For about five minutes yesterday, as I was driving back to Jerusalem on Route 6, I had this amazing feeling of being so connected to God, and seeing how He’s guiding every tiny detail in the world.

The traffic was flowing, the scenery was beautiful, and I had a profound sense of peace and excitement.

Moshiach is almost here, I can feel it….

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I got home, and instantly my mood changed.

Someone had sent me a link to another crappy Israeli TV ‘expose’ about Rabbi Berland, blah blah blah, and somehow, my oldest daughter had opened it up when she was using my computer, and then spent two hours watching more poisonous crap about the Rav.

Excuse my mild swearing.

I’ve just so had enough of all this.

So, I told her:

I can’t keep trying to clean this stuff up for you, spiritually. You want to watch poisonous crap about the Rav, from lying, immoral, anti-God journalists, what can I do? Bezrat Hashem, God will help you to figure out the truth by yourself, because I am no longer prepared to sit her to try and shore up your shaky emunat tzaddikim.

That’s not an easy thing for me to say, because I know that it’s not going to go easy for anyone who finds themselves on the wrong side of the Rabbi Berland equation, and I love my daughter tremendously.

But each person has to fight their own fight.

And I also decided that I am totally coming off Youtube, and once I’ve finished typing this, I’m going to see if there is a way I can totally block it and / or erase access. (If anyone has any tips for me, please leave them in the comments section.)

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The more the current craziness plays out in the world, the more I’m seeing that there is really only one way that we can short-cut things like pandemics, plagues, economic depressions, terminal illnesses and wars, and that’s by working on our own middot.

All this Coronavirus stuff is just a case in point.

Regardless of whether it really is a potential world-killing pandemic, or just a totally over-hyped strain of flu that the media is using to whip-up mass hysteria for some unknown reason, what it actually all boils down to is just a big test of emuna.

Sure, you may be wearing a shawl, and thinking like you are the holiest thing to hit the world since Moshe Rabbenu, but if you’re scared to ride a bus in Jerusalem because of Corona, that is a clear indication that your real level of emuna is actually way, way less than you think.

Wherever there is fear of something that is not Hashem, that’s called ‘fallen fear’.

The whole idea, the whole goal, is to work through all the millions of ‘fallen fears’ that we all have, and to raise them back up to their root in emuna. That means understanding that God runs the world, God is doing everything for our ultimate good, and that everything is just a message from Hashem.

God doesn’t need Corona virus to kill anyone – if He decides we’re going to croak, that’s it, end of story, even if we’re wearing a bacteria-killing mask 24 hours a day and have an IV drip infusing our blood with industrial quantities of Vitamin C.

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God is running the world.

Let me repeat that again, as I know it’s so easy to forget it:

God is running the world.

Once I understand that, I stop obsessing over using the hand sanitizer, and I stop panicking when someone coughs next to me at work, and I stop checking out ‘the latest’ germ-blocking face masks.

And instead, I take some time out, and I go and explore why do I feel so scared? What am I doing, what sins am I engaged in, that are making my soul feel so anxious and frightened?

And top of that list is:

The sins between adam l’chaveiro.

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Recently, I’ve had a lot of kids who dropped out of the Torah world in my orbit, especially from the city of Bet Shemesh.

That place seems to have cornered the market in terms of dysfunctional ‘religious’ families where the parents are so super-duper, mega-crazy ‘frum’ on the outside – but actually treating other people, and particularly their kids, really badly.

What I’ve been learning is that the yetzer has been totally running rings around so many of these people. It’s convinced them harshly criticizing their children for not being ‘perfect’ is the best way to get them to make teshuva  – when of course, the polar opposite is true.

Imagine living in a home where you have a parent that is constantly telling you what you’re doing wrong, and constantly picking up chumrot that they try to shove down your throat, and constantly going on about how ‘bad’ and how ‘evil’ and how ‘defective’ you are, poor kid, and how they’re sure you’re not going to ‘make it’ when Moshiach shows up.

If I lived in a home like that, I would also get a punk hair cut, smoke 2 packs a day and feel really, really angry at God and religion.

====

It’s no coincidence that Rabbi Berland has made it very clear that the gematria of ‘Corona’ is 363 – the same gematria as bein adam l’chaveiro.

And the first place to start with fixing that part of the equation is in our homes.

If you are criticising your kid all the time for not being Moshe Rabbenu, or not getting ‘straight As’, or not being perfect all the time – stop!

If you are condescending to your spouse, and you think like you have it all figured out and they are the spiritual retard in the relationship – stop!

If you think you are above doing a cheshbon hanefesh on how you hurt other people’s feelings, and how you use religious observance to try to control other people – again, especially your children – then stop!

Take a breath, take a careful look in the mirror that God is holding up to you, and to me, and to everyone else in the world right now, and see what’s looking back at you.

Is it nice, or nasty? Is it scary, or reassuring? Is the world full of kindness and compassion and understanding, or vicious complaint, din and anger?

Whatever you see peering back at you, that’s just a reflection of your inner dimension.

====

Let me share a story with you, to illustrate this point.

I’ve been checking out a few of my ‘anonymous’ commentators IP addresses, especially the ones who like to write comments slagging off Rav Berland.

I discovered that one big critic of the Rav has a slew of court cases against them for illegally manipulating stocks on the New York stock exchange – they are mamash small time mafia. This guy has been extremely fast to loudly yell ‘financial fraud!!!!’ at the Rav and Shuvu Banim.

Now we know why.

Then, there was the commentator who liked to call himself ‘Peewee’, who is also ‘anti Rav’. Guess what? I found out he’s on a police watch list for pedophiles in the States after he was caught propositioning an undercover police woman who he thought was a 13 year old girl on the internet.

The Rav is just a big super-reflecting mirror, shining a light on our own bad middot.

That’s why I am not going to argue with anyone anymore, about what the Rav did or didn’t do, or did or didn’t say.

If you see bad in the Rav – if you see bad in your kids, in your spouse, in everyone else around you – that’s because that bad is really in YOU.

So knuckle down, acknowledge the real problem and get to work on it.

====

This morning, I finally had the energy to walk down to the Kotel, as part of my hour long hitbodedut thing that I do every single day, with God’s help.

I walked down the road that skirts the Gei Hinnom valley, on the side of the Old City, a road called ‘Ma’aleh Shalom’ – the path of peace.

I went with quite a lot of heartache, thinking about some of the things I’ve written above, how I’m seeing so many parents literally destroy their children with their own two hands, all in the name of God and His Torah.

I touched the stones, kissed them, then headed back home. In the plaza, an old frum lady came over to me and called out may Hashem grant you everything you asked for!

I shrugged at her, pulled a tight smile and told her Sorry, I don’t have any money.

She hobbled closer, and told me in English:

You aren’t listening to me. Listen: May Hashem grant you everything you asked for!

