We’re all so tired at the moment, aren’t we?
Even if we don’t have something particularly stressful going on in our own lives (and if you are that person, please do get in touch so I know you really exist) – we’re all feeling that ‘things can’t continue’.
Why are we all feeling that?
We don’t really know, because if you look at life objectively, it’s still pretty good for most of us. There’s no holocaust happening, currently no war (kites notwithstanding), no pogroms, nearly all of us have a roof over our heads and food on the table.
Most of us have hot showers and hot coffee whenever we want them.
We have families, we have clothes on our backs, many of us even live in the holy land itself, which for two millennia was an unreachable dream for all but a tiny handful of the Jewish people.
So life is good! Really!
But at the same time, so many of us are sitting here feeling dazed and stressed out of our skulls for not always obvious reasons. We’re feeling like things can’t go on like this.
I’ve been having a mega-dose of that recently, but something quite bizarre occurred on Rosh Chodesh Tammuz: the cloud started to lift, and the last few days I’ve been feeling much happier, even though things are still maximally stressful on the house front.
Each day brings a new clause our cack lawyer overlooked, or didn’t read, that’s causing us fresh problems and difficulties; I still have no idea where I’m meant to be moving to next month; I still stand to lose a heck of a lot of cash which means I can’t buy an apartment in Jerusalem.
But so what.
Life is still good!
Rebbe Nachman wrote that the yetzer hara is always trying to convince us that the old days were always better, and that present times are awful, and that the future can only be even worse. Rebbe Nachman says really?
God is running the world better and better all the time.
It’s a trick of the yetzer to get us all despairing when life is actually better than it’s ever been. Even the richest people in the world didn’t have airconditioners and fridges 100 years’ ago. Even the most powerful person in the world still had to spend weeks travelling by carriage to get from A-B, and had to wait months for their seamstresses to create a new suit or piece of clothing for them.
Do you know how amazing it is that I can walk out my house and buy a 5 pack of underwear for 20 shekels? I mean, how long would it take you to sew a pair of knickers by yourself? (And how comfy would they even be?) Or that I can walk two minutes and find a whole cornucopia of food in my supermarket – most of which even has a decent hechsher?
Life is good, life is amazing!
Yes, there is still evil in the world, and bad things happening. Until Moshiach really and truly shows up, that’s the way it is. But underneath all that, life is good!!
I realized something profound about my house issues recently, namely that even if God took this problem away easily (which I’m still hoping He will, let’s be clear) – I will still need to have other challenges and tests in my life, as that’s the whole point of being down here.
So, Baruch Hashem, I’m just being tested with money and house stuff that doesn’t actually mean that much. So what, I don’t get to live where I want, I don’t get to buy my own place, I don’t get to decide how my kitchen looks, or whether I live in a house with a bath.
In the big scheme of things, who really cares?
God is in charge, and He is running the world better than ever. He knows what I need to experience in order to get fixed.
Millions upon millions of people used to starve to death every single year, even in recent history. Each year, they are figuring out more and more ways to grow food economically, in places that you couldn’t do that before (just take a look at the greenhouses in the Yarden valley, or in the Negev.)
Is the world perfect? No!
Are there still a lot problems? Yes!
Is that going to change before Moshiach comes? No!
So in the meantime, let’s try to enjoy our lives as much as we can, and stop expecting the world to be a Disney Movie.
I have learnt so much from my current house troubles, about what it really means to try to have some emuna. Emuna means that I really do my best to accept God’s will, and to try to be happy with my lot, and I try to figure out what response God wants me to have to my troubles and difficulties.
Emuna doesn’t mean that I expect God will answer all my prayers exactly how I want, and fix things to go exactly how I want them to.
This distinction is crucial, and it’s the key to a happy life and good mental health.
Sure, it’s upsetting when outposts get dismantled. But is it more upsetting than someone developing a terminal illness? Or someone going through a horrible divorce? Or someone’s child passing away, lo aleinu?
Personally, I don’t think so.
In some way right now, we all have our massive challenges to deal with, and the key to getting through it is to know that it’s just a test, that tests are inevitable, and part of the process of being refined, and that there is still so much good in our lives to be grateful for.
This is the antidote to yeoush. This is how we can get off our couches and do the washing up. And this is how we can really prepare ourselves for geula and for Moshiach.
By seeing the good, and trusting Hashem that it’s all going to come right.
Because every time we develop a little more emuna in our own lives, and about our own challenging circumstances, the world gets fixed and rectified a little more fundamentally, in all the ways that really count.
In the middle of another six hour prayer-a-thon on the house mess, I picked up a copy of Rebbe Nachman’s Tales, and opened it up to the tale of the Exchanged Children. In that tale, a slave’s son is ‘switched out’ with the King’s true son, and that causes the King’s true son no end of problems.
I opened it up to the part where the slave’s son (who is now the king) hears the rumors about this other guy who’s really meant to be the king, so he starts persecuting him, and hopes to kill him. The true prince (who thinks he’s a slave) runs away into exile to save his life – and then falls into a deep depression.
To quote Rabbenu, he starts drinking and frequenting brothels, because he’s so upset about what’s gone on with his life and has no idea what on earth he’s done to deserve what’s happening.
A footnote in the story says that we get yeoush, or despair, when we feel bad things are happening to us that we don’t deserve.
For as long as we feel we don’t deserve it, we’re stuck.
We can’t make teshuva (‘what did I do?!?!?’), we can’t see a way out of the problem because we can’t even identify how we fell in to it, and we start to feel that God is not fair, and is not just, and that we’re being persecuted for nothing, God forbid.
This is what sets up the massive tests of emuna in our lives. When we do things that are clearly wrong, when we clearly understand that we’re sitting in prison because we robbed a bank or mugged a granny; that our wife left us because we were emotionally-abusive and angry; that we got fired from our job because we kept showing up five hours late….
Then it can be easier to ‘get it’, on some level, and to understand what’s going on and why, and that’s actually very empowering. Because now, you can go ahead and try to fix the problem.
But the bigger tests of emuna happen when you really have no idea how you got into the bad situation you got into, other than God must have decreed it upon you.
And that’s where I’ve been really struggling the last few weeks.
Some days, I start to feel literally so despairing. Literally, like there is no justice in the world that something so upside-down and back-to-front can be happening. God, what did I do to deserve this?!
