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Back at the end of January, I decided to start doing 40 days at the Kotel for a chareidi family I’ve become acquainted with, who are seriously messed-up.

While the mother is practically a burka-babe, and the father likes to spout pointless divrei Torah for hours (that no-one can interrupt or disagree with, as that would be disrespectful) most of their kids are off the derech, most of them started smoking aged 12 and one of them preferred to leave home and to sleep on the streets than stay at home.

Coming from my own background, and experiencing what I’ve experienced in life, I found it so very hard to try to judge this family favorably, l’chaf zchut, or to do Azamra on them, as per the instructions of Rebbe Nachman in Likutey Moharan, 1:282.

There, Rabbenu tells us:

Know: one must judge every person favorably. Even if the person is totally wicked, one must search and find in him some bit of good, regarding which he is not wicked. By finding in him this bit of good and judging him favorably, one actually elevates him to the direction of righteousness and is able to bring him to repentance.

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I really want this family to make teshuva.

The mother spends most of her time with her kids carping about their faults – to their faces – and complaining that they’ve let her down and come out ‘ruined’ because they aren’t frum enough. Never mind all the kids’ good points. Never mind all the effort they are still making to try to respect their parents, and to take all the blame for their own profound emotional issues upon themselves.

Whenever I hear her interactions with her children, I literally start cringing inside. It’s a non-stop fountain of onaat devarim,  poisonous self-righteousness, criticism, lashon hara and arrogance.

But she thinks she’s a tzaddeket.

Why?

Because she dresses SO tzniusly…. And she won’t eat meat anymore because no hechsher is good enough…. And she has no tumahdik computers in the house (which means her husband is really struggling to make parnassa, but hey, let’s not hairsplit here)…. And she won’t listen to any music – at all! – because she can’t be sure it’s coming from a good, kosher place.

Such a tzaddeket.

Did I mention that the family is strongly Litvish, and kind of ‘anti’ Breslov, and especially ‘anti’ Rav Berland?

No?

Ah, my bad, sorry.

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So, like I said, I’ve been really struggling to do Azamra for these people – and all the hundreds of thousands like them in the chareidi world, who are so anal about all their mitzvoth bein adam l’makom, and so very awful in their mitzvoth bein adam l’chavero.

In the chareidi world as it’s currently configured, your choice is to become a frum robot – and to totally choke down any vestige of individuality or independent thought, and to care more about what the neighbors think than what Hashem really thinks – or to leave.

Thank God for Rebbe Nachman, because when I was faced with this choice, at least I could still find refuge in Breslov.

Or at least, the Breslov of Rav Berland and his students, that welcomed Sephardim, and baal teshuvas, and people like me, who were never going to fit the ‘frum robot’ mold that is de rigeur in mainstream chareidi society.

That strand of Breslov emphasizes the inner world over the outer appearance. It values practice over preaching. And it underscores again, and again, and again that the main work we are down here to do is to work on our own bad middot, and particularly those feelings of arrogance that take us away from Hashem, cut us off from our own neshamas – and hurt so many of the people we should be caring for.

Especially our kids.

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So, I started that 40 days 3 months ago, and man, it’s been a struggle for so many different reasons.

Today, I got up early to make sure I’d get to the Kotel to complete the 40th day, in the middle of all the ‘Yom Yerushalayim’ (non) celebrations.

When I finally got my 1 minute ‘slot’ to stand at the wall, I got there, kissed it, then started crying.

God, it’s too hard for me. I can’t judge all these horrible, arrogant people favorably. I can’t think good thoughts about people who prefer seeing their own kids sleeping rough on the street than ‘looking bad’ in front of the neighbors.

I can’t stand the hypocrisy, I can’t stand the lack of real connection to Hashem, I can’t stand all the pretend piety, controlling emotional manipulation and holier-than-thou fakeness. 

God. I’ve failed. This 40 days has failed.

I’m doing less Azamra now for these people than when I started….

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Deep down, I know nothing is for nothing, but that’s how I felt as I left the wall this morning.

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I came home, checked my emails, and found one from someone called rivkyalbert@gmail.com that said in big, crowing capital letters:

GAME OVER!!!

She’d kindly forwarded all the ‘psak din’ that had just come out against Rabbi Berland from an anti-Breslov beis din located in Bnei Brak, that she’d got straight from the Rav’s main Breslov persecutors.

There’s so much to say about what’s going on here, and after I’ve done more hitbodedut, if God wants me to start clarifying matters – again, for the 500th time – then I will.

But in the meantime, I’m in no rush.

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You know why?

Because I understand that this is a very important part of the clarification process.

Just like God kept on hardening Pharoah’s heart in Egypt, so he could maintain his free choice, so God is doing the same thing here.

  • After all the mounting evidence of the last few months that the State of Israel has been waging a war specifically against the chareidi community…
  • After all the mounting evidence that the media is totally biased and corrupt, and bought and paid for by vested interests that are ‘anti-God’ in the most profound, evil way…
  • After all the arguments that have occurred recently in the chareidi world between those people who think that praying to God is dangerous, and those who think the opposite…
  • After all the deaths in the chareidi world globally that were attributed to COVID-19…
  • After all the strict lockdowns of specifically chareidi neighborhoods…
  • After all the kabbalists, and big rabbis, and lamed vav Tzaddikim who stated plainly that talking against Rabbi Berland is directly connected to COVID-19….

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So, the test is being repeated again, to see who has really learned their lesson, and who hasn’t.

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I’m in no rush to explain what’s going on here.

God has given the chareidi world – and all the other ‘anti Rav Berland’ people – a large quantity of rope, and He’s waiting to see who is going to hang themselves with their own evil speech, and their own bad middot.

Rebbe Nachman told us that before Moshiach would come, heresy would cover the land like a flood, that even ‘big rabbis’ and ‘Torah scholars’ would have heresy dripping out of their pockets, and that most of the leaders of Am Yisrael would be false.

There is a birur going on here.

It’s picking up speed.

It’s becoming more and more obvious that a person’s middot and real connection to Hashem can’t be judged by their appearance, position or title.

But by their actions. And their deeds.

And most of all, whether their homes are full of love and kindness and shalom bayit, and full of children who feel loved and accepted in their homes – or not.

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The last thing for now, is that it’s no coincidence that as all the lashon hara about Rav Berland ratcheted up a level today, this was the lead story on the JPost website:

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Walking around today, I see that the masks seem to be making a come back in Jerusalem, after a week where more and more people had stopped wearing them.

Logically, this makes no sense. The weather is still hot. Everything is meant to be ‘opening up’ more and more.

But spiritually, it all fits perfectly.

Thanks to that ‘beis din’ in Bnei Brak, which has unleashed another, awful wave of sinat chinam and lashon hara against Rav Berland,  I reckon we are now about to head into a second wave of COVID madness.

So, go stock up on your water, toilet paper and whatever else you need now.

Because the next stage of the birur has arrived. And if you thought the police brutality against the chareidi communities in Israel and beyond was bad before, I have a feeling that far worse is now to come.

Unless we finally make teshuva, and stop pretending that we’re the biggest tzaddikim on the block.

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UPDATE:

Strange as it sounds, the majority of the Shuvu Banim community seem to be doing OK with this ‘psak din’ – even feeling relieved and calmly content.

Why?

Because we all knew that ‘beit din’ was anti-Breslov and anti-Rav Berland right from the start, so no-one is shocked at this outcome.

Also, the Rav was hinting for years that something like this had to happen to get us to the next stage of geula.

And also, because it’s a relief that this ‘fig leaf’ has now been provided by Hashem, to unmask all those yucky horrible people who pretend to be religious, and who pretend to be connected to Hashem.

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Yalla, yucky people!

Write as many horrible comments and posts as you can in the short amount of time that probably remains to you!

It’s all dissing diamonds, it’s all helping the Rav to sweeten the judgments, and it’s helping his community too.

It’s like I told someone close to the Rav who called me before Shabbat feeling quite shaken up and upset:

I’d much rather have all their dissing and carping, and keep my health, shalom bayit and parnassa, than the opposite.

I’m (trying to be…) a sincere student of the Rav, after all, and here’s what he’s been teaching us for years:

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God will deal with all the yucky people in due course – and it won’t be pretty.

So, hang on my sweet readers! This is a bump in the road, but it’s a necessary part of the geula process to unmask all those pretend frum fakers out there, and show us all what we’re really dealing with.

And it’s already working!

BH, the revealed good is on the way soon, and in the meantime, don’t throw the diamonds back.

They are ‘buying’ us good health, shalom bayit, parnassa, and all the other good stuff that’s really important.

And the truth will out soon enough.

People are already nudging me to write Volume III of One in a Generation….

And I’m almost ready to say yes.

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You might also like this article:

There are a lot of strange statistics and ‘coincidences’ that you should be aware of, around COVID-19.

As you could probably tell, being turned away from the Kotel last week was definitely the low spot of last week, and definitely had me feeling pretty despairing there, for a few days afterwards.

The weird mood continued into Shabbat and beyond – especially when I read the headline on the Jpost saying Bibi was ‘seriously considering’ going into full lock down. Because hey, 17 people have died from Coronavirus complications over the last 3 ½ weeks of media-induced hysteria in Israel – most of them over 90 – and OF COURSE that justifies pushing a million people into unemployment.

And closing whole families into small spaces for a month… and making it illegal to exercise, or breathe fresh air, or see anyone who aren’t 100% related to, or go to shul, or a mikva, or a holy site to pray.

Anyone can see that, can’t they?

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So, I got into a strange mood, wondering what on earth our governing classes are really up to, because on Friday, I got out my calculator and did the sums, based on the figures then posted up online for COVID in Israel. If you divide 3,600 people with COVID-19 by 14 fatalities, you get: 0.00388 – or 4/10ths of 1%.

Now, I’m not a maths whiz, but does that sound like a pandemic to you?

Not only that, but if we accept the growing consensus that this COVID-19 has been freely circulating beyond Chinese borders for at least the last 4-5 months – which means that most of us have probably already had it, and have definitely been exposed to way before lockdown started – then that makes the death rate in Israel even more infinitesimally tiny.

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For example, on December 18th, 2019, my brother in London had a barmitzvah.

I didn’t go, but my brother’s father-in-law – who lives in Israel – attended, and immediately after he came back, he went into hospital with a case of very serious pneumonia, and then renal failure.

He was hospitalized in Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv (by all accounts, a really unpleasant experience) and by nissei nissim, he’s still alive and very slowly on the mend.

But, my brother’s father-in-law sounds like he had a really bad case of what we now know to be COVID-19 – more than three months ago, back in December.

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Two months ago, my youngish upstairs neighbor collapsed in his bathroom on motzae Shabbat, after having a few days of really bad ‘flu’ that saw his temperature sky-rocketing.

Magen Dovid Adam were called, and when all 8 of the first responders (!) showed up, they checked his heart to see if that’s why he fainted, then they told him to go to Shaarei Tzedek.

One of the doctors explained that there was a really bad strain of ‘flu’ going around, and that lots of lots of people were being totally taken out by it.

A day afterwards, both my neighbor’s wife, and me, developed a dry cough with no snot, and a really high temperature, followed by exhaustion that totally took both of us out for a week.

Again, this sounds like the classic symptom set for a ‘mild’ case of COVID-19. And again, we both had this seven weeks ago.

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The more I’m talking to people all over the world, the more we’re figuring out that so many of us seem to have had the classic Coronavirus symptoms many weeks and even months ago.

For sure, Coronavirus poses a danger to older people with underlying health issues, just as the regular flu does, just as a regular cold does, just as cold temperatures and heatwaves and all the other physical stressors and strains do, too.

But here too, I’m perplexed.

The same people who have spent the last decade telling us the world is woefully overpopulated, and stressing that we must all have two children – or less! – to avoid overcrowding are now going nutso because a bunch of 70+ geriatrics are actually dying.

Sure, we miss loved ones when they pass on, but can we have a reality check here for a moment?

Are we really meant to be locking down two billion people – including small kids, teenagers and young people – and throwing millions of people into unemployment, terrible stress and mental depression, just so a few thousand geriatrics can continue to hobble feebly on for a few more months?

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All I can think is that when you’re a God-less atheist, as so many of our ‘leaders’ currently are, the thought of dying scares the living pants off you, because you aren’t living the life that your soul is requiring of you.

But, if you’re living life aware that this is only a corridor, or passageway, and that there is a world to come, and that God is real, and that you will have to account for every second you wasted, and every person you hurt, and every nasty thing you did, and every small child you sacrificed to Moloch (!) – well, then passing on just isn’t that scary.

Personally, I can’t imagine wanting to hang around for more of this world when I hit 90. I watched my own grandmother soldier on in the nursing home with a colostomy bag, smearing brown goo into her mouth in the canteen and being ‘locked down’ into a wheelchair to prevent her from escaping the facility, and the experience taught me I’d much rather go earlier on, and preferably avoid that experience.

