The headline in Al-Ha’aretz said it all: “Cult leader Moshe Rabbenu declares himself ‘a redeemer’; claims he can control the weather.”
Datan read the headline, then threw the paper down in disgust. Enough was enough! Datan had been reading the Rambam, and he knew that all this stuff about open miracles was really just symbolic stuff that his simple-minded, superstitious fellow Jews were sadly taking at face value.
I mean, Moshe Rabbenu and his followers were clearly a cult!
So many people were hanging on Moshe’s every utterance like it was the word of God, or something. And it didn’t matter how many exposes Ynet wrote accusing Moshe of making eyes at other people’s wives [see Sanhedrin 110a and 110b], the people were still just gullibly following after the guy, and thinking he was the moshiach, or something.
Datan took out his latest i-Phone, the Samsung Galaxy S Light Luxury, kissed it reverentially, and scrolled over to the Witch of Endor’s site to see what she had to say about the whole thing.
“I don’t understand why more people aren’t coming out against Moshe Rabbenu!” began the Witch of Endor.
“Moshe Rabbenu was accused of serious crimes: he killed an Egyptian by uttering the ineffable name of Hashem, which is something only a xtian would do. And then he ran away from the Egyptian police for 80 years, which just shows he was guilty of everything they said he was.
“Now, he’s developing a dangerous ‘cult of the personality’, and making out like God needs to go through him to talk to the Jewish people, and that we need him around to really understand what God wants from us. Moshe Rabbenu has turned a man into God, and God into man!” screeched the Witch of Endor.
“We all know that the only way we’re going to get out of Egypt is by armed uprising! Every Jew needs an uzi! We need to put a bullet in the head of all the Erev Rav who are trying to leave Mitzrayim and then drop a nuke on Cairo and Midian! That is the true, Jewish way to achieving redemption.
"All this stuff about relying on God, believing in tzaddikim and working on your own personality flaws is cultish and anti-Jewish!”
Just then, a cluster of huge 5 inch flaming hail started smashing into Datan’s home and surroundings, destroying his garden and smashing his car windshield. He observed the huge dint in the bonnet of his Honda and sighed deeply. Man, something had to be done about CERN’s weather machine.
“Hand of God, my patootie!” muttered Datan.
Everyone knew the illuminati were behind all the tornados and freak weather that had been happening lately. All this stuff about God sending 'plagues' down to the world was just another example of all the superstitious, ‘cultish’ beliefs that had recently overtaken large sections of the Jewish community.
Datan flipped over to Aviram’s site, where Aviram had written a big long screed against ‘The cult of Hevron’. “Every year on the yahrtzeit of Avraham Avinu, thousands of misguided Jews are leaving their homes to go and ‘worship’ at his grave,” began Aviram.
“That journey takes at least two weeks, roundtrip, by express camel, but these people don’t care about the huge toll that takes on their families and children. They’ve been brainwashed by the cult of Hevron to keep hanging out at the Mearat HaMachpela, instead of just dealing direct with God, like a Jew is meant to do.
“The false guru Moshe Rabbenu has been one of the key people behind this disturbing new practice. He’s been teaching people that tzaddikim are greater in their deaths than in their lives (2) – which is clearly idol worship!!! We all know that once someone is dead, they’re dead and that’s it.”
Aviram continued: “I saw a video of a séance on Youtube where some guy who’d been to the Mearat HaMachpela came down as a disembodied spirit and explained that he’s suffering so much because he believed in all this superstitious clap-trap about visiting the graves of tzaddikim.
“It’s so tragic that someone in the Jewish world can create some new religious rites that then spread like a virus amongst the non-thinking masses,” bewailed Aviram. “Nobody was keeping Shabbat in our forefather’s time, but within a few years, this ‘mitzvah’ is going to magically attain the status of being an ancient tradition, particularly when there is money to be made.
“Just last week, Moshe Rabbenu put out a call for everyone to come and donate their gold and silver to build a mishkan, another ‘new’ practice that he’s introducing to enrich himself and enslave the Jewish people into more nonsense and superstition.”
“Yeah, right on man!” Datan said to himself.
I mean really, things were getting completely out of control with this new religion that Moshe Rabbenu was trying to foister on the Jews.
He, Datan, didn’t need a rabbi to tell him how to serve Hashem! He didn’t need an intermediary to tell him how to act, and how to think! This was complete idol worship, just like xtianity!!! Why couldn’t other people understand that?
Just then Datan’s wife came into the room and asked him if he could help her schlep the shopping from the car. She’d been caught in the crazy hailstorm and was clearly a bit shaken up. “Not now, I’m busy,” Datan waved her away.
“There’s some crazy cult leader trying to mislead the Jewish people, and I have to go and save them.”
Datan’s wife bit her lip, and retreated back to the kitchen.
A message popped up on Datan’s i-Phone that Korach had just put out a new tube video, called ‘The Truth about Moshe Rabbenu’.
Now, this was more like it! You could always rely on Korach to call out all the ‘bad’ and the craziness going on in the Jewish world! Datan pressed play, and settled back, hands on his head, to see how Korach was going to make mincemeat of this guy and his faction.
“Their main speaker today, the most popular, Aaron HaKohen, says in his speeches that you can't connect to HaShem without connecting first to Moshe Rabbenu, and he is the only one that can connect you to HaShem!
“Without him nothing will help you, not your teshuva, not your learning Torah nothing! Only Moshe Rabbenu can save you and get you out of galut. This is similar to J.c in Christianity! If this is not Avoda Zara, then what is??”
Right on, man! If his neighbors hadn’t been so brainwashed by Moshe Rabbenu, they’d see all this stuff clearly for themselves, too.
Just then, night descended and the 'luxury Light' of the i-Phone went blank.
The plague of darkness had begun.
 As explained HERE: “Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachmani quotes Rabbi Yonatan as teaching, based on Sefer Tehillim (106:16) that Moshe was accused of adultery. In fact, Rabbi Shmuel bar Yitzhak taught that when Moshe set up a tent – Ohel Mo’ed – outside of the encampment (see Shemot 33:7), the entire nation began to suspect him of committing adultery with their wives.
“The Ri’af explains this simply, that when any member of the community had an issue to discuss, they would turn to Moshe who was in his tent outside of the camp. It is clear that women as well as men would turn to Moshe for direction, and this led to suspicion. The Torah, however, dispels any such claim by emphasizing that Yehoshua, Moshe’s protégé, never left the tent (see Shemot 33:11).
“The Margoliyot ha-Yam notes that the Ohel Mo’ed was set up outside the camp immediately after the Sin of the Golden Calf, when the women refused to hand over their gold jewelry to build the calf. This led their husbands to suspect that they listened to Moshe more than to their own husbands.”
 See the Gemara, Chullin 7b: (R. Chama bar Chanina): Hash-m does the will of Tzadikim after their death more than in their lifetime. (Or to put it another way, Tzaddikim are greater after their death than during their lives.)
Also see the Gemara, Taanit 5b, which records the following exchange between Rav Nachman and Rav Yitzchak:
Rav Nachman said to Rav Yitzchak: "So said Rabbi Jochanan: Our father Jacob did not die."
Asked Rav Yitzchak: "Was it for no reason that the eulogizers eulogized, the embalmers embalmed and the buriers buried?"
Responded Rav Nachman: "I am only citing a verse. It is written, 'And you, my servant Jacob, fear not, says the L-rd, and do not tremble, O Israel. For behold, I shall save you from afar, and your descendants from the land of their captivity' (Jeremiah 30:10). The verse equates Jacob with his descendants: just as his descendants are alive, he, too, is alive."
Before I started researching all the Rav Berland stuff, I actually spent about five years deeply immersed in researching personality disorders, and Erev Rav traits. The fruits of those labors were distilled into Unlocking the Secret of the Erev Rav, which you can learn more about that HERE, but it’s interesting to see the intersection that’s now occurring between the information I learned at that stage, and the information I’m learning now.
When people have a severe mental and / or emotional disorder, there’s always a few key traits present, or absent.
Top of the ‘absent’ list is empathy and compassion for others.
When people have a personality disorder, they simply can’t put anyone else in the picture and it’s all about them: their ego, their status, their opinion, their control of others, their self-image, their success, their need to be right.
Also on the ‘absent’ list is a marked inability to apologise to other people for their hurtful behavior and comments.
Over on the ‘present’ list, the key thing that tips you off that you’re dealing with someone with a mental disorder is when they can’t process or accept new information, and they desperately cling on to their old story, their old idea, their old certainty of ‘how things really are’.
When I start to hear the same story, the same comment, the same insults, even, for the fifth time in a row, there is no longer any doubt that I’m dealing with someone who is a ‘rigid thinker’, which is psychiatric code for ‘severely mentally disturbed’.
Again, this is a function of trauma, and it’s learned behavior that could, at least in theory, be ‘unlearned’ if more people really understood how their body, minds and soul actually work together. (I write about this subject a lot over on spiritualselfhelp.org. THIS is a good place to start, if you’d like to know more about this.)
But the point is this: When you’re dealing with ‘rigid thinkers’ with extremely fragile personalities, the truth is never going to be enough to change their minds.
Because ‘rigid thinkers’ can’t change their minds – about anything.
When we talk about ‘closed-minded’ and ‘narrow-minded’, it’s actually a literal description of what’s going on. The traumatized mind is closed, and cannot accept any new information.
In the deeper Jewish sources, this is referred to as mochin dekatnut, or ‘small-brained’. The person’s psyche is so stunted by trauma, so collapsed in upon itself, so consumed by its own paranoid vision of the world, that there is literally no space to put any new information.
A big part of the problem with rigid thinkers is that most of them feel literally sick about the idea that they could be ‘wrong’ about anything. This usually stems from the poor parenting they received, which is a whole book (or six…) unto itself, but this is how it plays out in real time:
The ‘rigid thinker’ is presented with some new information that would mean they’d have to change their position / attitude, possibly admit they were wrong, possibly have to apologise for doing or saying things that were ‘bad’.
This possibility causes their stomach to literally plummet into their shoes, and they become filled up with a disgusting ‘sick’ feeling that paralyses them, physically, and literally makes them feel like their soul is being shredded to pieces.
This feeling is one of the worst feelings in the world.
The rigid thinker’s main – and really only – priority at this stage is to get this ‘sick’ feeling to go away as quickly as possible. There are two ways they typically do that:
In a nutshell, the poor rigid thinker is simply trying to offload their own ‘ucky’ feeling off on to someone else. And the worse they feel about themselves, the bigger the ‘uck’ payload they manage to pack into their verbal attacks on others.
Often, you’ll get some combo approach, where they will begin with rubbishing and denying the information you are trying to present them with, but if you persist in shoving the truth in their faces, they will then get really angry, and fall back on trying to destroy you, as a person.
THAT'S WHY YOU CAN'T ARGUE WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE 'ANTI' RAV BERLAND
Lucky for me that I learned all this before I even started writing One in a Generation, because it makes it so much easier to understand the otherwise bizarre responses of so many of the rigid thinkers out there.
There’s enough real information circulating around now, on this blog and other places, about who’s really behind the persecution of Rav Berland, that any balanced individual should at least be pausing for thought, and feeling confused about where the truth actually lies, before rushing into the fray to publicly condemn him.
As I’ve said many times already, at this stage of the game no-one else can tell you the truth about Rav Berland – or about any of the other millions of things that we’re being lied to about.
That’s the test of our generation.
God wants each of us to go ‘inside’, and to connect to our souls, and to connect our souls back to Him, and that’s the only way we’re really going to have clarity about anything today.
So confusion and lack of clarity is a valid, normal response at this stage.
But what is completely abnormal (for mentally stable individuals) is to up the offensive by adding even more lies on to the old ones, and to keep refusing to acknowledge obvious facts and information that could potentially change the whole picture, and to resort to personal attacks on people who are telling you things you don’t want to hear.
But this is exactly how people with personality disorders and very fragile egos react. And this is exactly how ‘rigid thinkers’ react.
And there is nothing that anyone from the outside can do to change these people’s minds, because they are literally crazy.
CRAZY PEOPLE ALWAYS SUPPORT OTHER CRAZY PEOPLE
Something else I learned a long time ago is that ‘narcissists of a feather flock together’, because rigid thinkers seek out other rigid thinkers who will enable them to maintain their unchanging world view.
Mentally-stagnant and mentally-renewed people just don’t jive together, because the new learning and the new information that so invigorates the one threatens the other. This is also why rigid thinkers try to shut down the sources of any new, and threatening, information with denial, deceit and personal attacks.
So what does this mean practically? Rav Berland has already set it all out on his site. Here’s what he’s been telling us the last couple of years:
Because I still have a lot of work to do on my own bad middot, it’s actually getting kind of fun seeing which ‘big names’ are so publicly putting themselves on the wrong side of the equation.
At some point soon, we will reach that point when the world of lies will fall, and the truth will shine out.
And then, it’s going to get really interesting.
UPDATE: THE LAWS OF SPEAKING LASHON HARA L'TOELET
Following on from one of the comments below, I just wanted to share the 7 rules that apply to speaking lashon hara l'toelet, for a positive purpose. Again, lashon hara is TRUE information that happens to be negative. Slander is falsehood and lies. All the stories about Rav Berland are slander.
Just to be clear, the following rules don't apply to sharing things around on Facebook - with your own big, juicy, slanderous opinion attached - that you read on Ynet or Ha'aretz. You have to have witnessed or heard the 'story' you're re-telling FIRST-HAND, even when speaking lashon hara for a constructive purpose.
These rules apply to everyone, including and especially 'rabbis'.
When dealing with negative information that is TRUE, you must still follow the following 7 rules before sharing it l'toelet, for a positive reason, such as warning someone away from a bad influence. (See more HERE):
Saying Lashon Harah is only permitted when said for strictly constructive purposes. Even then, however, one is required to ensure what he is saying meets a criterion of seven conditions:
Yesterday, I dropped my parents off at the airport, then drove out towards the Palmachim beach, near Rishon LeTzion. I didn’t get there in the end, because I got sidetracked by something called ‘the mouth of the stream’, which ended up being a nice walk next to a (kind of…) river.
In the UK, it would be classed more as a long puddle, but here in Israel, any body of water, no matter how shallow or stagnant or brown, is a ‘river’.
So I walked next to it, found a big tree to sit under somewhere close and pondered what’s actually going on in my life. Because the truth is, I was having a very strong ‘give up’ vibe again.
I was having that urge to delete my blog again, but this time permanently.
Because I’ve spent the last few weeks up to my neck in lashon hara and sinat chinam, as I’ve been researching the media side of things for the book, and I discovered that things are far, far worse in the orthodox blogosphere than I imagined.
I barely read Jewish blogs today, that’s the truth, except for my Breslov rabbis, and shirat devorah. The other stuff out there is usually just some form of having a go, some form of awful sinat chinam dressed up in holier-than-thou clothing, some form of arrogant and ignorant lashon hara – and clearly, I’m talking about the better sites.
And then, I realized that I’ve also been pulled into more of that than I would like recently, as a result of trying to set the record straight about the Rav and a few other things.
So as I sat under that tree yesterday, I really wondered why I’m doing all this. Anyone who really wants to know the ‘truth’ – about anything – will ask God to show them, and will get some real answers. Anyone who really doesn’t want to know the ‘truth’ – about anything – won’t.
It really is as simple as that.
The last few months, I’ve had emails from so many holier-than-thou psychos who really feel that Ha’aretz – the mouthpiece of the Meretz Party in Israel – should be believed over our holy rabbis.
I’m sick of arguing with these people. I’m sick of dealing with their breathtakingly bad middot and hypocrisy. I’m sick of all the fake ‘rabbis’ and fake ‘prophets of doom’ out there who are simply breaking hundreds of very important laws pertaining to lashon hara and onaas devarim (and millions of other things, besides) with every single Youtube video they record, or ‘message’ they pen.
But pointing all this out, and trying to battle against them, is simply just pulling me down into the same muck.
And that’s not really why I started Emunaroma.
So I sat under that tree yesterday, and the voice whispered at me quite intently: Give up! Do something else! Go back to painting, go back to trying to make stuff with your sewing machine, why do you need to spend so much of your time agonizing over all the mentally-ill orthodox Jewish psychos on the web?
So yesterday, I wrote a short post explaining all this stuff, and basically saying sayonara, at least for a while.
And then today, as I came to post it up, I found this video (in English) in my email from someone I don’t know, that actually really spoke to me. (Shirat eynayim friendly up until minute 3.36, when a couple of ladies pop up).
Don’t give up!
That’s the message.
Thursday evening, when the news of the 10 teenagers who lost their life in the crazy flash-flooding hit Israel, my two teenage girls were in very somber moods.
One was feeling pretty scared about even going outside, as clearly, the world had just got pretty dangerous if even a bit of rain could end up killing a minyan of Jews. The other one was deeply sad about what had just occurred – both for the loss of life, but more for the outpouring of sinat chinam, or baseless hatred, that occurred straight after it.
The media initially got the details of the tragedy wrong, and reported that the dead teens were boys – yeshiva students - from the Har Etzion Yeshiva in Gush Etzion. That lead to an outpouring of disgusting comments on websites like Ha’aretz and elsewhere, as ‘enlightened leftists’ rushed to try to pour salt on the wound.
It was so disgusting, that the externally secular journalist Ivgeny Zarubinski took a screen shot of the comments (below), and posted it up on his Facebook page decrying the horrible hatred.
My daughter showed me what he’d written, and told me her friends were also so upset by all the sinat chinam flowing around such a tragedy.
I told her the way to fight this is person by person – i.e. by uprooting all these feelings of hate for other Jews from within ourselves. Because while it’s nice to tell ourselves that only loony-left Ha’aretz readers have a problem with awful sinat chinam, even a quick glance at so many apparently ‘orthodox’ blogs and websites tell a very different story.
Immediately after the event, one popular ‘orthodox’ blog had a post up naming and shaming a really awful Haaretz reporter’s coverage of the tragedy, that ended with this barb:
[The reporter] need not be concerned about one thing. When he finally leaves this world, Israeli TV won't spend more than a few seconds noting his passing.
Why write this? It’s just promoting sinat chinam, and lashon hara. How is that meant to help anyone?
Then, the first commenter on that post said:
Hope his daughter dies in a flashflood.
Which is just as obscene and hateful a comment as you’d find anywhere on Ha’aretz.
Is this really how orthodox Jews should be behaving?
Is this really the sort of discussions we should be promoting on our websites, and the sort of comments we should be posting up?
Over on another very popular ‘orthodox’ website, I found this recent example (sadly there were SO many to choose from…) of hateful speech and sinat chinam against other Jews, written by the blog’s owner:
The Kipa Seruga is the emblematic identifier of Religious Zionist Jews. That is the kind of Kipa warn by most settlers, including these disgusting ‘Hilltop’ animals pretending to be human.
I don’t read this blog, thank God, but even a quick glance through the posts and the comments showed that it is stacked to the gills with lashon hara, hatred, ignorance of other Jewish traditions and beliefs, particularly in the charedi world, and an overwhelming arrogance and belief in the rightness of their own opinions, regardless of how so much of what is written flies completely in the face of Torah law.
And this is apparently one of the most ‘popular’ blogs in the ‘orthodox’ Jewish world, God help us.
The sinat chinam and lashon hara is flowing all over the orthodox internet, and every time we read these articles, link to them, or give their authors any space or respect, we are basically injecting ourselves with more poison against other Jews, delaying the geula, and bringing more tragedies down on ourselves.
And so much of this horrible hatred is happening unperceived, as it’s being tagged as ‘interesting debate’ or ‘fearlessly discussing controversial topics’ – because then, apparently, it’s OK to spread your hatred of other Jews far and wide.
As long as you can claim you’re only interested in the truth, it’s OK to call Breslov ‘idol worship’, or call Chabad ‘Jewish Replacement Theology’, and to speak awful lashon hara about some of the leading sages in the Jewish world, referring to them as ‘am ha aretz’ who ‘teach childish drivel’ and ‘the Torah of fools’, God forbid.
The hatred that is delaying the geula isn’t just lurking on the pages of Ha’Aretz and Ynet.
It’s also in our own hearts. And our own families. And our own communities.
And our own blogs.
Why did so many of us want to believe that most other Jews were 'evil' Erev Rav?
I was pondering why so many 'frum' people – including me – warmed to the messages coming out of the autistics that most Jews today are a sort of sub-class, sub-Jew called the ‘Erev Rav’.
Why did so many of us want to believe their messages that it’s a mitzvah to hate other Jews, and that it’s a good thing to want to see whole communities of people destroyed en masse?
How could we fall for such evil ideas? How could we believe for a moment that God would close the door to teshuva for anyone, and make it impossible for anyone to come back to him?!
God wants Jews to return back in teshuva, He doesn’t want Jews dead in their millions, God forbid. If people don’t make teshuva, it’s true that this worse-case scenario could still happen, God forbid – but it’s not at all what God wants!!
But when frum Jews sit there for day after day, and year after year, reading blogs telling them that:
Tel Aviv isn't Israel, it's not Israel at all, and also Haifa - not Israel.
Or reading things that conclude that it’s a ‘duty and a commandment’ to hate your fellow Jew, like this:
G-d established a time and place for love and for hate, and in the right time and place, each is a duty and a commandment. The Torah never contained, and never will contain, a concept of “groundless love”, just as the Torah absolutely rejects the concept of “groundless hate”.
Then we start to get the answer. We slowly but surely brainwashed ourselves into believing that black is white and that good is evil, and filled ourselves up with self-righteous anger and hatred and arrogance – and so many other really bad middot – that completely blinded us to our own part in perpetuating the ongoing suffering and the exile of the Jewish people.
In this shiur by Rav Ofer Erez (with full English subtitles) on how to fix baseless hatred, you can see a very complete refutation of this statement that ‘the Torah never contained, and never will contain, a concept of ‘groundless love’, that brings a number of sources across the Gemara and the Torah.
So-called ‘groundless love’ is the only antidote for sinat chinam, and the only way we’re going to get geula the sweet way.
Again, that doesn’t mean that we ‘love’ evil actions and accept them. Rav Ofer explains very, very clearly, that we must continue to demonstrate against evil ACTIONS, and that we can and should hate evil ACTIONS.
But it’s an enormous mistake to say a Jew is fundamentally EVIL. Or fundamentally un-saveable. Or fundamentally ‘Erev Rav’ and unable to make teshuva and return to God.
I’m as upset as the next person when I hear people call chareidi Jews things like ‘leeches and parasites’. I’m also upset when people call hill-top youth ‘animals’. I’m also upset when people say disgusting things about dati leumi yeshiva students who they mistakenly thought died in a terrible tragedy. I’m also upset when so-called ‘rabbis’ mis-characterise and slander whole segments of committed, Chassidic Jews simply from their own ignorance of deeper Jewish concepts and ideas.
But I’m also upset when people state that Tel Aviv is not really part of Israel. Or when they state that most secular Jews are ‘Erev Rav’. Or when they write awful lashon hara and evil speech, condemning and criticizing everyone else who happens to be different from them just so they can feel like they are superior and ‘the winners’.
If I’ve learnt one thing from my kids, is that they won’t let our generation’s sinat chinam pass unchallenged. My daughter saw me looking askance at the bald, kippa-less head of the obviously Russian Ivgeny Zarubinski, and took me to task for the obvious distaste I must have showed that she’d been reading stuff from someone like him.
“Ima, he’s really nice. He writes really nice things about Jews,” she gently upbraided me.
And as usual, she was so right.
It’s not how the person looks, or what image they’re trying to portray to the rest of the world about how righteous and how frum they really are that counts, it’s what they’re saying, and thinking and doing that really matters.
Ivgeny’s post inspired my daughter (and me…) to make some serious teshuva about our own problems with sinat chinam. Other posts from apparently ‘orthodox’ bloggers frequently just inspire more hatred, more poisonous comments, more harsh judgment, and more lashon hara.
So now you tell me: who’s doing more to hasten the geula, or slow it down?
Around 15 years ago, back when I was still living in London, my husband brought home a book from the Golders Green branch of Steimatzky called ‘Galia: Messages from Heaven’. Galia was a severely disabled young woman who couldn’t speak or communicate.
At that time, ‘facilitated communication’ – a process of using a keyboard of alphabet board and a ‘facilitator’ to help severely disabled people ‘communicate’ – was just becoming all the rage, so Galia’s mother tried it – and opened up a flood of what she believed to be ‘messages from Heaven’, via Galia.
My husband was so taken with that book, he read it in one sitting. I was so taken with that book, I stayed up to 2am to read it. We bought 50 copies, and distributed it to everyone we knew.
And so, our obsession with ‘facilitated communication’ and ‘messages from Heaven’ via autistic children began.
For years, I held the messages from the autistics to be a sort of modern-day prophecy, and they impacted my life in a number of profound, and with hindsight nearly always negative ways. The autistics gave rise to my obsession with ferreting out ‘erev rav’ people in every corner of my life.
They gave rise to my shrill and judgmental insistence that family members and friends should make aliya NOW, before the end of the world occurred.
(So many people stopped responding to my emails at that stage, and who the heck can blame them?!)
The autistics stoked my paranoia about all the bad and evil things in the world; they encouraged my harshly judgmental tendencies about other Jews and other Jewish groups; and they fed my arrogant belief that only ‘true believers’ like myself who lived in Israel would make it through to geula.
THE SPELL FINALLY BREAKS
Around five years’ ago, after spending the best part of a decade waiting for the autistics ‘prophecies’ to finally materialize as promised, the spell finally started to break, and I realized that something was quite wrong with the picture.
I’d followed the path laid out by the autistics, and it had only lead to enormous relationship issues, an enormous flowering of my own bad middot, and a tendency to see the world as all bad and black, instead of the beautiful, good place that Hashem created – and that chassidut encourages us to acknowledge and uncover every single moment.
That is the path of emuna. To see the good in yourself, and in your fellow Jew, and in the world, and in God.
And the path of the autistics seemed to have led me to a place where I was doing the exact opposite.
Still, I didn’t want to cause a stir and speak out against the autistics at that point, because maybe I was wrong? And also, there were still a lot of people who held the autistics to be ‘good and holy’, and I wasn’t going to spark off a machloket for no reason.
But over the years, as the dire prophecies and predictions have continued, and as I’ve watched the formerly good and thoughtful people who peddle them dissolve into a puddle of paranoid hatred of Jews who aren’t exactly ‘like them’, I’ve increasingly come to the conclusion that the ‘messages’ the autistics are given over are coming from a bad place, and are actually akin to witch-craft.
I know that’s a strong statement.
Read on, to learn the information and halachot that I am basing it on.
'ALPHABET BOARD' OR OUIJA BOARD?
The first hint I had that maybe facilitated communication was really not a spiritually good thing for Jews to be engaging in was a couple of years’ back, when I happened to read a one-liner by someone comparing the ‘alphabet board’ used by the autistics to a Ouija board, that’s used to communicate with evil spirits.
That was kind of shocking to me at the time, so I filed the idea away until the time when I would be really ready to explore it properly.
Then a few months’ back, my husband came home from shul with one of those glossy leaflets they print out in Israel, where they publicise people’s clinical deaths stories, to try to encourage others to make teshuva.
Some are better than others, but this one happened to be about a séance a bunch of secular Israeli soldiers had conducted on their army base during the Gulf War. And what I read made my hair stand on end, because it just sounded so familiar.
THE GULF WAR SEANCE
Here’s a free translation of the relevant bits:
Sharon: “I got to the tiny room where 50 other people were waiting. There was a table, and four of my friends were around it, and they were in the middle of the séance. They ‘brought down’ the soul of the father of one of the guys sitting by the table, ‘Aryeh’, the father of Nimrod, and starting asking him questions.
“I suddenly yelled out: ‘What are my parents doing right now, in their home in Jerusalem?’ The spirit replied: ‘Your mother is talking on the telephone, and your father and brothers are watching T.V. in the salon.’ I ran to the communal telephone in the hall, and called home. He was right! I’d got my first ‘true’ answer, personally, from the séance.”
(Before we continue, I just want to point out that these disembodied spirits that were being talked to via the séances often give a lot of right answers and correct predictions and useful information, and even encouraged more mitzvah observance at the beginning of the process, to ‘hook’ people into believing in them and relying on them.)
ONE PROBLEM AFTER ANOTHER
Let’s get back to the story, where another participant, Yonah, explains that at the time the soldiers were receiving all these ‘messages’, they were being hit with one difficulty, problem and issue after another in their personal lives – which is exactly what happened to me, the whole time I was SO into the autistics:
Yoni: “This was a very difficult period of time incidents and problems – car accidents, very bad luck, everything going wrong and failing, mamash! Anyone who so much as touched a finger to the séance, anyone who participated in it, even just for a minute, found that their personal circumstances suddenly became very difficult.
“Me and Sharon got into a car crash. This was the time when one of the ‘spirits’ had been telling us all about the Treblinka death camps, during a séance that lasted for four hours. There wasn’t a single person in the room that who didn’t return to his bed in tears.”
Sharon: “During one of the séances, we ‘brought down’ the dead father of one of the guys, and he started talking to his dad and asking him all these questions that only he would really know the answer to.
“At the end of the séance, he asked his dad: ‘Is there something I can do for you, dad?’ His father replied: ‘Yes! Go and pray shacharit in base’s synagogue tomorrow morning, and say kaddish for me.’ And honestly, that’s what he did. We tried to ‘bring down’ his dead father again after that, but we weren’t successful. In the merit of the kaddish, he’d gone up a level and he’d managed to leave the Kaf HaKela.”
[The spirits that ‘talk’ via séances and facilitated communication are the ones who are ‘stuck’ in the world of chaos, due to their many, unrectified, sins. Holy, rectified souls in Gan Eden don’t contact people via Ouija boards.]
Sharon continues: “We tried to say the name of Hashem during the séance – and the glass we were using exploded!”
Yoni: “One time we got a ‘lying spirit’, who made a lot of confusion and balagan. He gave everyone there the date when he said they would die. He told one soldier: ‘You’re going to die from a bullet fired with a hand-gun’. Another one he told: ‘You’re going to get stabbed to death.’ Another one he said: ‘You’re going to die in a car accident.’ He gave 10 guys a date, and the way they would die…”
THE EVIL SPIRITS GIVE OVER A ‘TRUE’ PROPHECY
And to ‘prove’ that its words were true, this spirit also gave them a ‘prophecy’ about the exact time the Gulf War would begin – which turned out to be correct. So the poor soldiers were hooked, and believed ‘everything’s true!’ They started holding séances almost every night for a year and a half, except for Shabbat, when they couldn’t get hold of any of these evil spirits in the Kaf HaKela.
Yoni continues: “Again during this time, we received a lot of blows, one after the other. Car accidents, illnesses, injuries…”
The account continues with how finally, the Satan himself showed up to what ended up being their last séance, and that one of the participants suddenly ‘died’ during that session, and stayed dead for a whole hour while the doors to the room ‘magically’ locked themselves shut and no-one could get in or out. The forces of darkness had taken over, and it’s only the merit of the pious grandfather of the soldier who ‘died’ that enabled him to return to this world.
Needless to say, all those soldiers tried to make teshuva afterwards, and they went to visit a big kabbalist for a blessing who first refused to see them or have them enter his home, they were so deep in spiritual tumah. The Rav upbraided them for trying to summon dead spirits – before they’d even told him their story – and told them they had to go and use a mikvah ASAP, before he’d even speak to them.
Ad can. (You can find this story for yourself in the original Hebrew on the www.b-h.org.il website.)
WHAT’S THE CONNECTION WITH FC AND THE AUTISTICS?
So what does this have to do with facilitated communication and the autistics? For the answer, we need to now go over to a book called Alternative Medicine in Halacha, by Rabbi Rephoel Szmerla, which has hundreds of pages of careful notations and halachic sources.
The chapters on Kinesiology and Dowsing bring down a number of pertinent halachas that are also relevant to facilitated communication with severely mentally disabled people. The question is posed as to whether using muscle testing to determine the physical state of a person’s body or health constitutes:
NICHUSH – the prohibition against following omens
KISHUF – the prohibition against engaging in sorcery
KESIMAH – the prohibition against trying to ‘divine’ information about the future.
Here’s some of what the author has to say about this subject:
“The Torah commands: There shall not be found among you…a diviner…a follower of omens, or a sorcerer. (Devarim 18:10).
“Nichush means acting in accordance with irrational and illusory signs….Kishuf is the performance of a miraculous act…Kesimah is the art of divining, exploring the unknown by hidden means….Additionally, some have raised the concern that verbal testing may violate the commandment: You shall be wholehearted with Hashem your God (Devarim 18:13), which the Gemara interprets as prohibiting consulting fortune tellers and astrologers.”
Let’s go down to the passages on Kishuf and Kesimah, as those two are the most pertinent to our discussion here on whether FC with autistic children is actually permissible or not. Rav Szmerla continues:
“Any act that defies the laws of nature is suspect of being achieved through sorcery, and is forbidden.”
(In case you’re wondering, muscle testing doesn’t defy the laws of nature and is permitted, but with one important caveat about asking questions about the future, that we’ll cover in a moment.)
The passages on Kesimah are even more interesting. Rav Szmerla continues:
“Rambam describes kesimah as follows (Mishna Torah, Hilchot Avoda Zara 11:6):
“What is a kosem [diviner of hidden information]? It is a person who performs some act in order to empty and disconnect his mind from all things, to the point that he predicts the future and says: ‘This thing will happen; this will not happen; it is wise to act thus; beware of that.’
“Some kosems manipulate sand or stones, others screech at the ground, swaying and screaming, yet others gaze upon a metallic mirror or glass bowl. They do so until they start to envision and relate the future.”
Sefer HaChinuch (#510) explains further:
“Rambam means to say that a kosem mentally disconnects [from the physical world] and focuses all his intent and senses on the concept he wishes to know. As a result of this strong mental isolation and disconnection of the mind from all worldly things, his spirit mingles with the spiritual entities that have knowledge of near future events.”
But here’s another crucial piece of information about Kesimah:
“All Rishonim agree that kesimah prohibits only divination of the future. Uncovering hidden information from the past or present is unquestionably permitted.”
Basically, if you want to use FC to question an autistic person about themselves, and what sort of food they’d prefer, and whether they are comfortable in their new bed, or happy in their living arrangements, while that still could be problematic for a different reason (which we’ll come onto in a moment), in terms of whether you’re performing witchcraft, sorcery and divination, you probably don’t have so much to worry about.
But as soon as you use FC to try to find out information about the future, or to get ‘prophecies’ about what might be about to occur, you are 100% transgressing the very strict prohibitions against kishuf and kesimah, and you are also transgressing the prohibition against tamim tihyeh – i.e. consulting astrologers and fortune tellers.
(As a side note, this is also true of kinesiology and dowsing, too. If you use muscle testing to try to predict the future, or ask a ‘dowsing’ pendant who you should marry, you also just tripped deep up to your neck into the realm of the forces of tumah. It can be a very narrow bridge.)
THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR THE VALIDITY OF FACILITATED COMMUNICATION
The last bit of the puzzle, in terms of who is actually ‘giving over’ all these messages about the future that come from the autistics comes via a bunch of sources on Wikipedia, which you can read for yourselves HERE.
Wikipedia usually has a very anti-holistic health bent, and is written from a perspective that doesn’t believe in the spiritual realm, so I take it with a pinch of salt. Nevertheless, what I discovered about FC is that since that bright start around 25 years’ ago, when everyone started hailing it as a communication breakthrough for seriously mentally disabled individuals, it’s now being almost universally condemned as a bogus and dangerous practice.
Here's a small part of what that entry has to say:
The concept and technique of facilitated communication is one that has been increasingly debated over the last few decades with the vast majority of evidence indicating that it is not scientifically valid. However, this information has not stopped many individuals from using this technique under various circumstances and furthermore, advocating for its effectiveness.
The overwhelming majority of evidence from studies conducted on the efficacy of this technique has revealed that the likely explanation for any "positive" results—that is, anything indicating that facilitated communication has worked—can be attributed to the facilitators themselves. Be it the facilitator attributing their own beliefs and views onto the individual, or the creating a pseudo-personality for the disabled individual based on their previous encounters with them, it is clear that the facilitator is really the one doing all the communicating.
Further examination into this technique has discovered various examples in which the disabled individual using facilitated communication could correctly respond to simple questions only when the facilitator was in the room to hear the questions. This included asking the facilitator to leave and then proceeding to show the disabled individual a picture of an animal. Next, the facilitator would return to the room and be asked to help the individual answer the question: "what animal did I just show you?"
In all of these cases, the questions were answered incorrectly. However, when asked questions while the facilitator was in the room, the correct response would be made. Shockingly, this technique has also led to a series of false s***** abuse cases in which the facilitator would indicate that the disabled individual revealed that they had been abused. Unsurprisingly, these cases were later dismissed upon the discovery that these false accusations were actually a result of the facilitator fabricating these stories.
Finally, even further defining facilitated communication as a pseudoscience, the American Psychological Association (APA) issued a statement indicating that facilitated communication studies have repeatedly demonstrated that it is not a scientifically valid technique and that it is a controversial and unproved communicative procedure with no scientifically demonstrated support for its efficacy.
Organizations that oppose facilitated communication
DOES THIS SOUND LIKE ‘KESIMAH’ TO YOU?
Here’s a bit more from Wikipedia, which brings the account of a facilitator who stopped doing FC when she realized she herself was the source of all the ‘messages’ being given over:
Former facilitator Janyce Boynton, who came to reject the technique after taking part in double-blind trials, later reported that she received training from Syracuse University that took for granted that the process worked, and that the complexity of facilitation made it hard to realise that messages were coming from her expectations and not from her patients:
"When you’re facilitating, you’re so distracted by other things. You’re carrying on conversations, you’re asking and answering questions, you’re trying to look at the person to see if they’re looking at the keyboard...Your brain is so engaged that you lose sight of what’s happening with your hand...that’s what makes it feel like it’s working because the more you practice it, the more the movements feel really fluid.”.
Doesn’t this sound so very similar to how the Rambam describes how a Kosem ‘empties their mind’ by repetitive rituals as a prelude to making their predictions about the future?
TO SUM UP:
So, let’s sum up where we’ve got to with this, and then please do go and make your own minds up whether the autistics’ ‘messages’ about the future are really coming from heaven, as claimed, or some other place.
a) The ‘messages’ are actually coming from the facilitator themselves, who is consciously aware of this. If this is done consciously, then while it’s still deceptive, it’s much less of a problem halachically when it comes to the question of whether witchcraft and divination is involved (but also doesn’t say much for the quality of the information being given over.)
b) The ‘messages’ are actually coming from the facilitator themselves, but this is happening ‘unconsciously’ – which means that the facilitator may well be taking the role of a kosem, as described by the Rambam and Sefer HaChinuch, even if this is not their intention, and ‘channeling’ messages from other spiritual entities which we can generally assume are those lost souls trapped in the World of Chaos.
c) The messages are coming from some other place or force external to either the facilitator or autistic person themselves, i.e. the same forces of tumah that show up during séance sessions with Ouija boards.
2) Halacha absolutely forbids FC to be used to try to answer questions about the future, or to give over ‘messages’ or ‘prophecies’ about the future.
May God help us all to stay far away from all these forces of tumah in the world, and to only follow in the path of simplicity, emuna, and a whole-hearted belief in God’s goodness, and our true tsaddikim.
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)
Last week, the local Chabad shlichim in my area arranged a communal seder - for free - for 120 people. That’s an awesome achievement, by any measure. Where do they get their strength from, their energy, their ahavat Yisrael to keep doing this stuff?
It can only be from the late Lubavitcher Rebbe.
As I was thinking about this, I started to ponder how much you can tell about a person by the rabbi they follow. Rebbe Nachman teaches that you can see the ‘imprint’ of a person’s rabbi on their follower’s ‘face’ in some way, with a true student resembling their rabbi more and more.
This is certainly true when a person is doing their best to follow a true Tzaddik and holy person, and sadly, if we’re following a yucky ‘controversial’ apikorus-type rabbi, that will also rub off on us, too.
And if a person doesn’t follow any rabbi? Well, that tells its own story.
YOSHKI ALSO DIDN'T BELIEVE IN HAVING A RABBI
Yoshki, the founder of xtianity notably didn’t follow rabbis. the Talmud relates how when he tried to interrupt his teacher, Rabbi Yehoshua, in the middle of his prayers, the Rabbi gestured to him to wait until he was finished, but Yoshki got offended and stalked off.
The Talmud then recounts that Yoshki ‘set up a brick and started worshiping it’. There are different explanations for what that actually means in practice, but one very strong explanation is that this meant that Yoshki started worshipping himself as the last word, and the ultimate ‘opinion’ on every subject.
This has sadly been a xtian trait ever since. Even today, so many xtians and ex-xtians have perfected the art of slagging off our true rabbis and true Tzaddikim (who xtians like to term ‘Pharisees’, but a Pharisee was just that generation’s ‘haredi’ rabbi) as being ‘backwards’ and ‘corrupt’ and people no-one should listen to.
The argument is always the same, although 2,000 years have passed since Yoshki first came out with it. “Don’t be scared to think for yourselves!!” he used to yell at his disciples, as he encouraged them to break one Torah law after another.
“Eat rice on Pesach, you don’t have to follow the rabbis or halacha! Hardly anyone actually believes in the Shulchan Aruch, it’s not binding on any Jew!” he’d inform all his eager disciples.
But then occasionally, someone would stand up and challenge him: “Er, esteemed rabbi yoshki, that’s not what Rabbi Akiva up the road in Bnei Brak is saying….”
“Him?? That’s just Jewish replacement theology,” rabbi yoshki harrumphed. “You don’t need any rabbis! They are mostly nearly all corrupt erev rav that no-one properly xtian….er, Jewish, needs to listen to. You just need to be a good person, and stop worrying so much about all those petty laws and rules that just bring everyone down and ruin their Pesach.
“Now, let’s all go over to mine to bake our own soft matzahs for Seder - and guess what! No-one needs to wait between eating chicken and drinking a glass of milk, either! That’s another outdated ‘law’ those pathetic, Pharisee-haredim came up with when they had nothing better to do! They are teaching you the Torah of exile!
“So chicken enchiladas with cream sauce it is for Seder night! I can’t wait!!”
XTIANS HATE RABBINIC JUDAISM
King Shlomo himself taught us there is nothing new under the sun, so it’s really no surprise that xtians, and so many of the Jews who grew up in xtian environments in the West still have such a distaste for ‘rabbinic Judaism’, and are still firmly committed to ‘worshipping the brick’.
They absorbed that arrogant, completely un-Jewish outlook in galut, in exile, and sadly they are continuing to bring it into every aspect of their Yiddishkeit.
Something else xtians love (apart from being able to eat chicken enchiladas with cream sauce on Seder night) is ‘Armageddon’ type prophecies where the whole world dies a yucky, violent death - except them and the people who think the same way they do.
Sadly for me, I went to a xtian school and I read through the book of Revelations more than once. Poor me, that I had to go through that.
So this ‘Armageddon obsession’ struck me with all the recent ‘Nibiru’ stuff that was going on online with WSO and a bunch of the other ‘xtian-inspired’ sites out there. The basic idea, again perfected by xtianity and its adherents over two millennia, is this:
Come up with a terrible prophecy, the more gory and dramatic the better, where billions of people are going to die awful deaths, because they aren’t ‘good enough’ and don’t believe the same things that you do.
If you can also find a way to disparage and tarnish the reputation of our real Tzaddikim and holy rabbis while doing this, preferably by dismissing them all as erev rav, or as ‘people who are scared to think’, or people who are somehow ‘practicing another religion’, then you get extra bonus points.
Next, hype-up all this ‘end of the world’ stuff unceasingly for as long as you can keep it going.
Never mind that the prophecies don’t materialize, never mind that the dates come and go and the world keeps turning. The point is just to keep everyone scared and panicked, because then you can control them and keep dragging them down your own particular path to ‘salvation’.
The Catholic Church has been beating this same drum for two millennia, to great effect.
But it’s not the Jewish way.
Orthodox Jews have never been encouraged to seek out ‘prophecies’ and predictions of the future, and in fact we have a number of very strict laws specifically forbidding us from trying to divine what the future holds for us in tumah-dik ways.
But xtians?!? And the Greeks and Romans that inspired them?!? They just lurve their oracles, and their ‘signs’, and their fortune telling stuff. Before any big undertaking, Kings and leaders would usually nip up to the local pagan Temple, sacrifice a bull or two to some dark side force and then ask for a ‘message’ from the other side.
Today, people are still doing this sort of thing notably via séances and Ouija boards, where the messages from the evil spirits involved in all this stuff are spelled out, letter by slow letter, to the unwitting audience.
Facilitated communication from the forces of evil.
Of course, it’s only the old-fashioned Pharisee-Haredim who have a problem with dabbling in all this ultra-tumah-dik stuff. All the more ‘enlightened’ people who aren’t ‘scared to think for themselves’ have absolutely no problem with it.
THE DARK SIDE FORCES ALWAYS BEGIN BY ATTACKING THE REAL RABBIS
Is Niribu / the Star of Yaakov still out there? I think it is, yes.
But it’s impossible to really know what’s going on or when anything may or may not occur, as that information is solely in the keeping of our true Tzaddikim, like Rav Berland and Rav Dov Kook.
I know, I know, the xtian-minded folk who hate Pharisee-Haredi ‘rabbis’ won’t like that idea at all.
But it’s the truth.
Our history if full of ‘false messiahs’ who started their careers by attacking the true Tzaddikim. It began with Korach, continued with Yoshki and Shabta Tzvi, and is still thriving in the midst of all those ‘alternative’ Jewish movements who like to claim you don’t need to listen to rabbis or obey Torah laws.
Just set up your brick and worship it! Don’t let anyone else tell you what to think! You’re as good as Moshe Rabbenu, all those rabbis - and the people who are following them - are just erev rav anyway, don’t you know?
It’s the olam hafuch, the backwards, upside-down world.
May God right it speedily, and may the Jewish people finally rid ourselves of all these yucky xtian-inspired ideas about our true rabbis and Tzaddikim that are definitely doing more than anything else to keep the fires of sinat chinam burning, and to hold-up the geula.
As we head into the holiday, I want to wish all my dear readers an uplifting, happy, and peaceful festival of freedom. BH, this is the year we really will get out of Mitzrayim, both collectively and personally.
In the meantime, here's a round-up of some Pesach-related reading material that you may want to check out, if you're taking a quick break from all the cooking and cleaning:
Nesanel Yoel Safran wonders why this holiday tends to take people to extremes, in Extremely Pesach.
Helen Schwimmer shares a peek of what goes on between the covers of her haggada.
Zisi Berkowitz shares a Pesach Parody based on Paul Revere
Rav Ofer Erez explains in his newsletter for Nisan 5778 that our redemption depends on connecting to the Tzaddik
Alizah Teitelbaum writes a heartfelt plea for redemption to come this year.
And all I can say is 'amen', I really hope that will happen too.