May we all merit a ketiva vchatima tova, a shana tova umetukah. From the 15th of Av, Tu Bav, we already begin wishing one another a good new year.
May this new year bring the greatest good, the complete redemption through Moshiach.
Now we have entered the month of Elul, the month of rachamim, mercy. The time when the mercy of Hashem wakes up and we are very close to Hashem in this month. It is a time to pray for everything we need and to do teshuvah in preparation for the upcoming high holiday season. It says in this month Hashem Himself is in the field, so to speak. Usually the King is in His palace, not as easily accessible. But in Elul there is a metaphor describing Hashem as the King in the field. He leaves His palace and comes to the field to greet all His subjects. This is the time anyone can approach the King and ask for all our needs and wishes. So utilize this time wisely. Increase in deeds of goodness and kindness, in charity and prayer.
May we all merit a ketiva vchatima tova, a shana tova umetukah. From the 15th of Av, Tu Bav, we already begin wishing one another a good new year.
May this new year bring the greatest good, the complete redemption through Moshiach.
What is it about difficult situations in life that cause people to feel so depressed and to lose their chayus or their positivity?
I think part of the reason is that all of us imagine how we would like our lives to be. We imagine ourselves growing old with our spouses, taking vacations, traveling together in our older age, enjoying our children and grandchildren and simply living life in the way we long to. We never are prepared for things not turning out the way we imagine. Especially in America: people are used to having what they want. In Israel people are used to constant emergencies, bombs falling, terror attacks and peoples lives are turned upside down all the time, Hashem yirachem. But most of us BH cannot relate to that. So when things do not go as planned or as we wish, we suddenly are unable to cope. We feel sad. We feel that we are missing all those things we looked forward to. All those things we imagined happening. Because in a way we build our lives based on imagination, not reality. We concentrate on what we lack, not on what we have. (The truth is part of not having what we want arouses in us a certain feeling of why didn’t we appreciate the good times when we had them: that is actually not a negative phenomenon. We perhaps have to go through that as a form of teshuvah, as a way of arousing greater appreciation for the blessings G-d has bestowed upon us. But we need to get past concentrating on the past and learn to live in the present and appreciate what the present is, even if it is not what we would like. Harder said than done but necessary to work on)
We must understand that there will always be things we look forward to in life but if the plans change, that means G-d does not want us to have those things, for whatever reason. At least not at this time. And therefore rather than sitting down and feeling sad and depressed and concentrating on what we are missing, we need to learn to rise above the occasion and utilize it as an opportunity for spiritual growth. We need to learn to appreciate whatever blessings we have. And we need to see what it is that G-d wants us to appreciate and look forward to instead of what our own agenda is. And to understand what is wanted from us at the time. Because that is far more important than yearning for what we want in our imagination. We need to learn how to want what G-d wants. This is His world. His creation. What we want is not the main thing. It is what G-d wants and what He wants for each one of us.
Feeling a yearning for something that is not possible at the moment is a futile and frustrating experience. We can pray. We can ask for what we want. But if does not work out the way we plan, we need to let go and allow ourselves to experience what it is G-d wants us to feel, see, experience and understand. And not to feel devastated or jealous when we see others having what we wish to have.
From the very darkness itself comes a greater light. The greatest moments of growth and closeness to G-d are precisely in those times when things do not go the way “we” imagine or plan. In precisely those moments of disappointment, depression and longing. And those emotions are perhaps what we are meant to feel because it is part of some tikun we need to go through. And that is what our neshomahs need at the moment, not traveling the world or going to a restaurant.
And the sooner we are able to appreciate that and to make ourselves happy in whatever situation we find ourselves, the sooner we will feel free from negative emotions and jealousy and we will stop feeling we are missing something. We will understand we have exactly what G-d wants us to have and what we need at the moment. So we are not missing anything. We are fulfilling what our purpose is in G-ds creation. And if we are going through difficult or challenging times and we see others happy and enjoying life, we don’t have to feel that G-d is angry with us or that we are somehow less loved or privileged. We need to know that the challenges are also part of G-d’s purpose and He loves each one of us with the challenges He gives to each one. G-d loves us, G-d knows what is needed for each one of us, and G-d is there with us in our suffering. We must never forget that.
And let our deepest yearning be for Moshiach and liberation from this long galus.
That is the only truly positive yearning in this world.
May we merit the Geula now!
So it is that time of year again, the three weeks. (starting from the 17th of Tamuz until Tisha B’av, where we mourn the destruction of the two Batei Mikdash and we long for the rebuilding of the third Beit Hamikdash)
What should be on our minds at this time? (no, not the elections! BELIEVE ME, THERE ARE NO POLITICAL SOLUTIONS FOR THE WORLD’S PROBLEMS….THE ONLY SOLUTION IS MOSHIACH)
And yes, that is what should be on our minds. Bringing Moshiach. Bringing the redemption of the Jewish people.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe once wrote in a letter the following:
From the time that I was a child attending cheder, and even before, there began to take form in my mind a picture of the future redemption--the redemption of Israel from its last exile, a redemption such as would explicate the suffering, the decrees and the massacres of galut...
That is a true Jewish leader. Even as a child he was worrying about how to alleviate the suffering of the Jewish people and bring the final redemption.
So how can we bring Moshiach?
Adding in deeds of goodness and kindness.
Adding in charity (which is a good thing to add during the three weeks anyhow)
Adding in ahavat yisrael, brotherly love (the main reason for the destruction of the Second Beit Hamikdash was sinat chinam, hatred without reason. The solution is to love everyone above and beyond reason, and to respect each other)
Doing teshuvah for any wrong doings
Let’s all add light. There is so much darkness in the world. We know that a little light dispels much darkness. Darkness has no real substance, no real existence. When we add in light it automatically gets dispelled . So let’s add in the light of Torah and good deeds and may we truly merit the coming of Moshiach now.
The three weeks are the time on the Jewish calendar commonly thought to be an “unlucky” mazal. It is a time when , G-d forbid, many calamities and problems befell the Jewish nation.
But , as we know in Chassidut, nothing “bad” comes from Above. Is this really a negative time?
It may look negative on the outside but the greatest down is for the greater up.
After Tisha Bav, the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, we come to Tu Bav, the happiest day. From the greatest low point we come to the happiest time of the year.
So what does this mean practically speaking?
