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I went into a bit of a tailspin, the last couple of days.

That happens, doesn’t it? Even when we’re trying out best to have emuna, and trying out best to pray, and trying out best to keep ‘seeing the good’, there are moments, hours and days when we still feel down about what’s going on.

That’s what happened to me, on Friday.

Sunday, I drove up North with my husband, to the kever of Rava and Abbaye, near Tsfat.

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The kever is situated in one of the most picturesque parts of Israel, up a hill overlooking forest and green. It was gorgeous.

Inside, after a couple of minutes, I started to relax and to feel a little stronger, spiritually, again. Like it’s going to be OK after all. Somehow.

After 10 minutes, I was shocked when a friend from America walked in with her family.

I was doing hitbodedut, so I went outside for a bit, where God had arranged a nice fire for me to sit by.

Literally.

Someone had gone to the trouble of piling 4-5 logs on some embers – and then left.

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So, I did what I do best, and ‘fanned the flames’ until I got a good fire going, that I could sit next to.

After a few minutes, the friend from America came out, and we had a chat. She was there looking for some clarity about whether to stay in Israel, or go back to America.

While we were talking, she started crying a little bit, so I gave her some tissues.

A few hours later, she texted me that her father had died unexpectedly back in America – at exactly the time we were at the grave of Rava and Abbaye, when she started crying ‘for no obvious reason’.

Baruch Dayan HaEmet.

I guess God made the decision for her.

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In the meantime, she showed me a picture of the Rav being loaded into an ambulance barely 4 hours after having major surgery, to send him back to prison.

Because they are trying to kill him.

In case you hadn’t realised that.

My friend said to me:

A lot of things must need sweetening again. That’s why he’s choosing to go back to prison like this.

When she put it like that, I started to cheer up.

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That picture of the Rav showed that the ambulance was totally full of an impossible light – his aura was in full view again:

Ah, Rav.

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Part of the reason I got so down the last few days is that I’m sick to the back teeth of hearing about all these ‘false messiahs’ and false leaders, and false ‘prophets’, who really don’t know anything (at best…) and could well be actively misleading the public.

They are all over the place, with their ‘predictions’ and ‘warnings’ and red herrings, that are just pulling so many of us away from the real work to be done to get geula, which basically boils down to prayer and sincere teshuva for all our millions of bad middot.

But then I realised something yesterday:

The truth is starting to come out.

And all these ‘false messiahs’ are starting to be exposed for what they are, in big and small ways.

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Yesterday, I had a big urge to walk down to the Rav’s shul, on Ido HaNavi Street, and just go and be there a bit. I was doing hitbodedut as I walked, and by the time I got to the Beit HaRav, I was in tears.

My heart has been so full of sadness recently.

And some of that poured out, and down my face.

Ah Rav.

I miss your comforting ‘presence’ so much.

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When I told this to my husband, he told me:

The Rav didn’t go anywhere we can’t reach him. The Tzaddik is hai v’kayam.

When he put it that way, I started to cheer up.

Then, my husband asked me if I’d seen the latest ‘announcement’ about the Rav from the autistics on the hebrew Shuvubanim.org page.

I hadn’t, so I went to look. Here’s a little what it says, freely translated (Hebrew original first, for those who can read it for themselves:)

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“ועם ישראל אין זמן, משיח כבר פה, והוא פועל לעזור לכל היהודים. הוא פה בירושלים עיר הבירה, הוא שוכב חולה בבית חולים והרשעים לא נותנים לו מנוחה, מנסים לגמור אותו, חו”ש.”

Am Yisrael, there is no time. Moshiach is already here, and he’s working to help all the Jews. He’s here in Jerusalem, the capital city, he’s lying sick in the hospital, and the reshaim (evildoers) aren’t giving him any rest. They are trying to finish him, chas ‘v’ halilah.

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בכלל עצרו את הרב ברלנד בלי שום הוכחות שהוא עשה משהו מנוגד לחוק, ולא לקחו אותו בעדינות, אלא התנפלו עליו, אפילו שהוא לא התנגד. בשחרית כשהוא התפלל, הם תפסו אותו וזרקו אותו לרצפה, אפילו שהוא יהודי מבוגר בן 84. יהודי שסובל מנמק ברגל, עם בעיות בלב, עם כליה אחת, שלא התנגד להם, אבל הם קיבלו הוראות, לעשות כאילו שהוא מתנגד, להעניש אותו, ואולי גם חשבו שזה יהרוג אותו.”

Generally speaking, they arrested the Rav Berland without any evidence that he’d done something against the law, and they didn’t take him gently, rather, they attacked him, even though he didn’t resist [being arrested].

At shacharit, when he was praying, they grabbe him and threw him to the floor, even though he was an elderly Jew aged 84 years old. A Jew who suffers from necrosis in the legs, and heart problems, with one kidney, who didn’t try to resist them.

But they received instructions, to make it seem as though he ‘resisted’, in order to punish him, and perhaps they also thought that this would kill him. [God forbid a billion times!]

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“ומאז מעבירים אותו מבית סוהר לבית סוהר, והוא חולה מאוד וסובל מאוד. הוא הצדיק של הדור וזה מרגיז את הרשעים, כי הם לא מצליחים להרוג אותו. כמה שניסו בביה”ח להרוג אותו – לא הצליח להם. שלחו אותו מיד לבית הסוהר אחרי ניתוח של ארבע שעות. ברוך השם, הרופא בבית הסוהר אמר, שהוא לא יכול לקחת אחריות על בן אדם שהוא במצב גופני מאוד קשה, החזירו אותו לבית החולים.”

And since then, they’ve been shuffling him from prison to prison, and he’s very unwell, and is suffering greatly. 

He is the Tzaddik of the generation, and this upsets the reshaim, because they aren’t managing to kill him. As much as they tried in the hospital to kill him – it’s just not working for them. They sent him immediately back to the prison, after a four hour operation.

Baruch Hashem, the doctor in the prison said that he couldn’t take responsibility for a person in such a difficult physical state, so they had to take him back to hospital.

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“בבית החולים גם מענישים אותו, אבל הוא לא מפחד, כי הוא יודע מי הוא, הוא יודע שהשם איתו, והוא יודע שרשעים לא משנה מה הם עושים, הם לא יכולים לפגוע בו.”

In the hospital they are also punishing him, but he isn’t scared, because he knows who he is. He knows that Hashem is with him. And he knows that the reshaim, no matter what they try to do, they can’t really hurt him.

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“עם ישראל, כדי שהמשיח יוכל להילחם נגד הרשעות, הוא חייב את התפילות שלנו, זה נותן לו כוח להילחם נגד הרשעות. ואנחנו צריכים להתפלל עם דמעות, עם לב שבור, שתהיה לו רפואה שלמה, כדי שיוכל לחזור לבית הכנסת שלו, בשביל לחזור לקהילה שלו, שיחזור לעם ישראל.”

“הקהילה “שובו בנים” מחכה לו מאוד עם געגועים חזקים ועם הרגשה של יתומים, כי הוא התקווה שלנו, שהשם שלח לנו עם ישראל, וזה צריך לתת לכול יהודי את הכוח להתפלל עוד יותר חזק – שתהיה רפואה שלמה לאליעזר בן עטיא.”

Am Yisrael! In order for the Moshiach to be able to fight against the evildoers, he needs our prayers!

This gives him the strength to fight against the reshaim. And we need to be praying with tears, with a broken heart, that he will have a full recovery, in order for him to return to his shul, and to return to his kehilla, and to return to Am Yisrael.

The ‘Shuvu Banim’ kehilla is waiting for him, with great yearning, and with the feeling that they are orphans. For he is our hope, that Hashem sent to Am Yisrael.

And this should give every Jew the strength to pray with even more strength – that there should be a complete healing for Eliezer ben Ettia.

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“עם ישראל, העולם מבולבל ואלים ומפוחד. גם מדינת ישראל במצב הזה. הדבר היחיד שיכול להציל אותנו עם ישראל, זה שאנחנו נעשה תשובה מלאה, שאנחנו נתקרב מאוד לקב”ה. שאנחנו נתפלל על הרב שלנו (הרב אליעזר ברלנד בן עטיא), שכ”כ דואג לנו יום ולילה ומתפלל על עם ישראל בדמעות.”

“הרב שלנו שבוכה יחד איתנו על המצב האישי שלנו, של כל אחד בנפרד, ועל המצב הכללי הקשה שלנו. השלטונות יודעים שהוא מסוכן להם, שהם לא יכולים להרוג אותו ולא יכולים לעצור אותו, אבל הם בכל אופן מנסים עם כל הכוחות שלהם להעלים אותו מהעולם הזה, חו”ש.”

Am Yisrael, the world is confused, violent and scared. Also the State of Israel is in this condition. The only thing that can save us, Am Yisrael, is if we make complete teshuva, and come very close to HaKadosh Baruch Hu. 

That we will pray with our Rav [HaRav Eliezer ben Ettia, Rav Berland], who so very much cares about us, day and night, and prays for Am Yisrael with tears.

Our Rav, who cries with us about our personal situation, about each person seperately, and also about our general hard situation. The government[s] know that he is dangerous for them, that thye can’t kill him, and they can’t stop him.

But nevertheless, they are still trying with all their strength, to remove him from this world, chas ‘v’ shalom.

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“אבל, לא לדאוג עם ישראל, הוא באמת משיח בן דוד, הוא נשלח להציל את עם ישראל, אבל עם ישראל צריכים לרצות. אם כל עם ישראל יקח על עצמו לעשות תשובה עם כל הלב, אז בעתיד הקרוב נקבל משיח בשמחה וששון, אבל לא נראה שככה זה יהיה.”

