It’s a really funny time right now, isn’t it?

Not funny haha, funny weird.

I’m seeing that many people, including yours truly, are not really in such a talking mood at the moment.

And I know a lot of people are ‘under the weather’ at the moment (when they aren’t dropping dead of heart-attacks aged 24 because they tackled someone ‘too hard’ in a professional American football game. Yah right… name one other occasion when that ever happened. There has to be at least one other occasion in the history of the AFL where someone got a ‘heart attack’ from tackling too hard. Doesn’t there?)

So much uncertainty, so much doubt, so much to worry about….

(If you  have your eyes open. If you don’t – then so many more anti-depressant pills to buy, and anti-anxiety medication to source, and mental health facilities to check out for when the dam finally bursts and you go totally cuckoo.)


In the meantime – I am doing my darndest to actually stay upbeat and happy here!

Because life is still so good!

It’s still so good!

I don’t live on the pavement, I can breathe, I can walk around, I have people around me I love and who (hopefully…) love me, I love nearly all the things I spend my time doing.

Whatever circumstance I find myself in, whatever is going on in my life, I can ALWAYS chose to use those circumstances to get closer to God and to make some real teshuva.

Or the opposite, God forbid.


But you know what?

So much of what takes the ‘blahs’ away, at least for me and my family, revolves around doing things like saying Tikkun HaKlalis, trying to get to the Rav frequently to join in with the prayers and jump up and down and clap for an hour, and doing an hour of hitbodedut and making a HUGE effort to actually follow the practical advice of Rebbe Nachman, and of Rav Eliezer Berland.

If I feel down – I do some hitbodedut to find out what’s troubling me, I dance for half an hour to things like this:


I try to make some real teshuva, I stop listening to the evil propaganda news, I stop reading the evil propaganda news sites, I look to see how I can improve things in my own dalet amot, instead of hanging on every word and interview from deeply compromised puppet-politicians.

And did I mention, I also read a lot of Tikkun Haklalis and sometimes pay some pidyonot too?

This, very simply, is what I’m doing to get through all this ‘weird’ and ‘heavy’ in relatively happy shape, without driving myself or my family totally nuts with doom-or-gloom scenarios, but also without going so deep in denial I lose all connection with the current reality.


When things work, I like to share them with you, dear reader, so here’s something else I recently discovered that works really well, to kind of ‘sonic clean’ so much of the stress and depression vibes out of the house:

It’s the Rav, reciting the 10 Psalms of the Tikkun Haklali, or general remedy, as set out by Rebbe Nachman.

You can get the audio HERE, (it’s a Dropbox link).

I have it on CD, and I have literally started playing it for three times a day, to ‘sonic clean’ the house from all the miserable, ‘down’, worry tumah vibes floating around.


A word of caution: this doesn’t sound ‘melodious’.

The first few times I listened to it, it was actually pretty jarring.

Now I’ve done a lot more work with my tuning forks, I can see that dafka, it’s the tones that sometimes sound a little uncomfortable to us that are actually doing some of the deepest ‘cleaning’ work, so if you can, persevere.


So many people are feeling like life is totally pointless at the moment.

What’s the point of carrying on, when it’s all just going to hell in a hand basket….



Totally wrong.

There is still absolutely everything to pray for, and THERE IS NO YEOUSH IN THE WORLD.

Whatever God decides to do, going forward, that’s totally up to Him.

But in the meantime, don’t lose sight of the fact that EVERY LITTLE THING YOU DO IS MEANINGFUL.

Both for the good, and for the bad, God forbid.


Even the smallest hirhur of teshuva – do you know what a massive difference that is making, not least to your own soul and connection to Hashem?

Even the smallest effort, to stop complaining and to see the good, in the middle of the darkest circumstances – do you know what a huge difference that is really making, at least to your own frame of mind and mood?

Do you understand that Hashem stops everything, just to listen to those two words of heartfelt prayer that you are struggling to get out?

That when you make that enormous effort to stop wasting your life watching Netflicks, it starts tipping the whole balance in the world more to the side of ‘good’?

Then when you say a kind word to your spouse you are rectifying all 1o of the sefirot?

That spending half an hour reading a story to your child, or kicking a ball around, or baking some cookies with them, is literally building a whole world?


I know it’s hard to keep hanging on to God, and to emuna, even though it all seems so crazy and pointless at the moment, but really, what other choice do we have?

If we don’t do that – it’s game over already.

At least for us.

At least, in all the ways that really count.


Tachlis, the best advice I can give right now for staying upbeat and not getting submerged in all the ‘yeoush’ sloshing around all over the place is this:

  • Get off social media as much as possible – it’s totally infested with negative people who just suck you dry, emotionally, and videos and video ‘shorts’ that waste all your time and energy on total narishkeit.
  • Stop wasting your time on propaganda news sites – of course that’s the MSM, but also so many of the alternative news sites are also causing a lot of yeoush at the moment, with their doom-and-gloom scenarios that give zero credence to the power of prayer and teshuva to turn everything around. We’re with the true tzaddikim – the Moshe Rabbenu of our generation – we don’t have to worry about the 10 plagues smashing down all over the place, as long as we stick with the True Tzaddikim, and keep following their advice.
  • As soon as you start to feel ‘yucky’ or downtake action! Play the Rav’s Tikkun Haklali, dance to some Breslov trance (or anything else that uplifts you), say a Tikkun Haklali, or three, go to a holy site and do some praying there, sit quietly and talk to God….
  • Don’t listen to anyone who is telling you the situation is terminal – whatever ‘the situation’ happens to be. King David teaches us that even if there is a sharp sword at our necks, we should still cry out to Hashem to save us.
  • Do things that make you happy, calm and ‘filled up’. Have a nice bath. Go for a walk. Find a pencil and sketch something. Make a nice supper…. None of this needs to cost a lot of money – and usually, the stuff you do for free, or the ‘mundane’ stuff is where it’s really at.
  • Understand there are no guarantees that we get ‘another day’ after this one. So make the very most of every minute you have, to live the life you want to life, to do the things you want to do, to make the changes, the teshuva, you are yearning to do, to make people with the people you need to.
  • Accept we aren’t in control. So, make your best effort – and then leave the rest, happily, to God.
  • Be kind to yourself. Yah, we’re all eating ‘franken-chicken’, still addicted to Instagram shorts, worrying way too much about ‘what happens next’, and all the rest of it.

