The king’s viceroy came to him with a very worrying report: thanks to all the crop-spraying and GMO food being grown, within three months the whole population would suffer from (hopefully…) temporary brain damage, which would cause them to act insane.
“What should we do?” asked the viceroy. “Should we just top eating gluten altogether?” The king weighed the matter up carefully, then responded: “No. We’ll also have to eat that poisonous stuff and start acting like crazy people. But!” he continued. “We will have t-shirts printed up bearing the legend: ‘Remember, you are crazy.’ I will see your t-shirt, and remember that I’m nuts, and you will see mine, and do the same.”
And so it was agreed.
Four months’ later, the GMO and MSG and Round-up had done a great job of making everyone insane, so the king sent the viceroy on a mission to go from house to house, to distribute the millions of t-shirts they’d printed up with ‘Remember, you are crazy’ on them. As the viceroy had also gone nuts at this point, he thought it was a great idea.
He rolled up to the first house, rang the bell, and waited. Suddenly, three externally-mounted surveillance cameras swung round in his direction, and focused in, while a taut voice barked out through the intercom “What do you want?! Did the people of the Great Star send you?”
The viceroy cleared his throat, and replied: “I’m from the king. We’ve got a food supply problem that is sending us all crazy at the moment, and I’m trying to educate people about it. I’m also giving out these t-shirts.” The viceroy held one up to the nearest camera, which seemed to scan it carefully and nod.
“Listen, buddy, I’m fine, but my neighbor really needs to hear what you’re telling him. I’ve been warning him for years that the people from the Great Star are about to open up a vortex in the sky and suck everyone up over to a different dimension – and the guy can’t hear a word I’m saying! So try next door.”
Because the viceroy was a little crazy himself, he did as the man suggested.
He tramped up to the rhinestone-encrusted door, and rang the bell. It was opened by a woman in her 50s with dyed-blonde hair and an unfortunate habit of wearing too-tight black tank tops. “Yah?” she drawled out. “I’m from the king…” the viceroy began, but that’s as far as he got.
“Can’t be!” she cut him off. “The king lives here, and I’d know if you were working for us.” The viceroy was temporarily speechless, so the woman decided to prove her point. “Ellllvisssss!!!” she yelled behind her. “Come here a moment, honey, someone wants to see the king.”
An aging, overweight man with 10 rings on each hand and a huge, dyed-black quiff suddenly appeared behind her. “Elvis, honey, tell this guy who you are,” the blonde gatekeeper prompted. “I’m da king!” Elvis exclaimed.
“How can that be?!” the viceroy remonstrated. “Elvis died more than 30 years ago!” “Geez, you guys and your conspiracy theories…” the blonde rolled her eyes theatrically. “Elvis honey, you’re alive aren’t you?” The man grunted “Uhuh”, and went straight into a rendition of “You ain’t nothing but a hound-dog.”
Just then, the viceroy felt his phone vibrating – a message. He pulled it out and read: “Remember you are crazy, and so are they.” It was from the king. The viceroy mopped his face with his hanky, gosh, that was a close call. They were so convincing he’d got a little confused there for a moment.
Elvis and his sidekick didn’t want a t-shirt telling them they were crazy – because clearly, they weren’t – but they suggested that the viceroy try the guy next door, who had some very strange ideas about the Palestinians being real partners for peace.
Because the viceroy was a little crazy, he took their advice.
Sadly that guy was out flying kites over the Gaza fence, so the viceroy left a t-shirt in his mailbox, and continued on to the next house. There, the door was opened by a professorial looking gentleman in tan chinos and a tasteful, blue-tinted shirt. “Can I help you?” the professor replied.
The viceroy swallowed. Wow, this guy was so polite and ‘normal’ it was actually freaky. He explained about his mission, while the professor continued to listen intently, occasionally nodding. When the viceroy finished his tale, the professor invited the viceroy in, to discuss what they could actually do to spread more awareness of this problem.
Again, the viceroy swallowed nervously. This guy was acting so nice, it was really weird. “Do you mind if I ask Rita to join us?” the professor asked. The viceroy was meant to be guarding his eyes, but these sort of challenges unfortunately came with the job of trying to do hafetza. “Sure,” he muttered, “why not?”
As it turned out, the viceroy had nothing to worry about. “Rita” was a bearded, strapping 6ft 2, built like the proverbial brick house, who had a thing for twinsets and high heels. The viceroy’s eyes nearly fell out of his head. “Rita, this gentleman has just shared some very disturbing information with me, about the state of the nation’s mental health, and I’d appreciate your input.”
“I just knew something was up!” Rita responded warmly. “Last week, I saw someone walking down the street wearing a bright orange top with grey slacks! If that’s not a sign of global insanity, I don’t know what is!”
The viceroy fumbled for his hankie again. It had suddenly got pretty hot in the professor’s cosy kitchen. Suddenly, his phone rang: it was the king. “It’s the boss,” he mouthed to his hosts, “I have to take it, sorry!” The viceroy took the call outside, and the king kept is short and to the point.
“Don’t forget, everyone is crazy!” he reminded his loyal servant. “Give them a t-shirt and get the heck out of there. I’m having a lucid moment, and I’m starting to think it was a really bad idea to send you out on this mission.”
So the viceroy made his excuses, and left.
On the way home, because he was a little bit crazy himself, he decided to try one last time. He lifted his hand to knock on a door, when it suddenly opened by itself, and he found himself face-to-face with an obviously observant Jew.
“I know why you’re here,” the Jew observed drily. “And I know what you want.” Because the viceroy was crazy, he believed him. “How do you know?” he asked the Jew incredulously. The Jew took a step towards him and told him in a conspiratorial whisper: “My sofa told me! My sofa is one of the hidden lamed vav Tzaddikim, and whatever the sofa predicts, it always comes true!”