But, don’t worry Am Yisrael! He is in truth ‘Moshiach ben David’, he was sent to rescue Am Yisrael, but Am Yisrael has to want [this]. 

If the whole of Am Yisrael will take it upon themselves to make teshuva with all their heart, then in then in the very near future, we will receive Moshiach with happiness and rejoicing.

But it doesn’t seem as though this is what’s going to be.

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“אנחנו, כל אלה שמאמינים באמת בגדלות של הרב ברלנד ומתפללים עליו עם כל הכוח, אלה ישרדו בקלות.”
“העולם רועד, העולם בסכנה גדולה, המקום הכי בטוח בעולם זה ירושלים עיר הקודש. והיום המקום הכי קדוש – חוץ מהכותל.. – זה החומה השלישית, איפה שהרב ברלנד גר, וכשהוא יחזור הביתה נרגיש את האור הקדוש הרוחני שייצא משם ויאיר את כל ירושלים, ובסופו של דבר את כל ארץ ישראל, ואפילו מעבר לארץ ישראל, לגלות…”

We, all those who truly believe in the greatness of Rav Berland, and who pray for him with all our strength, these [people] will easily survive.

The world is shaking, the world is in tremendous danger. [But] the safest place in the world is Jerusalem, the holy city. And today, the holiest place – other than the Kotel – is HaHomah HaShlishit, where Rav Berland lives.

And when he returns home, we will feel the spiritual light of kedusha that will come out from there, and which will illuminate the whole of Jerusalem.

And ultimately, [which will light up] the whole of Eretz Yisrael, and even beyond Eretz Yisrael, to the diaspora.

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“מה שאני כותב עכשיו זו אמת. אני יודע שהרבה יהודים לא רוצים להאמין בזה, אבל זו האמת. בעתיד הקרוב כל אחד, כל יהודי אמיתי, יאמין בזה, כי זו האמת…”

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What I’m writing here is the truth. I know that many Jews don’t want to believe it, but this is the truth. In the near future, each person, each real Jew, will believe this.

Because it is the truth.

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Read it for yourself, HERE.

And may God give us all the strength to finally leave all our ‘false messiahs’ and ‘false prophets’ behind, and to make the real teshuva required to get to geula, the sweet way.

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UPDATE:

There is a prayer atzeret for the Rav this evening, November 24th, 2020, in Hevron, between 8-10pm.

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It’s kinda painful walking around Jerusalem at the moment.

Many people are just staying indoors, where they don’t have to worry about breathing fresh air too deeply, or getting fined enormous amounts for not believing government lies about ‘the most dangerous pandemic in 300 years’, and ‘flattening the curve’.

I’m popping up to Mahane Yehuda market at least twice a week, to try and keep supporting them (and also, because the fruit is just so good there).

But honestly?

It’s a painful experience.

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Gone are the crowds, the buzz, the alive vibe.

In its place, there’s a bunch of sombre customers and vendors, in various states of be-maskment. Where I used to try and take my time a bit, look around, now I’m just dashing around with my list, so I can make it back to my car as fast as possible and start to breathe again.

One thing is already obvious:

The economy can’t recover from this.

And of course, that is the whole point of the lockdowns, as you’ll know if you read the comment from Chana a few posts ago, that pointed you here:

Canadian politician leaks new COVID lockdown plan and ‘Great Reset’ dictatorship – Australia is part of it

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So yeah, it’s kind of painful, seeing how the world of lies is collapsing all around, which means that the fruit shakes, the days out to the beach, the weekly visits to Kever Rachel and the Kotel are all currently verboten, or in drastically limited scope and supply.

At the same time, as all the crazy ‘doing’ that characterises modern life is unwinding, and I’m finding myself spending more and more time just ‘being’, I’m noticing a quiet peace that is coming along with that new stage.

After all, I’ve kind of been expecting this for years, so I got my skates on last year and published as many books as I could (13 altogether…) including 10 or 11 for Rav Berland, baruch Hashem.

So I don’t feel like I’m wasting my life right now.

I feel like I’m having a much-needed break, honestly.

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But I can see from the people around me, that whoever doesn’t have some form of Torah, mitzvot or even just doing good old kindnesses for others to feel the ‘gap’ left by the implosion of modern life is starting to feel that their lives are totally pointless.

And the worst thing of all is (whisper this):

It’s often true.

All those Starbucks lattes, all that clothes shopping and new handbags, all those fancy holidays to exotic locations, all the money dropped on the latest phones, cars and gadgets – really, what was the point?

Mostly, it was just a distraction from our inner world, a plaster to stick over that gaping sense of loneliness and ‘pointlessness’ that is modern life.

Because when anything comes disconnected away from the soul, from God, then the loneliness, pointlessness and yeoush show up really fast, and really thick.

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The world of lies is crumbling all around.

It’s truly a painful process.

And I have to tell you, there are still way more ‘lies’ that need to be exposed and expunged, including within the apparently Torah-observant world, that are going to shake a lot of people’s spiritual core to its foundation.

Part of the reason I’m not writing so much at the moment is partially because I’m engrossed in some very complicated research; and partly because all the stuff that I have already found out is so explosive, when it does come out it’s going to blow the roof off the global Jewish community.

And I don’t want the responsibility for being the one who presses that particular button.

But reassured, God has assigned that job to someone out there, and it’s going to happen probably sooner than later.

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How to get through this next stage intact?

Simple.

Talk to God every single day, preferably for an hour, but at the very least for 5 uninterrupted minutes, with the intention to keep expanding the conversation until you get up to an hour.

There is no other way that you’re going to know your right from your left, your good from your bad, or your real Moshiach from your fake pretender.

There is no other way you’re going to hang on to your soul, when the real revelations about who has been controlling the Jewish community – including the orthodox world – for the last 200 years, and why that’s so bad, start to hit the headlines.

And also, talking to God every day will just make you feel all around happier, calmer and less stressed.

And that’s a tremendous value in and of itself.

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God is pulling all the crutches away.

No more Starbucks, no more meals out, no more holidays abroad, no more ‘keeping busy’, socialising or shopping.

He wants us to stop running away – from Him, from the truth, from ourselves – and to just get real.

And while that is the most painful thing of all, it’s also the most fulfilling and meaningful thing any of us can do right now, to prepare ourselves to enter the world of truth.

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Rav Arush is officially in Uman – he was in the kever yesterday.

I hope to write something later with an update on what’s happening with the poor Jews in Belarus.

This is becoming an international disgrace, that the Belarussion government is showing way more compassion to them than anyone in the State of Israel.

Hashem, how much more of this callous uncaring and cruelty can we take?!

And also, please remember the lesson taught by Rabbenu and the Baal Shem Tov (amongst others) that before Hashem delivers a harsh judgement upon a person, they are first shown the same circumstance by someone else, but it’s ‘dressed up’ in different clothes, to disguise the similarity.

This is what happened with David and Batsheva, when the Prophet Natan came before the king with a story of a rich man with a large flock who stole a poor man’s single sheep.

When King David judged that ‘rich man’ harshly – he signed his own fate.

And so it is with us.

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The Jews who are stuck in the border with Ukraine could be any one of us.

The State of Israel changed the rules of travel on them mid-flight, then bribed and pressured Ukraine to keep them out of the country illegally.

Now, they are using media propaganda to paint the victims as being somehow ‘to blame’ for what the State of Israel did to them.

If you are reading this sitting in chul, be aware that the same exact thing could happen to you – and actually IS happening to a lot of people I know, who are trying to make aliya legitimately, only to find the State of Israel keeps changing the rules on them to bar them from entering the country.

They don’t want any more religious Jews here, didn’t you get the message yet?

So, are you going to judge those Breslevers in Belarus harshly?

And if yes, where will that leave you, if circumstances worsen in chul for Jews and one day you find YOURSELF stuck at some foreign border with non-Jewish soldiers patrolling, no food, no money, and no help whatsoever from the ‘Jewish State’?

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And if you’re sitting there in Israel and judging them harshly, where is that going to leave you, when the ‘Jewish State’ sends its brownshirts in to your synagogues and schools and homes and businesses for ‘putting yourself in danger’ and ‘taking stupid and unnecessary risks’ just because of your ‘dumb beliefs’?

What are you going to say then, and how do you want God to help you out of your tough predicament?

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What’s happening in Belarus is just a massive test, ahead of Rosh Hashana, yom hadin, and however we react to the plight of those Breslevers – either with compassion, concern and mercy, or with harsh judgment, blame and callous indifference – that’s how we ourselves will be judged.

So, think very carefully what sort of year YOU want next year, and act accordingly.

And remember, that saying nothing when your brother’s blood is being spilt is also considered to be an aveira, and an act of passive cruelty and uncaring.

Make no mistake about it, those Breslovers in Belarus are the canary in the coal mine.

If you care what happens to them, God will care what happens to you, in 5781.

And if not…

Then you have signed your own judgment, and you will have to live with the consequences.

And yes, I’m also talking to all those bloggers out there, who are studiously ignoring the plight of their fellow Jew, while making all their pious statements about ‘who is going to make it’ to geula, and how to really make teshuva…. (pass the puke bag.)

Let’s just say, I probably won’t have a lot to read online in a few weeks time, the way things are going.

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And now, here’s the latest message about Moshiach being here in Eretz Yisrael, and just waiting to be revealed, from Rav Shalom Arush:

[This updated version has the message subtitles in English, from the breslev.co.il website, here.]

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Rav Arush ends by saying the generation’s elders are telling him to spread the message that Jews should make aliya ASAP.

I know it’s hard, believe me.

I know all the tricks the State of Israel is using to stop people from coming.

But learn from the Breslovers, and DO IT ANYWAY.

