by AKIVA at Mystical Paths
Yesterday and today, a self righteous bigot one who calls and believes himself to be a religious Jew but apparently doesn't understand what that means, has left repeat comments on posts of Rabbi Nati highlighting a negative of Rabbi Nati's past, which I have deleted. One for which he has done teshuva, suffered for, and reviewed with his rabbi's and mentors over many many years.
This self righteous individual, who only has the nerve to post his comment as "anonymous", believes that the halachot of teshuva, where one is ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN to hold up the sins of the past in front of the person who has done teshuva, don't apply to him. This individual either believes he is so perfect that teshuva is not necessary, or only he has the right to stand up having overcome the past.
He would intentionally embarrass another (lashon hara), damage that person's success (jealousy), and harm the repentant. Some day this person will face the Beis Din shel Shamayim (the heavenly court) and will wish to be forgiven for these horrible sins. But the response of the court will be, mida k'neged mida, just as you refuse to forgive so you will be refused forgiveness. (And even worse, as neither you nor any other person was every harmed by the history you wish to share, you do it merely for what, spite?)
Rabbi Nati would happily share with you his past, simply as a lesson that one can indeed dig out of the hole, though as blog editor I don't let him. But, while this self righteous person bigot who may look like a religious Jew but only acts with an evil heart will dig up and vomit ugly history such as many of us have and have overcome, let me state briefly what Rabbi Nati has achieved...
Rabbi Nati studied for 2 years and became a certified kosher slaughterer, a shochet. He has official certification via an orthodox Jewish shochet teacher. He studied for an additional 2 years and became a certified kosher scribe, a sofer. He then studied for an additional 5 years and was granted orthodox Jewish ordination by the orthodox rabbinate of Jerusalem. Along the way he studied chassidus Chabad in Crown Heights, NY and Monsey, NY, and was involved in preparing an onsite care facility for the Lubavitcher Rebbe in 770. In Monsey, he developed a relationship with the Viznitzer Rebbe, and the tallis he wears to this day was personally given to him by the Vitznitzer.
He made aliyah due to intense love and longing for Eretz Yisroel - Eretz HaKodesh, and a desire to be a part of settling and building the land. He's spent almost all his time in Israel living in the Shomron (West Bank), and made a point of being a part of the security team in every town he's lived. On several occasions he's been involved in defense incidents, literally putting his life on the line in defense of his neighbors.
He's spent years learning Kabbalah with a senior rav and kabbalah teacher. Some years ago, he began learning Breslev chassidus and became close to several Breslev tzaddikim. In the last several years, he's been fortunate to become very close to a particular Breslev tzaddik and has become a very dedicated Breslever chossid.
He's the only person I know who can explain Tanya in kabbalah terms and Likkutei Mohoran according to Chabad chassidus! He can discuss Eitz Chaim, Rebbe Nachman, and worlds events according to the navi in the same sentence.
I personally am ENVIOUS of what my friend has accomplished!!!
Now, Mr. Super Religious Anonymous would like to pop up and tell you that Rabbi Nati did some non-kosher things in his past. Yes indeed sir, he did. But the essence of teshuva is admitting that you've done the wrong thing, asking forgiveness for having done it, and never doing it again in the future. And one who does so stands at a place that not even tzaddikim can reach.
Rabbi Nati has dedicated the last 15 years of his life to Torah and Mitzvot, to HaKodesh Baruch Hu and Eretz Yisroel. He is indeed a Baal Teshuva in every sense of the word. Does he still, G-d forbid, occasionally do averot and does he still have midos to improve. Definitely. But, unlike many - such as Mr. Anonymous - he's actively working on it every day. Frankly, I wish I was.
Mr. Anonymous, go crawl back in your hole, for you only have darkness to share.
Oh, just for reference relative to what you're trying to say about Rabbi Nati:
Frequent poster here Reb Gutman Locks was a fully committed Hindu Guru, at the highest levels of avodah zara right up to literally receiving koach hatuma (and I'm only mentioning this because he wrote a book about it, Coming Back to Earth.) It took him 5 years to purge the tuma from himself, but he did it. Today you'll find him at the Kotel tefillin stand every day, giving his days to bring a mitzvah to others.
Famous blogger and inspirational rabbi, Rabbi Lazer Brody (Lazer Beams blog), is a baal teshuva who was an Israeli army commando. His life before teshuva was filled with things nobody would be proud of. His life today is doubly valuable for what he left.
Breslev Tzaddik and famous Jewish emunah teacher and author, HaRav Shalom Arush, shlita, is also a baal teshuva (author of the Garden of Emunah)! This acknowledged tzaddik turned around his life involving things which few would believe. Today, he reaches people others wouldn't touch because he can do more than relate to it, he was there.
Those of us who started searching in the United States frequently went down different paths other than Judaism. Hey, our families knew so little about it we certainly weren't going to respect what they had been spitting on for a generation or more. The fact that we came back and turned our back on those other empty paths says it all.
Rabbi Nati can relate to being in the mud, because he was in it up to his ears. Now, Baruch Hashem, he's reached the point where he can share some of the lessons he's learned in digging his way out and hanging on. I don't envy him having to have had those struggles, but I envy his effort and his success.
You, Mr. Anonymous, probably don't understand what that means, to struggle for every bit of your Torah, to struggle to overcome a lifetime of bad habits and attitudes, and to struggle to live, feed a family, and try to make it in another country just because you believe the Torah that says you should. Since you don't believe one can improve themselves, you are condemning your improvements to not be accepted.
Personally, I envy my friend Rabbi Nati. While I never want to face his struggles, I hope and pray that my efforts in my own life someday measure up enough that I can stand in the same room as he, even if far in the back.
Mr. Anonymous, spew your lashon hara elsewhere, you're not welcome here. Here, we strive to be better, and believe that someday, G-d willing, we might just make it.
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא