No-one would argue that everyone has their own fair share of heartbreak, upset and stress in life. It manifests in different ways for all of us, according to what God decides we need to experience or rectify, but heartbreak, upset and disappointment are ‘bad’ experiences for all of us, whatever’s causing them.
Many years’ ago in London, I had a good friend who was very competitive (I also was very competitive at that point – survival of the fittest, after all!) We would compete over many issues, including how many people we’d invited for seder, how much money we’d given to charity, how early we’d got into work (she beat me – regularly showing up to the office at 5am was completely off my radar.)
It was only many, many years later that I realized we’d also been competing on how much suffering we were going through, too. I’d tell her my story of infertility (before God blessed me with my two amazing kids) and she’d counter that with something awful that had just happened to her sister.
I’d tell her about my stress at work, and she’d counter that with her ‘awful boss’ story. This pattern continued when we both got to Israel. I’d tell her how we’d lost our house and run out of money, trying to ‘win’ the ‘I’m suffering the most, be nice to me’ battle, and she’d counter with how she was on the verge of divorce…or how her kid was cracking up…or how she was under so much stress she needed anti-depressants….
On and on it went.
Until one day, I realized what was going on, and I had to start pulling myself up on it.
Why are you trying to squeeze sympathy out of people, Rivka? Why are you trying to throw your problems in other people’s faces? Don’t you think everyone has their ‘thing’ going on, too? Don’t you think everyone feels their own pain at the moment?
We are a pained and afflicted people, everything is contusion and wound, from head to foot. The prophet told us it would be like this, before Moshiach comes.
The question is, what can we really do about it? We all have problems we can’t solve, we all have stress we can’t defuse, we all have situations and circumstances that are stretching us to breaking point, in some way or other.
Trying to compete over whose problem is bigger, or more painful, or more deserving of sympathy is utterly pointless, and just causes more division and ‘competition’ between us.
Because who is in a position to really measure it, anyway, and to decide whose pain is greater?
So the answer has to lie in a different direction.
The answer has to lie in developing some emuna, and putting God back into the picture. Everything that’s happening right now is coming from God, for the apparently ‘good’, or for the opposite. Everything that’s happening right now contains a message about what we ourselves need to work on, acknowledge, rectify or improve.
This is the three rules of emuna, that Rav Arush set down so clearly in his books, namely:
I’ve noticed a lot of people have a problem with that first rule. What, God’s behind the Palestinians, behind World War II, behind everyone’s problems and suffering?!?
That’s the first rule of emuna, and it’s the first principle of faith codified by the Rambam. God did, does and will do everything.
Without that starting point, we will spend many long years barking up the wrong tree and blaming everyone and everything for things that actually all boil back down to our own relationship with God.
Who kicked the people out of Netiv Avot?
Who is sending incendiary kites, and rockets, over the Gaza border?
Who is ultimately behind all the injustice and ‘bad’ in the world?
To think otherwise makes us a xtian who believes that the devil has equal or even greater powers than Hashem, and is somehow operating ‘above’ God’s explicit control, God forbid.
That’s heresy! That’s anti-emuna!
That’s the opposite of what it means to be a believing Jew, a believing human being.
Ein od milvado.
So the first stage is to work on acquiring this level of emuna, and that by itself is a lifetime’s work.
But then, there’s the next stage, that everything that’s happening to us is somehow ‘good’. Again, how can this be? How can a holocaust be ‘good’, how can losing a child be ‘good’, how can being made homeless, or getting sick, or having your field all burned up by a Palestinian kite be ‘good’?
Again, the answer boils down to whether you accept that we are here to work on our souls, and to rectify things spiritually (which is the Jewish understanding of things) or whether you think God owes you a great life in the here and now and that this world is really where it’s all at (which is the Greek / xtian view of things.)
Once, a man who was suffering from terrible pains in his teeth and body came to see Rebbe Nachman. He’d been suffering awfully for years, and couldn’t take it anymore. The Rebbe told him: Even with all the pain you are suffering right now, just one singe in gehinnom is so much worse!
We are in this world to pay down our spiritual debts, and to fix the things we broke, and to develop our souls by clinging to God in the midst of all our difficulties.
We are not here to lead an easy life.
Again, when I first read these ideas, I was really angry and upset about them, and didn’t want to accept their validity. It goes against everything a Western (xtian…atheist…materialist) person is taught to believe about the purpose and point of life.
Drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die!
Jews don’t hold by that. Jews believe ‘do mitzvahs, learn Torah, do kindnesses for others and be happy with your lot, because tomorrow we die and that’s when the real joy and enjoyment and bliss starts.’
And the main mitzvah we have to do is to learn some emuna, and to understand that ein od milvado, there is only God, and God is good, and none of our suffering is stam, random.
Which brings us to the third rule of emuna: what’s the message, or lesson?
For as long as we refuse to see God’s hand in our lives, and for as long as we’re blaming other people, and we’re angry at other people, we can’t figure out the real response to this question, and we will look to superficial external reasons like our skirts not being long enough, or our kashrut not being strict enough.
Of course, tznius and kosher are important, that’s not what I’m saying. But I’m saying the real work to do down here is our middot, our personality traits, our way of looking at the world, and interacting with other people.
If we are keeping basic mitzvahs like kosher, taharat mishpacha, tznius and Shabbat, then the first place we need to look for the ‘message’ is in our middot.
God wants good middot, not just the longest skirt
I spent years agonizing over my skirts until I realized that God was far more upset with my harsh judgment of other people, and my anger issues, and my problems with hatred and jealousy and feeling sorry for myself.
I have no idea why other people have to go through what they go through. But I can tell you that I’ve had to go through what I’m going through because I have a lot of bad middot that really needed addressing, and the suffering I’ve experienced broke my arrogance and forced me to turn to Hashem for comfort and support.
That is really the only solution to all of the problems, be it forced evictions, Gazan rockets, terrible illnesses, or heartbreaking divorce proceedings.
I don’t believe any of this suffering – mine or other people’s - is stam, or that it’s unfair. I believe God is behind everything that’s happening to all of us.
And because I’m trying to believe that, I know that God will help me to figure out the real lesson I need to take away from everything that’s happening to me, and that sooner or later, it will all turn around for the good.
This is really, really hard work to do, in practice. But what’s the alternative?
A few years’ ago, we had a regular charity collector who’d come to our door (in an increasingly aggressive way), and spend half an hour bitterly telling us how he used to be a very rich man, but had lost all his money.
The first six times, I felt so sorry for him, and gave generously. But then, as the months went by and he continued with his bitter, angry rants on my doorstep, I started to dread his visits. I started to reduce the amount I was giving him, I started to pretend I wasn’t home when he came knocking.
It really taught me a big lesson about trying to accept my suffering with emuna, because no-one wants to listen to a never-ending stream of complaints, judgment calls, anger and bitterness, however ‘justified’ it might be.
We just need to take our complaints and our suffering back to God.
And that’s the whole point.
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?
We’re all so tired at the moment, aren’t we?
Even if we don’t have something particularly stressful going on in our own lives (and if you are that person, please do get in touch so I know you really exist) – we’re all feeling that ‘things can’t continue’.
Why are we all feeling that?
We don’t really know, because if you look at life objectively, it’s still pretty good for most of us. There’s no holocaust happening, currently no war (kites notwithstanding), no pogroms, nearly all of us have a roof over our heads and food on the table.
Most of us have hot showers and hot coffee whenever we want them.
We have families, we have clothes on our backs, many of us even live in the holy land itself, which for two millennia was an unreachable dream for all but a tiny handful of the Jewish people.
So life is good! Really!
But at the same time, so many of us are sitting here feeling dazed and stressed out of our skulls for not always obvious reasons. We’re feeling like things can’t go on like this.
I’ve been having a mega-dose of that recently, but something quite bizarre occurred on Rosh Chodesh Tammuz: the cloud started to lift, and the last few days I’ve been feeling much happier, even though things are still maximally stressful on the house front.
Each day brings a new clause our cack lawyer overlooked, or didn’t read, that’s causing us fresh problems and difficulties; I still have no idea where I’m meant to be moving to next month; I still stand to lose a heck of a lot of cash which means I can’t buy an apartment in Jerusalem.
But so what.
Life is still good!
Rebbe Nachman wrote that the yetzer hara is always trying to convince us that the old days were always better, and that present times are awful, and that the future can only be even worse. Rebbe Nachman says really?
God is running the world better and better all the time.