But really?

We just want to serve Hashem.

We are mostly just yearning, with everything we’ve got, to serve Hashem, even though sometimes it’s seems almost impossible to do that.

And God knows that!


The last thing I wanted to mention, is that while this current situation feels kind of like ‘the worst it’s ever been in the history of mankind’ – it’s really not.

I am coming to the conclusion that the forces of evil go all out trying to ‘reset’ the world every century.

And each time, despite all the havoc and destruction they cause, they never manage to really do what they are planning.

It’s literally the Matrix, where it just keeps getting to this crescendo point again and again and again – but then, the evil is stopped in its tracks.

That is going to happen this time, too.

Sure, a bunch of difficult things may happen along the way, but so much of that really is down to us and our own teshuva process, and efforts to have emuna.

Ultimately, this is God’s world, and He is running it in whichever way He sees fit.

Our job is to do our best to stop complaining, to work on our emuna – and to follow the advice of our True Tzaddikim, so we can actually enjoy ourselves as much as possible, and get to the finishing line hopefully in one piece.

Even if that ‘finishing line’ is just our own, as opposed to ‘global geula’.


So, courage, dear readers.

Remember that Jews are above nature, and that there is a ‘Moshe Rabbenu’ in every generation, just waiting to take us out of exile while all the evil gets totally smashed to pieces around us.

So, we are not going to let the buggers get us down!

With God’s help.



Rebbe Nachman teaches that true wisdom is when a person understands that really, they don’t know anything at all.

Baruch Hashem, I think more and more of us are finally starting to approach this lofty level.

I know I certainly am!

I have this feeling at the moment that the more I’m trying to clarify what is actually going on, the murkier it’s all getting.

When this happens, it’s usually a sign that at least for now, I need to stop, take a breather, and wait for Hashem to give me a nudge to start moving again – if that’s what He really wants.

I am still trying to track down the specific source for Breslovers not eating Turkey, it could well be an oral tradition, and not something that was ever written down.

If and when I get the information, I will be sure to share it here.


In the meantime, here’s the comment I wrote to Ruth on the franken-chickens  issue, which I think is useful to actually post up here, prominently:

Just to be clear, there ARE lenient opinions on what’s required to make a fowl kosher.

And the more I look into this, the more I’m seeing it’s a huge, ginormous mess, and there are no quick fixes here.

Maybe the lesson to learn at the end of all this will simply be to accept our level of kashrut is not ‘super-duper’, even if we’re exclusively eating badatz etc.

Maybe, the humility of knowing we simply can’t do this so ‘properly’ these days is part of what’s going on here… I really don’t know.

The last thing that needs to happen is for there to be another reason to look down our noses at other Jews just because ‘they still eat chicken’….

I’m just trying to feel out the information here. But in terms of what I myself do about it, let alone what anyone else does about it – I have no idea.

And when I get to that point in the process, I will probably have to ask a shaila of a Rav I trust to give me the answer God wants me to have. And that’s true of all us, probably.

So, there are no plans to ‘outlaw’ eggs, or even, chickens, on the blog. I’m just sharing info here, and then each person will have to take it back to their hitbodedut, and their own personal Rav, if they want more guidance on tachlis what to do.


On Shabbat, I was eyeing my chicken suspiciously, wondering if I’m doing some massive aveira now by eating it and serving it…

And then I remembered Rabbenu’s story of the tainted grain, and how the moral of that story is that there is no escaping the madness, but the trick is to at least just know that I’m mad…. and so is everyone else.

And then, I remembered that being super-duper-machmir usually comes from a very bad place, spiritually.

That place of gaavah, and of thinking that I’m better than everyone else, and so much more super-duper-frum than everyone else.

As always, there is such a narrow bridge to tread here, between being lazy and apathetic about things that really ARE vitally important, including keeping kosher, and going to the other extreme of making yiddishkeit into such an onerous burden that no-one can stand up in it.

Both approaches are wrong.

And at the end of the day, the rabbis make our reality.

And if the rabbis, at least for now, are saying ‘all the chicken you eat is kosher’ – that actually IS the reality.

That’s how Hashem created the world, that the Rabbis get to decide what is kosher, and what isn’t, tachlis.


Sure, I’m yearning for a cleaner, purer, more ‘straight’ world.

I think so many of us are.

But right now, the only chicken available is tainted chicken, and that’s also how Hashem wants it.

I can’t dodge the tainted chicken, I can only know that the world – and yours truly – is totally bonkers.

But there is something else I can do in the meantime, and that’s work on my humility and judgment of others.


What do I really know?


And once I really understand that, it takes my arrogance down a huge peg or two, and it also stops me from judging others so harshly, because they still eat Turkey….

Or whatever it is.



As is my way, I just cracked open ‘A bit more advice’, and this is what I got to:

(Page 249):

In the throes of the greatest success and fortune, material or spiritual – or in the maelstrom of the worst material misfortune or spiritual decline – a person has to stay focused on not becoming distant from God.

He must maintain his awareness that God is with him all the time.

We have seen many people lose interest and grow distant from God as a result of becoming prosperous.

And many become far from God as a result of becoming too smart in Torah or overly dedicated to serving God.

This is a result of their lacking balance or sincerity in the Torah study and mitzvah performance.


Whether a Jew is enjoying fame, fortune or good health, he must be very careful not to feel full of himself.

This is even more true if his success is spiritual. He must be vigilant, and not try to live on a spiritual plane for which he is unprepared.

The same is true if a person suffers hardship or tragedy, God forbid, or backslides by losing interest in serving God.

He becomes indifferent to his spiritual health, or lackadaisical in doing mitzvot. He falls and becomes flawed, God forbid.

In all these situations – whether he is going up or doing down – a Jew must remember that God is with him.


If life is going downhill in any way, God forbid, be very alert to not despair or become depressed.

Rally yourself to be in good spirits.

If your predicament is material, follow the Rebbe’s suggestion of finding the silver lining in every cloud (Likutey Moharan 1:95).

If the challenge is due to your shortcomings in living by the Torah, live the Rebbe’s advice of finding and collecting your good points, even your smallest successes (LM I:282).

