ויתהלך חנוך את האלהים ואיננו כי לקח אתו אלהים
And Chanoch walked with G-d, and he is absent because G-d took him away. (Breishis 5:24)
Rashi writes on the earlier pasuk (Breishis 5:22):
And Chanoch walked – He was a tzaddik and his mind was vulnerable to being turned toward wickedness. Consequently, the Holy One hastened to remove him and brought about his death before his time. And this is the reason that the pasuk repeats this point in regard to his death to say ואיננו that he is absent – he is absent from the world to fill his allotted years.Evidently, Billy Joel was not the first to say that "only the good die young."
And he's not the last, either.
We are hearing messages like these from a very unlikely source - from mentally impaired people. People afflicted with autism, Downs Syndrome, cerebral palsy, and similar ailments.
We in Eretz Yisrael have been hearing about the autistics and their messages for months and even a few years. There is a relatively sizable group but the two most outspoken ones are Binyamin Golden and Daniel (last name is undisclosed). These handicapped people communicate with us through a method known as facilitated communication (FC) where a trained technician brings the subject's forearm to a keyboard or printed letter chart and the subject types or taps on the letters of the board to spell out their thoughts.
There is much controversy as to whether FC is genuine or a manipulated hoax and consequently, whether to take these communiqués seriously. I do not know enough about all sides of the FC debate to have an objective opinion but Ben Golden does live right here in Har Nof – I have seen him quite often - and he is a genuine autistic. My wife is well acquainted with Ben's mother (I've never met her). They are part of a women's group that meets for Tefillah and Tehillim at the Kosel every Wednesday morning. Mrs. Golden (an American) certainly stands by the integrity of the autistics and FC.
More complete details about who they are, what their mission is, and most of their communiqués have been compiled, translated, edited, and posted on a special dedicated web site. I highly recommend looking it over (click here).
As far as I am concerned, it does not matter whether they or the whole FC technique is genuine. What they say is genuine because it is nothing more than the words of the nevi'im and chazal that have been at our fingertips for centuries. Actually, for everything they say the editor has supplied sources from Tanach, Chazal, Shulchan Aruch, and even references to Baalei mussar such as Chovos HaLevavos and Ramchal. Genuine or not, I identify with these preachers because – aside from likewise being out of my mind – their words reinforce the concepts of the One Above and Seven Below that I am promoting with my project.
The autistics have been giving predictions of coming events, reproach, and advice. The tones of the autistics vary but they simulate the tones of the prophets. The two most vocal ones preach very harshly and frighteningly. Some of the others – notably the female ones – speak much more gently and encouragingly. Nevertheless, they all present the same basic message:
- The time of redemption is imminently close. It will be an ordeal of terrifying events and midas hadin. There will be a great war (Gog u'Magog) and most of the inhabitants of the world will perish. As for the Jewish people, only those who observe Torah and mitzvos will survive. Accordingly, it is incumbent upon every single Jew to do complete teshuva and commit him or herself to complete Torah observance. (For more, click here.)
- We must divest ourselves of our reliance on all material assets and depend entirely on Hashem.
In short, the world is soon to be turned over like the Sodom and Amorra that it is. When it happens (even before), forget about all your possessions and run for cover under the Kanfei Hashechina and DON'T LOOK BACK!!
They are very in tune with current events. One can learn more from them than from the papers. Here are some of the main points of their predictions and advice:
- We should be very worried about Iran and Russia. Russia has not changed its stripes and glasnost was a cover. Russia wants to swallow the whole world. (For more, click here and here and here.)
- The financial markets will all fall and money won't be worth more than tissue paper. You can invest in gold but you can't eat it. (For more, click here and here.)
- All Jews who live in chutz LaAretz should pack up and move to E"Y immediately. Don't worry about parnassah because the parnassah in the exile will be worse. It is not enough to own an apartment in E"Y and if one is not shomer Torah, it won't help. (For more, click here.)
- Jews from Russia should especially get out because soon there will be no more opportunity. Russia is slated for total destruction. (For more, click here.)
- The Jews in eretz Yisrael should prepare special clothes for greeting Moshiach (Jews from Chu"l can do it too, but they should come here first). The clothes must be wide, clean, and respectable. Women cannot wear wigs or makeup! (For more, click here)
In an earlier communiqué they advised Israeli Jews to stockpile a two-week supply of food. In more recent messages (click here) they have said that it doesn't matter – G-d will provide for those that He wants to save, and for those that He doesn't…it won't help.
As far as the reproach, these guys do not mince words. They call 'em like they see 'em (sorry, G.), and they see 'em a lot clearer than we do. They claim to convey to us a message from on high as to how a Jew must conduct himself. They say that very few Jews of any stream are living up to the standards that the Torah expects from us. Here is some of what they say:
- There has never been a generation as depraved as ours. (For more, click here.)
- Women must improve their commitment to tznius – and husbands must enforce it. They scream over and over again about tight clothes, short skirts, sheer stockings, makeup, and sheitels. (For more, click here and here.)
- All of today's wigs are forbidden, not because of their being used for takrovet avodah zarah (which they confirm was and is a real Halachic issue) but because they do more to hinder the realization of tznius as opposed to enforcing it.
- There is no hope for non-observant Jews who wish to stay non-observant.
- All Jews must rid their homes of all unnecessary materialistic gadgets and "toys".
- Torah Jews have no business going to amusement parks or to Goyish places for vacations or doing dangerous things (canoeing, mountain climbing, Jeeping). (For more, click here.)
- Torah Jews should not go out to restaurants and certainly not indulge in pizza and fast-foods.
- If the Jews do not do teshuva, there will be (chas v'shalom) Jewish blood. There always is.(For more, click here.)
When they discuss Jewish society, they are not hesitant to name "groups".(For more, click here.) They say that much of the observance of "observant" Jews is superficial and does not count. We all are worshipping the "Golden Calf". They say that most of the chareidim are not genuine and are too materialistic and are not maintaining proper tznius. Yet, in terms of Hashkafa, the chareidi derech is proper. Here is some of what they write about the chareidim (source):
And in Chapter 67 they write:
The Haredim could save the world because the Haredim are able to illuminate the world [See Radak Yeshaya 51:4 "my laws are a light to the nations etc."]. They are the closest to the Truth, to Hashem. The Haredim (so-called "Ultra Orthodox") should bring the rest of the Jewish people to the Redemption with simcha (joy) and shleimus (completeness). They should bring the world to the highest spiritual level and closeness to Hashem [As is explained in Mesillas Yesharim 1 "He rises higher and the world rises higher with him etc."]
Unfortunately in reality the situation is completely different. In reality, at present many Haredim are not only not elevating the world to higher levels; they are actually bringing the world close to total destruction [See Koheles Raba 6 and Mesillas Yesharim 1 "Be careful that you don't ruin and destroy my world etc."]
Many Haredim have been attracted to the secular way of life. Haredim have been exposed to the impure outside world in various ways; whether it is by traveling or living abroad, whether it is through relationships with secular people or by reading newspapers and all sorts of books, listening to the radio, internet etc. Whichever way, they have tasted the secular "culture" and as a result, many of them are drowning in gashmius [materialism] and worldliness, which has made them distant from Hakadosh Baruch Hu [G-d].
This non-Jewish lifestyle of these Haredim nowadays usually comes with some sort of 'hechsher'. These Haredim who have strayed from the right path don't usually go looking for a hechsher for all heir hearts' desires, but since a lot of money can be made from it, some Jews have taken the initiative to arrange "hechshers" for many things that are in fact the opposite of what is really kosher. The truth is that many hechshers and rabbinical approvals are actually worthless because they were influenced by money [See Gemara Shabbos 139a].
The happiest people of all can be found among some of the Chareidim - the Ultra-orthodox Jews, who know the truth. They know that we are facing the greatest danger, but they are happy because the Jews have been awaiting the coming of Moshiach for over two-thousand years and at last it seems the time has come.
All the other Jews are miserable, each one according to his or her spiritual level. This is because they don't sense the truth; they don't understand and are not looking into the holy prophecies from the Torah, etc. They don't realize that even if a deep shelter was built, even if of the latest modern technology was used to build a shelter that can protect people from a nuclear bomb, if Hashem does not want specific people to live, they will not.
And still in Chapter 67:
This is not intended for the secular Jews. It is intended mostly for the Ultra-Orthodox community, because if there is any truth at all it can certainly be found amongst them. One who learns Torah and lives a life of mitzvos must be closer to the King of All Kings, Hakadosh Baruch Hu (G-D).
But in our day, with all the sheker (lies and deceptions) in a world of sheker, the sheker has found its way even into the Kodesh Hakodashim (holiest of places). We must extract it and therefore even the Ultra-Orthodox Jews must do self-examination.
There will also be some secular and modern-religious Jews that will repent in a second, if they are presently almost on the verge of the Truth and just need an extra 'push'. But it will still not be complete repentance. It will be repentance only for the sake of saving themselves.
The Ultra-Orthodox Jews need to be much closer to Hashem, since they have the whole framework of Torah and mitzvos. If they don't live with real kedushah holiness), the judgment against them will be much harsher. If they are living the way they are supposed to, they will come to a very good end. And it won't even be an end; it will be a beginning [of a life of eternity and spiritual pleasures].
Batya was a girl who had CP and passed away on Chol HaMoed Pessach, 5768. Though she spoke with a much softer tone, she had this to say (source):
- Accept the advice of Rabbanim
- Learn mussar (or at least, read my Blog ;-}> )
- Those who do not repent will disappear from the world
- One of the most important components of Teshuva is to do chessed. Every person must outdo himself in chessed.
For those who are still with me, I want to discuss one more aspect of the autistics and the one that is referred to by the title of this post. In earlier communications, the autistics were willing to answer direct questions. As of late, they are refusing to do so. Many questions revolved around the events that were taking place at the time and why did they happen. Especially when G-d has suddenly and violently pulled away from us precious souls.
In general, they respond that every tragedy that befalls the Jewish people is due to our sins and shortcomings. In Chapter 29, Daniel asserts that the Lebanon War was a direct result of the Homosexual parade in Jerusalem. (In Chapter 31, Daniel says that it was not the only cause but that the war was due to our sins and the parade is symbolic of them). Though, when Hashem punishes us – it is through the tzaddikim.
Hashem always takes the tzaddikim.
Thus, in a rare Q and A in Chapter 76, Daniel discusses with his father the massacre at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva. He says:
But he adds (source):
Daniel: It was not by chance that that specific yeshiva was chosen. Not by chance at all. Nor were any of the other acts of terror. They all cause us to want to do some deep thinking.
Every tragedy that takes place has a specific reason, a root, and there is a reason that we cannot understand. We must therefore try and figure out the reason that we are able to understand.
Abba: Why was that yeshiva chosen?
Daniel: The Dati-Leumi (modern orthodox) movement tries very hard to be the elite of the Zionists. They think they have secured themselves a place in this world as well as in the next world.
A person that is truly spiritual does not feel that he possesses any power, that only Hashem possesses power. This is a person who believes that the reason of existence is Torah, mitzvos etc. and that this world is purely for the sake of fulfilling Hashem's will from morning to night and from night to morning and nothing else but the will of Hashem.
Yet, in the case of the dati-leumi, this is not their entire goal.These are not people whose entire lives evolve around the constant fulfilling of Hashem's will; these people think they can be part of the secular world as well as being religious -more or less believing in Hashem. A person who seeks education from the secular - Hellenistic world must return to the real, proper Yiddishkeit and become a true follower of Hashem.
The Dati-Leumi Jews have great weaknesses when it comes to Yiddishkeit.
The difference between the weakness that has ensnared the Charedi community lately, and the weakness of the Dati-Leumi community is, with the Dati-Leumi, their weakness is a part of their idealism whereas with the Charedim it is just a personal weakness each individual has with his or her connection to this world.
The Yiddishkeit of the so-called radical Jews or Ultra Orthodox is trueYiddishkeit.
Abba: The eight people that were killed were all complete tzaddikim, no?
Daniel: Of course they were all tzaddikim. They were simply the sacrifices of this generation, just like the tzaddikim that passed away during the holocaust. The sacrifice needs to be complete and they were complete.
Likewise, about the tragic jeep accident that took the lives of four outstanding talmidei Chachamim in the summer of 2007, first Daniel says (source):
I want to tell you all that a lot is happening all around us and people don't really want to take notice of what's going on. First of all, four young people were killed today, out of which three were Yeshiva students and one a married Yeshiva man. And how did they die? They were on a trip driving a Jeep.
Yeshiva boys and a Yeshiva man out on a Jeep ride. I ask you, what are Torah-learning men doing on a jeep-ride? What were they doing wasting their time on dangerous adventures? This is the behavior of non-Jews and people don't realize this. Again, they don't understand this.
Daniel: The 4 boys that were killed were Tzaddikim according to our generation but Jeeps are not appropriate. What do you think? HaShem took them for nothing? HaShem took them not because they were good boys, they were Tzaddikim. They are an example for every generation, they are the sacrifice of this generation to other boys that are not so good that behave the same, that do much worse things. Taking trips without protection and without using the brain, and endangering their lives. HaShem always takes the Tzaddikim.
We have lost many precious people over the past few years. People who we dearly needed (of course, we need every Jew regardless) and who, like Chanoch, are absent from this world and who are not here to fulfill their years. They were meant to be here for many more years and they are absent. People who lived for the klal and died for the klal. But they were all tzaddikim gemurim.
Just a partial list will include people such as: Rabbi Benzion Dunner, Dr. David Applebaum, Chezi Goldberg, Mrs. Yael Antinev, Mrs. Batsheva Unterman, Rabbi Yisroel Aisenstark, Naftali Smolyanski, Aleihem Hashalom (and HY"D where applicable). All of whom were outstanding "klal" people and some of whom I have been privileged to meet. Add to this the four yeshiva boys from Netanya and the eight malachim from Mercaz HaRav (with special note to Yonatan Yitzchak Eldar of Shilo who was my cousin) and the victims of many other violent incidents such as the Number 2 Kotel bus, Sbarro, and Beis Yisrael bombings (HY"D) and we see a pattern.
Hashem plucked them from this world way before their time – because they were tzaddikim. Because of our sins. Because we are the ones who are not worthy.
We see that the autistics are on the mark about at least one thing:
HaShem always takes the tzaddikim!
Perhaps they are on the mark about other things, as well.