I just got sent this nice, short (8 min) video about Rav Dov Kook, which is a nice intro for readers who may not be so familiar with this Tzaddik of Tiveria.
While all this stuff with Rav Berland was going on, lots of people wanted to know why more rabbis weren’t coming out publicly in support of him.
While a very small percentage of rabbis were themselves taken in by the lies and slanders they were hearing, many of our true rabbis stayed quiet for a different reason: They knew that if they started trying to defend the Rav and pointing out the evil people behind this whole, terrible miscarriage of justice, they would be the next ones with their heads on the chopping block.
At the height of the persecution and slander of Rav Berland, around two years’ ago, some of his supporters tried to rally the generation’s leading Rabbis to begin publishing letters of support for the Rav, to try and redress the balance and inform the public about what was really happening.
One Rav who was asked to participate responded,
“They [the people who are persecuting Rav Berland] are Erev Rav, and it’s forbidden to get involved with them, or give them any strength or attention. If I come out against them, then tomorrow they will turn on me, and they will also start telling lies about me, too.”
This same concern was heard many, many times from other leading Rabbis in Israel.
In the clip that Rav Glazerson released three years’ ago called: ‘The appearance of Rav Eliezer Berland in Torah codes,” Rav Glazerson showed how the words “Eliezer Berland Tzaddik” appeared together with the words, “The arising of the Erev Rav against Judaism.”
Some notable apikorsim already came out with awful slanders against one of the Rav’s biggest defenders, Rav Chaim Dovid Stern, God forbid. Then another one of the Rav’s defenders, Rav Yitzhak Meir Morgenstern, had his synagogue demolished by the Jerusalem municipality shortly after positive statements that he’d made in defense of Rav Berland were publicized.
A couple of years’ ago, another very famous rabbi asked his son to contact me here, on Emunaroma, to take down a statement he’d made defending Rav Berland because he was scared of reprisals against him and his yeshiva.
And now, it seems to be the turn of the kabbalist and tzaddik Rav Dov Kook of Tiveria, God forbid.
Rav Kook warned his students before Shabbat that the Israeli media are planning a ‘blood libel’ against him, probably beginning this coming week, and he asked his followers to pray for him.
Dear readers, I’m asking you to please pay attention to the awful character assassination that is about to begin, and to work with me to expose how these erev rav types who just love to spread false gossip and rumours around, especially about the gedolei hador, really work.
I don’t have details of what they have cooked up against Rav Kook yet, but for sure it will be the same sort of unprovable stories, false witnesses, lurid headlines and scandalous lies that they have used to great effect against Rav Berland.
The media – sadly, including the so-called ‘chareidi’ media – starts all this stuff off to boost their ratings and get their audience to turn against the true leaders of the nation. Then, regular people who are either gullible and naïve, or who actually just love to gossip and to stir things up get involved, and start carpeting the internet with all this ‘fake news’ and slanderous lies, making out like it’s actually true because everyone is talking about it.
This is so, so contrary to how observant Jews are meant to deal with rumors and gossip, and I highly recommend you brush up on the laws of lashon hara before this next round of slander begins, so you don’t fall afoul of listening to it and believing, or spreading it further afield.
It’s such a hard test, not least because speaking lashon hara is one of the main tell-tale signs that you’re dealing with someone with pronounced erev rav traits. And so many of the people in the media, and in the Jewish blogosphere – including the so-called ‘frum’ Jewish blogosphere – sadly have a very big problem with this erev rav trait.
But don’t make their problem, your problem.
Don’t believe the lies, don’t get caught up in replying to, or posting up, scandalous comments with no factual basis, don’t visit blog sites and news sites where you’re being fed fake news and lashon hara 24/7, don’t give credence or respect to those journalists and bloggers who enjoy stirring up machloket against our true tzaddikim.
As time goes on, it’s becoming clearer and clearer which ‘side’ these people are really on, spiritually, and where they’re going to end up – for eternity! – if they don’t make teshuva pronto.
It’s a huge test, I know.
But I have a feeling that by turning on Rav Dov Kook, the Israeli media may have finally bitten off more than they can actually chew, and that more and more people out there will start to realise what’s really going on in this country, and with the media and the ruling elites generally, and will make some serious teshuva about believing lies they read or watched on the internet etc.
I certainly hope so.
UPDATE: Below, you'll find the Gemara's definition of an 'apikorus', or heretic. You can learn more about this definition for yourself HERE, and HERE.
A heretic may be distinguished from an apostate in that, although he holds beliefs which are contrary to currently accepted doctrines, he does not renounce his religion and often believes that he represents the true tradition.
Some identify the talmudic minim with the Judeo-Christians, others with unspecified groups who denied rabbinic authority and/or the belief in the coming of the Messiah.
In the Talmud the term apikoros refers to the *Sadducees (Kid. 66a); to those who denigrate rabbinic authority.
Kofer may be best translated as "freethinker." In Sanhedrin the kofer is identified as one who asks needling questions and points out contradictions between biblical texts (Sanh. 39a–b). The term kofer ba-ikkar in rabbinic literature refers to one who denies a basic and essential ikkar ("dogma"; on the various formulations of dogmas in Judaism see S. Schechter, Studies in Judaism (1896), 147–81). Maimonides defines a kofer ba-Torah as someone who denies either the divine inspiration of the Torah or the authority of the Oral Law and the rabbis who teach it, or one who maintains that the legislation of the Torah has been superseded (Yad, Teshuvah, 3:8)
I'm busy pulling the stuff together for the last couple of chapters of the One in a Generation book, and I came across these comments that Rav Berland made about North Korea on Rosh Hashana 5778, just after Hurricane Irma narrowly missed slamming into Miami (you can read his full comments HERE):
“North Korea is going to launch a nuclear weapon, but it’s not going to reach to Miami, because there are synagogues there, and people who keep mitzvot. Perhaps it will fall into the sea. But North Korea has some very unique ideas, and they will aim their nuclear weapons only at Shuvu Banim. But despite all this, there’s no need to worry. Just sit in the succah, and don’t leave it. Anyone who sits in the succah will be protected, and will survive.”
Then I remembered that Shirat Devorah posted up the video of Rav Levi Saadia Nachmani, a Moroccan kabbalist, warning Am Yisrael about North Korea's nukes back in 1994, when the country was at the height of the 'peace process' under Yitzhak Rabin.
So then, I decided I should transcribe some of Rav Nachmani's words for the book, too, to give it more context, which you can read below, as the two tzaddikim are essentially saying very similar things.
And then while I was doing that, I googled Rabbi Nachmani's name in Hebrew to get more background on him, and I came across THIS article (in Hebrew) that said that Rav Nachmani had predicted that the next world war would break out on L'ag B'Omer, 5763. Rav Nachmani had already correctly predicted the dates of the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War at this point, so he had some credibility.