These suggestions will provide you with enough encouragement to genuinely trust and hope in God.

In turn, you will maintain your faith and awareness of God in a way that befits a Jew, and avoid the road to apathy.


Not for the first time, Rabbenu’s advice is lighting the path through all this confusion.

At least for me.

I will continue to research the whole chicken thing, gently, but also with the humility that there are Rabbis – big rabbis! – that know far more than me about what is really going on here, who are still eating chicken and not telling people to stop.

And the main thing is to continue to work on my humility and emuna, to stay close to God, and to know:

I really know nothing.


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I spent most of Shabbat trying to track down the specific source for Breslovers not eating Turkey.

So far I didn’t find it. We will come back to the topic of franken-chickens and turkeys in a separate post, as there is yet more to share on the subject.

But in the meantime, speed-reading through ‘His Wisdom’ and ‘Tzaddik’ in English threw up a lot of other things to think about.

This post is going to pull out some of those things, and try to fit them into a wider context.

I am at the point where I basically distrust pretty much anything ‘official history’ has to say.

But Rabbenu’s books were never about ‘official history’, and while there is for sure still some censorship going on – not least because of the huge persecution endured by Rav Natan and Breslov, and Rabbenu himself – I at least trust that most of what I’m reading actually happened as described.


So, let’s see what more we can learn about ‘real Jewish history’, from a trustworthy contemporary source, Rebbe Nachman and his student, Rav Natan Sternhertz.

Let’s start with some of the stuff I gleaned from ‘Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom’ (Shivchey HaRan and Sichot HaRan).

First, here’s some basic background. At the age of 26, Rebbe Nachman went to Eretz Yisrael together with an unidentified attendant. On the way to the Holy Land, Rabbenu spent a lot of time in Istanbul, where he dressed in rags, and played ‘war games’ in the streets with young children.

He did this to draw ‘abuse’ down on himself (amongst many other reasons…) because he knew he needed all those insults in order to sweeten the obstacles that would otherwise prevent him from making it to Israel, and the mekatragim that could otherwise even result in his death.

While in Istanbul, he met two followers of R Avraham Katz of Kalisk, who was the head of the chassidic community in Tiberius / Israel, following the death of R’ Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk. They didn’t know he was ‘Rebbe Nachman’, and Rabbenu, for his part, was careful not to tell them his true identity.

Now, I’m just going to start quoting some stuff from ‘His Wisdom’:


Footnote 16 on page 53:

R’ Abraham ben Alexander Katz of Kalisk (d.1810) settled in Israel together with Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk in 1777,

When the latter passed away, R Abraham succeeded him as leader of the Chassidic community in Israel. He was a close friend of R Shneur Zalman of Liadi, but after the latter published his major work, Tanya, in 1796, R Abraham joined the Chassidic leaders opposing this work.

R Shneur Zalman, in turn, accused him of misusing charity funds sent to the Holy Land. The two emissaries who met Rebbe Nachman were followers of Rabbi Abraham.


So, by this point Shneur Zalman and R Abraham of Kalisk were kind of ‘enemies’.

And the two followers of R Abraham suspected Rabbenu of working for their ‘enemies’…

Page 55:

[The two followers of R Abraham] went to the agent [in Istanbul] and told him, “For God’s sake, don’t let this stranger [i.e. Rebbe Nachman] leave for Israel. He is one of our enemies, trying to have Jews expelled, Heaven forbid….”


We’ll sum up as we go along.

The ‘enemies’ of R’ Abraham of Kalisk and the Jewish community in Tiberius were apparently trying to have him and his followers expelled from Israel at this time, by the Turkish authorities.


The two followers are trying to guess Rabbenu’s identity, and keep trying out different people to get a reaction.

Page 56:

They were sure they had identified him [Rebbe Nachman] as the Kamarner’s son, but then [Rebbe Nachman] began to curse the Kamarner again.


It’s totally unthinkable to me that someone of Rabbenu’s stature would ever curse anyone else stam, let alone a ‘rebbe’.

So I tried to look up who this ‘Kamarner” actually was. On page 55 of ‘His Wisdom’, it says this:

“[T]hey thought he was the son of the Maggid of Kamarna, who had great opposition.”

Why was he having ‘great opposition’? As usual, the pertinent details are missing. Over on geni, I got to this ‘Komarner Rebbe’, who was living at the time of Rebbe Nachman, HERE. His name is R’ Yitzhak Isaac Eichenstein of Safrin (1740-1800).

His son, R’ Sender Safrin of Komarno marries Chava – who descends many times over from that same ‘Yaakov Kopel Kamiel’ we wrote about HERE, as being a strongly suspected Sabbatean, and possibly also the BESHT’s baal koreh, and maybe also an alter-ego for Yaakov Yosef Kahana of Polnoyye, the ‘Toldot Yaakov’.

Oh, and Chava also descends from the Sabbatean family of the TAZ and is close mishpocha with the Vizhnitzer rebbes….

In any case, Rabbenu apparently has no qualms about cursing this ‘Maggid of Kamarna’, on multiple occasions.

Moving on.


On page 59, footnote 59, we discover that the authors have inexplicably censored the fact that the author of Arvey HaNachal is someone called ‘David Shlomo EIBSHITZ’.

Who is buried in the same cave in the old cemetery of Tsfat as Rabbenu’s daughter, Miriam.

Here’s what it says there:

Rabbi Zev Wolf (d. 1823) was a disciple of R Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezeritch, and the mentor of R’ Shlomo of Soroka, author of Arvey HaNachal.

I’d love to tell you how the Arvey HaNachal is related to the infamous Jonathan Eibshutz…. but that information has been very carefully controlled and covered up.

Moving on.


While he’s in Istanbul, Rebbe Nachman goes to the grave of Rabbi Naftali ben Isaac Katz of Posen – another well-known Sabbatean who we wrote about HERE.

Page 60:

“When the Rebbe returned from Rabbi Naftali’s grave, he suddenly fainted and lay still for several hours. They placed him in bed, where he lay all night until noon the next day. He was on the verge of death, until God helped him and restored his health.”