She was right. I hadn’t been listening. She was trying to give me a bracha that my prayers should be answered, and I was batting her away like a pesky mosquito.

You’re right. I’m sorry. Amen!

Then she told me:

The most important prayer to say right now, is that we all get out of galut. That Am Yisrael should all get out of galut.

I looked at her twinkly blue eyes, squeezed her arm, and got the message.

What is galut, really, except the prison that we’re all in, that’s keeping us away from God and the people we love, and redemption? And what is that prison, really, except our own bad middot?

Our own fallen fears, and anger, and arrogance, and jealousy?

We all have a lot of work to do.

====

UPDATE:

Daisy Stern has pulled a lot of info together to show why the Kan 11 ‘expose’ my daughter say was a total farce, and just more of the same ‘anti-Rav’ propaganda the media has been steadily churning out for year.

You can see that on her site, HERE.

Also, I saw another abusive comment this morning, this time from someone pretending to be ‘Sam Eisen’ about the Rav. Again, I ran the IP address – and guess what? It’s the same ‘Peewee’ pedo guy I mentioned before.

I won’t detail the comment, but suffice to say it was talking about dying in jail for being a pervert. Yet again, we see the mirror principle in full color.

So, yalla, come on all you ‘anti’ Rav people… send me more of your comments, even with your fake names, and then we’ll find out what’s really going on in your private lives and exactly why it is you are so ‘anti’ a person who exudes goodness and holiness so strongly, you can feel it a million miles away.

No wonder all these people are staying anonymous.

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Let’s leave the last word to Rabbi Nachman, who writes in Sefer HaMiddot:

“S*xual violators are for the most part opposers of the Tzaddikim.”

Now that I’m looking up the IP addresses on the comments, I’m seeing Rabbenu’s dictum manifest in real time. And I’m really excited to go and do some more digging on all those big mouths who have been so publically ‘anti’ the Rav – so yalla guys, don’t be shy!

Let me have all your disgusting comments, and then let’s find out who YOU really are.

It’s a taste of the World to Come, when the truth will shine out and no-one will be able to hide behind a fake name or a fake email anymore.

Doesn’t that sound like fun?

====

 

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All of us have so much to be grateful for.

I got the following as part of an email exchange with a friend who reads my blog, and who responded to THIS post, and I decided to share it with you, too.

(It’s a side note, but I’m very happy to put chizzuk and other people’s perspectives up on my blog, when it resonates with me, and I have another reader’s email that I’ll be sharing too, along those lines.)

In the meantime, here’s a different perspective that made my very grateful for all the blessings I still have in my life, despite all the challenges:

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 I know we all have an endless list of wishes, but maybe sometimes we don’t value many good things we have.

Having money to pay for food is a blessing.

Being able to pay a rent without shame, without having to ask anyone without having to go from one place to another with how little or much you have without having to pay a place to put your things, is a great blessing.

 Having a clean, painted house, with a room or two, having a bath with water in your own home is a blessing.

Having a husband who loves you and struggles to be better, to study, to pray, is a blessing.

Having synagogues and Mikvaot near you and your family is a blessing.

Having healthy and intelligent children of you and your husband is a blessing.

Having a car, money for gas, is a blessing.

Having something to work on is a blessing.

Having good health is a blessing.

Living in Israel, going to pray at the Kotel whenever you want, living in a Jewish world no matter how difficult it is to “fit in” sometimes, is a giant blessing.

====

My life IS really good, despite the darkness within and without.

Thank You, God.

====

You might also like this article:

This morning, Rabbi Eliezer Berland was arrested. It’s 100% connected to the CoronaVirus.

Three days ago, on February 6th, 2020, the ravberland.com site posted up an article entitled:

“Rabbi Berland Explains The Spiritual Cause of the Corona Virus.”

That article quoted Rabbi Berland explaining that the Corona Virus n-2019 was:

“[S]preading due to the sins of pgmei habrit, (literally, ‘blemishing the covenant’), and also from the sin of eiver min ha-hai, eating a limb or organ from a live animal.”

The post continued that: [P]eople aren’t connecting the epidemic back to their true cause, i.e. human sins…and continued that if we don’t wake up, that this new coronavirus epidemic could even reach the shores of Israel, lo aleynu.”

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That post then took an apparently ‘unconnected’ leap over to a quote about when Moshiach ben David is coming, and then mentioned that Rabbi Berland:

“[H]as been returning to the subject of eiver min ha-hai, and connecting it back to the sin of the brothers in slandering and selling the Tzaddik HaDor of their generation, Yosef HaTzaddik.

In a nutshell, the Rav said that the main dispute between the brothers and Yosef was over whether it was permissible for them to eat eiver min ha-hai, or at least, to have the appearance  of that.”

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Next, that post brought the passage from Likutey Moharan I:83, where Rebbe Nachman said:

“When the Holy One wants to taste the positive mitzvos of a Jew who is a tzaddik, at the moment he is [still] an aspect of a ‘limb from a living [creature],’ (eiver min ha-hai) which is forbidden for consumption, and requires kosher slaughter to make it permissible.

“Therefore, it’s necessary that humiliation, [an aspect of] spilling of blood, an aspect of kosher slaughter, should come upon him.  This purifies the eiver min ha-hai [and makes it permissible].  Then Hashem can taste his positive mitzvos, whether one mitzvah or several mitzvos…”

(I highly recommended you read the whole thing, for context.)

Basically, it’s connecting eiver min ha-hai with the slander and humiliation that the Tzaddik takes upon himself, in order to prevent millions of Jews – and others – from being slaughtered because of deep spiritual tikkunim (rectifications).

This subject was covered in detail in the Knishta Chadar Newsletter from 5777 – almost three years’ ago. At the end of that article in Knishta Chadar, Rabbi Berland explained:

“AND THIS IS HOW THE TZADDIK SAVES THE WORLD FROM TOTAL DESTRUCTION.”

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In the FOOTNOTES for that piece, it spelled out how ‘Corona’ has the same gematria as ‘eiver min ha-hai’ = 367:

ק=100

ו=6

ר=200

ו=6

נ=50

ה=5

סה”כ 367

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אכל אבר מן החי

א=1

כ=20

ל=30

א=1

ב=2

ר=200

מ=40

ן=50

ה=5

ח=8

י=10

סה”כ 367

====

Thursday, February 7th, 2020, the following appeared on the Shuvu Banim website:

The World Is Hanging By A Thread

This morning (Thursday) after finishing his morning learning schedule and immersing in the mikvah, Rebbi Eliezer Berland shlit”a said in a stern voice:

“THERE’S A TERRIBLE DECREE OF WORLD DESTRUCTION BY THE CORONAVIRUS.”

The Rav went on to explain that all of humanity including animals and plants are in danger of complete destruction.

And began quickly stating gematrias as to the spiritual cause of this terrible illness. Among others ben adam l’chaveiro the commandment which includes all interpersonal laws has the same numerical value as corona in Hebrew 363.

