The last three months or so, since Shavuot, I’ve been working on a book trying to piece together what’s really going on with all the freak weather, and how that’s connected to false science and the very real and ongoing danger posed by volcanic eruptions.
Once you get all the fake ‘billions of years’ timescales out the way, the pieces of the puzzle start to come into far clearer focus, and you can mamash start to see what’s gone on over the last few millennia.
The finished draft of that book was completed two days ago, Baruch Hashem, and now I’m typing this on an Easy Jet flight to the UK (which is why posting has been slow on Emunaroma, as you’re only going to be reading this when I’m back on holy ground, Bezrat Hashem) and because I got stuck with the window seat, I’m noticing a bunch of stuff I never realised before.
Like how from the sky, you can mamash make out where large quantities of lava were billowed out of the ground, both via volcanoes, and also simply via volcanic vents, where the earth simply cracked open and started pouring out magma.
That stuff is many of today’s mountains, and again, once you understand very clearly that mountains were not formed gradually over millions of years, the incredibly dramatic – and fast – way God created the world starts to be so obvious.
We just flew over a bit of Italy, and the old lava flows billowing out all over the place were so obvious from the air.
But I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking ‘if all this stuff about volcanoes creating the world is correct, and about massive geological changes occurring in very short timescales is correct, then why isn’t science talking more about all this stuff?’
The real, lengthy, answer is in the book, and I’ll let you know when it’s available to buy (and if anyone out there would like a free PDF copy of it to read and review in the meantime, I’ll let you know how to go about doing that too, shortly, when I hopefully get a bit more organised.)
But the short answer is this: science is living in denial about what’s gone on in the very recent past, and what is about to start happening again in the very near future.
VESUVIUS IS STILL ACTIVE
Let’s take Vesuvius, as an example of what I’m talking about, because most people have heard of this infamous volcano that exploded in 79 C.E., burying Pompeii and Herculaneum in millions of tons of super-heated lava and volcanic dust.
Pliny the Younger was an eye-witness to this deadly eruption, which killed an estimated 16,000 people, and he made Vesuvius famous for posterity by writing an account of the eruption to his friend, the Roman historian Tacitus.
If Pliny hadn’t done that, no-one would really know the extent of what had occurred around Vesuvius today. And let’s be clear that literate ‘Plinys’ who were friends with historians were pretty sparse on the ground when it came to cataloguing ancient volcanic eruptions.
So, we have Pliny’s historic account, which even today is used to describe ‘Plinian’ eruptions that shoot ash and gas straight up into the stratosphere and which can cause some very severe climate change and freak weather phenomenon for years.
We also have the entombed remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which has already disgorged more than a 1,000 victims of the volcano in those towns alone, and that’s just the ones who got preserved in the volcanic ash or left casts in the lava.
We have credible accounts that Vesuvius has erupted at least another 30 times since 79 C.E., including most recently in May 1944, when it destroyed 80 or so planes belonging to the US navy that were being housed on the ‘Pompeii Airfield’ nearby.
And the Italian government today knows that the volcano is still active, and could explode again unexpectedly and spectacularly at any point. The government knows this so well, it’s recently put a new evacuation plan in place to try to get the 700,000 people it’s identified as being in the worst danger zone out as fast as possible, should the worst happen again.
And yet, less than 10km away from Vesuvius you’ll find the modern city of Naples. Three million people today live within 20 miles of Vesuvius, and they could all be affected by another volcanic eruption the size of the one that buried Pompeii in 79 C.E.
The scientists and the government officials know all this. Even some of the people that actually live near Vesuvius know all this. And yet, that still hasn’t changed the enormous denial of reality going on.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, there are two more large, active and dangerous volcanoes close by to Vesuvius, too.
THINGS ARE ABOUT TO CHANGE
Now, I know we can’t walk around expecting the sky to fall in on our heads all the time (but now I type that, I’m definitely starting to understand that Chicken Little actually had a realistic basis for his paranoid delusions) – but we definitely can, and actually must, wake up to what’s really going on all around us at the moment.
I will write more about this soon, but volcanic eruptions over the last millennia have been strongly linked with the sun’s solar cycles, and particular what’s referred to as Grand Solar Minimums.
In a nutshell, Grand Solar Minimums happen around every 200-400 years or so, and it describes a situation where the sun stops producing sunspots.
Sunspots are bursts of intense solar energy that power-up the solar wind that actually contributes to the strength of the earth’s magnetic field. When there are a lot of sunspots, the magnetic field is strong and far fewer cosmic rays – like x-rays, gamma rays, UVC, etc – can penetrate through to the earth.
That means the weather is more stable, the climate is warmer (but crucially, less extreme – so warmer in a crop-growing, abundance-inducing good way) – and humanity and civilisation thrives, at least materially.
But the opposite happens in solar minimums generally, and when there is a Grand Solar Minimum – which means very few sun spots over a relatively long period of time – then the earth’s magnetic shield is weakened, and lots of cosmic rays from exploding stars in outer space start to filter through.
The science for what I’m about to tell you next is all footnoted in the book but cosmic rays wake up volcanoes and volcanic activity, particularly explosive volcanic activity. And volcanic activity vents more CO2 into the atmosphere, as well as other greenhouse gases like SO2, and also vents more CO2 into the oceans via the estimated one million underwater volcanoes.
A big reason why the Thwaites glacier in Antarctica is currently melting away, for example, is because it sits on a barely acknowledged massive volcanic field that the scientists think effectively died out thousands of years ago. But they’re wrong. And a few recent studies are even starting to prove that empirically.
Why all this matters – a lot¬ - is because the 200 years of warmer, stable and bounty-inducing weather effectively ended 5-10 years ago, and we are now apparently sliding into what could be another very intense Grand Solar Minimum.
The NOAA released stats for solar activity in July 2018 that show that the sun has effectively ‘flatlined’, to quote one climate blogger, and the sunspots have all but ceased.