That’s very interesting all by itself, and the extra context starts to suggest a possible reason why Rabbenu fainted and almost died after visiting his grave…

But here’s some more to chew over, from footnote 28:

R’ Naftali ben Isaac Katz of Posen…embarked on a journey to the Holy Land but passed away en route to Istanbul on 26 Tevet 5479 / 1719.

R’ Naftali was an ancestor of Rebbe Nachman; he lived in Breslov for a while, and his journey paralleled that of Rebbe Nachman in many ways. His grave was considered a shrine for pilgrims to the Holy Land; there is a record that it was also visited by R’ Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk on his journey there.”


There were clearly some massive ‘family tikkunim’ being attempted by Rabbenu here – and the process almost killed him, God forbid.

Read more about Naftali Katz, the Semichat Hachamim who is suspected of burning down Frankfurt’s Jewish quarter when engaging in black magic HERE.

I’d love to give you details of how he’s related to Rebbe Nachman – but all that info has apparently been deliberately hidden.

Maybe, you’re starting to understand why that might be.


Back to the ‘enemies’ of R Avraham Kalisker and his community in Tiberius. This from page 70:

“[Rebbe Nachman’s] illness caused him to be directly involved in an episode with an informer.

This individual had recently arrived in the Holy Land and had become an informer for the Pasha, causing much hardship for the Tiberias community.”

Before we continue, you should know that this ‘Pasha’ being referred to is the notorious Al Jazzar of Acre.

He’s the guy who stopped Napoleon’s advance into the Holy Land at Acre. He was renowned for tremendous cruelty, and had a Jewish advisor (and ‘minister of finance’ and taxes – of course!) – called Chaim Farhi. Farhi had his nose slit and one eye put out by his temperamental boss, and also played an instrumental part in stopping Napoleon in his tracks.

His house is still standing in Acre, to this day:

I can’t help but wonder if this ‘informer’ was closely connected to Chaim Farhi, in someway. It would certainly explain a lot about this story.

Let’s continue.


“[The informer] had had the community leaders arrested and held in prison for nine weeks.

Some Sephardic Jews went to the Pasha and paid a large ransom to free these prisoners. They captured the informer and attempted to strangle him. He was able to escape only by feigning death.

He complained to the Pasha (Al Jazzer) and was appointed as overseer of the city, to do as he pleased. Accompanied by a regiment of Turkish troops, he returned to Tiberias with great fanfare….

This informer had told the Pasha that the Jews were bringing a large sum of money from Europe.

The Turks had posted special watchmen at all the city gates, waiting for these emissaries….The Rebbe’s attendant was later sent to Haifa, where he collected the funds from the emissaries and brought the money to Tiberias. The money was then delivered to the Rebbe, who gave it to the community leaders [i.e. R’ Avraham Kalisker] for distribution.”


This informer had to have inside information about who was bringing those funds into Israel.

And we see he had very close links with the Pasha, Al Jazzer, and his finance and tax minister Chaim Farhi.

And, apparently, he also had some sort of ‘grudge’ against the Tiberius Jewish community headed by R’ Avraham Kalisker, who was in the middle of a dispute with Shneur Zalman of Liadi, who had publically accused him of ‘mishandling’ the charity funds, after R’ Avraham came out against the publication of the Tanya.

Makes you think what was really going on, and who that ‘informer’ guy really was.


A few pages later, we find out who had been dispatched to bring that money into Eretz Yisrael:

Rabbi Yaakov Shimshon of Shepetovka.

From page 75:

[T]he Rebbe made peace between the Rabbi of Shepetovka and Rabbi Abraham Kalisker.

Footnote 44 and 45 fill in a few more details:

R’ Yaakov Shimshon of Shepetovka was a leading disciple of…the Maggid of Mezeritch and a follower of R Pinchas of Koretz and R’ Baruch of Medzhibozh… The Rabbi of Shepetovka had been sent by R’ Baruch to look after the charity monies dispatched to the Holy Land. Some aspersions had been case on Rabbi Abraham’s handling of these funds, so he understandably resented the newcomer.


Again, so much seems to be ‘missing’ here.

For example, R’ Yaakov Shimshon of Shepetovka seems to have actually been the in-law of R’ Pinchas of Koretz.

His daughter Sarah Miriam Shapiro marries R’Pinchas son, R’ Yehuda Meir Shapira like this:


(This is the same family tree for the Noam Elimelech, Rav Zusya, and…. Jacob Frank. Amongst many others. It’s totally messed up.)



For the record, R’ Nachman praised R’ Avraham Kalisker very highly.


Now, let’s take a look at more of the background about what was really going on in the chassidic world from ‘Tzaddik’ (Chayey Moharan).

Rebbe Nachman was greeted with great affection by nearly all the chassidic masters when he returned from Israel – but he was still arguing with a lot of them, openly, that their ‘visions’ and kabbalistic understanding was totally wrong.

The people he argued with included Shneur Zalman of Chabad – the first person Rabbenu went to visit, when he got back from the Holy Land. And also people like R’ Mordechai of Neskhiz, R’ Tzvi Aryeh of Alik, and also the person who ended up being the Rebbe’s biggest opponent in his lifetime, the Shpola Zeida.

Here’s a little of what Rabbenu is recorded as saying (page 24):

[The Rav of Alik] came in. He said [to Rabbenu] ‘You still don’t believe me when I say I have had visions. I will give you decisive proof that I do.’ The Rav once again embarked on a Torah discourse in an attempt to prove to the Rebbe that he had visions.

Only then did the Rebbe reply to him, “Many have tried to explain the merkaveh (Chariot), yet they never saw it in their life.”


You’ll recall that the mystical kabbalah associated with the ‘merkavah’ was the hallmark of R Abulafia, who was another in the a very long line of ‘failed’ or false messiahs, many of whose ideas got recycled a couple of centuries later by the Sabbateans….

Even today, the ‘Abulafia’ synagogue of the Tiberius of Rebbe Nachman’s time stands right next to the ruin of the house of R’ Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk, the leader of the chassidic community in Tiberius before R’ Avraham Kalisker.

There are so many things that have been covered up in plain sight, here.


Ok, one more specific thing, then a question, then we’ll end for now.

On page 47, we find this:

“There were a number of followers of R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi in the town. They brought some of his teachings for the Rebbe to see.

The Rebbe took issue with R. Zalman’s teachings and showed his followers that what he said was not correct.”

