Posts

From now on, God’s glory is only going to grow in the world.

Today is the day of Malchut she be Malchut, for those of us counting the Omer.

It’s the day of emuna she be emuna, the day of seeing that God is really all there is, and all there was, and all there will be ever be.

That’s the whole ikker of Malchut she be Malchut – revealing God’s glory in the world, even in the lowliest parts of the universe that we currently inhabit.

I have no proof for what I’m about to say here, but I have the profound feeling that the dawn has broken this week, and the first rays of the ‘turnaround’, however we want to understand that, are starting to shine.

From now on….

It’s all going to change for the better.

Starting today, BH.

====

 

I learn something new every day.

Today, I learnt that there is a whole online social media scene devoted to ‘Karen bashing’. In case you don’t know what a ‘Karen’ is, or why so many people (including yours truly…) want to bash her, here’s a quick lesson:

====

====

I have to say, after I read that (and gorged myself on about 1500 Karen-SocialDistancing-Snitch memes…), it was kind of vindicating to know that other people have also noticed that breed of person who seems to have nothing better to do than feel superior because they are voluntarily suffocating themselves to death by wearing a N95 facemask.

Even in their cars.

Even when they are the only person in their cars.

And the windows are all wound tightly up.

And it’s 100 degrees out there….

====

Strangely, even with all that ‘protection’ around them, these Karens in their cars still like to fix me with their ‘mega angry’ look, when they see me walking on the road without a facemask. Or walking next to my husband, or a friend, without ‘social distancing’.

Call me prophetic, but they don’t need to speak for me to know what they’re thinking. The words appear virtually above their heads, telegraphed telepathically by the ‘mega angry’ self-righteous look.

How selfish!!!! Breathing fresh air like that!!! And making all those 100 year old people ill, with my germs!!!

====

My husband keeps bumping up against the Karens on buses (some of whom are even men…), because he’s decided to protest the government tyranny by refusing to wear his mask as much as possible.

Every day, he has a fresh ‘Karen’ story from his trip into work. And before you start having a go at me or him for being so selfish!!! Making all those 100 year old people ill with our germs!!! – please take a look at the following infographic, that I spent all morning putting together.

====

====

So, tachlis dear Karen, wearing a face mask for hours not only gives 4/5 of people bad headaches, it also makes them way more susceptible to diseases like heart attacks, strokes and even cancer. Oh, and there is NO SCIENCE that shows that wearing face masks does ANYTHING to stop the transmission of COVID-19.

Sadly, Karens aren’t known for being able to digest new information that contradicts how they see the world, even when you put it in a handy infographic designed for the reading abilities of a 6 year old.

The reason for that is that Karens – more than most people – hate to be wrong.

Oh, and they also lurrrrve bossing other people around in a self-righteous way, and trying to control other people.

====

I’m in a funny mood today, so I’m going to keep this short.

All this COVID-19 hysteria boils down to a massive lack of emuna. Same as the ‘measles vaccination’ hysteria last year.

(For midda kneged midda watchers, COVID-19 hit those same New York area Jewish communities that were forcibly kicking out unvaccinated kids from schools, and running those families off playgrounds, out of shuls and even out of town really, really hard. I wonder why.)

Anyone who can’t back down from their ‘position’, even when they’re shown to be wrong a million times over; and especially when they’ve done things to hurt other people as a result, has to make some seriously big teshuva.

I’m starting to think this is the whole litmus test, the whole ikker of who will actually get on the geula bus, when it finally arrives.

====

When I wrote One in a Generation I and II, I was so shocked to realise that just having the facts and information set out clearly for people wasn’t enough to change their minds, about what had really gone on with Rav Berland.

They’d invested so much in slagging him off, and speaking lashon hara about him and his community, that most people simply couldn’t back down from their (totally wrong….) position and admit that they’d made a mistake.

Now, we’re seeing the same thing play out with the fake COVID-19 ‘pandemic’.

All those people who enabled governments all over the world to shut us in our homes for months, wreck the economy and stop people from doing basic things like breathing fresh air unimpeded, because they bought into all the hysteria and fearmongering –  you need to admit you were wrong, in order to get the madness to stop.

There are no ‘millions dead’, there are no more dead than there are every single year at this time, just at the end of the annual flu season.

Admit you were wrong, and stop enabling the #coronafascists to strip us of all of our basic human and religious rights.

====

The problem is, most of these ‘Karens’, who see themselves as the voluntary enforcement arm of the #coronafascists running the world, simply can’t do it. They can’t back down. They can’t admit they were wrong. It’s just not going to happen.

So, we have to make the change on our end, and to totally ignore them, when they start sputtering in indignation when they see kids playing unmasked in the park, or – gasp! – someone wondering around the supermarket without a government-mandated gag.

If you think the masks work, Karen, then why are you so concerned that my germs can affect you? And if you think the masks don’t work, Karen, then why are you so insistent on me wearing one?

====

Free choice is everyone’s God-given right, and I choose to breathe fresh air as much as possible.

And Karen, THE REAL SCIENCE IS ON MY SIDE.

So please, spare me the lectures and the ‘shocked’, angry indignation.

I know you got brain damaged from wearing your N95 mask day and night, but still.

Take a look at the infographic, do your own research, and ADMIT YOU WERE WRONG.

====

(I’m not holding my breath.)

====

UPDATE:

The genius Remy came out with another video a couple of days ago, which kind of sums it up. Shmirat Eynayim friendly.

====

UPDATE #2:

Here’s another PhD, who combed through all the scientific literature and studies on wearing facemasks and respirators (i.e. the N95 mask), to conclude that:

Whatever else is going on, the facemask wearing diktat is NOT based on science, and wearing facemasks for any length of time has been proven – beyond the shadow of a doubt – to be detrimental to health.

====

You might also like this article:

As the ‘new normal’ kicks in, I can’t buck the feeling that this is anything BUT normal.

Israel is now coming out of its totally retarded, OTT ‘lockdown’, and some semblance of ‘normal life’ is returning.

For the last few days, I’ve been heading back off to the Kotel, trying to make up the 18 days I was missing from when I got stopped in the middle of my segula to visit the Kotel 40 days in a row, just after Purim.

I’ve discovered a new route that takes me through the back of an Arab neighborhood and up the backside of the hill that slopes up from Guy Ben Hinnom valley, where they used to sacrifice their children to Moloch, in Biblical times.

I now prefer that route to going on the main road, as Moloch and Mahmoud Al-Fahda is scaring me way less than the Israeli police.

====

Even though I’ve been to the Kotel six times now, I’ve only managed to actually kiss the wall three times.

Friday night, the gestapo  police decided there were too many people in the plaza, so there was a big line of us queuing up outside, instead.

For the first time ever on a Friday night, the ‘Reform Plaza’ was filled to capacity – 45 people – all frum Jews, who’d been barred entry to the main event.

Then on a couple of other occasions, I got in to the Womens’ section – which has now been divided up into cute, rectangular white tented areas that just seem creepily reminiscent of Bergen-Belsen huts, minus the rooves.

But there were now ‘too many people’ at the wall itself, so I got sent to the left – to the rectangular tented area marked ‘waiting area #14’ – and I just kind of stood there for a few minutes before turning tail and heading home.

====

Of course, I have to wear a mask way up over my eyeballs in the plaza itself.