And on cue, the volcanoes are waking up, and the seismic activity is increasing, and the magma is starting to shift and flow underground, and the gases contained in these subterranean magma chambers are starting to be heated and to rise up, causing methane-induced ‘wildfires’ all over the world.
In a nutshell, that’s what we are seeing happening all around us at the moment, and my best guess currently is that it is probably going to intensify for at least two more years, until 2020.
Some types of volcanic eruptions – like the one I wrote about HERE, Tambora – can cause freak weather and disrupt climate cycles for three years. I think that’s what is going on now. Some volcano seems to have erupted massively somewhere in a way that was either totally missed, or totally hidden, and that’s what is causing a repeat of the crazy weather that ALWAYS attends these types of volcanic eruptions.
There’s a possible culprit down in Ecuador which erupted in 2015, but was then put under media blackout for 50 days after it blew it’s top (why? No-one knows.) And maybe God will send me more clues, which I’ll continue to share with you.
But we are entering very turbulent times, Moshiach or no Moshiach. Crop failure is not a laughing matter, and it’s not so much cold weather that kills crops, as out-of-season freak weather, monster hail, drought and massive floods that kills crops. And that we’re seeing all over the world at the moment.
So to sum up: man-made climate change, my patootie.
The volcanoes are where it’s at. And more and more of them are starting to wake up.
I'm reposting this from last Chanuka, but with the Carr Fire burning, and the Mendocino Complex Fire burning, and with Portugal, Ireland and the UK burning, and Sweden burning, and Israel's south burning, it's probably even more relevant now than it was when I wrote it. Luminaries of fire - and the people who give them more power and influence - mamash destroy the world.
Someone asked me what I thought the message might be, that God was trying to send the Jewish people, by causing that terrible fire in Flatbush a couple of days ago. I told them I had no idea - because you have to be on an incredibly high spiritual level to even begin to guess at the real reasons for these things, and the people who are genuinely holding ‘there’ don’t rush their views into a Youtube shiur within 24 hours of the tragedy occurring.
But that discussion then brought me back around to pondering the notion of the ‘luminaries of fire and the luminaries of light’.
In Lesson II:67, Rebbe Nachman explains how the luminaries of fire get empowered in the world when the luminaries of light get diminished.
Who are the luminaries of light? They are the true Tzaddikim, and particularly the Tzaddik Yesod ha’olam (Tzaddik, the foundation of the world), the one true Tzaddik that is to be found in every single generation. Rebbe Nachman explains very clearly that when these Tzaddikim, and especially this true tzaddik: ‘becomes renowned and famous in the world, the eyes of the entire world are then opened…whoever becomes his follower…his eyes are opened and he becomes able to see.”
And what, exactly, does this person begin to see?
Rebbe Nachman explain that: “his eyes are opened and he sees and beholds himself, how he is holding in all of the traits…One also becomes able to see and behold God’s greatness in the world.”
In other words, when a person becomes the follower of a true tzaddik, or a luminary of light, he first starts to see himself honestly, and to understand just how many bad middot and negative character traits and behaviors he still needs to work on; and then, he also starts to recognize the hand of Hashem in the world, i.e. he starts to really internalize ein od Milvado - there is only God!
But when people don’t follow the true Tzaddikim, and instead chase after ‘luminaries of fire’ instead, then what happens?
“…when the luminaries of light are subdued, the luminaries of fire are empowered. And fires are caused in the world on account of the names of these ignominiously renowned people becoming great and enhanced, for this causes God’s name to disappear, the luminaries of light to become subdued and the luminaries of fire to become empowered….This is symbolized by the burning of the Temple.”
The lesson continues:
“…what was, is gone. For our Temple has already been burnt. However, now that God waits to return to us and rebuild our Temple, it behooves us not to hinder the Temple’s rebuilding, but rather to endeavor to build it….
“…by mourning over the Temple, one subdues the luminaries of fire, so that the luminaries of light…are empowered. Thus MiT’ABeL (mourning) is the acronym of ‘Lo T’varu Aysh B’chol Moshvoteykhem’ - (you shall not kindle any fire throughout your dwelling places), for by mourning, one subdues the luminaries of fire.”
There’s always so much to try to unpack in Rabbenu’s lessons, so again take all this with the caveat that I understand less than 1%, and that 1% is what I’m sharing here.
There’s a few key things that seem to be jumping out here, as follows:
1) The more we try to make ourselves followers of the true Tzaddikim, the more this will empower the good leaders, the ‘luminaries of light’ in the world, and weaken the ‘luminaries of fire’.
2) ‘Luminaries of fire’ are not just people like Oprah and all those other celebs, big-wigs and Hollywood A-listers getting burned out of their Bel Air mansions by the Thomas fire (which btw, is still burning and set to become the biggest wildfire in California’s recorded history).
‘Luminaries of fire’ are also all those suave rabbis and rockstar rabbanits who are full of themselves, and their own learning, and their own opinions and who frequently make some very harsh judgment calls against their fellow Jews.
It’s those people who magnify their own importance in the world, and who by so doing, minimize Hashem’s greatness. Luminaries of fire never talk about their own flaws, they never describe their own battles, they always have to come off as the clever know-it-alls who have an answer for everything.
If you want a no-fail short-cut to spotting a ‘luminary of fire’, anyone outside of Breslov circles who mocks and disdains Rebbe Nachman and his teachings is almost certainly a luminary of fire. And within Breslov itself, anyone who mocks and disdains Rav Berland is almost certainly a luminary of fire.
3) I’m inclined to think that some huge cosmic event was scheduled for the end of Chanuka, potentially involving a lot more fire and destruction than we’ve already seen - volcanoes simultaneously erupting, North Korean missiles being fired at mainland America, some huge, fiery ball of molten gases and metals coming a bit too close to planet earth - who knows what, exactly.
But as the ‘luminaries of light’ are getting more and more empowered, and more and more people are ‘opening their eyes’ to see what’s really going on in the world, on a number of levels, these decrees are being sweetened more and more.
