The last few weeks have been such a rollercoaster of emotions for all of us, haven’t they?
I was pretty chipper for the first 3 ½ weeks of this COVID-19 ordeal, not least because right from the start, I was relying on the Rav’s promise to sweeten it by Pesach, and also because I wasn’t letting all the Health Ministry’s propaganda scare the pants off me.
I wasn’t wiping things down as they entered my home, or using a UV light wand to ‘desanitize’ them. I’ve tried to come out of my home as much as I’m able to, given the horrible restrictions that we’ve been under during this lockdown.
I shunned the gloves and the alcogel cleanser. I hate the whole idea of wearing facemasks, and the only reason I just went and bought some now is because I don’t want to have to deal with the police if I’m out for a walk.
But I can tell you now: the facemask thing is not going to last more than another 2 days in Israel. I can already see that most people totally resent them, and they’re only going along with it because of the fines being threatened for non-compliance.
When all this ends, even ordinary, law-abiding citizens are going to be distrusting and hating the police and politicians so very much.
But I digress.
Seder night was actually really good – and I heard from a few other people that their Seder night was also surprisingly nice. When you don’t have to accommodate cranky relatives, or cook for 4 gazillion people, or worry that your kids don’t have new clothes, or the ‘right’ type of clothes for Seder, that takes so much pressure off.
But as I wrote over HERE, the following day a dark cloud of yeoush settled over me, and I began to feel like I was in prison, mamash. That feeling was exacerbated on Friday morning, when I tried to drive over to Mahane Yehuda – many hours after the overall ‘lockdown’ on Jerusalem was meant to have been lifted – to find some board games for my bored teens to play over Shabbat.
Everything was shut.
And in the meantime, I got stopped at a police checkpoint, who were stopping every single car. There was something about having to wind down my window, and having to say where I lived and where I was going that really got me so, so down.
What, is this the gestapo I’m dealing with here?!?
As Mahane Yehuda was a bust, I tried Romema, figuring that maybe the chareidi parts of town may have more going on.
If anything, it was even more deserted. I spotted a few solitary guys trying to do a minyan on opposite sides of the street, in accord with the retarded ‘social distancing’ rules, but otherwise it was a ghost town.
My heart sank.
I began to think that this horrible police state could be here to stay for a longggg time, God forbid.
My last shake of the dice was to try Talpiot, nearer to where I live. I went to the one store that was still open, that looked like maybe they might also have some games or toys stuffed underneath the toilet roll and deodorant – and an aggressive woman with her own mask under her chin stopped me at the door.
You can’t come in without a mask! She told me.
But that rule only begins on Sunday! I tried to argue.
But she wasn’t having any of it. Clearly, one of those people who totally holds by all the Health Ministry propaganda that says that other people are Public Enemy #1.
I felt so angry.
I begrudgingly bought a mask for 4 shekels, then even more begrudgingly got ‘shot’ – twice – with the guard’s ‘thermometer gun’, to check my temperature wasn’t over 38 degrees.
Clearly, the thing wasn’t working properly, because even though my blood was boiling, she still let me in.
I had the mask on – under my chin – resenting every second, and I really started to feel like if this is how life is going to be from now on, then bring on the COVID. Better to live like a mensch with Coronavirus than to subsist like a bemasked shadow, scared of every little interaction.
I didn’t find anything I needed.
On the way back home, the police stopped me again.
Again, with the stupid questions, where do you live, where were you just now, what did you buy….
I didn’t buy anything, I snapped back, finding it really hard to control myself. Everything is shut.
As she gave me back my teudat zehut, the policewoman told me, Geveret, don’t drive around too much. It’s dangerous. You need to be at home right now.
It took a superhuman effort for me to not roll my eyes so much you could actually hear them moving, and I nodded and smiled my tight smile.
As I drove off, I cursed all these institutions that have transformed Israel into Stalin’s Soviet Union, replete with bans on prayer gatherings and government approved ‘ghettos’ for religious Jews.
And then I got home… and I felt really, really down about what’s happening.
Is my kid just going to spend the next 10 months in bed, only waking up at 5pm because there is nothing to wake up for anyway?
Am I never going to be able to walk around again and talk to God freely? Is the Kotel always going to be off-limits? Are the police going to be able to intimidate me and harass me just for the ‘crime’ of trying to breathe some fresh air forever? When am I going to be able to take a hike in nature with a friend my own age again?
You know what I mean. I’m sure in your darkest moments, you’ve had similar fears bubble up.
For the next two days, this continued.
Then, two things happened:
- I picked up a copy of the book You will succeed by Rabbi Eliezer Berland, and even the little bit I started reading profoundly changed my mood. In a nutshell, the whole book is just reassurance that God loves us, and that God can and does change things around in a nanosecond, so there is no reason to ever despair.
Those words worked on my so powerfully and so quickly, I made a decision to spend some of my ‘free time’ in lockdown translating the book into English, for the ravberland.com website.
Take that, yetzer hara!!!!
- The second thing that happened is that I saw that all over the world, the numbers of people dying, or seriously ill with Coronavirus are now dropping, just as Rav Berland said they would start to do, post-Seder night. In Israel, they dropped from 13 people dying a day to 3 after chag, and yesterday it dropped to just 2.
