Rav Arush is officially in Uman – he was in the kever yesterday.

I hope to write something later with an update on what’s happening with the poor Jews in Belarus.

This is becoming an international disgrace, that the Belarussion government is showing way more compassion to them than anyone in the State of Israel.

Hashem, how much more of this callous uncaring and cruelty can we take?!

And also, please remember the lesson taught by Rabbenu and the Baal Shem Tov (amongst others) that before Hashem delivers a harsh judgement upon a person, they are first shown the same circumstance by someone else, but it’s ‘dressed up’ in different clothes, to disguise the similarity.

This is what happened with David and Batsheva, when the Prophet Natan came before the king with a story of a rich man with a large flock who stole a poor man’s single sheep.

When King David judged that ‘rich man’ harshly – he signed his own fate.

And so it is with us.

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The Jews who are stuck in the border with Ukraine could be any one of us.

The State of Israel changed the rules of travel on them mid-flight, then bribed and pressured Ukraine to keep them out of the country illegally.

Now, they are using media propaganda to paint the victims as being somehow ‘to blame’ for what the State of Israel did to them.

If you are reading this sitting in chul, be aware that the same exact thing could happen to you – and actually IS happening to a lot of people I know, who are trying to make aliya legitimately, only to find the State of Israel keeps changing the rules on them to bar them from entering the country.

They don’t want any more religious Jews here, didn’t you get the message yet?

So, are you going to judge those Breslevers in Belarus harshly?

And if yes, where will that leave you, if circumstances worsen in chul for Jews and one day you find YOURSELF stuck at some foreign border with non-Jewish soldiers patrolling, no food, no money, and no help whatsoever from the ‘Jewish State’?

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And if you’re sitting there in Israel and judging them harshly, where is that going to leave you, when the ‘Jewish State’ sends its brownshirts in to your synagogues and schools and homes and businesses for ‘putting yourself in danger’ and ‘taking stupid and unnecessary risks’ just because of your ‘dumb beliefs’?

What are you going to say then, and how do you want God to help you out of your tough predicament?

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What’s happening in Belarus is just a massive test, ahead of Rosh Hashana, yom hadin, and however we react to the plight of those Breslevers – either with compassion, concern and mercy, or with harsh judgment, blame and callous indifference – that’s how we ourselves will be judged.

So, think very carefully what sort of year YOU want next year, and act accordingly.

And remember, that saying nothing when your brother’s blood is being spilt is also considered to be an aveira, and an act of passive cruelty and uncaring.

Make no mistake about it, those Breslovers in Belarus are the canary in the coal mine.

If you care what happens to them, God will care what happens to you, in 5781.

And if not…

Then you have signed your own judgment, and you will have to live with the consequences.

And yes, I’m also talking to all those bloggers out there, who are studiously ignoring the plight of their fellow Jew, while making all their pious statements about ‘who is going to make it’ to geula, and how to really make teshuva…. (pass the puke bag.)

Let’s just say, I probably won’t have a lot to read online in a few weeks time, the way things are going.

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And now, here’s the latest message about Moshiach being here in Eretz Yisrael, and just waiting to be revealed, from Rav Shalom Arush:

[This updated version has the message subtitles in English, from the breslev.co.il website, here.]

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Rav Arush ends by saying the generation’s elders are telling him to spread the message that Jews should make aliya ASAP.

I know it’s hard, believe me.

I know all the tricks the State of Israel is using to stop people from coming.

But learn from the Breslovers, and DO IT ANYWAY.

The obstacles are just an illusion, that are hiding Hashem, and to increase the desire to come.

If you pray, and you act with mesirut nefesh, the gates will open, and this evil government will fall very soon.

Ken yiyeh ha ratzon.

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It’s not against COVID-1984, or against corrupt government officials.

The real war to be fought here is against our own bad middot, and especially our tavot mamon.

Ukrainians are notoriously stingy. Like, notoriously. We have been charged by a taxi for wanting to turn the airconditioning on, we’ve been charged extra for towels, extra for toilet paper, extra for taking especially big gulps of air (ok, that last one is a lie.)

Point is, money is definitely what makes the world go round in the Ukraine.

====

The landlord we’re renting from here in Uman is actually OK, as Ukrainians go, and has shown me a few kindnesses in the two days I’ve been here. He gave me pegs (for free…) He gave me bin bags (for free…) – but he was careful to tell me that I could only throw the bin bag out when it was totally full. And he’s also careful to let me know when the toilet flush gets stuck, so I don’t waste a grivna of his money on that trickle of unnecessary water.

A grivna is worth approximately half a cent.

And Ukraine is totally awash in water – it’s literally everywhere.

I’m not like this at all, so living in close quarters with such a stingy person is proving quite eye-opening. Not least, it’s showing me how very stressful it is, to have people like that around, always looking over your shoulder and critiquing your spending, like an in-house accountant. And it’s also showing me how much unnecessary pain and suffering all this stinginess and tavot mamon (lust for money) is bringing to the world.

====

This morning, our landlord finally managed to rent out the unit next to us.

The group of 8 Israelis who rented it got a really good deal, because our landlord is scared no-one else is coming out to Uman this year.

(He’s wrong, but he doesn’t know that yet.)

Usually, beds like his, in this location, in a reasonable apartment like his, go for at least $500 a head. This morning, he let the group have it for $180 a head, but he made the same condition that he made with us, that no-one else could come round to flat unless they were renting a bed in it.

I understand that condition.

I know it’s coming partially from a stingy place, but I also understand that the temptation to sneak another person in to sleep on a spare bed without paying may prove too strong for many people.

Long story short, the group invited two more people to come eat with them just now who aren’t renting there – and the landlord showed up, and asked them to pay more money.

They refused.

And then, instead of working it out like grown ups, the group of 8 decided to stand on principle and to leave. 

It was 6.30 at night, and their chances of finding somewhere else to sleep or rent right now are pretty small.

And for what? A few extra dollars? Whatever they think they saved, it’s going to cost them way more in hassle and effort.

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This morning in the kever, I opened Rebbe Nachman’s Tales to the story of the Master of Prayer, where the Master of Prayer was taking the people of the Land of Money to task, for devoting their whole life to money.

Retarded people!!! Don’t you understand money is a tool, it’s a means to an end, not an end in and of itself!!! Why waste so much effort, so much energy, trying to conserve a couple of bucks, or trying to squeeze a couple more bucks out of other people?!?

(Clearly, I’m paraphrasing what Rabbenu said here.)

I have seen so many people sour relationships and cause massive emotional damage to others, especially their children and spouses, by making their money, their bank account, their principal priority in life.

Personally, I am at a stage that I literally can’t stand all this stingy ayin hara over money any more.

I can’t stand the people who criticise others for spending a little bit more on their groceries; or for giving some charity to askers who can’t be proven to be 100000% ‘kosher’; or who make it a big ‘mitzvah’ to try to screw prices down so hard (or inflate them so high) it literally hurts.

I can’t stand those people.

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Recently, I read a prayer from the Rav, Rabbi Berland, which set up a clear correlation between the trait of stinginess and the ayin hara. People who have the first invariably have big problems with the second.

And that’s the whole war that we’re fighting right now, to convince all those people living n the Land of Money to finally give up on their false beliefs and destructive ideology.

Money is for spending.

Money is for sharing.

Money is for building the world, not boosting your investment portfolio.

Rebbe Nachman teaches very clearly that before Moshiach comes, anyone who has a lot of money will be totally shamed and disgusted by the money itself.

