praying. Jewish prayers go by a bunch of different names, including:

  • Breslov hitbodedut
  • Hitbodedut meditation
  • Rabbi Nachman hitbodedut
  • Hitbodedut silent meditation
  • Bracha after food
  • Bracha before food
  • Morning blessings
  • Davening

In these posts, we’ll take a look at how, when and why Jews really pray; just how immense the power of prayer really can be, and why God is always answering our prayers on some level, even if that’s not always so obvious.

How do we deal with ‘reality’ without going nuts?

On the last post, one of the commentators, Alizah, asked this:

Rivka, how do we read this without going nuts? Reminds me of something that says at the end the yetzer hara will appear like a mountain to some people and to others like something small.

If we follow your blog it’s enormous. We want to cry.

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It’s a very good question.

On Shabbat, we were at friends for Friday night, and the conversation turned (as it inevitably does…) to the whole Corona stress we’re all under.

I couldn’t help it.

I tried to explain what’s really going on with all this – how it’s all just part of a deeper ‘depopulation / eugenics’ agenda that’s been in the works for over a century, already – and my host looked at me with a pitying smile.

I’d outed myself as that most lowly of creatures, a conspiracy theorist.

The argument raged on for around two hours, and I realised that the more hard facts and solid information I was throwing at the other people around the table, the more their defenses got entrenched, and the more pointless the whole discussion became.

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At one point, my host turned to me and said:

Why do we need to know all this stuff? What can we do anyway? Why do you keep looking at all the ‘bad’? We can’t make any difference, and I don’t want to be kept up at night worrying about all this stuff.

The answer to that is really the answer to a lot of other big questions. Here’s what I told him:

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Truth is God’s seal.

The more ‘truth’ we acknowledge and let in to our lives, the closer it brings us to God.

The more we see how broken this world really is, the more we will start to really yearn and beg for something to change. The more we will yearn and beg for geula, for Moshiach.

The more sincere teshuva we will make.

The more minutes and hours of heartfelt prayer we will engage in, asking God to fix things and to right everything that is so very wrong.

Knowing the truth gives us the motivation we need to really turn to Hashem, and come back to Him wholeheartedly.

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I guess what I was really trying to tell my host is that I’m not buying into all the yeoush and despairing attitude that says we are nothing, and we can’t do anything to change all this, so why even bother trying to grapple with it?!

The Jewish soul is infinite.

It’s a part of Hashem.

Sure, me by myself I’m totally and utterly nothing and nobody.

I can’t take on the Rockefellers, or Bill Gates, or the corrupt State of Israel.

I know that.

But here’s what I can do:

I can go and pour out my heart to Hashem about all the ‘bad’ that’s going on in the world, and beg Him to fix it, and to fill the world with His light and the light of the true tzaddikim, and to get things to finally all turn around.

That’s all I can really do – but it’s everything.

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If we believe in the power of prayer, if we believe in the power of the Jewish soul to stir Hashem’s mercy and compassion, if we believe in miracles, and that God is the only force that really exists in the world, then uncovering the ‘bad’ doesn’t scare us and overwhelm us and cause us to go into denial in quite the same way.

It might anger us, upset us, shock us – but it also motivates us to PRAY.

To turn to Hashem and to PRAY.

And that is the true strength and the true power of the Jewish soul, and it’s a power that every single one of us can access and activate.

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When the Nazis were rising to power before World War II, so many people stuck their head in the sand and whistled.

God won’t let it happen, they said. I trust that God will continue to look after us, they said. I can’t do anything about this ‘bad’ stuff, so I’m just going to pretend it’s not happening, they said.

That was totally the wrong approach.

Rebbe Nachman spoke about the correct way to deal with harsh decrees:

He said:

“[E]ach person must say that the world was only created for his sake, and [the Rebbe said] how every person must endeavor to make up the deficiencies of the world, praying on its behalf – i.e. before the decree [actually materialises].

He also said the following:

“That year [1803] the Rebbe was very preoccupied with the Cantonist Decrees. He was extremely worried about the situation and said they were not an idle threat. He disagreed strongly with the people who were saying nothing would come of it in the end, for how could God do such a thing to the Jewish people?!

The Rebbe said several times that this was nonsense.

We find many occasions when harsh decrees did materialise.

The Rebbe spoke about this a great deal and said that the rumored decrees had to be taken with the utmost seriousness and not be treated lightly. We had to pray and cry out to God, and to be and beseech Him in the hope that He would hear us and annul them….

If only people had listened to his call to set the earth shaking with prayers and appeals to God, these decrees would have been nullified completely!”

(Tzaddik, Conversations Relating to His Lessons, page 132)

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God forbid, I’m not uncovering this stuff to get anyone down, or add to the despair.

Quite the opposite.

I believe – so strongly! – in the power of prayer.

I believe in the power of a Jewish soul to turn everything around when they partner with Hashem and pray their hearts out.

This stuff scares you? It overwhelms you? It upsets you?

Go talk to God about it, and beg Him to clean up this mess!!!

When you do that, you change everything, literally.

The ‘weapon’ of Jacob is our prayer.

And I’m urging every single one of you to take a deep breath, and go pick it up.

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Photo by Mockup Graphics on Unsplash

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This morning marked the 18th day I walked off to the Kotel to pray.

It’s been raining pretty much non-stop for 5 days here in Israel, so it’s hard to know how much the bad weather is keeping people away, but today -Shabbat – when I got there, I was like the 13th woman on the female side of the mechitza, at 8am.

That’s pretty sad.

But Baruch Hashem, the sun was even a little bit shining, the showers were temporarily drying up, and I had such a good feeling when I was touching those holy stones. I had the strong impression that things are moving spiritually, and that the dream of geula happening soon, the sweet way, is becoming more real with each passing day.

On the way out, I passed a confused French Lubavitcher who was looking for Kever David.

I was on the way there myself, so he followed after me, and asked me where I was from.

London, I told him.

You sound French, he told me.

A lot of people say that. I’m not.

The young French guy told me that all of his family are in France still, and completely uninterested in making aliya.

I’ve tried talking to them so many times, they just don’t want to hear about it. 

Then, the conversation turned, inevitably to COVID-19.

It feels like a big joke to me, he said. Nothing is really going on with it, I can’t understand why it’s a ghost-town round here, he said, pointing to the totally empty plaza.

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So I get to Kever David, and there is a solitary woman in there doing a Shemona Esrei. I get in there, and she immediately darts an evil look in my direction and lifts up the collar flap of her coat on one side, to cover her mouth.

10 seconds later, she left, clearly upset that I’d entered her space.

I rolled my eyes as loudly as I could, then read through Rav Natan of Breslov’s prayer to be saved from a plague, that someone has kindly stuck on the Kever.

Half way through, I heard someone come in behind me who was hacking and coughing away like a champ.

I turned my head to see who it was – and noticed it was the paranoid woman who’d rushed out as soon as I entered. Yet again, she lifted up the flap of her coat to cover her mouth – she really should patent that – and darted another dirty look in my direction.

The irony of it all. With her hacking cough she was 100% more likely to have COVID-19 than me….

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Anyway, on the way back from the Kotel, Hashem put the idea in my head that as I’m going there, BH, every day for the next 22 days, and that most people can’t or won’t have that opportunity, I should try to share my Kotel visits more widely with you, dear readers.

