I know that in our modern world, that’s just the way it is, and I’m not saying that everyone with a website, blog or Youtube channel is a ‘pseudo-tzaddik’, God forbid. But I was pondering how having a popular blog, or being a ‘regular’ fixture on the frum internet circuit in some other way automatically confers some sort of aura of being a little more knowledgeable, wise, or smarter than others.
I mean, so many people are reading this stuff, or watching their videos, or attending their classes the person doing all this stuff HAS to be a bit of a cut above the average….
Well dear reader, speaking solely for myself (and the other 5 million pseudo-tzaddiks out there…) the answer is DEFINITELY NOT!!!!
Because even if you start blogging with good intentions and a heaping dose of humility, there’s something about the online environment that can wear all that good stuff out very fast.
An internet audience is power, and power so very easily corrupts even the best of us (so I’ve heard..).
Which brings me to the subject of this post. I am doing my best to stick stuff up on Emunaroma and spiritualselfhelp.org that I really hope is going to help as many people as possible figure out things in their own lives, and encourage them to get closer to God.
A lot of what I write about is based on my own experiences of trying to figure all this stuff out myself, and other bits come from what I read, or what I learn from true Rabbis like Rav Shalom Arush, Rav Ofer Erez and Rav Eliezer Berland, amongst others.
But sadly, hard as I am trying to write this stuff in as helpful a way as possible, undoubtedly there’s still a fair bit of my own arrogance and ego mixed in. So that’s why I wanted to apologise to you, dear reader, and also to try to make it as clear as I can that I’m still a flawed person and I don't know everything.
As I was musing over all the terrible advice these fake ‘tzaddikim’ and others are giving over, both in the frum world and elsewhere, that so often paints over-simplified, idealised pictures of the issues we are all facing, and how to solve them (‘pop a pill!’ eat more spouts! Get the internet out your house! Stop talking to psychos! Face up to your deep, internalised inner trauma NOW!) - it struck me that maybe I’m also doing that too, sometimes.
I know life is complicated, I really do. I know how much we’re all really struggling to do the best we can, and how we really do have such good intentions that we often can’t seem to make happen.
Life is not black and white. There are no quick fixes or magic bullets, not even on the spiritual side of things, where true progress still requires an awful lot of patience, perseverance and determination.
So if anything I’m writing or have written in the past is bringing you down, or has caused you some distress or issues, I’m really, really sorry! All I can say is I’m a work in progress, and I’m asking God to help me write things that are truly helpful, and not just ego-fuelled opinion, speculation and one-up-manship.
This post wasn’t prompted because someone had a go at me about anything I wrote recently, BH. I just had a brainwave that the best way to avoid the trap of turning into a know-it-all, arrogant, pseudo-tzaddik myself was to make it very, very clear to you, dear reader, that I sometimes don’t know what I’m talking about, I have a tendency to portray things in a very ‘black and white’ way, and that occasionally, what I’m sticking up here is not as helpful as I’d like it to be.
So if something I’m putting out there strikes you as plain wrong - it probably is!
I'm still a flawed person, and I don't know everything.
And now, with that apology out the way, I can safely go back to writing strident pieces about how awful antidepressants, ‘internet gurus’ and pseudo tzaddiks really are…