And my forehead has to be shot at by weird men who seem to be strangely over-enjoying their role ‘pretend shooting’ people in the head with a thermometer gun. I guess it’s the next best thing to playing ‘Call of Duty’.

And then, one time I made the mistake of going to the Kotel with my husband, and trying to wait for him to finish up in back of the plaza. A fat, quasi gestapo  police minion in a bright fluorescent vest and an oversized facemask marched up to me and told me it was forbidden for me to stand there and wait.

Geveret, you can’t stand here. We can’t have too many people here.

I looked around – there were maybe another 30 people max, scattered all over the back part of the Kotel plaza – and I almost had to choke myself to stop from saying puh-leeze!!!!, or tossing off a casual heil hitler, and clicking my heels together.

I get it, I know. You are only following orders, right?

====

Over the last couple of months, I have learned that acting like a nazi is something good and proper, as long as you limit yourself to forcibly taking people’s rights and basic personal freedoms away, on pain of harsh punishment and massive fines.

But protesting that type of fascist behavior by saying ‘heil hitler’, or goose-stepping away from a public official is the wrong way to act like a nazi.

Please everyone, remember this. I’d hate for you to get this wrong and end up in some gestapo police basement, having your fingernails pulled out by a public servant because you picked the wrong way to act like a nazi.

====

But I digress.

With all this ‘normal’ going on, my daughter resumed her driving lessons. She and the instructor both wear masks and rubber gloves (uh, why is that, exactly?) – and the instructor has also been forced to put a clear plastic partition down the middle of the car, where the gearbox is.

Let’s be clear, there is way more risk to human life from novice drivers having their rubber-gloved hands stick to the wheel, or from having that massive mask block their view of the monster truck bearing down on them from out of left field, than there is from any virus.

I actually almost knocked myself out in one shop, because I didn’t see their see-thru plastic sheeting next to the till until I’d head-butted it, trying to pay for my purchase.

While we’re on the subject of totally dumb ‘health measures’ that are 10000% for show, do you know how many ‘germs’ all those cute cloth masks with fake Adidas branding keep out? Maximum 3%.

Oooops, sorry that was a real fact.

Don’t know how that got into any discussion about proper ‘hygiene’ in the era of Coronavirus.

My bad.

====

The other kid went back to school yesterday, and the weird normal is also in full swing there. Everyone has to wear masks and gloves full time (which is of course, totally unenforceable, even if it wasn’t also totally pointless).

It’s a dorming school, so they have 2 girls in a room now – as opposed to 5 or 6 pre-Corona – and because they can’t guarantee the ‘hygiene’ of the school kitchen, they are buying all the food takeout, from local restaurants.

Because there are no Corona germs in restaurants.

And anyone who argues with this statement clearly doesn’t know anything about science.

No-one has worked out how the kids are meant to be eating that stuff while fully-masked, so I made a helpful suggestion that they should just puree it all up and then suck in their meals through a straw that’s been hermetically-taped into their masks.

Probably next week, that will be the next ridiculous rule  sensible measure the Government foisters on us all, for our own good.

Gotta love #Coronafascism!!

====

There’s also a rule in place that you don’t have to wear a facemask if you’re exercising, because apparently you can’t catch or transmit Coronavirus when jogging, walking fast or playing basketball.

Again, please don’t try and argue with the logic of this statement, because if it’s the law, it must be totally scientific.

I don’t wear hot-pink spandex to exercise; and I don’t have a massive i-Phone to publically stick on a bicep, so I decided that whenever I see a cop on my daily hitbodedut walk, I’m going to stick my elbows out at right angles and ‘power walk’.

Don’t you know? Didn’t you hear? If your elbows are sticking out when you walk, then you are incapable of transmitting Coronavirus. But if you’re carrying your purse while walking on the way to the store – then you’re back in the ‘high risk’ box.

I guess Coronavirus germs are unusually attracted to credit cards, or something.

====

So anyway, today I went to visit one of my friends who I haven’t seen for months.

She has 4 small kids, and she’s been cooking, cleaning and all round entertaining them for 3 months solid at home.

Like so many of us, last week she cracked up and totally lost it for a night. I think last week was rough for so many people, me included. I’ve spoken to many other ladies out there – heroines all! – who after months and months of 5 star service for our families just really feel like we need a day off.

We were both regaling each other with our ‘survivor tales’ from the last three months, and laughing our heads off, because what else can you do?

What else can you do, when your three year old comes home from gan demanding to wear a mask, because the pseudo-frum ganenet has scared the pants off them that otherwise, breathing fresh air is probably going to kill them, God forbid?

What else can you do, when your teenager has allergies – the same allergies she’s had every single Spring, for 15 years – but now has to hide away at home in case she gets put on some secret Shabak blacklist for sneezing in public?

What else can you do, when the anti-Semitic government says its OK to get together on L’Ag B’omer, but it’s still forbidden to go to Meron or light a bonfire in your own backyard.

Someone please explain to me, how is lighting a bonfire in my own back garden increasing any risk of getting or sharing Coronavirus?

Really?

What if I saw up a few logs – for exercise – before I do it, and kill off all the Coronavirus germs that way, before I toss the first match in? Would that work?

And in the meantime, what else can I do, except laugh.

====

When I’m done typing this, I’m popping out to buy a dart board.

I have a small, cheap one in my garden, and I’ve discovered that throwing sharp instruments at something with violent hand gestures is actually really cathartic.

When I told my husband what I’m up to, he asked me to promise that I’m not going to print off any pictures, to stick up on that dart board. He doesn’t think that’s healthy.

It’ll be nobody we know personally, I told him.

That’s the best I can do.

But as we lurch onwards towards geula, and as we settle into this weird ‘breathing space’ between birth pangs, I have a feeling I’m going to be spending quite a bit of time with my dart board.

Dear man, I told my husband, much better I have an inanimate object to use for target practice, than someone I’m married to.

What else could he do when I told him that, except laugh?

 ====

Don’t forget that Questions for God – Secret Diary of a Jewish Housewife Volume II – is now out on Amazon! You can pick it up HERE.

Dying is inevitable.

Our atheist society doesn’t like that idea, because it really underlines the utter pointlessness of a life devoted to the whims of a body that is ultimately just going to crumble to dust.

When there is no soul in the picture, no God, no real spiritual purpose in life, then life just becomes a game of keeping the body together, for as long as you can, whatever it takes.

Even if it means in the meantime that all your quality of life, all of the things that make life joyful, and meaningful and basically live-able, go straight down the toilet.

Who wants to live in a world where you can’t take a breath of fresh air without a mask?

Or a walk in a forest?

Or a visit to a holy site?

Who wants to live in a world where you can’t hang out with a friend, or go visit a parent, or share your holy days and happy occasions with other human beings?

All this cack about not hugging and not touching and not kissing other people is precisely that: cack.

====

Life is inherently risky. There is absolutely nothing you can do to reduce the risk down to ‘zero’, and the only way to really deal with all the anxiety and worry and stress is to take it back to God, and accept that whatever God decides, that’s what is going to happen.

Many years ago, before I started working more on my emuna, I had massive fears and anxieties about getting ill, or dying in freak accidents. The anxiety was so big, I nearly cracked under the pressure. Really.

