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Free Spirit book review

free spiritFree Spirit by Joshua Safran: A Review
by The Mrs.

Just to put it into perspective, I didn’t know this book was written by the guy whose wife said good shabbos to me several weeks ago in Oakland. There was no way to detect that the guy standing across the room at Kiddush, who could only be described as just normal, could have come from a childhood like the one I was reading. In fact, you’d think that sort of upbringing could only render an adult to a life behind bars. But I saw him, in a suit, sporting “a rabbi’s nose”.

Joshua Safran was raised by a doubtlessly well-meaning mother whose weaknesses include lack of discretion, poor judgment of character, and being willing to put up with entirely too much crap from men. He writes of their journey from San Francisco to an even hippy-er Utopia with a darkly comedic hand. The book begins with a little lighthearted humor such his sweet grandmother’s assessment of mom’s deadbeat boyfriend: “At first I thought he was a straight goniff. But this song and dance, he must be a shyster, waiting to pitch something”. However it quickly moves into darker days, when the height of his fantasies includes becoming sick enough to be checked into a hospital for the cough he’s acquired while living under a tarp in the woods, and in the Pacific Northwest rain.

The most surprising thing about the book other than the fact that there’s an actual human being on the other end of it, telling a true story is the occasional reference to Safran’s growing realization that in spite of being witness to some of the most disgusting human behaviors one can imagine, there exists a G-d. My only disappointment in the book was that it didn’t go into his path towards the Torah more, but would instead make vague references to him feeling spiritual stirrings that would take him to the library to do research on the Jews and religion. Not that anyone that goes through that sort of thing would need any other reason to reach out for something, anything.

Bonus: Childhood photos, including one of Mom’s Egyptian occult wedding

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Anonymous October 3, 2013, 9:19 AM

    BS”D
    Discussion with Moishe’la (with his family)
    A Handicapped child
    Tishrei 28 ‘5774 (Oct 1 ’13)

    We Cried and We Cried

    I want to tell you that Zaidy came to me again from Olam Ha’emes. (My Zaidy, a great Tzaddik, was very famous when he was alive.) I want to tell you that he sat down next to me when I was sleeping, and said to me, “Yingel Yingel my Zeesa Yingel (my beloved boy) I am so proud of you. I am so happy that you are in the house that you are, in the home that you are, and I Bentch you that you should continue bringing truth to our family and truth to the Yidden wherever they might be.”

    And then he said, “I have more to tell you. I am very worried about my adopted homeland the United States of America. I am not worried about the place itself, as we all know its pure Edom. I have always realized how this Golus of Edom has almost destroyed all Yiddishkeit in America.

    “But no I am not worried about the Edomite country called the United States. I am worried about the Yidden in United States. First of all they are in very big physical danger and of course we know very well that the Yidden in America, including the Frum, are in great spiritual and physical danger. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, but the very big majority of the Yidden in America are in very big spiritual danger.
    “Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that the Yidden all over the world are in a better condition, but I am worried especially about the Yidden in the United States of America.

    “I really want them to do Teshuva, real Teshuva. And I know that I have said this many times, and people don’t understand what I am talking about. Even when you explain it so clearly, most people just brush it off because it’s much more interesting to be busy with the Gashmius than to be busy with the Ruchnius. It take less spiritual and emotional effort to rise high in the attainment of the Gashmius, than it takes to rise high in the attainment of the Ruchnius.

    “Since I was very young I realized that the American Jewish community would eventually disappear. Now however I see clearly that the United States of America is disappearing right in front of our eyes. Soon there will be no United States of America, and the Yidden will have to find themselves a new home. I hope they decide on Eretz Yisroel, and hope they do it quickly, because if not well……. ”

    Then he asked me to sit down with him and say Tikkun Chatzos. Together we Davened and we cried, and we cried, and we cried. I closed my eyes so I could feel the Tza’ar HaShechina, (the pain of Hashem) and when I opened them my Zaidy was gone.

    • OfftheDwannaB October 3, 2013, 2:45 PM

      You Really need to take a class in bullshitting or something if you’re going to do this because you’re not a natural

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  • Anonymous November 29, 2013, 5:33 AM

    BS”D
    Discussion with Moishela(with his family)
    A Handicapped child
    Kislev 25’5774 (Nov 28’13)

    “The Only Real State of Existence”

    Mommy, you think nothing is happening in the world. But it is, right in full view. The Reshoim everywhere are becoming stronger and stronger every day and terrible new laws are put into action all over the world daily, including in the State of Israel. Some are particularly against Jews, and some are against humanity as a whole, but the evil has gone wild and is filling every crack and crevice in the world.

    There are some Goyim and some Yidden that see the truth and are complaining and saying their opinion and trying to fight this tremendous evil. But most of the world is beginning to enjoy the evil ways and they are not willing in any way to fight it. So therefore I am very upset.