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I know it’s not politically-correct to say this, but it seems to me so much of this Coronavirus hysteria is rooted in an inability to deal with the fact that everyone has to die, at some point.

If someone gets to 70, they’ve already had a good shake of the stick. King David himself tells us, (in Psalm 90) that “the length of our days is 70 years, and 80 years if we have strength.” So why is the media trying to persuade us all that having a bunch of old, sick people pass away to the world to come is such a big disaster?

Do they think old, sick people really enjoy carting colostomy bags around the nursing home so very much, while they’re waiting for their relative to come visit them for that one half an hour a week, that they want to carry on living like that indefinitely?

The mind boggles.

In the meantime, here’s some interesting things that I’ve been learning about this COVID-19 epidemic, that should give all of us pause for thought, about what’s really going on here.

As mentioned above, there’s a growing consensus that COVID-19 it didn’t originate in China, and has been circulating around Israel, Europe and the USA for months already, albeit just unidentified as ‘COVID-19’.

This information has some potentially massive consequences for you and me.

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First, let’s set out some facts:

  • In 2019 Billam Gates appeared in a Netflix video as part of the “Explained” series to explore an ‘imaginary’ scenario where a deadly virus erupts from a wet market in China, and then spreads globally, resulting in a disastrous pandemic.
  • In October 2019, the Gates Foundation, the World Economic Forum and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security were back playing at ‘imaginary’ scenarios, this time imagining that a pig farm in Brazil initiated another global pandemic, referred to as Event 201.

Here’s how the Event 201 website explained how that ‘imaginary’ scenario comes about:

“outbreak of a novel zoonotic coronavirus transmitted from bats to pigs to people that eventually becomes efficiently transmissible from person to person, leading to a severe pandemic. The pathogen and the disease it causes are modeled largely on SARS, but it is more transmissible in the community setting by people with mild symptoms.”

18 months later, Bill Gates ‘imagines’ 65 million people dead, and the Event 201 website explains:

“The pandemic is beginning to slow due to the decreasing number of susceptible people. The pandemic will continue at some rate until there is an effective vaccine or until 80-90 % of the global population has been exposed.”

Who knew, that Bill Gates – like Bilaam the rasha before him – apparently has a highly-developed prophetic ability?

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But we’re not done with all the ‘coincidences’ yet.

  • Some of the other people who were ‘imagining’ zoonotic pandemics back in October 2019 along with Bill Gates include:
    • Professor George Fu Gao, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention since 2017 – who strangely, in March 2019 publically predicted that China would never again have another ‘SARS-type’ outbreak.
    • Rear Admiral Stephen C. Redd, Director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – who was the ‘incident commander’ for the 2009 H1N1 pandemic response, when: “Dr. Redd ensured that 81 million people in the United States were vaccinated against H1N1.”
    • Adrian Thomas, the Vice President of Johnson & Johnson, and person responsible for overseeing Johnson & Johnson’s ‘pandemic preparedness’, which includes developing vaccines for HIV, Ebola and Dengue Fever.

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HOW IS THIS FOR A MASSIVE COINCIDENCE??

Just yesterday, as I was pulling this article together, Johnson & Johnson announced that they will be ready to start trials of their COVID-19 vaccine in September 2020!

How marvelously fortuitous that Johnson & Johnson somehow knew enough about how this current Coronavirus pandemic would pan out, to hit the ground running (despite having so many people in lockdown!) and get a trial vaccine ready in record time.

Also, how marvelous that this vaccine is being allowed to ‘skip’ all the otherwise mandatory other stages of testing to go straight to human guinea pig stage, because of all the hysteria around COVID-19.

Now we’ve got that massive ‘coincidence’ out the way, let’s continue.

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  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given around $14 million of funding to a biotech company located in Cambridge, Massachusetts called Moderna Inc., to develop a vaccine against COVID-19. That Coronavirus vaccine, called ‘mRNA-1273’, is using totally untried and untested new gene editing technology, yet amazingly this cutting-edge vaccine was also ready in a matter of weeks and has already been sent to the USA’s National Institute of Health (NIH) to be tested on human beings, totally skipping the ‘being tested on mice’ stage that all new medications are supposed to go through.
  • The Gates Foundation, and its client organisations like the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) are also the main financial backers of the World Health Organisation, the WHO. CEPI just called for $2 billion to be donated to push a COVID vaccine through in super-quick time.
  • In Israel, one of the key government spokesmen pushing for a total and complete lockdown is a guy called Professor Itamar Grotto. Professor Grotto won a tender (whatever that means….) back in 2016 to become the new Health Ministry Deputy Director General. Professor Grotto is big believer in vaccines – back in 2014 he co-authored a paper saying that young children should be vaccinated against the flu to create ‘herd immunity’ against a flu pandemic – and he was also elected to the Executive Board of the World Health Organization in May 2018 – only the second Israeli to ever have been given that honor.

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Three weeks ago, Professor Grotto was popping up everywhere, loudly demanding that we all go into full lockdown immediately for months, a la Wuhan, where people in hazmat suits would be dumping our matzah on the road outside our homes, before running away (and shooting anyone who stayed outside for too long).

Poor Professor Grotto. How unfortunate that the WHO’s initial (and very scary…) predictions for the elevated death rate from COVID-19 were recently shown to be totally unfounded.

Even though the media is trying to whip up a frenzy about the people who are dying, the facts are that VERY FEW PEOPLE ARE DYING, and most of them are really old, and / or really ill, with some minor exceptions that are used to make headlines all over the world and whip up more panic.

According to THIS ARTICLE which quotes a doctor in the US, there aren’t even any specific tests for COVID-19, just generalized ‘Coronavirus’ tests:

“Here’s the problem: we are testing people for any strain of a Coronavirus, not specifically for COVID-19. There are no reliable tests for a specific COVID-19 virus. There are no reliable agencies or media outlets for reporting numbers of actual COVID-19 virus cases. This needs to be addressed first and foremost. Every action and reaction to COVID-19 is based on totally flawed data and we simply can not make accurate assessments.”

But that’s not stopping governments all over the world from making very harmful decisions for the long-term mental and economic health of their citizens, all based on flawed data and WHO propaganda.

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Just to get this into proper perspective, let’s take a look at what John Lee, MD, a recently retired professor of pathology and a former NHS consultant pathologist, wrote in The Spectator a couple of days ago:

“The simplest way to judge whether we have an exceptionally lethal disease is to look at the death rates. Are more people dying than we would expect to die anyway in a given week or month?

Statistically, we would expect about 51,000 to die in Britain this month. At the time of writing, 422 deaths are linked to Covid-19 — so 0.8 per cent of that expected total.

On a global basis, we’d expect 14 million to die over the first three months of the year. The world’s 18,944 coronavirus deaths represent 0.14 per cent of that total.

These figures might shoot up but they are, right now, lower than other infectious diseases that we live with (such as flu). Not figures that would, in and of themselves, cause drastic global reactions.”

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Now, let’s turn to some more interesting ‘coincidences’.

  • Fort Detrick is an American bio-weapons lab ostensibly run by the US military, but in effect run by the CIA and the state-within-a-state that was responsible for such horrors as the MK Ultra Project, that I wrote about HERE.
  • On August 5, 2019, the CDC forced Fort Detrick to shut its operations with immediate effect, because of safety lapses that saw *something* unpleasant escape. What the *something* may have been, we don’t know, but Fort Detrick was at the forefront of researching how to weaponise illnesses and viruses, and how to use animals and insects as ‘vectors’ to spread these illnesses to a particular population. This is known as ‘biological warfare’, and is meant to be illegal and an international war crime.
  • Between October 18-27, 2019, the Military World Games was held in Wuhan, Hubei, China. The American military was in attendance.

This from Wikipedia:

“After the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreakconspiracy theories about COVID-19 being the CIA’s creation to keep China down were all over the Chinese internet,[27] according to The Economist. Some articles on popular sites in Chinese have accused American athletes participating in the Wuhan Military World Games to have deployed the virus.

They claim the inattentive attitude and disproportionately below average results of American athletes in the game indicate they might have been in for other purposes and they might actually be bio-warfare operatives, and that their place of residence during their stay in Wuhan was also close to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, where the first known cluster of cases occurred.[28][29]

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  • Researchers in China, Taiwan and Japan all independently concluded that the COVID-19 virus did not originate in China, and possibly originated in the USA.
  • In February 2020, the Japanese Asahi News network, claimed that COVID-19 originated in the USA. They also stated that a large percentage of the 14,000 Americans who apparently died from the flu in 2019-20 may actually have died from COVID-19, instead.
  • On February 27, 2020, Taiwan TV published the research of a well-known virologist and pharmacologist that showed that the USA has all 5 known strains (or haplotypes) of the COVID-19 virus. The strains of COVID-19 rampaging through Italy and Iran are different from the strain that infected China, and therefore cannot have come from China, as the main source of infection.
  • That same virologist stated that the US had already had 200+ deaths in the last few months attributed to ‘unexplained’ pulmonary fibrosis, where the patient couldn’t breathe and basically suffocated to death. This is the classic way COVID-19 kills people – but of course, the USA hasn’t been testing anyone for COVID-19 until very, very recently.
  • The most virulent strain of COVID-19 is in Iran, followed by Italy, then China.
  • The strain of COVID-19 in Israel appears to be extremely mild, which is why only 17 people, mostly geriatrics with many pre-existing health issues, have died from it, even though Israel has already been in some form of lockdown for more than 3 weeks, already.

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Let’s dive into the last batch of ‘interesting coincidences’ I want to share with you here now, before we get into the spiritual response to all this, and what is really being expected of us, as believing Jews and righteous gentiles.

Yesterday night, I decided to research Moshe Bar Siman-Tov, or ‘BARSI’ the controversial head of the Health Ministry who is the first non-doctor to hold the job, and who is actually an economist, not a medical professional.

BARSI has been another one who has been aggressively pushing for full lockdown right from the start, with precious little science or real information to back up that approach.

In 2002-3, Siman-Tov was granted a fellowship from the Milken Innovation Center.

I went to look up what this Milken Innovation Center actually is, and found out it’s connected to the Milken Institute being run by the notorious Michael Milken, of junk bond villainy fame, and his brother Lowell Milken.

That’s not all.

The Milken Institute is clearly just loving this whole COVID-19 pandemic thing, and they have a whole long message from Michael on their front page about it, plus the whole site seems to have been swiftly redesigned – across many different pages – to be all about COVID-19.

I don’t know about you, but I find all this strange.

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Here’s the beginning of Michael Milken’s statement, on the site:

Statement from Milken Institute Chairman Michael Milken

All of us at Milken Institute are working closely with leaders in industry, government, and medical research organizations to:

  • mitigate the spread of COVID-19;

  • expedite the discovery and rollout of tests/treatments/cures and;

  • consult with economic and policy leaders to provide information and expertise that can help companies and their employees weather the current conditions.

And here’s where you can see the Milken Institute’s ‘COVID-19’ Vaccine Tracker:

https://milkeninstitute.org/sites/default/files/2020-03/Covid19%20Tracker%20NEW3-30-20.pdf

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AGAIN, ISN’T ALL THIS AN AMAZING COINCIDENCE?

That a guy who had a fellowship with the MilkenInnovationCentre, an organization totally dedicated to pushing vaccines, and developing experimental treatments, and with an expressed interest in turning medical databases into ‘research and data goldfields’ that can be ‘mined’ for profit, should be the same guy who is so aggressively pushing the whole country into lockdown, and demanding mass-swabbing of every single citizen in Israel?

(Another strange coincidence I noticed is that the MyHeritage site donated 66,000 swabs to the State of Israel last week. Those are the same swabs that MyHeritage uses to track your DNA and deconstruct your own personal genome. And for Freemason watchers, notice how many times the numbers ’66’ and ’33’ seem to pop up… it’s kind of creepy.)

And another strange coincidence is that Siman-Tov gave a talk on April 1st, 2019, on how data from Israel’s health records is a ‘goldmine’, for R+D and drug development companies.

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Here’s a pertinent excerpt from that article:

Last year, Israel’s cabinet approved a 1 billion shekel ($276 million) investment in digital health, focusing primarily on commercializing and otherwise deriving value from the country’s medical databanks.

Here’s some of what Siman-Tov had to say then, about this ‘goldmine’ of medical data:

“We found out a few years ago, about five years ago, that we actually have a gold mine,” Siman-Tov said in a media briefing. “All this data that is longitudinal, integrated, diverse. We are just 9 million people, but the population of Israel came from 150 countries so we are genetically diverse. …

“We decided that we need to maintain this advantage and make health organizations be aware of the gold mine that they have, because until a few years ago the health organizations were busy with supplying the services that they needed to supply, and they were not open to innovation or collaboration with the industry at all.” (emphasis mine)

And, from that same article, here’s what Bibi Netanyahu had to say about how he was trying to cash in on all of our private medical data being collected in Israel, to sell if off to big Pharma:

“This is a focused databank of the health records of almost each and every one of us over the last two decades,” he said at the time. “This is a great asset and we want to make it available to researchers, developers and companies in order to receive two things: Preventive medicine and personal medicine, personally calibrated for each person.