What finally got me out of the problem was when I told God:

Hashem, whatever You decree, I accept! I can’t fight you anymore, and trying to retain ‘control’ is just totally exhausting me and driving me mad.

And then, the clouds parted, and I started to enjoy living life again.

====

Rebbe Nachman dealt with this issue over 200 years ago, on many different occasions. This comes from ‘Tzaddik’, page 375, #445:

“There were many cases of people who came to the Rebbe with serious illnesses and he saw there was no chance that they would survive. He would talk to them in a way which went directly to their hearts, saying:

‘What is there for you to be afraid of about dying? The world there is far more beautiful than here.’

When a person has emuna in Hashem, and knows that this world is only a temporary corridor, that is the only thing that can really take the fear and anxiety about dying and falling sick away.

What does that tell us, when we saw the utter hysteria that’s engulfed so many parts of the so-called ‘frum’ Jewish world about Coronavirus?

====

The kabbalist Rav Yehuda Sheinfeld recently put out a very interesting interview, which you can read in its entirety HERE.

The basic idea is that all the ‘informers’ that are springing up within the ranks of the Jewish people are the ones that are being weeded out, ahead of Moshiach coming, because the halacha is that we don’t wait for ‘informers’ to make teshuva.

Rav Sheinfeld was discussing specifically the people who have framed Rabbi Berland, but it seems to me his words apply equally to all those people who are encouraging others to rat on their neighbors to the secular authorities for holding an ‘illegal’ minyan; or to rat on people for daring to visit their family members; or who think it’s a great ‘mitzvah’ to ‘shame’ people in their local Whats App group for not wearing masks in the street 24/7.

Those informers are not going to be part of the kehilla waiting to greet Moshiach (unless they do some serious teshuva)….

COVID-19 is doing a very profound birur, and it’s very interesting to watch it play out across the world.

====

One of my brothers-in-law is a MD who specialises in geriatrics. He lives in the US, and refuses to wear a mask in public because he knows it’s 1000% BS, that wearing masks has anything to do with decreasing the risk of infection from COVID, or saving lives.

Do you know how many people have yelled at him on the streets?

Why do these people think they know better than a medical doctor, who treats geriatrics for a living?

====

Let’s end with this, which is pure genius, and makes the point about life being inherently risky in a different way.

It has a clip of Senator Elizabeth Warren at the beginning, so it’s not shmirat eynayim friendly – but listen to the lyrics. The guy is brilliant. But please don’t laugh at the very important message he is trying to put across, unless of course, you want people to die.

====

POSTSCRIPT:

Amazon finally relented, and stuck up the Kindle version of Questions for God, the second volume of the Secret Diary of a Jewish Housewife, on their site. You can get it HERE.

And pretty much the same day that happened, I found out that the online magazine I founded and then handed over to different management last year, Sassonmag.com, decided to censor my posts and then delete all my writing.

Swings and roundabouts….

And the birur continues apace.

====

Photo by Svyatoslav Romanov on Unsplash

====

You might also like this article:

 

The equation is actually simple.

Either we fear God, and know that He is the one 100% behind everything. OR, we fear the ‘thing’, the ‘person’, the ‘disease’, or the ‘situation’.

The first one is called yirat shemayimfear of God, fear of Heaven.

And the second one, in spiritual speak, is called ‘fallen fear’. It’s fear that’s ‘fallen away’ from the understanding that Ein Od Milvado, only God is doing everything. That means that if I’m angry about something or with someone, I’m really just angry at God.

====

The last 3 weeks, I’ve been totally raging about the pointless ‘law’ now in place in Israel that forces everyone to wear masks outside their homes.

Even though the masks don’t really help with anything much….

Even though ‘coronavirus’ is basically no more infectious or deadly than flu…

Even though the only reason we are being forced to wear masks 24/7 is to give the police state a pseudo-valid reason to keep us on the defensive permanently, cowering timidly every time a blue/red flashing light drives by.

We are wearing masks, only because the WHO said so.

And as we know, the WHO is effectively owned by Bill Gates.

====

So, all this stuff has been making it really hard for me to make my peace with wearing the masks, and it’s been a massive struggle for me to deal with this aspect of #CoronaFascism without going nuts.

Last week, I realized I really have to get a grip on this. This situation is going to continue for a while, and being in permanent angry rant mode is just not helping anyone, especially me.

So, I took a deep breath, and I realized that the real reason I’m wearing a mask is not because of all the corrupt politicians and health ministry officials– starting with Bibi on down. And not because I live in a police state, even though I really do.

But only and solely because Hashem said that right now, I need to wear a mask.

Full stop.

It’s a decree of the King.

And once I internalize that, I can mostly wear the mask OK, at least enough to avoid getting into trouble, because if God wants me to wear the mask, then I can do it.

But if Itamar Grotto and Bill Gates wants me to wear the mask, I really can’t.

====

It seems to me, that this is the main lesson we need to be learning from this whole sordid saga.

That on so many levels, the only One to fear is really Hashem. The only One who is deciding what’s going on here, across the board, is Hashem.

Ein Od Milvado.

That’s the starting point.

And then, we can move on to starting to figure out some of the tremendous good that is being hidden away in even the very difficult circumstances we’re living through right now.

One of my friends told me that so many kids are actually doing way better, emotionally, after two months at home with their parents, because it’s the first time they’ve had some unbroken quality time and attention, often in their lives.

====

Of course, this is a process of birur, so on the other side of the equation there are also a lot of kids who are doing worse, especially teens who have spent two months solid at home with controlling parents who just want to dictate to them about EVERYTHING, and are secretly loving the fact that their kids are now back under their thumbs.

Thankfully, in my own life, I’ve seen my teenagers get real, calm down, and start to develop a deeper spiritual side that probably would have taken way longer, if the Corona ‘pandemic’ hadn’t turned up when it did.

And I’ve also been learning to appreciate more of the things that I’ve been taking for granted, like the ability to go for long walks, and to breathe fresh air, and to buy toilet paper whenever I run out.

It’s been quite the eye-opener, in terms of understanding how much shefa I really have in my life.

====

And then, there’s the ‘message’ that God is trying to send to us with this Coronavirus, which is multi-faceted and relating to just about every area of our life.

In our personal space, a lot of us are being challenged to like and respect the people we live with, and to do kindnesses for them. Our kids are just our mirrors. Our spouses are just our mirrors. If we don’t like ourselves, if we’re hard on ourselves, if we don’t forgive ourselves easily and expect unrealistic perfection, that puts so much unnecessary strain on our relationships.

So there’s work to do on bein adam l’havero, and also work to do on our emuna, that Hashem is behind all this.

And then, there’s also the work to do on emunat tzaddikim, and especially how that relates to any slander and lashon hara we may have been speaking, listening to or believing, especially about the Tzaddik HaDor, Rav Berland.

Messages, messages, messages.

Corona didn’t happen ‘stam’. It’s happened to encourage us all to clean up our spiritual act, and to make the teshuva we need to be ready to greet Moshiach.

For that reason alone, it’s an excellent development.

====

I want to end with some snippets of emails I’ve received from a few of my readers, each describing their own attempts to accept the ‘Decree of the King’ in their own lives, however that’s manifesting.

They are reprinted here with permission.

Who is like Your Nation, Hashem?

Even in the midst of all this darkness, so much tremendous spiritual light is starting to shine out from all four corners of the globe. And as things develop, it’s only going to strengthen.

