The Azamra Dream

Yesterday, I had a weird dream.

I went to sleep while I was thinking about different things I could bring from Rabbenu, about ‘being a religious fanatic’, and about how Rabbenu never told people *directly to their faces* to do things that required massive mesirut nefesh, like going to Uman for Rosh Hashana.

Even though that’s what he really, really wanted them to do.


The self-righteous side kicked in, that feeling of smug arrogance descended, and I drifted off into sleep.


I can’t remember most of the dream that I had, but I remember this:

I was having a massive argument with some old guy with a black hat and a white beard, about what Rabbenu really meant.

I don’t remember the subject we were arguing about, but in the dream, I just kept screaming at the old guy with the white beard –

Look in the book!!! Look in ‘Tzaddik’!!!

Go and take a look, it’s written there in black and white!!!


The old guy pulled the book out and started reading from it – but all I could notice was the cover, which had the word:


Printed on it, in orange letters against a black background.

Azamra – see the good.

Stop focussing on all the stuff that isn’t 100% perfect, 100% ‘there’, still annoying, grating, hypocritical, wrong – and just see the good in your fellow Jew!



This morning, I did a little hitbodedut on the subject of AZAMRA, and I realised I have been doing an awful job of that lately.

Partially, it’s because I’m looking for people and reasons to ‘blame’ for the horrendous situation that’s now developed here in Eretz Yisrael.

Blaming is a stress reaction, it happens when I’m scared about what is going on and I’m casting around for the scape-goat that can carry all of the sins as they head of the cliff to Azazel…

But yesterday’s dream brought me up sharp.

Right now, the key, the point, the focus – it has to be AZAMRA.

Seeing the good in my fellow Jews (particularly the ones I happen to live with…) and seeing the good in myself.

And seeing the good, more widely.

I am having a stay-cation this week, so I don’t have tons of time to explore ‘AZAMRA’, and how to really apply it without acting like a yefe nefesh retard, to real-life experiences and situations.

But Rav Ofer Erez did an excellent shiur on this topic a few years ago, and someone took the time to translate the whole thing with English subtitles:



And the last thing to say, is that I apologise to anyone whose feelings I may have hurt in the discussion about smartphones.

I know we are all doing our very best, in very difficult circumstances.

And I’m sorry that sometimes I get so smug and judgemental about certain topics.

We all have our blind spots…. mine isn’t the smartphone, but I for sure have a ton of other issues that I need to work on in myself still.

So, I apologise.


4 replies
  1. michal rus
    michal rus says:

    this feels like a big hug of encouragement, thank you,(we’ve all had these types of reactions, especially these days) sending a big azamra hug back at you. Thank you for helping us grow closer to Hashem, and to keep getting back up and trying again, and again
    beH may we share sweet besuros tovos!


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