I know the mainstream media really isn’t telling anyone anything much, unless they have to, about what’s really going on with ‘climate change’ in the world, and volcanoes and earthquakes.
ut last week, 20 different volcanoes erupted across the planet, including the massive blast at Krakatau, Indonesia, which sparked off a volcanic tsunami that’s killed and displaced hundreds of people.
There are huge geological changes going on right now. The Krakatau blast shot sulphuric particles 55,000 ft up into the stratosphere – which means, amongst other things, that more freak weather is on the way.
A few weeks ago, Manam Volcano in Papua New Guinea also shot a bunch of fine volcanic debris and dust 40,000 ft up, into the stratosphere. I think that probably has something to do with the massive hail now falling on Sydney, and other parts of Australia.
(Although clearly, there are other more spiritual reasons for why Australia is currently getting hit with apocalyptic weather like wildfires, flashfloods and now hail the size of golf-balls.)
Things are heating up – and geologically, this is set to continue, and is probably going to get much, much more dramatic over the next 20 years, regardless of whether Moshiach shows up right now or not. If Moshiach shows up, it’ll be easier for the world. And if not, we’re on the cusp of another serious Grand Solar Minimum period, which will see dramatic global cooling, and an enormous uptick in volcanoes and earthquakes.
My husband, God bless him, is really not convinced by the Grand Solar Minimum information I keep giving him, even though it’s based on something approaching real science, for a change, and not ‘prophecies’ from autistics, or xtians with an ‘armageddon’ complex, nor politicians and professors who have made a career out of lying to the public about what’s really going on.
Things are about to get very challenging, geologically-speaking.
And if Moshiach comes now, we’ll be saved the worst of it and it’ll be sweetened. And if not, then derech hateva, naturally, we are in for a rough ride as a civilization, because mass communication and heavy industrialization has never been tested with the sort of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, freak weather and electrical discharges that are going to be unleashed with greater and greater force across the planet over the next 20 years, as part of the Grand Solar Minimum.
So, how can we prepare for what might be coming next?
The answer is to get real, finally, and to stop wasting our precious time and effort on all the pointless circus that is politics, entertainment and the media. To take our head out of Fakebook, and to go and give our kids a hug, and to have a real conversation with the people we really love (if they didn’t get yeoush and give up on us, already.)
Getting prepared spiritually means really coming back to God, making teshuva, and accepting that life is not going to continue on as normal. One way or another, there are big changes on the horizon.
I know, its human nature to deny all this, and pretend it’s not happening. I get that, I really do!
No-one likes change, no-one likes upheaval, no-one likes the idea that we’re not in control of what’s happening.
(I feel like that person at the party that everyone sees coming, then immediately ducks into the toilets, or runs out the room to avoid…)
But - at least have a plan ‘B’, at least start admitting the thought that the world may not continue exactly how it is right now, for too much longer. At least, spend five minutes thinking about what aspects of life you might change, or do differently, if some of these big changes really are on the horizon.
Over the last few years, I’ve seen so many people draw back from the brink, when it comes to this stuff. The evidence piles up, the facts flow in, the obvious conclusion to be made is that something radical needs to change in their lives, for them to become the Jews God really wants them to be.
And at that point, the fear kicks in, the doubts take over – and the person freezes up and turns into a robot, going through the motions, talking the talk without really walking the walk.
I’ve seen that happen so many times.
And then, the excuses start, and the superficial approach to life gets laid on super, smotheringly, thick, and the person loses themselves in shopping, and inanity, and Fakebook, because that seems to be easier than really looking reality in the face.
And then, usually, their kids start acting up, dropping out of school, and speeding off the derech at a million miles an hour, or getting sick, God forbid, and apparently no-one knows why this is happening.
It’s happening, because we are all down here to work.
The volcanoes, earthquakes, illnesses and wars are coming because God wants the heart. He wants us to be brave enough to step out of our comfort zones, and follow Him into the desert.
As it was in Egypt, so it is again.
Which is why you can see how so many people didn’t make it out of galut, even when the world was literally crumbling around them.
After I wrote this, I got sent an email by someone close to Rav Berland, where the Rav apparently said that there was some massively horrible thing that was meant to happen on the 10th of Tevet, but that it’s been sweetened – temporarily.
There’s still a lot of spiritual work required to get it removed, but at the very least, the awful ‘whatever it is’ (probably, another war in Israel….) got pushed off.
But that would certainly explain why I was feeling so down the last few days, and why today I’m feeling much, much happier again.
Thank God for our true tzaddikim.