It’s a trick of the yetzer to get us all despairing when life is actually better than it’s ever been. Even the richest people in the world didn’t have airconditioners and fridges 100 years’ ago. Even the most powerful person in the world still had to spend weeks travelling by carriage to get from A-B, and had to wait months for their seamstresses to create a new suit or piece of clothing for them.
Do you know how amazing it is that I can walk out my house and buy a 5 pack of underwear for 20 shekels? I mean, how long would it take you to sew a pair of knickers by yourself? (And how comfy would they even be?) Or that I can walk two minutes and find a whole cornucopia of food in my supermarket – most of which even has a decent hechsher?
Life is good, life is amazing!
Yes, there is still evil in the world, and bad things happening. Until Moshiach really and truly shows up, that’s the way it is. But underneath all that, life is good!!
I realized something profound about my house issues recently, namely that even if God took this problem away easily (which I’m still hoping He will, let’s be clear) – I will still need to have other challenges and tests in my life, as that’s the whole point of being down here.
So, Baruch Hashem, I’m just being tested with money and house stuff that doesn’t actually mean that much. So what, I don’t get to live where I want, I don’t get to buy my own place, I don’t get to decide how my kitchen looks, or whether I live in a house with a bath.
In the big scheme of things, who really cares?
God is in charge, and He is running the world better than ever. He knows what I need to experience in order to get fixed.
Millions upon millions of people used to starve to death every single year, even in recent history. Each year, they are figuring out more and more ways to grow food economically, in places that you couldn’t do that before (just take a look at the greenhouses in the Yarden valley, or in the Negev.)
Is the world perfect? No!
Are there still a lot problems? Yes!
Is that going to change before Moshiach comes? No!
So in the meantime, let’s try to enjoy our lives as much as we can, and stop expecting the world to be a Disney Movie.
I have learnt so much from my current house troubles, about what it really means to try to have some emuna. Emuna means that I really do my best to accept God’s will, and to try to be happy with my lot, and I try to figure out what response God wants me to have to my troubles and difficulties.
Emuna doesn’t mean that I expect God will answer all my prayers exactly how I want, and fix things to go exactly how I want them to.
This distinction is crucial, and it’s the key to a happy life and good mental health.
Sure, it’s upsetting when outposts get dismantled. But is it more upsetting than someone developing a terminal illness? Or someone going through a horrible divorce? Or someone’s child passing away, lo aleinu?
Personally, I don’t think so.
In some way right now, we all have our massive challenges to deal with, and the key to getting through it is to know that it’s just a test, that tests are inevitable, and part of the process of being refined, and that there is still so much good in our lives to be grateful for.
This is the antidote to yeoush. This is how we can get off our couches and do the washing up. And this is how we can really prepare ourselves for geula and for Moshiach.
By seeing the good, and trusting Hashem that it’s all going to come right.
Because every time we develop a little more emuna in our own lives, and about our own challenging circumstances, the world gets fixed and rectified a little more fundamentally, in all the ways that really count.
We all know it takes millions and millions and billions of years to create new earth, and new mountains, don't we?
I mean, when someone asked the University of California at Santa Barbara how long it takes mountains to form, this is what the scientists there had to say about it all:
How long does it take for mountains to grow(in years/decades)?
The tallest mountains on earth, the Himalayas, started forming about 50 million years ago and are still growing about two inches every year!
Mountains can grow at rates as high as one inch per year...so to get very high mountains requires MILLIONS of years.
It takes tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years to build a typical mountain range, except for volcanoes. Small volcanoes can form in months, but big volcanoes also take tens of thousands of years or more.
This is all complete baloney.
Down in Hawaii, they just got a brand new volcano growing where Fissure 8 used to be, and that baby took less than a month for the cone to reach 125ft - and it's still going. To state that large volcanoes take 'thousands of years' or more is clearly misleading, as anyone with eyes in their head can see that as long as the lava keeps flowing, Fissure 8 will keep growing and growing.
And as for the claim that mountains 'grow at an inch a year' - that's also only true when there aren't any big earthquakes or seismic activity going on. When a huge earthquake struck Chile in 1835, St Darwin was on hand to document what he saw including:
"The most remarkable effect of this earthquake was the permanent elevation of the land, it would probably be far more correct to speak of it as the cause. There can be no doubt that the land round the Bay of Concepcion was upraised two or three feet...
