For a while now, I've been wanting to take a look at all the fake stories modern science likes to tell about fossils. Fossils are real, there's no doubt about it, and dinosaurs and weird creatures existed 100%.
But they didn't 'exist' 500 million years ago, and the world hasn't been in a 'steady state' for billions of years, and there WERE a number of huge global catastrophes, as set out in the deeper Jewish sources, which fundamentally changed the globe - very quickly - at least six times since Adam and Eve, 5778 years ago.
So without any further ado, let me share what I've discovered about fossils with you, as nothing really sums up how little modern science really knows about the world than the tall stories it tells about how and when fossils were created.
If you check the school text books, and the popular life science sites run by respectable universities, you’ll probably be told that there are different types of fossils, and they get formed in different types of ways.
The typical ‘cast’ type of fossil is created when an animal or plant dies, but manages to get buried in sediment fast enough to leave an impression in the hardening rock before it actually starts to rot away.
We’re told that the plant or animal dies, and before it disintegrates it somehow manages to sink down to the bottom of the sea floor completely intact, where it’s then covered by mud or sand.
As more layers of sediment are added on top, this starts to compress the sand or mud into stone, and turns it into hard rock.
In the meantime, the actual plant or animal now starts to dissolve over many hundreds of thousands, or even millions, or years, until we’re left with a natural mould. Now, mineral-rich water seeps into the mould, and creates a cast that has the same shape as the original skeleton, or plant form, but that doesn’t have any of its internal features.
Now, are you ready for the truly miraculous part of this process?
“Millions of years later, the rock surrounding the skeleton rises to the Earth's surface (this happens during mountain building, earthquakes and other earth processes). The rock is worn away by wind and rain, and the fossil is now exposed, waiting to be found!”
I'm not kidding you. That's what science is teaching people.
TWO TYPES OF FOSSILS
Palaeontologists divide fossils into two major types - body fossils and trace fossils. Body fossils show us what a plant or animal looked like, while trace fossils record an animal’s activity. Trace fossils include things like footprints, animal tracks, and coprolites, or fossilized faeces.
Superficially, this sounds like a plausible explanation of how fossils are formed. But when you start to dig a bit deeper, and to actually explore where and how fossils are found, the standard theory starts to look considerably shaky.
Back in February 2007, a reader on the Natural History Museum’s website asked the staff: How long does it take for animals to turn into fossils?
Graeme Lloyd, a paleobiologist, was refreshingly honest in his response, and admitted that: “generally speaking we know very little about the fossilisation process (how the remains of animals or plants are replaced by minerals and literally turned to stone). As you are probably aware the chances of being fossilised are extremely small (we have very few fossils compared to the total number of animals that have ever lived). This is largely because the fossilisation process can take so long that usually decay or scavenging by other animals will get there first and there will be nothing left to fossilise!”
Lloyd acknowledged that because of the long timescales involved in creating a fossil, which Lloyd set at hundreds to many thousands of years, scientists have never been able to observe the process in action. He also acknowledged that the soft parts of animals decay very quickly, typically in just a few days or weeks.
Which still doesn’t explain how plants became fossilized, nor how fossils with soft parts still exist. One stunning example of this occurred in 2006, when parts of a Tyrannosaurus rex were pulled out of the ground in Montana, and were then sent along to Mary Schweiter’s lab in North Carolina State University for testing.
Schweitzer dissolved some of the dinosaur’s fossilized leg bone in acid – and discovered that she was looking at T-rex blood cells that were meant to be 68 million years old. Given that the ethrocytes in blood typically take 120 days to decompose, how can we even begin to explain that this type of soft material was apparently preserved for '68 million years'?
But there’s other enormous questions about fossils, that are still unanswered, too.
If fossils occur by dead animals and plants being covered by various layers of mud and sand underwater, then how do these fossils come to be found all over the earth, and in some cases, even at the very top of the highest mountains?
In 1909, paleontologist Charles Burgess discovered a fossil bed at the very top of the Canadian Rockies in British Columbia, which contained many thousands of soft-bodied fossils that were later dated as being 508 million years old (sic). 150,000 of these specimens ended up at the Royal Museum of Ontario (RMO).
According to the RMO’s website: “It is estimated that up to 98% of the fossils from this locality are entirely soft-bodied and would stand no chance of being preserved through normal taphonomic processes.”
To put this in plain English, that last sentence is actually saying that it’s impossible for the normal processes of creating fossils to have preserved the soft-bodied creatures that make up 98% of the Burgess shale.
So what ‘unusual’ process could possibly have occurred, to preserve the Burgess Shale at the top of the Rockies? Here’s what the RMO website says happened:
“The Burgess Shale fossils are preserved in a type of sedimentary rock known as shale. Shale is a type of mudstone (or mudrock) that originally formed from deposits of fine mud, made mostly of clay minerals. The different fossil layers of the Burgess Shale represent different mud deposits, originally laid down in sheet-like horizontal beds ranging from a few millimetres up to several centimetres in thickness. These layers can still be seen today in the Burgess Shale.
“Seafloor muds are transformed into shale (lithified) when they encounter increased temperature and pressure during their geological history. The mudstones of the Burgess Shale were exposed to even greater temperature and pressure during the formation of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.”
Earth Magazine has a different theory for how the sea creatures preserved in the Burgess Shale came to be 12,000 ft up at the top of the Rockies:
“About 505 million years ago, the continent that would become North America straddled the equator. With no terrestrial plants or animals, the land was a barren landscape. The warm, shallow sea bordering the continent, however, hosted a carbonated reef teeming with a diverse array of organisms, most of which were relatively small bottom-dwellers.
"Periodically, the animals would get washed over the reef and deposited at its base, where their bodies accumulated in the muddy sediments. Today, these creatures are beautifully preserved in the Burgess Shale.”
(Again, I'm not kidding here. This is what 'serious scientists' are telling people.)
