by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
For those that follow the Geulah (redemption) oriented Jewish blogs and those that run similar email lists, there’s been an increasing bit of chatter regarding impending (doom / war / holocaust / Gog u’Magog). Here’s a smattering:
- “Rav Eliezer Berland Shlit"a, one of the elder Breslov rabbis, told his students to travel to Uman and pray for Am Yisrael until the 22nd of Av (the night of August 1st, 2010), which is when war with Iran is supposed to break out.”
- “The Milkman (a kabbalist) said that all signs are pointing toward war, and we must pray for Am Yisrael to avoid it.”
- “The well-known tzaddik Rav Dov Kook shlit'a of Tiberias said recently: "No one takes Iran seriously and we need to daven so their will not be another holocaust, G-d forbid."”
- “It is said in this past week’s broadcast shiur that Rav Shalom Arush, shlita, Breslover Tzaddik, said we must all strengthen our emunah and do teshuva immediately to prevent tragedy.” (not an exact quote)
These are but a few of the quotes from gedolim or mekubalim currently floating around. Some of them are harsher and scarier.
So what do we do? Build an underground N.B.C. bunker and stock it? Run and hide? (Though the Yalkut Shimoni tells us when these things start to happen we will cry out “where can we run, where can we hide?”) Freak out for tomorrow we die?
The answer to all the above is no. The Geulah hype cycle can bite you and destroy your day to day life, and even your emunah and yiddishkeit, if you’re not careful. There is no navi in this generation, no one knows what will be tomorrow. Yes, there may be tzaddikim with ruach hakodesh who can give hints and try to lead us to correction. But it’s not the same thing as a prophecy of what’s going to happen tomorrow.
If you want to help with the spiritual situation right now and possibly help head off negative events that may happen, here’s an action plan:
#1 Invoke Their Merit! During the time of the 9 days the Accuser gains a louder voice. We must be sure to speak of each other’s merits, of the Jewish people’s merits, of our friend’s merits, and even of our Jewish enemy’s merits! We must silence the accuser by speaking ONLY of a Jew’s merits during this time! (And most of the time BTW.)
#2 More Mitzvot, Specifically Those that Help Others! During the 9 days we must show our ahavas yisroel by increasing in those mitzvot that help our fellow. A bit more charity, doing a favor for someone, helping out someone needy, helping at a charity organization. Every mitzvah of ahavas yisroel helps drown out the accuser.
#3 Learn Torah focused on The Redemption and the Belief in the Redemption. During the 9 days we must show Hashem we believe and we’re ready, and this is how we do it.
What not to do:
A – Speak ill of another Jew, Jewish group, Jewish organization, Jewish neighborhood, etc. We’ve all got faults, don’t make the Accuser’s case for him. Rather, judge with a good eye and try to understand the circumstances behind their very human failings.
B – Be terrified. “All that I’ve done I’ve done for you.” (Yalkut Shimoni, Yishayahu Remez 499) Even seemingly negative events are leading to the redemption.
C – Stop our lives, jobs, shuls, charity organizations, etc. If every round of geulah hype was true, we’d all have sold everything and be just sitting around waiting, and waiting, and waiting. And thereby losing TODAY as an opportunity to do more mitzvot, to learn more Torah, to help each other. Make a difference today and it WILL be a better tomorrow.