“Of course, this depends on the agreement of each person — this right is maintained absolutely. We are achieving a breakthrough here on a global level. The interest of global companies is very great. I have already met with many of them. They all want to come here, and rightly so. They see this as a new direction.” (emphasis mine)

DO YOU BELIEVE IN COINCIDENCES?

What do you think is going to happen to all that data that the Health Ministry will have, after it’s mandatorily swabbed all 9 million of us, in the name of tracking down ‘COVID-19’ antibodies?

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This is turning into one of those very long articles again, but I just want to bring all the different strands together, both derech hateva and spiritually, into one place, so going forward more of us have a better understanding of what is really going on, here.

So now, let’s include the more spiritual side of things.

On February 6, 2020, Rabbi Eliezer Berland said:

“THERE’S A TERRIBLE DECREE OF WORLD DESTRUCTION BY THE CORONAVIRUS.”

He then wrote his prayer to be saved from the Coronavirus, and asked for it to be translated and spread around in as many languages as possible. It got translated into 38 languages, and you can see the prayer HERE.

Then on February 9, 2020, Rabbi Berland was arrested and imprisoned by the corrupt Israeli police. I can’t even write that they fabricated charges against him, because the truth is that even today there is absolutely no case against him, and nothing they can really charge him with.

Then, on February 21, 2020, kabbalist Rabbi Menashe Amon recorded a shiur where he said:

“What happens [when people start talking against Rav Berland?] Machalat Corona (the Coronavirus). Dear Jews, there is a very hard gezeira (decree), and chas v’shalom that it should not befall Am Yisrael. The Talmud says “Anyone who disgraces a talmid chacham – receives a disease of which there is no cure.”

The Coronavirus then exploded into the headlines in Israel on that same date, February 21, 2020. This is from Wikipedia:

The first case of the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic in Israel was confirmed on 21 February 2020, after a female citizen tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 at the Sheba Medical Center after return from quarantine on the Diamond Princess ship in Japan.

====

Since then, almost every day Bibi and his coterie of advisors from the Orwellian ‘Ministry of Health’ have been doing their best to panic the Israeli public with more unjustified hysteria about Coronavirus, and to also paint the frum community as the place with the highest rates of infection.

It’s hard to keep track of all the anti-semitic, and totally unscientific and unprovable headlines that have been continually pumped out in the press.

Like for example, stories saying that yeshivas and synagogues are the places most to blame for ‘spreading’ the virus. There is absolutely no way they could know this, unless they were testing far more of the population and had a much better idea of who has COVID-19, and who doesn’t.

Or to put it another way – this is totally fake news.

And stories saying that frum cities like Bnei Brak have the highest prevalence of COVID-19 infections, which is why Bibi is reportedly looking at quarantining Chareidi cities, as the next step in the Israeli government’s war against the Torah world.

Let’s just take a closer look at the stats, shall we, courtesy of Yeshiva World News, to see what we’re really talking about, here.

====

Bnei Brak has a population of 260,000 people, including a very high percentage of young people and children. The number of confirmed COVID cases there is 267. Let’s do the maths: That comes to 0.001% – or a tenth of 1% of the population.

Remember that COVID-19 has been circulating freely in Israel for at least 3-4 months already, so most people have already been exposed to it.

Also remember, that mostly only geriatrics and people with existing health issues are badly affected by it.

Does it really sound like there is a genuine need to ‘quarantine’ Bnei Brak, based on a tenth of one percent of the community being diagnosed with it?

Or, does it sound like something very strange is going on here, that is totally unrelated to the reality on the ground?

Even Jerusalem, the ‘hardest hit’ of all cities in Israel has just 352 confirmed cases of COVID-19, out of a population of 874,186 people. Again, let’s do the maths, shall we?

352 % 874,186 = an infection rate of 0.0004 – or less than a twentieth of 1% of the population of Jerusalem.

====

The more people they test, the more people they will find have COVID-19.

And this shouldn’t surprise or shock anyone, because as we said, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that this virus has been circulating in Israel – and everywhere else in the world – for AT LEAST 3-4 months.

The real statistics to keep in mind are the amount of deaths we’re dealing with here in Israel, and as of writing (March 31, 2020) – it’s 17 people, 14 of which were over 65, and most of whom appear to be over 90.

====

A few days ago, Rabbi Aharon Stern, son of the kabbalist Rabbi Dovid Chaim Stern in Bnei Brak, explained that:

“Hashem is angry….

Rav Berland is stuck in prison, and Am Yisrael is stuck with this Coronavirus.

We need to go out, and to cry out, until they free Rabbi Berland from the prison. If you have any brains in your head, if anyone wants to really save this [Jewish] people….

Perhaps, it was decreed that the Coronavirus was meant to be in the rest of the world, but in Eretz Yisrael, there was not supposed to be any Coronavirus.

EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING ONLY BECAUSE RABBI BERLAND IS LANGUISHING IN PRISON.”

====

If not for all the terrible persecution, imprisonment and slander of Rabbi Berland going on, he’s effectively telling us that Israel shouldn’t even have had a single person die from Coronavirus.

Which brings me on to the next part of this post, and that’s what is happening in Jewish communities outside of Israel, because as more information starts to filter in, it’s looking more and more that Coronavirus is having a much greater impact on Jewish communities abroad, than on the non-Jewish communities.

====

In the UK, the rate of fatalities from COVID-19 is 10 times greater for the Jewish community, than the non-Jewish community.

In the US, I haven’t been able to find explicit statistics, but you can see from the reporting that the COVID-19 outbreak is focused-in on the most populous frum American Jewish communities, including Brooklyn, Crown Heights, Williamsburg, Monsey, Lakewood, Five Town and Los Angeles, amongst others.

I spoke to my brother who lives in Staten Island, and he was telling me a lot of anecdotal stories of many Jews, predominantly still older Jews, dying in and around the New York / New Jersey area, plus Los Angeles.

Everywhere you look in chul, Jewish communities – and especially orthodox Jewish communities, and especially orthodox Rabbis – are being hit way harder by Coronavirus, proportionately to their numbers, than the non-Jewish communities.

So, what can we learn from all of this?

Let’s try to pull it all together.

====

The first thing to remember – and this is something that I spent an hour reminding myself of again this morning, during my hitbodedut  – is that God is running the world, and that whatever else is going on here, God is 100% behind the Coronavirus outbreak.

Beyond that, we have kabbalists and rabbis telling us that the persecution and imprisonment of Rabbi Berland is why we have Coronavirus in Israel, and that the Coronavirus will disappear ONCE RABBI BERLAND IS FREED.

Then, we have Rabbi Berland’s own messages about what’s going on, including his most recent one that this week is going to be rough, but that everything will turn around by Leil Seder.

If that sounds fantastic, we have to remember that:

  • Most of us have already been exposed to COVID-19, so the spike in infection rates and the number of fatalities will be way, way less than the ‘experts’ – especially those ‘experts’ associated with the WHO – have been predicting.
  • The fatality rates in Israel are frankly a joke – more people die every year from toenail fungus. 17 fatalities % 9,000,000 citizens of Israel = 0.0000019. It’s so small, I don’t even know how to express that as a percentage.
  • In a normal year, 14 million people usually die across the world in the three months from January-March, even when there is no Coronavirus hysteria. Bear that in mind, when looking at the statistics for fatalities being attributed to COVID-19.
  • Even in chul, nearly all the victims of COVID-19 are geriatrics. [1]And even in chul, the death rate is still no greater than an average severe flu season.
  • Jewish communities in chul are losing disproportionately greater numbers of people to COVID-19 than the non-Jewish communities.

Now that we know that COVID-19 is coming because people are speaking against Rabbi Berland and giving their stamp of approval to the persecution of him, his Shuvu Banim community, and the wider frum world – all of this starts to come into much sharper focus, doesn’t it?

====

Let’s try to sum up the main points.

  • COVID-19 didn’t originate in China, and has been circulating all over the world for at least 4-5 months already.
  • Israel only has Coronavirus because of the persecution and imprisonment of Rabbi Berland. When he’s freed from prison, the Coronavirus outbreak will stop.
  • The Israeli government appears to be deliberately using fear tactics about Coronavirus to:
    • a) wreck the economy
    • b) wreck Pesach and
    • c) impose mandatory ‘swabbing’ on all of us, so they can cash in on their medical information database in cahoots with big Pharma, and
    • d) go to war against the frum community, including outlawing even the most basic mitzvah observance.
  • The media is complicit in presenting a very false picture of the true scope and danger involved with COVID-19 fatalities – at least, in Israel.

Ad kan, with all the interesting ‘coincidences’.

====

There are new ‘coincidences’ popping up all the time, and I’ll be sure to try to keep an eye out for any more information that could help fill out the picture of what is really going on here.

But one thing seems to be obvious:

COVID-19 didn’t originate in China, and has been circulating in Israel, the US, and many other countries in the world for many long months, already.

One of the things that means is that most of us have already been exposed to it on innumerable occasions, and that many of us have probably already had it this winter.

Which means that instead of the disease suddenly whooshing up into a massive and massively fatal spike, God forbid, the way Bibi and all his little WHO / big Pharma buddies are claiming, it could actually be on the way out, as more and more people develop natural immunity to it because they already had it, even months ago.

Time will tell, but China is already reporting no new domestic cases of COVID-19 this week, which means they effectively beat the disease in around 4 months.

But in the meantime, please do go ahead and keep all the rules that Bibi and the Health Ministry and imposing on everyone, to totally destroy the economy and totally take control over everyone’s life.

Because it’s totally inconceivable that our governments could be lying to us about what is really going on here.

[Sarcasm off].

====

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Even in Italy, statistics show that 99% of the fatalities occurred to people over 60, and that 99% of fatalities occurred to people who had a pre-existing health condition.

Also, take a look at this article from the former Director General of the Ministry of Health Professor Yoram Lass, who was elbowed aside for Moshe Bar Siman-Tov, and who is now being treated as a social leper because he’s daring to challenge Grotto and Bar Siman-Tov’s narrative:

https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-lockdown-lunacy-1001322696

Here’s a few quotes from that:

Do you think you are being excluded because you presented an unpopular position?

“I can tell you that several days ago I heard with my own ears, after I was interviewed on the radio by Nissim Mishal, the deputy director of the Ministry of Health Prof. Itamar Grotto tell Mishal that I shouldn’t be brought into studios. And last Friday, I was invited to the studio by Ayala Hasson.

Some three days beforehand, they called me and ask not to go anywhere else, and then the day before they cancelled. And who did they replace me with on the program? The futurist David Passig, who told the people of Israel that in the best case scenario 40 million people would die, and in the worst case scenario 300 million people would die.

That shows you how the media is only trumpeting hysteria. Because it was clear that if I was sitting next to him, I would only have told an amazed Israeli people that every year 17,000 Italians die of flu while in Israel only 126 dies of flu last year….

….the medical price of what is happening now resembles price paid for the seasonal flu virus that we have every fall. In the State of Israel, 126 people die, in the US 40,000 people, in Italy 17,000 [from regular flu every year] and that’s the price we are prepared to pay to live normal lives.”

The question remains, WHO is benefitting from whipping up all this pointless hysteria, wrecking the economy and putting 2 billion into lockdown?

When we know the answer to that, I suspect we’ll know a lot more than we do now.

====

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For the last few years, I’ve kind of being playing softball with a lot of the bloggers, ‘rabbis’ and commentators out there.

But after I read the latest message from Rabbi Aharon Stern, son of the famous kabbalist Rabbi Dovid Chaim Stern, and a mekubal in his own right, I realise that it’s time to take the gloves off, here on the blog.

First, please go and read what he has to say, in full, for yourself here:

If you’re short on time, here’s the takeaway points:

====

“Chazal tell us that there are things that the judgment is ‘signed’ because of them. When they came and took Rav Berland, and put him in jail – this was the cry that ascended to the Heavens.

All of this big commotion is happening because this Tzaddik (Rabbi Eliezer Berland, shlita) is languishing in prison – in ‘bidud’ (isolation).

Hashem is angry….

Rav Berland is stuck in prison, and Am Yisrael is stuck with this Coronavirus.

We need to go out, and to cry out, until they free Rabbi Berland from the prison. If you have any brains in your head, if anyone wants to really save this [Jewish] people….

Perhaps, it was decreed that the Coronavirus was meant to be in the rest of the world, but in Eretz Yisrael, there was not supposed to be any Coronavirus.

EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING ONLY BECAUSE RABBI BERLAND IS LANGUISHING IN PRISON.”

====

Rav Stern continued:

“We need to cry out to Hashem, and then maybe he will take away from us this terrible gezeira. But we also need to act! We need action!

If we don’t get Rabbi Berland out of prison, then Am Yisrael will be in a huge problem! Chas v’shalom, this can continue to worsen and spread.

I didn’t want to open my mouth, but this thing depends on us. We can save Am Yisrael, RIGHT NOW.

Even though these words may sound strange, you should know that I am telling you the truth.”

====

Yesterday, I tried to go and pray at the Kotel, for day 23 of my 40 day prayer-a-thon.

I was stopped at the entrance to the plaza by a female guard – who herself was totally disregarding any rules about ‘social distancing’, and doing the usual flirting with the male guards thing until I showed up – which is when she told me to halt in my tracks (Achtung!!!!!)

Where are you from? She asked me aggressively.

I told her Abu Tor.

She repeated that literally four times, until I felt I should reassure her I was a Jew coming to pray at the Kotel, and not an Arab, because maybe that was the problem. Halavai. The real problem was that I was a Jew coming to pray at the Kotel.

A female Border Policewoman then looked over the top of the wall at me, (Raus!!) and started making veiled threats about Abu Tor being more than 100 metres away from the Kotel, and that I was running the risk of getting a 5oo nis fine for walking more than 100 metres from my house.

What happens if the grocery store is more than 100 metres away from my house? I wanted to know.

It’s ok to go out to get things like food, things that you need, she told me.

What if I need to pray? I wanted to know. Because believe me, I really needed to pray at the Kotel yesterday…

You can pray at home, she told me dismissively.

I so wanted to punch her in the face.

Thankfully, I’ve had a lot of practise now at squashing my more unhelpful Moroccan tendencies, so I spat out a ‘todah’ that was as sarcastic as I could make it, and turned around.

====

As soon as I was out of sight of the Wailing Wall’s Wehrmacht, I burst into tears.

Come on, Hashem, I can’t believe this! I’m being barred from praying at the Kotel by ‘Jews’!!! How much longer are You just going to let all the evil rule the world, and to continue to crush everyone’s soul into the floor, Hashem?!

To say I was gutted is a total understatement.

They’ve shut down all the shuls, all the yeshivas, all the kollels, all the men’s mikvas.

In the chareidi world, there are THANK GOD still large pockets of resistance, and a great many people who really do believe in Hashem, and have the emuna that keeping mitzvot is important regardless of what heretics think about Coronavirus.

More and more of those people are starting to wake up and to protest the terrible evil that’s going on here, and they aren’t just taking all these anti-Torah, anti-Semitic decrees mildly, like lambs to the slaughter. (Where have I heard that phrase somewhere before?)

But in the so-called modern orthodox world, the ‘dati leumi’ world, even the anglo-Chareidi world? The picture is very different.

====

Yesterday, I was talking to a friend who would self define as ‘dati leumi’, and she was telling me how she’s very scared the government is about to close down the women’s mikvahs. The conversation then lead on to how little protest against all these anti-semitic, anti-Torah decrees is coming out from the dati leumi camp in Israel – who are still more obsessed with politics than with Hashem and His Torah – and I ended up blurting this out:

All this Coronavirus stuff is really showing me who has real emuna and yirat shemayim and who doesn’t, and I have to tell you I’m seeing very little emuna and fear of Heaven in the dati leumi camp.

There. The elephant in the room had finally been mentioned.

And now it’s been publically identified, let it rampage around for the next few paragraphs.

====

For years and years, I’ve been writing about what a huge Tzaddik Rabbi Berland is.

I wrote two meticulously researched books that set out first his history, background and Torah pedigree – based on thousands of hours of taped interviews with some of the world’s biggest Tzaddikim – and then the whole, corrupt ‘trial’ that saw him go to prison in 2017 for crimes he never committed.

Let’s be generous and say that back then, so few people had heard of him before the media in Israel started slandering his name and muddying the waters with outright lies and fake videos, it’s understandable that they could have been fooled into thinking the worst.

But that wasn’t the real problem.

The real problem is that so many people out there – even people who consider themselves to be fine, upstanding religious Jews – are actually up to their necks in lashon hara, slander, arrogance, heretical thinking and Facebook.

So when all those juicy Rabbi Berland lies came along, they swallowed it down so very easily, because it came from the same sewer-source they were already happily swimming in 24/7.

====

Fast forward three years, and back in October 2019, it all started happening all over again.

More obviously fake stories by Channel 13,  more obviously politicised smear pieces and hatchet jobs carefully placed throughout the Israeli media, including on pretend-chareidi sites.

Hashem geared it all up again, to give Am Yisrael a second bite at the teshuva cherry, and to show them just how easily they’d been fooled by the same tactics the first time around, so they could understand how they – and so many people together with them – were duped.

Thankfully, many people had their eyes open this time around, so the fake news had far less impact on far fewer people than the forces of evil hoped. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that so many of us are still so emuna-deficient, and still so emunat-tzaddikim compromised, that the fact that the Tzaddik HaDor was sent back to prison on obviously falsified charges didn’t move us at all.

And so, Hashem decided to send a very big test along, that was really going to show us just how much emuna we really have, and just how much yirat shemayim we really have, and just how much true connection to kedusha and real tzaddikim we really have, and He called that test Coronavirus.

====

The last couple of weeks, I have watched alternatively amazed and horrified at the ZERO emuna so many of our so-called rabbis and religious leaders have displayed, particularly in the dati leumi / modern orthodox camp, and particularly in the anglo so-called chareidi camp, especially out of Israel.

As these people have rushed to excuse and justify the closing of talmud Torahs, shuls, mikvahs and now even holy sites like the Kotel and the Tomb of the Patriarchs; and have rushed to pass new ‘rulings’ that make traif kosher – anything to go along with the evil people running the country, and to keep their own status and salaries – they have made it blindingly obvious that their path is not one of real Torah or yirat shemayim.

Really, it’s OK to do ‘Zoom’ at the seder?

Really, it’s OK to hold a ‘minyan’ via smartphone?

Really, it’s OK to tell people to stop going to mikvahs?

REALLY?

====

Over the last few weeks and months, so many leading kabbalists and rabbis in the chareidi world have come out with strong statements linking the spread of Coronavirus specifically with the defamation and disgrace of Rabbi Eliezer Berland, as well as with talking lashon hara and spreading slander, more generally.

Most of the apparently ‘orthodox’ bloggers and commentators and news sites out there have totally ignored these statements, at best, and some have even openly mocked the rabbonim who made them.

When I wrote the Geula P*rn post yesterday, I had these people and sites in mind.

But after reading Rav Stern’s latest statement, and having been turned away from praying at the Kotel yesterday, I feel that veiled statements and shadow-boxing with bad is no longer enough.

So, let’s lay it on the line.

====

What I’ve learned from all this Coronavirus saga, so far, is that the main reason why rabbis, bloggers, writers, papers, commentators haven’t been coming to defend Rabbi Berland is because they actually don’t give a monkeys about God or His Torah, either.

That is now as clear as day.

How can they close the Kotel, and you aren’t protesting? How can they stop synagogues from operating, and you stand there applauding this action on the grounds of health and safety?

These people are totally disconnected from their own souls, and from truth, and from Torah.

And that’s the reason why they are also disconnected from our real Tzaddikim, and ignoring and disparaging huge kabbalists and Tzaddikim, and slandering or ‘pointedly ignoring’ Rabbi Berland.

So really, I have to say thank you, Coronavirus, for finally ripping the masks off so many faces, and showing us all what we’re really dealing with.

====

Four years ago, I wrote a whole bunch of stuff bringing quotes from people like the Milkman, and Rabbi Dovid Chaim Stern, which basically made it clear that Rav Berland is the last test before Moshiach comes, and geula arrives unmistakeably.

So many people failed that test last time around.

But God is giving us all one more chance to be on the right side of the spiritual equation, when the curtain finally comes down.

If you care more about your own social standing, your status, the State of Israel, or petty partisan politics which means you will only broadcast messages from people in your own camp who wear the sort of kippa you approve of, you are probably going to fail the current test involving Rabbi Berland really badly.

You aren’t going to risk writing a blog post pointing out the link between Coronavirus and Rabbi Berland being in jail on false charges.

You aren’t going to protest that synagogues and holy sites and Jewish life is being totally shut down in the Jewish state on the flimsiest of pretexts.

You aren’t going to admit that so many of the leaders and ideas in the dati leumi and anglicised chareidi world are spiritually ‘off’, and disconnected from real Torah and true emuna.

You aren’t going to accept that YOU are playing a huge part in the ongoing spread of the Coronavirus, and the ongoing suffering it’s causing to literally billions of people around the world, because you are choosing to shut your eyes to our true Tzaddikim, and closing your ears to our real rabbis, to continue empowering charlatans who like to churn out more Geula P*rn and mislead the masses about the real reasons things are happening in the world.

And the REAL teshuva we all need to make, to get things to turn around.

If that’s you, I really don’t envy you.

====

But if you want to be in the other camp – the camp that really does care about Hashem, and about Torah, and about mitzvot, and is really trying to make teshuva and to have some real emuna and connection to our real rabbis, it’s so easy to put yourself into it.

Just take a stand, publically, for the Rav, and either share something, or write something, or record something, telling your family and friends that the Coronavirus pandemic is only going to stop when Rav Berland gets out of jail.

Screw up your courage, and have some real emuna and real emunat tzaddikim.

I know it’s scary, but once you try it you’ll feel so liberated from the rule of tyranny that’s clamped down on us all in such a suffocating fashion the last two weeks.

All you have to do is say this:

When Rav Berland is released from prison, the Coronavirus epidemic will end, and Am Yisrael will be saved.

Right now, it’s so very easy to put yourself on the side of good and right.

And also, so very hard.

====

UPDATE:

In the UK, I just found out that 4.5% of the fatalities from Coronavirus are Jews, while Jews make up just 0.3% of the overall population. To put this another way, there are 10 times more deaths occurring from Coronavirus in the UK Jewish community, than in the non-Jewish community.

This is NOT because Jews like to mingle and hug each other. It’s because God is sending this Coronavirus specifically for Jews in the UK to make teshuva. Remember this?

Meanwhile, someone sent me a text message that said this:

TEHILLIM NEEDED:

Brooklyn Rosh Yeshiva Critical

5 Town Rov Critical

Petira of Derech Chaim Rosh Yeshiva, Lakewood

Boro Park Corona victim, HaRav….

Son of [NAME] Rebbe, Corona victim

Posek of Paris, Dayan, Moreh Tzedek… succumbs to Coronavirus

Principal of Beis Chana in Paris passes away

[Name] Rebbe of London niftar

First fatality in Montreal is chassidic Jew

ZAKA France: “A large percentage of victims are from the frum kehilla”

“What’s the chances, statistically, of all these frum rabbis dying in chul?”

====

Also, let’s throw into the mix that so many of the communities in the US being quoted in the press as being at the heart of this epidemic are Young Israel, aka modern orthodox. And so many more of the communities coming into sharp focus because of the pandemic are also often very vocally ‘anti’ Breslov.

Do you believe in coincidences?

Because I don’t.

God is trying to get our attention, and cancelling our mitzvot observance to kowtow to secular diktats about what’s really causing this pandemic is not going to solve the problem. It’s only going to make it worse.

====

UPDATE #2:

I’ve been having an email exchange with someone who keeps telling me that all these people who are passing away are ‘tzaddikim’. Maybe that’s true, maybe it isn’t. But what I can definitely say is that just the mere fact of passing away from COVID-19 doesn’t make someone a ‘tzaddik’ – and that word is being applied way too liberally these days.

There is a real tzaddik who is currently still sitting in prison. I know he’s a tzaddik, because lots of other bona fide tzaddikim tell me that he’s a tzaddik, and they even hint that he’s the Tzaddik HaDor, and that he’s even the head of the Lamed Vavnikim, and that he’s even the most holy and kadosh person who is currently alive in the world.

So, because of what these holy rabbis are saying, I believe that Rabbi Eliezer Berland really IS a tzaddik, and that all this suffering is going on because we aren’t recognising who he really is, and also because we’ve been slandering him and believing and even sharing all the horrible lies about him.

But when I read headlines like this:

44 Rabbis in Diaspora have passed away from Coronavirus

And, when I read headlines like this:

Anti-Semitism on the rise, Jews blamed for coronavirus

And then, when I go and start researching, and I quickly discover that so many things are going on behind closed doors involving money laundering, benefit fraud, “slum landlords”, dodgy property deals, and illegal and immoral business practices – and a million other bits of information that suggest that greed, bad middot and hypocrisy are the name of the game in so many places around the world….

