For about five minutes yesterday, as I was driving back to Jerusalem on Route 6, I had this amazing feeling of being so connected to God, and seeing how He’s guiding every tiny detail in the world.
The traffic was flowing, the scenery was beautiful, and I had a profound sense of peace and excitement.
Moshiach is almost here, I can feel it….
I got home, and instantly my mood changed.
Someone had sent me a link to another crappy Israeli TV ‘expose’ about Rabbi Berland, blah blah blah, and somehow, my oldest daughter had opened it up when she was using my computer, and then spent two hours watching more poisonous crap about the Rav.
Excuse my mild swearing.
I’ve just so had enough of all this.
So, I told her:
I can’t keep trying to clean this stuff up for you, spiritually. You want to watch poisonous crap about the Rav, from lying, immoral, anti-God journalists, what can I do? Bezrat Hashem, God will help you to figure out the truth by yourself, because I am no longer prepared to sit her to try and shore up your shaky emunat tzaddikim.
That’s not an easy thing for me to say, because I know that it’s not going to go easy for anyone who finds themselves on the wrong side of the Rabbi Berland equation, and I love my daughter tremendously.
But each person has to fight their own fight.
And I also decided that I am totally coming off Youtube, and once I’ve finished typing this, I’m going to see if there is a way I can totally block it and / or erase access. (If anyone has any tips for me, please leave them in the comments section.)
The more the current craziness plays out in the world, the more I’m seeing that there is really only one way that we can short-cut things like pandemics, plagues, economic depressions, terminal illnesses and wars, and that’s by working on our own middot.
All this Coronavirus stuff is just a case in point.
Regardless of whether it really is a potential world-killing pandemic, or just a totally over-hyped strain of flu that the media is using to whip-up mass hysteria for some unknown reason, what it actually all boils down to is just a big test of emuna.
Sure, you may be wearing a shawl, and thinking like you are the holiest thing to hit the world since Moshe Rabbenu, but if you’re scared to ride a bus in Jerusalem because of Corona, that is a clear indication that your real level of emuna is actually way, way less than you think.
Wherever there is fear of something that is not Hashem, that’s called ‘fallen fear’.
The whole idea, the whole goal, is to work through all the millions of ‘fallen fears’ that we all have, and to raise them back up to their root in emuna. That means understanding that God runs the world, God is doing everything for our ultimate good, and that everything is just a message from Hashem.
God doesn’t need Corona virus to kill anyone – if He decides we’re going to croak, that’s it, end of story, even if we’re wearing a bacteria-killing mask 24 hours a day and have an IV drip infusing our blood with industrial quantities of Vitamin C.
God is running the world.
Let me repeat that again, as I know it’s so easy to forget it:
God is running the world.
Once I understand that, I stop obsessing over using the hand sanitizer, and I stop panicking when someone coughs next to me at work, and I stop checking out ‘the latest’ germ-blocking face masks.
And instead, I take some time out, and I go and explore why do I feel so scared? What am I doing, what sins am I engaged in, that are making my soul feel so anxious and frightened?
And top of that list is:
The sins between adam l’chaveiro.
Recently, I’ve had a lot of kids who dropped out of the Torah world in my orbit, especially from the city of Bet Shemesh.
That place seems to have cornered the market in terms of dysfunctional ‘religious’ families where the parents are so super-duper, mega-crazy ‘frum’ on the outside – but actually treating other people, and particularly their kids, really badly.
What I’ve been learning is that the yetzer has been totally running rings around so many of these people. It’s convinced them harshly criticizing their children for not being ‘perfect’ is the best way to get them to make teshuva – when of course, the polar opposite is true.
Imagine living in a home where you have a parent that is constantly telling you what you’re doing wrong, and constantly picking up chumrot that they try to shove down your throat, and constantly going on about how ‘bad’ and how ‘evil’ and how ‘defective’ you are, poor kid, and how they’re sure you’re not going to ‘make it’ when Moshiach shows up.
If I lived in a home like that, I would also get a punk hair cut, smoke 2 packs a day and feel really, really angry at God and religion.
It’s no coincidence that Rabbi Berland has made it very clear that the gematria of ‘Corona’ is 363 – the same gematria as bein adam l’chaveiro.
And the first place to start with fixing that part of the equation is in our homes.
If you are criticising your kid all the time for not being Moshe Rabbenu, or not getting ‘straight As’, or not being perfect all the time – stop!
If you are condescending to your spouse, and you think like you have it all figured out and they are the spiritual retard in the relationship – stop!
If you think you are above doing a cheshbon hanefesh on how you hurt other people’s feelings, and how you use religious observance to try to control other people – again, especially your children – then stop!
Take a breath, take a careful look in the mirror that God is holding up to you, and to me, and to everyone else in the world right now, and see what’s looking back at you.
Is it nice, or nasty? Is it scary, or reassuring? Is the world full of kindness and compassion and understanding, or vicious complaint, din and anger?
Whatever you see peering back at you, that’s just a reflection of your inner dimension.
Let me share a story with you, to illustrate this point.
I’ve been checking out a few of my ‘anonymous’ commentators IP addresses, especially the ones who like to write comments slagging off Rav Berland.
I discovered that one big critic of the Rav has a slew of court cases against them for illegally manipulating stocks on the New York stock exchange – they are mamash small time mafia. This guy has been extremely fast to loudly yell ‘financial fraud!!!!’ at the Rav and Shuvu Banim.
Now we know why.
Then, there was the commentator who liked to call himself ‘Peewee’, who is also ‘anti Rav’. Guess what? I found out he’s on a police watch list for pedophiles in the States after he was caught propositioning an undercover police woman who he thought was a 13 year old girl on the internet.
The Rav is just a big super-reflecting mirror, shining a light on our own bad middot.
That’s why I am not going to argue with anyone anymore, about what the Rav did or didn’t do, or did or didn’t say.
If you see bad in the Rav – if you see bad in your kids, in your spouse, in everyone else around you – that’s because that bad is really in YOU.
So knuckle down, acknowledge the real problem and get to work on it.
This morning, I finally had the energy to walk down to the Kotel, as part of my hour long hitbodedut thing that I do every single day, with God’s help.
I walked down the road that skirts the Gei Hinnom valley, on the side of the Old City, a road called ‘Ma’aleh Shalom’ – the path of peace.
I went with quite a lot of heartache, thinking about some of the things I’ve written above, how I’m seeing so many parents literally destroy their children with their own two hands, all in the name of God and His Torah.
I touched the stones, kissed them, then headed back home. In the plaza, an old frum lady came over to me and called out may Hashem grant you everything you asked for!
I shrugged at her, pulled a tight smile and told her Sorry, I don’t have any money.
She hobbled closer, and told me in English:
You aren’t listening to me. Listen: May Hashem grant you everything you asked for!
She was right. I hadn’t been listening. She was trying to give me a bracha that my prayers should be answered, and I was batting her away like a pesky mosquito.
You’re right. I’m sorry. Amen!
Then she told me:
The most important prayer to say right now, is that we all get out of galut. That Am Yisrael should all get out of galut.
I looked at her twinkly blue eyes, squeezed her arm, and got the message.
What is galut, really, except the prison that we’re all in, that’s keeping us away from God and the people we love, and redemption? And what is that prison, really, except our own bad middot?
Our own fallen fears, and anger, and arrogance, and jealousy?
We all have a lot of work to do.
Daisy Stern has pulled a lot of info together to show why the Kan 11 ‘expose’ my daughter say was a total farce, and just more of the same ‘anti-Rav’ propaganda the media has been steadily churning out for year.
You can see that on her site, HERE.
Also, I saw another abusive comment this morning, this time from someone pretending to be ‘Sam Eisen’ about the Rav. Again, I ran the IP address – and guess what? It’s the same ‘Peewee’ pedo guy I mentioned before.
I won’t detail the comment, but suffice to say it was talking about dying in jail for being a pervert. Yet again, we see the mirror principle in full color.
So, yalla, come on all you ‘anti’ Rav people… send me more of your comments, even with your fake names, and then we’ll find out what’s really going on in your private lives and exactly why it is you are so ‘anti’ a person who exudes goodness and holiness so strongly, you can feel it a million miles away.
No wonder all these people are staying anonymous.
Let’s leave the last word to Rabbi Nachman, who writes in Sefer HaMiddot:
“S*xual violators are for the most part opposers of the Tzaddikim.”
Now that I’m looking up the IP addresses on the comments, I’m seeing Rabbenu’s dictum manifest in real time. And I’m really excited to go and do some more digging on all those big mouths who have been so publically ‘anti’ the Rav – so yalla guys, don’t be shy!
Let me have all your disgusting comments, and then let’s find out who YOU really are.
It’s a taste of the World to Come, when the truth will shine out and no-one will be able to hide behind a fake name or a fake email anymore.
Doesn’t that sound like fun?
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