Open hearing this and seeing the look of concern on the Rabbi’s face, his attendant asked, “What should we do?”

Rav Berland answered:

“We will write a prayer and the decree will be cancelled. The prayer should be translated in all languages and read all over the world. With that the virus it will leave as quickly as it came leaving no trace behind.”

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In the meantime, I got contacted by the gabbai of a Lamed Vav, who told me to publicise that the authorities were lying about the true extent of the pandemic, and that 10,000 people an hour were being infected by the virus.

Separately, information started surfacing on the Taiwan National News site which appeared to show that the real mortality rate of this strain of Corona Virus is actually around 16%.

====

HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED NEXT:

The call went out for volunteers to help get Rabbi Berland’s prayer translated, and within 24 hours, thanks to the hard work of some volunteers, and the generosity of a donor who paid for a number of additional translations, the prayer was available in 36 languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Greek and even Arabic.

At that point, my husband had the idea to try to send out a press release about the special prayer the Rav had written about stopping the spread of the Corona Virus, to try to give it more traction.

Literally, the last hour before Shabbat fell in Jerusalem, we finished making the arrangements to get it sent out, and our PR guy told us the release would be out in the world by 4pm Jerusalem time today, Sunday February 9th, 2020.

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In the meantime, lots of things started to happen.

First, headlines like this started popping up on news sites all over the place – and remember, they are still hiding the true extent of the deaths being caused by this pandemic:

Real number of coronavirus cases ‘could be 10 times higher’ than figures suggest

A screenshot purportedly showing the real death toll of the coronavirus in China — putting it over 80 times higher than the official number — has gone viral. 

https://www.dailysabah.com/health/2020/02/06/real-coronavirus-death-toll-much-higher-chinese-hospital-employee-in-wuhan-says

Coronavirus more deadly than SARS as global death toll reaches 813

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And then this morning at 7am, I got a text telling me that Rabbi Berland, shlita, has just been arrested by the corrupt Israeli authorities, together with his wife, and a few of his attendants.

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Here’s the screenshot from the JPOST, where you can see the headlines about the growing threat from the Corona Virus and Rav Berland’s arrest side-by-side.

Now let me ask you something, do you think all this is some sort of ‘coincidence’?

It’s exactly what happened back in 2012/3, and again in 2015, when the Rav’s public humiliation and arrest coincided with the G-6 countries deciding to rip-up the agreement that they were secretly about to conclude that would let Iran start manufacturing nuclear weapons unhindered.

The Rav had been warning about Iran’s nuke for years, and telling his yeshiva that he would have to go into exile and face terrible humiliation for years, in order to neutralize the threat from Iran.

And then it happened, exactly as he said.

I wrote all about that, with dates and details, in One in a Generation Volume II, which you can get HERE.

And now, we see that the exact same thing is happening again.

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For months, the Rav has been ‘joking’ about needing to go back to prison again, and saying that this time the whole yeshiva will come with him, and they’ll just learn Torah in prison without any distractions….

Back in November, he said that he wanted 10 translated prayers a week put up on the ravberland.com site, to help him fight against the: “10 crowns of impurity.”

That’s exactly when all this ridiculous farce with the Israeli police began, as I wrote about in detail here:

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At the end of that article from November 10, 2019, here’s what I wrote:

So, I think this latest blood libel against the Rav is going to start shining the spotlight on the corrupt medical profession, and all the lies they like to tell about what’s really causing illnesses, and what’s really curing them.

In the meantime, Rabbi Berland has been warning for months that the situation is so bad, he’s going to have to take on a new disgrace that will make the last one look like a walk in the park.

I wrote about that months ago, here.

And it seems, that time has now come.

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This latest deadly outbreak of Corona Virus – so-called, because the protein spikes makes it look like a crown – apparently began in November. See this:

An Evidence-based Hypothesis that the Epidemic began in November 2019 or earlier and at a location other than the Wuhan Huanan seafood market: Major Implications.

Do you think all this is a coincidence?

====

 

Lastly, there’s understandably been so much speculation about ‘why is it happening’, including the patently ludicrous idea that China is getting hit because it’s daring to stand up to America’s economic imperialism.

But if you take a careful look at what I set out above, a strong contender for the ‘spiritual cause’ starts to swim into clear focus.

I know it’s hard to piece it all together sometimes, so let’s set it out a bit more clearly, below:

CLUE 1:

Rav Berland explains that the virus is spreading due to pgam habrit and the sin of eiver min ha-hai.

CLUE 2:

Rebbe Nachman, in Lesson 1:83 of Likutey Moharan, equates ‘the Tzaddik’ with an aspect of eiver min ha-hai. He then explains that when this Tzaddik is humiliated and scorned, this ‘koshers’ the problem of eiver min ha-hai.

CLUE 3:

The Corona Virus outbreak has been traced back to a live animal market in Wuhan, a place where the Chinese come to buy live animals, including snakes and frogs, which they then cut the still beating hearts out of, to eat ‘live’.

This is the physical world / non-Jewish aspect of eiver min ha-hai.

CLUE 4:

We know that everything that happens in the world is designed to get the Jewish people to make teshuva.

So, given that principle, what’s the Jewish angle to this whole eiver min ha-hai idea?

Rabbenu tells us clearly:

Eiver min ha-hai is connected to the Tzaddik of the generation, who is humiliated and scorned, and willingly goes through all that in order to sweeten the harsh judgments and save the Jewish people.

Or to put it in other words:

Tzaddik of the generation              = Rabbi Eliezer Berland

Eiver min ha-hai                             = Rabbi Eliezer Berland

Humiliating and slandering Rabbi Eliezer Berland is the root cause, Jewishly, of the Corona Virus pandemic.

==

So, to all the people who have written bad things about Rabbi Berland in the past, and gossiped about him, and stopped other Jews from coming closer to him and his Torah, here’s your chance – possibly your last chance – to make some real teshuva for what you did.

Today, the Rav got arrested, as part of his ongoing attempt to ‘sweeten’ the decree of the deadly Corona Virus n-2019 pandemic.

It’s just history repeating itself, another version of what happened back in 2014, when he got arrested in Zimbabwe on exactly the same day the Iranian nuke fizzled.

If anything, it’s way, way easier to see that this latest bunch of ‘charges’ against the Rav is just 100% government persecution. I’ve been documenting everything that’s happened as we’ve been going along, so it’s as clear as day to see that the whole thing is fabricated from start to finish.

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But the Rav is trying to save the world again, and God likes to give everyone a second chance.

The Rav asked to get that prayer around the world, in every language we can.

So, here’s the challenge:

Are you going to help the Tzaddik HaDor prevent this pandemic from spreading further and killing potentially millions of people, even if that’s going to cause you a little social anxiety and discomfort?