Then, I find it hard to believe that everyone who is being impacted from Coronavirus is a tzaddik.

====

Rav Berland told us clearly, that this is about the mitzvot bein adam l’havero.

There are so many bad middot washing around our communities, even the most apparently ‘frum’ communities, that’s it’s hard to know even where to begin. Giving tzedeka – even a lot of tzedeka – doesn’t make someone a tzaddik, especially if they are earning their money in a traif, immoral way and hurting a lot of people and destroying the world, in the process.

We all have so very much teshuva we need to make.

And until we start making that teshuva  – in particular, about our own behavior and actions concerning the Tzaddik HaDor Rav Berland – and start being honest about our own bad middot, and acknowledging that we really aren’t the tzaddikim we like to pretend to ourselves that we are – Coronavirus hysteria and the ridiculous lockdown will continue.

And surely, nobody wants that?

====

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I’ve been reading up on the history of Shabtai Tzvi and Jacob Frank who were false messiahs from 350 and 250 years ago, respectively.

In the process, I uncovered a great many new facts that I didn’t know before, and also some questions that continue to beg answers, even in our times. So without any further ado, let’s dive into the world of these false messiahs, who continued to shape the Jewish community in so many ways, long after their deaths.

====

The story begins in Izmir, Turkey, when the Turkish Jew Shabtai Tzvi (1626-1676) (who I’ll call SHATZ for short) announces he’s the long-awaited messiah of the Jewish people. Initially, many Jews – including a great many learned rabbis – believe his claims.

But SHATZ has been dabbling in the Kabbalah and the occult, and he quickly develops a theology of going against the Torah of Moses, and deliberately doing the opposite of any given commandment. His reasoning is that now that the Moshiach has come, ‘evil’ has returned to its root in good, and there is no such thing as ‘bad’ anymore.

To prove this, he and his followers start creating new ‘Jewish festivals’, based on their own experiences and the ‘miraculous events’ occurring within their community, and abolish traditional fasts, particularly Tisha B’Av.

The Sabbateans also publically reject the Talmud, i.e. the Oral Law, and heap scorn on the heads of the rabbis who wrote it, claiming they distorted original Judaism.

It’s important to note that this is the same claim the xtians make against Judaism. They also reject what they term ‘rabbinic Judaism’, but rabbinic Judaism is the Oral Law, and it’s an integral part of Judaism that was also given to Moshe Rabbenu alongside the Written Torah at Sinai.

====

In the best ‘National Enquirer’ tradition, SHATZ star really takes off after the rabbis expel him from Salonika for ‘marrying’ a Torah.

That’s when he moves to Jerusalem and acquires his own prophet by the name of Nathan of Gaza. Nathan of Gaza proclaims that SHATZ is the Moshiach in 1665, and by October of that year, the news already hit the European Jewish communities

The Chmielnicki Uprising (1648-1657) had killed a third of Europe’s Jews at this point, they were desperate for salvation. Also, the xtians believed that the End of Days was going to begin in 1665 – and that’s why the English decided to let the Jews return to the UK in 1655, because they figured it wouldn’t be long before they’d return to Israel, in any case.

====

 This Nathan is an extremely convincing spokesman, and quickly hits on the idea of smearing anyone who denies the ‘moshiach-ness’ of SHATZ as being from the ‘Erev Rav’.

In the meantime, stories start to abound within the Jewish community (but are often quickly suppressed) that the SHATZ and his very large group of followers are engaging in shockingly illicit activities, including wife swapping, incest, deliberately eating pork and public orgies (to name but a few).

Very few rabbis seem to be prepared to publically call the SHATZ out on all the immorality and licentiousness surrounding him, although Rabbi Jacob Sasportas (1610-1698) and the Chacham Tzvi take the lead in opposing him. Rabbi Sasportas becomes the sworn enemy of the Sabbateans, and states that they are Erev Rav. But few people take this seriously, until SHATZ converts to Islam on September 15, 1666 on pain of death.

====

At that stage, his followers split into three main groups:

Group 1: Well-meaning Jews who were duped into believing that SHATZ is the Moshiach between 1665 and his conversion in September in 1666. Large numbers of this group make teshuva after Shabtai becomes an apostate, and return to the Jewish fold.

Group 2: Crypto-Sabbateans – who maintain a pious Jewish exterior, but who engage in all sorts of licentious behavior behind closed doors, and continue to believe that SHATZ actually is the Moshiach.

Group 3: Hard-core Sabbateans, many of whom also sham convert to Islam, but whose real religion continues to be Sabbateanism. The infamous ‘Donmeh[1]’ of Turkey belong to this last group. Many of these Jews schism off and out of the Jewish community, at this point.

But not all of them, especially in Podalia and Eastern Europe.

====

SHATZ dies in 1676 – but that doesn’t faze his followers, or derail the ‘SHATZ is Moshiach’ propaganda machine.

In order to keep the show on the road, his leading followers come up with the idea that Shabtai Tzvi’s soul will conveniently ‘reincarnate’ in one of his followers 49 days after his death.

That person becomes the new leader, and the messianic fervor that’s powering the Sabbatean’s activities continue to churn, and bring in new adherents, power and funds. The Sabbatians teach that the the original Shabtai Tzvi will come back from the dead, as part of techias hameitim, and take over where he left off.

The Sabbatean community continues to emphasize kabbalah over normative halacha, but have a status within the Jewish community similar to the Karaites – i.e. both the xtians and the Jews of that time still consider them to be Jewish, at least technically, but a sect, not normative Judaism.

Xtians eye these developments with great interest. The Karaite community in Amsterdam at this time is being financially supported by the Protestants there, who want to undermine ‘Rabbinic Judaism’ by presenting the Karaites as being more authentic, and more akin to the original Jews.

====

So, for the next 100 years or so, the Sabbatean community continues.

It is more ‘openly’ Sabbatean in Turkey, and more ‘secretly’ Sabbatean elsewhere, particularly in the 4 lands of Poland, and especially in the Polish province of Podolia, which covers an area consisting of modern-day Ukraine and Moravia.

Podolia borders Turkey, and there is a lot of exchange between the Jews of these areas.

So far, I probably haven’t told you too much you didn’t know before. But hang on, because here where the story ramps up a level.

====

At exactly the same time that the Baal Shem Tov and chassidut appears on the scene in the Ukraine (Podolia), Jacob Frank also shows up. It’s a well-known spiritual principle that every good thing has its ‘bad’ mirror image. God arranges things like this, in order to maintain free choice, and that’s often why things can seem so confusing to us mere mortals.

We see that rabbi with a shtreimel, this rabbi with a beard…. They both appear to be identical, from the outside, yet one is a destructive luminary of fire, and the other is a holy luminary of light. And unless we’re continually asking God to show us the truth, we can very easily find ourselves being tugged after those charismatic – but false – luminaries of fire.

So, at this period of time, from the 1730s on, there are a number of Jewish ‘wonder workers’ stalking all over Europe, some of whom – like the Baal Shem Tov – are holy of holies, and others of whom – like Jacob Frank, and Samuel Falk of London – are actually fakers who are using dark kabbalah for their own ends.

(It’s a side point, but Samuel Falk was one of the leaders of the movement to get more Jews into devil-worshipping Freemasonry, in the name of Jewish ‘emancipation’. He was known as a miracle worker in London, where he acquired the name ‘the Baal-Shem of London’. I was a little shocked to learn that the picture that is usually said to be of the Baal Shem Tov is actually a picture of this guy, instead!)

====

So, Frank is a Polish Jew, probably already from a family of secret Sabbatians, who moves to Turkey and is initiated into Sabbateanism on his wedding night.

All this coincides with the death of Berakhiah, the current leader of the Sabbateans who claims to be a reincarnation of the SHATZ. So Frank spots his opportunity, and claims that he’s the next link in the Sabbatian’s chain of command.

He’s a powerfully charismatic individual with a strong lust for power and celebrity, so many of the existing Sabbatean community in Turkey accept him as their leader. Frank decides to head back to Poland, where many thousands of the crypto-Sabbateans live. These people appear externally to be orthodox Jews, but are secretly doing all sorts of deviant and evil things that are totally against the Torah.

Empowered by Frank, many of these Jews – which includes a large number of rabbis – start to come out of the closet, and to openly challenge ‘Rabbinic Judaism’ by doing things like publically eating on the Fast of Esther.

====

In 1656, the infamous ‘Lanckronie’ affair occurs.

This is when Frank and his followers first come to the attention of the wider Jewish and xtian authorities, for behaving in some very disturbing ways. The matter is investigated, and it’s discovered that the rabbis of Lanckronie, Busk and Krzywcze are all Sabbatians – and starting to act in increasingly brazen ways.

Frank and his followers – which at this point, number anywhere between 1,000 – 15,000 – portray themselves as a separate and ‘more authentic’ stream of Judaism. They start requesting an area of land from the catholic Polish authorities where they can live semi-autonomously.

====

Moving back to Poland is a big deal for Frank.

At that time, the Jews can’t really own land, they can only rent it. After Shabtai Tzvi fails to deliver on returning the Jews to their own homeland in Israel, Frank and his followers decide to give up on Israel, and transfer “Sabbatian messianic hopes connected to the Land of Israel to Poland”[2] instead.

Frank starts giving sermons where he tells his followers:

“Poland was ‘the ground for the ascension’ – the place where the Shechinah would rise out of the earth.”[3]

The Frankists are keen to break the link between ‘redemption’ and getting land for the Jews, and also believe in the final unification of world faiths before ‘the End’.

So, there are two things going on now. First, Frank and his followers want to own their own land, and they are happy to suck up to the xtians and to play their game in order to acquire some status and wealth. But second, there really is a philosophical underpinning for everything they’re doing, based (loosely) on Shabtai Tzvi’s distorted teachings.

====

At this stage, Rabbi Jacob Emden, son of the Chacham Tzvi, heads the growing opposition to the Sabbateans.

In May 1756, following the Lanckronie scandal, the Sabbatians are formally put in cherem, and the study of kabbalah is outlawed for anyone under 40 years of age.

The Rabbis also release a statement that:

“On the basis of the codifiers, we pronounce that it is a positive commandment to kill them [i.e. the Frankists].”

Off the back of this announcement, the Jews subsequently kill 18 Frankists in Podolia and wound another 30.

====

Frank flees back to Turkey – where he secretly converts to Islam and become ‘Ahmed Frank’. But he has a lot of competition in Turkey, where the Donmeh hold sway, so Frank decides to head back to Poland in June 1757.

At that time, he approaches the Polish Church to request they organize a disputation between the Frankists and the formal Jewish community, claiming that ‘Sabbatianism’ is closer to original Judaism because they don’t hold by the Talmud (i.e. the Oral Law).

This is music to the bishops’ ears, especially as Frank and his followers are willing to claim that the Talmud encourages Jews to sacrifice xtians and to use their blood in matzahs, in order to spite the formal Jewish community that’s attacking them.

So, the infamous blood libels were actually begun by apostate Jews who were looking for a way to break rabbinic control over the Jewish community. It’s totally shocking, isn’t it?

====

The confrontation happens on June 20, 1757 in Kaminetz, and amongst the 9 points being argued by Frank we find these:

#6 We believe that God may take upon Himself mortal human flesh… [this was phrased carefully as Frank believed that this applied to Shabtai Tzvi and then himself – but he made it sound at this stage as though he was talking about yoshki]

#7 In accord with Daniel’s prophecy, we believe the city of Jerusalem will not be rebuilt until the end of time.

#8 We believe that the Jews have waited in vain for the messiah to come and to bring them happiness and grant them power over other nations.

====

Unsurprisingly, the catholic Bishop of Kaminetz, Dembowski, states the Frankists have won and decrees that the Talmud should be burnt.

It’s a pyrrhic victory for the Frankists, though, because Bishop Dembowski unexpectedly dies very soon after this. Xtian sources explain that a plague breaks out in Kaminetz, and the Bishop’s ghost is seen walking around by residents.

The xtians decide to dig the Bishop’s body up and behead it – their way of ‘killing’ his ghost – but it doesn’t work. The plague intensifies, and now the Bishop is seen walking around carrying his head under his arm. So now, the xtians dig his body up again, and burn it in the same place where the Talmud was burnt – and the plague and the ghost subsequently disappear.

Fancy that.

====

With their main supporter dead, the Frankists are now in a very vulnerable position.

Up until now, they haven’t wanted to convert to xtianity, but they’ve burnt their boats with Judaism, and the Jewish community no longer considers them to be Jews.

At this point, Rabbi Emden and his supporters, chiefly a man named Baruch Yavan, decide the best way to deal with the Frankists is to bribe the catholic church to pressure them to convert out of Judaism. They expend a lot of money and effort on bribing the Papal Nuncio in the region to make this happen, and it pays off.