All those millionaires and billionaires, who could have helped so many people, done so many kindnesses, but preferred to continue to suck everyone else dry, and to take bribes, and to promote the agenda of evil in the world, just so they can have a few more zeros in the bank.

And what about us?

How much are we also stuck in the Land of Money, putting our savings ahead of helping our kids, or inviting guests for Shabbat, or even buying ourselves a new frock for the chag?

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Money as we know it is about to disappear.

That’s why the tests involving money are becoming so sharp.

And that’s why God is checking us so carefully right now, to see how caught up in the lust for money, tavot maimon, we really are.

The more of us can kick free from it, and start to trust more in God and less in our savings and ability to manage money, the easier this next stage will go.

So, I give us all a blessing that we will replace our stingy, ayin hara with a generous ayin tova. That we will want to give to others generously. That we won’t worry about spending what we need to, in order to live and to celebrate Jewish holidays, and give ourselves and our families what we really need.

Because when enough of us get out of the Land of Money, Moshiach will come.

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It’s hard to back down, when we find ourselves on the wrong side of an argument.

It’s embarrassing, often excrutiatingly so, and if we were raised in homes where mistakes were not tolerated, and personal attacks occurred whenever we were ‘wrong’, then admitting we maybe made a mistake when we are adults can get really, really hard.

But if we just relate to all this ‘COVID-19’ stuff as the ‘end’, spiritually, and not just the means to a different type of end, we are missing the whole point.

Who is arranging all this COVID-19 pantomime, from behind the scenes?

God.

Why is He doing that?

There are lots of potential answers to that question, but one very big one is that God is currently putting all of us through a massive character test.

This whole thing boils down to a test of middot.

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Middot in Hebrew literally means ‘measures’. The ‘measure’ of a human being is how they treat other people, how morally they behave, how good their character traits really are.

And right now, we are in the advanced PhD masterclass of middot testing, where it’s impossible to fake, or cheat, or bluster your way through the process.

Last week, someone sent me a shiur by a popular Rabbi that was buying the COVID-19 scare-story, replete with ‘wear your mask, or you’re evil!!!!’ messaging.

The person who sent me that shiur was probably quite surprised to hear that message coming from that person. I wasn’t. I’ve had dealings with that guy for years and years and years, and while he talks a good game, when push came to shove his middot and his emuna were nowhere near where he likes to pretend they are.

So, COVID-19 is just bringing all his hidden lack of emuna, and his hidden addiction to secular news, and his hidden fallen fears up to the surface.

And it’s doing it across the board.

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Same thing applies to why we are all being ‘locked down’ with our immediate family members.

I guarantee that for every person who has realised just how much they really do love and miss ‘Bubby and Safdie’, there are at three who are starting to own the uncomfortable truth that they are actually way happier having more space away from certain, controlling, family members.

COVID-19 is cutting through all the pretend good manners, all the socialized conditioning, and is laying bare what is really underneath.

Same goes for our kids.

You can’t spend approaching 6 months (!) under this type of mega-stress, day in, day out, and keep up any sort of pretence within your immediate family unit.

Either you really do have patience, or you don’t.

Either you really do have emuna and a strong belief that God is running the world, or you don’t.

Either your interactions are more about giving to others, or they are more about taking for yourself.

And at this point in the process, all these measures of our true character, all these middot are starting to be very clearly recognisable.

And for a lot of people, it’s pretty shocking.

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Baruch Hashem, I’ve known for years that I have a lot of fear, and a very short temper, and that I can also get very controlling when feeling ‘stressed’.

So Baruch Hashem, I’ve been working on these issues – and more! – for years and years and years, to try to tackle them and make life livable for the people around me.

Naturally speaking, I have no patience. And I have no tolerance. And I can get wound up very tight, very fast.

But unnaturally, because I’ve been doing an hour of hitbodedut every day for over a decade now, God has been helping me to get a grip on all these bad middot, and to start to defuse them.

Baruch Hashem!

Because if He hadn’t, there would probably be blood on the floor of the Levy household by now.

(BTW, if you want a shortcut to defusing your anger, the Rav wrote an excellent short booklet with some information and prayers on the subject, that I’ve now gone through twice, and each time it’s really helped me to get a grip on my anger again. You can pick that up, very cheaply, HERE.)

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That’s also what all the trips to the kivrei tzaddikim is about, and all the visits to Rebbe Nachman’s grave in Uman.

The whole thing, really, is just about getting a grip on my bad middot, so that the real me, my holy soul, can start to shine out in the midst of all that murk.

And that’s really the whole point of this COVID-19 manufactured crisis.

Whether we believe in masks or not, believe in vaccines or not, believe that Trump is the ‘Edomite messiah’ or not (‘scuse me while I snort into my cup of tea) – this whole thing really just boils down to how strong our relationship to God really is (aka ‘the test of emuna’), and how we treat other people (aka ‘the test of good middot’).

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Today, whilst waiting in the line outside the bakery, I bumped into one of my old good friends from University.

We fell out of contact for 20 years, and while I’ve seen here once of twice around the streets of Jerusalem, it’s only ever a two minute chat these days, and that’s not enough to break the ice again.

But, it’s better than nothing.

So when I spotted her, I went over to where she was standing, with her mask under her chin, to say hello. As I approached, she pulled her mask up over her nose (mine was still under my chin).

Don’t do that just for me! I told her.

I don’t believe in all that stuff!

“I do.” She replied.

And then, we started having a big argument about all the ‘studies’ that show it helps other people radically, and she told me there are no doctors out there who are saying that it’s not necessary!!!

It’s a test of middot.

Once I understood that my poor friend has totally bought into all the lies being pumped out by the powers-that-be and the media, and that I would only embarrass and upset her, if I continued to throw ‘uncomfortable facts’ in her direction, I decided to keep my mouth shut and change the subject.

That’s what I mean, about trying to figure out the real, underlying ‘tests’ going on here. I will debunk things on my blog until I’m blue in the face, and my readers can take it or leave it.

But in my interactions with others, I have to tone myself down, because that is what God really wants.

He doesn’t me being ‘right’, He wants me being humble. And He doesn’t want me winning the argument at any price, He wants me to be reaching out to others, and trying to stay connected to them – achdut – even though sometimes I have to twist myself into 50 pretzels, in order to do that.

It’s hard work.

And I can’t always do it.

But I know, that’s what God wants.

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Back in THIS POST, I set out the timeline for the 9 months when Moshiach is here, but hidden, and where the Nation of Israel is under foreign rule, that’s referred to in both the Zohar (see HERE) and also in the Child’s Prophecy (see HERE).

The process started February 9, 2020, when the Rav was imprisoned.

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February 9 – May 9th,2020 = The first trimester.

That’s when Coronavirus panic was at its height, and here in Israel we were severely locked down for around 10 weeks.

That corresponds to the first few months of pregnancy where everything has changed, internally, and your hormones are totally whacked, and you’re puking up, or sleeping, or feeling just generally strange and out of it – but externally, no-one can even tell there is a baby in the making.

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May 10 – August 9th, 2020 = The second trimester.

That’s when things have usually ‘settled down’ into some form of weird almost normal.

Yes, it’s become clearer that there is a baby on the way, but for most people the puking has stopped, their energy has returned, and they are pretty much just getting on with regular life.

This corresponded to the last 3 months when ‘pseudo normal’ life returned here in Israel, and things mostly opened up again, albeit with masks, coronafascist police, and worrying tyrannical tendencies about using technology to track everyone, and to force everyone to have a ‘vaccine’.

So strange, and not ‘relaxed’, but still a version of ‘life as normal’.

