Probably like most of us, I am playing the waiting game at the moment, and it’s pulling my nerves and patience to shreds.
We are having huge issues with our house purchase, to the point that we may lose the house, and also a lot of money as well. Right now, things look pretty bad, but nothing has been 100% decided, so we are playing the waiting game to see if God is going to rescue us with an open miracle.
There’s nothing else we can really do.
Except to wait. And to pray. But sometimes you get so weighed down by it all that even the praying comes hard.
Sometimes, the ‘waiting’ really gets me down. Sometimes, it starts feeling like all I do is wait for things to move, or to improve, or to work, and that I can’t really carry on just sitting here waiting anymore. Yet, there doesn’t seem to be any other options on the table.
As happens so frequently in my life, hard as a I try to get things to move myself, or to try to speed things up or resolve matters, sooner or later I hit that big wall and I’m back to just waiting to see how it’s going to turn out again.
There is a lot of ‘waiting’ going on at the moment, for all of us. Waiting to see what will be with Syria, waiting to see what will be with Gaza, waiting to see what will be with all the million-and-one projects and issues that we’re all dealing with and hoping they will work out.
For this one, it’s waiting to see if the business will take off or fail. For that one, it’s waiting to see if their kid will turnaround, or continue to self-destruct, while this one is waiting for the ‘all clear’ from the hospital. That one is waiting to see if his wife will come back to him, this one is waiting to be able to buy a home and settle down, finally, that one is waiting to feel happy and excited about waking up in the morning, maybe for the first time in a long time.
Each and every one of us is playing the waiting game.
Even the kids.
I have one kid who is waiting to get her exams over and done with so she can stop feeling so stressed and pressured, and I have another one who is waiting for her skin to clear up and for Summer to come, because she hates being in school.
Over on ravberland.com, the Rav said on Rosh Chodesh Nissan that Moshiach would be coming on Seder night. A few people got upset that this didn’t happen. “False hope! Better to not get our hopes up! It’s discouraging!”
I get that, I really do. But is it really better to stop hoping, and to stop thinking about Moshiach coming? Sure, the waiting is a drag, but what’s the alternative? To sink back into lethargic depression and despair, because nothing is ever really going to change?
What makes the waiting hard is that we aren’t in control. We can’t speed things up, we can’t get the outcome we want when we want it.
So then all we are left to fall back on is our emuna that our current, difficult, circumstances are the best thing for us, and a kindness to us, even though it really doesn’t feel like that and we so desperately want things to be different.
That’s the test. That’s the hardship. That’s the challenge.
To accept that God is in charge, and that it's all for our best and 100% deserved, and to not give up and just stay in bed all day.
I’m working on that at the moment, and I have my ups and downs. One minute, I get so furious at all the ucky people out there, and all the bad and the evil in the world that’s slowing up Moshiach and causing me to suffer so much.
(Clearly, including my own bad middot and inflated expectations of how my life should be.)
The next minute, God helps me to accept circumstances better, and to just focus on the tremendous good in my life.
But it’s not a stable situation, for all it’s ‘stuck’, so I find I’m pinging all over the place some days.
Waiting for things to move, to improve, to get easier, to stop being so challenging.
Like everyone else.
But really, underneath it, God is just waiting for me to submit to His will, and to stop thinking I know better than He does.
I know when I do that, everything will turnaround for the best, somehow.
But it’s so hard to do.
It’s no secret that for most of the last two decades, I really didn’t get on very well with my late mother-in-law. I’ve been musing on explaining how we finally made peace for a while, and I think that maybe this is as good as time as any, because maybe it will help someone else out there to make peace with a ‘difficult’ family member, too.
Before we dive in, here are some emuna principles that are going to affect the whole way we see these challenging relationships in our lives.
1) God is doing everything, and is behind everyone’s nasty, hurtful behavior
2) Everything is ultimately for our good
3) There is a messaged encoded in absolutely everything, about what we ourselves need to change, work on or fix.
Here’s some more general emuna principles that we’ll need as we go along:
1) The whole world is a mirror - whatever ucky stuff you are seeing in someone else (that’s still really disturbing you, annoying you, or causing some sort of negative emotional reaction) - you’ve got some flavor, some aspect of that issue yourself that needs addressing.
2) Children (especially below the age of bar and bat mitzvah) are just the mirrors of their parents.
3) A husband and wife are two halves of the same soul. Whatever you experienced, the other half also experienced it, albeit in a different way, externally. Whatever good you have in you, they have it in them. Whatever strength, whatever weakness, the other person also has it, just probably in a more obvious or more hidden way.
4) The spouse has to be the #1 priority in the other spouse’s life, ahead of work, kids, friends, learning Torah and even, parents and siblings. This principle is enshrined in every single one of Rav Shalom Arush’s books on family life and shalom bayit.
With those basic emuna principles out the way, let’s begin.
I didn’t know this stuff when I got married at 23. I’d moved around a lot as a kid, had a very ‘chaotic’ sort of childhood and on some level, was looking for a stable, solid family to join and to try to be ‘normal’ for a change.
This is a very common aspect of why opposites so often attract, because you know what you had wasn’t so great, and you’re trying to go over to the other extreme to make it ‘different’ in your own family life. But extremes are never healthy or helpful, in the long-term.
So, God sent me my husband, and right from the start there were a number of issues between me and my husband’s very stable, very ‘normal’ family, and especially with his mother, that often took the form of us arguing about eating in their (not so kosher…) home.
After a year of marriage, we stopped going up to their house for Yom Tov, and as we gradually got more observant, we found it harder and harder to eat there.
At that time, I blamed my mother-in-law 100% for what was going on. Why couldn’t she be more accommodating of our need to eat properly kosher food?! Why couldn’t she be more flexible?! What was the big deal, really, to try to kosher her kitchen so we could eat there?!
It took me years and years to figure out that on her side of the equation, I was expecting things that reasonably, she just couldn’t give me. Keeping her house properly kosher would set her apart from her whole extended family, make it very awkward to shop and eat the things she wanted to eat, and there were probably other more hidden reasons too, why she just couldn’t do that.
In the meantime, cooking food for her children was one of the primary ways that my mother-in-law showed her love for my husband - and I’d just stopped her from doing that.
The food wasn't really the problem
If either of us had been a bit more informed at that point about the deeper reasons why we were increasingly getting on each other’s nerves, things would have been so different.
If someone could have sat me down and explained:
“Rivka, you are very scared that your husband is going to choose his family, and what they want and decide, over you. And that would be absolutely awful, because you grew up always thinking that no-one was on your side, and that you’d always have to fight to get what you needed.
"You have a deep, soul-level need to feel like your husband is 100% behind you and on your side.”
