Around last August, I kept getting the same strong message in my hitbodedut:
Get 7 more books by Rabbi Berland pulled together and printed, by the 10th of Tevet. The books are changing everything.
Rabbi Shalom Arush teaches that whatever you get ‘told’ in your hitbodedut, you should take seriously. So, when this message continued to return again and again and again, I decided to act on it.
With God’s help, we managed to put out 7 books by the Rav, in under six months. And by ‘we’, I mean a small team of 3 people, all unpaid volunteers, all working round the clock to get this stuff out there ASAP.
The last book to come out was Rabbi Berland’s Haggada, which because of the Hebrew formatting, caused me and my Phillipines-based designer enormous problems.
This year, the Fast of Tevet was on December 25th, 2019 – and try as I might, I just couldn’t get the Haggada formatted properly to come out by then.
In my hitbodedut, I got another ‘message’: Just put it out, however imperfectly, keep it up for 3 days, then take it down, after you’ve ordered 10 copies printed. Printing these books is the ikker, not how great they are laid out, or how many they sell….
So that’s what I did.
The Haggada – book #7 – came out January 20th, 2020.
That week – unbeknownst to me until it happened – a whole bunch of the world’s leaders descended on Israel, and came to stay in Jerusalem, to ‘celebrate’ the 75th liberation of Auschwitz.
At the time, it looked so fishy, so strange, that world leaders with very busy schedules would come and spend 2-3 whole days in Jerusalem ‘celebrating’ the liberation of Auschwitz. I spent a bit of time trying to puzzle over it all, because it seemed clear they were cooking up another nefarious scheme for the planet.
In the meantime, the Haggada stayed up that whole week on Amazon, and only when the last leader left, did I take it down and ‘unpublish’ it, after ordering 10 copies for myself.
Very soon afterwards, events started to move at break-neck speed.
If you take a look at this post on my own blog:
It sets out the timeline and connections between the spread of the Coronavirus, and the arrest of Rav Berland.
Back then, early reports showed that Coronavirus was even more fatal than SARS, and there was a hidden tzaddik who warned that the authorities were lying about the true scale of what was going on in China, and that 10,000 people a day were being infected.
On February 6th – barely 2 weeks after all those Heads of State arrived in Israel for an unprecedented 3 day pow-wow – Rav Berland gave over his warning about the Coronavirus, and wrote his prayer about it, to be distributed far and wide:
Then, on February 9th, the Rav was arrested in an extremely brutal fashion, with hordes of police throwing stun grenades and dragging him away from an early morning Gemara shiur in front of hundreds of his followers, in Musrara, on the outskirts of the Meah Shearim neighborhood:
This video splices clips together of the Rav being arrested, plus the ‘response’ from Shuvu Banim that warned back on February 9th, 2020 that if the frum world didn’t protest, the Israeli police would close down their synagogues next, and start to arrest their rabbonim.
As has subsequently come to pass.
The clip also shows the son of Rabbi Yaakov Meir Shechter, leader of the Breslov shul in Meah Shearim, being arrested and led away from the shul last week, in the raid that saw police throw a stun grenade into the face of a 9 year old girl.
Very shortly after that, the whole Coronavirus episode exploded in Israel, but what quickly became very clear is that the Rav sweetened things.
Make no mistake, there was ‘meant to be’ a massive epidemic, God forbid, with millions and millions of people dying. That’s what was ‘meant to have happened’. But instead, the Rav’s tremendous self-sacrifice, and the self-sacrifice of the people in his community, who have continued to be ostracised, pilloried, persecuted, mocked and even arrested and jailed, turned things around.
Exactly as the Rav said they would.
Which brings us back to the books, and the whole part they – and you – have to play in what happens next.
Back in May 2019, Rabbi Berland wrote a note where he said the following:
Distribute all of the prayers from Tiferet Zion, until there won’t be a house in all of the nation of Israel that won’t have a prayer from the Rav.
Then in August, the Rav asked the ravberland.com writers to help get 75 prayers translated into English, and up on the site ASAP. You can read the full text of Prayer #915 here:
But I want to pull out some interesting parts of that prayer, as follows:
Master of the world, may I merit to distribute the prayers of the Rav in each and every house, and in each and every place, and in each and every neighborhood, and to each and every Jew, so that no Jew will be lacking in any prayer, G-d forbid.
And on this depends the complete redemption, until the revelation of Moshiach ben David through the prayers of the Rav, until they are spread throughout the world, and to every single Jew, which is the secret of the death of the firstborn, when Hashem smote the sitra achra, on account of there not being a single home that doesn’t have prayers of the Rav…
So too in the merit of these prayers, may we all merit to receive Moshiach ben David and to bring down the Temple of fire from the heavens before the eyes of all Israel, and before the eyes of all the nations of the world.
Particularly, in the parshiot, Terumah, Tetzaveh, Ki-Tissa, Veyakhel, Pekudei, which deal with the building of the Mishkan, which was the preparation for the building of the Temple, whose complete building was in the month of ‘bul’.
Rav Berland wrote that prayer years ago, and yet, he specifies the parshas of Terumah, Tetzaveh, Ki-Tisa, Vayekhel and Pekudei, and also speaks of the death of the firstborn plague, which should ‘pass over’ every Jewish house, that has one of his prayers.