Or, are you going to continue to participate in the sin of eiver min ha-hai, and disdain and slander him?

As we can see, the people engaged in the sin of eiver min ha-hai – in all its aspects – are the ones dropping dead from this Corona Virus plague.

So chew this choice over carefully.

Your life could depend on it.

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UPDATE:

I just found this video when I was looking at possible connections between recent earthquakes in Wuhan and the Coronavirus outbreak. It’s not about earthquakes…. but it’s pretty interesting, for a bunch of other reasons, not least that 5G launched in Wuhan as the ‘test city’ in China on October 31, 2019. And as we all know, Trump is going crazy that China is outflanking the USA with its 5G technology.

Oh, and Bill and Melinda Gates’ Pirbright Foundation took out a patent for a modified coronavirus that they wanted to use as the basis of a vaccine for infectious bronchitis, in 2015. See the screenshot, from the patent office:

And now, in another strange ‘crown‘ link, I just found that Bill Gates has bought $5.3 million in stock in a firm called Crown Castle, which I’ve never heard of before, but which is apparently the leading provider of cell phone towers in the USA (40,000+) – and it set to skyrocket, if American 5G takes off:

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4241756-crown-castle-billionaire-bill-gates-quietly-buying-this-top-dividend-stock

There is way more going on here than meets the eye….

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UPDATE 2:

It just struck me that cutting live human fetuses up for ‘scientific experimentation’ also sounds horribly like all this eating beating snake hearts. Remember this post, also from November 2019? Something massively uck is starting to swim into view here….

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Aka, why ‘bad’ things don’t really happen to ‘good’ people.

In the Gemara, Tractate Brachot 5b, we find the following:

Rav Huna had four hundred barrels of wine that soured, i.e. they turned into vinegar. Rav Yehuda, the brother of Rav Salla Chasida, as well as other Sages, went in to visit him…They said to him: “Let master [Rav Huna] examine his affairs to determine the cause of this loss. He said to them: Am I suspect in your eyes? They said to him:

Is the Holy One, Blessed is He, suspect of punishing without justice?

He said to them: “If there is anyone who heard something about me that I must rectify, let him speak!”

They responded to him: “This is what we heard about you: Master did not give branches to his sharecropper.” He said to them: “Did he leave me any of them?! He stole all of them from me!” That is, he took far more than his rightful share.

They said to him, “This is an example of the popular adage: Steal from a thief and feel the taste of stealing!”

He said to them: “I accept upon myself to give him his share of the remaining branches.”

Some say that then, a miracle occurred and the vinegar reverted to wine. And others say that the price of vinegar rose, and [his vinegar] sold at the price of wine.

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Rav Huna was a massive Sage who could do open miracles and revive the dead.

When Rav Huna’s vinegar soured, it would have been the easiest thing in the world to start throwing around his ‘tzaddik’ credentials, and to avoid examining his deeds.

“I’m such a big tzaddik!! I don’t deserve this!! Why is Hashem punishing me for nothing (God forbid)?! Why is Hashem doing such a bad thing to such a good person, like me?”

We all do this, at certain times. It’s understandable.

But there’s a massive problem (or 8…) with this approach, and that is:

That it makes Hashem out to be the bad guy.

It’s basically saying, “Nothing wrong with me, or my deeds, bub. This is a totally unjustified punishment. God has somehow got this wrong, He’s picking on the wrong guy…”

This is the polar opposite of how a Jew with emuna is meant to approach things. A Jew with emuna doesn’t throw all the problem on God, and start flashing their ‘tzaddik’ credentials all over the place.

A Jew with emuna takes a deep breath, a long spiritual pause, and tries to apply the three rules of emuna, namely:

  • God is doing everything.
  • Everything God is doing is ultimately for my benefit, even though right now I’m not going to pretend that it isn’t causing me a lot of pain, suffering and heartache.
  • God is trying to send me a message, here, that this is something I need to work on or fix or change or tikkun.

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Unlike us, Rav Huna really was a bona fide tzaddik.

He wasn’t a secret member of the local Freemasons lodge; he wasn’t sucking up to corrupt politicians for ‘donations’ to his yeshiva, or firebombing buses, or working for the Mossad or the FBI on the side.

Rav Huna wasn’t flirting with women he wasn’t married to. He wasn’t speaking lashon hara all over the place (like yours truly…) He wasn’t angrily raging at his poor wife and children behind closed doors after a bad day at the beit midrash; or harshly criticizing everybody else on Youtube; or dancing for the Pope; or being paid by Big Pharma to sign on to a psak din trying to force everyone to vaccinate their children.

He was a bona fide tzaddik.

And yet, his vinegar still turned sour.

====

Having emuna doesn’t mean that we pretend the hard things in our life don’t hurt us, or bother us.

Before we get to the story of Rav Huna, we have the stories of Rav Yochanan (who lost 10 children) and Rav Elazar (who was seriously ill) – and in both instances, the Gemara makes it very clear that these tzaddikim were feeling their pain and sorrow acutely.

They weren’t robotic, emotionless ‘super-tzaddikim’, who could go through awful suffering and just keep telling everyone how great it all was. They suffered, they admitted they were suffering, and that they felt sad and pained – and then, they pulled themselves together and got on with life.

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Just to confuse matters, there is also  such a thing as being sent a ‘suffering from love’.

If we examine our deeds, and we truly find there is absolutely nothing we can think of that we need to fix, acknowledge or work on, that would somehow explain why God was sending us our harsh circumstances, then we’re dealing with a ‘suffering from love’.

In our generation, there are a lot of loose ends, a lot of tikkunim from previous lives that need to be paid down. Maybe, we were sacrificing our children to Moloch in temple times, or snitching on our fellow Jew for money to the Sultan or the Czar, or cheating on our spouse, or cheating on our taxes…

Who knows?

And now, God is cleaning that stuff off our souls by sending us some hard experiences to go through.

====

I learned from the experience with my father-in-law being a Freemason that the sins of the fathers really are visited on the sons up until the third or fourth generation, exactly as it says in the Torah.

When my husband’s left foot refused to heal up for four months, it could have been tempting to pretend my husband is a tzaddik[1], and God is just punishing him, stam, because Hashem is mean and sadistic (God forbid a million times!!!).

But that’s not the path of emuna.

The path of emuna is to keep praying about our suffering, to keep justifying Hashem, and to know that He’s totally righteous, kind and good, and to keep searching for what the heck is going on here?!

It took us 4 months of effort, many long hours of praying, much soul-searching, and eventually a big pidyon with the Rav to start to uncover the real spiritual source of my husband’s dodgy left foot. But thank God, probably all in the Rav’s zchut, eventually we got there.

====

Rav Huna was a massive tzaddik.

And even Rav Huna’s vinegar went sour.

