Right now, I’m still feeling pretty exhausted….
My husband told me that in the days of the Gemara, the Sages couldn’t pray for three days after they’d travelled, it was so disconcerting, and I can really get that. I’m not sure what’s worse: riding a donkey for 50 miles in the heat and desert, or flying on Easy Jet with psycho stewards who think letting the passengers use the toilet is an optional extra.
So anyway, I feel like I still have to take things easy at the moment, and get my energy back.
There’s been so much going on, hasn’t there?
For all of us.
And yet, there is still so much to talk about….
Deep earthquakes around volcanoes in Alaska, killer floods in Kerala, 92 wildfires in the middle of Winter in Australia, over 600 wildfires in BC, and of course, that ‘interesting’ bridge collapse in Italy that they have absolutely no idea about how it happened.
Whenever I hear that, it gets me thinking that the ‘experts’ can’t explain it because they are using the wrong paradigm for how the world really works.
There are so many dead fish, dead whales, popping up on shores all over the world at the moment. There are so many red tides and blue tides of ‘toxic’ algae which actually feeds on Co2 in the oceans and is one of the ways ‘nature’ keeps a lid on ocean acidification.
It doesn’t look pretty, it stinks – but it’s cleaning up excessive Co2 in the meantime. And where is that ‘excessive’ Co2 coming from, you ask? Simple.
From the hundreds of thousands of underwater volcanoes and volcanic vents on the ocean floor that science likes to completely ignore and not talk about.
Many of which must now be outgassing, or venting, more Co2, as well as erupting more lavas underwater. And if the underwater volcanoes are getting more active, you can bet the ones on land are going to follow suite.
In the meantime, I’m still trying to figure out the next stage of life, and what God wants me to look at next, and work on, now the first draft of the volcano book is pretty much done.
Here are my thoughts, and feel free to give me your feedback, dear readers.
4. I think the next book I want to write is ‘Six Days’, where it will basically combine science, gemara and midrash to show that the idea that the world is NOT billions of years old is actually scientifically plausible, once you get all the lies out the way. We so need a book in the orthodox Jewish world that isn’t scared to talk about dinosaurs, and to take on the atheists’ narrative about the creation of the world.
5. I’d also like that book to appear in Jewish bookstores, which means I need to find a way of raising $10k to cover the cost of getting it published by an ‘accepted’ publisher. (I know! Robbery in broad daylight! But what can you do, if you don’t play the game, and pay the cash, you can’t get your books carried or distributed, and I’d really like that book to get out there.)
6. So, I’m considering two ways of trying to fund this project: 1) Kickstarter, or something like it; and / or 2) opening a Patreon account. Now, be honest with me: I know you like the blog, and I’m grateful for you reading it. But will that also translate into some financial backing to get the book out, or should I start to explore other avenues for raising the cash?
(You can comment, anonymously for once, below, and let me know what you REALLY think, as I need some honest feedback here.) That’s where I’m up to at the moment.
Lots to think about, lots to consider.
So, your honest feedback would be greatly appreciated.
And in the meantime, there’s a lot going on, isn’t there?
The trip to the UK was eye-opening in a lot of ways. Every time we return, there seems to be even more pointless rules that have been introduced simply to dull the spirit and turn people into stressed, fearful zombies.
For example, now there is apparently a ‘law’ that you can’t spend a long time in the fastest lane on the motorway (even if you are the fastest car), which is punishable by a fine and points. And given that most of the M1 and M6 now has a speed limit of 50 miles an hour, and traffic cameras literally every 50 metres, the joy of driving has all but evaporated from the UK.
But the biscuit was taken by the flight home.
My husband and I were passengers on an Easy Jet Flight from Manchester that was somewhat akin to an airborne gulag. The cabin crew – headed up by a horrible man called Roger – made my skin crawl from the get-go, with a bunch of fake-polite, passive-aggressive ‘requests’ that made me feel like I was the naughty girl in school, because I’d had the temerity to take my shoes off.
That’s sadly pretty standard behavior on the UK – Israel route, at least with the budget airlines. Even with all the madness that is Uman, the flights to and from Ukraine are generally so much more laid back, cabin-crew wise. But yesterday was awful, even by ridiculous-British-rules standard.
ROGER, THE CHEAP FLIGHT DICTATOR
Yesterday, we were in row 12, two rows behind a poor frum family with three small kids that were forced off the plane at Sofia, Bulgaria, by the cheap flight dictator, Roger. What was their crime?
The mother had dared to ask for a thermometer, as her 5 month old baby was feeling a little warm, and she wanted to see what was going on.
Roger told her that only a doctor or medical professional could administer the thermometer, and paged on the intercom for a doctor, nurse or paramedic. A doctor was found, who measured the child’s temperature as being 37.5 – definitely a temperature, but well within the bounds of what any mother would consider ‘normal’, if a little concerning.