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August 10th – November 9th, 2020 = The third, and final trimester.

In case you aren’t aware, the freemason dictator-in-waiting, Binyamin Netanyahu, managed to pass a piece of legislation two days ago which means that he can abrogate the entire Knesset, and the entire political process of ministerial oversight, to push the ‘lockdown’ button anytime he wants:

This from the Times of Israel:

The legislation allows the cabinet to set restrictions on the public, with the Knesset given just 24 hours to approve or reject the regulations before they take effect automatically. In addition, it includes a clause that allows the cabinet to bypass the Knesset and immediately implement measures deemed “urgent,” without specifying the criteria for making that determination.

I don’t know about you, but given Netanyahu’s hysterical insistence on locking everyone down right from the beginning – based on zero real evidence – that has me really worried.

And do you know when this piece of legislation takes effect?

Yup.

August 10th, 2020.

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In other words, we are two weeks away from the start of the third, and final trimester of the process where Moshiach is hidden, while ‘foreign powers’ continue to rule Israel for 9 months.

(BTW, two big kabbalists are saying the same thing, including Rav Yehuda Sheinfeld, and Rabbi Aaron HaKohen.)

Rav Sheinfeld:

It’s accepted amongst the tzaddikim that we are now in the period of time known as the chevlei Moshiach (birthpangs of Moshiach) – in the final stages. We are in the nine last months of the chevlei Moshiach.

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And the message from the Tzaddik Nistar:

AT THE END OF THIS GALUT, THIS EVIL MALCHUT (LITERALLY: ROYALTY, FIGURATIVELY: GOVERNMENT) WILL SPREAD IN ISRAEL, AND IN THE WHOLE WORLD FOR THE DURATION OF NINE MONTHS.

May we be saved from it, and and may we be redeemed speedily in our days, amen.

Pay attention, that this is beginning with one lockdown, and then another lockdown… Until all of us will be in an absolute lockdown. Don’t say that we didn’t tell you.

Today, it’s still possible to stop this.

Pharoah also started [to enslave] Am Yisrael with soft words.

If we do teshuva, but not completely, meaning with full, heart-felt intention, we will need to complete the relative portion with suffering, the very difficult ‘birthpangs of the Moshiach’, rachmana litzan (Hashem should have mercy).

Therefore, everyone should come, like one man, with one heart, let’s pray together, let’s do teshuva from love, and let’s merit to have geula b’rachamim (redemption with mercy), TODAY! If we will only listen to his voice.

But it’s 100%, that we will not return to the ‘routine’ again.

We are in the final process of geula, Am Yisrael, and how it’s going to come – either with din (harsh judgment) or rachamim (mercy) depends on us.”

====

I don’t need to tell you what the last three months of a pregnancy are like.

Extrapolate for yourselves, and know that this is what we are heading into, starting August 10th, 2020.

But take heart!

This is all just a means to a spiritual end, and something very good is going to flower from the ashes of this corrupt world that is currently winding down.

Let’s give the last words to Rabbi Eliezer Berland:

THOSE SIX YEARS FROM 5776 UNTIL 5781, THESE ARE YEARS OF REDEMPTION.

THESE ARE YEARS IN WHICH THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL WILL DO TESHUVA, THE BIGGEST CRIMINALS WILL DO TESHUVA, BECAUSE THERE ARE NO SECULAR IN THE JEWISH PEOPLE, AND THERE ARE NO CRIMINALS AMONG THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL, AND NO WICKED PEOPLE OF ISRAEL.

“These are all just stages in the salvation, it’s all stages in the development of the soul, in accepting the parts of the soul, the biggest gangster in the end will become the most righteous man.”

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I’ve been quoting this passage for four years, and it’s written in the first Volume of One in a Generation I.

We are seeing it play out before our eyes.

So hold on!

But also carry on working on your middot and emuna.

Because that is the whole point of the madness that’s going on with COVID-19.

====

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Does all this ‘taking the knee‘ stuff sound familiar to you?

Cos it sure as heck sounds familiar to me.

In biblical times, whenever the nation of Israel was going to go out to war, there would be a selection process whereby those that had ‘knelt to the Baal’ were disqualified for service.

On a similar note, doesn’t all these statues – pessalim, idols – being smashed up, defaced and toppled all over the place remind you of something else?

Like, what happened in ancient Egypt during the 10 plagues, when the nation’s idols were destroyed one after another – except for the Baal Tzafon, that was left standing right until the end?

We appear to be in the middle of a modern day 10 plagues.

====

Over the last week or so, there have been a series of 6.0+ earthquakes fanning out across the globe.

Dutchsinse got taken off the internet, because the powers that be didn’t want him educating the population about how geomagnatic phenomena and seismicity really works, so I can’t give you any ‘predictions’ for a big one, at least not from him.

But, I guess I don’t have to, because Rabbi Pinto told us many weeks ago that a big earthquake is coming soon:

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The kabbalists have told us that we are now in the middle of the 9 months of the ‘foreign rule’ that precedes Moshiach’s coming.

It’s all happening, folks.

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One last thought for today, then I have to get on with finishing another book project for the Rav, BH.

There’s a big discussion going on about aliya right now, given the mounting violence etc we are witnessing worldwide, and the fact that orthodox Jews are now being stabbed in the head in London, etc.

I live in Israel. I’ve struggled to live in Israel, financially, and socially, and in many other ways, too.

But I still know that living in Israel is 100% a gift from Hashem, and that when people are ‘stopped’ from making aliya, it’s because they are the subject of large spiritual judgments, above.

I’m not here because I have more emuna, more foresight, more bravery, more wisdom than anyone else.

I’m here because God decided to give me and my family a gift 16 years ago, and to push us out of the UK and into the Holyland.

For me to think that I somehow got here under my own steam, or because of my own spiritual merit is totally laughable. I was really not such a nice person when we made aliyah, and my emuna was practically non-existent. We got here because God basically scared the pants off me via a series of nightmares, and then helped me to buy a much bigger house here, than I could have afforded in the UK at that time.

There was a very big carrot, and a very big stick.

What there wasn’t, was a person with great middot or a burning desire to move to Israel for spiritual reasons.

I can’t claim any credit for moving here, it was all God’s doing.

I guess what I’m really trying to say is that if God could get me to Israel, then He can certainly do that for everyone else, too.

====

All this upheaval is a present, to clear away the judgments that have been preventing Jews from coming to Israel.

The single best way to help people to make aliya – including ourselves! – is to:

  1. Pray
  2. Make some sincere teshuva
  3. Connect to the true tzaddikim, and their Torah and advice, including Rebbe Nachman and Rav Berland.

No-one got out of Egypt without Moshe Rabbenu.

No-one.

And no-one got into Eretz Israel if they were still bad-mouthing other Jews, speaking badly of them, and going against the Tzaddik HaDor.

I’ve written about this subject elsewhere, below, I’ll attach a few posts on the subject.

But let me end with this snippet from Rabbenu, which goes to the heart of the question of whether moving to Israel and living here is really enough, to be ‘saved’ from the chevlei Moshiach all by itself:

The motive for making the journey to Eretz Yisrael should be purely spiritual: to draw closer to God. A person who goes there with this as his aim will certainly benefit….On the other hand, if a person’s motive has nothing to do with devotion to God and cleansing himself of his evil, then what help will Israel be to him? The land will vomit him out…

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I am sure that there will still be an opportunity for people to move here, even though most of us still haven’t woken up to the unpleasant fact that the State of Israel has closed its borders to Jews abroad – and from what I can see, this seems to be part of a deliberate strategy to stop people making aliya.