====

The last thing to take from the story of Rav Huna is that as soon as he got the message, everything turned around for the good. Sephardim say, his vinegar miraculously turned back into wine! Ashkenazim say, the price of vinegar suddenly shot up, and overtook the price of a good cabernet sauvignon!

Either way, the suffering was sweetened once Rav Huna took the steps required to fix the problem.

====

What’s the tachlis, to take away from this?

  • We need to justify Hashem, and stop pretending He’s got the wrong guy when He sends us suffering or difficulties.
  • We need to do our best to figure out what we need to correct and fix, in order for the problem to go away. That usually means spending an hour a day doing hitbodedut, or at least a good, solid chunk of time where we sit and just take an honest look at ourselves.
  • If it’s still not clearing up, we need to bite the bullet and do a pidyon with the Rav, which is effectively a short-cut to getting out of the suffering, or even avoiding it in the first place. Money instead of blood.

====

May Hashem help us all to do this, as it’s sometimes really, really hard.

And may this piece be for the refuah of Menachem Mendel Shlomo ben Chaya Rachel, who needs to raise money for a pidyon with the Rav urgently. You can donate for the pidyon HERE, and please say it’s for him in the message section.

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FOOTNOTE:

[1] The fact that my husband has put up with me for 23 years clearly gives credence to the idea that he could actually be a tzaddik, at least in theory.

====

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Rabbi Berland said they would attack us on Tuesday. He was right.

For the last couple of weeks, Rabbi Berland has made some very clear and specific statements that there was another ‘decree of shmad’, or decree of destruction, hanging over the Jewish people.

Last week, he publically said:

“Now, we are declaring a fast, because the situation is awful. The situation is already lost, because America has already abandoned the Middle East. They abandoned Syria. On Tuesday next week [i.e. November 13, 2019], they are already going to launch a nuke.

Because every day, they are launching rockets at Sderot and Ashkelon. Everything will already be hefker (ownerless).

Rockets already fell on Ashdod, but no rocket fell in the chareidi areas. But, we will already be completely hefker….

The son of Eitan Cohen was killed close to Bet El. So, we’ve organized fasts for Monday, Thursday and Monday.”

This has been up on the ravberland.com site for a few days already, you can see it for yourself HERE.

====

But that’s not all.

For literally months, the Rav has been saying that a war will break out in Cheshvan.

You can see a few examples of him saying that HERE, HERE and HERE.

There has been quite a debate going on amongst the English speakers who follow the ravberland.com site, because the Rav also said that the holocaust that was meant to happen every 70 years had been postponed for 200 years.

People got confusedif the holocaust has been postponed for 200 years, then does that still mean a war in Cheshvan?

The answer, today, is clearly yes  – but it’s all being sweetened.

Who knows how bad things still might get, a war is a war, after all, but Israel’s ‘wars’ are so very different from the wars that happen anywhere else in the world.

The rockets continually miss their targets.

The rockets continually fail to explode, even if they hit their targets.

The rockets continually fall into empty car parks, and building lots and parks and fields.

The rockets continually fail to cause any major or numerous injuries – although in the last round, there were still a handful of people killed in Ashdod, which shocked the whole country precisely because we’re so used to massive open miracles.

====

Two weeks ago, Channel 13 ran a fake news ‘expose’ against the Rav. Last week, a fake news complaint was filed against the Rav for ‘manslaughter’. The public disgrace and persecution is starting up again – right on time!

Exactly as the Rav predicted would need to happen, many, many months ago, in order to sweeten all the harsh decrees he could see coming down the pipe.

At this stage, who can’t see this?

At this stage, who can really still be so brazen and arrogant to deny that the Rav:

  • Clearly and obviously has ruach hakodesh.
  • Is working overtime to sweeten the judgments and the ‘holocaust’ that otherwise would occur, God forbid.
  • Is ONLY experiencing all this public opposition and slander because that’s what he’s agreed to undertake, in order to rescue the Jewish people from these harsh decrees?

====

Last week, Rabbi Berland also put out a separate message where he told the kehilla to take on learning 5 chapters of Rambam, and 8 pages of Gemara a day, to conclude by Succot of 5781.

The Rav said:

“We must study five chapters of Rambam, and eight pages of Gemara, because there is going to be a terrible holocaustand whoever holds by this holy learning schedule will be saved.

====

So, there are a few options for how you can help the Rav help the Jewish people to stave off disaster, God forbid:

  • Make a commitment to never say, read or believe a negative word about Rabbi Berland again. And especially not the fake news from the anti-Torah media and police in Israel.
  • Start doing some hafatzah to let more people know about the Rav’s writings, and his teachings. Because getting close to the Tzaddik HaDor is the only way to get through the next few months without going totally bonkers. There’s a bunch of books out in English now, there’s a bunch of prayers, you can send them to the ravberland.com site and let them see with their own eyes how what is going on now has all been specifically foreseen.
  • Join in the fast the Rav called for last week, Monday-Thursday-Monday. Even if you only fast a little bit, every intention for the good carries tremendous weight. Yesterday, I could only manage to fast to midday, but I still tried, and that’s what is important.
  • Join the learning schedule, to complete the Rambam and Shas by next Succot 5781.

====

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a war going on.

The rockets are just a reflection of the real war, the war against God and His Torah, that the State of Israel has been waging even before it was officially the State of Israel.

Months ago, Rabbi Berland also stated that Gantz and Lieberman would be happy to form a government with the ‘anti-Israel’ Arab Joint List, despite all their protests that they would never do that…

Guess what?

That appears to be what’s going on right now.

All these people care about is gaining power and keeping control, and trying to smash every last bit of Torah observance in the State of Israel.

Recently, they approved public transportation to operate on Shabbat in Tel Aviv.

Today, the schools and non-essential work have been shut down in Gush Dan, because the rockets are reaching Holon, and explosions are being heard in Tel Aviv. The trains are grinding to a halt – on a Tuesday.

Can you see how this is working?

BH, the Rav will sweeten all this, but he needs our help. He needs our prayers, he needs our support, he needs us to counter the fake news about him with all our might, hard as that is, because that brings us face-to-face with all the psychos out there, religious and otherwise, who can’t stand the Rav.

But that is the test.

And I hope more of us will start to pass it.

====

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The last censored message from Dani18.

It’s been a funny few weeks, hasn’t it?

More of the stop and start that seems to be characteristic of this period of time, as we sit here waiting for ‘something’ to happen. Or maybe I should say, as we sit here to wait for ‘something’ to happen so obviously, then no-one can actually deny it because let’s be clear, plenty of ‘something’ has gone on the last few weeks but it’s barely made a dint.

Front cover of One in a Generation Volume 2On the book front, I’ve managed to sell just ONE whole copy of One in a Generation Volume II on Amazon in the last six weeks, which boggles my mind. When the false rumors of the Rav were pinging all over the internet, every man and his dog was interested in the story. Now the other side of the tale is being told, there are apparently no takers.

