The last few days, there’s sadly been a lot of ‘machloket’ going on, on the blog again.
In some ways, it’s my fault, because I often see things in a very ‘black and white’ way, and once I come to a conclusion – especially, one that I really have tried to ‘pin down’ and where the conclusion is important – I fight my corner in a very robust way.
That especially happens with the Rav, because as this stage, I have been attacked in so many different ways, by so many different people, on this subject, that my tolerance for ‘nice arguments’ is extremely low.
At the same time – what I REALLY want is to have peace with my fellow Jew.
Even the ones who come here and diss me, and slander the Rav publically, because for whatever reason, that’s the ‘job’ Hashem gives them to do.
In many ways, 5783 has been the year of me having massive arguments about the Rav with people I otherwise really care about, love and respect.
And while I’m clearly going to carry on supporting the Rav, to the best of my ability, and ‘fighting for truth’, to the best of my ability, I also acknowledge that God really wants peace.
Sometimes, it seems very hard to give God what He wants.
But I know, I really know, He wants the Jews to have peace and achdut.
Especially between the otherwise ‘good’ people who find themselves kind of side-tracked into fighting each other over stuff that is not that important, compared with maintaining a united, and mutually-helpful and respectful front to our enemies out there, who really ARE trying to kill us, in a billion different ways.
All these ideas crystallised for me, when I read one of Rav Berland’s prayers this week on Shabbat.
In fact, this prayer made such a big impression on me, I have translated it:
The Geula depends on achdut and peace.
Ribono Shel Olam, who can do anything.
Save me from the machloket of Korach and his congregation!!!
And I shouldn’t encourage any machloket in the world.
And in the merit of this, I should merit that all my children, and the children of my children, everyone should merit to be prophets.
As it says: “All these were the sons of Heman.”
Answer me, Hashem, save me from machloket!
And in the merit of this, I should have the merit, like the great Aharon HaKohen, to stop every plague in the world, and end every machloket.
And to be a lover of peace, and to chase after peace.
Answer me, Hashem. Give me the merit of being a ‘lover of peace’, and to inspire peace in every place, and in every city and town, and each and every kehilla.
And between man and his fellow man, and between a man and his wife, and to create peace between one kehilla and the next.
And between a man and his fellow man, when each person promotes their own Rav and their own kehilla, and degrades other Jewish kehillot, where there are true Tzaddikim, who serve Hashem day and night, without any pause. And who don’t let themselves sleep, nor give themselves rest.
For the work of the Tzaddikim is to raise the Shechina up out of the dust.
And because of the machloket, we are “Like one who chops and splinters [wood] on the ground, so have our bones been scattered to the mouth of the grave.”
And then we lower and throw down the Shechina into the midst of the coarse earth, into the sludge and the mud, where it’s unable to rise up.
Answer me, Hashem! Have mercy on me, with multiple mercies, and give me the merit of being saved from machloket!
Even if it appears to be l’shem shemayim (for the sake of Heaven). Because there is no machloket in the world in our generation that is l’shem shemayim – only the machloket of Korach and his congregation.
Where Moshe was the real one being persecuted, and where he had no intention of besmirching Korach, Datan and Aviram – exactly the opposite! He was searching for all the ways in the world to create peace, and even followed them to their homes and encampments.
And pleaded before them, come, and let’s make peace!
And they responded: We won’t ascend! “Even if you will gouge out the eyes, we won’t go up!”
Please answer me, Hashem, give me the merit of always being on the side of Moshe Rabbenu, may peace be upon him. To chase after peace, and to inspire peace, and to just connect to peaceful people, who inspire peace and pursue peace.
And just by way of this, the geula will come, speedily, in our days, in the blink of an eye.
Amen, netzach sela va’ed.
So, here’s what I’m currently thinking.
I can already tell you, that if people come here ‘to have a go’ at the Rav, in particular, that I will find it very hard to not fight hard against them.
But, I will make an effort to try and avoid personal insults, as much as possible, bli neder, and to tone down my ‘fight’ response as much as possible, whilst maintaining clear boundaries against obvious psychos.
And also, I am very open to ‘making peace’ with anyone who I’ve had disagreements with in the past, to bury the hatchet properly, and to try to move forward in a much healthier, mutually-respectful way.
The ikker is not what happened in the past, so much, the ikker is to just move forward into the future without repeating the same mistakes.
So, I apologise to all the people who I’ve upset, deservedly or otherwise.
And I’m stating up front: LET’S MAKE PEACE.
Let’s have achdut.
Everyone can make mistakes, everyone can get carried away, me included, and it will make God very happy if there is more peace amongst the Jewish people, and less quarrelling and ‘trying to be right’.
So, that’s where I’m holding today.
And tomorrow, I will be back to posting up more stuff that undoubtedly will press a few people’s buttons, because that just seems to be the job God has given me to do.
But, if I’m pressing your buttons, let’s try to have the discussion peacefully, and with humility that no-one really knows what is going on, and we have to do these ‘deep dives’ together, to even have a hope of finding out.
And also, let’s try to leave the Rav out of these ‘discussions’ as much as possible, because he’s really just a mirror, and the stuff that is reflecting back to each person should be kept more private and dealt with internally, not online in the comments section of a public blog.
All this is just a big learning process.
For all of us involved.
And it would be great if we could proceed forward, together, without getting caught up in stupid machloket about ‘the Tzaddik HaDor’.
That’s exactly what the yetzer wants.
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