A Purim Dream
Great Atheism and the End of Days

By Rabbi Shlomo Nachman © Purim, March 24,2016

Since I was a little kid I have had vivid dreams.

Some dreams are memories from the past that eventually are confirmed as true occurrences, such as my Shoah memories/dreams. Some are "just dreams." Just dreams arise from the subconscious as personal messages, so these also are not without meaning. Sometimes dreams are veiled emotional responses to actual experiences from this life or prior ones. Some are divine revelations or messages from the Holy One. At other times they are just meaningless "weird dreams." "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar" as they say.

It is in this light that I share last night's disturbing dream. Today is Purim 2016. While I don't see any direct relevance to the holiday in the dream, the timing is interesting. The dream is more "choppy" in its flow than mine normally are. I have no idea what if anything it means, although there is no doubt that certain of my recent experiences could be an influence. I'm not putting much stock in its reality and I suggest those who care about me don't either. This is probably just an oddly wrapped "cigar."

Everything is dark, as my dreams often are at the beginning. I hear the sounds of many people intently reading some Hebrew texts in whispered tones. There is a beehive tonal quality to it.

Gradually the light increases to an early morning glow and I find myself in a crowded yeshiva. It looks like the Jerusalem campus of Rebbe Shalom Arush's Chut Shel Chessed, although this could just be due to my familiarity with that yeshiva.

The communal disharmonious reading gradually subsides and an elderly Rabbi is speaking in an audible yet hushed tone. I can not quote his words, but the subject I know. He is speaking about the End of Days and referencing a famous quote by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.
The great Rebbe said: "Great atheism is coming to the world as a test from on high. The world's many sins are causing a terrible lack of faith. Happy is the person who stays firm in his faith in these times.
The fact that I am predicting this will not prevent the increase of Godlessness and confusion. Long ago Daniel and others made it known that this would happen in the days before the Mashiach. "Many will purify themselves and be refined, and make themselves shining white. But the wicked will do evil. and only the wise shall understand" (Daniel 12:10 ).
Knowing that this has already been foreseen, it would seem that it should not be such a great trial for people to remain strong and firm in their faith. But the truth is that even though the prophets made this known long ago, it will still be a great trial. Many will fall by the way , and that is why it is written: "the wicked will do evil."
I am revealing this for the sake of the few pure souls who will remain firm in their faith. They will certainly face great battles even in their own minds. But when they see that this has already been predicted, it will give them greater strength and encouragement -- Sichot Haran #35
I become afraid. My body begins to shiver. Here in the yeshiva there is no concern about such a dire prophecy. We have emunah. But then, the walls of the yeshiva begin to melt away and I am looking at the city, cold and harsh.

"We're going to be late!" a female voice says, my wife, with both gentleness and urgency. I hate being late anywhere. We should have left for shul ten minutes ago. I open my eyes slowly and I am at home, presumably in bed, but I'm not sure. "OK," I manage to affirm. My body is numb. I don't feel my feet. I try moving my fingers but can't feel them either. The thought suddenly occurs to me that I am already in the shul. The rabbi -- I'm not sure who this rabbi is -- says something and a cold chill runs up my spine. What is spoken is horribly, dangerously wrong -- I don't recall what was said, only the wrongness of it. That dark sense of that message was palpable.

I manage to stand.

I am now seated at my desk staring blankly at the screen of my desktop computer. The screen is blank. I continue to blankly stare at it. On the empty screen I see our local synagogue. A handful of people are seated there, maybe a non-Orthodox minion, perhaps a few more. They are all staring blankly, expressionlessly, towards the bimah. I hear the rabbi's voice, but can not understand the words nor do I see the speaker. I realize that I am intentionally not listening to those horrid words.

I am now leaning to the right in my chair as though I have no muscles to keep me upright. My wife approaches and says something; I hear her voice but don't understand her words. I am aware and unconcerned about the pull of gravity, pulling me farther to right. I am still vacuously gazing at the blank monitor and I see the Rebbe's prophecy: "Great atheism is coming to the world as a test from on high. The world's many sins are causing a terrible lack of faith. Happy is the person who stays firm in his faith in these times... and I realize that great Atheism has arrived.

Another person is in our room, a male judging by the voice. He says, "He's given up," to which I respond, "Yes but some still stand."

My body is collapsing to the floor in slow motion as another voice, one as clear as crystal, gentle, yet strong and decidedly male, says: "No, he accomplished what he came to do." I know he is speaking of the Shoah Child, not me, but of course, I am the Shoah Child. Did I give up? I feel nothing as my body crumples to the floor, I know there is now one less believer in the world and that my task this time is over.

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