It’s so strange.
I am sitting here, with no idea what to do with myself.
This is highly unusual – I’m a person who nearly always has a project going on, and the only time I take a break is for a couple of days in between starting the next thing.
But at the moment, I’m finding it hard to motivate myself to really ‘do’ anything. I know it’s the uncertainty. I also know that it’s the fact that every single person in my family is still in my house.
And that’s mamash cramping my style in a million different ways.
I’m a person who likes to listen to one song, obsessively.
If I like a song, I can easily listen to it six times in a row – and I like to do that. But no-one else likes to listen to my songs six times in a row, so I can’t do that right now, and it’s grating.
(I won’t do that on ear-phones because I listen to the music while I’m doing things like washing up, hanging washing etc, not just hanging out by PC for half an hour listening to music.)
I’m also a person who likes and needs my own space.
I don’t like company 24/7. I’m a writer, sometimes my soul really craves solitude and peaceful contemplation.
That is also part of the reason that my writing is drying up at the moment, because I just am not getting that ‘alone’ time, and where in the past I used to go for long walks to grab it for myself, I can’t really do that because of the coronafascists, that are demanding I mask-up 24/7 while in the fresh air.
Baruch Hashem, I’m in a pretty big house at the moment.
God really gave me such a present, because we moved to this house a week before COVID-1984 took off, and at the time I couldn’t understand why I’d had such itchy feet to leave the last place.
Very quickly, it became obvious.
This place has 2 floors… and a garden…. And a mirpesset…. And a few other little places where you can hang out, even in bidud (quarantine) and just breathe a little.
So I’m very, very lucky.
But I’m still finding this hard going.
Usually, I can bang out articles in half an hour flat.
I started writing this 2 hours ago, and then I had to stop to give someone a lift somewhere, and then I had to stop again to help someone else find something online, and then I got distracted by a ‘big conversation’ that was going on.
And now I’m writing this as my eardrums are being blasted to oblivion (again….) by my teenagers’ loud music. Like, really loud.
It’s all just avodat hamiddot isn’t it?
Friday, I got so frustrated with one of my kids who phoned up to ask for a lift after I’d been telling her the whole week that if she DID want me to get on her Friday, she’d have to let me know by Thursday pm, so I could arrange my Shabbat cooking schedule accordingly.
Thursday we spoke, and she told me:
Yah, mum, I’ll make my own way back, don’t worry.
Are you SURE???????
I asked her.
Because if you change your mind last minute, it’s not going to be pretty….
Yah, yah, I don’t need you to get me tomorrow, it’s fine, mum.
At 12pm, Friday, I get another phone call from this same kid:
Err, mum can you come and get me??
Usually, I really try to be as flexible as possible, especially in these strange COVID-1984 times.
But I just couldn’t. I got so angry at her that I just put the phone down for a minute and pretended that the connection had gone awol, so I could collect myself and not say something I’d regret for the rest of my life.
Long story short, I didn’t go to get her.
And then, I spent the next three hours trying to deal with the overwhelming feelings of rage and anger that suddenly started stormin’ up like a Category 5 Hurricane Rivka.
Man, it was SO hard.
I simply didn’t talk to anyone in my house, for 3 hours.
Because I was scared that if I said anything, anything at all, it would be really bad.
And in the meantime, I cooked and I asked God to help me, and I tried to not get even more upset when my food started coming out not so good, because I was in such a bad mood.
God, how much longer????
How much longer do I have to stay cooped up with all these retarded people, having to cook all this food all the time, and having to tidy up all the time because there is always so much mess, and washing, because everyone is here, and having to listen to THEIR music all the time, and having to keep working on all these bad middot that keep bubbling up with the constant aggravation and irritation and low-level fear about what’s coming next….
The answer was:
At least a few weeks more, and maybe a few months more, because THIS is the real test, Rivka. THIS.
Hanging out with your family and doing nice things for them and not killing them and working on your own bad middot.
THIS is the real test.
So, that’s when I realized that I really can’t let the anger and rage burst out and rule me, because it looks like there are many more weeks, if not months, of this test to go. And if I turn into Genghis Khan, it’s going to make it so much harder for absolutely everyone around me.
[Picking this up another hour later, as a kid needed a tremp somewhere.]
Someone just sent me two recordings.
One is of Rav Pinto essentially saying that what is happening now is very similar to how the holocaust began.
First, there was some ‘low level’ anti-semitism, and then – 7 million Jews got killed.
And then, there was another recording in Hebrew, which you can listen to for yourself HERE:
This was from the daughter of the famous kabbalist from Bnei Brak, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Stern.
She says that Adar is going to be a very tough, scary month for the world.
That lots of people aren’t going to make it.
And that lots of people that everyone thinks are ‘tzaddikim gemurim’ with big beards and kippahs, and who apparently learn a lot of Torah, are amongst those who won’t be around to greet Moshiach.
When the interviewer asked her why not, Rabbanit bat Stern was very clear:
The whole test is bein adam l’havero – how we treat our fellow man.
If someone is learning Torah, but abusing their wife verbally and emotionally – they won’t be here to greet moshiach.
If someone is a big Rosh Yeshiva, a leading rabbi, but they are going around stirring up trouble, and getting into arguments with the neighbors all the time, or causing strife and bad feelings wherever they go – they won’t be here to greet moshiach.
All of us have so much teshuva we need to make, particularly in the area of our bad middot and how we treat our fellow Jews.
And top of that list is what’s going on behind closed doors, with our spouses and kids.
So today, I told one of my girls:
Dearie, it’s suddenly dawned on me that we are probably going to be hanging out together for at least another five months. Prepare yourself mentally, because THIS is the test.
To be with our families, without distractions, maybe also without a whole lot of parnassa, and with a lot of external worry and stress, and to still treat them nicely and considerately.
Man, that’s a test.
A massive test.
But with Moshiach truly imminent, it’s slowly dawning on me that that’s the whole point.
Daisy just sent me a link to this video (not shmirat aynayim friendly, but well worth listening to:)
Vera Sherav is a medical doctor and holocaust survivor, who has been fighting for human rights against the medical establishment for decades.
The main point she makes is that we have to stand up for ourselves, and to protect ourselves from people who don’t have our best interests at heart, and to stand up to the bullies that are pouring out of the woodwork, under cover of Coronafascism.
This is connected to all the bad middot I’m talking about above.
When we stop making excuses for our own manipulation of others, and using threats and scare tactics to control others, and forcing others to put what’s good for us ahead of what’s good for them – that’s when we’ll be able to get out from under the jackboot of this Coronavirus dictatorship.
It’s midda k’neged midda.
And once we fix our own middot, the madness will finally stop.
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