And then it can literally take me a day of telling myself ‘ein od milvado’, this is just a tikkun, a test, to start functioning again.
But in the meantime, my mitzvahs are really suffering. I haven’t been able to cook properly, or shop properly, I don’t have the headspace to say the tikkun haklali every day like I was doing, sometimes, I zone out watching Dutchsinse’s earthquake predictions on Youtube for an hour, instead of writing, or doing more holy stuff.
It’s not exactly drinking and visiting brothels, but it’s kind of akin, if you know what I mean.
And I still can’t see the way out of the forest.
In the Exchanged Children, the exiled prince finally gets rescued from his misery by a prophetic dream that begins a chain of events that leads to him regaining his royal status, but in a completely different kingdom.
I’m so sick of where I’m stuck at the moment.
I can’t believe I’m still waiting for things to start turning around.
I can’t believe I’m in the mess I’m in now.
When are the blessings going to show up, and I’m finally going to get to the finishing line on this 15 year long test?
Or maybe, they aren’t and that’s the reality I need to make my peace with.
PS: In quieter moment, I know we are still very blessed. I know it’s a blessing that my teenage girls get on, that they have lovely middot, that our home is nice to be in (wherever God chooses to locate it…) and that there is food on the table and we are all healthy.
Thank God, it’s a blessing that God keeps reminding me of that all the time, a million times a day.
But the pinging between states, between hope and despair, between fighting and giving way, between hating and accepting, between doubting and believing – THAT is the biggest test of all.
And I really, really hope God will take us out of this uncertainty soon, because it’s so hard to keep dealing with it, long-term.
I can’t plan anything ahead. I can’t think past the next five minutes. I can’t ‘settle’ to anything, because everything is up in the air.
And that is what I’m the most upset about right now, because I can’t seem to make this test go away, no matter what I do. Every time I ‘accept the worst’ God tells me to fight, and every time I start to fight, God tells me to back down.
And so, the awful stuckness continues.
So, after readers Alizah and Stella drew my attention to THIS post over on Rav Berland, talking about apartments falling from the sky, I decided I should go over to Musrara yesterday afternoon, to look at the sky and see if anything else would happen while I was doing that.
It’s a strange thing with the Breslov stuff, that whenever you open up a book by Rebbe Nachman, or by Rav Ofer Erez, or by Rav Natan, it always seems to give you a message about what’s really going on in your life.
True, a blog post isn’t exactly the same, but it’s close enough.
So while I was already going to Musrara, I thought ‘let me go and see if there’s anything else to rent there’ – because the old bag who has got my house money still isn’t giving it back in the meantime.
So I found the *one and only* apartment currently listed there for rent, and miraculously, it wasn’t one of the millions I’ve already seen over the last few years, and I looked at the sky a lot before I went to take a look at it.
On the one hand, it had three bedrooms, and they all had a window (kind of…), and two reasonably new bathroom / toilets which is already a plus. On the downside, the kitchen pre-dated the Second Temple, there were red ants everywhere, and while I could fit my furniture into the salon, walking around it would definitely be a challenge.
On the one hand, he was very kindly dropping the price to only double my last mortgage, and it had a place out front to sit, and it was very close to the Rav, and they had no plans to sell it anytime soon, so we could live in it for years. On the other hand….
I sat on a bench looking at the sky for a while in Musrara, and I started to feel really, really down.
I came home, and the down kind of spiraled even further down. I went to bed, I woke up – and I realized I was feeling really angry at God. The sticking point was not the grotty, ucky, disgusting kitchen, the red ants, or the weird shape of every single room. I could have lived with that.
The sticking point was the furniture.
I have a table and sofa that are approaching 20 years old, and are massive. I’ve been trying to tell my kids and husband for five years that we need to get rid of them, but as my daughter keeps telling me, they’ve moved so much that this furniture is their anchor point.
The table and sofas makes them feel at home. And the table and sofas are just way too big for any apartment we can afford to rent in Musrara.
And strange to say, this is what opened up the conversation with God this morning, because I started to get really angry at the stupid situation I currently find myself in where every option is really bad.
I decided I have to lay things out on the table, so to speak, as there is no point pretending, so I told God bluntly:
“I am not on the spiritual level to happily live in yet another hugely expensive rented dump just to be in Musrara. I can’t do it anymore.”
We moved to Musrara four years’ ago as part of our misguided ‘fake pious’ stage, where we really thought Meah Shearim was the pinnacle of Jewish perfection. We stayed because it’s where the Rav is, and being close to the Rav is really important.
But socially for anglos, Musrara is a wasteland.
And it’s so expensive and dumpy.
And I got burned on that property I tried to buy because so much of that area is problematic, legally.
And I just can’t do it anymore.
If I’ve learned one thing over the years, it’s that God wants us to be real. Maybe, this whole experience has been going on as part of the tikkun for the last time we tried to move to Musrara, because back then, we were trying so hard to be people we really aren’t, religiously.
On Shabbat, Hamodia ran an interview with Rav Dan Tiomkin, who wrote an amazing book for BTs called ‘Reclaming the Lost Self’. I read that book at the height of my religious identify crisis three years’ ago, and it was extremely helpful.
. In the interview, Rav Tiomkin set out his ‘5 stages’ of the baal teshuva experience, as follows:
This process is similar for immigrants to a new country, too, so if you’re a BT who moved to Israel (like I am…) and then gets all Breslov on top of that (which is like moving to a different planet) – then it’s a triple dose of what’s being described.
Man, no wonder things have been so difficult the last few years!
BH, with my ‘can’t do expensive dumps’ anymore epiphany, I think me and my husband are now, finally, moving into that fifth and last stage of harmony, where we really just start to serve God the way He intended.
Maybe, now we finally got the message about not trying to fit in where we don’t, or trying to be people who we aren’t, God can now clear the way for us to find the place where we really belong, at least enough, in all our freakshow-frum weirdness.
So, I didn’t get an apartment when I looked at the sky (yet….).
But maybe, I got something even better.
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 troubles strike, there’s a tendency – that we all have – to believe we don’t really deserve our fate, our circumstances, our troubles. That’s human nature, but it’s really not very helpful, because as long as we’re sitting there feeling like we don’t really deserve what’s going on, we are stuck in victim mode.
And victim mode is awful, for so many reasons, including the following:
But the point is this: feeling like a helpless victim keeps you stuck in a really bad place, makes you act in some very negative ways, and tends to ruin your life.
So then, what’s the answer? How do we get out of victim mode, while still accepting that objectively we’re going through some rough stuff, some tough times?
I learnt the answer to this from Rav Berland. A while back, I read a shiur of his where he was explaining that you can deal with anything, you can cope with anything, if you accept that on some level you definitely deserve it.
Again, the Rav has been through so much suffering, he’s talking from first-hand experience. As long as we think some mistake has been made, that it’s not fair, that what we’re experiencing is an enormous injustice, it’s so hard to stand up in the test.
As soon as we put our hands up and say “I’m guilty. I deserve this 100%. God is completely righteous, and it’s my own sins that are causing me these problems” strangely, things start to lighten up and you start to see a real light at the end of the tunnel.
I’ve been trying to work on this the last few weeks, as my whole apartment debacle has been unfolding. For as long as I felt it was undeserved, unjust, unfair, I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, and I was consumed by bad middot including anger, hatred and vengeance.
But at the beginning of last week, God had some mercy on me and reminded me about the Rav’s teaching, so I started trying to apply it.
“God, I’m not 100% sure why I deserve this, but I’m prepared to say that I’m certainly guilty of something that has led to this situation developing. I’d really like to get through this stage as fast as possible, so please show me what I need to make teshuva on, so things can start to improve and move forward.”
As soon as I said “I’m guilty” I started to feel better.
Then, the next part of the work unfolded: what bad middot, what bad behavior of mine has contributed to this mess? Because for sure, God isn’t just sending it stam to make my life miserable. There has to be something I’m doing that’s causing the problem, and once I figure out what it is, things will start to improve.
Again, this is the opposite from staying in angry, helpless victim mode and blaming everyone else for the problem. As soon as I started to take some spiritual responsibility for what is going on, I started feeling way more optimistic that this is all going to turn out for the good somehow.
Because God never punishes. He just educates.
So, I got back a few things, like the ‘yiyeh beseder’ tendency to let important details slide; and a certain greediness that convinced me that we’d be able to register the apartment properly, and easily legalise it’s illegal second storey, which would double its value over night; and a kind of false emuna that I could take impractical risks, and God would just always make it work out, because hey, I believe in miracles!
None of these things are hanging offences, it’s true, but as I noted in the last post, the huge financial disaster that developed was built on lots of people’s very minor character flaws.
The same thing happened when 10 teens died in the desert a few weeks’ ago. The same thing happens when families get ripped apart at the seams and plunged into the agony that is divorce. The same things happen when buildings go up in smoke because of bad cladding, or when poorly-engineered bridges collapse, or when drivers fall asleep at the wheel and then cause a huge accident.
Small flaws often add up to big consequences. God wants us to understand that, to acknowledge that, and to stop making excuses and justifying our bad behavior.
So to put this another way, I’m feeling so much happier, Baruch Hashem, merely as a function of putting my hand up, and saying “guilty as charged”. Sure, I could blame the lawyer, the estate agent, the bank, my husband.
But to do that would completely miss the point. God sent me these circumstances because He wants to me acknowledge my own part in how this mess got made. And as soon as I do that, the chaos will start to recede, the optimism will start to return, the din will start to lesson – and the good times will start to roll again very, very soon.
Probably like everyone else out there, I’ve been having a heck of a rough ride this Sefirat HaOmer.
In a nutshell, the apartment we tried to buy in Jerusalem – and that we paid a huge deposit on, and that we got an ‘ok’ from the bank on for a huge mortgage – has turned into a complete nightmare.
It’s a very complicated property, and basically nearly all the lawyers, mortgage people, bank reps and estate agents that ‘sold’ it to us had no idea what was really going on with it. So the bank told us we had the mortgage – and we signed a binding contract on that basis – only to be told the day after Pesach that the bank’s biggest lawyer had now rescinded our mortgage offer, due to the ‘complications’ with the apartment that no-one else had picked up.
The news hit me like a thunderclap, and I was literally ill in bed for a week afterwards. (I happened to also twist my ankle very badly 10 minutes before we got that phone call, so body, mind and soul got taken out at exactly the same time.)
We are now liable for 10% of the full purchase price for breaking the contract (through no fault of our own) and everyone from the bank reps to the lawyers are all busy pointing their fingers at everyone else.
Everyone is to blame – in some small way – for what’s happened, and yet no one is to blame enough that there is a clear cut way for us to recover the money.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know how much heartache I’ve had over house related stuff the last few years. You’ll know that we only got this deposit in the first place because my mother-in-law passed away the day after Rosh Hashana. And you’ll know how much effort I put into fixing things up with her before she so unexpectedly died.
Peace, peace you shall pursue.
HOW MANY LAWYERS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A BAD CONTRACT?
So, the last few weeks we’ve been trying to figure out what on earth has gone on, and whether there is anything we can do try to rescue the situation. We’ve hired more lawyers, applied for loads more mortgages, visited every bank we can think of, spoken to mortgage brokers and anyone else who might be able to help, and even spent whole afternoons in Petach Tikva, at the head office of the Amidar organization that deals with ‘complicated’ properties in Israel.
Each time we thought we’d seen a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, it flickered out again. It’s been an enormous, massive test.
In the middle of this huge test of emuna, my dad and my friend decided to give me the exact same piece of advice, on exactly the same day, completely independently of each other (so I could be sure it was coming from God):
See the good.
Look at the situation, the people involved, positively, with a good eye.
It’s good advice, but it’s been so much work to actually implement that over the last few weeks.
I can’t tell you the number of times we discovered how someone’s small flaw, small mistake, small oversight, small negative tendency contributed to what has become a massive problem for us.
No-one did anything maliciously, or on purpose, but the tendency to say ‘yiyeh beseder’ (it will be OK) and to not actually knuckle down and to the work required has caused us a financial disaster.
And me and my husband also have a small share of the blame in this regard. We used the same lawyer we’ve used on all of our house purchases, and we trusted him to do the job without double-checking the contract properly. It was written in Hebrew, and hard to get our heads around, so we didn’t bother. And that small oversight, that minor tendency to not take enough responsibility for our own lives, is now costing us an absolute fortune.