A spoonful of Calpol was given, and Roger told the parents that the doctor would have to check the temperature again in another 10 minutes. From this point on, Roger became increasingly aggressive, hysterical and controlling.
When the doctor was called back, the baby’s temperature had reduced to 37 degrees – still hot, but not overly concerning for anyone with any experience with babies. In the doctor’s opinion (who I spoke to first-hand), the baby was OK to continue on with the journey. The mother and father also believed that the baby would be OK to continue on with the flight to Tel Aviv, which at that stage was approximately another 2 hour flight away.
But Roger, who was clearly ‘one of those’, over-rode both the doctor and the parents, and started shouting, hysterically, that the baby could start having a fit on the airplane. While this is theoretically possible, in reality babies with a temperature of 37 very rarely, if ever, fit.
The same cannot be said of Roger.
It didn’t matter that the doctor told him it was probably fine. It didn’t matter that the parents offered to sign a waiver form taking all the responsibility for whatever would happen. The hysterical, emuna-less chief steward decided to force the plane to land in Sofia, Bulgaria, to get an ambulance to attend to the baby.
That poor family with their three small kids left the plane against their will, with whatever food the rest of the frum passengers could cobble together to try and tide them through a trip to a Bulgarian hospital.
In the meantime we were on the ground for 5-6 hours, trying to get a new take-off slot, and also going through more ridiculous ‘rules’ where the bags had to be re-checked to make sure the family that had been forced off the plane against their will by Roger hadn’t somehow managed to leave a bomb behind them.
While all this was going on, the plane only had one toilet working, so the queues snaked down the whole aisle, and the flight attendants still kept popping up with more ridiculous fake-nice, passive-aggressive ‘rules’ that were basically much more about them cracking the whip over the poor passengers than it was connected to looking after them.
These types of mini-dictators are increasingly popping up all over the place, as the general standard of mental health continues to nosedive in the Western world. If Roger believed in God; if Roger wasn’t clearly engaged in a lifestyle that set him completely at odds with belief in God; if Roger actually had even the smallest bit of self-awareness, he’d probably realize that he’s a hysterical, paranoid, emotionally-abusive individual who is completely not cut out for the job of reassuring passengers or helping them to ‘enjoy’ their flight.
Instead of managing the situation calmly, and with a cool head, this guy blew the child’s temperature up completely out of proportion, and went into a hysterical fit that no-one could talk him out of.
Neither the poor parents nor the doctor could talk him back down from his self-righteous ‘worse case scenario’ perch, that was completely removed from reality.
Anyone with a kid knows that they can spring a fever of 37.5 degrees at any time, and it’s usually not at all a big deal. And even when it is a big deal, it’s not an ‘ambulance’ big deal.
But Roger clearly didn’t have children of his own, and clearly had no idea about babies and the real world. In another Kafka-esque twist, the mother of another 11 month boy then complained that the wait was making her son feel poorly – which of course, it would for any small kid – and then Roger rushed up the aisle, nostrils quivering, where he stated:
“Madam, I will not let this plane move until I am 100% sure that your son is fully fit to fly!!!”
We all held our breath, waiting to see if the madman was going to cause us to lose the precious flight slot we’d just been given by another display of abusive, OTT ‘caring’. Thankfully, Roger backed down the second time and we were finally on our way.
We arrived at 2.15am, 10 hours later than planned.
WHY THE WEST IS LOST
And so I pondered on the decadence and weakness of Western society, as displayed by ‘Roger’ and his crew. So over-reliant on pointless rules, so puffed-up with their own importance and egos, so completely disconnected from reality that they could send a 5 month old baby with a 37 degree temperature to hospital in the middle of Bulgaria just to satisfy their inner sense of panic and out-of-controlness.
If people like Roger can’t even run a plane sensibly, and they can’t even deal with a 37 degree temperature in a 5 month old baby, then it stands to reason that anything approaching a real crisis is going to completely topple these people into full-on insanity.
And a lot of them have very responsible jobs, including key positions in the government and the army.
So once again, I came to the conclusion that it’s a matter of when the West topples, and not if.
The lunatics are now so firmly in charge of the asylum, it’s hard to see a way back.
And the way forward is going to be far more challenging than most of these people can manage, psychologically. (For the record, I think the bridge collapse in Genoa happened because the ground is shifting in Italy - it all goes together with increased seismic activity and rising magma).
The take homes:
 I changed his name for this post. In the formal complaint I made to Easy Jet, I spelled out exactly who we was, as he’s a real menace to the public, and more of us need to start pointing this stuff out.
The last three months or so, since Shavuot, I’ve been working on a book trying to piece together what’s really going on with all the freak weather, and how that’s connected to false science and the very real and ongoing danger posed by volcanic eruptions.
Once you get all the fake ‘billions of years’ timescales out the way, the pieces of the puzzle start to come into far clearer focus, and you can mamash start to see what’s gone on over the last few millennia.
