Why popping pills really doesn’t ‘solve’ the problem of emotional illness

In the secular world, there is very little understanding of the soul’s impact on a human being, or of the spiritual imperative that is the foundation of human life.

Believing Jews know that people are here to get to know God, and to work on rectifying their souls, which is primarily accomplished by acknowledging and fixing our negative character traits and flaws, and asking God to help us uproot them.

Now, people just don’t tend to do that sort of tough ‘inner work’ when their life is fine and dandy. It usually takes a health crisis, a cash crunch, a personal relationship that’s really going off the rails, or some other form of serious suffering before a person will wake up, re-examine their lives, and start doing the spiritual work described above which is the whole point of being alive.

When we hit these very difficult patches, situations and experiences, they often (usually…) completely take the legs out from under us.

Again, this has been carefully designed by God to show us our own hopelessness and frailty, so that we’ll turn to Him and include Him more in our lives (and stop believing all that ‘masters of our own destiny’ arrogant baloney that’s so common in the West).

Tough experiences and tests doesn’t just mean things happening to us from the outside. In 2017, more than ever, they also include all the head-trips, paranoia, panic attacks, anxiety, difficult emotional states, and other feelings of depression and despair that every single one of us is going through right now.

Writing in the Garden of Healing, Rav Shalom Arush tells us:

“The modern world is characterized by emotional weakness and its associated diseases. In the past, there were life-threatening situations, but people lived with a spirit of vitality: they enjoyed life and they looked forward to ‘living’ each day.

“Today, the most tranquil and comfortable life is really no life at all, because people lack basic joy and contentment in their lives and they really have little will to live. This is the biggest problem we face today in these final days of our exile: weak souls that are filled with constant pain.”

The Gemara teaches us that: there is no suffering without prior sin.

But where this is often misunderstood is that the ‘sin’ doesn’t necessarily have to have happened in our present lifetime. Reincarnation is a basic tenet of the Jewish faith, and our Sages teach us that whatever we messed up in a previous lifetime, particularly in the area of interpersonal relationships, we will be sent down here again to rectify and fix it.

As mentioned above, nearly all our ‘rectification’ work will revolve around two things:

  • Getting to know God better, and strengthening our emuna in His Divine providence and goodness
  • Identifying, acknowledging and uprooting our bad middot and negative character traits.

WHY THE PILLS DON’T WORK TO SOLVE EMOTIONAL ILLNESSES

With that basis set out, now we can start to see why the pills don’t work to cure mental and emotional illnesses. Firstly, those negative emotions are coming to give us a message from Shemayim about what needs to changed, examined or fixed in our lives.

The single biggest reason adults feel clinically depressed (according to scientific research!) is because they were emotionally abused and emotionally neglected as children.

Pssst, here’s a secret: Every single one of us comes from a really screwed-up, dysfunctional family these days, and the more ‘perfect’ it looks on the outside the more messed-up it really is.

Moshiach is coming, and God wants us to finally get to grips with all the bad character traits, unpleasant beliefs and attitudes, and horrible behavior that we’ve all been indulging in over the last 3,300 years, and to finally uproot them from our souls.

That’s why all these emotional illnesses are coming to the fore more than ever before, because God is making it SO CLEAR that something needs to change in the way we interact with each other, and particularly with our kids.

So now, what happens if we go the ‘pills and shrinks’ route to dealing with things like serious depression, instead of doing what I’ve described above, and coming clean about what’s really causing our emotional issues?

  • We try to ‘turn off’ the warning light that God is sending us via our strong emotions.
  • That means we don’t fix the problem, we at best cover it up.
  • We continue to excuse all the bad, horrible behavior (ours and other people’s) that made us emotionally ill.
  • We pass the problem on to the people around us, especially our children, because we don’t fix our bad middot and continue to mistreat others the way we ourselves were mistreated.
  • We fail to fix our souls – which is the whole point of coming down here in the first place.
  • We fail to get closer to Hashem, or to work on our emuna, which is the other whole point of coming down here in the first place.

And the last thing to say is that whatever the parents don’t fix, just gets passed along to their children to have to deal with and fix.

So if mom’s depression problem was seriously bad, her kid’s depression (and ADHD, and BPD, and C-PTSD…) is going to be three times worse…

(As a side note on how this works in the ‘natural’ world: when people take anti-depressants, they typically become much more superficial, cut off from their feelings (and other people’s feelings) and less empathetic. A lack of parental empathy and real caring is a key factor in emotional neglect and emotional abuse. When a kid grows up in a house with an emotionally-absent parent, that in turn skyrockets their own probability of becoming clinically depressed (amongst other emotional illnesses…) as an adult.)

There are no short-cuts!

We are down here to work on our souls. We are down here to fix things. We are down here to feel bad in order to motivate us to learn some emuna and to stop behaving like jerks.

A while back, a correspondent told me that she liked anti-depressants because they ‘let her function like a normal human being, without having to do the work.’

That sounds great – except doing the work is the whole point of being alive. And THAT’s why God is simply not going to let us get away with popping pills instead of praying and working on our bad middot.

To do otherwise would be undermining the very purpose of creation.

Everyone and their dog seems to be coughing their guts up at the moment, or sniffling, or finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning, even though they turned in for the night at 9pm.

The secular view of things is that everyone ‘has the flu’, or something similar. But the spiritual view of things tells us that something else, or something additional, is behind all the flus, colds and general fatigue and ‘unwellness’ that God is sending down to the world at the moment.

Here’s my view: the closer we get to Moshiach actually coming, and the geula actually happening, the more the world is going to start filling up with an amazing spiritual light of truth and clarity, what I’m going to call NiBIRUR.

The more of this NiBIRUR fills the world, the more of this spiritual light that starts to come down the pipe, the more the human body is going to suffer and breakdown, at least until the owner of the human body starts doing some heavy-duty teshuva.

Why is this?

Over on my spiritual self-help website, and in my books like Talk to God and Fix Your Health, I write a lot about the connections between body, mind & emotions, and the soul, and how they all affect each other, especially when it comes to mental and physical health issues.

On this blog, I tend to talk mostly about the spiritual side of life, but sometimes, like in this post, the contrast between the stuff I write here and the stuff I write on spiritual self-help starts to blur.

In a nutshell, the way God has built the human body (which remember was initially meant to be a body of pure light, but only got covered with skin after the sin of Adam) is like this:

  • The physical body is ‘animated’ by energy, or Divine light, that has been mapped in the secular world as the energy pathways or meridians used in things like Chinese Medicine.
  • When the body’s energy pathways are flowing and unblocked, a person feels good and is in good physical health. When they are blocked, stagnating, unbalanced or weak, this can lead to spiritual, emotional & mental and then physical health problems.
  • Nothing but nothing stuffs the meridians up more than negative emotions and bad character traits.

So now, let’s return to the more ‘spiritual’ side of things to see what’s going on right now.

More spiritual light is coming down to the world as we get closer to Moshiach, and this process has been occurring big time since 2012.

As that spiritual light (aka NiBIRUR) hits planet earth, it’s impacting every human being at each level of their physical body, their mind and emotions, and their soul.

Remember, the body is just the vessel for the real us, which is our souls.

As that light travels through the three parts of our soul, aka our Neshama (our Divine soul), then our Ruach (our ‘emotional’ soul) and our Nefesh (our ‘physical’ soul, which also provides the body its life force), it’s illuminating all the blocks and the obstacles that are preventing that Divine light from passing through freely.

Why is it doing that? In order to bring these issues and problems to our attention, and give us the clarity that something is out of order and needs to be changed, worked on, prayed about and fixed.

The main way to remove all these blocks and obstacles (i.e. bad middot and negative character traits) is via hitbodedut, or personal prayer, where God will give you the clarity you need (NiBIRUR!) on what you actually need to do to achieve your spiritual Tikkun, or rectification.

Like, acknowledging your anger, for example, or admitting the loneliness that’s behind that midnight craving for chocolate cake, or the laziness or fear that’s stopping you from waking up on time in the mornings.

Once you do that work of teshuva and NiBIRUR, the block dissolves, the light can pass through and the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical malaise you developed as a result also disappears.

Now, what happens if you don’t do this work, as the light of NiBIRUR starts waxing in the world?

Simple: you go crazy and get sick.

Take a look around and you can see that happening pretty much everywhere at the moment.

Why is this happening? Because the extra Divine light that God is sending down to the world in preparation for the geula and the incredible spiritual awareness that’s going to be the hallmark of the time of the Moshiach is backing up in the system, and literally driving people bonkers.

Too much light = lots more illness – if we’re not doing the spiritual work required to dissolve the ‘blocks’ that are being caused by our bad middot and negative character traits.

That’s why even perfectly nice, normal, healthy people I knew 10 years ago seem to have morphed into completely crazy lunatics at this point in time with a billion chronic health issues:

Their bodies and minds simply can’t handle the increased light of NiBIRUR, because it’s just exacerbating the internal blocks and obstacles that were always there, but just not so obvious.

The solution is simple: acknowledge the problem, the flaw, the negative character trait, and ask God to help you uproot it. There is no other way of dealing with what’s going on right now and staying sane and healthy.

As time ticks on, the differences between those people who are clearing out their blocks and those people who aren’t is going to get more and more dramatically obvious, and there’s no pill in the world that’s going to be able to magic them away.

Man, I’m SO sick of my bad middot…

When I lived in the UK, I was pretty sure that I was a bona fide Jewish saint. After all, I gave a lot of tzedaka, I kept Shabbat, I entertained lavishly, I came to Israel on holiday at least once a year. What else was there to do?!

Then I moved to Israel, and God showed me pretty quickly: There was a whole bunch of bad middot, negative character traits and very unhelpful habits and beliefs I had that were the polar opposite of how a Jewish saint should act or think.

Thank God for Rebbe Nachman, who explained very succinctly in his writings that a person’s character is like a big pot of water. At first, it looks as though the water is pure and clean. Then God brings the ‘fire’, a metaphor for all the troubles and hardships we all go through in life, to start boiling the water up, and all the impurities in our character starts to rise to the surface.

Then, Rabbenu tells us, all we need to do is just stand by the pot with a big spoon (which I think is probably referring to the sort of introspection you get by doing daily hitbodedut) – and keep scooping out all that gunky stuff as it rises to the surface.

By the end of that process, the water will actually be pure, and not just look pure.

So, I was hoping that with all the troubles, difficulties and subsequent teshuva that’s been going on in my life the last 12 years, the pot (i.e. me) was pretty much at the properly clean stage. After last week’s monster revelation and subsequent teshuva, I was hoping, really, that I’d done most of what was required and would get a least a few days off of having to notice my flaws and making teshuva for them.

But you know what? The opposite seems to be happening. Instead of sitting back and feeling like I’ve finally sorted myself out, God seems to be pulling more and more of my bad middot into the open – and I’m getting so sick of all the ‘ick’ I’m still carrying around in myself!