Learn from this what you will.


One thing that continually has struck me about the Breslov writings is that THE VILNA GAON IS NOT MENTIONED.

Not referred to.

Not even once.

Which I kind of find remarkable, given the huge number of other people that are mentioned, chassidic and otherwise.

It’s like he, and his followers, just doesn’t exist in the world inhabited by Rabbenu and Rav Natan.

Despite all the ‘official history’ that explains that Shneur Zalman and R’ Avraham of Kalisk were meant to be part of his group of students, before they found chassidut….

So, this week I also want to take a deep dive into the life of Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz, because the more I learn about this ‘hidden Tzaddik’, the more he reminds me of the Vilna Gaon.

I know, that sounds crazy.

Could ‘Eliyahu’ really be ‘Pinchas’?

But while you’re thinking about that, take a look at THIS article by Sid Leiman about the mystery of who is really buried in the ‘Vilna Gaon’s’ tomb….

Things are not so cut-and-dried as we like to think, not in about a million different ways.

But we’ll put more of the cards on the table in a separate post, and see if we can tease out a bit more real Jewish history.

Until then.


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Following on from the Franken-Chicken post part 1, my husband did some research.

Long story short, the same halachic arguments over today’s ‘Cornish Cross’ chickens apply to turkey, too.

A few people wrote about the issue with turkey not being kosher, including this one:

The Halachic Tale of Three American Birds: Turkey, Prairie Chicken, and Muscovy Duck


Questions regarding the kashrut of previously unknown species of birds proved to be much more challenging, and some have remained unresolved to this day.5

The kosher status of birds is a much more complex issue than that of animals and fish.

The Torah (Lev. 11:1-27 and Deut. 14:3-20) specifies identifying features to indicate whether a particular animal species is kosher. Within the mammalian quadruped category, an animal is defined as kosher if it both chews its cud and has fully split hooves. A sea creature is deemed kosher if it is a fish (Aruch Hashulchan 83:5-11) and has at least one fin and one scale (Lev. 11:9-10; Deut. 14:9-10) that are visible to the naked eye.

Birds are categorically different.6 

The Torah offers no identifying features to distinguish kosher from non-kosher species. It simply provides a listing (Lev. 11:13-19 and Deut. 14:11-18) of the 24 species7 of birds that are not kosher (Chullin 63b). By inference, the vast number of other bird species are kosher.8 Today, when the 24 non-kosher species can no longer be accurately identified, things are quite a bit more complicated.


Although the Torah did not provide physical indicators by which to identify kosher fowl, the rabbis provided four identifying features to help categorize birds.

The Mishnah (Chullin 3:6 [59a]) states: ”

every bird that is 1) dores (“a predator”) is not kosher.9 Every bird that has 2) an extra toe,10 3) a zefek (crop, the biblical more’eh , e.g. Lev. 1:16), and 4) a korkuvan (gizzard, “pupik” in Yiddish) whose inner lining can be peeled, is kosher.”

These seemingly simple rules were the source of ongoing and acrimonious debate throughout the ages,11 to the point that a 19th century authority wrote: “In order to fully explain the identification of kosher birds would take a small booklet of its own” (Minchat Chinuch , mitzvah 157). And some poskim (decisors) did precisely that.

Following responsum YD:74, Chatam Sofer (Rabbi Moses Sofer; 1762-1839) wrote several pages of explanation of the subject, followed by a note that the rest of his thoughts on this topic are in a separate monograph. The Beit Yitzchak at the beginning of YD 1:106 refers to three monographs that others had written on the subject. Similarly, Rabbi Yonatan Eibschitz wrote a monograph, P’nei Nesher , on the kashrut of birds.


Notice just who was writing on this subject, and deciding the kashrut of birds 250 years ago.

R’ Anthony Manning also has an interesting piece where he sets out the basic sources for the halachah very clearly, HERE.


Here’s a snippet of his conclusion:


• Rambi, Razah, Ramban, Rashban, Ran, Ittur and others: This is the most lenient position21

• As long as the bird displays the 3 main signs, this means that it is NOT a dores and we can assume it is kosher. According to some22

EVEN if it displays the behavior of a dores, this is considered anomalous and can be ignored.

• According to others, if we see that it actual displays signs of being a dores, then it will not be kosher.

The Shach quotes the lenient position of the Maharshal, that as long as it has 3 signs, it will be kosher, even if displays
evidence of being a dores. The Shach does not allow that level of leniency.


• Rashi, Rosh, Rasba, Chinuch, Rambam(?). This is the middle position.

• It requires the bird has ALL 3 positive signs and we ALSO know the bird is NOT a dores. Proving a negative is however very difficult.

Clearly, if we see any indication of drisa this will disqualify the bird.

• Some (Ba’al HaMaor and others) accept the ‘Goose Comparison’ – which is that if the bird has a wide beak and webbed feet, like a
goose, we know that it is not a dores. Then, if we find the other 3 signs, we can permit the bird.


• Rashi, Tosafot: This is the strictest position. Given the confusion in proving or disproving the signs, we no longer refer to them at all,
but eat ONLY those birds for which we have a tradition from our ancestors that they are kosher.

• Even if there is a mesoret, if the bird is seen to be a dores the mesora is assumed to be mistaken, and the bird is not kosher.23


R’ Manning does a very good job of setting out all the information, go HERE to read the whole thing.

The problem with turkey is that a) there is NO tradition that it was kosher, people just kind of starting eating it 300 years ago, and then the rabbis of the time just kind of shrugged their shoulders and said ‘ok then’.

And b) – it’s got a lot of cruel, ‘dores’ tendencies.

Like this


And like this:

(These are two different stories, on two different occasions….)


So… no wonder Rabbenu said Turkey shouldn’t be eaten.

As to what we do about the chickens of our times….

I don’t know.

I’m debating asking a shaila to the Rav, but part of me is also a little scared to do that, because if he says ‘no chicken’ that’s going to be hard to avoid, especially with my kids, who already think I have religious fanatic tendencies…

I do know I’m not buying ‘Franken-chicken’ anymore, and it does seem to me most of the ‘chicken’ we’re buying today isn’t really chicken.