4) This poor, holy family in NYC were another korban, and their deaths by fire - by the light of the Chanuka candles - has most certainly sweetened the ‘decrees of fire’ hanging over the Jewish people and the world.
5) The more we do our bit to empower the ‘luminaries of light’ and take down the ‘luminaries of fire’, the less these terrible tragedies will have to keep occurring.
6) We can do that, tachlis, by:
That’s a lot of hard work, I know.
But Lesson 67 seems to make clear that THIS stuff is what’s causing all the fires in the world.
Of course, no ‘luminary of fire’ is going to make those sorts of connections for us, because they don’t read (or understand…) Likutey Moharan and they don’t hold by Rebbe Nachman.
So if you really want to know where the truth lies, and what the message really is behind all these terrible fires coming to the world, you have to pray on it, and to ask God to really show you.
There is no other way.
Attention, ladies: If your husband is currently driving you bonkers, send him to Uman!
I know, I could give you the whole big shpiel about how sending your husband to Uman for Rosh Hashana will bring world peace, and speed the coming of Moshiach, and help to rectify the whole of Am Yisrael.
And that stuff’s all true, and all described in detail in various Breslov sources. But girlfren, really? You should send your husband to Uman for Rosh Hashana because between you and me, I know how annoying that guy can be, at least occasionally.
Yes, he’s sweet, and good-hearted and hard-working and often quite loving and generous. But he’s also half-earth, and that ‘earthy’ bit of him is far to drawn to making money, and cheering on the team, and spouting off ridiculous opinions, and spending too much time watching movies or surfing online.
I know how hard you’ve tried to get him to make more effort with the kids, and to get him to stop walking around like an egotistical stuffed-shirt, and to get him to open up and to be ‘real’ about what he’s really feeling, and what fears and worries he’s got that are really causing him to act and believe the way he does.
I know all this stuff makes pulling teeth (the old fashioned way, with a piece of string and minus anaesthetic…) look like a walk in the park, which is why I’m here to tell you straight what works to get the guy back on the right spiritual path. And it’s spelled:
Like so many of the Uman ladies out there, I don’t send my husband for an expensive, inconvenient jaunt to anti-semitic Ukraine just for the heck of it. I encourage him to go because I know how much spiritual help he’s going to get by Rabbenu at Rosh Hashana, that’s going to carry him - and me - through all the challenges we have to face in the coming year.
I know that sending my husband to Uman for Rosh Hashana means he’s going to come back with a drop more humility, a tad more introspection, an ounce more gratitude and generosity, a page more of learning, a bissel more emuna.
The guy goes to Uman, and he comes back and realizes all by himself, without me saying a word, that he needs to spend more quality time with the kids, or that he needs to stop worrying about money so much, or that he needs to start playing soccer again. (Hey, not every revelation you get in Uman is easy to predict…)
When our blokes go to Uman, they come back better husbands, and nicer dads. They come back with a lot more of a clue about their real path in life, and how best to travel it. And most important of all, they come back with much more appreciation for their homes, families and the good cooking of their loving wives.
And this stuff is priceless, never mind all the other spiritual ‘saving the world’ stuff that goes on there at Rosh Hashanah time.
There’s still time to book his ticket and lodging, and to make it even easier for you, I’ve pulled together some numbers to call. Try:
Derech Tzaddikim: +972-2-541-0100 - www.zadikimtours.com
David Bargshtein Tours: +972-2-999-2955 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Netivim Tours: +972-2-633-8444
Glatt Tour: +972-2-547-7600 - www.glattour.com
And if you want to do it the easy, 'anglo' way, try Inn Uman with Rav Arush and Rav Brody:
I know it’s not easy to pull the money together, I know it’s not easy to manage without him over the High Holidays for a few days, I know it’s mamash mesirut Nefesh (self-sacrifice) for the ladies who stay behind with their challenging broods.
But let me end by sharing the story of a lady I met a few years’ back, who was adamant that her husband shouldn’t go to Uman at Rosh Hashana, because Rosh Hashana was family time.
She was experiencing some serious difficulties with him, and his behavior, and no therapist or counsellor could touch them with a barge pole.
So, I suggested she send him to Uman for Rosh Hashana, and I got back a very stony stare, and a big explanation of how Rosh Hashana was a time when the family should be together.
Last year, she got divorced.
This is re-posted from last year, but it's so good, I think I may just keep posting it back up every Elul...
The weather in Jerusalem today is very strangely overcast for this time of year. It looks like it could rain, or snow, or hail.
We'll see what God has planned.
And in the meantime, I'm joining the bloggers' protest organised by Yaak, because after doing some praying on what God wants, I think that it's what God wants. BH, God's glory and light will be full revealed soon, the sweet way.
The more the world is getting crazy, the more the question is starting to loom:
Are we really ready for Moshiach?
Did we really do the work – on our bad middot like anger, jealousy, harsh judgment and vengeance (to name but a few that regularly come up for me)?
Did we really work on seeing Hashem’s hand behind every little thing that’s happening to us, for us and against us?
Did we really make an effort to give God what He really wants from us, even when it meant we went against what we really want for ourselves?
Are we connected to real Tzaddikim, who will shield us and protect us with their advice and spiritual merits?
That’s the question.
The more we can answer an honest ‘yes’, the less what’s going on right now will freak us out and scare us.
Moshiach is going to come with a lot of difficulties and natural disasters, we know that, the prophets told us.
The question is:
Are we really ready for Moshiach?
And if current events are getting too scary to deal with, it could be the answer is ‘no’, and that we really have our (inner) work cut out for us, over the next few weeks and months.
So, the huge big stone from the Kotel falling on the ‘egalitarian plaza’ where the reform and conservative people don’t come to pray was clearly a pretty obvious sign, like 101 Emuna level.
(BTW, if you see the video that stone didn’t really ‘fall’; it shot out of the wall like a bullet being fired from a gun.)