In your personal life, when things are down, when things are difficult, when things look terrible and we feel totally thrown off from all our problems, we have to realize it is all truly hidden good. Perhaps what is happening is an exchange. Something worse was meant to happen so it goes into these things. Perhaps it is so that we grow into better people. Perhaps it is so we develop a much better relationship and connection to Hashem.
But we can be sure that all the down times are going to lead to much greater happiness in the long run, both in this world and the next.
Therefore there is only goodness: some that we can understand and some that we have yet to understand. But it is all good.
When we look at life with that perspective, we realize the difficult times have a lot of hidden good inside them. We often grow the most from the most difficult situations. Nevertheless we pray everything in life should be with chesed, with rachamim, and not with gevura or harshness. The three weeks are a time we often associate with judgment, but in reality the Lubavitcher Rebbe said that now in these days so close to the redemption, we need to transform these three weeks into times of simcha, times of happiness. Then we will reveal how everything is truly good and we will merit the greatest good, which is the coming of Moshiach.
The latest “fashion” seems to be anxiety. Everyone seems to be suffering from some sort of anxiety disorder. Why is it that so many people experience so much anxiety these days? What is anxiety? Where does it stem from?
One of the deep causes of anxiety relates to our relationship to G-d. We grow up imaging G-d as being the epitome of kindness and goodness. Not just imagining, but we know that to be true. So then when things go “wrong” in life, when we suffer pain or hardships and our relationship to G-d is not what we wanted or imagined, we feel anxiety. We don’t know how to relate to G-d. If He is all goodness and kindness, why is He causing so much suffering in the world? Why does He not seem to “see” the suffering of His children? Why does He seem apathetic? That feeling and that question brings out anxiety within us. Why is G-d not treating us in the way we expect and feel we “deserve”? How are we to relate to the difficult parts of life? How are we to relate to Hashem when we do not see our prayers being answered the way we expect?
We know we are a part of Hashem. We love Hashem. We know He loves us. But in our minds, love means behaving kind, in a caring manner, with open revealed good. In our minds love is not suffering. Love is not gevura. Love is connected to chesed. Gevura is the opposite of chesed. So how can we reconcile gevura and suffering with a kind loving G-d? and that is the source of our depression, sadness, anxiety and fear.
We want to trust G-d. We want to trust Him fully and not question Him. After all, we are trying to do what He wants. We are trying to live a good life, a holy life, a pure life. Why do we deserve suffering?? Why do so many apparently “evil” people seem to have things so good while we suffer? Why does the person who hurt me or caused me or my family so much unhappiness seem to enjoy a happy life?
These questions are old questions. The Talmud discusses this. The Zohar talks about this. But nevertheless the question persists because in the face of suffering we have no answers and we have only painful questions. Suffering does not feel right. Emotionally it is draining. And it affects our loving relationship to our creator. And the truth is suffering is not right.
We all want to feel secure. A child wants to feel secure with their parents. If chasve shalom a parent constantly beats a child or knocks down a child, that affects the child’s feelings to that parent. And it makes the child feel they are no good. Often they cant figure out why they are no good. That brings out anxiety.
Always in the back of our minds is the question: If I am good and Hashem loves me, and I am trying to behave and do what He wants, why is He causing me this particular suffering? That creates tremendous anxiety. But the anxiety stems from a lack of real trust. Because we fail to see the entire picture. Perhaps the suffering is an exchange to spare us from a worse situation. Perhaps this difficulty is to bring about a much better situation in the long run.
So what could G-d possibly want from us by “knocking us down” or making things hard for us? Well, certainly it is a test. And the purpose of every test is to bring out our inner strengths and to bring us to a closer relationship to G-d.
We remember the days when things were easy, fun, filled with joy…the days when everything seemed to go well . We feel close to G-d. We feel He loves us and we love Him. But was our connection to G-d really strong then? We were like babies that G-d was spoon feeding and looking after with tender loving care. We needed that spoon feeding to be happy.
When we go through very challenging and difficult times, times when we question our relationship to G-d, and even feel angry with Him….from those times we actually grow the most spiritually. We begin to understand things differently. Our relationship to G-d matures and we become closer to Him than ever before.
We do pray He should not choose to deal harshly with any of the Jewish people.. He should accomplish things with chesed and open good. But we also know that life is temporary. The world we see is false. There is a whole level of existence we don’t see and don’t understand. And our relationship with G-d is the main thing. We need to allow Him to heal us, to guide us, to lead us and to love us. And we need to put aside our preconceived notions and trust Him. That is a very big challenge.
How do you trust someone who you think lets you down? It is only natural that you start to be fearful. How will things turn out? Will Hashem let us down anymore? But the idea is to start thinking positively. To truly trust with a deep feeling of btochon. That is a difficult thing to do but the Rebbe said when you really develop btochon you do not allow any thoughts of negativity in even a little bit. You only think good thoughts and you really believe it will be good. And when you really trust that much, Hashem does not let you down. He vindicates your trust. Often He is just waiting for you to develop that trust. It is an avoda .
We often have an image of how life should be, how we want things to go, and when things don’t work out that way, we become disillusioned. We become frightened, worried. We start fearing what will be. Is Hashem punishing us? Will things end up in a good way? Will things just get worse? Our plans, ideals and chayus gets thrown aside. This brings tremendous anxiety. But behind all of that is again a certain lack of faith: Hashem knows what is best for us and guides our life in a certain direction to accomplish what He knows we need. And even if it may seem at times like a waste of time and energy, or like a lost opportunity, or we believe we need something different for our spiritual uplifting and growth, we have to realize that we do not know what we need. Only the Creator of the world knows what we need and what He needs us to accomplish. It may be totally different than what we imagine or want but it is His world. We must never forget that.
So everything is really for the good and not a “mistake”. We have to work on becoming positive people, with trust in Hashem and love to Hashem, and He responds to us the same way. The way we behave down here is mirrored above. So it is all about developing ourselves spiritually. Anxiety is a lack of faith and a lack of simcha. We can get rid of anxiety by developing ourselves spiritually and truly beginning to trust our Creator.
But we also need to understand that our feelings of anxiety are because we are in galus. The truth is that suffering does not feel right. Problems do not feel right. The expression of harshness in this world does not feel right. Immorality does not feel right. Because deep inside we know that G-d created this world to be a perfect, holy and moral place. And that is why we need to go out of galus and to have Moshiach. The true cause of anxiety is because we are still in galus! And therefore let us increase our prayers for redemption and the end to all anxiety and suffering in the world.
