I'm reposting this from last Chanuka, but with the Carr Fire burning, and the Mendocino Complex Fire burning, and with Portugal, Ireland and the UK burning, and Sweden burning, and Israel's south burning, it's probably even more relevant now than it was when I wrote it. Luminaries of fire - and the people who give them more power and influence - mamash destroy the world.
Someone asked me what I thought the message might be, that God was trying to send the Jewish people, by causing that terrible fire in Flatbush a couple of days ago. I told them I had no idea - because you have to be on an incredibly high spiritual level to even begin to guess at the real reasons for these things, and the people who are genuinely holding ‘there’ don’t rush their views into a Youtube shiur within 24 hours of the tragedy occurring.
But that discussion then brought me back around to pondering the notion of the ‘luminaries of fire and the luminaries of light’.
In Lesson II:67, Rebbe Nachman explains how the luminaries of fire get empowered in the world when the luminaries of light get diminished.
Who are the luminaries of light? They are the true Tzaddikim, and particularly the Tzaddik Yesod ha’olam (Tzaddik, the foundation of the world), the one true Tzaddik that is to be found in every single generation. Rebbe Nachman explains very clearly that when these Tzaddikim, and especially this true tzaddik: ‘becomes renowned and famous in the world, the eyes of the entire world are then opened…whoever becomes his follower…his eyes are opened and he becomes able to see.”
And what, exactly, does this person begin to see?
Rebbe Nachman explain that: “his eyes are opened and he sees and beholds himself, how he is holding in all of the traits…One also becomes able to see and behold God’s greatness in the world.”
In other words, when a person becomes the follower of a true tzaddik, or a luminary of light, he first starts to see himself honestly, and to understand just how many bad middot and negative character traits and behaviors he still needs to work on; and then, he also starts to recognize the hand of Hashem in the world, i.e. he starts to really internalize ein od Milvado - there is only God!
But when people don’t follow the true Tzaddikim, and instead chase after ‘luminaries of fire’ instead, then what happens?
“…when the luminaries of light are subdued, the luminaries of fire are empowered. And fires are caused in the world on account of the names of these ignominiously renowned people becoming great and enhanced, for this causes God’s name to disappear, the luminaries of light to become subdued and the luminaries of fire to become empowered….This is symbolized by the burning of the Temple.”
The lesson continues:
“…what was, is gone. For our Temple has already been burnt. However, now that God waits to return to us and rebuild our Temple, it behooves us not to hinder the Temple’s rebuilding, but rather to endeavor to build it….
“…by mourning over the Temple, one subdues the luminaries of fire, so that the luminaries of light…are empowered. Thus MiT’ABeL (mourning) is the acronym of ‘Lo T’varu Aysh B’chol Moshvoteykhem’ - (you shall not kindle any fire throughout your dwelling places), for by mourning, one subdues the luminaries of fire.”
There’s always so much to try to unpack in Rabbenu’s lessons, so again take all this with the caveat that I understand less than 1%, and that 1% is what I’m sharing here.
There’s a few key things that seem to be jumping out here, as follows:
1) The more we try to make ourselves followers of the true Tzaddikim, the more this will empower the good leaders, the ‘luminaries of light’ in the world, and weaken the ‘luminaries of fire’.
2) ‘Luminaries of fire’ are not just people like Oprah and all those other celebs, big-wigs and Hollywood A-listers getting burned out of their Bel Air mansions by the Thomas fire (which btw, is still burning and set to become the biggest wildfire in California’s recorded history).
‘Luminaries of fire’ are also all those suave rabbis and rockstar rabbanits who are full of themselves, and their own learning, and their own opinions and who frequently make some very harsh judgment calls against their fellow Jews.
It’s those people who magnify their own importance in the world, and who by so doing, minimize Hashem’s greatness. Luminaries of fire never talk about their own flaws, they never describe their own battles, they always have to come off as the clever know-it-alls who have an answer for everything.
If you want a no-fail short-cut to spotting a ‘luminary of fire’, anyone outside of Breslov circles who mocks and disdains Rebbe Nachman and his teachings is almost certainly a luminary of fire. And within Breslov itself, anyone who mocks and disdains Rav Berland is almost certainly a luminary of fire.
3) I’m inclined to think that some huge cosmic event was scheduled for the end of Chanuka, potentially involving a lot more fire and destruction than we’ve already seen - volcanoes simultaneously erupting, North Korean missiles being fired at mainland America, some huge, fiery ball of molten gases and metals coming a bit too close to planet earth - who knows what, exactly.
But as the ‘luminaries of light’ are getting more and more empowered, and more and more people are ‘opening their eyes’ to see what’s really going on in the world, on a number of levels, these decrees are being sweetened more and more.
4) This poor, holy family in NYC were another korban, and their deaths by fire - by the light of the Chanuka candles - has most certainly sweetened the ‘decrees of fire’ hanging over the Jewish people and the world.
5) The more we do our bit to empower the ‘luminaries of light’ and take down the ‘luminaries of fire’, the less these terrible tragedies will have to keep occurring.
6) We can do that, tachlis, by:
That’s a lot of hard work, I know.
But Lesson 67 seems to make clear that THIS stuff is what’s causing all the fires in the world.
Of course, no ‘luminary of fire’ is going to make those sorts of connections for us, because they don’t read (or understand…) Likutey Moharan and they don’t hold by Rebbe Nachman.
So if you really want to know where the truth lies, and what the message really is behind all these terrible fires coming to the world, you have to pray on it, and to ask God to really show you.
There is no other way.
It’s amazing what four days without internet activity can teach you.
It can teach you how much of your time is being sucked into a pointless blackhole of ‘predictions’ and doom and gloom stories.
It can teach you how many of the people blogging are actually flat-out crazy (naturally, I include myself in this category).
And it can also teach you how so many of the things that your yetzer has you convinced are SO important, really aren’t.
Top of that last thing is pointing out flaws in other people, and especially, other groups of Jews.
I came back from Uman, scanned through all my usual sites (I have about six I regularly check) – and realized that most of them just put me in a bad mood. Ok, Sky News is no big surprise.
But I’m also so sick of reading long screeds having a go at other people, and other Jews, on Jewish blogs, too.
That’s part of why I was very hesitant to ‘protest’, formally, the rainbow stuff, but after a lot of praying and contemplation, I could see that standing up for God’s honor demanded some public protest.
But part of my hesitation is that when you start criticizing another group of Jews, even a group that is doing such awful things, that just opens the door to sinat chinam and more criticism, and more ‘troof’, and more finger pointing and blaming.
And that’s all so pointless and damaging!
Because as I keep trying to emphasize, the only people we can really change, the only people we can really influence, is ourselves.
So, I scanned through the blogs, saw things that made me feel pretty yucky, and went to do some hitbodedut about it all. Because I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Being part of the solution means trying to pull Jews together, trying to see the good, trying to put the emphasis on God, and not on guns, or politics, or other ‘strength of my right arm’ tactics that only end up back-firing because they are rooted in a complete lack of emuna.
That’s the stuff I want to be writing about, that’s the stuff I want to be reading.
Uman always gives me a pause for thought, and a chance to re-evaluate what I’m really doing with myself, to see if it’s heading in the right direction. BH, over the next few days that process will play out again. Each time it does, it’s useful.
And in the meantime, the next few days I’m going to re-blog my posts about the differences between ‘luminaries of fire’ and ‘luminaries of light’.
Because while they look superficially similar, one lights up the world and leads to the geula, while the other just leads to destruction.
ON A SEPARATE NOTE: Since the 'we protest' blog went up, Weebly has been blocking my automatic posting function to Facebook. Just curious if this is a 'coincidence', or if any other of the bloggers who protested last week are also experiencing this issue now?
Today, I walked back from davening a little with Rav Berland’s minyan in Musrara to Baka, past the Liberty Bell Park, where the lamp-posts on all the main drags are festooned with rainbow flags.
My stomach lurched.
When Trump came, everything was stars and stripes. When the President of Guatemala came, everything was the Guatemalan flag. When four French Jews were killed in the Hyper Cache attack, everything was ‘Je suis Charlie’ and Tricolors.
Everything is a rainbow.
And my heart sank.
Who is the ‘guest of honour’, the Head of State who is being honored like this? It can only be the Samech Mem himself.
So I walked back pondering what’s the best way to show God I really do care about this enormous desecration of His name, and the truckload of tumah this is piling up on every street corner and inside every house. Because make no mistake, it’s already breached the walls.
My youngest has been having a running argument with her best friend about all this surrogacy stuff, because her friend thinks that gay men should be allowed to rent-a-womb to try to get round the simple fact that biology (and clearly, God) is not on their side.
My daughter’s friend comes from a very frum background, where both parents are in kiruv, so I was astounded. Maybe she’s just trying to hold ‘edgy’ views to upset her parents, I have no idea, but what I do know is that the tumah has already breached the walls.
In the UK, another friend was telling me how her 7 year old grand-daughter – who goes to a modern orthodox Jewish school – started asking her: “Grandma, what do you call that thing that’s not a man, or a woman?” My friend was stumped, so the kid explained. “You know, it’s between being a man and a woman…You can’t call them ‘he’ or ‘she’, so what do you call them?”
How on earth is a seven year old in an orthodox Jewish school even talking about this stuff?!
The tumah has already breached the walls.
MOST ORTHODOX JEWS DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE REAL PROBLEM IS
A huge part of the problem is that most orthodox Jews simply have no idea about the spiritual dimension to spermatozoa; they don’t know that it contains billions of souls, and that the koach of those billions of souls are entrapped in the dark side – and literally used to fuel all the evil in the world – when men engage in intimate acts without the appropriate kedusha.
This also applies to single men, this also applies to licentious and adulterous men, this also applies to when men are with their wives while using contraception that hasn’t been rabbinically-sanctioned. Long story short, any time a man is doing something like this outside the bonds of marriage, where there is no possibility for creating a life, even just in theory, then all that ‘soul power’ is getting delivered straight up to the dark side.
That is why it’s such a problem, spiritually.
But a person can be ‘orthodox’ all their long lives, and never even have the first idea about this underlying spiritual reason why spilling seed is so very, very bad. So then they think ‘hey, no big deal! Let people live how they want! Let people be who they really are! Let them adopt, let them make babies in test-tubes, no big deal!’
But spiritually? It’s a massive deal. It’s mamash fuelling all the forces of evil in the world at the spiritual level.
And then, there’s the poor kids themselves that are raised in unnatural homes. Modern medicine has split bodies off from souls, so it has mostly no idea of just how many illnesses, physical and mental, results from unfinished business from parents and grandparents.
It’s hard enough raising healthy, emotionally-balanced children when you actually love the other half of their gene pool, and actually know who they are. But can you imagine finding out that your ‘dad’ was an anonymous sperm bank donor? Or some poor women who was ‘rented out’ for nine months to create you?
Do you know what torture to a person’s psyche this stuff actually causes?
A while back, I was talking to an older woman who confided that her parents had conceived her out of wedlock – they’d had a shotgun wedding a few months before she was born. This woman was well over 50 – and she was crying when she told me still feels so dirty, from how she was conceived.
I was so shocked that five decades on, this was still causing her so much pain.
But that completely pales next to the mental suffering and spiritual anguish all these poor kids being raised in unnatural families are going to have. And I think that’s what’s upsetting me the most, that these parents are so incredibly selfish to be deliberately bringing children into the world with so many emotional handicaps.
It’s all about doing what’s good for them, the parents, and nothing at all about doing what’s right for the kid.
This stuff is far deeper, far more fundamentally disturbing to a person than our modern society is anywhere near being able to accept or understand, stuck as they are in the ‘body-centric’ view of the world that discounts and dismisses the soul. But those kids are being condemned to a lifetime of massive emotional and spiritual angst and unhappiness.
So, the question returns: How do I show God that I really do care about the terrible things going on all around me?
What does God want from me, right now?
Here’s what I’ve come up with so far: Every time I see a rainbow flag, I’m asking God to help all these people to develop some yirah shemayim and make teshuva. I’ve also decided I have to stop listening to that one George Michael song I still love so much, and any other music by ‘rainbow’ people. Ditto for reading any books, opinion pieces or other output.
Because it’s impossible for these people to be coming from a good place, or to be having a positive impact on me, for as long as they are directly fuelling the forces of evil in the world.
Wherever possible, I’m going to vote with my feet and with my wallet, to avoid any of the companies and organisations who have come out publically in favor of all this stuff, including those companies that ‘proudly’ let their employees have a day off last week.
And then, there’s the whole ‘pride’ thing.
Pride = pride, or arrogance, and that’s something else I’m going to try my best to work on and take down in myself. That I shouldn’t think I’m better than others, that I shouldn’t unnecessarily hurt others, that I shouldn’t act like an angry, selfish, materialism-obsessed superficial pig, and I shouldn’t big myself up and big others down, because honor really only belongs to God.
And the last thing on the list is tznius. To try to pick it up a little again. I’m not sure how yet, but that’s the plan and we’ll see what God inspires me to do.
What more can I do? What more can I say?
I desperately want God’s honour to be restored in the world, and for people to stop acting like body-obsessed, selfish animals. That’s what I want, God.
But only God can really give it to me.
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.
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.
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."
If you look carefully, you’ll see that whatever all the self-righteous people on the internet (and elsewhere…) are criticizing other people about so vociferously is what they themselves have the biggest problem with.
(And yes, this certainly also applies to me.)
This is because the whole world is a mirror, and God is using all of the annoying, ucky people out there to give us a message about what we ourselves need to work on, acknowledge, identify and fix.
How do you know which trait is particularly your problem? It’s the one that gets the biggest reaction, or rise out of you. When someone accuses me of being stingy, for example, or of believing in martians, I barely lift an eyebrow.
Because that’s so not my problem.
But when someone accuses me of talking lashon hara and of being judgmental, I still get upset.
Because they are usually right, and God wants me to go and deal with that.
Let’s take an example of how this phenomenon can play out in the world. Let’s say, someone spends an awful lot of time knocking other Jews for not being ‘real’, or accusing them of being evil ‘erev rav’ types, or accusing them of hanging out with groups that aren’t ‘Jewish’ enough for that person, or aren’t ‘orthodox’ enough for that person, or perhaps, who are too ‘orthodox’ (or what they would term ‘extremist and fanatical’).
If you go and do some digging, you will probably discover:
Or, let’s take another example a little closer to home. Let’s say you’re dealing with a married couple who only sees the ‘bad’ in the other person, and believes themselves to be an innocent victim in the whole mess their marriage has gotten into.
This is a very common problem – but the mirror principle applies even more in a marriage!
I’ve lost count of the number of conversations I’ve sadly had to hear where MRS is telling me how awful MR’s family are, when her own family is just as bad and ucky, in their own way. Or, where MR is moaning on about how selfish and heartless MRS is, when he’s been acting callously and recklessly for years’ already.
How different so much of the picture would be, if we would all stop blaming everyone else for our problems, and recognize that God is simply showing us ourselves, reflected back in all the ucky people who bother us.
Me personally, I get so riled up when people slag off whole section of the Jewish people publicly, and speak evilly of our holy rabbis.
Because in the past I also used to do this a lot, and clearly, I still have some of that issue myself. Now, God is now getting me to knuckle down and to work on it properly by showing me just how horrible and divisive it is.
The more work I do on this, the less all the ‘frum’ psychos on the internet are starting to spoil my morning. (Although let’s be clear, it’s probably going to be a ‘live’ issue for a good few years still.)
Again, the more ‘abusive’ tendencies we have ourselves, the more we will go on about other people’s ‘abuses’. The more ‘erev rav’ traits we have ourselves, the more we will call other people ‘erev rav’. The shakier our own faith actually is, the more we will call into question other people’s commitment to yiddishkeit and God. The more we are worshipping ourselves and our own ego, the more we will accuse others of 'idol worship'.
That’s why the truly nice people out there don’t say horrible things about others, and don’t write ‘controversial’ or knocking blog posts. (Yes, believe me I know I’m not in this category).
The more unhinged you yourself are, the more you hate yourself, the more you'll be out there criticizing others and pointing out everyone else's flaws.
This is the mirror rule.
This is how God is running the world.
And it applies to us all.
When my dad was here a few weeks ago, we got into a bit of an argument sparked off by an ‘internet personality’ rabbi who happens to be a baal teshuva, and who has made a name for himself by having a go at anything and anyone in the Jewish world that he doesn’t agree with.
This ‘rabbi’ has crossed so many lines, halachically, in his personal attacks on others, and in his attacks on many different branches of Judaism, and particularly chassidut, that are clearly coming from a place of complete ignorance.
Rather than have a bit of humility and admit he doesn’t know everything about yiddishkeit, he prefers to spout off long screeds full of sinat chinam and lashon hara, and to try to sow strife and to turn Jew against Jew – and then whenever he’s challenged on what’s he’s said, he claims to have been misunderstood, misrepresented, or taken out of context.
But that’s a lie.
What he’s saying is very clear.
It’s a typical gaslighting technique to tell other people they didn’t really hear what they heard, or that they didn’t understand something in the right way, when they obviously did, and sadly, this ‘rabbi’ is an expert gaslighter.
So now, my dear dad decided to email this ‘rabbi’ directly with the following question, and here’s how he responded (I’m blanking out the name, to avoid unnecessary machloket while still addressing the fundamental point and problem):
THE EMAIL MY DAD SENT:
Shalom aleichem Rabbi [NAME].
Hope you are fully recovered from your journey.
Could you please clarify the following. I told my daughter and son in law that according to you from your lectures that the Breslav worship "AvodaZara" and is a cult religion.
They dispute that it is not true. They want to know on what basis and proof do you draw your conclusions. Can you please name Gedolim who support your opinion.
Toda rabba vekol tuv
THE EMAIL THE ‘RABBI’ SENT BACK:
Their main speaker today (the most popular) rabbi shalom harsh says in his searches that you can't connect to HaShem without connecting first to rabbi Nachman, 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 rabbi Nachman can save you.
Similar to J.c in Christianity
If this is not a Voda Zara what is??
My dad sent this email to me, to see what I thought, and so this is what I think. First, this is what I sent back to my dad:
MY EMAIL TO MY DAD:
Thanks for this Dad.
You asked Rabbi [NAME] for Gedolim who support his opinion, and he just gave you more of his opinion. Who are the Gedolim who agree with him? Surely if it's that clear cut, there must be some big names that agree with him that he can quote in support. Can you please go back and ask him for other Gedolim who are saying this?
Also, see this explanation by Rav Ofer Erez of the whole idea of hitkashrut to the tzaddikim, which is explicitly explained by the Arizal as a good thing, (amongst other very big rabbis).
Rabbi [NAME] is sadly not a very knowledgeable person, which is why he attacks a lot of what he doesn't understand about the deeper aspects of yiddishkeit. Xtians got the idea of binding to the tzaddik from Judaism, and we need to reclaim it. The same thing happened with the idea of moshiach - the xtians 'took' that idea and then Jews shunned it for centuries. But really, it's the basis of OUR religion and the geula, and we need to understand the concepts properly, in their original Jewish context.
MY DAD IS GOING TO BE WAITING FOR THOSE TORAH SOURCES AND NAMES OF GEDOLIM A REALLY LONG TIME...
Let’s be clear, Rabbi [NAME] is not going to come back with any names of Gedolim who support his opinion, because Gedolim actually know the deeper aspects of the Torah, and understand what’s going on here, and why.
If you watch Rav Ofer’s clip (it’s only 2 mins or so, and it has English subtitles) he explains that the Arizal brings down in his book Shaarei HaKavanot that we should formally bind ourselves to the tzaddikim three times a day.
All the big kabbalists are binding themselves to the true tzaddikim, including Rebbe Nachman, three times a day.
Does this make them ‘xtians’, or idol-worshipers?
Rav Ofer also explains that the Rahash – who is considered to be the ‘Shulchan Aruch’ in terms of kabbalistic practices and kavanot, and is universally accepted as the last word in these matters, states that the halacha is to bind ourselves three times a day to the Tzaddikim.
He also explains that the Ben Ish Hai (not a Breslover, last I checked….) stated that all the words of the Arizal should be considered as though they were said by the Divine presence itself.
So Rabbi [NAME] is basically arguing against the Arizal, the Rahash, the Ben Ish Hai and all the Jewish people’s leading kabbalists.
For sure, he doesn’t even know that, because as I told my dad, Rabbi [NAME] has made a big reputation for himself online by attacking other Jews. Sometimes, we applaud his attacks and think ‘good, someone had to say that!!’ when it comes to the more clear-cut subjects. And then we think that he must be coming from a good place…
As Rabbi Nachman explains in his tale of The Cripple, ‘the talkers’ at the end of days are the ones who go around taking each other out with all their vituperative attacks on other Jews, and this is what paves the way for Moshiach to come.
Rabbi Nachman makes clear that the only people who talk negatively like this, with a shameless disregard for halacha and Torah law, are actually powered by demonic forces who are working night and day to prevent the Moshiach from coming.
When someone has a taste for lashon hara, and for sinat chinam, and for seeing their fellow Jew with an evil eye, and for trying to stoke conflict between Jews, they are always on the look-out for fresh ‘controversies’ that are easy to ignite. And Breslev is an easy target, especially for ignorant and arrogant people who think they know everything, when clearly, they really don’t.
For sure, Rabbi [NAME] has zero interest in really learning the deeper Jewish sources behind the practice of binding to the true Tzaddikim. For sure, he’s going to either try to evade the issue by ignoring my dad’s email completely, or coming back with more of his ‘opinion’ as opposed to any solid Jewish sources or Gedolim who actually support his position.
And this is how these fake, ‘rockstar’ rabbis manage to fool so many Jews that they are the real deal, while all the time they are leading them further away from Hashem and causing huge problems for the Jewish people.
Again, to make this point crystal clear: when a rabbi is ‘fake’, they don’t refer to Gedolim who agree with their controversial positions (because the Gedolim don’t…) and they don’t have a real grasp of halacha, which is why they fall back on their own over-sized personalities and superficial arguments that sound correct to the uneducated masses, but really aren’t.
(Can you imagine what sort of trouble this 'rabbi' could be sparking off between me and my dad right now with his comments, if I hadn't spent years researching how these people operate?)
Let the world of lies fall soon!
And in the meantime, give fakers like Rabbi [NAME] a wide berth. God makes it very clear that He can’t dwell with an arrogant person, and if God isn’t the one who’s powering all of these ‘conversations’ and blog posts and ‘Torah’ lessons, you know who else has stepped into the vacuum to provide the script.
UPDATE: Here's a small selection of the literally hundreds of quotes and stories out there from leading rabbis and rebbes of the last 200 years, Ashkenazi and Sephardi, Chassidic and Litvak, who had only the highest praise for Rebbe Nachman and Breslov chassidut.
Were all these enormous tzaddikim wrong, or somehow didn't understand that Breslov was meant to be some idol-worshiping cult? Was Rav Ovadia Yosef z'tl, the undisputed halachic authority of our generation, somehow misled, when he appeared with Rav Berland in public on two seperate occasions, that Rav Berland was really worshipping idols?
I mean, seriously? We're expected to take the opinion of the slander-spreading, strife-mongering Rabbi [NAME] (who I checked out very thoroughly now, and guess what? He doesn't even have smicha! He's a self-appointed 'rabbi' who spent a few years reading some gemara in Monsey and now he thinks he knows everything) - over the words of some of the biggest sages that ever lived?!
How can anyone with even half a brain cell begin to suggest such a thing? Oy, what a lowly generation we live in. Here are the quotes:
Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz, author of "Chazon Ish" called Rebbe Nachman: "The light of lights of truth..." Rav Ben Tzion Apter said that here and there the Chazon Ish would speak to him about the strength and greatness of Rebbe Nachman and each time would say "tell over a teaching of the Rebbe."
Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Alter, the Admor from Ger, after finishing up the Seder on Pesach eve would learn from Likutey Moharan. Rabbi Aharon of Belz: "The level of this book (Likutey Moharan) is indeed very great...Breslover Chassidim are sincere Jews."
Rabbi Yitchak Gelbach was a student of the great Rav Elchonon Wasserman (a student of the Chofetz Chaim) and said that Rav Elchonon used to push his students to draw close to Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.
Rabbi Elya Lopian on Rebbe Nachman's books: "These are real books of ethics."
Rabbi Eliyahu Klatzkin of Lublin: "Any praise you praise Rebbe Nachman with is just the tip (of his full praise) because Rebbe Nachman’s level of wisdom is very high and limitless."
Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler, author of "Michtav M'Eliyahu", quotes from Rebbe Nachman in his books. In a letter to his children, he encouraged them to learn Breslov works in order to merit fear of Heaven.
Rabbi Eliezer Shulevitz, Rosh Yeshiva of Lomza: "Whoever is searching out the truth, eventually reaches Breslov".
Rabbi David Widenfeld, the Gaon of Tschebin: "Rebbe Nachman was the most brilliant of the Rebbe's".
The Admor, author of "Tzemach Tzedek": "By my father (Rabbi Chaim of Kosov, author of "Torat Chaim") the book Likutey Moharan never left the table."
Rabbi Chaim Shmulevitz, Rosh Yeshiva of Mir: "Through (learning) Likutey Moharan, the mind is opened." He also said "We work on trying to solve problems (in scripture) and they (Breslover Chassidim) work constantly on 'fear Hashem and love Him all your days.'"
Rabbi Elazar Shapiro of Munkatch, author of "Minchat Elazar": "When the whole world begins to be concerned with and learn 'Sipurey Ma'asiot' (Rebbe Nachman's Stories) - Mashiach will come." He requested that "Hishtapchut HaNefesh (Outpouring of the soul)" be constantly printed.
Rabbi Chaim Meir Hager of Viznitz, author of "Imrei Chaim", said that the book, Likutey Moharan, never left his table. Additionally, he said "this book (Sipurey Ma'asiot) belongs to the Kabbalah."
Rabbi Yehuda Leib, the Sfat Emet, on his death bed requested that 'Sippurey Ma'asiot' be read to him. He then said that the last story hints at the Geulah.
Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum of Satmar: "Rebbe Nachman saw in a vision all the problems this generation would encounter with faith...these days, one cannot be strenghted if not by these books because in them you find real faith." He also said: "You cannot be sincerely Jewish without learning the books of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov." & "The author of Likutey Moharan was completely pure and therefore existed by him the concept of 'and Yosef's brothers were jealous of him'." & "We can see that Rebbe Nachman has more holy presence (resting on him) than other Tzaddikim." Once on Shabbat, he said: " Who can strenghten us?! Rebbe Nachman can strengthen us in such a situation!"
Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak, the Chozeh of Lublin: "Rebbe Nachman is the great light...a holy man...miracle worker of the generation." About Likutey Moharan: "Likutey Moharan speaks for itself...the words are true and straight. They don't need approval from anyone else."
Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky, the Steipler Gaon: "This book (Likutey Moharan) stirs me to fear of Heaven. And, I see that if there is a day that I don't learn this book, I feel lacking in Heavenly fear."
Rabbi Yitzchak Meir of Ger, author of "Chidushei HaRim", took 'Sippurey Ma'asiot' and studied it until he got to the story of 'The Seven Beggars', when he said "until this point, I understood something. From here on - I don't know anything anymore."
Rabbi Yisrael Abuchatzera: "The praised Tzaddikim will take out the Shechina from exile." The 'Baba Sali' also said that his son, Rabbi Meir Abuchatzera, appeared to him in a dream and said to his father: "all the Tzaddikim, here in Heaven, go to hear lessons from Rebbe Nachman."
Rabbi Meir Abuchatzera regularly had books of Rebbe Nachman on his desk. One time he gave his daughter 'Likutey Etzot' (Advice) and said: "Whenever you need advice with anything, look in this book."
Rabbi Tzvi Aryeh Malik, student of the great Maggid: "I investigated him and I did not find any (reason for) disagreement...according to my findings, we all have to be embarassed before him . To say "and he is wiser than all men" is not even the whole praise to say about him."
Rabbi Shalom Moskowitz of Shatz: "Every word which Rebbe Nachman uttered is the deepest of the deep...full of wisdom, ethics, wonderful and awesome advice for a person to fulfill his purpose in the world."
Rabbi Shlomo Mazvil told over that his saintly father came to him in a dream and said to him: "In the upper world, when a Breslover Chassid arrives - there is a huge uproar. They are very viewed with great importance..." He requested that his granddaughter be matched up with a Breslover Chassid.
See more here: http://www.breslev-midot.com/eng/hillulat_moharahn_2005.asp
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:
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