Then, there’s the whole thing that happened with the autistics’ pronouncement that Rabbi Berland was Moshiach ben Dovid.

Putting to one side whether they are actually correct – because until the Third Temple has been rebuilt and all the exiles have actually been ingathered, we won’t really know – you’d have thought that this announcement would at least have created some ripple of interest.

Instead, all the people who have been quoting the autistics until they are blue in the face; and falling over themselves to smoke out the ‘erev rav’ hiding in every community; and beating people up for not being in Israel, or not making enough teshuva; or droning endlessly on about ‘Nibiru’ and ‘Kochav Yaakov’, and geula-induced death and destruction….

All those people suddenly decided that the autistics were totally unreliable, and that anything they say cannot and should not be endorsed. One guy, who we’ll call ‘Mr Nibiru’, even went so far as to find a statement the autistics made a long time ago where they said that once they gave the name of Moshiach, they shouldn’t be believed any more.

Which is where things get pretty interesting, because below, I’m bringing the last message about Rav Berland being Moshiach that was made by ‘Daniel’, shortly before the people who run the Dani18.com site decided they couldn’t take the pressure and pulled all the other announcements about the identify of Moshiach.

It seems that any pronouncement we now get from the autistics should be considered as being ‘false’ whatever side of the argument you stand on.

If you believe in them but believe they were somehow ‘subverted’ by Shuvu Banim to start putting out Moshiach propaganda for the Rav (which is something only a hardcore conspiracy theory addict could even countenance) – then consistency demands that you can’t start quoting them again now they’ve given a name for Moshiach ben Dovid.

If you never believed in them, then no change there.

And if you did believe in them, but now don’t know what to think because even they couldn’t stand behind their latest pronouncements about Moshiach… well, what is a person to think?

Here’s what I learned from this whole episode:

Nearly all of us are totally and utterly unprepared for a real Moshiach to show up, any time soon.

And that includes all the breathless ‘geula’ bloggers who go on and on and on about geula, but have absolutely no intention of making the teshuva or the move to Israel that real redemption actually requires, at least at some stage in the process.

And sadly, that also includes most apparently ‘frum’ Jews, who are frankly kidding themselves when they stand up to pray the Shemoneh Esrei prayer three times a day asking Hashem to cause the ‘offspring of David’ to flourish and bring us salvation.

What I learnt the last few weeks is that the autistics could have mentioned the name of any leading Gadol as Moshiach, and everyone would have still totally ignored them, and played it down, and considered it to be something of a joke.

Or to put this in different words:

Most of us don’t actually want Moshiach to show up.

All this is so disheartening to the tiny half a percent who really does, not least because the only way that ‘everyone else’ is going to get real about Moshiach and redemption is if God starts slapping the world with some massive nisyonot to shake us all out of spiritual stupor and to get us to understand that things have to change, things are going to change, one way or another.

At this stage, I simply can’t see how the geula can come the sweeter way, but hey, let’s hope I’m wrong. And in the meantime, here’s the ‘hidden last message’ about Moshiach that was meant to be posted up on Dani18 last week, but instead got canned.

It looks like the yetzer has totally won sometimes. But what keeps me going is this: looks are deceiving. And I’m not giving up just yet. It’s usually when you think that the game is over that it starts to turn around.

=========

The Melech Moshiach

Daniel, 15th Iyar 5779

Abba, Abba, I was so very happy to read the messages from Binyamin and Menachem, but Abba – this is only the beginning of the war. It’s written that not everyone will receive / accept Moshiach, even if he’s the true Moshiach who meets all the pre-conditions that are written in the seforim about Moshiach, including how he looks, and his actions.

He is bandaged all the time, and he takes off bandages and puts on bandages[1].

Now, Rabbi Berland fits the description exactly, but even more than that, Abba, like I said, there will be a war between Jews and Jews about whether he’s Moshiach, or chas v’shalom, not. I know that he is Moshiach. I know clearly that he is Moshiach. But there will be a war. The war against him didn’t begin today.

The radio and the television hasn’t stopped publicizing filth and negative stories about Rabbi Berland, and all of this is lies, lies.

He is a pure person, the most pure person in this generation. The most pure. He is a person who travels around shemayim (Heaven), and there are testimonies from many people who experienced a clinical death and returned to relate their experiences of being in the Beit Din¸ the Heavenly court above.

One Jew stood as their defender, and this was Rabbi Berland.

There are many stories, there are books full of stories about the miracles that he has performed, very clearly described, with the telephone number of each person who experienced it.

Don’t forget that Moshe Rabbenu is the archetype of an enormous Tzaddik, not only in his spiritual greatness but also regarding his love for Hashem, and his faithfulness to Hashem, and his love for Am Yisrael. And Rabbi Eliezer ben Etia comes from the soul root of Moshe Rabbenu. Rav Eliezer ben Etia is similar to Moshe Rabbenu in everything.

And they even said lashon hara about Moshe Rabbenu! The worst and most disgusting lashon hara imaginable! So much so, that he needed to take his tent and move it outside the camp, so that they wouldn’t suspect him of looking at married women.[2]

This is the nature of man, to speak lashon hara because he’s jealous. Most Jews are tzaddikim, and don’t do this, but there are people who are jealous, and they have no problem speaking about the Tzaddik, and to call him a villain, chas v’shalom.

Before the Children of Israel left Egypt, 80% were not prepared to leave, and wanted to stay in the culture of Egypt, and with the Egyptian way of life, that wasn’t the Tzaddikim’s way of life.

They didn’t agree to go with the Tzaddik that Hashem had sent, and they didn’t agree to leave the places that they loved so very much, even though Hashem had sent him, and it was clear that he was the redeemer. They didn’t want to leave, so Hashem took their lives away.

Am Yisrael, this world is now going through great changes. I’m not going to say exactly what, we’ve spoken about this a great deal in the past. However, we need to be prepared, and it pays to be prepared. We need to cling to the Tzaddik. The whole time that we’re with the Tzaddik – the Tzaddik – we have no problem. We need to go along his path, the path of Hashem.

Rabbi Berland is so attached to Hashem, and so attached to Torah, and he is an immense talmid chacham – the wisest talmid chacham in Eretz Yisrael. And if he’s the wisest talmid chachim in Eretz Yisrael, then he’s certainly the wisest in the world. Many people saw him in shemayim, in the Beit Din above, and afterwards returned to life to tell about it.

Everyone already knows, and it’s forbidden to listen to the terrible stories that they spread about him.

Not to listen to the stories that the chilonim (secular people) tell about him, which are certainly and very clearly warped and fake. And also, not to listen to the stories that the so-called ‘chareidim’ are spreading, because they have their own reasons why they can’t stand such an incredibly pure person.

All those people that believe that they are truly connected to the Rav, and who call themselves part of ‘Shuvu Banim’, they need to be ne’eman, (faithful / believing). There are amongst them some people who don’t believe so much, and in the end, they are likely to go against. Regarding these people, I just weep.

