Again, it’s a fundamental principle of emuna that nothing happens ‘stam’ or by accident, and that everything is 100% tailored from Hashem to give us some sort of message about what we might need to work on, change or fix in our lives (and souls) - so I’ve been pondering this a lot in my talking to God sessions the last few days.
Here’s what I was exploring:
1) After last week, I got 100% that my eyes went funny because I was looking at stuff that was coming from a very bad place spiritually.
(BTW, Shirat Devorah has a great post that explains this issue very nicely, HERE.)
2) WHAT was that stuff, exactly?
I wasn’t so clear on number 2, because I had three possible areas that I’m currently engaged in:
1) I’m reading books by Immanuel Velikovsky at the moment, who was basically an externally secular Jew who took on the scientific establishment after World War II. Velikovsky was extraordinarily erudite, and he demolished their arguments about things like the age of the world, and about how and when massive, comet-induced natural disasters devastated the planet, and also showed how the events described in Torah and Tanach is to be found all over ancient history - if you know where to look for it.
Now, he definitely wasn’t a religious man in the modern sense of the word, but he believed in God, and believed in the veracity of the Torah and Tanach (which makes him more ‘frum’ than a lot of the apparently orthodox people walking around in 2017.)
Was that making my eyes funny?
Or, was it:
2) The research I’m doing for the ‘Electric People’ book, where sometimes I start off reading equations about how matter is really just energy from people with impressive PhDs in quantum physics, and then two seconds later I find myself reading about a Tibetan boodhist view of the afterworld?
(It’s a crazy thing: Chemistry seems to lead to atheism, and physics either leads to God, or to avoda zara, or to a belief that ‘aliens’ created life on earth…)
Was it that, that was making my eyes funny?
Or, was it:
3) Jewish blogs and websites by ‘frum’ Jews who aren’t so into believing in Tzaddikim, definitely aren’t into Rav Berland, and have a very ‘cool’ take on what it means to be an orthodox Jew in 2017?
I cracked open Rebbe Nachman’s Book of Traits (sefer HaMiddot) and this is what I got:
“It’s forbidden to learn from one who draws after idol-worship, and one who learns from him is liable to the death penalty.”
Gosh, well that seemed to be pretty clear cut. It seemed like number 2 on the list was the culprit. Except….when you’re doing hitbodedut, and really talking to God about things, things are rarely so cut and dried.
As I was rolling around the idea that I have to quit writing ‘Electric People’, Rav Natan’s maxim that ‘whatever brings you closer to God is true, and whatever takes you further away from God is false’ popped into my head.
Just yesterday, I was sketching some of my ideas from Electric People out to a friend, and she told me that I’d just given her emuna a real boost by what I’d described, because it really showed her that people aren’t in control, and only God is.
So maybe Electric People wasn’t the problem after all (although clearly, the Tibetan ‘channelling’ PhDs are people I need to stay away from…)?
So I don’t think it’s that, despite all the disturbing packaging that some of Velikovsky’s ideas come wrapped in. (Briefly, he compared the mythologies and histories of ancient peoples to try to find some sort of big, world-wide natural disaster that would synchronise ancient history. Boy, did he find it… But that’s a post for another time.)
So then that left me with the frum Jewish blogosphere…
To cut a long story short, the last few weeks I was trying to connect to a whole bunch of Jewish bloggers and internet people, to interview them about their stuff, and to hopefully get the word out about my new book, The Secret Diary of a Jewish Housewife.
I spent literally hours poring over different websites, trying to find good ‘fits’. Then, I spent a bunch more time emailing people, to see if we could collaborate somehow. I’ve had a few nice responses (mostly from the less obviously ‘frum’ people) - and some really yucky responses from the more apparently ‘frum’ people, who castigated me for publicly supporting Rav Berland on my blog.
After I got another yucky response last week, I had a fleeting moment when I thought maybe I should take the stuff about Rav Berland down. I mean, if it was limiting my marketing opportunities, blah blah blah, stopping me from connecting to other cool, creative, ‘frum’ Jews, blah blah blah, making me feel like I’d done something ‘bad’, blah blah blah…
After talking to God about it all, I decided to stick to my guns, and to continue to support the Rav with everything I’ve got, for as long as it takes for the truth to come out, regardless of how many ‘opportunities’ it’s costing me.
When I applied Rav Natan’s rule, I realized that trying to cosy up to these ‘frum’ bloggers had taken me pretty far away from emuna, and emunat Tzaddikim, or believing in our true Tzaddikim.
To put it another way, these guys were REALLY bad for my health!!!
And for my soul. And for my spiritual connection to Hashem, and His holy Tzaddikim.
So, now I’ve figured that out, I’m going to continue trying to demolish all the lies modern science is built on (that leads to atheism…), and I’m going to continue trying to show how human health really works (which could lead to avoda zara, unless people are firmly connected to the Torah and the true Tzaddikim…)
But I’m staying away from pretty much every Jewish blog and website out there, (except the ones in my sidebar, nearly all of which have publicly come out in support of Rav Berland) - because when you’re striving to be a believing Jew, that’s the REALLY dangerous stuff on the internet.