UPDATE: Further to George's thoughtful comments, I went to look up the full text in English translation on the Ramban's comments on the creation of the world, which you can read for yourselves HERE.
I can't see anywhere how the Ramban is saying the world is 13.8 billion years old, or even anything like that. I know Mr Schroeder 'darshened it out' that way, to fit his own beliefs about the age of the world, but nothing like that is in the original text, as far as I can see. Please, do comment and let me know if you're spotting something I'm missing....
Of all the many, many, MANY deceitful things modern science has brainwashed people with, top of the list – at least for me – is the idea that the world is 4.5 billion years old (sic).
Why is this idea so incredibly corrosive and corrupting? Because it completely skews reality, as we see it playing out in front of our eyes. The Victorian gentlemen who made all this stuff up to try and loosen the hold of the Anglican church on ‘scientific enquiry’ 150 years ago knew that anything that could do to show the world wasn’t 6,000 ‘young’ would blow the Old Testament out of the water as the literal word of God.
That was the aim. That was always the aim.
Sure, there was also a lot of geological 'evidence' that seemed to lend some support to the position of an old earth.
But only if you assumed, as Hutton, Lyell and Darwin did, that the world was in some ‘steady state’ of development that hadn’t changed for millions and billions of years.
Right now, I’m in the middle of trying to properly debunk this whole ‘theory of evolution’ in a way that even laymen can understand, but that explains minutely why the science underpinning it is false. But because we’ve all imbibed with our mothers’ milk that the world is 4.5 billion years old, we can’t grasp what is really unfolding in front of our eyes right now.
It’s comforting to think that there are only 1,500 ‘live’ volcanoes in the world right now, and that the rest all sputtered out and died hundreds of millions of years ago.
But that’s false science.
If an estimate of 4,000 volcanoes per million square kilometers on the floor of the Pacific Ocean is extrapolated for all the oceans than there are more than a million submarine (underwater) volcanoes. Perhaps as many as 75,000 of these volcanoes rise over half a mile (1 kilometer) above the ocean floor. - Submarine volcanoes, Oregon State University
Every single volcano on the planet has been live and active within the last 6,000 years. Geologically, things can and do move in the blink of an eye, not millions of years, and a case in point is what is going on in Hawaii right now.
That it’s been slowly oozing out lava for a month you probably already know. You probably also know that there is a geothermal plant that was built on Hawaii that has shifts drilled very deep down in order to access super-hot steam that in turn supplies Hawaii with 25% of it’s electricity.
The plant’s management capped the wells, removed all potentially explosive gases and poured water into the top of the shafts to try and act as a shield incase the lava reached the wells. The lava has now reached the wells – and this is completely unchartered territory as to what happens next.
Presumably, the people who built the plant assumed that they’d have a million, billion years to figure out how to deal with a lava flow coming in their direction. The USGS reassured them that they could ‘map lava flow like rivers’, so no problem building your geothermal plant there!! Go right ahead!!
The reason you find so few really informative sources of info about what’s going on at Hawaii right now is because this eruption is breaking all the rules that the scientists ‘believed’ they knew about how magma and volcano work. (For example, the 'Volcano World' website over at Oregon State hasn't posted anything up at all about Kilauea and has been utterly quiet for a month.)
It’s moving much faster than expected (by about 150 million years…). They have no idea where all this new, fast flowing magma is actually coming from, because according to their warped models of how the world works, there’s not meant to be a lot of that stuff left in modern times, just small pockets, or lakes, that occasionally cause eruptions, but then quickly settle back down again.
No huge, planet-changing events involving volcanoes can occur in anything under 150,000 million years, go back to sleep!
HOW DIFFERENT THINGS COULD BE...
How different would this picture be right now, if the scientists – and the people who hang off their every word – actually grasped that enormous geological changes were a regular feature of the world up until around 2,500 years ago, when they finally started the process of winding down?
That multiple volcanoes were exploding when Moshe took the Jews out of Egypt, and seas were being split in two, and tsunamis, earthquakes and hurricanes were devastating the planet?
That’s only 3,300 years ago.
And that’s exactly what was happening.
If the scientists – and us, too – grasped that enormous world changes can happen literally in the blink of an eye, they would be viewing the situation in Hawaii with very different eyes. They would understand that this massive, apparently never-ending flow of magma is coming from a very deep place within the earth’s core (stoked up by all the evil behavior fueling Gehinnom), and something incredible – a ‘pele’ mamash – could be about to happen.
A couple of days’ ago, the USGS mentioned in a video that the caldera in Kilauea had increased in size from three football fields, to 90 football fields (or from 14 acres to 90 acres). The caldera is the crater that’s at the top of the volcano, it’s where the lava lake sat, before it all drained away.
And this huge change didn’t take 20 million years, it took just three days.
The reason that's important is because IF the caldera collapses, the amount of rock that disappears inwards will impact the amount and the intensity of the explosion that blasts it back outwards, when the volcano explodes.
What’s more, a secondary vent has also now opened at the top of Kilauea, suggesting some sort of explosion is imminent. The worst case scenario is that the caldera will completely collapse. No-one knows exactly what that could cause, but massive tsunamis, the Big Island fracturing, parts of the Big Island ‘slumping’ into the sea – all of that stuff is possible.
I have no idea what God’s plan is, and whether all that stuff is going to happen at all, or right now.
But the point is this: In the blink of an eye, the whole topography of the world could completely change.
Hawaii could sink, other places could rise, still other places could also be submerged by a tsunami of water, some of the thousands of volcanoes on the sea floor, and elsewhere in the world, could start smoking like kilns, pouring out magma that could completely reshape the contours of the world as we know it.
These large explosive eruptions occurred in clusters over centuries, during times when a deep caldera existed at Kīlauea Volcano's summit and few lava flows were erupted. [Ed - there is now a new deep caldera forming there...]
And all this could happen tomorrow.
Not in 150 million years.
If we open our eyes, we can see the evidence all around us, in the freak weather, in the floods, in Hawaii, in the earthquakes, that massive geological changes don’t take the billions of years the ‘scientists’ tell us they do.
They can literally take a day.
There are two main reasons ‘science’ is hanging on to the idea that everything takes millions and billions of years:
And the only reason the false ‘science’ behind Darwinism was ever taken seriously to begin with is because, as we mentioned, Lyell and the other scientific men of Victorian England were trying to ‘rescue the science of geology from Moses’ – or rather, from the Anglican Church.
But Moses was right.
The Torah’s account and timescale of the creation of the world is true.
And Hawaii could be about to prove that in a truly spectacular – pele – fashion.
UPDATE: TORAH SOURCES ON HOW THE WORLD HAS ALREADY CHANGED SIX TIMES IN THE LAST 5777 YEARS
One of my readers asked me to re-post this for her son. I think now is probably as good a time as ever to do that, as it underlines the point about the awesome wisdom of the Torah, and how we'd be very foolish to believe 'science' over Moshe Rabbenu and God.
1) GOD CREATED 974 WORLDS BEFORE THIS ONE.
There were 974 generations and worlds created BEFORE our current one, in a process that lasted 2,000 years.
2) PREVIOUSLY, WHENEVER GOD DESTROYED ONE OF THESE 974 WORLDS, HE DID THAT BY OVERTURNING THE EARTH FROM THE T’HOM, I.E., FROM THE DEPTH OF THE WATER TABLE
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, the Hebrew terms for chaos and ‘nothingness’.
(Imagine the enormous mind-boggling energy at play in 'flipping' the world over 974 times. This is why all the carbon dating stuff brings back false readings. This approach works on the 'false science' principle that the world has been steady state for billions of years, and that radioactive isotopes always decomposed in exactly the same way, and in exactly the same environment, as we currently live in.