Sometimes, when I’m doing hitbodedut and I feel like I need a bit of extra inspiration or guidance, I open up a Breslov book at random, and see what I get. This is what I got, this Shabbat, when I was praying about ‘the matzav’:
“Prior to this last Shabbat before Rosh Hashana, the Rebbe had been visited by two prominent Chassidim, who ate with him. In the course of the conversation, the two Chassidim started ridiculing a certain man in Nemirov who used to clap his hands a great deal, while praying. The Rebbe was upset by their comments, and told them sternly: “How do you know what it means to clap one’s hands while praying, and everything it involves?! What right do you have, to make fun of this man whose hand-clapping isn’t meeting with your approval?!”…
“A few weeks later, after Succot, this man who had been with the Rebbe before Rosh Hashana, and who had made fun of the man who clapped his hands in Nemirov, came to the Rebbe, and asked him to intercede for his son, who was now sick. The Rebbe showed him a passage in the Pri Etz Chaim…[and] afterwards, the Rebbe told him the lesson about hand-clapping in Likutey Moharan 46, discussing the three hands etc.
“However, the man refused to incline his shoulder to bear the yoke of Torah and become a follower of the Rebbe.
“The man returned home, and his son’s condition became more serious. He told me the entire story of how the Rebbe had dealt with him and the lesson he had given. He also told me that the Rebbe had told him a story about a certain aristocrat who was extremely hard, and brazen… The man asked me to remind the Rebbe about his son’s illness, next time I went to him, and to ask him for help.
“Soon afterwards, I went to the Rebbe and spoke with him about this. He said, ”The boy is still alive?” in a tone of surprise. I stood there trembling, because I understood from this that the boy’s decree of death was already sealed. The Rebbe said: “If this man had accepted what I said, the boy would already be healthy” – but now, it was impossible for the boy to stay alive. And indeed, the boy died shortly afterwards.
“When the Rebbe spoke to me about the man, I started making excuses for him, saying, “How can he become your follower, when he already has a leader?” – namely, one of the Rebbe’s opponents.
“The Rebbe replied: “If so, it is a big test for him.”
“In other words this did not mean it would be impossible for him to become the Rebbe’s follower, only that his test would be greater. He should certainly make every effort to withstand the test, overcome all the obstacles, and become a follower of the Rebbe.”
This passage hit me like a ton of bricks.
There’s more to say, but I’m strangely reticent to say it. Let each person understand what they will.
Yesterday night, Zot Chanuka, me and my husband schlepped off to Hevron at 11pm, to do our bit to try to get to the 50,000 people Rav Berland said would be needed to sweeten the awful judgments of war hanging over Israel.
Let me put you out of your suspense right now, and tell you that 50,000 people didn’t come.
There were definitely thousands, but 50,000?
So, the question is, did it work?
Did the prayer gathering do enough to sweeten everything that’s going on?
I don’t know.
This morning, the news is full of multiple attempted terrorist attacks in Israel:
7 people wounded near Ofra in a shooting attack, including a 21 year old mother-to-be who ended up delivering her baby 10 weeks early. The baby is now fighting for it’s life.
A stabbing attack in Jerusalem, where a terrorist stabbed 7 police officers.
These seem to be clear signs that ‘the matzav’, as they call it in Israel, is heating up again.
So, did yesterday’s prayer gathering ‘work’?
I don’t know. I hope so.
What’s clear, is that the Rav could see this ‘deterioration’ in Israel’s security approaching, and according to his words, there may still be far worse to come.
Unless the prayer gathering worked.
But the required 50,000 didn’t show up.
And in case you think this is just Israel’s problem, it isn’t.
Whenever ‘the matzav’ worsens here, anti-semitism and anti-Jewish feeling across the globe ticks up alarmingly, as the media rushes to fill your screens and your head with images of the terrible ‘violence’ being perpetrated…by Israel.
And with Europe descending into chaos as it is, the anti-semites don’t need any more encouragement to start venting their existing frustrations on the local Jews.
They are already smashing up shops, windows and buildings all over France. It won’t take much for a few synagogues and Jewish institutions to get the Gilets Jaunes treatment, too.
And remember, just last month, a Jew-hater opened fire on a non-orthodox synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11. Anti-semitism is on the rise all over the world.
So, the worsening matzav is really not just Israel’s problem.
Did it work, yesterday?
I hope so.
But I really don’t know.
UPDATE: Someone just told me that the stabbing attack happened three weeks ago, not today, so BH for that. I live right next to Arnona and had no idea that happened up the road three weeks ago, because I barely check the news.
So, I feel a little better. Maybe, it did work after all.
