With all the conjecture about Nibiru, and the ‘Kochav Yaacov’, and climate change, and rising seismic activity throughout the world, I thought it would be useful to try and frame the discussion with what our Jewish sources teach us about all this stuff, because once we have that perspective, it really starts to change EVERYTHING.
(Dramatic as I am, I’m actually not exaggerating for once.)
So let’s start with some basic information and Jewish facts:
1) THE WORLD EXISTS ONLY FOR THE SAKE OF TORAH.
The Gemara in Pesachim 68b tells us:
The world exists only for the sake of the Torah. If Torah would cease to be studied, the world would cease to exist.
The Gemara in Shabbat 88a has Hashem saying the following:
“If Yisroel accepts the Torah when I offer it to them, on the sixth day of Sivan of the year 2448, the creation will continue to exist. Otherwise, I will return the world to tohu and bohu."
The world was created CONDITIONALLY, on the condition that a nation called ‘Yisroel’ would once day accept the Torah. No Torah = no reason to maintain the world.
There were 974 generations and worlds created BEFORE our current one, in a process that lasted 2,000 years.
Each of these generations was offered the Torah - and each refused.
As a result, God returned the world to ‘tohu’ (more on this in a moment) and after 974 chances, consigned all the souls that refused to accept the Torah to Gehinnom.
(See the following sources: Chagiga 13b, Midrash Bereishit Rabba 3:7, Midrash Tehillim 34:1. Zohar Bereshit 25a).
These 974 generations are the Erev Rav souls that are mentioned in numerous places elsewhere. They are considered to be ‘wicked’ because they refused to accept Hashem’s Torah, causing the world to be returned back to chaos and nothingness.
The Gemara in Chagiga 12a explains:
TOHU is a green line which goes around the whole world, and is the source of darkness. Bohu refers to wet rocks sunk in the depths, from which water springs.
To quote Rav Dovid Brown:
“From the destruction of the previous world, the solid surface of the earth was turned upside down and sunken. The ancient watery depths [the T’HOM] were then on top. This water, which is normally below ground, is called TOHU.”
Midrash Tanchuma (Yitro 14) tells us:
When God sought to give the Torah He first offered it to all the nations other than Yisroel, but they refused it. He wanted to return the world to its dimension of water. When Yisroel accepted the Torah, the world was stablised.
Midrash Tanchuma (Bereishit 1) continues:
With the Torah, God sealed the T’HOM so it may not flood the earth.
TO SUM UP THIS FIRST BIT:
The world was only created because people would keep Torah and God’s laws. Whenever people don’t keep Torah and God’s laws, that literally destabilizes the planet.
God destroyed the previous 974 generations by flipping the earth’s crust over from the water table, completely destroying all life on the planet in an instant, and returning the world to TOHU AND BOHU.
This explains why they’ve found fossils of deep-sea creatures on the highest mountains, and also covers how the dinosaurs disappeared in an instant (plus many other ‘mysteries’ that cannot be explained by evolution or modern science).
Pirkay d’Rabbi Eliezer (18) says:
God created seven worlds, or which his favorite is the last. Six of them to come and go, and one which is pure Shabbat.
To quote Rav Dovid Brown (this next bit is crucial to understanding what’s going on today):
“Not only does God, Who created the world and all the laws of nature, occasionally make a nes, a temporary exception to those laws, but He may, when He finds it appropriate, permanently change the nature of the world.”
World 1: Adam and Eve
When Adam and Eve were created:
• They were immortal
• They could conceive and give birth to children on the same day
• The world was lit by a special light (not the sun) that Adam and Eve enjoyed only for the first 36 hours, until it was put into ‘storage’ by God.
• Women didn’t have periods or difficult pregnancies.
(Sources: Bereishit 2:17, Ovot d’Rabbi Nosson (1:7), Bereishit Rabba 22:2, Sanhedrin 38b, Chagiga 12a, Yerushalmi (Brachot 8:5))
All this stuff was AS PER THE LAWS OF NATURE AT THAT TIME. We are not talking about miraculous occurrences.
The natural world was operating in a very different way from the one we inhabit, as the following Midrash (Bereishit Rabba 10:4)
Before Adam HaRishon sinned, the heavenly bodies had shorter and quicker orbits. Once man sinned, God caused the celestial orbs to travel in longer and slower circuits. Since then, the apparent circuit of the sun takes 12 months, the orbit of the moon, just under thirty days, etc
Rav Dovid Brown explains:
“In order for the solar year to have been less than 12 months, the earth would necessarily have been closer to the sun that it is now…If the earth was closer to the sun, the energy received from the sun would be greater…greater energy would result in a more powerful earth with capabilities inconceivable to us…The loss of this greater energy would result in a weaker earth and inferior beings inhabiting it.”