So, if you want me to ‘take your prayers with me’ to the Kotel, here’s your chance.

In return for you taking something upon yourself to help the Tzaddik HaDor Rabbi Berland to get all this Coronavirus stuff sweetened and over by Pesach – which is currently looking like an open miracle of the highest order – I will ‘take your prayers with me’ to the Kotel, when I go.

Here’s 3 ways you can do something to help Rabbi Berland get this sweetened:

  1. Recite at least 1 Tikkun Haklali a day (up to 7 a day)
  2. AND /OR Recite Rabbi Berland’s prayer to be saved from the Coronavirus, and send it around to as many people as you can
  3. AND / OR Say the stones on the ephod 7 times, as per Rabbi Berland’s request HERE.

The stones are:

אֹדֶם פִּטְדָה וּבָרֶקֶת נֹפֶךְ סַפִּיר, וְיָהֲלֹם לֶשֶׁם שְׁבוֹ, וְאַחְלָמָה תַּרְשִׁישׁ וְשֹׁהַם, וְיָשְׁפֵה

Odem, pitdah, baraket, nofech, sapir, yahalom, leshem, shvo, achlamah, tarshish, shoham and yashpeh.

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HERE’S THE DEAL:

In the comments section below, let me know what you’re taking upon yourself, then let me have the names you want me to add to my ‘Kotel prayers’ list.

Alternatively, you can send me a message on my comments form, too, including the same info, if you want it to be a bit more private.

People, we can do this! With Hashem’s help, we can get this to turn around, and stop all the pointless panic in its track. 10,000 people have died so far this year just from the flu. According to this site, more than 600,000 people are going to die from cancer in the USA alone in 2020; 840,000 die from heart disease every year, again just in the US.

Hashem doesn’t need COVID-19 to kill us, and it’s so important for us to retain perspective on what’s going on, and to not start to panic unnecessarily.

Hashem holds our lives in His hands, but that’s always the case.

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In the meantime, so many more people kept Shabbat in so many more ways here in Israel than ever before this week.

The first (secular…) guy who got COVID-19 and then got released said the loudest Shema Yisrael you ever heard live on national TV in Israel.

More and more people are waking up and talking about geula and Moshiach as a real possibility now, something that wasn’t even on their radar a couple of weeks’ back.

Things are moving.

We are in a crucial time right now, and the next week or so is going to tip us into irrevocable madness… or see this Coronavirus panic fizzle out.

If we join with the Tzaddik HaDor, pray, and keep a lid on the panic, this can all turn around by Pesach, God willing.

So send me your names, let me know what you’re willing to do in return and let’s see if we can make this happen, BH!

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The last few weeks (months…) I’ve been fighting a losing battle against apathy and despair.

Most of the time, I feel like life boils down to playing the unwinnable game, where my yetzer is constantly tripping me up and testing me with new circumstances and situations designed to bring out the worst.

The last two months, I’ve just had so many tests to try to stand up, external and internal – and for the most part, I don’t think I managed so well.

The problem is, I seem to have very unreasonable expectations of how things should be, and how things should look, and God for the most part just isn’t giving that to me. I understand that the fault, the error, the problem, is 100% on my side. I also understand that I have a part of me that is a perfectionistic control-freak, and that getting that part ‘sweetened’ is probably at least one of my major tikkunim that I’m down here to do.

But sometimes, I still find day-to-day life just so painful.

It’s not easy to have face down your ‘broken-ness’ every single day, and to have to admit – to yourself, to your husband, to your kids – that you’re actually still a lunatic, despite all your efforts to blossom into something a tad less crazy.

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So, to come back to the last two months.

I’ve been noticing a strange phenomenon in the middle of all the apathy and despair that’s been winning out recently.

The more I can’t ‘do’ it, the more I’m giving up and letting God take over, the more things are starting to work out.

And I’ve seen that in a few different places now, so I wanted to share it as it’s giving me some chizzuk that maybe precisely in this low-down place of giving up, salvation can sprout.

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Three months ago, I gave notice on our apartment, to move out end of February.

The apartment is OK – it’s pretty big, pretty reasonable rent, and it’s in the very ‘comfortable’ neighborhood of Baka, where you hear English and French way more than you hear Hebrew.

The body has been relatively pleased with this apartment, but the soul has been stifling since we got here, and I knew that staying in Baka was not a good option, long-term. But finding a good, affordable apartment in Jerusalem ranks up there with finding the holy grail.

Property developers are slowly destroying this city, and making it a place where only millionaires from abroad who don’t want to actually live here can afford to buy anything. Everything they build is ‘luxury this’ and ‘luxury that’, so they can charge a fortune for it.

So, Jerusalem real estate is increasingly becoming ‘old, dumpy, mold-infested affordable’, or ‘luxury-sell-a-kidney-to-pay-your-rent’.

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Our apartment in Baka was a little dumpy, and a little mold-infested, but otherwise pretty OK.

Places like this are not so easy to find, so I was really nervous when I gave notice. The next few weeks, I kept scanning Madlan, and Janglo, and Craig’s List, looking for a reasonable apartment back closer to the Rav, in or around Musrara.

The only things coming up were in the ‘luxury and unaffordable’ range.

So then, I widened the search out to Rehavia, Shaarei Tzedek and Nachlaot – and strange to say, every single estate agent I contacted seemed incredibly uninterested in showing me any properties. I had one of my kids call up too, and she had the same experience.

In the meantime… the clock was ticking, and I had no-where to move to.

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Two weeks ago, after I got back from Uman, I told my husband:

We just have to give up on trying to live in the neighborhood we want. I’m just going to start viewing apartments all over the place, and see if anything clicks.

Because hey, we aren’t going to find a community wherever we live. And I’m not going to be able to ‘settle down’ for more than a year or two anyway. And instead of looking at all of this as another horrible experience to grin and bear through, I decided I have to stop complaining that I can’t get what I want, and just let God give me what He decides is best.

Shortly after that conversation, something came up in Abu Tor, a neighborhood that I would never have considered in a million years beforehand, and we went to look at it.

It’s the house of my dreams.

It’s two storeys, has a garden I’m allowed to plant things in, they just put in a totally new bathroom, including a bath, and they are in the process of putting in a new kitchen, too, which will be ready before we move in.

I don’t have to sell a kidney to pay the rent, and the landlords are also really nice people.

And that neighborhood is also interesting. It’s green, it’s got a village feel, and a view of Har Habayit that is simply the best in all of Jerusalem.

So, we’re doing the experiment, and we’ll see what happens next.

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Then, there was the whole mortgage fiasco that I wrote about HERE.

We are meant to be completing on the flat we bought in Harish end of the month, and for two months the bank has been telling us they won’t give us a mortgage again.

What could I do?

I think I used up all the tears on this subject the last time it happened, two years ago, so I basically just sank into apathy and told God:

Whatever You want. Mortgage, no mortgage, I don’t even care anymore.

In the meantime, we made some minimum hishtadlut – and three days ago we had a miracle.

A few hours after a friend told me she’d been at the Baba Sali, and had spontaneously said a few prayers for us to get a mortgage, we got a phone call from the bank that they were approving it, after all.