THERE IS NO SEAFLOOR ANYWHERE NEAR THE CANADIAN ROCKIES
Again, superficially this is a nice explanation, but as there is no seafloor anywhere near the Canadian Rockies –and the Pacific is more than 400 miles away – it’s stretching credulity to believe that wave after wave of sea worms were ‘washed over the reefs’ for more than 400 miles, and were then washed 12,000 feet up to the top of a mountain chain in the middle of the country.
As the RMO’s own website explains, no ‘normal’ process like this could possibly account for a bunch of soft bodied, deep sea-dwelling creatures to become fossilized in a land-locked high mountain range in the middle of the American continent.
So then, what can explain it?
(Duh, it's Noah's flood, plus all the other earth-wracking contortions of continents that has occurred over the last 5778 years. But I digress...)
MORE FOSSILS UP MOUNTAINS
Before we can begin to answer that question, let’s take a look at other fossilized remains of deep-sea creatures that were found at the top of another mountain chain. Two years’ after Walcott publicized his finds in the Rockies, explorers Henri Mansuy and Jaques Deprat also stumbled across more Cambrian-era fossils in Yunnan province, China.
Again, the finds were soft-bodied creatures, and again, they dated to around the same time, 500 milllion years ago (sic).
Most puzzling of all, these marine creatures were also found at the top of a high range of mountains, in a land-locked area of China where the nearest sea was many hundreds of miles away.
What could account for this? Even stranger, this type of high-quality preservation of fossils would not be seen again for another 500 million years.
In 1987, the New York Times shared the amazing story with its readers of how scientists from the American Museum of Natural History had found the remains of whales and other deep-sea creatures 5,000 feet up in the Andes.
The expedition was led by Professor Michael Novacek, who went on to author a paper describing his finds, where he explained that the whale fossils et al were caught up in marine sediment that later got ‘uplifted’ to become the Andes mountain chain in Chile somewhere between 8-25 million years ago.
So, according to mainstream science, some huge change created the Rocky Mountains and slowly ‘uplifted’ the Burgess Shale around 500 million years’ ago, and then some other huge change created the Andes Mountains and gently ‘uplifted’ a bunch of fossilized whales 8-25 million years ago – at the rate of 7-22 millimetres a year. And in the half a billion years that intervened – nothing.
There’s another huge problem with this theory: according to the laws of physics, it’s impossible for huge mountain chains to be 'gently' created this way by the earth's tectonic plates 'gently' rubbing away at each other.
The plates would need to be violently smashed together to cause mountain chains to form - and that's not something that can happen in slo-mo, over billions of years.
FOSSILS ARE NOT THE ORIGINAL BONES
Before we continue, it’s important to understand that fossils aren’t bones. When remains become fossilized, what that means is that before the bones or plant matter can decompose, minerals from the surrounding environment starts to leech from the living matter, so that the living cells become replaced with rock.
So the bones and other fossils being dug up are not actually the bones of the dinosaurs, trilobites and other creatures themselves, but rocks that are shaped in exactly the same way as the living matter once was.
This process is called permineralisation, and the greater the concentration of minerals like sulphur, iron, carbon and silica, in the water or sediments around the fossil, the faster the fossilization process becomes.
The formation of a fossil from the remains of an organism by the replacement of its tissues by minerals.
So, it’s surprising that ‘soft matter’ such as blood cells and collagen proteins should outlive the original bone, and it begs the question of whether the Tyrannosaurs Rex bones worked on by Mary Schweitzer et al really are 68 million years old.
HOW FOSSILS ARE DATED
If we go back to the Natural History Museum website, Neil Gosling, a Senior Teaching Fellow at the University of Southampton’s department for Biological Sciences, makes a surprising admission: fossils don’t have to take tens of thousands of years to occur. If the circumstances are conducive, they can even happen in a matter of hours, because the process of mineralization is actually relatively fast.
So if lobster and shrimp eggs can be fossilized in the space of a few weeks, and if chemists have developed a way to petrify wood in a matter of hours, and if geologists have discovered that plant matter can become fossilized within just 80 days – then why is science so sure that fossils are many hundreds of millions of years old, especially when scientific studies have repeatedly shown that if the conditions are right, fossilisation can occur even within a few short decades?
Before we take a look at how certain axiomatic assumptions being made in geology could be skewing the results, let’s first just explore what sort of mineral compounds would need to be present, in order to accurately fossilize soft-bodied creatures.
In March 1993, Derek Briggs and Andrea Kear, two researchers at the University of Bristol’s Department of Geology, published a paper in Science where they described how their experiments had shown that soft tissue was usually preserved as calcium phosphate in fossils, and that this process could happen quickly.
But, in order for that to happen, you’d need to have elevated levels of phosphate leeching in from the surroundings, plus a total absence of oxygen. While it’s difficult to see how these conditions could prevail on the ocean floor – which is why the paleontologists working with the Burgess Shale have no idea how they actually came to be fossilized – there is another fairly easy explanation for how those conditions came about.
In a word: volcanoes.
ANIMAL, MINERAL AND VEGETABLE
There are around 3,000 minerals in the world, but only a bare handful of them are actually commonly found on planet earth. When volcanoes erupt, as well as the liquid magma they spew into the surroundings, they can also cover their surrounding areas with great quantities of volcanic ash and something called lahar.
a destructive mudflow on the slopes of a volcano.
For example, when the Mount Rainier volcano last erupted in 1894, by far the biggest danger came from the lahars, or large volcanic mud and debris flows that coursed down its flanks as a result. Lahars can happen anywhere where you have a mixture of loose volcanic rock, or volcanic ash, and a lot of surface water.
When these lahars are triggered, they “look and behave like flowing concrete, and they destroy or bury most manmade structures in their paths.”
And lahars can move extremely quickly. Previous lahars at Mount Rainier, for example, travelled up to 70-80 km an hour, sweeping all sorts of fauna and flora before them, which subsequently became encased in a concrete-type, mineral-rich volcanic mud where all of the oxygen was smothered out of the environment.
