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That’s what I read, when I ‘randomly’ opened up a Breslov book called Hishtapchus Hanefesh.

Here’s a brief description of that book:

“Hishtapchus Hanefesh is a powerful work dealing with prayer. Rabbi Nachman taught that tefilah is our main weapon and that any challenge can be overcome.” 

I read that during a six hour hitbodedut session that began at 3.55 am this morning, after I woke up in the middle of the night and just couldn’t get back to sleep. I spent more time yesterday rushing around making sure I can make seder if the ‘end of the world’ descends on us before Pesach.

And then, as I was eyeing up the onions, and debating if I should buy another 400 onions to add to the 400 onions I already bought – because how am I meant to cook anything tasty if I don’t have onions?! – I suddenly realised that I have come to the end of my ability to prepare for what comes next.

I have no more koach to buy onions.

Or toilet paper.

Or tuna.

I have no more koach to write blog posts about what’s really going on, and why.

I have no more koach to spend hours listening to people pour out their troubles and woes, all the time telling me they are Litvaks or Lubavitchers, so they don’t believe in things like doing hitbodedut or going to Uman; or that they heard bad things about Rav Berland, so they don’t want to read any of his books or listen to any of his Torah; or that I just don’t understand how their massive problems AREN’T a result of their own bad middot, arrogance and lack of emuna, and so me telling them to make some real teshuva about these things is just insulting and unhelpful…

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Right now, my 16 year old is still in bed.

She’s totally and utterly depressed by being forced to spend 24/7 in our house with her parents, and without her friends. And as a rule, I get on really well with my daughter, and give her a lot of leeway and respect, and also let her do things like build chicken coops and big bonfires in the garden.

But 16 year olds need their space away from parents – especially controlling parents who eagerly set upon COVID-19 hysteria as a great way to get their recalcitrant teen 100% back under their thumb – and so, I’m watching my daughter, and so many of her friends, sink into a terrible, Bibi-induced depression.

There’s so much I can say about the manipulation and deceit being instituted at the highest levels right now, but I don’t have the koach to do it.

Suffice to say that just as all the control-freak parents are doing to their teens right now – i.e. totally destroying their mental health and emotional resilience in the process of getting them back under the thumb with fear, guilt and coercion tactics – so the control-freak government is doing to the wider population.

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In a minute, I’m off for my last walk to the Kotel.

Bibi et al have decided that I can no longer walk down to the Kotel – even totally by myself – and as of this evening, I will only be allowed to walk 100 metres from my home.

Bibi et al have also decided that my husband can no longer go to shul, or dip in a mikva.

Bibi is 70 – the high risk age group! – but is still appearing in public flanked by way more than 10 people, none of whom are following the retarded ‘two metre social distancing rule’.

I see the police at the Kotel Plaza, and no-one is wearing face-masks or wearing gloves, and everyone is hanging out way closer than 2 metres to each other.

But according to the media, synagogues are the main way COVID-19 is meant to be being spread.

Surely, what’s going on here is now so obvious that even the most dense person has to acknowledge that ‘something’ isn’t quite right in this picture?

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I have an article all written up and ready to go about stats from Italy, amongst other things, that show that 99% of the fatalities there were over 60, and 99% of the fatalities there had multiple, pre-existing conditions.

But I don’t have the koach to put it up, not least because the Israeli government is now prosecuting people who dare to say that having 5 people over 79 (all of whom had pre-existing medication conditions) die from COVID-19 in Israel in the last month doesn’t add up to a massive death toll.

In short, I have yeoush.

What more can I write, what more can I argue, what more can I pray?

That’s what I told Hashem this morning, as I lay in bed also trying to fight off a gathering feeling of depression.

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But then, I opened up Hishtapchus Hanefesh (siman 50), and I’m going to translate the full section of what I read, below:

For in truth, there is no despair in the whole world! And every person needs to go through many, many things, before he merits to enter into kedusha (a state of holiness).

Who amongst us is greater than Adam HaRishon, who separated from his wife, and sat in complete teshuva for 130 years? And precisely then, in those 130 years, demonic spirits came and ‘warmed him up’ [a polite way of saying they enticed Adam to spill seed], as our rabbis taught us. And of course, this weakened his daat (spiritual awareness) greatly each time, and of course the baal davar (the Satan) put one over on him, and wanted to totally pull him down from his spiritual level, each time.