Am Yisrael, Rav Eliezer ben Etia loves every Jew, and it doesn’t matter which group he belongs to, or what his background is. The main thing is that this Jew tries to come close to Hashem, the All-powerful. Rabbi Berland loves anyone who makes teshuva – loves him truly! And he even loves his enemies, and he even sends them presents.

He’s a Jew of a very high spiritual caliber.

Not only is his spiritual level so great, he’s also so close to Hashem, and so great in his avodat Hashem (service of Hashem), and has tremendous love for Am Yisrael.

He works to try to help every single Jew, and it’s impossible to find even the smallest detail in him where he would chas v’shalom, go against Torah law.

Am Yisrael, you will see, if you will be open to this. Be open to what you will see and feel. You will see that at the end, he is really Moshiach ben David. He has come because now, in the near future, we will begin to see manifesting everything that Chazal wrote about these times, in a much clearer way, both before and after the complete geula (redemption).

I am so very happy, Abba, so very happy. Everything was foreseen, that the wicked would once again rule over the Jews and the chareidim. But Hashem has sent us a ‘star’ – not Nibiru and not a comet, but Rabbi Berland, who will help all of Am Yisrael to leave Egypt. That he is now present shows us very clearly that we are very, very close to the complete redemption.

Whoever wants to get to the geula shleimah has to come ‘under the wings’ of Rabbi Berland, and to continue to deepen and increase their prayers, their good deeds, their love for Hashem, and their love for Am Yisrael.

 

We’re all in this together.

You know how I came to realise that so many of my own opinions and attitudes were dripping with sinat chinam, or baseless hatred of my fellow Jew?

My teenagers.

I know a lot of parents bemoan those polite times of yesteryear when your kids just had to nod mutely as you behaved like a jerk, or treated them (and others…) abusively, or felt too scared to tell you the truth because they didn’t want a slap or a cold shoulder or some other form of parental punishment.

But you know what?

My chutzpahdik teenagers have helped me to work on my middot like no-one else.

They’ve magnified every little bit of arrogant self-righteousness, every tiny speck of lashon hara that I was trying to pass off as ‘chinuch’, and challenged every rage fit that was more befitting of a two year old than a grown woman.

And one of the main areas they’ve been working on is my attitudes towards other groups of Jews.

It’s human nature, to find your ‘place’, your milieu, your level in the world, and then to start defending it to the hilt as being ‘the best’, ‘the only’, while everyone else is awful, terrible, disgusting, yucky or inferior.

That’s why people who move to Israel love to point out the flaws in the people and places they left behind; that’s why people who have no intention of moving to Israel love to point out the flaws in the people and places of the Holy Land; that’s why ‘frummers’ rail against secular people, and secular people rail against chareidim, and national religious people have no idea who to rail against, so they take it all on a case-by-case basis.

And underneath all this self-righteous judgment and indignation and anger and finger-pointing and accusations lies….

Our own bad middot.

And nothing else.

This is what my teenagers helped me to learn. Every time I’d start telling them about the founding fathers of the State, and how many bad things they got up to (to try to counteract the hagiography going on in school about people like David Ben Gurion) – my youngest would go for the jugular.

You’re talking lashon hara!!! Why are you only seeing the bad in people, why can’t you see all the good they did, too?!?!

But, what about all the Yemenite children they kidnapped and sold to the highest bidders?

But, what about the awful treatment they doled out to the Sephardim (including your Saba?)

But, what about the 500,000 Jews in Hungary that they could have rescued, but chose not to?

Ima, I’m not saying they were good people, but they did a lot of good things, and they were still Jews! Why are you always looking at the bad?!

She had a point.

So, I started trying to work on it, and it was really, really hard going to keep identifying bad behavior without going off on big, generalized rants about the Jew themselves. As Rebbe Nachman teaches us, the soul of every Jew is only pure, it’s only good. It’s just surrounded by so much trauma, so many klipot that’s eating up all their innate good.

But then, as God likes to use the mirror principle both ways, after we had this discussion when my youngest started ranting about ‘chareidim who don’t serve in the army’, and ‘chareidim who go around abusing everyone’ etc etc – I had to give it back to her:

You’re talking lashon hara!!! Why are you only seeing the bad in people, why can’t you see all the good they did, too?!?!

Man, did she hit the roof. Because while it’s easy and enjoyable to point out other people’s blind spots and prejudices, it’s so very much harder to accept them being pointed out in yourself, and in your school, and in your classmates.

Over the next two years, we came back to this subject a lot, because me and my husband skew much more to the chareidi side of things, even though we aren’t chareidi, while my two kids are very much in the national religious camp.

Between us, and all the arguments about different groups, and different Jews, we eventually figured out that there are people doing very good things in all groups of Jews, and there are people doing very bad things in all groups of Jews.

It comes down to the idea that in Judaism, there are no ‘good people’ or ‘bad people’.

There are only ‘good actions’ and ‘bad actions’, and we are all a collection of our actions that ultimately, only God will judge as being overall ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

So, my kids act as a guard-dog on my natural tendency to start criticizing in others what I really just need to work on in myself. And I do the same for them – and while the arguments are not so pretty, while they’re happening, I can feel how much good they are doing us all.

These days, my kids are far more careful about throwing out derogatory statements about ‘chareidim’, because they know they are going to be challenged to bring real facts, and not just a collection of chareidi-bashing rumors and headlines.

(We’ve had some very interesting discussions around the Rav, for example, and that’s also what spurred me on to set the facts of the story down and write the book. Sadly, they don’t read English… but it’s going in the right direction.)

And on my side of things, they keep prodding me to look for the nekuda tova, the good point, in even the most yucky, anti-God Jews, and to keep trying to inject some compassion for them, and all the trauma they must have gone through as kids, to be such messed-up, hate-filled, yucky derangos.

Ultimately, we are in this together.

All the problems we see in everyone else are just our problems that WE need to acknowledge and work on, and there are no exceptions to this rule. The more we all internalize this, the less we’ll be pointing our fingers all over the place, and the more we’ll be putting our hands up to the fact that the main people holding up the geula is…us.

So, if you have a teenager at home, take a deep breath and unmuzzle them. It’s hard to hear – often so hard to hear!!! – when you get assailed with a strong dose of ‘teenage trufe’, but it’ll help you work on your middot like nothing else in the world.

There are crazy people all over the place. In every section of our community, there is sinat chinam and lashon hara and arrogance and jealousy and self-righteous anger.

We can’t fix those problems in anyone else. We can only work on ourselves.

And if we do that, we’ll accomplish everything God sent us down here to do.