Otherwise, why not just test anyone who flies here for Corona first, why not just put them up in the empty hotels and Air BnBs for 2 weeks of quarantine?

As that Cypriot billionaire showed us all last week, where this is a will to get people into Israel, there was always a way, even at the height of the lockdown here.

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The Rav said many months ago that people will come on boats – and I don’t think he was referring to private yachts.

He’s talking about luxury liners that can hold thousands of people. At some point, the penny will drop, and Jews abroad will realise that every word the Rav says should be explored in total seriousness.

But even if that’s not the case, and people don’t make it here – God has a plan for them.

As long as someone is working on coming closer to God, and working on their emuna that whatever God does, it’s for the best, ultimately they will end up in a good place. That doesn’t necessarily mean getting to Israel, or even coming through the whole process alive.

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There are no guarantees for anyone, wherever they happen to live, except this:

If we accept God’s will for us with emuna, then whatever happens down here, live or die, aliya or not, our souls will end up in a very, very good place.

And that’s really the whole point, hard as that can be for us to swallow.

We all remember the stories of the chassidim in World War II who danced into the gas chambers, because they knew that their souls were going straight to the highest places in shemayim.

And we all remember those reshaim in Israel, all those Labour Zionists, and others, who survived the war and even held prestigious jobs running the country for decades.

Where did their souls end up?

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So, take courage dear reader. Wherever you live, you can continue to do God’s will sincerely, and if you get the chance to move here – take it! And if you don’t, your emuna is what is really going to count, at the end of the day.

Rav Berland has explained more than once that we all have to die before techiat hametim can occur, even if just for a second.

So trust God, remember that the SOUL is what really matters, not the body, and get as close as you can to Rav Berland and Rebbe Nachman’s Torah.

Because no-one got out of Egypt and into the Holy Land unless they were following Moshe Rabbenu and listening to the Tzaddik HaDor

Even if they already happened to live in Israel.

====

UPDATE:

I just noticed something interesting:

Black Lives Matter = BLM.

BiLaaM.

There is nothing new under the sun.

====

 

 

Well, it looks like things are already moving.

This morning the bhol haredi and rotter ‘news’ sites carried a story that the former head of the Tel Aviv –Yaffo Beit Din, Rabbi Nissim Ben Shimon, had published a strong letter decrying the contravention of Torah law that occurred in the recent psak din handed down against Rabbi Berland, in Bnei Brak.

Before I translate the story, let’s back up and give some more background.

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The cholkim, that small group of unfortunate people within Meah Shearim Breslov who have been part of the ‘anti Rav Berland’ movement for three decades, already, were the ones who instigated the Beit Din.

They are experts at playing on people’s innate prejudices and arrogance, and have a lot of unholy siyatta dishmeya in presenting people with exactly what they want to hear.

Hey, media people, you want to believe that all chareidim are abusers?! Here’s a great story for ya….

Hey, dati leumi people, you want to believe that all chareidi rabbis are corrupt and out of touch with reality? Here’s a great story for ya….

Hey, Litvak people, you want to believe that all chassidim belong to cults, with Rebbes who act like a modern-day Shabtai Tzvi?! Here’s a great story for ya….

And so on, and so forth.

====

So, more than 18 months ago, the Rav’s persecutors went to a Beit Din in Bnei Brak with pronounced ‘anti Breslov’ tendencies, and told them exactly what they wanted to hear.

There was only one problem:

The Beit Din was not conducted according to the halacha, on a number of counts, the most notable of which include:

  • There was only the testimony of ONE witness to go on, the same false witness that also told the Israeli police exactly what they wanted to hear.
  • Rav Berland himself was never called upon to testify.
  • The verdict was delivered when the Rav was in prison, and couldn’t appear before the Beit Din.

There are more discrepancies too – I have a 3 page document from a first-hand witness that attended the proceedings in person, that lists them all, which I haven’t got around to translating yet – but these three alone should underline that whatever actually happened, that Beit Din in Bnei Brak was apparently not operating in accordance with basic halacha.

How shocking.

====

So then, the cholkim being the cholkim, they weren’t content with just perverting justice by one senior Beit Din, and then coercing two other senior Beit Dins to sign on to that pervasion of justice. They wanted even more dayanim and senior rabbanim to sign on to the psak din that they created out of whole cloth.

And that’s where they came unstuck.

Because some of those other dayanim and rabbanim actually decided to do their homework, and to ask for details of the judgement first-hand, from the people who were meant to have made it, before appending their signatures.

And that’s where the wheels have started to come off the bus, big time.

Because the more these sincere rabbanim started probing the judgment against Rav Berland, and asking for the information and facts it was based upon, the more it became clear that the initial Beit Din had not been operating according to even basic halacha.

How shocking!

====

Some of these rabbanim and dayanim felt so upset by what had occurred, they asked the original Beit Din to retract their ruling against Rabbi Berland, or at least to put out a letter clarifying how their Beit Din arrived at their conclusions – or else, they would put out their own letter, to inform the public of what had happened.

What can we say?

When people’s pride are on the table, and when their status is at stake, it can be very hard to back down from the tree, or to maneuver out of the corner you painted yourself into.

Admitting we made a mistake is one of the hardest things in the world, regardless of who we are.

And when we’re considered to be someone with status and influence, who is meant to be upholding Torah law for literally hundreds and thousands of communities across the world…. Well. Things get kinda complicated, really fast.

So, with that introduction out the way, here’s a free translation of what appeared on the bhol haredi website today, which you can read for yourselves in the original Hebrew HERE.

====

Over the last two weeks, the psak din written about the matter concerning the leader of the Shuvu Banim community, Rabbi Eliezer Berland, has been publicized. It was put out by a special Beit Din established on behalf of the central batei din undersigned by gedolei hadayanim in Israel.

It told the community to distance themselves and to guard themselves from him [i.e. Rav Berland]. This was after a year and a half of examining witnesses and complainants….

[Rivka note: As there was only one ‘witness’, it truly boggles the mind what they were actually doing for a year and a half. Let’s continue.]

====

Now, one of the previous Ravads (Rosh Av Beit Din) of Tel Aviv-Yaffo, and Ravad of the Badatz ‘Netzer Aharon’, haGaon Rabbi Nissim ben Shimon, has written a letter raising a number of questions about the published ruling.

In that letter…the dayan and gaon Rabbi Nissim ben Shimon writes that one of the askanim (people involved with the case – i.e. one of the Rav’s persecutors) turned to him, to ask him to add his signature to the psak din, and because of this, [Rav ben Shimon] decided to delve into the details of the ruling, to clarify and check the truth of the matter.

He said that it’s not his way to add his signature to a psak din that he hadn’t clarified himself.

Rav ben Shimon recounts that he turned to two of the dayanim who signed on the psak din, and asked to hear from them on what grounds they’d decided to put out the psak din, and they avoided telling him anything at all about the testimony and the proceedings that occurred at the Beit Din.

One of these two dayanim referred him to the third dayan, the gaon Rabbi Sriel Rosenberg, and in conversation with him, told him [i.e. Rabbi ben Shimon] that the psak was written on the back of “testimony from the mouth of one man, who testified what he testified.”

[Rivka note: this is the same, infamous, false witness that proved so useful to the Israeli police, too.]

====

In response to this, Rabbi ben Shimon told him that he couldn’t add his signature to this psak, that recounts that it was based on testimonies [i.e. in the plural, not just the say-so of one man. Apart from anything else, Jewish law requires there to be at least two witnesses.]