I don’t like to get into politics but when something is wrong it hurts and I cannot remain silent. The young soldier who killed the terrorist who was supposedly “neutralized” is sitting in prison on manslaughter charges! A total injustice. I cannot believe this is actually happening in Israel. Any terrorist who rises up to even try to kill a Jew has to be killed first. This is self defense. And even if a soldier killed a terrorist who was “neutralized” that is not a reason to imprison the soldier! There is nothing immoral about killing a terrorist, neutralized or not. And which terrorist is really neutralized anyway?? Eventually he goes back to killing. Especially when the Israeli govt constantly releases terrorists!
Because let’s face it: terrorists don’t want peace. They hate Jews. They hate Israel. They want everything for themselves and they do it all under the name of “religion”. Therefore such anti semitic evil people have no right to exist. They question our right to exist?? Excuse me, they have no right to exist!
And there is nothing immoral about killing someone whose entire and only intention is to kill Jews. Was it immoral to hang Haman?? Was it immoral to kill the German Nazis? Was it immoral to kill arab masterminds behind terror attacks? Was it immoral to kill the terrorists behind the Munich massacre. Where has our Jewish dignity and self respect gone??
There is nothing immoral about killing immoral people! Someone who comes with a knife to stab and kill Jews has no right to be given any type of consideration. And if soldiers are told to restrict their reactions to terror, that is when Jews get hurt. That is when being too compassionate to the wrong people, to our enemies, leads to being cruel to our own people.
So let’s all pray that Hashem should put wisdom and understanding into the minds of the Israeli govt and should help us all to regain our sense of purpose, holiness, true morality and dignity. True morality is only based on Torah. And, as the Rebbe said so many times, the Torah itself says if someone comes to kill you, you kill him first. This is a matter of self preservation. We cannot be more moral than the Torah.
The same way Hashem gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people and as such we have no RIGHT to give away one inch of land. That is going against Hashem Himself.
One of the universal questions of mankind is why is there suffering? How do we relate to suffering and to our relationship with G-d?
Well, anybody who has experienced suffering (may nobody know from such things), be it physical suffering, emotional suffering, or any type of suffering, knows that although friends and family and even strangers may have compassion and pity on the person suffering, they generally do not FEEL YOUR PAIN. They feel pity, they feel sad, they feel uncomfortable around you. But they don’t feel your pain.
Why is that?
Because if a person has not experienced a particular type of suffering they cannot relate to it the same way.
Nevertheless we do believe that G-d feels our pain and is with us in the midst of our suffering.
A person who, for example, suddenly becomes paralyzed or is in an accident (or even a terror attack, G-d forbid) and is physically damaged, is no longer the same person on some level. Such situations wreak havoc not only for the person himself but for his family. Everything turns upside down overnight.
After the initial emergency situation is under control, it is normal for thoughts to turn to a longing for the “good old days”, the days when things were “normal”. We long for the ability to do what we lost. We long for being in good health like we once were. We long to be able to do the things we used to do.
And we even may feel a bit sad or even a bit jealous when we see others able to live a “normal” life.
But what does that really mean ? what is “normal”?
To each of us normality is what we get used to. It is obviously what we are created to be according to the way G-d wanted us to function in this world. But normal is the way we experience life from the time we are small. A child, for example, who has a father who is totally functional will feel a tremendous shock and loss if the father one day loses his ability to walk. But a child who is born into a home where the father is wheelchair bound from day one will consider that normal to some extent.
So is normality only defined in terms of physical ability? If a person G-d forbid loses some aspect of their physical functioning , are they less “normal”?
True normality is much higher than that. It transcends such limitations. Because as Jews we are part of Hashem and we have untapped potentials in life.
If you can retain your sense of closeness and love to Hashem despite your suffering, that is normality.
If you can retain a balance in your life and manage to laugh and be happy despite your problems, that is normality.
If you can be an inspiration to others despite your suffering, that is normality.
If you can still fulfill your Torah obligations despite your challenges, that is normality.
If you can give your children and your spouse a sense of dignity and happiness and security despite your world falling apart, that is normality.
Because true normality is higher than just doing what you are used to. It is higher than functioning the way we “should” function in life. It is our ability to transcend problems and find meaning in whatever situation you find yourself in. To be able to laugh through the tears. To be able to stand back and see things objectively. That is normality. True normality is not falling apart and getting depressed when there are hard times. True normality is retaining dignity, strength, faith and happiness despite challenges.
True normality is finding G-d in the hard times, finding light in the darkness, and using it to get to a higher level. To rise to the challenge. To realize that if G-d is putting you in a certain situation and challenging you, this is because He wants you to rise to the occasion and bring out your hidden strengths and grow.
So the question is not why is there suffering. We never will have a real answer for that.
The question is not what does G-d get out of our suffering. We cannot know that. And certainly He does not need our suffering.
But it seems at certain times in life we need to go through that suffering, although we hope and pray we never should have to.
But if we do find ourselves in a challenging situation, even what seems impossible at times, we need to ask ourselves: what are WE supposed to get out of this suffering? How should this change us for the better? How should this allow us to give greater nachas to Hashem? How can our relationship to Hashem improve through this suffering?
Because our self worth is not defined by how physically functional we are. Our self worth is defined by how spiritually functional we are.
Many people who lose physical abilities suddenly feel useless. But that is not true at all. The person is simply being elevated to a higher state of being and to accomplishing something different that is their mission at this particular moment.
Another important point that emerges from suffering is that we learn to really appreciate whatever blessings we have, no matter how small they are. Often when everything is going well in life we forget to truly appreciate the small things or the blessings we have. We often kvetch and wish things were different. We want a nicer home, a bigger car, more money, more vacations etc. etc. But when a person is suddenly limited, for whatever reason, every little blessing becomes appreciated. And perhaps that is what life is really all about. To appreciate what we have. To find G-d in every place, in every moment, in every experience. And to deepen our relationship and our love. It is not based on physicality, just like a marriage must not be based only on physicality. Our relationship to G-d must be much deeper. We cannot love G-d only when He does what we want or gives us what we want. We have to love G-d all the time and try to find meaning and happiness even within darkness or suffering. That is truly living with the idea that there is nothing besides Him. And as it says in Tanya, when we accept suffering with happiness, it becomes sweetened at its source Above and changes to become good in a manifest way that we can see and appreciate. And of course we always have to believe that G-d can change every situation to become even better than before the problem started. And we gain so much from the challenges of life: we learn so much, change to become better people, our perspectives widen etc. We see how everything is truly for the good. Just like Rabbi Akiva who believed everything was truly good and it became so in ways that could be seen openly.