But then, I’m starting to understand that this whole discussion is SO complicated, because no-one seems to know, anymore, what is really a ‘kosher chicken’ according to our masoret.

So for now… I’m buying more red meat and pondering what to do next.


What I can tell you, is that there is nothing new under the sun.

All these arguments just seem to be coming back around again and again and again, on a monstrous loop.

300 years ago it was turkey, today it’s ‘cornish crosses’

And each time, the battle to do the right thing is so very hard.

Personally, I’m still not sure what the right thing is to do, with all this chicken stuff.

IF I could find a not cornish cross, presumed kosher chicken I for sure would go for that.

In the meantime, I am starting to look into more organic options too, but I’m also wary of digging up to much information that  I won’t know what to do with…


That’s where I’m currently holding with all this.


On a separate but related note, I also started thinking about how the whole heter to use ‘chalav nochri’ is based on the idea that the official organisations are trustworthy, and wouldn’t lie to anyone about mixing in a bit of pig milk with their cows’  milk.

At this point…. that assumption seems naive in the extreme.

If they are mixing in HEK293 from aborted foetuses into ‘veggie burgers’…. then what the heck are they NOT putting in the stuff labelled chalav nochri?

Enquiring minds need to know.

I personally don’t eat chalav nochri, but even in Israel, it’s getting into everything these days.

And it’s probably long past time to revisit some of these assumptions about the trustworthiness of ‘official labels’ and FDA approvals, and even ‘vegan certifications’…



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When we were having our three day break up North, we decided to spend a couple of hours at the Hamat HaGeder hot springs.

HERE‘s their official website, snippet below:


We went the day after the mini-hurricane up North, so I was hoping it would be pretty empty.

It wasn’t.

It was packed full of old people with health issues, a bunch of Arab ladies wading in in full jelabiya swimmies and headscarfs (honestly, good for them!) – and a smattering of IDF soldiers, many of whom were toting their machine guns around the place.

I was trying to figure out how you could visit the hot springs AND keep your weapon under your control the whole time…

I still don’t know.


Long story short, it was the least enjoyable part of our break – as well as being the most expensive.

We stayed for an hour (it would have been way less, but it was hard to get a turn under the hot spring ‘shower-thingy’, pretty much the only bit we liked about the place.)

And then we went to look at the crocodiles in the crocodile park, which was kinda cool, but also kinda of lame.

So, we blew the whole ‘shmirat eynayim’ thing for that?!


Back in the car, I realised how so much of what I think is going to be ‘fun’, and going to be ‘good’ is still affected by all the PR, manipulation and brainwashing I’ve experienced about what ‘a holiday’ is actually meant to be.

Not for the first time, I realised that the walk around Tsfat and watching the sun set over the ancient cemetery there; the evening spent playing my guitar as my husband tried to sing along (bless him…); the shakshuka I cooked for us both on the simple gas range; the good books I read, the visits to the kivrei tzaddikim, to the Rashbi- this is what really made me happy.

This is what really made me feel as though I’d had a holiday.

That I’d done something useful with myself and my time.


Then I thought about all those poor people in Hamat HaGader, for whom that place was meant to be ‘the pinnacle’ of their holiday experience.

Or the people who spend their time in Disney Lands, or ‘holiday resorts’, or jetting all over the place trying to grab on to ‘the next big thing’, the next ‘once in a lifetime experience’ – and how empty it actually all is.

It looks like heaven, but it feels like hell.


Back home, I opened up ‘A Bit More Advice’, and I got to this, No: 52:

You – and every one of us human beings – must know that all the pleasures of the world, all the honor and glory, and all the cravings in existence that were satisfied are, in reality, nothing.

None of them has any substance whatsoever. Because at the end, nothing of your pleasures remain….

Even if the bulk of your life is devoted to serving God, but you don’t quite succeed at it, know and never forget that the only true benefit in life is to constantly yearn and long to  live for the eternal purpose.

Even the yearning and longing for the ultimate truth is greatly precious and dear to God.

Truth is, the desire is the most important thing, especially if it leads to actually doing, whether Torah study, prayer or other good works….

The most important thing is that whatever good things you do, your intention should be for the sake of Heaven, without any bluffs.

Because that good is all that will remain of you for eternity.


I was talking to one of my family members in the US a couple of days ago.

She has a good job in hitech, her husband is a doctor.

They have two gorgeous kids, everyone is healthy, BH.

But, she told me that they are trying to stuff as much money as they can into their retirement plans, so they can retire as early as possible.

They both hate their jobs, even though their jobs pay pretty well.

And even though they both have good jobs, they are still struggling with the cost of living in the US, and can’t see any way of being able to buy their own home, without totally moving out of ‘the big city’ – something they can’t really do, and find the sorts of Jewish schools they currently want for their kids.

I thought of Rabbenu’s words above, and how so many of us are trapped running after things and jobs that don’t even fill us up, and make us feel ‘happy’.


[A]ll the pleasures of the world, all the honor and glory, and all the cravings in existence that were satisfied are, in reality, nothing.


We live in this world where appearances are totally deceptive.

If you ever go to the prayers down by the Rav on Ido HaNavi Street, you’ll be struck by just how shabby and kind of filthy the area looks.

There’s very little money in the community, as every penny is still being squeezed out of the kehilla to pay the astronomical fine landed on the Rav, for the crime of daring to give blessings to sick people.

A lot of people stand the whole hour, because there are not enough plastic chairs for everyone.

Externally, the whole scene kind of looks bonkers.

And yet, I have lost count of the number of times I’ve been down there, and I’ve arrived feeling ‘constricted’, anxious, angry, upset – and left feeling so, so much better.

The appearance is the exact opposite of the real, felt experience.


So, unless you really like the smell of sulphur and hanging out with a bunch of elderly Arab men with massive stomachs, Hamat HaGader may not be your ideal holiday destination.

In this upside-down world, you find the real ‘diamonds’ precisely in the trash.

And those spiritual gems stay with you forever.


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There seems to be a pretty ‘down’ vibe beat floating around at the moment.

2023 is beginning with the same stupid crud about ‘covid variants’ that 2020 began with – three frigging years ago!!!

Can you believe that?

We’ve been sitting here, being lied to about covid plandemics for three whole years already….

So enough, already!