If there was significantly more water in the world - say, from a Noah's flood - or significantly more carbon - say, from half a million volcanoes all exploding at once - that would completely throw out all these radiometric dating techniques, and render them useless for dating anything more than around 3-4,000 years ago, when the last huge global cataclysms occurred.)
3) GOD WILL CHANGE PLANET EARTH (OUR EXISTING ONE) 7 TIMES BEFORE MOSHIACH COMES
Those seven worlds are:
World 1: Adam and Eve (Year 1 in the Hebrew calendar, 5777 years ago)
Midrash (Bereishit Rabba 10:4) tells us:
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.”
To put this another way, the intensity of cosmic rays bombarding planet earth DEFINITELY CHANGED, from current norms, when Adam and Eve were around.
World 2: From Adam to Enosh (Year 1 to Year 1140 in the Hebrew calendar, when Enosh died)
There was a partial flood of the world at this time, and also new mountain ranges sprang up overnight, undoubtedly due to ‘action at a distance’ effects from a passing planet-sized comet or celestial body. Again, this would dramatically affect the atmosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere, rendering modern radiocarbon dating measurements obsolete.
World 3: Enosh to Noah’s flood (Year 1140 - Year 1656 in the Hebrew calendar)
Sforno (Parshat Noach 8:22) explains that:
Before the mabbul (Noah’s flood), 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.
Again, clearly the cosmic rays bombarding the planet during this period weren’t occurring at the same relatively ‘fixed’ levels and intensity observed in more modern times.
World 4: The Mabbul (Noah’s flood) (Year 1656 in the Hebrew calendar, 4121 years ago)
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 received NO ENERGY from the celestial bodies throughout this time, also severely weakening its ability to produce food and support life.
World 5 - aging, physical degeneration and illness (Beginning around the year 2000 in the Hebrew calendar)
The Midrash (in Pesikta D’Rav Kahana, 22) tells us:
“When Yitzhak was born [in 2048], God increased the light emitted by the heavenly luminaries.”
The Gemara in Tractate Chullin, 91B, also explains how the sun changed its course twice, during the lifetime of Yaacov Avinu (who was born in 2108).
And then there were other enormous upheavals too, at the time of Moses and the Israelite exodus from ancient Egypt.
These astronomical changes brought about changes in the cosmic radiation bombarding planet Earth that had direct and immediate results on how the human body aged, degenerated and became ill, from that point on - all of which is born out by the latest findings in bio-physics.
And all these events also affected the fundamental basis for the accuracy of radiocarbon dating.
The last major changes to the physical nature of the world occurred in the time of King Hezekiah (who ruled for 29 years, around Year 3200 in the Hebrew calendar).
In this particular instance, the Midrash in Esther Rabba (3:1) explains that the world ‘gained’ five hours as a result of this astronomical shift, as measured by the ancient sun-clock of Ahaz.
THE WORLD HAS CHANGED, FUNDAMENTALLY, AT LEAST SIX TIMES IN THE LAST 5777 YEARS
Again, this is why radiocarbon dating simply doesn’t work, accurately, for anything going back more than around 4,100 years.
That’s also why radiocarbon dating happily assigns dates in the millions (and even billions…) of years to organic matter that is actually only maximally 8,000 years’ old (including the Torah’s assignment of 2000 years to the 974 worlds that preceded ours), because it’s working on the twin assumptions stated at the beginning that radiocarbon decays today at the same rate it always has - which is simply not true!
To quote Immanuel Velikovsky, who painstakingly pieced together so much of the scientific evidence that clearly shows that the events described above did occur, and have left innumerable traces even today:
“Bursts of cosmic rays and of electrical discharges on an interplanetary scale would make organic life surviving the catastrophes much richer in radiocarbon.” So any radiocarbon test would date these remains as being much younger than they actually are.
At the same time: “If invasion of the terrestrial atmosphere by ‘dead’ (non-radioactive) carbon from volcanic eruptions, meteoric dust, burning oil and coal and centuries-old forests predominated the picture, than the changed balance of radioactive and radio-inert carbon would make everything in the decades following the events appear much older.”
And on Noah’s flood specifically, Velikovsky writes that: “The Deluge increased the water basin, or hydrosphere, on earth… It’s quite possible that the volume of water was more than doubled on earth in this one cataclysm.”
 (See the following sources: Chagiga 13b, Midrash Bereishit Rabba 3:7, Midrash Tehillim 34:1. Zohar Bereshit 25a).
 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 stabilised.”
 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.
 (More sources: Sanhedrin 108a, Bereishit Rabba (26:2), Pirkey D’Rabbi Eliezer (22), Bereishit Rabbat 34:11 and 36:1, Agudat Bereishit (10).)
 (Sources: Bereishit (9:3), Brachot 60a, Sanhedrin 100b and 108b, Rashi on Parshat Noach, (6:13))
So, the house saga is continuing to rumble on.
Yesterday, my husband went with our new lawyers (the old lawyer being a big part of the problem…) to talk to the other side about getting the deposit back for the house, which will happen if they would cancel the contract seeing as no bank will give a mortgage on such a ‘complicated’ property.
Remember, we got into this mess because our bank initially said they would give us a mortgage, and gave us an ‘issur ekroni’ that it turns out was not binding. When the bank’s lawyer pulled the mortgage approval out from under our feet, we’d already signed the contract.
In the meantime, the last two months we have run around to every bank in Israel, trying to get another mortgage, with no luck.
It’s not our fault we can’t buy the house. The people selling us told us they’d got a mortgage on it in the past, so either the banks have recently changed their policy on mortgaging ‘Arab’ houses, or someone is lying. Either way, we can’t get a mortgage and we asked the sellers to cancel the deal and return our deposit.
I decided not to go to the meeting yesterday, as I knew I’d get too upset and might say or do something I’d really regret (remember the exploding Salmon, from last year?)
My husband is a lawyer, and he’s much better at keeping a poker face, but even so, he told me there was a lot of shouting going on. The other side have basically gone bonkers, and accused us of ‘burning’ their house by giving it a bad name with all the banks we’d gone to trying to get a mortgage.
I.e., the problem isn’t with the stupid property that is ¾ owned by absentee Arabs that no-one can track down, the problem is with us! We must have done something stupid, that no bank will lend on this property.
And because we did something ‘stupid’ – although clearly, no-one could tell us what that ‘stupid’ thing actually was, apart from actually signing the accursed contract in the first place - we ‘burned’ their house, and now they want the maximum amount to recompense them for their suffering.
To put this another way: it’s the worst case scenario.
I have no idea if they really believe what they’re saying, and / or whether they are just blinded by anger that their house isn’t worth what they thought it was, and greed, but either way it doesn’t look so good.
This has been such a test of my middot, and my emuna, it’s hard to tell you the struggle that is going on inside. When my husband told me the bad news, I immediately started coming up with all these crazy ‘battle strategies’ like kidnapping the seller’s dog and holding it for ransom; or stationing myself outside her flat with my children and a big sign saying ‘[NAME] stole our money!’
Probably my favorite was the idea to hire the New Zealand All Blacks (see above) to come and do the ‘Haka’ for us at the lawyer’s office before we kicked off the next round of shouting and blaming.
(In fact, I might still do that myself anyway, because even King David realized there is a useful side to acting like a crazy, insane person.)
But then I calmed down. I reassured my kids that I wouldn’t really try to poison her dog, or turn into ‘Mrs Psycho the Stalker’, and that I would try to muster up some more emuna to deal with what has been and continues to be a really, really difficult test.