Of course, that didn't happen, but with Trump set to meet the North Koreans any day soon, and with quite a few analysts warning that if it doesn't achieve peace, it could achieve the exact opposite, it just struck me that the words of our Tzaddikim are never said in vain, and that L'Ag B''Omer could be interesting this year.
It falls out on May 3rd, and the US is said to be officially moving its embassy to Jerusalem at the beginning of May, with the ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for May 14th, the day Jerusalem was liberated.
Whatever God is planning for the world, teshuva is always the answer, and always the best protection. BH, everything should turn around for the good. But in the meantime, it's certainly an interesting set of coincidences.
RAV NACHMANI ON NORTH KOREA, 1994:
“Do you think there will be peace? Do you think it will be peaceful one day? [You are] total fools! Parshat Ha’azinu is talking about us today. It says: ‘O, foolish and unwise people. A generation that’s crooked and perverse.’
“Do you know what will happen, God forbid? Korea. Do you know who Korea is? Not Syria, not Persia, not Babylon (Iraq) not Qadafi (Libya). Korea will arrive here, God forbid, may the Lord save us.
“And anyone who pays any attention to what’s going on in Korea today, it’s for us. The nukes. It will be very hard for us if we don’t do teshuvah. Understand this! Know that it’s worse than the holocaust! ‘For a fire is kindled in My nostrils, and will burn unto sheoul [i].’ Do you know what ‘sheoul’ is? It’s the capital of Korea.
“It will get to here, and ‘devour the earth with her produce and set ablaze the foundations of the mountain. I will heap evil upon them. I will spend My arrows upon them.’
“What does this mean? We have left Hashem, we think we belong to ourselves, and the PM sits and does what he wants, as if Hashem doesn’t exist, if the land of Israel is his, and he does whatever he wants with it, as if the people are his.
“And the Torah says: ‘For the portion of God is his people.’ You don’t belong to yourselves, you’re His!... We have no dispute with the Arabs. We have a dispute with the God of Israel. If we won’t listen to Him, we will have more and more troubles, and the situation will get worse. Don’t believe these fools! You must beware of them, you must beware of the bad, foreign culture that they brought here.
“You are Jews, sons of Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov, who received the Torah, your Torah. You must appreciate it and respect it and fight for it. Not with violence, but peacefully, by making teshuvah…
“If we make teshuvah, then we won’t need to go and fight in the army at 18 instead of getting married. Instead of letting you ‘rejoice in your home’ they take you off to fight. Instead of letting our girls find peace, they take them as soldiers…? I don’t understand this silence! Why don’t we make some teshuva?...
“Why do we keep quiet, and give the power to these fools who kill us? The yetzer hara is not you. It’s a separate force that enters through the ears. You are brainwashed by the media, brainwashed by the press, brainwashed everywhere…
“How long will we be fools. How long will we be naïve and indifferent? How long? We must do one thing, and nothing else. Not violence, and nothing else. Only teshuvah, that’s the answer for them…And then we’ll receive the very best thing, life and peace.”
 In December 1994, North Korea had just shot down a US Army helicopter, killing one pilot and taking the other captive for 13 days. Earlier in the year, the North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung had died, and been succeeded by his son, Kim Jong-Il, who was succeeded by his son, the present leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un in 2011. Kim Jong-Un has been notable for aggressively pursuing the development of nuclear weapons.
 Yitzhak Rabin was Israeli PM at this time.
Someone calling themselves ‘A. Zintzheim’ – because if I’ve learnt one thing about these self-righteous anti-Berland gossip mavens, it’s that they never use their real names when trying to castigate me over the internet – left a comment on THIS post saying the following:
The video you have posted here is highly misleading. If you look at the longer video from which your "fabricated" video is taken, it is clear that the audio and video are not intended to be related to each other. Indeed, part of the video is just shots of R' Berland hiding under his tallis in court. Source is here:
I have to admit, I had no idea what they were actually trying to say, given that the post on the Channel Two site is entitled: הווידוי של ברלנד: "אנסתי אותה" – “Video of [Rav] Berland: I r**** her!”
So I went back to them asking them for clarification, and I got this back:
Your attempt was to show the movie was a fabrication consisted of the following steps:
(I distinguish here between "audio", "video", and a "movie" - the combination of audio and video)
1. Assume that the audio (and sub-titles) in the movie corresponded to the actual video in the movie.
2. Show that the original video for the movie in question actually corresponded to a different, non-incriminating audio.
I agree with your point #2, but your assumption in point #1 is false. The movie I linked to was clearly the source for your movie, yet it is clear from watching that movie that there is not intended to be any correlation between the audio and the video tracks in the movie. Thus your movie completely fails to demonstrate any "fabrication".
Which showed me two things:
Let’s start with the faked video / audio, which I’m reposting here so you can compare and contrast the lurid claims about it with the truth. Here’s some of the headlines – that are still up on the internet – from that time (in the interests of modesty, I’m starring out words that none of us need to be reading:)
Jul 27, 2016 - Years-old footage released of newly extradited Eliezer Berland shows him explaining how he forced a married woman into s**.
Well, this says it all, doesn’t it! Read this headline from the Times of Israel and you have the whole picture. Except….first it was badly FAKED audio from Y.T.C., and NOT a video, and everyone knows that faking audio (especially as badly as this was faked) is ridiculously easy.
Secondly, Rav Berland was never ‘extradited’ from South Africa, he made a voluntary agreement to return to Israel to clear his name. Third of all, even the faked audio doesn’t actually say what these lurid headlines are claiming.
Fourthly, the Rav’s opponents never even tried to admit this ‘evidence’ into court because it was so clearly faked. In that same article, Moshe Nussbaum of Channel 2 (the same Moshe Nussbaum that Netanyahu recently said on social media lies to the Israeli people every single night) – says that:
In spite of what was heard in the Rav's recording, there is a problem in accusing the rabbi of committing rape offenses. In the framework of the request to extradite the rabbi to Israel after he was abroad, the State Attorney's Office stated that he is only responsible for offenses of indecent assault and harassment, and that the indictment must rely solely on the request for extradition. Rabbi Berland cannot be accused of rape.
Do you see how cleverly these journalists hide the truth from their readers in plain view? The Rav can’t be accused of r*** – because there is absolutely no evidence and the State knows that, and Moshe Nussbaum and Channel 2 also knows that! But that’s not going to stop them running false stories and headlines claiming to have video-taped confessions.
While we’re on the subject, all the prosecution could claim (and what the Rav was forced to ‘admit’ to, in order to be released for treatment for his life-threatening cancer that subsequently required him to have a kidney and part of his colon removed) was two minor counts of ‘inappropriate touching’ and one count of sending people out to ‘assault’ the State’s Witness back in 2013, before he’d even gone public with his claims and long before his wife started telling her own fake story.