This year, Parsha Terumah fell out on February 28th, 2020.
This from Wikipedia:
“The first case of the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic in Israel was confirmed on 21 February 2020, after a female citizen tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 at the Sheba Medical Center after return from quarantine on the Diamond Princess ship in Japan. As a result, a 14-day home isolation rule was instituted for anyone who had visited South Korea or Japan, and a ban was placed on non-residents and non-citizens who were in South Korea for 14 days before their arrival.
In other words, that was the week that the whole Coronavirus pandemic panic and lockdown measures began in Israel, and continued to intensify over the the next 4 weeks.
Parshat Vayekhel-Pekudei fell out on Friday, March 20, 2020.
It was the height of the panic about Coronavirus here in Israel, as I wrote about HERE.
This from Wikipedia:
“On 19 March, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a national state of emergency, saying that existing restrictions would henceforth be legally enforceable, and violators would be fined. Israelis were not allowed to leave their homes unless absolutely necessary.”
I.e., it was the beginning of the lockdown that saw Bnei Brak and Meah Shearim totally cut off from the outside world for weeks, stopped everyone from leaving their homes, put an end to praying at the Kotel, or even in shul, and lead to a million people in Israel losing their parnassa.
Do you believe in coincidences?
Because I don’t.
In the meantime, there were a few other things going on that week, too.
I was trying to get the second volume of Rabbi Berland’s Prayers for Health – which included the special prayer to recite to be saved from the Coronavirus – published on the Amazon website.
That attempt failed miserably, because Amazon banned the book.
You can read about that here, in a post that was put up on March 18th, 2020:
And then, on March 19th, when I was also starting to feel totally overwhelmed with fear and yeoush about the situation, Rabbi Berland appeared in court again, where his lawyers’ request that he be allowed to undergo house arrest in his home was rejected by the judge.
Yet again, the Rav took the troubles upon himself, to spare the rest of us, and I could literally feel the atmosphere lightening up the day the judge refused Rav Berland’s appeal, as I wrote about HERE.
It was definitely a big week.
So again, back to the books.
Between Pesach and lockdown, I didn’t have the time, energy or headspace to try to get the second book of Rabbi Berland’s prayers published again. I kind of felt pretty flattened and despairing for a couple of weeks. I’m sure many of you can relate.
But then, last week I got another ‘prompt’ in my hitbodedut to just tweak the cover a little, and to change the title of the book, and to try again. This time, the book was accepted on Amazon, and you can see it here:
Something else happened that day, too.
That was the day that the Israeli Government started easing the restrictions on the citizens, including making the surprising decision to let 19 people pray together (with the stupid masks and 2 metres apart…) and to let the men’s mikvah’s reopen, too (as long as there are no more than 3 people in there at a time…)
But still, massive progress over how things have been for the last month!
I didn’t even make that connection, until a friend of mine called me up and pointed it out.
Which is when I started to realise that getting this book into as many homes as possible is imperative. It’s something ‘easy’ that we can all do, and that will have potentially massive consequences, for how quickly we get out of this Coronavirus lockdown mess, and how easily it will all turn around for the good.
Various kabbalists and rabbis, including Rav Menashe Amon, and Rav Aharon Stern, and Rav Moshe Kluger, have made it clear that Am Yisrael will only get out of ‘house arrest’ and lockdown, and all the other awful issues associated with Coronavirus – including actually catching it and developing serious symptoms, God forbid – when we make some real teshuva we make in relation to the lashon hara we spoke about him.
In my hitbodedut today, I got a steer to put the Rabbi Berland’s Prayers for Health book – including the Coronavirus prayer – up for FREE, for the next 5 days, beginning March 22, 2020.
Currently, Amazon isn’t shipping to Israel, so I can’t order hard copies of the book and get it sent here.
So, there are now two ways that you – yes YOU!!! – can make a real positive difference to what’s going on here, and start to turn the tide in the favor of Am Yisrael, and getting the geula the sweet way.
From tomorrow, use your social media, your email, your blog, your Whats App – whatever you have available – to try to encourage as many as your friends, family and acquaintances to go and download Rabbi Berland’s Prayers for Health for FREE, from Amazon.
And if you’re worried about a negative response – THAT’S EVEN BETTER!! You can join in the Tzaddik’s ‘suffering’, and also practise keeping your mouth shut when other people insult you, which as Rebbe Nachman teaches, sweetens all the harsh judgements.
If you were someone that either spoke, listened to, or believed lashon hara about the Rav, telling people to get his book is also an excellent tikkun for what you did.
Any way you look at it, you can only benefit, spiritually, from telling as many people you can that Rabbi Berland’s book is available for free download.
On top of Way #1 – telling other people to go and download the book – you can also consider buying the paperback version of the book, so you have it in your own home.
This won’t work if you’re in Israel, but if you’re in the US or the UK, Amazon is still delivering, and you can still have the massive zchut of being the defacto ‘printer’ of one of the Rav’s books, by ordering a copy.
Right now, this book hasn’t been officially ‘printed’ in hardcopy format, as I explained above.
But you can change that.
You can bring the light of this book into the world, mamash, by ordering a hard copy.
The last few weeks, we’ve all been sitting here feeling so powerless to really make a difference.
But there IS something we can do – easily – to get things to turnaround.