====

One of my readers would like to make Aliyah, but has a complicated family situation that’s making that hard to arrange at the moment. Here’s a little of what she wrote me:

I am trying not to put too much of my heart on things being one way or the other. We may have money in the bank but that can poof away at any moment. We have plans to visit Israel but that can poof away at any moment. It will all go according to Hashem’s will and I have to keep screwing my emunah/bitachon goggles on tight and force myself to keep repeating that everything happens for the very best. Everything happens for the very best.

====

Another of my readers lives in Latin America, and despite having had an ‘ultra’ orthodox conversion, is not considered Jewish by the State of Israel, nor eligible for the right of return. Here’s a little of what she wrote me, after she read the Great Escape post:

Rivkah, there are so many things I want to do AND I CAN’T. When we struggle to pay the bills, when I deal with my life “NOT EASY” or my food is ruined on Shabbat because I don’t have a refrigerator, I want to cry and scream, I want to tell HASHEM, how I am supposed to work to help millions of anusim if I can’t even complete my Shabbat meals ??? How am I supposed to work with women or help them by teaching them tzeniut if my own clothes have holes that I should sew ??

And I CRY, and I get frustrated, and I see people who can do a lot with their money but are busy “improving their social life” or buying the “trends” in designer handbags, buying luxury cars. I GET FRUSTRATED. I WANT TO FLEE AND hide from everything and EVERYONE.

But I breathe, and I remember, that HASHEM is ALL mercy, that He loves me and put me in this situation for a time so that I learn, so that I grow, so that I see angles that the “successful” woman from before did not see.

It is normal to get frustrated, each with his test, each with his life, his problems. No one has the absolute truth and whoever DOES is so merciful, that they DO NOT OBLIGATE anyone. Hashem continues to make it rain on atheists and on the wicked. And to give food even to the wicked …the time will come when He will force them all [to make teshuva].

I would love for you to see what is going on here, the efforts of some people, I think perhaps you would see that the “delay” [in the geula happening] is pure mercy of Hashem towards people like us.

====

As this process continues, the birur is heating up.

And it basically boils down to this:

Do we accept that Hashem is running the world, or not?

Are we accepting the Decrees of the King, or not?

Are we doing the work we need to be doing, to get closer to Hashem, and to acknowledge our bad middot? Or not?

Are we giving control and honor back to Hashem, or trying to maintain our own control and honor, particularly in our families?

That is the question.

====

You might also  like this post:

This isn’t going to stop, anytime soon.

Most people were hoping that Pesach would come and go, and that we would be freed from our present Mitzrayim, and free to go back to our shopping, and working out and socializing.

Here in Israel, it’s clear as day (at least, to me) that this is just not going to happen.

Not because the ‘risk’ from the Coronavirus didn’t go away on Seder night, the way Rabbi Berland said it would. If you look at the statistics, FEWER PEOPLE DIED IN THE LAST MONTH IN ISRAEL THAN IN THE SAME PERIOD LAST YEAR.

There is no pandemic. There are no ‘mass deaths’, at least, not in Israel.

====

What there is, though, is an illusion of a super-dangerous virus, with the media talking up ‘spikes’ in death rates and infection rates that are frankly laughable, and the government split into ‘good cop’ and ‘bad cop’, but actually all on the same team, and just delivering their scripted messages on cue.

What all the people who are waiting for things to go back to ‘normal’ fail to realize is that IF this ‘pandemic’ was based on facts and real evidence, no-one would be in lockdown now anyway, and none of this would be happening in the first place.

It’s all smoke and mirrors, it’s all an illusion, so don’t hold your breath waiting for things to be relaxed significantly any time soon, because the facts aren’t guiding our governments’ fascist and dictatorial actions.

Something else is.

====

What the something else might be is the question, and there is definitely the secular answer to that, which I sometimes get too caught up in, and the spiritual answer to that, which is actually where more of us need to be focused right now, including me.

Slowly, slowly, more of the rabbis in the chareidi world are starting to put out statements linking the terrible things going on with the ongoing lashon hara and slander, particularly against Rabbi Eliezer Berland, and his Shuvu Banim community, and Breslov more widely.

There’s a lot going up on the shuvubanimint.com Hebrew website, and some of that stuff is starting to be translated into English, too like this:

https://ravberland.com/leading-kabbalists-stark-warning-that-talking-against-rav-berland-is-linked-to-covid-19/

And this:

====

But to boil things down into their most simple, we are going to be stuck with the neo-fascists running Israel, and the rest of the world, until more Jews realise that the real ‘prison’ we’re stuck in is one of our own making.

That same lying media, that same anti-God government, who spun a bunch of lies into a ‘story’ that the Rav was a criminal, God forbid, is now doing the same thing again with COVID-19.

If you check into the facts, do even a little bit of basic research, just switch on one brain cell and use it to THINK – it’s obvious that there is nothing going on here right now, medically, that hasn’t been going on every single year, to a greater or lesser degree, since history began.

But, just as we swallowed down all the media lies about the Rav without switching that brain cell on, without doing even a tiny bit of research, without wanting to read One in a Generation, or to listen to the thousands of interviews with Gedolei HaDor all praising the Rav’s virtues and kedusha – now we are paying the price.

Me personally, I wear a mask outside only and solely to try and avoid any trouble with the police. If there were no police, I wouldn’t give a stuff about wearing a mask, because I know all the fearmongering about COVID-19 is a bunch of baloney, at least in Israel.

If God wants me to die, He’ll kill me. And as I wrote about HERE, the efficacy of masks to prevent infection is frankly a joke.

And the authorities know it too.

That’s why all the politicians and media people aren’t wearing masks. That’s why you see 5 police in a car together – and no-one wearing masks. The powers-that-be have the plebs chasing their tails and lying to them about pointless ‘social distancing’ rules and facemasks, because they want to see how gullible and pliable and brainwashed the populace really is.

==

There’s a growing resistance, it’s true.

More and more people are starting to feel uncomfortable, are starting to feel that ‘something’ is not quite right, with the picture being painted for them, that they can’t quite put their finger on.

But most of my kids’ friends have been forcibly kept under conditions of the strictest ‘lockdown’ in their own homes for more than a month now, by fearful parents who believe the media lies 100%.

Ooooo, there was just a massive ‘SPIKE’ in the deaths of old people to 14 a day[1] from COVID-19!! I read it on ynetnews, they wouldn’t lie…. Kid, you are not leaving the house until you’re 40 – or until they’ve injected you with the ‘cure’ to COVID-19, whatever happens first.

Sigh.

And of course, my kids’ friends have been gorging on ‘public health videos’ during the last month of lockdown, which encourage OCD handwashing rituals, discourage breathing, exercise and fresh air, and keep brainwashing them that a vaccine is the only answer to all their problems.

So of course, these people’s paranoia and fear of going outside, and their dependence on the news and government information to gauge what’s really going on in the world has rocketed up.

They’re making the Police State very happy.

It’s pure genius.

====

For the people who are seeing through the lies, there’s less paranoia and very little fear about COVID-19.

Instead, there’s a growing and abiding fear of the fascist government and violent police, and where all this is really headed –  and that’s why the focus still has to be on the spiritual response for these people, too.

