One of my ongoing issues, which is still ongoing, and still an issue, is how to share some of the insights I get from hitbodedut, and from research, and from Breslov, without completely frying people’s brains out and doing more harm than good.
What can I say?
It’s got better than it used to be, but I know it’s still not great. And, I also know that my bad middot, and in particular, my arrogance, is still really getting in the way of me being more useful to more people.
I’m praying on it. And praying on a lot of things, generally, as some days, it feels like the things I have to work on internally are still multiplying, especially when it comes to the subject of communicating information to others.
Rabbenu warns us repeatedly: Don’t rebuke!
If you rebuke, you’ll just ‘stir up’ all the cack inside the other person’s soul, and make it very hard for them to function, or even, to get out of bed.
Sure, people are neglecting their children left, right and centre. Of course, they’re caught up in pointless stuff, and wasting their precious time on things that don’t really matter (of course, including yours truly…)
No doubt about it, the whole world has weak emuna, and is lying to themselves about a whole bunch of things.
Aren’t we all?
Aren’t I, also?
Of course I am!
So Rabbenu tells us, don’t rebuke! Because first of all, you’ll just do more harm than good, and second of all, Rivka, you’ll just come off as a Class ‘A’ arrogant hypocrite, because who are you to be telling anyone anything?
So-called ‘blast blogging’ is all about trying to call out other people on all the bad stuff they’re doing, and throwing around judgement calls and fire and brimstone like it’s on special deal at Walmart, or something.
I so don’t want to be ‘blast blogging’ – and that’s a big part of why I quit a few months back, as I was finding the so-called ‘geula blog’ scene incredibly poisonous, in that way.
At the same time, I honestly think a lot of the stuff I find out about, and learn, is genuinely useful for others.
So, I’m a little stuck, because the fine line between ‘blast blogging’ and ‘blast talking’ and being a self-important, hypocritical, arrogant know-it-all – and actually putting useful and helpful information out there – is incredibly, dangerously small.
And it’s so very easy to step over the boundary.
On Shabbat, I did a long praying session, to try to deal with some of the internal anxiety and tension that’s been ratcheting up like nobody’s business, the last few weeks again. I got one main message out of that session, and this was it:
DO AS MANY KINDNESSES FOR OTHER PEOPLE AS YOU CAN.
Then, I remembered what Rav Yehuda Zev Leibowitz, the former head of the Lamed Vav Tzaddikim, put across as his ‘last will’ before he died.
Rav Arush has summed the main points up on the back of his little emuna booklets, and it says this:
If we do all that, we’ll have the best chance of making it through the birthpangs of Moshiach, which have kicked off, in my view, but still haven’t reached their maximum crescendo.
But man, doing these things is so hard, sometimes.
It’s so much easier to just keep calling out the faults and flaws in other people, and to tear other people down, instead of squinting into the internal darkness, to see what bad middot monsters still lurk within.
Lucky for us, the whole world is a mirror.
There’s no hiding from our internal issues, when God is flashing them back at us every step we take.
Man, it’s not easy trying to rectify crazy person tendencies, it really isn’t. Sometimes, I feel like giving up. But then, I remember another core teaching of Rebbe Nachman:
There is no despair in the world!!
Rabbenu’s telling me, ‘even you will get there eventually, Rivka. Don’t give up!’
And who am I to argue.
NOTICE: The blog is only restarting at this address temporarily.
I will be migrating this blog over to a new site at: rivkalevy.com