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Even when the body is being locked down, our souls can still join together this Rosh Hashana.

Man, it’s been a tough day mentally today.

Word on the street is that despite Ron Lauder getting involved (!) to send a letter to the Ukrainian PM Zelensky telling him just how important Uman, Rosh Hashana is for Breslov chassidut (!), the answer is still a nyet for those amazing Jews stuck in no-mans-land at the Gomel crossing in Belarus.

There are no coincidences in the world, and it is totally no coincidence that those amazing, emuna-dik Jews have been dancing and praying with tremendous kavana (and also sleeping rough outside with very little food for 3 nights…) in Gomel.

This comes from the myjewishlearning website:

Birkat Hagomel (pronounced beer-KHAT hah-GOH-mel), sometimes known as “benching gomel,” is commonly said after recovering from serious illness but can also be recited in gratitude for completing a dangerous journey.

This blessing for deliverance is typically recited in the presence of a minyan, or prayer quorum, often in the synagogue following an aliyah to the Torah.

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My take on this is that the tremendous mesirut nefesh of those 1,000 (plus 1,500 others, also stuck in Belarus but not at the Gomel crossing) has helped the world ‘recover’ from the ‘serious illness’ that has plaguing us all year, COVID-1984, and has also helped the Jewish people to finally complete the ‘dangerous journey’ that has been our 2,000 year long exile.

The amount of bizayon and suffering they went through is indescribable, and in their zchut the geula is coming fast, and the sweet way.

But still, it’s so sad that apparently they aren’t going to make it here for Rosh Hashana 5781 after all.

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Then, there’s the heavy-handed police presence all over Pushkina that I wrote about HERE, that is making me and half the rest of my family feel like we just don’t want to go outside. At all.

But I have Rosh Hashana to prepare, so this morning I went with half my family in a taxi to a local super, to pick up the rest of what’s required to actually make yom tov.

The supermarket trip was surprisingly chilled and nice (outside the police state of Pushkina, it’s way, way more relaxed in every way).

But then, we got stopped coming back along Pushkina by a posse of 4 Ukrainian policemen, asking us for our papers.

We didn’t have our passports on us, so one of the policemen decided to get into the taxi – he practically sat on my lap, until the driver told him that Jews don’t hold by that sort of behavior, so he made a bit more space for me. Soo thoughtful….

Then, we get back to where we’re staying, we show him the passports clearly stamped with ‘August 28th’ – the last day a tourist could legally get into Ukraine for Uman, without special permission from the government – and then he starts Google translating questions in English like:

But you are women. Women not allowed here.

I thought his translation was off, so I tried to ask him what he was really trying to say.

Women not allowed here.

He typed back.

At that point – just before my blood pressure zoomed off through the roof, because what, after all this I’m going to get deported from Ukraine for being a woman?!?!? – one of the men in the household who knows a little Ukrainian told him da, da, women OK here.

Once he heard it from a man, the police guy took his mask off, asked for a cup of tea and then started joking about whether we’d poisoned it.

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Two minutes later, he left.

And then I had another mini nervous breakdown because I already haven’t slept for 2 days in a row, for reasons not entirely obvious to me, and I’m not eating so much here, and I literally felt I was going to fall over.

I need a falafel, something, I moaned to my husband.

So we went down the street, and saw black-masked police stopping the 3 1/2 Jews on the street very few minutes to ask them for their documents.

There were also at least 3 local Ukrainian TV crews trying to get shots of Jews looking like disease-carrying COVID-1984 hotspots, and I felt pretty uncomfortable when I realised one cameraman had his lens focused on me. I pulled a really gross face, then started waving to the camera like he was my mum, or something.

That embarassed him enough to move another 500 metres down the road, away from me.

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I came home and just felt so miserable about everything that is going on right now, both in Uman and Israel and everywhere else.

After the falafel, I went to bed to do some quiet hitbodedut for an hour, as the Tziyon is now closed to women.

I felt much calmer afterwards, although still a bit shaky and exhausted.

My middot are just really not up to this test. At all. And we’re still in the middle of the test, with no obvious end in site.

Then my husband came back from the kever, and told me with obvious surprise:

They took the snake away. The Kever is pretty much back to normal again. There are people davening there and praying there again.

I was so pleased.

At least that.

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Then, I went over to the Breslovnews.com website, which is in English, and I read this article, which really spoke to me about the ‘test’ that we’re all going through right now, especially in the Breslov community:

When I reflect on the insanity of the current situation and the multifarious experiences centered around the issue of Uman 2020 within the Breslov world, I get the feeling that Rabbeinu HaKadosh is putting us to the test here, each of us in our own way – granting us all a glorious opportunity to put various facets of his teachings to work.

The author then lists about 15 different tests related to staying at home for Rosh Hashana 5781, or trying to get here, and succeeding or failing, and lists different teachings from Rabbenu that are linked to each one. It gave me so much chizzuk to read it, and I’ve asked permission to reprint the whole article here. But in the meantime, you can go to the Breslovnews site and read it in situ.

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Then I read about the global Tikkun Haklali, which is recited every Erev Rosh Hashana in Uman, and will be read again tomorrow too, at 12pm Israel time, 5am New York Time.

I will be your shaliach here, for that Tikkun Haklali.

Just be sure to recite it wherever you happen to be, at the same time, and have in mind that I’m your shaliach in Uman for that prayer, and God will consider it as though you said it here.

Even though the forces of evil have mamash succeeded in keeping us all apart on the physical plane, in so many different ways, tomorrow we can still have spiritual achdut.

We can still join together in prayer, each in our own little corner, and bind ourselves to the tzaddik and to Hashem, and to the kibbutz here in Uman.

The Tikkun Klali in Uman will be broadcast live tomorrow here:

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Gosh, I can’t wait to be rid of this difficult year.

BH, 5781 will be so much better.

We will be rescued from all serious illnesses and dangerous journeys, and moshiach and geula will finally unfurl the sweet way.

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Let me end by asking forgiveness for anything I wrote here that upset any of my readers in any way.

I’m definitely still a work in progress, and my middot are sometimes really bad, sorry.

Also, I forgive anyone and everyone unconditionally for anything they said or did to me this year, including the a-holes that hacked my site.

I forgive you!

And may we all have a sweet, blessed 5781.