The finished draft of that book was completed two days ago, Baruch Hashem, and now I’m typing this on an Easy Jet flight to the UK (which is why posting has been slow on Emunaroma, as you’re only going to be reading this when I’m back on holy ground, Bezrat Hashem) and because I got stuck with the window seat, I’m noticing a bunch of stuff I never realised before.
Like how from the sky, you can mamash make out where large quantities of lava were billowed out of the ground, both via volcanoes, and also simply via volcanic vents, where the earth simply cracked open and started pouring out magma.
That stuff is many of today’s mountains, and again, once you understand very clearly that mountains were not formed gradually over millions of years, the incredibly dramatic – and fast – way God created the world starts to be so obvious.
We just flew over a bit of Italy, and the old lava flows billowing out all over the place were so obvious from the air.
But I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking ‘if all this stuff about volcanoes creating the world is correct, and about massive geological changes occurring in very short timescales is correct, then why isn’t science talking more about all this stuff?’
The real, lengthy, answer is in the book, and I’ll let you know when it’s available to buy (and if anyone out there would like a free PDF copy of it to read and review in the meantime, I’ll let you know how to go about doing that too, shortly, when I hopefully get a bit more organised.)
But the short answer is this: science is living in denial about what’s gone on in the very recent past, and what is about to start happening again in the very near future.
VESUVIUS IS STILL ACTIVE
Let’s take Vesuvius, as an example of what I’m talking about, because most people have heard of this infamous volcano that exploded in 79 C.E., burying Pompeii and Herculaneum in millions of tons of super-heated lava and volcanic dust.
Pliny the Younger was an eye-witness to this deadly eruption, which killed an estimated 16,000 people, and he made Vesuvius famous for posterity by writing an account of the eruption to his friend, the Roman historian Tacitus.
If Pliny hadn’t done that, no-one would really know the extent of what had occurred around Vesuvius today. And let’s be clear that literate ‘Plinys’ who were friends with historians were pretty sparse on the ground when it came to cataloguing ancient volcanic eruptions.
So, we have Pliny’s historic account, which even today is used to describe ‘Plinian’ eruptions that shoot ash and gas straight up into the stratosphere and which can cause some very severe climate change and freak weather phenomenon for years.
We also have the entombed remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which has already disgorged more than a 1,000 victims of the volcano in those towns alone, and that’s just the ones who got preserved in the volcanic ash or left casts in the lava.
We have credible accounts that Vesuvius has erupted at least another 30 times since 79 C.E., including most recently in May 1944, when it destroyed 80 or so planes belonging to the US navy that were being housed on the ‘Pompeii Airfield’ nearby.
And the Italian government today knows that the volcano is still active, and could explode again unexpectedly and spectacularly at any point. The government knows this so well, it’s recently put a new evacuation plan in place to try to get the 700,000 people it’s identified as being in the worst danger zone out as fast as possible, should the worst happen again.
And yet, less than 10km away from Vesuvius you’ll find the modern city of Naples. Three million people today live within 20 miles of Vesuvius, and they could all be affected by another volcanic eruption the size of the one that buried Pompeii in 79 C.E.
The scientists and the government officials know all this. Even some of the people that actually live near Vesuvius know all this. And yet, that still hasn’t changed the enormous denial of reality going on.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, there are two more large, active and dangerous volcanoes close by to Vesuvius, too.
THINGS ARE ABOUT TO CHANGE
Now, I know we can’t walk around expecting the sky to fall in on our heads all the time (but now I type that, I’m definitely starting to understand that Chicken Little actually had a realistic basis for his paranoid delusions) – but we definitely can, and actually must, wake up to what’s really going on all around us at the moment.
I will write more about this soon, but volcanic eruptions over the last millennia have been strongly linked with the sun’s solar cycles, and particular what’s referred to as Grand Solar Minimums.
In a nutshell, Grand Solar Minimums happen around every 200-400 years or so, and it describes a situation where the sun stops producing sunspots.
Sunspots are bursts of intense solar energy that power-up the solar wind that actually contributes to the strength of the earth’s magnetic field. When there are a lot of sunspots, the magnetic field is strong and far fewer cosmic rays – like x-rays, gamma rays, UVC, etc – can penetrate through to the earth.
That means the weather is more stable, the climate is warmer (but crucially, less extreme – so warmer in a crop-growing, abundance-inducing good way) – and humanity and civilisation thrives, at least materially.
But the opposite happens in solar minimums generally, and when there is a Grand Solar Minimum – which means very few sun spots over a relatively long period of time – then the earth’s magnetic shield is weakened, and lots of cosmic rays from exploding stars in outer space start to filter through.
The science for what I’m about to tell you next is all footnoted in the book but cosmic rays wake up volcanoes and volcanic activity, particularly explosive volcanic activity. And volcanic activity vents more CO2 into the atmosphere, as well as other greenhouse gases like SO2, and also vents more CO2 into the oceans via the estimated one million underwater volcanoes.
