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This year, I want us all to come back together.

The last four days, I’ve been squiring my 11 year old niece – and her mum – around a whole bunch of different sites in Israel, in preparation for her upcoming batmitzvah.

We went to Kever Rochel; walked on top of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem; plunged 40 metres below ground to visit a 2,000 year old mikva beneath the Kotel that still has water in it; did the ‘Journey to Jerusalem’; had a look at the amazing finds from the 1st Temple they unearthed in the Givati car park in the City of David; heard the story of how Nechemia rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in just 52 days; and ended up today in Shiloh, the place where the Mishkan came to rest for 369 years, and where Hannah’s prayer for a son become our blueprint for heartfelt prayer.

It’s been epic.

Every now and then, when I catch a glimpse of Israel, of Jerusalem, through other people’s eyes, it reminds me of the tremendous privilege I have, of living here.

And that’s what makes it all worthwhile, even tho honestly? Being apart from my brothers, my siblings, and their children and their lives, is sometimes so painful.

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I dropped my SIL and niece at Ben Gurion airport a few hours ago, and my niece asked me:

“Are you going to cry when we’re gone? Are you going to miss us?”

I’m a tough old boot, I reassured her. I’m not going to cry.

She looked at me.

“My daddy cried at the airport when we were going home after visiting Uncle A.,” she told me. “Daddy and Uncle A. are besties.”

Her daddy is my brother, and her Uncle A. is my other brother. I see her London-based daddy maybe once a year, if I’m lucky, and Uncle A. lives in the USA, and I’ve never actually met three of his four kids. I’ve seen him twice in the last 15 years in person.

I have another sister in the States, too, who I haven’t seen in six years, and haven’t met her kid. I have another brother in the UK who I also see on average once every three years. (Hey, there’s a silver lining to everything…)

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But this is the price of making aliya, of trying to give God what He wants, and of moving to Israel.

Sometimes, it’s pretty lonely. Sometimes, it’s pretty sad.

I lit my Chanuka candles with such a deep sigh this evening.

God, is it too much to ask for me to see more of my family? Should I just cut my losses, and try to focus on my two kids, who Bezrat Hashem will live in Israel with their husbands and children, and then I’ll finally get some extended family within 2,000 miles?

Honestly? Sometimes I get so petrified that my kids will end up moving out of Israel, God forbid, and then I’ll have this awful experience on both ends. I know I’m not in control, I know I can’t guilt my kids or pressure them to live their life in a way that suits me. But if they end up living out of Israel, I’d be heartbroken.

Because already, we’re all so scattered around.

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Every family simcha involves massive expense and many holiday days.

I have 3 bar / bat mitvahs next year, all in chutz l’aretz, and I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to pull it all off.

How I wish, with all my heart, that I could just get in the car, drive an hour or two, and meet up with a bruvs, and their family. Just pop in for an hour, a cup of tea, and then come home again.

It’s never going to happen.

This is one of the very painful parts of making aliya.

So, I lit my candles today in a somber mood, wondering if this might be the year that all the divisions, all the distance, all the separations that seem to be keeping me away from the people I like and love – in so many different ways – will finally be smashed into pieces.

That’s what geula is really about, isn’t it?

Us all coming back together, as one people with one heart in one country, and with the psychos doing a 180 degree turnaround to actually be part of the solution, instead of causing the problems….

That’s what I wish for this Chanuka.

That is my Chanuka prayer.

I hope God is listening.

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Yesterday, both my girls were at Haditch.

This is the small town in the Ukraine where the Alter Rebbe of Lubavitch passed away and was buried, when he was fleeing Napoleon.

While many other of the Chassidic masters of that time had strong opinions on whether Napoleon was preferred to the Russian Tsar, when it came to the eternal question of is this good for the Jews? – the Alter Rebbe was the only one who actually encouraged his followers to actively spy for the Tsar against Napoleon’s forces.

One Lubavitcher chassid was actually working as a translator for the French forces, and on the Chabad.org website HERE, you can find a first-hand account of how he was nearly caught by Napoleon himself, who suspected there was a Russian spy in the camp.

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Recently, Rabbi Berland has been returning to the idea in his shiurim and comments that it’s not a good idea for Jews to get too close to the levers of power.

He brings the example of Rabbi Haim Farhi, who was the Jewish administrator of Akko at the time that Napoleon tried to conquer Israel, back in 1799.

Farhi’s boss was the notorious Pasha Ahmed Al Jazzar, a man renowned for his acts of sadism, fierce temper and cruelty. I visited Al Jazzar’s impressive bath house when I had my day out in Akko a few weeks ago. There, they told the story of how Al Jazzar had 37 wives, and one time, the rumor reached his ears that one of them had cheated on him.

Outraged, he lined all his wives up, and went down the line, trying to figure out who it was. He was unsuccessful. So instead, he had all 37 of his wives killed, just to be on the safe side. They are buried outside the walls of Akko. Or so the story goes.

So Haim Farhi apparently got off relatively easily, when Al Jazzar only sliced off the tip of his nose, and the top of his left ear, and blinded him in one eye. Even today, you can still see portraits of the one-eyed, mutilated Jewish advisor standing next to Al Jazzar, which means ‘butcher’ in Arabic.

Farhi ended up outliving Al Jazzar, and the next pasha, Abdullah ibn Ali, was initially a much more gentle character who was practically Farhi’s step-son. But as time went on, this second Pasha turned on him, had him murdered, and then threw his body over the port wall of Old Akko and into the sea. They never found him, and Farhi didn’t receive a Jewish burial.

Farhi’s widow died on the road to Syria, trying to escape Abdullah’s revenge. Later on, Haim Farhi’s still influential family effectively went to war against Abdullah, and instigated a small scale civil war within the Ottoman empire, which included violent clashes in the Golan Heights, Shechem, and the Beqaa Valley.

So, there are clear dangers involved in getting ‘involved’ with government, as the Alter Rebbe himself discovered, when he died on the road, escaping from Napoleon’s forces.

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What does all this have to do with us, today?

These messages are eternal, and the warning still stands.

Two weeks’ ago, just before the UK’s recent General Election, the current British Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, put out a public statement virulently criticizing the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for being an anti-Semite. That Corbyn is an anti-Semite is not in question: he’s clearly an anti-Semite.

But personally, I was amazed that Rabbi Mirvis put out the statement that he did, about the leader of the main opposition party, a couple of weeks before one of the most important General Elections the UK has ever held.

Rabbi Mirvis was clearly trying to ‘influence’ the elections, and to reduce the number of people willing to vote for Corbyn.

Now, I don’t have a crystal ball, and I have no idea what’s coming down the pipe in the UK. What I can tell you, is that leaving all the pro / anti Brexit questions to one side, the simple fact of leaving the EU is going to be enormously wrenching and chaotic for the country.

It’s not going to be simple, and who knows how much economic pain is really going to be involved with this process? That it could lead to better things down the road is possible, who knows, but there’s no getting around the short-term ‘pain’ it’s going to cause in a bunch of different ways.

And when that ‘pain’ hits, some people in the UK will start looking around for scapegoats to blame.

Rabbi Mirvis, with his ill-timed letter that effectively guaranteed that no-one ‘decent’ would ever publically admit to voting for Corbyn and his ‘pro a second referendum on Brexit’ Labour party – will then loom large.

And then what?

That is the question.

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And things are pretty bad on the ‘meddling in goyish politics front’ in the US, too.

On both sides of the debate, you have Jews prominently trying to sway public opinion, trying to affect political processes, trying to get as close as they can, to the levers of power.

And it’s making me very nervous.

Make no mistake, the anti-Semites out there are collecting their ‘evidence’ with a very keen eye. And it’s not so much the secular Jewish politicians who are holding their attention – although clearly, they are still very much part of the equation – but all those rabbis with long beards and black hats, who keep turning up in the corridors of power all over the world.

I know, it’s hard to build shuls and schools all over the world, in even the most far-flung places, without having to deal with the government. You need to get the permissions and permits, you need to apply for the grants and funding, you need to ‘grease the wheels’ to get these things off the ground, and rolling along*.

But it seems to me, that so many of these obvious Jews with beards and black hats have forgotten that they are in galut, and have forgotten who they are dealing with.

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Today’s beloved leader who apparently loves the Jews so much could be out on his ear tomorrow – and then what?