But now, over in Greece, God is getting a bit more subtle with His signs.
Quick recap: The last time the Greek-inspired Hellenists tried to take over Jerusalem, literally, with all of their Greek-inspired Gymnasiums and Theatres open on Shabbat was during the time of the Maccabees, the time of the Chanuka miracle.
The Sages say that back then, 99% of the Jews had gone Greek and assimilated, and it was a very small remnant that still clung onto their Jewish tradition. So the fact that GREECE is currently getting hit with their worst wildfires for decades, that have killed 74 people and counting is one clue.
Here’s a little of how Sky News is reporting what’s going on in Greece:
“All the survivors talk about the speed of the flames. It's hard to imagine, but flames in wild fires flow across landscapes almost like water.
“Patches of land are ignited not just through contact with existing flames but simply through the heat. That's how the fires manage to jump across roads.
“The erratic and unusually strong winds pushed the fires in various directions which changed quickly.
“People said the flames seemed literally to be chasing them.”
I think the fire is coming up from the ground. I think all these wildfires in the UK, Sweden (now at 53 and counting, with at least four fires raging out of control) are being started because something hot is approaching nearer to the surface of the earth. I’ll come back to this again with more details in a future post, BH.
Another clue is where those fires are burning in Greece: Attica.
For those who speak Hebrew, the connection is obvious. For those who don’t, the Old City of Jerusalem is called ‘Ir Attica’ in Hebrew, or ‘Old /Ancient City’.
Seems to me God took some of the punishment coming our way and poured it out on those Greeks, whose ancestors undoubtedly helped to cause all the assimilationist mess we’re still dealing with today, thanks to Greek / Roman / Western culture.
Despite all the din coming down right now, there is still so much mercy mixed in.
But God’s patience is not infinite, and we ALL still need to do a bunch of teshuva, and to work on our emuna and being real with Hashem.
It’s so easy to point fingers at the lefties and weirdos, and to accuse them of all that is wrong on the world. But we can’t change them, and God doesn’t expect us to.
We can only change us.
And if we don’t do that, then we will be held 100% accountable for adding more fuel to the fire that’s coming to the world, instead of trying to tamp it down.
In the meantime, steer clear of the egalitarian plaza. I have the feeling this could only be the beginning of God’s hand in the world becoming more and more obvious.
While corrupt, politicized modern science keeps telling us that people are causing climate change, that’s not true. God is causing climate change, and the way that volcanoes interact with the atmosphere are a key part of how God is doing this, in accordance with the laws of nature.
In this post, I want to introduce you to a massive volcanic explosion that occurred 200 years ago, because the parallels between the weather in the world then, and the weather in the world now, are uncanny.
And there was no ‘man-made climate change’ to blame, 200 years ago. BH, I’ll get to the radiometric dating cobblers next, because pushing everything back millions and billions of years means science is consistently missing the mark in terms of figuring out what is really going on, and its true impact and import.
If more people knew that every single volcano in the world has gone off in the last 6,000 years, it would bring a heck of a lot more of us back to God, wouldn’t it? And I guess that’s why they’ve constructed such an elaborate web of deceit to stop that being so obvious.
VOLCANOES AND THE LITTLE ICE AGE
1810-1819 was apparently the world’s coldest decade since modern records began. There was an average decline of global temperature of 1.5 °F over a decade, plus those years saw a number of extreme weather and geological events.
The years 1250-1850 are actually referred to as ‘The Little Ice Age’, because before 1250, there are accounts of Englishmen growing wine grapes, and of the Danes setting up farming colonies in what is now frozen Greenland.
According to scientist Alan Robock: “Responsibility for the little ice age lies with a spasm of major volcanic eruptions in the 13th century, possibly starting with an unknown tropical volcano in 1258.”
Tambora is one of the many volcanoes clustered along the Indonesian archipelago, forming part of the ‘Ring of Fire’. The Ring of Fire stretches on for almost 40,000 km, and encompasses much of the Pacific ocean. Before it exploded in spectacular fashion on April 10th, 1815, it had apparently been dormant for around 1,000 years.
Tambora started rumbling again in 1814, when the European powers colonizing the Island received reports that it had started throwing up ash clouds. However, the ash clouds died down, peace returned, and the natives continued to go about their business. Tambora at that time was richly forested, and had a very healthy agrarian economy. It was an island of plenty, in every sense of the word.
But all that changed on April 5th, 1815, when huge plumes of fire started issuing from its cone, shooting vertically up into the atmosphere in a way that’s called a ‘Plinian eruption’ by the scientists, after Pliny the younger’s eye-witness account of the way Vesuvius exploded, in 79 C.E. At that time, the eruption continued for three hours, spewing fire way up into the air.
Then again, calm. The Islanders weren’t to know it, but it was the last bit of calm before a storm whose reverberations would continue to be heard around the planet for years. On April 10th, 1815, three distinct columns of fire started shooting out of the volcano’s summit, then 50 cubit kilometres of boiling magma swiftly followed.
To top it off, the Islanders were then hit with a hail of massive pumice stones mixed with hot rain and ash that covered the Island, poisoned the water supplies and killed 10,000 people straight off the bat.
But more was to come. A volcano-induced hurricane blew up at the same time, ripping whole forests up by their roots and blowing what was left of the Islanders dwellers to smithereens.
THE POMPEII OF THE EAST
In 2004, a team of researchers from the Rhode Island University and the Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation in Indonesia returned to Tambora to try to dig up the remains of the villagers that had been destroyed almost 200 years’ earlier.
They needed a local guide to help them locate the right area to dig in, as greenery had been growing over the area for years. As they started to dig, they hit a metre-thick layer of compacted ignimbrite from 1815, and then started to find dwellings that had been incinerated then immediately buried in volcanic, laying bare the awful disaster that had engulfed the Island.
One of the houses they dug out of the compacted volcanic ash was a modest dwelling on wooden stilts with a thatched roof and walls made of bamboo. They found that it, and the two people inside it, had been carbonized by a super-heated volcanic ash that Harold Sigurdsson, one of the main researchers leading the dig, estimated to be at least 538°C. Human bone had been turned to charcoal, instantly.
10,000 people had been killed almost instantaneously when they were engulfed by a massive flow of super-heated magma, ash and gas that left the village buried in three metres of debris. According to. Haroldsson, the pyroclastic flow from Tambora extended “from the volcano in all directions to a distance of at least 40 km radially, and within that zone … there is an extinction of life.”
The boiling hot lava continued to flow for a full day, adding many kilometres of new land to the coastline, eventually covering an area measuring 560 km and burying North East Sumbawa “under a smoking, one metre high layer of ignimbrite.”
After the dust had cleared, the summit of Tambora sank into a 6 km-wide caldera, and the surviving Islanders tried to take stock of the damage.
117,000 people died in the immediate aftermath of the eruption, from tsunamis, starvation, sickness and ash-poisoned water – but these terrible effects were localized.
The same cannot be said for the volcanic ash released when the volcano finally blew off its cone, sending ash and gas 43 km up into the stratosphere, creating ‘sun-dimming stratospheric aerosols’ that would have a severe impact on the world’s weather for the next three years.
EFFECTS OF TAMBORA’S ERUPTION:
2)Pyroclastic flow (molten rock, magma and superheated gases)
3)Vog and laze, as the lava hit the sea
4)‘Violent whirlwind’ / volcanic hurricane, which uprooted trees and caused large animals and human beings to fly upward into the storm
5)12 ft high tsunami
6)The earth sinks after Tambora’s cone collapses.
Both the ‘plinian event’ itself, and the phoenix clouds’ can inject a lot of volcanic matter into the stratosphere. But Tambora’s two explosions actually only accounted for 4% of its total output.
For years’ afterwards, rafts of volcanic pumice stone containing the carbonized remains of wood from Sumbawa’s lush forests were found as far away as the Indian Ocean.
Neighboring Bali was covered in ash that stacked up a metre deep, and two days of darkness covered the whole of South East Asia, in a volcanic night that expanded for over 600 km. An entire people, their culture and their language literally disappeared overnight.
“On account of the wholesale deforestation of the Island, the Sumbawan micro-climate changed radically, becoming far drier,” and a new phrase was developed to describe the weather in the aftermath of Tambora” the ‘zaman hujan’ or ‘time of the ash rain’.
THE YEAR WITHOUT A SUMMER
It lead to 1816 being dubbed the ‘Year without a Summer’ in New England, the ‘Year of the beggar’ in Germany; and crops failing repeatedly all over the world, causing mass starvation, epidemics of cholera and typhus – and tremendous social unrest.
By 1818, the volcanic ash from Tambora had finally cleared out of the high-altitude atmosphere, and the more stable weather and bumper harvests returned to Europe. Which was terrible news for America’s farmers, who’d been banking on high European prices for their crops to pay down their debts. That in turn sparked the ‘Panic’ of 1819.
The eruption of a giant volcano locally could easily devastate a regional economy in a few short hours – as it did on Tambora – and it can also seriously impact the world’s climate and agriculture for years afterwards.
THE FREAK WEATHER OF 1816-1818
On July 5th, 1816, a couple of months after Tambora’s massive explosion, residents of the Italian town of Taranto reported that a strange red snow – clearly some of the Tamboran ash – had appeared on their doorsteps.
Lord Byron also wrote a poem, ‘Darkness’, immortalizing the creepy European weather he was experiencing on the continent, including a line talking about ‘when candles were lit at noon’.
Also in 1816, the awful weather, crop failures, famines and subsequent sickness and epidemics that occurred gave rise to a growing sense that the ‘End of Days’ had arrived. An astronomer in Bologna predicted that the world would end on July 18, 1816 – and things were looking so bad, many people believed it.
It was, after all, the year of no Summer, where sunspots could be seen with the naked eye giving rise to the rumor that the sun would slowly be completely blotted out – something that the heavy flooding, bitter cold and unusually gloomy atmosphere throughout June did nothing to really mitigate.
On July 26 1816, The Leicester Mercury reported that “such inclement weather is scarcely remembered by the oldest person living”, while August just saw more terrible flooding and crazy lightning storms across the continent.
Another contemporary poet, Samuel Coleridge, wrote about ‘This end of the world weather’ and that was the prevailing sentiment across the Western world. The story of one elderly spinster called Eleanor Saunders made the English papers when the woman decided to hang herself before the day appointed as ‘the End’.
Over in Sweden, the Queen paraded into church at the head of a crowd of 6,000 peasants to pray for mercy, while the Hindu Temples of Bengal were also full of people praying for rain. Because Europe wasn’t the only place affected by Tambora’s eruption. Over on the Indian sub-continent, they were having the opposite problem from rain-drenched, frozen Europe: the monsoon season never came in 1816.
SOME BITS PARCHED, OTHER BITS FLOODED
At the same time there was an incredible heatwave in India and no rain, there was record-breaking cold in much of Europe, and no sun. And the freak weather continued until 1818, with the Indian droughts of 1816 giving way to the worst floods for a hundred years and unprecedented hail storms which destroyed spring crops and fruit trees across India.
China was also badly affected. 1815 saw snow fall in Summer in the Hainan province, and the winter was so severe it killed half the region’s forests. Again in 1817, there was a ‘crop-killing Summer frost’ in the Shanxi province, which prompted another mass migration, because while rice is an extremely hardy plant, the one thing guaranteed to kill it is a Summer cold snap. And Yunnan had record low temperatures for three years running, until 1818.
Meanwhile, up in the Arctic, they were again having the ‘opposite’ problem: in 1817, Sir Joseph Banks, First Lord of the British Admiralty 4:17 reported that the Arctic ice was rapidly melting. And while 1810-1819 was the coldest decade on record in Europe and North Eastern America, in Southern Greenland the temperature was constantly 5.5°C higher than usual throughout.
The people of that time and place didn’t know that the sun was going through what is called today the ‘Dalton Minimum’, but in so many other ways, what was going on then was clearly so similar to what is still going on now, almost exactly 200 years’ later.
And remember, the industrial revolution hadn’t yet begun, so industrialization and man-made Co2 was not what was behind these crazy weather patterns and extreme climate change: volcanoes were.
MISSING THE LESSON WITH ICE AGES
By 1818, the three super-cold years experienced by Europe, as a result of the ash fallout from Tambora’s eruption, led to the creation of a new ‘ice dam’ in the heart of the Val de Bagnes mountains in Switzerland.
The unusually cold temperatures encouraged the advance of the Gietro Glacier, which blocked the mouth of a local river creating a huge lake overnight, which measured 3 ½ km by 200 metres, and which was easily 60 metres deep. As spring turned into Summer, the Swiss authorities brought in experts to try to carve a tunnel through the ice dam, to enable the trapped water to leak out slowly, without destroying the villages and plain beneath.
The plan half-worked. Around a third of the lake’s capacity trickled out before the ice dam itself cracked open on June 16, 1818, and a 100ft high tsunami of water gushed through the gorge, throwing huge boulders around and dragging enormous blocks of glacial ice down with it. Entire forests were ripped out by their roots, as the violent floodwaters rushed past.
After the flood has passed through the gorge and the plains below, the locals fields were covered with a 60 km stretch of flood plain that was full of mud, smashed houses and buildings, and enormous amounts of vegetation, rocks, ice blocks and many dead animals and human victims of the flood, too.
“Tambora’s April 1815 eruption launched enormous volumes of long-suppressed volcanic rock and gases more than 40 km into the stratosphere. This volcanic plume – consisting of as much as 50 cubic km of total matter – eventually spread across one million sqkm of the Earth’s atmosphere, an aerosoal umbrella six times the size of Mount Pinatubo’s 1991 cloud.”
While some places were barely affected, including Russia and Western USA, other places saw a massive 5-6°F drop in temperature that lasted three years.
HURRICANES IN HAMBURG
In 1817, there were hurricanes in Hamburg and Amsterdam, and terrible hailstorms in France, while Switzerland was dealing with awful downpours and flooding. Throughout the Summer of 1817, hailstones as large as ‘hazelnuts’ or ‘pigeon’s eggs’ were described by Howard.
Between 1816-1817, the bad weather had affected harvests so severely, that crop yields in the UK and on the European continent had dropped by over 75%, contributing to the Bread Riots in the UK, and food riots in other European towns and cities, too. In France, it sparked off a new round of revolutionary riots. Sir Thomas Raffles left an eyewitness account of seeing the starving poor all over the place in Switzerland and France.
Everywhere you looked, people were fighting over food, which was in very scarce supply. The mortality rate in 1817 was 50% higher than in 1815 – when many hundreds and thousands of people were dying as a result of the Napoleonic Wars.
Thousands of Swiss moved to Russia, or left for America, and there are even apocryphal tales of Swiss mothers killing their starving children with their own bare hands, to give them a more merciful death.
IRELAND’S GREAT FAMINE
During the Summer of 1816, 31 inches of rain fell on Irish fields and forests between May and October of that year, saturating the land with water and destroying the crops being grown in the field. Between February and October, the mean temperature in Dublin fell by 3.5°, and the Irish corn crop in 1816 was caked in a highly unusual red volcanic dust.
As the people slowly started to starve to death, while their British overseers in the Houses of Parliament did nothing to relieve their hunger of suffering, it was a matter of time before epidemic sickness also swooped in.
Epidemics nearly always ride on the back of hunger and starvation. A weakened human being is easy prey for the germs and viruses that cause epidemic sickness. Whereas a healthy human being can normally withstand them, and fight them off, a starving one quickly succumbs – and infects others.
65,000 died of Typhus in Ireland between 1816-17, and as the disastrous weather and famine continued, that was up to 80,000 by 1818. In 1818, typhus also began to spread on the neighboring British mainland, too.
THOMAS JEFFERSON GOES BUST
Meanwhile, over in the NE United States, early May saw choking dust clouds being reported in Washington DC, while snow fell in June in 1816. The weather was all over the place: First there was a cold snap, then there were two days of temperatures of up to 80°F, then it was back to “widespread frosts on the nights of June 3-4th.”
The frost struck repeatedly throughout the months of June, July and August, 1816 – the principle crop-growing season. As the weather in the NE United States appeared to get worse and worse, hundreds of thousands of people ‘fled to the hills’ and went West, where the climate was better (although they had to kill a lot of Native Americans to take over their land. Hey, ‘survival of the fittest’, after all!)
While 1817 also saw a huge spike in the numbers of people emigrating to the US due to the awful conditions prevailing in Europe, many of the old-time founding families were also struggling to survive the vagaries of the climate.
Thomas Jefferson, to quote one well-known personality, was ultimately bankrupted by the terrible weather of 1816-18, and the ‘Panic’ that occurred in 1819 when the good harvests returned to Europe in 1818, and the price commanded by American crops that year fell through the floor.
300 American banks failed overnight during the climate-inspired Panic of 1819 – and Jefferson and many other Americans lost everything they had, and had to sell up.
It should be remembered that Tambora was just ONE volcano... And there have been many more eruptions throughout history, some much bigger, and many taking place at once as God causes the climate to change.
The last century has been unusually quiet, so the atheists could have their best shot at pulling people away from Hashem. But things are picking up now, and things are changing in the world, in a whole bunch of ways.
BH, I will share more of what I'm discovering with you as we go along, because the illusion that society is 'stable' and that the world is slow-acting and practically never-changing is simply that: an illusion.