Nevertheless we pray that Hashem should never bring suffering to any of us and should not challenge us with difficulties. And we pray for the redemption of the world with the coming of Moshiach when Hashem will wipe away all tears and will change everything to open revealed good. May it be now!
As we age many thoughts flash through our minds. Obviously we begin to see life differently. We begin to see the end of things….we begin to realize what is important and what is not. In other words, we prioritize. We realize how much time we wasted.
We also wish to utilize our time in a productive fashion.
But sometimes as we age depression sets in: a feeling of regret for many things we were unable to accomplish and frustration for things we are no longer able to accomplish or do. We may feel regret for relationships that were not what we hoped for or for mistakes we feel we made.
However, that is because we fail to realize that everything we do in life is a gift from Hashem. It is only because He allows us to accomplish something are we actually able to do it. And therefore we should not feel regret. Whatever transpired in our lives up until this point was carefully guided from Above. Whatever happened was meant to happen: sometimes to test us , to get us to a higher level, and sometimes as a tikun, to rectify something.
And every challenge or set back or experience we went through was and still is a learning experience: a platform from which we can grow spiritually. Nothing is wasted.
And whatever we are still meant to accomplish will be according to Hashems will as well.
So depression has no place in a Jew’s life.
In fact, we know that the Shechina does not dwell in a place of sadness or despair.
And what greater purpose do we have than making a dwelling place in this lowest of worlds for Hashem?
Therefore we need to rid ourselves of sadness or depression at every step of the way.
And we need to use our energies to serve Hashem. When we are busy doing good and doing what Hashem wants there is no room for sadness or frustration.
Nevertheless sometimes a particular challenge can cause us to feel down. That is human nature.
We need to learn a lesson from the fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Shmuel, the Rebbe Maharash.
His motto was “lchatchila arriber”. The world says that when confronted with an obstacle one should first try to go around it or under and only when all efforts fail one should go over, but the Rebbe Maharash said in the first place one should go over the obstacle as if it does not even exist. The Rebbe used to quote this very often. And in fact that was the attitude of the Rebbe; not to allow any obstacle or challenge to keep a person from fulfilling what he needs to do in his service of Hashem. And with that attitude the obstacles will actually disappear.
So let’s all try to apply this idea of l’chatchila arriber in our personal lives.
We are coming soon to the month of Iyar. Iyar is the month of healing. It is an acronym for the words Ani Hashem Refoecha. I am your healer, says Hashem. And it is particularly for healing naturally. The month of Elul is for healing through medicine. The month of Iyar through healing naturally. May every Jew merit a complete healing in anything they need spiritually, physically, emotionally and psychologically.
Iyar is also a month of light. The light of Zohar through Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai on Lag Bomer.
And coming from the month of Nissan and Pesach, it makes sense that Iyar would be filled with light and health after ingesting the G-dliness and healing within the matza.
May the inspiration of Pesach continue throughout the year and may we each merit freedom from whatever keeps us from serving G-d with happiness, with simcha.
As the Rebbe said, a Jew must serve Hashem with simcha. Ivdu et Hashem b’simcha. Every day we need to get rid of the mitzraim mind set of depression or “dark, negative” thinking. We need to connect to light. The light of holiness, of kedusha. Where there is holiness there is happiness. G-d cannot dwell in a place of sadness. And the Rebbe said a Jew has to be happy every day of the year, perhaps with the exception of Tisha Bav. So with that thought in mind may we enter soon the new month of Iyar with joy and faith and eager to continue counting the days until we merit Shavuot and the giving of the Torah.
Pesach is approaching. Freedom is in the air. Everyone is busy cleaning their house and on a spiritual level we are cleaning inside our souls, our minds and hearts, to remove any spiritual “chametz” which is the idea of ego. That is why we eat matza: matza does not leaven. It is the idea of humility. When the Jews left Egypt our dough did not leaven. Why not? because G-d Himself appeared to us and therefore in front of holiness the dough was unable to leaven! When we eat matza we experience that humility again and that revelation of holiness . Eating shmura matza on Pesach is eating actual G-dliness. So crunch away!
Pesach is a holiday that touches the essence of every Jew. We became a nation on Pesach. It is the birth of the Jewish people!
The idea of leaving Egypt is the idea of going out of our comfort zone, leaving our personal limitations and straits.
Pesach means to leap over. this is the time of year when we can leap over all obstacles (from within or without), and leap over all problems, all limitations and all negative aspects of life. We can leap to freedom.
And as pesach approaches, we hear the footsteps of Moshiach. Just as we were redeemed in Nissan through Moshe Rabbenu when we left Egypt. So now we should merit to be redeemed in Nissan with the coming of Moshiach.
This is the month of miracles and so may we merit miracles and the greatest miracle of all, the final redemption!
It’s that time of year again: getting rid of Amalek! But this year it takes on even more significance.
What is Amalek? People who hate Jews simply because we are Jewish.
But it is more than that. Spiritually bgematria it equals the Hebrew word sofek, which means doubt.
So Amalek is that little voice that puts doubt into our minds and hearts.
That cools down our enthusiasm and happiness.
And I thought to myself: this is absolutely the idea of the terrorists. They plant doubts into the minds of people. How could G-d Who is good allow a terrorist to harm anyone? And this is precisely what we need to eliminate: both the doubts and the terrorists!
Because G-d is good. He created a world which He envisioned to be perfect, full of holiness, goodness and purity. But because we human beings are not perfect, and do not always listen to what G-d wants, society deteriorated, people have lost a lot of their morality, the world has become a chaotic place. But it is never too late to reclaim the holiness and goodness that is the true essence of the world and human beings.
And to do that we need to get rid of Amalek. We need to eliminate doubts. We need to trust G-d and believe in G-d and return to Him in faith and humility.
In Kabbalistic terms, Amalek is the crown of all impurities. Doubt is the root of all maladies. And that doubt originates from the primordial Tzimtzum (the concealment and contraction of the original light), which concealed the Divine conscious presence, thereby setting the stage for all forms of uncertainty. In the pre-tzitmzum state, the Divine presence is the all pervasive, all-consuming reality. In such a state of seamlessness – above the heavens – there are no doubts; all is clear. But “under the heavens” – once that unifying presence is concealed and we feel alone, doubt is its inevitable product: “Is G-d with us or not?”