My husband texted Rav Berland’s gabbay to ask for some help or advice from that quarter, and I sat down and wrote my seller a letter, woman to woman, explaining that I realise she’s angry and upset, but that it’s really not our fault that no bank will lend on her property, and trying to take ‘vengeance’ against us is really not going to help anyone.
Not even her, because spiritually, no good will come from the money she tries to squeeze out of us to ‘punish’ us for uncovering the truth about the legal status of her apartment.
(Clearly, I had to push down the urge to tell her I’d hex her for the next 50 generations if she took our cash for nothing. Take a breath, shake out the anger, move on.)
I went and slipped the note under her door, then came back and started to feel pretty low again, and a little teary and sorry for myself.
I know it’s just money. It’s just stuff. It’s not a big deal. We’re all healthy, baruch Hashem, we love each other. That’s what’s really important here.
I asked God to please give me some emuna, and to figure out what on earth the message is behind all this stuff.
How could she accuse me of ‘burning’ her house by trying to get a mortgage on it?! The mind boggles. And such strange phrasing…
Which is when I thought of that phrase that anyone who doesn’t rebuild the temple (the ‘house’ or bayit of the Jewish people) in their lifetime is like one who burned it.
And the sin that burned the temple is sinat chinam, or baseless hatred.
And baseless hatred occurs when we forget that God is in the world, and God is arranging and deciding everything, not my seller and her mentally-retarded macho-man lawyer. And not my negligent, too-laid-back-to-properly-check-any-of-the-details-of-the-contract lawyer, either.
(Take a breath, shake out the anger, move on.)
So yes, God is giving me a clue about what I need to work on still, and He’s set up an enormous test for me and my husband, where we are having to work so hard 24/7 to avoid falling into some massive sinat chinam and revenge tactics.
So ‘Woofy’ is safe for now.
But that haka thing is still kind of tempting.
It seems to me that things are both speeding up and slowing down at the moment. In terms of geophysical events, earthquakes, volcanoes, monster hail, flash floods, crazy weather – it’s speeding up.
And the more the world seems to be in the middle of another round of the biblical 10 plagues, the less some people want to talk about it. Sadly for them, even if you do have your head in the sand as far as you can possibly stick it, the freak weather is getting too strange and too widespread to ignore.
60,000 lightning strikes in one day in the UK (400,000 across Europe)… (By way of reference, a typical storm generates 3,000 lightning strikes, a stormy day could generate 10,000, and the most lightning strikes ever seen in recorded history to date for a day in the UK is 50,000.)
Over in France, the wine region got hit by a monster hailstorm that took out the vines and will help to fulfill the verse in Tractate Sanhedrin about wine being plentiful, but expensive before Moshiach comes.
There are pictures of cadillacs, buicks and other typically enormous American cars getting washed down the street and overturned by raging floodwaters in Maryland. More big cracks just spontaneously opened up in Uganda, adjacent to Kenya and its own slew of big recent cracks. Both of these countries are on the East African rift plate.
So stuff is definitely speeding up.
And at the same time, at least for me, I find it’s slowing down.
The hold the internet has maintained on my life for the last two decades is finally starting to loosen. I’m just not so interested, I’m not so drawn to surf, I’m not so excited to read stuff online anymore.
Intellectually, there’s still some good stuff and I am researching a few things (as always…) but I’m talking about the visceral grip that surfing the net used to catch me in, where I’d feel kind of chained to the PC and unable to turn off. It is still there, it hasn’t gone completely – but it’s greatly, greatly reduced, and for the first time in ages I'm able to do other things again.
Is anyone else out there noticing this? That there’s a feeling that things are winding down, in some way?
That’s part of the reason I don’t feel like posting so much stuff up at the moment. On some level, I think a boundary was crossed recently where events are going to snowball all by themselves, and whichever version of the world you’ve hitched your cart behind, that’s now where you’re headed.
I have lost a lot of my urge to argue with people, and to keep posting up facts and information about things that most people have no intention of changing their minds about. That means the way is being cleared to start writing about other stuff, but I don't know what that is yet.
Before all the craziness really kicked off in earnest in Hawaii, the lava lake in the Kilauaea volcano first drained away and disappeared. If you didn’t know better, you’d think the volcano had dried up and vanished.
The magma was on the move, and was getting ready to burst up and out in a bunch of different, dramatic ways all over the Big Island.
I think that ‘Moshiach Magma’ may be doing the same thing right now. All that energy, all that interest we’ve had in the geula for years and years now is kind of draining away and out of our lives.
Nibiru didn’t show up and blast the planet to smithereens, (thank God), World War 3 with the Iranians didn’t happen (thank God), the banks didn’t all fail overnight leading to mass chaos and unrest, (thank God), North Korea didn’t nuke Miami, (thank God), Hezbollah didn’t start bombing us from the North, and the Gazans didn’t break through from the South (thank God, thank God).
There was no huge ‘explosion’ to usher in the time of Moshiach.
But the Moshiach Magma is still on the move, quietly and surely, and things are being shaken up beneath the surface in a way that is not yet obvious.
Something is changing. Something is happening. But I have no idea what.
At the same time, for the first time in about six years, I’ve started painting again. Life has been so crazy and chaotic that I haven’t been able to pick up a brush since I’ve been in Jerusalem. I still have no idea what’s going on with our aborted house purchase, or where I’m meant to be moving to when my lease runs out in August, but I’m painting again.
Which means that beneath the chaos, the peace and the calm is starting to blossom, however unlikely that seems given just how crazy it all looks right now.
Land is created by volcanic eruptions. That hot magma becomes the basis of the ground, the earth, once it cools off enough to start accreting mud and plants.
So in the midst of all the destruction, something new and wonderful is also being formed, even though it’s too early to make that out yet.
But the ‘Moshiach Magma’ is on the move.
And I guess we’ll all keep watching and waiting to see where it will pop-up next.
One of the things that I really want to ask the people who are pushing the ‘climate change’ paradigm of why we’re seeing so much record-breaking, freak weather at the moment is how using an old fridge, or driving a gas-guzzling car is causing so many earthquake swarms and volcanic eruptions.
Because while ‘climate change’ could maybe sound like a superficially-convincing explanation for freak weather, there is a whole bunch of unusual geological phenomena going on right now that even the most ardent ‘climate change’ scientist can’t link to people spraying too many aerosols around.
God holds the key to the weather, only God.
And the geological events that are going on right now are all connected to the weird weather reports that are pouring in from around the world. Someone in Holland told me they had a near-miss with a tornado last week. There are no tornados in Western Europe… In Paris, more streets turned into raging rivers as France got hit with flashflooding. Now, the UK is being lit up by some crazy electrical storms with warnings of more flashflooding and huge hail there, too.
Two weeks ago in the Gulf of Aden, Yemen and Oman got battered by a tropical storm, 'Sagar', that is highly unusual in those parts, and was hailed as a ‘once in a century’ weather event. (The Gulf of Aden is at the bottom end of the Arabian peninsula, to the South West of Israel.)
Then, barely a week later this past Sunday, Yemen and Oman got hit by a Category 3 hurricane called 'Mekunu' that dumped three years’ worth of rain on them in less than 24 hours and is apparently the biggest storm they've ever had in recorded history. I could go on (and pity my poor husband, because I really do go on and on and on about this stuff…) but make no mistake: earthquakes and volcanoes and sink holes and freak weather are all connected.
And man-made ‘global warming’ has absolutely nothing to do with what we’re seeing happening all around the planet at the moment.