====

It basically breaks down like this:

People who believed the lying media to become ‘anti’ Rav Berland, and ‘anti’ Breslov, and ‘anti’ Chareidi, generally, are probably also believing the lying media and big Pharma-funded medical establishment about COVID-19.

If and when the scales fall from their eyes, they will get out of the COVID-19 lockdown overnight, because they will come to understand that it’s all an illusion, together with so many of the other things the lying media and fascist government has been telling them about how the world – and people, and human health – really works.

For the people who already know this stuff, the test is to understand that Hashem Himself is arranging all of this to happen right now. And that there is no point getting angry at ‘the stick’, even when it’s dressed up as a hypocritical, violent policeman, or the lying, corrupt politicians, or the fascist, dictatorship-cum-democracy state, because everything is really just Hashem.

It’s a different test, but also incredibly challenging.

Especially as the fascist tendencies are really starting to show.

====

I went to shop in Mahane Yehuda this morning (Friday), as that’s the only way I can get a long walk without being hassled by the police.

I checked the news sites before I went, and there was nothing to suggest Jerusalem was being locked down tight again, apart from the chareidi areas like Meah Shearim, where the violent police have started firing stun grenades straight into the faces of defenceless 8 year old girls.

Ah, our heroes.

[sarcasm off]

So anyway, I left early and there we no police around, and I had the stupid mask under my chin so I can pull it up whenever I spot a cop, and a shopping bag under my arm to ‘virtue signal’ to the fascists that I’m following the rules….

It was the best walk I’ve had in a long time.

I get to Mahane Yehuda, and at least 95% of the stores were closed. I heard that around half the market was still open and operating, in recent weeks, so I was kind of surprised. But I found some fruit and veg, and some other bits that I needed, without having to be zapped by a thermometer gun or wait in the massive line for bread that is so reminiscent of Stalin’s Russia.

====

As I was finishing up, I spotted a group of 10-12 police – all totally ignoring the social distancing rules, only some of whom are wearing masks – having a ‘pow-wow’ at the main entrance to the market.

My heart sank.

Two minutes later, they’d set up barriers to the entrance and exit of the market, and a couple of cops a piece were hanging off the gates, radiating intimidation. I was already weighed down with shopping – see! I’m keeping the rules! – so I scooted pass them, with the stupid mask pulled up properly, then called my husband to come get me in the car.

It took him a while.

Why?

Because the police had cordoned off the whole of downtown, and he had to get into an argument with a cop just to be allowed through.

====

There was absolutely no public announcement of this extra ‘lockdown’ within a lockdown made on the news sites, but hey, once the fascist police state starts to flex its muscles, there is just no stopping it.

Didn’t we learn that already, from Nazi Germany?

So then, my husband pulls up to get me, and then does a U-turn to go back home – which is when one of the cops decides to come and question him about his illegal maneuver, pulled on an almost totally deserted street.

My husband apologized profusely (that always confuses them…) but what struck me as particularly menacing about this episode is that the police guy asked him twice:

Are you feeling OK, that you would drive like that? Are you feeling well?

My husband told him:

I’m just scared of the police.

Like we all are these days.

Especially when they start asking pointed questions about your state of health.

What, was the police guy going to force my husband out of the car to administer a ‘COVID-19’ test on the pavement? And then banish him to some COVID-19 gulag for 8 years?

I fear that’s what is coming next, God forbid.

====

But then, I also have to remember that ein od milvado. God is behind all this. That police guy is just an illusion. I just need to work on my emuna, and keep channeling all the anger I keep feeling about what is going on right now into emuna, that it’s leading to something good.

Moshiach is at the end of this process, make no mistake.

But that’s also why more of us need to wake up now, and to realise that there is no ‘normal’ any more.

There is just a path towards geula, and whether that path will be easy or hard depends on us, and our teshuva.

====

FOOTNOTES:

[1] The average number of deaths in Israel a day, with no COVID-19, is 131. Given that the authorities are claiming anyone who dies as a ‘COVID’ death, what this actually shows us is that 100 people LESS a day are currently dying in Israel, than is normal for this time of year.

====

filios-sazeides-PBb5RPeGpDA-unsplash

====

You might also like this article:

We’ve been here before, and things are about to turn around in a miraculous way.

Picture the scene.

Almost 4,000 years ago, a scared and vulnerable Am Yisrael were hunking down in their pads in Goshen, watching as the Egyptian world around them fell to pieces.

When the Nile turned to blood, that’s when they shut all the gyms and the parks, and stopped people from exercising, so they wouldn’t get sick from the ‘river pollution’.

Then, the frogs showed up, and that’s when they issued their decrees saying no-one could spend any time in malls or restaurants, as the Health and Safety inspectors had determined that was where all this frog spawn was coming from.

====

Next came the lice, and that’s when Egypt’s Ministry of Health forbade people to congregate in large groups.

It’s disgusting, these people who keep standing next to each other, and they just let the lice jump all over them, and then before you know it, we also have lice here in Ramat Gan….

At that point, they also banned minyans, mikvahs and weddings, too, because it was obvious to Billaam G, and the rest of the Egyptian old boys Billionaire Club, that letting the Jews congregate was a really bad idea. Letting the Jews pray to God was also a really bad idea. And so, Billaam told Pharoah to institute a ‘social distancing’ rule of no less than 2 metres.

The Jewish overseers came to call on Pharoah, to beg for mercy.

O mighty president, ruler of the free world, we can no longer pay the taxes you are soaking out of us, nor continue to put food on our table. While the bricks required to pay the rent and mortgage have stayed the same, the sources of income have now all dried up, thanks to the global lockdown.

Pharoah and his advisors from the WHO looked at these audacious Jews wide-eyed:

You are lazy!!! Lazy!!! No free rides!!! You brought all this on yourselves by continuing to have children, instead of throwing them in the Nile, or popping along to the Planned Parenthood Clinic like we told you! And now, Egypt is at busting point, and we have no choice but to implement some radical population control policies, before you lot totally take over!!!

Billaam G and his other little buddies from the WHO nodded sagaciously, as the unfortunate Jews were given the bums’ rush out of the palace.

====

In their homes, the Jews sighed and feared the worst.

These Egyptians were bad enough when the economy was booming, and the stock market was rocketing up. No-one knew where all this was leading, nor just how bad things were about to get.

There were rumors that Pharoah would only let the Jews immigrate once they’d signed over all their worldly goods to the King’s Treasury, to help pay down the three quatrillion dollar debt that the greedy Egyptians had run up buying cheap stuff from China.

Right before the Nile turned to blood, China was about to foreclose on the debt, throwing the ‘greatest nation in the world’ into total chaos and financial meltdown. Lucky for Egypt, China developed a nasty case of plague just around that time, so they got busy with other stuff.

But, Egypt still had its massive debt to try to take care of… and fleecing the captive 6 million Jews of all their worldly goods seemed like a good way of doing it, or at least, making a start to tackle the problem.

Already, the press in Egypt were running non-stop videos showing frum Jews shirking the ‘social distancing’ rules, which was clearly leading to the massive uptick in lice infestation.

People on Twitter were already muttering about the Jews bringing all these plagues onto Mitzrayim, and the atmosphere was full of unspoken threats and anti-semitism.

And so, the Jews of Goshen went into their Seder Night feeling pretty scared about what the future held, and how they were going to pay their mortgages and rent bills, and how on earth they were meant to buy new underwear, when the old ones ran out.