There is so much to say about how these claims were also 100% deliberately falsified by the police, the media and the Rav’s persecutors too, but you’ll have to read Volume II of One in a Generation for more details on that.
Let’s fast-forward two years, and another ‘video story’ about Rav Berland surfaces, with more breathless headlines:
Shocking Video Of Rabbi Berland Surfaces; Followers Defend It As ...
https://www.theyeshivaworld.com › Headlines & Breaking News
Feb 4, 2018 - Home Headlines & Breaking News Shocking Video Of Rabbi Berland Surfaces; Followers Defend It As 'Miraculous Healing. ... On Sunday morning a shocking video went viral on social media that depicted Rabbi Eliezer Berland conducting, what appears to be an act that goes against all the teachings of ...
Again, this says it all doesn’t it! Never mind that Klara Hammer had uncurable throat cancer which disappeared after the Rav touched her throat. That’s a small detail that must be mocked and overlooked, because the point they are trying to make is that Rav Berland is ‘committing acts that go against all the teachings of the Torah’.
(You can see the full story behind Klara Hammer’s miracle HERE).
Yeshiva news loves video stories about Rav Berland and his students. Last year, they ran this one:
SHOCKING VIDEO: Breslov Mashpia HaRav Moshe Kramer Attacked ...
https://www.theyeshivaworld.com › Headlines & Breaking News
Feb 5, 2017 - The followers of Rabbi Eliezer Berland who was convicted of offenses have taken to attack his opponents. In the opening scene, a prominent Mashpia who dared to speak against Rabbi Berland was attacked violently. In the second you see followers of rabbi Berland covering their heads with Taleisim ) as ...
There was just a small problem with this story: It was all lies. When the police investigated, they discovered that the people who’d attacked Rav Kramer were involved in a monetary dispute with him, and had absolutely no connection to Shuvu Banim.
If you go and view this video yourself (below), it will become abundantly clear that apart from their misleading headlines about it, there is absolutely no link with Shuvu Banim students or Rav Berland – it’s just a video of regular, Meah Shearim chassidim.
But yeshivaworld is continuing to have this false, slanderous story up on its website anyway, because hey! What’s a little thing like the truth when it comes to slamming Shuvu Banim and Rav Berland?
Ynews also doesn’t miss any opportunity to write awful stories about the Rav, including this latest offering from a couple of weeks’ back, when the Rav went to visit the Kotel:
Rabbi Berland allowed to enter Western Wall plaza with car - Ynetnews
Apr 8, 2018 - Convicted s** offender Rabbi Eliezer Berland was allowed to enter the Western Wall plaza with his car, an honor normally reserved only to the greatest of rabbis. During the intermediate days of Passover, when the Western Wall is particularly crowded with ...
Again, the media is going all-out here to impress on you that only a selfish, awful person would visit the Kotel when it’s so crowded!! On Pesach!! In a car!! As though he was ‘the greatest of rabbis’, or something. How could the authorities let Rav Berland visit the Kotel?!?
Recently, Ha’Aretz also dipped their toe back in the ‘bashing Rav Berland’ water, by running a piece entitled:
Rav Berland’s followers have a flesh-and-blood God
The article then goes on to say that:
“Haredi society as a whole denounces Berland (even if not publicly), and most of the Bratslav rabbis came out against him harshly after a rabbinic court investigated the allegations against him and came to the conclusion that they were true.”…
Ha’aretz certainly excels in squashing a maximal amount of lies into one short sentence.
As even a casual glance at the list of rabbis who have recently and publicly come out in support of the Rav shows – including Rav David Abuchatzeira, Rav Shimon Badani, Rav Matityahu Glazerson, the Spinka Rebbe, Rav Reuven Elbaz, Rav Dov Kook, Rav Dovid Chaim Stern, to name but a few – shows, Haredi society as a whole is NOT denouncing Rav Berland at all.
Not even close.
Next, it tells us that ‘most of the Breslov rabbis came out harshly against him’ – which again is completely untrue.
There are a small core of people, centred on the Breslov shul in Meah Shearim, who have been against Rav Berland for 30 years. And Y.T.C., the main persecutor of the Rav within Breslov, the main source for ALL of these slanderous stories about the Rav, and the person named below, belongs to that group.
"A rabbinic court investigated the allegations against him and came to the conclusion that they were true” Ha’Aretz informs us.
But again, that’s a lie. The ‘rabbinic court’ in question was made of Y.T.C. and a few more of his group who have been persecuting the Rav for decades, none of whom are dayanim, and who no real Breslov Rabbi would so much as touch with a bargepole. (See HERE for more info).
The email address that is given for this supposedly 'Special Beis Din' is that of the breslevemet website, a joint venture between I.N.S. the 'State's Witness' against the Rav, and Y.T.C., his main persecutor.
Strange indeed that the Beis Din that allegedly 'came to the conclusion the allegations against the Rav were true' should share an email with the Rav's two main persecutors, and stranger still that this small detail is not something that Ha'aretz feels is at all relevant to its story, or the 'facts' it's presenting, or the credibility of its sources.
Like I said, Ha’Aretz manages to pack in a lot of lies into one short sentence, and the unwitting reader is none the wiser about just how deliberately deceitful this article actually is. Then, we get to the main man of the story, who tells us that regardless of anything you might hear - from thousands of people - to the contrary:
“even if outwardly his followers sometimes offer blanket denial, "inside they speak differently," says Rabbi Yom Tov Cheshin, perhaps Berland's greatest opponent and one of his close associates before the affair broke out. "They claim that he is permitted, that he is God."
There is SO much to say about this individual, and his impersonations of the Rav's voice. The book will set out exactly how Y.T.C. was behind the ‘take over’ of Shuvu Banim and the imprisonment of the Rav in his own home for almost a decade.
Y.T.C. threatened the Rav that if he escaped, Y.T.C. would go to the press with all sorts of made up stories and lies about him – and that’s exactly what he’s done.
In every negative story that you read about the Rav, you will find Y.T.C. either explicitly mentioned, or anonymously referred to as a ‘former student and confidant’. Someone emailed me about this story to ask if Rav Berland really believes that he’s God.
Of course he doesn’t!
There is barely a word spoken about the Rav in the media that is true or honest, and that’s especially so when you’re dealing with ‘anti-religious’ media with Y.T.C. as their only source of information.
It would be bad enough if only the secular media sites were continually lying to their readers and manipulating them in such a disgusting way, but sadly, as the following story I happened to come across recently shows, the ‘frum’ media sites are also not being run according to halacha, or anything even approaching it (I'm removing names below, to minimise the lashon hara):
Shocking, isn’t it?