In response to this, the gaon Rabbi Sriel Rosenberg replied that: “I didn’t ask you to sign it.”

====

[Skipping a couple of pars, where it talks about the other rabbis who signed on to this psak din. You can go and read it yourself, if you want. The story then continues by describing how Rabbi Shimon Badani also originally appended his signature to the psak din – but then changed his mind, after hearing from Rabbi ben Shimon, what had really happened.]

====

After the clarification done by the gaon Rabbi Nissim ben Shimon, [Rabbi Badani] added his signature to his [i.e. Rabbi ben Shimon’s] letter. And then added in his own handwriting:

“I see the letter of the famous gaon and rabbi, and I’m flabbergasted. And according to this, I signed on the psak din, [against Rav Berland] which really pained me, and now I take back what I wrote. It’s fitting [for me] to worry about the yeshiva and the kollel, that it shouldn’t collapse, chas v’shalom.

[Rivka note: I think Rav Badani is saying that the shock of discovering that the proceedings that occurred in the Beit Din in Bnei Brak against Rabbi Berland weren’t done according to even basic halacha could be profoundly disturbing to many people in the Torah world – as indeed, it should be.]

The implications of this are enormous.

====

Here ends my free translation, although the story continues to describe how Rav Badani then showed up in Jerusalem a couple of days ago, together with Rabbi Yehuda Sheinfeld, to pay a visit to the Shuvu Banim community in Jerusalem, to strengthen them, and to explain why Rabbi Berland is being persecuted.

You can hear what he had to say in the video below (in Hebrew).

====

We’ll leave it there for now.

But things are certainly starting to move again.

====

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I went to Hevron today, BH.

They closed the road through the tunnels into Gush Etzion, so I had to take the long way around via Beitar. I had a strong urge to go, so I wasn’t going to let a pesky matter like the Israeli police get in the way.

So, I get to Hevron, and I go through the security and up the stairs, and then I find a quiet spot next to the tomb of Yaakov Avinu….and I promptly fell asleep.

That has happened before at Hevron, more than once, so I wasn’t totally shocked when I woke up after half an hour. It’s a known phenomenon by certain kevers, including Rabbi Nachman’s in Uman, that sometimes the kedusha is just so strong that it knocks you out.

====

So, I woke up, and I hear that the wailing woman who was hogging the whole of Avraham Avinu’s room is still wailing…

She was crying melodramatically for at least an hour, which is kind of impressive. Either she was a hidden tzaddeket, or….she really wasn’t.

But it was kind of bothersome to me, so I decided to head downstairs and outside to the ‘7th step’, where there were 3 Breslov guys (you can tell by the payot and the casual dress….) and one Breslov woman, hidden off in the bushes where she was rustling quietly to herself.

I sat down, still feeling out of it, and still finding it pretty hard to say anything to God, and suddenly I noticed how windy it had got. Tikkun HaKlalis started flying all over the place, and the wind was also blowing siddurim off shtenders and onto the floor.

I picked two up, stowed them in the special cupboard for holy books, then decided I would do some writing hitbodedut today, seeing as the speaking hitbodedut was kind of a bust.

In case you don’t know what writing hitbodedut is, that’s where you write down your questions and comments to God, and then just kind of let God guide your pen, for the answers.

So, I got some interesting stuff there in Hevron, and I’m going to share some of it with you, dear reader, below:

====

Q: Why is it so windy, all of a sudden?

A: Change is coming to the world. Good change. Lasting change. Eternal change. It’s v.v.v. close now, not much longer.

[Rav Yehuda Sheinfeld said 2 days ago that we are in the last 9 months of the chevlei Moshiach process.]

Q: When did the 9 months start?

A: With the imprisonment of Rav Berland (February 9th, 2020).

February 9th – May 9th = first trimester

May 9th – August 9th = second trimester

August 9th – November 9th = final trimester

It’s mamash like a pregnancy.

The first 3 months are exciting, scary, debilitating, puke-inducing. Then the next 3 months are semi-normal (up to August 9th). And then, Moshiach can come anytime, and the drama and discomfort are maximized [i.e. in the last trimester].

Tell people to move to Israel. To organize boats and to come via Eilat.

[Then I had a non-sequitur, because the wind had really picked up again, so I wrote: A mini-hurricane is happening around me, in the garden of the 7th step.]

A: DON’T FORGET THE EARTHQUAKE. It’s on the way, and will change the whole picture.

====

Q: Is there a message for my readers?

A: The more people draw closer to the Rav, and learn and disseminate his teachings and prayers, the easier, smoother and faster this next stage will be.

The evildoers have until August 9th to make teshuva from love. Then the gates close.

Don’t fear!

But don’t waste any more time.

====

Now, I’m not saying you should take this as anything except what I wrote down at Hevron.

It’s not nevua, I have no idea how much ‘truth’ it really has in it. At the same time, I live my life according to the principle that EVERYTHING is a message from Hashem in some way, shape or form.

So there’s no reason why there shouldn’t be some ‘message’ hidden in what I wrote down at Hevron, but each person can decide for themselves what that might be, and it’s relevance to them.

The other thing to tell you is that I got a big push to get started on One in a Generation III – which from past experience, means that things are going to start moving again big time… Probably in about a week, once I’ve finished tying up some loose ends and clearing the decks.

We certainly live in interesting times.

Don’t fear!

But don’t waste any more time.

All of us have a lot of work to do, to get geula the sweet way.

====

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I’ve been struggling with the whingy blahs a bit this week.

It’s ok, it’s normal, it’s human.

But, it’s also not so helpful to keep that state of mind for long, because it very quickly spirals down into apathy and despair, and when that happens, I stop doing anything useful and just want to stay in bed all day.

As well as making an effort to get out of the house and to visit kivrei tzaddikim and other places, I’ve discovered that regular doses of Rabbi Berland’s torah and prayers can snap me out of my negative mood almost instantly.

Like today, for example, I woke up with more of the whingy blahs, inspired by the corrupt Israeli police flagging down cars all over Jerusalem yesterday just because they can, and intimidating the public into wearing face masks by handing out loads of fines.

Never mind there is zero science showing face masks prevent transmission of COVID-19, and lots of science showing they harm healthy people who are being forced to wear them for long periods of time.

Never mind that the number of people dying from ‘corona’ is practically zero in Israel, as you can see for yourselves, on the Worldometer website:

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To claim we are in the middle of a second spike, to claim this is a ‘pandemic’ at all, is so farcical, so untruthful…. and at least for me, profoundly depressing, because so many people are still buying the lies.

Sigh.

So anyway, the whingy blahs sometimes take over.

That happened this morning, and that’s why I’m sitting here typing this in pyjamas, before I cracked open my morning brachas.

When I’m upset with how God is running the world, it can get hard to pray.

====

But then, I headed over to Rav Berland’s site, and I read this:

https://ravberland.com/5058-prayer-to-be-happy-with-what-we-have/

And I said it.

And then, I started to feel better.

Here’s the translation, below:

====

Master of the world, who can do anything, grant us the merit to always be happy with our lot, because only that really means to be truly wealthy.

And to not to fall into poverty, G-d forbid, because poverty is only in the mind, and any feeling of poverty is a denial of the kindness of Hashem, because then a person is not happy with his lot.

Therefore, it’s a mitzvah to always be happy in every single situation without stopping for a moment.

For even in a situation that appears bad it is always the best possible, because, “Hashem is good for all, and his mercy is over all of his creation,” and Hashem never does anything bad for us ever, because the good and merciful father only does good for his children, and even when he gives them a punishment, its only out of his great mercy to raise them on to the path of the king.