    Here in Eretz Yisroel we are going into a time of the total destruction of the structure of the State of Israel, not by bombs but by the friction between this crook or that thief that’s part of a legal mafia or of this murderer or that murderer that is in public office. And on the other side we have the Frum community which are at each other’s throats in the name of the “holy” Egel HaZahav which with its vicious Lashon Hara and sometimes physical and emotional violence is also dividing and destroying that once holy community.

    Countries like Belgium have passed horrific laws. The latest one being that any person diagnosed with a terminal illness can choose to be killed, so they won’t have to face the suffering. Also many laws have been passed throughout the world that legalize the lusts and the immorality of the degenerates that are trying to rule the world. In doing this they are now in a direct war with Hakodosh Boruch Hu, as they are trying to destroy the Kedusha, Chas VeSholom, and to raise up the flag of the twisted direction of the evil ones based only on lust, and love of violence and murder.

    Mommy, this situation is going explode. It has to. Most of the people of the world have become wild maniacs. And when you let them loose and give them permission they are capable of the most horrific acts of aggression like what is happening in Syria.

    The world is on the verge of a complete breakdown, and when that happens there will be violence everywhere in the worst way. There is nothing that mankind can do to stop it. Well-equipped armies cannot halt this lawlessness, and not even sincere prayer can stop it because we are coming to the last moment of this diaspora and all mankind is being judged. While sincere prayer and repentance cannot help to save the whole world, it can definitely help the true Jewish Neshamas that were at Har Sinai (and righteous gentiles) get through this tremendously difficult time in an easier way and be Zoche to greet Moshiach Tzidkainu.

    Therefore Mommy we are on the threshold of a terribly difficult time and only our connection with Hakodosh Boruch Hu can save us. He is One. His name is One, and being part of that Oneness must be our goal in life, because that is the only real state of existence.

  • Moishe'la has spoken again! December 10, 2013, 2:45 PM

    BS”D
    Discussion with Moishela (with his family)
    A Handicapped child
    Teves 1 ’5774 (Dec 4 ’13)

    “Eisav’s Burning Hatred To Yaakov”

    Oh Mommy, Mommy, what can I say? I feel that everything is closing in on us. I feel like we’re in Russia, communist Russia. I feel that Europe, communist Russia, and communist China are swallowing up the world and conducting a great war against Hakodosh Boruch Hu. There is absolutely no doubt that the Reshaim of today who are trying to take over the world are the same Yivanim that once ruled the world or most of the world. Rome came after Greece, but was the clear continuation of the Greek approach to life. No doubt that all of those same villains of history are all here now. They are all the same Reshaim that wanted to eliminate both of our Batei Mikdosh, that wanted to eliminate the Jewish religion, and wanted to destroy our Kesher with Hakodosh Boruch Hu. Unfortunately, we also have the Misyavnim (Hellenists, those Jews who left Yiddishkeit) here with us today.

    Every Jew is in terrible danger because we have already been weakened by the Avodah Zarah in the form of the Egel HaZahav, the materialism. We have sunken very low without realizing that it’s happening. We’ve become so enamored with the materialism that we have forgotten that it is separating us from the wellsprings of our life, from our Torah which is life itself. It is separating us from Hakodosh Boruch Hu, Hashem Yishmor. And this worship of the Egel HaZahav, the Gashmius, the materialism, has taken a good few hundred years to do its dirty work. Now however, not only are the Chilonim involved very deeply in this form of idol worship, but even the Chareidim are in many cases involved in this kind of idol worship. Some Shomrei Shabbos are ready to give their souls for the Gashmius, because once they get used to the pleasures of life that only satisfy physical needs, and once they are confused with philosophy and psychology etc. which only makes a justification for the materialistic way of life, then they are lost. These Jews are playing right into the hands of the Yivanim, the Romans, Eisav.

    And even in Eretz Yisroel we will soon see foreign troops on our soil, Hashem Yishmor .They will be here and they’re going to rule over us. In fact they’re already ruling over us, but they’re ruling through the so-called Jews that are controlling this Medinah (State of Israel). There were Rabbonim that saw this would happen even before the state of Israel came into existence. And now it is clearly happening!

    The Kever of Dovid Hamelech is already in the hands of the Catholic Church. Why do they want it? Everyone is waiting for Moshiach, the Christians the Muslims and the Jews. The Catholic Church is the Roman Empire. The Catholic Church was born from a small group of Christians that were no longer Jews and were living in Rome. These two religions, the Roman idol worshipping and the Christian religion were brought together as a new religion which became the official religion of Rome under its emperor Constantine, which every citizen of Rome had to accept. In those times when every person had a different “getchke” (idol) it was hard for the emperor to organize his people under one banner. So he took a little bit of this and a little bit of that and formed a new religion called Christianity which we know today as the Catholic Church (but it was always based on Avoda Zarah).