Yet extortion has come out as the key motive for many of the people behind the false allegations of Rav Berland, which is why this story shouldn’t be a shock to anyone:
Civil suit against Rabbi Berland
Some of the complainants against the Shuvu Banim leader file civil suit amounting to 4 million shekels.
Again, even this headline is deliberately misleading, because it gives the impression that only a small number of the actual complainants are filing the suit, and that there must be millions more women out there that aren’t.
In truth, there were only two women the whole time, both false witnesses:
That’s it. There are no other women, there never were any other women. That’s why the rest of the story reads like this:
Three women filed a civil suit Wednesday against a convicted s** offender rabbi and fifteen others who they claim enabled him.
The women are suing Eliezer Berland, 80, for NIS 4 million ($1.1 million) and also demanding that he be barred from leaving the country until the case is concluded, Channel 2 reported.
The suit was filed in Jerusalem District Court by the two women, who Berland admitted to and was found guilty of assaulting, along with another woman who was not involved in the criminal case against the rabbi.
Why not? Why wasn't this women involved in the 'criminal case' if she had a real complaint to make?
There are so very many lies that have been told by this case, by so very many people, that even fitting all the information into a book is proving quite challenging. But as I’ve started, so I’ll try to finish.
May God protect us from all the liars, hatemongers and gossip-mongers out there. And may the Moshiach come soon, and deal with them all once and for all.
Go HERE to see all the Emunaroma FAQs and articles on the Rav Berland scandal in one place.
Probably like most of us, I am playing the waiting game at the moment, and it’s pulling my nerves and patience to shreds.
We are having huge issues with our house purchase, to the point that we may lose the house, and also a lot of money as well. Right now, things look pretty bad, but nothing has been 100% decided, so we are playing the waiting game to see if God is going to rescue us with an open miracle.
There’s nothing else we can really do.
Except to wait. And to pray. But sometimes you get so weighed down by it all that even the praying comes hard.
Sometimes, the ‘waiting’ really gets me down. Sometimes, it starts feeling like all I do is wait for things to move, or to improve, or to work, and that I can’t really carry on just sitting here waiting anymore. Yet, there doesn’t seem to be any other options on the table.
As happens so frequently in my life, hard as a I try to get things to move myself, or to try to speed things up or resolve matters, sooner or later I hit that big wall and I’m back to just waiting to see how it’s going to turn out again.
There is a lot of ‘waiting’ going on at the moment, for all of us. Waiting to see what will be with Syria, waiting to see what will be with Gaza, waiting to see what will be with all the million-and-one projects and issues that we’re all dealing with and hoping they will work out.
For this one, it’s waiting to see if the business will take off or fail. For that one, it’s waiting to see if their kid will turnaround, or continue to self-destruct, while this one is waiting for the ‘all clear’ from the hospital. That one is waiting to see if his wife will come back to him, this one is waiting to be able to buy a home and settle down, finally, that one is waiting to feel happy and excited about waking up in the morning, maybe for the first time in a long time.
Each and every one of us is playing the waiting game.
Even the kids.
I have one kid who is waiting to get her exams over and done with so she can stop feeling so stressed and pressured, and I have another one who is waiting for her skin to clear up and for Summer to come, because she hates being in school.
Over on ravberland.com, the Rav said on Rosh Chodesh Nissan that Moshiach would be coming on Seder night. A few people got upset that this didn’t happen. “False hope! Better to not get our hopes up! It’s discouraging!”
I get that, I really do. But is it really better to stop hoping, and to stop thinking about Moshiach coming? Sure, the waiting is a drag, but what’s the alternative? To sink back into lethargic depression and despair, because nothing is ever really going to change?
What makes the waiting hard is that we aren’t in control. We can’t speed things up, we can’t get the outcome we want when we want it.
So then all we are left to fall back on is our emuna that our current, difficult, circumstances are the best thing for us, and a kindness to us, even though it really doesn’t feel like that and we so desperately want things to be different.
That’s the test. That’s the hardship. That’s the challenge.
To accept that God is in charge, and that it's all for our best and 100% deserved, and to not give up and just stay in bed all day.
I’m working on that at the moment, and I have my ups and downs. One minute, I get so furious at all the ucky people out there, and all the bad and the evil in the world that’s slowing up Moshiach and causing me to suffer so much.
(Clearly, including my own bad middot and inflated expectations of how my life should be.)
The next minute, God helps me to accept circumstances better, and to just focus on the tremendous good in my life.
But it’s not a stable situation, for all it’s ‘stuck’, so I find I’m pinging all over the place some days.
Waiting for things to move, to improve, to get easier, to stop being so challenging.
Like everyone else.
But really, underneath it, God is just waiting for me to submit to His will, and to stop thinking I know better than He does.
I know when I do that, everything will turnaround for the best, somehow.
But it’s so hard to do.
One of the things that hasn't ceased to amaze me is the 'pick and choose' approach so many orthodox bloggers and journalists have taken to covering what's going on with Rav Berland, and the awful miscarriage of justice that's occurred with his false prosecution and imprisonment.
BH, I'm writing up some more stuff for the book, some of which I'll post up here before condensing it for inclusion in Volume II of One in a Generation, which I hope to get finished soon.
Perhaps you could understand that secular journalists who have made a notorious name for themselves by falsely accusing all sorts of men in Israel of attacking women, and who have been repeatedly caught making up negative stories about Chareidim, would have no qualms about telling open lies about people like Rav Berland.
There was a certain secular female journalist who made up a whole story about a 5 year old apparently being violated in a synagogue in Modiin Illit which caused an enormous scandal in Israel - until it was checked out, and was found to be a complete fabrication.
Which then caused another type of scandal about terrible journalism and deliberate slander of the chareidi community, which few outside the orthodox world even noticed.
A month after this female journalist's story was found to be completely false, she was back with another story 'proving' that the chareidi world was as bad as she said it was - i.e. the false accusations against Rav Berland.
Then there is Channel 2 anchor Moshe Nussbaum, who has also built up a steady reputation for sacrificing truth on the altar of pushing his own ideology and opinions. A little while back Bibi Netanyahu wrote this on his Facebook page (as reported HERE) about Nussbaum and the Israeli media generally:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today described the Israeli print and broadcast media, almost in its entirety, as “fake news” and “liars.”
Amnon Levy we already know about, from THIS over on the Rav Berland website.
But what continues to amaze me is the attitude of so many apparently 'orthodox' bloggers and journalists out there, who will happily quote Rav Yekutiel Fish, shlita, until the cows come home on any subject - except his outspoken support for Rav Berland.
Or, who will happily post up videos from Rav Matityahu Glazerson on any subject, except those that happen to mention Rav Berland favorably, or show him in a positive light.