Master of the world, who can do anything, grant us the merit to always see that You are only doing good for us and we should never fall into denial, G-d forbid.

We should only thank you for every single breath and for every single movement at every single minute and at every single second that we are alive and breathing, us, our wives, our sons, our daughters, grandsons and granddaughters.

Please G-d, take us out of the trait of complaining, that we always cry a worthless cry over nothing, over things that are no big deal, that their root is absolute good.

And even when we don’t see this good, truthfully it is only good, because You are only good and give good to all.

====

One of my correspondents asked me this, over email:

Have a question,was looking for your take on it…In Israel and some States in the US where they’ve been re-opening have been reporting new cases and possibly new hospitalizations…Other hand you have a country like New Zealand who it seems like lifted a lot to all of their lockdown orders(And is Covid Free theyre reporting)….How do you make sense of it vs with what we know that it ended Pesach night.

Here’s what I think, for what that’s worth:

  1. COVID-19 was a ‘plague’ sent by Hashem, specifically to get the Jews of the world to wake up and make teshuva, in whatever way you understand that. The places where there are more Jews are the places where there has been more of an issue, generally.
  2. The kabbalists told us that COVID-19 came because people were speaking badly of Rav Berland and slandering him. This so-called ‘second wave’ was caused directly by the Bnei Brak beit din ruling against the Rav, based on the same old lies that have been repeatedly disproven.
  3. There WAS a disease that we’ll call ‘COVID-19′ that WAS meant to kill millions and millions of people – 65 million people, at least, as per the pandemic planners’ own assessments. The Rav sweetened this, and the potentially fatal DISEASE itself went into retreat, starting Seder Night.
  4. What we are dealing with now is COVID-19 propaganda. There is nothing at all to suggest that COVID-19 is any more dangerous than annual flu, or any more infectious, and just because there are new cases – so what? The real stats to pay attention to are the number of people who are dying from it, or that could die from it. They have shrunk to essentially zero.
  5. People believe COVID-19 propaganda, because at the soul level they are disconnected from Hashem. Hashem’s seal is truth, but if you’re disconnected from Hashem, you have no idea what’s really ‘true’ and what isn’t.
  6. The more people make teshuva – especially about slandering the Rav – the more God will open their eyes to what is true and what is false, and the more they will see through the COVID-19 propaganda. There’s a REASON that face masks and gloves are all over the chareidi world right now, and it’s not just because the Government targeted them for punitive quarantine measures. Indulge in lashon hara = wear your facemask 24/7, and believe all the COVID-19 propaganda.

====

There’s more I could say, but that will do for now, and I said a lot of this before anyway, here:

====

BH, we’ll all continue to make some real teshuva, and to work on our bad middot, which for me at the moment continues to be working on Azamra, or seeing the good in my fellow Jews, and trying to uproot all the anger and yeoush that can still flood up.

It’s work, man.

But that’s the reason we are all down here.

====

Photo by Jacqueline Munguía on Unsplash

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If you haven’t been following the Daily Dose of Chizzuk translations over on the ravberland.com site, I highly recommend you start.

Sometimes, reading the Rav’s words is pretty much the only thing that can dispel the heavy cloud of yeoush – despair – that keeps gathering around my head.

The last couple of weeks, since the lockdown was mostly lifted in Israel, I’ve been making use of every moment to go visit kivrei tzaddikim and nature sites. Yesterday, I went for a short hike in Ein Karem, then went off to Kever Rachel to recite 3 tikkun haklalis.

I don’t want to give you a misleading picture here:

I’ve been finding it really hard to say even one tikkun haklali a day, the last few weeks, let alone three. But when you tap into ‘tzaddik power’, you suddenly find reserves of spiritual strength you no longer knew you had.

====

Yet in my own dalet amot, life is actually (strangely….) pretty good right now.

As the olam hafuch started its process of flipping over in February, when all this COVID-19 fake pandemic really took off, as part of the plan to get us all plugged into a ‘digital control grid’ that would make Hitler really, really proud, (see below…) in many ways my life strangely got easier.

====

====

I’m having way fewer arguments with people that *something* isn’t quite right with the world.

Or that *something* isn’t quite straight with the media. Or that *something* isn’t quite OK with Bibi and Donald Trump.

I think that’s mostly obvious to anyone who has at least one operational brain cell (i.e., around 24% of the population.)

My kids are now much closer to my wavelength, spiritually, since before all this started, including everything that’s gone on with Rav Berland. Now, finally, they are willing to admit that so much of what happened was a stitch up by the corrupt media and corrupt government – and that’s so heartening for me.

At the same time, and despite all the visits to streams and kivrei tzaddikim, sometimes the yeoush is still a little overwhelming.

====

I mean, I know this is all leading to Moshiach and geula – like duh! – and, I also know the process has already been radically sweetened. We can all see time and time and time again, how the whole world creaks to the edge of the precipice, only for things to be strangely turned around at the last minute.

Even this stuff with George Floyd, scary as it’s been for people in the US, hasn’t had anywhere near the *impact* it was planned to have, socially. American society was meant to have totally detonated after George Floyd, and while there have been a series of explosions, some larger some smaller – that actually hasn’t happened.

The Rav and the other tzaddikim are sweetening, sweetening, sweetening.

But some days, the yeoush is still a little overwhelming.

====

Like, what am I meant to be doing with myself now?

What am I meant to be aiming at? Or working on? Is there any point trying to do anything, right now, when everything is so very uncertain?

I know my kids also have a big dose of that. It’s hard enough studying for a bagrut, or completing National Service, when the world hasn’t just tipped itself totally upside-down. And now? Each day, we are all just having to push all the fears and anxiety aside, and to do the job of the next 24 hours.

And that’s all.

And I think the main job to do now is working on our bad middot.

====

For me personally, as well as having to squarely face down my feelings of yeoush about the world, I’m also having to work on some very deep-rooted feelings of anger.

Yesterday, I could barely sleep because of the heat and the noise of the fan in my bedroom. I was waking up every few minutes, feeling hot and frustrated.

And then one time I woke up, and it suddenly hit me:

Hashem, I’m really angry about [a particular thing that I hadn’t realized was such a big issue for me]!!!

====

So this morning, I had to dig deep, and do some real work on trying to dig up that ugly anger weed that has been flowering in my soul for 25 years, while I’ve been looking the other way.

It’s hard work, all this.

And what’s getting me through it is the Rav’s writings, particularly his daily dose of chizzuk, and Rabbenu’s advice to:

  • do an hour a day of hitbodedut,
  • dance regularly to break the force of the klipot and the harsh judgments
  • to welcome all the setbacks, uncertainty and humiliation as tikkunim that are cleaning my soul off in a big way, and to accept them with love; and lastly
  • to visit as many kivrei tzaddikim as we can, to get a hit of their ‘tzaddik power’, to keep us going.

====

Today, I read this from the Rav:

“For as long as a person continues to be in his body, he can fall into yeoush (despair) every single second. He’s already thinking gamarnu, it’s all over, it’s already the end. A person feels embarrassed, what, someone needs to strengthen me? But as long as a person is still in his body, he feels despair.

And that’s why, the Rav explains, we have to say chazak v’ametz to everyone, and to try and encourage and strengthen the people around us to not fear, and to stay strong.

====

Chazak v’ametz, my dear readers!

It’s hard going at the moment, spiritually.

I apologise if you are one of those people who have emailed me, and who I just haven’t been able to answer, at the moment.

Some days, I can’t slice through the darkness enough to really get to my keyboard. Some days, I have no idea what to say to you – or to myself – because everything is so confused, and so up in the air.