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UPDATE:

I got permission from the Breslovnews.com website to republish the article in full. Here it is:

By Reb Yaakov Klein of the Lost Princess Initiative – The Lost Princess Initiative

I know that people feel very passionately about the subject at hand. I have listened to and processed many of the arguments on both sides, having been back, and forth, and then back again myself. At the end of the day, I don’t know whether there is a clear “right” or “wrong” on the Uman issue. As R’ Chaim Kramer put it, “I can’t tell you to go and I won’t tell you not to go.” To my knowledge, there is no prophet in this generation who can definitively tell us one way or another. A person who approaches the conversation with an open mind will find that there are plenty of fair points on either side. But without trying to answer The Question of “what is one to do” – something Rebbe Nachman himself always shied away from (see Chayei Moharan 430) – the reality is that by virtue of the varied opinions, propensities, proclivities, circumstances, and personal feelings on the matter, the “Uman-goers” have been divided into many camps this year.

When I reflect on the insanity of the current situation and the multifarious experiences centered around the issue of Uman 2020 within the Breslov world, I get the feeling that Rabbeinu HaKadosh is putting us to the test here, each of us in our own way – granting us all a glorious opportunity to put various facets of his teachings to work.

– Those who feel compelled to travel at all costs are being charged with “conquering Hashem” by not capitulating to His decree (Sichos HaRan 69 and Likutei Moharan 124), and doing their utmost to overcome any barriers that stand in their way. (Likutei Moharan Tinyana 46, 48)

– Those who travel only to be turned back are being charged with rejoicing in the knowledge that they tried their best and that the main thing is the desire. (Sichos HaRan 12)

– Those who feel that this is simply not the year to go to Uman must hold firm to the tzaddik’s declarations that “fanaticism is not necessary”, and that “even while acting with simplicity, it is forbidden to be a fool,” (Sichos HaRan 51) as well as his teachings against obstinacy. (Chayei Moharan 431)

– Those who have sacrificed to spend Rosh Hashana with Rabbeinu and indeed managed, with great personal difficulty, to arrive in Uman must try their best to judge favorably those that didn’t even make an attempt, seeking to find the good points even in what – from their perspective – represents a gross miscalculation. (Likutei Moharan 282.)

– Those stuck between borders, faced with lines of impassive soldiers with riot gear as their children cry for water, are charged with finding the presence of Hashem even in the dark clouds of their suffering. (Likutei Moharan 33, 115, 195)

– Those who endure unspeakable waiting times along their travels to the resting place of our Rebbe are granted an opportunity to fulfill the teaching of “Hamtein”, putting their Breslover patience to work. (Likutei Moharan 6)

– Those who will, for the first time in decades, be spending Rosh Hashana away from Rabbeinu’s kibbutz and far removed from the spirit of the Breslover chassidim, must try their very best to remain joyous within their situation (Likutei Moharan Tinyana 24), hold tight to their faith in Hashem’s hashgacha (Likutei Moharan 250), and think only positive thoughts on Rosh Hashana. (Sichos HaRan 21)

– Those who are utterly confused, frustrated, and angry over this issue and can’t seem to find Hashem in any of this are charged with putting the Rebbe’s lesson of “Ayeh” to the test (Likutei Moharan Tinyana 12) and allowing the tzaddik’s silent songs of faith to reveal Hashem’s presence within the void. (Likutei Moharan 64)

– Those who will be joining together with other Breslover chassidim in special minyanim throughout the world are given the opportunity to truly believe that – as Reb Nosson taught – wherever Breslover chassidim gather, Rebbe Nachman’s spirit hovers upon them.

– Those who have been subject to ridicule by those who can’t possibly understand the unique Breslover Consciousness are charged with remaining silent in their experience of shame (Likutei Moharan 6) and judging the bullies favorably. (Likutei Moharan 277)

– Those who find themselves in the strangest, most God-forsaken places along their journey toward the place of their yearning are given the opportunity to remember that wherever a person travels, there is something for him to fix in that specific place. (Sichos HaRan 85)

– All are charged with taking responsibility for the collective suffering of our world (Likutei Moharan 4), with calling out to Hashem in personal prayer to request the final redemption (Likutei Moharan Tinyana 25), and with dancing the broken-hearted dance of humility to sweeten the judgments (Likutei Moharan 10).

– All are charged with crying tears of hope and joy (Likutei Moharan 175), believing that no matter where we might end up this Rosh Hashana, that’s exactly where we were supposed to be – because this is all part of Hashem’s master-plan. Like puppets in the hand of the master Puppeteer, all we know is that in the end it will be good, because despite all outward appearances, Hashem is running the world “better and better” all the time. (Sichos HaRan 307)

– All are charged with feeling the sheer power of this particular tzaddik’s spiritual-gravitational pull on thousands of souls in our generation (Likutei Moharan 70) – to the point that many were compelled to make sacrifices that so infuriated others solely because this degree of commitment to a cause (something they are personally unable to fathom) makes them a bit more uncomfortable than they are willing to admit.

In sum, we are once again experiencing the realization of Rebbe Nachman’s promise that “I will make you into many groups.” (Chayei Moharan 319) But at the end of the day, no matter where you stand on this glorious spectrum of heated debate and sensitivity, we are all bound with the spirit of this singular tzaddik whose life-giving waters flow in a great many directions. So no matter where we find ourselves this Rosh Hashana, let’s hold tight to these teachings with great joy and unity, roaring like animals in the field – as Rabbeinu wanted – for a time when the light of Hashem and His tzaddikim will envelop the world in a wondrous blanket of illumination with the coming of Moshiach, b’mheira b’yameinu.

ASHREINU!

 

When I first got to Uman, pretty much no-one was wearing masks.

But then, Israel’s Orwellian health ministry started dictating to the Ukrainians that what was going on in Uman wasn’t ‘good enough’ to enable thousands of Jewish pilgrims to come for Rosh Hashana.

The argument went like this:

You need to turn Pushkina into a mini-masked police state, like we have in religious neighborhoods in Israel, and if you get the Breslovers to agree to that, then we’ll consider letting a few more chassidim out to pray in Uman this year.

And so, over the last few days, Pushkina has gradually turned into a police state – but only for Jews.

As soon as you leave the small area where the Jews are to be found, most of the masks disappear, and most of the ‘rules’ about COVID-1984 disappear, too.

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Of course, there was never any intention to let more Jews come and daven in Uman for Rosh Hashana, at least, not for the Israeli government.

Just as they have made every effort to truly wreck the high holidays in Israel itself for its observant citizens, it has spared no expense or effort to wreck the kibbutz in Uman, too.

A big part of that was introducing the black metal ‘snake’ path in the tomb itself, which meant that none of the men could stand and pray, and they all had to shuffle along the ‘snake’ quickly reciting the tikkun haklali once before getting told to leave.