====

That Seder Night…. The miracles really began.

It started when Billaam G. had a massive heartattack, and was found floating in the pool of his mansion in Memphis, the poshest part of Egypt, away from the plebs. Next, a bunch of fires spontaneously broke out at 5G stations across the country, and try as they might, no-one could get them to go out.

Strangely, as soon as the 5G stopped, the lice disappeared too.

But the Egyptian media dismissed all this as ‘just a coincidence’ and berated the public for buying into mad conspiracy theories that blamed Big Pharma for creating the lice plague (and soon-to-be released lice vaccine…).

The head of Big Pharma even went on Egyptian TV, to tell the public that contrary to the claims coming out of China, there were NO plans to release another plague of boils; or a plague of killer foot-and-mouth amongst the nation’s animals, and definitely, absolutely, totally NO PLANS AT ALL to try and kill off the first born.

No sirree.

But with Billaam G. out the way, many of the minions broke ranks, and started posting their explosive confessions about what was really going on, up on Youtube.

====

The plan was to blame all these plagues on the Jews, and then make a huge packet by forcing the public to get themselves and their pets vaccinated, so they wouldn’t have to go through all these plagues again next year.

Then, the Jews would flee Egypt of their own accord, lucky to leave with just their toothbrushes and a pair of pyjamas, leaving Pharoah and the rest of the billionaire businessmen, property moguls and old money tycoons to divvy up the Jews’ real estate and assets between them.

But that Seder night, when the whole Jewish world was in lockdown, stuck in their homes, everything started to go wrong with ‘the plan’.

====

The Angel of Death passed over the Jews, and started to smite the evil Egyptians instead.

Any door where there was a mezuza got skipped. Any home where there was a box of matza and cup of wine got ‘passed over’. Any place where there were Jews doing their best to make a seder, even with the most basic staples, and even without, were put on the ‘do not touch’ list.

And in the meantime, the Angel of Death went forward to do its work.

After Billaam G. dropped dead, a bunch of presidents and prime ministers and world leaders unexpectedly followed suit. Palaces and presidential suites all over Egypt were shrouded in black, as one evil person after another came to realise  –  in their last second on earth – that God runs the world, not them.

====

In his cell underneath Pharoah’s palace, Moshe Rabbenu, our righteous redeemer, continued to fight the spiritual battle.

He was fueled by all the tikkun haklalis being recited by the Jews, and all the prayers to be saved from Coronavirus being recited by the righteous gentiles.

Tomorrow, after chag, he would request an audience with Pharoah, and tell him that it was time to let all the Jews go home to Eretz Yisrael. Boats should be charted – lots of them! – and the Jews would finally break free of the spell of Mitzrayim, that had them relying on vaccines, real estate and stockmarket portfolios for salvation, instead of turning to prayer and emuna.

Yes, Pharoah would demand that the Jews leave all their wealth behind, and submit to the mandatory Universal Vaccination before being allowed to leave the country, but Moshe knew that after a bit more pounding, he’d give in on these demands, too.

Redemption was in the air.

The Jews just had to hang on one more day.

====

If you’re looking for a new Haggadah this year, you can download the PDF of the Rabbi Berland Haggada HERE for free. It’s laid out in a simple way, has English translations, and also has some uplifting Torah and stories from the Rav, too.

If you’re doing Seder alone this year, then take a look at this piece that was originally posted up last year, for some tips on how to get the most out of the evening, even if it’s just you who is doing Seder:

Hold on one more night, dear readers.

The sea is about to part.

====

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Despite the difficult situation we all find ourselves in with Coronavirus, suffering is still optional

Day 20 at the Kotel today, and Baruch Hashem, there were a few more people there than yesterday – like maybe 18 women in the whole, massive plaza, as opposed to yesterday’s 13.

This whole test is about controlling our fallen fears, and developing some genuine yirat shemayim, or fear of heaven, which basically boils down to having emuna that God is running the world.

In the middle of all this, it’s impossible to fake what you really think and feel about what’s going on. If you are still sleeping OK at night, if you aren’t consumed by worry, then either you are:

Still living in total denial about what is actually going on at the moment

OR

You have a lot of genuine emuna.

Here’s a quick way to figure out which camp you might actually be in: if you already stocked up enough food to last you over the next few weeks, including buying at least the basics required for Pesach, then you are probably in the last camp.

And if not….

====

Stocking up with some essentials is part of how to get through the madness in one piece.

But a much more crucial part of how to not lose your marbles over the coming weeks can be found in lesson 250 of Likutey Moharan.

There, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov teaches us:

“Know: the sole cause of all types of pain and all suffering is a lack of daat (deeply internalized spiritual knowledge), for whoever possesses daat and knows that everything is ordained by God – that “God gave, and God took” (Job 1:21) – does not suffer at all, and experiences no pain.”

Rabbenu continues:

“….pain is very light and easy to accept when one is clearly aware that everything is ordained by God….[pain and suffering] will not be felt at all if one possesses daat, for pain and suffering are mainly on account of one’s daat being taken away, so that one should experience the suffering.

“This is the essence of Jewish pain in the exile: all on account of their falling away from daat and attributing everything to nature, circumstances and fate. This is what causes their pain and suffering.”

====

It’s a profound lesson that is speaking mamash about what we are seeing occur all over the world right now with Coronavirus hysterical panic (which so far, seems to be far more infectious and dangerous than the actual virus itself…)

Later on in Lesson 250, Rabbenu explains how the Jewish people are above nature, and how our prayers can mamash transcend nature and change it, and then ties all of that in to bringing an ‘end’ to non-Jewish nations, and remembering the Jews who are sunk in exile within them, still.

Well worth a read.

But for today’s post, let’s come back to this idea that suffering and pain really only happen when we forget that God is in charge of the world, and is ordering everything that is happening to us and around us.

====

What lessons can we learn from Rabbenu, about how to deal with the Coronavirus madness we all find ourselves caught up in?

Here’s where I’m holding with things:

  • I’m working on my emunat tzaddikim and emuna.

That means that whenever I start having a self-induced panic attack because I’ve read things by fearmongering heretics about this whole saga lasting for another 6 months, or lo alenu even more, 18 months, I remind myself that Rabbi Berland is working hard to sweeten this, and he said it will be over by Pesach.

And then, I go and say the Rav’s prayer to be saved from Coronavirus, or I go and say a Tikkun HaKlali, or I do a bit more hitbodedut, or I dance around for a bit and clap my hands – and like magic, I start to feel way, way happier again.

  • I’m trying to avoid sites written by heretics and fearmongerers

People are strange. We have this peculiar pull to hearing bad news, and watching horror movies like Nightmare on Elm Street, even though we know they are going to disrupt our sleep and give us nightmares for the next 2 months.

And this Coronavirus matzav is bringing that tendency out very strongly.

I realized a few days back that when I’m not reading doom-and-gloom predictions about economic collapse, 5G zombification and 50 million people dead, I’m actually pretty happy on a day to day basis.

Also, I can’t see any justification for these awful predictions in my dalet amot. People aren’t dropping dead on the street, I don’t know anyone who is seriously ill, and despite Bibi’s massive hysterical fit, the public ‘mood’ really isn’t so hysterical.