But nevertheless, there is one thing I can do today, and that’s to tell you:

Chazak v’ametz!

Don’t fear, and stay strong!

====

God is going to turn all this around for us, and the true tzaddikim have our back, regardless of how things look right now.

Our part is just to keep on talking to Hashem, keep on working on our bad middot, and to support our true tzaddikim, especially Rav Berland, with every last bit of energy we have.

Chazak v’ametz!

The clouds will part soon.

====

One thing I can say about the Baba Sali is that it’s never dull.

For some reason, I decided I just HAD to go to the Baba Sali this time with my good friend S.

I don’t know why. I’m very happy going all over the place by myself usually, and especially to kivrei tzaddikim. But Sunday night, I was on the phone to S., persuading her to come with me to Netivot.

She lives in the South, so it wasn’t a big shlep, and she likes to go to the Baba Sali herself, plus she’d been ‘locked down’ for three months, and really needed a break.

Problem was, S. is married to a Cohen, and had a small son that she couldn’t find a babysitter for. Cohens aren’t allowed into graveyards, and the Baba Sali is buried on the edge of the main cemetery in Netivot.

I’ll babysit him, while you go in, and we’ll switch off, I found myself saying.

Even though I haven’t babysit for anyone small for around 7 years now. But how hard could it be…. I mean, I could just wheel the kid around in its stroller for half an hour, even if it was bawling that would still be OK.

Wouldn’t it?

====

So we get there, and we agreed that S. would go in first while I walked around Netivot a little with her son in the stroller, so by the time he got cranky she’d be back to deal with him.

She took off for the kever, and I started pushing.

Something on the pavement caught my eye – it was a leaflet with a psak din on it, printed both sides. I walked on, and there were more of these leaflets scattered all over the floor. So I bent down to pick one up – and I was totally disgusted to find it was the psak din against Rav Berland and Shuvu Banim, printed in color and spread all over the streets of chareidi Netivot by his persecutors.

What can I tell you?

I started feeling really, really angry, and upset and judgmental – and all the other negative emotions and bad middot that you can basically classify as ‘hakpada’ or harsh judgment.

Just that morning, I’d read something on the RavBerland.com website where the Rav had said it’s assur – forbidden! – to get harshly judgmental against anyone, even a Jew who is up to his neck in wickedness.

Yet walking around Netivot, I totally forgot all about the Rav’s holy words, and as I spotted more of these infernal leaflets scattered all over the place, I started to fume more and more.

By the bus stop, there was a stack of about 30 leaflets. I walked past them – then decided I was going to go back, rip them into pieces, dramatically, then shove them in the waiting rubbish bin.

My small charge was talking happily to himself, so I parked him in the bus stop, three paces away, and pushed down on the stroller’s brake, to keep him anchored in place while I went on my ‘holy’ rampage.

What can I tell you?

In the two seconds I turned my back to gather the leaflets up, the stroller unbraked itself, and then tipped over on to its side. The small kid started shrieking, and my heart started beating in that wild, uncontrolled way that occurs when you think you may just have done something really bad, however unintentionally.

I ran over, picked the stroller and kid back up, and tried to shush him soothingly, while I found somewhere shaded to sit, where I could take him out and cuddle him. Two minutes later, he was on my lap – and that’s when I noticed he had a small, bruised egg on the front of his head.

My heart sank again.

====

I called his mum, explained what had happened, and she was so understanding.

Is he puking?

No. Thank God.

Is he awake and aware?

Yes. Thank God.

Rivka, I think it’s OK. He gets a lot of knocks at home, too, don’t worry.

But of course, it was too late for that.

====

I have a history of ‘interesting things’ happening at the Baba Sali, including the massive car crash that got me to move to Jerusalem back in 2014. This wasn’t that extreme… but I was still feeling pretty shaken up at this stage.

The kid had calmed down enough for me to put him back in the stroller and to walk around a bit more. So I buckled him in again, and started circling Netivot, trying to figure out why I couldn’t even keep a small child in my care for 2 minutes safe…

The answer wafted over to me from the Baba Sali’s kever:

Hakpada. Harsh judgment. Anger. Self-righteousness. Arrogance.

All things that I’d been totally guilty of, when I picked up those leaflets and started thinking dark thoughts about the poor frum community of Netivot.

====

God, I’m really sorry! Please just let the kid be OK, and I’ll do my best to try to steer clear of those things from now on. But please help me! Because I’m going to find it really hard to uproot those bad middot from my heart, even though I really want to!

God was basically showing me just how dangerous hakpada really is.  Even just two seconds of self-righteous anger can lead to a lot of bad things happening…

And the people who get the most hurt by it are you, and the people closest to you.

====

My friend came back, and I told her that I wouldn’t need long at the tomb, as I’d already got the clarity I’d come for. In typical Baba Sali fashion, I’d got a real slap across the face again, and I’d learned my lesson before I even got into the compound there.

My friend told me that the ‘rules’ for visiting were that you had to wear a mask, get your temperature taken, and avoid kissing the tomb.

So, I decided to skip the tomb itself, and to just throw two packs of candles into the yahrtzeit candle pyre that is nearly always burning strong by the Baba Sali.

God, just as these candles are melting, please melt my hakpada. Please get rid of my self-righteous anger. Please uproot my arrogance.

I threw them in, slowly, one by one.

====

In the car home, I was in a somber mood.

There’s so much harsh judgment in the world right now.

The government in Israel is talking about passing a bill that will enable the police to break into homes and forcibly remove people deemed to be ‘corona risks’ if they have a warrant.

Which of course, they will have for anyone they want to target, so all this emphasis on having a warrant is a meaningless piece of propaganda designed to lull people into thinking they still have any civil rights or legal protection in the State of Israel.

As if.

Things are crumbling all around.

If I didn’t keep my head in the sand as much as possible at the moment, I’d probably be totally freaking it.

As it is, we need all the judgment, all the hakpada to be sweetened.

And I guess that each of us are responsible for trying to do that in our own dalet amot.

Which means trying to seeing the good in the other person. Trying to let go of all our anger and indignation. And to quit hating people who act differently from us, or believe different, or even, that hurt us and those we love, intentionally or otherwise.

It’s a big ask, honestly.

But if I got one thing from my trip to the Baba Sali, it’s just how dangerous all that hakpada really is.

Especially to ourselves.

====

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Back at the end of January, I decided to start doing 40 days at the Kotel for a chareidi family I’ve become acquainted with, who are seriously messed-up.

While the mother is practically a burka-babe, and the father likes to spout pointless divrei Torah for hours (that no-one can interrupt or disagree with, as that would be disrespectful) most of their kids are off the derech, most of them started smoking aged 12 and one of them preferred to leave home and to sleep on the streets than stay at home.

Coming from my own background, and experiencing what I’ve experienced in life, I found it so very hard to try to judge this family favorably, l’chaf zchut, or to do Azamra on them, as per the instructions of Rebbe Nachman in Likutey Moharan, 1:282.

There, Rabbenu tells us:

Know: one must judge every person favorably. Even if the person is totally wicked, one must search and find in him some bit of good, regarding which he is not wicked. By finding in him this bit of good and judging him favorably, one actually elevates him to the direction of righteousness and is able to bring him to repentance.

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I really want this family to make teshuva.

The mother spends most of her time with her kids carping about their faults – to their faces – and complaining that they’ve let her down and come out ‘ruined’ because they aren’t frum enough. Never mind all the kids’ good points. Never mind all the effort they are still making to try to respect their parents, and to take all the blame for their own profound emotional issues upon themselves.