I write about this way more over on www.spiritualselfhelp.org, but in the meantime, I thought I’d take a look at Rebbe Nachman of Breslov’s ‘Sefer HaMiddot’, to get his take on what’s really underneath our main bad middot.
You can boil most bad middot down to one of the following:
While there are for sure a whole bunch of other bad middot we could add to this list too, if you try to follow them back to where they’re really coming from, you will find them rooted in one of these six.
If you’ve been following me over on spiritualselfhelp.org, you’ll know that I write a lot about the stress response, which basically divides into four main areas of:
The infographic explains it pretty nicely, but these basically correlate to the ‘base’ bad middot in the following ways:
Of all of these flattery is probably the least talked about, and the most difficult to really understand and to get to grips with.
You could describe flattery as people pleasing behavior – i.e. being nice to people because we’re scared of them, or are trying to get something out of them, as opposed to because we really want to be nice to them.
In his book on overcoming Complex PTSD, Pete Walker actually states that you can tell how threatening a person found their parents by how much people-pleasing behavior they engage in as adults, which is an interesting idea.
So, let’s get back to Rabbenu.
I was trying to figure out ‘what bad middot comes first’, because once we can untie the first sin in that bundle, the rest will fall away by themselves. This is what I managed to glean from the Sefer HaMiddot:
Rabbenu also says that sometimes, ANGER comes from bearing a heavy burden. (More on this another time, but sometimes those ‘heavy burdens’ the soul has to bear come from a previous incarnation.)
The infographic lays out the basic relationship between all these different bad middot.
With God’s help, let’s see if we can figure out together the progression of all these bad middot, and then bring it down to ‘real world’ level, so we start to understand what’s going on, what God is really expecting from us, and how we can start to heal ourselves – and judge other people with more compassion.
And all that before breakfast…
As you’re hopefully starting to figure out for yourselves already, bad middot are complicated.
They aren’t things we can just wish away, or suppress, or pretend that we don’t have.
God gave them to us, and He expects us to acknowledge them, and work on them. And BH, that part of the process is not as difficult, or scary, as we might think.
So, that’s what we’re going to be doing here on the blog for the next few posts, as once more people understand where all this stuff is really coming from – and how to really start getting a handle on it – Moshiach really can’t be too far behind.
Does anyone really believe that Santa Ana winds can ‘create’ wildfires out of thin air? Does anyone really believe that a spark from a burst tyre, or that a blow from a hammer, can spontaneously combust hundreds and thousands of acres in California?
Do people really believe that wildfires can ‘jump’ massive rivers, without being fed by a source of natural gas? Or that fires can race across the bare earth at the rate of 80 football fields a minute, without their being some sort of additional external source feeding their flames?
The answer, apparently, is yes.
But here’s what is really going on across California: over the last week, many of the State’s ‘hidden’ and not-so-hidden volcanoes were experiencing a number of micro-quakes. Usually, very few people even bother with micro-quakes, 2 magnitude or less, because you can’t really feel them, and they do no damage.
But that doesn’t mean they aren’t signposts to much bigger, much more destructive forces being unleashed underground.
In the last two years, California has been hit by 7 separate massive ‘wildfire’ events. Each time before the fires spontaneously broke out, a bunch of micro-quakes started striking the flanks of the volcanoes in the vicinity a week to ten days beforehand.
No-one likes to talk about this.
No-one likes to consider that California was built on hundreds of thousands of volcanoes that the USGS and the scientists (and probably also, the people who live there…) all like to believe last exploded millions of years ago.
But that’s not true.
The volcanoes in California are still very much active, and the magma is currently moving underground, as we can see from the microquake activity.
After the microquakes, land tremors begin, showing that the tectonic plate under California is moving, or slow-slipping. As the plate slips, volcanic gases including methane rise up from the magma below the earth’s crust, and escape into the air. Just waiting for the spark from a tyre, or a cigarette, or even the grating of a car’s gears to start burning.
In the reports of this latest fire that completely burned out the town of Paradise in California, and which has killed 31 people already, with almost 300 still missing, eye-witnesses spoke of seeing ‘blue flames’ playing around the burnt-out cars.
Does that sound familiar?
Back in Hawaii a few months ago, there was a ton of footage shot of the ‘eerie blue flames’ burning through the cracks in the tarmac of what used to be the Leilani Estates subdivision – a sure sign of natural gas, the main component of which is methane.
And now, those same blue flames are licking around a number of town and cities in California.
Those blue flames are linked to volcanic gases, and both are linked to magma on the move, and sooner or later, volcanoes exploding.
Here in Israel, we’re also under fire, of a different type. The Arabs in Gaza are continuing to send their burning balloons over the fence while the media and government basically ignore the ‘mini-war’ being fought in Israel’s south.