On some level, I think so many of us can feel that God is hiding behind this whole Coronavirus thing, and that however bad it looks, looks are currently very deceptive.

But reading news sites and blogs written by hysterical atheists (some of whom are pretending to be ‘religious’) gets me super antsy, super-fast. So, I’ve stopped visiting sites which are full of fear, emotional manipulation and ‘blaming statements’ about chareidim having blood on their hands just because they happen to still be davening in a minyan and learning Torah.

====

  • My main response to this matzav (apart from panic buying essentials…) is teshuva and prayer.

On Shabbat, I did another six hour talking to God session, which really helped me to feel way, way calmer about everything, and way more connected to Hashem.

I’ve also started saying a prayer every single day to avoid speaking lashon hara and rechilut, and I’m trying very hard to let go any bad feelings I have about people, as per the instructions of Rav Kanievsky.

When I have energy, like on Shabbat, I’m trying to do 7 Tikkun HaKlalis on behalf of the Rav. When I don’t have that much energy (i.e. most of the time…) I made an agreement with my husband that we’ll split the 7 between us, and whoever had more koach and headspace will do more.

I’m also trying very hard not to go bonkers at my kids, and let’s face it, that’s probably the biggest test we’re all having, day to day.

====

Trying to keep bored teens busy enough and happy enough that they don’t start ripping your house to shreds, or tearing holes in their parents, siblings and themselves is a massive challenge.

Like today, I saw that one of my kids left paint brushes full of diluted mahogany wood gloss on the new, white, downstairs sink. And we’re renting. I had a rant to myself for half a minute about how retarded teenagers can be, rushed off to clean it, then worked really hard to not hold a grudge against my kid in my heart.

In Israel, we’ve been in partial lockdown for 10 days already, and that’s a long time to share space with teens.

But I know it’s all coming from God, and that it’s just a test of my middot and my emuna, and that’s really helping me to deal with this whole situation so much better, and to remain so much calmer, and to turn the work inwards, into prayer and introspection, as much as possible, and far less into rants and unrealistic expectations about how other people should be acting and reacting.

====

The last thing I’m trying to do is to just live in the moment, and to stop trying to peer around corners.

Right now, I have enough food to get me through Pesach. I have enough toilet paper. I have enough interesting projects to be getting on with. I have enough space that everyone can do their own thing without being in view of others 24/7, Baruch Hashem.

I’m going to the Kotel every day, which I’ve never done before in my life.

I’m taking the opportunity to smell the roses, and to stop being online all the time.

I’m baking cookies for my families, and even starting to plan a new painting.

In short, life is good.

Really good.

God is in charge of the world, not me. And the more I can remember that, the less I stress and worry.

====

There is a lot of stress and yeoush rushing around the world right now. It’s so easy to get caught up in the panic and the fear, and to forget that God is the only One pulling the strings, here.

When that happens, we start to suffer terribly, and then the situation can become overwhelmingly painful and scary.

But we Jews are above nature. Our prayers can literally change reality.

God is locking us all down right now so we stop acting like the non-Jews, and stop panicking about face masks, hand sanitizer and staying 2 metres away from each other, and turn back to God wholeheartedly. This is part of the whole process of leaving galut, both physically and spiritually.

And as soon as we really put God back into our picture, our pain and suffering will stop.

====

You might also like this article:

Yesterday, I was talking to my brother in the UK, who kind of summed up what’s going on:

Half of me feels like this is an overhyped load of b*llocks, and half of me feels that this is way, way worse than we’re being told and is going to be a disaster. And I don’t know which half is right.

I get you, mate! I feel exactly the same way about all this Coronavirus stuff, but in the meantime it seems the whole world is turning into a Purim Shpiel.

Aussies are slugging it out over toilet roll, and the panic buying has spread to London, too, where my mum told me my dad was out trying to track down some Kleenex and kitchen roll before it all disappeared.

Tomorrow, he’s heading back into the fray to try to pin down as many tins of beans as he can carry…..

====

And even in the Levy household, there was minor panic from the husband this morning when I told him that Italy had just put 16 million people into lockdown until April.

He went really quiet, his leg started jigging, and then after a minute he said to me:

Can we go and get some extra water, and bits, just in case?

Déjà vu!

====

I instantly flashed back 10 years ago, when I was stockpiling tuna, packets of couscous and mineral water like a crazy person because the autistics were telling me it was the end of the world….

Back then, my husband thought I was totally nuts, but he went along with me.

This time around, I think stockpiling is totally pointless, but I went along with him, and spent an hour unexpectedly rushing around Super Sapir trying to fit 4 six packs of water into the trolley around various canned goods, big boxes of cornflakes and bumper packs of rice cakes.

When we got home, I asked my husband:

Do you feel better now, that we got two massive boxes of cornflakes and 20 tins of tuna?

He tried to tell me that yes, that had made some difference to his mood, but honestly?

We both knew that he was lying.

====

All this stockpiling, what does is really do, except just delay the inevitable?

One of my kids told me that they want to be the last ones standing, if it comes to total apocalypse, God forbid, and I laughed in their face. Way, way better to be amongst the first ones to go, and to avoid weeks and months of agonizing panic and total fear.

And in the meantime…. I believe in Hashem, and I’m adopting the ‘no big deal’ approach to all this. Because whatever God wants, that’s totally fine with me, and I’m not going to start frantically trying to plant potato tubers in the patch of earth next to my house (like my oldest kid wants to) because there is totally no point.

If God wants me alive, He’ll make sure I have what’s required to do that.

====

Ironically, I’m actually enjoying myself more than I have been for over 8 years right now, since we moved in to the new place.

I love the garden. I love the view. I love the space. I love that it takes me exactly one hour to walk down to the Kotel, kiss the stones and return to my home – the perfect hitbodedut route.

Today, I headed off to the Baba Sali, to pay a long overdue visit and to tell him that finally, that palace in Jerusalem that he promised me so very long ago – with a garden! – has appeared.

I always get a lot of clarity, a lot of insight at the Baba Sali, and today was no different. I got a ‘message’ about what’s going on to share with my readers, so here it is. Take it or leave it, this is what I wrote down:

“Love Hashem! He is doing all of this for the nation of Israel. How much we suffer is totally in our hands. Lack of emuna = fear = great suffering. The more you can trust Hashem, the easier this next part will be.”

====

The second book of prayers from Rabbi Berland, including the special prayer to say to be protected from Coronavirus, is due to come out in the next couple of days. I’m sure it’s going to do something big, something massive, to change the whole equation again.

Each time those books come out, they coincide with some absolutely massive things happening in the world, that simply couldn’t be foreseen.

Also, Purim is almost here, when everything can turn around again.

I already don’t know the difference between ‘Mordechai and Haman’ at this stage, so I guess I won’t need to drink very much – at all! – to fulfill the mitzvah.

====

And in the meantime, the Purim Shpiel continues in full force.

It’s got to the point where I literally can’t believe some of the stuff I’m reading, like Chief Rabbis telling us not to kiss mezuzahs, and synagogues putting out instructions to not kiss the Torah in shul because of Coronavirus. The world is getting madder by the second.

Everything is changing and nothing is. The world is hanging by a thread, and yet continuing on as though nothing is happening. It’s the end of civilization as we know it, and also just another day of the media totally hyping things up and lying through their teeth.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

It’s going to take another few weeks until we see if this really is a big storm in a teacup, or God forbid, the start of a massive, fatal pandemic.