Whenever I hear her interactions with her children, I literally start cringing inside. It’s a non-stop fountain of onaat devarim,  poisonous self-righteousness, criticism, lashon hara and arrogance.

But she thinks she’s a tzaddeket.

Why?

Because she dresses SO tzniusly…. And she won’t eat meat anymore because no hechsher is good enough…. And she has no tumahdik computers in the house (which means her husband is really struggling to make parnassa, but hey, let’s not hairsplit here)…. And she won’t listen to any music – at all! – because she can’t be sure it’s coming from a good, kosher place.

Such a tzaddeket.

Did I mention that the family is strongly Litvish, and kind of ‘anti’ Breslov, and especially ‘anti’ Rav Berland?

No?

Ah, my bad, sorry.

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So, like I said, I’ve been really struggling to do Azamra for these people – and all the hundreds of thousands like them in the chareidi world, who are so anal about all their mitzvoth bein adam l’makom, and so very awful in their mitzvoth bein adam l’chavero.

In the chareidi world as it’s currently configured, your choice is to become a frum robot – and to totally choke down any vestige of individuality or independent thought, and to care more about what the neighbors think than what Hashem really thinks – or to leave.

Thank God for Rebbe Nachman, because when I was faced with this choice, at least I could still find refuge in Breslov.

Or at least, the Breslov of Rav Berland and his students, that welcomed Sephardim, and baal teshuvas, and people like me, who were never going to fit the ‘frum robot’ mold that is de rigeur in mainstream chareidi society.

That strand of Breslov emphasizes the inner world over the outer appearance. It values practice over preaching. And it underscores again, and again, and again that the main work we are down here to do is to work on our own bad middot, and particularly those feelings of arrogance that take us away from Hashem, cut us off from our own neshamas – and hurt so many of the people we should be caring for.

Especially our kids.

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So, I started that 40 days 3 months ago, and man, it’s been a struggle for so many different reasons.

Today, I got up early to make sure I’d get to the Kotel to complete the 40th day, in the middle of all the ‘Yom Yerushalayim’ (non) celebrations.

When I finally got my 1 minute ‘slot’ to stand at the wall, I got there, kissed it, then started crying.

God, it’s too hard for me. I can’t judge all these horrible, arrogant people favorably. I can’t think good thoughts about people who prefer seeing their own kids sleeping rough on the street than ‘looking bad’ in front of the neighbors.

I can’t stand the hypocrisy, I can’t stand the lack of real connection to Hashem, I can’t stand all the pretend piety, controlling emotional manipulation and holier-than-thou fakeness. 

God. I’ve failed. This 40 days has failed.

I’m doing less Azamra now for these people than when I started….

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Deep down, I know nothing is for nothing, but that’s how I felt as I left the wall this morning.

====

I came home, checked my emails, and found one from someone called rivkyalbert@gmail.com that said in big, crowing capital letters:

GAME OVER!!!

She’d kindly forwarded all the ‘psak din’ that had just come out against Rabbi Berland from an anti-Breslov beis din located in Bnei Brak, that she’d got straight from the Rav’s main Breslov persecutors.

There’s so much to say about what’s going on here, and after I’ve done more hitbodedut, if God wants me to start clarifying matters – again, for the 500th time – then I will.

But in the meantime, I’m in no rush.

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You know why?

Because I understand that this is a very important part of the clarification process.

Just like God kept on hardening Pharoah’s heart in Egypt, so he could maintain his free choice, so God is doing the same thing here.

  • After all the mounting evidence of the last few months that the State of Israel has been waging a war specifically against the chareidi community…
  • After all the mounting evidence that the media is totally biased and corrupt, and bought and paid for by vested interests that are ‘anti-God’ in the most profound, evil way…
  • After all the arguments that have occurred recently in the chareidi world between those people who think that praying to God is dangerous, and those who think the opposite…
  • After all the deaths in the chareidi world globally that were attributed to COVID-19…
  • After all the strict lockdowns of specifically chareidi neighborhoods…
  • After all the kabbalists, and big rabbis, and lamed vav Tzaddikim who stated plainly that talking against Rabbi Berland is directly connected to COVID-19….

====

So, the test is being repeated again, to see who has really learned their lesson, and who hasn’t.

====

I’m in no rush to explain what’s going on here.

God has given the chareidi world – and all the other ‘anti Rav Berland’ people – a large quantity of rope, and He’s waiting to see who is going to hang themselves with their own evil speech, and their own bad middot.

Rebbe Nachman told us that before Moshiach would come, heresy would cover the land like a flood, that even ‘big rabbis’ and ‘Torah scholars’ would have heresy dripping out of their pockets, and that most of the leaders of Am Yisrael would be false.

There is a birur going on here.

It’s picking up speed.

It’s becoming more and more obvious that a person’s middot and real connection to Hashem can’t be judged by their appearance, position or title.

But by their actions. And their deeds.

And most of all, whether their homes are full of love and kindness and shalom bayit, and full of children who feel loved and accepted in their homes – or not.

====

The last thing for now, is that it’s no coincidence that as all the lashon hara about Rav Berland ratcheted up a level today, this was the lead story on the JPost website:

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Walking around today, I see that the masks seem to be making a come back in Jerusalem, after a week where more and more people had stopped wearing them.

Logically, this makes no sense. The weather is still hot. Everything is meant to be ‘opening up’ more and more.

But spiritually, it all fits perfectly.

Thanks to that ‘beis din’ in Bnei Brak, which has unleashed another, awful wave of sinat chinam and lashon hara against Rav Berland,  I reckon we are now about to head into a second wave of COVID madness.

So, go stock up on your water, toilet paper and whatever else you need now.

Because the next stage of the birur has arrived. And if you thought the police brutality against the chareidi communities in Israel and beyond was bad before, I have a feeling that far worse is now to come.

Unless we finally make teshuva, and stop pretending that we’re the biggest tzaddikim on the block.

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UPDATE:

Strange as it sounds, the majority of the Shuvu Banim community seem to be doing OK with this ‘psak din’ – even feeling relieved and calmly content.

Why?

Because we all knew that ‘beit din’ was anti-Breslov and anti-Rav Berland right from the start, so no-one is shocked at this outcome.

Also, the Rav was hinting for years that something like this had to happen to get us to the next stage of geula.

And also, because it’s a relief that this ‘fig leaf’ has now been provided by Hashem, to unmask all those yucky horrible people who pretend to be religious, and who pretend to be connected to Hashem.

====

Yalla, yucky people!

Write as many horrible comments and posts as you can in the short amount of time that probably remains to you!

It’s all dissing diamonds, it’s all helping the Rav to sweeten the judgments, and it’s helping his community too.

It’s like I told someone close to the Rav who called me before Shabbat feeling quite shaken up and upset:

I’d much rather have all their dissing and carping, and keep my health, shalom bayit and parnassa, than the opposite.

I’m (trying to be…) a sincere student of the Rav, after all, and here’s what he’s been teaching us for years:

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God will deal with all the yucky people in due course – and it won’t be pretty.

So, hang on my sweet readers! This is a bump in the road, but it’s a necessary part of the geula process to unmask all those pretend frum fakers out there, and show us all what we’re really dealing with.

And it’s already working!

BH, the revealed good is on the way soon, and in the meantime, don’t throw the diamonds back.

They are ‘buying’ us good health, shalom bayit, parnassa, and all the other good stuff that’s really important.

And the truth will out soon enough.

People are already nudging me to write Volume III of One in a Generation….

And I’m almost ready to say yes.

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