If the terrain is steeper, than the flowing slurry can even reach speeds of 200 km an hour, and can grow exponentially by incorporating anything in its path, including water, rocks, soil, vegetation, animals, and even modern buildings and bridges. And while lahars are often associated with volcanic eruptions, they can occur without one.
Any area that has a hilly, steep landscape that’s covered with loose volcanic material, or volcanic ash, and which then experiences a high-volume, or long-lasting rainfall can be subject to a lahar. But after a volcanic explosion, when the vegetation hasn’t had enough time to grow back, lahars are particularly dangerous.
It’s a little like what happened in California in January 2018, when very heavy rains fell after the St Thomas fire had stripped the mountains around Montecito bare of plants and trees. It sparked off a mudflow that swept everything before it, and became increasingly bigger as it came down the slopes around Montecito.
The main difference was that this mud slurry didn’t include the volcanic ash that would quickly harden it to concrete. But ice-clad volcanoes, with their mix of steep slopes, loose rocks and abundant surface water, often offer the perfect conditions for lahars to form, and to cover everything in their path with volcanic concrete.
(The first 2 minutes of this video are shmiray eynayim friendly, then some girl in a pair of shorts and a clipboard pops onto the screen for a couple of seconds, FYI.)
CONNECTION WITH CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, aka APATITE
So, if scientists have found that the soft, fleshy parts of fossilized creatures are usually preserved as calcium phosphate, then we have to start figuring out if volcanic mud would contain more calcium phosphate than regular soil. According to David Smith at the Geology and Environmental Science faculty of La Salle University, Philadelphia, lahars and ashes typically come from volcanoes that contain “intermediate to high silica content (andesite to rhyolite magmas.)”
These types of volcanic magma contain a lot of different minerals, and that’s part of what makes the ground around volcanoes so fertile, and why so many people, even today, take the risk of living close to active volcanoes.
According to Smith, this type of lava will be made up of between 60-75% silica, and then will include smaller amount of things like magnesium oxide, iron oxide, potassium oxide and calcium oxide. Any soil that is formed directly from the ash, or from a lahar, where the ash mixes with the water gushing down a mountain, will contain the same elements that were found in the original magma, and these mineral elements will leach out relatively easily, especially from the ash particles.
(Hang in there, the chemistry lesson is nearly finished!)
But crucially for our discussion of whether volcanic mud could be the perfect medium for preserving fossils, this type of lava will also retain phosphorus more than regular soil, and also usually contains higher than normal levels of apatite – or calcium phosphate. The last thing to note is that volcanic ash soil usually has “significantly more…anaerobic bacteria than other soils,” and that’s important because geologists showed that fast fossilization requires a lot of “anaerobic bacterial-mediated decay.”
To sum this up in plain English, volcanic mud fits the bill perfectly, when it comes to flash-preserving even soft-bodied creatures and fragile plant matter. And even some of the paleontologists in China are starting to believe that’s how we came by many of our most impressive specimens.
THE JEHOL FOSSILS
On February 4, 2014, National Geographic ran a story with the following eye-catching headline:
“Ancient Ash Volcanoes Entombed Chinese Dinosaurs: Pompeii-style eruptions preserved ancient beasts in mass-death disasters.”
Researchers have been digging exquisitely preserved fossils out of the fine shale beds in North Eastern China since the late 19th century, but it was only with the fall of the Iron Curtain, back in the late 1980s, that the paleontological treasure bed contained in China’s ancient stones really became accessible.
In the 1990s, researchers returned to the western Liaoning Province, the northeastern Hebei Province, and the south eastern area of Inner Mongolia, and started finding thousands upon thousands of detailed and carefully-preserved fossilized remains, including feathered dinosaurs.
But that’s not all they found: they also uncovered thousands of bird fossils; fossils of the first known flowering plants (or at least, the first such fossils to have been found by modern man); complete specimens of insects, aquatic invertebrates, fishes, frogs, salamanders, turtles, lizards, choristoderes, pterosaurs, and other mammals.
All of these fossils were conventionally dated to “the late Hauterivian to early Aptian” – or 120 million years ago, and many of the specimens still had fossilized traces of their scales, feathers and hair, as well as some of their internal organs.
For now, let’s leave the question alone as to how so many different creatures were found together, 120 million years’ ago, when dinosaurs were meant to have slowly ‘evolved’ into birds, and mammals and all the rest, over many hundreds of million of years.
(Like, duh, that's because macro evolution is a completely false construct...)
And instead, let’s focus on what Professor Baouy Jiang, from the Earth Sciences and Engineering school at Nanjing University, had to say about how these fossils were formed.
THE CREATURES WERE CAUGHT UP IN A 'PYROCLASTIC' ERUPTION
Jiang and his team analysed the fossils and the sediment / stone they were found in, and came to the conclusion that the creatures had all been killed instantaneously in a sudden pyroclastic volcanic eruption. They believe that blasts of super-heated air, gas fumes dense clouds of fine ash suffocated and burnt these creatures, before they were swept down to the foot of the mountain, to create the bone bed where they were ultimately found.
According to Jiang, these volcanic blasts: "not only caused major casualties as they [do] today, but also transported some of the remains into nearby lakes and rapidly buried the remains."
Jiang came to his conclusions after comparing the ash that encased 14 well-preserved fossils from Jehol to the ash from Krakatoa in Indonesia, which erupted massively in 1883. They also compared Jehol’s fossils to those found in Pompey, and found that they had the same death pose, with their limbs extended outwards, and the same spiderweb-type cracks found on the victims of Pompeii.
Jiang continued: “The eruptions must have been numerous and caused multiple mass mortalities of both terrestrial and aquatic animals in the region, as do contemporary explosive eruptions”, and then drew the readers’ attention to similarities with the recent eruption of Mount St Helens, in the USA.