====

We just put together a website for the book telling the true story of Rabbi Eliezer Berland, which includes the back story, FAQs and the video. You can see the website at the address below, so please stop by and take a look – and if you want to help someone else get over their media-induced sinat chinam of Rabbi Berland, please feel free to share the link:

http://oneinageneration.com

Why ‘confirmation bias’ is such a big spiritual problem

A long time ago, when infographics were still all the rage, I came across this infographic which clearly showed the 20 main ‘cognitive biases’, including confirmation bias. This infographic basically dissects the playbook the yetzer hara uses to convince us that we’re always right about everything, and that everyone else is always wrong. (Click the link to see a bigger version, this is just for illustration purposes.)

An infographic showing 20 cognitive biases including confirmation biasNow, I wouldn’t care so much, except that I’ve been noticing a strange phenomena around Volume II of One in a Generation, which is that most people don’t want to read it, and don’t want to talk about all the proof it contains about just how corrupt the media actually is.

For as long as the media was coming up with one false, salacious, slanderous story after another about Rabbi Berland (aka ‘Eliezer ben Etia’), my email was glowing red-hot with people wanting to have the discussion with me. Now that the other side of the story is out there, clearly, showing exactly how we all got manipulated, bamboozled and downright deceived by the MSM – no-one wants to know.

Yawn.

Now that we can conclusively show that all the lies about the Rav abusing women, God forbid, came down to the same two people who were trying to extort money out of Rabbi Berland, it’s no longer interesting.

What is still interesting, tho, is that the Rav is taking money to do pidyon nefesh for people. Ooooo, this is still so interesting, because the same ‘anti chareidi’ media who have been behind so many of the lies right from the start ran a whole big ‘splash’ campaign about it.

People paid money, and it didn’t work!!! He took money from people on their death beds!!!!

Etc etc etc.

I haven’t looked into the details of all these stories (yet…. I might do at some point) – but I personally know of two occasions when the pidyon nefesh didn’t work, and the person died. In both instances, the Rav offered to repay the whole sum.

When all is said and done, the Rav is not God, and God will still do as He sees fit.

On the other hand, I know of literally thousands of cases where the Rav’s pidyon nefesh worked open miracles, saved lives and totally turned around a lost situation. (Some of which actually happened to yours truly)

So now, who are you going to believe, the anti-chareidi, anti-God, atheist MSM with massive agendas, or people who have seen open miracles in their own lives?

Or rather, the question is who do you WANT to believe?

Because that’s really a far trickier problem. Here’s why so many people are still having a hard time believing that Rav Berland is a true tzaddik and a very holy man, as opposed to the ucky individual they read about online, and gossiped about with their friends, and attacked on Facebook:

  1. People are over-reliant on the first piece of information they hear – in this case, all the slanderous stories and lies put out by the Rav’s persecutors.
  2. People place too much credence on the limited information they have available – before they know all the facts of the matter.
  3. People like to jump on bandwagons – even when they’re heading in totally the wrong direction.
  4. People have blind spots about their own subconscious motivations and biases – so it suits them when a big Rabbi who spent his whole life telling people to ditch i-Phones and act in a holier way can be totally written off and ignored.
  5. Once people ‘choose’ a side, or a thing, they have a vested interest in protecting it at all costs – even if they’re wrong.
  6. “So many people are saying it, it must be true!!!” – of course they are, because they all read the same ucky, poisonous, anti-religion online news sites that you do.
  7. People only want to hear things that confirm their existing opinion – they are much more interested in being right than being truthful.
  8. People are very slow to change their minds about things – it can take a lot of repetition before they finally grasp what you’re trying to explain.
  9. People prefer to just gather more information, than to actually act on it – if they wait long enough, they are sure that ‘new information’ will emerge that will prove their original view point correct, and absolve them from any need to make teshuva or admit they were wrong.
  10. People are burying their head in the sand about just how bad and corrupted the MSM actually is – it’s a very uncomfortable thought to consider that the media might be spoon-feeding massive lies to the public. Much easier to ignore the whole problem and hope it will just go away by itself.
  11. “But he went to prison! There’s nothing more to discuss!!!” – this is called outcome bias.
  12. People are convinced that they know everything, and are always totally right – i.e. they suffer from tremendous arrogance.
  13. People WANT to believe that the news is factual, so that makes them believe that the news IS factual – the alternative scenario is far too scary.
  14. People believe the newest stuff is always more relevant than the older stuff – hey, all that abusing women stuff is old news!!! We already moved on to how the Rav is extorting money out of terminally-ill people now! Talk to the hand!
  15. People don’t like to re-examine the past – they prefer to deal with what’s in front of their eyes today, i.e. more lies and slanders that haven’t yet been refuted or disproved.
  16. People pander to their own world views – many people are much more ‘comfortable’ with the idea of abusive rabbis than they are with the idea that the press is a lying, manipulative, anti-God, propaganda machine.
  17. People believe what they want to believe. (This needs no additional explanation).
  18. People rely on stereotypes instead of facts – of course, all Breslov rabbis with large followings and mystical tendencies must be ‘crazy’ or ‘bad’.
  19. People believe the media is always right – because the media very rarely, if ever, tells them about the thousands upon thousands of factual errors and false stories it’s putting out there, every single day.
  20. People prefer their comfortable lies to the uncomfortable truth – even though that’s keeping them far away from God, stuck and miserable.

Truth vs lies

Sadly, I’ve come to the conclusion that the number of people who are happy to stay stuck in the web of lies and deceit that is modern life is far greater than those who are looking for the truth. And I can understand where they are coming from, kind of.

Who wants to be a social pariah by calling out all their Fakebook friends who spent two solid years posting up self-righteous rants dripping with lashon hara bout Rabbi Berland? Who wants to really take a look under the bonnet and realize just how many flaws and issues they themselves actually have? Or how many people they are hurting with their own ucky behavior?

Who really wants to ‘fess up to being duped by unethical journalists, or to following rabbis and others who aren’t the real deal, or to having a vested interest in trying to make an elderly Breslov tzaddik look ‘bad’ to make themselves feel better about their own obsessions with internet, licentiousness, gossip, ego-stroking, making money and materialism?

You can see why it’s so challenging, honestly.

But here’s the problem:

All that stuff that’s keeping us away from acknowledging the truth about Rabbi Berland is the same stuff that’s going to keep us away from the world to come, too.

Geula is mamash on the threshold, and we can’t cross over into it for as long as we’re still dragging all that arrogance, hatred and bad middot behind us. God isn’t asking us to be perfect, He knows that’s impossible. He’s just asking us to be truthful, and to put our hands up and to admit that we make mistakes, and we have vested interests, and we do a lot of things wrong and hurt a lot of people, every single day.

A bit of truth and humility is all that’s required to get us into the world to come.

But judging by what’s going on with Rav Berland and One in a Generation Volume II, even a bit of truth and humility is way beyond what most people can apparently manage.

The only reason we suffer is because we lack daat

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

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

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Abridged Lesson I:250, from Likutey Moharan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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