The obstacles are just an illusion, that are hiding Hashem, and to increase the desire to come.

If you pray, and you act with mesirut nefesh, the gates will open, and this evil government will fall very soon.

Ken yiyeh ha ratzon.

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I checked out the source for this firsthand, and it’s legit.

Here is the full message in full, copied verbatim from the Ravberland.com website:

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There is a hidden tzaddik, a Tzaddik Nistar, who is in touch with people associated with the Shuvu Banim yeshiva once or twice a year, when he gives over a message.

A few days ago, this hidden Tzaddik – who has taken it upon himself to live in a cave somewhere in the desert for almost 20 years – got back in touch with Rabbi Avraham Baruch, to pass on another one of the messages.

The messages are coming from a ‘revelation of Eliyahu HaNavi’, i.e. a message from Heaven, and they usually take the form of some sort of warning, or instruction, about what Heaven wants from the Jewish nation, at this period of time. Usually, the Tzaddik Nistar passes these messages along in the form or a short note.

We are pleased to bring a translation of the Tzaddik Nistar’s most recent note, as it was received by Rabbi Avraham Baruch.

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You can hear Rabbi Baruch giving the message over in the original Hebrew in the clip below:

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Am Yisrael is currently in the most fragile of situations.

We need to strengthen ourselves a great deal, before the test of emuna that stands before us, and it’s assur (forbidden) to despair at all – at all!

“As much as the reshaim (evildoers) are preparing very strongly for the kochav (star / comet), the kochav stands ready to pass close by to us, and Moshiach Tzidkaynu is connected to this kochav. He is going to fight all the wards of Israel with this kochav.

“IN ANY CASE, THIS KOCHAV IS GOING TO DEAL THEM A STRONG BLOW.

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“Moshiach is already here.

Moshiach is to be found in Israel. Ask the tzaddikim hagadolim (the biggest tzaddikim), who are saying that the Moshiach is to be found in the North, and he’s flesh and blood, [it’s] a moment before pulling the trigger, before he is revealed to Am Yisrael.

“The Moshiach can be revealed the merciful way if Am Yisrael will come together in achdut (unity).

Then he will fight the wars of Israel (i.e. the Jewish people) and all the birth pangs will be sweetened, and will pass over to the haters of Israel [instead of on the Jewish people].

“The virus will be nullified, and the Gan Eden of Adam HaRishon will descend.”

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“Moshiach is already here.

“But the test of emuna that stands before us is a big one.

“This is an important message for all of the rabbanim (rabbis), the Admors, and the others who are engaged in outreach in Israel (i.e. amongst the Jewish people):

“In this difficult time, we should know that we can’t retreat; rather, we need to work with all of our strength to wake Hashem’s people up, to make teshuva from love, for Hashem Yitbarach, and by this, we will merit to have the geula with rachamim (mercy).

“Because from the many sins we do, without paying attention to them, we have already descended into the slavery of the last galut (exile) of Amalek, and the difficulty is unbearable.

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AT THE END OF THIS GALUT, THIS EVIL MALCHUT (LITERALLY: ROYALTY, FIGURATIVELY: GOVERNMENT) WILL SPREAD IN ISRAEL, AND IN THE WHOLE WORLD FOR THE DURATION OF NINE MONTHS.

May we be saved from it, and and may we be redeemed speedily in our days, amen.

Pay attention, that this is beginning with one lockdown, and then another lockdown… Until all of us will be in an absolute lockdown. Don’t say that we didn’t tell you.

Today, it’s still possible to stop this.

Pharoah also started [to enslave] Am Yisrael with soft words.

If we do teshuva, but not completely, meaning with full, heart-felt intention, we will need to complete the relative portion with suffering, the very difficult ‘birthpangs of the Moshiach’, rachmana litzan (Hashem should have mercy).

Therefore, everyone should come, like one man, with one heart, let’s pray together, let’s do teshuva from love, and let’s merit to have geula b’rachamim (redemption with mercy), TODAY! If we will only listen to his voice.

But it’s 100%, that we will not return to the ‘routine’ again.

We are in the final process of geula, Am Yisrael, and how it’s going to come – either with din (harsh judgment) or rachamim (mercy) depends on us.”

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Thus ends the message from the Tzaddik Nistar, that was passed along via Rabbi Avraham Baruch.

This seems like a fitting place to include the recent words of the kabbalist Rav Sheinfeld, shlita, who said:

“We have received this from the tzaddikim, that we are in the process of the birth pangs of Moshiach, in the last stage. We are in the last nine months of the birth pangs of Moshiach.”

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And here’s an update on the earthquakes, thanks to Dutchsinse:

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What’s particularly interesting about this is that the whole world is currently ‘moving’ with energy that’s coming in on a 5.2 basis.

That number – 52 – is very interesting.

I wrote a whole post about it, and it’s connection to the geula process for the ravberland.com website, here:

https://ravberland.com/the-secret-of-52/

Here’s a snippet from that post, but please do go and read the whole thing, as it’s kind of mind-boggling:

52 equates to BaN, one of the names of Hashem, that is also linked to the element of DUST, and to INERT MATTER, and this lowly world, the world of Asiyah.

BaN represents the side of evil, which was created when the original spiritual ‘vessels’ that Hashem created the world with shattered because of too much light. That resulted in 288 sparks of holiness becoming lost throughout creation and captured by the side of evil.

When the last of these 288 sparks of holiness is rectified and raised back up to their rightful spiritual place by the Jewish people, we’ll get geula and Moshiach.

Now, Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan equates the side of evil to the “Kings of Edom”.

Hashem’s attribute of Strict Justice also equates to BaN – 52, and that’s how God wanted to create the world, initially. But the world couldn’t continue like that, so Hashem added in MaH – which equates to WATER, mercy.

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After I wrote that post, a very insightful reader made the connection between 52 – BaN – and this prayer from Rav Berland, talking about getting out of debt.

In our post-Corona world, where almost everyone you speak to know is looking for loans and debts just to put food on the table, this prayer – and its connection to ’52’ – is even more mind-blowing:

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Rabbi Berland’s Prayer To Get Out of Debt

Master of the Universe, Omniscient One,… allow me to merit the four aspects of Har Tavor whose length is four parsa. Know that I am worse off than all of the tzadikkim, and worse off than all of the middle men, and worse off than all of the evil ones, and worse off than even my own worth and also to get out of the neckhold that is three parsa and to not be haughty – not with my wisdom nor with my strength, nor by my wealth.

And by this shall I merit to get out of all my debt and shall I merit an abundance of food and drink and clothing by means of me meriting the ten attributes of MAH (Mem Heh), which is abundance in gematria = 450.

Please, Hashem, take the Samech Mem out of me as it is cloaking my eyes, since an eye in gematria is Samech Mem Ayin + 1= Samech Mem = 131.

Please, All Merciful and Compassionate One, allow me to merit all the attributes of MAH (Mem Heh), and especially what is behind MAH (Mem He) which in gematria is Ayin since behind MAH (Mem Heh)

There is:      Yod 20

                   Yod Keh 26

                   Yud Keh Vav 39

                   Yud Keh Vav Keh 45

                   130 in the gematria of Ayin

And only by means of me meriting the light of the new MAH (Mem Heh) will I merit to get out of all aspects pertaining to defects of the eye and then shall I merit to get out of all debts since only the light of the new MAH (Mem Heh) that emanates from Adam Kadmon can subjugate the breaking of the vessels of the name of BAN(Bet Nun) that emanates from the eyes where the entire secret of the breaking stems from, and it is from there all the debts (emanate).

And by unifying the name of BAN (Bet Nun)Yud Keh Vav Keh = 52 with the name of the new MAH (Mem Heh) will we leave this awful breakage that has lasted already for five-thousand seven hundred and 79 years and then shall we merit to get out of all the debts that we are all buried in and by this shall I merit teshuva coming from love and to always have my travails intertwined with the travails of the Shechina.

And by this merit a double portion of livelihood as is it is written, “And there was enough of my treasure and money for you,” for all who involve Shem Shamayim with their travails, their livelihood is doubled and it flies forth like a bird.

PLEASE, ALL MERCIFUL AND COMPASSIONATE ONE, WHO IS OMNISCIENT, QUICKLY TAKE ME OUT OF ALL OF MY TERRIBLE DEBT THAT I AM SUNK IN AND HAVE ME MERIT TO PAY THEM OFF TO THE END.

And with this shall I merit to have the privilege of having the influence for providing a livelihood for all of Am Yisrael and may it be established for me the verse of which it is written by Yosef Hatzadik, “He is the provider for all peoples of the land.”

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And lastly, things are starting to move against the Wexner Foundation in Israel – very slowly still, but hey, it’s still progress:

Prime Minister’s Office freezes employees’ participation in Wexner Foundation-type programs

TBC, hopefully very soon.

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Photo by Adrian Dascal on Unsplash

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Ah, Torah sources. Where would we all be, without them?

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this, as I’ve written about it many times before. There are a whole bunch of Torah sources and commentaries that explain what credentials a potential candidate for ‘Moshiach’ needs to have, in order to be a contender for the job. Some of them are well known, some of them are less well known.

Let’s start with the well-known sources, first, primarily Rambam. The below is the uncensored text, that hasn’t been manipulated to ‘fit’ anyone specific:

“If a king arises from the house of David who studies Torah and does mitzvos like his ancestor David, according to the written and oral Torah, and he compels all of Israel to walk in it and strengthen its weak points, and he fights the wars of Hashem, then he has chezkas (presumed to be) moshiach. If he does and succeeds, and subdues all the surrounding nations, and he builds the Temple, and gathers the exiles of Israel, then he is definitely moshiach.”

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RAMBAM’S MOSHIACH CHECKLIST:

  1. Has to be from the house of David, i.e. a descendant of King David.
  2. Has to study Torah and do Mitzvot like King David, (the most humble of men, who spent his whole life calling out to Hashem and doing hitbodedut, which is how we got the book of Psalms.)
  3. Has to act totally in accordance with the written and Oral Torah – i.e. this can’t be someone who bends the rules here and there. Moshiach acts 100% according to halacha, 100% of the time.
  4. Has to compel all of Israel to walk in the Torah – i.e., has to bring many people back in real teshuva, and to keeping the Torah’s laws. It’s interesting to note that it says he has to compel ALL of Israel, not just a majority.
  5. Has to strengthen the observance of the Torah’s weak points – like, encouraging people to pray, and to really put Hashem in the picture, and to have emuna, which is definitely still a ‘weak point’, even 15 years after the Garden of Emuna first hit the bookshelves.
  6. Has to fight the wars of Hashem.

#6 is open to wide interpretation. Is the ‘fight’ literal, at the head of an army? Is it spiritual, against the forces of darkness? Does it mean both?

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If someone can tick all these boxes, then he can be given the status of the chezkat Moshiach, a potential candidate for Moshiach.

So, say for example you think Tony Robbins could be Moshiach. I mean, the guy has helped so many people out with his classes; he’s given out a lot of solid, good advice. He has 4 million people following him on Youtube – what more do you want?! 

Bring Tony Robbins back to this checklist, walk the idea through the above 6 points, and if he fits the criteria, you may have a potential, or chezkat Moshiach on your hands. And if not? Then he isn’t.

It really is that easy.

But, we aren’t done yet, with the sources on how to identify a potential Moshiach.

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RAMBAM CONTINUES:

“If he does and succeeds, and subdues all the surrounding nations, and he builds the Temple, and gathers the exiles of Israel, then he is definitely Moshiach.”

So, before a candidate can move from chezkat to definite Moshiach, he has to:

  1. Succeed in points 4-6 above – i.e. bring all of Israel back in teshuva, strengthen the observance of the Torah’s weak points and successfully fight the wars of Hashem.
  2. Subdue all the surrounding nations – again, this could be widely interpreted. Is it a military subjugation? Are the nations ‘subjugated’ to the Jewish people because hard as they try to nuke us or bomb us, the chezkat Moshiach’s prayers is making sure that just can’t happen? Does it mean they recognise that the land of Israel finally belongs to the Jewish people? Who knows.
  3. Builds the Temple.
  4. Gathers in the exiles of Israel.

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THE RAMBAM THEN CONTINUES:

“If he did not succeed to this degree or was killed, he surely is not the redeemer promised by the Torah. Rather, he should be considered as all the other proper and complete kings of the Davidic dynasty who died.”

Let’s tread carefully and respectfully here, but this makes it clear that great as he was, the late Lubavitcher Rebbe was a chezkat Moshiach, who didn’t complete the task, and therefore is “surely not the redeemer promised by the Torah.”

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But we aren’t done yet, with our Torah sources for how to identify a potential Moshiach. Remember this?

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We need to add to our Moshiach checklist:

  1. He will reveal himself gradually, and not in one shot (Sanhedrin 97 and Rashi.)
  2. He has to come from both chutz l’aretz and Israel. (Arbabanel.)
  3. He’s going to be accompanied by police and sit in jail (Ramban and Ramchal.)
  4. He’s going to be the subject of an enormous controversy (Rebbe Nachman.)
  5. His coming will involve huge tests of emuna, and emunat tzaddikim (Rebbe Nachman.)
  6. Even when he’s sitting in prison, his opponents are going to continue to humiliate and shame him (Pesikta Rabba.)

(See the full sources HERE.)

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Let’s go back to Tony Robbins – great guy! Really inspirational speaker! Helped so many people, with his Youtube Channel!

Tony never made it over to Israel, so he can’t be Moshiach.

As far as I know, he’s never spent time in jail, so he can’t be Moshiach. 

Most people like Tony a lot, if they’ve actually heard of him. He certainly doesn’t have any vociferous, demented public detractors setting up Facebook groups urging people to steer clear of him – so he can’t be Moshiach.

He hasn’t been in prison, or continually and publically humiliated – so he can’t be Moshiach.

But please, go right ahead and keep buying his CDs and lectures, if you’re enjoying them, because he’s still a great motivational speaker, who is apparently helping so many people…..

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Ah, Torah sources.

Where would be without them?

We’d be in a mad, crazy world where pretty much anyone could be claimed as ‘Moshiach’, and where false messiahs would abound, each of which would only serve to keep pushing off the geula and the real Moshiach even further into the distance.

God forbid.

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The Vilna Gaon was really into the Moshiach and calculations of ‘End Times’.

There’s a book exchange station next to the bike path in the German Colony, and because it’s arguably the most Anglo neighborhood in Jerusalem, I often find some really good stuff there. Last week, I picked up a book called: The Gaon of Vilna and His Messianic Vision, by an observant Israeli academic called Arie Morgenstern. I have to tell you, it’s one of the most interesting books that I’ve read in a very long time.

I learned so many things that I didn’t know before, both about the Vilna Gaon himself, but also about the Chassidic community, the roots of the machloket between the mitnagdim and the chassidim, and also, how there was still a very strong yearning for Moshiach in the Ashkenazi world even after the Shabtai Tzvi false messiah disaster.

BUT – there was a huge clash of ideas about how best to bring the Moshiach and get to the end of days, which is basically what most of the book explores. BH, I want to explore what all that means for us today in the next article, but before I do, I first just wanted to share some of the more general interesting nuggets of information I picked up from the book.

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  • Why is there such a strong Armenian presence in Jerusalem?

Every time I drive or walk through the Old City, I skirt the Armenian quarter, and I find myself asking again:

WHY is there an Armenian Quarter in Jerusalem?!?!

It’s quite a small denomination, as xtian sects go, it’s not a world power, heck, Armenia doesn’t even neighbor Israel. So what’s going on here? Read on, to find out.

The Italian Jew Raphael Mordechai Malchi moved to Israel in 1673, and practiced medicine in Jerusalem until his death in 1702. He treated many of the residents of the Holy City, including non-Jews, and he recorded a conversation that he had with an Armenian priest, who explained why the Armenian church had built so many buildings in Jerusalem. Malchi wrote:

“He showed me some writings in Assyrian and Hebrew…and told me that on Mt Sinai, where a monastery stands today, they found a large tablet of lead in a cave, bearing Hebrew letters and these verses from Jeremiah.”

Ed. Note: This is Jeremiah’s prophecy of Messianic times, 30-35, that begins: For behold, days are coming – the word of Hashem – when I will return the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, said Hashem, and I will return them to the land that I gave their forefathers and they will possess it.

(It’s worth looking at these chapters in detail, which BH we will do in a separate post.)

What the Armenian priest told Dr Malchi is that after they ‘searched the whole world’ trying to figure out how to read it, “they discovered explicitly that at the end of day, the Semites will demand Jerusalem from all places around the world where they have been living.”

So the Armenians built monasteries in the holy city, arranged for a different patriarch to live in the city every year, and sent huge amounts of money to Jerusalem to ensure they had a strong toehold and a grip on the future seat of power. (And let’s be honest, probably also to try to put a dent in the ‘Semites’ plans to reclaim their country and usher in the time of Moshiach.)

Halavi, the Jews would take Jeremiah’s prophecies as seriously.

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  • Messianic fervor didn’t ‘disappear’ from the Jewish world after Shabtai Tzvi, the false messiah from Izmir who ended up converting to Islam.

I know that’s not obvious from our viewpoint of 2019, where the whole non-Chassidic, Ashkenazi Jewish world likes to pretend that after Shabtai Tzvi, everyone except Breslov and Lubavitch stopped even thinking about Moshiach, but as we’ll see in the next post, there was a big cover up going on at the end of the 18th century.

Shabtai Tzvi lived between August 1, 1626 – c. September 17, 1676. While his ‘false messianic’ vision certainly did enormous harm to the Ashkenazi world, it seems the problem was more that he created a false – and fundamentally evil – new ‘religion’ called Sabbateanism, that continued after his death, than that he was talking about Moshiach and the geula.

Very soon after he disappeared from the scene, Jews from all different backgrounds continued to have ‘Moshiach fever’, and even to discuss specific dates for the end of days to begin, based on their understanding of allusions to this time in the Zohar.

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Most notably, there was a widespread movement of making aliya to Israel between the years 1740 and 1781.

This was based on kabbalistic calculations that 1740 marked the half-way point in the 6th millennia – and the time when the house of Yaakov would finally rise up against the house of Esav.

Here’s the quote from the Zohar that got all the kabbalists of that time so excited, based on Genesis 32:13-26, where Yaakov wrestles the angel of Esav until dawn:

“Until dawn.” For by then, [Esav’s] dominion has passed on. So it will be in the future. The current exile resembles night. It is night. And it’s dust dominates the Jews. They are hurled into the dust until the light ascends and illuminates the day. Then Israel will be dominant and the kingship will be given to them…

“…Israel’s deliverance will not be revealed in one stroke but rather like a dawn, which progresses and grows in light until true day appears.”

The kabbalists of that time, including one named Rabbi Shalom Buzaglo, estimated that the ‘time’ spoken of by the Prophet Daniel was 480 years long, as the gematria for hashahar (dawn) is 480. So when Daniel (in 7:25) speaks of ‘a time and times and half a time’, Rabbi Buzaglo worked out that this would be 1680 years after the second Temple was destroyed, which equated to the Hebrew year 5508 (1748 C.E.)