The last 12 months or so, since last Elul, I’ve been feeling like the whole Jewish calendar somehow got mixed up, at least for me. The whole of Elul, instead of lifting me up to the heights of teshuva, something happened to show me that I was not on the lofty spiritual level I really thought I was, and spent weeks feeling absolutely heartbroken and kind of washed-up, Jewishly.
It’s hard to be a baal teshuva the first time around. It’s even harder when you’ve been a baal teshuva for 20+ years, and then God shows you how much work you still have to do.
But then it was Rosh Hashana. A new year! A new beginning! A time to turn things around. I couldn’t find a shul to daven in, so I went to the default local shul, full of ‘traditional’ Moroccans.
There was a Downs syndrome boy on the other side of the partition who got so excited by the Shofar blowing, he started making all sorts of yells and weird noises.
Of course, you’re meant to be quiet when the shofar is blown. Of course, this precious soul was bringing God so much more nachas with his whoops then all the studied ‘silence’ of the rest of us.
Immediately after shofar blowing, some idiot man started berating the boy and his father and demanded that they leave the shul immediately. On Rosh Hashana! The argument spread to the women’s section and there on the first Day of Judgment, the most awful sinat chinam was going on, all for the best, most holy reasons, of course.
I didn’t know it then, but that shul was right next to the house we were destined to fail at buying this year, which plunged us into our own maelstrom of self-righteous arguments and sinat chinam. Probably, the woman who was selling it was sat in the women’s section too, being covered in all that machloket fall-out.
The whole thing showed me how hugely important Rosh Hashana really is, it really does set the tone and create the blueprint for the year. Thank God, my husband was in Uman by Rabbenu for Rosh Hashana, because I dread to think how much worse things could be, otherwise.
Then, the first of the days of awe – my mother-in-law unexpectedly died, and me and my husband found ourselves back on a plane to the UK. I spent the majority of the days of awe eating fishballs from the only kosher deli in town (where all the nice serving people are Liverpudlian yoks) and packets of blueberries, serving tea and making ‘small talk’ at the shiva – just like you’re not meant to do – and then topped that off with unavoidable ‘hugs’ with grieving men from my husband’s extended family.
The only plus in my favor is that by compromising our ‘religious standards’, and eating food we wouldn’t usually eat, and keeping quiet about things that upset us and disturbed us greatly, we made a lot of peace with a lot of people we’d been fighting with for years.
But we got back to Israel erev Yom Kippur, and I was so exhausted I literally slept the whole way through the chag.
Succot happened in a fog – not least because we’d just been told our landlord was selling the apartment we’d been renting for 3 ½ years, so it was no stretch to feel the ‘temporary’ nature of our lives and our dwelling, and Chanuka also passed in a blur as we were trying to buy AND also trying to rent something for six months and both my kids were stressed to the max over their new ulpanas (dorming high schools).
All year, it’s felt like the festivals have been creeping up on me before I was ready, and that I have been so spiritually unprepared and on the back foot and doing everything at ‘bare basic’ level.
Two days before Purim, we moved house, so that was another holiday that passed in a blur.
Then Pesach arrived, and with it a bunch of guests for seder that we’d recently made peace with in the UK. Kids were trying to blow out my Shabbos / Pesach candles, flipping the toilet light on and off (because I forgot to tape it down….), pressing the door buzzer for two minutes, really loudly…
We had a slight stand-off by the end of the seder, as the guests wanted to skip Hallel, and I refused. I told them ‘leave if you want, but we’re going to the end’. So a compromise was reached where my husband sped-read through Hallel in the record time of 11.36 minutes so peace would continue to reign.
But I didn’t feel so happy about it. I felt maybe I was compromising too much for the sake of peace….
The next day, the first day of counting the Omer, the bombshell dropped that the bank had pulled their mortgage approval, plunging us into months of machloket, yeoush, anger – and enormous work to try to rustle up some real emuna.
All year, God has been showing me that He wants peace, not standing on principle, and all year, I’ve been trying to give Him what He wants, but it’s come really, really hard.
So, we get to the week before Tisha B’av, and the situation with the house is giving me no peace. Their disgusting lawyer tells us we ‘burnt their house’ and I know that’s a hint from God to look past the puppet show and see what’s really going on here.
But I can’t sleep, I can’t concentrate, I’m consumed by agitation and fear and rage – and we just hit the nine days when it’s all about fixing the sinat chinam that ‘burnt God’s house’ and is still continuing today.
God, what am I meant to do to fix this! The situation is so bad, it’s so unfair, it’s boiling up every bad middot I own!!!
God told me last week: Go and do six hours, and beg Me to help you make peace.
So that’s what I did. The day after I did that, my husband got a phone call from the estate agent that brokered the deal: the other side want to talk, without lawyers, they want to come to some agreement.
We met on Friday – erev Tisha B’av! – and again, God is the one that made the peace because all we did for an hour was argue. It looked to me like we were going to end up in court. Me and my husband stepped outside to discuss what was going on (and to avoid punching someone…) and when we returned 10 minutes later…. The other side had transformed.
Gone was all the blaming, distortion and power plays. On the table was a simple proposal: pay our costs to date, and we’ll finish everything peacefully next week.
We still need to agree what those costs actually are, but a sum was named that sounded reasonable, and much better than the amount our ridiculous contract stated we needed to pay.
Bezrat Hashem, the sinat chinam disappeared, and the path of peace prevailed.
Instead of Tisha B’Av, I feel like I’m already in Elul.
Let’s be clear, that it wasn’t us that did anything. God did the many miracles last week, and I also tried to bind myself to all the tzaddikim of the generation before we sat down at the table, to let them take over the actual discussion.
All I did, a lot, was yearn for peace, and ask God to save me from being overwhelmed by my enormous bad middot, especially my arrogance and my victory-seeking tendencies.
Because making peace is not easy, not at all. It means coming off my high horse, and trying to see the other side, and accepting that everything that’s happening is only and solely coming from Hashem.