MORE VULCANISED FOSSILS AT YANLIAO
In the same region of China, researchers also uncovered another strata of excellently preserved fossils that they deemed to be a few million years’ older than the Jehol fossils. In writing up their report of the finds, they stated:
“Recurrent volcanism probably explains the apparently sudden deaths, rapid burial, and excellent preservation of the Yanliao organisms.”
If these two stunning fossil beds are being attributed to volcanic activity, then surely that’s an option that we should be exploring for the other fossil beds being found around the world?
DID VOLCANOES CAUSE THE BURGESS SHALE FOSSILS, TOO?
What about the Burgess Shale? Is there any evidence that volcanic activity may have been behind the otherwise unexplainable preservation of those soft-fleshed creatures, too?
In October, 2017, paleontologist Paul Johnston, from the Mount Royal University in Calgary presented some stunning new research to the Geological Society of America in Seattle, describing how he and fellow researcher, Stan Keith, had spent the last decade comparing the geochemistry and mineralogy found at several of the 12 main Burgess Shale sites in southeastern British Columbia.
Johnston had started at the original site discovered by Charles Walcott, then worked his way around Mummy Lake and Monarch Mountain. They discovered the rocks which contained the fossils had a very high level of magnesium oxide – as much as 30%. Johnston knew that the average for marine shale was only about 2.2% magnesium oxide, so where was all this extra magnesium coming from?
Initially, he thought that the extra magnesium was coming from magnesium-rich brines that were leaking out along the fault on the Cambrian seafloor, but then in 2017, Johnston had an eureka moment: Could the magnesium somehow be linked to hydrothermal venting and the mud volcanoes on the Cambrian seafloor?
“Right now, we can’t think of another way to deliver these materials to the Cambrian seafloor other than by deep-sourced mud volcanism,” Johnston says. “What we had originally interpreted as cold brine seeps, we now think are part of a larger set of phenomena that includes mud volcanism and active faulting in that area during the Cambrian.”
Again, to put this into plain English, Johnston’s research pointed to the idea that the Burgess Shale had come about as a result of super-heated mud volcanoes on the ocean floor that instantaneously killed, then entombed the sea creatures that make up the Burgess Shale.
And no-one is even guessing, still at how these deep-sea marine creatures from the bottom of the ocean's floor ended up in the middle of Canada at the top of the Canadian Rockies.
There is so much more to say about fossils and geology - and I want to cover the radiometric dating BS in more details here soon - but let's stop here for now.
Whether by design or accident, the scientists are lying to us, and to themselves, about how the world was formed, and how old it is, and WHO made it in the first place.
The whole paradigm is false, which is why they can't figure out things that are staring them straight in the face, and science is full of crazy enigmas and mysteries that are really only there in the first place because they keep trying to make the facts 'fit' a false paradigm of the gradual development of an old earth over many billions of years.
What I've written here is a small part of what I'm collecting together - all footnoted with source material - in the book, and there is way more to say, some of which is so mind-boggling I'm even having troubles digesting it myself.
But it all fits with Torah, and BH, I will share some more stuff with you as I go along. The Torah is true, science is wrong, and hopefully more and more of us will start to wake up and realise that the 'experts' who keep trying to convince us about Darwin and anti-Torah dating are literally lying through their teeth.
I asked my two teenagers how dinosaurs are dealt with in their religious schools, and they both told me: they aren't. People just ignore them, talk around them, pretend they didn't exist.
Dinosaurs bones were the Darwinites 'secret weapon', for trying to undermine humanity's faith in God and the biblical account of creation. I think it's time they were put back in their proper place in the big scheme of things, don't you?
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.
If you haven't had a look already, I just reviewed Rav Ofer Erez's newest book in English, From the Depths, over on the Jewish Book Review blog HERE.
That book helped me to come through the most difficult time in my life, a few years' back, and it's highly, highly recommended. It's not a long read, it's not complicated, it's written very simply, but it contains a bunch of deep information, so kindly given over, that will explain why sometimes our suffering is just something we have to go through for our spiritual tikkun, and not necessarily because there is something to 'fix' in this lifetime.
The 'fix' in those situations is to know that God still loves us, and that our suffering is being caused by unfinished business from a past life, and to maintain our emuna in His goodness and justness.
Often, so much easier said than done, especially when the carpet gets whipped out from under our feet.
So, check out my review HERE, the pop over to HERE to go buy the book.
As we head into the holiday, I want to wish all my dear readers an uplifting, happy, and peaceful festival of freedom. BH, this is the year we really will get out of Mitzrayim, both collectively and personally.
In the meantime, here's a round-up of some Pesach-related reading material that you may want to check out, if you're taking a quick break from all the cooking and cleaning:
Nesanel Yoel Safran wonders why this holiday tends to take people to extremes, in Extremely Pesach.
Helen Schwimmer shares a peek of what goes on between the covers of her haggada.
Zisi Berkowitz shares a Pesach Parody based on Paul Revere
Rav Ofer Erez explains in his newsletter for Nisan 5778 that our redemption depends on connecting to the Tzaddik
Alizah Teitelbaum writes a heartfelt plea for redemption to come this year.
And all I can say is 'amen', I really hope that will happen too.
It was only when I was talking to Alizah, the fiction editor over on Sasson, that the penny dropped.
We were discussing the new writers’ workshop that BH is almost ready, which is basically an online interface that will enable participants to upload their work, and have other writers critique it - in a careful, helpful way - to help the author polish their piece.
Alizah was explaining that a good critique always starts by praising the good in the piece, then includes some points where things could be improved, then ends with more praise of the good in the piece.
And that’s when the penny dropped about why I’ve been feeling pretty so low about continuing to write for Emunaroma, and so bizarrely upset about life, and that I should just give up now and go work in Shufersal, or something.
The story begins last year, when my husband and I offered our services - for free - to translate a really awesome Breslov book that we wanted to help get out to the English-speaking public.