Ahead of that date, a whole bunch of big kabbalists, rabbis and other important communal figures from both the Sephardi and Ashkenazi world suddenly upped sticks, and moved to Eretz Yisrael, swelling the population of Jerusalem from just over 1000, to more than 5000 in five years.

Moshiach didn’t come then – but what did happen instead was that many members of the community started to die prematurely, including in a terrible plague, that killed hundreds of the Jews in Israel. The Ohr HaChaim died in Jerusalem in 1743, and the RaMCHaL succumbed to the plague in Acco, in May 1746.

The rabbis in Jerusalem responded to what they saw as this ‘Divine punishment’ by issuing ‘Moral Legislation’ in 1749, which forbade the wealthy new olim to the Holy Land from wearing their expensive clothes and jewelry in public. The Jerusalem rabbis also gave all the single men in the city an ultimatum to either get married, or leave town, to minimize the untznius behavior they were trailing in their wake.

In the meantime, the Moshiach didn’t come in 1748.

But what certainly did happen is that the ‘end of days’ process did begin in earnest at that point, after all, because so many people moved to the Holy Land at that time, more than at any other point in preceding 1600 years of exile.

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  1. The Baal Shem Tov ‘speaks to Moshiach’ in 1747, and discovers that geula depends on the Jews making teshuva, not on a fixed date

Very interestingly, while all this was going on, the Baal Shem Tov wrote a letter to his brother-in-law, Reb Gershon of Kutow, that his student Yaakov Yosef of Polonoye was meant to take to Israel to deliver, when he also made aliya ahead of 1748. The letter was never delivered, because Rabbi Y.Y. stayed home, after Moshiach didn’t show up then as hoped.

Instead, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef sat on this letter for over 35 years, only publishing it in his book Ben Porat Yosef in 1780. Why did he wait so long to publicise the letter? It seems that even amongst the Baal Shem Tov’s leading students, there was a strong belief that Moshiach had to be imminent. To put this a different way, it seems Rabbi Yaakov Yosef was hoping the Baal Shem Tov’s insight about the end of days, which he described to Reb Gershon, was wrong.

So what did the letter actually say?

In his missive, the BESHT described how his neshama had ascended to heaven on Rosh Hashana in 1747 – the year before ‘the end’ was meant to occur, according to the kabbalists – and had met the Moshiach, who was learning Torah with the Patriarchs, Tannaim and the Seven Shepherds.

This is a quote from the BESHT’s letter:

“I asked the Messiah when he would be coming. “This is how you will know,” he replied. “When your teachings become public and revealed to the world, and your wellsprings of my teachings, which you will have mastered, overflow to the outside, so that [others], too, will be able to perform mystical unifications and ascents of the soul like you. Then all the husks will be eradicated and a time of [Divine] desire and salvation will come.”

The Baal Shem Tov continues:

“[This reply] left me puzzled and severely troubled. Such a long time! When can it possibly come to pass?”

To phrase this another way, as Arie Morgenstern points out, this experience totally shifted the question of ‘when will the Moshiach come?’ out of the realm of ‘time’, and into the realm of ‘behavior’.

We’re back to that discussion in the Gemara, about whether the redemption depends on the Jewish people making teshuva, or is totally just a matter of ‘timing’. Rabbi Yehoshua said the latter, Rabbi Eliezer HaGadol said the former – and according to this letter from the BESHT, Rabbi Eliezer was right.

The Baal Shem Tov was explaining to Reb Gershon that the Moshiach is going to come, and the end of days is going to happen, only when the Jews start to really connect to God, and experience ‘ascents of the soul’, and to really learn and understand Torah on the deep level of chassidut.

And not a second before.

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That’s why the Baal Shem Tov was so troubled, because in order for the Jewish nation to reach that high spiritual level, so much had to change first.

And if he was thinking it was a tall order in his generation, what can we begin to say about ours?

In the meantime, the kabbalist’s date of 1748 came and went with no Moshiach, but Rabbi Yaakov Yosef only published the Baal Shem Tov’s letter in 1780, because at that stage, there was another date for imminent redemption being mooted: 1781.

And at that stage Rabbi Y.Y. wanted to pre-empt any more ‘Moshiach no-show letdown’ by publishing the BESHT’s letter, which described in detail how the rules of the game had actually changed.

And here’s where things get even more interesting.

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  1. Various groups of kabbalists keep trying to ‘force’ geula in various ways.

Back in 1753, a small group of Jerusalem kabbalists including Rabbi Shalom Sharabi (the Rashash), Rabbi Chaim de la Roza, and Rabbi Chaim Joseph David Azulai (the Chida) formed a ‘secret society’ with the aim of trying to force Hashem to bring the geula that year.

The year 5313 spells ‘ha shahar’  – the dawn, and was also connected to the word ve-nivneta, talking about the rebuilding of Jerusalem. (Jeremiah 30:18). There are four separate accounts of what these three kabbalists tried to do, but the long and short of it is that after weeks of lengthy preparations and self-mortifications, they tried to use different holy names to ‘force’ the coming of the Moshiach.

Suddenly, the three heard a voice from Heaven telling them to stop from their “brazen undertaking” before they totally unhinge the world, because they “wish to hasten something whose time has not yet come, as God has counseled.”

The voice then tells them:

“One of you will have to leave the holy city, for only the three of you together in unison can force the Messiah’s hand.”

The decree of exile seems to have fallen upon the Chida, who immediately left Jerusalem for unknown reasons on January 9, 1753 and stayed out of Israel for the next 5 years.

The three kabbalists were terrified at the sin they felt they had committed, by trying to go against God’s will to hasten the end, so much so that Rabbi de la Rosa asked his student to perform the four types of execution upon his body, after he died.

His students couldn’t bring themselves to do it – but Rabbi de la Rosa’s funeral procession was attacked by Arab bandits, and his body was thrown into a ravine. The Tzaddik’s decree was fulfilled, one way or another.

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  1. There was a wave of Chassidic aliya before 1781

So now, the next date that loomed into view for the ‘end of days’ was 1781. A well-known kabbalist by the name of Immanuel Hai Ricchi, from the previous generation, had calculated that the ‘in its time’ redemption would occur in May 1781, corresponding to the Hebrew year of 5541.

And historical events certainly seemed to be heading in that direction.

The vicious Haidamak pogroms began in 1768 (and saw 30,000 Jews murdered in Uman, alone), and then were was also an awful outbreak of bubonic plague in 1770 (!) which killed hundreds of thousands of the Jews in the pale of settlement.

This from HERE:

In Western Europe, the last outbreak of plague was in southern France between 1720 and 1722. Towns like Marseilles and Toulon were devastated. In Eastern Europe, Kiev in Ukraine suffered a severe outbreak in 1770. The last serious outbreak of bubonic plague in Europe was in Moscow in 1771.

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Then, Russia conquered Poland in 1772, and also some of the Turkish empire, too, in 1774 – and it really looked like ‘the End of Days’ was fast approaching.

Many leaders of the growing chassidut movement thought so, with some of chassidut’s biggest luminaries, including Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk, and Rabbi Avraham of Kalisk, making aliya to Israel in 1777.

But the Chassidic aliya quickly ran into severe problems, mostly of the financial kind, so when the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, asked Rabbi Menachem Mendel if he should also ascend to the holy land in 1780, Rabbi Menachem Mendel basically told him to hold off until the next year, to see if the Moshiach really was about to show up.

Again, he didn’t.

So at that point, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef of Polonoye decided to finally print the letter describing the Baal Shem Tov meeting the Moshiach, from many years before. Presumably, he was trying to ‘bank’ any disappointment that Moshiach hadn’t shown up, and to set out a new path, one based on perfecting behavior and fixing bad middot, instead of a fixed ‘time’ of redemption.

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The point of all these tidbits is to point out that the Jewish community has actually weathered far more disappointments over Moshiach not showing up than you might think, even after the whole Shabtai Tzvi affair.

And we actually came through all these false starts OK.

History shows that it’s been far more damaging, spiritually, for Jews to totally forget about Moshiach and geula, and considering moving to Israel, than obsessing over these things too much.

In part two of this post, we’re going to take a closer look at the disagreement that erupted between the Vilna Gaon and the Lithuanian rabbis and the chassidim in 1781 – there’s that date again! –  because we’re going to learn something amazing about the ‘end of days’ by the time we’ve reached that end of that story.

To be continued…

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What’s really stopping us from seeing the truth?

I was discussing with my husband why so very many people, including ‘big’ rabbis, just don’t seem to want to see what’s right in front of their eyes at the moment, or to hear anything about geula being imminent, or to discuss any possible candidates for Moshiach.

It’s all business as usual! Nothing unusual going on here!

I know how hard it is to move country, and to put parnassa at risk, and to leave behind the nice homes we have… and the nice shul we belong to… and the nice community of friends and family we have around us.

I know how easy it is, to fool ourselves into think everything will happen the ‘sweet’ ‘easy’ way, because isn’t that just more convenient all round?

We can just stay in our little bubble, easily, until Moshiach shows up and then we just jump on the nearest synagogue that’s grown wings and is flying its way to Israel….

Part of me also wants things to be like that.

I had a big argument with my kids over Shabbat, because a big part of them is clearly not at all ready for what it would mean to be really living in that next, much more spiritual, dimension that is going to be the era of Moshiach.

One of my kids told me straight, “It’ll be so boring!”

Another one started ranting at me that I belong to a cult, and that ‘normal’ people just don’t think about the geula and Moshiach all the time. Sadly, I know she’s right. So what does that say about the ‘normal’ observant world we live in?

We want Moshiach now!!!!, but only if we don’t have to change anything, or do anything different.