Today, it got escalated up to 17 rockets (and counting) and schools have been closed. An IDF soldier has been killed, may Hashem avenge his blood, and now, even the craven Israeli media are having to talk about what’s really going on. At least a little bit.
The media in all countries loves talking politics, and loves punditry, and loves trying to turn everything into a pointless personality show.
And that’s why the whole world appears to be fiddling while Rome burns.
Israel’s south is burning.
California’s North is burning.
And all the media can do is talk politics and point fingers.
But really, there’s one reason it’s happening, one true Cause behind it all: Hashem.
Hashem is calling us all back to Him. Hashem is telling us we need to make some serious teshuva. We need to stop with all the bread and circuses and realize that massive changes are underfoot, that could transform the world in an instant.
Most of the people burnt in the Paradise fires were killed in their cars, trying to out-run the flames. They literally had five minutes to get out of town, and anyone who stopped to put on their make-up, or peer behind them, was instantly consumed.
God is not messing around. The message is getting louder.
We need to turn off the talking heads, pull our souls out of all the pointless politics and come back to God.
Because what’s going on in California right now is probably only the beginning.
At the beginning of last week, for no obvious reason, I was in a really bad mood.
I don’t think I was the only one. Increasingly, I’m seeing how so much of our moods are the function of a ruach, or spiritual ‘wind’ that Hashem floods into the world that’s designed to press all our stress response buttons. When that happens, we come out fighting, flighting, freezing, going into hyper ‘people-pleasing’ mode – and the only way to get a grip on this is a lot of hitbodedut and self-awareness.
Which of course, 99.9% of the world aren’t doing, and don’t have.
So I think the violence and madness is only going to increase in the meantime… but let’s get on with the story.
I’ve started teaching a class again in Jerusalem, on Deeper Needs, and before the ladies showed up for Monday’s class I rushed out to the local supermarket to get some biscuits and water. The supermarket never has enough change. Like, never.
And I’ve made a practice of paying with cash wherever possible ever since we ran out of money a few years ago, and my cards stopped working in the most embarrassing of ways.
There are few things more excrutiating than ringing up a huge amount of shopping – and then your card doesn’t work. To be honest, it’s also excrutiating when it’s only a little bit of shopping, but at least that’s easier to forget about.
So, I have a credit card, but I try to avoid using it whenever possible.
And the supermarket has no change.
So, last Monday, I was there with my water and my biscuits, when the always grumpy woman on the till started haranguing me for not getting my shopping out of the basket and on to the conveyor belt fast enough.
I felt ‘fight’ well up in my chest, but God helped me to squash it. Phew!
10 seconds later, she’d rang up the total – 23 shekels – and I gave her the 100 shekel note I had in my purse to pay for it. She started humphing, asked me if I had anything smaller, I said I didn’t. And then she started haranguing me again, and told me I should pay with a credit card instead.
I felt ‘fight’ well up in my chest again – and this time, I couldn’t contain it. I grabbed the 100 shekels out of her hand, and shoved a credit card into it with such bad grace, and with such a malevolent look on my face that even the grouchy old supermarket bag got a shock.
“Why are you cross with me?!” she asked, incredulous.
“Because you got cross with me!” I answered back.
The rest of the transaction passed in silence, and I left the shop fuming.
Of course, ten minutes later I sat down to give a class on fixing bad middot, and dealing with things like anger and fear.
God always plans it like that, so I give over these classes from a place of maximum humiliation and shaflut. “Listen, gals, this is what we’re meant to be doing, but in the meantime you should know my fight reaction just kicked in at the super, and it’s a miracle I didn’t punch the old bad on the till in the chops.”
So all week, I’ve been thinking about how to fix this. How can I fix this?
The answer that came back in hitbodedut was this: chocolate.
So today, I returned back to the supermarket that has no change, I carefully picked the grumpy till lady’s line, and I bought some chocolate – for her.
I gave it to her, and it was the first (and probably last…) time I ever saw her smile.
HaKol beseder, geveret, she grunted out.
Peace had returned to Gotham City.
Until the next time they run out of change.
On Shabbat, I was doing a long hitbodedut session, trying to figure out a few things in my life. As is my wont, I happened to open up Likutey Moharan, to see if it would give me any hints on some of the things I was pondering, and I got to this, Lesson 56:
Matzah represents dispute for the sake of heaven, an aspect of knowledge, of peace, of healing, for peace is healing, as in, “Peace, peace, for the far and the near, says God, and I will heal them.” (Isaiah 57:19)
Honestly? I had no idea what Rabbenu was on about at that stage, or what the take home message was meant to be.