Let me tell you – that totally wrecked the energy and the atmosphere you usually get by the kever.

Even in the women’s section, we could immediately feel the difference. And of course, it didn’t help that any time someone was chutzpah enough to actually try to pray a shacharit, minchah or ma’ariv there, the Ukrainian ‘VIP Security’ guards would try to shut them down – and then call for back up from the Ukrainian police, if they couldn’t manage it.

That’s why a few days, a small group of people dismantled the ‘snake’.

And while they got a lot of official censure for doing that, I have to tell you that most of the people here agreed 100% with their actions, at least in theory. Because the ‘snake’ was swallowing all the kedusha.

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But, the health ministry waved the ‘carrot’ of letting more Jews in if we all sat back and agreed to masks, and social distancing, and the ‘snake’ in the Kever – and all the other pointless COVID-1984 propaganda that’s been gushing out of the State of Israel – and so the snake came back.

This time, it was joined by industrial amounts of cling film, as Rabbenu was vacuum-packed into a number of tiny ‘cubicles’, which make totally no sense from a germ-prevention point of view, but since when was any of this really about public health?

At the same time, health ministry officials started popping up in local shops and in the local hotels, to bully the proprietors into wearing masks – and forcing their customers to do the same.

Instantly, the religious Jews of Uman developed visible ‘pariah’ status, as they walked around in bright blue surgical masks while the Ukrainians did not.

Very soon after that, signs started to appear in some local shops in Uman saying ‘Chassidim aren’t welcome’, while the local non-Jews also started to worry that the frum Israelis were disease-carriers after all, and started shunning us and eyeing us more suspiciously than usual.

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So, the State of Israel’s plan to wreck Uman 5781 has been proceeding magnificently.

On the one hand, they barred thousands of Jews from getting here, including the unfortunate – but amazing! – Jews stuck in no-mans land between Belarus and Ukraine.

They were sleeping out in the cold for a 3rd night yesterday, and while the State of Israel is totally refusing to help – because it’s an anti-semitic regime that oppresses religious Jews – the Belarussian government has stepped into the breach.

As well as providing massive tents and access to the Red Cross and food from Uman, packaged by the Breslov philanthropist Eliezer Shiner, may God bless him, the Belarussians have offered to pay for buses to Uman, and to also pay for the pilgrims flight back home to Israel.

So far, the State of Israel still isn’t budging, and is demanding the pilgrims fly straight back to Israel from Belarus, while also engaging in a smear campaign to  make out like these brave people ‘deserve’ starvation and sleeping rough surrounded by armed Ukrainian soldiers.

I mean, if they were going to Crete for Rosh Hashana that would be something else!!! The fact that they were trying to get to Uman makes them totally hefker, irresponsible and bad. And the State of Israel is going to punish them for attempting to celebrate Rosh Hashana in any spiritually meaningful way!!!

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So, there are currently just a couple of thousand Jews here in Uman, as opposed to the 50-60,000 that regularly come.

And at the same time, we have all the retarded COVID-1984 farcical rules, imported wholesale from Israel, to try to ‘kill’ the atmosphere here and scare people away from praying in the kever.

Take a look at what was going on in Uman this time last year, for Rosh Hashana 5780:

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And now, this is the scene I photographed this morning in Pushkina, where there was about 3 scary looking Ukrainian police guards with truncheons, for every chassid on the street:

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What a difference!

But here’s the good news.

(You know that good news always comes out from Uman, don’t you?)

If you check in Lesson 2:8 of Likutey Moharan, Rabbenu talks about a ‘serpent’ that eats all the good in the world, but then tries to ‘eat’ the True Tzaddik – and that is the ‘bone’ that gets stuck in its throat. And at that point, it’s then forced to regurgitate every last bit of good that it swallowed, from the beginning of time.

Rabbenu is the bone in the throat of that ‘snake’.

That selfsame lesson also talks about the importance of Rosh Hashana, and the awesome tikkunim that the True Tzaddik can achieve on Rosh Hashana.

That is the stage we are at.

The COVID-1984 ‘snake’ has wrapped itself around Rabbenu, mamash.

But when Rosh Hashana is ushered in, he’s going to utterly crush it into the ground.

And by Yom Kippur, things will look VERY different, especially in Israel.

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So hang on, and keep praying for the chassidim stuck in Belarus, and on other borders to get here before Rosh Hashana.

All the mesirut nefesh to get here this year means each person is worth at least 100, if not a 1000.

Spiritually, we HAVE reached the 40,000 people required to crush COVID-1984 – there are at least that many people who wanted to come, and who were totally prevented to by the State of Israel.

But, its time is nearly up.

So ain shum yeoush be’olam klal.

After Rosh Hashana, the power of the snake will be totally broken.

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You might also like this article:

 

 

 

It seems that Ukraine bent to the pressure from corrupt Netanyahu and Israel, to ban Jews coming to Uman for Rosh Hashana.

UPDATE:

This decree only comes in on Saturday, August 29th, 2020. There is time to go now, if you can! May God help us all to beat this horrible decree of COVID-1984 once and for all.

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Ah.

I’ve just seen this;

https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-society/3087826-ukraine-to-close-borders-to-foreigners-until-end-of-september.html

The darkness is sometimes so dark, isn’t it? But Rabbenu told us already, 200 years ago – ain shum yeoush be’olam klal!!!!

So, don’t give up if you or your loved ones have booked tickets for Uman this year.

If we keep dancing, and praying, and spreading the light of Rabbenu and Rav Berland around the world, everything can still all change.

All it takes is for a few more people to wake up and understand that we’re all being ‘played’ with COVID-19, and ‘global warming’ and all the other lies we’re being told.

The cracks are staring to show – even in the mainstream.

Take a look at this:

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These people are going against Rabbenu now, and that is a step too far.

They are going to fall fast, and hard.

Just watch.

Ain shum yeoush be’olam klal.

We ARE going to be in Uman for Rosh Hashana, somehow or other. The small person is starting to stand up and roar all over the world.

And God’s light WILL shine out all over the globe.

And there is nothing anyone can do to stop that.

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I’m back, and 28% refreshed from a few days holiday in the North.

It was a nice trip, as these things go, but I’m still feeling pretty knackered today… It’s hard to keep our batteries recharged at the moment, isn’t it, with so many things continually wearing them down again.

Anyway, I’m working on a series of ‘deep dive’ exposes about what’s really going on here, and I hope to have something meaty for you to dig your teeth into next week.

In the meantime, I just saw this video over on the ravberland.com website, of Rav Shalom Arush encouraging everyone very strongly to still go to Uman for this Rosh Hashana, 5781:

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https://ravberland.com/rav-arush-this-is-the-last-uman-rosh-hashana-before-moshiach/

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In the Levy household, we’ve been having a serious debate about Rosh Hashana this year. My husband has gone every year for the last 14 years, and he put his name down to go with Netivot tours a few weeks ago, too.

But then, the stories came out that the Ukraine was limiting the number of visitors from Israel to 5,000. Then, some other site said 10,000.

Then, the Yeshiva World [Fake] News website started running one story after another quoting Israeli officials who were trying to pressure the Ukrainian government into banning any Jewish visitors to Rabbenu this year, because of the fake Covid plandemic.

Like this one:

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I went to look up who Dr Asher Salmon actually is.

He’s an oncologist – a cancer specialist – and deputy director of Hadassah Hospital.

He also happens to be Israel’s ‘go to’ man for that tool of the bunch of eugenicists behind COVID-1984, the World Health Organisation.

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Each time you see one of these ‘medical experts’ being quoted in the fake news MSM, spend a minute to go and look them up.

I guarantee you will find that they are either directly linked to the WHO, and / or they are heading up organisations and ‘non-profits’ that are being funded directly by big Pharma and / or eugenics-promoting organisations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, or the Rockefeller Institute.

(Many of them can also be directly linked to the Milken Institute, too, but that’s still harder to spot and a work in progress to bring those links more to the surface. But it’s coming. Believe me, it’s coming.)

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So anyway, after we saw that video from Rav Arush, saying that this is the last Rosh Hashana before Moshiach, and promising massive spiritual benefits to anyone who makes it out there this year, I encouraged my husband to book ANOTHER ticket to Uman.

On a different date, a little earlier.

We are doing our bit.

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Things are so changeable right now, who knows what the travel restrictions will actually look like, when we get there.

From what I can see from the headlines, ‘the evil plan’ is really NOT going to plan at all. Rav Berland sweetened it, exactly as he said he would, and now what’s going on is an increasingly desperate circus designed to keep the world’s population preoccupied while they try to get ‘the evil plan’ back on track.

Here in Israel, they have tried, and tried and tried so many times to reinstate a full lockdown, and for some bizarre reason, they just can’t do it.

More and more Israelis are waking up to the fact that COVID-1984 is a plandemic.

Fewer and fewer of us are buying the propaganda being churned out on sites like the Jpost and the Times of Israel and the Yeshiva World [Fake] News. And as we’re increasingly spotting the lies being told about COVID-1984, that is also translating into more and more people spotting the lies being told about everything else, too.

Like the Beirut Port bomb in Lebanon.

Like the ‘convenient’ nature of Hamas starting it’s fire balloons again now, for no other reason than to shore up Puppet Netanyahu and keep him in power long enough to deliver his end of ‘the evil plan’.

And all these planned and organised ‘spontaneous protests’, which are being jumped on by all the other corrupt MKs and ministers like Benny Gantz and Moshe Ya’alon, who are pretending to be serving the interests of the public, when really, they are just serving themselves and their masters in chul.

But we’re just not buying it anymore.

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Let’s end this with some encouragement:

Go buy your ticket for Uman Rosh Hashana, and don’t be scared. Ladies, encourage your men to go even though it’s so very uncertain and stressful at the moment. Rabbenu is always our main line of defense, our key spiritual defender, for a good year.

And 5781 is shaping up to be the biggest year ever.

If the WHO is going to such great efforts to try to stop people from being in Uman for Rosh Hashana, that tells you how big, spiritually, it really is.

So go buy your ticket!!!

Because ‘the evil plan’ is on its last legs, and you definitely want a front row seat when all the spiritual light of geula starts to shine out into every corner of the world, from Uman this year.

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You might also like this article:

 

 

 

The new book by Rav Berland is out.

I got the steer to get on with it from my visit to Hevron, and now you can buy it in paperback, BH.

But I can’t.

As Amazon is still not delivering to Israel, or at least, they aren’t delivering this book to Israel. I’m working on getting the ebook together, but we all know that it’s not the same, spiritually, as getting a hard copy out there.

So again, if you want the privilege of being the first person to officially print the book in the world, go HERE and order a copy.

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Ah.

I’ve been pretty irritable this week. I guess that’s inevitable. All this uncertainty, all this backwards and forwards between what was, and what is, and what will be.

God is actually being so kind to us, He’s dismantling the gashmius, and the world of lies, in such a gentle fashion, relatively. If you go HERE, you’ll find a point-by-point summary, in English, of the Gemara Sanhedrin 97a, which paints a clear picture of what will be, before Moshiach finally shows up. Here’s some of the key points:

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Truth will go away like Adarim (flocks; Maharsha – people of truth will have to hide).

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Anyone who avoids evil will be considered foolish.

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Ben David will come in a generation in which youths shame elders, and elders stand in front of youths. A daughter reviles and shames her mother, a daughter-in-law shames her mother-in-law, people’s faces resemble that of dogs, and a son feels no shame in front of his father.

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Ben David will come in a generation of great brazenness. People will not honor each other (alternatively – even the most honorable people are crooked), even though many grapes grow, wine is expensive (because grapes do not yield much wine; alternatively, because everyone drinks a lot), the entire kingdom will be Minim, and there is no rebuke. (Ed. note: minim means ‘informers’, specifically people that snitch on other people to the government….)

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Ben David will not come until there are many informers. Alternatively, he will not come until Talmidim diminish, or until people lack money, or until they despair of redemption.

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Let’s take a look at that last one in more detail, shall we?

  1. Moshiach won’t come until ‘there are many informers’ – i.e. people and apps and security services snitching on every single person in the world, all using ‘coronavirus’ as the excuse – CHECK
  2. He won’t come ‘until Talmidim diminish’ – whether that’s kids in schools, or Torah scholars, we can also tick this box. I was just saying to my husband, how very hard it feels at the moment, to even give over some Torah at the Shabbat table. Just feels like wading through treacle, or trying to pull a bunch of wool through a thorn bush. I can’t concentrate so much at the moment, and I usually love sharing Torah, especially awesome Torah from Rabbenu or Rav Berland. But at the moment, I just can’t focus enough to really ‘learn’ anything much. And I know I’m not the only one. – CHECK
  3. He won’t come ‘until people lack money’. I have a feeling this is being sweetened, at least partially. Sure, there are a lot of people who have just been instantly tipped into terrible poverty – as was always the plan – because of the lockdowns. And for those poor people, the heart truly bleeds. I got an email from someone in Latin America who is seeing her friends’ small kids lacking even basic foodstuff, even basic things like milk. That’s hard. It’s really hard.

And then, on a totally different level, there’s the fact that cash is currently being phased out all over the place. You can’t buy a ticket to the Jerusalem Zoo with cash anymore, only card. Ditto the buses. When I go to the supermarket, I often get into disagreements with the cashiers who apparently lack the ‘cash’ in their tills to even give me 10 shekels change for a 100 shekel note.

New World Order, World Economic Forum, ‘Great Reset’, ID2020 – or maybe just God’s way of sweetening what was stated here in the Gemara, we’ll see.

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4. Moshiach won’t come until people despair of redemption.

We’re there, aren’t we? If not personally, than politically, and nationally and globally.

Yeoush is beating hard on most people’s doors right now, and without the power of the Tzaddikim, it’s very hard to stand up in the test.

It’s very hard not to just drown in bitterness, or to ‘disappear’ into never-ending business to keep the anxiety at bay, or to switch off and go into denial about it all.

Very hard indeed.

I was speaking to a relative in the UK yesterday who owns a big business. While they are still doing OK, in terms of revenues, they are probably still heading into administration because of the COVID-19 lockdown, because – like every other service industry business – they realised they don’t need their super-expensive office space anymore.

And so has everyone else.

Which means they can’t get rid of their super-expensive lease, and they can’t get someone else to take it off their hands, and with the economic downturn, the lease by itself is enough to push the business into declaring bankruptcy. She’s barely been out of her house for four months, and she told me that she reckons half the shops will be boarded up anyway, by the time she finally goes shopping again.

There’s no point doing anything, we’re all just in limbo. Who knows if they are going to lock us down again, if there’s a ‘second wave’. It just feels that it’s totally pointless, to try to plan or do anything.

That’s what she told me.

And that’s kind of what most of us are feeling right now:

Apathy. Frustration. Anger. Claustrophobia. Fear. YEOUSH.

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One of my kids’ friends wanted to know why there is all this frozen fruit for smoothies in the freezer, that just isn’t getting used. When I explained that I’m finding it hard to cook because I’m having a mid-life crisis, he told me: Yeah, my mum is too.

I think we all are, in one way or another.

How could we not be, after everything we’ve gone through the last few months, and as the uncertainty continues and the ‘world of lies’ carries on shattering before our very eyes.

====

So, here’s my two cents on what God is probably expecting from us, at this really FRUSTRATING, UNCERTAIN AND ANXIETY-INDUCING stage of the geula process:

  1. Avoid all hakpada against other people – hakpada is harsh judgment, holding grudges, thinking the worst about other people, and concentrating on it. Rav Berland recently said this:

IT’S ASSUR (FORBIDDEN) FOR A PERSON TO L’HAKPID (JUDGE HARSHLY) ANY OTHER JEW, EVEN IF HE DOING ALL THE EVIL THINGS.

You know why?

Because we’re just judging ourselves, when we’re judging other people. Whatever we see them doing that annoys us, it’s really just a mirror. So whatever judgment we’re passing on those other people, we’re really just passing it on ourselves.

Isn’t that a scary thought?

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2. Try to dance for at least 10 minutes, every single day. This is still my ‘go to’ advice for getting out of yeoush, especially if you can’t just head out and visit the kever of a tzaddik, or spend 6 hours doing hitbodedut.

3. Buy a copy of Rabbi Berland’s Advice for Success and Happiness – and read it.

I started translating that book in the first place, because it was helping me so much to get out of my yeoush and despair every time I was cracking it open.

This is not a simple period of time we are heading in to, anything but.

We need as much help as we can get to weather the emotional storms still up ahead, and connecting to the true Tzaddikim, via their books and advice, is one of the single biggest things we can do to come through all this in one piece.

When we connect to the tzaddikim, and follow their advice, we are replacing our ‘bad’ thoughts and stupid ideas with their clarity and wisdom. And then, we can stop acting like an out-of-control retard.

Eventually.

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Here’s the link again:

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UPDATE:

This article has absolutely nothing to do with this post, except to show how totally bizarre the world has become – permanent Purim, in fact – and how totally UNcredible practically every single source of ‘news’ now is. I clicked on this by mistake, when I was typing in a different website address, and here’s what came up.

Unbelievable, that this is what passes as ‘news’ today.

Take a look for yourself:

https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/152755/jerusalem-satanists-get-cold-feet-cancel-own-new-world-order-event-during-solar-eclipse/

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You might also like this article:

 

 

 

Help to keep Rabbi Arush and Chut Shel Chesed Yeshiva going.

Yesterday, I got an email from someone I know from way back when, during the time my husband and I were a part of Rabbi Shalom Arush’s Chut Shel Chesed Yeshiva, telling me the Rav needs our help.

Here’s what she sent me to post up here, which I’m going to cut and paste below:

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Everyone knows Rabbi Arush for his books including “The Garden of Emuna,” and his classes. What you may not know, is that Rabbi Arush runs an entire organization centered in Jerusalem, whose reach is all over the world, called “Chut shel Chessed.”

> The sounds of Torah learning that fill Rabbi Arush’s Yeshiva 24/6 – you can have a portion in the merit of all that Torah.
> The sounds of small children learning in Rabbi Arush’s preschools, the breath of the children that sustains the world – you can have a portion in their learning.
> The sounds of school children, high school, and seminary/Beit Midrash girls and boys busy at their studies – you can have a portion in that too.
> The hundreds of food baskets and thousands of hot meals served to the poor of Jerusalem, many of them the families of Torah scholars – you can have a portion in all of that chesed, made even more important by supporting the poor of the Land of Israel.
? The almost one thousand classes given monthly by Rabbi Arush and his students, plus tens of thousands of books distributed and thousands of readers of the website in five languages – you can have a portion in all of that outreach.

No other organization gives you everything, all under one roof!

By donating to the Campaign “The Fire of Emuna” you become a full partner in everything that Rabbi Arush does.

And he wants to do more! He has a rare opportunity to build a new building for the boys school, which right now is squeezed into a makeshift space out of a few apartments – he needs the money NOW, or it won’t happen. He has an amazing opportunity to do special classes in the Israeli army, something that no one gets security clearance for – he got the clearance, and now we need the funds. He wants to greatly expand his efforts spreading emuna around the world.

He has already done so much, and he can do much more – but he cannot do it alone.

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Rabbi Arush has promised something huge back in return: A guarantee that anyone who donates to the Campaign will see miracles already this year! 