Neither of us were paid for the work we did, and both of us worked really hard to get it ready, to the best of our collective abilities. It was literally a week away from being sent to print when in swooped ‘the sponsor’.
The sponsor had also read the book in the original Hebrew, and also loved it, and also wanted to do whatever he could to get the book out there to the wider public. There was just one problem with this plan: he wanted the book to be professionally edited by someone who could make everything read like something from Artscroll and Feldheim.
Because this is what the English speaking frum book reading public wants! More suave, wordy stuff that loses the heart and soul of what’s really being said and is technically a million percent accurate - but so bland and lifeless you just want to dig some hole for it already, and say kaddish.
I had huge misgivings. I did a lot of hitbodedut about it. Maybe, this was just my ego? (Very likely…) Maybe, this was just sour grapes that someone was being paid a lot of money to improve on something I’d poured my heart and soul into for free? (Could be…)
At the end of the day, I really want the book out there, and I really want it to sell well. The person who wrote it richly deserves that, they really do. So I made an agreement with the middleman that the ‘professional’ can and should look at it, and could and should tweak it, but that me and my husband would have the last word on the changes, to make sure the essential flavor wouldn’t be lost in translation.
What can I tell you?
Clearly no-one told the sponsor or the other editor.
The whole process was extremely challenging from day one, as I was increasingly given the impression by both these individuals that they were ‘rescuing’ the book from my extremely poor writing and editing.
I am the first to admit that grammar and punctuation are not my forte, and I always get my own books edited to catch the typos and mistakes, and I’m very happy to hear suggestions on how the work can be tightened up and improved.
But from the first second, the editor that was brought in to ‘save’ the book was out to impress on me that he was the professional here, he knew better than me how the book should read and sound (despite having zero Breslov tendencies and even being mildly ‘anti’ a lot of the deeper kabbalistic ideas being expressed in the book) - and that me and my opinions were basically surplus to requirements.
Dear reader, I did so much hitbodedut about what was going on, and how I was feeling about it all, because I know I have an ego, and I know that having two writers working on one project is always tricky.
But until Alizah’s comment, I hadn’t realized just how poisonous and toxic working with this person really was for me, and just how problematic that man’s approach to life - and to me! - actually is.
He didn't say one nice word to me the whole time.
The last two weeks, I have been inexplicably moody, miserable and on a trigger-hair with my husband and kids. I have been feeling like my writing absolutely sucks. I have been feeling so lowly and pointless - which is all helpful, and from God, I know - but because I didn’t know where all this stuff was coming from, I literally started to think I was going a bit mad.
Shabbat, I did a six hour prayer-a-thon to try to get the cloud to lift a bit, and to figure out what was going on and why I’d run out of energy, hope, and the will to live.
I didn’t realize it then, but now I can see 100% what just happened:
I got tangled up with someone who was out to prove their own ‘brilliance’ at my expense; who went over my head to the sponsor every single time we had a disagreement where right was on my side; who continually and consistently trashed and belittled all the hard work and effort me and my husband had put into the book; and who clearly has a lot of work to do on their bad middot.
The whole thing just reminded me again of how awful these types of people really are for the mental and physical health of those around them.
It’s been so long so I got blind-sided by a full-on narcissist that I’d almost forgotten how they suck out all your will to live and leave you so moody and lost in the world because interacting with them is just one big competition to prove to you how terrible you are, and how great they are.
And in the meantime, now that the penny has dropped, I am feeling so much happier and healthier again.
So if you’re having a bizarre chronic health issue, or some bizarre mood fluctuations and a feeling like life is not worth living, take it back to God and ask Him to show you which poisonous individuals in your environment may by sparking off the problem.
Because for sure, you’ll find them.
Now that Purim is just about over (although I seem to be having a bunch of 'upside-down' experiences in my own life at the moment, but that's a post for another time) - it's time to plan ahead a bit for Pesach.
No, I don't mean cleaning the house and hoovering the car (although clearly there has to be some time found for that stuff too, between here and March 30th - seder night!).
I'm talking about picking up a copy of '49 Days', my interactive journal for self-development that sets out a meaningful and useful exercise to do for each of the 49 days of counting the Omer - which begins after nightfall on March 31st.
And guess what? Amazon is doing a really cheap promotion on the book right now - I have no idea why - so you can get it for the bargain basement price of $4.43 - for a real, live paperback!
So strike while the iron is hot, and get pick up your copy HERE.
Before you know it, Pesach will be upon us. So quick, go order this while you still have 5 minutes for a bit of surfing before you have to knuckle down and clean all that stuff away from behind the fridge.
Continuing with the FAQs I've been getting about Rav Eliezer Berland, one of my correspondents sent back this, which I want to reproduce here because it really shows how the yetzer hara is fooling upright, God-fearing individuals into speaking, believing and spreading lies.
Thank you for your response. [To the question about the Breslov 'beis din''s psak against Rav Berland and his community.]
Thank you for your response, as it’s giving me an opportunity to demonstrate just how deceitful, and conniving the people who are persecuting Rav Berland actually are.
You are obviously well-versed in the Halachot of Beis Din, so you must know that it’s against halacha for:
1) A judge to judge a case where he has a clear personal interest, or stated bias
2) To judge a case based on the evidence of only one side of things.
[Name #1] appeared on stage at a rally against Rav Berland that was held in Bet Shemesh last year, and was organised by Rav Berland’s main group of persecutors within Breslov.
He’s known as an opponent of the Rav, and is clearly unfit, halachically, to ‘judge’ any matter involving Shuvu Banim or Rav Berland.
[Name #2] also appeared onstage in Bet Shemesh, and is also a known, long-time opponent of Rav Berland within Breslov, and again is consequently unfit, halachically, to ‘judge’ any matter involving him fairly.
None of the men in the ‘beis din’ convened by the Rav’s opponents sit on a beis din anywhere else; none of the usual, known Breslov poskim who give psak halacha were involved in this beis din, or were asked to be involved in this beis din.