"At the island of S. Maria (about thirty miles distant) the elevation was greater; on one part, Captain Fitz Roy founds beds of putrid mussel-shells _still adhering to the rocks_, ten feet above high-water mark: the inhabitants had formerly dived at lower-water spring-tides for these shells.
"The elevation of this province is particularly interesting, from its having been the theatre of several other violent earthquakes, and from the vast numbers of sea-shells scattered over the land, up to a height of certainly 600, and I believe, of 1000 feet. At Valparaiso, as I have remarked, similar shells are found at the height of 1300 feet."
What's particularly remarkable about this passage is that Darwin saw with his own eyes how the land raised up 10 feet in two minutes, and then still claimed that it clearly took millions of years (blah blah blah) for mountains to form.
Again, if an area is hit with huge, repeated earthquakes, massive seismic activity and volcanoes exploding (all of which happens in South America fairly frequently, even today) - then it wouldn't take anything like 50 million years for a mountain range to form.
And even some scientists are starting to cautiously explore this possibility, albeit still all wrapped up in deceitful dating:
Here's what Florida Museum's Natural History paleontologist Bruce MacFadden has to say about how the South American Andes came into being:
“Instead of the Altiplano rising little by little each year, we found two phases of spasmodic or punctuated uplift interspersed by millions of years of stability,” MacFadden said.
According to these researchers:
"the Andes uplift began between 30 million and 20 million years ago. It then leveled off into relative stability until “a pulse of rapid uplift” occurred between 10 million and 6 million years ago, when the landscape rose between 1.5 and 3.5 kilometers."
We'll deal with all the false science underpinning things like radiometric dating another time (although take a look at THIS for a good start on the subject) - but the point is that these mountains rose very quickly, all in one shot.
Not an inch a year, but more like a kilometre, or even three kilometres, and probably not even in a year, more like in one awesome day, as a huge comet passed close by causing seismic activity to explode on planet earth.
BREAKING NEW GROUND
Over in Hawaii, they just had 1.5 sq miles of new ground created in less than a week, and on a lava flow there that is just two years' old, they already have an ohia tree growing. Rain weathers lava flow very quickly, and the minerals contained in lava makes it very fertile soil, so that burnt black stuff you see in the video can and does turn into a lush looking paradise again within a couple of decades.
Again, the ONLY REASON science keeps telling us the world is billions of years old is because it needs the world to be that old to give the theory of macro evolution in the smallest, remotest chance of being possible.
All the dating you see is based on circular reasoning (more on that another time) and false read-outs from radiometric dating methods that assume the earth's atmosphere hasn't changed at all over the billions of years leading up to 1950, when carbon dating was first invented.
Clearly, that's all baloney! Each active volcano puts out 700 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, not including all the other gases that it's pumping out that often go unrecorded and unmeasured.
There are a bunch of 'ancient' volcanoes waking up all over the planet right now. Most of them have been inactive for about 2,500 years, but that period of relative calm is coming to an end as we enter the time of Moshiach.
The planet is going to start changing at break-neck speed, and each day's event will only start proving 'science' more and more wrong. In case you hadn't noticed it already, we live in very interesting times.
In the middle of another six hour prayer-a-thon on the house mess, I picked up a copy of Rebbe Nachman’s Tales, and opened it up to the tale of the Exchanged Children. In that tale, a slave’s son is ‘switched out’ with the King’s true son, and that causes the King’s true son no end of problems.
I opened it up to the part where the slave’s son (who is now the king) hears the rumors about this other guy who’s really meant to be the king, so he starts persecuting him, and hopes to kill him. The true prince (who thinks he’s a slave) runs away into exile to save his life – and then falls into a deep depression.
To quote Rabbenu, he starts drinking and frequenting brothels, because he’s so upset about what’s gone on with his life and has no idea what on earth he’s done to deserve what’s happening.
A footnote in the story says that we get yeoush, or despair, when we feel bad things are happening to us that we don’t deserve.
For as long as we feel we don’t deserve it, we’re stuck.
We can’t make teshuva (‘what did I do?!?!?’), we can’t see a way out of the problem because we can’t even identify how we fell in to it, and we start to feel that God is not fair, and is not just, and that we’re being persecuted for nothing, God forbid.