Last year around this time, I had a very strong lesson in why there really is no yeoush (despair) in the world.

It was when the State of Israel was trying to pin a murder on the Rav that had nothing to do with him – and everything to do with the people who are actually working for the State of Israel, to keep pulling the Rav down.

But for a few weeks, it really looked as though his opponents were going to pull it off, and that the Rav would end up in prison for the rest of his life, God forbid.

God forbid for a lot of reasons, but not least, because whatever happens to the Rav kind of ‘happens’ to the rest of us, too.


Rav Berland got arrested, violently, precisely a week before the State of Israel ramped up into full ‘plandemic’ mode, and locked us all down in involuntary house arrest for months.

So, December of 2021, things were looking really, really bleak.

I had that feeling that things were never going to turn around, that the Rav was going to be kept in prison forever – and that bad would just win, and there was nothing anyone could do to stop it.

And then.

A miracle happened.


I had been working on trying to get ‘One in a Generation Volume 2’ translated into Hebrew for about two years.

You would not believe the miniot (obstacles) that was going on with that book.

I had two different translators, because the first one was so bad. The second one was very good – but caught ‘Covid’ and was taken out for months.

Then, there were all these technical changes required, which were almost impossible to make, so I kind of edited the Hebrew version of the book by ‘guessing’, based on the English version, where the stuff was that needed to come out.

Then I couldn’t get the punctuation to work in the Hebrew fonts.

Then, the book designer for the Hebrew text ended up costing a huge fortune.

On and on and on it went, and I gave up about fifty times, at least.


But, the person who had paid for the translations kept on nagging me to finish the job….(even though at that point, the Rav was now facing trumped-up murder charges, so I was sitting here thinking no-one is ever going to read this book anyway….)

And then, I had the totally crazy idea that somehow, getting that book out in Hebrew was connected to the Rav getting out of prison.

Lots of weird things have happened around the publication dates of all the ‘One in a Generation’ books, so it wasn’t totally without precedent.

But still, while I was actually working on finishing the book, I was in the very depth of despair, and the idea that the Rav was getting out of prison ever seemed totally ridiculous.

And then – a miracle happened.


The same day that I picked up 1,000 copies of the Hebrew One in a Generation in Bnei Brak, which I took straight to the hiloula celebration for Rav Natan that was happening next to the Rav’s prison in Ramla, we got the news that the Rav was being released from prison.

It was a totally stunning, totally unexpected turnaround.

And it happened in the blink of an eye.

And it taught me a very powerful lesson that there is no despair in the world, and that open miracles can and do happen!

Even in our days.


That was a year ago, tonight.

And tonight, Shuvu Banim is celebrating Rav Natan of Breslov’s hiloula, and the miraculous release of the Rav from prison.

You can read more of the details of tonight’s event HERE on the Rav Berland site, below I’m cutting and pasting:

Schedule of events:

7:00 pm — Maariv prayer on the night of the Hilulah in the courtyard of our Prayer Hall on Rechov Ido HaNavi together with our Rebbe Rav Eliezer Berland shlit”a

8:30 pm — Netilat Yadaim for the Yahrzeit meal combined with the Seudat Hodaya

9:30 pm — The main event with Rav Berland shlit”a

Women’s section on site

Entrance is free

By instructions of the Rabbis of the community, the public is requested to donate for the considerable expenses of United Hasidei Breslov Shuvu Banim a minimum of 50 NIS per person. But certainly the more one donates to offset expenses of tens of thousands shekels the more merit they receive. It’s possible to donate by direct donation, or at the stands at the Hilulah, or by way of the Breslov information line — *9148

Exact details about the location of the events hall will be announced tomorrow (Monday) on the Breslov Information line *9148, and on the English hotline 02-301-1995.e


The hiloula is happening in Talpiyot Jerusalem, and if you are local – come and join it!

And if you’re not, please consider supporting the event by donating to it (details above).


On the eve of the Fast of Tevet, we know that the darkness is very dark at the moment.

So many of us are feeling it.

But – just when we can’t take a second more of the darkness, that’s when dawn breaks.

I saw that with my own eyes exactly this time last year.

And BH, more and more of us will see it this year…

The light, the hope, is by the true tzaddikim.

The more you get with them, in whichever way you can, the easier all this becomes.

I keep repeating this, because it’s true.


There is no yeoush in the world!

Not even the cr*ppy world we currently find ourselves living in, in 2023.

And God’s salvation happens in the blink of an eye.

Just sometimes, we have to hang on one more day, for the miracles to start manifesting.


PS: A reader just sent me some more links on the site, related to Rav Natan’s hiloula.


In honor of the hilula of Reb Nosson bH!

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It’s human nature to look back and think that ‘the good old days’ were better than ours.


And especially in the crazy world we currently live in, it’s very easy to wax nostalgic about a time before i-Phones, internet and Bill Gates.

In the run up to a new secular year, all that looking over our shoulders tends to increase.

But here’s what Rebbe Nachman has to say about this (taken from ‘Wisdom’ (Sichot HaRan), No. 307:


Every year, people say that previous years were better and times are not as good as they were before.

The Rebbe spoke to us about this at length.

He said that people might say that things were much cheaper in the good old days, but then again, people did not have as much money as they have now.

A simple householder, even one living off charity, spends more today than the wealthy of yesteryear.

He said, “Aderaba. Der Eibershter firt sheiner die velt” – The opposite is true!

God now directs the world better than ever.


….All this talk about the good old days is the work of the evil inclination.

It wants people to speak like this to make them suffer and worry all the more about their livelihoods. It would like to make them feel that there is no hope at all now, Heaven forbid.

This is all false.

God continuously sustains the world, and people rise and fall financially in every generation.

If you look carefully at any period, you will find people who were poor and had menial jobs, who became wealthy….

[W]hat use is it, to always cry that the past was better? 

The wise King Solomon refuted this idea long ago when he said, “Do not say that the former times were better than these, for it is not out of wisdom that you ask this.” (Ecclesiastes 7:10)….

In every generation, there have been people who say this. But if you look closely into the matter, you will see that the world is constantly becoming more prosperous.

People continually live better and spend more than in the past.


What difference does it really make?

If the world were really poorer now than before, that would be all the more reason to flee to God and involve yourself in Torah and devotion.