Why not? This is a huge matter, after all, and not something that should be left to amateurs with no experience of judging on beis din.
How can a beis din ‘judge’ anyone without hearing both sides of the story? Rav Berland was not called to this beis din, he gave no evidence to it.
This ‘beis din’ contravened halacha in the two very serious ways set out above, at the very least.
I’m so sorry that someone as obviously refined and God-fearing as yourself has had the wool pulled over your eyes, because these are not ‘uninterested parties with no axe to grind’ and the ‘beis din’ they convened contravened a number of very important Halachot and made a mockery of the Shulchan Aruch.
Lastly, as I noted previously, two statements were fraudulently combined - this so-called ‘beis din’ statement, and a previous statement made about R’ Kramer that had nothing whatsoever to do with Shuvu Banim and Rav Berland, and that was signed by a number of genuine gedolim and God-fearing people.
This is not a new tactic, and it’s been used by the people persecuting Rav Berland and his community on many occasions before.
I’m very pleased you gave me the opportunity to help clear this up, as God forbid they should continue to make anyone else stumble in such damaging ways.
What’s really going on here?
This same process has been playing out for more than five years already, and each time it happens again, it’s giving more of the people who believed all the baseless slander and lies about Rav Berland in the past another chance to come to their senses and make teshuva.
Here’s how it works:
Rav Berland’s opponents within Breslov, particularly centred within Meah Shearim, cook up some new sort of contrived beis din scandal against the Rav and his Shuvu Banim community, either by:
What happens next:
You can basically split this into three reactions:
1) People who already have a personal animus against Rav Berland and his community, including figures within Breslov, the secular authorities and the media immediately seize on this ‘evidence’, puff it up, add more lurid (and completely falsified….) details and splash it all over the place.
2) ‘Neutral’ observers who unfortunately believe and accept lashon hara, or who are naïve enough to believe that everything they read online, and everything they are told by other people must be 100% true, believe these lies and start passing it off as ‘fact’ to others - in direct contravention of Jewish law.
3) Other observers who are aware of the laws of lashon hara, and / or who are aware that many people have an enormous vested interest in portraying orthodox rabbis and orthodox Judaism as ‘bad’ who either:
a) Keep their mouth shut and reserve judgment, as they don’t have enough first-hand information to really know what the truth is.
b) Fight against these lies with all their strength, as they have the core information required to make an informed judgment about what is actually going on here.
Analysing the latest smear campaign against the Rav
If you look through every single instance of a new slander being manufactured against Rav Berland and his community, you will see that people uniformly react in one of these three ways.
And so it is with this latest smear.
The Rav’s opponents convened a false beis din, put out a statement condemning the Rav and his community, and then spread that via their usual channels, including posting up statements on the walls of Meah Shearim, and getting the word out there via their established network of haters.
Next, misguided people like my correspondent unwittingly started spreading this false propaganda all over the place, adding more fuel to the fire.
Next, a real beis din, real rabbis, came out with a psak condemning the original mockery of a statement from the false beis din:
And then, the Rav’s own students - including such luminaries as Rav Shalom Arush, Rav Ofer Erez and Rav Shmuel Stern also put out a statement condemning the latest slander and falsehood:
The whole ‘case’ against Rav Berland was built on lies like this.
And each time it happens again, it gives the unwitting ‘neutral observers’ in group 2 the chance to make some real teshuva, and to admit that they were wrong, duped, mislead.
Volume II of One in a Generation will set out the whole story in far more detail, but in the meantime, I just wanted to dissect this latest smear, so you can see how the Rav’s opponents have been operating over the last 5-6 years in real time.
But the truth is starting to come out!
And I really hope that after this latest episode, more people will realize how they’ve been deliberately mislead by some very unsavory characters both within and without Breslov, and make whatever teshuva they need to make.
I recently posted up about One in a Generation, the new biography about Rav Eliezer Berland in a public forum, and I got back a few comments that I thought should be addressed properly as FAQs (not least so I don't spend the next two weeks emailing the same things over and over again.)
If you have any additional comments you want me to try to address, drop me an email and if I can give you a bit more clarity, I'll do my best to answer, if I can.
Q: Are you part of Rav Berland’s community?
Before I started researching ‘One in a Generation’, all I knew about Rabbi Eliezer Berland is what I’d read in the media, same as everyone else.
But as a long-time investigative journalist who’s covered a lot of ‘fraudulent rabbi’ stories, there were a number of details about the investigation that just didn’t add up when I was reading the coverage.
So I started researching the story myself, and I came to the shocking conclusion that Rav Berland was actually the victim of a terrible campaign of slander and lies.
The more I researched, the more people I spoke to, the more interviews I conducted, the more I came to the conclusion that far from being the low-life that was portrayed in the media, Rav Eliezer Berland is actually a truly saintly individual.
Q: Why would anyone want to frame Rav Berland for a crime of this sort?
There are many answers to that question.
Some people within the old-school Breslov community always saw Rav Berland as an outsider, and felt threatened by the huge number of baal teshuvas (formerly secular Jews who return to religious observance) he was attracting into Breslov chassidut.
Over the years, the Rav also attracted a ‘lunatic fringe’ of people with severe mental and emotional problems who gravitated towards his unique brand of unconditional love and acceptance of the other.
These individuals frequently tried to ‘own’ the Rav - they’d try to enter into his apartment, jump into his car, follow him around to every event and gathering, and ultimately tried to force the Rav to do their bidding by all sorts of threats and violence. 4-5 of these individuals - all men - are behind the slanderous, false claims of abuse levelled at Rav Berland.
Then there’s also the ‘deep state’ aspect, where the Israeli Court system and police service is heavily influenced by a number of high-ranking individuals who have huge personal animus against anything they perceive to be connected to orthodox Judaism.
Q: There are a number of influential rabbis who have had no trouble at all with the police or Israeli authorities, so surely that argument doesn’t hold water?