    And why would the Catholic Church want Kever Dovid Hamelech? Because Dovid Hamelech is the forefather of Moshiach, and they want to control the world under a new mish-mash religion which would help them to rule the people more easily and for this they will probably try to make their own messiah, Chas Veshalom.

    There are a few rooms upstairs from the Kever of Dovid Hamelech that are probably going to be turned into a church. Who could stop them? Who wants to stop them? It’s not only I that said it. It’s known. It was in the newspapers. It’s no secret. The Pope doesn’t keep it a secret, and it’s not only the Kever of Dovid Hamelech they want. It will also affect every one of our Mekomos Kedoshim because they want to control the Jews. Since the base of all truth comes from the Jewish religion and they cannot control the Jews (who have, up to this point, outlived the greatest of the Reshaim that have ever lived in this world) without neutralizing Chas Vashlom their Torah and their Mekomos Kedoshim which gives the Jews the spiritual strength to resist all attempts to separate them from their Father in Heaven, Hakodosh Boruch Hu. I have said before, the noose is tightening. The Edomites, the Amalaikim, the Erev Rav want to rule the world from Eretz Yisroel. This is a direct affront to Hakodosh Boruch Hu.

    What is happening with Iran and all of the Arabs countries is a complete farce. These Romans sent people in to cause all these revolutions. In all the countries they sent massive amounts of soldiers and weapons in the form of Arab rebels to destabilize all these Arab countries such as, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Syria etc. This is the first part of the last war. We are now in the last war! This war is going to develop into a much greater and much more frightening war that eventually effect the whole world. The Syrians are suffering terribly. But it’s nothing compared to what’s going to happen to the world.

    We must look at what is happening and approach it with the attitude of Rabbi Akiva, when he saw the fox running over the ruins of the Bais Hamikdosh and he became joyful. Why was he happy about such a site because if that Nevua came about, then the Nevua that says that the Bais Hamikdosh will be rebuilt will also happen, Be’ezras Hashem.

    Everything that is happening today are clear signs that are written in the Nevuas (prophecies) and is definitely heralding in the coming of Moshiach.

    Italy is Rome, and the Vatican is the heart of the Roman Empire. It is the spirit of Eisav himself. It is Eisav’s burning hatred and jealousy of his brother Yaakov. These are the ones that wish to rule the world. They’ve already caused much fear in the world, and also confusion. Very few people see the truth, because people that are so tied to the Gashmius to the materialism will never see the truth, not ever. They will die still holding on to their stupid, ridiculous, crazy, illogical ideas.

    The world is ruled today by madmen. Rav Dessler z”l said that the coming generation, which is our generation, will all be mentally deranged, and that is the way it is.

    Yes, Mommy we are in big trouble. But since we see the world going exactly according to the Nevuas, it obviously will bring us to Moshiach Be’ezras Hashem. Don’t make any mistakes, we are now in the Third World War. This war is getting larger and larger, more complex and more complex until it explodes.

    Very soon thereafter there will be many revelations before the world suffers its final blow. People will suddenly see the huge lies, the absolutely wild lies that we are dealing with. We will discover how many lies that we were sure are absolute truth, are just plain lies. Only very few people know today how unbelievably large the lie is, but soon everyone will know and still many will go to their deaths never allowing themselves to realize what is true and what isn’t.

    Mommy, I am sorry that I keep you up at night, and I am sorry that I cry in my sleep, but what can I do? Just know, Mommy, that this all will bring us to Moshiach Tzidkainu. I am very frightened for the whole world, but mainly for our Yidden. We have to get close to Hashem and He will protect us. He created us. He will protect us.

    Now, after we have been living a life of terribly great amounts of Gashmius, of materialism, the kind of which was never heard of before. It is a world where every other person has a car or owns an apartment at enormous prices, where every other person in the Western world goes on vacation on cruises etc., where you eat off of plates that you throw away, and use utensils that you throw away. (there are even pots that are thrown away,) where there is all kinds of waste of tremendous amounts. The materialism everywhere in the world has watered down our Yiddishkeit, and now we are going to have to pay the price.

    We’ve been living in a world of an absolutely disgusting amount of easy materialism. We are so disjointed and disorientated from it, and we’ve become so dependent on it that even though we may pray three times a day and put on Tefillin and wear a beard and long Payos and black suits and more or less our wives dress modestly, depending on the amount of Gashmius that you are used to, still we keep Shabbos and so on and so forth. Our Yiddishkeit has come down. Yiddishkeit has come down very much because we lost our connection with Hakodosh Boruch Hu. There are people that still have it, but they are few and far between. We have to get back to the desire to really Daven with tears. Why with tears? Because the tears break apart the Mechitza between us and Hakodosh Boruch Hu. When we are broken and contrite that is the moment that we are willing to come to our Tatti in Heaven, to save us to help us, that’s when we feel Him so much.