When is this process going to end, already?! (I know, I know, until 120, bezrat Hashem) – but in the meantime, I was really hoping that I’d have got a little further on in the cleaning process by this stage of the game.

Sigh.

I’m trying God, I really am. Either my pot was really big, or the water was really dirty to begin with, I don’t know what. But I’m not going to quit until all the gunk that’s still floating around has bubbled up and been taken out.

I just hope that 120 years is going to be enough to complete the job.

There’s been so many fires going on in Israel the last few weeks.

If you read THIS POST about the luminaries of fire vs the luminaries of light, then you’ll have a pretty good idea why this is happening, spiritually-speaking.

Friday morning, I had my own taste of it.

Apartments in Israel don’t tend to have any central heating, and also tend to be really, really cold in the winter. Most people seem to buy plug-in electrical heating devices to heat the space they’re in over winter, or turn their air-conditioning units to ‘hot’.

The last few years’, we’ve been using a ‘glow in the dark’ electrified coil-type of heater – which to be honest, I’ve never liked as they always struck me as pretty dangerous. But they give off a lot of heat, and the rest of my family likes them a lot.

Which brings me to what happened last Friday.

There’s a strange thing that happens with teenagers that all the common sense rules and regulations you ever told them seem to get wiped out of their brains as soon as they hit 13.

Many of these ‘rules’ ARE just opinions, social norms, parental preferences, and the teen is justified in rethinking the validity of these types of rules. But other things – like the strict instruction to NEVER PUT CLOTHING ON THE FIRE-THING TO WARM UP – are clearly just plain common-sense and potentially life-saving.

Sadly, teens often don’t seem to realize that some rules really are inviolable, and for good reason.

Last Friday, thank God my husband was feeling really, really poorly, so he didn’t get up to go to shul like he usually does. I was finding it hard to get out of bed (occasionally that happens…) so my daughter was getting her own act together to go to school.

Eventually, I found the will to get up and make my kid a sandwich, so I opened my bedroom door – and saw a raging inferno burning away in my living room.

I didn’t have my glasses on, so it mamash looked like the whole place had gone up in flames.

I started screaming, my husband and daughter came running, and I decided that we had to get everyone out the apartment ASAP as the fire was very close to the front door and it didn’t look like we’d have much time to get out. I sent the kid to wake up her (still sleeping) sister and friend, and then I just panicked for about a minute and kind of froze in place.

Thank God for my husband.

He grabbed a cushion off the armchair and started beating the flames out. Once everything calmed down (and I put my glasses on) I could see what had actually happened.

My kid had put her jeans skirt on the fire ‘to warm up’ then left it to go and find a top. It had caught fire and fragmented into many different sections, each of which was burning. We were SO lucky that nothing else caught fire, as my apartment is on the small side, and there was a ton of very flammable stuff all around. If any of those things had caught, I wouldn’t be typing this now.

When we all calmed down a little, I realized the following:

  • If my husband hadn’t been ill and at home that morning, things would have ended very differently.
  • Staying in bed is sometimes very dangerous (who knew?)
  • Even very clever, sensitive and otherwise amazing teenagers are occasionally SO DUMB it’s astounding
  • We need to buy a radiator…

The last thing I realized is how much God loves me. I felt very strongly that if I hadn’t made all the teshuva I’d made last week to try to quench all my ‘internal fires of hatred’ against certain people, things could have ended very differently, God forbid.

Our Sages often equate anger and rage to a destructive fire. Last week I got a small taste of just how much damage these ‘fires’ can do, if we don’t make every effort to put them out ASAP.

After all the agro I got the last couple of weeks from my crazy emailers, I have to admit that I’ve been having some massive struggles with my own bad middot, and particularly the traits of vengeance and spite.

(As an aside, every time I stick up the character traits from the ‘Erev Rav’ I try to check where I’m holding on it all myself, and ‘vengeance and spite’ have been at the very top of my list, recently.)

But God has been doing His best to help me overcome these issues the last few days. For example, one of my correspondents sent me a very nice email last week on a completely different subject than my crazy relatives, but which ended with their own observation that whatever happens in our life, we have to see that God is behind it, and He’s just using people as a mirror.

Hmmmm.

As I was busy trying to avoid that idea, I went to see my lady who helps me with a lot of my psychosomatic aches and pains. Mostly, I can figure out the messages my illnesses are giving me myself in hitbodedut, but occasionally they are too much in my blind spot for me to see them myself, and that’s where this lady comes in.

She’s very connected, she’s very Israeli, and she doesn’t pull her punches about what I need to change or fix.

I love that about her! But it’s not always easy to hear it.

Since all the poisonous email stuff, I was having some sort of weird chest pain going on, and I knew it was related (pardon the pun).  This lady told me straight: “God is using this situation to give you a message. It’s going to be very hard work to hear it, because it involves breaking your ego, and that’s never easy. If you’re ready to do the work, come back next week.”

Hmmmm.

I did some hitbodedut on it all, and here’s what came up: My poison penners ARE from God, and ARE sending me and my husband a message, but it’s not directly connected to what’s going on with them (because as I mentioned already, they are certifiably crazy).

Once I wrapped my head around the idea that God is even behind the nasty emails that crazy people send, things really started to move.

I’ve learnt that the thing that most upsets you, that most grabs your attention, that most annoys you or troubles you, that’s the place to start, when trying to work out the messages God is sending each and every one of us via other people.

So I went through all the emails me and my husband received last week, and I carefully underlined the bits that really hit a nerve. By the end of it, I had a list of about 4-5 statements that really, really bothered me, and then I asked God to show me how they were connected to my real, actual life, and not all the lies being told by the crazies.

Dear reader, we came up with some really interesting messages! Like for example, it bothered me tremendously that this person called me and my husband parasites and scroungers, because we really, really aren’t. We give charity generously, we don’t ask other people for help, we try to rely on Hashem and not people in every way possible.

So I was completely offended by this statement, and I also couldn’t understand how it could be a message to me about anything. But after pondering it, I realized that me and my husband ARE still scrounging to make a decent living, and it’s something that’s upsetting both of us.

Once we got that it WAS an accurate description of something in our life that needed fixing, we could move on to the next stage of decoding the message:

How do we fix our chronic lack of parnassa, at its spiritual root?

My husband is currently working on finding the answer to that, and I’ll keep you posted.

This week I went back to my lady, and I got some more insights: She explained that spite is the one thing GUARANTEED to kill a person, physically. All the hate and rage that underpin spite does tremendous damage to a person’s health.

As I’ve been feeling pretty rotten again this week, she didn’t need to do a lot to convince me she was right. But how to get rid of it?

That’s where God came in again.

I had a couple of meaningful dreams, I went to visit the grave of Rav Yehuda Zev Leibowitz in Bnei Brak, I did a couple of hours of really useful hitbodedut, or talking to God, and voila, a few days’ later I’d got to a place where I was willing to let go of my hate and spite, because I finally understood that it was a defense mechanism that I felt I needed to keep these crazy people away from me and my family.

When I was talking to God about it all, I suddenly got that God is going to protect me from the crazies in my life, if I trust Him to do that, which means that my negative emotions are actually redundant. All my spite and hate is doing is making me sick, and it’s God who’s going to protect me anyway – so why kill myself in the meantime?!

Sigh.

Dealing with negative character traits is such hard work. But one thing keeps me going: I want to be a lover, not a hater. I want to get to the end of my 120 years knowing that whatever disgusting traits I came down to the world with, I did my very best to acknowledge them and fix them, with God’s help.

And if I manage to do that, ironically, my crazy emailers are going to get a big amount of the credit for it.

It’s amazing how all these ‘breathless’ geula bloggers have stayed so quiet about Rabbi Berland, aka Eliezer ben Etia.

I’ve been expecting the geula imminently for around 12 years now. And over that time I’ve been bombarded with hundreds of exciting messages about the end of the world, many BREAKING NEWS!!! moments when it really did look like that might be happening, plus thousands upon thousands of predictions, guesses, pundit pieces and others.

After 12 years (!) of all that, I’ve come to rely on only one thing as having any true credibility:

Messages from true Tzaddikim.

And that’s about it.

It’s not that I don’t think there isn’t value in many of the other podcasts, posts, lessons and YouTube videos from people I respect very highly like Rav Glazerson. It’s just that I know our true Tzaddikim have ruach hakodesh – they talk to God regularly, they are given access to spiritual secrets and deliberations that ordinary people like you and me just don’t have, however much Torah learning we have, or hitbodedut (personal prayer) we’re doing every week.

Also, as is known, our true Tzaddikim excel in changing God’s mind from ‘harsh justice’ to more merciful ways. When God wanted to blast the Jewish people out of existence following the sin of the Golden Calf, Moshe Rabbenu simply wouldn’t let him.

To put that scenario into modern terms, this is what would have played out on the internet just after the Golden Calf:

The autistics would have put out a statement with a ton of ‘oys’ and ‘voys’ about the terrible sin committed, and predict that 2/3 of the Jewish people (minimum) were about to be annihilated by God – and they’d be right!

Except, except, except….Moshe Rabbenu interceded (secretly…) and the picture changed drastically. Rav Glazerson would then have a Torah Code YouTube clearly showing that ‘Erev Rav’ and ‘Golden Calf’ intersected with ‘annihilation of the Jewish people’ and ‘saved by Moshe Rabbenu’.

Then, all the bloggers would have gone to work. Many would be screaming their lungs out about the imminent destruction of the Jewish people (while completely ignoring the role of the true Tzaddikim in avoiding that scenario). Many would be offering up their own take on WHY IT WAS HAPPENING (again, while completely ignoring what the true Tzaddikim were actually saying about it), some would ignore the whole situation completely, or come up with a conspiracy theory blaming Yasser Arafat for everything, and two would be telling the truth:

Namely, that there WAS a big decree of destruction against the Jewish people because of the sin they committed, but the Tzaddik of the generation, Moshe Rabbenu, cancelled it out with his prayers and self-sacrifice.

And of all the opinions and ‘fluff’ out there, only that last one is relevant, because it’s the only statement that’s really 100% true.

THE ONLY WARNINGS AND MESSAGES THAT MATTER COME FROM OUR TRUE TZADDIKIM

When Moshe Rabbenu later told his brother Aaron to run with the incense pan to the camp to stop the plague that had broken out, this was a clear example of the Tzaddik HaDor being very clued-in to what was a clear and present danger to the Jewish people, and what wasn’t, and also, crucially, WHY IT WAS HAPPENING.

Which brings me to the crux of this post. It’s been very interesting to me to see that every ‘alternative’ pronouncement of death and destruction, every ‘message’ predicting the future, every weird occurrence going on in the world, from strange weather to bizarre geophysical phenomenon is given reams of space in the Jewish blogosphere, while the messages from a number of huge Tzaddikim about what’s going on with Rav Berland – and its connection to the ongoing geula process – are being almost completely ignored.