Only if we can carry on living where we live, and listening to traif music, and stuffing our eyeballs with movies and Facebook and Instagram, and only if we can carry on only doing the bits of yiddishkeit that appeal to us, and feeling like true tzaddikim, while dismissing all that other stuff that doesn’t really appeal or comes very hard.

So I told my kids,

I get where you’re coming from, I really do. A part of me is also scared to give that stuff up, and to lose the ‘wiggle’ room. But a much bigger part of me is SO sick of all the lies flying around, and all the self-righteous posturing, and all the people with terrible middot who secretly think they are one of the lamed vav tzaddikim who are sustaining the world…

The world is such an awful mess.

I also know that you, dear reader, would prefer me to write superficial ‘uplifting’ posts telling you that we’re all tzaddikim and that everything is going to be 100% OK and that we don’t have to change anything about ourselves, or work on any of our bad middot, or spend hours pouring our hearts out to God about what a mess everything is.

My kids are also resistant to hearing that their i-Phones, goyish music and eyebrow piercings will NOT be accompanying us to the era of Moshiach. Or that they won’t be able to carry on ignoring God and doing whatever the heck they want, while still considering themselves to be ‘perfect’ Jews.

We had a big argument about it all over Shabbat, I get where they are coming from, I understand why it’s so hard.

Part of me also wants the world to continue the way it is. Part of me knows I’m also not giving God everything He wants, 24/7, or anything close to it.

And that part is very scared of what’s about to come next.

But as I see the moral darkness enveloping us, and as I see how many of us are literally losing our neshamas as we chase after cash, and stuff, and physical pleasures, and ‘fun’ – that’s what gives me the strength to say to God:

I’m scared of what’s coming next, really scared.

But I can’t stand the moral depravity in the world for a second longer.

Evil is so banal today, we don’t even register what’s really going on all around us. We see all the miserable people, we hear about the huge spike in people on anti-depressants and smoking pot just to get through the day, and the massive rise in people killing themselves, we see small children literally being butchered by a medical profession gone mad who has somehow decided these kids are in ‘the wrong body’, we see people lying to themselves and hurting others all over the place – and we tell ourselves this is ‘good’.

We tell ourselves this ‘normal’. 

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It’s not easy when your teenagers start ranting at you that you’re wasting your life on a ridiculous pipedream that seems to be cutting you off from ‘fun’ things like spending 2 weeks on holiday in Thailand, or ‘fun’ things like watching the latest movies from the Hollywood sickos, or ‘fun’ things like spending every waking minute chasing after more cash so you can buy more designer clothes and eat more fast food and live in an even bigger house.

After my discussion on shabbat, I can see that I have to do an awful lot of praying for my teens, because it seems there are no free rides into the geula dimension. It seems that every single one of us will have to decide if they’re more wedded to evil-normal or good-abnormal over the coming weeks and months.

It’s a scary prospect, because I can see already that most of us are just not ‘there’ yet.

And I don’t know what it’s going to take to get us ‘there’, but I can tell you it won’t be soft and fluffy, or easy to ignore.

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And that idea is clearly very scary, for a lot of reasons.

And my teens aren’t even stuck in materialistic chutz l’aretz where there’s also other things that could be holding them back from really embracing their yiddishkeit.

So, I can see why so many frum people just don’t want to hear about anything ‘real’ today, connected to geula and Moshiach, and don’t want to see that all hell is about to break loose all across the world, in so many different ways, and don’t want to talk about the changes and teshuva we might all need to be making, in real time, to meet the looming spiritual challenges up ahead.

I understand them.

And I’m praying that somehow, some way, God will make it clearer for the truth to start getting out there, in a way that people can really digest and accept it.

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cartoon of three monkeys with their ears, eyes and mouths stuffed with dollar bills

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Is it just me, or are most people getting dumb and dumber by the day?

I’m currently writing another book (!) on stress, and its damaging effects on the brain, so I can tell you categorically that most people today seem to have some form of stress-induced brain damage, that’s causing them to act even more dumb and dumber over time.

People just can’t assimilate new information, they can’t change their minds. They have fixed opinions and they’re unable to see anyone else’s point of view. Depending on what their dominant stress response is, they react to any discomfort socially by going on the attack (FIGHT), running away (FLIGHT), totally ignoring ‘the issue’ (FREEZE), or keeping things so superficially ‘fake nice’ (FLATTER) there’s simply no room for deep thought, or a deep exchange of ideas.

All this happens when people have stress-induced brain damage – and all this is happening in spades all around us, right now. And the more ‘damaged’ the person is, emotionally, the harder they find it to engage with different ideas, new ways of doing things.

Sometimes, I wonder what would happen if the Prophet Daniel had given over some of his wisdom to our generation.

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MENE MENE, TEKEL UPHARSIN

“It can’t be a real prophecy, I don’t understand it,” sniffed Dumb.

“Never mind that!!” Barked Dumber. “Only xtians talk in riddles like this! That message can’t be from God, because He always expresses Himself very clearly. I don’t think this Daniel guy is even a Jew!!”

And so it continued.

When the Prophet Zechariah would stand up to give over his message for the Jewish people, Dumb and Dumber stood there in the front row, clutching their copies of the Ramchal and heckling him.

Zechariah Chapter 3:

“Hear now, O Yehoshua the High Priest, you and your companions that sit before you; for they are men that are a sign; for, behold, I will bring forth My servant the Shoot.

For behold, the stone that I have laid before Yehoshua; there are seven facets upon one stone; behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, said the Lord of Hosts: And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.”

‘Rubbish!!!’ Yelled out Dumb.

‘Ridiculous mumbo-jumbo!!!’ Echoed Dumber. ‘If you were a REAL prophet, you’d make this stuff easy to understand, like the Rambam did, and not just lead the masses on with all this xtian-sounding clap trap!’

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But the person they derided the most was Ezekiel (1:25-7):

“And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings.

And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.

And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.”

‘Is the man on drugs?’ Dumb wanted to know.

‘I think it’s worse than that’, muttered Dumber. ‘Only a XTIAN would try to give the likeness of an appearance to God!!! He’s obviously a false prophet, a false messiah! No wonder he keeps going on and on about the Temple being rebuilt and how it’s all going to look in the future!!! The Rambam would NEVER say something like that!!!’

Who could argue with such erudite YouTube scholars as these?

I tell you what else is very troubling, continued Dumb. This Ezekiel figure is playing with fire. He’s egging on the masses that we’re going to have a rebuilt Temple, and that the Moshiach is going to come. But he’s totally crazy! Look, he’s spent a whole year lying on his side on the pavement, baking his bread over cow dung!! Who does something like that?! Certainly no real Rabbi I’ve ever heard of!

He’s just a delusional charlatan, agreed Dumber. I mean, all those prophecies about the Temple, and did any of them ever happen? He’s just beguiling people with riddles, and filling their heads with nonsense about ‘bones’ coming back to life. You just don’t find reputable Jewish leaders doing things like that. I think he’s a hare krishna.

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Just then, Dumbest showed up, and all three of them repaired to the nearest pub, to continue their high-level discussion of esoteric Torah principles over a pint of Guinness and a packet of cheese and onion crisps.

Dumbest, what do you think about all these gobbledy-gook ‘pronouncements’ from Ezekiel? Is he a true leader of the Jews, or a false one?

Dumbest put his pint down for a moment (I mean, this was really important, after all!) and after thinking for exactly 5.37 seconds, made his pronouncement:

One thing I know for sure, is that the Mashiach will not speak in riddles which people can interpret any number of ways. Mashiach is coming to make things clearer to us, and erase our doubts, not cause confusion.

Dumb pumped his fist into the air.

Yesss! I knew that guy was a faker!

Someone as clever as Dumbest was never going to make a mistake about something this important….

But Dumber had to ask:

Hey, Dumbest, don’t mind, but can I ask you for your source for that statement?

Sure, Dumbest responded. He looked all around him conspiratorially, then motioned the other two YouTube Sages closer:

My i-Phone has nevua!

Dumb and Dumber were impressed. How could they not be? This is how Jews were really meant to discuss Torah!

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We’re all Dumb and Dumber today, whether or not we admit it. The ikker is just to have a tad of humility, and to be honest that we have no idea what to really think about anything. That’s really the only smart thing to do at the moment.

That’s also the point I was trying to make HERE:

The way out of this morass, all this ‘feeling confused’ stuff, is just to be honest, and to admit that really, we have no idea what’s going on, or what to think about it all.

It comes back to that whole ‘being real’ idea I discussed over HERE, where it seemed to me that the people who are pretending to be what they’re not seem to be the ones most in danger of turning against the Rav, God forbid, or pinging away in disgust.

HOW COULD THE RAV SAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT?!?!” THEY MUTTER TO THEMSELVES.

Really, they have no idea what the Rav did or didn’t say, what he did or didn’t intend, what did or didn’t actually happen.

But it takes a lot of humility, it takes a lot of self-awareness about your own limitations to really admit that, doesn’t it?

What’s going on right now is a massive birur process, or clarification procedure.

All of us are being tested, but especially on our arrogance, our emuna, and our emunat tzaddikim, or belief in our true Tzaddikim.

And so, the test of Dumb and Dumber continues.

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What did the Lubavitcher Rebbe mean, when he said there would never be another holocaust?

One day, Rebbe Nachman was walking along with a group of his students, when they happened to walk past a home where someone had just passed away. The bereaved family members were crying and shrieking, and beseeching God in a very distraught way. Rebbe Nachman turned to his followers and told them:

“What they are doing at the end, I want you to do at the beginning!”

It’s human nature to want to stick our head in the sand, and to avoid all the unpleasantness and the scary things going on around us. Why think about it? Why worry ourselves?

But Rebbe Nachman made many statements where he urged his followers to do the exact opposite.