    As long as we are arrogant and sure of ourselves and depending on doctors and Social Security and Medicaid and the American army or the Israeli army or the Rosh Memshala the president or whatever and not on Hakodosh Boruch Hu, then we are in trouble, big trouble.

    Everyone has to go back to a simple life and to our connection to Hakodosh Boruch Hu. Why don’t people understand that the only thing that’s going to save us is the spiritual connection with Hashem?

    They lie to us everywhere. They steal our money from the banks. They lie to us about medications. They kill people in the hospitals. Everything is a lie! There is only one Truth, and that’s Hakodosh Boruch Hu and His Torah. That is our only shelter. That’s the only way to reach eternity.

    Good night Mommy I ‘m going to sleep.

  • BS"D Discussion with Moishela December 15, 2013, 7:46 AM

    BS”D
    Discussion with Moishela (with his family)
    A Handicapped child
    Teves 8 ‘5774 (Dec 10 ’13)

    “No One Can Enslave Us”

    Yes, I see very dark clouds on the horizon, very dark. I see great chaos everywhere. It is beginning. It is coming. It is coming from up. It is coming from down. It is coming from the left. It is coming from the right. It will come from the east, from the west, from the north, and from the south.

    We are in the end of times. We are at the point of no return. There will be no extra time given from Shomayim. There will be no softening of the Din. Whatever has to be, will be because now is the very end of times. We are going into the most difficult period that the prophecies, the Nevuas, have warned us about. It will be very frightening indeed, but Be’ezras Hashem those Neshomas that were at Har Sinai will be saved, as I have said before, but know it is getting worse and worse.

    The world in the past twelve years has changed not only politically but also in its natural shape. Islands have disappeared under the water. Terrible storms and earthquakes have changed our world completely. The terrible tsunami that hit Japan and destroyed the Fukushima atomic power plant has poisoned the Pacific Ocean, and the air above it with its radioactivity. Poisoning the Pacific Ocean and the air above it means poisoning humanity. We have suffered from Hurricanes like Sandy, hundreds of deadly tornedoes and all kinds of typhoons, and other types of terrible storms which have killed thousands, tens of thousands and even more. We have suffered from all kinds of terrible diseases which the medical profession doesn’t seem to be able to control. We have suffered from droughts, and from many unusual volcanic eruptions. Besides all that, we have been plagued by lies, the lies of the rich the ones controlling the monies of the world. We have actually become the victims of thievery in the greatest way. “Just take whatever you want from our bank accounts whenever you feel like it, Mr. President of the bank!”

    We have lost our so called democracy and we have become slaves. And if you think you’re not a slave, I’m telling you that you are, unless you hold on tightly to our Torah and all that has to do with Yiddishkeit. If we hold tightly to Hakodosh Boruch Hu, we will never be slaves. If we will be only with Hakodosh Boruch Hu, no one will be able to enslave us, and that’s what I’m telling you.

    That’s what this message wants to tell you – that most of the world has been enslaved. You can feel the ropes tightening around your wrists, around your legs, around your neck. You are slowly being put into a prison, a prison that will control every part of your life. However, if you hold onto Hashem and do His Ratzon, you will never be a prisoner. You will always be free. Even though these Reshaim are slowly but surely controlling the world, you will not be a slave if you hold on to Hakodosh Boruch Hu. Then when the right moment comes, Hakodosh Boruch Hu will wipe the Reshaim out of existence and leave us in peace. And we will continue throughout all eternity together with our Hakodosh Boruch Hu, who is our Creator, our Father, our everything.

  • Moishela told us last week... February 2, 2014, 9:37 AM

    Moishela told us last week…

    “…You’re going to see even more tragedies than we’ve seen this week. …if you don’t change there’s going to be more and more tragedies, Hashem Yishmor, more and more hardships, Hashem Yishmor, and in the end only those Jews that get the message straight, and really change their ways are going to greet Moshiach Tzidkainu.”

    Hodu l’Hashem ki tov, ki l’olam chasdo! Clearly, someone did Teshuva and mitigated these decrees. These events could have had much worse outcomes.

    Three Buildings Nearly Implode in Bat Yam

    Serious Accident Involving Bnei Torah

    Two-year-old Severely Injured in Fall on Mt. Gerizim

    Sderot: Two Youngsters Electrocuted; in Fair Condition

    Jewish Girl Abducted by Arabs in Broad Daylight, Escapes

    Bnai Brak: Two infants die suddenly Sunday morning

    If everyone will cooperate, we can bring Mashiach! today!!!!!

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