If you look at the numbers of leading rabbis who have been hauled in for questioning for ‘racism’ and ‘incitement’ and ‘sedition’ over the last few years, you’ll find some impressive names there, including the late Rav Yitzhak Yosef, ztl, (Rav Ovadia Yosef’s son), the late Rav Yoram Abergel, ztl, the late Rav Uzi Meshulam, ztl, and Rav Y.Y. Pinto, amongst many, many others.
Rav Berland was high-up on the authorities list of ‘difficult characters’ for years, because of his continued visits to holy tombs in Palestinian-controlled areas that the Israeli government wanted to make off-limits after the failed Oslo accords.
While the authorities couldn’t get away with openly targeting every big rabbi, they have no qualms about pushing their 'anti-Torah' agenda whenever they are given even the smallest opening to do so.
There is a pronounced ‘anti-religious’ and ‘anti-chareidi’ vibe extant amongst Israel’s ruling elites, many of whom effectively control the country’s media, courts and bureaucratic functioning.
As the proceedings against Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu continue, more and more people within Israel itself are starting to wake up to the very corrupt practices found at every level of the Israeli media, police and courts.
Q: Why did Rav Berland plead guilty in court, if he was completely innocent of all charges?
The Rav was suffering from life-threatening cancer which the Israeli Prison Service was refusing to allow treatment for. The courts also refused to allow the Rav - who was almost 80 at the time this was occurring - to await trial under house arrest, as is the usual practice.
For month after month, the court kept postponing the trial that would categorically clear Rav Berland’s name, while his state of health steadily deteriorated.
Eventually, the Rav was told by his team of lawyers that it would be better to ‘confess’ to something small and arrange a plea bargain and reduced sentence - that would include being given permission to have his illness treated - than to die in prison.
Q: Is One in a Generation just part of a ‘white-wash’ attempt on behalf of the charedi community to hide more wrong-doing under the carpet?
No, absolutely not.
Twenty years ago, I lost my job on a Jewish newspaper for trying to write an expose on an orthodox ‘rabbi’ who was embezzling money from charitable funds, and doing a few other things besides.
Over the last two decades, I have consistently taken an uncompromising stance on tolerating any forms of abuse within the Jewish community, and have frequently written on these topics in a number of forums.
I don’t tolerate, or make excuses for any forms of abuse, full stop.
I wrote this book to get to the truth of the matter, and to try to publicize the terrible miscarriage of justice that has been perpetrated here. It’s the same principle and the same motivation that’s always underscored my investigative journalism.
And I’m also not ‘chareidi’ myself, so I have no personal reasons for trying to ‘white-wash’ anything within that particular community.
Q: Why is the book coming out in two volumes?
The first reason is that the sheer weight of material was becoming too much to actually print in one tome. Volume I is already 310 pages, and while it covers the first 75 years’ of Rav Eliezer Berland’s life, it’s still really only half the story.
Volume II will take an in-depth look at the people behind the slanderous campaign of lies that was waged against Rav Berland, and is much more explosive material, legally.
That book is being checked and double-checked by the lawyers before we can release it for publication, and that’s a very lengthy, involved process. We didn’t want to slow down the rest of the book in the meantime, so we decided to release the material in two volumes.
Q: When is Volume II due for release?
Hopefully sometime around the Summer. The story is still evolving - the people persecuting the Rav within the Breslov community are continuing to manufacture new lies and slanders all the time. But at some point soon, we’ll have to conclude the story at whatever point it’s reached.
I guess there could always be a Volume III, if necessary!
Q: Why isn’t the book available in Jewish bookstores?
The short answer is that it’s far too controversial for Jewish bookstores, especially at this stage when so many people are only going on the false accounts they’ve read about or seen in the media.
I hope that as more people start to know the true story, that will change by the time Volume II is ready, and we’ll have more distribution channels in the Jewish world. For now the book is available on Amazon, and it will also be available on the Book Depository site too, which has free shipping worldwide.
Again if you have a comment or question that you’d like me to address (that doesn’t involve an expletive…) please feel free to email me HERE. This is a very important topic, and I’d be very happy to try to answer your questions about it, if I can.
Oooh ah, if I told you about all the stuff that's gone on behind the scenes with getting this book out, that would be a tale in itself.
And I'm still pretty nervous about what stunt the crazy people who have been persecuting the Rav might try to pull when they find out that this book is about to hit the bookshelves....but in the meantime, it's finally ready to pre-order!
This is Volume I, and it fills in a lot of the background about who Rav Eliezer Berland actually is, and how he came to be the defacto leader of modern-day Breslov.
Volume II, when that finally sees the light of day, will cover the years of the Rav's exile and incarceration, and explain what's really being going on for the last five years, and why.
So, you can go HERE to pre-order it on Amazon, and the book itself should be sent out to you on or around March 1st, 2018 - aka, Purim day.
I thought that was very fitting, given just how upside-down the world is at the moment, and how this book is hopefully going to play it's own small part in righting it.
After March 1st, BH there will also be a Kindle e-book available, and possibilities to buy the book from the Book Depository (which has free postage to Israel) and also direct from the ravberland.com website, which I think is planning to offer cheaper prices for bulk buyers.
In the meantime, it's out! And you can pre-order it HERE.
Now things are probably going to get interesting.
It’s often happened to me that God gives me a tremendous flash of insight in my hitbodedut, or talking to God, sessions, that I then have to try to explain to other people in logical terms.
And I usually struggle to do that, as the insight I get in hitbodedut isn’t a linear argument or a progression of information, it’s a quantum leap from one place to a completely different reality.
My poor husband has been on the receiving end of this so many times that now he just mutters ‘bina yetira’ when I’m trying to explain why I’ve just done something else that doesn’t make any sense, logically, yet I feel 100% with every fibre of my being that it’s the right thing to do.
So with that intro, here goes the ‘logical’ explanation which really only partially describes why I pressed ‘delete’ on my blog, motzae Shabbat.