Or who will eagerly glean the last word from tzaddikim like Rav Dov Kook, especially when it comes to 'geula' matters - except when a video shows up where Rav Dov Kook and Rav Berland are together, talking about imminently bringing the Moshiach and redemption.
Or, who report on every Rabbi and Rebbe's visit to each other - but fail to mention how so many of the nation's leading rabbis and admorim have welcomed Rav Berland publicly, with open arms.
Then, they fall strangely quiet on the subject (at best...). At worst, they start spewing awful lashon hara all over the internet about how 'they've never heard of any rabbis supporting Rav Berland', etc, and then link to slanderous statements from obvious apikorsim to support their position.
Or take the apparently 'frum, chareidi' journalist on Kikar Shabbat who worked hand-in-glove with one of Rav Berland's main persecutors, YTC, to write one negative, knocking and false story about the Rav and his community after another.
Take this story, for example:
It's talking about how a number of Breslov rabbis apparently 'deleted' shiurim connected with Rav Berland, as a result of the scandal engulfing the community. One of the yeshivas the piece mentions is Chut Shel Chessed, Rav Shalom Arush's organisation.
The shiurim deleted happened to be those given by one of Rav Berland's extended family members who at that point was engaged in spreading the slanders against him.
That piece of information changes the whole picture - and the writer knew it.
And he deliberately withheld that piece of information from his readers, because he had a false agenda he wanted to pursue, and he wasn't going to let a little thing like the truth get in the way.
We don't expect anything different from 'loony left' publications like Ha'aretz, who are still running poisonous pieces today, which if you read them carefully, all mention the same person and his opinions as the only source of information: YTC.
But surely frum, 'orthodox' journalists and bloggers shouldn't be in the same malicious, untruthful and chareidi-bashing boat as the people who are reporting for Ha'aretz, Army Radio and Channel 2?
And if they are, what does that mean about who these people really are, and what they really stand for?
That's why Rav Eliezer Berland, and the libel surrounding him, really is the last test before the Moshiach comes, as Rav Glazerson, Rav Dovid Chaim Stern and a few others have clearly stated.
It's really bringing out people's true colors, and regardless of whether they call themselves 'orthodox', honest, open-minded, truthful, it's actually providing a litmus test of a person's true character that can not be faked.
So I guess it's a very good thing, ultimately, and a very necessary part of the process leading up to Moshiach and geula. And it's only going to continue and strengthen from this point on.
Below, you'll find a Hebrew video that recently came out that sets all the information out about who the Rav's main persecutors are within Breslov very clearly. It's eye-opening and highly recommended.
The truth will out.
A reader asked me to re-post details of how to get to Rav Berland's shul, to daven with the Rav, in Jerusalem.
The shul, called the Beit HaRav is a makeshift place attached to the Rav's building. The arrangement began while the Rav was still under house arrest and is continuing for the foreseeable future.
You can get to it on Ido HaNavi Street, across from the Meah Shearim road. The Rav davens vatikin (at sunrise), and usually does mincha and maariv together at the latest time for mincha.
There is a women's section, but women daven outside the building. There is seating (for women) but it's limited and squashy, so come early.
Click HERE to buy the book and to learn the true story of Rav Eliezer Berland in English.
I’m doing my darndest to stay off news sites as much as possible at the moment, but even so, it’s hard to ignore the looming showdown on the horizon between the US and Russia in Syria.
While I’m not big on ‘conspiracy theories’, having been sucked into one too many paranoid delusions by crazy bloggers in the past, it does strike me as rather strange that whoever it is should have apparently used chemical weapons against civilians AGAIN in Syria.
I mean, you can do a much better job of killing people by sticking to conventional weapons and bombs, and the world is so hypocritical that it doesn’t care a hoot if 70 Syrian children got blown to pieces by a regular bomb (unless they could somehow claim that the Joos did it – and yes SOTT and all the other rabidly anti-semitic ‘alternative’ news sites, will definitely try to do that.)
But apart from when Jews kill aggressive Arab terrorists, no-one really cares when anyone else does it, or how they do it, as long as they don’t use chemical weapons.
So the question begs to be asked: with Trump publicly stating he wants US soldiers out of Syria just last week; and with the rebels fighting the Assad government on their last legs; and with a few more attempts at creating a real cease-fire in the pipeline – why, o why would whoever it is use chemical weapons at this point in the game?
Unless whoever it is was really, really keen on triggering World War III, but crazy as Trump and Putin honestly really are, even they aren’t itching for a direct confrontation. If they were, it would have happened by now, but both of them seem to be strangely reticent about being the one to hit the ‘start’ button on that particular bit of madness.
As I wrote about HERE, there’s been something strange rumbling on in the UK for weeks, also involving Russians and chemical compounds, and a whole bunch of things about that particular story also don’t add up.
Again, it just looks like another clumsy attempt by whoever is is to try and sow more discord in the world, and bring us a whole bunch closer to WWIII.
While I was pondering this, I was researching some stuff about giants – like real giants, as described in the Torah – which lead to the discovery that the UK has some ancient folklore traditions that ‘Gog and Magog’ was the giant-sized ancestor of the ancient, original inhabitants of the British Isles.
I know this sounds so bizarre, but while all of us in the geula-sphere have been trying to figure out the identity of Gog and Magog in today’s world, massive straw effigies of the giant GogandMagog have been parading in London’s Lord Mayor’s Show every year for the last 2,000 years…
When the US first became an independent country, King George (Gog) III was on the throne in the UK. The first president of the US, as we all know, was George (Gog) Washington. Gog and Magog. So Britain and the former British colony, the US, are collectively GogandMagog.
Who left the British Mandate of Palestine in such a deliberate mess that Arabs and Jews would be at each other’s throats for at least the next thousand years, barring Divine intervention and Moshiach? Britain.
Which brings me to another strange observation. A few months’ ago, I was walking through Ben Gurion airport when I noticed a massive picture ‘celebrating’ the State of Israel’s 70th year, and Zionism’s 120th birthday.
I couldn’t help but reflect that in yiddishkeit, both of these numbers reflect the end of an era, a set period of time, an allotment of life, that is now coming to a close. Until 120! To put this another way, it seemed a clear sign that ‘Zionism’ was on its last legs, which seemed to be compounded by the US decision to open up their embassy in Jerusalem on the State’s 70th birthday, which could lead to who knows what happening.
And then, there was the awesome video of Rav Berland and Rav Dov Kook coming together to ‘bring the geula’ on rosh chodesh Nisan, traditionally our month of redemption.
When you start to take all this together, and then combine it with all the absolute craziness, massive tests of emuna and general ‘I can’t continue on like this anymore’ vibe hitting everyone I know in their private lives…
And then add in the fact that mutation-causing UVC rays are now penetrating the earth’s atmosphere and actually hitting the earth’s surface for the first time in modern history, which could lead to all sorts of strange developments, perhaps including human beings growing wings before the whole planet gets flooded with water as part of the geula process, as we find being described in the deeper Jewish sources…
And never mind all the strange weather and geological phenomena everyone all over the world is experiencing right now, because that’s old news, right?