On Sunday, I went up North to do some praying at the Tzaddik of Yavniel’s kever – because I have a daughter who’s approaching 18, and I figured it can’t hurt to daven for a good match in advance – and then we also swung past Rashbi, in Meron.
I was feeling pretty weird and not so well on Sunday, as a result of all the space weather flying around at the moment, which is perturbing the interior of the planet, and also perturbing the human soul.
While I was at Rashbi, I got the strong notion that I needed to try to make peace between close friends of ours who are currently going through one of the most yucky divorce processes I’ve ever seen in my life. Both their families have some very toxic elements, and sadly those toxic people have come to the fore now, and have just made an enormous mess of what was already a very difficult situation.
I didn’t want to get involved.
We still love both the people, we can still see both the sides. The last thing I wanted to do was stick my oar in and draw the cannon fire in my direction.
But for the last two weeks, God has given me no peace. Sure, it’s the easier option – the much, much, much easier option – to sit on the sidelines and watch them destroy each other. But I love them, and I’ve had this growing feeling that I had to try to break through all the poison to see if there’s something we could do to bring them at least a little closer together again.
Long story short, I tried and failed. My husband tried and failed. Apparently, both parties are as stuck as they ever were.
That’s how it looks.
But in my hitbodedut, I started to feel like somehow or other, just the effort we made is going to lead to some improvements down the road, (like, years down the road…) even though right now it seems so bleak. Why? Because for the first time in months, we made them hear a perspective that was closer to objective truth, and not just the warped perspective of ‘it’s all the other person’s fault’ that their echo chamber is encouraging them to believe.
But man o man, it was hard going.
Both me and my husband felt physical ill, both before and afterwards, from the anxiety of ‘getting involved’ in such a yucky situation. But what can we do? We love them. And strangely after our conversations, I felt much more at peace, even though we apparently failed miserably.
Yesterday, I decided to write an answer on Quora about the earthquake forecaster Dutchsinse, explaining how his methodology is scientifically sound, and adding in some more pertinent details from other scientists who have also been shut down and sidelined for daring to challenge the narrative about what’s really going on with the earth’s climate and seismicity.
Two hours later, I’d still only got one view: my own.
Which is when I started to realise that Dutchsinse really is being monitored by the US government, and really is being actively shut down and maligned publically, because you can write about the most inane things on Quora and instantly get at least 10 people reading it within a minute of posting it up.
That gave me a real pause for thought, because I’ve had a lot of insights into what’s really going on with the earthquakes and volcanoes on the continental US, and in other places, like Australia, New Zealand and Italy.
Then, I checked the earthquake activity for Israel HERE, and I saw that the magnitudes for the quakes in our region have recently jumped into the 4s….
Today, I woke up with the very strong certainty that God wanted me to re-start my blog, to start writing about all this ‘knowledge’, because knowledge is peace, and peace is healing. And the one thing the world needs so very much right now is healing.
Of course, I spent an hour arguing against it in hitbodedut:
“But God! I still have really bad middot!! A big part of the reason I deleted the blog a couple of months ago was because I didn’t want to get pulled into any more interactions with the anonymous psychos and mentally-ill derangos who lurk behind every landing page and comment! If I start blogging again, I may well get pulled into disputes and that in turn will activate a whole bunch of bad middot that I really don’t like or want.”
God told me this:
Rivka, you are for sure going to make a whole bunch of mistakes going forward. You aren’t perfect, and the psychos on the web are a big test for everyone. BUT…. Matzah represents dispute for the sake of heaven.
And matzah, as we all know, symbolizes humility.
If I keep working on my arrogance, and if I don’t try to kid myself that I’m perfect, and that I don’t have any more work to do on my bad middot, and if I keep asking God to show me what He really wants, I think it’ll be OK.
And in the meantime, there are so very many lies being told, and so few people still standing up to counter them, that I definitely have my work cut out for me.
So, I think I’m back.
That’s the message I seem to be getting right now, so I will go with it, and we’ll see what happens.
Tachlis, I’m re-adopting a zero lashon hara policy on the blog – including for myself!
And we’ll see how it goes.
There are huge things happening in the world, and no-one is really talking about what’s actually going on, and connecting the dots. I have a lot of insights to share with you. And BH, I really hope I can write as a Kiddush Hashem, and keep making whatever teshuva is required to make this blog a vessel for peace and healing.
But bottom line: I’m returning to the fray.
NOTICE: The blog is only restarting at this address temporarily.
I will be migrating this blog over to a new site at: rivkalevy.com