“[i]f, during Ma’aseh Bereishit, the earth was closer to the sun, the atmosphere must necessarily have been denser that it is now to screen out the greater emissions of ultraviolet [from the sun]. If so, we can readily imagine that the atmosphere was dense enough to refract the rays of light reflected from the earth around the globe. (A five-fold increase in atmospheric density would accomplish this). It would have acted, in effect, like a global mirror… A person at any spot on earth could see any other place on the globe, as the Chachomim insist.”
Let’s remember that this world, and that light, lasted 36 hours.
World 2: From Adam to Enosh
The Midrash in Bereish Rabba (23:6) says:
In four ways nature changed in the time of Enosh. The mountains became rocky, the dead became subject to vermin, the faces of the people became similar to those of apes, and men became subject to gremlins.
(NB: Rav Brown doesn’t say what the ‘gremlins’ might be - any ideas, readers out there?)
But this Midrash neatly clears up all that ‘paleolithic ape man and ‘missing link’ conjecture.
Midrash in Yalkut Shimoni (1:47) says:
In the days of Enosh ben Shet…people began to anger the Creator with new religious practices. They sinned in three stages…[private sins were then acted out in public; then they created idols and called them ‘gods’; then they progressed to sexual sins]…
So God brought on them three punishments: 1) The ocean broke out and flooded a third of the globe; 2) Instead of the earth being level, in those days it became mountainous, rocky and hilly (in the future, yet to come, the earth will be returned to its original level state) 3) God reduced the height of men.
Also remember that mankind was still relatively very long-lived at this stage, approaching the 1,000 mark for a lifetime.
Again, we see that the physical nature and shape of the world, plus the physiology of mankind changed WITHIN THE NATURAL LAWS OF NATURE, at God’s decree.
World 3: Enosh to Noah’s flood (the ‘mabbul’)
Sforno (Parshat Noach 8:22) explains that:
Before the mabbul, the apparent circuit of the sun was directly around the equator. The change in the attitude of the earth after the mabbul, so that the earth faces the sun at in inclination of the axis, is the cause of the varying seasons.
Before the mabbul, the climate was perpetually warm due to the sun striking the earth directly at the equator. That environment was extraordinarily robust compared to the modern world’s, and the earth had greater energy in all its members, mineral, vegetable, animal and human. For this reason their lives were extraordinarily long.
(More sources: Sanhedrin 108a, Bereishit Rabba (26:2), Pirkey D’Rabbi Eliezer (22), Bereishit Rabbat 34:11 and 36:1, Agudat Bereishit (10).)
Rabbi Dovid Brown explains: “This wonderful world existed only in that generation.”
He continues to explain how the conditions present in World 3 resolves the modern conjecture about ice ages:
“If before the mabbul the sun struck the earth directly at the equator, while the lower latitudes of the earth would have been much warmer than now, the higher latitudes would have been much colder. Today they receive heat from the sun during the summer, which warms the land from the cold of the winter, but if there were no summer, the snows of winter would never melt.
“What are today the higher reaches of the temperate zone would be covered with glaciers, as the Artic and Antartic are now.”
World 4: The Mabbul
Geologically: A foot of the earth’s topsoil is washed away, the rest of the earth is ‘mixed’ with boiling water that contains sulphur, polluting the earth’s ground and weakening it for the rest of the world’s natural lifespan.
Also, the earth recieved NO ENERGY from the celestial bodies throughout this time, also severely weakening its ability to produce food and support life.
Physically: People are now much weaker, physically (hence the shrinking age of death), and the food they eat contains much less nutrients etc than before, so God gives Noach and his descendants permission to eat meat, in order to boost their greatly-weakened constitutions.
(Sources: Bereishit (9:3), Brachot 60a, Sanhedrin 100b and 108b, Rashi on Parshat Noach, (6:13))
Fifth World on:
You’ll have to buy Rav Brown’s book! But suffice to say that aging, physical suffering and ill-health also now came to the world ‘naturally’, by God’s word, where they weren’t happening before.
Also, there were again many different instances of the sun and other heavenly luminaries emitting different types of light and energy than previously, albeit the changes were less dramatic than in the first 4 worlds.
