I’ve just been listening to another amazing class by Rav Ofer Erez – and I simply can’t put into words how amazing his Torah is. For those of you who don’t know, Rav Erez is a colleague of Rav Arush, and a student of Rav Berland.
His teachings are currently only available in Hebrew, but they are blowing me away. Each time I pick up one of his books to read, or listen to one of his classes, I’m getting stupendous insights into life generally, and my life, specifically. He speaks with such depth and knowledge (and kaballistic stuff), but also with such simplicity and humility, that you can actually ‘get’ it.
This latest class, Rav Ofer Erez was explaining about how when Noah sent away the raven and the dove, he was actually trying to do some very big tikunim, or spiritual fixing, in the world.
(I’m going to try to explain what I learnt, but I’m not going to do it any justice. But here goes anyway…)
There are 2 opinions about what the raven represented: Chazal taught that it was the ‘klipa d’Esav’ that turned into xtianity. What is the main ‘theme’ of the xtians? That the Jews had their chance to be the chosen people, but they blew it, and G-d gave up on them, and picked the xtians instead to be the new ‘chosen people’.
That external klipa translates into internal feelings of despair and sadness. To paraphrase Rav Erez, whenever we feel that overwhelming despair, and that G-d isn’t with us, and doesn’t want us, and doesn’t care about us – we’re getting that from the ‘vicar in our head’, that wants us to buy into that horrible xtian worldview.
How do we counter that?
Ein yeoush beolam klal!! – Rebbe Nachman’s rallying cry, that there is no despair in the world. That doesn’t mean we don’t feel despair, at least occasionally, but it DOES mean that G-d never despairs of us. He always wants us back.
The second view of what the Raven represents is brought in the Zohar Hakadosh: There, Rashbi tells us that the Raven is King David, the Melech Moshiach. Like the raven, G-d sent King David ‘away’ from him more times than you can count, with suffering and trials and tribulations. But King David kept crying out to G-d, and kept on coming back to Him. He never gave up, even when he thought he’d lost everything, and his own son was pursuing him.
How do the two things go together?
Rav Erez explained that right now, before moshiach, there is a war going on between our tzaddik (ie, Rebbe Nachman) and their ‘tzaddik’, ie, yoshki, about who is right. Is moshiach going to be ‘ours’, or ‘theirs’?
(Of course, we already know the answer…)
But if you want to know why things are so tough for so many of us right now, and why so many Jews feel sad and depressed right now, and that the exile is never going to end etc – it’s because we’re fighting that spiritual war against yoshki.
The outside struggle over control of Mount Zion and the Tomb of King David (!) is just mirroring the inside struggle we’re all going through: to believe the ‘vicar’ in our heads, that G-d gave up on us a long time ago, or to believe Rebbe Nachman, that G-d will never, ever give up on us, no matter how bad it gets, and that there’s always hope.
It’s a fight to the end. It’s going up in intensity. And now, at least you know you aren’t bonkers. If it feels like every spiritual effort you’re making is being frustrated, you’re right, at least on some level.
The only way to overcome the ‘klipa’ of the xtians, is via King David’s attribute of never letting himself get pushed away from G-d. He kept coming back and coming back and coming back again, no matter how tough, how far he fell, how horrible it got. That is the path of Moshiach, and we’re all currently living it in our own life.
Don’t give up! That’s what the xtians want (in more ways than one.)
Hang on to Rabbenu’s teachings, hang on to G-d, and you’ll see how it will all turn around for the best, very soon.