When Napoleon was trying to conquer Israel, he tried to ‘tempt’ the Jews in Israel to defect over to his side, by promising them all sorts of political freedom, civil equality, and financial opportunities.

Even though the dhimmi Chaim Farhi had been blinded and mutilated by his Muslim master, he totally refused Napoleon’s offer to act as a ‘fifth column’ for the invading French – and thank goodness he did, because otherwise, one way or another, the 9,000 Jews in Akko would have lost their lives.

If Al Jazzar would have got a sniff of this proposed treachery, there’s no question he would have killed all the Jews he could lay his hands on, as a ‘lesson’ for the rest of the Jews under Turkish rule – all of whom would automatically now be suspected as potential foreign agents.

And if Napoleon had conquered Israel thanks to Jewish turncoats, that would have sealed the paradigm that ‘Jews can’t be trusted to stay loyal to their countries of residence’, and yes, there would be more Jew slaughter happening again, at some point, God forbid, because of it.

Jews aren’t meant to mix into politics. And especially not ‘obvious’ Jews with long beards, black hats – and very short memories.

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The winds of change are blowing all over the place, at the moment.

None of us have any idea, really, what’s going on right now, where it’s all leading, and who ultimately is going to come out on top. And that there are so many visible Jews publically engaged in trying to affect goyish government at the very highest levels seems incredibly unwise, to say the least.

Because today’s rulers could be tomorrow’s toast.

The only wise course of action, as both Haim Farhi and the Alter Rebbe discovered a little too late, is to stay out of politics, and stay far away from government. 

We’re in galut, after all, we’re not at home.

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Writing in the Ohr Layesharim, the 5th Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Shalom Ber Schneersohn, has this to say, about why the Jews are in galut:  

“[U]ntil it is G-d’s will to redeem us, we must accept the yoke of exile to atone for our sins.”

The 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, stated in ‘Om Ani Chomah, 5709’ that:

“We are foresworn by the covenant of G-d that we cannot overcome [exile] with might or power, only by understanding and knowing the word and command of G-d.”

Both the Rebbes were addressing their remarks to the secular Zionists who were attempting to create a State of Israel by involving themselves in political intrigues and hob-nobbing with secular governments.

But just as this applies to a Jewish state, it surely applies even more to a non-Jewish state that Jews simply live in, until we finally get redeemed?

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“We cannot overcome exile with might or power.”

According to the 5th Lubavitcher Rebbe, exile – including all its holocausts, pogroms and suffering – is a punishment for our sins. It’s not supposed to be comfortable. Jews forget this at their peril. Galut is a temporary state of affairs, we aren’t ‘kings of our own castle’.

And that also still applies here, in the secular, anti-Torah State of Israel.

But the difference is this: When the political house of cards finally collapses here, it will be accompanied by a readiness to greet Moshiach, and a grassroots push to move the holy land of Israel from galut to geula.

By contrast, when the tottering political systems in the US, UK and elsewhere finally collapse, it will be accompanied by massive civil unrest, violence, and 25 million anti-Semites with semi-automatics who are trying to pin all their problems on the Jews.

That is the difference.

And so, we’ll leave this post where we began, with the warning for Jews to stay out of non-Jewish politics, and to keep a low profile, and to realise that wherever they happen to live, they are in galut to atone for their sins.

And let’s face it, there’s still a lot of atonement required.

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FOOTNOTES:

  • There’s a very interesting article on the chabad.org website that explains that all 7 Lubavitcher Rebbes were granted the title by Czarist Russia of being ‘Honorary Hereditary Citizens’, “which in Imperial Russia was the highest rank short of titular nobility.” I’m just throwing this out there, as a curious – and surprising – fact, given how much persecution the Rebbes all endured in Russia.

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Everything has a deeper reason.

Two years ago, the fake ‘Yeshiva World’ news site ran a shocking!!!! ‘expose’ into Rabbi Berland spinning a dreidel in the middle of the Maariv prayers.

Because Yeshiva World News is written by a bunch of morons who apparently don’t know a lot about the deeper reasons for many Jewish customs (and also apparently can’t spell), they believed that this was something ‘shocking’, that all their readers should know about, and be encouraged to condemn in the comments section!!!!

We already wrote HERE about how sites like Yeshiva World News are creating new anti-Semites with almost every headline they pen, and as the violent anti-semitism heats up in the US, it seems a good time for many Jews there – and elsewhere – to do some serious soul-searching about how attitudes and practices in the orthodox Jewish community may be greatly contributing to the problem.

Because nothing  is stam, a coincidence, or an accident.

Everything is from Hashem, everything contains a message, about what we might need to work on, acknowledge, recognise, change or fix.

God is so merciful, God is so compassionate. All He wants is for us to just be honest, and to admit that we’re really not acting the way we should be, and to have a little more humility, and to accept that we’re really not the ‘religious big shots’ we like to pretend we are.

That’s all He wants from us, some candor, and an admission that we are guilty of really not being very good Jews!!!

Because as soon as we admit that, we’ll understand that we can’t do this by ourselves, and we’ll start looking for that one in a generation, that Tzaddik, who is really going to help us get through this gilgul in one piece, get us to the promised land, and get us into the world-to-come.

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In the meantime, a couple of weeks ago the Rav gave over a very interesting lesson, which you can read HERE, where he explained some of the deeper mystical significance behind spinning the dreidel. He said:

The dreidel is linked to redemption

…”You redeemed the tribe of Your inheritance.” Rabbenu (Rebbe Nachman) says that the first letters of this [in Hebrew], Galta Shevet Nahalat Har (Tzion) are Gimel, Shin, Nun and Hei – the letters written on the four sides of the dreidel.

THIS IS NES GADOL HAYAH SHAM (A GREAT MIRACLE OCCURRED THERE).

But now, the Zionists changed it to a Pey.

(The Shin on the dreidel stands for sham – ‘there’, i.e. Eretz Yisrael.  Jewish communities in the diaspora still have driedels with the letter Shin, but when the secular Zionists created the State of Israel, they decreed that the ‘Shin’ should be switched to a Pey – which stand for po, here. I.e., that the great miracle happened here, in Eretz Yisrael.)

We must change it back to Shin, because great secrets are bound up with this!

This is related to the verse, “You have redeemed the tribe of Your inheritance, this mountain of Tzion You have dwelled within it.”

Because through [spinning] the dreidel, the Beit HaMikdash will be built.

Because when we spin the driedel, we spin the letters Gimmel, Shin, Nun and Hey around, and by way of this, Mount Tzion will be rebuilt – only by way of the driedel. We need to spin the dreidel every day, we need to be spinning the driedel every moment, every second.

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If I’ve learnt one thing about true tzaddikim, it’s that you should try to take whatever they say as seriously as possible. Literally, whole worlds depend on this. So then, I ran into a problem:

Where am I going to find a dreidel in Israel that has a Shin instead of a Peh?

It’s really not an easy thing, as of course every dreidel here has a peh, for po – here, the miracle happened here, in the Land of Israel.

Yesterday, an email landed in my inbox offering me a hand-carved dreidel from the Galilee with a ‘shin’ for just 22 shekels! Result!!!

So, I’m ordering mine today, and in the meantime, I thought I should put the details up here too, in case anyone out there would also like to fulfill the words of the Tzaddik HaDor, and spin their dreidel with a Shin, on Chanuka.

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Here’s the details:

Hand made wood every piece is unique.
Wood
22 shekalim
possible with a wooden plate to spin on
together 36 shekalim
2  dreidels and one plate for 74 AIYN DALET
TRUE TZADIKIM
050 3900777
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When more of us turn away from the fake news sites, and the fake blog sites, who really just confuse and mislead so very many people, and who obscure the truth by trying to push themselves forward, instead of humbly guiding people towards the sources of real Torah, real truth, in the world, Moshiach will come.
I’m not a betting woman, but I’m still willing to wager that Rabbi Berland knows far more about why spinning a dreidel is important that YWN. And so this Chanuka – for the first time ever! – I’m going to give it a shot.
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You might also like this article:
https://rivkalevy.com/the-birth-of-moshiach/

The last two weeks, I’ve been finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning.