And in the meantime….it’s Purim.

And this year, we’re all feeling that everything has tipped upside-down.

====

UPDATE:

I just got sent this link for a Facebook page promoting Rabbi Berland’s Coronavirus prayer. I’m not on Facebook, but if you are, and you want to help tip the scales away from a massive pandemic, please do get the link around in whatever way that happens, in Facebook world. Here’s the page:

https://www.facebook.com/Universal-Prayer-for-Coronavirus-100113791621534/?view_public_for=100113791621534

You might also like this article:

The last few weeks (months…) I’ve been fighting a losing battle against apathy and despair.

Most of the time, I feel like life boils down to playing the unwinnable game, where my yetzer is constantly tripping me up and testing me with new circumstances and situations designed to bring out the worst.

The last two months, I’ve just had so many tests to try to stand up, external and internal – and for the most part, I don’t think I managed so well.

The problem is, I seem to have very unreasonable expectations of how things should be, and how things should look, and God for the most part just isn’t giving that to me. I understand that the fault, the error, the problem, is 100% on my side. I also understand that I have a part of me that is a perfectionistic control-freak, and that getting that part ‘sweetened’ is probably at least one of my major tikkunim that I’m down here to do.

But sometimes, I still find day-to-day life just so painful.

It’s not easy to have face down your ‘broken-ness’ every single day, and to have to admit – to yourself, to your husband, to your kids – that you’re actually still a lunatic, despite all your efforts to blossom into something a tad less crazy.

====

So, to come back to the last two months.

I’ve been noticing a strange phenomenon in the middle of all the apathy and despair that’s been winning out recently.

The more I can’t ‘do’ it, the more I’m giving up and letting God take over, the more things are starting to work out.

And I’ve seen that in a few different places now, so I wanted to share it as it’s giving me some chizzuk that maybe precisely in this low-down place of giving up, salvation can sprout.

====

Three months ago, I gave notice on our apartment, to move out end of February.

The apartment is OK – it’s pretty big, pretty reasonable rent, and it’s in the very ‘comfortable’ neighborhood of Baka, where you hear English and French way more than you hear Hebrew.

The body has been relatively pleased with this apartment, but the soul has been stifling since we got here, and I knew that staying in Baka was not a good option, long-term. But finding a good, affordable apartment in Jerusalem ranks up there with finding the holy grail.

Property developers are slowly destroying this city, and making it a place where only millionaires from abroad who don’t want to actually live here can afford to buy anything. Everything they build is ‘luxury this’ and ‘luxury that’, so they can charge a fortune for it.

So, Jerusalem real estate is increasingly becoming ‘old, dumpy, mold-infested affordable’, or ‘luxury-sell-a-kidney-to-pay-your-rent’.

====

Our apartment in Baka was a little dumpy, and a little mold-infested, but otherwise pretty OK.

Places like this are not so easy to find, so I was really nervous when I gave notice. The next few weeks, I kept scanning Madlan, and Janglo, and Craig’s List, looking for a reasonable apartment back closer to the Rav, in or around Musrara.

The only things coming up were in the ‘luxury and unaffordable’ range.

So then, I widened the search out to Rehavia, Shaarei Tzedek and Nachlaot – and strange to say, every single estate agent I contacted seemed incredibly uninterested in showing me any properties. I had one of my kids call up too, and she had the same experience.

In the meantime… the clock was ticking, and I had no-where to move to.

====

Two weeks ago, after I got back from Uman, I told my husband:

We just have to give up on trying to live in the neighborhood we want. I’m just going to start viewing apartments all over the place, and see if anything clicks.

Because hey, we aren’t going to find a community wherever we live. And I’m not going to be able to ‘settle down’ for more than a year or two anyway. And instead of looking at all of this as another horrible experience to grin and bear through, I decided I have to stop complaining that I can’t get what I want, and just let God give me what He decides is best.

Shortly after that conversation, something came up in Abu Tor, a neighborhood that I would never have considered in a million years beforehand, and we went to look at it.

It’s the house of my dreams.

It’s two storeys, has a garden I’m allowed to plant things in, they just put in a totally new bathroom, including a bath, and they are in the process of putting in a new kitchen, too, which will be ready before we move in.

I don’t have to sell a kidney to pay the rent, and the landlords are also really nice people.

And that neighborhood is also interesting. It’s green, it’s got a village feel, and a view of Har Habayit that is simply the best in all of Jerusalem.

So, we’re doing the experiment, and we’ll see what happens next.

====

Then, there was the whole mortgage fiasco that I wrote about HERE.

We are meant to be completing on the flat we bought in Harish end of the month, and for two months the bank has been telling us they won’t give us a mortgage again.

What could I do?

I think I used up all the tears on this subject the last time it happened, two years ago, so I basically just sank into apathy and told God:

Whatever You want. Mortgage, no mortgage, I don’t even care anymore.

In the meantime, we made some minimum hishtadlut – and three days ago we had a miracle.

A few hours after a friend told me she’d been at the Baba Sali, and had spontaneously said a few prayers for us to get a mortgage, we got a phone call from the bank that they were approving it, after all.

Not only that, they made a mistake and gave us a mortgage 1.5 times bigger than we asked for….

Which means that now, we can look into maybe investing that extra money into something else. It’s a totally unexpected result, and way better than what I was hoping to achieve under my own steam.

====

Yesterday, I was at the Kotel with a few hundred other people who came to pray for the Rav.

What can I tell you?

We’re back in the State-sponsored anti-Torah madness that is even more unfair and even more patently evil than the first time around – and I barely have the energy to do anything about it. I made myself go yesterday, even though I was feeling so tired and apathetic about everything.

How are my prayers going to help? How can we stop this evil from winning, all the time? What’s the point in even trying?

But after all the help the Rav has given me, and all the difficulties he’s helped me to smooth out and pass through in my own life, going to the Kotel was the least I could do.

So I got there, and of course there are no seats. After milling around for a few minutes, I decided to go sit on my heels by one of the side walls in the ladies section, as I just can’t recite tehillim with any concentration when I’m standing up.

I told God:

If You want me to have a chair, God, I guess you’ll send me one. And if not, I’m just going to sit here like this and pray, even though it’s a little unconventional, because what can I do?

Half-way through the first tikkun haklali, a middle-aged woman basically ran at me with a chair.

Sit!! Sit!! She shrieked.

You can’t do things like that anymore, think about your knees!!

So I sat.

And I said thank you.

And I started to feel that maybe, this feeling of total apathy and giving things back to God is actually the secret to redemption.

====

I’ve tried so hard to ‘fix’ things, in so many ways, over the last few years. So often, I sit here and it seems I don’t have much to show for myself. And honestly, that’s making it very hard to continue.

I’ve had days I don’t feel like doing my morning brachot, I’ve had days where I don’t feel like getting out of bed. I’ve had days where I literally have to force myself to do the things on my list of chores and commitments, because nothing gets anywhere, so what’s the point?

I have so many things to be getting on with right now, from packing up my house to finishing my course, to writing new blog posts, that I have zero urge to engage with.

But maybe, the last two weeks has been proving the theory that it’s exactly when we’re so totally despairing of redemption occurring, that it finally shows up.

I guess we’ll find out.

====

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

====

You might also like this article: