I just got sent this nice, short (8 min) video about Rav Dov Kook, which is a nice intro for readers who may not be so familiar with this Tzaddik of Tiveria.
While all this stuff with Rav Berland was going on, lots of people wanted to know why more rabbis weren’t coming out publicly in support of him.
While a very small percentage of rabbis were themselves taken in by the lies and slanders they were hearing, many of our true rabbis stayed quiet for a different reason: They knew that if they started trying to defend the Rav and pointing out the evil people behind this whole, terrible miscarriage of justice, they would be the next ones with their heads on the chopping block.
At the height of the persecution and slander of Rav Berland, around two years’ ago, some of his supporters tried to rally the generation’s leading Rabbis to begin publishing letters of support for the Rav, to try and redress the balance and inform the public about what was really happening.
One Rav who was asked to participate responded,
“They [the people who are persecuting Rav Berland] are Erev Rav, and it’s forbidden to get involved with them, or give them any strength or attention. If I come out against them, then tomorrow they will turn on me, and they will also start telling lies about me, too.”
This same concern was heard many, many times from other leading Rabbis in Israel.
In the clip that Rav Glazerson released three years’ ago called: ‘The appearance of Rav Eliezer Berland in Torah codes,” Rav Glazerson showed how the words “Eliezer Berland Tzaddik” appeared together with the words, “The arising of the Erev Rav against Judaism.”
Some notable apikorsim already came out with awful slanders against one of the Rav’s biggest defenders, Rav Chaim Dovid Stern, God forbid. Then another one of the Rav’s defenders, Rav Yitzhak Meir Morgenstern, had his synagogue demolished by the Jerusalem municipality shortly after positive statements that he’d made in defense of Rav Berland were publicized.
A couple of years’ ago, another very famous rabbi asked his son to contact me here, on Emunaroma, to take down a statement he’d made defending Rav Berland because he was scared of reprisals against him and his yeshiva.
And now, it seems to be the turn of the kabbalist and tzaddik Rav Dov Kook of Tiveria, God forbid.
Rav Kook warned his students before Shabbat that the Israeli media are planning a ‘blood libel’ against him, probably beginning this coming week, and he asked his followers to pray for him.
Dear readers, I’m asking you to please pay attention to the awful character assassination that is about to begin, and to work with me to expose how these erev rav types who just love to spread false gossip and rumours around, especially about the gedolei hador, really work.
I don’t have details of what they have cooked up against Rav Kook yet, but for sure it will be the same sort of unprovable stories, false witnesses, lurid headlines and scandalous lies that they have used to great effect against Rav Berland.
The media – sadly, including the so-called ‘chareidi’ media – starts all this stuff off to boost their ratings and get their audience to turn against the true leaders of the nation. Then, regular people who are either gullible and naïve, or who actually just love to gossip and to stir things up get involved, and start carpeting the internet with all this ‘fake news’ and slanderous lies, making out like it’s actually true because everyone is talking about it.
This is so, so contrary to how observant Jews are meant to deal with rumors and gossip, and I highly recommend you brush up on the laws of lashon hara before this next round of slander begins, so you don’t fall afoul of listening to it and believing, or spreading it further afield.
It’s such a hard test, not least because speaking lashon hara is one of the main tell-tale signs that you’re dealing with someone with pronounced erev rav traits. And so many of the people in the media, and in the Jewish blogosphere – including the so-called ‘frum’ Jewish blogosphere – sadly have a very big problem with this erev rav trait.
But don’t make their problem, your problem.
Don’t believe the lies, don’t get caught up in replying to, or posting up, scandalous comments with no factual basis, don’t visit blog sites and news sites where you’re being fed fake news and lashon hara 24/7, don’t give credence or respect to those journalists and bloggers who enjoy stirring up machloket against our true tzaddikim.
As time goes on, it’s becoming clearer and clearer which ‘side’ these people are really on, spiritually, and where they’re going to end up – for eternity! – if they don’t make teshuva pronto.
It’s a huge test, I know.
But I have a feeling that by turning on Rav Dov Kook, the Israeli media may have finally bitten off more than they can actually chew, and that more and more people out there will start to realise what’s really going on in this country, and with the media and the ruling elites generally, and will make some serious teshuva about believing lies they read or watched on the internet etc.
I certainly hope so.
UPDATE: Below, you'll find the Gemara's definition of an 'apikorus', or heretic. You can learn more about this definition for yourself HERE, and HERE.
A heretic may be distinguished from an apostate in that, although he holds beliefs which are contrary to currently accepted doctrines, he does not renounce his religion and often believes that he represents the true tradition.
Some identify the talmudic minim with the Judeo-Christians, others with unspecified groups who denied rabbinic authority and/or the belief in the coming of the Messiah.
In the Talmud the term apikoros refers to the *Sadducees (Kid. 66a); to those who denigrate rabbinic authority.
Kofer may be best translated as "freethinker." In Sanhedrin the kofer is identified as one who asks needling questions and points out contradictions between biblical texts (Sanh. 39a–b). The term kofer ba-ikkar in rabbinic literature refers to one who denies a basic and essential ikkar ("dogma"; on the various formulations of dogmas in Judaism see S. Schechter, Studies in Judaism (1896), 147–81). Maimonides defines a kofer ba-Torah as someone who denies either the divine inspiration of the Torah or the authority of the Oral Law and the rabbis who teach it, or one who maintains that the legislation of the Torah has been superseded (Yad, Teshuvah, 3:8)
More than a decade ago, when I was still in London, I remember reading the story of some South Korean man who’d become a legend in his own time - online - by becoming the leading player in one of those addictive online games like ‘World of Warcraft’, or some other soul-destroying tosh.
Online, this man was king of his internet world; he had people admiring him from all four corners of the planet; he was super-powerful (online) and had acquired all these (online) abilities to bestow magical powers to other players, come to their rescue, and generally create the world as he saw fit (online).
In his real life?
He was a hamburger ‘chef’ who’d had to move back in to his parents’ home as he’d run out of money to pay his bills, and his parents were urgently trying to get him admitted into some psychiatric institution somewhere to start treatment for the internet addiction that was destroying his real life.
That’s how there came to be a whole story in the papers about him, because the dichotomy between who he was online - emperor of the world! All-powerful king-maker! Savior of thousands, hero to many more - was in stark contrast to who he really was: a guy with severe mental-health issues who had very little to actually show for himself.
The poor man.
THE WORST SINS IN THE WORLD ARE 'NO BIG DEAL' ONLINE
We all know internet porn is bad (but I suspect most of us are still in denial about just how many of our husbands, sons, brothers, fathers, friends and neighbors have fallen into its net, even in the most ‘frum’ neighborhoods…)
And we all know that watching trashy movies is bad (see note above).
And we all know that opening up a channel into our soul for people to fill it with all their terrible anti-true Tzaddikim, anti-God, anti-yiddishkeit rubbish is bad (see note above).
But it doesn’t change the facts that so many of us are still doing all this stuff, all the time, mostly oblivious to just how much damage it’s actually doing to us, spiritually.
It’s so easy to do the absolutely worst sins in the world online, and then to think it’s no big deal.
It reminds me of another story I read, this time within the frum Jewish community, of a pillar of the local community who got busted for viewing really disgusting things online. This man had tried to make teshuva - anonymously - and he’d written a piece explaining how he’d got sucked into those darkest spiritual places in the world because his yetzer kept spinning him the story that what he did online wasn’t really real.
I mean, no-one could see him. He was completely anonymous. No-one else, not even his own wife, really knew what he was up to.
ONLINE 'ANONYMITY' WAS NO PROTECTION
Until that one terrible day when the police finally managed to figure out how to collect the IP addresses of all the ‘subscribers’ to that particular piece of satanic handiwork, and came knocking at his door.
(It’s SO easy for motivated people to find out who the 'anonymous' people online really are, these days.)
The people who get addicted to gambling online have the same problem: their yetzer tells them it’s all just make-believe, online no-big-deal-fun - until the bailiffs come knocking and they end up losing their homes.
Don’t believe me?
Here’s something that I recently read in The Hustle Economy, by a game designer called Alex Larsen:
“I saw semi-frequent posts in my newsfeed about another player losing their house, or going bankrupt from medical bills. Our game was free to play; we made money only through selling special ‘premium’ items.
“Essentially, people were spending money for pixels on a screen, and some of them were spending in the hundreds.”
Who would be dumb enough to waste their hard-earned money, and to risk their real-life homes just to be ‘king of the world’ online?!
That’s what we like to think when we read stories like this.
THE YETZER HAS ALL SORTS OF 'TRAPS' SET UP ONLINE
But the yetzer has traps set up for everyone online. And the one that I see so many frum Jews falling into is the one about speaking and accepting and sharing lashon hara - particularly about the nation’s biggest Tzaddikim.
Back in the desert, Korach et al were consigned to permanent oblivion in Gehinnom for talking badly about Moshe Rabbenu, the tzaddik of the generation. Even 1500 years later, an Arab guide took a tanna to the crack in the desert where you could still hear Korach and his followers proclaiming that the Torah of Moshe Rabbenu was true - and that Korach had made a huge error of judgment that he was going to spend eternity paying down.
It’s instructive to note that in that story, God warns the people of Israel that everyone should move far away from the people who were talking badly about the tzaddik of the generation - because they dragged everyone down to the depths with them.
Their spouses, their friends, their neighbors, even their kids - they all got swallowed up by the earth for associating with Datan and Aviram, and all those other people who made a big name for themselves by speaking badly of the nation’s true Tzaddikim.
Who would be dumb enough to wager their house for an online game?
Who would be dumb enough to wager their eternal soul for an online ‘discussion’ where they freely diss a whole bunch of the nation’s leading Tzaddikim?
The mind boggles.
But in the meantime, we need to stay away from toxic sites that run on lashon hara and evil speech. Hopefully the people behind them will make sincere teshuva before Hashem’s patience really runs out, but in the meantime, protect yourself from their madness and stop visiting these dens of ill-repute online.
MAYBE, IT'S TIME TO BLOCK THOSE 'TOXIC' SITES?
If that’s hard to do (and it’s also hard for me to do, so I really hear you) - consider using something like ‘Site Blocker’ which is a free, safe add-on for Chrome that lets you block sites that you know are toxic, but (like many other toxic things…) are strangely addictive.
I started using it last week, and I feel SO much happier!
Let the South Korean fast-food guy be ‘King of the World’ without you…
You’ve got better things to do with your time.