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On Shabbat, I had one of those dreams that seemed to be way more than a dream.

(I know I’ve been writing a lot about dreams recently, and I’m sorry about that! A few other people have told me they are also having unusually intense dreams at the moment, too. This one also just seemed like an important one to share, so here we go.)

In the dream, I was walking up to Rebbe Nachman’s tomb, and Rebbe Nachman was there. As soon as I got to the threshold, he told me:

“Go and get your husband and kids, and bring them here quickly.”

He seemed very pressured, somehow, which is unheard of for Rebbe Nachman. If you read Rav Natan’s accounts of him, what he went through, how he reacted to his own challenges, then you’d know that Rabbenu always took things extremely calmly and with maximum emuna.

So I was very surprised he seemed to be in such a rush.

I called my husband and kids over, and then he opened some sort of underground passage, and he told me:

“You have to get everyone underground.”

I assumed he just meant me and my family, so we were trying to get down there when he said to me:

“No. All of Am Yisrael has to get underground.”

So then, I got a bit frustrated (yes, even in a dream with Rebbe Nachman the bad temper still flared up, what can I do) and I said to him:

“What does that even mean?! There isn’t room down here for millions of Jews, and even if there was, how do you want me to get them here?! What does that mean, that I have to ‘get everyone underground’?!”

He told me:

“The ground is the Tzaddik Yesod HaOlam.”

And with that I woke up.

And then I did some more talking to God about the dream in hitbodedut, and I got some more insights, namely that I have to make maximum effort over the next couple of months to try and write stuff that will hopefully get more people connected to the Tzaddik Yesod HaOlam, because that is the only way people will be protected from whatever is going to happen next.

And I don’t know what that’s going to be any more than you do, but it seems that something is in the offing.

Of course, I’m not hugely thrilled about this job, for a few reasons, including if I actually start spelling out who I think the Tzaddik Yesod HaOlam actually is in our generation, it will be waving the proverbial red rag to anyone who happens to have a different opinion.

But I also realized that God gave me the blog for a reason, and much better that I use it for a holy purpose, then I just keep posting up long screeds full of daas me.

So, BH, that’s what I’m going to try and do. I’m not sure exactly how, but a storm is brewing in the world, and we need to take shelter by our tzaddikim, and especially, by the Tzaddik Yesod HaOlam. And I will hopefully start writing some more about this concept, so more of us can start to form a better opinion of what that actually is, and who he might be, in our generation.

The last few months, so many of our Tzaddikim have been experiencing serious leg problems.

You probably heard about Rav Dov Kook’s serious issues, that prevented him from walking around even being able to stand or sit up in order to pray.

BH, Rav Kook’s leg issues cleared up in a way that he himself described as ‘miraculous’. But now, it seems to be Rav Berland’s turn to be experiencing some serious difficulties with his legs, God forbid.

As I was pondering what’s going on with all the legs stuff, I remembered that I know of two people first-hand who had lower legs amputated this year, and a third who was hospitalized for weeks with leg problems, and similarly threatened with amputation.

Then, I was thinking about all the people I know who seem to have serious aches and pains in their legs – and that was prompted by the fact that I started to get my weird ‘aching leg’ thing again on Shabbat, which I’ve had on and off all year and always seems to be connected to some more teshuva I need to do, especially about my negative emotions.

Then, I got given a pamphlet by ‘Ha Esh Im HaTzaddik’ which was talking more about the whole ‘legs’ connection to geula, and said the following (translated from the original Hebrew):

“In Likutey Moharan, Rabbenu [Rebbe Nachman] explains that the dinim (harsh judgments) cling on to the legs, and the ‘legs’ of the generation are the Tzaddikim of the generation, who suffer because of the sins of the generation. We’ve recently seen many Tzaddikim suffering with their legs, and the Tzaddik (i.e. Rebbe Nachman) tells us that this is the secret of geula (redemption), the secret of the seventh beggar.”

Interesting!

So I went back to Rebbe Nachman’s tale of the Seventh Beggar, and here’s what I learned:

There are seven beggars, each with a physical ‘lack’ that is actually spiritual perfection.

  • The first beggar is blind.
  • The second beggar is deaf.
  • The third has a terrible speech defect.
  • The fourth has a crooked neck.
  • The fifth has a hunchback.
  • The sixth beggar has no hands.
  • The seventh beggar has no feet.

Each beggar represents a particular Tzaddik, and the enormous wisdom and spiritual insights they brought to the world. (Rebbe Nachman himself doesn’t explain who each beggar is meant to represent in Jewish history, so that’s open to each of us to interpret for ourselves.)

But he does identify who the beggar with no feet is: the Moshiach.

Indeed, the story of the seven beggars stops after the tale of the sixth day and the sixth beggar. Rav Natan, Rebbe Nachman’s main pupil writes:

“The end of the story would involve the Seventh Day and the beggar without feet. However, we were not worthy of hearing it….We will not be worthy of hearing it until the Moshiach comes. May this happen quickly in our days, Amen.”