This slide comes from the Worldometer site HERE, and it shows that there was a 27% drop in global deaths in the 5 days between April 5th and April 12th – this is massive news! (Or at least, it should be, if our media was being remotely honest in reporting what’s really going on here.)
There is a lag going on here, because it takes 5 days (minimum….) for test results to come back, but the Coronavirus is already on the way out, however hard the Health Ministry is trying to persuade us that it isn’t.
Within a week, things COULD be back to normal-ish, at least in Israel where the death toll has anyway been ridiculously low. And if not, Grotto, Bar Siman-Tov and Netanyahu are going to really struggle to justify why not.
Even all the ‘anti-conspiracy theory’ people out there will start to smell a rat, if this state of affairs continues when no-one is dying anymore, and the numbers infected start to rapidly fall.
So, both of those things cheered me up tremendously.
Off the back of these two things, I realized I have to start planning ahead for the future, and to come out of the dark COVID-19 corridor I’ve been stuck in, the last month.
Today, I’m working on pulling together some blog posts to create The Secret Diary of a Housewife #2.
And, I also decided to giveaway a free copy of my People Smarts Stress Personality book, to anyone who makes a real promise to review it on Amazon, even just with the stars and no words, if I send it to them.
You can get it as a PDF, or as a Kindle version, so just email me, and I’ll send you a copy. Everyone who has read it has found it really helpful, and with all this ‘stress’ we’re all under now, I’m sure it will give you a lot of tools to start handling your – and other people’s – stress-induced meltdowns way better.
And the last thing I decided to do is to break the negative spiritual power of COVID-19 in my own life, by listing out some of the positives that have come about as a result of it.
I got up to 25 things, and they include the following:
- People are more open to real conversations now.
- God is starting to come back into the picture.
- It’s doing a thorough job of ‘birur’, and is really showing who has emuna and who doesn’t, appearances notwithstanding.
- It’s turned off the ‘rat race’ overnight. Life has slowed right down, now.
- It got rid of so much of the tarbut ra, or bad culture, including the bars, pubs, clubs and non-stop shopping.
- It’s severely reduced immorality. If you don’t live with someone right now, you can’t be with them. And that particularly applies to teenagers.
- It’s bringing the core family back together.
- It’s forcing people to deal with themselves, and to finally turn and face down their fears.
- It’s making some space for the ‘sound’ of the neshama to finally be heard a bit.
- Many people enjoyed their seder nights way more, without friends to entertain, or cranky extended family members to deal with.
- It’s creating a situation where we are seeing the true face of people and organisations, both for good and for bad.
- It’s breaking up the superficial ‘grasp’ of the world.
- It’s causing more and more people to start questioning the ‘official narratives’ about what’s really going on, and why, and it’s encouraging them to start thinking for themselves.
- It’s causing the public to hate the police.
- It’s causing the public to increasingly distrust the authorities.
- It’s causing the public to start questioning the media’s lies.
- It’s bringing people closer to God – like e.g., my family did kabbalat Shabbat together, Carlebach-style, this Friday night for the first time I ever remember. Usually, my kids just fall asleep on the couch until it’s time to eat.
- It’s creating more achdut – both ‘against’ COVID-19, and ‘against’ the anti-semitic authorities.
- It got a lot of people to seriously start contemplating aliya.
- It’s creating a more tznius, spiritual world that’s more ready to receive Moshiach.
That was general stuff. For me personally, I also added in things like:
- I cleared the garden out.
- We built a fire pit.
- I got chickens.
- I’m crocheting my husband a kippa for the first time in the 24 years we’ve been together.
- I’m starting to appreciate the most basic things in life, like having water to drink, clean underwear, and fresh air to breathe without a sodding mask getting in the way.
It’s turning around! Hold on!
And when the ‘pseudo-normal’ reappears sometime next week, please just remember which Tzaddik is still toiling away in an Israeli prison cell, in order to keep sweetening the birth pangs of Moshiach, and get as many of us over the finish line as possible.
The corrupt government, and the corrupt WHO-controlled Health Ministry is apparently going to lock us all down again until Sunday at 6am.
It’s so upsetting for so many reasons….
But what’s heartening is that I’m seeing that so many people out there are starting to wise up to the fact that there is something very fishy going on here. If the danger is so very great, why are so few politicians and journalists and police following social distancing rules and wearing masks in the course of their jobs?
Why have the government offices in Jerusalem continued to operate with full staff, even in their minor posts, as though it’s just another day, while totally wrecking the livelihoods of a million other people?
Why are the main places being tested for COVID-19 predominantly haredi neighborhoods where the population is way younger than the national average, while the nation’s nursing homes – just to quote one example – are mostly being overlooked?
In Egypt, the main way they prevented the Jews from leaving for the Promised Land was fear-based manipulation.
As it was then, so it is now.
When more of us raise this fallen fear about COVID-19 up to its root, and understand that only God decides who lives and who dies, and develop some true emuna and yirat shemayim…. that’s when we’ll finally get out of the prisons we’ve really just made for ourselves.
Don’t forget, email me if you want a review copy of People Smarts: The System. Just let me know if you want PDF or Kindle.
You can see the book on Amazon HERE, so you know what you’re getting.