A big reason why the Thwaites glacier in Antarctica is currently melting away, for example, is because it sits on a barely acknowledged massive volcanic field that the scientists think effectively died out thousands of years ago. But they’re wrong. And a few recent studies are even starting to prove that empirically.
Why all this matters – a lot¬ - is because the 200 years of warmer, stable and bounty-inducing weather effectively ended 5-10 years ago, and we are now apparently sliding into what could be another very intense Grand Solar Minimum.
The NOAA released stats for solar activity in July 2018 that show that the sun has effectively ‘flatlined’, to quote one climate blogger, and the sunspots have all but ceased.
And on cue, the volcanoes are waking up, and the seismic activity is increasing, and the magma is starting to shift and flow underground, and the gases contained in these subterranean magma chambers are starting to be heated and to rise up, causing methane-induced ‘wildfires’ all over the world.
In a nutshell, that’s what we are seeing happening all around us at the moment, and my best guess currently is that it is probably going to intensify for at least two more years, until 2020.
Some types of volcanic eruptions – like the one I wrote about HERE, Tambora – can cause freak weather and disrupt climate cycles for three years. I think that’s what is going on now. Some volcano seems to have erupted massively somewhere in a way that was either totally missed, or totally hidden, and that’s what is causing a repeat of the crazy weather that ALWAYS attends these types of volcanic eruptions.
There’s a possible culprit down in Ecuador which erupted in 2015, but was then put under media blackout for 50 days after it blew it’s top (why? No-one knows.) And maybe God will send me more clues, which I’ll continue to share with you.
But we are entering very turbulent times, Moshiach or no Moshiach. Crop failure is not a laughing matter, and it’s not so much cold weather that kills crops, as out-of-season freak weather, monster hail, drought and massive floods that kills crops. And that we’re seeing all over the world at the moment.
So to sum up: man-made climate change, my patootie.
The volcanoes are where it’s at. And more and more of them are starting to wake up.
I'm reposting this from last Chanuka, but with the Carr Fire burning, and the Mendocino Complex Fire burning, and with Portugal, Ireland and the UK burning, and Sweden burning, and Israel's south burning, it's probably even more relevant now than it was when I wrote it. Luminaries of fire - and the people who give them more power and influence - mamash destroy the world.
Someone asked me what I thought the message might be, that God was trying to send the Jewish people, by causing that terrible fire in Flatbush a couple of days ago. I told them I had no idea - because you have to be on an incredibly high spiritual level to even begin to guess at the real reasons for these things, and the people who are genuinely holding ‘there’ don’t rush their views into a Youtube shiur within 24 hours of the tragedy occurring.
But that discussion then brought me back around to pondering the notion of the ‘luminaries of fire and the luminaries of light’.
In Lesson II:67, Rebbe Nachman explains how the luminaries of fire get empowered in the world when the luminaries of light get diminished.
Who are the luminaries of light? They are the true Tzaddikim, and particularly the Tzaddik Yesod ha’olam (Tzaddik, the foundation of the world), the one true Tzaddik that is to be found in every single generation. Rebbe Nachman explains very clearly that when these Tzaddikim, and especially this true tzaddik: ‘becomes renowned and famous in the world, the eyes of the entire world are then opened…whoever becomes his follower…his eyes are opened and he becomes able to see.”
And what, exactly, does this person begin to see?
Rebbe Nachman explain that: “his eyes are opened and he sees and beholds himself, how he is holding in all of the traits…One also becomes able to see and behold God’s greatness in the world.”
In other words, when a person becomes the follower of a true tzaddik, or a luminary of light, he first starts to see himself honestly, and to understand just how many bad middot and negative character traits and behaviors he still needs to work on; and then, he also starts to recognize the hand of Hashem in the world, i.e. he starts to really internalize ein od Milvado - there is only God!
But when people don’t follow the true Tzaddikim, and instead chase after ‘luminaries of fire’ instead, then what happens?
“…when the luminaries of light are subdued, the luminaries of fire are empowered. And fires are caused in the world on account of the names of these ignominiously renowned people becoming great and enhanced, for this causes God’s name to disappear, the luminaries of light to become subdued and the luminaries of fire to become empowered….This is symbolized by the burning of the Temple.”
The lesson continues:
“…what was, is gone. For our Temple has already been burnt. However, now that God waits to return to us and rebuild our Temple, it behooves us not to hinder the Temple’s rebuilding, but rather to endeavor to build it….
“…by mourning over the Temple, one subdues the luminaries of fire, so that the luminaries of light…are empowered. Thus MiT’ABeL (mourning) is the acronym of ‘Lo T’varu Aysh B’chol Moshvoteykhem’ - (you shall not kindle any fire throughout your dwelling places), for by mourning, one subdues the luminaries of fire.”
There’s always so much to try to unpack in Rabbenu’s lessons, so again take all this with the caveat that I understand less than 1%, and that 1% is what I’m sharing here.
