Right now, I’m still feeling pretty exhausted….
My husband told me that in the days of the Gemara, the Sages couldn’t pray for three days after they’d travelled, it was so disconcerting, and I can really get that. I’m not sure what’s worse: riding a donkey for 50 miles in the heat and desert, or flying on Easy Jet with psycho stewards who think letting the passengers use the toilet is an optional extra.
So anyway, I feel like I still have to take things easy at the moment, and get my energy back.
There’s been so much going on, hasn’t there?
For all of us.
And yet, there is still so much to talk about….
Deep earthquakes around volcanoes in Alaska, killer floods in Kerala, 92 wildfires in the middle of Winter in Australia, over 600 wildfires in BC, and of course, that ‘interesting’ bridge collapse in Italy that they have absolutely no idea about how it happened.
Whenever I hear that, it gets me thinking that the ‘experts’ can’t explain it because they are using the wrong paradigm for how the world really works.
There are so many dead fish, dead whales, popping up on shores all over the world at the moment. There are so many red tides and blue tides of ‘toxic’ algae which actually feeds on Co2 in the oceans and is one of the ways ‘nature’ keeps a lid on ocean acidification.
It doesn’t look pretty, it stinks – but it’s cleaning up excessive Co2 in the meantime. And where is that ‘excessive’ Co2 coming from, you ask? Simple.
From the hundreds of thousands of underwater volcanoes and volcanic vents on the ocean floor that science likes to completely ignore and not talk about.
Many of which must now be outgassing, or venting, more Co2, as well as erupting more lavas underwater. And if the underwater volcanoes are getting more active, you can bet the ones on land are going to follow suite.
In the meantime, I’m still trying to figure out the next stage of life, and what God wants me to look at next, and work on, now the first draft of the volcano book is pretty much done.
Here are my thoughts, and feel free to give me your feedback, dear readers.
4. I think the next book I want to write is ‘Six Days’, where it will basically combine science, gemara and midrash to show that the idea that the world is NOT billions of years old is actually scientifically plausible, once you get all the lies out the way. We so need a book in the orthodox Jewish world that isn’t scared to talk about dinosaurs, and to take on the atheists’ narrative about the creation of the world.
5. I’d also like that book to appear in Jewish bookstores, which means I need to find a way of raising $10k to cover the cost of getting it published by an ‘accepted’ publisher. (I know! Robbery in broad daylight! But what can you do, if you don’t play the game, and pay the cash, you can’t get your books carried or distributed, and I’d really like that book to get out there.)
6. So, I’m considering two ways of trying to fund this project: 1) Kickstarter, or something like it; and / or 2) opening a Patreon account. Now, be honest with me: I know you like the blog, and I’m grateful for you reading it. But will that also translate into some financial backing to get the book out, or should I start to explore other avenues for raising the cash?
(You can comment, anonymously for once, below, and let me know what you REALLY think, as I need some honest feedback here.) That’s where I’m up to at the moment.
Lots to think about, lots to consider.
So, your honest feedback would be greatly appreciated.
And in the meantime, there’s a lot going on, isn’t there?
The trip to the UK was eye-opening in a lot of ways. Every time we return, there seems to be even more pointless rules that have been introduced simply to dull the spirit and turn people into stressed, fearful zombies.
For example, now there is apparently a ‘law’ that you can’t spend a long time in the fastest lane on the motorway (even if you are the fastest car), which is punishable by a fine and points. And given that most of the M1 and M6 now has a speed limit of 50 miles an hour, and traffic cameras literally every 50 metres, the joy of driving has all but evaporated from the UK.
But the biscuit was taken by the flight home.
My husband and I were passengers on an Easy Jet Flight from Manchester that was somewhat akin to an airborne gulag. The cabin crew – headed up by a horrible man called Roger – made my skin crawl from the get-go, with a bunch of fake-polite, passive-aggressive ‘requests’ that made me feel like I was the naughty girl in school, because I’d had the temerity to take my shoes off.
That’s sadly pretty standard behavior on the UK – Israel route, at least with the budget airlines. Even with all the madness that is Uman, the flights to and from Ukraine are generally so much more laid back, cabin-crew wise. But yesterday was awful, even by ridiculous-British-rules standard.
ROGER, THE CHEAP FLIGHT DICTATOR
Yesterday, we were in row 12, two rows behind a poor frum family with three small kids that were forced off the plane at Sofia, Bulgaria, by the cheap flight dictator, Roger. What was their crime?
The mother had dared to ask for a thermometer, as her 5 month old baby was feeling a little warm, and she wanted to see what was going on.
Roger told her that only a doctor or medical professional could administer the thermometer, and paged on the intercom for a doctor, nurse or paramedic. A doctor was found, who measured the child’s temperature as being 37.5 – definitely a temperature, but well within the bounds of what any mother would consider ‘normal’, if a little concerning.
A spoonful of Calpol was given, and Roger told the parents that the doctor would have to check the temperature again in another 10 minutes. From this point on, Roger became increasingly aggressive, hysterical and controlling.
When the doctor was called back, the baby’s temperature had reduced to 37 degrees – still hot, but not overly concerning for anyone with any experience with babies. In the doctor’s opinion (who I spoke to first-hand), the baby was OK to continue on with the journey. The mother and father also believed that the baby would be OK to continue on with the flight to Tel Aviv, which at that stage was approximately another 2 hour flight away.
But Roger, who was clearly ‘one of those’, over-rode both the doctor and the parents, and started shouting, hysterically, that the baby could start having a fit on the airplane. While this is theoretically possible, in reality babies with a temperature of 37 very rarely, if ever, fit.
The same cannot be said of Roger.
It didn’t matter that the doctor told him it was probably fine. It didn’t matter that the parents offered to sign a waiver form taking all the responsibility for whatever would happen. The hysterical, emuna-less chief steward decided to force the plane to land in Sofia, Bulgaria, to get an ambulance to attend to the baby.
That poor family with their three small kids left the plane against their will, with whatever food the rest of the frum passengers could cobble together to try and tide them through a trip to a Bulgarian hospital.
In the meantime we were on the ground for 5-6 hours, trying to get a new take-off slot, and also going through more ridiculous ‘rules’ where the bags had to be re-checked to make sure the family that had been forced off the plane against their will by Roger hadn’t somehow managed to leave a bomb behind them.
While all this was going on, the plane only had one toilet working, so the queues snaked down the whole aisle, and the flight attendants still kept popping up with more ridiculous fake-nice, passive-aggressive ‘rules’ that were basically much more about them cracking the whip over the poor passengers than it was connected to looking after them.
These types of mini-dictators are increasingly popping up all over the place, as the general standard of mental health continues to nosedive in the Western world. If Roger believed in God; if Roger wasn’t clearly engaged in a lifestyle that set him completely at odds with belief in God; if Roger actually had even the smallest bit of self-awareness, he’d probably realize that he’s a hysterical, paranoid, emotionally-abusive individual who is completely not cut out for the job of reassuring passengers or helping them to ‘enjoy’ their flight.
Instead of managing the situation calmly, and with a cool head, this guy blew the child’s temperature up completely out of proportion, and went into a hysterical fit that no-one could talk him out of.
Neither the poor parents nor the doctor could talk him back down from his self-righteous ‘worse case scenario’ perch, that was completely removed from reality.
Anyone with a kid knows that they can spring a fever of 37.5 degrees at any time, and it’s usually not at all a big deal. And even when it is a big deal, it’s not an ‘ambulance’ big deal.
But Roger clearly didn’t have children of his own, and clearly had no idea about babies and the real world. In another Kafka-esque twist, the mother of another 11 month boy then complained that the wait was making her son feel poorly – which of course, it would for any small kid – and then Roger rushed up the aisle, nostrils quivering, where he stated:
“Madam, I will not let this plane move until I am 100% sure that your son is fully fit to fly!!!”
We all held our breath, waiting to see if the madman was going to cause us to lose the precious flight slot we’d just been given by another display of abusive, OTT ‘caring’. Thankfully, Roger backed down the second time and we were finally on our way.
We arrived at 2.15am, 10 hours later than planned.
WHY THE WEST IS LOST
And so I pondered on the decadence and weakness of Western society, as displayed by ‘Roger’ and his crew. So over-reliant on pointless rules, so puffed-up with their own importance and egos, so completely disconnected from reality that they could send a 5 month old baby with a 37 degree temperature to hospital in the middle of Bulgaria just to satisfy their inner sense of panic and out-of-controlness.
If people like Roger can’t even run a plane sensibly, and they can’t even deal with a 37 degree temperature in a 5 month old baby, then it stands to reason that anything approaching a real crisis is going to completely topple these people into full-on insanity.
And a lot of them have very responsible jobs, including key positions in the government and the army.
So once again, I came to the conclusion that it’s a matter of when the West topples, and not if.
The lunatics are now so firmly in charge of the asylum, it’s hard to see a way back.
And the way forward is going to be far more challenging than most of these people can manage, psychologically. (For the record, I think the bridge collapse in Genoa happened because the ground is shifting in Italy - it all goes together with increased seismic activity and rising magma).
The take homes:
 I changed his name for this post. In the formal complaint I made to Easy Jet, I spelled out exactly who we was, as he’s a real menace to the public, and more of us need to start pointing this stuff out.
It’s amazing what four days without internet activity can teach you.
It can teach you how much of your time is being sucked into a pointless blackhole of ‘predictions’ and doom and gloom stories.
It can teach you how many of the people blogging are actually flat-out crazy (naturally, I include myself in this category).
And it can also teach you how so many of the things that your yetzer has you convinced are SO important, really aren’t.
Top of that last thing is pointing out flaws in other people, and especially, other groups of Jews.
I came back from Uman, scanned through all my usual sites (I have about six I regularly check) – and realized that most of them just put me in a bad mood. Ok, Sky News is no big surprise.
But I’m also so sick of reading long screeds having a go at other people, and other Jews, on Jewish blogs, too.
That’s part of why I was very hesitant to ‘protest’, formally, the rainbow stuff, but after a lot of praying and contemplation, I could see that standing up for God’s honor demanded some public protest.
But part of my hesitation is that when you start criticizing another group of Jews, even a group that is doing such awful things, that just opens the door to sinat chinam and more criticism, and more ‘troof’, and more finger pointing and blaming.
And that’s all so pointless and damaging!
Because as I keep trying to emphasize, the only people we can really change, the only people we can really influence, is ourselves.
So, I scanned through the blogs, saw things that made me feel pretty yucky, and went to do some hitbodedut about it all. Because I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Being part of the solution means trying to pull Jews together, trying to see the good, trying to put the emphasis on God, and not on guns, or politics, or other ‘strength of my right arm’ tactics that only end up back-firing because they are rooted in a complete lack of emuna.
That’s the stuff I want to be writing about, that’s the stuff I want to be reading.
Uman always gives me a pause for thought, and a chance to re-evaluate what I’m really doing with myself, to see if it’s heading in the right direction. BH, over the next few days that process will play out again. Each time it does, it’s useful.
And in the meantime, the next few days I’m going to re-blog my posts about the differences between ‘luminaries of fire’ and ‘luminaries of light’.
Because while they look superficially similar, one lights up the world and leads to the geula, while the other just leads to destruction.
ON A SEPARATE NOTE: Since the 'we protest' blog went up, Weebly has been blocking my automatic posting function to Facebook. Just curious if this is a 'coincidence', or if any other of the bloggers who protested last week are also experiencing this issue now?
I know that received wisdom states that teenagers should be pressed into service, and should be tidying my house as well as their own rooms, but as usual chez moi it’s all backwards.
Yesterday, after weeks of watching my kids’ rooms descend into a maelstrom of mess and chaos that is really just reflective of what’s going on internally, I decided to grab the dustpan and brush, and enter the dragon’s lair.
The one room wasn’t so bad – a bit dusty, just a couple of old bowls of cereal, nothing too scary.
The second room, well, that was way more challenging.
In the space of an hour, I solved the mystery of where all the socks in the house had disappeared too, as well as all the deodorants. For the last five months, I usually have to go play ‘hunt the BO Basher’ because as soon as I buy one, it goes missing. Baruch Hashem, three of them were safely recovered and are now being reunited with their loved ones.
Then, there was the bags of mouldy clothes, which had been taken for a swim at the Lifta before the Three Weeks started, then donated to science, who used them to grow all sorts of weird strains of mould, some of which I’m sure will save a life someday.
In the meantime, the smell from opening the bag nearly knocked me out.
So, straight into the bin it went.
I discovered five toilet rolls under one bed (which also resolved that mystery, of why I can buy a new bag and three days later it’s already finished.)
I discovered stolen goods that had been the object of many an argument, with both sides claiming the other one had used it – and thus lost it – last.
I found two old, broken phones, one old, not quite-yet-broken computer, and four phone chargers, one of which may actually work.
I will spare you the details of the peach pits I found growing into the floor tiles, the old bottles of water that could probably half refill the Kinneret, and a few other things that were so gross they also just went straight into the bin bag.
As I was pottering around, I pondered the strange overlaps between teenagers and hamsters.
Hamsters also stuff all sorts of things, including food, under their beds. Hamsters also like to pile things up on the floor of the cages. Hamsters also get the most active around 2.07am, which is when you can hear them twirling around on their squeaky wheels, and whooping it up on WhatsApp.
Hamsters can also bite if you try to handle them, and frequently run away if you approach their cages.
In short, hamsters and teenagers are very, very similar.
It’s that ‘animal or angel’ dichotomy going on, and in our generation, our teens have such a big battle to pull out of ‘hamster’ mode and to give true expression to the enormous soul that every single one of them actually is.
It’s so easy, as a parent, to fall into the trap of reinforcing the inner ‘animal’, that’s telling them 24/7 that they are lazy, that it’s all pointless, that they’re bad, that they’re never going to get there, they’re never going to be able to pull out of the muck and mud that is material life in 2018.
But when I go and tidy up their rooms – at great personal risk to life and limb – I’m sending them a different message. I’m telling them: you are an angel! You are a bat melech, a very holy soul. Look, God even sent you a servant to look after you!
Sure, you have some hamster tendencies right now, it’s true. But it’s not the real you. The real you is so much better, so much holier.
And you will get there, my daughter!
And in the meantime, I need to find myself a gasmask or something, because those bags of mouldy clothes probably rank up there with asbestos.
So, the huge big stone from the Kotel falling on the ‘egalitarian plaza’ where the reform and conservative people don’t come to pray was clearly a pretty obvious sign, like 101 Emuna level.
(BTW, if you see the video that stone didn’t really ‘fall’; it shot out of the wall like a bullet being fired from a gun.)
But now, over in Greece, God is getting a bit more subtle with His signs.
Quick recap: The last time the Greek-inspired Hellenists tried to take over Jerusalem, literally, with all of their Greek-inspired Gymnasiums and Theatres open on Shabbat was during the time of the Maccabees, the time of the Chanuka miracle.
The Sages say that back then, 99% of the Jews had gone Greek and assimilated, and it was a very small remnant that still clung onto their Jewish tradition. So the fact that GREECE is currently getting hit with their worst wildfires for decades, that have killed 74 people and counting is one clue.
Here’s a little of how Sky News is reporting what’s going on in Greece:
“All the survivors talk about the speed of the flames. It's hard to imagine, but flames in wild fires flow across landscapes almost like water.
“Patches of land are ignited not just through contact with existing flames but simply through the heat. That's how the fires manage to jump across roads.
“The erratic and unusually strong winds pushed the fires in various directions which changed quickly.
“People said the flames seemed literally to be chasing them.”
I think the fire is coming up from the ground. I think all these wildfires in the UK, Sweden (now at 53 and counting, with at least four fires raging out of control) are being started because something hot is approaching nearer to the surface of the earth. I’ll come back to this again with more details in a future post, BH.
Another clue is where those fires are burning in Greece: Attica.
For those who speak Hebrew, the connection is obvious. For those who don’t, the Old City of Jerusalem is called ‘Ir Attica’ in Hebrew, or ‘Old /Ancient City’.
Seems to me God took some of the punishment coming our way and poured it out on those Greeks, whose ancestors undoubtedly helped to cause all the assimilationist mess we’re still dealing with today, thanks to Greek / Roman / Western culture.
Despite all the din coming down right now, there is still so much mercy mixed in.
But God’s patience is not infinite, and we ALL still need to do a bunch of teshuva, and to work on our emuna and being real with Hashem.
It’s so easy to point fingers at the lefties and weirdos, and to accuse them of all that is wrong on the world. But we can’t change them, and God doesn’t expect us to.
We can only change us.
And if we don’t do that, then we will be held 100% accountable for adding more fuel to the fire that’s coming to the world, instead of trying to tamp it down.
In the meantime, steer clear of the egalitarian plaza. I have the feeling this could only be the beginning of God’s hand in the world becoming more and more obvious.
Did you ever wonder why so many people are choosing bizarre ‘rainbow’ lifestyles, or tattooing every little bit of skin they possess, or sticking massive rings through their nose so they look like stuck pigs?
Did you ever ponder oabout what makes a leftist a leftist, or what makes a Jew prefer Palestinians to their own people, or what makes a Jew marry out or leave the faith?
If you sit and think about this for a while, sooner or later the idea will pop up that these people weren’t created ‘gay’, or ‘lefty’ or self-hating, but somewhere along the way, they got so disconnected from their true self, from their soul, from God, that their inner landscape tipped upside-down, and good became bad, and black became white.
And in nearly all cases, this happened because these people grew up in extremely dysfunctional circumstances.
They grew up in homes that were battlegrounds, where kids were used as human shields or pawns. OR, they grew up in homes where they were belittled, guilted and smacked around. Or, they grew up in homes where they weren’t really seen, or weren’t really heard, or weren’t really acknowledged, and now they walk around like the ghost of childhood past, desperately trying to get attention any which way they can.
And in case you think this only happens where this is ‘obvious abuse’, it really, really doesn’t. Emotional neglect – where the child isn’t related to as an independent individual, where the parent is too plugged into Facebook, or work, or their own social network, or their own problems, to really talk to their kid and listen to them on their level – can do just as much spiritual damage as ‘obvious abuse’.
Do you think it’s a coincidence that as the family unit has exploded into a billion smithereens over the last few decades, that all these people are popping up who are ‘choosing death’ over choosing life?
That rainbow man is probably the way he is because on some deep, deep level he has some really heavy baggage vis-à-vis his mum that he never acknowledged, and has never sorted out.
Often, these people will yell the loudest about how ‘amazing’ their mother is, but it’s usually just a case of protesting too much.
And when women can’t bear to think of settling down with a man, and find men physically repulsive, you can betcha that underneath all that is a very dysfunctional relationship with a parent or older male relative.
Same is true for tattoos, nose rings and boring huge holes where your earlobes are meant to be: people feel awful about themselves, they feel so low and lowly, they feel so unseen and lost, and they are scribbling that message all over their bodies in permanent ink.
Same thing for leftists and self-hating Jews and anyone else who hates and is angry all the time (and yes, that includes ‘rightists’ and frum people, too…), and who can’t see anyone else’s point of view and is always ranting on and on about their rights and other people’s wrongs.
THE MONSTERS UNDER THE BED
What connects all these people together is that they are still fighting the childhood monsters under their bed.
And some of those monsters are really, really scary.
So what’s the answer? What are we meant to be doing about all this?
A little while back, someone was telling me a story about a huge kiruv personality who’d seen every single one of the children in their own family go off the derech.
I don’t know who this person is, I don’t know the details, but I can tell you one thing for sure: our relationship with God is based on our relationship with our parents.
If the parents are loving, compassionate, joyful, kind, caring and really ‘there’ for the kid emotionally, those kids will generally find it very easy to believe in a caring, compassionate and loving Creator, and will want to spend a lot of time in His company.
And if the parents are cold, selfish, self-obsessed, emotionally-absent, punishing, capricious, condescending and angry – then those kids will have no problem believing that God is just waiting for them to put a foot wrong, so He can smite them into a million pieces.
And who wants to be waiting for the hammer to fall on them like that all the time?
So, here’s how you can do your bit for the world, and stop the rainbow people, and leftists and atheists from taking over the world: love your children with every fibre of your being, and put what’s good for them ahead of what’s good or convenient for you.
Work on your bad middot, especially anger.
And most of all, ask God every single day to let your kids grow up as happy, emotionally well-adjusted people who feel loved, and cared for and protected from ‘bad’.
We’re all messing our kids up in one way or another, despite our very best efforts.
But if we ask God to fill in the gaps, and to help them develop in a healthy way physically, emotionally and spiritually, that’s really all that’s required to ensure that our kids will be on the side that’s trying to build the world, instead of trying to destroy it.
The last 12 months or so, since last Elul, I’ve been feeling like the whole Jewish calendar somehow got mixed up, at least for me. The whole of Elul, instead of lifting me up to the heights of teshuva, something happened to show me that I was not on the lofty spiritual level I really thought I was, and spent weeks feeling absolutely heartbroken and kind of washed-up, Jewishly.
It’s hard to be a baal teshuva the first time around. It’s even harder when you’ve been a baal teshuva for 20+ years, and then God shows you how much work you still have to do.
But then it was Rosh Hashana. A new year! A new beginning! A time to turn things around. I couldn’t find a shul to daven in, so I went to the default local shul, full of ‘traditional’ Moroccans.
There was a Downs syndrome boy on the other side of the partition who got so excited by the Shofar blowing, he started making all sorts of yells and weird noises.
Of course, you’re meant to be quiet when the shofar is blown. Of course, this precious soul was bringing God so much more nachas with his whoops then all the studied ‘silence’ of the rest of us.
Immediately after shofar blowing, some idiot man started berating the boy and his father and demanded that they leave the shul immediately. On Rosh Hashana! The argument spread to the women’s section and there on the first Day of Judgment, the most awful sinat chinam was going on, all for the best, most holy reasons, of course.
I didn’t know it then, but that shul was right next to the house we were destined to fail at buying this year, which plunged us into our own maelstrom of self-righteous arguments and sinat chinam. Probably, the woman who was selling it was sat in the women’s section too, being covered in all that machloket fall-out.
The whole thing showed me how hugely important Rosh Hashana really is, it really does set the tone and create the blueprint for the year. Thank God, my husband was in Uman by Rabbenu for Rosh Hashana, because I dread to think how much worse things could be, otherwise.
Then, the first of the days of awe – my mother-in-law unexpectedly died, and me and my husband found ourselves back on a plane to the UK. I spent the majority of the days of awe eating fishballs from the only kosher deli in town (where all the nice serving people are Liverpudlian yoks) and packets of blueberries, serving tea and making ‘small talk’ at the shiva – just like you’re not meant to do – and then topped that off with unavoidable ‘hugs’ with grieving men from my husband’s extended family.
The only plus in my favor is that by compromising our ‘religious standards’, and eating food we wouldn’t usually eat, and keeping quiet about things that upset us and disturbed us greatly, we made a lot of peace with a lot of people we’d been fighting with for years.
But we got back to Israel erev Yom Kippur, and I was so exhausted I literally slept the whole way through the chag.
Succot happened in a fog – not least because we’d just been told our landlord was selling the apartment we’d been renting for 3 ½ years, so it was no stretch to feel the ‘temporary’ nature of our lives and our dwelling, and Chanuka also passed in a blur as we were trying to buy AND also trying to rent something for six months and both my kids were stressed to the max over their new ulpanas (dorming high schools).
All year, it’s felt like the festivals have been creeping up on me before I was ready, and that I have been so spiritually unprepared and on the back foot and doing everything at ‘bare basic’ level.
Two days before Purim, we moved house, so that was another holiday that passed in a blur.
Then Pesach arrived, and with it a bunch of guests for seder that we’d recently made peace with in the UK. Kids were trying to blow out my Shabbos / Pesach candles, flipping the toilet light on and off (because I forgot to tape it down….), pressing the door buzzer for two minutes, really loudly…
We had a slight stand-off by the end of the seder, as the guests wanted to skip Hallel, and I refused. I told them ‘leave if you want, but we’re going to the end’. So a compromise was reached where my husband sped-read through Hallel in the record time of 11.36 minutes so peace would continue to reign.
But I didn’t feel so happy about it. I felt maybe I was compromising too much for the sake of peace….
The next day, the first day of counting the Omer, the bombshell dropped that the bank had pulled their mortgage approval, plunging us into months of machloket, yeoush, anger – and enormous work to try to rustle up some real emuna.
All year, God has been showing me that He wants peace, not standing on principle, and all year, I’ve been trying to give Him what He wants, but it’s come really, really hard.
So, we get to the week before Tisha B’av, and the situation with the house is giving me no peace. Their disgusting lawyer tells us we ‘burnt their house’ and I know that’s a hint from God to look past the puppet show and see what’s really going on here.
But I can’t sleep, I can’t concentrate, I’m consumed by agitation and fear and rage – and we just hit the nine days when it’s all about fixing the sinat chinam that ‘burnt God’s house’ and is still continuing today.
God, what am I meant to do to fix this! The situation is so bad, it’s so unfair, it’s boiling up every bad middot I own!!!
God told me last week: Go and do six hours, and beg Me to help you make peace.
So that’s what I did. The day after I did that, my husband got a phone call from the estate agent that brokered the deal: the other side want to talk, without lawyers, they want to come to some agreement.
We met on Friday – erev Tisha B’av! – and again, God is the one that made the peace because all we did for an hour was argue. It looked to me like we were going to end up in court. Me and my husband stepped outside to discuss what was going on (and to avoid punching someone…) and when we returned 10 minutes later…. The other side had transformed.
Gone was all the blaming, distortion and power plays. On the table was a simple proposal: pay our costs to date, and we’ll finish everything peacefully next week.
We still need to agree what those costs actually are, but a sum was named that sounded reasonable, and much better than the amount our ridiculous contract stated we needed to pay.
Bezrat Hashem, the sinat chinam disappeared, and the path of peace prevailed.
Instead of Tisha B’Av, I feel like I’m already in Elul.
Let’s be clear, that it wasn’t us that did anything. God did the many miracles last week, and I also tried to bind myself to all the tzaddikim of the generation before we sat down at the table, to let them take over the actual discussion.
All I did, a lot, was yearn for peace, and ask God to save me from being overwhelmed by my enormous bad middot, especially my arrogance and my victory-seeking tendencies.
Because making peace is not easy, not at all. It means coming off my high horse, and trying to see the other side, and accepting that everything that’s happening is only and solely coming from Hashem.
I’m writing this on the tenth of Av – this year’s pushed-off fast of Tisha B’Av. And I’m writing this because the one thing Hashem really wants from the Jewish people is for us to make peace with each other.
Don’t wait until Rosh Hashanah, do it now, in the seven or so weeks we have until the Yom HaDin. Make peace with your relatives, even if you’ll have to suffer through a ‘man hug’, eat dodgy fishballs and rush through the more meaningful bits of your seder.
Make peace with the people you’re arguing with, even if it’s going to cost you some money, and the satisfaction of seeing them eat it.
But most of all, make peace with your husband (or wife…) and your children. Stop holding all those old grudges in your heart, and stop blaming them for the things that aren’t going right in your life.
Last week, on the Ari’s yarhtzeit, my teenager started telling me some really hurtful, yucky things about myself– all the things I secretly worry about, but try not to notice too much. She threw them all in my face, which to be fair I completely deserved, because I’d started berating her about not taking school seriously enough and wasting her life, which wasn’t really accurate or fair.
So, she hit back with ‘teenage troof’, maximum strength, and as my blood started to boil – the oven shorted out and a small fire sparked behind it, right next to the gas pipe. We both held our breath for a very long second. Thank God, the fire burned out, I turned off the gas, she turned off the electric mains, and I unplugged the scorched oven plug with a long, grateful sigh.
Machloket is what burns down the house.
Machloket is what burned down the Temple.
This Tisha B’av, let’s really try to fix the problem at its root: i.e. in our own homes, and our own lives.
It’s not going to shock you if I tell you I’m not a tzaddik, right? I mean, if you’ve been reading my stuff for a while, or even just for the last couple of weeks, you should already know that I’m really not a tzaddik, and that I struggle with some enormous bad middot, a lot of the time.
What stops me from turning into a full-blown psycho is hitbodedut, the practice of talking all my stuff through with Hashem for an hour every single day, and the police. ;-)
But even so, the last few days I have been struggling, and struggling, and struggling some more to stay on top of a rising internal feeling that I can’t take much more of this.
The ‘this’ in question being the awful situation I’m in with the mendacious and greedy seller of the apartment, whose lawyer is refusing to even respond to our letters, or even begin to discuss giving us back at least the part of the deposit we paid over that they have no possible legal
That it’s unfair is one thing. That she lied through her teeth to trap us into signing the contract is another thing. That our lawyer was cack and her lawyer was a Mafioso is still yet another thing.
So far, the hitbodedut has helped me to deal with all that stuff enough that I’m not going crazy.
But now, I’ve hit the worst: inaction.
Nothing is getting anywhere and I can’t see anyway of moving this forward without going into mega-psycho mode.
I’m a nice, polite British woman much of the time. But inside, there’s this hulk, and you really don’t want to get it angry.
(Just ask my husband).
God has helped me with my anger issues so much the last few years, and it’s really transformed my home and my relationships, especially with my kids.
But the bad middot are back bubbling away furiously inside now, and I told God this morning: I can’t take much more of this.
I feel like I’m trying to keep the lid clamped down tight on all the rage, and to try to turn it into emuna via my hitbodedut sessions, but I’m reaching the limit of what I can handle.
The hulk is starting to get very restless. And you really don’t want to get it angry.
So I asked God straight today, to please start properly fighting on my behalf, because if I take up arms against our seller, there is no telling how bad it could get. And I really don’t want to fight with her. Not because I’m scared, and not even because I might lose, but because it’s really not what God wants me to do.
He wants me to have emuna, and to let Him fight the battle, in whichever way that needs to happen.
And I want that too.
But I can’t hang on much more, the way it is. It has to change soon, something has to shift, something has to move.
Because otherwise, I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop my bad middot from bubbling out, and making an already bad situation even worse.
And that’s the last thing I want 3 days before Tisha B’Av.
On the volcanic 'pressure building' front, the USGS has started publically slandering Dutchsinse, the earthquake forecasting guy on Youtube, since he started telling people 3.0+ quakes are hitting the centre of the Mauna Loa volcano, on Hawaii.
Recently, the USGS has also been cutting the earthquake feeds on the West Coast of the US, making it very hard for anyone to figure out what's really going on.
My guess is: the pressure is building, underground.
There are fissures showing up in the ground next to Yellowstone, the caldera of Kilauea has collapsed but the magma is now starting to come back, and who really knows how all the pressure is going to get released that won't involve a huge volcanic explosion and / or a massive earthquake.
Although, God can always turn down the heat again, if that's what He chooses to do.
In the meantime, Dutchsinse is offline, and he was the best source of real-time info and insight about what's really going on, seismically, that's out there.
And from the last few forecasts, things are only getting MORE active, not less.
The pressure builds, indeed.
Yesterday, I phoned up my dentist to cancel my daughter’s appointment. It was last minute, because I thought she was actually going, so I confirmed the appointment earlier in the week. But then yesterday, an hour beforehand, I discovered she had to go to work instead.
I offered to pay the dentist – which they refused to take – but the receptionist then had a gentle go at me for not telling them earlier. Let’s be clear: she was 100% in the right! And I wasn’t. But
I still bristled, I still got defensive and I still argued a bit that it wasn’t really my fault…until I could finally just apologize and accept the rebuke as being deserved.
Now, I work on myself, I do hitbodedut, I’m really trying, most of the time, to work on things and improve my middot.
And rebuke still doesn’t work on me.
Now, let’s imagine we’re dealing with a really nasty, self-righteous character who believes they can do no wrong. Or, let’s pretend we’re dealing with a permanent ‘victim’ who thinks the whole world owes them because of how much they’ve suffered.
Let’s say you catch that person ripping you off in some way, or you catch them saying disgusting things behind your back, or in front of your face, or speaking evilly of some of the biggest true tzaddikim in the world.
Let’s say you try to tell them, gently, that they’re doing something wrong.
What do you think is going to happen?
Do you really think they are going to agree with you, and start praising you for helping them to make teshuva?
Or, do you think they are going to hunker down and get even more abusive, and even more abrasive, and even more disgusting?
In our generation, no-one can hear rebuke, no-one can take it, it just makes people act even more nasty, and it just strengthens their resolve to do even more yucky, anti-Torah things.
That’s why almost 2,000 years ago, Rabbi Akiva said that he didn’t think there was anyone in his generation who was capable of rebuking properly.
And in our generation, what can we say?
That’s why Rabbenu taught us to look for the good, and to take all of our issues and problems back to God, instead.
And that’s often much harder work, spiritually, because our ego likes to make us feel that we are the ones making a difference, with our rebuke, and with our public protest, and with our angry comments.
Ein od milvado.
God is just waiting for more of us to turn to Him to solve our problems, especially all the unsolvable problems that are piling up in our own lives, and to protest our own bad middot most of all.
Because remember, whatever we see in others that’s bothering us, we still have that in ourselves in some way, too.
And while we can’t change anyone else, not even our kids, not even our husbands, we can for sure change ourselves….
But only if we ask God to help us do it.
A quick update on the volcanoes out in Hawaii: the magma is starting to flow back into the collapsed caldera that was the summit of the Kilauea volcano. But now it’s all collapsed, it’s blocked with millions of tons of rock effectively sealing the usual exit closed.
Either the force will build up to an explosion, when the magma will punch through the ‘seal’ of the rock fall, or the magma will have to come up through some other vent and start creating a new volcano somewhere else on the Island.
There may be a third option, but I don’t know what that is.
In the meantime, the bigger volcano next to it, Mauna Loa, is now starting to get earthquakes striking right inside its crater, which could mean it’s also getting ready to explode soon.
The number of volcanoes popping off at the moment is growing every day, and while the last 100 or so years wERE volcanically very quiet on planet earth, this is highly unusual. Volcanic activity and earthquakes go together, so there’s a lot going on, and it’s probably:
3. Definitely all proceeding 100% according to Hashem’s plan, which is why it’s impossible to predict using ‘natural’ methods.
We’ve all got volcanoes and earthquakes and ‘building pressure’ going on at the moment, haven’t we? One way or another.
BH, I’m working on a big post about volcanoes and how they affect climate drastically, which I hope to have up tomorrow.
(The take home message: it’s not plastic straws or driving your SUV that’s causing freak weather and massive hail to fall across the planet…)
In the meantime, do you know how many ground fires are happening in the UK? Saddleworth Moor you know about already, but there’s also been wildfires in Scotland, wild fires two days ago around Heathrow Airport in a West London Suburb, and now a massive wildfire in Epping Forest, to the South East of London, that is apparently the size of 150 soccer stadiums.
I used to go to Epping Forest as a kid, so I know it well (kind of).
But that’s not all: Hamodia this week had a picture of a rubbish (garbage…) collecting truck in Newbury, England whose wheels had got stuck in melting tarmac.
The standard explanation for all these things is that it’s all because of the heatwave that the UK is experiencing. But you know what? That doesn’t really fly. Saddleworth Moor, to take one example, lit up on day 2 of the ‘heatwave’, and it’s known that the marshy land there stays wet and soggy throughout summer.
One day of ‘heatwave’ is not going to get that place to stay on fire for a month.
And also, if hot weather causes dumpster trucks to sink into the tarmac, why don’t we see that happening all the time in Israel, where temperatures are much warmer than the UK, for much longer?
One possible answer for what’s going on in the UK right now is that the heat is coming up from the ground.
The British Isles was also shaped by volcanic activity, and once you get the false timescales out of the way, there is absolutely no reason to think that molten magma couldn’t rise closer to the surface again there, just as it’s doing all over the place at the moment.
Over the last two weeks, the UK has experienced some very unusual earthquake activity in Surrey, to the South East of London, around Gatwick airport. Locals are blaming new fracking operations, but my view is that the seismicity and the fires are all related, as earthquakes happen when magma is on the move.
And magma is very hot. And the gases that go along with it are extremely flammable.
No-one is looking for that in the UK of course, or testing it, or even considering it as a hypotheses, because hey! All the volcanic activity stopped half a billion years ago, didn’t it?
A recent scientific discovery has drastically changed our view of the global carbon cycle and identified a new significant risk. Researchers have discovered a giant lake or reservoir made up of molten carbon sitting below the western US.
THE MASSIVE LAVA LAKE UNDER THE US
Remember that massive lava lake they found a few months ago under North America, something like a trillion tons? Of course, they told everyone to go back to sleep, that stuff is going to take a billion years to come anywhere close to the surface.
But that’s simply not true.
It’s up to God if it’s going to punch through again, and if all havoc is going to kick off in the world. At any point, Hashem can decide to make thousands of volcanoes go off, to have magma erupt through fissures in the ground anywhere on the planet, and to have earthquakes and tsunamis. We live here on planet earth mamash b’chasdei Hashem, through Hashem’s great mercy.
We all take our stable climate and lack of volcanoes and earthquakes, and crop production so much for granted.
But if there is one thing that seems to be happening this year, it’s that God is starting to open our eyes to just how fragile the whole appearance of controlling nature and the food cycle really is.
God has kept things unusually quiet, climate-wise, for over a century, to give all the Darwinists and heretical ‘evolution’ people the best possible shot at convincing humanity that God is absent, the world is billions of years old, and that life is totally random and meaningless, so do whatever the heck you want.
But that period of time is now coming to a close.
And it’s going to become clearer and clearer now that there is One ‘person’ really in control here: God.
And the people who keep going against God, and who keep trampling on the laws of basic morality and justice are finally going to have to face the music.
(On that note, do you know the immensely anti-Israel Norway, Denmark and Sweden are currently having a freak heatwave and drought that’s causing them acute crop shortages?)
It’s not just the countryside in the south of Israel that’s being set alight by terror kites from Gaza.
London (and much of Europe and the US) is also burning.
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