You should know that Rav Glazerson has at least 12 videos on YouTube clearly pointing out that Rav Berland is completely innocent, being persecuted by the Erev Rav, and that his imprisonment is directly connected to geula and Moshiach coming.

I can think of one blog (maybe two…) that is bringing these videos to your attention, while I know of many other blogs who link to pretty much every OTHER video Rav Glazerson puts out that doesn’t talk directly about Rabbi Berland.

Why is this?

Even the autistics recently came out with a message stating clearly that Rabbi Berland was innocent and suffering for the sins of the generation. I waited to see if this would be publicized or mentioned by some of the blogs who believe the autistics are modern-day prophets – nothing, nada, nope.

Why not?

Rav Dov Kook and other of the nation’s leading Tzaddikim including Rav Chaim Dovid Stern and Rav Shalom Arush, have come out with statement after statement in support of Rav Berland, and making it clear that his persecution is directly linked to the geula process of the Jewish people.

When Rav Kook made a statement saying he could see a gezeira coming because of the mixed gender bathing in Tiveria a few months’ ago, many bloggers fell over themselves to report on it at length.

Yet when Rav Kook made the statement last week that all the supernatural fires hitting Israel were because of the suffering and persecution of Rabbi Berland, it was met with an industrial silence in the blogosphere.

Why was that?

SOOO many bloggers commented on the ‘Fire Intifada’, quoting this one and that one, and coming up with their own ideas of WHY it happened and WHO’S really behind it and WHAT TO DO about it. Yet when one of the leading Gedolei HaDor puts out a public statement clearly linking Rabbi Berland’s persecution by the Israeli government to these fires – no-one quoted it. No-one mentioned it.

Why not?

If the Torah codes and Rav Kook, and Rav David Abuchatzeira and Rav Chaim Dovid Stern, and the Milkman, and Rav Fish are good enough when it comes to all the other things we quote them about, then shouldn’t they also be believed when they’re telling us Rav Berland is innocent, his incarceration is directly connected to geula and the coming of Moshiach, and last week’s fires are directly connected to his terrible mistreatment at the hands of the Erev Rav?

And if they AREN’T good enough – then why quote them on other matters that also regularly contradict the mainstream view of things?

Why the double-standard?

Sure, I know there’s a lot of heretical psychos out there who love to insult and abuse people who write positively about Rabbi Berland (hi guys!)  As a blogger myself, I know that I also don’t want to accidentally mislead my readers or write something that’s incorrect.

But here’s the thing: people like Rav Dov Kook don’t have ‘opinions’ or cook up conspiracy theories about what they think may be going on in the world. Rav Kook, Rav Stern and others – they have ruach hakodesh. They know stuff because Hashem Himself is telling them.

Emunat Tzaddikim means that we believe in the words of our true Tzaddikim, even when that contradicts what we think we know (by reading all the latest conspiracy theories, opinion pieces and wild guesses masquerading as ‘prophecy’ on the web…)

I have no problem publicly supporting Rav Berland a million per cent, because that stance is not based on my own opinion, it’s daat Torah.

ALL THE REAL TZADDIKIM ARE BEHIND RABBI BERLAND 100%.

(I know there’s also a bunch of pseudo-tzaddikim talking against him, but that’s in order to maintain free will, and to make the test more difficult.)

So let’s sum up what I’m trying to get at:

  • Rabbi Berland, aka Eliezer ben Etia, is being publicly supported by our true Tzaddikim, including Rav Dov Kook, and Rav Chaim Dovid Stern.
  • These two Tzaddikim in particular have put out a number of explicit messages stating Rav Berland is the last test before Moshiach; anyone who talks against him won’t have a share in the geula; and the supernatural fires that happened last week are directly linked to his persecution and unjust incarceration.
  • Rabbi Berland also has a ton of Torah codes proving his innocence, support from the autistics saying he’s innocent, and has regularly predicted the future including the start of the Third Intifada. (There is a lot more to say on the subject of Rav Berland accurately predicting the future on many different occasions, but that’s a post for another occasion.)
  • WHY IS ALL THIS STUFF BEING IGNORED IN THE JEWISH BLOGOSPHERE, WHEN IT’S CLEARLY DIRECTLY RELATED TO GEULA AND THE FINAL TEST OF ‘BIRUR’, TO SEE WHO’S REALLY WITH HASHEM AND HIS TRUE TZADDIKIM?!?!?

Maybe someone can enlighten me.

You can buy One in a Generation Volume 1 on Amazon and on the Book Depository.

You can buy One in a Generation Volume II on Amazon.

UPDATE:

The autistics just put this out about the identity of Moshiach ben David, aka Eliezer ben Etia:

I think that God is using the Trump Presidency as a sort of ‘dry run’ to clue us all in to the sorts of tremendous changes that are going to occur in the world once Moshiach comes.

Trump won despite 91% of his media coverage being negative – and not just a little bit negative, it was tongue-bitingly, eye-wateringly negative. Many of the more establishment media outlets still can’t bring themselves to write a single nice thing about him – which means that they’ve effectively lost their ability to influence the public in any meaningful way, because while people still take news seriously (even when it’s disguised propaganda), they can’t stomach obvious propaganda.

But that’s not the only interesting thing going on across the pond. Even though technically only half the country voted for Trump, that doesn’t mean that half the country is ‘anti’ him. What it does mean is that half of the US was idealistic enough, and independent-minded enough, to vote for Trump despite all the brainwashing they were getting from the media and the establishment.