Not only that, they made a mistake and gave us a mortgage 1.5 times bigger than we asked for….

Which means that now, we can look into maybe investing that extra money into something else. It’s a totally unexpected result, and way better than what I was hoping to achieve under my own steam.

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Yesterday, I was at the Kotel with a few hundred other people who came to pray for the Rav.

What can I tell you?

We’re back in the State-sponsored anti-Torah madness that is even more unfair and even more patently evil than the first time around – and I barely have the energy to do anything about it. I made myself go yesterday, even though I was feeling so tired and apathetic about everything.

How are my prayers going to help? How can we stop this evil from winning, all the time? What’s the point in even trying?

But after all the help the Rav has given me, and all the difficulties he’s helped me to smooth out and pass through in my own life, going to the Kotel was the least I could do.

So I got there, and of course there are no seats. After milling around for a few minutes, I decided to go sit on my heels by one of the side walls in the ladies section, as I just can’t recite tehillim with any concentration when I’m standing up.

I told God:

If You want me to have a chair, God, I guess you’ll send me one. And if not, I’m just going to sit here like this and pray, even though it’s a little unconventional, because what can I do?

Half-way through the first tikkun haklali, a middle-aged woman basically ran at me with a chair.

Sit!! Sit!! She shrieked.

You can’t do things like that anymore, think about your knees!!

So I sat.

And I said thank you.

And I started to feel that maybe, this feeling of total apathy and giving things back to God is actually the secret to redemption.

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I’ve tried so hard to ‘fix’ things, in so many ways, over the last few years. So often, I sit here and it seems I don’t have much to show for myself. And honestly, that’s making it very hard to continue.

I’ve had days I don’t feel like doing my morning brachot, I’ve had days where I don’t feel like getting out of bed. I’ve had days where I literally have to force myself to do the things on my list of chores and commitments, because nothing gets anywhere, so what’s the point?

I have so many things to be getting on with right now, from packing up my house to finishing my course, to writing new blog posts, that I have zero urge to engage with.

But maybe, the last two weeks has been proving the theory that it’s exactly when we’re so totally despairing of redemption occurring, that it finally shows up.

I guess we’ll find out.

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Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

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I was contacted yesterday by the attendant of a Lamed Vav Tzaddik – a hidden Tzaddik.

They told me something very disturbing that the Lamed Vav Tzaddik said yesterday about the Corona Virus. I can’t tell you who the person is, but I know the source is genuine. Here’s what they told me, in the name of the Lamed Vav Tzaddik:

“The authorities are lying about the true extent of the Corona Virus. There are 10,000 people being infected with it an hour. There is currently a decree of total destruction against the world.”

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I have to say, all this is scaring the pants off me, and I really don’t go in for fear-mongering posts any more, because I think most of them are just trying to scare people to boost ratings.

However, because I know which Lamed Vav Tzaddik actually said this, I’m taking it deadly seriously.

Yesterday, Rabbi Berland wrote a prayer to protect the world from the Corona Virus, that he said will sweeten this decree, if the prayer can be translated into as many languages as possible, and sent all over the world, for people to read.

So far, they have it translated into about 20 different languages – including Chinese!

I’m putting the English / Hebrew translation here below.

But let’s help to get this thing around, and let’s plug some industrial emuna and emunat tzaddikim into this equation, pronto.

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10,000 new cases an hour means that around 250,000 people are falling sick EVERY SINGLE DAY. 

We are at pandemic levels already – and most people don’t even realise it, as there is a lag between when people catch it, and when it shows up. And also, the news is being manipulated, although we can see with our own eyes how they are closing down all interaction with China and cancelling flights etc.

As soon as this thing obviously jumps outside Chinese borders, we are dealing with a really, really bad global situation.

The airports will be closed, travel will be seriously restricted – and the economy will go into freefall.

That’s not breathless speculation, just a factual account of what will happen if Corona Virus continues to spread the way it appears to be. It’s fatality rate is being grossly under-reported.

While ‘official’ figures are saying the numbers of people dying are 2%, yesterday there was an expected ‘leak’ on the Taiwan National News Agency that had the numbers of people infected standing at 154,023 (around four times the ‘official’ figures) – and the number of deaths is standing at 24,589 (as opposed to 450).

That report was quickly censored – three times in a row – but that means that the fatality rate is 16%.

That is really scary.

Here’s the prayer, HERE is the link for all the translations, and please get this out there, so it can be sweetened.

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PRAYER TO BE SAVED FROM CORONAVIRUS

Master of Universe, who can do anything!

Cure me and the whole world of the Coronavirus, because redemption is near.

And through this reveal to us the 50th gate of holiness, the secret of the ibbur, and may we begin from this day onward to be strong in keeping interpersonal commandments (i.e. being kind to others).

And by virtue of this may we witness miracles and wonders the likes of which haven’t been since the creation of the world. And may there be sweetening of judgments for the entire world, to all mankind, men women and children.

Please God! Please cure Coronavirus all over the world, as it says about Miriam the prophetess, “Lord, please, cure her, please.”

Please God! Who can do anything! Send a complete healing to the entire world! To all men, women, children, boys and girls, to all humanity wherever they may be, and to all the animals, birds, and creatures. All should be cured from this disease in the blink of an eye, and no trace of the disease should remain.

And all will merit fear of Heaven and fear of God, O Merciful and Compassionate Father.

Please God, please do with us miracles and wonders as you did with our forefathers by the exodus from Egypt. And now, take us and the entire world out from this disease, release us and save us from the Coronavirus that wants to eliminate all mortals.

We now regret all the sins that we did, and we honestly ask for forgiveness. And in the merit of our repentance, this cursed disease, that does not miss men, women, boys, girls, and animals, will be eliminated.

Please God, as quick as the illness came it will go away and disappear immediately, in the blink of an eye, and by this the soul of Messiah Ben David will be revealed.

Please God, grant us the merit to be included in the level of the saints and pure ones, and bless anew all the fruit and vegetation, that all will be healed in the blink of an eye, and we will see Messiah Ben David face to face.

Please God, who acts with greatness beyond comprehension, and does wonders without number. Please now perform also with us miracles and wonders beyond comprehension and let no trace of this cursed disease remain. And may the entire world be cured in the blink of an eye.

Because Hashem did all this in order for us to repent, it is all in order for us to direct our hearts to our Father in Heaven, and by that He will send blessings and success to all of our handiwork.  

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Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos on Unsplash

 

 

 

The difference one jab made.

After yesterday’s post, someone emailed me with a link to the following story, and gave me permission to reprint it here, with the writer’s real name. The family are from the States, and this account 1) really made me pretty sad and 2) really made me think, about how much of the facts concerning modern medicine are actually still being hidden from us all.

I’m still not formally ‘anti’ vaccine, but I am increasingly worried about the lack of transparency and disclosure about the risks associated with vaccines, and I have a very strong feeling that something here is really ‘not right’. But until I’ve pinned that down, I’m still exploring what’s really going on. In the meantime…

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Gittel’s Story

I was sitting in the waiting room of our Dr.’s office, waiting for the nurse to call us back. Gittel and I were there for her 14 month well visit. I watched as she ran up and down in the small waiting room, excited that 2 other little girls were there for her to play with. They were a little shy, but, unfazed, Gittel ran up to them with a big smile and initiated a playful exchange with them.