Then, it really does seem to be pointing in the direction of something about to kick off, very soon, that could potentially completely transform the whole world as we know it.
( See Sanhedrin 92a, 92b and 97a)
The last strange musing to share with you is that I read THIS article over on the Rav Berland website about the Rav and Rav Yitzhak Yosef calling for Israel to intervene to save human lives in Syria, which was a big part of the reason the Israeli government decided to go after him six years ago.
And then I went over to THIS article on Ha’aretz, which described some of the shock and surprise that even the lefties in Israel felt after hearing the Rav’s words. And I scrolled down to the bottom, and was amazed to find that one of the ‘chassidim’ that Haaretz decided to photograph that night was the man who two short week’s later turned ‘State’s witness’ against Rav Berland and started the whole slanderous campaign off against him.
The chances of him being photographed out of a crowd of 8,000 people are very small.
Did Haaretz know what was about to come, or is this just another small sign that God is running every detail of the world, and there is a tremendous harmony and unity hidden behind all the surface chaos, that occasionally peeks through in these small ways?
But we certainly live in very interesting times.
Over on the Shuvu Banim website in English, they've just posted up a truly awesome video of Rav Berland and Rav Dov Kook that was taken motzae shabbat just past, Shabbat HaGadol, in Holon.
When I saw this video, I got shivers down my spine even though I couldn't really understand what was being said. I just had the feeling that this was massive, huge. I don't know why, exactly.
But then I got the translation in English, and it mamash appears as though these two massive tzaddikim were engaged in something very meaningful motzae shabbat, that was directly connected with bringing the geula.
If you want the full English translation, then go take a look at the Shuvu Banim post HERE.
If you just want to see the video in the original Hebrew, press play.
There are huge things going on weather-wise all over the planet right now. Again, when Am Yisrael left Egypt, and when the sea split, and when we received the Torah, these were all 'comet' events.
So when Rav Berland says that Hashem is going to do more miracles for us soon like those He did for us during the time we left Egypt, the mind boggles as to what he's really talking about.
But if you ask me, the chances of geula really happening soon just went up a whole other level.
There's so much weird weather going on at the moment that it's really no stretch to believe in things like a plague of killer hail heading into Pesach.
Three days ago, enormous hail fell over Lesotho in Africa, and according to the Africa News, it damaged a whole bunch of property and trees and even killed some people. Does that sound familiar to anyone else?
Texas has also been getting enormous hail (although not quite on the same scale - it's only breaking car windscreens not knocking people out.)
And the UK...well, it got battered again with another highly unusual 'cold snap' that also managed to erode 10 metres of sea front in some places in less than an hour, leaving a few cottages literally hanging off the edge of a cliff where for centuries it was solid ground.
The man who owns the home in the picture (below) told reporters that two years ago, he was 90 metres away from the sea...and now he really isn't.
So bits of the UK coast are going missing from some places, and others are suddenly being reclaimed.
With all the 'predictions' coming and going still, it's very easy to think that this is all a big fuss over nothing, and the world is going to continue on its merry way for another 3,000 years. And maybe that's correct, who knows?
Except, except, except....
Rav Berland said the following on the Fast of Esther, and he's never been one for hyping up things to do with Gog and Magog, or death and destruction. His message has always been consistently one of things taking a while to play out, of Jews doing teshuva in their masses and Moshiach coming peacefully.
So when he said this, I really sat up and took notice:
Everything that has occurred up until now will appear to be nothing, compared to what will be in Gog and Magog – it will be the nothing of nothings…!
I don't know about you, but I was kind of hoping that WWII had taken care of most of the 'birth pangs' and destruction of mankind stuff associated with Gog and Magog. The Rav speaks at such a high level, it's impossible to really know what he's referring to, but on the pshat level, it seems to be a pretty clear warning that a rough ride is still ahead.
And again, I've gone through a lot of the Rav's material at this point, and while he does talk a lot about destruction coming to the world every 70 years, and Iran trying to nuke us, and other things of that ilk, in the past it's always been joined with other upbeat remarks about how previous generations tzaddikim could have saved their generation by taking shame and humiliation upon themselves.
So I really don't know what to make of this, tell you the truth.
Other than we definitely need to hang on to our tzaddikim and to ask Hashem to show us who the true tzaddikim really are. Whatever is currently cooking in the world, the Jewish people have always been saved by submitting ourselves to our tzaddikim and doing what they tell us.
It was like that in Egypt, with Moshe, it was like that in Shushan, with Mordechai, and it will be like that with Moshiach, when the call goes out to 'bring in your cattle' because some huge flaming hail is about to fall from the sky....
And in the meantime, life continues. And Pesach is around the corner. And if you'd like a good place to donate some kimcha de pischa money to with a Breslov flavor, then please take a look HERE.
Rav Ofer Erez's organisation really is helping some very poor families in Jerusalem celebrate Pesach with the basics they need - and we're really talking about the basics here. Some of these families were my neighbors, and when Rav Ofer says they don't have anything, he's really not exaggerating.
Ka'ayal Ta'arog is really keeping a lot of frum Breslov families going in Jerusalem, and it's a huge mitzva to help out, if you can and that speaks to you. Go HERE to donate, and may we all be blessed with a happy, kosher Pesach.
Massive hail, massive floods, cold snaps, earthquakes and other weird phenomena not withstanding.
November 2016, the whole family was in the car taking one of my kids back to her ulpana, up North. After a pregnant pause, the oldest one said to me: “Ima, how do you know Rav Berland really didn’t do everything they say he did?”
This was just after the Rav’s ‘show trial’, where he had to plead guilty to 3 relatively minor counts in order for the courts to release him for treatment for some very serious cancerous growths. Of course, no-one really knew that at the time, so it just looked really, really bad.
I sighed, and told my daughter about the pidyon Nefesh I’d done with the Rav the year earlier, that had resolved three years of a chronic, debilitating health issue that had been getting worse and worse. “He’s a holy man,” I told my daughter. “God doesn’t work miracles like that through frauds.”
The discussion continued, because the youngest also had kids in her class that were avid Youtube watchers, and who claimed to ‘personally know’ the victims involved. Again, I didn’t try to shut my kids up or close them down, because they were asking valid questions that deserved a response, however ‘weak’ that response seemed to sound, back in November 2016 when so many of the facts were still obscured.
We discussed it for an hour, we talked about the prohibitions of listening to and believing lashon hara, or evil speech, and at the end of the hour, I hoped that enough had been clarified to at least encourage my kids to avoid discussing the subject with their friends, so they wouldn’t get pulled into a big argument.