Amongst the people who voted against Trump, a large number only did that because they’d been brainwashed into it by scare stories and ‘think pieces’ from celebrities (I know, that’s an oxymoron…) With Trump in power, the ability of these ruling elites to keep pulling the wool over everyone else’s eyes is going to start evaporating.

It’s like when the boy started crying out ‘The Emperor Has No Clothes!’

Initially, he was definitely a minority opinion, but it only took one person to start pointing out what was really true for the whole façade of the Emperor’s new clothes to evaporate. And that’s what is going on with the Trump presidency.

So how is this related to Moshiach? Great question.

Just as the worm has turned in the US, the worm in Israel is also about to turn – with much greater global consequences. We all know that we’re living in what Chazal termed the ‘upside down’ world.

It’s a world where the scummiest people get the most kudos, and the most heads of state attending their funerals, while the Gadol HaDor can sit in prison for nine months on trumped-up charges and no-one even bats an eyelid.

It’s a world where the nastiest, most aggressive and personally ambitious people have fought their way to the top of the pecking order in every sphere of the Jewish world, both religious and non-religious, while the people who really have the middot and ability to lead and guide the nation have been sidelined, marginalized and even mocked and attacked.

When the Jewish worm turns with the coming of Moshiach, we’re all going to realize which of our political leaders is really wearing ‘no clothes’; which of our rabbis and spiritual guides are really fake and corrupt; which of the pillars of our community are upright, God-fearing people – or otherwise – and it’s going to cause an earthquake throughout the Jewish world.

Most of the ‘leaders’ out there, both in the Jewish and non-Jewish world, are so bad and corrupt that even when the worm turns, they won’t accept it and will expend their last breath trying to stamp it to death.

But when the bandwagon of truth really, finally, starts rolling, no-one can stop it. People can demonstrate and riot all they want – it’ll just roll right on over them and carry on. That bandwagon took down the Berlin wall and smashed the former USSR to dust, and now, it’s about to wreak utter havoc on the world of liberal elitism and political correctness.

Once it picks up steam, no-one who wasn’t already sitting on it from the start will be able to jump on.

That’s what’s going on right now with Trump. None of the wishy-washy Republicans are going to get a job for the next 4 years. None of the anti-Trump media are going to get White House exclusives – and many of them have already lost a whole bunch of credibility, readers and money thanks to their overtly biased coverage of the elections.

But Trump is a millionth of the clean-up job that’s going to happen when Moshiach comes. The light of Moshiach is going to clarify who you really are – not just to you, yourself, but to the world.

All the lies, the puffery, the egotism, the greed, the hypocrisy, the cruelty, the superficiality that dresses itself up in the fanciest of outfits and the catchiest tweets – it’s all going to be exposed for all to see. Moshiach’s bandwagon of truth is going to dwarf President’s Trump’s.

And that’s when things will start to get really interesting.

The last few days, since the beginning of the Jewish New Year, I haven’t been feeling so hot.

After pondering on what’s going on I’ve come to the conclusion that the ‘vibe’ of the planet – or to put it in more spiritual terms, the Divine light that God is sending down to us 24/7 – has speeded up, or cranked up in someway, and my body is having some problems adjusting to it all.

People are energy – souls covered by an energetic mass that’s vibrating at a slower pace, to give it the illusion of being solid matter. That’s not new-age mumbo jumbo, that’s quantum physics.

God sustains every single cell, every single atom, by maintaining it in perpetual motion.

Some people call this the ‘electric charge’ associated with every single atom, cell, object, all the way up to human beings. Others call it the life-force. But whatever you choose to call it, the simple fact is that we are energy in motion, and what keeps us in motion (and consequently, alive) is God.

Since the beginning of the year, I feel as though the ‘light’ God continually sends down to the planet, or energy, or shefa (the Hebrew word for bounty) or blessing, or however you want to refer to it has got so, so much stronger.

Trouble is, if the vessel – i.e. the body – hasn’t been cleaned out enough to receive this extra input, it can cause all sorts of problems, physically and mentally.

What cleans out the body? There’s a few things, but it basically boils down to this:

  • Working on our bad character traits, and uprooting them.
  • Building and maintaining a strong connection to God, via talking to Him in our own words every single day (aka personal prayer, or hitbodedut).

Bad character traits and negative emotions have a huge impact on a person’s mental and physical health. They block the smooth flowing of the energy, or life-force around a person’s body. The cause the body’s energy meridians to back up, blow a fuse, surge unhelpfully or stagnate, all of which leads to physical health issues if not dealt with.

They cause the brain to act and react differently, leading to all sorts of mental issues, personality disorders and suicidal tendencies (amongst many other things.) So if the body is full of negative emotions and bad character traits, that means that energetically-speaking, the body’s electric circuits aren’t functioning properly.

If the amount of ‘charge’ coming down from God then gets amped up – a person is going to start blowing circuits all over the place.

How do we clear out the bad character traits and emotions? First, we recognize that we actually have them (an enormous problem for most people…) Next, we recognize the damage they’re doing, particularly to us, but also to the people we love. Last, we ask God for help to get rid of them – which brings us to the second point, about talking to God regularly.

When you talk to God regularly, you gradually ‘up’ your body’s tolerance to Divine light and you strengthen your soul. When the soul is stronger, it can start to ‘talk down’ to the body more, and make its voice heard. It can steer the body away from the cheesecake, towards the salad bar. It can encourage the body to get a good night’s rest, instead of messing around on Facebook until 2am. And, it can persuade the body that working on things like bad character traits and negative emotions is actually in the body’s best interests, too.

There’s an idea in Judaism that a person’s sins are literally engraved on their bones.

Until we make Teshuva, the ‘bad energy’, or blockages, or problems our sins have created in the world are literally stored in the body, and are the source of our physical aches, pains, and other issues.

Once we make Teshuva, the energy ‘recombines’ into it’s proper order, the body starts to work better again and we feel so much happier and healthier and holier.

God is sending more and more light down to the world. Once I started having all the weird aches and pains the last week, I started exploring what’s going on in my personal prayer, and tried to figure out what’s underneath that pain in my hip, that bad headache, that difficulty breathing. I’ve been getting some amazing insights:

The hip is a bad character trait I ‘inherited’ from an old relative, that I really need to work on uprooting asap.

The breathing issue was connected to me still being angry at someone who hurt me a lot three years’ ago. I had to work on forgiveness, and letting go of this person with love.

The headache is my nervous system going haywire because there are huge things building up in the world. For that, I’ve had to work on my emuna, and also to sedate the bladder meridian and triple warmer meridian points, and to stick lentils in a few places to try and clear the block that’s happening there.

It’s a work in progress, and it’s probably never going to end. But each time I clean off whatever issue arises, I feel so much happier and better. A big reason why people’s bodies wear out in old age is because if we’re not cleaning the sins out of bones, and we’re just adding to them as we go along in life, sooner or later we get to a point where the body can’t cope anymore, and starts to disintegrate.

God is speeding things up right now.

Work that used to take years can now take weeks or even just days and hours.

So, if you’re also feeling more tired, achey, fatigued or stressed than usual, know that it’s because your body, your vessel, is struggling to cope with the extra ‘light’ God is sending to the world. And if you don’t deal with it, it’s only going to get worse!

As a first port of call, pick up a copy of ‘Talk to God and Fix Your Health’, and then use all the ideas and techniques in that book to start clearing out your system across body, mind and soul. Whatever else is going to happen this year, God wants us to get to work on uprooting our bad character traits and negative emotions, and the sooner we start that process, the better and healthier we’ll feel.

You can buy Talk to God and Fix Your Health on Amazon and on The Book Depository

Rosh Hashana is never an easy time of year for me, as I usually feel the ‘din’ in the air and I spend a lot of time in a state of advanced internal stress.

That my husband goes to Uman really helps my peace of mind, because however ‘bad’ an experience I’m having at home, at least it comforts me to know that my husband is over by Rabbenu, getting the judgments sweetened on our family for the coming year.

But still, even with all the sweetening that’s going on in Uman, the last three Rosh Hashanas have been so hard for me and my family that as Elul began a few weeks’ back, I could already feel my stomach sinking.

Elul is here…which means Rosh Hashana will soon be here….which means two days of pure torture as we all just sit in the house feeling lonely, or try to find a shul somewhere with a tune I recognize…or I start thinking back to all the ‘fun’ Rosh Hashanas I seemed to have had back in galut, when I had a nice house and a big circle of friends…

The problem is that your mindset on Rosh Hashana sets the tone for your year, so if you’re feeling down, lonely, lost, victimized and ‘bad’ it doesn’t bode so well for the next 12 months.

My girls have also had difficulties getting into ‘happy’ mode on Rosh Hashana, as all of their friends disappear to do family things, and the three of us are left sitting at home and staring at each other, trying very hard not to feel too sorry for ourselves.

But this year, God gave me an idea to do something different. This year, I found a hotel in Tiberias that was meant to be catering to the Israeli Chareidi crowd for Rosh Hashana, and we booked to stay there.

A huge weight fell off my heart to know that this Rosh Hashana, it was going to be different. I had no idea if it was going to be ‘nice’ or ‘enjoyable’, but at least different, and that was a good start.

Tiberias is much, much hotter than Jerusalem, but given that it was already October, I wasn’t so worried.

As we got in the car to head up North, the temperature slowly climbed until it hit 40 degrees… WHAT?!?!? Even in the Summer that’s rare and a heatwave. Tov. I told myself and the kids: ‘Whatever God is going to bring us on this trip, we’re going to be happy with it.”

After a massive traffic jam, we finally got there an hour before the Chag. I ripped toilet paper. I made up the third bed in the room for my daughter. I went out on to the balcony to read my ‘Seder Vidui Devarim’ looking out on to the Kinneret, and I nursed a secret hope that this Rosh Hashana would be much better than the last few.

We went downstairs to the lobby to wait for supper, and were quickly surrounded by Jews of every type: Sephardim with the standard ‘Tunisian Savta’ in a wheelchair; Chareidim with a bunch of kids; the odd tattooed, tanned woman in a tank top who looked like she’d been dragged there against her will, to be with the mishpacha.

There seemed to be a few single women there too, older types who either wanted a break from all the cooking and / or just wanted to be somewhere around people for Rosh Hashana.

To cut a long story short, despite the rattling aircon in our room, the very hot, humid weather and the fact I was staying with two teenagers (!) we actually had the best Rosh Hashana for a very long time, baruch Hashem.

Watching all the complicated family dynamics playing out all around us worked a treat to make me see how spending holidays with ‘family’ is usually a bittersweet experience. My kids loved the 8 desserts – and better yet, hated the 8 desserts by the end of their stay as they realized that while it all looked so good, it made them feel like they wanted to throw-up afterwards.