That would have been very helpful. But that wouldn’t have only been half the explanation required. That same ‘someone’ would also then have needed to explain:
“Your mother-in-law feels very challenged by you. She loves her son dearly, and she wants to still be a part of his life. She can feel that he’s slipping away, and she’s fighting that every step of the way, not because she’s nasty or hates you, but because underneath it all, she’s actually very insecure and scared of losing him.”
If my mother-in-law herself had been consciously aware of this, and if she’d have been able to tell me her fears, we’d have been able to work together, and understand and appreciate each other, in such a different way. As it was, that didn’t happen.
As it was, the more she could feel him slipping away, the more she started blaming me for all the distance and issues, which made me feel increasingly uncomfortable and ‘unwanted’ around her, which made me want to spend less and less time with my husband’s family, which made my mother-in-law feel her son was slipping further and further away.
And so the cycle continued and deepened.
We got locked in a huge power-struggle, each one convinced that the other one was trying to do everything in their power to hurt and upset and score points when really, it was our own unspoken insecurities and fears that were calling the shots.
This post could go on for months if I gave more of the gory details, so let’s sum up the really bad situation that we ultimately got to, and then how God helped me to turn it around.
Around 2 years ago, things with my mother-in-law were at an all-time low. We were barely speaking. Acrimony, insults and accusations attended every call and email. Things got so bad that my husband’s health was really starting to suffer from the stress of it all.
For my part, I’d effectively given up on trying to fix things, and just hoped that any interaction could be kept to a minimum, and not damage my family too much, it had just gotten so poisonous and toxic.
But then, a series of events occurred with one of my children that underscored a very, very important principle that I hadn’t realized before:
We are all connected.
Just as kids are the mirrors of their parents, grandkids can also reflect their grandparents in a number of ways. When one of my kids started really struggling emotionally, I went through a whole bunch of stuff it could be, until I was left with one thing on the table: she was reflecting my mother-in-law.
And the only way I could help my kid to resolve her issues, I increasingly came to see, was if I tried to help my mother-in-law resolve hers. Which meant reaching out. Which meant trying to speak to her civilly again. Which meant understanding that underneath all the nastiness that had gone on, my beloved wonderful daughter and my MIL were actually pretty similar characters, in some ways.
That stage was really, really tough for a number of reasons. For years, I’d been pretending that my MIL was all bad. I hadn’t been seeing the good in her, I hadn’t been acknowledging that she had a lot of fine qualities, because it’s so much easier to fight with people and to stay ‘justifiably’ angry when you paint them as being all-black and evil.
Again, without going into all the finer details, God sent me a number of clues that helped me to realize why my MIL had been reacting and acting the way she had, right from the beginning of our relationship, and that a lot of it had actually been beyond her ability to control.
All of us in 2018 are traumatized...
She’d been extremely traumatized as a child by a number of things, and those sub-conscious reactions had been calling most of the shots in our ‘war’, the same way my sub-conscious reaction had on my side of the equation.
But things had gone too far, and been too horrible for too long, for a frank conversation to be enough to fix the problem.
Once I realized that, I told my husband we had had to give Rav Berland a pidyon on behalf of his mother, without telling her what we were doing (as ‘religion’ was still a very sore subject), and hope that God would clean the klipot out of the way.
So that’s what we did. It was a fairly big amount of money, and for three months, I didn’t hear a word from my MIL, although my daughter’s issues thankfully completely cleared up immediately.
Everything changed around
Until that fateful day around 10 months’ ago, when she phoned my husband a completely changed woman. She invited us to come visit her in the UK - on her tab - and made a huge effort to reassure us that she’d do whatever it would take to make us feel comfortable.
We were both so shocked, so happily, incredibly shocked, by the turnaround. And I was also so impressed, that someone who had suffered what she had, and gone through what she did, had the inner fortitude and strength to really turn things around, from her end, and to make a huge effort to fix what had been broken.
We went, we had a really good time, I finally let my guard down with my kids enough to leave them alone with my MIL for hours on end, so they could just talk without me breathing down their neck, and it was so good, and so healing, for everyone involved.
I also had a big chat with my MIL that visit, and while there was still some distance between us, we tied up a whole bunch of loose ends, and I think we started to appreciate the good in the other person much more than we ever had before. When we returned to Israel I made a real effort to start including her in our life more. I sent her pictures, I encouraged the kids to write to her and call her and text her, and reminded my husband to call her every week.
We had six months to patch things up, and to fix things, and I’m so glad we did, because right after Rosh Hashana, my MIL unexpectedly passed away.
I had a feeling that was on the cards, so before Rosh Hashana I made a big effort that each of my kids, and my husband, should have a long, real chat with her. My husband called her before he flew out to Uman, and he told me he’d just had the nicest, most real chat he’d ever had with her, and felt really good about having his mum back in his life.
That was their last conversation.
At the funeral, the Rabbi explained just how much of a force for good my MIL had been in her local Jewish community, constantly helping out and doing a whole bunch of kindnesses for people, and my eyes filled with tears.
In 2018, the yetzer is working overtime to convince us all that our mother-in-laws, and daughter-in-laws, and husbands, and kids, and parents etc etc etc are all just all-bad ucky horrible ‘erev rav’ type people.
“Give up on them and walk away! The problem is 100% on their side! If you can cut them out of your life, everything will be fine!”
This is such utter baloney.
We’re all connected. Whatever is not fixed and rectified will just keep popping up in the kids and grandkids until someone finally stands up and says ‘the buck stops here!! No more blaming other people or passing this down the line to future generations. We have to deal with it and fix the problem!”
And how do we fix the problem?
By working on ourselves.
I had to do so much work on my own anger, vengeance, blame, fear and other bad middot until I could finally see what was actually happening and why, and before my compassion for my MIL could become the guiding force in our relationship.
For as long as I was blaming her for everything, we were stuck - and my kids and my husband were also stuck and everyone was suffering so badly. Once I took the step of choosing to see the good in her, and choosing to see my own ‘bad’ in creating the situation, things could start to move.
Still with so much prayer, and so much help from the Tzaddikim, but BH, I had all the things I needed to really deal with the problem at its root.
And I’m so pleased I did, for so many reasons.
I could write out a whole bunch of ‘guidelines’ on how to navigate these tricky relationships that we all seem to have today. But it really comes down to this:
Look for the message the situation contains about what you need to work on, instead of just hating and blaming the other person.
God is 100% just using the awkward people in our lives to achieve something. Don’t bite the ‘stick’, just go back to God and try to figure out what’s going on.
Because in every argument and difficulty we have, we are never 100% blameless, and there is always work to do. And if we don’t knuckle down and try to sort things out, then our kids will be left to deal with that mess instead.
And that’s the last thing that any of us really wants to happen.