I’m generally sleeping OK, and enough. I’m in good health, baruch Hashem. I have a lot of ‘stuff’ to be getting on with… But it’s a struggle to throw the covers back and get out of bed.

I know why.

Deep down, I’m feeling pretty scared of what the future holds.

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While pointless ‘politics’ is all anyone really seems to be thinking about or discussing, there are real changes going on in the world that we can all feel, but no-one is really talking about them.

The world is still shaking – a 6.4 earthquake just hit Albania, in Southern Europe, doing major damage to a number of buildings and roads, and even causing a number of deaths.

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Did you know about that, from your MSM, before I just told you?

Nope. Didn’t think so.

Now, the quakes are fanning out across Europe, large parts of which is also (not coincidentally….) experiencing ‘extreme’ weather events. This headline kind of says it all:

Storms in France, Greece and Italy leave ‘biblical destruction’.

The Alps have been experiencing some record-breaking, heavy snowfall recently. You won’t know that unless you live in that area or follow alternative news channels, because this fact goes against the whole ‘global warming’ fake news thing. But when you have a lot of snow on mountains, plus the prospect of 4.0+ earthquakes in the area, then you are looking at a high possibility of avalanches.

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Over in the US, the wildfires in California have started up again, this time called ‘The Cave’ fire.

What’s interesting, is how the news sites are telling their viewers that this fire literally ‘exploded overnight’ – but then immediately try to blame that on fake news global warming.

I’ve mentioned this elsewhere, but it’s probably a good time to remind you that when there is a lot of seismic activity, that kind of ‘shakes loose’ all the natural methane that’s trapped underground, and that starts to rise to the surface.

Methane is highly flammable.

All it takes is a spark, and poofff!! A whole area can instantly light up. I think that’s also what’s causing the wildfires that are still burning all over Israel, too, but which (BH) have currently been contained, because there is no massive winds whipping them all over the place.

No-one talks about this, because it’s not ‘politics’. It’s just God controlling the weather, and the seismic activity, and who the heck wants to mention that?!

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There are other things, too, that if you know to look for them, build out the picture that there is a very strange ‘vibe’ coming down to the planet at the moment, or what our sages often refer to as a ruach, or spirit.

So many people are being viciously attacked by wild animals, especially dogs, that it’s almost not news anymore. But a few days ago, a 59 year old woman in Texas was mauled to death outside a house by a bunch of wild pigs….

That’s kinda unusual, no?

And also kinda symbolic, because we all know that the ‘pig’ is Esav, that most traif of pretend-kosher creatures.

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And then, there’s all the stuff I’m trying to deal with internally, that is also scaring me at the moment.

Like, trying to get my People Smarts course together… and trying to launch the book that goes with it… and trying not to get my hopes up too much that this, finally, will mark the turnaround where I’ll actually discover what it is God really wants me to do with my life and (whisper it….) that I may even get paid for.

The only reason that matters is because my family has decided, collectively, that we want to move back to the holy madness that is the Musrara neighborhood of Jerusalem, and even renting there is CRAZY expensive.

Right now, the apartment we are in is great for us, and the rent is reasonable. But the area is pretty ‘dead’ spiritually, and after two years of living back in civilization, where people pick up their own trash and most families have way less than 12 kids, I’m yearning to get back to a place where my neighbors know there is more to life than just cooking a great roast for Shabbat. Or politics….

So, there’s also a lot of anxiety around that, too, which keeps bubbling up when I’m talking to God.

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And then, there are the non-stop efforts by the State of Israel to start another war in this region, to try and take everyone’s minds off the fact that the political experiment here has effectively checkmated itself out of existence.

Nothing like a massive war, to get the nation rallying around the idea of a ‘unity government’!!!

Who cares, that so many people, so many Jews, could get wounded or killed, if the Muslim nations decide to retaliate massively!!!

Let’s keep the circus going for as long as we can, let’s keep talking about politics as the cure for all ills, to take everyone’s mind off the fact that God is actually running the world, and deciding things!!!

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There are very good reasons why taking the terrorists on in Gaza may be a very bad idea.

You can sum it up like this:

Israel is surrounded by literally hundreds of thousands of rockets. The Iron Dome is very easily overwhelmed, and if the terrorists start firing multiple barrages of rockets at us, they will kill and injure a lot of people, God forbid.

At the same time, there is no way the nations of the world will ever let Israel really clean up the problem in Gaza, so any war would be totally ‘cosmetic’, and just for public opinion, just so the politicians can keep the whole circus going a little while longer.

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Personally, I increasingly don’t think it’s worth risking Jewish lives just to give a politician a campaign slogan that they are tough on terror.

Personally, I’m really praying and hoping that Rabbi Berland is going to be able to continue to sweeten all this warmongering, because war doesn’t solve any problems, unless it’s a ‘war’ that God wants and has commanded, like Joshua’s conquering of the holy land.

How did we all get so brainwashed into believing that killing people en masse is the best way to solve our problems?

I believe in defending ourselves where appropriate, in a measured way. But recently, I’ve been asking myself some hard questions, about whether killing large swathes of ‘enemy’ civilians is really what God wants from the Jewish people.

Killing people – any people – should be the very last option on the table, and only if the alternative is that they would kill us, God forbid.

Killing people is a ‘feral pig’ kinda thing to do – an ‘animal’ thing to do – it’s really not a holy Jewish response.

So, I’m also scared that there are bunch of angry, violent fools with zero yirat shemayim ready to rush in where Sanhedrins fear to tread.

Until I remember that God is actually running the world, (even though no-one really talks about Him so much), and that nothing will happen that God doesn’t want to happen.

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And in the meantime, life goes on.

I’m trying to deal with all this by keeping my head down, and trying to continue with my routine, as best I can. I keep reminding myself of the words of the Rav, that Gog and Magog is only going to happen in 200 years time, but the good things can already start now.

Because otherwise, I just can’t get out of bed in the morning.

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Photo by Sylvie Tittel on Unsplash

None of us have a clue about what’s really going on, right now.

One of the striking elements of reading books like Tzaddik, and Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom, is the number of times Rabbenu tells his followers: I don’t know anything.

And he really means it!

Over recent weeks, I’ve been thinking more and more how the people who regularly admit that they truly don’t know anything are really the only ones any one of us should be paying attention to. That’s for a few reasons.

First, true wisdom, true insight, isn’t linear.

It comes as flashes of inspiration that often catch you totally off guard, and up-end everything that you thought and believed was ‘true’.

The very action of acquiring more of this heavenly-inspired ‘knowledge’ and wisdom leaves you in a profound state of not knowing.

I know that’s what’s happening to me. The more I find out about Freemasons, vaccines, or even just what’s going on behind the façade of so many of the ‘regular’ people in my dalet amot, the less I truly feel that I ‘know’ anything.

At any moment, a new piece of information could come rushing up from the depths, or rushing out of the shadows, to turn everything all on its head, and change the whole picture.

There are no certainties in 2019, no guarantees.

Truth has become an expendable commodity for just about everyone, and in its place we have dogma, propaganda and totally unfounded assurances from other people that they know something we don’t.

Really?

The only source of clarity right now is what you get straight from talking to God, and from the mouths of our true Sages. And guess what? (Whisper this…) Our true sages don’t give a monkeys about impeachment hearings on Capitol Hill. It’s all a charade, a façade.

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Which brings me to the second reason why we need to only be listening to the people who aren’t trying to impress us with how much they know, and that boils down to humility and honesty.

Humility means that you aren’t trying to set yourself up as a ‘navi’, or a seer, pretending you have the inside edge about what’s going on all over the world when all you’re doing is watching Youtube videos and scrolling through your Facebook feed.

Let’s say it again: None of us know what’s going down at the moment, which side is up, who is really ‘good’, what is really ‘bad’.

All we have to go on is our intuition, the mirror principle, and any flashes of insight we might get in hitbodedut. While I’m a big believer in intuition and hunches, until the facts are incontrovertibly proved either way, everything is still just an educated guess.

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I think the Freemasons control most of the world and covertly (and not so covertly…) worship the devil. But I could be wrong about that, I admit it.

Ditto, I think Trump has been installed to pull off the ‘deal of the century’ which will see the US permanently installed in Israel to ‘protect us’ from our neighbors, while steadily asset-stripping the massive oilfields they just found in the Golan Heights (conveniently just recognized by Trump as belonging to Israel…) and the gas fields out to sea.