But on each occasion, he got a grip on himself, and didn’t move from his path of teshuva, that he continued until he merited to give birth to Shet (Seth) after 130 years. And from him, the world descended; the Patriarchs descended from him, and Moshe, and the Moshiach. And Adam HaRishon himself was a tzaddik and chassid all of his days, and died with a good name.

And even though we still need to tikkun (rectify) his pgam (spiritual blemish) in each and every generation, even so, if he hadn’t got a grip on himself and strengthened himself to rectify whatever he rectified, then the tikkun (spiritual rectification) would certainly have been way more difficult to accomplish for the tzaddikim who came after him.

And of course, [part of the soul of Adam HaRishon] is also present in each person even now, because this is the essence of the test, that he strengthens himself during all of the spiritual descents, Hashem should have mercy, and everything else that happens to him. And that he should accustom himself every day to start afresh, and to imagine to himself that he was only born today, etc.

Whatever he manages to have the merit of rectifying by way of his teshuva is certainly very good. And that which he doesn’t merit to completely rectify will be guaranteed (underwritten…) by the strength of the holy Tzaddikim, who possess the strength to transform everything for the good.

But only if we don’t despair of ourselves.

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Slowly, slowly, that message is sinking in.

I can’t prepare for every eventuality, I can’t fix everything that is still broken, both within myself and with my relationships, even though I’ve tried so very hard to do that, the last few years.

But Rebbe Nachman is teaching me that I don’t have to get the job totally finished.

I just need to do my very best, make the best teshuva I can make, then trust that the true Tzaddikim will be able to get the job finished, and to turn everything around for the good.

Personally, I can’t wait for that to happen.

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A billion, million years ago (aka, last week), I sent the draft of my new People Smarts book to get laid out.

Two days ago, he sent it back to me, and I uploaded it to Amazon. Then I held my breath, to see if the only books they are banning are by Rabbi Eliezer Berland, or whether I’m also now on the hit list.

Whaddya know?

They approved it within 24 hours, and it’s now up for sale on Amazon, as the paperback, with the Kindle version hopefully being available later this week.

That’s important, because Amazon has now stopped deliveries to Israel while all the Coronavirus hysteria continues, which basically means I can’t even get a hard copy of my own book. Such are the times we live in. But, once the Kindle version is ready (it’s being worked on by my designer, who is currently locked down in the Philippines….) it’ll be available for instant download.

Alternatively, you can also get the PDF to download, and print it off yourself at home, if you send $12.99 to my paypal here: paypal.me/RivkaLevy , and then drop me an email to let me know you want the book.

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Two billion, million years ago, I was teaching the prototype ‘Crush Your Stress’ Masterclass for women, that is meant to go along with this book.

I’m still trying to get that course completed and uploaded. As you can imagine, all these plans kind of got totally disrupted the last few weeks. But, with God’s help, I’m still planning to get that completed, and then to figure out some live group coaching slots for any women out there who are hanging on to their sanity by their fingernails, and would appreciate some time hanging out online with other women to ‘destress’.

I will keep you posted.

And in the meantime, if you live in the US or UK, you can still get this book hardcopy, HERE.

It’s probably more timely than ever now. But I appreciate that few people have the headspace to read it at the moment.

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The ravberland.com site is also doing a special offer on the Prayers for Health book at the moment, which includes a prayer to be saved from the Coronavirus, where someone donated 50 copies free, for the first 50 people who download the book.

Go HERE for more information.

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And lastly, I highly recommend you read THIS, if you want to start doing something practical to get on top of the emotional, spiritual and financial destruction being wrought by the Coronavirus.

The forces of evil are using this whole scene as an excuse to shut down mikvas, shuls, yeshivas and Talmud Torahs all over the world, including in Israel. Every day, my husband hears more rumors of the police in Israel showing up at more Torah institutions and trying to arrest and fine even more people.

This is an unprecedented attack on the Torah, by people who are trying to play God and control the whole world with fear tactics and manipulation.

Mamash, I have to pinch myself at the moment, because I keep feeling like I’ve stumbled into some Kafkaesque nightmare where Jews in Israel are being threatened and punished for trying to go to shul… and for trying to learn Torah…and for trying to pray.

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Three billion, million years ago, when all the police persecution started up again against Rabbi Berland and Shuvu Banim, so many people thought there was some justification to it all, however warped. At that time, we were told starkly in a number of different ways that Shuvu Banim was only the start, and that this was part of a much wider campaign against the Torah world:

When is the religious community in Israel going to wake up, and to realize that what’s going on against Rabbi Berland and Shuvu Banim is just the prototype for a much wider campaign of suppression and persecution aimed at the Torah world?

