Don’t speak of it, holy readers, but know that there are corners of the internet inhabited by strange, ghoulish people without names or souls.
When God created the world, on the sixth day, at twilight, He found Himself stuck with a bunch of spiritual forms that had no physical bodies to contain them – the shedim.
5779 years later, the shedim are still with us, but today they inhabit the evil wastelands of the world wide web, and pass as ‘anonymous’ bloggers and commentators, without homes, families, names – or souls.
So it was, that in the last moments of 5778, a few of these shedim decided to attack.
They sent me an unspeakably awful email less than 24 hours before the Yom HaDin, Rosh Hashana, and I staggered around with it for a whole day, trying to figure out how on earth I could go into Rosh Hashana now, with a healthy state of mind, not hating anyone in my life and avoiding all traces of harsh judgment and hakpada when really?
I just wanted to punch a whole bunch of people’s lights out.
Talk about a test.
When attacked by shedim, there is only one thing you can do, to really protect yourself: pray, and ask Hashem to cover you with His wings of mercy.
So, holy readers, that’s what I did. And I managed to go into Rosh Hashana feeling relatively calm, as God had helped me to ‘disconnect’ from all the arguments and judgmental statements and anger raging in my head.
But then – disaster!
In the middle of Mussaf, in the middle of shul, in the middle of the Yom HaDin, I spaced out and found myself absent-mindedly wishing a whole bunch of bad stuff on that unrepentant sheda who’d sent me such a horrible email.
I suddenly realized what I was thinking – and where I was thinking it – and panic set in. Oh no! What have I done?! We all know that if you think harsh thoughts against others, they reverberate back against you, unless you make some serious teshuva….
And that’s especially true on Rosh Hashana when the books are open, and God is paying special attention to all your bad middot, religious hypocrisy and nasty, judgmental tendencies.
Holy reader, my stomach lurched to my feet. How was I going to fix this one?
As I continued mumbling Mussaf (while trying so hard to concentrate and really connect on the inner meaning of the words) a small, gentle voice suddenly got my attention.
“Rivka, delete your blog. Your blog got you into this mess, your blog can get you out again. Delete it as soon as chag is finished, and show God that you want no part of that shady wasteland of cynical comments, evil speech and anonymous derangos with heretical tendencies that is the world wide web.”
But I’d spent four years building up an audience online…
And I was blogging (or at least trying to…) leshem shemayim…
The voice was right.
And I knew it.
If I was here thinking about the blog in the middle of Mussaf, in the middle of shul, in the middle of Rosh Hashana, it had clearly attained some sort of ‘idolatrous’ status, and the strange altar had to be broken apart.
The moment I made that decision, the feeling of growing panic subsided, my good mood returned, and I knew that for once, I’d made some true teshuva.
As soon as the holiday came out, I fired up the PC, went over to Weebly, and pressed ‘delete’.
This action is irrevocable, I was warned. There is no way of retrieving your site once you delete it.
I did it anyway.
Let the site go the way of all flesh. The goats in the slaughterhouse are fatter than me.
It’s time for bigger and better things.
Literally five minutes after I’d done that, I got sent an email telling me that all doors were now opened for me.
The very next day, I got sent an enormous bunch of flowers, anonymously.
It seems, 5779 is going to be a very good year, BH.