And maybe, something else, too. Who knows?

All I can tell you is that all of these ‘announcements’ from US and Israeli politicians seem to be aimed squarely at trying to provoke another war in the Middle East. Last week’s provocative hit on a PIJ leader didn’t lead to all-out war – miraculously! – so here, the Trump administration is trying to stir things up again, with another pointless ‘recognition’ of settlements in the West Bank, which changes precisely nothing, but is guaranteed to spark off riots in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

Cynic that I am, I can’t help wondering if oil, or some other valuable natural resource, has just been found in the West Bank, too.

Under international law, if you try to cash in on the natural resources in an area whose sovereignty is under dispute, that counts as a ‘war crime’. That was the main problem with the oil fields up in the Golan – which Freemason Trump has now nicely solved for all his billionaire buddies with drilling rights.

But of course, I could be totally wrong about all this!

And if that’s the case, that’s OK with me. I’ll be the first to admit it.

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Which brings me back to the genius of Rabbenu’s “I know nothing’.

When you get in the habit of admitting that you really know nothing, then it gets way, way easier to admit when you inevitably get it wrong, and when you need to rethink things, make teshuva, and maybe apologise.

When you’re in the habit of knowing nothing, the ego doesn’t kick up quite the same fuss, when you have to put your hand up to being fallible and making mistakes. And while so many of us find that process painful and difficult, the more your practice it, the easier it gets.

Knowing nothing – and admitting that regularly – also works a treat to keep you humble, and open to learning from new information, new people, new facts you didn’t know before.

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Two weeks ago, I was in the local supermarket when there was an obviously American woman at the till, asking loudly:

Yesh condensed milk??

The lady serving her wasn’t being very helpful, so I arrogantly took it upon myself to inform her that I’ve never seen condensed milk in Israel, I’m not sure they even have it.

She gave me a glare and a tight smile, and then basically ignored me.

Hah! I thought to myself. Stupid new immigrant! What does she know about shopping in Israel… Not like me, who has lived here 15 years, and knows there is no condensed milk to be had!!!

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A few days ago, I was walking around that same supermarket when an elderly, Russian man literally sprang in front of me, and shoved two cans into my face.

He asked me in broken English what they were.

I took one can and read it carefully. My eyes opened in surprise.

It’s condensed milk, I told him.

He shoved the other can at me, and asked me to read the label of that one, too:

It’s also condensed milk, I told him, starting to flush.

He smiled happily at me – then put both cans back on the shelf and walked off.

====

I don’t know much, but I know why God made that happen.

It was to show me how little I really know – about anything! – and to bring me down a peg or two.

Ah, Rivka.

So, you think you know ‘stuff’? You think you have some insight, some super-duper information no-one else has access to? Tut tut, the truth is, you really know nothing.

You don’t even know that the supermarket you’ve lived next to for two whole years and visit almost every days has not just one brand of condensed milk, but two!

====

It’s humbling, having to admit I know nothing.

But it’s also actually a massive gift. I don’t have to pick fights because my ego is squirming, or because other people have different opinions to me.

Maybe, Trump really is going to drain the swamp.

(Excuse me while I laugh my head off hysterically.)

But maybe, that’s true! What do I know, really?

So I’m not going to take it personally if someone else has a different opinion.

Until the birur process starts to accelerate, it’s just getting more and more confusing, and harder and harder to figure out where the truth lies.

God doesn’t mind that we guess and get it wrong. Or that we suppose, based on totally false information and propaganda. He just gets upset with us when we arrogantly start dissing other people, because we think we know better than they do.

Because the truth is, we know nothing.

====

Photo by Dave Webb on Unsplash

====

You might also like this article:

My late father-in-law was a Freemason.

I knew that many years ago, and I vaguely disapproved of it, as I’d see him hunched over his Freemason ‘manual’, mamash like a scholar learning a Tractate of Gemara. But I didn’t realise just how bad Freemasonry really is, until this week.

This is going to be one of the stranger posts you’ll read, I’ll warn you now. But there is no way I can really tell you why I’m writing this post, without explaining some of the high strangeness that’s occurred behind it.

And so with that introduction out the way, let’s begin.

====

Back in the beginning of August, my husband snapped the tendon – the Achilles heel – of his left leg, playing tennis.

It was a bad injury, as these things go, so his foot was wrapped in bandages, he got a pair of crutches, and I applied all my essential oils, Sujok and lentils weirdness to getting it to heal.

The first 10 days, he was doing really well, relatively. Then, he happened to trip over a piece of carpet – and we were back to square one. Two days later, he tripped over a dip in the pavement. And then, over the next four weeks, every single time his ankle was approaching the point of starting to properly heal up, something would happen again, to re-injure the foot and take him back to square one.

Over Rosh Hashana in Uman, he fell down some stairs and also banged it badly, on a separate occasion. And so, this weird pattern continued on for a few more days, with more strange strains, knocks and accidents.

The last straw happened one Friday morning, during the 10 days of teshuva, when I heard my husband yell sharply before falling over, somewhere in the backroom. I ran over there to find him clutching his ankle again, his face contorted in pain.

What happened?!?

He’d fallen over the centimeter-high lip of the doorsill leading into my daughter’s room. Totally ridiculous.

====

 At that stage, the Moroccan genes took over and I told my husband:

I have a really bad feeling about all this. There is some serious ‘din’, or judgment, going on with your foot, and we need to ask the Rav what’s going on.

I put in a request for a pidyon – and the answer came back with quite a big sum. That wasn’t the worrying part. The worrying part was that the Rav told him he had to pay it within the next hour. We scrabbled all over the place to take a loan[1] to do it, because the next day was Yom Kippur, and we both had the strong feeling that the Rav doesn’t say anything stam.

In the recording we got back after we paid the pidyon, the Rav told us:

I will come to your house, and everything will open up.

====

Over Succot, I found myself obsessed with researching my husband’s father’s family tree.

I don’t know why, but I just had the feeling it was all connected to his Achilles Heel problem. All Succot, I basically sat in the Succah with my laptop, trying to track down all these long-forgotten relatives.

After a week of obsessive research, I’d discovered that my husband’s ancestors hailed from the Lithuanian coastal town of Palanga; that my husband’s great-grandmother was one of 9 siblings who moved en masse to Liverpool in the late 1800s – and that nearly all of them had totally assimilated.

My father-in-law was born into a third generation Jewish household that effectively kept almost no mitzvahs, and really knew nothing about their yiddishkeit.

I thought maybe marking the yarhtzeits of all these dead relatives was part of the reason my husband had hurt his foot, so I duly copied down the dates – and the Achilles Heel started to improve. For the first time in months, there was some solid and sustained healing going on. But it was still a slow process.

====

Two weeks ago, I got a message from one of the Rav’s attendants that the Rav would be coming to my house, for a visit.

I was a little overwhelmed, but then I remembered the Rav’s message, and I understood that we’d got up to the next part of the healing process for my husband’s foot.

The Rav came and met a small group of people in my home. I spent a whole day trying to clean the house properly beforehand, then most of the day itself feeling awestruck that I actually was having the Tzaddik HaDor in my house, and then the next two days in a bit of a daze.

That was 10 days ago.

While my husband’s heel was still improving overall, it was still hurting him. By this point, I’d tracked down every relative I could find, on both sides of my husband’s family. He’d been putting some serious effort into trying to make teshuva about anything he could think of, that could be related, and he was also upping his Torah learning.

Both of us were stumped, at this point, as to what was still causing the problem.

I did a long six hours on Shabbat, to try to get some insight, and by the end of it, all I really had was a strong urge to go and visit the old city of Acco.

The Rav had recently been writing a lot about Acco, and about how Napoleon tried but failed to conquer it, and it seemed to be linked to all this ‘illuminati’ stuff, and the general struggle for good to triumph over bad.

I’m a history buff, and I’ve been wanting to go to the old city of Acco for literally 15 years, and it’s never happened. So on Shabbat I told my husband, yalla, I can’t wait anymore, I’m going to Acco by myself on Monday.

So that’s what I did.

====

The first few hours in Acco, I was so pleased I came.

I visited the old Turkish bathhouse built by the cruel Turkish ruler Al Jazzer, ‘The Butcher’, the man who’d beaten back Napoleon’s forces when they tried to storm old Acco’s walls.