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Barely six weeks have passed since the Rav was arrested for the ‘crime’ of doing pidyon nefesh and accepting donations, and now look what’s going on.

A couple of days ago I actually had a big attack of yeoush, or despair, at the situation, because if more of us would throw our weight behind the Rav, and add our prayers to his, and make the teshuva required for slagging off the Gadol HaDor, and lacking emuna and emunat tzaddikim, all this would turn around overnight, and Coronavirus would completely disappear off the scene.

But even at this stage, and even after we’ve seen the Rav make so many correct predictions of what was to come, and seen so many disastrous situation turn around and sweeten after following his instructions, and even after so many kabbalists and rabbis have spoken out publically about what is really happening here….

Most of Am Yisrael remain totally oblivious.

Sigh.

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We can get this to change, we really can.

I sit here alternating between panic and emuna, because I KNOW that once more of us get the message, and make teshuva about all our arrogance, and all our control-freakery, and all our lashon hara, and all the poisonous ‘news’ we believed over our own true rabbis, the redemption process will start to proceed in much smoother, nicer way.

But until that happens, things are going to be really, really hard.

I’m already seeing what all this ‘social distancing’ and quarantine is doing to a lot of my kids’ teenage friends, and there is going to be a mental health epidemic that could easily see people start to kill themselves, if we don’t get this decree sweetened ASAP.

Tachlis, we can’t keep our families at home for another 4 months – I don’t think most people will manage more than another week, before they literally start to crack-up, emotionally and mentally.

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SO, HERE’S A PLEA FROM THE HEART:

Am Yisrael, please, please, stop being so stubborn and arrogant, and stop believing all the heretical news headlines and false accounts of what’s going on here, and what the response should be to it. There is only one way to get this Coronavirus destruction to stop, and that is teshuva, prayer, and binding ourselves to our true tzaddikim, especially Rabbi Eliezer Berland.

If this doesn’t turn around by Pesach, as Rabbi Berland is trying to do, it’s going to be really, really bad.

That’s the reality.

And each one of us has a part to play, and a responsibility to fulfill, to put more effort into our prayers, our teshuva, and our hafetza.

PS: Baruch Hashem, I got day 21 at the Kotel done this morning. Hashem only knows if I’m going to be able to reach the 40 days, but each day is its own miracle.

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RE: THE BETA REDUCE YOUR STRESS COURSE

UPDATE:

Baruch Hashem, there is someone in my house who is better at this stuff than I am. The husband took a look at the last post, and told me to carve this off as a standalone post, so it won’t get lost – so here it is!

He also told me I’m apparently confusing you, dear reader, by saying it’s free then attaching a price tag. So, let’s clear that up now: THIS IS A TOTALLY FREE TRAINING! The plan is for me to try it out on 10 people, and get their feedback.

So if you got confused or put off by the ‘price tag’, please come back and sign up for a time on Wednesday Dec 4th, 2019:

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Here’s what the course is going to do, BH:

  1. Help you to clearly identify your unique stress response and ‘stress personality‘ (based on the Torah, but ‘hidden’ in secular language).
  2. Help you to ID typical occasions when your unhelpful stress response shows up.
  3. Give you easy, practical tools to defuse your unique stress response, so you can manage stress better, and cope better.
  4. Teach you how to do mindfulness meditation (i.e. hitbodedut) that will work for your particular character and stress response.

I’m teaching the first part totally for free, via Zoom, so I can get some feedback from participants before going forward.

I am still trying to finalise the time slots, but spots will be limited to 10 people, and it looks like I will be doing a morning and evening time slot at the moment, on Wednesday, Dec 4th, later this week.

So, if you’re a woman, and you’d like to find out some easy ways to start defusing your stress and to cope better with life, you can sign up below:

 

Photo by Dustin Belt on Unsplash

Gosh, the last few days I’ve been waking up feeling enormously stressed and tense.

Sometimes when I get like this, I can remember which odd dream sparked it off, or I know what situation I have in my real, actual life that is triggering it.

But at the moment, things are as ‘calm’ as they ever are in my household (i.e. not very, but more than usual) – so there is nothing specific that I’m agonising over that’s stressing me out like this.

I know this sounds like a weird idea, but God uses environmental factors to create situations where a certain ‘feeling’ or group of feelings becomes prevalent in the ‘outside world’. If you’re not doing regular hitbodedut (personal prayer) than it’s very hard to figure out when your feelings are intrinsic to you, and when you’re actually ‘absorbing’ them more from the outside.