“Why do we allow God to bring evil decrees to the world?!” he once said to them.

We should be praying, and beseeching, and clapping our hands, and dancing, and making the teshuva required to really sweeten these decrees!

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Right now, we can still do something about the ‘scary stuff’ we can see looming in the future, and that every single one of us can feel lurking under the surface. 

God doesn’t want us to put our heads in the sand and pretend everything is A-OK, and that people can continue spitting in God’s face in a million different ways but it’ll still all end up being fine and dandy.

How can that be?

God created the world according to certain rules, and one of the biggest is the concept of reward and punishment. There are real consequences for bad behavior, sometimes very big consequences. If a person continues to go against what God really wants for them, and how He really wants them to be living their lives – and they don’t wake up and make some sincere teshuva – then they will have to deal with the consequences of their bad behavior.

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In the meantime, putting our head in the sand is not helping anyone – not even ourselves!

God wants us to be crying out to Him, and making teshuva, and realizing that unless we are really holding firm to the Tzaddik of the generation, we could honestly get flung a million miles away, as God continues to shake the world.

“Regarding the Messianic age it is written: ‘To grasp the ends of the earth and shake the wicked from it.’  However, one who is attracted to a True Tzaddik can grasp hold of him and not be cast off. Holding on to the Tzaddik, he can remain firm.”[1]

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Rabbi Berland isn’t telling us about the thousands of rockets pointed at Eretz Yisrael because he wants to pointlessly scare the pants off us.

He’s just pointing out the obvious – the bleedingly obvious – to rouse us to really start praying, and working on all the bad middot and teshuva we need to make to get these harsh decrees sweetened.

That’s why I get a little frustrated when I read emails like this:

“I’m keeping up with all the world news, craziness and all like always but I try to bring myself away from the doomsday stuff. It’s so scary when it’s so close to the end. The words Rav Berland is sending out now are really making me nervous. It makes me daven harder but I can’t imagine Hashem taking out anything on his children at this point. We just passed כ סיון which I learned all about recently. So many horrors have happened to us, I just can’t see anymore happening. Too many earlier tzaddikim like the Lubavicher Rebbe said it will be with rachamim and all Jews will be ok, I am trying to keep calm with that. I know what the autistics are saying but I am hoping Hashem will only fulfill the good.”

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Do I understand that all this stuff is scary, and that we’d for sure all prefer things to come the sweeter way with no more bloodshed and suffering?

Of course!

Is the ‘sweeter way’ going to happen, if we don’t make every effort to do all the things I keep pointing out again and again and again, namely:

  • Praying our socks off – and making every effort to join in with Rabbi Berland’s prayer gatherings, however we can manage it.
  • Making some real teshuva, including working on our bad middot and ‘getting real’ about just how imperfect we actually are. 
  • Hanging on to the true tzaddik of the generation – whoever that guy might be – and telling other people about him, too?

Nope, it isn’t.

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Which brings me to another point of clarification.

Over the years, I’ve read so many comments from people who are convinced that the late Lubavitcher Rebbe apparently said that the geula  is only going to come totally the sweet way, with no more death or suffering.

Even my correspondent, above, mentioned this:

“Too many earlier tzaddikim like the Lubavicher Rebbe said it will be with rachamim and all Jews will be ok.”

(Incidentally, apart from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, I don’t know of the other tzaddikim who have said anything like this. If any reader wants to share me some sources, I’d be very grateful.)

Now, I’ve been trying to track down the statement, or statements, that the Rebbe actually said, to give people this impression, and so far, this is what I’ve turned up (with some help from my friend, C.A. – ta!)

Before we continue, let me just point out that wherever possible, I’ve been trying to track down verifiable statements that were made by the Rebbe himself, and not just other people’s explanations of what they think he was saying.

There is certainly a time and a place for interpreting our Sages words, but the starting point has to be a clear explanation of what they actually said to begin with.

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What the Lubavitcher Rebbe said about ‘no Jew being left behind’ when geula comes:

“Leah, ‘for now my husband will be united with me.’ In an ultimate sense, this verse refers to the unity of the Jewish people with G‑d. That unity will be revealed in the Messianic age, when all the Jews will leave the exile; not one Jew will remain. In the redemption from the Babylonian exile, many Jews, among them the Torah sages and the Levi’im, remained in Babylon. However, in regard to the future redemption ‘a great congregation will return,’ ‘you, children of Israel, will be gathered one by one,’ no Jew will remain in exile. Thus, in preparation for this redemption, efforts must be made to increase Jewish unity as explained above in regard to the Ushpizin related to the present evening.”

From here:

5th Night of Sukkos, 5745 (1984)

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What the Lubavitcher Rebbe said about every THING being redeemed:

The redemption will involve freeing all the elements of existence that have been subjugated in the exile. Nothing will be lost.2 On the contrary, everything will be redeemed. Every single Jew will be redeemed. We will leave “with our youth and with our elders… with our sons and with our daughters.” And “their gold and silver will accompany them.” All the positive activities and achievements of the Jews (and also the non-Jews) in the exile will not be nullified. What will be nullified is the concealment of the world’s true inner being which is brought on by the material substance of the world and the subjugation to the rules of nature that exists at present. But all the positive aspects of the exile will remain, and indeed will be elevated.”

From here:

Shabbos Parshas Acharei-Kedoshim, 13th Day of Iyar, 5751 (1991)

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The Lubavitcher Rebbe on the holocaust:

I also found this news report from December 31st, 1990 on the JTA website, which quoted the Lubavitcher Rebbe as disagreeing with a statement made by the late Rabbi Schach, z’tl, that the holocaust came about as a form of Divine retribution because of the millions of Jews who had thrown off the Yoke of Torah and Mitzvot. Rabbi Shach also said that something similar could happen again, God forbid.

This is how the Lubavitcher Rebbe was quoted as responding to those statements, in the report:

“[Rabbi] Schneerson was especially vociferous in his attack on the notion, expounded by [Rabbi] Schach, that further retributive suffering might befall the Jewish people if they fail to abide by Jewish law.

“This suggestion is unconscionable,” the rebbe declared, without mentioning who had made it. “The future bodes only well for the Jewish people. There will never be another Holocaust. There will be redemption and joy.””

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It makes for interesting reading, doesn’t it?

If this last news report I brought was accurate, then the Rebbe does seem to be clearly saying there will never by another Holocaust. Let’s take each part of this last statement and explore it a little more closely:

The future bodes only well for the Jewish people.

 Who can argue with this? The principles of emuna state clearly that God is doing everything, and that everything that God does – even the bad, apparently yucky stuff – is ultimately for our own good. And of course, the ultimate ‘future’ is redemption, Moshiach, world peace etc.

But the Lubavitcher Rebbe is NOT saying that there won’t be any more suffering or death before we get there.

There will never be another Holocaust.

Amen, let’s really hope so.

Rabbi Berland has said on a few occasions that if you look through Jewish history, you see there was some sort of terrible destruction, pogrom or holocaust every 70 years or so.

A big part of why he went into exile and willingly took so much disgrace upon himself was to prevent this next ‘holocaust’ from happening. And that effort is continuing today, with the prayer gatherings, and all the terrible physical suffering the Rav is going through with his non-stop serious illnesses.

A couple of months ago, he also stated that unless more of Am Yisrael get with the program and start doing our bit to help sweeten the harsh judgments on the horizon, he may well have to take yet more disgrace and exile on to himself, and that it will be much, much harder even than what came before.

The mind boggles as to what that could actually mean.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe was an enormous Tzaddik, and he overlapped with Rabbi Berland.

He certainly knew about Rabbi Berland, and he could see what was coming.

(It’s a side note, but my Lubavitch friend told me that the Rebbe always used to get very upset when people referred to him as being Moshiach. Even though the Rebbe often said that the Moshiach was here, he NEVER said that he himself was the Moshiach. It’s just more interesting food for thought, that I’m putting out there to mull over.)

Is it too far-fetched to say that the Rebbe could see there would be a Tzaddik 30 years in the future who would sacrifice himself totally for the Jewish people, in order to prevent an otherwise ‘inevitable’ holocaust from happening again?

Or to put it another way, both Rav Shach and the Lubavitcher Rebbe were right.

But we only get to avoid the ‘inevitable’ holocaust if we’re take the threat of it very seriously, and cry out to Hashem and making the appropriate teshuva. Sticking our heads in the sand and kind of hoping for the best just isn’t going to work.

Lastly, we have:

“There will be redemption and joy.”

Again, who can argue with this? Amen and amen and amen.

BUT – that doesn’t mean there won’t also be more suffering and people dying.

In the 29 years since the Rebbe first made this statement, has there only been ‘redemption and joy’? Has there been no suffering?

Since 1990, Israel has gone through three Intifadas, and a number of wars.

Since 1990, so many people have lost their loved ones in tragic circumstances.

So many marriages have gone to the wall. So many people have lost their faith, or their minds. So many people have had to deal with challenges of an enormous magnitude.

It just isn’t realistic to sit there saying “all Jews will be OK” without qualifying that statement by adding but only if they make the necessary teshuva. Only if they stop destroying the world and spitting in God’s face. Only if they get close to the true tzaddikim.

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Otherwise, how exactly is this meant to work?

That a totally unrepentant Mr Rainbow-Chasing-Chazer-Eating-Haredi-Hater with the worst middot in the world also gets the red carpet rolled out for them, to come and have a VIP tour of the Beit HaMikdash and personal meeting with Moshiach?

Really?

When the Lubavitcher Rebbe says that every single Jew will be redeemed, and that no Jew will be left behind, we need to remember that the same could be said of the Exodus from Egypt.

Every single Israelite who made it through the plague of darkness alive, was redeemed.