It's impossible to avoid the argument
We have a big picture of the Rav in our home, and every time one of my kid’s friends would see it, she’d start up a whole discussion about how she wished we’d take it down, with a pointed look and flashing, indignant eyes. I changed the subject, and made any ‘lashon hara’ discussions out of bounds in the house.
This kid is a really good kid. She’s really passionate, she’s really kind, she really cares about other people. Sadly, she and her family also treat Youtube videos as a valid source of ‘news’ and consume a lot of ‘news’ online.
This Shabbat, a bunch of my girls’ friends came for Shabbat, and a few minutes after candlelighting, a huge shouting match began in the kitchen. This is not unusual with opinionated teenage girls, so I let them get on with it for half an hour. Then I caught Rav Berland’s name being mentioned, and the penny dropped what they were arguing about.
The picture had sparked this girl off again, and a huge argument had developed. Except now, out of the group of 7, there were 5 girls defending the Rav, and two still accusing him. I decided it was time to get this discussion properly out into the open, as whispering in backrooms - about anything - is never a good thing.
The yetzer thrives when things can't be discussed openly
The yetzer thrives in places where topics can’t be properly discussed, explored and addressed, especially with teenagers. So I invited the group to the sitting room, and I started laying out the real facts of the story.
I learned so much from that encounter. By the end, both the girls who were ‘anti’ the Rav asked me to stop, and wanted to change the subject. They are both really good girls, but I could see that I hadn’t changed their minds with what I’d told them. What had happened is that I’d changed their willingness to slag the Rav off so publicly, as they’d started to realize that they were actually on pretty shaky ground with their ‘facts’ and their ‘victims’ - who all essentially boiled down to the same one deranged woman, the wife of the false witness.
It all boils down to the same two people
That encounter taught me so much about how the yetzer is operating with this stuff. I know all the stories are coming from two people, the false witness and the main persecutor of the Rav within Breslov. But what happens is that people who get caught up in lashon hara like to embellish the story, and like to give it more of a ‘ring’ of truth, so that more people will take it seriously.
So instead of telling you straight: “All the information I have about this comes from watching Youtube videos and reading stuff online from places like Ynet and Kikkar HaShabbat”, they start making up taller and taller stories about the people ‘they know personally’, and the big Rabbis ‘they know personally’ who have apparently said the most scurrilous, horrendous lies about the Rav.
But if you press on the sources - you ask for specific names, you ask for specific details - it quickly becomes apparent that the person you are talking to is lying. It’s human nature. You can’t spend the best part of five years crusading for ‘justice’ against Rav Berland and then easily accept you were wrong, even if the most obvious facts and information are presented to you on a platter.
Which is when I realized that I have to tread very, very carefully from here on in, because God forbid we should ‘win the battle’ with the Rav Berland stuff, and ‘lose the war’.
The point is to get more Jews back to Hashem, not to be 'right'
God forbid that we should prove the truth about what’s really gone on with the Rav, only to have so many holy Jews get even more entrenched in their yetzers because they can’t easily back down or ‘lose’ an argument, even one as important as this.
Rebbe Nachman talks a lot about this ‘urge to win’, and explains that the people who have this usually find it very, very hard to make teshuva. Because in order to make teshuva, you first have to admit you did something wrong, you believed lashon hara, you spoke lashon hara, you went around slagging off the Gadol HaDor.
And that’s a really hard thing to admit.
I realized yesterday, I also have to be much more on guard against my own ‘urge to win’, because the main goal here should be to get as many Jews as possible out of the world of lies and back to Hashem, and not just to mow them down with ‘truth’ and facts.
The adults are finding this even harder than the teens
Yesterday, my husband saw an old acquaintance of his from a different Breslov yeshiva. The guy asked my husband where he was learning, and when he told him ‘Shuvu Banim’ the man took that as a cue to start defaming Rav Berland.
Long story short, it was exactly the same scenario we’d had on Shabbat, except the man was in his 40s and was a talmid Chacham. Which meant that he really should have known better to keep trying to pass off lies as truth, and that he really should have known better when he started calling my husband an ‘apikorus’ very loudly, in the middle of a sandwich bar in Meah Shearim.
Again, when pressed for the sources of his information, and for the facts that would support his point of view, this man tried to angrily dismiss my husband as being an ‘am ha’aretz’ and started verbally abusing him instead.
Again, what made this encounter so distressing was that this man is generally a really good sort, and a nice guy. Again, it underlined just how powerful the spiritual corruption that’s behind all the slander of the Rav actually is. God wants this person back, he doesn’t want him getting even more entrenched in his issues, God forbid.
Lies (and the people telling them...) are so fragile
In Hebrew, the word for lies is ‘sheker’, which begins with the letter shin, ש. It’s taught that this is a very unstable, wobbly letter, because it balances on a narrow point. The smallest push, the smallest challenge, can send it toppling over.
That’s so true. And when that happens, the person caught in the lie then has a choice: either, they can take a deep breath, makes some serious teshuva and admit they were wrong. Or (and sadly, this is by far the more common reaction) they can get even more abusive and blustery as they try to brazen things out.
The paperback of ‘One in a Generation’ on Amazon is being inexplicably held up. There is no obvious problem or issue, just Amazon still isn’t displaying it as being ‘for sale’. I’ve been pondering why that is - why the whole process of getting this book out has been one long catalogue of delays and issues and obstacles - and this week, I think I finally may have worked it out.
The truth has to seep out slowly, so that as many people as possible can have the time to digest it, and to acknowledge it, and to make the teshuva they need to make quietly, without getting pulled under by this need to be ‘right’ at any cost.
It's going to take a long time to turn this tanker around
Reversing five years of slander and falsehoods is not going to be fast work. People’s souls have become so bound-up with the forces of evil that run Youtube and Ynet and Channel 2 that it’s going to be a really hard, long and tricky process to spring them out of that dark place.
It’s immensely challenging, on so many levels, to believe that people with the title of ‘rabbi’ could lie so brazenly, that the Israeli police could be so corrupt, that the courts could be 100% in the pocket of the prosecutors, that the media could fabricate so many falsehoods and continuously refuse to acknowledge the truth.
This goes to the heart of why so many people want to continue to believe ‘bad’ about Rav Berland, even when the facts are presented clearly in front of them.
So the truth will have to come out very slowly, to prevent too many people from completely losing their minds. And in the meantime, I can’t rush things along or force the issue. When the time is right, the world of lies will fall, and the world of truth will replace it.
And this week I learned a very clear lesson that if I put the emphasis on ‘winning the battle’ over Rav Berland, instead of winning the war to get more Jews back to Hashem, that really won’t be a good thing for anyone involved.
I need to do an awful lot of praying about how to proceed from here.
