It’s often happened to me that God gives me a tremendous flash of insight in my hitbodedut, or talking to God, sessions, that I then have to try to explain to other people in logical terms.
And I usually struggle to do that, as the insight I get in hitbodedut isn’t a linear argument or a progression of information, it’s a quantum leap from one place to a completely different reality.
My poor husband has been on the receiving end of this so many times that now he just mutters ‘bina yetira’ when I’m trying to explain why I’ve just done something else that doesn’t make any sense, logically, yet I feel 100% with every fibre of my being that it’s the right thing to do.
So with that intro, here goes the ‘logical’ explanation which really only partially describes why I pressed ‘delete’ on my blog, motzae Shabbat.
Why I pressed 'delete' on my blog
It started a little earlier in the week when two things happened:
1) I got sent links to a really good, in-depth expose of the crazy psychos who have been hounding Rav Berland for well over a decade, and it was frankly more than a little disturbing to see the lengths these people were going to, when it came to trying to hurt and disrupt the Rav.
2) The draft of One in a Generation, the biography of Rav Berland, finally passed through all the editorial checks and obstacles, and was put up on Amazon for pre-order just a couple of hours before Shabbat came in, here in Israel.
I’ve known for months already that this book marks a huge turning point, at least spiritually, in the ongoing battle between truth and lies in the Jewish world. Rav Kook from Tiberius told us all very clearly that everything that happens with Rav Berland is directly connected to the geula, the redemption of Am Yisrael.
So I knew the publication of the book would mark a big upswing in something, that would probably kick-off the next stage of geula. (I only found out after Shabbat that probably the exact same time the book went up on Amazon, that Israeli jetfighter got shot down by Iranian proxies in Syria…)
So anyway, I’ve been feeling pretty excited, but also pretty nervous about this book coming out, because while it’s going to be a game changer, I was anxious about the anti-Berland psychos targeting me and trying to cause me issues and damage the way they’ve been doing to everyone else who is publicly ‘pro’ the Rav.
This is a very big reason why so many people who are ‘pro’ the Rav are keeping shtum, because no-one really has the stomach to fight these people.
You’ll remember a few months back, I got sued for the enormous sum of 40,000 shekels for posting up a picture of Rav Berland in court which I thought was covered by ‘fair use’, seeing as my blog is not commercial and I was writing about the story.
Long story short, even with a lot of help from the lawyer husband of a friend, my own lawyer husband, and a lawyer I had to pay to deal with it, I still ended up paying out around 7,000 shekels, because these people are ruthless.
"Why do I feel so anxious?"
Shabbat morning, I had a huge amount of anxiety going on, and as I started to dig around, what came up is that I was very nervous about the ‘anti’ psycho brigade combing through four years of Emunaroma to find another picture they could try to use against me, or another careless use of words that they could use to try to use to damage me in some way.
I also realized that they may try to hack my site and disable it, the way they did to ravberland.com a few months ago.
Which is when God gave me my brainwave: If I deleted my archive myself, on my own terms, ensuring that I had copies of all my articles saved on a stick somewhere, then these people wouldn’t be able to use Emunaroma against me.
As soon as that idea popped into my head, I felt so, so happy and really relieved.
Which is when I realized some more things about why it would be good to make a new start here on Emunaroma. With God’s help, I’ve built up quite a big audience over the last few years, which is a huge privilege - and also a huge responsibility.
And I haven’t always managed to carry that responsibility appropriately. While most of the time I’ve very careful with my lashon hara, and with trying to see Am Yisrael with a good eye, I’ve had times when that’s not the case, and I don’t want those things ‘out there’ permanently, bringing who knows what judgments down on my head.
I want Emunaroma to be a positive blog, to spread light and God’s goodness in the world, and ranting on about nasty people is not the best way to do that.
Now, I’m not saying it won’t happen again, because it probably will. But at least I got rid of the backlog in the meantime.
Words are so powerful
Another reason I pulled the plug is because having a ‘big’ blog presence can lead to some serious ego and arrogance problems. Words are so powerful, and there’s something very spiritually corrupting about the idea that ‘XX thousand people are reading my blog!’
I wanted to do some ‘blog teshuva’ and humble myself, so God doesn’t have to send me other hard things to do that job for me.
Another reason why I pulled the plug is because the idea of a new start is just so appealing.
I’ve had many occasions over the last few years when I had enough of blogging, and being so caught up online.
The plus of blogging is all the tremendously awesome people I’ve met through doing Emunaroma, but as the pressures on my time have grown astronomically over the last few months, I’ve been spending so much time typing, and so little time living, that I felt a desperate need for a grand gesture to redraw the balance.
Pressing ‘delete’ showed God, and showed me, that there is so much more to me and to my life than my blog.
With that certainty, I can now carry on blogging happily, and I’m not worried now that I’ve blogged my soul to the devil, and I’m stuck posting things up for the next 50 years just to keep my audience happy.
I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem
How different the world would look if people only blogged about things that were actually good to blog about, and not just out of a need to keep the audience coming back for the next installment.
So I’m hoping that by pressing ‘delete’, I will stop being part of the addicting internet problem, and make a small move in the direction of being part of the solution.
I can hope.
And the last reason I pulled the plug comes back to wanting what I write to be ‘real’ in some way, and not just virtual. Rav Ofer explained once that this world offers us fake ‘pleasure’ and fake ‘achievements’ to fool us into thinking there’s nothing else to aim for.
Every time hundreds of people read a blog post, that’s a really nice feeling. It gives me some real pleasure. But in the meantime, I feel like I want to be an author of books, real books, not just an author of virtual blog posts, however much I enjoy writing them.
The more time I spend online, the less time I’m writing real books. And real books is what I want to show my kids, and their kids, and what I want to fill my own shelves with.
A friend brought this point home to me last week when she emailed me an invite for her son’s bar mitzvah, then reassured me that she’d call to remind me too ‘because no-one really pays attention to things that are just on-screen.’
She is so right.
And I need to spend more time migrating my stuff off-screen and onto Amazon and the Book Depository.
All of these reasons sound reasonable, logical, possible. But none of them really capture the real reason why I pressed ‘delete’ on my blog, which is this:
Once I understood that this is what God wanted from me, I was happy to give it to Him.
In my own small way, it’s a korban I’m offering up to the Al-mighty, and I hope He finds its aroma pleasing.
And that’s why I know it’s going to lead to really good things happening, even though I can’t for one second explain what they might be.
Binah yetirah or crazy person alert.
You can decide, dear reader.
But in the meantime, I’m feeling happier about continuing to write for Emunaroma then I have been for a very long time.