The tip of the world’s ‘foundation stone’ is located on the Temple Mount, in what will BH soon be the rebuilt Third Temple. That foundation stone stretches out beneath the whole of Eretz Yisrael, and is the only ‘fixed’ land mass in the world.
Every other land mass was created on a movable tectonic plate, and attached to Eretz Yisrael.
That’s why Chazal says:
Eretz Yisrael is the strong point of the world.
(Sources: Yerushalmi Sanhedrin (10:2), Radak on Yeshaya (11:9), Tehillim 125:1, Devarim 33:27, Midrash Conen.)
Yes, Gehinnom is a physical entity, located in this world. There are even halachic issues that are resolved with this assumption (see Shabbat 38b), so it’s not theory, it’s fact.
(Sources: Psikta d’Rav Kahanan 30, Eruvin 19a, Taanis 10a, Bava Batra 74a, Nedarim 39b, Sanhedrin 100b, Kohelet Rabboti (3:21).)
The midrash in Bereishit Rabba (33:1) says:
One covers an earthenware pot with an equally earthenware lid. In the same way, God covers Gehinnom. Gehinnom is darkness and the T’HOM is a place of darkness. God proclaims: “I transported the reshaim [wicked evil doers] to Gehinnom and covered them with the T’HOM. Darkness covers darkness.
Remember, T’HOM is a reference to the world’s water table, and the earth’s fiery core is UNDER the water table.
But here’s another interesting thing, from Yalkut Shimoni 2:429:
There are eight thousand gates to Gehinnom.
What are these ‘gates’? They’re all the volcanoes, geysers etc in world.
To quote Rav Dovid Brown:
“Gehinnom is not static, but rises and melts more the substance of the globe as more reshaim are consigned to it….seismic activity and volcanism should vary according to the character of the inhabitants of the earth in any given era; the greater their evil deeds, the greater the raging fires of Gehinnom, the greater the movements of the plates and the more numerous the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.”
Let’s end this post with a quote from the Yerushalmi Gemara, in Brachot (9:2):
Eliyahu asked Rabbi Nehorai: “Do you know why earthquakes occur?...When God sees the theatres and other entertainment establishments prospering and his Beit HaMikdash in ruins, He becomes angry and wishes to devastate the world. The result is an earthquake.”
Rabbi Acha maintains that earthquakes come because of the sin of male homosexuality. The other sages hold that they come because of partisan disputes.
To put this into more plain English, GOD is behind all the earthquakes, volcanoes and other curious climate change events
happening in our world.
God is particularly upset with things like:
• Watching movies and other Hollywood-type entertainments or cultural events, including the surfing the net
• Homosexual activity
• Jews treating each other horribly and fighting between themselves (i.e. Sinat Chinam or baseless hatred)
The more that stuff happens, the more earthquakes, volcanoes and seismic activity there is in the world.
TO SUM THIS SECTION UP:
As the ‘foundation stone’ of the world, Eretz Israel is the only stable land mass, and ‘fixed’ point on the whole planet. Everything else is on a floating, tectonic plate that can be very easily destroyed / reshaped by seismic activity.
(Yes, I know there have been big earthquakes in Israel too. It’s a post for another time, but let’s just remind ourselves that God is behind everything.)
Gehinnom is located in the earth’s molten core, and the more sinners and sins there are in the world, the bigger and hotter
Gehinnom gets, and the more volcanoes, earthquakes and other ‘interesting’ things start happening in the world.
I know I didn’t even get around to specifically discussing Nibiru, and where that all fits in to this big picture yet. There is a lot more to say, not least about how all the changes in our atmosphere are literally impacting our mental and physical health and causing a lot of people to go bonkers (haven’t you noticed that?).
BH, I will cover these topics another time. But I wanted to get this basic info out there, so that people would be reassured that whatever Nibiru is or isn’t, it’s really all from Hashem, and to encourage us all to really understand
HOW IMPORTANT it is for Jews to keep God’s Torah.
Jews are ‘above the stars’ - but our behavior also directly affects them. If you want the world to slide into Moshiach peacefully, work on your middot, make Teshuva and encourage other people to do that!
If not - then the ‘laws of nature’ will kick in, the volcanoes will get bigger, the earthquakes and tsunamis even more destructive, and the potential for huge swathes of the world to get overturned and returned to TOHU will be that much bigger.
But ONLY if we Jews don’t make Teshuva, so there’s still everything to play for (and pray for).