January 24, 2008

My so called life: a dream.

As many (or not so many) people may have noticed, I have been silent for quite awhile. Not for lack of desire to post on what is happening in this upside down world, but rather because of my personal life. Without divulging too much about my identity, I have been without work months due to events that are in the news. It has taken an amazing emotional and mental toll on me and my household.

The capper was last month when I was rushed to the hospital by ambulance because I, Hatzalah and the paramedics thought I was having a massive heart attack. After a few grueling days in the hospital it was determined that my heart was fine and I had, in fact, had a massive panic attack. Now I have had anxiety before but nothing like this. I thought I was dying. The stress in my life was just too much.

I have noticed that in the past year most of my friends and neighbors have been going through major tsuris in their lives. I have whittled it down to three main areas: Parnassa problems, health problems or marital problems. Two of my close friends are on the verge of divorce after many years. I and others have had major health related tsuris and a majority of the people I know are going through serious financial stress. One friend is on the verge of losing his house while others had to let go all their workers while others have lost their businesses. It is an amazing time. There is more stress and sorrow among frum Jews then I have ever seen. All of this aside form the insanity that is gripping the world, especially the Israelis. This is a dark and lonely time for us. One friend nearly gave up frumkeit because of his sorrows while others have openly questioned Hashem and his mercy to me. My wife, a tzadaikes, weeps almost every day because of our troubles and it is getting worse each and every day.

Why am I telling you this? Well, I need to relate a dream I had last night.

I dreamed I was spending Shabbos with a woman I used to work with and her husband. In reality she is not Jewish. She is very successful in our industry. In my dream she was married to a Yeshivish man. At our Shabbos table he said the following to me: “Did you know that the halacha is that you need to have in mind what shiur of water you can drink during the meal when you say kiddush and hamotzei?” I was perplexed because I had never heard of such a thing, but he was adamant. Then, during the meal, he turned on the air conditioner. I was upset because it was Shabbos but he didn’t seem to care. The his wife looked at me and said: “You always come off as so depressed.” Again, I was perplexed.

Then it was Motzei Shabbos and I took them to a bus stop in a remote area. I dropped them off and for some reason decided to wait at the bus stop myself. There was a field of pebbles before the stop and I walked across it. I bent down and picked up a handful and realized that they weren’t pebbles but rather pills. Prozac to be exact. A sea of them. I crossed over and sat on a seat at the bus stop. Each seat had it’s own compartment so you were separate from others. I sat on the seat, alone and a song started to play. I knew it was a sign. The song was in Hebrew but I will give you the translation:

Rebbe Nachman
of Breslev
is like Rabbi Meir
the Tanna.
He will show me
the way to Teshuvah.

The melody was gorgeous and uplifting and it has been in my head all day. I will give you my interpretation of the dream and I welcome others to do the same.

The woman represented my industry. She was successful but I was being shunned. Her husband represented mainstream Orthodox Judaism which I follow. I am not a Chassid. But in the dream the man seemed more interested in halacha rather than action. His blatant disregard for Shabbos seemed like a hypocrisy to me.

The bus stop seemed to be waiting for the future. I had to pass over a sea of anti-depressants to get to the bus stop and when I got there I sat alone in my own little compartment. This was Hisbodidus, something I don’t practice or know much about.

Then the song came to me. I knew what the meaning was as it played.

Rabbi Nachman of Breslev is capable of miracles
Like the Tanna Rabbi Meir Baal HaNes.
If I follow his teachings, he will show me the proper path to Teshuvah.

This was startling to me as, again, I am not a Breslev Chassid. I respect them but really are not familiar with or connected to Rebbe Nachman’s teachings.

I guess I should delve into them, because clearly this was a message.