Seven times Napoleon launched an attack on Acco, and seven times he failed.

Napoleon didn’t know this, but Rebbe Nachman was staying in the city exactly at that time, and fled to the port just as the Turks and English announced they were closing to gates, as Napoleon’s troops were approaching.

Rabbenu got passage on a Turkish war ship that was anchored in the port of Acco[2] – risking his life in the process – and somehow or other, Napoleon was stopped in his tracks, the Turks prevailed, and the French failed to conquer Acco, and by extension, the land of Israel.

So, as I wandered around the very Arab old streets, I tried to imagine where Rabbenu may have been staying, and which path he took down to the old port, back in 1799. I sat on the quay for a wonderful half an hour, looking at the shoals of fish in the sea and trying to imagine Acco port full of long-masted ships o’war, instead of small yachts.

By Oren Rozen – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57357504

====

I decided I was going to see everything Acco had to offer, historically, in the day I was there.

So I went to the Turkish bathhouse, the Ramchal’s synagogue, walked around the perimeter of the huge Al Jazzer mosque, walked the ramparts of the massive walls which had held back Napoleon, walked through the Old City markets, walked through the deep underground Templars’ Tunnel that the Crusaders had built to link the port to their now destroyed castle – and then popped up in something called the Knight’s Kingdom, which was the unearthed fortress of the Hospittaler Knights’, built 900 years ago.

And here is where the story gets pretty strange.

====

The Knights’ Fortress was found almost by accident.

In the late 1940s, the British had taken over the Turkish fort at Acco, and used part of it as a jail, where they put the prisoners from the Jewish underground organisations like the Irgun, Lehi and even a few Haganah men.

On May 4, 1947, the Irgun launched a bombing raid on the prison to try and spring their comrades out. 40 prisoners escaped, but some of the raiders were captured or killed by the British, who went on to hang three of the Jewish raiders, on the special gallows they’d built within the Acco fortress.

Before the raid, the prisoners had been attempting to dig their way out, but they hit a massive stone structure that blocked their path.

That structure was the Hospitallers’ Fortress.

By Lev.Tsimbler – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28914575

====

From the 1950s on, the State of Israel started excavating the site, and they quickly discovered a perfectly preserved Crusaders’ Fortress, buried in the mud. When the Arabs had finally beaten the Crusaders and conquered Acco in 1291, they destroyed the Crusaders’ palace, but left the fortress intact, and simply built their own, new fortress on top of it.

Today, that Crusader Fortress is a massive draw for all the xtian pilgrims and visitors to the Holy Land. The Ministry for Tourism has cleaned it up so nicely. It’s spent a fortune on ‘multi-media’ displays – 44 in total! – which tell you all sorts of interesting snippets of (mis)information, and ‘cute’ stories, about those loving, caring Crusaders, who opened a hospital in Acco to help everyone!

Including the local Muslims and Jews! Because they were just such amazing, loving and giving xtian souls….!

====

After I went through exhibit #44, I was totally sickened by all the whitewashing of the Crusaders, and all the ‘Disney-fication’ of who these people were, and what they really did, particularly to the Jews.

How can it be, I kept asking myself, that in modern-day Israel we have a perfectly preserved Crusader fortress and medieval town museum, that makes absolutely no mention of the thousands of Jews butchered to pieces by the Crusaders, on their way to ‘liberate’ the holy land from the Muslim infidel?!

I have a book that I bought to read on Tisha B’Av one year called The Jews and the Crusaders, that contains four eye-witness accounts by Jews of the barbaric atrocities and wholesale murder doled out by these loving and caring Crusader knights to the Jewish communities of what is today France and Germany, on their way to the Holy Land.

But not a word of the Crusaders’ murder of Jews was to be found anywhere, amongst all the exhibits and historical literature put out by Israel’s Ministry of Tourism in Acco.

I decided that when I got home, I was going to research these Crusaders properly, and fill in some of those gaps.

====

So Tuesday, just as the latest ‘war’ with Gaza was kicking off down South, I spent the whole day trying to track down references to the Knights Templar, and to the Knights of the Hospitaller Order of St John, and the other order of Teutonic Knights who had taken over Acco 900 years ago, and ruled Israel for 150 years, before being expelled by the Muslim Turks.

Very quickly, I tripped into a whole bunch of information that started to make my head spin.

What follows is a very brief, potted version, just so you can follow the gist. I may well come back to some of this stuff in a future posts to give more details, we’ll see.

====

The first thing I discovered is that after a few years in Israel, the Knights Templar quickly degenerated into a fabulously wealthy, devil-worshipping sect who were the people who originated the tenets of the modern banking system.

At the height of their operations in Acco, they were bringing massive ships containing up to 1000 pilgrims at a time to Israel, and they were also at the heart of a European trading network that included sugar cane, spices – and drugs.

Many of Europe’s royalty basically bankrupted themselves and their kingdoms to raise funds for the three Crusades, and nearly all of them became indebted to the Knights Templar, (and in a lesser fashion, to the other orders of Knights and Crusader rulers in Israel at that time.) At their height, the Knights Templar owned 9000 properties and estates in Europe, plus all the associated revenues – tax free.

====

The Knights Templars were known for their violence and bravery, which in plain English means they were a bunch of murderous psychopaths that everyone was scared of.

While they started off owing allegiance to the Pope, very quickly they became a law unto themselves – and all of Europe’s rulers were scared of them, particularly when they were kicked out of Israel and returned to the continent.

In 1307, French King Phillippe IV rounded up as many of the Knights Templars as he could on one day, and formally accused them of being a cult of practicing homosexuals who engaged in black magic, murder, pedophilia and devil worship. Many of the group were burned at the stake, but the Templars’ large fleet of ships at La Rochelle – and most of their treasure[3] – disappeared before Phillippe could get his hands on them.

Some of the Templars appear to have joined the ranks of the Knights Hospitallers, while other Templars turned up in Scotland, where they fought alongside Robert the Bruce during his wars against the English monarchy.

====

There’s a ‘disagreement’ between modern historians about whether the Knights Templar really had become so evil and corrupted, or whether the French King made it all up, just to get his hands on their wealth and to break their power.

I went through an awful lot of documents and information to research this, and here’s the ‘potted’ version of what I discovered, which I think has been deliberately obscured for a lot of different reasons.

When the Knights Templar first got to Israel, they were exposed to a number of different religious influences here, that they didn’t have to contend with back in Europe. This included ‘heretical’ proto-xtian Gnostic beliefs, and the good old fashioned hardcore idol worship being practiced by the ancestors of the people that we know as the modern Druze.

If you research the Druze, you’ll find that they are neither ‘Muslim’ nor ‘Xtian’, but tend to blend in with whatever religion or people is controlling their surroundings. Their core beliefs are kept strictly secret even to this day, and stories abound of them worshipping golden calves (!) kept in silver boxes, up mountains and in hidden groves across what is today modern Lebanon and Syria.

The Druze are known to have had some close interactions with a group of idol worshipers who maintained a lot of ancient occult knowledge from Egypt, known as the Sabians. There is evidence that the first Templars in the Middle East – a very small, elite group of 9 wealthy knights – went to these Sabians in Harran before they did anything else, to try to learn more of their ‘occult’ ancient Egyptian knowledge, on the direct orders of Bernard of Clairveaux.

====

But there’s another, more philosophical, explanation for how the Knights Templar and the other crusaders in Israel literally went to the dark side and started worshipping the devil:

It appears that the Knights Templars were exposed to the Jewish texts that explained that Mary the mother of yoshki was actually a prostitute, and that yoshki himself was a mamzer. In the contemporary Jewish accounts written in The Jews and the Crusaders, the Jews being put to the sword explicitly told their xtian murderers that they weren’t about to exchange belief in the One True God for:

a crucified scion who was despised, abominated and held in contempt in his own generation, a bastard son conceived by a menstruating and wanton mother.”[4]

====

At the same time, the Templars came into contact with demonically-inspired Gnostic beliefs that stated the very opposite of what we know to be true, namely that God is only good and the opposite of God is evil and Satanic.

The Templars saw that Judaism, and Hashem, were part of a tradition that called their ‘god’, yoshki, an evil, idolatrous mamzer. So, they decided that anything that was ‘against’ yoshki must be bad, and hey presto, that lead to them saying that white was really black, and to deciding that the opposite of Hashem was what was really good.

It’s easy to see how swiftly this erroneous belief leads to straight-out devil-worship, and all of the unspeakable evil associated with it.[5]

====

Meanwhile, the Hospitaller Knights of Acco also seem to have become spiritually corrupted whilst in Israel – although it’s even harder to find any specific historical details or accounts describing this period of their history – and they went through a number of metamorphoses, until they became the modern orders of St John / the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), and Knights of Malta – all apparently different, but actually all just the same “Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta.”

And here’s where we’re about to take off into ‘Illuminati World’.

====

I found it a little strange that it was so hard to pin down any real, concrete information about the dark side of the Knights Templar and the Knights of Malta / SMOM on Google.

Consistently, the first few pages were coming up with the same sort of sanitized, superficial Disney propaganda plastering the walls of the ‘Knights’ Kingdom’ in Acco. It’s all about charidee!! And helping sick people!! And running hospitals and organisations for displaced people and poor, orphaned kids!!

So, I started skipping straight to pages 7-8-9, to see what Google was trying to keep buried.

All of a sudden, I started finding all these pages from ‘conspiracy theorists’ about both the Knights Templar, and the Knights of Malta.

I don’t want to overload you in this post, so let me just pick out a few significant things that are actually FACT, not wild speculation, that will hopefully serve to show you that there is way more going on here, than is superficially obvious:

====

FACT 1: For centuries since the Crusades, SMOM has acted as the military arm of the Vatican, particularly in the Holy Land.

FACT 2: The British Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, and many other members of the British Royal Family, and European Royal Families, are members of SMOM (despite the fact it’s Catholic. The Queen is the putative head of the protestant Church of England.) Queen Victoria opened up a branch of the Knights of Malta in 1885 in the UK, with herself as the head.

FACT 3: None other than Napoleon forced the SMOM out of Malta in 1798 – a year before attacking Acco. At this point, the SMOM formally relocated to Rome.

FACT 4: The Knights of Malta only accepted nobles and royalty in its highest classes of membership until the 1990s, when they dropped that requirement – and membership in the US started to boom, as a result. You can only join SMOM by invitation. The leader of the Knights of Malta is called the ‘Prince and Grand Master’, is elected for life, and has to be approved by the Pope.

FACT 5: The Knights of Malta set up the Red Cross and the Red Crescent – and still have very close ties with these organization. (In the UK, for example, it’s still called the ‘St John’s Ambulance Brigade’).

FACT 6: The Knights of Malta gave the infamous Nazi General Reinhard Gehlen their highest honor for “services rendered” immediately after World War II.

FACT 7: The Knights of Malta has diplomatic ties with 108 nations (obviously not including Israel…) and ‘permanent observer’ status at the UN, despite having no country or government or citizens of its own.

FACT 8: The Knights of Malta were also big in Russia, with Czar Paul I becoming their Grandmaster after 1798, when he gave many of the Knights refuge in St Petersberg.

FACT 9: In 1794, SMOM contacted James Monroe, the American ambassador to France, to propose an alliance between the Knights of Malta and the newly-formed USA. No-one knows (or at least, no-one is telling) what happened next.

FACT 10: According to Wikipedia: “[The Knights of Malta’s] annual budget is on the order of 1.5 billion euros, largely funded by European governments, the United Nations and the European Union, foundations and public donors.” This is a massive amount of public money being funneled into the hands of secretive aristocrats and the Catholic Church.

FACT 11: In the times of the crusades and afterwards, the Hospitaller Knights were often in direct competition with the Knights Templar. It’s not too much of a stretch to say this rivalry could have extended itself into our days, too.

====

While you’re chewing over all of that – and believe me, it’s a LOT to chew over – let’s turn our attention back to the Knights Templar, because I want to explain how all this is connected to my late father-in-law and my husband’s damaged, left Achilles heel.

After the devil-worshipping Knights Templar got to Scotland, they went through something of a rebranding exercise, and after 300 years or so, they emerged as the nascent order of the Freemasons.

Again, remember that European nobility and these corrupted orders of Knights were very heavily intertwined with each other, particularly around the areas of military force and finance.

And that pattern is continuing today.

When the Scottish (Freemason) King James I took over the English throne, after the death of Elizabeth I in 1603, that’s when the Freemasons’ Lodges started to pop-up all over England – which coincided with England’s rapid ascent to become the #1 power in the world.

====

In the middle of researching all this, I got an email from a reader which said the following:

“According to the Baal HaTanya, Napoleon was a sorcerer see here

http://www.shturem.net/index.php?section=artdays&id=209

Also for that reason, when Napoleon was pursuing him, he went back to his previous location on one occasion, at considerable risk to take a small personal item he forgot, because if Napoleon found it, he would use his kishuf to locate him.”

All of a sudden, things came full-circle, and I decided to research whether Napoleon was a Freemason.

You already know the answer, don’t you?

Napoleon was a Freemason, and actually opened a lodge of Freemasons in Egypt in 1798– called the ‘Isis’ lodge – shortly before trying to conquer Eretz Yisrael and Acco.

All roads lead back to Acco.

Napoleon basically planted the seed of Freemasonry in the Middle East, and it’s been flowering, behind the scenes, ever since, regardless of who is really publically leading these countries.

====

Before we get back to my father-in-law and my husband, let me just throw out there that so many of the senior figures in the USA, including many of the founding fathers and George Washington himself, were openly Freemasons. There’s even a ‘Freemasons’ bible that George Washington – and so many of the US presidents after him – have been sworn into office on.

Winston Churchill was a Freemason. FDR – US President during WW 2 – was a Freemason. CIA head Allen Dulles was a Freemason. A whole bunch of US High Court Justices were and are Freemasons. J. Edgar Hoover (FBI) was a Freemason.  Ralph Bellamy (author of the US Pledge of Allegiance) was a Freemason.

A whole bunch of high-profile ministers – many of whom have founded their own churches and popular ministries – are Freemasons. Freemasons founded the US Navy, and commanded American Forces during Operation Desert Storm in Iraq. To name just a few of the ones who are publically known.

There are apparently 50 Freemason Lodges in the State of Israel, and even so-called ‘Jewish lodges’ in the UK and US that count a great many pretending-to-be-orthodox Rabbis amongst their initiates.

====

Officially, Freemasonry says that it’s all about charity, all about lofty principles of brotherly love, etc, and it goes to great pains to dress itself up as a good ‘social justice’ society, with just some eccentric initiation rites.

I’m a journalist. I try very, very hard to explore all angles of the stories I write about here, and to research every aspect as meticulously as I can, and to share that research with my readers, before rushing to a conclusion.

The fact that Google is apparently censoring so much of the information about the origins of the Freemasons, and the history of the Knights Templar and the Knights of Malta, immediately made me think that something strange is going on here, because otherwise, why would they bother?

On the other hand, while the original Knights Templar were clearly devil-worshipping sodomites with black magic rites and customs straight out of ancient Egypt, including worshipping the mummified heads of dead people, just as Laban used to, it’s still quite a stretch to say that more recent Freemasons like US President George Washington were up to the same sort of things.

So for two days, I decided to just sit on all this information, and not write about it, because who really knows what’s going on?

Until last night, when I had a strange dream.

====

All night, I was dreaming of my father-in-law, the Freemason, who kept telling me to ‘go and check what Freemasons do with their left foot’.

Literally all night, the same statement, over and over again.

Yesterday evening, my husband’s Achilles heel had been hurting him again.

So this morning, after I did some hitbodedut about the weird dream, and got a strong steer that I really should take it seriously, and look into the actual initiation rites for Freemasons, I fired up the laptop to take a look.

Again, this information is almost totally absent from Google, which I find very suspicious, because why does Google care about ‘arcane’ initiation ceremonies for charitable organisations that are apparently only doing wonderful things in the world? So I had to switch to duck-duck-go, which censors ways less than Google, and very quickly, I found some xtian sites trying to warn people away from joining the masons.