After a while Gittel came running back to me, as is normal for typical kids to do, almost to reassure herself that mommy is still there and keeping a watchful eye on her. Content after a few snuggles and a quick sip of her sippy cup, she headed back to play with the girls once again, this time stopping for a moment to say hi to some other people who had since entered the waiting room and to light up the faces of a few senior citizens who had just sat down.

This went on for almost an hour until we were finally called back.

When the nurse informed us that it was our turn, I called Gittel, who stopped what she was doing and immediately came back over to mommy. I picked her up and carried her back, as she was a little nervous, and seemed to sense a little suspiciously, that something was “up”. She responded to my reassuring hugs and loving whispers. She watched the nurse carefully as she measured her height and weight and as I answered the usual questions.

When the nurse left the room, we continued to play as we waited for the Dr. to arrive. We sang a couple of her favorite songs, she explored the office a bit and we walked up and down the hallway while we waited some more. Pretty soon it was our turn to be seen.

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There was a gentle knock on the door and the Dr. walked in.

At 14 months, most of the questions were about her development and her overall health, which thank G-d, seemed to be right on track. There was also the basic autism screening questionnaire, which, ever since our Sruly’s autism diagnosis , I viewed as both a relief, and to some degree, a mild annoyance. A relief, being that from the moment that our children are born, I am carefully scrutinizing every aspect of their development.

I am always relieved when I see that, thank G-D, everything is developing as it should. A slight annoyance, since, as the parent of a child with sever autism, for goodness sake, I could write the questionnaire, and it would be a lot more detailed then the one that they have!…. Not to mention the fact, that for the most part, I seem to know more about autism than they do. Just ask me point blank if I think she is “at risk” or possibly “on the spectrum”.

What they should be asking the parent is; may the child possibly be at risk for a vaccine injury based on their past health history? How has the child, or other family member responded to vaccines in the past (fever, lethargy, seizures etc.)? How many rounds of antibiotics has the child received since birth? Does the child have an egg, dairy or other food related allergy? Does the child exhibit symptoms of, or is known to have a mitochondrial disorder? Are there common genetic concerns such as MTHFR, etc., etc…

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In the case of our daughter Gittel, she had received two rounds of antibiotics the year prior, due to a bout of strep.

Re-establishing proper gut health after extensive antibiotic use is crucial. Pumping such a small child with the entire schedule of suggested vaccines, all while their tiny bodies do their best to re-balance themselves, is much like playing Russian Roulette. She was otherwise, thank G-d, a healthy baby. She nursed beautifully (full time!), no acid reflux, no skin issues, no thrush etc… It turns out, that even with all of these questions it is still almost impossible to predict what the outcome of a vaccine may be.

However, I waited patiently and answered all of the questions in turn.

Dr: “Is she making eye contact?”

Me: “Yes.”

Dr:  “Does she respond to you when you come into the room?”

Me:  “Yes.”

Dr: “Does she respond when you call her name?”

Me: “Yes.”

Dr:  “Does she seem interested in other kids? Does she play with them?”

Me:  “Yes.”

Dr. “Does she use her hands or fingers in an inappropriate way?”

I love this question. What they are trying to ask is, does the child exhibit any self-stimulatory behavior?

Me: “No.”

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After a few more questions, and an otherwise uneventful visit, the Dr. said that the nurse would be in shortly to administer the scheduled vaccines.

He wished us a good day and walked out. Soon the nurse entered and asked us if we were also interested in the chicken pox vaccine in addition to her MMR. Thank G-d I said no. I am honestly not sure what went through my mind at that moment and why I said “no” so quickly. It had not even crossed my mind prior to the visit. (I only learned later on that you are never give two live virus vaccines at once – kind of paradox though, being that the MMR itself contains three [attenuated] live virus vaccines….).

The nurse didn’t seem to mind that we turned down the chicken pox vaccine and proceeded to prepare Gittel for the MMR. Gittel cried briefly as I held her close, reassuring her with soft words while hugging her. The visit was over. When we arrived home, Gittel seemed understandably a little worn out, but still full of smiles and warm snuggles.

That evening however, she developed a fever.

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By the next morning, even after a number of alternating rounds of Tylenol/Motrin, the fever persisted.

What was more worrisome to me than anything else, was the fact that she had completely stopped looking at me and just sat on the floor emotionless. She displayed considerable discomfort, despite the pain killers which I had given her to bring down the fever. She wouldn’t respond to my many attempts to engage her. It almost seemed as though her inner world had completely consumed her.

Alarmed, I mentioned this to my husband, hoping that somehow he could make this stop. Or at the very least pull out his crystal ball and tell me that she would indeed go back to being herself soon. He calmly responded that she was probably just feeling “under the weather” and would soon perk up.

By day two the fever persisted. I watched with a sinking heart as she failed, most notably, to respond to her name. She just sat there. She looked sad and forlorn and didn’t seem to be “here” with us. She seemed as though she didn’t recognize her surroundings or where she was. Oh, how I wanted to know what she was thinking. What was going on in that delicate little brain of hers. Was she scared? What was she feeling? What was hurting? What did she want me to do to help make her feel better?

Still no eye contact.

I got down, face to face with her, cooed, laughed, played our usual funny games, but to no avail. She continuously turned her head to avoid me. She didn’t respond to our games of “chase”, or the thrill of Mommy coming to tickle her. She wouldn’t even smile. And those eyes, those lost eyes… She still cried when she was hungry, and gently snuggled during those intimate moments of nursing I treasured so dearly.

Somehow, instinctively, I knew that I needed help to flush her system. I began with the most natural and soothing thing I knew –  stopping all solid foods and going back to strictly nursing around the clock. She was all too happy to comply.

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Day three, the fever was still there.

I was almost pleading with my husband to see what I was seeing. I was hoping I was wrong. I was scared, very scared. I was scared that I was right. My husband still tried to reassure me that she was not herself, only because she was still under the weather from the effects of the shot. She had not only stopped eye contact, she actively avoided it!

No smiles. She stopped responding to her name. She didn’t respond to our usual fun and games. She didn’t even stop to watch her siblings, let alone interact with them. She seemed to be hardly managing or coping with what life had just thrown at her. With what life had just thrown at us all.

After 3 days, her fever subsided. For the next couple of weeks I kept trying to interact with her, to engage with her, to make eye contact, smiles, something! But there was nothing. She moseyed around the house in her own little world. She was busy. Very busy. Almost alarmingly busy. Before all of this, she used to knock down the occasional book from the bookshelf, as do most busy toddlers, and when caught in the act by either my husband or myself, she would giggle and scream in sheer delight. Knowing that we were coming closer to get her and tickle her away from her little game.

It was her way of both exploring and of successfully capturing our attention. Now, however, she seemed like she was on a very serious mission to wipe out the entire bookshelf over and over again. She was completely expressionless. She stopped responding to our playful drama when coming to get her. It was during one of these episodes, about 3 weeks after she received her shot, that my husband finally realized that I wasn’t just being overly worried.

There was indeed something alarming here….. and all too familiar…..

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Once my husband realized the magnitude of what I was seeing, it was then, that everything suddenly seemed official.