He will also pray for each and every person who donates. You can also receive special gifts like a mezuzah or Kiddush Cup specially blessed by Rabbi Arush, a personally signed and blessed Book of Psalms or “The Garden of Emuna,” or even a special, personal prayer for you at the Kotel.

In every way that you increase your donation, and even more so by encouraging other people to donate as well, so too do you increase your level of partnership, thus increasing your merit and the salvations that will inevitably come as a result.

Click here to donate via the Charidy website or to donate by phone using credit card, bank transfer, or horat keva (last two are Israeli only), or for more information on the special gifts, or to break your donation into monthly payments, call my personal contact for the Campaign on: (323) 992-6090 from the US or 058-320-5057 in Israel.

Remember, it’s all or nothing! The Campaign ends 12AM Midnight Israel time on Thurs. 6/27!

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Some more of my personal thoughts to add on this:

In case you don’t know how these charity campaigns run in Israel, they basically work along the lines of a Vegas game of poker. The site offers to match the donations brought in – but only if your campaign makes its target amount within 36 hours. If it doesn’t – then it’s really, really bad news.

Personally, I don’t like the idea so much, but it appeals to the Israeli ‘high stakes’ mindset, and I know most of the charity campaigns I’ve contributed to the last few years all over the orthodox Jewish world in Israel have been run along the same lines.

So, Rav Arush really needs our help.

I heard a whisper on the grapevine that the people behind the persecution of Rabbi Berland basically went after many of Rav Arush’s donors, after he came out – repeatedly – in public support of him. If you want to know why he suddenly fell quiet a couple of years’ back, it’s because the Meah Shearim Mafiosos targeted him and his institutions for retribution, and also threatened to get his books removed from shelves and stores in Israel for being ‘religiously coercive’.

This stuff would be funny, if it wasn’t so very, very serious.

And it makes me very sad to see that so many gullible people fell for their tactics, and that the yeshiva is now in such a bad way, financially.

Are we going to stand back, yawn and let the bad guys win?

I hope not.

And I hope you’ll consider giving something to the campaign, and letting other people know about it.

For once, the fundraising bumpf is not lying:

It really is all or nothing.

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Go HERE to donate, or follow the instructions above, to deal with a real, English-speaking helpful person.

PS: Just to say, this email really made me think about how much ‘good’ I got from the Garden of Emuna, and especially ‘Education with Love’, amongst Rav Arush’s other books. I can’t do much, but the little I could give I was very happy to do with tremendous gratitude. Rav Arush really did change my world for the best. I hope I can return the favor, at least a tiny bit.

Refreshing the soul, with Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.

The last few days, I was really feeling the heat allegorically and physically.

My landlady has been telling me since last Summer’s 43heatwave that you ‘don’t feel the heat’ in Jerusalem – but of course, she’s wrong. And since L’ag B’omer, I was sitting in my house slow roasting along to constant 40plus heat for weeks already – and I was starting to crack.

Then there was all the ‘regular’ madness if you can call it that. So much to do every day, so many chores to take care of, so much stuff on the boil, personally and nationally.

So I told my husband: we need to go to Uman for Shavuot.

Despite our lack of cash, he borrowed some money and made it happen, God bless him. Then there was another wrinkle in the plans: women weren’t allowed in the Kever for the whole of Shavuot. Did I mind? Of course, yes I did. But I had to get there one way or another, so I made up my mind to have a different sort of Uman trip, minus Rebbe Nachman’s actual grave.

The hotel was understated but quite nice, quite quiet (relatively…) food was simple buy yummy. I had three whole days to try to get my head in order. There was yet another ‘wrinkle’ in the plans, inasmuch as we made plans to head out to Uman the same night that Rabbi Berland then called his atzeret in Hevron last week.

So, we figured we’ll go early to Hevron stay for half an hour, then bomb it back home, try to catch some sleep for an hour a half, then roar off to ben Gurion. In the meantime, there was another wrinkle in that plan, too: when I got home at 11pm Thursday night, it turns out one of my kids needed some urgent help to get her bagrut art project done and turned in on time.

So (long story…) I spent two hours sewing body parts together for 18 felt dollies, before spending 10 minutes packing my case like a madwoman, before departing for Uman.

Obviously, our taxi man didn’t show up in Kiev. Or rather, he did, but just not where we were expecting him, so we had to spend an hour combing the carparks to find him.

But when we actually got to Uman it was nice. Like, pretty much almost ‘normal’ – which was so weird to me, I spent the first day and a half trying to work out how to react to it. Usually, I hit Uman and I get the massive stomachache, the massive challenge, the massive insight, the massive something…. This time, nothing massive.

This time, just lots of walking around and around Uman itself, as I couldn’t get near the Kever and I couldn’t stay in a hotel room for 3 whole days without going totally bonkers. So I discovered all sorts of back alleys and new places in Uman that I’d never been to before, and certainly never by myself.

On Isru Chag, I decided to spend the day walking around Gan Sofia.

In the past, I’ve seen extending walks around Gan Sofia as something only ‘lightweights’ do, instead of pulling all-night prayer sessions by the kever, but as the Tzion was still barred to womenkind, it struck me as just the thing to pass the time. I spent the best part of a day just walking under trees that were three storeys high, bathing my eyeballs in luxuriant green and Victorian water features, and felt so very lucky.

Hey, there’s something to this, after all….

Walking back from Gan Sofia, I got some insight that Rabbenu’s grave is very chazak spirituality – so chazak, it can and does fry people’s brains out of their heads, sometimes. In our spiritually-dead days, most of us need a jolt like that, an electric shock of kedusha like that, to try to get the soul back from its flat-lining position.

But this time around, I also got why Rebbe Nachman used to request that his followers also visit Gan Sofia when they come to Uman, too.

Gan Sofia is total gashmius – the polar opposite of the intense kedusha that is the Tzion.

But we need both, in order to serve God properly.

But in the correct order and dosage, i.e. first the spirituality, and only as an after-thought or a dessert, the gashmius and materiality.

Second day in, I had this amazing dream that Moshiach is coming into the world next week.

I woke up in a really good mood, and it seemed like a ‘real’ dream to me. I needed that good vibe, as I came home to a tip.

We let a teenager have the house with her friends, and one of them managed to shatter the shower door all over the bathroom floor. There’s no milk in the house, they’ve moved all my stuff around…

But I got another ‘message’ from Uman this time around, which was to shower my teenagers with as much love and compassion and understanding as I can, whenever I can, because in this dark generation, unkind words can just propel our children straight into the clutches of  the tumah, God forbid. So I kept my temper and didn’t go off into rant mode.

The world is very hard to ‘be’ in at the moment, especially if you’re trying to put at least some focus on kedusha and God.

The filth is literally seeping in under the doors and through the walls. It’s permeating the atmosphere and degrading everything it comes in contact with. It’s hard to continue, some days. It’s hard to think straight. It’s hard to pray.

Before I went to Rebbe Nachman in Uman, current events had made me feel more than a little despairing about being able to raise my children in anything like a ‘healthy’ spiritual environment. We’re in a little bubble here in Jerusalem, but even here, the cracks are starting to deepen and the tumah is seeping through.

There is a relentless and effective ‘war’ being waged against the soul, and against kedusha, and against God, especially by the media. It’s claiming so many casualties, it’s truly frightening to witness how fast the moral fabric of the world is unravelling.

Which is where Rebbe Nachman really came in to his own.

Torah is eternal. Tzaddikim are eternal. Mitzvot are eternal. The Jewish people are eternal.

Even though the battle for the Jewish soul is currently very intense, if we stick close to our true tzaddikim like Rebbe Nachman and Rabbi Berland, they will act like spiritual bulwarks, absorbing and deflecting most of the ‘cack’. So somehow, us and families can come through the fighting unscathed.

But without that bulwark?

I dread to think.

You might also like these articles about Uman:

The Uman Experience – Part 9

Uman Redux

Uman explodes

Oooahh, there is nothing like having a couple of days off the evil internet to start to regain some optimism and joie de vivre again.

Here’s what I did yesterday:

  • Volunteered for 2 hours a local school’s garden in Jerusalem
  • Wrote up something deep and meaningful on how to forgive people who have really hurt us, for spiritualselfhelp.org
  • Went for three hours to ‘paint me pottery’ with my husband and teenage kids – we all had the best time. And my two teens even left their phones behind for the occasion, unprompted, which was stoo-pen-dous.
  • Spent two hours painting a picture of the Rav.
  • Spent an hour walking around and smelling the roses, literally and figuratively, need to where I live.
  • Swept the huge dust balls off the floor, hung up some washing, did some washing up and generally tidied the house.
  • Exercised twice – some stretching, and then some energy exercises.

I went to bed feeling stoo-pen-dous!

I got so much done that wasn’t just sitting here typing.

I also had some ‘space’ in my head to think, and here’s some of the thoughts that bubbled up:

  • I need to start writing proactively again, instead of re-acting to everything that’s going on, or not going on.
  • I need to stop writing about geula stuff, even though it’s mamash unfolding before our eyes. People are falling into yeoush and despair left, right and centre, and hitting them over the head with ‘reality’ is not going to help anyone at this point.
  • Unity is the thing to focus on – even the Queen was talking about it in her speech. “One must have achudus at this difficult time, and stop hating one’s selfish, retarded jerk of a neighbor.” I’m paraphrasing, natch.
  • I need to go back to writing creatively about life as a believing Jewish woman living in Israel. That means getting on the second volume of the Secret Diary of a Jewish Housewife – but doing it with a twist. I’m currently working with Alizah, the very talented fiction editor from SassonMag.com to turn the raw material from the blog into something that’s actually a good read, as a book.

It’s time to make a new start – again!

I know I write about that a lot, but I just saw something on the RavBerland.com website that really underlined for me again how important it is to just keep starting over again when things aren’t going how we want.

Every day is a new creation, that’s what the Rav says! The path of Breslov is to just keep sweetening, and reassuring, and strengthening and picking ourselves up from the bottom of the pit, over and over again.

And not to get stuck in all the doom and gloom.

Man, I keep getting stuck in that myself, and probably I’ll get sidetracked again in the future.  But then I just have to try to pull it back faster, and start over again.

Life is good!

So, that’s what I got from my day off the evil internet, and it was so useful, BH I want to have at least one ‘internet-free’ day a week now.

With God’s help.

Yesterday, I was listening to Rav Eliyahu Meirav’s interview with the Israeli media, and I felt very sad. For those who don’t already know, Rav Meirav’s stepson, Yosef Cohen, Hyd, was one of the two Nahal Chareidi soldiers gunned down at Givat Assaf, close to Bet El, last Thursday.

Rav Meirav was raised on the totally secular Shomer Hair Kibbutz of Bet Alfa, and was a fighter pilot in the IDF airforce. He made teshuva after the Yom Kippur war – along with so many others of that generation, who’d seen with their own eyes just how limited the army really was.

Rav Meirav met Rav Berland – and became one of his closest students.

If you read the secular press descriptions of Rav Meirav, you’ll notice that they kept stressing that he was part of the Breslov ‘sect’. That’s their way of using subtle language to keep dissing religious people anyway they can, and to sow division and hatred.

After Rav Meirav’s son was killed al Kiddush Hashem, all those ucky news sites with their agendas to sow hatred and strife between the Jewish people started running false stories about how Yosef had been ‘thrown out of his home’ for joining the army, and how his parents had ‘sat shiva’ for him even before he died.

Because hey, why miss any opportunity to put the boot in to the chareidi community, and especially the Breslov Chassidic ‘sect’?!

This led to the absolutely sickening spectacle of Rav Meirav and his wife having to give interviews to the press – before they’d even buried their son – refuting the lies that had been spread about their family.

I listened to Rav Meirav speak – about Yosef’s last words, about his own background and teshuva, and most of all about the need for us to stop all the awful hatred, and to come together as one people, respecting each other’s differences – and it really made me pause for thought.

The haters out there are on all sides of the equation.

They work for Ha’aretz, they live in Tel Aviv, they hate any hint of yiddishkeit, and they use the media to paint awful pictures of frum Jews as ‘blood-sucking, medieval parasites’ at any opportunity. But that’s not the only place you’ll find them.

You’ll also find plenty of apparently ‘frum’ haters out there too.

‘Frum’ haters pour scorn on the Jews who don’t live in Israel and wait for big comets to smash into America and kill everyone. They hate people who want to convert to yiddishkeit, they hate people who don’t conform, they hate people who aren’t ‘frum’, or who aren’t ‘frum’ enough, or who are too ‘frum’, or not the right sort of ‘frum’.

‘Frum’ haters also hate people who don’t vaccinate….and they hate people who do vaccinate. They hate people who voted for Trump, they hate people who don’t think exactly like them, and see the world exactly the way they do.

Every bit of the Jewish world is riddled with this disease of hating other Jews – including our bit.

And there is no segment of society that is doing better at loving our fellow Jews than any other.

We all have the problem and we all need to work on it.