In the notes in the English edition of Rebbe Nachman’s Tales, translated by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, it says the following:

“The time before the Moshiach is known as Ikvatha deMeshicha, which literally means ‘the heels of the Moshiach’. Therefore the power of rectification of the Moshiach comes from his feet….the main thing is joy, which is expressed by the feet in dancing.

“In the world to come, it’s taught that God will make a dance for all the righteous…this is the concept of the complete restoration of emuna. The beggar with no feet is the one who will effect the ultimate rectification of the…Shechina.

“Regarding the Shechina, it’s written: ‘Her feet go down to death’ (Proverbs 5:5). This is because the feet of Malchut go down to the realm of evil, giving it existence until the Moshiach comes and rectifies all things. Thus, the ultimate rectification is through the feet.”

Interesting!

Beyond that, I’m not prepared to speculate. But the whole inyan that’s going on with Tzaddikim (and others…) experiencing leg pains and serious issues this year could be pointing in the direction that we’re at least approaching the time when the story of the beggar with no feet will finally be told.

Last week, I crashed again.

Baruch Hashem, my daughter had her bat mitzvah party last Sunday at Ein Yael, in the green hills of Jerusalem. Ein Yael is one of the most beautiful places in the country, and if you’re ever looking for something to do with the kids in the Summer, it’s a good pick.

Bizarrely, it’s also one of the cheapest places you can rent for a simcha, which is how we ended up there. This bat mitzvah was one miracle after another: it was a miracle we had enough money to do it in the first place; it was a miracle we found such a cheap, gorgeous venue; it was a miracle that all the food got warmed up OK, as the electricity was out for the first hour and a half; it was a miracle that all the kids my daughter invited got there in one piece, as it’s a half hour shlep up a mountain.

But even with all the miracles and Heavenly help we got to pull it off, the day after the bat mitzvah, I was completely shattered. (Shlepping 48 litres of drinks to and from the car did wonders for my biceps, but otherwise, it probably wasn’t so helpful.)

But I still had a lot to do! There was the diagrams for the book to get finished, and all the end of school stuff to attend, like a dutiful mother.

So I carried on until Tuesday – and Wednesday, I was so mentally exhausted when I woke up, I almost couldn’t move. I couldn’t cook. I couldn’t shop. Nothing. All I could do was sit on a couch and read a bit, and even the reading was pretty taxing.

Uhoh.

That state of utter exhaustion has happened to me before, and in the past it’s taken weeks and even months to really recover from it.

This time, I realized that if I didn’t slam on all the brakes ASAP, I was staring another bout of chronic, long-term exhaustion in the face. So I told my husband: “I can’t cook! I can’t shlep another kid to another bat mitzvah party! I can barely move! I just have to sit still, and recuperate.”

God helped me out by arranging for the gas company to remove my gas meter (by mistake, apparently) so my oven anyway wasn’t working, even if I wanted it to.

Ironically, I didn’t even have enough energy to do my usual energy exercises, or to make my usual healthy smoothies, so on Wednesday I ate a big bar of chocolate for lunch.

Uhoh.

Before I went to sleep, I dabbed a load of aromatherapy on, I stuck a bunch of strength-inducing seeds on my palm, and I had a very early night.

Thursday, I felt a bit better for the first half an hour, but then I started to feel incredibly weak again, like I was going to fall over. I took it really easy and ate a lot of salad, which helped a bit. But by evening, I was still feeling pretty rotten.

Physically, I was actually OK, but mentally I was completely wasted and beyond burned-out.

I was starting to worry, when God sent me a brainwave: nip off to the tomb of King David, and spend a bit of time there.

One of the amazing things about where I currently live is that King David’s tomb is a 20 minute walk away. My husband came with me, and I took lots of breaks on the way to sit down and gather my strength for the next 5 minute walk – and finally, I got there.

I sat down – and it hit me like a wave how spiritually depleted I felt. Like I was completely washed out, and washed up. I sat there for 20 minutes, and what can I tell you?

I came out feeling a whole lot better.

I walked home with no rest-stops; I had another early night; and today, I woke up feeling almost back to normal.

With all my healthy eating, and energy exercising, and hitbodeding, God reminded me yet again that maintaining a strong connection to our tzadikim, both alive and dead, is what’s really keeping me going.

We live in very tiring times. I’ve lost track of the number of people who’ve told me recently that they feel like time is speeding up. The truth is, that it is – and 2015 is a very exhausting place to be.

So if you’re also cracking under the strain, clear your desk, cancel all appointments, order in pizza for supper and head off to King David, (or your nearest big tzadik) for an immediate pick-me-up.

It’s cheaper than a spa (unless you have to fly in from somewhere), it’s faster than a face-life, and from personal experience, I can tell you that it really will rejewvenate you.