Until then I was hanging on to the small thread of hope that perhaps I really was just worrying too much. It was then that the tears began to fall. The next few months were full of prayer, specialists, supplements, therapies and more prayer. We took her to specialist who confirmed the presence of inflammation in her brain. I was so shaken by what had happened, that I was afraid to take her back to her original Dr. I assumed that he would simply dismiss our case entirely upon hearing that it was vaccine related.

I was beside myself. I couldn’t believe this was happening to a second child. How could I have been so stupid 12 years ago in letting the doctors convince me that vaccines were still unquestionably safe. That the pros very much so outweighed the cons. That all of this would have happened “regardless”.

I once again found myself in tears before G-d. “Please,” I begged, “Don’t let this happen to another child.” I don’t think I have ever before asked my Grandmothers who had passed away, to help me beseech G-d for His supernal mercy. To ask Him to help us in this time of need. I began praying and asking my Grandmothers and a dear, special and holy Great Aunt, to please daven for her as well.

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Many months went by, and thank G-d she ever so often began to smile again.

During this time we continued with her rigorous supplement regimen, therapy, nursing, praying and more praying. One night, after a couple of more months had gone by, I tearfully began to daven. I am not sure if this was the right thing to do, but I asked G-d that if this was truly the decree, if this is what was meant to be, if  He could please, please lessen the severity and make it mild. Please not so sever.

Little by little she began to make some fleeting yet noticeable eye contact. She preferred not to, however when we came “face to face” she wouldn’t actively turn her head to avoid us. She still wouldn’t react if we were coming to play chase with her from across the room, but if we made it into her personal space, she ever so slowly began to respond with smiles and giggles. She also seemed to once again, enjoy being in the company of her siblings.

At nearly a year later, she had come along way. She was still unable to communicate even her most basic needs, but she has begun to “label”. She did not respond to her name or even turn when you called her. She would however get excited with interactive games like chase, dancing and peek-a-boo. Thank G-d she still had the most beautiful smile and infectious little giggle.

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She used to sit down and get comfortable with a stack of books by her side.

Looking through each one slowly, with intent and purpose, while turning the pages slowly and enjoying every picture. She would occasionally pick up a book and go through it quickly. It was difficult however, to tell how much she understood. She seemed to enjoy watching the pages turn more so than anything else. She enjoyed sitting and playing next to other children, including her siblings, however she had stopped initiating play, as well as any other form of communication.

And her eyes.

There used to be a sparkle in those beautiful eyes. Those wise, playful yet knowing eyes. She had lost that twinkle, that spark of life. Although part of me was still hopeful, I remained cautious. And of course, there was still a part of me which didn’t want to think too much about any of it at all.

We still watch her very carefully. The specialists which we went to said, that at this young age, children can respond well to appropriate supplements and therapies. “The body,” they told us, “is a self righting ship.”

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I eventually gathered up the courage to return to the original Dr. who’s office administered the vaccine.

When he finished hearing our story and reading the medical and laboratory reports, he responded that in all of his many years of practice, he has never seen a reaction to a vaccine quite like this. While I found this hard to believe, he did, however, agree that it most definitely looked like a vaccine injury. He agreed that the symptoms she exhibited in the days following her vaccine seemed to indicate possible encephalitis.

He was kind enough to encourage us to file suite against the federal government’s vaccine injury court (which up until that point we never knew existed). He mentioned that any documentation relating to our daughter’s condition, which we may need moving forward, he would gladly provide us with.

Just as our visit was ending he said something which both scared me and consequently left me very skeptical of the medical establishments motives, in general. He looked at us and said, “I think we should hold off on vaccines for the next three months.” I looked at him, completely dumbfounded, almost not believing what we were hearing. After all of this, and this was still his view? I realized then and there that it wasn’t worth our time or emotional energy to argue. We promptly ended the visit and walked out.

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I know everything that goes on in this world is all part of G-d’s master plan, but sometimes I wish I could just ask G-d what exactly does He want from me?

What do I need to fix? What do I need to do to improve? I do thank G-d every day for giving us life, for keeping us together, for blessing us with all of the beautiful gifts and Brachot He has bestowed upon us. For blessing us with the thoughtful tests that He has so carefully chosen for us. I pray that all of us be blessed with immense light, love, simcha (joy), brachot (blessings), good mazal, nachas, wisdom, long life and the strength to carry on. May we all merit to greet Moshiach, together with all of Klal Yisroel, speedily in our days.

We are ready, Hashem.

We are oh, so ready.

– Matana Boloten

Originally written, Dec 2015

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You can’t read this and not cry a little bit. There is nothing I can add that wouldn’t just detract. But it’s definitely time to learn more, and to get properly informed about what are fundamentally huge choices to make about our children, and our children’s health.

Rabbi Berland’s New Prayer to Move to Israel.

So many of the people I’m in touch with want to move to Israel, but feel totally petrified about the whole idea of uprooting their whole lives, and trying to plonk them down again in a totally different country, however holy that country may actually be, and however much God really wants the Jews to move to Israel.

This is totally understandable. Moving country is not a simple thing, it has profound consequences for everyone involved. You can understand why so many otherwise believing Jews are twisting the words of the Torah, ignoring the whole ‘sin of the spies’ episode, and making all sorts of bizarre claims about there being no need for Jews to move to the Land of Israel.

The fear is in control. The fear is running the show.

Fear is one of the yetzer hara’s most powerful tools for keeping people away from doing the right thing. How many people stay trapped in a secular lifestyle, because they are scared of what people will say, or what’s going to be, if they take the plunge and start keeping kosher….

Or take the plunge and start keeping Shabbat….

Or take the plunge, and start dressing more modestly….

Or take the plunge, and ditch the i-Phone for something far more basic and better for the soul….

Moving to Israel is no different, except the fear is less about what people will say – because after all, it’s a new start, and you’re leaving the people who are against moving to Israel behind – and much more about what will be.

Will I find work?

Will I find friends?

Will I find a place to live?

Will my kids acclimatize OK?

And maybe the biggest fear of all:

Will I regret doing this for the rest of my life?

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Again, all these fears are totally, 100% normal and reasonable to have. If we don’t acknowledge that these fears are coming from a rational place, and that they have to be addressed properly, rather than squashed or mocked, then we can’t move forward with the whole discussion of moving to Israel.

Israel is the land of emuna, it’s where a person can really start to LIVE their belief that God is running the whole world, and not just talk about it.

The answer to all of the ‘issues’ stated above – the answer to every ‘issue’ and worry a person has about moving to Israel ultimately boils down to the same thing:

God is in control. Whatever God decides, that’s what’s going to happen.

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That’s a massive level of emuna to be striving for, isn’t it? And I’m not sure that I’m there myself, really, although I’d certainly like to be.

But the more we can live our life from that genuine place of really believing in Him, and really believing in concepts like reward and punishment, and really believing that 99% of the ‘yuck’ we go through in our lives we totally bring on ourselves, via our own bad middot – the more easy we will be able to deal with any potential move to Israel.

Really, there’s only one answer to ‘why move to Israel?’

I could tell you about the amazing day I spent yesterday, swimming with my family in a stream up North, together with a bunch of frum Jews with payot, and fully-clothed Beis Yaakov girls all happily splashing about.