For the ilui neshama of Sarah bat Hinda - S, you drove me so bonkers but by the end, I was actually really glad to have you as my MIL. Thanks to our joint effort to sort things out, your kids and grandchildren are really blossoming now. I’m looking after your son really well, don’t worry! BH, this post will help other MILs and DILs bury their differences, and work together to help their families mend and heal.
So, I did some hitbodedut on whether this post should stay up or not, and I got the following back:
It's true to say that many Jews have an unhealthy obsession with money, and that is why God is using the anti-semites of the world to keep throwing that in our faces. Absolutely everything, without exception, is a message and hint from Hashem about what we need to work on, fix and improve on.
BUT - there is a better way of making that point, and I'm happy to phrase things differently to avoid unnecessary strife and division. So, I'm reposting this from a couple of years' ago, about Rebbe Nachman's tale of the Land of Money, and I'm deleting all the comments that were made on the last post.
Clearly, there is a lot to consider, in a very deep way, about this subject which is why so many of us feel so strongly about it.
The Land of Money
One of my favorite Rebbe Nachman stories is ‘The Master of Prayer’, which tells the story of how a great storm wind comes and throws the world into chaos, scattering the King’s ten advisors in the process.
The Master of Prayer is one of these advisors, and he takes it upon himself to go round the world reuniting the King with the other advisors, and rectifying all the countries who are now following ‘foolish’ beliefs about the meaning of life, as a result of the terrible storm they went through.
One group believes that the purpose of life is to eat; another that’s it to procreate; another chooses wisdom; another picks honor etc etc, but the most problematic land of all is the Land of Money.
You see, in all the other lands, there’s at least a moment, a second, when they’re satiated with their particular lust or desire, which gives the Master of Prayer an opportunity to come and talk to them about serving God, and the real meaning of life. But in the land of money, that simply never happens:
They think about money ALL THE TIME, and it colors their every thought and every waking moment.
Worse, the people of the Land of Money literally kill themselves for money; and they also turn their richest citizens into ‘stars’ and ‘gods’ (Rebbe Nachman’s language…) who they worship incessantly.
By contrast, people without a lot of money are considered to be sub-human animals, and given no respect, rights or accorded even basic human dignity. As a result, the Master of Prayer is finding it next to impossible to rectify the inhabitants of the Land of Money, and to bring them back to God.
By this point, you may well be squirming a little in your seat, because guess what?
In 2018, nearly all of us are living in the Land of Money!
And here’s how it’s affecting us:
I could carry on, but you get the idea.
To sum up the problem, it’s like this:
When people live in the Land of Money, money is the first consideration, and beats out everything else. Some common examples of this could include:
All of these statements have a ring of truth to them, don’t they? I know they do for me still, and I’ve been trying to leave the Land of Money for years’ already.
But there’s the problem: God is missing from this picture.
And when that happens, we start to build lives for ourselves based on the rules of the Land of Money, which states that our kids need expensive summer camps, and extra-curricular activities, and we need to be wearing labels, and to have everything matching, and that our homes need to be very big and spacious, and that every person over 17 needs their own car, and holidays are a necessity not a luxury, and that gourmet meals in fancy restaurants are what makes us happy, and guests must be offered a selection of expensive whiskeys and liquers to drink, and we must be working on plans to ‘get on’ and upscale our living arrangements, or our 401k plans, or our stockmarket holdings, or our property holdings and and and….
I’m exhausted just from typing that.
Here’s another problem that happens when you live in the Land of Money: You’ll literally sell your soul for cash.
Just ask all the bent politicians in Israel who take bribes for ‘peace’, or who (secretly…) sold Kever David to the Vatican for some big bucks, or who are happy to let Reform partition the Wailing Wall because they waved some dollars in their face.
When you live in the Land of Money, money talks, and God doesn’t. Or at least, not to you. Or at least, not in any way you care to listen to.
So how do we leave the Land of Money?
In the story of the Master of Prayer, it turns out the only way people can leave is via ‘the path to the sword’, i.e. very harsh judgments.
Those judgments could be severe health issues, severe marital problems, severe problems with kids going crazy or going off the derech, severe mental illness issues, or even (perhaps ironically), severe financial issues.
You want to know why so many of us are going through so much difficulty today, in every sense of the word?
This is why.
God is trying to get us out of the Land of Money once and for all, so we can stop obsessing about earning, and instead start yearning to get closer to God and to live a more spiritual life again.
It’s hard work, I know. But you know what’s even harder work? Getting stuck in a life, in a mindset, where money is the only thing that counts, no matter how miserable it makes you, how much it wrecks your peace of mind and relationships, or how much it kills your soul, your humanity, and your spiritual dimension.
So, it was a whole week after Moshe Rabbenu had triumphantly led the Children of Israel out of Egypt, that place of harsh slavery and cruelty, as the culmination of a whole year of miraculous signs and wonders.
Massive flaming hail had destroyed so many buildings, and injured and killed countless Egyptians and their animals. In the plague of darkness, the Jews had seen 4/5 of their own countrymen pass away and been forced to bury them in secret, so the Egyptians wouldn’t see this and try to use it against the nascent Jewish people.
Then the last plague had come, the death of the firstborn, where the Jews had huddled in their homes behind their blood-daubed lintels, praying that they would be protected from the terrible scourge that was being released on their neighbors.
And after that - so quickly after that - redemption! Finally, finally, freedom! Pharoah himself gave the Jews their marching orders, and the Children of Israel emptied Egypt out of its finery and jewels, and left with their dough on their backs.
The first few days, the people were ecstatic, elated.
But then, the test returned.
Egyptian spies went back to sound the alarm that the Jews had no intention of returning, and before long in the distance, the Jews could hear the hoofbeats that signaled that Pharoah and his army were chasing after them.
And what happened at that point? Did Moshe Rabbenu sit down and sketch out the rough plan of what was going to come next? Did he explain how they were going to be saved? Did he give a public address where he told everyone to calm down and stop worrying, because this was all just part of the process?
It’s not too much of a stretch to believe that Moshe Rabbenu was also a little rattled and stressed by what was occurring. Moshe was a realist. The whole way along, he could see how difficult it would be to redeem the Jews, and what a challenge he was really up against. That’s why he turned down the job, when God first offered it to him.
But now, against all the odds, he’d managed to get the Jews out of Egypt, and was heading for the desert rendezvous where the nation would be given the Torah. It’s not too much of a stretch to believe that the encounter with Pharoah’s army at the Sea of Reeds was just as much of a surprise, and a trial, for Moshe Rabbenu as it was for everyone else.
So he had no comforting words for the wretched crowd spread before him, who thought that the tests were over already. They’d left Egypt behind, they’d left slavery behind, they were following Moshe, Hashem’s prophet, into a very uncertain and insecure future. Surely, everything would just be plain sailing from that point on?
It’s probably fair to say that none of the Jews expected another encounter with the Egyptians so soon after fleeing the country, and certainly not in the awful circumstance that they currently found themselves in: with their backs to the sea, trapped, with all their women and children around and precious little ability to fight back.
Can you imagine the despair they must have felt at that point?
They’d backed the wrong horse! They’d put all their eggs in Moshe Rabbenu’s basket, and now look what was happening to them! They were about to get mercilessly destroyed by the vengeful hordes of Pharoah.
What was the point of going through all those plagues, the terrible test of faith that was the plague of darkness, the terrible test of faith that was the Korban Pesach, just to get killed in this horrific fashion, trapped against the sea?
How could Moshe Rabbenu have led them to this place? How could God have done this to them?
The despair was overwhelming.
And then….the sea split. Even then, not at once. Even then, it still took Nachshon ben Aminadav’s bravery and emuna to wade in, when all hope was gone - I mean, what?!? You’re going to listen to Moshe Rabbenu again?!? And believe in miracles again?!? After everything that’s just happened to you?!? Are you crazy!!!
Thank God, he was crazy.
And the sea split.
And the Jewish nation escaped destruction, while the Egyptian were utterly destroyed.
To put this another way, the ‘down’ was solely to facilitate the ‘up’. God wanted the Jews to know and see that their oppressors had finally been destroyed for good, and that they were truly free people.
But until the sea split, can we imagine the test the people at the sea went through? The doubt and fear they experienced? The despair that kept them paralysed, waiting for the ‘inevitable’ to happen?
What a test.
In some ways, so many of us are still facing that test of the sea. After we’ve followed after God and his holy men for so long, and tried so hard to give Him what He wants, and sacrificed so much to finally get free of our bad middot and abiding problems.
We thought we were out, we thought we were free.
And now, the test returns even greater than before.
But soon, the sea will split.
Around seven years' ago, Rav Shalom Arush suddenly started warning everyone that war with the Arab states surrounding Israel was imminent.
I remember being glued to the shiur of his English-language translator, Rabbi Lazer Brody, as Rabbi Brody said: 'All-out war is imminent'. What sparked this off was the threat of millions of Arabs trying to cross the border into Israel as part of an organised march.
At that time Rav Arush said that people were completely underestimating the impact of what millions of Arabs trying to surge into the country could achieve, even if they were unarmed and apparently 'peaceful'.
In the event, nothing came of this and Rav Arush later explained that a number of the nations' tzaddikim had got together and managed to cancel the decree, or at least to push it off to some in the future.
Tomorrow, Seder night, the first night of Pesach, Hamas is trying to arrange for a million Gazans to try to 'rush' the border with Israel. Again, this could be something, it could be nothing, but given the 'atmospheric stress' nearly all of us are picking up at the moment, I can't help feeling something is around the corner.
Yesterday night, I woke up at 4am to find a gale blowing around - winds of over 50 mph were blowing around Jerusalem and are still going, although now they are more like 30 mph. Doors were slamming, washing was trying to fly away, trees were bowing and bending - and I suddenly felt a huge sense of panic.
Not so much because of the wind, more a feeling that 'something' is going down.
Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Who knows. In the meantime, I went to find Rav Arush's comments on the war of Gog and Magog from seven years ago, and I'm reprinting them below, as they seem as timely as ever.
And I hope this time of harsh judgment will pass as uneventfully as all those that have come before it.
Rabbi Shalom Arush: The Final Struggle of the Gog-Magog War
It’s no longer a dream: all of our contemporary spiritual leaders have expressed that this is the final generation before Moshiach. Just as in a hand-to-hand combat situation, when a fighter gets the upper hand and is close to defeating his enemy, then the enemy summons all of his strength in one final effort to overcome. If the fighter withstands the enemy’s tremendous final effort, then he wins, but it’s not easy.
The fighter is the Nation of Israel, the Jewish people all over the world. The enemy is the Yetzer Hara, the Evil Inclination (EI). The people of Israel are fighting for emuna, for truth, for the values of Torah. The EI is fighting tooth and nail against emuna, against any mention of Hashem’s name. The EI knows that only emuna (faith in the Sovereign Power G-d) can bring Moshiach; once Moshiach comes, the EI is finished. Therefore, he’s using all his forces to try and destroy emuna.
You don’t have to wait in dread for the war of Gog and Magog to begin – it has already started.
The prophecies lead us to believe that Gog and Magog is a physical war; we live with a daily threat from not only Iranian missiles, nuclear attack, and Qassam missiles. We can’t even trust that a tractor or a bulldozer isn’t being operated by a suicide bomber. Iran is open declaring that it wants to wipe Israel off the map; Hamas controls Gaza and the Hizbulla has a free hand in Lebanon to do what it pleases. The term powderkeg is an understatement.
In effect, Israel is safer than Europe or the USA. Consider 9/11 in New York City, the murder of Ilan Halimi in Paris, and the subway bombings in London, together with a tremendous resurgence of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe, Australia, and South Africa. Jews around the world aren’t safe either. Worse than anything, thousands of Jews have been exiled from their homes within Israel itself, and thousands more are now being threatened with exile. This far surpasses our darkest nightmares.
Yet, despite the physical threats, Gog and Magog is a spiritual war; nuclear weapons might be able to destroy a Jewish body, but the Jewish soul, a tiny spark of Hashem, lives on forever. Gog and Magog is a global assault to destroy emuna, the pure and complete faith in Hashem.
By destroying emuna, Gog plans to sever the Jewish soul from the Creator, Heaven forbid. When a soul is severed from the Creator, it withers, and dies a spiritual death. The death of a soul is a far greater tragedy than the death of a body.
These are the most difficult times in over 3300 years of Jewish history. Never has there been so much assimilation. Assimilation kills 100 times more than international terror. It used to be confined to the USA and Europe, but now, it’s even hit Israel. Not long ago, I got a call from a broken-hearted mother whose daughter fell for a handsome classmate in Hebrew University – only, the classmate was an Arab. The daughter is now living in an Arab village near Ramalla, and her kids could conceivably grow up to be shahidim, suicide bombers.
This period is so difficult, with so many tests in emuna that the Talmudic sages said Yete velo achimena, let Moshiach come, but we don’t want to be a part of the generation that receives him.
Intermarriage, divorce, unbearable emotional and financial problems – just thinking about the problems of this generation is enough to give anybody a migraine.
There’s only one way to overcome the final onslaught of the EI – each of us has to add the light of emuna to the world. The Lubavitcher Rebbe once said that a little bit of light can defeat a whole lot of darkness.
The Torah in Parshat Vayishlach says that Jacob sent “Malachim” to Esau. Malachim has a double meaning in English, both “angel” and “messengers.” Rashi interprets that Jacob sent actual angels, for he had angels at his disposal.
Rebbe Nachman of Breslev teaches (Likutei Moharan, II:1) that Hashem created the Jewish soul so that it could reign over the angels. This is the ultimate purpose of Jacob’s descendants, that by their prayers, their ability to rule over their own bodily urges, and their good deeds (since each good deed creates an angel of holiness), they rule over the angels.
Where did Jacob get angels from? Jacob reached a tremendous spiritual level, and thus achieved a tremendous control over the angels in his lifetime. But even so, as the holy Zohar teaches, Jacob didn’t trust his own ability. He, like all other subsequent tzaddikim – all descendants of Jacob – cried out in prayer to Hashem. This principle is the underlying theme of this series.
With everything that tears my heart, one thing hurts me more than anything else: Rebbe Nachman of Breslev teaches that when Israel was in exile in Egypt, even worse than their bodies, their power of speech was in exile. That means that they couldn’t pray. They couldn’t talk to Hashem. In other words, they were in deep spiritual slumber.
I am fighting to keep my emunah each and every day. Despite the headlines in the news, the atrocities perpetrated by our enemies, the atrocities perpetrated by our co-religionists, and my own failings, I cling with faith to Hashem. I realize the yetzer hara is testing me, and this is what I remind myself when I feel like slipping back to old habits.
Over Shabbat, I was pondering the vision of the Prophet Ezekiel (like you do) and wondering about how it actually felt to be those dessicated, dried-out bones brought to life.
Remember, this didn’t occur in one shot. It’s not like one second they were ancient lifeless skeletons, and the very next, wham! they’d morphed into Gal Gadot lookalikes. No, the process was extremely slow, gradual, and from the bones’ perspective, extremely frustrating.
Think about it. You’re lying there, you gave up already, you’re done already, let the world just carry on turning and leave you alone. You did your bit for humanity and now you’re dead and just hoping, finally, for a little peace and quiet.
And then all of a sudden, you realize, probably with some horror, that your sinews and veins are growing back. I mean, does that hurt? As all your bones start to knit back together, and all the interconnected muscles and cartilage starts to criss-cross everything like some highly weird reverse zombie movie, what are the bones themselves thinking?
Or maybe God was kind to them, and their brains only grew back last, so they didn’t have to sit there watching all this stuff happen to them and their neighbors, while a million questions race through their heads:
“Am I going to grow back young?”
“Am I going to grow back fat?”
“Am I going to grow back healthy in body and soul, or am I going to have to go through that agonizing death from lung cancer all over again?”
Questions, questions, and if I’ve learned one thing about authentic Yiddishkeit, it’s that for every good, satisfying answer you get, there are already plenty more questions waiting in the wings.
So being a skeleton during Ezekiel’s vision must have been pretty nerve-wracking, to put it mildly. I mean, this had never happened before. What if the whole process suddenly tailed off mid-way, and you’d end up a bunch of ugly-looking gristle with eyeballs? I mean, no-one actually told them that this was the full monty, a whole redemption / regrowth package going on.
It would be all too easy for some of those dry bones to think to themselves that Nebuchadnetzer was doing some weird radiation experiment on them, or something, and that instead of being revived for good things, it was going to be a weird, twilight existence as a half-alive, half-dead person.
Me being me, I see a lot of parallels between those bones and us, in this generation. So many people today are emotionally and spiritually ‘dead’, and a whole bunch of people actually prefer things that way, because being alive necessitates feeling things that are sometimes overwhelming, or painful, or upsetting, or disturbing, or anxiety-inducing, or often all of those things at once.
“Leave me alone, God, let me go back to sleep!” they mutter, as God desperately tries to dig them out of their mausoleums and lonely places. “I don’t want to connect to anyone any more, I don’t want to feel anything. I just want to stay here and quietly dessicate. So please, save all that geula hocus pocus for someone else, I’m busy.”
Sometimes, I feel like that myself.
But I can still see the bones are stirring, and the veins are started to pulse with new life again, at least in a few locations. But before we continue, I need to know honestly: is this process going to hurt? And am I going to come back young, thin and gorgeous or not?
Because a girl has to be prepared.
Another oldie but goody. How many predictions of death and destruction from the autistics (and others...) have come and gone since I wrote this two years' ago?
We've all become so immune to real warnings from real Tzaddikim, and so confused and apathetic about what's going on in the world because we've been relying on 'false prophets' and tumah-dik sources of information and insight who keep putting a false spin on what is truly happening, and why.
Whatever is going on out there, the true tzaddikim are really the only people we should be listening to and paying attention to. It's like in Egypt: Pharoah's advisors could all 'predict the future' to some degree, but they couldn't see the full picture, and so their predictions were distorted half-truths.
And we're still chasing after the Prophets of Ov and Yidoni today...
There was great excitement in the town: the town crier had just gone round the streets yelling at the top of his voice: “The bone has a message! The talking bone of Ov has another message! Everyone come gather in the town square!”
Mothers rushed out of their homes, leaving their boiling pots of soup unattended. Fathers put down their Gemaras and left their shop-fronts: The Talking bone of Ov had a message! They were about to find out what was really going on in the world.
Only in the house of Rabbi Gershon did this news not cause a stir. Rabbi Gershon was sick of all the messages from the talking bone of Ov, and also its competition, the talking bone of Yidoni. It was never uplifting messages about how much God loves His people. It was never a message to make real teshuva and to come back to God, and to start treating other people more kindly and more gently.
The talking bone of Ov was always full of ‘oys!’, and full of the whole-scale destruction of the Jewish people and conspiracy theories that elbowed God out the picture, and just caused people to walk around panic-stricken about the terrible tidings they’d heard.
Who needed that?!
In his youth, Rabbi Gershon had also been a follower of the talking bone of Ov, but in recent years, he’d started to ponder why the talking bone never mentioned the nation’s holy rabbis, and all the work they were doing to sweeten the decrees hanging over the Jewish people. It never talked about the importance of going to Uman for Rosh Hashana. It never brought messages of hope…
Still, he knew why people continued to run out of their homes to listen to the talking bone of Ov every few weeks: human beings hate uncertainty. We all like the idea that we know what’s coming next, and that we’re prepared for it. Knowledge is power.
Rabbi Gershon sighed deeply and picked up his chumash. He started to read again about divination and sorcery, and why our Sages had outlawed all those weird attempts at trying to predict the future like raising the dead, or listening to a talking bone that someone had shoved in their armpit.
Information is power. Knowledge is power. But information can also be used to mislead and deceive, and knowledge can also be used to control and manipulate.
Rabbi Gershon sighed again. When the sages of the generation pasted up posters telling the town residents to stop speaking so much lashon hara, and to spend more time praying and learning Torah and less time visiting the local market and circuses, no-one was interested. No-one ran from house to house, trying to gather a crowd to hear what the Sages were saying.
But this talking bone of Ov showed up, and hey presto! It immediately pulled in a crowd of thousands with its messages of imminent death and destruction.
Did people realize how ridiculous they looked, hanging on every word of a talking bone?!? Did they understand that there are no short-cuts, spiritually-speaking, and that the only people who really knew what was going on hardly ever communicated that to the masses?
Did they understand that the only way to get though the world in one piece was by making sincere, genuine teshuva, and coming back to God? It didn’t matter how many tins of tuna the talking bone told you to stock up on, how much death and destruction was being predicted (typically to coincide with the next Jewish holiday…) - even if you knew all that, even if it was true, how was it really going to help you?
Rav Gershon’s ponderings were interrupted from shouts and screams from the street. As his friend Shlomo rushed past, Rav Gershon called to him from the window, and asked him what was going on.
“The talking bone has predicted that a tidal wave will smash into our village on Shabbat, and destroy everyone who isn’t wearing sackcloth and ashes. I’m running over to Rami Levi right now to pick up some sackcloth, and 50 tins of tuna,” Shlomo called over his shoulder.
“But we’re 3,000 foot up a mountain!” Rav Gershon called after his friend. “And the sea is 30 miles away!” But Shlomo had disappeared already.
Rav Gershon sighed again. Shabbat would come, and be ruined for most of the villagers who would sit there with fear in their hearts and terror on their faces. Never mind that the last 83 predictions of earthquakes hitting on Chanuka, nuclear bombs being dropped on Pesach, and ginormous Martian cockroaches invading on Purim hadn’t materialized.
Whatever the talking bone said, that was law.
Rav Gershon returned to studies, and pondered the world around him. A world were people preferred to listen to talking bones, CNN and Arutz Sheva, instead of listening to the words of our true sages.
A few years’ back, an acquaintance of mine invited me to come with her to Ashdod, to go and take a look at some exciting-sounding cheap clothing place for kids. It was quite a hot day, and when I got into the car I was already sweltering.
Now, I knew this acquaintance had some ‘issues’ around spending money, but before I got into the car with her on that boiling Summer day, I had no idea how bad they actually were. Two seconds in, I told her I was hot. She opened the windows (half - we were on a motorway) - and that’s when I started to get that horrible, claustrophobic feeling that I was about to have a really challenging couple of hours.
Because while I can tolerate heat to a point, I can’t stand being in a hot car with no air-conditioning in the middle of an Israeli summer. I literally feel faint and want to throw up. But my acquaintance clearly had zero intention of turning on the aircon under any circumstances, because air-conditioning costs money.
I understand that we have to be careful with money, I really do. I also understand that sometimes, there isn’t money for petrol, and there isn’t money for food. And that under those circumstances, you can’t blow it on air-conditioning.
But we weren’t talking about those sorts of circumstances.
On the journey back, I swore to myself I would never, ever get in a car with that acquaintance again, because the lack of control I had over the situation was so distressing for me and I really, nearly threw up a few times. I was tempted - a few times - to just plonk down 50 shekels on the dashboard and to ask her to turn on the aircon, but that wouldn’t have gone down at all well with this particular person.
She could see I wasn’t handling the heat very well, but she was so intent on saving a few cents she simply couldn’t put my need to overheat ahead of her need to save money. And she also couldn’t accept that maybe, it was reasonable of me to want the aircon on in those circumstances, so there was nothing else to talk about.
A few months after that experience, another acquaintance asked me if I’d drive her to the Baba Sali. It was now winter in Israel, and not so hot, but this acquaintance had a very low tolerance to anything resembling heat, and she asked if we could put the aircon on.
Partially, it was because it really wasn’t hot at all in the car, and partially, I was also mindful of the cost of the gas (which she hadn’t offered to help me pay for, despite her wanting to make the trip) and partially, again, it was that lack of control thing.
I turned the aircon on - resentfully - and for weeks and even months afterwards, I tried to figure out why I’d been so upset about doing that. After all, I knew firsthand how horrible it was to feel like you were suffocating to death in a too-hot car. So why was I reacting with such bad grace to this second acquaintance?
After this second acquaintance asked me for a few more favors - like driving her to hospital at 1am for an emergency scan so her husband could stay at home with her kids - the penny finally dropped: there was zero gratitude blowing back from this acquaintance, who was very keen on the idea that people should be committed to the mitzvah of doing kindnesses for others.
Or at least, kindnesses for her, because the kindnesses coming back over the fence were few and far between.
This all happened 5-6 years ago, when I was the height of my process of discovering that so many people (including myself…) are literally crazy.
What makes this a problem is not that people have their foibles, because we all have our eccentricities and our ‘red lines’ many of which are completely illogical but no less powerfully policed.
The bigger problem by far is that we aren’t honest enough about our own issues, so we can’t figure out genuinely useful compromises. If my tight-fisted friend could have explained that she could see I’m half-dying in the heat, but that she simply couldn’t justify the ‘waste’ of money switching the aircon entailed, but she’d be very happy to give me the option of paying to cover it - we’d have both have been happy and that friendship probably would have lasted a lot longer than it did.
Similarly, if I could have been honest with my other acquaintance that I was feeling like she was taking me for a ride, and using me as an unpaid taxi service (like when she commanded me to switch the music I was listening to, because she didn’t like it) - things would have also been much easier, at least for me, and we could have figured out a compromise that worked for both of us.
And if we couldn’t, then I’d have known much earlier on to put this person on my ‘awkward’ list, and to give her a much wider berth.
These days, I generally spot these people much earlier on, mostly, so it’s much easier to avoid getting dragged into all these horrible, complicated situations which really just boil down to a power struggle where you are being forced to do things that you really don’t want to do.
The ‘control’ belongs to God. The ‘power’ belongs to God. The more I can live by that credo, the easier it is for me to get along with my fellow human being, even the really crazy ones. At the same time, I have to recognize that I’m not an angel or a tzaddik, and that I also have my own red lines and wants about how things should be.
If I ignore that side of things too much, I get extremely moody, miserable, stressed and even sick.
Getting the balance right between these two things, so I’m not completely self-centred and selfish, and also not completely spineless and a doormat, is the work of 120. No problem is ever 100% the other person’s fault, but figuring out the percentages is really, really hard.
And as Pesach approaches, this is one of the key bits of work that we all have to do. Rav Ofer writes that true freedom is getting out of all our bad middot and negative desires and behaviors.
And as usual, I seem to have my work cut out for me.
A few days’ back, I had four nights in a row of extremely intense dreams. This happens sometimes. I can go for months and months without dreaming anything much, and then have a bevy of whopping, big meaningful dreams one after another.
The first dream was a really awful nightmare about the force of evil being maintained in the world by thoughtless people who really had no idea what they were messing with, or what bad things they were unleashing as a result.
Thank God, I don’t get dreams that disturbing very often, but when they come, around once a year, I walk around panic-stricken and shaken for at least a day afterwards. And then there were two more internal, but still intense dreams. And then on the last day, I dreamt the whole country was being flooded by an enormous tsunami.
The weird thing about that tsunami is that while it was towering over me five stories tall, I actually didn’t get wet. It passed me by somehow, and went and flooded everything else.
It wasn’t a bad dream, like that other nightmare, but I felt I was getting some clue I had to go and research more, not least because when I was walking around Tel Aviv getting soaked to the skin a couple of months’ ago, I saw a really strange municipality sign affixed in a couple of locations.
Report from Hamodia: YERUSHALAYIM -Israel is not considered a high-risk country for tsunamis, but the Tel Aviv Municipality and Israel Police on Thursday decided that signs warning of the possibility of a giant wave hitting Israel’s coast were necessary anyway. The new signs warn that Tel Aviv beaches are a “tsunami hazard zone,” with the warning listed in English, Hebrew and Arabic. However, instructions on what to do are listed only in Hebrew and Arabic.
It was a brand new, blue and white ‘tsunami warning’ sign, which told the good citizens of Tel Aviv which direction they should run away in, should the city be hit by a tsunami.
That sign struck me as so very weird, because as far as I can tell, Tel Aviv has never, ever come even close to experiencing a tsunami. And if it did, running away a few metres up the road isn’t going to help anyone, much.
So I sat down, googled ‘tsunami’ - and I realized it was the seven day anniversary of when that massive tsunami hit the Fukishima nuclear reactor in Japan. Hmm. Maybe that was the tsunami vibe I’d picked up? Tsunami past, not tsunami present?
I googled a bit more, and I came across some videos by MrMMB333, who has been a gentle but obsessive observer of freak weather for a few years’ now. In contrast to so many of the ‘Prophets of Nibiru’ on the internet, he’s never made any big claims, never set any dates in stone, generally never even said the word ‘Nibiru’, or anything like that.
All he does is collate information from a number of satellite feeds, and other people who are also measuring strange things like huge spikes in UV readings across the North American continent, and he shares that info with his viewers with mild comments about things being ‘mighty strange’.
He had a whole bunch of recent things up on his site about what he calls ‘water anomalies’, namely strange shoreline phenomena that is seeing parts of the coast all over the world being strangely inundated with water, while other parts of the coast are being strangely exposed, and the sea water has somehow ‘disappeared’.
For example, parts of Europe and the UK got hit with Storm Emma a couple of weeks’ ago, and in the wake of that storm, an old Roman aqueduct that had been submerged for centuries suddenly appeared off the coast of Spain. How? Somehow, all the water in that area receded - permanently - and it revealed a ‘new’ stretch of coast including this ancient aqueduct.
Then weirder still, Storm Emma headed up the west coast of the British Isles, on the Irish side of the country, and on the east coast of Britain, facing France, a new massive stretch of coastline suddenly appeared, containing a massive forest of ‘7000 year old’ (sic) tree stumps.
Again, what’s strange about this is that these new/ old stretches of coast seem to have been permanently acquired. Something fundamental is shifting the earth’s oceans around and gently, gently, starting to re-draw the map of the world.
WHEN MOSHIACH COMES THE WORLD IS GOING TO CHANGE RADICALLY
For months, the messages I’ve been getting in my hitbodedut sessions is that the world is going to change, radically, but also (relatively…) very slowly and gently this time around. There will be no massive and instantaneous wrenching of the earth’s mantle without warning. Things will happen in due course, the world will probably experience a new ‘Matan Torah’ type event at some early stage of the open geula process.
But Moshiach will be revealed by then, and telling people to ‘bring in their cattle’, or to move country, or whatever it is they need to do to stay safe. This is how it happened in Egypt. Moshe the redeemer showed up, was believed by some of the people, not believed in by many of the others, things started to get pretty strange, weather-wise - and the whole test was whether to believe Moshe was ‘in control’ of events, as the prophet of Hashem, or whether it was all just comet-induced freak weather.
That’s why the sorcerers only grudgingly acknowledged that the ‘finger of God’ was somehow involved from the third plague onwards. But even by the plague of hail, many Egyptians were still denying Hashem’s kingship of the world, and refused to heed Moshe’s warning to ‘bring in their cattle’ when that plague struck.
HOW DID DATAN AND AVIRAM MAKE IT OUT OF EGYPT?
A few weeks’ ago, my husband asked Rav Ofer Erez why Datan and Aviram made it out of Egypt, and didn’t die in the plague of darkness with the other 4/5 of Am Yisrael? I mean, they were pretty ucky, yucky people, and they were behind so many of Moshe’s problems right from the start, with their evil speech, criticism, heresy and trouble-making.
Rav Ofer said there were two explanations:
1) That Datan and Aviram were actually enormous souls. He told my husband there’s a midrash that says they actually didn’t leave with the rest of the Israelite camp, because they thought they were only going out for three days, and then returning to Egypt, so they couldn’t be bothered coming along for that.
It’s only when the Egyptians realized that the Jews were going for good and set off in pursuit that Datan and Aviram grabbed their things, and tried to catch up with them. The midrash says an amazing thing: the sea split again, just for these two evil-doers.
They had so much potential in their souls, but they used it all for bad. So that’s one explanation, Datan and Aviram were not ‘standard’ evil-doers and potentially extremely lofty souls.
2) Another explanation is that the Jews that died in the plague of darkness died for a specific reason, and not necessarily because they were ‘bad’. And the specific reason given by the deeper Jewish sources is that they didn’t believe in the Tzaddik’s ability to redeem them.
Clearly, some ‘bad’ people made it out of Egypt - Datan and Aviram, Korach, the Erev Rav etc etc. Clearly, being ‘good’ wasn’t the measure of who made it out.
Believing in the Tzaddik was.
As it was then, so it may well be today.
After that tsunami dream, I did some serious hitbodedut about it, trying to figure out the message, at least for me. I got a picture in my head of a massive Rav Berland holding back the waves, and all these half-dead people who’d been buried in the sand kind of levitating up out the ground and floating after him.
To me, the message was clear. There is some sort of tsunami coming, whatever that actually means, that will overwhelm the world. But if you’re following after the Tzaddik - whoever that ultimately turns out to be - you’ll be ok, you’ll stay dry.
And if not?
I shudder to think.
The last few days, I’ve had a few emails from a few different people that are demonstrating that the vaccine debate in the orthodox community, particularly in the US, is starting to burst wide out into the open.
Personally, I think this can only be a good thing. I’m not ‘idealogical’ about this either way, I just want to know what the real truth is when it comes to whether vaccines are:
a) Safe as claimed
b) Effective as claimed
My view -about everything - is always that the available information should be clearly put on the table, and that people should be encouraged to question, evaluate, and decide for themselves.
This is part and parcel of people having God-given free choice to decide for themselves and to bear the consequences for their actions and decisions, and whenever I see healthy debate being squashed, or people trying to control others and close a respectful discussion down, my red flag immediately goes up that something isn’t quite right with this picture.
On that score, I want to bring your attention to a recent article written by a Rabbi Yair Hoffman, that was published HERE. You can see the full text for yourself here, but this is some of what Rabbi Hoffman has to say about what he views as the Torah imperative to vaccinate:
“The anti-vaccination advocates have two concerns that are often intertwined. The first is the MMR vaccine itself. They believe that there is some heretofore unidentified element in it that causes autism. The second is that some vaccines contained the preservative thimerosal, which contained ethyl mercury, a type of mercury that had been suspected of causing autism. Thimerosal has actually been removed from the MMR vaccine with no accompanying drop in the incidence of autism. No matter; this has not impacted the anti-vaxxer movement.”
Rabbi Hoffman is presumably going on the information given out by the FDA / CDC on official Governemnt websites like THIS ONE, which state:
Current Status of Thimerosal in Vaccines
If you plain English this carefully-worded answer, you’ll find that what it’s really saying is:
1) While vaccines for young children are now available in a formulation that doesn’t contain thimerosal
2) The ACIP doesn’t actually recommend that these ‘thimerosal-free’ formulations should be the ones that are routinely given to the general public.
I.e. You have to specifically ask for a thimerosal-free vaccine, and vaccines including thimerosal, specifically the flu vaccine, are still being routinely given to children in the US.
What about Rabbi Hoffman’s contention that there is no proven link between vaccines and autism?
Here’s what I found on THIS website, and please do go and take a look for yourselves:
“In 2008 top public health officials at HHS conceded that vaccines caused autism.
You’ll notice that thimerosal is NOT being discussed here as specifically causing autism, but that exposure to the vaccines themselves caused a ‘metabolic overload’ that triggered Hannah’s autism.
The issue if far deeper than a simple discussion of thimerosal (i.e. mercury, one of the most dangerous neurotoxins known to man) causing all the problems.
The human immune system wasn’t designed to be exposed to three very serious illnesses in one shot, even if vaccines are 100% effective and 100% safe.
On the safety front, I’m personally highly convinced at this stage that there is a significant risk associated with vaccines. On the effectiveness front, it’s clear that flu shots can’t be working, because the flu they vaccinate against is last year’s strain, and this year’s strain has mutated already.
But that’s where I’d like to learn more, personally, because if vaccines are also not effective (as can clearly be seen with the flu shot) and also pose significant health risks, or if there is a safer way to achieve the same sort of effective protection against contagious diseases in a non-toxic way (as seems to be the case with so called homeopathic ‘green vaccines’) then it becomes a no-brainer to not vaccinate.
So where does the truth really lie?
Over on Sasson, you’ll find two highly recommended articles setting out an alternative view of vaccination in halacha, written by a dayan in the US who does not vaccinate his own children, but who is scared to publish under his own name due to the pressure tactics he fears (probably justifiably) could be used against him as a result:
Vaccines in halacha - Part 1
Vaccines in halacha - Part 2
If you compare and contrast the approach of Rabbi Hoffman and this Dayan to the subject, you’ll find that the ‘pro’ vaxxer cites very few real sources of information, or up-to-date facts, and relies quite heavily on trying to persuade his readers to vaccinate, or else.
By contrast, the ‘anti’ vaxxer cites hundreds of footnoted sources of recent information and evidence to support his position, which is always a good sign that you’re dealing with someone who is on a search for truth, and who is trying to share the clues he’s finding along the way with as many other people as possible.
The issue is clouded because of the assumptions that a lot of rabbis are making that the information they are being provided by the pharmaceutical industry and the Government etc is 100% reliable and truthful.
That certainly flies in the face of so much evidence to the contrary, including all the falsified trials about anti-depressants and many other medications.
In the meantime, I’m also trying to collect as many ‘clues’ for us all to follow as well, so we can continue learning for ourselves, and deciding for ourselves, with God’s help, where the truth really lies.
To that end, another excellent recent piece over on Sasson about the need for questions to be properly asked and properly answered about vaccines in the Jewish community, which you can read HERE, turned up this video (at the top of the post) from the World Mercury Project.
It’s a quick 9 minute view, shmirat eynayim friendly, and basically describes how vaccines are treated as ‘biologics’ (whatever that means) and NOT medications by the FDA, which means the US government doesn’t require new vaccines to go through the drug testing process in the first place.
The Safety Trials process for vaccines is corrupted
The video also shows that the ‘safety trials’ that have been conducted on vaccines typically last for a maximum of 4 days, i.e. a kid is monitored for 4 days after their injection, maximum, and then if they don’t immediately have a fit or worse, God forbid, they are no longer monitored.
Of course, the incubation time for things like asthma, severe learning disabilities and a bunch of other very serious illnesses that the ‘anti’ vaxx lobby claim are caused by vaccinations don’t show up in 4 days, or even in 4 weeks, and often not even in 4 months…
And the last thing to note is that even with this minimal sort of oversight and checking, around 60,000 children in the US are still being formerly registered as having some sort of serious reaction to vaccines every single year. And there’s a strong suspicion that this undisputed, official figure may only be the tip of the iceberg, as so many parents are being actively discouraged from linking any chronic or acute health issues to their kid’s vaccinations.
As always, watch the video, and decide for yourself.
If any ‘pro’ vaxxers out there have detailed, credible information to specifically answer these points and concerns, I’d love to hear from you, as would most of the Jewish parents out there.
But as time is going on, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that while the ‘anti’ vaxxers have an impressive amount of information to share and a willingness to discuss the matter to its depth, the ‘pro’ vaxxers generally do not.
The only way to really get clarity on this matter is for us to keep taking it back to God, and to ask Him to show us what's really going on here, and how He wants us to react. No-one can control what really goes on with their children and their health, whether they load their kid up with every shot going, or do the exact opposite.
God is the only One who's really calling the shots when it comes to our health. So whatever conclusion we ultimately come to about whether or not to vaccinate our children, we still need to be asking Hashem to look after our kids 24/7.
Because that's really what's going to make all the difference.
UPDATE: One of the commentators, Daisy, apparently has a lot of useful background info on vaccines on her website HERE. Please check out the comments for more details.