If you saw my post on Why NIBIRUR = More Illness a little while back, you’ll probably already know that I think God is sending a huge amount of ‘crazy’ vibes down to the world at the moment, that is part of the spiritual process of birur, or clarification, humanity has to go through before Moshiach shows up.

It’s no coincidence that more and more people are literally losing it and acting in the most terrible ways at the moment (the recent, heart-wrenching murder in Migdal is one of the more extreme symptoms of this, but by no means the only one.)

The more we clear out our own bad middot, the more we try to face down all the little lies we keep telling ourselves about how we really behave, and act, and think, and treat others, and how much responsibility we really take for our own lives and relationships, and the more we try and connect ourselves to God and His true Tzaddikim, the easier this process is going to be.

But if we’re not willing to do any of those things?

Then we’ll either get a bumper prescription of psych meds, AND / OR we’ll go completely bonkers, AND / OR we will spend every spare moment we have surfing the net, watching movies, hanging out on Facebook, shopping, or doing other ‘escapist’ things like running 6 marathons a week or appearing in eight back-to-back theatrical productions.

Yesterday, when I was getting that yucky anxious / antsy / waiting for something / jumpy feeling that comes along with all the external stress and tension currently flooding the world, I suddenly realised that if I was a more ‘normal’ person, I would be watching movies or YouTube back-to-back to try and escape from these very uncomfortable feelings.

But I don’t do that, and that’s not an option, so instead I’m just having to sit here and deal with it all by upping my hitbodedut, going to more graves of holy people and (my secret weapon…) booking a trip to Uman.

If I wasn’t doing all those things, and also not trying to figure out what bad middot I still need to acknowledge and fix, I would be going stark, raving bonkers right now. Even WITH doing all those things, I’m still pretty jumpy and ‘wired’ at the moment.

Stress is what triggers our bad middot off. God is upping the ‘stress’ in the world so all of us can see what we have to work on, and so that we stop trying to ignore it and run away from it.

It’s so yucky to wake up scared, the way I’m doing at the moment.

But I realised, it would be so much worse if I was scared to ‘wake up’ and acknowledge all the stuff I really need to work on in order to be ready for Moshiach.

Before I threw all my secular CDs away, Queen was one of my favorite bands by a long chalk. The beats, the melodies, the guitar riffs, the clever lyrics. I loved Queen to bits. One of my all time favourite songs was ‘Under Pressure’.

Dum dum dum diddy dum dum. Dum dum dum diddy dum dum (oo-wa-oop).

Just now, my husband told me that since Chanuka, he’s been feeling like he’s been under non-stop pressure, without any let-up.

Thank God, we can pay our bills and nothing particularly ‘major’ is happening to explain this big build-up of tension and stress, but there’s no doubt about it: we’re under pressure.

And we aren’t the only ones.

As ‘the matzav’ in Israel continues to wind its way towards whatever Heavenly goal it’s being designed to achieve, I’ve noticed more and more short tempered outburst going on around me. People are honking more; they’re walking faster (or staying home…); they have less patience for people, they’re more out of it.

In short, they’re under pressure.

All of us are feeling the stress at every level of our being. That much is clear. What’s less obvious (at least to me) is what all this pressure is meant to be achieving. Because for sure, God is doing it for a good reason.

Is He trying to provoke a collective national melt-down, that will lead to a mass teshuva movement?

Is He trying to show us all that we simply can’t get by without Him any more, and He’s going to keep upping the ante until any semblance of arrogance and independence is crushed out of us?

Is He secretly working for Big Pharma, and has bought a bunch of shares in Prozac et al?

I don’t know – which is actually quite strange for me, as I like to think I at least have a small inkling of what God might be planning with all this stuff. But I don’t. Despite all my hours of praying, and all my efforts to talk to God, and all my attempts to read the runes and decode the hints He’s sending me, and everyone else, I feel that I’m currently sailing in unchartered waters.

To put it another way, I haven’t had a clue what’s been going on in my life, or around me, since Succot, and that doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon. I know the pressure is building – we can all feel it, and you’d have to be crazy to not recognize that ‘something’ is bubbling under the surface.

What the something is, or how it’s going to manifest in the world, is anyone’s guess. I hope its Moshiach. I hope its redemption. I hope it’s chanukat habayit (both personally and nationally).

But right now, all I really know is that I’m under pressure, and some days, it really feels like I just can’t take it anymore.