Self doubt is driven by insecurity. But why should we be insecure? Because we live in an independent universe whose existence is possible only by virtue of concealed light.
Certainty is the converse of doubt. How is it possible to find certainty in an uncertain world?
We can make the greatest plans, everything can seem right, but then… things happen and all our plans are upset. We all age, everything erodes, everyone dies – how can we ever expect to find certainty in such an unstable environment?
The one and only answer is that we have within us an inherent connection to the eternal, to the absolute – to the pre-tzimtzum unity – that gives us a sense of utter certainty. Some call this faith – not the blind faith of the fool, but the sophisticated belief in something greater than arbitrary logic or ever-changing circumstances.
This connection is the power of the soul. The body and everything material, by its very nature, is in a state of flux, and thus always shrouded in doubt: What will come next? The soul is a consistent flame, always sure of itself, always connected. It is the sense within that we are not alone. And when we really feel that we are not alone and G-d is with us, all doubt melts away.
As children, when our parents and support systems nurture and validate us, they cultivate our soul’s natural connection to its source and build our self-confidence – inbuing us with a profound sense of certainty and belonging. But when our love and nurturing is compromised, doubts begin to fill up our psyches, only reinforced by the narcissism we begin to witness in others.
The vicious cycle is now in relentless motion. Doubt breeds doubt.
Thus we are commanded to “go forth and fight against Amalek.” And do so with absolute vigilance – “obliterate the memory of Amalek from under the heavens.” Because doubt is our greatest enemy; one that brings on all our other problems. With confidence we can take on any challenge. But when we doubt ourselves, and have no self-confidence, every difficulty becomes a big deal.
“Obliterate Amalek” – obliterate every doubt, even the memory of doubt, “from under the heavens.” Because above the heavens there is no doubt; doubt is only possible in a material world where truth and reality are concealed.
And we don’t fight this battle against Amalekite doubt alone. Led by Moses and his trusted disciple, Joshua, we have the power to overcome any doubt. Moses is the ultimate spiritual mentor – the selfless leader that helps us connect to the Divine. His prayers help us overcome the Amalekite doubts. As the Torah relates: While they fought Amalek, Moshe held up his hands in prayer, entreating G-d to strengthen His people. When his arms weakened, Moshe sat on a stone while his brother, Aaron, and his nephew Chur supported him on each side. A night passed this way, and by the time the sun rose, the Amalekites were defeated. So too now the Moshe Rabbenu of our generation helps us to get rid of doubts, to stay on the path of truth and reveal G-dliness in ourselves and in the world.
The same happened with the story of Purim: Everyone bowed down to Haman the Amalekite, except Mordechai. Mordechai refused to bow to any man or man-made idols, and the inevitable insecurity and doubts that these human forms bring. Only through connecting to the Divine does one reach clarity and certainty.
Just as all doubt stems from the cosmic concealment, all certainty originates from the clarity that “G-d is with us” and the concealment is just that: Concealment with the purpose that we reveal the Reality within.
And just as doubt breeds doubt, certainty breeds certainty. Once you open the doors of certainty in your life, that you are connected to the Divine, it begins to spill over into other areas of your life.
The battle against Amalekite doubt is in every generation and in every situation; perhaps the single most important battle of our lives – because when we overcome our doubts and conquer our fears everything else becomes possible. When we cleave to the Divine and have faith and trust, all doubts, problems and worries fall away. We eliminate all negativities in our life and we see the downfall of our enemies, spiritual ones and physical ones.
And this is the lesson of Purim. The threat of total annihilation hung over the heads of all the Jewish people in Persia. But in one moment the whole decree was turned over and the Jews gained the upper hand and saw the downfall of their enemies completely with the eradication of Haman and his sons.
So today we need to return to G-d in sincerity and remove all doubts and may we very soon see the elimination and destruction of evil in the world. This is the month of nehepachu, when everything can change around and completely reverse itself. May the joy of Adar change all negativity into positivity.
It is Adar! Mishenichnos Adar marbim bsimcha...when Adar enters, we increase in joy. But it is not always easy to feel happy. How should we increase in joy if we dont feel happy in life? if we have problems, worries, fears, aggravations....it is very difficult to suddenly develop a feeling of joy. I was contemplating this idea today and then I thought of something. An actor or actress cannot always be in a happy frame of mind. Many times they could be depressed, full of sadness, frustration etc. But when the show begins, they have to throw away all those negative emotions and put on a happy face. This is especially true for comedians! They need to make others laugh whether they feel happy or not. That is quite a task. So how do they do it? Well, they put on the show. No matter what they are feeling personally, they push that aside and concentrate on the show, on making others happy, on projecting an image of happiness. And I think that is what we learn from purim. On purim there is a custom to wear masks. A mask hides our true self yet at the same time allowing us to reveal a hidden dimension of ourselves. And simply by doing that, we are able to actually feel the part and act the part. In life we need to wear a mask. Many masks. We need to realize that life is a show. The Creator of the world writes the script. We are merely the actors and actresses. We have to do our best to play our parts with happiness, to bring joy to our Creator. And when we do that, we actually begin to feel the part. We begin to feel that joy. So in life, we need to wear our masks and change masks all the time just like someone in a show.....and when we do that, we truly will start to feel happy. So when you wake up tomorrow, put on a smile. Wear that mask for the sake of your spouse, children, coworkers, friends, relatives. And after a while, the mask will become so much a part of you that it will become your new reality. I think this is the key to finding happiness in life and serving G-d with joy. and this year we have two Adars. 60 days of joy. And as we know, in Judaism there is a principle of botul b'shishim. Something non kosher that gets mixed into something kosher is nullified within sixty , botul bshishim, if there is 60 times the amount of the kosher food. Same with Adar. The 60 days or rejoicing in Adar nullifies any negative aspects of life and changes everything to joy. So make the choice to wear a happy mask!
With the words "Harei at mikudeshat li" a man and woman get married. What does that mean? the husband is saying that his wife is holy to him, separate, kadosh, special. She is exclusively his. And he of course becomes exclusively hers.
And when we do a mitzvah, the wording is similar. "Baruch Atah Ado-nai Elo-henu Melech haolam asher kidishanu....." we basically say to Hashem Blessed is He who has sanctified us with his commandments....
So by doing Hashem's will, by doing His mitzvot, we basically are marrying Hashem. We, the Jewish people, are Hashem's bride. We are sanctified and connected to Him through His Torah and mitzvot. And that is a beautiful concept. This is a marriage that is constant, that is renewed every moment. When Moshiach comes our marriage with Hashem will be perfected. But at least now whenever we do a mitzvah we can ponder on how special we are to Hashem and how special and precious every mitzvah is. It is such a privilege to be a Jew. Ashreinu ma tov chelkenu! May we rejoice in our portion and appreciate the fact that we are part of the Jewish nation. May we appreciate that we have a G-dly soul, a part of G-d , within us. And may we feel that sense of responsibility, separating ourselves from all other interests just as a wife separates herself from all other men and becomes exclusively for her husband. Same way we become exclusively for Hashem and reject any subtle form of idolatry or impurity. We need to remember we are sanctified to Hashem, we are holy, pure and we should look up to that idea and give ourselves fully to this Divine marriage.
So many people are frustrated with their lives. They want things to be different. People make many assumptions. People expect things to happen at certain times, in certain ways. When those expectations are disappointed, people become frustrated, fall into despair, depression or bad moods.
But the problem is that we make too many calculations in life. We need to remember that the Creator of the world runs the world, knows what each of us needs, and He has the perfect master plan. if our ideas or plans dont synchronize with His, we need to realize He knows best. This is emunah, and btochon. Of course we can pray and ask and hope.....but we also need to be ready to change course if that is what is required.
I was driving in the car the other day. We passed our exit. Suddenly the familiar voice of the GPS "recalculating route". and we set out on a new direction.
Then it hit me. That is how we have to live our lives. To be ready to recalculate our routes. To go where it is Hashem wants us to go. And to do so with happiness.
Recalculating our route is about accepting G-d's plan with happiness and with complete trust. And it all works out for the best. In the end you get to the same destination....just on a different road. The journey might even turn out nicer, with better scenery. so dont be afraid to recalculate your route. Dont look upon a mistake as a problem, or a challenge as a disaster. Just recalculate and go forward. G-d is the driver and He is going with you....
The world has become a very confusing place……a place filled with darkness. Neverthless, as we get closer to Moshiach we can see how Hashem is purifying the world….how He is exposing impurity.
We have to take a stand against impurity . We have to stand with Hashem. Mi Kamocha B’eilim Hashem….we have to be on Hashem’s side. On the side of kedusha. We have to choose Hashem. We have to choose life and holiness. We have to be a light unto the nations. To do that we need to choose light.
We need to make the world ready for Moshiach. We need to realize that kelipa is trying to rear its ugly head as we are in the last moments of galus, trying to confuse people and cause people to fall, chasve shalom. May Hashem give everyone the strength to stand up against kelipa and to do what is right. To say no to evil! To say no to impurity. To add in light and holiness.
This is the task of each one of us. And we must not feel despair because the sign of Moshiach is an increase in darkness in the last moments of galus. That is a sign that soon we will have the greatest light possible.
May this Shabbos, Shabbos nachamu, bring us true comfort from all our difficulties and may we merit the only real comfort, which is Moshiach tzidkenu.
Everybody needs to blame somebody. It is a universal trait. Whenever something goes wrong in the political arena they start pointing the finger at someone. Someone has to be blamed for mistakes. There is always someone that is sacrificed in the blame game. Because somebody always has to be blamed. It is easier to blame someone else than to take responsibility.
This is the problem in society today. People do not take responsibility for their actions. They search for ways to alleviate guilt by blaming others.
It happens at all levels of society from the political arena to the family.
Don’t children always try to blame parents? Children constantly want to blame their parents for every problem they have whether it is emotional, psychological, financial, social etc.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe once said that children always try to blame parents even though it is wrong to do so in most cases….but since parents are the closest to their children it is much easier to blame the parents than anyone else!
But it is so important for people to learn to take responsibility. To admit mistakes and do the right things to fix relationships or society or morality etc.
Until we all learn to take responsibility, things do not get fixed properly. If a person cannot recognize their mistakes , they cannot fix them. If a person cannot see the truth or admit the truth, problems continue.
When someone is suffering they like to find someone to blame. It must be that other person who caused their suffering. But in reality we learn in Torah that whatever happens is from Above and even if another person hurts you or causes you suffering, he or she is just a messenger from Above because that as already decreed to happen. Of course the person causing the pain has to admit their mistakes and do teshuvah for themselves, but the person being hurt has to realize there is a purpose and they need to fix whatever needs fixing within themselves.
So instead of playing the blame game, let’s all do our best to play the claim game: claiming responsibility for our errors and admitting our mistakes. Basically this is called teshuvah!
Next time we are tempted to blame someone else, stop and think and let’s all take responsibility for our own actions and make this world a better place.
IT IS WHAT IT IS. Recently I seem to hear that sentence everywhere. And I started thinking into it. What does that mean?? It seems obvious…it is what it is. Nothing profound.
But somehow everyone feels they need to make that statement constantly. Why?
So I started to analyze it a bit. It is what it is….that basically is another way of saying “Accept the situation because you cant change it and you cant do much about it”. It is another way of saying “I may not like this situation but I have decided to accept it”.
Truthfully that has some merit to it: a sort of kabolos ol perhaps? But not really…
At the same time it is not a very Jewish attitude. We Jews are from olam hatikun, the world of correction. We do our best to fix things and change whatever is possible to do. We don’t just shrug things off as if we don’t care to bother. We make efforts. We make kelis. Hashem gives blessings.
So I feel that statement is not such a Jewish one. Because it sounds like we are just giving up in life and not trying to see deeper. I prefer to believe that things can be fixed, changed and worked on. “It is what it is” sounds like a defeatist attitude, an attitude lacking in care and motivation. An attitude of apathy. That is not a Torah attitude. We need to have chayus in everything and never feel apathetic. So lets change that sentence to be “It is what Hashem wants it to be and I see the potential good in it” . Let’s work on that potential. Lets pray to Hashem for what we want and need. Let’s think positively because positive thoughts can change things. Let’s accept what Hashem does because we trust in Him totally, because we know whatever is happening is for the best and is intrinsically good…..not because we give up and feel we are hopeless, helpless or frustrated.