This is what sets up the massive tests of emuna in our lives. When we do things that are clearly wrong, when we clearly understand that we’re sitting in prison because we robbed a bank or mugged a granny; that our wife left us because we were emotionally-abusive and angry; that we got fired from our job because we kept showing up five hours late….
Then it can be easier to ‘get it’, on some level, and to understand what’s going on and why, and that’s actually very empowering. Because now, you can go ahead and try to fix the problem.
But the bigger tests of emuna happen when you really have no idea how you got into the bad situation you got into, other than God must have decreed it upon you.
And that’s where I’ve been really struggling the last few weeks.
Some days, I start to feel literally so despairing. Literally, like there is no justice in the world that something so upside-down and back-to-front can be happening. God, what did I do to deserve this?!
And then it can literally take me a day of telling myself ‘ein od milvado’, this is just a tikkun, a test, to start functioning again.
But in the meantime, my mitzvahs are really suffering. I haven’t been able to cook properly, or shop properly, I don’t have the headspace to say the tikkun haklali every day like I was doing, sometimes, I zone out watching Dutchsinse’s earthquake predictions on Youtube for an hour, instead of writing, or doing more holy stuff.
It’s not exactly drinking and visiting brothels, but it’s kind of akin, if you know what I mean.
And I still can’t see the way out of the forest.
In the Exchanged Children, the exiled prince finally gets rescued from his misery by a prophetic dream that begins a chain of events that leads to him regaining his royal status, but in a completely different kingdom.
I’m so sick of where I’m stuck at the moment.
I can’t believe I’m still waiting for things to start turning around.
I can’t believe I’m in the mess I’m in now.
When are the blessings going to show up, and I’m finally going to get to the finishing line on this 15 year long test?
Or maybe, they aren’t and that’s the reality I need to make my peace with.
PS: In quieter moment, I know we are still very blessed. I know it’s a blessing that my teenage girls get on, that they have lovely middot, that our home is nice to be in (wherever God chooses to locate it…) and that there is food on the table and we are all healthy.
Thank God, it’s a blessing that God keeps reminding me of that all the time, a million times a day.
But the pinging between states, between hope and despair, between fighting and giving way, between hating and accepting, between doubting and believing – THAT is the biggest test of all.
And I really, really hope God will take us out of this uncertainty soon, because it’s so hard to keep dealing with it, long-term.
I can’t plan anything ahead. I can’t think past the next five minutes. I can’t ‘settle’ to anything, because everything is up in the air.
And that is what I’m the most upset about right now, because I can’t seem to make this test go away, no matter what I do. Every time I ‘accept the worst’ God tells me to fight, and every time I start to fight, God tells me to back down.
And so, the awful stuckness continues.
A little while back, I got an email from a reader telling me I had to read this book By Rav Avraham Sutton, called Spiritual Technology. I started tracking it down to the Pomerantz Bookstore in Jerusalem, when this very special reader got back in touch to tell me she could give me her copy, as she was visiting Jerusalem shortly.
We met; I got the book; I read it over Shabbat two weeks’ ago – and it has a lot of very interesting information that does shed some light on so many of the things we’re all struggling with today, including how technology has taken over our lives, whether it’s good or bad, spiritually, and how all this may be affecting the rectification of the world and the geulah.
Rav Sutton explains that ‘technology’, which the dictionary defines as 'the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes', comes from the Greek work tehkne, and is in direct opposition to the Jewish word tikkun, which refers to rectifying the world spiritually.
Greek tehkne is all about making life easier, controlling nature and the environment, and externalizing the human soul in so many cheap, superficial ways.
By contrast, Jewish tikkun is about rectifying the world at its spiritual root, nullifying ourselves to God’s will, and building up the strength of the human soul internally so that many of ‘technology’s’ achievements can be accomplished in a much purer form.
This is the ultimate goal of humanity, and this is the world we are heading towards with the dawn of the coming of Moshiach.
A world where people can transcend the physical body, and travel all over the globe without airplanes, and connect to others without phones, and who can access tremendous knowledge directly from the spiritual realm, via a very strong bond with Hashem.
It sounds a little crazy and far-fetched, doesn’t it?
In the past, I’ve had a few arguments with readers here about the role technology has to play in this future world. Even before I read Rav Sutton’s book, it seemed to me that the rabbis’ call to ditch i-Phones, etc, was coming from a very deep understanding of the true damage they are doing to people’s souls.