There’s a few key things that seem to be jumping out here, as follows:
1) The more we try to make ourselves followers of the true Tzaddikim, the more this will empower the good leaders, the ‘luminaries of light’ in the world, and weaken the ‘luminaries of fire’.
2) ‘Luminaries of fire’ are not just people like Oprah and all those other celebs, big-wigs and Hollywood A-listers getting burned out of their Bel Air mansions by the Thomas fire (which btw, is still burning and set to become the biggest wildfire in California’s recorded history).
‘Luminaries of fire’ are also all those suave rabbis and rockstar rabbanits who are full of themselves, and their own learning, and their own opinions and who frequently make some very harsh judgment calls against their fellow Jews.
It’s those people who magnify their own importance in the world, and who by so doing, minimize Hashem’s greatness. Luminaries of fire never talk about their own flaws, they never describe their own battles, they always have to come off as the clever know-it-alls who have an answer for everything.
If you want a no-fail short-cut to spotting a ‘luminary of fire’, anyone outside of Breslov circles who mocks and disdains Rebbe Nachman and his teachings is almost certainly a luminary of fire. And within Breslov itself, anyone who mocks and disdains Rav Berland is almost certainly a luminary of fire.
3) I’m inclined to think that some huge cosmic event was scheduled for the end of Chanuka, potentially involving a lot more fire and destruction than we’ve already seen - volcanoes simultaneously erupting, North Korean missiles being fired at mainland America, some huge, fiery ball of molten gases and metals coming a bit too close to planet earth - who knows what, exactly.
But as the ‘luminaries of light’ are getting more and more empowered, and more and more people are ‘opening their eyes’ to see what’s really going on in the world, on a number of levels, these decrees are being sweetened more and more.
4) This poor, holy family in NYC were another korban, and their deaths by fire - by the light of the Chanuka candles - has most certainly sweetened the ‘decrees of fire’ hanging over the Jewish people and the world.
5) The more we do our bit to empower the ‘luminaries of light’ and take down the ‘luminaries of fire’, the less these terrible tragedies will have to keep occurring.
6) We can do that, tachlis, by:
That’s a lot of hard work, I know.
But Lesson 67 seems to make clear that THIS stuff is what’s causing all the fires in the world.
Of course, no ‘luminary of fire’ is going to make those sorts of connections for us, because they don’t read (or understand…) Likutey Moharan and they don’t hold by Rebbe Nachman.
So if you really want to know where the truth lies, and what the message really is behind all these terrible fires coming to the world, you have to pray on it, and to ask God to really show you.
There is no other way.
It’s amazing what four days without internet activity can teach you.
It can teach you how much of your time is being sucked into a pointless blackhole of ‘predictions’ and doom and gloom stories.
It can teach you how many of the people blogging are actually flat-out crazy (naturally, I include myself in this category).
And it can also teach you how so many of the things that your yetzer has you convinced are SO important, really aren’t.
Top of that last thing is pointing out flaws in other people, and especially, other groups of Jews.
I came back from Uman, scanned through all my usual sites (I have about six I regularly check) – and realized that most of them just put me in a bad mood. Ok, Sky News is no big surprise.
But I’m also so sick of reading long screeds having a go at other people, and other Jews, on Jewish blogs, too.
That’s part of why I was very hesitant to ‘protest’, formally, the rainbow stuff, but after a lot of praying and contemplation, I could see that standing up for God’s honor demanded some public protest.
But part of my hesitation is that when you start criticizing another group of Jews, even a group that is doing such awful things, that just opens the door to sinat chinam and more criticism, and more ‘troof’, and more finger pointing and blaming.
And that’s all so pointless and damaging!
Because as I keep trying to emphasize, the only people we can really change, the only people we can really influence, is ourselves.
So, I scanned through the blogs, saw things that made me feel pretty yucky, and went to do some hitbodedut about it all. Because I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Being part of the solution means trying to pull Jews together, trying to see the good, trying to put the emphasis on God, and not on guns, or politics, or other ‘strength of my right arm’ tactics that only end up back-firing because they are rooted in a complete lack of emuna.
That’s the stuff I want to be writing about, that’s the stuff I want to be reading.
Uman always gives me a pause for thought, and a chance to re-evaluate what I’m really doing with myself, to see if it’s heading in the right direction. BH, over the next few days that process will play out again. Each time it does, it’s useful.
And in the meantime, the next few days I’m going to re-blog my posts about the differences between ‘luminaries of fire’ and ‘luminaries of light’.
Because while they look superficially similar, one lights up the world and leads to the geula, while the other just leads to destruction.
ON A SEPARATE NOTE: Since the 'we protest' blog went up, Weebly has been blocking my automatic posting function to Facebook. Just curious if this is a 'coincidence', or if any other of the bloggers who protested last week are also experiencing this issue now?