I’m writing this on the tenth of Av – this year’s pushed-off fast of Tisha B’Av. And I’m writing this because the one thing Hashem really wants from the Jewish people is for us to make peace with each other.
Don’t wait until Rosh Hashanah, do it now, in the seven or so weeks we have until the Yom HaDin. Make peace with your relatives, even if you’ll have to suffer through a ‘man hug’, eat dodgy fishballs and rush through the more meaningful bits of your seder.
Make peace with the people you’re arguing with, even if it’s going to cost you some money, and the satisfaction of seeing them eat it.
But most of all, make peace with your husband (or wife…) and your children. Stop holding all those old grudges in your heart, and stop blaming them for the things that aren’t going right in your life.
Last week, on the Ari’s yarhtzeit, my teenager started telling me some really hurtful, yucky things about myself– all the things I secretly worry about, but try not to notice too much. She threw them all in my face, which to be fair I completely deserved, because I’d started berating her about not taking school seriously enough and wasting her life, which wasn’t really accurate or fair.
So, she hit back with ‘teenage troof’, maximum strength, and as my blood started to boil – the oven shorted out and a small fire sparked behind it, right next to the gas pipe. We both held our breath for a very long second. Thank God, the fire burned out, I turned off the gas, she turned off the electric mains, and I unplugged the scorched oven plug with a long, grateful sigh.
Machloket is what burns down the house.
Machloket is what burned down the Temple.
This Tisha B’av, let’s really try to fix the problem at its root: i.e. in our own homes, and our own lives.
According to the Watchers website, Sweden is currently experiencing an unprecedented 40 forest fires burning, with three of those inside the Arctic circle.
The temperature in Sweden has risen to 20 degrees fahrenheit above 'normal' for Summer, and has stayed there for a month.
As you'll recall from THIS post, the UK also has fires raging out of control, and no-body knows how they are starting or why they are so hard to put out. Mangabey's comment on this post inspired me to get and see what Sweden, in particular, might have done to be getting hit right now with all this stuff. Here's just the latest example - from yesterday! - of what I found.
Seems to me that Hashem is becoming more and more visible from this point forward, and that the payment is finally coming due, for a whole bunch of people, and in a whole bunch of ways:
Freedom Flotilla: Swedish MP Calls on Sweden’s Government to Impose Sanctions on Israel
July 18, 2018Jeanette Escanilla of Sweden’s Left Party says protecting Palestinian rights requires Sweden to go beyond recognition of the State of Palestine
Dear readers, thanks for all of your kind words. I'm feeling pretty yuck at the moment, so please forgive me for not responding to each one. BH, after the fast we'll all start feeling much better and happier again.
It’s not going to shock you if I tell you I’m not a tzaddik, right? I mean, if you’ve been reading my stuff for a while, or even just for the last couple of weeks, you should already know that I’m really not a tzaddik, and that I struggle with some enormous bad middot, a lot of the time.
What stops me from turning into a full-blown psycho is hitbodedut, the practice of talking all my stuff through with Hashem for an hour every single day, and the police. ;-)
But even so, the last few days I have been struggling, and struggling, and struggling some more to stay on top of a rising internal feeling that I can’t take much more of this.
The ‘this’ in question being the awful situation I’m in with the mendacious and greedy seller of the apartment, whose lawyer is refusing to even respond to our letters, or even begin to discuss giving us back at least the part of the deposit we paid over that they have no possible legal
That it’s unfair is one thing. That she lied through her teeth to trap us into signing the contract is another thing. That our lawyer was cack and her lawyer was a Mafioso is still yet another thing.
So far, the hitbodedut has helped me to deal with all that stuff enough that I’m not going crazy.
But now, I’ve hit the worst: inaction.
Nothing is getting anywhere and I can’t see anyway of moving this forward without going into mega-psycho mode.
I’m a nice, polite British woman much of the time. But inside, there’s this hulk, and you really don’t want to get it angry.
(Just ask my husband).
God has helped me with my anger issues so much the last few years, and it’s really transformed my home and my relationships, especially with my kids.
But the bad middot are back bubbling away furiously inside now, and I told God this morning: I can’t take much more of this.
I feel like I’m trying to keep the lid clamped down tight on all the rage, and to try to turn it into emuna via my hitbodedut sessions, but I’m reaching the limit of what I can handle.
The hulk is starting to get very restless. And you really don’t want to get it angry.
So I asked God straight today, to please start properly fighting on my behalf, because if I take up arms against our seller, there is no telling how bad it could get. And I really don’t want to fight with her. Not because I’m scared, and not even because I might lose, but because it’s really not what God wants me to do.
He wants me to have emuna, and to let Him fight the battle, in whichever way that needs to happen.
And I want that too.
But I can’t hang on much more, the way it is. It has to change soon, something has to shift, something has to move.
Because otherwise, I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop my bad middot from bubbling out, and making an already bad situation even worse.
And that’s the last thing I want 3 days before Tisha B’Av.
On the volcanic 'pressure building' front, the USGS has started publically slandering Dutchsinse, the earthquake forecasting guy on Youtube, since he started telling people 3.0+ quakes are hitting the centre of the Mauna Loa volcano, on Hawaii.
Recently, the USGS has also been cutting the earthquake feeds on the West Coast of the US, making it very hard for anyone to figure out what's really going on.
My guess is: the pressure is building, underground.
There are fissures showing up in the ground next to Yellowstone, the caldera of Kilauea has collapsed but the magma is now starting to come back, and who really knows how all the pressure is going to get released that won't involve a huge volcanic explosion and / or a massive earthquake.
Although, God can always turn down the heat again, if that's what He chooses to do.
In the meantime, Dutchsinse is offline, and he was the best source of real-time info and insight about what's really going on, seismically, that's out there.
And from the last few forecasts, things are only getting MORE active, not less.
The pressure builds, indeed.
Like my stuff? Then please consider becoming a PATRON - click the button below to support Emunaroma for just $1 a month.