So, I’ve been watching the Kilauea volcano with great interest the last few weeks, and it struck me that Kilauea is kind of setting the blueprint for how redemption is going to unfold. I really expected it to blow sky-high two weeks back, in a massive eruption. Instead, it’s been gently oozing out all over the Big Island of Hawaii – slowly enough so that there is no loss of life and people can get their things together and flee before their houses are destroyed.
Are things fundamentally changing over there on the Big Island of Hawaii? Yup. Is some massive destruction and upheaval occurring? Yup again. Is the pace of what’s going on picking up from day to day, with some more huge changes conceivably on the horizon? Again yup.
But all this very dramatic stuff is unfolding in such a gentle, merciful way, and the hints are all over the place. Hawaiins call Kilauea ‘Madam Pele’, and have basically turned the volcano into an idol that they still worship in some mild ways, like trying to offer it the odd pineapple as a sacrifice, to make it calm down and go away.
‘Pele’ in Hebrew means, wonder, miracle. This is a time of open miracles, but they are being revealed by God in such a gentle, merciful way. So far.
But the warnings are growing louder, and the destruction is becoming more dramatic, and the lava is starting to move much faster than it was a couple of weeks’ back. Things are heating up over there on Hawaii, and people are starting to talk about the Hilina Slump, which is where big parts of the Island have fissured from the mainland and dropped into the sea.
If you look at how the vents opened up – 24 miles away from the main volcano! – they are pretty much going across the bottom part of the Big Island in a straight line. Just above that straight line of lava eruptions and vents, at least four of which have now joined together to become one big lava lake, the earth is starting to literally crack.
It's looking possible, let’s say no more than that, that the bottom part of the island could fissure and slump into the Pacific Ocean. The islands of Hawaii kind of ‘face’ the Western coast of the USA, particularly LA, Hollywood and San Francisco, and we all know what sort of morals and ‘lifestyles’ these places have exported and promoted out into the world, lo alenu.
A little while back, I wrote up some of what Rav Dovid Brown, z’tl, had to say about the connection between seismic events and sins in his awesome book Mysteries of Creation, and I thought it would be good to re-state that here, so you can also see why I’m so interested in events in Hawaii:
Rav Dovid brings a bunch of sources from the Gemara and elsewhere to show that Gehinnom is located at the core of planet earth. The more sinners there are, the ‘bigger’ gehinnom gets, and the more seismic activity occurs.
This is a crucial point to understand, when it comes to the spiritual dimension behind all the geological changes we’re seeing right now: Gehinnom is a physical entity, located in this world.
There are even halachic issues that are resolved with this assumption (see Shabbat 38b), so Jewishly-speaking, no-one can claim this is just a metaphorical statement: it’s a physical fact.
Also, 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.”
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.”
If part of the Big Island does ‘slump’ into the sea, as its done on many occasions in the past, that could very easily trigger a huge tsunami, and let’s not even talk about the seismic activity that would be occurring concurrently with that happening, either as cause or effect.
The West Coast of the USA could be very negatively affected by this.
And if you want to know why a kind, loving God would do something like this specifically to the West Coast of America, the Yerushalmi Gemara, in Brachot (9:2) may shed some light on the subject:
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 same-gender relationships between men. The other sages hold that they come because of partisan disputes.
Of course, teshuva is always an option, and Kilauea is proceeding in such a slow, merciful way, that things don’t have to escalate up, and could be ‘sweetened’ and sink back down into a more normal course of affairs again, as so many of our current dramas seem to be doing, from North Korea to Syria to Iran to Gaza, and back again.
Everything depends on teshuva, and on Jews and gentiles sincerely coming back to God.
So, we live in very interesting times. Keep watching Hawaii, because if it goes off the boil, that means that world got another reprieve and some more time to make a bit more teshuva. And if not, then that will signal that we’ve entered the next stage of the geula process, and it’s only going to get more interesting and crazy from that point on.
 Sources: Psikta d’Rav Kahanan 30, Eruvin 19a, Taanis 10a, Bava Batra 74a, Nedarim 39b, Sanhedrin 100b, Kohelet Rabboti (3:21).)
Ephraim Geltman is a good friend of my co-writer on One in a Generation. He publicly 'came out' as a Rav Berland supporter on Facebook a few months back, and he got hit with an absolutely enormous tsunami of sinat chinam and evil speech.
But Ephraim is a very brave, and very sincere individual, and recently, Ephraim sent this video along plugging the book on his Youtube channel, which I'm happy to share with you.
While we're here, let's do a mitzvah: Does anyone know someone who would be a good match for Ephraim, marriage-wise? He's located in Israel, works in the holistic health field, and is into Breslov. If you can think of someone suitable, please drop me a line HERE.
The headline in Al-Ha’aretz said it all: “Cult leader Moshe Rabbenu declares himself ‘a redeemer’; claims he can control the weather.”
Datan read the headline, then threw the paper down in disgust. Enough was enough! Datan had been reading the Rambam, and he knew that all this stuff about open miracles was really just symbolic stuff that his simple-minded, superstitious fellow Jews were sadly taking at face value.
I mean, Moshe Rabbenu and his followers were clearly a cult!
So many people were hanging on Moshe’s every utterance like it was the word of God, or something. And it didn’t matter how many exposes Ynet wrote accusing Moshe of making eyes at other people’s wives [see Sanhedrin 110a and 110b], the people were still just gullibly following after the guy, and thinking he was the moshiach, or something.
Datan took out his latest i-Phone, the Samsung Galaxy S Light Luxury, kissed it reverentially, and scrolled over to the Witch of Endor’s site to see what she had to say about the whole thing.
“I don’t understand why more people aren’t coming out against Moshe Rabbenu!” began the Witch of Endor.
“Moshe Rabbenu was accused of serious crimes: he killed an Egyptian by uttering the ineffable name of Hashem, which is something only a xtian would do. And then he ran away from the Egyptian police for 80 years, which just shows he was guilty of everything they said he was.
“Now, he’s developing a dangerous ‘cult of the personality’, and making out like God needs to go through him to talk to the Jewish people, and that we need him around to really understand what God wants from us. Moshe Rabbenu has turned a man into God, and God into man!” screeched the Witch of Endor.
“We all know that the only way we’re going to get out of Egypt is by armed uprising! Every Jew needs an uzi! We need to put a bullet in the head of all the Erev Rav who are trying to leave Mitzrayim and then drop a nuke on Cairo and Midian! That is the true, Jewish way to achieving redemption.
"All this stuff about relying on God, believing in tzaddikim and working on your own personality flaws is cultish and anti-Jewish!”
Just then, a cluster of huge 5 inch flaming hail started smashing into Datan’s home and surroundings, destroying his garden and smashing his car windshield. He observed the huge dint in the bonnet of his Honda and sighed deeply. Man, something had to be done about CERN’s weather machine.
“Hand of God, my patootie!” muttered Datan.
Everyone knew the illuminati were behind all the tornados and freak weather that had been happening lately. All this stuff about God sending 'plagues' down to the world was just another example of all the superstitious, ‘cultish’ beliefs that had recently overtaken large sections of the Jewish community.
Datan flipped over to Aviram’s site, where Aviram had written a big long screed against ‘The cult of Hevron’. “Every year on the yahrtzeit of Avraham Avinu, thousands of misguided Jews are leaving their homes to go and ‘worship’ at his grave,” began Aviram.
“That journey takes at least two weeks, roundtrip, by express camel, but these people don’t care about the huge toll that takes on their families and children. They’ve been brainwashed by the cult of Hevron to keep hanging out at the Mearat HaMachpela, instead of just dealing direct with God, like a Jew is meant to do.
“The false guru Moshe Rabbenu has been one of the key people behind this disturbing new practice. He’s been teaching people that tzaddikim are greater in their deaths than in their lives (2) – which is clearly idol worship!!! We all know that once someone is dead, they’re dead and that’s it.”
Aviram continued: “I saw a video of a séance on Youtube where some guy who’d been to the Mearat HaMachpela came down as a disembodied spirit and explained that he’s suffering so much because he believed in all this superstitious clap-trap about visiting the graves of tzaddikim.
“It’s so tragic that someone in the Jewish world can create some new religious rites that then spread like a virus amongst the non-thinking masses,” bewailed Aviram. “Nobody was keeping Shabbat in our forefather’s time, but within a few years, this ‘mitzvah’ is going to magically attain the status of being an ancient tradition, particularly when there is money to be made.
“Just last week, Moshe Rabbenu put out a call for everyone to come and donate their gold and silver to build a mishkan, another ‘new’ practice that he’s introducing to enrich himself and enslave the Jewish people into more nonsense and superstition.”
“Yeah, right on man!” Datan said to himself.
I mean really, things were getting completely out of control with this new religion that Moshe Rabbenu was trying to foister on the Jews.
He, Datan, didn’t need a rabbi to tell him how to serve Hashem! He didn’t need an intermediary to tell him how to act, and how to think! This was complete idol worship, just like xtianity!!! Why couldn’t other people understand that?
Just then Datan’s wife came into the room and asked him if he could help her schlep the shopping from the car. She’d been caught in the crazy hailstorm and was clearly a bit shaken up. “Not now, I’m busy,” Datan waved her away.
“There’s some crazy cult leader trying to mislead the Jewish people, and I have to go and save them.”
Datan’s wife bit her lip, and retreated back to the kitchen.
A message popped up on Datan’s i-Phone that Korach had just put out a new tube video, called ‘The Truth about Moshe Rabbenu’.
Now, this was more like it! You could always rely on Korach to call out all the ‘bad’ and the craziness going on in the Jewish world! Datan pressed play, and settled back, hands on his head, to see how Korach was going to make mincemeat of this guy and his faction.
“Their main speaker today, the most popular, Aaron HaKohen, says in his speeches that you can't connect to HaShem without connecting first to Moshe Rabbenu, and he is the only one that can connect you to HaShem!
“Without him nothing will help you, not your teshuva, not your learning Torah nothing! Only Moshe Rabbenu can save you and get you out of galut. This is similar to J.c in Christianity! If this is not Avoda Zara, then what is??”
Right on, man! If his neighbors hadn’t been so brainwashed by Moshe Rabbenu, they’d see all this stuff clearly for themselves, too.
Just then, night descended and the 'luxury Light' of the i-Phone went blank.
The plague of darkness had begun.
 As explained HERE: “Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachmani quotes Rabbi Yonatan as teaching, based on Sefer Tehillim (106:16) that Moshe was accused of adultery. In fact, Rabbi Shmuel bar Yitzhak taught that when Moshe set up a tent – Ohel Mo’ed – outside of the encampment (see Shemot 33:7), the entire nation began to suspect him of committing adultery with their wives.
“The Ri’af explains this simply, that when any member of the community had an issue to discuss, they would turn to Moshe who was in his tent outside of the camp. It is clear that women as well as men would turn to Moshe for direction, and this led to suspicion. The Torah, however, dispels any such claim by emphasizing that Yehoshua, Moshe’s protégé, never left the tent (see Shemot 33:11).
“The Margoliyot ha-Yam notes that the Ohel Mo’ed was set up outside the camp immediately after the Sin of the Golden Calf, when the women refused to hand over their gold jewelry to build the calf. This led their husbands to suspect that they listened to Moshe more than to their own husbands.”
 See the Gemara, Chullin 7b: (R. Chama bar Chanina): Hash-m does the will of Tzadikim after their death more than in their lifetime. (Or to put it another way, Tzaddikim are greater after their death than during their lives.)
Also see the Gemara, Taanit 5b, which records the following exchange between Rav Nachman and Rav Yitzchak:
Rav Nachman said to Rav Yitzchak: "So said Rabbi Jochanan: Our father Jacob did not die."
Asked Rav Yitzchak: "Was it for no reason that the eulogizers eulogized, the embalmers embalmed and the buriers buried?"
Responded Rav Nachman: "I am only citing a verse. It is written, 'And you, my servant Jacob, fear not, says the L-rd, and do not tremble, O Israel. For behold, I shall save you from afar, and your descendants from the land of their captivity' (Jeremiah 30:10). The verse equates Jacob with his descendants: just as his descendants are alive, he, too, is alive."
If you look carefully, you’ll see that whatever all the self-righteous people on the internet (and elsewhere…) are criticizing other people about so vociferously is what they themselves have the biggest problem with.
(And yes, this certainly also applies to me.)
This is because the whole world is a mirror, and God is using all of the annoying, ucky people out there to give us a message about what we ourselves need to work on, acknowledge, identify and fix.
How do you know which trait is particularly your problem? It’s the one that gets the biggest reaction, or rise out of you. When someone accuses me of being stingy, for example, or of believing in martians, I barely lift an eyebrow.
Because that’s so not my problem.
But when someone accuses me of talking lashon hara and of being judgmental, I still get upset.
Because they are usually right, and God wants me to go and deal with that.
Let’s take an example of how this phenomenon can play out in the world. Let’s say, someone spends an awful lot of time knocking other Jews for not being ‘real’, or accusing them of being evil ‘erev rav’ types, or accusing them of hanging out with groups that aren’t ‘Jewish’ enough for that person, or aren’t ‘orthodox’ enough for that person, or perhaps, who are too ‘orthodox’ (or what they would term ‘extremist and fanatical’).
If you go and do some digging, you will probably discover:
Or, let’s take another example a little closer to home. Let’s say you’re dealing with a married couple who only sees the ‘bad’ in the other person, and believes themselves to be an innocent victim in the whole mess their marriage has gotten into.
This is a very common problem – but the mirror principle applies even more in a marriage!
I’ve lost count of the number of conversations I’ve sadly had to hear where MRS is telling me how awful MR’s family are, when her own family is just as bad and ucky, in their own way. Or, where MR is moaning on about how selfish and heartless MRS is, when he’s been acting callously and recklessly for years’ already.
How different so much of the picture would be, if we would all stop blaming everyone else for our problems, and recognize that God is simply showing us ourselves, reflected back in all the ucky people who bother us.
Me personally, I get so riled up when people slag off whole section of the Jewish people publicly, and speak evilly of our holy rabbis.
Because in the past I also used to do this a lot, and clearly, I still have some of that issue myself. Now, God is now getting me to knuckle down and to work on it properly by showing me just how horrible and divisive it is.
The more work I do on this, the less all the ‘frum’ psychos on the internet are starting to spoil my morning. (Although let’s be clear, it’s probably going to be a ‘live’ issue for a good few years still.)
Again, the more ‘abusive’ tendencies we have ourselves, the more we will go on about other people’s ‘abuses’. The more ‘erev rav’ traits we have ourselves, the more we will call other people ‘erev rav’. The shakier our own faith actually is, the more we will call into question other people’s commitment to yiddishkeit and God. The more we are worshipping ourselves and our own ego, the more we will accuse others of 'idol worship'.
That’s why the truly nice people out there don’t say horrible things about others, and don’t write ‘controversial’ or knocking blog posts. (Yes, believe me I know I’m not in this category).
