Yesterday, I was talking to a friend of mine who's been working through some hard 'inner issues', and who's had her fair share of tough days this year. You know those days, where you walk round in your sunglasses and hope that everyone thinks that you've just got a cold, when you're dabbing away with the Kleenex in the fruit aisle.
She's quite an open person, and she's been sharing some of her issues and 'downs' with friends - nearly all of whom have been telling her to run off to the doctor, and get Prozac.
Yesterday, my friend told me that I'm the one person telling her that there is an alternative to Prozac - namely, emuna - and that she is desperately keen to find a spiritual solution to her ongoing issues.
In the meantime, 'half my village' is on Prozac - again, I live in a relatively 'religious', relatively calm, relatively safe place in Israel, where stray dogs and the odd rocket from Gaza every six months are the most obviously stressful issues for the residents.
At least from the outside. But behind closed doors? People are clearly cracking up in their hundreds. (If it wasn't for Breslev, emuna and Rav Arush, I'd be one of them…)
The tight smile (or no smile). The exhaustion that's etched on their faces, because they just can't sleep at night (either wired up from Facebook trying to 'put it out of their head', or worried to death). The angry yelling at their kids. The angry yelling at their spouses. The angry yelling, full stop. The big arguments they like to have with everyone. The way you just can't get the conversation past superficial, no matter how hard you try. The way they bristle, if you talk about G-d, or emuna, or Rebbe Nachman too much…
I've seen a bunch of people exhibiting these symptoms for years' now, and I had my suspicions that some of them had probably already cracked up, and were on the meds. But half my village!?!?!?!? It's simply mind-boggling.
How can people be on Prozac, when they know about the Breslev website? How can they be on Prozac when they've read a few Rav Arush books, already? How can they be on Prozac, when they've been told, or heard, that prayer, and in particular personal prayer, can do miracles for them, if only they would give it a try?
I know, it's the evil inclination. I know, I really do.
But it's so frustrating! People are literally cracking up all over the place, completely overwhelmed by their problems, and despairing of ever finding a solution. But there is an answer out there - a bona fide, guaranteed, proven answer to all their problems - and they don't want to know.
It's too hard. It's too abstract. It's too weird. It's too 'Breslov-y'. It's too much like hard work. It's much easier to take Prozac, and to pretend that my problems are nothing to do with me, or the way I choose to live my life.
Behind closed doors, people are drowning in misery. They hate their lives. They feel so lonely and 'trapped' by their circumstances. They say they are willing to do anything, go anywhere, to solve their problems. But really, they're not. Really, they just want you to please pass them the Prozac, and to continue ignoring G-d.
I could understand it if we were just talking about secular people, who'd have to make some enormous lifestyle shifts to accommodate a new-found belief in G-d. But religious Jews, who are already keeping Shabbat and kosher? Who are already living in Israel? Who are already going to shiurim and learning torah?
Why is it so hard, to squeeze out a word or two to the Creator, and ask Him to help?