I typed in ‘left foot Freemasons’ – and here’s a short version of the initiation rite that you need to undergo just to get your foot in the Lodge door as a ‘First Degree’ initiate:

====

UPDATE:

Over Shabbat, I realised that this stuff is so dark, and so obviously occult, I actually don’t want it specifically on my website, as it’s mamash demonic. If you go HERE, it will tell you everything that’s involved in the initiation stage of what’s called the ‘Shock of Entrance’ – Google is totally censoring this information, so you may have to use Firefox or Duck-Duck-Go.

====

There’s way, way more to this – including Masonic gold rings inscribed with the Hebrew letter yud, connected to the kabbalistic concept of Yesod – but to be honest with you, I started to get freaked out by what I was reading – even on the sites that are trying to pretend that Freemasonry is only a charitable brotherhood.

As a believing Jew, it’s very clear that whatever is hiding behind the secular façade of masonry is anything but secular.

Even just this first initiation rite is full of symbolism and customs that are the exact opposite of what Judaism teaches a person should do, right down to which foot a person should put first.

Judaism says put the right foot first.

Freemasons teach the exact opposite.

====

I read all this, and I understood what my father-in-law had been trying to tell me, and why my husband, and the rest of the extended family, have had such a challenging time, in so many different ways, since my father-in-law’s death, eight years ago.

My father-in-law was a tinok shenishba. He grew up in a home devoid of even basic Judaism, and he had a lot of kindness in him, and tried his best to be a good husband and to support his family. For years, I simply couldn’t understand why there seemed to be so much harsh judgment, so much din, hanging over my father-in-law and his family – including my husband.

Now, finally, I get it.

He was basically co-opted into a society of black magic and devil-worship that even at its most ‘mild’ and watered-down, had still bound his Jewish soul to the Sitra Achra, with solemn oaths taken on the Bible.

====

So then, I had the question: how do we fix this?

How do we stop other Jewish souls – other people – from falling into the trap of thinking Freemasonry is ‘harmless’, and losing their souls as a result?

After pondering it, I realized that I had to write this, and share this information with others.

I know it’s weird, I know it’s challenging.

All I can tell you, is that I’ve left out way more information than I’ve included here, and much of that makes an even stronger case for who and what is behind so many of the senseless wars, drug abuse, and human misery prevalent in today’s world.

God is only good. If we follow God’s commandments, we really will get to nirvana, to geula, to the redemption of the Jewish people, and of mankind more widely.

That’s the right path, the right foot.

And Freemasonry is idol worship, and selling your soul to the devil.

Once we have that crystal clear, the process of geula the sweet way can start to move forward again.

====

Written for the ilui neshama of Baruch ben Silka.

====

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Since we took that loan, my husband has been inundated with the work required to repay it.

[2] You can read the whole story in Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom, published in English by the Breslov Research Institute.

[3] There are a bunch of associated xtian myths with this time, claiming the Knights Templar were the custodians of the ‘Holy Grail’. This seems to be more Disneyfication of the Templars, to obscure the fact they were banished and persecuted because they were literally worshipping the devil.

[4] Chronicle of Solomon bar Simson, written in 1140 C.E., The Jews and the Crusaders, by Shlomo Eidelberg.

[5] It’s also easy to see why so many of the xtians who write about the subject of the Illuminati try to obscure the very xtian origin of the problem of how all this devil worship has resurfaced in the very heart of modern xtian societies, and instead make the false claim that the Jews have created Freemasonry as a form of the ‘Noachide laws’, to try to ‘entice’ xtians away from the true path.

[6] The original Knights Templar also used to wear their trademark cross on the left breast, over the heart.

====

Photo by Artur Tumasjan on Unsplash

====

You might also like this article:

What does it really mean to ‘go to yourself’?

This week, we’re reading Parsha Lech Lecha, where Avraham Avinu is given a clear steer by Hashem that he needs to leave his birth place, his family, his status and go to some unknown destination.

We know that the deeds of the forefathers are a ‘sign’ or message for their descendants, and that each of us will have to face some form of lech lecha in the service of Hashem. What do you think that would look like, for us today?

I was pondering this after my piece on Who is Armilus? over on the RavBerland.com site attracted some comments that caused me to raise an eyebrow.

====

Apparently, few sacred cows are as sacred as Donald Trump…. Again, I’m not political in the least, and I really couldn’t give a monkeys who sits in the White House, or what party they belong to.

The political system everywhere in the world is an illusion, a Greek-inspired fantasy world that keeps us all at each other throats arguing partisan politics while the real baddies continue to pull the strings from behind the scenesAt this point, it seems sensible to assume that:

All politicians are bad, and are serving a system that is bad.

Are some better than others? Maybe. Who knows? Who really cares? It’s a shade of grey that only distracts from the underlying clarity that the political system is a fantasy that’s used to manipulate and confuse people into believing that they have some choice, or some say, in how the planet is really being run.

Really? We don’t.

And personally, I’m so weary of all these pointless discussions about impeachment, and Democrats vs Republicans, and Brexit yes or no, and Lieberman and Blue and White, and all the rest of it.

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All of this stuff is just keeping us away from the tachlis, the main point, the purpose of life:

To get closer to Hashem, and work on our own bad middot.

All this other stuff is just a pointless distraction. Partisan politics replaced religion as the ‘opium of the masses’, and it’s so frustrating to see how many people are literally wasting their time, their lives, on something that is 100% fantasy.

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The facts are these:

The US is interested in one thing, and one thing alone: it’s economy.

The US is using its army for one thing, and one thing alone: threatening and taking over third world countries so it can asset-strip them of their valuable natural resources, especially oil and natural gas.

The US ‘recognised’ the Golan Heights as belonging to Israel for one reason, and one reason alone:

There is a massive oil field there, that the Israeli mafia who run the country, together with the corrupt billionaires who are pulling the strings in the US and the UK have already divvied-up between them.

US company Genie was granted the contract to start exploring for oil in the Golan in 2013 – conveniently 18 months after Syria’s civil war began. The following information on Genie comes from the petroleum-economist site:

Genie was founded by Howard Jonas, who also founded the telecoms company, IDT. Jonas tried to emigrate to Israel in 2005 but found it impossible to manage his business from there. IDT is one of the largest private employers in Jerusalem, which Jonas has called the “centre of the world”.

Genies’ advisory board includes Rupert Murdoch, Dick Cheney and Jacob Rothschild.

The chairman of Genie’s Israeli subsidiary is Effie Eitam, a former leader of the Israeli National Religious Party, which represents Israeli settlers, and former minister for infrastructure. Eitam fought in the Golan and lives in one of its settlements.

Uzi Landau, the minister of infrastructure until last month, who granted the licence to explore for oil to Genie was a cabinet colleague of Eitam in at least two Israeli governments.

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Are you starting to see how all this works?

What’s amazing to me is that no-one is talking about what went on with the obvious corruption and croney-ism that’s behind this Genie / Golan Heights deal.

(Read THIS for more. I’m not sure how far down that rabbit hole I want to venture, at this point, and let me also point out that while this author is making some very interesting connections, clearly not everything he’s saying is true.)

But make no mistake, that any profit from these natural resources that should be going to you and me, the citizens of Israel, and to building the country, has already been slated to inflate the bank accounts and power-bases of the tiny handful of ‘elites’ who already own everything else in the world.

Trump good, Trump bad – who cares?

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Jews all over the world have a duty to stop lying to ourselves about what is really going on in the world.

The truth is, the Muslim regimes that the US and the West are trying to overthrow actually have far more in common with authentic Judaism than the ‘enlightened’ forces battling them. Of course, I’m not condoning ISIS violence, or Sharia law, or chopping people heads and hands off, God forbid, anything but.

God forbid, I’m not condoning the Iranian nuke, or it’s aggression against Israel.

But let’s take the blinders off, and ask ourselves a serious question, for a moment:

If we are really honest about what the US has done and is doing in the world, in the name of ‘democracy’ and ‘justice’, we will find that the US has wrecked and pillaged one country after another, both overtly and covertly, to service its insatiable greed.

(Let’s be clear that the European colonialists were doing all this before them, just the US has taken over where the Brits, French, Dutch and Belgians apparently stopped.)

The CIA, the NSA, MI6 and some of the other spook agencies have deliberately destabilized one country after another politically, so they could install a ‘puppet regime’ who would be very happy to let the Americans asset-strip the country. American companies get the fat contracts to ‘exploit’ the resources, and the American government sets the ‘fair’ price they are willing to pay for them.

And who loses out?

The poor citizens of these countries.

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I’m pointing this out because unless there is some massive, sincere teshuva unleashed in the US and the West, and particularly in the Jewish communities there, sooner or later God is going to pull the rug out from the USA’s feet.

The earth is already shaking, although the media is studiously ignoring all the signs that the seismic pressure is alarming, and pointing to the distinct possibility that the North American landscape may soon be about to change in a whole bunch of ways.

And I’m not talking about politics.

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Iran hates America, because the US overthrew its democratically-elected government back in the 1950s, to install their corrupt puppet, the Shah. The Shah oppressed his people ruthlessly – but sold oil to the Americans for a knock-down price. So he was painted as the good guy!!!

And the same thing has happened all over Latin America and Africa, too.

The world is in the awful mess it is in today, with billions of people stuck in a permanent ‘Third World’, because the US and NATO and the CIA went in time and time again to overthrow a democratic government that was inimical to Western economic interests, to replace it with a brutal, corrupt dictatorship that let the Americans and Europeans asset-strip to their hearts’ content.

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So what does all this have to do with lech lecha, and the Jews?

Rebbe Nachman teaches that each of the 70 nations of the world has a particular evil ‘trait’ that the Jews who live in that nation will have to overcome, in order to rectify it.

It’s as clear as daylight that the main evil trait of the USA is a lust for money.

It’s as clear as daylight, that the US has totally wrecked and corrupted half the world in their blind pursuit of oil, gas, and economic abundance.

It’s as clear as daylight, that the lust for money is also the main reason why more of America’s orthodox Jews aren’t moving to Israel – and why so many Jews in the US abandoned their yiddishkeit and assimilated in the first place.

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This week, God is giving us a prod in the back, and He’s telling us:

Lech Lecha!

Leave all that materialism, all that phoney talk about ‘justice and democracy’, all those lies about America being the world’s ‘good guy’, all that Greek fantasy about politics mattering an iota – and get real.

Get real.

Understand that the Jews who are living in America – and of course everywhere else in the world – have an awful lot of teshuva to make.

Enough with the pretend perfect.

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All God really requires of us, is for us to be honest about what the problems really are, and to ask for His help to overcome them.

But for as long as we’re pretending that the USA is ‘justice’ embodied, and for as long as we’re pretending that all the awful, bad, disgusting things that we ourselves do to other people are ‘justified’, we are a million miles away from really doing Lech Lecha, and leaving the bad behind to return to Hashem.

But maybe, just maybe, 5780 is the year to finally face that truth down.

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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:

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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.

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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.

 

Since Rosh Hashana, I’ve just been feeling like I’m bouncing along the bottom, spiritually.

And there really isn’t much I can do about that, except not give up and let go.

Sukkot continued the theme of me hoping I could attain a spiritual level – even a basic one! – that sadly seems so far out of reach at the moment. True, me and the kids made our own decorations for the Sukkah this year, which was great. True, also, that I managed to roast some beef in a way that was edible, which was an open miracle.

Ten years ago, I tried to cook what I thought was beef for my brother when he came to visit from the UK, and because I had no idea what cut of meat I’d actually bought, it came out the chewiest meat I’d ever had to eat.

Because he’s British and kind of polite, my brother forced himself to eat it, but to this day, he likes to remind me of the ‘donkey stew’ that I dished up to him that night.

So getting a cut of beef to come out edible is quite an achievement for me.

But otherwise, I really can’t boast about my Sukkot.

True, I spent a lot of time sitting there by myself obsessively researching my husband’s family tree from Lithuania, but I can’t say I did more than that.

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Shabbat rolled around, and with it the strange mood I’d been in all week deepened and broadened out.

Does no-one else in this house know where the supermarket is? I wondered to myself, as I schlepped for the millionth time to replenish the cupboard and fridge.

Does no-one else know how to wash up? Does no-one else know how to cook?

In fairness, my kids weren’t around. One had descended to Egypt for the chag, and spent Sukkot in Sinai. Great.

The other was just at her friends all the holiday, including one night she spent in a 5 storey mansion in Rishon LeZion that had its own sauna, pool room, and was basically decked-out like a boutique hotel. The owners were mishpacha of one of my daughter’s friends, so she went to see how the other half live, as the owner had gone to Italy for Sukkot.

How festive of everyone. How very Sukkot-y of everyone.

The husband was out of action, still hobbling around on an ankle that has refused to heal for nearly three months, until we paid a pidyon over to Rav Berland shortly before Sukkot, and now things are looking up, Baruch Hashem.

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So Shabbat rolled around, and after yet another round of shopping and cooking for the ‘guests’ that call themselves my kids, I was in a bad mood.

The bad mood was compounded by all these Litvak ancestors who totally goyed out 100 years ago and stopped keeping anything.

One had even baptized the children he had with his non-Jewish wife, after naming them ‘Blumer’ and ‘Wolfe’. The mind boggles.

So, I was sitting there thinking that I’m not doing so well on the ‘upstanding spiritual Jewish household front’ at the moment, and long story short, that quickly snowballed into our annual massive fight in front of all the neighbors.

This has happened so many years in a row since we’ve been in Jerusalem, I think it’s some sort of institution now. Just as everyone else was finishing up their zemirot and bentching, the Levy Sukkot started up with World War III, arguing about things like free choice, and whether God (and parents….) still loves Jews that go completely off the derech.

God does, but I’m not God!!!

I told my kid that , and I could see she was shocked, but it’s the truth.

Or to be more accurate, I will continue to love my kids whatever, but I want to actually have kids I can relate to, and that I don’t have to walk on eggshells around because they’ve taken a path of confusion and now just talk pointless rubbish all the time (at best…).

I’m not God. I can’t pretend you can do whatever you want and that’s totally cool with me.

I thought some more, and then I added:

And I’m not sure God thinks that Jews can do whatever they want, too, even if they are still teenagers.

This was apparently shocking news.

Since then, we’ve made up again, baruch Hashem, but there went our neighborhood reputation…

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On Simchat Torah, I woke up with a cold, which got me out of going to shul for hakafot which was great, because I didn’t have a shul to go to, anyway. I danced a bit with the chumash in my own house, and started to feel like I don’t really belong in Baka, again.

The feeling was compounded when we went out for supper, and one of the other guests started slagging off the Rav.

I literally got all shaky, hearing this guy opine on things he really knows nothing about that equate to a one way ticket to gehinnom, and my husband started yelling at him.

The conversation then devolved into an argument about whether the Gemara is really ‘Torah’ (!) and then at that point, the yelling between my husband and this guy got so loud the man’s wife intervened and placed him under a gag order.

We spent the next hour making polite small talk about banal things that no-one could take offence at, and I thought to myself: What a waste of life! What a waste of time! And I felt kinda sad.

Next day, we got invited out again by neighbors of ours who I really like, but who have been surfing negative Youtube videos about the Rav. I gave them One in a Generation to try to put the other side –they read ¼ of it, and gave it back, still preferring the Youtube version of events.

What can I do?

Where can I go?

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The anglo, gashmius part of me quite enjoys Baka, with its leafy greenery, and ordered neighborhoods. But my soul is starting to wither here.

Once chag was out, we headed out to our old hood, to go hang out by Rav Berland’s ginormous Sukkah in the Meah Shearim bit of Musrara. There was trash everywhere. There were kids everywhere. There were people everywhere. I sat on a bench with my husband, and my soul lit up as my nose wrinkled.

You know, it takes a lot of effort to get trash into every corner of the streets, like that. They are actually putting some effort into doing this right…

As we stood by the bank on the corner of Meah Shearim, looking at home and simultaneously looking out of place, a group of chareidi men in a rush speed-walked past, accompanying some distinguished Rov. I have no idea who he was, just that people kept running over to kiss his hand.

I miss this madness, I told my husband. I miss this kedusha.

But I don’t miss the trash.

So not for the first time, I found myself caught between two worlds, two lifestyles, two neighborhoods. Clean, sociable and heretical in Baka, or filthy, isolated and holy in Musrara.

For the last year and a half, the body has been winning out.

But I think in 5780, the soul is starting to tip the balance again.

Now, I just need to find 3.5 million shekels from somewhere, to move back…

TBC

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