So at the beginning of last week, I was going bonkers again. The house debacle had got stuck again, and what was meant to be a simple concluding agreement kept pinging back and forwards, each time sending my blood pressure a little higher.
Then, there was all this childhood stuff the last few months had stirred up again, which I SO thought I’d worked through and sorted out by no! The lack of stability, the feeling of homelessness, the ‘bad’ people out to get me – I warped back to when I was 7 years old and spending every single night having terrible nightmares that wolves and triffids were chasing after me again.
Hashem, ad matai?!?!
When o when am I finally going to be able to put the past behind me?!?!?
I went to see my One Brain woman, who is usually so very good with this stuff, and even she couldn’t help me. So I knew I had to get on a plane, and go and see the one person who could help me sort all this stuff out at its root: Rabbenu.
My poor husband got dragged with me, and we went to Uman for Shabbat. Derech Tzaddikim absolutely insisted (literally) that we book into the fanciest hotel in Uman as everything else was apparently booked up, so we duly did that, and for the first time ever, I was in a hotel in Uman that apparently had some sort of room service.
But still no bath.
(Don’t ask me why there are no baths in the bathrooms in Uman hotels. Until recently, you were lucky to get a toilet in the same room that you didn’t have to share with 12 other people, so I guess we’ll have to wait for the baths another 10 years, or so.)
I got to Uman so absolutely, completely exhausted.
So much has been going on, for months, and internally it’s been intense, intense, intense. Usually, I go off and try to do six hours but dear reader, this time around, I just couldn’t. I did a couple of hours here, a couple of hours there, and I just left the rest to Rabbenu to sort out.
Let me tell you: he did.
I have no idea why more people, especially more Anglo people, don’t go to Uman. Every visit I make, I dump another load of inner childhood angst, another mega-load of crazy-person-ness, another ton of heartache, worry and fear.
But what I really wanted to tell you about is Rabbenu’s pipe.
On Shabbat, I saw someone in the kever who I have had a massive grudge against for around 4 years. They didn’t know it, of course, but I’ve been carrying around negative feelings towards them for years. And then, Rabbenu arranged for them to be in the kever.
This person was not a friend, but a ‘mashpia’, and we barely even spoke face to face more than once. But certain things occurred that were very upsetting to me, and I held them responsible, at least partially, for some very difficult experiences I had to go through.
So there they were in the kever. And they were still annoying! And I found all these hard feelings welling up again, so I asked God to let me make peace, real peace, and to finally let go of all my hakpada, because as much as it’s hurting others, it hurting me the most.
While all that was going on, I just got a mental picture in my head of Rebbe Nachman and his pipe. Which was pretty weird. But then, my husband made a comment later about Rebbe Nachman smoking a pipe himself, even though he used to warn his students away from smoking in very strong terms.
So then, why did he do it himself?
The answer is: true tzaddikim sometimes do things, confusing things that don’t seem quite right, for reasons that are far above and divorced from anything we could conceive as being the ‘real reason’. If we were less arrogant, we would understand that so much of what we don't understand about the real tzaddikim, or that we think is 'wrong', is simply because we aren't on the level they are.
(Clearly, I'm not talking about breaking clear halachas here, take a breath.)
And then I thought of this mashpia, who I know is the real deal, but who I’ve still had some great difficulties with, nevertheless, and Rebbe Nachman’s pipe came back to me as the answer to the kooshias that I’ve had about them, for years.
After Shabbat, we went to Medzhibozh for a day, before the airport, and the peace and calm of that place was so, so amazing. My husband and I went to the Apter Rebbe’s restored old shul, and just spent half an hour learning some Torah there. It was so awesome. So quiet. So simple.
No phones, no busy, no crazy, just a few roosters crowing, and some Torah.
I got a taste of that old life, before it all got so complicated, and I felt a little sad that it’s so hard to come by in our present world, where everything is busy busy all the time.
In the gift shop on the way out, I found a simple carved wooden pipe for the bargain amount of $2, which I bought as a reminder of Rabbenu’s pipe. And that we can’t know the reasons why massive tzaddikim sometimes do confusing things that don’t always look right to us.
That pipe is going to have pride of place on my shelf, so it can hopefully shut down any self-righteous fits about big tzaddikim before they even start up.
But in the meantime, Uman has done it again.
So, when are you going to book your ticket?
Attention, ladies: If your husband is currently driving you bonkers, send him to Uman!
I know, I could give you the whole big shpiel about how sending your husband to Uman for Rosh Hashana will bring world peace, and speed the coming of Moshiach, and help to rectify the whole of Am Yisrael.
And that stuff’s all true, and all described in detail in various Breslov sources. But girlfren, really? You should send your husband to Uman for Rosh Hashana because between you and me, I know how annoying that guy can be, at least occasionally.
Yes, he’s sweet, and good-hearted and hard-working and often quite loving and generous. But he’s also half-earth, and that ‘earthy’ bit of him is far to drawn to making money, and cheering on the team, and spouting off ridiculous opinions, and spending too much time watching movies or surfing online.