Galus is what it is….but only as long as we allow ourselves to have that galus mentality. Once we switch to the geulah mentality galus fades away and no longer is. Every situation can be changed, transformed into something positive. We just have to see it with different eyes. We just have to open our eyes and see, as the Lubavitcher Rebbe said so many times. So it really is NOTt what we think it is…..it is what Hashem wants and that is the only reality. But within that reality there is room for improvement, change and prayer.
G-d is what He is. We are simply a creation of G-d. And every situation in life is what G-d wills it to be. And as G-ds partners in creation we need to see the G-dliness in every situation and try to understand what G-d wants from us at each stage of life. That is what reality of life is according to Torah.
As we leave the month of Adar, where we increase in joy, we enter the month of Nissan, the month of nessim and geula (miracle and redemption). So we have to take the joy of Adar and apply it to our service of Hashem and work on doing things to actualize the redemption. So what should we do? Well, the first thing we need to think about is that the world is balanced, like a scale. One more good deed, good thought, could tip the balance to the side of good and bring the redemption. Imagine the responsibility of each and every Jew, man , woman and child. We each have to understand and be aware that when we subdue our yetzer haras and we subdue the side of impurity and we do good or we think good thoughts or speak words of Torah, we could bring the redemption! Just one thought of teshuvah, of repentance, can bring the redemption. The previous Lubavitcher Rebbe said “the sooner to teshuvah, the sooner to geula”. This is something to publicize: If each one of us will correct those things that need fixing, we are actively bringing the redemption! And it all should be done with joy: the joy of understanding the merit we have to be part of the chosen nation, of hosting G-d in this world every single moment. We are here to make a dwelling place for Hashem in this lowly material world. And by serving Hashem properly and doing teshuvah, we bring about the actual purpose of this creation: the coming of Moshiach. Pesach is especially connected to redemption, as we know in Nissan we were redeemed from Egypt and in Nissan we will be redeemed from this final most painful exile. May it be immediately now! So happy cleaning….and as you clean your homes, clean yourself internally from any ego or impurity or negative emotions. Redeem yourself from your own limitations and problems. And this helps to speed up the complete redemption for the entire Jewish people. Chag Pesach kasher v’sameach!!
Well, we now know that those yeshivah boys who were murdered actually gave their lives for klal yisrael. they saved the Jews from a horrible terrorist plot that was supposed to happen Rosh Hashanah, Hashem yirachem.
These are the mysterious ways of Hashem that we cannot fathom.
Bu as Jews we know not to ask why. Jews dont ask why. We ask instead "what is the message inside this event? what should we learn? what is the purpose?"
And even when we cannot understand we accept with faith. all Jews are believers, the descendants of believers. This is our Jewish DNA!
Our hearts are breaking. Our minds are not functioning. We are saddened, enraged, indignant, shocked and many other emotions all mixed together. How could three young innocent yeshivah boys be murdered like that??? Baruch dayan emes......we dont ask why.....we cannot begin to fathom why. We only ask that G-d should end this exile and bring Moshiach.
But this is what Amalek does: the nation that hates Israel, throws doubt and fear into the hearts of the Jewish people. They cool off our enthusiasm…they try to destroy the fiery flames of simcha and joy in our service of G-d. Any terrorist who kills innocent Jews because of their hatred towards us is definitely from the nation of Amalek. And what does the Torah say? To wipe out Amalek. Isnt it time we do so??? Isnt it time we take revenge against the enemies of the Jewish people ? Isnt it time we say enough to being brutally slaughtered for no reason? Isnt it time that G-d should send the righteous redeemer to bring us out of the darkness of exile? Isn’t it time that we should usher in the era of Moshiach when there will be true lasting peace for the entire world…peace based on Torah, not on mortal ideas. Peace that will retain the integrity of the Jewish people and the land of Israel that G-d gave to us. Peace that will shine light to the whole world as every part of creation fulfills its purpose. And the purpose of Amalek is to be destroyed….
May we merit the geula shleima now!
Tonight is Gimel Tamuz....the beginning of redemption. The time when the Lubavitcher Rebbe was concealed from our view so that we would do all we can to hasten the redemption. Certainly it behoves each one of us to ask what are we doing to bring Moshiach, and what can we do more? How can we bring about the redemption immediately? We need to add in deeds of goodness and kindness....we need to add in love of our fellow Jews....we need to add in simcha....and we need to add in holiness....and may we motivate G-d to bring the redemption and end this exile immediately mamash.
Again a horrible attack by Amalek! Yes, that is what I said..Amalek. Anyone who hates the Jews simply because the are Jews stems from Amalek. Anybody who would kidnap innocent young Jewish teens, yeshivah bochurim, just because they are Jewish is from Amalek. Isnt it about time to get rid of Amalek??
The Torah teaches that even when Moshiach comes, G-d's throne is not complete until we wipe out Amalek.
But what does Amalek represent?
Spiritually we know that Amalek represents doubt....doubt in one's faith in G-d, and in fact it represents coldness, lack of enthusiasm in one's Divine service.
As it says in Torah, when the Jews left Egypt, the nation of Amalek cooled them off.....cooled off their enthusiasm for going to receive the Torah, their enthusiasm in following Moshe into the desert....Amalek cools one to truth and dulls one's spiritual sensitivities.
And isnt that what the nations connected to Amalek do? they throw panic into the world. They bring doubt into people's minds and hearts. They bring fear into people.
So the only way to fight Amalek is to destroy Amalek!
But not only on the spiritual plane.
Isnt it time for Israel to go in there and get rid of all those terrorists, and all those people who rejoice when a young Jewish child is kidnapped? isn't it time for Israel to stand up for what is right, to stop negotiating with murderers and get rid of the evil?? isn't it time for Israel to stop caring what the world will think and simply care what G-d will think. G-d wants us to get rid of Amalek. G-d wants us to win this war with Amalek. And the only way to do that is to be strong and not back down for a moment. To say the truth. To tell the whole world that Israel belongs to the Jews because G-d gave it to us. And nobody has a claim to any part of our land. And therefore anyone who wants to start war or try to use terrorism or kidnapping to accomplish their evil purposes will no longer be tolderated! That is the only language the nation of Amalek understands. Now is not the time to 'negotiate". you cant negotiate with murders. you have to speak their language!
Now that it is after Pesach and we did not merit the geula yet, we are left wondering what we can do to actually bring Moshiach. What are you doing? yes, each and every one of us is responsible to bring the geula. to make it happen. The Lubavitcher Rebbe on Chof Ches Nissan gave it over to us to become his partner in this project. So whenever you do a mitzva, say that you are doing this to hasten the coming of Moshiach. When you add in goodness and kindness, say that you are doing this to hasten the geula. And if you want to know the real secret to bring Moshiach? Increase in ahavas yisrael. Truly care about your fellow Jew. Get rid of ego. Get rid of machlokes. Make amends. Be friends. Light up the darkness with chesed. May we merit to be a light unto the nations and to have the third beis hamikdash immediately now with Moshiach tzidkenu.
Finally Adar! This is the month when everything changes around. It is the month of laughter. Through laughter you can change everything. So laugh your way through Adar. this year we have two Adars! Double opportunity. 60 days of joy. And as the Lubavitcher Rebbe taught us, when there are 60 days of Adar, all negativity is botul bshishim! So dance, laugh and dance some more. Get rid of Amalek. Get rid of doubts. Get rid of impurity. Get rid of gezeras. This is the month to get rid of our enemies, internal and external. Let's dance our way to geula! It is no wonder that Nissan follows Adar. After we get rid of our enemies and our doubts we are ready for redemption!
LUCK OR DIVINE PROVIDENCE?
Now that we are in the month of Kislev, the month of geula and nissim (and I would add, the month of light), we certainly can learn many lessons from this month.
One thing that I was thinking about recently is the idea of “luck”, or mazal. And of course the idea of coincidence as well. So many people chalk various events up to coincidence or to luck.
They fail to delve deeper.
But I think the dreidel is a great example of this idea. It spins and spins and drops on one of the letters. Is that luck? Is it coincidence? Or is it Divine Providence?
Our lives are like that dreidel. Constantly spinning around with various matters, never sure how things will end up. But the final result is truly Divine Providence.
It is not an accident if the dreidel lands on gimmel. In life sometimes things land on gimmel and sometimes we end up with shin. But in all cases the guiding force behind everything determines the results. Of course our prayers influence the outcome but everything, every little or big event, is Divine Providence. Nothing is by chance. Nothing is coincidence. And I would venture to say nothing is luck. Not for a Jew. For a Jew luck, or mazal, are also part of Divine Providence.
And if things look difficult, just keep spinning...keep going.... eventually you will get gimmel! As you begin to understand and acknowledge the Divine force in everything, you will merit to see things in a more openly revealed good way. The key is to recognize Who runs the world, Who controls every aspect of life (as the Baal Shem Tov taught that even a leaf turning over in the wind is controlled by Divine Providence for a purpose). And speaking of the Baal Shem Tov, this is the month to think about Chassidut. Soon will be Yud Tet Kislev, the chag hageulah of the Baal haTanya, and the victory of Chassidut, of light over darkness. This is the month where light clearly wins: the idea of Yud Tet Kislev and the idea of Chanukah. So keep on adding light. The more light, the more kedusha, automatically kelipa and impurity is nullified. So if you find yourself in a situation of darkness, increase in light.
And commit yourself to learning Tanya, to learning Chassidut and pnimiyut ha Torah. That is the way to bring Moshiach and merit to see Divine Providence in everything. So I wish everyone a chag hageulah sameach, a Chanukah sameach and may we merit redemption now!
Wishing everyone a truly new year. Not just a new year in the sense of being Rosh Hashanah...but a new year, meaning a year that is very different and better than all previous years. A year of good health, of happiness, shalom bayit, parnassa , nachat and good news. But even more than that, it should be a NEW YEAR. A year that is better than all previous years. A year that Hashem should renew for us in a much refined way. A year that is filled with all kinds of positivity. Only positivity. Only good things. Only good news.
When Hashem renews His creation and we coronate Him and crown Him as our King, certainly He blesses us with all our needs. And we need redemption. We need Moshiach. We need freedom from all negativity and problems.
This year pray that all dinim and gevurot should be sweetened at their spiritual source. Pray that Hashem should grant each and every Jew a truly sweet new year and a year that is new and better than ever before.
If you find the world confusing, frightening and filled with darkness, you are not alone. As we see more darkness and feel more despair, this is a sign that actually there is much more light being generated! Sounds strange? Well, Chassidus tells us that before Moshiach comes, as we get closer and closer to the revelation of Moshiach, when the world will be filled with a new sublime light and we will experience a huge revelation of G-dliness and kedusha, we will experience the greatest appearance of so called “darkness”. Because the light is concealed. Truth is more concealed. We have to dig harder to find it. But it is there. If there would not be a lot of light, there would not be a lot of darkness. G-d created one thing opposite the other, to make a balance. So when you see more darkness, more impurity, you can be sure there is also more purity and light being generated at the same time in the world. That is why we can see great extremes: tremendous holiness and goodness and acts of kindness as well as the lowest depraved acts of terrorism, Hashem yirachem. People often find themselves feeling really confused…wondering about basic things that in the past they never had difficulty believing in. How could such a phenomenon happen? How is it that pious religious Jews actually could be questioning basics of their faith? How is it that doubts pop into peoples minds? How is it that basic qualities of life are questioned? That morality is no longer clear cut like in the past? G-d has not changed. Torah has not changed? Neither have our obligations….neither has our spiritual make up. So what has changed? Only the fact that the truth is more hidden from us….more covered over so we don’t feel it or sense it as much. That is a result of the darkness of galus. When we get to that point, that level of really feeling we understand nothing and feeling that the world is no longer clear and bright and there is a huge amount of confusion prevailing….then we simply have to hang on harder to the truth, cleave to Torah and do more mitzvoth and generate more light to dispel the darkness. The forces of darkness and unholiness strive harder to disturb our service to G-d because they sense their end is near when the spirit of impurity will be removed from the earth. Hence they try harder to gain some life force from us…something to keep them going. We have to simply stand strong, say no to darkness, no to confusion and cleave to light. We have to beg G-d to have mercy on us and protect us and to strengthen our faith and our inner light. And with that we can rise from the lowest levels and achieve true purity and holiness. WE can reveal the inner light within each of our souls. We can dispel our inner darkness and the outer darkness of the world. We can bring Moshiach! We can make it happen. By seeing darkness we can laugh, as Rabbi Akiva did when he saw the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash, because he knew that the rest of the prophecies would also come true. Same way, as we see darkness rampant, we can laugh knowing a better world is around the corner.
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