The more unhinged you yourself are, the more you hate yourself, the more you'll be out there criticizing others and pointing out everyone else's flaws.
This is the mirror rule.
This is how God is running the world.
And it applies to us all.
When my dad was here a few weeks ago, we got into a bit of an argument sparked off by an ‘internet personality’ rabbi who happens to be a baal teshuva, and who has made a name for himself by having a go at anything and anyone in the Jewish world that he doesn’t agree with.
This ‘rabbi’ has crossed so many lines, halachically, in his personal attacks on others, and in his attacks on many different branches of Judaism, and particularly chassidut, that are clearly coming from a place of complete ignorance.
Rather than have a bit of humility and admit he doesn’t know everything about yiddishkeit, he prefers to spout off long screeds full of sinat chinam and lashon hara, and to try to sow strife and to turn Jew against Jew – and then whenever he’s challenged on what’s he’s said, he claims to have been misunderstood, misrepresented, or taken out of context.
But that’s a lie.
What he’s saying is very clear.
It’s a typical gaslighting technique to tell other people they didn’t really hear what they heard, or that they didn’t understand something in the right way, when they obviously did, and sadly, this ‘rabbi’ is an expert gaslighter.
So now, my dear dad decided to email this ‘rabbi’ directly with the following question, and here’s how he responded (I’m blanking out the name, to avoid unnecessary machloket while still addressing the fundamental point and problem):
THE EMAIL MY DAD SENT:
Shalom aleichem Rabbi [NAME].
Hope you are fully recovered from your journey.
Could you please clarify the following. I told my daughter and son in law that according to you from your lectures that the Breslav worship "AvodaZara" and is a cult religion.
They dispute that it is not true. They want to know on what basis and proof do you draw your conclusions. Can you please name Gedolim who support your opinion.
Toda rabba vekol tuv
THE EMAIL THE ‘RABBI’ SENT BACK:
Their main speaker today (the most popular) rabbi shalom harsh says in his searches that you can't connect to HaShem without connecting first to rabbi Nachman, and he is the only one that can connect you to HaShem.
Without him nothing will help you not your teshuva not your learning torah nothing only rabbi Nachman can save you.
Similar to J.c in Christianity
If this is not a Voda Zara what is??
My dad sent this email to me, to see what I thought, and so this is what I think. First, this is what I sent back to my dad:
MY EMAIL TO MY DAD:
Thanks for this Dad.
You asked Rabbi [NAME] for Gedolim who support his opinion, and he just gave you more of his opinion. Who are the Gedolim who agree with him? Surely if it's that clear cut, there must be some big names that agree with him that he can quote in support. Can you please go back and ask him for other Gedolim who are saying this?
Also, see this explanation by Rav Ofer Erez of the whole idea of hitkashrut to the tzaddikim, which is explicitly explained by the Arizal as a good thing, (amongst other very big rabbis).
Rabbi [NAME] is sadly not a very knowledgeable person, which is why he attacks a lot of what he doesn't understand about the deeper aspects of yiddishkeit. Xtians got the idea of binding to the tzaddik from Judaism, and we need to reclaim it. The same thing happened with the idea of moshiach - the xtians 'took' that idea and then Jews shunned it for centuries. But really, it's the basis of OUR religion and the geula, and we need to understand the concepts properly, in their original Jewish context.
MY DAD IS GOING TO BE WAITING FOR THOSE TORAH SOURCES AND NAMES OF GEDOLIM A REALLY LONG TIME...
Let’s be clear, Rabbi [NAME] is not going to come back with any names of Gedolim who support his opinion, because Gedolim actually know the deeper aspects of the Torah, and understand what’s going on here, and why.
If you watch Rav Ofer’s clip (it’s only 2 mins or so, and it has English subtitles) he explains that the Arizal brings down in his book Shaarei HaKavanot that we should formally bind ourselves to the tzaddikim three times a day.
All the big kabbalists are binding themselves to the true tzaddikim, including Rebbe Nachman, three times a day.
Does this make them ‘xtians’, or idol-worshipers?
Rav Ofer also explains that the Rahash – who is considered to be the ‘Shulchan Aruch’ in terms of kabbalistic practices and kavanot, and is universally accepted as the last word in these matters, states that the halacha is to bind ourselves three times a day to the Tzaddikim.
He also explains that the Ben Ish Hai (not a Breslover, last I checked….) stated that all the words of the Arizal should be considered as though they were said by the Divine presence itself.
So Rabbi [NAME] is basically arguing against the Arizal, the Rahash, the Ben Ish Hai and all the Jewish people’s leading kabbalists.
For sure, he doesn’t even know that, because as I told my dad, Rabbi [NAME] has made a big reputation for himself online by attacking other Jews. Sometimes, we applaud his attacks and think ‘good, someone had to say that!!’ when it comes to the more clear-cut subjects. And then we think that he must be coming from a good place…
As Rabbi Nachman explains in his tale of The Cripple, ‘the talkers’ at the end of days are the ones who go around taking each other out with all their vituperative attacks on other Jews, and this is what paves the way for Moshiach to come.
Rabbi Nachman makes clear that the only people who talk negatively like this, with a shameless disregard for halacha and Torah law, are actually powered by demonic forces who are working night and day to prevent the Moshiach from coming.
When someone has a taste for lashon hara, and for sinat chinam, and for seeing their fellow Jew with an evil eye, and for trying to stoke conflict between Jews, they are always on the look-out for fresh ‘controversies’ that are easy to ignite. And Breslev is an easy target, especially for ignorant and arrogant people who think they know everything, when clearly, they really don’t.
For sure, Rabbi [NAME] has zero interest in really learning the deeper Jewish sources behind the practice of binding to the true Tzaddikim. For sure, he’s going to either try to evade the issue by ignoring my dad’s email completely, or coming back with more of his ‘opinion’ as opposed to any solid Jewish sources or Gedolim who actually support his position.
And this is how these fake, ‘rockstar’ rabbis manage to fool so many Jews that they are the real deal, while all the time they are leading them further away from Hashem and causing huge problems for the Jewish people.
Again, to make this point crystal clear: when a rabbi is ‘fake’, they don’t refer to Gedolim who agree with their controversial positions (because the Gedolim don’t…) and they don’t have a real grasp of halacha, which is why they fall back on their own over-sized personalities and superficial arguments that sound correct to the uneducated masses, but really aren’t.
(Can you imagine what sort of trouble this 'rabbi' could be sparking off between me and my dad right now with his comments, if I hadn't spent years researching how these people operate?)
Let the world of lies fall soon!
And in the meantime, give fakers like Rabbi [NAME] a wide berth. God makes it very clear that He can’t dwell with an arrogant person, and if God isn’t the one who’s powering all of these ‘conversations’ and blog posts and ‘Torah’ lessons, you know who else has stepped into the vacuum to provide the script.
UPDATE: Here's a small selection of the literally hundreds of quotes and stories out there from leading rabbis and rebbes of the last 200 years, Ashkenazi and Sephardi, Chassidic and Litvak, who had only the highest praise for Rebbe Nachman and Breslov chassidut.
Were all these enormous tzaddikim wrong, or somehow didn't understand that Breslov was meant to be some idol-worshiping cult? Was Rav Ovadia Yosef z'tl, the undisputed halachic authority of our generation, somehow misled, when he appeared with Rav Berland in public on two seperate occasions, that Rav Berland was really worshipping idols?
I mean, seriously? We're expected to take the opinion of the slander-spreading, strife-mongering Rabbi [NAME] (who I checked out very thoroughly now, and guess what? He doesn't even have smicha! He's a self-appointed 'rabbi' who spent a few years reading some gemara in Monsey and now he thinks he knows everything) - over the words of some of the biggest sages that ever lived?!