I know how hard you’ve tried to get him to make more effort with the kids, and to get him to stop walking around like an egotistical stuffed-shirt, and to get him to open up and to be ‘real’ about what he’s really feeling, and what fears and worries he’s got that are really causing him to act and believe the way he does.
I know all this stuff makes pulling teeth (the old fashioned way, with a piece of string and minus anaesthetic…) look like a walk in the park, which is why I’m here to tell you straight what works to get the guy back on the right spiritual path. And it’s spelled:
Like so many of the Uman ladies out there, I don’t send my husband for an expensive, inconvenient jaunt to anti-semitic Ukraine just for the heck of it. I encourage him to go because I know how much spiritual help he’s going to get by Rabbenu at Rosh Hashana, that’s going to carry him - and me - through all the challenges we have to face in the coming year.
I know that sending my husband to Uman for Rosh Hashana means he’s going to come back with a drop more humility, a tad more introspection, an ounce more gratitude and generosity, a page more of learning, a bissel more emuna.
The guy goes to Uman, and he comes back and realizes all by himself, without me saying a word, that he needs to spend more quality time with the kids, or that he needs to stop worrying about money so much, or that he needs to start playing soccer again. (Hey, not every revelation you get in Uman is easy to predict…)
When our blokes go to Uman, they come back better husbands, and nicer dads. They come back with a lot more of a clue about their real path in life, and how best to travel it. And most important of all, they come back with much more appreciation for their homes, families and the good cooking of their loving wives.
And this stuff is priceless, never mind all the other spiritual ‘saving the world’ stuff that goes on there at Rosh Hashanah time.
There’s still time to book his ticket and lodging, and to make it even easier for you, I’ve pulled together some numbers to call. Try:
Derech Tzaddikim: +972-2-541-0100 - www.zadikimtours.com
David Bargshtein Tours: +972-2-999-2955 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Netivim Tours: +972-2-633-8444
Glatt Tour: +972-2-547-7600 - www.glattour.com
And if you want to do it the easy, 'anglo' way, try Inn Uman with Rav Arush and Rav Brody:
I know it’s not easy to pull the money together, I know it’s not easy to manage without him over the High Holidays for a few days, I know it’s mamash mesirut Nefesh (self-sacrifice) for the ladies who stay behind with their challenging broods.
But let me end by sharing the story of a lady I met a few years’ back, who was adamant that her husband shouldn’t go to Uman at Rosh Hashana, because Rosh Hashana was family time.
She was experiencing some serious difficulties with him, and his behavior, and no therapist or counsellor could touch them with a barge pole.
So, I suggested she send him to Uman for Rosh Hashana, and I got back a very stony stare, and a big explanation of how Rosh Hashana was a time when the family should be together.
Last year, she got divorced.
This is re-posted from last year, but it's so good, I think I may just keep posting it back up every Elul...
The weather in Jerusalem today is very strangely overcast for this time of year. It looks like it could rain, or snow, or hail.
We'll see what God has planned.
And in the meantime, I'm joining the bloggers' protest organised by Yaak, because after doing some praying on what God wants, I think that it's what God wants. BH, God's glory and light will be full revealed soon, the sweet way.
Today, I walked back from davening a little with Rav Berland’s minyan in Musrara to Baka, past the Liberty Bell Park, where the lamp-posts on all the main drags are festooned with rainbow flags.
My stomach lurched.
When Trump came, everything was stars and stripes. When the President of Guatemala came, everything was the Guatemalan flag. When four French Jews were killed in the Hyper Cache attack, everything was ‘Je suis Charlie’ and Tricolors.
Everything is a rainbow.
And my heart sank.
Who is the ‘guest of honour’, the Head of State who is being honored like this? It can only be the Samech Mem himself.
So I walked back pondering what’s the best way to show God I really do care about this enormous desecration of His name, and the truckload of tumah this is piling up on every street corner and inside every house. Because make no mistake, it’s already breached the walls.
My youngest has been having a running argument with her best friend about all this surrogacy stuff, because her friend thinks that gay men should be allowed to rent-a-womb to try to get round the simple fact that biology (and clearly, God) is not on their side.
My daughter’s friend comes from a very frum background, where both parents are in kiruv, so I was astounded. Maybe she’s just trying to hold ‘edgy’ views to upset her parents, I have no idea, but what I do know is that the tumah has already breached the walls.
In the UK, another friend was telling me how her 7 year old grand-daughter – who goes to a modern orthodox Jewish school – started asking her: “Grandma, what do you call that thing that’s not a man, or a woman?” My friend was stumped, so the kid explained. “You know, it’s between being a man and a woman…You can’t call them ‘he’ or ‘she’, so what do you call them?”
How on earth is a seven year old in an orthodox Jewish school even talking about this stuff?!
The tumah has already breached the walls.
MOST ORTHODOX JEWS DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE REAL PROBLEM IS
A huge part of the problem is that most orthodox Jews simply have no idea about the spiritual dimension to spermatozoa; they don’t know that it contains billions of souls, and that the koach of those billions of souls are entrapped in the dark side – and literally used to fuel all the evil in the world – when men engage in intimate acts without the appropriate kedusha.
This also applies to single men, this also applies to licentious and adulterous men, this also applies to when men are with their wives while using contraception that hasn’t been rabbinically-sanctioned. Long story short, any time a man is doing something like this outside the bonds of marriage, where there is no possibility for creating a life, even just in theory, then all that ‘soul power’ is getting delivered straight up to the dark side.
That is why it’s such a problem, spiritually.
But a person can be ‘orthodox’ all their long lives, and never even have the first idea about this underlying spiritual reason why spilling seed is so very, very bad. So then they think ‘hey, no big deal! Let people live how they want! Let people be who they really are! Let them adopt, let them make babies in test-tubes, no big deal!’
But spiritually? It’s a massive deal. It’s mamash fuelling all the forces of evil in the world at the spiritual level.
And then, there’s the poor kids themselves that are raised in unnatural homes. Modern medicine has split bodies off from souls, so it has mostly no idea of just how many illnesses, physical and mental, results from unfinished business from parents and grandparents.
It’s hard enough raising healthy, emotionally-balanced children when you actually love the other half of their gene pool, and actually know who they are. But can you imagine finding out that your ‘dad’ was an anonymous sperm bank donor? Or some poor women who was ‘rented out’ for nine months to create you?
Do you know what torture to a person’s psyche this stuff actually causes?
A while back, I was talking to an older woman who confided that her parents had conceived her out of wedlock – they’d had a shotgun wedding a few months before she was born. This woman was well over 50 – and she was crying when she told me still feels so dirty, from how she was conceived.
I was so shocked that five decades on, this was still causing her so much pain.
But that completely pales next to the mental suffering and spiritual anguish all these poor kids being raised in unnatural families are going to have. And I think that’s what’s upsetting me the most, that these parents are so incredibly selfish to be deliberately bringing children into the world with so many emotional handicaps.
It’s all about doing what’s good for them, the parents, and nothing at all about doing what’s right for the kid.
This stuff is far deeper, far more fundamentally disturbing to a person than our modern society is anywhere near being able to accept or understand, stuck as they are in the ‘body-centric’ view of the world that discounts and dismisses the soul. But those kids are being condemned to a lifetime of massive emotional and spiritual angst and unhappiness.
So, the question returns: How do I show God that I really do care about the terrible things going on all around me?
What does God want from me, right now?
Here’s what I’ve come up with so far: Every time I see a rainbow flag, I’m asking God to help all these people to develop some yirah shemayim and make teshuva. I’ve also decided I have to stop listening to that one George Michael song I still love so much, and any other music by ‘rainbow’ people. Ditto for reading any books, opinion pieces or other output.
Because it’s impossible for these people to be coming from a good place, or to be having a positive impact on me, for as long as they are directly fuelling the forces of evil in the world.
Wherever possible, I’m going to vote with my feet and with my wallet, to avoid any of the companies and organisations who have come out publically in favor of all this stuff, including those companies that ‘proudly’ let their employees have a day off last week.
And then, there’s the whole ‘pride’ thing.
Pride = pride, or arrogance, and that’s something else I’m going to try my best to work on and take down in myself. That I shouldn’t think I’m better than others, that I shouldn’t unnecessarily hurt others, that I shouldn’t act like an angry, selfish, materialism-obsessed superficial pig, and I shouldn’t big myself up and big others down, because honor really only belongs to God.
And the last thing on the list is tznius. To try to pick it up a little again. I’m not sure how yet, but that’s the plan and we’ll see what God inspires me to do.
What more can I do? What more can I say?
I desperately want God’s honour to be restored in the world, and for people to stop acting like body-obsessed, selfish animals. That’s what I want, God.
But only God can really give it to me.
The more the world is getting crazy, the more the question is starting to loom:
Are we really ready for Moshiach?
Did we really do the work – on our bad middot like anger, jealousy, harsh judgment and vengeance (to name but a few that regularly come up for me)?
Did we really work on seeing Hashem’s hand behind every little thing that’s happening to us, for us and against us?
Did we really make an effort to give God what He really wants from us, even when it meant we went against what we really want for ourselves?
Are we connected to real Tzaddikim, who will shield us and protect us with their advice and spiritual merits?
That’s the question.
The more we can answer an honest ‘yes’, the less what’s going on right now will freak us out and scare us.
Moshiach is going to come with a lot of difficulties and natural disasters, we know that, the prophets told us.
The question is:
Are we really ready for Moshiach?
And if current events are getting too scary to deal with, it could be the answer is ‘no’, and that we really have our (inner) work cut out for us, over the next few weeks and months.
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