Wow, this was amazing. Talk about saving the best to last. “Can I speak to the sofa too?” The viceroy asked in awe. “Sure,” replied the Jew. “But please take your shoes off first.” The shoe-less viceroy shuffled into the salon, overcome by the huge honor he was being shown. “Ask the sofa anything you want!” the Jew prompted him, so pleased to have gained another convert to the cause.
“Honored sofa, what can I do to hasten the cause of good in the world, and to bring peace to all men?” The sofa answered: “Stop spending so much time reading all those horrible, slanderous stories online about the true Tzaddikim.”
The viceroy had been bending over reverentially, to hear the sofa’s answer, but at this he immediately snapped up straight and shook his head. “I may be crazy,” he told the Jew, “but that’s still the most insane thing I’ve heard all year.”
And with that, he left a t-shirt in the simple Jews hands, and headed back to the palace.
Before we begin, here’s one of my favorite infographics, showing the Erev Rav traits versus true Jewish traits.
You’ll notice that speaking lashon hara, indulging in harsh judgments against others, brazenness (which is refusing to accept that you ever do anything wrong, or may be at fault), trying to make a name for yourself, craving honor - all these things are very clearly associated with the Erev Rav.
The Gemara teaches that when a Jewish person lacks compassion, we should question whether that person’s feet stood at Mount Sinai. Anyone who knows their Erev Rav sources properly knows exactly what this is referring to.
Before we go on, again, I just wanted to bring this excerpt talking about (trauma-induced) Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as it’s so useful to help you understand the context of what is currently playing out online, and in the media, both in the Jewish and non-Jewish world:
“People with NPD won’t (or can’t) change their behavior even when it causes problems at work or when other people complain about the way they act, or when their behavior causes a lot of emotional distress to others.”
Here’s how NPD plays out in real terms:
(As an aside, I've noticed that blogging and having a public 'platform' can definitely bring these tendencies out and exaggerate them. It's one of the reasons I'm very keen to keep pointing out my own flaws and to field questions on Emunaroma, and to give others a platform to express themselves, too, so it's not just 'all about Miiii'.)
Why this stuff is important to know:
I’ve spent the last 3 years researching and writing about mental health issues over on spiritualself-help.org and in a bunch of books, and what I learned is that Erev Rav tendencies and personality disorders are one and the same.
People act like ‘Erev Rav’ because they are mentally-ill, and mental illness is primarily caused by experiencing serious trauma and / or emotional neglect, especially in childhood.
And it can be fixed and changed when God, and connecting to our true Tzaddikim are in the picture!
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov’s whole work in this final generation before Moshiach was to give our generation the tools we needed to overcome all the heresy, and mental illness, and ‘Erev Rav’ traits that would be flooding the world at this stage.
If anyone wants to learn more, Unlocking the Secret of the Erev Rav gives all the background to this concept, including sources, but it’s very important to understand one thing:
The only way the Erev Rav can get fixed is by coming close to the Tzaddik of the generation.
The Zohar brings down how the Erev Rav are actually ‘sparks’ of Moshe Rabbenu’s soul, which is why he wanted to bring them out of Egypt and rectify them.
That first time around, the job was too big for him, but over the last 3,300 years, each of the Tzaddikim of the generation have been involved with this task of rectifying the soul-sparks from the Erev Rav, because when that is completed we will have finally rectified the world, spiritually, and we can get to geula.
In Rebbe Nachman’s story of The Cripple, he depicts the Tzaddik of the Generation as a wondrous tree, with every type of healing and bounty in its leaves.
Rabbenu tells us that there are large communities of demons in the world whose whole purpose in life is to spread lies and slanders about the true Tzaddikim, to prevent people from drawing close. Every few years, the king of these demons tries to totally uproot the tree, but the tree lets out a piercing scream that reduces these demons to jelly, and scares them off.
So in the meantime, they content themselves with digging ditches around the tree (with their lashon hara, trouble-making and slander) that prevent it from being ‘watered’, and from truly blossoming in the world.
The human beings in the world have no idea that half the planet is populated by these ‘demons’, many of whom presumably have blogs and write things online, and have no clue that these demons are focused on one thing, and one thing only: keeping people away from the true tzaddik of the generation.
Rebbe Nachman teaches us that at the end of time, the ‘talkers’ amongst the demons will turn on each other, and start a civil war.
This one will give an interview to the Jpost decrying corruption in the police, while ‘that one’ will give an interview to Channel 2 decrying corruption within the Knesset.
This ‘rabbi’ will speak evilly about that ‘rabbi’, this organization will slag off that organization, this blogger will criticize that blogger - and all this will lead to massive earthquakes and natural disasters, that means that finally the ditches collapse, and the tree - the True Tzaddik of the generation - finally gets watered.
And then we have geula.
Looks like we are getting very close!
So, judging by the contents of my inbox this morning, we’re seem to be very, very close. But in the meantime, pay attention to all the ‘Erev Rav’ tendencies, and NPD traits that are coming to the fore at the moment, and know that most people today are literally insane, and shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
BH, when the True Tzaddik is finally revealed in the world, he’ll hopefully give them (and the rest of us!) another chance to come clean, admit that we have some serious mental health issues, and to make the teshuva we so desperately need to make.
Because God really does want all these people back.
And the only people who’ll tell you different are the ones who are struggling with some enormous (but fixable!) ‘Erev Rav’ / NPD tendencies themselves.
As always, your comments and questions are welcome, as long as they don’t contravene the laws of lashon hara. God forbid we should act like ‘demons’ and put more evil speech, slander and strife into the world!