How can anyone with even half a brain cell begin to suggest such a thing? Oy, what a lowly generation we live in. Here are the quotes:
Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz, author of "Chazon Ish" called Rebbe Nachman: "The light of lights of truth..." Rav Ben Tzion Apter said that here and there the Chazon Ish would speak to him about the strength and greatness of Rebbe Nachman and each time would say "tell over a teaching of the Rebbe."
Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Alter, the Admor from Ger, after finishing up the Seder on Pesach eve would learn from Likutey Moharan. Rabbi Aharon of Belz: "The level of this book (Likutey Moharan) is indeed very great...Breslover Chassidim are sincere Jews."
Rabbi Yitchak Gelbach was a student of the great Rav Elchonon Wasserman (a student of the Chofetz Chaim) and said that Rav Elchonon used to push his students to draw close to Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.
Rabbi Elya Lopian on Rebbe Nachman's books: "These are real books of ethics."
Rabbi Eliyahu Klatzkin of Lublin: "Any praise you praise Rebbe Nachman with is just the tip (of his full praise) because Rebbe Nachman’s level of wisdom is very high and limitless."
Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler, author of "Michtav M'Eliyahu", quotes from Rebbe Nachman in his books. In a letter to his children, he encouraged them to learn Breslov works in order to merit fear of Heaven.
Rabbi Eliezer Shulevitz, Rosh Yeshiva of Lomza: "Whoever is searching out the truth, eventually reaches Breslov".
Rabbi David Widenfeld, the Gaon of Tschebin: "Rebbe Nachman was the most brilliant of the Rebbe's".
The Admor, author of "Tzemach Tzedek": "By my father (Rabbi Chaim of Kosov, author of "Torat Chaim") the book Likutey Moharan never left the table."
Rabbi Chaim Shmulevitz, Rosh Yeshiva of Mir: "Through (learning) Likutey Moharan, the mind is opened." He also said "We work on trying to solve problems (in scripture) and they (Breslover Chassidim) work constantly on 'fear Hashem and love Him all your days.'"
Rabbi Elazar Shapiro of Munkatch, author of "Minchat Elazar": "When the whole world begins to be concerned with and learn 'Sipurey Ma'asiot' (Rebbe Nachman's Stories) - Mashiach will come." He requested that "Hishtapchut HaNefesh (Outpouring of the soul)" be constantly printed.
Rabbi Chaim Meir Hager of Viznitz, author of "Imrei Chaim", said that the book, Likutey Moharan, never left his table. Additionally, he said "this book (Sipurey Ma'asiot) belongs to the Kabbalah."
Rabbi Yehuda Leib, the Sfat Emet, on his death bed requested that 'Sippurey Ma'asiot' be read to him. He then said that the last story hints at the Geulah.
Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum of Satmar: "Rebbe Nachman saw in a vision all the problems this generation would encounter with faith...these days, one cannot be strenghted if not by these books because in them you find real faith." He also said: "You cannot be sincerely Jewish without learning the books of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov." & "The author of Likutey Moharan was completely pure and therefore existed by him the concept of 'and Yosef's brothers were jealous of him'." & "We can see that Rebbe Nachman has more holy presence (resting on him) than other Tzaddikim." Once on Shabbat, he said: " Who can strenghten us?! Rebbe Nachman can strengthen us in such a situation!"
Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak, the Chozeh of Lublin: "Rebbe Nachman is the great light...a holy man...miracle worker of the generation." About Likutey Moharan: "Likutey Moharan speaks for itself...the words are true and straight. They don't need approval from anyone else."
Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky, the Steipler Gaon: "This book (Likutey Moharan) stirs me to fear of Heaven. And, I see that if there is a day that I don't learn this book, I feel lacking in Heavenly fear."
Rabbi Yitzchak Meir of Ger, author of "Chidushei HaRim", took 'Sippurey Ma'asiot' and studied it until he got to the story of 'The Seven Beggars', when he said "until this point, I understood something. From here on - I don't know anything anymore."
Rabbi Yisrael Abuchatzera: "The praised Tzaddikim will take out the Shechina from exile." The 'Baba Sali' also said that his son, Rabbi Meir Abuchatzera, appeared to him in a dream and said to his father: "all the Tzaddikim, here in Heaven, go to hear lessons from Rebbe Nachman."
Rabbi Meir Abuchatzera regularly had books of Rebbe Nachman on his desk. One time he gave his daughter 'Likutey Etzot' (Advice) and said: "Whenever you need advice with anything, look in this book."
Rabbi Tzvi Aryeh Malik, student of the great Maggid: "I investigated him and I did not find any (reason for) disagreement...according to my findings, we all have to be embarassed before him . To say "and he is wiser than all men" is not even the whole praise to say about him."
Rabbi Shalom Moskowitz of Shatz: "Every word which Rebbe Nachman uttered is the deepest of the deep...full of wisdom, ethics, wonderful and awesome advice for a person to fulfill his purpose in the world."
Rabbi Shlomo Mazvil told over that his saintly father came to him in a dream and said to him: "In the upper world, when a Breslover Chassid arrives - there is a huge uproar. They are very viewed with great importance..." He requested that his granddaughter be matched up with a Breslover Chassid.
See more here: http://www.breslev-midot.com/eng/hillulat_moharahn_2005.asp
When troubles strike, there’s a tendency – that we all have – to believe we don’t really deserve our fate, our circumstances, our troubles. That’s human nature, but it’s really not very helpful, because as long as we’re sitting there feeling like we don’t really deserve what’s going on, we are stuck in victim mode.
And victim mode is awful, for so many reasons, including the following:
But the point is this: feeling like a helpless victim keeps you stuck in a really bad place, makes you act in some very negative ways, and tends to ruin your life.
So then, what’s the answer? How do we get out of victim mode, while still accepting that objectively we’re going through some rough stuff, some tough times?
I learnt the answer to this from Rav Berland. A while back, I read a shiur of his where he was explaining that you can deal with anything, you can cope with anything, if you accept that on some level you definitely deserve it.
Again, the Rav has been through so much suffering, he’s talking from first-hand experience. As long as we think some mistake has been made, that it’s not fair, that what we’re experiencing is an enormous injustice, it’s so hard to stand up in the test.
As soon as we put our hands up and say “I’m guilty. I deserve this 100%. God is completely righteous, and it’s my own sins that are causing me these problems” strangely, things start to lighten up and you start to see a real light at the end of the tunnel.
I’ve been trying to work on this the last few weeks, as my whole apartment debacle has been unfolding. For as long as I felt it was undeserved, unjust, unfair, I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, and I was consumed by bad middot including anger, hatred and vengeance.
But at the beginning of last week, God had some mercy on me and reminded me about the Rav’s teaching, so I started trying to apply it.
“God, I’m not 100% sure why I deserve this, but I’m prepared to say that I’m certainly guilty of something that has led to this situation developing. I’d really like to get through this stage as fast as possible, so please show me what I need to make teshuva on, so things can start to improve and move forward.”
As soon as I said “I’m guilty” I started to feel better.
Then, the next part of the work unfolded: what bad middot, what bad behavior of mine has contributed to this mess? Because for sure, God isn’t just sending it stam to make my life miserable. There has to be something I’m doing that’s causing the problem, and once I figure out what it is, things will start to improve.
Again, this is the opposite from staying in angry, helpless victim mode and blaming everyone else for the problem. As soon as I started to take some spiritual responsibility for what is going on, I started feeling way more optimistic that this is all going to turn out for the good somehow.