And we have to make teshuva for that, and accept that pointing the finger at everyone else is not really going to get us anywhere useful. Sure, if it had been done maliciously, if we’d been deliberately de-frauded by our sellers (as I thought up until yesterday, when I got some more pieces of the puzzle), I’d be willing to fight it the whole way.
You can’t let ‘bad’ off the hook, you can’t run away from it, you can’t back down from taking it on.
But I now know we aren’t dealing with that. We’re just dealing with a bunch of people, who are actually quite nice and well-meaning, each of whom was a little bit lazy, a little bit laissez faire, a little bit over-reliant on God making sure everything would turn out OK, like He always does – but now the rules have changed.
And there is no-one to blame, and no-one to sue, and nothing to do, it seems, except to swallow the enormous amount of money we are about to lose, and try to accept God’s judgment with love.
THE LAST BIT OF LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
God forbid, I should get bitter about this, or paranoid, or consumed with anger and hatred. I’ve seen that happen, where 50 years on people are still going on about the huge injustice that was done to them, and they live their whole lives miserable and hating as a result.
The last bit of light that we might be able to turn things around on the house got extinguished yesterday night.
This morning, I was feeling pretty down so I went to the Rav, to just sit quietly at the back and do some hitbodedut. It was pretty quiet there, compared to how it usually is, but someone had brought a guitar and the crowd was singing the davening, which was really nice.
I sat there kind of heartbroken and very sad, pondering what I do next and where I go next. Our lease is up in August, and I can’t stand the thought that I’m going to have to keep moving, and moving, and moving, every year to some new rented place. I’m so tired of packing. I’m so tired of moving. I so hoped that now, finally, I was at the end of the huge upheavals I’ve had to deal with for so many years, already.
So I sat there, feeling pretty sorry for myself, and I got the message in hitbodedut: pursue the path of peace, even if it’s going to cost you a lot. Don’t try to sue, don’t try to brazen things out, just pursue the path of peace. In the end, God can still send you all the money in the world, and pursuing peace now will open up so many good things for you.
So that’s what we’re going to try to do. The alternative is to try to get all legally aggressive and nasty, which sounds tempting when you feel aggrieved and hard done by. But God is behind this, only God, and going after people for their small, accidental mistakes and failings is probably not what God wants us to do.
We all mistakes some times. We all turn blind eyes to things that we shouldn’t, and rely on other people to fix the problem and do our work for us.
I can’t open the ledgers and accuse other people of those things when I know I’m doing it myself still.
So, that’s where we’ve got to. Resolution. Not the resolution I hoped for, or prayed for, or waited for, but resolution nonetheless, and even that is something. Because all the up and down and backwards and forwards that’s gone on since the day after Pesach has been beyond exhausting and debilitating.
Some days, I haven’t been able to do even basic things like wash up and make food. That has to stop! Even without my own home, even with a massive financial loss, life is still good. My family is still healthy, BH, we’re still together, we’re still in Jerusalem. There is so much to be grateful for.
So, I’m looking forward to the end of this Counting the Omer period. It’s always an interesting time, but this year’s event have truly taken the biscuit. What’s left of me is now ready to receive the Torah. And I know the path you have to pursue in order to really get it:
Peace. Only peace.
With ourselves, with our fellow Jews, and most importantly of all, with God, and His plan for our lives.
If you haven't had a look already, I just reviewed Rav Ofer Erez's newest book in English, From the Depths, over on the Jewish Book Review blog HERE.
That book helped me to come through the most difficult time in my life, a few years' back, and it's highly, highly recommended. It's not a long read, it's not complicated, it's written very simply, but it contains a bunch of deep information, so kindly given over, that will explain why sometimes our suffering is just something we have to go through for our spiritual tikkun, and not necessarily because there is something to 'fix' in this lifetime.
The 'fix' in those situations is to know that God still loves us, and that our suffering is being caused by unfinished business from a past life, and to maintain our emuna in His goodness and justness.
Often, so much easier said than done, especially when the carpet gets whipped out from under our feet.
So, check out my review HERE, the pop over to HERE to go buy the book.
This is an updated version of the post I first put up last June, when 'Nibiru-itis' was at its apex. There is still something up there, the Kochav Yaacov that's destined to appear at the End of Days. If we really are close to Moshiach being revealed, then celestial phenomena should be part and parcel of what we're witnessing around us.
And that's exactly what's going on, albeit hidden in plain view.
HOW COMETS REALLY WORK
After a period of pronounced scepticism about all things 'Nibiru' related, a few months back God arranged for me to find an awesome book (that was published more than 20 years’ ago…) called: ‘Mysteries of Creation’, by Rabbi Dovid Brown, which contains a whole bunch of Torah sources and material about the world’s cosmology.
All of a sudden, things started coming together a little more about where the concept of ‘Nibiru’ might actually fit in to the whole picture leading up to Moshiach and the End of Days. The bits from this book that are particularly relevant to our discussion today can be summed up as follows:
The world was only created because people would keep Torah and God’s laws. Whenever people don’t keep Torah and God’s laws, that literally destabilizes the planet.
God destroyed the previous 974 generations before our present world by flipping the earth’s crust over from the water table, completely destroying all life on the planet in an instant, and returning the world to TOHU AND BOHU.
This explains why they’ve found fossils of deep-sea creatures on the highest mountains, and also covers how the dinosaurs disappeared in an instant (plus many other ‘mysteries’ that cannot be explained by evolution or modern science).
God will ‘change’ planet earth seven times before Moshiach comes (according to the Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer 18) - and we have one big ‘change’ left to come before the End of Days.
Eretz Yisrael is the only ‘fixed’ land mass on the whole planet, as it’s built on the ‘even shetiyah’, or foundation stone of the whole world. That’s why Chazal call Israel ‘the strong place of the world’.
THE BODY ELECTRIC
The next piece of the puzzle is that people are ‘electrical’ beings. Over on spiritual self-help, I've written a bunch of posts explaining how our hormones, emotions, and so much of our physical functioning and impulses are controlled / initiated / stopped by minute electrical charges, often tripped-off by so-called 'space weather'. Every cell in the human body functions as a tiny battery, or electric circuit and is polarised.
