How do we deal with ‘reality’ without going nuts?
On the last post, one of the commentators, Alizah, asked this:
Rivka, how do we read this without going nuts? Reminds me of something that says at the end the yetzer hara will appear like a mountain to some people and to others like something small.
If we follow your blog it’s enormous. We want to cry.
It’s a very good question.
On Shabbat, we were at friends for Friday night, and the conversation turned (as it inevitably does…) to the whole Corona stress we’re all under.
I couldn’t help it.
I tried to explain what’s really going on with all this – how it’s all just part of a deeper ‘depopulation / eugenics’ agenda that’s been in the works for over a century, already – and my host looked at me with a pitying smile.
I’d outed myself as that most lowly of creatures, a conspiracy theorist.
The argument raged on for around two hours, and I realised that the more hard facts and solid information I was throwing at the other people around the table, the more their defenses got entrenched, and the more pointless the whole discussion became.
At one point, my host turned to me and said:
Why do we need to know all this stuff? What can we do anyway? Why do you keep looking at all the ‘bad’? We can’t make any difference, and I don’t want to be kept up at night worrying about all this stuff.
The answer to that is really the answer to a lot of other big questions. Here’s what I told him:
Truth is God’s seal.
The more ‘truth’ we acknowledge and let in to our lives, the closer it brings us to God.
The more we see how broken this world really is, the more we will start to really yearn and beg for something to change. The more we will yearn and beg for geula, for Moshiach.
The more sincere teshuva we will make.
The more minutes and hours of heartfelt prayer we will engage in, asking God to fix things and to right everything that is so very wrong.
Knowing the truth gives us the motivation we need to really turn to Hashem, and come back to Him wholeheartedly.
I guess what I was really trying to tell my host is that I’m not buying into all the yeoush and despairing attitude that says we are nothing, and we can’t do anything to change all this, so why even bother trying to grapple with it?!
The Jewish soul is infinite.
It’s a part of Hashem.
Sure, me by myself I’m totally and utterly nothing and nobody.
I can’t take on the Rockefellers, or Bill Gates, or the corrupt State of Israel.
I know that.
But here’s what I can do:
I can go and pour out my heart to Hashem about all the ‘bad’ that’s going on in the world, and beg Him to fix it, and to fill the world with His light and the light of the true tzaddikim, and to get things to finally all turn around.
That’s all I can really do – but it’s everything.
If we believe in the power of prayer, if we believe in the power of the Jewish soul to stir Hashem’s mercy and compassion, if we believe in miracles, and that God is the only force that really exists in the world, then uncovering the ‘bad’ doesn’t scare us and overwhelm us and cause us to go into denial in quite the same way.
It might anger us, upset us, shock us – but it also motivates us to PRAY.
To turn to Hashem and to PRAY.
And that is the true strength and the true power of the Jewish soul, and it’s a power that every single one of us can access and activate.
When the Nazis were rising to power before World War II, so many people stuck their head in the sand and whistled.
God won’t let it happen, they said. I trust that God will continue to look after us, they said. I can’t do anything about this ‘bad’ stuff, so I’m just going to pretend it’s not happening, they said.
That was totally the wrong approach.
Rebbe Nachman spoke about the correct way to deal with harsh decrees:
“[E]ach person must say that the world was only created for his sake, and [the Rebbe said] how every person must endeavor to make up the deficiencies of the world, praying on its behalf – i.e. before the decree [actually materialises].
He also said the following:
“That year  the Rebbe was very preoccupied with the Cantonist Decrees. He was extremely worried about the situation and said they were not an idle threat. He disagreed strongly with the people who were saying nothing would come of it in the end, for how could God do such a thing to the Jewish people?!
The Rebbe said several times that this was nonsense.
We find many occasions when harsh decrees did materialise.
The Rebbe spoke about this a great deal and said that the rumored decrees had to be taken with the utmost seriousness and not be treated lightly. We had to pray and cry out to God, and to be and beseech Him in the hope that He would hear us and annul them….
If only people had listened to his call to set the earth shaking with prayers and appeals to God, these decrees would have been nullified completely!”
(Tzaddik, Conversations Relating to His Lessons, page 132)
God forbid, I’m not uncovering this stuff to get anyone down, or add to the despair.
Quite the opposite.
I believe – so strongly! – in the power of prayer.
I believe in the power of a Jewish soul to turn everything around when they partner with Hashem and pray their hearts out.
This stuff scares you? It overwhelms you? It upsets you?
Go talk to God about it, and beg Him to clean up this mess!!!
When you do that, you change everything, literally.
The ‘weapon’ of Jacob is our prayer.
And I’m urging every single one of you to take a deep breath, and go pick it up.
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