Because God never punishes. He just educates.
So, I got back a few things, like the ‘yiyeh beseder’ tendency to let important details slide; and a certain greediness that convinced me that we’d be able to register the apartment properly, and easily legalise it’s illegal second storey, which would double its value over night; and a kind of false emuna that I could take impractical risks, and God would just always make it work out, because hey, I believe in miracles!
None of these things are hanging offences, it’s true, but as I noted in the last post, the huge financial disaster that developed was built on lots of people’s very minor character flaws.
The same thing happened when 10 teens died in the desert a few weeks’ ago. The same thing happens when families get ripped apart at the seams and plunged into the agony that is divorce. The same things happen when buildings go up in smoke because of bad cladding, or when poorly-engineered bridges collapse, or when drivers fall asleep at the wheel and then cause a huge accident.
Small flaws often add up to big consequences. God wants us to understand that, to acknowledge that, and to stop making excuses and justifying our bad behavior.
So to put this another way, I’m feeling so much happier, Baruch Hashem, merely as a function of putting my hand up, and saying “guilty as charged”. Sure, I could blame the lawyer, the estate agent, the bank, my husband.
But to do that would completely miss the point. God sent me these circumstances because He wants to me acknowledge my own part in how this mess got made. And as soon as I do that, the chaos will start to recede, the optimism will start to return, the din will start to lesson – and the good times will start to roll again very, very soon.
Probably like everyone else out there, I’ve been having a heck of a rough ride this Sefirat HaOmer.
In a nutshell, the apartment we tried to buy in Jerusalem – and that we paid a huge deposit on, and that we got an ‘ok’ from the bank on for a huge mortgage – has turned into a complete nightmare.
It’s a very complicated property, and basically nearly all the lawyers, mortgage people, bank reps and estate agents that ‘sold’ it to us had no idea what was really going on with it. So the bank told us we had the mortgage – and we signed a binding contract on that basis – only to be told the day after Pesach that the bank’s biggest lawyer had now rescinded our mortgage offer, due to the ‘complications’ with the apartment that no-one else had picked up.
The news hit me like a thunderclap, and I was literally ill in bed for a week afterwards. (I happened to also twist my ankle very badly 10 minutes before we got that phone call, so body, mind and soul got taken out at exactly the same time.)
We are now liable for 10% of the full purchase price for breaking the contract (through no fault of our own) and everyone from the bank reps to the lawyers are all busy pointing their fingers at everyone else.
Everyone is to blame – in some small way – for what’s happened, and yet no one is to blame enough that there is a clear cut way for us to recover the money.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know how much heartache I’ve had over house related stuff the last few years. You’ll know that we only got this deposit in the first place because my mother-in-law passed away the day after Rosh Hashana. And you’ll know how much effort I put into fixing things up with her before she so unexpectedly died.
Peace, peace you shall pursue.
HOW MANY LAWYERS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A BAD CONTRACT?
So, the last few weeks we’ve been trying to figure out what on earth has gone on, and whether there is anything we can do try to rescue the situation. We’ve hired more lawyers, applied for loads more mortgages, visited every bank we can think of, spoken to mortgage brokers and anyone else who might be able to help, and even spent whole afternoons in Petach Tikva, at the head office of the Amidar organization that deals with ‘complicated’ properties in Israel.
Each time we thought we’d seen a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, it flickered out again. It’s been an enormous, massive test.
In the middle of this huge test of emuna, my dad and my friend decided to give me the exact same piece of advice, on exactly the same day, completely independently of each other (so I could be sure it was coming from God):
See the good.
Look at the situation, the people involved, positively, with a good eye.
It’s good advice, but it’s been so much work to actually implement that over the last few weeks.
I can’t tell you the number of times we discovered how someone’s small flaw, small mistake, small oversight, small negative tendency contributed to what has become a massive problem for us.
No-one did anything maliciously, or on purpose, but the tendency to say ‘yiyeh beseder’ (it will be OK) and to not actually knuckle down and to the work required has caused us a financial disaster.
And me and my husband also have a small share of the blame in this regard. We used the same lawyer we’ve used on all of our house purchases, and we trusted him to do the job without double-checking the contract properly. It was written in Hebrew, and hard to get our heads around, so we didn’t bother. And that small oversight, that minor tendency to not take enough responsibility for our own lives, is now costing us an absolute fortune.
And we have to make teshuva for that, and accept that pointing the finger at everyone else is not really going to get us anywhere useful. Sure, if it had been done maliciously, if we’d been deliberately de-frauded by our sellers (as I thought up until yesterday, when I got some more pieces of the puzzle), I’d be willing to fight it the whole way.
You can’t let ‘bad’ off the hook, you can’t run away from it, you can’t back down from taking it on.
But I now know we aren’t dealing with that. We’re just dealing with a bunch of people, who are actually quite nice and well-meaning, each of whom was a little bit lazy, a little bit laissez faire, a little bit over-reliant on God making sure everything would turn out OK, like He always does – but now the rules have changed.
And there is no-one to blame, and no-one to sue, and nothing to do, it seems, except to swallow the enormous amount of money we are about to lose, and try to accept God’s judgment with love.
THE LAST BIT OF LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
God forbid, I should get bitter about this, or paranoid, or consumed with anger and hatred. I’ve seen that happen, where 50 years on people are still going on about the huge injustice that was done to them, and they live their whole lives miserable and hating as a result.
The last bit of light that we might be able to turn things around on the house got extinguished yesterday night.
This morning, I was feeling pretty down so I went to the Rav, to just sit quietly at the back and do some hitbodedut. It was pretty quiet there, compared to how it usually is, but someone had brought a guitar and the crowd was singing the davening, which was really nice.
I sat there kind of heartbroken and very sad, pondering what I do next and where I go next. Our lease is up in August, and I can’t stand the thought that I’m going to have to keep moving, and moving, and moving, every year to some new rented place. I’m so tired of packing. I’m so tired of moving. I so hoped that now, finally, I was at the end of the huge upheavals I’ve had to deal with for so many years, already.
So I sat there, feeling pretty sorry for myself, and I got the message in hitbodedut: pursue the path of peace, even if it’s going to cost you a lot. Don’t try to sue, don’t try to brazen things out, just pursue the path of peace. In the end, God can still send you all the money in the world, and pursuing peace now will open up so many good things for you.
So that’s what we’re going to try to do. The alternative is to try to get all legally aggressive and nasty, which sounds tempting when you feel aggrieved and hard done by. But God is behind this, only God, and going after people for their small, accidental mistakes and failings is probably not what God wants us to do.
We all mistakes some times. We all turn blind eyes to things that we shouldn’t, and rely on other people to fix the problem and do our work for us.
I can’t open the ledgers and accuse other people of those things when I know I’m doing it myself still.
So, that’s where we’ve got to. Resolution. Not the resolution I hoped for, or prayed for, or waited for, but resolution nonetheless, and even that is something. Because all the up and down and backwards and forwards that’s gone on since the day after Pesach has been beyond exhausting and debilitating.
Some days, I haven’t been able to do even basic things like wash up and make food. That has to stop! Even without my own home, even with a massive financial loss, life is still good. My family is still healthy, BH, we’re still together, we’re still in Jerusalem. There is so much to be grateful for.
So, I’m looking forward to the end of this Counting the Omer period. It’s always an interesting time, but this year’s event have truly taken the biscuit. What’s left of me is now ready to receive the Torah. And I know the path you have to pursue in order to really get it:
Peace. Only peace.
With ourselves, with our fellow Jews, and most importantly of all, with God, and His plan for our lives.