If I told you how difficult it’s been to get the second volume of One in a Generation out, I don’t think you’d believe me.
70% of the book has been written for 2 ½ years, already. Originally, I wrote Volumes 1 and 2 as one tome, but as it started to approach 700 pages, my co-author and I realized we were going to struggle to get it printed, physically, as one book, and we were also having a lot of stress trying to get everything fact-checked.
So, two years ago, my co-author suggested we split the books up into Volumes, and that would make it easier for everyone.
I agreed, and we got Volume I out, which is basically a history of Rav Berland’s life up until that fateful time 6 years ago when all the scurrilous rumors and slanders started up, shortly AFTER the Rav left the country. (Yes, it was that way around).
I don’t know how many copies it sold, honestly not very many, because all this was going on when the Rav was sitting in prison and then was forced to cut a deal with the Israeli authorities, and agree to things he never even thought of doing in a million years, so that they’d release him to get his aggressive cancer treated.
Without the plea bargain, it seems they wouldn’t release the Rav for the treatment he needed to save his life.
But no-one outside of the Rav’s immediate circle knew that.
So in the meantime, who wanted to buy a book extolling the virtues of someone who’d apparently pleaded ‘guilty’?
And so, Volume II sat untouched for a good year, for a number of reasons. Partially, I just had enough of dealing with all the anti-Rav psychos, and I didn’t want to place myself back in the eye of that particular storm.
But the biggest problem, by far, was the spiritual fight between the part of myself that wanted to do a massive expose, name names, point fingers and finally set the record straight 100%, and the part that wanted to have enough emuna to step back, and let God fight the battle.
For months and months, I couldn’t see a way through all these confusions and doubts.
I simply had no idea what God really wanted from me, and this book, so it was easier to just leave it.
Then, around three months ago, I was standing at the Beit HaRav, during the davening, and I suddenly got the strong impression that it was time to get on with the book again.
I checked in with my co-author, and discovered he’s also been getting the same impression, and so, I opened up the laptop, and sat down to update Volume II. So much water had gone under the bridge, I had to rewrite the last half of the book to reflect what had happened. And then rewrite it again, as things kept changing.
And then rewrite it again, to add in a whole big, fat, juicy chapter that clearly set out WHO was behind the persecution of the Rav, and HOW they pulled it off.
Which is when the lawyer in the family started to get cold feet.
So then, I took out all the names, and most of the identifying details. But the lawyer in the family – who is usually very gung-ho about legal stuff – was still not happy, and started to do some careful research on the defamation laws in Israel, and what he found did not reassure him.
Not at all.
Which is when I had a week or two of the most excrutiating doubts and confusion as to whether God really wanted the book, and if He did, how I could even give Him what He wants.
Man, the yetzer threw everything but the kitchen sink at me. I was having disturbing dreams, arguments with the lawyer, massive insomnia, you name it. This book had been hanging around for 2 years already, and I couldn’t see any way of getting it out there.
I did a long hitbodedut on it, another long hitbodedut, another long hitbodedut – but it and I were still totally stuck.
So then, God stepped in and sent me, in a highly unusual way, an editor to help.
“This is three books in one,” she told me. “And all that harsh stuff about the Rav’s persecutors is so hard to read, especially when you have all the wonderful stuff about the Rav right next to it. Maybe, you should just move all that yucky stuff to an appendix, or something?”
Initially, I was totally furious with this feedback. What, take out all the carefully gathered evidence and information that would prove once and for all WHO was behind the Rav’s persecution, and HOW they pulled it off?!?!
But then, I calmed down a bit. I did some more hitbodedut on it – and I realized, she was right.
This book was getting held up by all the icky stuff that was naming names and pointing fingers. Clearly, God didn’t want that stuff in there, after all.
So, I spent all of last week totally rewriting those parts, to put the focus back on the Rav – to make it about the light, and not about the darkness – and to keep everyone’s free choice intact, after all.
It still tells the story of what happened, but it no longer pins down the details of WHO was doing it, and precisely HOW it was done. The lawyer is thrilled with it.
It’s currently with the typesetter, who promised me it’ll be ready by Monday of next week, and now we’re hoping it will be available before Pesach, 5779, at least on Amazon.
I’m totally exhausted from this whole process, so it’s great I have Pesach to prepare for now, to give me a nice relaxing break from all the stress of recent months.
But in the meantime, if you still want a part in the mitzvah of getting this book out there, we need some help to cover the printing costs. We need to raise 13,000 shekels to print 1000 copies, and any amount you want to contribute would be F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S.
Even a donation of just $5 will help to print one book, and we only need 1,000 people to donate $5 each, to cover the whole amount required.
If you’d like to help, head over to the DONATE page, and go do your thing.
So much is moving in the world, so much is changing. This book is bringing a lot of light down into the murk and it will transform the “discussion” about the Rav, even without naming names and pointing fingers.