A few days’ back, I had four nights in a row of extremely intense dreams. This happens sometimes. I can go for months and months without dreaming anything much, and then have a bevy of whopping, big meaningful dreams one after another.
The first dream was a really awful nightmare about the force of evil being maintained in the world by thoughtless people who really had no idea what they were messing with, or what bad things they were unleashing as a result.
Thank God, I don’t get dreams that disturbing very often, but when they come, around once a year, I walk around panic-stricken and shaken for at least a day afterwards. And then there were two more internal, but still intense dreams. And then on the last day, I dreamt the whole country was being flooded by an enormous tsunami.
The weird thing about that tsunami is that while it was towering over me five stories tall, I actually didn’t get wet. It passed me by somehow, and went and flooded everything else.
It wasn’t a bad dream, like that other nightmare, but I felt I was getting some clue I had to go and research more, not least because when I was walking around Tel Aviv getting soaked to the skin a couple of months’ ago, I saw a really strange municipality sign affixed in a couple of locations.
Report from Hamodia: YERUSHALAYIM -Israel is not considered a high-risk country for tsunamis, but the Tel Aviv Municipality and Israel Police on Thursday decided that signs warning of the possibility of a giant wave hitting Israel’s coast were necessary anyway. The new signs warn that Tel Aviv beaches are a “tsunami hazard zone,” with the warning listed in English, Hebrew and Arabic. However, instructions on what to do are listed only in Hebrew and Arabic.
It was a brand new, blue and white ‘tsunami warning’ sign, which told the good citizens of Tel Aviv which direction they should run away in, should the city be hit by a tsunami.
That sign struck me as so very weird, because as far as I can tell, Tel Aviv has never, ever come even close to experiencing a tsunami. And if it did, running away a few metres up the road isn’t going to help anyone, much.
So I sat down, googled ‘tsunami’ - and I realized it was the seven day anniversary of when that massive tsunami hit the Fukishima nuclear reactor in Japan. Hmm. Maybe that was the tsunami vibe I’d picked up? Tsunami past, not tsunami present?
I googled a bit more, and I came across some videos by MrMMB333, who has been a gentle but obsessive observer of freak weather for a few years’ now. In contrast to so many of the ‘Prophets of Nibiru’ on the internet, he’s never made any big claims, never set any dates in stone, generally never even said the word ‘Nibiru’, or anything like that.
All he does is collate information from a number of satellite feeds, and other people who are also measuring strange things like huge spikes in UV readings across the North American continent, and he shares that info with his viewers with mild comments about things being ‘mighty strange’.
He had a whole bunch of recent things up on his site about what he calls ‘water anomalies’, namely strange shoreline phenomena that is seeing parts of the coast all over the world being strangely inundated with water, while other parts of the coast are being strangely exposed, and the sea water has somehow ‘disappeared’.
For example, parts of Europe and the UK got hit with Storm Emma a couple of weeks’ ago, and in the wake of that storm, an old Roman aqueduct that had been submerged for centuries suddenly appeared off the coast of Spain. How? Somehow, all the water in that area receded - permanently - and it revealed a ‘new’ stretch of coast including this ancient aqueduct.
Then weirder still, Storm Emma headed up the west coast of the British Isles, on the Irish side of the country, and on the east coast of Britain, facing France, a new massive stretch of coastline suddenly appeared, containing a massive forest of ‘7000 year old’ (sic) tree stumps.
Again, what’s strange about this is that these new/ old stretches of coast seem to have been permanently acquired. Something fundamental is shifting the earth’s oceans around and gently, gently, starting to re-draw the map of the world.
WHEN MOSHIACH COMES THE WORLD IS GOING TO CHANGE RADICALLY
For months, the messages I’ve been getting in my hitbodedut sessions is that the world is going to change, radically, but also (relatively…) very slowly and gently this time around. There will be no massive and instantaneous wrenching of the earth’s mantle without warning. Things will happen in due course, the world will probably experience a new ‘Matan Torah’ type event at some early stage of the open geula process.
But Moshiach will be revealed by then, and telling people to ‘bring in their cattle’, or to move country, or whatever it is they need to do to stay safe. This is how it happened in Egypt. Moshe the redeemer showed up, was believed by some of the people, not believed in by many of the others, things started to get pretty strange, weather-wise - and the whole test was whether to believe Moshe was ‘in control’ of events, as the prophet of Hashem, or whether it was all just comet-induced freak weather.
That’s why the sorcerers only grudgingly acknowledged that the ‘finger of God’ was somehow involved from the third plague onwards. But even by the plague of hail, many Egyptians were still denying Hashem’s kingship of the world, and refused to heed Moshe’s warning to ‘bring in their cattle’ when that plague struck.
HOW DID DATAN AND AVIRAM MAKE IT OUT OF EGYPT?
A few weeks’ ago, my husband asked Rav Ofer Erez why Datan and Aviram made it out of Egypt, and didn’t die in the plague of darkness with the other 4/5 of Am Yisrael? I mean, they were pretty ucky, yucky people, and they were behind so many of Moshe’s problems right from the start, with their evil speech, criticism, heresy and trouble-making.
Rav Ofer said there were two explanations:
1) That Datan and Aviram were actually enormous souls. He told my husband there’s a midrash that says they actually didn’t leave with the rest of the Israelite camp, because they thought they were only going out for three days, and then returning to Egypt, so they couldn’t be bothered coming along for that.
It’s only when the Egyptians realized that the Jews were going for good and set off in pursuit that Datan and Aviram grabbed their things, and tried to catch up with them. The midrash says an amazing thing: the sea split again, just for these two evil-doers.
They had so much potential in their souls, but they used it all for bad. So that’s one explanation, Datan and Aviram were not ‘standard’ evil-doers and potentially extremely lofty souls.
2) Another explanation is that the Jews that died in the plague of darkness died for a specific reason, and not necessarily because they were ‘bad’. And the specific reason given by the deeper Jewish sources is that they didn’t believe in the Tzaddik’s ability to redeem them.
Clearly, some ‘bad’ people made it out of Egypt - Datan and Aviram, Korach, the Erev Rav etc etc. Clearly, being ‘good’ wasn’t the measure of who made it out.
Believing in the Tzaddik was.
As it was then, so it may well be today.
After that tsunami dream, I did some serious hitbodedut about it, trying to figure out the message, at least for me. I got a picture in my head of a massive Rav Berland holding back the waves, and all these half-dead people who’d been buried in the sand kind of levitating up out the ground and floating after him.
To me, the message was clear. There is some sort of tsunami coming, whatever that actually means, that will overwhelm the world. But if you’re following after the Tzaddik - whoever that ultimately turns out to be - you’ll be ok, you’ll stay dry.
And if not?
I shudder to think.