I could tell you about last Wednesday night, when I went off to the Kotel to recite some tehillim for the Rav, and how I watched the swallows duck and dive, swooping so close to the wall before soaring back up into the heavens.

I could tell you about how everything here is kosher (I live in Jerusalem. That’s not true of everywhere in Israel, especially not Tel Aviv.)

I could tell you about the farm one of my kids went to volunteer on last week, up in the Shomron hills, that’s being started by an idealistic young Jewish couple.

I could talk about the sun, the sea, the way my soul just feels way, way happier here, and way, way more peaceful than it ever did in London.

But really, all of these things are missing the point.

The point of moving to Israel, is because it’s a mitzvah that God commanded the Jews to keep.

So maybe you’ll move here, and you really will struggle with making a living. And you really will go through years of feeling so lonely. And you really will find it very hard to ever buy your own place, especially in Jerusalem.

And maybe you won’t.

But the point is, whatever happens to us in Israel – and in New York, and in London, and in Melbourne, and in Paris – it’s all just to bring home that same message:

God is in control. Whatever God decides, that’s what’s going to happen.

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If a person is really working on their emuna, then they will increasingly be living their life according to this idea wherever they happen to live.

But there’s another point to make here, and that’s the idea of having some humility, and overcoming our own arrogance. Or to put it another way, to start thinking much more about what does God want from me, and much less about what do I want from God.

We are here to serve God, not the other way around.

Again, let’s keep things real.

This is a huge spiritual level! It’s a level that we will have to struggle and fight for ad 120. It doesn’t come easily to anyone, and especially not to those people who find it very difficult to put anyone else’s needs and wants ahead of their own.

That’s why there are two things that really clear the path to moving to Israel, and those two things are:

  1. Working on our own bad middot
  2. Working on our emuna, particularly the idea that we are in control of our lives

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We need to pray to get to Israel.

That’s part of the process of really getting ‘ready’ to actually live here. We need to pray to get here, and we need to pray that all the bad middot that are stopping us from moving somehow disappear. And then once we’re here, we need to carry on praying every single day, that we will continue to have the merit of staying here.

Because in Israel, all the bad middot that we fooled ourselves we didn’t have in chutz l’aretz come roaring out of the closet.

Because God wants us to finally start dealing with them, and acknowledging them, and to stop making excuses about what we are really down here to work on and fix.

BTW, that’s also why even the very process of moving to Israel can be so very taxing and upsetting. It’s all part of the preparation process for the spiritual work of developing some real humility, and understanding that God is in charge of the world, not us.

All this sounds like a lot of hard work, doesn’t it?

And honestly, it is.

You can totally understand why so many otherwise believing Jews would prefer to stay in chutz l’aretz and pretend that moving to Israel is something God doesn’t really require of anyone. It’s certainly much easier that way, it’s certainly much more comfortable.

At least, on one level.

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This post isn’t for those people.

This post is for the people who are really yearning and longing to get here, and who really do know that God wants the Jewish people to be in Israel, but who can’t quite manage to overcome their fears (yet!) in order to give God what He really wants.

For those people, there is a shortcut to moving to Israel, which is basically the power of prayer. Every prayer we say on this subject, shortens the road we need to walk in order to get here. Why? Because it’s tackling the obstacles that are blocking our path at their root.

A praying person is a person who already acknowledges, at least on some level, that God is in control. A praying person is someone who knows that God is behind all the difficulties, and that if we start to clean up our own act, particularly with our own bad middot like arrogance, laziness, greed and complacency, that God will then blast so many of the ‘issues’ keeping us stuck out of the way, too.

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That’s why Israel is really only acquired via prayer.

And that’s why so many of the people who actually live in Israel still haven’t really ‘got here’ spiritually, even though they moved here with their bodies, or were born here.

Those people moan all the time about what’s going on in Israel. They complain all the time about the taxes, and about other groups of Jews, and about all the ‘bad’ they see going on all around them, because the whole world is just one big mirror, and God is beaming a very unpleasant reflection straight into their faces.

Like we said above, in Israel, bad middot are amplified – both ours, and other people’s – so we’ll stop making excuses, and finally knuckle down to the work of fixing them.

Luckily, there is a shortcut. The shortcut is to get close to our true tzaddikim, to follow their advice, and to use their prayers to circumvent all the stuff that’s holding us back from being able to even describe the problem, let alone deal with it.

Rebbe Nachman’s advice to do an hour a day of hitbodedut has totally transformed my approach to the world, and it’s the single biggest ‘help’ to navigating life in Israel. You can read more about it HERE. But in the meantime, I want to share with you a prayer that Rabbi Berland just put out for people who want to move to Israel, but who are stuck, somehow.

It’s not a long prayer, but it sums up so precisely what’s really going on when people get stuck unable to make aliya, even though they admit it’s the right thing to do.

You can see the original HERE, but here’s what it says:

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A Prayer to Come to Eretz Yisrael

TO MERIT COMING TO ERETZ YISRAEL WITHOUT LOSING ANYTHING. TO SELL EVERYTHING FOR ITS FULL VALUE. AND MAY I MERIT LEAVING THE DEFILEMENT OF THE LAND OF THE NATIONS THAT WE ARE IMMERSED IN. AND MAY WE SMASH ALL OF THE OBSTACLES THAT ARE MOSTLY OBSTACLES OF THE MIND.

Master of the World, who can do everything. Merit me to go up to Eretz Yisrael with sublime self-sacrifice. That I leave all of the property and all of the belongings that I have outside of Eretz Yisrael. That I not leave anything over, that I not leave any remembrance.

Rather, I should sell everything as quick as possible at full value, and not lose even one pruta by moving to Eretz Yisrael. And may I not incur any other damages by moving to Eretz Yisrael.

For we have no more strength to stay in exile, in chutz la’aretz, even for one second.

We want to go up to the land of our forefathers, that you gave to our forefathers, Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, “The land flowing with milk and honey”.

For Eretz Yisrael is holier than any other land in the world.

And Hashem Your G-d chose her over all other precious things in the world.”

Please, Hashem, merit me to go up to Eretz Yisrael with self-sacrifice,

“And bring us to Your Holy Mountain.”

For we have no more strength to stay in chutz la’aretz, but on the other hand we’ve been here for so long, in the defilement of the land of the nations, and we have no idea how to free ourselves from it.

Now we are turning to You, with humble kneeling and prostration:

Help us, Hashem our G-d, to come to Eretz Yisrael in the blink of an eye! And help us to break all of the obstacles, and all of the postponements, for the main obstacle is in the mind.   

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May Hashem help us to give Him what He really wants, as easily as possible.

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On the back of a few emails about the post on Marriage Guidance – Israel style, I just wanted to elaborate a little more on how to get a good husband:

Pray on him every single day.

Every single day, ask God to help your husband overcome his bad temper, his poor self-esteem, his confusion, his doubts, his bad behavior and warped ideas.

Because we all have these issues, even the very best of us, and a woman’s job is to help to fix her husband’s soul by praying on him (and herself and her family) as much as she can.

That is the secret ingredient, the special sauce, that can turn even the worst relationship between a husband and wife around.

Any marriage counsellor who is not telling a couple to get God involved in the process, can’t really help you long-term and is probably doing way more harm than good.