I realized my cooking is still pretty darned good (a huge thing for me…) and also, that my life, my kids, my family is also very nice exactly how it is.

As a couple of bonus treats, God arranged for us to somehow find Rav Dov Kook’s shul in Tiberias, so I got to see him from the women’s section and hear some shofar blowing there. And on the next day, we managed to track down the ‘Tomb of the Imahot’, where six of our righteous women are buried, including Moshe’s mother and wife, Bilha, Zilpa and Elisheva, the wife of Aaron HaKohen.

The feeling I got by the holy mothers was so nice, I stayed there for 45 minutes saying some Tikkun Haklalis.

Towards the end of the Chag, I noticed one of the signs the organisers had posted up on the wall telling guests that their mood on Rosh Hashana was a good indication for the sort of year they were going to get. For the first time in about five years, I felt good on Rosh Hashana, and calm, and at peace, and happy.

Yes, it cost a lot of money to go there. But it helped me and my family go into the new year with feelings of gratitude and contentment, instead of feeling lonely and dissatisfied.

And getting a good start like that was worth every single penny.

Last week, I was in Ikea with my kids in the badatz kosher cafeteria there.

(Even though I’ve lived in Israel for more than 11 years’ now, I still find kosher Ikea wildly exciting.)

It was the last days of Summer, and the cafeteria was packed with all sorts of people and their kids. Ahead of me in the queue was a cute-looking frum woman with a long skirt, long sleeves and regal head covering, who had a handful of younger kids holding on to her by her skirt.

Every two minutes, this woman took her massive i-Phone out of her bag, and started obsessively checking the headlines on Arutz 7. She’d scroll down for a couple of minutes, go over and check her emails, put the phone back in her bag (usually because some kid was tugging at her pretty aggressively, to get her attention) – and then two minutes’ later, repeat the whole ritual again.

I stood behind her for 15 minutes, and I saw her do this at least six times.

There are many things to be said about why i-phones are bad – like how easy they make it to access all the smut and degradation on the internet, especially for men; or how they chain people to work and checking their emails all the time, even when they’re meant to be hiking in nature with their families and relaxing; or how they suck people into a self-absorbed, pretty immodest culture of taking selfies and checking their appearance every 10 seconds.

But today, I just want to focus on one aspect of why i-Phones are so bad, which this one, average frum woman in Ikea really encapsulates: i-Phones give us no time to really ‘be’ with ourselves. I-Phones are addictive, because surfing the internet is addictive, and it fills the ‘space’ and the time that we’d otherwise be left alone with our thoughts.

People are so miserable today, and so uncomfortable with themselves, and so uncomfortable about the notion of exploring what they really think and feel about their lives and their relationships, that escapism has become the Number 1 ‘self-soothing’ activity of our generation.

The equation goes something like this:

Time to think = an opportunity to recognize what’s not going so well in my life, or what is maybe not so healthy or helpful = an impetus to change or improve = a push to actually do something different = SCARY AND DANGEROUS!!! = stay away from thinking at all costs.

i-Phone = escape into news, facebook and fantasy = no time to think = can keep busy at all costs = COMFORT ZONE = go back to sleep, everything’s fine (and don’t forget to take your anti-anxiety medication…)

i-Phones cut us off from thinking and being, and as a result, they distance us from our own souls.

They waste our time on addictive behaviors like obsessively checking emails, Facebook or Arutz 7. They suck us into a fake, plastic, superficial world that’s full of spiritually-dead, emotionally-ill people who spend so much time online because they also can’t just ‘be’. They prevent us from really interacting with the people standing right in front of our faces, because we’re too busy scrolling through old email conversations and sharing new stuff we just found out about.

And that’s if we’re ‘only’ using them for ostensibly kosher reasons.

If the sites we happen to visit are morally corrupting in anyway (which is like, er, 99.9% of the internet…) then the spiritual problems connected with i-Phones only continue to grow.

Do you really want to be immersed in a world where God is absent, people descended by chance from monkeys and where anything goes, morally and socially? And if by chance you really want that for yourself, is that what you really want for your children?

No-one needs an i-Phone.

(I know there are supposedly haredi ‘rabbis’ who are carrying around their i-Phones and claiming they need them to serve the community, but it’s all just fluff and excuses put around by people who forget that God is running the world, and that emails don’t have to be answered within 20 seconds of being received. Can you imagine Rav Ovadia using an i-phone? Or Rav Kanievsky? I rest my case.)

We don’t need to carry-on buying into a culture that has made ‘escapism’ and ‘keeping busy’ it’s bywords, because it’s dead from the soul-down and is trying to run away from all the human misery it’s created with its God-less, heretical and materialistic approach to life.

Take a moment and imagine how different that woman’s trip to Ikea could have been without her i-Phone.

Maybe, she’d have started a conversation up with one of her kids, and learnt something very helpful. Maybe, she’d have given another kid a hug, or a back tickle, to alleviate the boredom of waiting in line. Maybe, she’d have noticed that she has nothing to say to her family, and that would have made her wonder why that was the case, and what needed to change to get her back in touch with herself and with them, more?

Instead, she checked her emails and Arutz 7 six times, until it was her turn to order the schnitzels and fries.

Life is so, so precious. Every moment can be used to reach out to others, reach up to God, or to reach inwards, to our own souls.

But when we’re carrying an i-Phone around, it’s so much easier to turn on to the emptiness of the internet, than to tune in to our own lives and loved ones.