One of the things that drew me to Breslov, and drew me to Rabbenu, is that in Rabbenu’s tent, everyone is welcome. When you go to Uman, you stop seeing people as ‘frum’ and ‘not frum’, or as part of your group or not part of your group.

You just see them as individuals, as Jews.

And some of those Jews are really nice, and really deep and really holy – however they may look externally. And some of those Jews are really not so easy to get on with, and have a number of obvious bad middot and issues – however they may look externally.

The yetzer works overtime to convince us that ‘our bit’ of the Jewish world is fine, the best, the shining example for the rest of Jewish society, while all the other bits are the ones with the problem.

But it’s not true! Not at all!

The problem comes down to this:

There are Jewish people who look for reasons to hate other Jews, and there are Jewish people who look for reasons to try to love them.

And both groups are scattered and embedded across all the different segments of Jewish society.

Sadly, our world being the morally-degenerate mess it currently is, it seems the people who hate the most are also the ones with the biggest mouths, and the biggest audiences, and the biggest following on Youtube.

The haters pop-up all over the place, to have a go at others, and to put the boot in, and to harp on about how great they are, and how great their group is – always at the expense of others.

I’ve had to learn the hard way, that this is not at all what God wants from us.

I’ve also had ‘hating’ tendencies that I’ve had to really work on, and to try to uproot, over the last few years. That process of teshuva taught me that the haters ‘hate’ because they actually don’t like themselves very much at all. And that they’re secretly jealous of other people, and it’s the envy that causes them to diss the other Jew, the other group, so loudly, so poisonously, so arrogantly.

Whatever the hater is criticizing so much in others, that ‘thing’ is somehow embedded in their own souls.

So, I listened to Rav Meirav talk, and I wondered ‘how can I do more, to get from hate to love’? How can I do more, to make my house a ‘no-tolerance for sinat chinam’ zone?

I’m going to pray on it, and I’ll let you know what I come up with.

Because one thing is for sure:

Nothing is slowing up Moshiach more, or causing us more problems and heartache in our own lives, than hating other Jews.

The last few years, I’ve really dreaded Rosh Hashana.

Now, before you start jumping up and down and blaming that on the fact that my husband goes to Uman, let’s be clear that the last few years I’ve had massive issues on pretty much every religious holiday, not just Rosh Hashana – and the bloke’s been home for the other ones.

A big part of it is that I still have no-where to daven where I feel I’m really part of something, which is usually really only an issue on Rosh Hashana. Yom Kippur I fast (badly…) so I generally always just spend most of the day in bed, and daven at home.

But Rosh Hashana is different.

Rosh Hashana, we’re meant to listen to 30 shofar blasts (minimum), and preferably 100, together with our community. And that’s a huge bone of contention for me, because I still don’t belong anywhere.

The first year I was in Jerusalem, I dragged my two kids off to try and find a synagogue to pray in, in the Old City. I went to what I thought was an ‘Anglo hotspot’ – except all the Anglos had gone back to the US for the high-holy days, and the three women left behind all had bullet-proof tights and stern expressions. The Yom HaDin made flesh.

Also, the air-conditioning had packed up, so one of my kids started to feel hot and flustered, and then pulled out her ‘I’m about to have an asthma attack’ get out of jail free card, which gave us all the excuse we needed to leave in a hurry and try to find somewhere less suffocating.

So then I tried the Kotel, but I couldn’t find anyone to daven with, and I couldn’t hear anyone actually blowing the shofar, so I said the Amidah service by myself, standing at the holiest site in the world and surrounded by hundreds and thousands of Jews, but feeling so cut off and disconnected from everything and everyone.

The next Rosh Hashana, I tried a different tack.

I told my kids that they could pick the shul, and I’d tag along. At that point, they were both in school in the Old City of Jerusalem, so they went where most of their friends went, to a gorgeous newly-built synagogue tucked just behind the Wailing Wall in the Muslim Section.

As I tripped down the stairs of the Arab Shuk on the first day of Rosh Hashana, taking the short-cut that only fool-hardy tourists or Arab-inured residents use, I suddenly stopped in my tracks as a squad of Israeli riot police blocked the path in front of me.

Clearly, some sort of fight was going on, and as the Arabs all nipped upstairs to get their CNN-quality video cameras shouldered to record yet another ‘injustice’, I looked around and realized that I was the only civilian Jew there, standing in a sea of smouldering Arab hostility.

After five minutes, I was allowed to pass on, but the violence continued over the next two days. While the shul was gorgeous, the davening nice enough and the people friendly, I had to stand up in the middle of the service on the second day to shut the windows to try to drown out the guttural Arabic chant of ‘Kill the Jews!’ coming from outside.

What a way to start the year.

There’s an idea in Judaism that once something happens three times in a row, that’s a very strong portent that it’s somehow got ‘stuck’ or ‘fixed’ in your life. God forbid, that I should have such drecky, awful, lonely, horrible Rosh Hashanas until I croaked!

So last year, the third year, I got so terrified about how bad, miserable and lonely I was probably going to feel on Rosh Hashana – the beginning of the new year!!! When you’re setting the pattern for the whole rest of the year!!! When your whole life is hanging in the balance, being decided!!! – that I tried to run away from my life and go to a hotel in Tiberius with my children.

The upside of doing that was:

1) I didn’t have to cook (another bone of contention…).

2) We could spend the chag with other people who also clearly didn’t feel like they belonged anywhere else.

3) I could join the hotel minyan for davening, which suited me just fine and also was very easy for my two kids, when they were ready to put in an appearance for shofar blowing.

The downside of doing that was:

1) It was REALLY expensive.

2) I set the tone of being kind of ‘absent’ from my real life for the whole rest of the year.

I only realized that last one a few weeks’ back when I was pondering on 5777 and I realized that I was kind of AWOL in my own existence the last few months. Life’s been passing me by like a blur, and I haven’t been able to grab hold of any of it.

Why?

Because I ran away from my real life on Rosh Hashana, and I’ve been doing that all year.

And I thought I’d got away with it, mostly, except today we’re three weeks away from Rosh Hashana, and that familiar sensation of feeling incredibly miserable, and alone and out of place has descended upon me again.

God, not another year going into Rosh Hashana like this!

I really thought I’d vanquished most of these poor me, sad feelings, but hey, at least today they’ve come flooding back again as I try to figure out what’s going to be with Rosh Hashana.

I have a ray of hope. Rav Berland is here for Rosh Hashana, barely two minutes’ walk away, and I have a feeling there’ll be an Uman-esque vibe around Musrara, where I live, for the Chag – but what that actually means in practice, I have no idea.

Only, that things will be different this year, somehow.

Because they have to be.