A second dispute is held in Lvov (Lemberg) on July 17-19, 1759, where amongst the 7 points being debated, the Frankists claim:

  • All the prophecies about Moshiach have already been fulfilled.

  • Moshiach is G-d, who took human form.

  • So all sacrifices and ceremonies should be abolished now.

  • Everyone should follow Moshiach’s teachings, for ‘salvation lies only within it’.

  • The Talmud encourages the Jews to perform human sacrifices and to shed xtian blood.

====

Long story short, immediately after this dispute in Lvov, Frank and between 1,000-7,000 of his followers convert to xtianity, including the Rabbis of the polish towns of Busk and Gliniany.

To give just one example of the scale of what happened, two thirds of the Jewish community of Busk convert.

To put this in context, only 4 communities in Poland at this time had more than 3,000 Jews, and Lvov – with 7,400 Jews – was the second biggest Jewish community in the country.

This is a totally massive blow to the Jewish community.

Yet, Rabbi Emden and many of his circle, including the Vilna Gaon, celebrate this mass conversion as a ‘miracle from heaven’, as now they don’t have to deal with the Frankists in-house anymore.

====

By contrast, the Baal Shem Tov takes this mass conversion very hard, and dies the following year.

According to Wikipedia:

“After the mass conversion of the Frankists, the Baal Shem Tov allegedly said that as long as a diseased limb is connected with the body, there is hope that it may be saved; but, once amputated, it is gone, and there is no hope.”

Writing in Likutey Moharan, I:207, Rebbe Nachman has this to say about it:

“This was what caused the departing of the Baal Shem Tov, who had said that he would depart on account of the Shabtai Tzvi episode. Several of the leaders of the generation and outstanding scholars had become followers of Shabtai Tzvi, who had fooled them, as well known.

“They left the community and spoke evil against the entirety of the Oral Torah (i.e. the Talmud) because harsh gevurot had come upon them and they did not ameliorate them…Thus, they spoke evil words against the community, and these words befell the leader of the generation, who at that time was the Baal Shem Tov, which is what caused his departing.

“And the Baal Shem Tov is quoted as saying that the Shabtai Tzvi episode caused two holes in his heart, which causes his departing. This is because speaking against the Oral Torah and speaking against the tzaddik of the generation is one and the same thing.”

====

Let’s sum up the rest of Frank’s story as briefly as we can, as it’s actually not what I want to focus on.

Frank is imprisoned by the Catholic church in 1760 when they realise he’s still claiming to be the messiah to his own followers. In 1767, Frank approaches the Russians and offers to become Greek Orthodox, together with his thousands of followers.

(By way of context, the massacre of Jewish martyrs in Uman that caused Rebbe Nachman to request to be buried there happens in 1768. Given all the voluntary conversion to xtianity that was going all around them in the Jewish community, we can see that the Jewish martyrs behavior was even more exemplary than perhaps we realized.)

====

When Russia conquers Poland in 1772, they free Frank, who goes to Moravia, which is part of the Hapsburg Empire.

There, he becomes a celebrity, and hobnobs with monarchs, all on the promise of being able to deliver up thousands of Jews for conversion. For example, just two months after Frank arrives there, another 8 families convert in Prozznitz – including the rabbi!

Frank also becomes involved with Freemasonry, and his followers are instrumental in trying to set up Freemason lodges called the ‘Order of Asiatic Brethren’ that will welcome both xtians and Jews. According to Jacob Calmonson, a leading maskil at this time,

“Jewish efforts to secure emancipation ran parallel with the history of their relations with freemasons.”

But the non-Jewish Freemasons complain, and after 1785, there is a massive clampdown on the number of Jews who can join Freemason lodges within the Hapsburg Empire. That’s when the Frankists branch out into the so-called ‘Illuminati’ Lodges.

====

A year later, in 1786, Frank falls out with Emperor Joseph II and leaves for Frankfurt Am Main.

He meets Prince Wolfgang Ernst II, thanks to his Freemason connections, and the Prussian Monarch gives him a castle in Offenbach to live in, together with his children and followers.

At this stage, the Frankists and the Freemasons are both starting to be spoken of as a ‘State within a State’ and as types of international spy networks.

Frank dies in Offenbach, and his followers claim that Frank – who was meant to be ‘immortal’ – has now: “shed his human form, [to] clothe himself in divinity, so he could triumph over death.”

His children, particularly Eva Frank take over the franchise as a sort of female ‘messiah’, but don’t do nearly as well with it. Eva Frank dies in 1816, and apparently that’s where the story ends.

====

Really, that story is still going.

It’s not a commonly-known fact in our times, but the main false accusations being hurled at the head of the nascent Breslov community in the Ukraine by their detractors was that they had Sabbatian sympathies.

There was so much ‘heat’ generated against Breslov that a rabbinically-sanctioned attempt was even made on the life of Rabbi Nachman’s main student, Rav Natan. Just the murder got the wrong ‘Rav Natan of Breslov’, and killed the wrong person[4].

====

By the early 1800s, there were an estimated 24,000 former Jews – including large numbers of Rabbis – who had converted as part of the Frankist disaster in Poland alone.

And ‘secret Sabbatians’ still abounded, particularly in places like Czechoslavakia, Bohemia and Moravia, where they tended to keep up the pretense of Jewish observance and even extreme Jewish piety externally, whilst all the time believing and acting in ways that were totally against Judaism.

Even world-famous rabbis like Jonathan Eybeshutz were actually secret Sabbatians, and Rabbi Eybeshutz’ son, Wolf, actually became a well-known, totally immoral Sabbatian ‘prophet’ who for a time vied with Frank for leadership of the Sabbatians.

So, suspicion fell on Rabbenu and his small group of students, because while Rabbi Jacob Emden and the Vilna Gaon preached a creed of excommunication and excision from the Jewish community, Rebbe Nachman took a totally different tack to trying to solve the problem of the Frankists and crypto-Sabbatians, as we’re about to discover.

====

Over Shabbat, I was pondering large sections of Rabbi Nachman’s Wisdom and Tzaddik, when I realized that so many of Rebbe Nachman’s mysterious journeys were to places where key events in the Frankist history had taken place. Many decades after the disputation and Talmud burning in Kaminetz, Rebbe Nachman made a trip to the town, at the behest of the Baal Shem Tov, who he said came to him in a dream.

Jews had been banished from living in Kaminetz after 1757 after the disputation with the Frankists that lead to the burning of the Talmud and the devastating plage, but very shortly after Rabbenu’s trip there, the Jews were allowed back in.

Then in 1807, after Sukkot, Rebbe Nachman suddenly left for Lvov (Lemberg) in a big hurry – and no-one knew why. Rav Natan went running after him, and caught up with Rabbenu at Krassnoy. That was when Rabbenu first taught the lesson of Azamra I:282.

There, Rabbenu taught:

 “Know: one must judge every person favorably. Even if the person is totally wicked, one must search and find in him some bit of good, regarding which he is not wicked. By finding in him this bit of good and judging him favorably, one actually elevates him to the direction of righteousness and is able to bring him to repentance.”

In Tzaddik, Rav Natan explained that when Rebbe Nachman was giving over this lesson, “He seemed fairly pleased, and he spoke about the purpose of his journey, connecting it with the idea of the sanctuary each of the Tzaddikim builds” – as set out in Lesson I:282, where the Tzaddik can even draw the good in total sinners back to Hashem.

Once I understood what was going on all over that area at this time, so soon after Jacob Frank had lead the mass conversion of many thousands of ‘orthodox’ Jews into xtianity, I started to view these words in a totally different light.

====

Rabbi Emden and the Vilna Gaon had one approach to the problem, where they basically (and arguably correctly!) termed the Frankists in their midst as unfixable Erev Rav, and attempted to cut them out of the Jewish community.

This is very much in keeping with the writings attributed to Hillel Rivlin of Shklov[5], student of the Vilna Gaon and author of Kol HaTor about the Erev Rav, vis:

“[T]he Erev Rav is our greatest enemy, the one who separates the two moshiachs. The klipah of the Erev Rav works only through deception and roundabout ways. Therefore, the war against the Erev Rav is the most difficult and bitterest of all. We must strengthen ourselves for this war, anyone who does not participate in the battle against the Erev Rav becomes, defacto, a partner with the klipah of the Erev Rav, and was better off not being born in the first place.”

But there’s one massive problem with this approach:

It doesn’t work.

====

I write way more about this in my book Unlocking the Secret of the Erev Rav, and I discuss this problem a lot on my blog, too, but practically speaking, it’s impossible to really determine who is unfixable Erev Rav and who isn’t – especially when you’re dealing with pious hypocrites who keep up a façade of perfect frumkeit.

And if we look back at what happened after the Frankists were forced to convert out of Judaism, we’ll see that declaring an all-out war against them didn’t work then, either.

All that happened is that Judaism permanently lost many thousands of souls, whose children could have returned to the fold of orthodox Judaism at a later date.

Not only that, the Frankists and crypto-Sabbateans became more brazen after they were forced out of Judaism, and were spurred on to join forces with the Freemasons and to get involved in things that we are still paying the price for globally, today.

Once they were pushed beyond the pale, and totally ejected from the Jewish community, the Frankists pintele yid was effectively extinguished.

But the whole world still views them as Jews, and we Jews are being tarred with the same brush.

Even more ironically, so many of the descendants of the Vilna Gaon’s students – including the author of the Kol HaTor himself! – are today’s immoral politicians and elites in Israel. This is not a simple problem, not at all.

====

As I read of events 250 years ago, I couldn’t help but be struck by the parallels today.

Today, there are still so many people flinging the ‘Erev Rav’ accusation at other Jews’ heads. There are still segments of Jewish society who are acting in some very immoral ways, both within the bounds and beyond the bounds of externally ‘orthodox’ Judaism.

In so many ways, it feels as though the same test has swung around again.

And this time, we have to try a different approach to solving the problem. It’s not going to work, to just cut off from our fellow Jew and pretend they are someone else’s problem. Each Jew is responsible for the other – and when we forget that, God has a way of reminding us.

The anti-Semites out there make no distinction between Jews in Jersey City, and Jews in Monsey, and Jews in the Conservative ‘Tree of Life’ in Pittsburgh.

We can’t cut off from all the troubling and even ‘evil’ elements in our midst, much as we might like to.

====

So what’s the answer?

Azamra.

Azamra is the only way of fixing the ‘unfixable’ Erev Rav in our midst.

If we see the point of good in these people – without lying to ourselves or whitewashing their ‘bad’ – then God will do what’s required to resolve the problem, and somehow return that spark of goodness to a place of holiness.

From my own experience, when I do ‘Azamra’ on the yucky people out there, that’s precisely when their bad deeds start to catch up with them, and their suffering grows so great that they are prompted to make teshuva in some way, however small.

Rabbenu’s approach works, however you care to define that word.

And cutting people out of our lives and publically degrading them doesn’t. All that does is give more ammunition to the anti-Semites out there, who are churning out stuff 24/7 about the Rothschilds, and the Mossad, and the State of Israel being behind all of the world’s woes.

God is in control, here, not us.

God wants us to do Azamra on all the Jews we know.

If more of us can follow this approach, then the terrible scar left by Jacob Frank and his followers, and Shabtai Tzvi and his acolytes, will finally heal.

And the Temple will be rebuilt peacefully, in our days.

====

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Today, there’s an estimated 100,000 donmeh living in Turkey.

[2] The Mixed Multitude: Jacob Frank and the Frankist Movement (1755-1816), by Pawel Maciejko.

[3] Ibid

[4] See Through Fire and Water.

[5] Hillel Rivlin is also an ancestor of the current President of Israel, Ruby Rivlin.

====

Photo by Oliver Roos on Unsplash

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Reposting this, while I’m busy getting my Cut Your Stress course done.

This morning, I cracked open ‘Advice’ (the English translation of the kitzur Likutey Moharan) and I got to this, from the chapter entitled:

Alien philosophies and ideologies:

The only true wisdom is the wisdom of the Tzaddikim. [Their wisdom] enables them to form a lofty perception of God, and gives them the power to communicate this perception to those who follow them. Compared with this wisdom, all other ideological systems are utter foolishness.”

The more I dip my toe in the murky waters of ‘intellectual debate’, including all this ortho-fem rubbish, and all this ‘anti-Tzaddikim / anti-rabbis / anti-emuna / anti-Breslov’ rubbish, the more I see this is true. Rebbe Nachman then continues:

“Because of our many sins, it can sometimes happen that this genuine wisdom falls into the hands of the heathens, and the Sitra Achra. Their new-found wisdom gives them power and dominion, and then the heathens gain the upper hand, God forbid.”

====

That’s why the ‘heathens’ like learning Gemara, and why the devil-worshipping Freemasons like learning Kabbalah.