If there is suffering and trouble in the world, the only place to escape is to God and His Torah.


Ad kan, from Rabbenu.

I know the world is quite a scary place at the moment, for a lot of people.

But really, that last line sums it all up:

We have to flee to God and His Torah.

If we do that, then whatever else happens, we will come through it in the best possible way, and even if we don’t ‘make it’ physically, God forbid, our souls are still fulfilling their tikkun and will get a really good place in shemayim.

This is really the secret to staying happy and upbeat at the moment: to stop obsessing over what will be, and looking over our shoulders, and to do our very best to add more emuna, more teshuva, more Torah, more mitzvot, into our days.

As always, very easy to write.

And not always very easy to put into practise.


May Hashem help us all to do this.

And to also keep remembering that :

God now directs the world better than ever

Just for now, that’s still mostly hidden.


PS: This is headlining on YWN – but is totally missing from the Arutz 7 site:



So now Arutz 7 are also covering it, HERE.

But here’s another story that they should be covering – in detail – and really aren’t – Moishy Kleinerman’s disappearance.

I just got sent a video in Hebrew of an interview that was recently done with his mother, Gitty:


BH, I’m really praying that justice will finally be done for Amiram Ben Uliel.

And also, for Moishy Kleinerman.

Because it’s all connected.


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For a long while, I’ve wanted to just share ‘random’ snippets of Rabbenu’s writings, here on the blog.

I’ve felt a little ‘trapped’ in investigative journalist mode the last few years, wanting readers to take my research seriously, without mixing it up with Breslov too much.

But now….

I am really looking forward to getting back to sharing more of Rabbenu’s teachings, and of course, more of Rav Berland’s stuff, too.


So today, I opened up ‘Rebbe Nachman’s wisdom’, ‘randomly’, to page 137, and this is what I read:

The Rebbe…said:

“There will come a time when a simple religious person will be as rare and unique as the Baal Shem Tov.”


It’s on the same page where he’s also talking about the ‘great heresy’ that will come to the world before Moshiach shows up.

In fact, let’s quote that a bit, too:

The Rebbe said:

“Great atheism is coming to the world….

“Knowing full well that this has already been predicted, it would seem ridiculous for a person to succumb to any temptation to abandon his belief. It would seem obvious that every Jew would have enough intelligence to remain firm.

But still, it’s a great trial.

Many will fall away, and for this reason it is written that ‘the wicked will act wickedly’.

The Rebbe said:

“Still, I am revealing this for the sake of the faithful few who will remain strong in their belief. They will certainly have great conflicts within.

But when they see that this has already been predicted, it will give them additional strength and encouragement.


There are so many false idols out there, so many ‘false gods’.

(With modern medicine and Trump currently leading the pack….)

We look around, sometimes, and it hurts our souls to see so many people apparently blind to the truth, repeatedly rushing to follow more unscientific ‘mask mandates’, or to queue up for more ‘boosters’, or to buy into more ‘miracle injections’ for diseases and illnesses that are actually deliberately man-made and inflicted upon us by people who think there are too many humans in the world.

But Rabbenu tells us:

Many will fall away, and for this reason it is written that ‘the wicked will act wickedly’.

Not being able to see the truth is a punishment from Heaven, it’s not because they haven’t got ‘enough of the right information’.

Once people make teshuva, in whichever way they need to – and that option is open at all times, to EVERYONE – God will show them the truth.

It’s as simple as that.


So we don’t need to waste any more of our precious breath trying to argue with the un-persuadables.

Because it’s their own sins that are preventing them from seeing what’s true.

A much better use of our time is in trying to bring people back to Hashem and emuna, in whichever we can.

Especially, via personal example, particularly in the area of how we treat our fellow man.


I don’t know about you, but this is giving me a lot of chizzuk, and a lot more reassurance that stepping out of the ‘arguing with heretics’ paradigm is indeed the right thing to do.

The people who really want the truth will gravitate towards it – like each and every one of us did, as part of our own journey to understanding what is really going on here.

And the un-persuadables are incapable of seeing the truth, until they make teshuva.

So, let’s all just stop wasting our time and energy arguing with them.

Many will fall away, and for this reason it is written that ‘the wicked will act wickedly’.


Lastly, take a look at the first thing I quoted:

There will come a time when a simple religious person will be as rare and unique as the Baal Shem Tov.

That’s why sometimes, so many of us feel so lonely.

‘Simple religious people’ are increasingly rare to find.

But they still do exist!

And every effort we make to continue to have emuna, and to continue to believe in the words of our True Tzaddikim, and to continue to work on our own bad middot, and to make every effort to minimise being on-line and maximise our dancing and happiness and prayers – it counts for so very much.

BH, I am still aspiring to become one of those rare ‘simple religious people’.

With God’s help, I will get there one day.


So, courage, dear reader.

BH in the next post, I’ll bring more words from Rabbenu, about how to actually deal with all the craziness that is our current olam hazeh.


PS: Thanks for all the chizzuk comments you’ve taken the time to share here, on the last post.

I appreciate them all, but I don’t always know how to respond without it getting all corny and cheezy….

But thank you!



My brother in the UK told me that even some of the MPs over there are starting to publically call out a bunch of the lies being told about the shots being ‘safe and effective’ in the British Parliament.

Watch this:


And you can read the full transcript of MP Andrew Bridgen’s full speech HERE.

Relevant snippet:

[T]he benefits of the vaccine are close to non-existent.

Beyond the alarming Yellow Card reports, the strongest evidence of harm comes from the gold standard, highest possible quality level of data. A re-analysis of Pfizer and Moderna’s own randomised controlled trials using the mRNA technology, published in the peer-reviewed journal Vaccine, revealed a rate of serious adverse events of one in 800 individuals vaccinated.

These are events that result in hospitalisation or disability, or that are life changing.

Most disturbing of all, however, is that those original trials suggested someone was far more likely to suffer a serious side effect from the vaccine than to be hospitalised with the ancestral, more lethal strain of the virus.

These findings are a smoking gun suggesting the vaccine should likely never have been approved in the first place.


Or, watch Andrew Bridgen’s speech here:

(Shmirat Eynayim friendly.)


This video already has around 400k views.

The truth is coming out….

With our without us.


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