Why I pressed 'delete' on my blog
It started a little earlier in the week when two things happened:
1) I got sent links to a really good, in-depth expose of the crazy psychos who have been hounding Rav Berland for well over a decade, and it was frankly more than a little disturbing to see the lengths these people were going to, when it came to trying to hurt and disrupt the Rav.
2) The draft of One in a Generation, the biography of Rav Berland, finally passed through all the editorial checks and obstacles, and was put up on Amazon for pre-order just a couple of hours before Shabbat came in, here in Israel.
I’ve known for months already that this book marks a huge turning point, at least spiritually, in the ongoing battle between truth and lies in the Jewish world. Rav Kook from Tiberius told us all very clearly that everything that happens with Rav Berland is directly connected to the geula, the redemption of Am Yisrael.
So I knew the publication of the book would mark a big upswing in something, that would probably kick-off the next stage of geula. (I only found out after Shabbat that probably the exact same time the book went up on Amazon, that Israeli jetfighter got shot down by Iranian proxies in Syria…)
So anyway, I’ve been feeling pretty excited, but also pretty nervous about this book coming out, because while it’s going to be a game changer, I was anxious about the anti-Berland psychos targeting me and trying to cause me issues and damage the way they’ve been doing to everyone else who is publicly ‘pro’ the Rav.
This is a very big reason why so many people who are ‘pro’ the Rav are keeping shtum, because no-one really has the stomach to fight these people.
You’ll remember a few months back, I got sued for the enormous sum of 40,000 shekels for posting up a picture of Rav Berland in court which I thought was covered by ‘fair use’, seeing as my blog is not commercial and I was writing about the story.
Long story short, even with a lot of help from the lawyer husband of a friend, my own lawyer husband, and a lawyer I had to pay to deal with it, I still ended up paying out around 7,000 shekels, because these people are ruthless.
"Why do I feel so anxious?"
Shabbat morning, I had a huge amount of anxiety going on, and as I started to dig around, what came up is that I was very nervous about the ‘anti’ psycho brigade combing through four years of Emunaroma to find another picture they could try to use against me, or another careless use of words that they could use to try to use to damage me in some way.
I also realized that they may try to hack my site and disable it, the way they did to ravberland.com a few months ago.
Which is when God gave me my brainwave: If I deleted my archive myself, on my own terms, ensuring that I had copies of all my articles saved on a stick somewhere, then these people wouldn’t be able to use Emunaroma against me.
As soon as that idea popped into my head, I felt so, so happy and really relieved.
Which is when I realized some more things about why it would be good to make a new start here on Emunaroma. With God’s help, I’ve built up quite a big audience over the last few years, which is a huge privilege - and also a huge responsibility.
And I haven’t always managed to carry that responsibility appropriately. While most of the time I’ve very careful with my lashon hara, and with trying to see Am Yisrael with a good eye, I’ve had times when that’s not the case, and I don’t want those things ‘out there’ permanently, bringing who knows what judgments down on my head.
I want Emunaroma to be a positive blog, to spread light and God’s goodness in the world, and ranting on about nasty people is not the best way to do that.
Now, I’m not saying it won’t happen again, because it probably will. But at least I got rid of the backlog in the meantime.
Words are so powerful
Another reason I pulled the plug is because having a ‘big’ blog presence can lead to some serious ego and arrogance problems. Words are so powerful, and there’s something very spiritually corrupting about the idea that ‘XX thousand people are reading my blog!’
I wanted to do some ‘blog teshuva’ and humble myself, so God doesn’t have to send me other hard things to do that job for me.
Another reason why I pulled the plug is because the idea of a new start is just so appealing.
I’ve had many occasions over the last few years when I had enough of blogging, and being so caught up online.
The plus of blogging is all the tremendously awesome people I’ve met through doing Emunaroma, but as the pressures on my time have grown astronomically over the last few months, I’ve been spending so much time typing, and so little time living, that I felt a desperate need for a grand gesture to redraw the balance.
Pressing ‘delete’ showed God, and showed me, that there is so much more to me and to my life than my blog.
With that certainty, I can now carry on blogging happily, and I’m not worried now that I’ve blogged my soul to the devil, and I’m stuck posting things up for the next 50 years just to keep my audience happy.
I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem
How different the world would look if people only blogged about things that were actually good to blog about, and not just out of a need to keep the audience coming back for the next installment.
So I’m hoping that by pressing ‘delete’, I will stop being part of the addicting internet problem, and make a small move in the direction of being part of the solution.
I can hope.
And the last reason I pulled the plug comes back to wanting what I write to be ‘real’ in some way, and not just virtual. Rav Ofer explained once that this world offers us fake ‘pleasure’ and fake ‘achievements’ to fool us into thinking there’s nothing else to aim for.
Every time hundreds of people read a blog post, that’s a really nice feeling. It gives me some real pleasure. But in the meantime, I feel like I want to be an author of books, real books, not just an author of virtual blog posts, however much I enjoy writing them.
The more time I spend online, the less time I’m writing real books. And real books is what I want to show my kids, and their kids, and what I want to fill my own shelves with.
A friend brought this point home to me last week when she emailed me an invite for her son’s bar mitzvah, then reassured me that she’d call to remind me too ‘because no-one really pays attention to things that are just on-screen.’
She is so right.
And I need to spend more time migrating my stuff off-screen and onto Amazon and the Book Depository.
All of these reasons sound reasonable, logical, possible. But none of them really capture the real reason why I pressed ‘delete’ on my blog, which is this:
Once I understood that this is what God wanted from me, I was happy to give it to Him.
In my own small way, it’s a korban I’m offering up to the Al-mighty, and I hope He finds its aroma pleasing.
And that’s why I know it’s going to lead to really good things happening, even though I can’t for one second explain what they might be.
Binah yetirah or crazy person alert.
You can decide, dear reader.
But in the meantime, I’m feeling happier about continuing to write for Emunaroma then I have been for a very long time.