But four fifths were lost, before things even got to that stage.

There’s a scary midrash that “predicts” only 700 Jews will live to see the coming of Moshiach and the Temple being rebuilt. Now THAT is a scary thought, even for me.

But what if the geula coming b’rachamim just means anything over 700 people make it through to the finish line?

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Like I said, the point of this post isn’t doom or gloom.

Rather, it’s to snap us out of all the unhelpful and unrealistic wishful thinking about geula, to make the point that until and unless more of us wake up, start joining in the prayer gatherings, start rallying more Jews around the flag of the real tzaddikim and start working on the enormous bad middot that are preventing us from really doing what’s required, here, the geula coming the sweet way j- with no more suffering – just isn’t going to happen.

Rav Avigdor Miller noted something similar about what occurred just before WWII. He said that God didn’t want to bring the harsh decree of Hitler and the holocaust, but He was waiting for the Jews to band together, make teshuva, and to start crying out for mercy, the same way they did at the time of Haman.

Sadly, that didn’t happen.

Why not? According to Rabbi Miller – the secular Jewish media and Jewish atheists were to blame. They wasted an ocean of ink denouncing Hitler, but couldn’t spare a single drop to encourage the Jews to rally around their true tzaddikim, and return to God.

God forbid, that should happen again.

[1] #22, His Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom, published by the Breslov Research Institute

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UPDATE:

A reader just sent me a translated Kuntres apparently written and edited by the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s own hand, with the following message:

“Regarding your most recent blog of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, there is unquestionably evidence throughout the Rebbe’s sichos where he indeed strongly hinted that he could be Moshiach. Several places he said that that Nosi HaDor is the Moshiach of the Dor. There is an entire kuntres called Beis Rabeinu Shebebavel , entirely edited by his own hand, with this concept, where he explains the uniqueness of 770, among other things it being Beis Moshiach. Anyone who learns this kuntres, it’s hard to arrive at any other conclusion besides the Rebbe hinting that he could be Moshiach. Here it is, in the original, and with an English translation, if you would like to take a look for yourself:”

You can download it as a PDF here: Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Kuntres on Beit Rabbenu

(The last link ‘broke’, so this is a PDF that will automatically download. I found it very interesting reading.)

There’s a lot of confusion about this subject, but I want to stress that the sources talk very clearly about their being TWO moshiachs, Moshiach ben Yosef, and Moshiach ben David.

In the post I wrote about who’s holding up the geula, I brought the following quote:

In Kol HaTor Chapter 2, Section 2, Letter bet, the Vilna Gaon says the following:

 “The general purpose of the two moshiachs, Moshiach ben Yosef and Moshiach ben David, throughout all the generations has been to protect and fight against the three ‘heads’ of the klipot (evil husks): Eisav, Yishmael and the Erev Rav…..

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

It’s important to understand that these two moshiachs are not in ‘competition’.

It’s not a case of ‘my Rebbe is bigger than your Rebbe’.  The two Moshiachs are on the same side, and trying to work together, to bring the geula, but they both have different approaches and achieve different results. Rebbe Nachman explains this concept in a beautiful way in one of his stories, which I covered in this article: Moshiach ben Yosef vs Moshiach ben David.

I think maybe the time has also come to take a closer look at whether it’s possible for a Moshiach to come from the dead.

This is a very sensitive topic, I know. But I think it needs airing out respectfully, and with as many sources behind it as possible to see what conclusions our Sages came to, and how they got there.

A big part of the problem is that so many people have ideas about ‘Moshiach’ and geula that aren’t at all rooted in Torah sources. For example, there is a discussion in the Gemara (Sanhedrin 98b) that closely examines the idea of whether the Moshiach can come back from the dead. It’s not a ‘lunatic fringe’ issue, like it’s so often made out to be, it was a serious question that was debated by some of the biggest Sages that ever lived.

The ultimate conclusion is ‘no’, but if you follow the debate, you can see it’s not at all as black and white as it’s often portrayed to be.

BH, I will put together as many Torah sources on the subject as I can over the next few days, and we will learn about it together. As much as possible, it’s time to build some bridges, to put all the ‘hysteria’ to one side, and to take a calm, gentle and measured look at this topic.

With an awful lot of help from Hashem.

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Did you ever stop to wonder how Moshe Rabbenu would go down in Monsey?

“Shlomie! Shlomie! You gotta hear this! Some guy in a frock just showed up in the beis medrash, and told everyone he’s the Moshiach!!!”

Shlomie heaved his stomach back inside the belt line of his black pants, stood up and went over to talk to his chevrusa Yankie, who was anxiously pacing backwards and forwards by the kollel’s coffee vending machine.

“Whaddya talking about, Shlomie? Calm down, speak slower. Who just showed up in the beis medrash?”

Yankie took a breath, stopped pacing, and turned to Shlomie.

“Some guy called Moshe something… He said G-d sent him to redeem the Jews, and he wants to take us out of Monsey to the promised land!”

Shlomie’s eyes narrowed. Another nut-job talking about G-d!

The last 210 years, there’d been a lot of these imposters who’d showed up trying to con the Jews of Monsey that one day they’d have to leave and go to the ‘holy land’. Wherever that place was meant to be…

“Where is this guy?” Shlomie demanded. “I wanna talk to him.”

With Yankie following behind, Shlomie headed off to the beis medrash, swung the doors open, and saw a tall, bearded figure standing in the corner with his eyes shut, rapturously reciting the bracha over a cup of water out loud.

Shlomie whispered to Yankie,

“Uhoh, this already doesn’t look good! What’s with this guy’s accent? Is he Sephardi?! And who spends five minutes blessing a cup of water?! This is definitely bitul Torah!”

Yankie muttered back, “Shlomie, we didn’t get the Torah yet…” But Shlomie didn’t hear him, as he’d already marched up to ‘Moshe the moshiach’ determined to kick this imposter out of the beis medrash.

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“Sooo, Moishe… where’d you learn?” challenged Shlomie.

Moshe Rabbenu studied Shlomie with wise, kind eyes and told him gently:

“I’ve spent the last 60 years communing with Hashem in the desert.”

Shlomie eyes rolled so far back in his head they almost popped out his neck. Geez, the nerve of this guy!!! Still, Shlomie prided himself on being open-minded, so he decided to ask a couple more questions before officially excommunicating him.

“So, who’s your Rav?” he asked.

Moshe lowered his head slightly and said:

“Hashem. Hashem’s teaching me Torah. Although I did meet Rabbi Akiva a little while back…”

Shlomie snorted again. What? That guy whose parents were goyim who converted?!?

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He tried one last time, just to be nice.

“Where did you grow up? Did you study at the Mir?”

“I grew up in Pharoah’s palace,” Moshe Rabbenu replied gently. “I had to flee Monsey-raim at the age of 20 after I killed an Egyptian by uttering one of Hashem’s ineffable names. I never got a chance to learn at the Mir….”

“Kishoofim!!!!” roared out Shlomie. “Out, out, get outta here with all your dangerous Moshiach talk! You’re nothing but a crack-pot, a false messiah, a person who’s trying to pull the Jews away from learning Torah with all your talk about serving Hashem!”

Yankie muttered again “But Shlomie, we didn’t get the Torah yet…” but again, Shlomie didn’t hear him.

With quiet dignity, Moshe Rabbenu picked up his staff, and headed out of the beis medrash.

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Yankie was anxiously biting his fingernails.

“The nerve of that guy!” sputtered Shlomie. “I can’t believe people are falling for this! We’re only meant to be learning about Moshiach, not believing it!”

“But Shlomie, a lot of the really big rabbis – like Aharon HaKohen – say he’s the real deal…” Shlomie harrumphed.

“All these ‘rebbe’ types stick together, you know that.”

“But Shlomie,” Yankie tried again, “This morning he turned the whole Nile to blood, and he’s told Pharoah there’s more natural disasters to come, if he doesn’t send the Jews out of Monsey-raim…”

“Kishoofim!!” Shlomie yelled again. “Unbelievable bitul Torah! Instead of learning another three blatt Gemara this guy’s off doing black magic and talking to goyim! Don’t fall for it, Yankie, don’t let him fool you. Seriously, where was the guy’s hat??”

Yankie tried one last time:

“But Shlomie, we have a tradition from Yaakov Avinu that at some point, the Jews have to leave Monsey-raim, and that a redeemer will show up and take them out of galus…”

Shlomie sighed a big sigh, and put his enormous arm around his frail, naïve learning partner.

“Yankie, you’re a great guy, do you know that? Here, take a look over the other side of the beis medrash. Who’d ya see?”

Yankie turned his head, and spotted Korach, the Rosh Kollel, shtiggering away to the bachorim about how why the beis medrash doesn’t need a mezuzah on the door. Korach cut a fine figure in his Armani black suit, smart tie and brushed fedora, tilted at just the right angle to set off his jutting chin.

“Now, if someone told me that’s Moshiach, I’d believe it,” explained Shlomie. “That guy’s related to one of the most important families in Monsey-raim; he’s got 14 kids – all shomer Toyrah ve-mitzvos – and he encourages his students to think for themselves. That guy is all about Toyrah and mitzvos. And his wife bakes a great kugel!

“But Shlomie, we didn’t get the Torah yet,” Yankie wanted to say. But he didn’t because he knew there’d be no point.

Shlomie heaved his stomach back behind his shtender, and went back to learning his latest blatt on his My-Gemara i-Phone app.

“The nerve of that guy, ‘Moshe Rabbenu’!” he muttered to himself, thankful that he’d managed to save the guys in the beis medrash from another false messiah. Hrrmph! As if the Moshiach would be someone who’d never stepped foot in the Mir…

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First posted in June, 2017

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