They pick out the bits of ‘genuine wisdom’ that appeals to them, and then create some Frankenstein-Faith with it. Some of these ideologies are ‘religious’ – like xtianity – and some of them – like feminism – are not. Rabbenu continues:

Who can bear the sound of the great and terrible cry when this wisdom falls into their hands and fools pretend to be wise?

“They try to adapt this genuine wisdom to their own purposes, as if it could be made a part of their own ideologies – as if their own foolishness has anything to do with the knowledge of God!

“They start claiming that they alone are the wise ones and that there is no wisdom greater than their own mistaken speculation, which is simply ‘parasiting’ off the fallen, genuine wisdom.”

====

It’s well known that the most successful ‘lies’ always contain a tiny grain of truth.

That’s what attracts us in, that’s what initially fools us. It’s easy to think that it’s no big deal, when people start trying to twist Torah to their own ends and goals, with all their ‘tikkun olam’ codewords and other warped ideas, that go totally against what the Torah actually says.

To counter that impression, Rabbenu then tells us:

“God Himself cries out because of this!”

====

It’s a big deal! It’s a really big deal!

We can’t just twist the Torah and its wisdom to our own ends, and try to get a PhD thesis out of it, or a reputation for being a ‘deep’ philosophical thinker, or an intellectual, or even (may Hashem save us…) a ‘big tzaddik’. This brings us back to the idea I wrote about here about doing things for God, instead of just trying to serve ourselves.

So now we know all this, how should we try to respond? Back to Rebbe Nachman:

“Every Jew has a part to play in the task of identifying how this wisdom that has fallen into their hands can be separated from them, and elevated, in order to return to its source.

The way to achieve this is through acts of charity and kindness, under the guidance and inspiration of the Tzaddikim.”

====

To sum up: we need to be closely attached to our True Tzaddikim, who are the only people who really possess genuine wisdom in this lowly world, and being inspired by them to give charity and do kind deeds. The more we do that, the easier we’ll find it to spot all this fake, fallen ‘wisdom’ and to call it out.

And doing that will give God a lot of nachas.

Blue and White’s Yoaz Handel complains in the Knesset that the police aren’t doing ‘enough’ about Rabbi Berland.

When I tell people that Rabbi Berland was deliberately framed by a bunch of secular-minded politicians, policemen and bureaucrats who are in cahoots with the US Reform movement to try to break the ‘strangle-hold’ of orthodox Judaism in Israel, they don’t believe me.

But how else, then, can we explain that Yoaz Handel, a Blue and White politician, got up in Knesset yesterday to complain that the authorities weren’t doing ‘enough’ about Rabbi Berland?

Never mind, ongoing issues down South on the Gaza border, ongoing issues with Iran and it’s nuke, ongoing issues with Hezbollah and Lebanon.

What is Yoaz Handel worrying about at night?

Rabbi Berland.

You can see the video of him making his comments in the Knesset below:

====

Curious person that I am, I decided to explore a little more about Yoaz Handel. Here’s what I learned.

  1. He’s a journalist with a regular column for the notorious, Charedi-hating website ynet.news.

In the past, he’s also worked for Channel 10, and had a talk show on Army Radio with Nitzan Horowitz, who Wikipedia describes as:

[T]he head of the Meretz party and the Democratic Union and is currently an MK. He previously was the chief U.S. correspondent and commentator for the Israeli News Company, known as Channel 2 News.

Lest we forget, Ynet has brought us many horrendous pieces of incitement against Chareidim, including this, by Yaron London, published shortly before Yesh Atid got into power 7 years ago and began its war of terror against the Torah world – including taking down as many ‘big’ rabbis as it could.

2. Until elected an MK in April, he was also heading up something sinisterly called the Institute for Zionist Strategies. The IZS was set up by one Israel Harel, who is currently writing columns for Haaretz. Here’s a flavor of what he writes:

The glue that unites the liberal religious majority groups and the Hardali minority is the battle for the Land of Israel. To succeed in this battle the majority wing, even if it had to grit its teeth, made peace with the suffocating walls of Haredization (increasingly stringent Orthodoxy).

Now, when the rabbis of the Union of Right-Wing Parties are changing the order of priorities and bringing halakhic prohibitions (based on religious law) to the top of the agenda, the majority wing is reaching the limits of its ability to be inclusive. The majority wing is disgusted by the battle against “perverts,” opposes the rabbinic prohibition against the enlistment of religious girls in the army and is infuriated by halakhic rulings forbidding women to participate in politics and public life.

====

You got that???

It’s the haredim, and all those pesky halachas, that are making the right-wing religious Zion unelectable.

The more I look into this, the more I see how many prominent members of the Anglo Modern Orthodox camp seems to be in the front lines of hating chareidim, in Israel, and obviously Rabbi Berland is at the top of their list.

Why is this? What is so threatening to them about the chareidi lifestyle that they are happy to join forces with groups and people who are clearly anti-Torah and pro-immorality in some horrible ways? I had the same question when I was writing about the Ortho-Fems a while back, and yes – the Ortho-Fems are in this mix as well.

Also working at the Institute for Zionist Studies is one Miri Shalem, resident of Bet Shemesh, and recipient of prizes from the New Israel Fund.

If you go here, you’ll find a PDF setting out how Miri Shalem is the New Israel Fund’s ‘go to’ person for when they want to tour around RBS, and get a close-up of all the ‘disgusting haredim’.

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I could go on (and on and on…) but hopefully, are you starting to see that the people who are continually harping on about Rabbi Berland being a ‘problem’ are the exact same Reform-backed journalists and politicians who went after the Torah world 7 years ago?

These people blatantly framed Rabbi Berland for crimes he never committed, and are now trying to use their lies as a reason for further suppressing the Torah world.

Can you see this?

And can you also see that so many of the leading lights in the modern orthodox world – in particular the Ortho Fems – are really just a Trojan horse being used by organisations like the New Israel Fund and Reform to attack the Torah world in Israel?

For example, this Ortho Fem is currently suing Ikea in Israel – together with the Reform movement. According to Haaretz:

The case was filed by Hannah Katsman, a modern Orthodox woman from the central Israeli town of Petah Tikva, and the Israel Religious Action Center — the advocacy arm of the Reform movement in the country.

After discovering the catalog in her mailbox, Katsman alerted the center, a leading advocate in the battle against gender discrimination on religious grounds.

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Ooooh, what a brave fighter for womens’ rights!!!

I went on to this woman’s website a couple of months ago to see if she’d written anything about Jeffery Epstein trafficking and assaulting countless underage women, or about his associate Les Wexner, a big Reform philanthropist funding a whole bunch of ‘interesting’ projects in Israel, and head of the Victoria’s Secret empire which has made a fortune from totally degrading women.

Nothing. Nada. Not a dickie bird.

These Ortho Fems hate chareidim and orthodox Judaism, and are simply using ‘feminism’ as a stick to beat the chareidi community with. If they really cared about women’s human rights, they’d have been writing reams and reams about Epstein and Wexner.

But people like Wexner pay for all their little organisations, and all their little class action suits against the orthodox world in Israel, so none of these brave Ortho Fems are about to rock that particular boat.

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People, there is a war going on for the Jewish soul right now!

On one side, there are a sordid bunch of journalists, academics, businessmen, bureaucrats and politicians who basically represent less than 5% of Israel society, but who have been pulling all the strings here since the days of the Labour Zionists.

They own the banks, they control the economy, they run the IDF and they have the State of Israel all sewn up in their back pocket as a personal fiefdom.

On the other side, there are sincere Jews of all stripes, many of whom are observant Jews, and heading up that force for good is Rabbi Berland.

If you believed all the fake news about him in the press, and bought into the farce of a court case, just make teshuva now, and open your eyes to what is really going on in this country.

Because very soon now, the curtain is going to finally fall, and the truth will shine out for everyone to see. And you owe it to yourself to be on the right side of that equation.

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Israel has also been afflicted by ‘Deep State’ problems since its inception.

One of my writer friends is thinking about doing a book about the Yemenite Children (brave lady!) after she met a taxi driver here whose sister went missing in the 1950s.

After umming and ahhing, I decided to send her over to take a look at some of the information gathered on the subject by the late Barry Chamish, who was routinely ridiculed as a crazy conspiracy theorist, but who was probably right about at least 80% of what he was telling us.

Each month that passes brings us more evidence that Israel’s ‘Deep State’ is just as morally rotten, murderous and obsessed with controlling us all as America’s and the UK’s.

It’s all about the spooks, the spies, the shedim who have been pulling the strings behind the scenes for decade upon decade, without the public having any idea of what’s really going on, or why the world is in such a bad state.

Rebbe Nachman described all this in detail, as you can read about in this post:

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In the meantime, here’s some links that I sent to my friend, that you might also find interesting, although admittedly pretty disturbing. This one is Barry’s take on what really happened to the Yemenite children:

https://www.conspiracyarchive.com/Commentary/Yemenite.htm

And this documentary was aired on mainstream Israeli TV a decade ago – then promptly buried by the establishment. It describes how Shimon Peres basically struck a deal with America’s Deep State to ‘sell’ 100,000 Sephardi children to the US military for dangerous radiation experiments. They told the kids and their families they were being zapped by massive doses of x-rays as part of a treatment for ringworm – but it was all lies.

As we get closer to Moshiach being revealed, all the lies will be revealed – and shocking as all this stuff is, it’s still just the tip of the iceberg.

Channel 13 – where’s your expose about Shimon Peres and all his murderous cronies?

I guess we’ll still have to wait a while, for that story to be told.

 

For years and years, I’ve been thinking that ‘Armilus’ was a Jew, the head of the Erev Rav.

But after re-reading the Midrash in Heichalos, I don’t think that anymore.

Go take a look at some of the sources I discuss on my post about Armilus over at ravberland.com, then read The Good Side of Edom, if you didn’t catch that already, then make up your own mind about what might be unfolding here.

What’s also giving me pause for thought is that the US has an approximate 200,000 soldiers currently in the Middle East – the exact number of soldiers brought in the Midrash. Here’s a headline from the New York Times about it:

Under President Trump, there are now more troops in the Middle East than when he took office, and he has continued the mission for tens of thousands of others far from the wars of 9/11.

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Since Trump took office, I’ve been that rarest of creatures, a Trump Neutral. I don’t have Trump Derangment Syndrome, I don’t think he’s a modern-day messiah, set to ‘drain the swamp’.

But as more and more of these authentic Jewish sources that could easily be describing him are starting to stack up, it’s looking to me more and more likely that Trump is not such a good guy after all.

What that means for the Jewish community in the US, I don’t know. What that means for Israel, I also don’t know.

I know the Rav is sweetening things all the time, and that part of the reason that everything is so confused and confusing right now is because the way all this stuff was ‘meant’ to play out, according to our sources, has got upended and sweetened by Rabbi Berland, in all sorts of different ways.

I don’t know any more than you do, what’s coming next.

But the sources are definitely very interesting. And now that this source has re-surfaced, which again is drawing quite a clear parallel between the description of ‘Armilus, King of Edom’, and so much of the breathless coverage of the ‘Edomite moshiach Trump’ – well, it’s certainly giving me a lot to think about.

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I have no idea where we all got the idea from that Armilus is the head of the Erev Rav, but from what I can see, it’s incorrect. Does anyone have a source they can share, for the idea that Armilus is head of the Erev Rav?

Or is this yet another example of ‘YouTube’ Torah leading us all astray?

TBC

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The media has been unusually quiet in their ongoing campaign against the Rav in recent months.

But that’s about to change. After two whole months of almost no negative stories about Rabbi Berland, Channel 13 has decided to do an ‘expose’ of the Rav doing pidyonot for people and advising them to avoid doctors.

What can we do?

Channel 13 clearly never read Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom, where the Rebbe warned his followers in the starkest terms:

“A physician may use many hazardous treatments and still be totally ignorant of their effect. It is not surprising that they often do more damage than good. Why depend on a natural cure when it is most likely to cause harm?…

“Doctors are agents of death and do little more. Happy is the man who avoids them and depends on God alone.”

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Channel 13 clearly also knows precisely zippy-dee-do-da about what a pidyon nefesh actually is, and what it actually does – and also why sometimes, it doesn’t work.

Rav Yaakov Selma goes through a lot of the sources from Likutey Moharan in Hebrew, below:

But in Lesson I:215 of Likutey Moharan, Rebbe Nachman tells us:

“Know: There are 24 types of pidyon nefesh, corresponding to 24 courts of justice. For each and every court, there is a unique corresponding pidyon nefesh to ameliorate its judgments. Therefore, a ransom is not always effective, since not everyone knows all 24 pidyon nefesh, and even if one does, he cannot perform them, and when one does not perform the specific ransom required by a specific court, it is not effective.

But know: there is a certain ransom that includes all the twenty-four courts of justice and is able to ameliorate [the judgments] of all the twenty-four courts….