For example, some research was done a few years’ back exploring why suicide rates appeared to jump notably after big solar storms (where the sun would send out solar flares), and also in areas that were very close to power lines.
For now, just tuck this piece of information in at the back of your minds, but when the atmosphere is ‘electrically charged’ in an abnormal way, the human body reacts by our emotions, hormones, and other internal electric signalling systems going haywire. This in turn can lead to extreme emotions and moods, and also physical illnesses.
ENTER SCIENTIST JAMES McCANNEY, AND A WHOLE NEW THEORY ABOUT COMETS AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Next I discovered a maverick astrophysicist called James McCanney, who basically got kicked out of his teaching position in Cornell University for discovering a whole bunch of things about the universe that NASA, and many other of the ‘powers that be’ found very disturbing.
And that’s where this post starts to get really, really interesting. I went over to McCanney’s website, bought some of his books on how the weather really works and how the solar system really functions and what comets really are, and that’s what I want to share with you in the rest of this post, God willing, as the overlap with our Jewish sources is absolutely stunning.
There is a ton of information to convey, so I will try to break it up and to make it as easy and simple to digest as possible, because this stuff is really, really important to understanding what is actually happening around us.
SOME FACTS ABOUT THE UNIVERSE NASA WON’T TELL YOU
Before we continue, you should be aware that ‘the theory of evolution’ has become such a dogma in scientific circles and the halls of academia, that despite there being not a single scrap of evidence to support it, and despite the fact that there is more and more information building up that completely disproves it, scientists in every field are bending over backwards to ‘ignore’ any data that doesn’t’ fit with their ‘evolved’ view of the world.
Darwinism gave atheists a way to negate God, and His creation of the world, in an ‘intellectually satisfying’ way, to quote Richard Dawkins. The trouble is, the facts and the data they are uncovering in all spheres of life - from human health, to geology, to astronomy - don’t ‘fit’ the Darwinist dogma that the world was formed 4.2 billion years ago, by completely random chance, and that our solar system has remained a static entity since that time.
Scientist Douglas Axe recently did a whole bunch of experiments on folded proteins - the most simple building block of ‘life’ - that completely disproved the notion that the world could have come about by random chance. The amount of time it would have taken to achieve just one ‘useful’ mutation - let alone a whole bunch of mutations that turned a protozoa into a human being - requires much more time than even the Darwinists’ 4.2 billion years…
Axe was promptly sacked from his research post, and forced to continue as an independent scientist. (He wrote a great book called Undeniable, which explains his experiments - and what they mean for the theory of evolution - very clearly and simply.)
The reason I’m telling you this is to help you to understand WHY so much of the so called ‘science’ today is plain wrong, convoluted, or even deliberately misleading the public. The data proves that God created the world, and that the world is actually a very, very young place (more on this in the next post).
The implications of that are so terrifying to all the atheists running the world, they are telling bigger and bigger lies to try to keep their atheist world-view together.
So now, how is this ‘denial of the obvious’ affecting NASA? One of the key answers to this lies in the whole subject of comets, and how NASA explains how comets are formed, and what they do in the world.
(Since I wrote this post, it's also struck me that our Sages teach that everything revolves around planet earth, while 'science' teaches everything revolves around the sun. I think this is a big part of the reason why no-one can actually correctly predict what's going on with 'Planet X' flybys and dates - they are using the wrong model.)
THE NASA VIEW OF COMETS
Simply put, NASA’s view of comets is that they are ginormous ‘dirty snowballs’ of frozen ice that basically disintegrate when they get too close to the sun (or any other massive heat source). According to NASA, comets can do very little harm to planet earth because:
1) They will melt before they get anywhere near us.
2) The only harm they could do is if they impacted earth directly, which would be such a rare occurrence, we don’t have to worry about it happening for at least another billion years…
Trouble is, the data NASA got from sending a probe up to photograph the interior of the Hale-Bopp comet a few years’ back in the late 1990s completely disproved the ‘dirty snowball’ theory. At the centre of the comet, NASA discovered a huge lump of charred rock, not impacted ice.
That meant that a comet wouldn’t gently dissolve away the nearer it got to the sun. But it also changed the whole picture about what comets really are, and what they potentially can really do to planet earth in such a fundamental way, NASA immediately tried to bury the data and then spin its implications into something more acceptable to orthodox science.
THE ‘JAMES McCANNEY’ THEORY OF WHAT COMETS REALLY ARE, AND WHAT THEY CAN REALLY DO
While all this was going on 20-30 years ago, astro-physicist James McCanney was working at Cornell University, and had access to a lot of the raw data that was streaming in to NASA at that point. McCanney had previously developed what he calls the Plasma Discharge Comet Model, which explained the following:
Our solar system acts like one huge, electrical circuit.
The Sun is a kind of enormous ‘battery’ (what McCanney terms the ‘solar capacitator’), with its negative pole at the surface of the sun, and it’s positive pole pushed far out beyond the last of the planets in our solar system. The ‘positive pole’ takes the form of a sparse ‘nebular cloud of dust and gasses’.
Protons are positively-charged sub-atomic particles. The sun generates what’s called a solar wind that’s made of an excess current of protons, and this solar wind leaves the sun, and blows outward into space. These protons are what keeps the solar ‘battery’ and circuit operating.
Every star, planet and other ‘object’ in the galaxy similarly acts as a cosmic ‘battery’, and also generates these fields around themselves.
When an object shows up in the solar system and enters the field of the ‘solar capacitor’ (and by ‘object’, I’m referring to everything from the smallest chunk of meteor to the largest planet-sized nuclei out there) - they ignite a large discharge of plasma that appears to us humans as a comet, with its flaming tail.
The nucleus of a comet is NEGATIVELY charged, which means it sucks matter, gasses and energy in towards itself, like a ginormous cosmic vacuum cleaner. The comet’s tail material is made up from the surrounding atmosphere, and comets tend to GET BIGGER and build up as they go along, and to not ‘melt away’.
Small comets ‘discharge’ the sun’s energy in a small, localised way. Large comets can ‘discharge’ the sun’s whole solar ‘battery’ power in a very short period of time.
When that happens, it can be very dangerous, because discharging the solar battery triggers violent solar storms which can directly affect the earth via our weather etc (and also, directly affect human beings’ emotions and physical health, by disrupting our own inner ‘electrical circuit’.)
We will discover more about how the earth can be severely impacted by comets from a distance, without them actually impacting the surface of the planet, in a minute.
The last things to say for now about comets is that they move in an extremely erratic and unpredictable way, because the ‘drag’ of the comet’s tail is changing all the time, depending on how much stuff the comet’s picked up, how much it’s discharged, what that ‘stuff’ in its tail actually is etc.
While this post is talking about what’s termed ‘Nibiru’, or ‘Planet X’, the truth is that there are many thousands, maybe even millions of comets out there, that could show up at any time, as God wills it to happen.
The key point to remember from this section is that the solar system is dynamically electric - and NOT electrically ‘neutral’, as NASA claims - and that comets interact with the sun, and the earth, and every other planet / moon / body out there in an ELECTRIC fashion.
HOW COMETS AFFECT THE EARTH FROM A DISTANCE
When a comet first enters our solar system, it’s orbit is massively erratic and unpredictable, as its ‘tail’ continues to gain mass and to slow it down. Eventually, one of two things will happen to the comet:
a) It’ll settle into some sort of ‘regular orbit’ around the sun
b) It’ll become ‘captured’ by a larger planet as a new moon (although it can subsequently still break free from its ‘mother planet’ in the future).
Until either of these things occur, the comet can wreak havoc on the solar system and the existing planets here.
The least likely scenario is that a comet will bash straight into the earth, which depending on its size could easily kill everything and everyone on the planet. Statistically speaking, the laws of nature decree that to be a very unlikely event (although of course, Hashem runs the world so really there aren’t any ‘laws of nature’ here.)
What we can say as believing Jews is that there is nothing in our Torah sources to suggest that Hashem is going to turn the lights off on planet earth and the whole human race for good (at least, at this point in history), so we can effectively scratch that option off the cards.
What could very well happen, though - and what HAS happened on many, many occasions beforehand - is that Hashem will use a passing comet to cause sizeable destruction and mayhem to planet earth, and to reconfigure the earth’s seasons, calendar, topography, atmosphere and many other things besides.
Remember, God ‘destroyed’ 974 worlds before ours, by overturning the earth’s mantle from the T’HOM, or water table.
Later on, from Adam and Eve on, Hashem drastically altered the seasons, atmosphere, topography, etc etc on six separate occasions, all of which are listed in Rav Dovid Brown’s excellent book, based on the midrashim and Torah sources.
The last ‘tweak’ of the earth’s climate / seasons / atmosphere / calendar etc is meant to occur concurrent with geula, and the time of Moshiach and the end of days. I.e., right around now.
NATURAL DISASTERS AND CLIMATE CHANGE PHENOMENA ASSOCIATED WITH COMETS
So, how does a near-miss with an large, planet-sized comet achieve all this stuff, according to the laws of nature as described by physicist James McCanney?
1) The sun produces far more ‘electric energy’ than light energy.
2) The earth has a huge, vertical electrical field that is sustained by the sun’s electrical power distribution system. The current of this field is stored in the earth’s ionosphere, and the air in our atmosphere is what’s called ‘dielectric material’.
3) Usually, the earth’s magnetic field protects us and buffers us from the sun’s energy. When the electrical conditions in our solar system start to change rapidly, as the result of an additional ‘body’ starting to engage the sun and increase the amount of ‘charge’ going into and out of the the ‘solar battery’, the electrical fields and currents that we’re subject to down here on planet earth start to go haywire as the sun discharges more, and greater, solar flares.
4) When something like a large comet approaches our solar system, as soon as it reaches the outer edge of the planets, the solar system’s ‘electricity’ starts to ratchet up to much higher levels.
5) More electrification = more energy in the earth’s atmosphere and the earth’s oceans = more evaporation of water = more ‘haze’ in the atmosphere. In turn, this triggers off a bunch of ‘climate change’ phenomena like:
6) Now, a word about magnetic fields: they require an electric current to generate, and the electrical current needs a ‘battery’ to power it. The ‘battery’ for the earth’s magnetic field is the nuclear fusion that’s occurring at the top of the solar atmosphere.
7) Our earth’s magnetic field is made up of many layers, some of which are ‘stable’, but most of which are variable, and highly affected by what’s occurring in the atmosphere around them.
8) The variable part of the magnetic field can be temporarily reversed, or ‘flipped’, for short periods of time as a result of massive solar storms and / or comets passing very close by to the earth.
9) Every planet / moon / comet / object in the solar system generates some sort of ‘magnetic field’ as a result of its electrical interaction with the sun, including our own moon. That’s why new moons have the biggest impact on the earth’s weather.
10) Planet earth’s magnetic field diverts the ‘solar wind’ - that current of electrically charged photons that’s constantly streaming our way from the sun - from the planet.
11) The closer a comet of size comes to the sun, the more electrical discharge starts to happen, which causes more energy in the solar atmosphere, leading to more and stronger solar flares, which in turn can affect or alter the earth’s magnetic field structure - leading to crazy weather, climate change phenomena, and even crazier people.
So far so good?
Great! Because now it’s going to get even more mind-blowing.
WHEN A LARGE COMET COMES CLOSE TO THE EARTH, IT CAN LITERALLY CHANGE EVERYTHING, INCLUDING SHIFTING THE POLES
Thus far, we’ve been describing the ‘minor’ results that can occur when a large comet enters the solar system, even if doesn’t pass so close to the earth. But when a large comet passes close to the earth, then things can start to get really quite scary.
(Take a long breath, and remember God is running the world and in charge of everything.)
There are two main problems a large, close-passing comet can cause (aside from all the freak weather, earthquakes and volcanoes described above, which is really small potatoes compared to what’s coming next):
1) It can cause the earth’s poles to permanently shift to a different location, instantly plunging those new polar regions into the deep freeze.
2) It can set off a massive ‘gravitational wave’ that would literally ripple through the earth’s mantle, or crust, causing mountain ranges to instantly spring up from the ground (or the sea…) in some areas, while plunging other land masses permanently into the ocean.
Let me quote something from James McCanney’s books:
“The only process that could cause a shift or rotation of the spin axis of the earth’s mantle is a gravitational wave set off by a large passing comet.”
A WORD ABOUT POLE ‘FLIPS’
When people talk about the ‘poles flipping’, they have a mistaken idea that the magnetic ‘charge’ associated with each pole will swap places. As mentioned, the earth’s magnetic field is layered, and the variable part of it that’s caused by electrical currents and fields HAS flipped temporarily on a number of occasions already, including in recent times, due to massive solar storms.
But the ‘permanent’ part of the magnetic field that’s associated with the magnetic iron and nickel deposits located in the earth’s crust are actually scattered all over the planet, literally, and can’t ‘flip over’ as a whole.
The earth is not a solid piece of magnetised rock: the core of the earth is molten (as attested to by our own sources as referenced by Rabbi Dovid Brown, when he talks about where Gehinnom is 'hidden' on planet earth.)
WHAT HAPPENS WITH A ‘GRAVITATIONAL WAVE’?
Remember, the comet’s nucleus (which can be literally as large, or even larger, than our own planet, in the larger comets) is negatively charged, electrically, which means it’s exerting a huge ‘sucking’ force on everything around it.
As a large comet passes close to planet earth, it starts to pull at the earth’s atmosphere, and tug on our magnetic field (I’m not describing this section in scientific language. Please see James McCanney’s books for the physics and scientific theory behind what I’m describing with some poetic license.)
If the pull from that passing comet is strong enough, it’ll trigger tidal waves across both the world’s oceans AND the earth’s mantle.
Imagine it like this: take the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner, and run it along a piece of cloth. The cloth is literally ‘lifted’ off the floor as the nozzle runs over it, and ripples, returning to a different place on the floor after the nozzle has passed over it.
THAT’S WHAT A BIG ENOUGH COMET CAN DO TO THE EARTH’S CRUST.
“The waves ripple through the [earth’s] mantle at thousands of miles per hour, as the remote object’s gravitational field drags the tidal bulge around the globe.” - James McCanney
The earth’s crust kind of ‘floats’ on top of the core underneath. It’s like a tablecloth. If a stormwind ripped through your house and pulled the table cloth off before dumping it back on, that tablecloth could easily be inside out, back-to-front, horizontal instead of vertical, bunched up in places, flattened out in others.
If the earth’s crust was sufficiently ‘moved’ by the gravitational wave, that could have the effect of moving the poles to a different part of the planet.
If that happened, the number of days per year would change, the seasons would change, and our existing calendars simply wouldn’t work any more. Whole continents could literally disappear overnight, and new ones could rise to replace them.
Remember this point from this section: If there is a PHYSICAL pole shift, the days of the year, seasons and the calendar will all be altered.
Again, God has already done this to the world since Adam and Eve was created on a number of occasions.
That’s why they found frozen mastodons in Siberia last century that still had tropical leaves and flowers intact in their throats. Before that particular pole shift, Siberia had a temperate climate.
When the poles shifted to the present position, the mastodons were ‘flash frozen’ so fast and so deeply that 3,000 years later, people were eating defrosted ‘Mastodon’ steaks in fancy cafes in France, because the meat was still fresh.
Everything you’re reading is the true, scientifically-proven way the solar system operates, and the ‘natural way’ that a comet can, could had already has affected our world. We aren’t talking about ‘supernatural’ miracles here, although of course, there really is no ‘nature’, as we already mentioned, because God is running the show 100%.
WHY ERETZ ISRAEL IS THE SAFEST PLACE IN THE WORLD
I just want to quickly mention here that according to our Torah sources, the only ‘fixed’ landmass in the world is Eretz Yisrael, which is affixed to the ‘even shetiyah’, or foundation stone of the world.
In terms of what we’re discussing and the ‘gravitational wave’ that could hit the earth’s crust as a result of a near-miss with a large comet, Eretz Yisrael is the part of the tablecloth that’s screwed down to the table. That baby isn’t going anywhere.
Also, as we’re closer to the equator, the chance of Eretz Yisrael being one of the places that would get instantly ‘deep frozen’ as a result of a pole shift is zero - and the reason I’m saying ‘zero’ instead of ‘very small’ is because our Jewish sources make it clear that Eretz Yisrael is the third of the world that would come through any planetary destruction scheduled to happen before the end of days happens, unscathed.
Of course, if people make teshuva our true tzaddikim could sweeten all this, and just being in Eretz Yisrael is no guarantee of anything, especially if you're publicly bad-mouthing the true tzaddikim etc, but it's interesting to note.
THE DESTRUCTIVE EFFECTS OF THE COMET’S TAIL
The last thing to cover in this post is the destructive effects of a large comet’s tail. Again, we’re not talking about a comet directly impacting the earth here. We’re talking about what can occur when a large comet (really a planet…) passes close to the earth without hitting it.
As that negatively-charged comet nucleus roars around solar system, it starts picking up more and more ‘stuff’ which it carries along with it as its ‘tail’. That tail can contain gasses like oxygen and hydrogen, naptha (oil), and even showers of meteors which typically contain metal ore and are ‘attracted’ to the comet as a pin would be attracted to a magnet.
The larger the comet, the larger it’s negatively charged field, and the bigger the meteor rocks it can pull along with it.
Again, when we’re talking about ‘Planet X’ or Nibiru, we have to bear in mind that there are MANY ‘Nibirus’ out there, and all of them are accompanied by other objects including meteors and asteroids.
Now, depending on which planet, or celestial body, wins the electrical and gravitational tug-of-war that occurs when two large planets / comets / bodies pass too close by to each other, the following happens:
1) The ‘winner’ sucks away all of the debris / atmosphere / gasses from the other party and ends up with all that stuff kind of ‘dumped’ into its own atmosphere. That could include massive amounts of water, nafta, metal ore and I don’t know what else.
2) The ‘loser’ ends up losing a good deal, or even ALL of its debris / atmosphere / gasses etc.
That’s one way Planet Earth could be deluged by enormous amounts of water, nafta, rocks and other things that currently can't be found on earth.
But even if the nucleus of a big comet didn’t come close enough for that to happen, we could still be deluged with water and other things, if the earth passed directly through the TAIL of a comet.
Passing through a large comet’s tail would block the sun, again change the composition of the atmosphere, affect the magnetic fields, and lead to flooding all over the globe on a scale hard to imagine.
McCanney estimates that it would take approximately 40 days for the planet earth to move through a comet tail that was 20-40 million miles across (i.e., an average-to-large comet.)
If you’re thinking that ’40 days’ sounds familiar, you’re right: this is what occurred during Noah's flood, or he Mabul, as it's called in Hebrew.
TO SUM UP: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A LARGE COMET ENTERS THE SOLAR SYSTEM
Let’s conclude this monster post with a summation of what will occur, according to the natural laws of the way the solar system and our physical world truly operates, if a large comet enters our solar system, EVEN IF IT DOESN’T DIRECTLY IMPACT PLANET EARTH.
Again, the closer it comes and the bigger it is, the more problems it will potentially cause us. But even if it’s just somewhere ‘out there’ in our solar system, the increased electrical activity and solar flares can cause the following to happen:
And that’s if ‘Planet X’ doesn’t come too close, or isn’t too big, to spark off a ‘gravitational wave’ that could literally jerk the planet’s crust around so violently the poles would physically shift position, with all that entail, or if we wouldn’t pass directly through the comet’s tail.
As you can see, there’s lots to pray for!
Again, the reason you aren’t hearing about all this stuff on the news is because modern science is devoted to proving the mendacious theory of evolution correct, and likes to pretend that the world has been here for eons, and that big changes like I’ve described here only occur over billions of years.
But the truth is very different, and that truth is borne out and described in multiple places in our Torah, midrashim and other teachings.
Since I first wrote this piece last year, it's amazing how much of this list of comet-induced phenomena is happening all around us at the moment. Something is definitely out there, and it corresponds to geula and Moshiach being revealed.
The last thing to say is that our true tzaddikim can control the planetary objects, because we Jews are above the stars, and the greatest of us can literally demonstrate that.
(It's not an accident that the disgusting Ynet chose to headline their recent smear piece with: 'The Rabbi can control the sun and the moon'. That's another clue from God what's really going on here.)
So, we live in very interesting times, and if you check back on spiritualselfhelp.org HERE, you'll find a bunch of the scientific evidence that the scientific community have either overlooked, mis-classified or suppressed that backs up everything you've learnt in this post 100%.
Comets cause massive, and often instantaneous changes on planet earth. Those changes affect every area of life, including how we humans function, physically, mentally and physically.
And behind the comets stands God, and His Torah, and His true tzaddikim.
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:
Two days back, both my teens came back from their ‘national religious’ high schools in a state of semi-panic. For once, it wasn’t exam pressure or social issues, it was something much more existential and Orwellian: the looming threat of nuclear war.
After Bibi dished the dirt on Iran, clearly hoping to nudge Trump into nixing the Iranian nuclear deal, the whole country seems to have kind of frozen in place, expecting an imminent Iranian nuke in response.
Now, that stuff is passé for us geula blog aficionados, I know, who love to discuss all that stuff before breakfast (at least, in theory). But I don’t remember it being a topic of conversation in my girls’ ‘national religious’ high schools before, and it’s having some profound effects.
One of my kids told me her and her class had read through the whole of the prophecies of Gog and Magog in the book of Ezekiel. The bit she was particularly freaked out about this section, helpfully headlined: ‘Prophecy against false prophecy’, in my Artscroll edition (Ch. 13).
“The word of Hashem came to me, saying, ‘Son of Man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel…who prophesy out of their own hearts…
Each person can decide for themselves who these ‘false prophets’ are who are misleading the nation, and how that might be connected to all the freak weather we're currently experiencing.
But my daughter and her friends were particularly struck by the pouring rain / huge hailstones / stormy wind / annihilation bit, especially given the recent tragedy when 10 teens around their age died in a flash-flood in the desert.
(Interestingly, some really big hailstones – 2 cm diameter – also fell in Israel last week - see the Youtube above. And parts of the US are predicted to get 4-inch hail this week, which is definitely big enough to kill you, if that drops on your head from a height.)
So that, combined with their Bibi-inspired nuclear war freak-out meant that they suddenly got all unusually biblical on me, and started talking about wars, floods and mountains collapsing.
(Interestingly, that just happened in North Korea, when the nuclear test site they built under a big mountain collapsed after the last test, effectively putting their nuclear program on ice and prompting Kim Jong Un to sue for peace, instead.)
Then the youngest piped up: ‘Ima, I don’t want to die in a nuclear war.’
I reassured her that nobody does. But that also, if God decides that’s actually what’s going to happen, lo aleinu, getting incinerated in a nano-second is actually one of the better ways to go, in terms of how much that would actually hurt.
We had a big chat about dying, and nukes, and the purpose of life from a Jewish perspective, for a good half an hour, and then it was time for them to go and get on with sorting out L’ag B’omer.
This conversation taught me many things, not least that even our teens are picking up the panic in the country that Israel may be on the verge of another war, and also apparently picking up the deeper geula vibe that inevitably strengthens at these times.
Maybe, that’s also why I’ve been feeling pretty ill the last few days, and all achy, dizzy and a little pukey. There’s a heavy vibe in the air, and that’s often the pre-cursor to ‘something’ kicking off in the world, as I’ve written about many, many times before.
Or it could just be that I’m also feeling pretty scared, on a number of fronts, about what the future is going to hold. Not so much about Iranian nukes because hey, I do that for breakfast, remember! My fears have more to do with keeping on the right side of Hashem, and away from all the truly bad people out there.
RASHBI DOES IT AGAIN
The last five years, I’ve been going up to Meron on L’ag B’omer with my husband, but this year I didn’t know if I could hack it. I’d been in bed for two days, and really didn’t feel great. But we really need some miracles this year on the house front (I know, some things never change).
And then I found out Rav Berland was going to be up in Meron after all, as his opponents simply couldn’t find a legal case to stop him, hard as they tried. So that gave me the strength to do the 9 hour round trip up to Meron and back.
We left at 3am today, and got back an hour a go.
And I feel so much better.
I was too tired to do any fabulous hitbodedut up in Meron, but I felt very peaceful up there, and I got a strong sense that whatever is going to happen, it’s all ultimately going to turnaround for the good.
At least, for the people who are sticking close to our true tzaddikim and trying to work on their own bad middot.
And if not then you may want to seriously consider springing for a jumbo-pack of super-strength anti-anxiety meds instead.
Because it seems that stormy times are ahead.