And any wife who is not willing to pray on her husband, is going to have plenty of challenges and heartache to deal with. (Like, more than you’d get if you were actually praying, because getting marriages to last the distance is hard work, even when you are talking to God a lot.)

We’re not talking about doing six hours a day here, or even six minutes. All it takes is a tiny bit of effort, a smidge of empathy about where all these issues the husband has is actually coming from, and a touch of emuna that God really can do anything, if we get Him involved.

Try this:

  • Buy a bumper bag of tealights, 50, or 100.
  • Light one every single day in the merit of your husband, and say a few words to God about what you’d like Him to work on, e.g. “Please help him stop being so angry, God. Please help him to like himself more. Please help him to stop worrying so much about money, and killing himself at work. Please help him to be nicer to me and the kids. Please help him to realise – all by himself – that when a man looks like he’s 8 months pregnant, no-one finds that attractive, and he needs to join a gym…” – Whatever comes to you.
  • At the end of the 50 days, take your journal and note down any improvements – because I guarantee you’ll see some.
  • Go buy another bumper bag of tealights.
  • Repeat steps 1-4 until you have the man of your dreams.

This may take some time, it’s not a ‘quick fix’, it’s true.

But if at the end of five years solid of doing this you don’t have a wonderful marriage, I’ll eat my hat.

We women, we wives, have so much power to transform, improve and rectify all the problems in our marriage. But that power is only to be found in our prayers, and if we’re not regularly talking to God, we simply can’t get to it.

And we can’t outsource the job of fixing the husband to anyone else, however much we really might want to.

I’m just cutting and pasting this from ravberland.com. BH, as many of us as possible will come, and also tell our friends and family to join in, however they can. We have come down to the wire, and from tomorrow, things are going to be very different in Israel – hopefully only in a good way!

If you’re in Israel, please make the effort to come. I heard from my source that whoever comes, things will go much sweeter for them personally, from here on in.

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Make or Break – Everything depends on tonight!

Six years ago, the landscape in Eretz Yisrael – particularly for religious Jews – was pretty bleak. Yair Lapid and Yesh Atid had just come to power, and they wasted no time in imposing a raft of laws designed to break the Torah world, and uproot a Torah-observant lifestyle.

Civil marriages, banning circumcision, forced drafting of chareidi young man into the army – and everyone knew this was only the beginning of an onslaught against orthodox Judaism.

Ultimately, the war against Torah Jewry was stopped by a war of a different kind, when the Gaza border erupted in rocket attacks, where thousands of rockets rained down on the country on many separate occasions, but most notably, as the precursor to Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012, and Operation Protective Edge in the Summer of 2014.

And then, there was the Iranian nuclear threats against Israel, which had the Israeli government totally panicked that Israel was in the cross-hairs of an Iranian nuke, God forbid, with no way of preventing it.

At precisely that time, Rav Eliezer Berland went into exile, and took it upon himself to be slandered and humiliated, in fulfillment of Rebbe Nachman’s teaching in Likutey Moharan, I:260 that:

“The name is the soul….This concept involves the surrender of the soul…to sanctify God’s name….

The same applies to the loss of one’s [good] name, specifically, for a person with a famous name….

But another person does this intentionally and consciously, surrendering his soul for the sanctification of God’s name. He surrenders his fame – his “name”, corresponding to the soul – and on account of this, although he is renowned, he is not famous at all.

On the contrary: everyone talks about him, conjuring stories about him that he would never have dreamed of doing. He experiences this as if he was literally being killed. He does this intentionally, because it is a literal self-sacrifice of soul, for the name is the soul, as said, and he experiences it as death.

But in this way, he saves the Jewish people from what would have happened to them in order to facilitate this unification, as said, and by thus sacrificing his soul, which is his name, he spares them.”

Over the last six years, there have been many atzerets, or prayer gatherings.

They’ve all been held at crucial points in the unfolding process of trying to sweeten the massive judgments that are due to come down to the world before the next stage of the redemption process can begin.

Some were held at the Kotel, some were held at Hevron, at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, and all of them helped to avert disaster, and to move us on to the next stage.

But tonight’s prayer gathering is probably the last of its type, and the most important one of all.

Over the last few months, Rav Berland has been hinting that we have come as far as we can go with the current situation, and we are now at a vital crossroads.

If 50,000 people show up this evening, to come and pray with the Tzaddik and add their ‘soul power’ to that of the Tzaddikim, then we can still sweeten what’s to come considerably, and have the best shot of having geula “the sweet way’.

If not…We dread to think what is around the corner.

Rav Berland told us months ago that our enemies have tens of thousands of rockets pointed at Israel, primed and ready to go, and that no “Iron Dome” can help stave off disaster. He told us recently that the decrees had been postponed for six years, since 2013, but now we are at the turning point, once again.

He said just a couple of days ago that there is an awful decree that has been made in Heaven, that the anti-Torah politicians are going to re-start their war against the Torah world in 10 days time.

And every time there is a war against Torah in Israel, that very quickly leads to a war of a different type, on our borders.

THIS IS MAKE OR BREAK.

There will be a live hook-up here, on the ravberland.com site, for those who are physically unable to come because they live outside of Israel. For everyone else, we urge you to please attend the prayer gathering this evening, which will begin at 10pm at the Mearat HaMachpela in Hevron.

There will be subsidized buses leaving from across the country, and this appears to be our last chance to come together in unity and prayer, to bring the next stage of redemption the sweet way.

Please, come yourself, and encourage others to come too, or at least, to join in online and add their prayers to the tefillot of those who are participating in person.

Because it’s clear that from this point on, things are going to change radically – and only our prayers together with the tzaddikim of the generation is going to enable those changes to happen the sweeten way.

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TO REGISTER FOR A SUBSIDIZED BUS,

PLEASE CALL: 077-229-2222

Then, please press:

#2 – To register for a bus into Hevron and back.

Then, press the number according to the telephone prefix for your area, as follows:

PHONE NUMBER BEGINS WITH:

02 – dial 2

03 – dial 3

04 – dial 4

08 – dial 8

09 – dial 9

You will then hear a list of different cities that the buses are departing from in those areas, and you can press the number of your city, to hear where and when the buses are leaving.

THE PRAYERS WILL START AT 10PM TONIGHT.

There is also an option to drive in to Kiryat Arba yourself in your own car, and then to take one of the shuttle buses that will be leaving from the gate between Kiryat Arba and Hevron.

FOR THE LIVE HOOK-UP:

Please check back here a little later on, and we will have the video of the live hook-up streaming on the site, where you can join in.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP DEFRAY SOME OF THE EXPENSES OF THE ATZERET, PLEASE ALSO CALL THIS NUMBER AND PRESS #1, TO HEAR OPTIONS FOR HOW YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE.

Alternatively, you can also contribute via the DONATE tab at the top of the page [on the ravberland.com site]. Each autobus will cost 1500 to hire for the night.

UPDATE:

The make-or-break prayer gathering in Hevron with Rabbi Berland, 8.4.2019.

I’m just cutting and pasting this here, from the ravberland.com website.

The Rav has been warning about what’s happening in front of our eyes for months and even years. Before Chanuka, he told us that 50,000 people were required to come together in prayer, to sweeten the judgments hanging over the nation.

In the end, 20,000 showed up in Hevron, and another 30,000 joined in via the live link-up. It seems that was enough to tone down what was about to come next, although think back to all the people who have been killed in terror attacks since then, including Yossi Cohen, Ori Ansbacher, and just recently, Rav Ettinger in Ariel, and it’s still been pretty hard.

So now, we have another chance to BH sweeten what’s coming down the pipe.

The Rav is the real deal. He took all the disgrace and exile and imprisonment he’s suffered the last few years upon himself, to try to ‘atone’ for all the terrible things he could see gathering on the horizon.

So, if you really want geula the sweet way, without rockets, bombs, civil wars, financial collapses and I don’t know what else, mark down April 8th, 2019 as a date in your diary. If you can’t be there in person, at least make plans to join the prayer gathering in spirit, and to show Hashem you care.

Because we are coming down to the wire.

 

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Latest Details about the Prayer Gathering on April 8th, 2019

Back on December 7th, 2018, well before any Hizballah tunnels had been discovered in the North of Israel; well before rockets from the Gaza Strip were falling around Tel Aviv; long before the government collapsed, and new elections were called for April 9th, 2019, Rav Eliezer Berland put out the following message:

“They are preparing thousands of rockets”

“The whole of Am Yisrael is currently facing a terrible, threatening situation. Every part of Israel is now under threat of being deluged with rockets.

“After we saw 400 rockets falling on Ashkelon and the surrounding cities, including Beer Sheva, Netivot, Ofakim and Sderot, now they are preparing thousands and thousands of rockets, which will reach to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

“AND WE HAVE NO POSSIBILITY OF STOPPING THIS FROM HAPPENING,

[B]ecause the whole world is against us.

“They can launch 10,000 missiles, and if we fire back even just one, they will say that we are the aggressors, and they are the victims.

“They will say that we began [hostilities], and that they are simply defending themselves.

“We have no [military] might, we only have the power of tehillim (psalms). All of the State of Israel’s efforts to stop the missiles of Hezbollah and Hamas ended in failure. Every day, we are threatened with thousands of new rockets. They can reach any target precisely…

“AM ISRAEL IS IN THE GREATEST DANGER, MAMASH,

And our only possibility of coming through this lies in our mouths: “The voice is the voice of Yaakov, and the hands are the hands of Esav.” (Bereishit, 27:22).

The final moments of the State of Israel

“We are now, mamash, at the final moments that we can stay in Eretz Yisrael, in the State of Israel, because the goal of the Arabs is to destroy everyone here.

“They don’t care if its dati’im (observant Jews), chilonim (secular Jews), Chareidim, Neturei Karta – they aren’t interested.

“They want to annihilate every single Jew, until the very last one of us – regardless of whether he’s secular, or religious, or Mizrachi (Sephardi traditional), or kipat srugah (National Religious).

We are in the gravest danger

It’s written: “And I will divide them, into the light and into the dark” (Bereishit 1:4).They are not going to distinguish between the ‘light’ and the ‘darkness’. Right now, we are all in the gravest danger, mamash.

So, we need to really urge people to attend this Prayer Gathering, so that almost 50,000 thousand people will come.

“And everyone should read the whole of the Book of Tehillim, which will [form] the shoes for the Shechina… every single person is obliged to complete the book of Tehillim at the Prayer Gathering, and to make good use of this opportunity for 50,000 people to say tehillim together.

“This will (be considered in Heaven) as though a billion people are saying tehillim (psalms), and this will certainly stop the tillim (rockets).

“Only tehillim can stop the tillim – not the IDF, not weapons, not tanks, not Patriot missiles, no Iron Dome – none of these things can stop the missiles.

Only the tehillim that we will say at this Prayer Gathering can stop the missiles.

“And in the merit of this, everyone will have a long life, like Yitzhak, in the merit of participating in this Prather Gathering…. “And the Rav will of course be coming, without doubt.“The whole of Am Yisrael is invited to come to the Prayer Gathering, and to finish the book of Tehillim, and this will erase Hamas from the face of the earth.”

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Four months later, who can question the Tzaddik’s ruach hakodesh?

Details of the prayer gathering on April 9th, 2019

We are in great danger, mamash, and the Rav has called for as many people as possible to attend the forthcoming prayer gathering, to be held on the evening of April 8th, 2019, in the City of the Patriarchs, Hevron. Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, will also be in attendance.

The gathering will begin at 10pm, and there will be subsidized buses arranged from all over the country, to bring people to Hevron.

For more details of the buses, and / of if you want to donate to help defray some of the costs of the transportation, please call: 077-229-2222

No one should be missing.

The only reason we suffer is because we lack daat

On Shabbat, I was reading through the Likutey Moharan, and I came across the following lesson, which really spoke to me. So, I thought I should copy out the main ideas, and share it with you, too.

I’m not pretending I’m on the level of emuna described below. I still feel pain, I still suffer. But, it’s definitely giving me a goal to aim for, ad 120.

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Abridged Lesson I:250, from Likutey Moharan

Know: the sole cause of all types of pain and suffering is a lack of daat (internalized spiritual knowledge), for whoever possesses daat, and knows that everything is ordained by God – that ‘God gave and God took’[1] – doesn’t suffer at all, and experiences no pain.

And even though there is pain that is inevitably felt…specifically the pain when the soul leaves the body… this pain is very light and easy to accept when one is clearly aware that everything is ordained by God.

All the more so other types of pain and suffering – they will not be felt at all if one possesses daat, for pain and suffering are mainly on account of one’s daat being taken away, so that one should experience the suffering.

This is the essence of the Jewish pain in exile: all on account of them falling away from daat, and attributing everything to nature, circumstances and fate. This is what causes their pain and suffering.

And this is caused by their dwelling amongst the goyim, and learning from them – by observing that they are very successful while the Jewish people are scorned and lowly.

So they learn from them to attribute everything to nature and circumstances. And this itself is what causes their suffering, for if they would have daat that everything is ordained [by God], they would experience no suffering at all, as said.

And indeed, the Jewish people are above nature, and only when they sin do they fall below nature, as are the non-Jewish nations of the world, who are under the dominion of fate and nature. That is why they are in exile and in pain.

But their main pain and exile is specifically because they lack daat and attribute things to nature….

…[P]rayer is an aspect of providence that transcends nature. Nature dictates such and such, but prayer changes nature….For that is our greatness – that hears our prayers, and changes nature through His providence.

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Rebbe Nachman is summing up why all the non-Jewish ideas about how the world really works, and how our physical health works, and how to be happy, and how to raise our kids, and how marriage really works simply don’t apply to Jews.

Jews are above nature, and our power lies in prayer, not in superficial descriptions of the human psyche, the human body, or even, stuff like global warming.

That’s another reason why we need to keep coming back to daas Torah to inform our thinking, even when it seems illogical or somehow ‘wrong’ to us. We only think that way because we lack daat, spiritual wisdom that we’re really internalized, and that is really shaping every aspect of how we relate to the world, and how the world relates to us.

Because otherwise, we’re stuck believing the same stuff as the non-Jewish nations do about how the world works, and prayer goes out the window, and then we spend so much of our time feeling pain and suffering.

And if there’s an alternative to that, surely we should at least consider trying it?