“….Only one in a generation knows of it, and sometimes even when this tzaddik performs the ransom, it is ineffective. The reason for this is that this ransom is greatly desired Above, for such a ransom does not frequently come from below that is able to ameliorate all 24 courts simultaneously. Therefore, when this amelioration does come, it is used for other purposes, such as to make converts….[W]hen judgment and wrath are ameliorated, idolatry is ameliorated and people convert.”

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Of course, the secular journalists at Channel 13 who hate the Torah-observant world and everything it stands for aren’t fully conversant with Chassidic thought and Likutey Moharan, and they are also part of this huge, Godless conspiracy being pushed on us all that people are 100% in charge of their own health, and their own destiny.

If Channel 13 would do an expose of all the iatrogenic illnesses and deaths occurring in Israel’s hospitals, then we’d very quickly see who the real ‘killers’ are, who are freely walking around the country.

I’ve lost count of the number of people I know who have been killed or maimed by the treatment they received from doctors.

Like the woman who was talked into having a replacement knee, but wasn’t told she’d need pain-killing injections every month for the rest of her life… Like the woman who had her stomach cut out because of cancer, and then was bombarded with round after round of chemotherapy, only to die shortly afterwards in excrutiating agony from all the surgery and poison anyway… Like the man who went into hospital with an exploded gallbladder and who died on the operating table because the anesthetist misjudged what was going on, and the patient had a fatal heart attack as a result.

I could go on and on. And please, let’s not even get started on anti-depressants, or ‘gender re-assignment’ surgery, or all the weird stuff they are putting in vaccines (go and research MCR 5), and a million other things that are lauded as medical panaceas, but usually are anything but.

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Modern medicine is God-less, modern medicine is far more limited and clumsy than it likes to pretend, and often does far more damage than good, especially when it comes to chronic illnesses.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at this, for starters:

The third-leading cause of death in US most doctors don’t want you to know about

Let Channel 13 gird their loins and do an expose on all the horrendous medical malpractice happening in Israel (and everywhere else…). Like the doctor in Shaarei Chesed who I met over Shabbat lunch a decade ago, who boasted about going around quietly killing people that she’d decided were suffering ‘unnecessarily’.

Don’t hold your breath.

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But in the meantime, let’s return to the question of whether Rabbi Berland’s pidyons always work.

The answer, as provided by Rabbenu, is no. They don’t always work.

Why not?

Because God is still running the world, and sometimes, God decides to take the Rav’s pidyonot and to use them for a greater good, i.e. fighting the general forces of evil in the world and causing non-Jews to want to convert.

Who are we, to think we can fathom the mind of Hashem, the Creator of the world?

So then, does this mean that Rav Berland is doing pidyon nefesh under false pretences?

No.

The vast majority of time, what he says will happen actually occurs. Sometimes, you have to wait a while, often, the miracle is ‘hidden’ in some way, but sooner or later, it shows up.

And on the rare occasions when it doesn’t, of course that’s upsetting to the people involved, especially if they don’t have a lot of emunat tzaddikim, and are really only interested in using the Rav like a miracles-caspomat.

Of course, it requires a lot of emuna tzaddikim to navigate that situation and not come out as an ‘opponent’, who feels justified in dissing the Rav, God forbid. That’s part of how the birur process is working, especially for those who dress themselves up as ‘mega-frum’, at least externally.

At the end of the day, Rebbe Nachman clearly explains that there is no such thing as a pidyon that is 100% guaranteed to work, even when you do it with the One in a Generation who actually controls the 24 heavenly courts.

Why not?

Because God is still running the world, and people aren’t in control, and free choice has to be maintained.

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So, this expose will air Monday night in Israel, and when it does, the people who have weak-to-zero emunat tzaddikim; and the people who hate Torah and religious Jews; and the people who have a vested interest in ‘proving’ that they were right all along, when they were passing off slander and falsehood as self-righteous ‘troof’ all across Facebook will come out swinging.

You know what?

Let them.

It’s all just part of the birur, or clarification process that precedes the coming of Moshiach.

You want to believe Channel 13 over Rebbe Nachman?

Go right ahead.

There’s a special place in gehinnom that’s been set up especially for all these anti-Torah journalists who spend months, years and decades putting so much effort into trying to make Rabbis look bad.

I have no problem with honest journalism.

Like I said, some people don’t see obvious results from doing a pidyon nefesh with the Rav, for the reasons explained above. So sure, cover that angle – but then balance it out by interviewing some of the hundreds and even thousands of people who have mamash seen open miracles from doing a pidyon nefesh with the Rav.

That’s responsible journalism. That’s ethical reporting. That’s enabling people to make up their own minds about something, and not just trying to push your anti-Torah brainwashing agenda down people’s throats.

That is not at all what you’re going to get on Monday night from Channel 13.

But it’s not all their fault. People don’t buy into their brainwashing agenda because it’s particularly convincing or well-reasoned, but because they have their own vested interest in making Rabbi Berland ‘wrong’, and themselves right.

And you know what? Let them.

At this stage, I can’t be bothered fighting or arguing with them, because the faster all the yucky people get birured properly, the sooner we’ll get to the geula.

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Last week, one of my extended family members asked me to enquire about doing a pidyon with Rav Berland for someone they know who doesn’t really believe in God, or the tzaddikim, but who is rich and extremely desperate for something to change.

The message I got back was ‘no pidyon’.

If Rabbi Berland was really doing pidyonot just for the money, chas v’shalom, how do we explain this?

I know others, too, that simply didn’t have the merit to be able to do a pidyon nefesh with Rav Berland. God stops them by filling their heads full of doubts, or filling their mouths full of slander, or doesn’t even let them get to the point of being told a sum of money to pay.

Every time a person gets the chance to do a pidyon with the Rav, it’s a huge merit, a massive spiritual gift.

I haven’t seen the fruits of all my pidyonot yet, honestly, but I would say that 4/5 of the ones I’ve done have worked tremendously.

And as for the rest?

I accept that either their time hasn’t come yet, and / or they are being put to a higher use, right now, to fight evil in the world.

And judging by Channel 13’s output, there’s still a way to go before it’s totally defeated.

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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It’s not so hard to judge someone’s soul to the side of ‘good’.

A little while before Rosh Hashana, Rachel from New York challenged me over in the comments section to ‘walk the walk’, and judge Avigdor Lieberman favorably.

In case you happen to live on planet Mars, Avigdor Lieberman is the Russian-born head of the Yisrael Beytenu party, who is trying to force all chareidim to leave their shtenders, and to serve in the IDF.

Lieberman is so adamant about this, he brought down the last government – and is continuing to sow chaos in Israel politically, by refusing to sit with Bibi Netanyahu in any new government, and also by refusing to sit with the ‘religious’ parties that make up the Knesset’s natural right-wing ‘bloc’.

Because of Lieberman, we’ve already had 2 elections in five months – and no government. And you read it here first, we will be going to third elections, very soon.

So, how to judge Avigdor Lieberman to the side of ‘good’?

It’s a tough challenge, but after doing a fair bit of praying on it, here’s where I’m up to.

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The starting point with Rebbe Nachman’s lesson of Azamra is that while we have to clearly state when ACTIONS are bad and evil and anti-Torah and anti-God, that’s very different from saying the ESSENCE of a person is evil. Rav Ofer Erez explains this magnificently, in this video with full English subtitles:

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A Jew’s essence, their soul, is only good.

But what happens? All these klipot, all these external forces of evil come along to confuse and trip us up, and then before long you have people who are committing the worst sins in the world, but who are still telling themselves that they are doing ‘the right thing’, and that this is just how it has to be.

Let’s take a look at Lieberman, to see how that’s playing out.

Lieberman lacks emuna, and he doesn’t believe that God is running the world and controlling everything and everyone.

If he had more emuna, he would know that the best defense for the land of Israel is for all of the Jews who live here to wholeheartedly return to God, and to start doing what God wants, i.e. living a Torah-observant lifestyle.

But poor guy, he doesn’t know that.

He never went to cheder, he never went to yeshiva, he grew up in the Soviet Union where religion and God were anathema, and then he moved to Israel and started moving in political circles where religion and God are still anathema.

A guy like Lieberman, he wakes up every morning, and what does he see?

He sees Hamas with rockets in Gaza. And Hezbollah with rockets in Lebanon. And Syria trying to build a nuclear reactor on the Northern border. And Iran trying to complete their nuclear reactors, so they can nuke Israel, God forbid, over in the Gulf – and he’s totally petrified by the idea that some mad mullah can flip a switch, and boom!!! No more Israel.

Because Lieberman doesn’t have God in the picture, what does he think can help to solve this awful problem, this terrible danger to the Jewish state?

In his mind, Israel can only be defended against all these threats by a strong army.

In Lieberman’s mind, if the country fills up with pacifist frummers who only want to learn Torah and don’t want to serve in the army – then Israel will be finished.

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Before we continue, I challenge you, dear reader, to take a long, hard look in the mirror and to ask yourself if you also believe that the IDF is what is really protecting Israel.

Because if the answer is ‘yes’, that means you and Lieberman are essentially on the same page.

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Now, people with emuna know that God is protecting Israel, and that this country gets open miracles morning, noon and night.

People with emuna know that people like Rabbi Berland, and the late Baba Elazar, z’tl, and all the other big rabbis, tzaddikim and kabbalists, are working around the clock to keep ‘sweetening’ the spiritual judgments that manifest as terrorists, rockets and nukes, God forbid.

People with emuna are aware that it’s the Jewish people’s own sins that is causing us our terrible security problems with our neighbors, and that if we would return to God and His Torah, the whole Iranian nuke issue will fizzle like a sparkler in a shower.

Lieberman doesn’t have emuna.

So, according to his incorrect paradigm of what’s going on here, unless he can find a way to ‘force’ all the peacenik yeshiva bochurs into the army, sooner or later, he believes the army will collapse and the State of Israel will be destroyed or overrun by our enemies, God forbid.

Because of that belief, he has now apparently declared an all-out war against religion, or what he calls a ‘halachic state’, where Torah law would be pre-eminent.

Is this ‘good’ or ‘right’? No, it’s totally evil.

Why is he doing it?

Because he has very little emuna, doesn’t believe in God, and believes that superior force, and targeted killings, and all the other super-evil stuff that’s being done in the name of ‘security’ here and elsewhere, is the only way to protect the Jewish state.

(Lieberman’s Wikipedia entry makes very interesting reading. In many ways, you could argue he’s consistently acted as one of Israel’s more principled politicians, including severing ties with the corrupt Mossad, back in 2011. I also found this, which certainly muddies the waters on his views of ‘organized religion’ in Israel, too:

While his party is sometimes described by the news media[55] as doctrinally secular and aiming to reduce the role of the rabbinical system in government, it actually supports the continuation of the role of Orthodox rabbinical courts, but wants more nationally minded religious people, rather than the ultra-orthodox, in charge.[56] It does not advocate introducing civil marriage within Israeli law, but rather to find a solution to some of those who cannot marry under such laws.[55] It does not advocate a separation of religion and state in Israeli society.[56]

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So now, we circle back to the message of the ‘whoever finds fault‘ post, because Lieberman isn’t the only one who think that ‘chareidim’ are bad, and wrecking the economy, and need to be forced to serve in the army.

There are a whole bunch of ostensibly ‘religious’ Jews both here and abroad who also totally lack emuna, and believe the same thing, too.

Just they are less vitriolic (and probably, also less honest….) about expressing it. They think it’s fine for a few yeshiva bochurs to carry on learning, but they clearly would prefer most Moshes to put down their gemara and pick up their uzis, and to become truly productive citizens of Israel.

Honestly? It’s much, much harder for me to judge them favorably, because you’d think that surely they should know better than some Russian guy who never went to cheder and who grew up under atheist, communist rule….

But I digress.

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So, let’s sum up where we’ve got to:

Lieberman’s ACTIONS of going after the Torah world, and trying to ‘secularise’ Israel are clearly wrong, bad and evil.

Lieberman’s MOTIVATIONS are confused and mixed-up, but at least conceivably could stem from a genuine concern that if Torah observant Jews don’t serve in the IDF and ‘contribute economically’ to Israel, the Jewish State will either be destroyed, conquered or collapsed.

So that’s how we can judge the ESSENCE of Lieberman to the side of merit, even though his actions are clearly evil and atrocious.

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Ahead of Yom Kippur, it’s a really good idea to practice this Azamra thing as much as possible, because however we judge others, that is how God will judge us.

 

We’re all doing things wrong ALL THE TIME.

We hurt people, we step on them, we selfishly put ourselves first, we look down our noses at other Jews, and act holier-than-thou. We act like pigs, so very much of the time.

BUT OUR ESSENCE IS GOOD.

And the more we make an effort to see that in others, the more we’ll uncover that true goodness in ourselves, too, and rescue our souls (and everyone else’s….) from the klipot.

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