Most of us have no idea of what’s really playing out here between Greek tehkne and Jewish tikkun, or what’s at stake.
So, here’s a few excerpts from Rav Sutton’s book, to get the ball rolling:
“External technology [in ancient Egypt] hadn’t developed to the point it has today. Nevertheless, the chartumim had direct access to what we may call psychic technology…In a sense, Pharoah’s magicians were the equivalent of today’s scientists. It’s just that their ability to manipulate physical reality was through magic and psychic manipulation.”
“Alienation as we find it in modern society is almost total…Man has created a world of man-made things as it never existed before. He has constructed a complicated social machine to administer the technical machine he built.
“Yet, this whole creation of his stands over and above him. [He is] the servant of a Golem which his hands have built. The more powerful and gigantic the forces are which he unleashes, the more powerless he feels himself as a human being…He is owned by his own creation and has lost ownership of himself. He has built a golden calf, and says “These are your gods, O Israel, who have brought you out of Egypt.” – (Quote from Erich Fromm)
“It is axiomatic that true spirituality cannot be selfish and self-serving.”
“When the connection between heaven and earth is broken, we lose the understanding that behind every physical process, there is a spiritual process making it happen…preceding it, activating it, and guiding it through every stage of its evolution and development.”
Zohar, Ki Tisa, 2:191a states: “The Erev Rav consisted of all the magicians of Mitzrayim.”
“The letters of the first tablets (luchot) – embodying the [much higher spiritual] level of the Tree of Life – could not exist in close proximity with the coarse consciousness of the golden calf (i.e. technology in the service of magic.)”
“Torah / kabbalah describes evil as being without any real ‘mind’ of its own. It is best imagined as a mechanical force that has one primary function: it grabs onto everything and anything in order to own it.
“It is the will to receive, in its most extreme, negative and ugliest form. You can always identify a person or a nation that has… become an instrument of evil: it inevitably wants to own you and everything else in the world. This force acts within the human personality as well.”
“The klipot (forces of evil) draw their life-force and nourishment from the souls that they hold captive under their dominion… This is why the klipot exert such effort to cause humans to sin.” Sefer HaGilgulim.
(Hans Morovec is a scientist, and the director of the Mobile Robot Laboratory of Carnegie Mellon University):
“Morovec calmly explains how within the next 30 years we will bypass the present limits upon artificial intelligence and robotic mobility, to the point where we will be able to ‘download’ all of the content of our brains – which are now unfortunately stuck in decaying biological entities – into computers housed within mobile robots, thereby gaining ‘us’ immortality, via these machines. The machines will ‘evolve’ by their own design…and will generate ideas and actions that will far exceed human evolution.”
( Master magicians of Egypt)
Let’s stop there for now, and put together some take home conclusions from what we’ve learned so far:
1) Today’s scientists are yesterday’s ancient Egyptian magicians, and the root of today's 'Erev Rav' tendencies. The Egyptian magicians were also extremely precise, their magic also followed very detailed calculations and rules, and it was all focused on taking power away from Hashem, and trying to control the world and the environment.
2) The Egyptian magicians – like so many of today’s scientists – were also obsessed with ideas of ‘immortality’. Ancient Egypt tried to do this by embalming the body to keep a degree of the lowest soul level, or nefesh, trapped in this world forever, in an attempt to defy God and His justice.
3) Egyptian / Greek technology is doing its best to get people to sin, and to break the connection between us and God. That’s why they’ve come up with all these huge lies about the theory of evolution, the age of the world, the ‘progress’ to be achieved via i-Phones and the internet, pretend cures for cancer, fracking wells and all the rest of it.
4) In the future world of moshiach, we won’t need all this technology, as we’ll be able to tap into the unvarnished power of the soul to do all the good things technology enables us to do without it. That’s what we’re aiming at, strange as all this sounds to our modern, materialistic, technology-dependent ears.
5) The true 'Golden Calf' today is anything that takes the power or honor away from Hashem, and gives it to 'science' instead. If you think that pill is 'curing' your headache, or that the Iron Dome is 'protecting' Israel, or that Darwin and science knows more about the true age of the world than the Torah does - you are effectively worshipping the Golden Calf.
There’s so much more to say about this, as always, but let me leave you with this out of office message that my husband got yesterday from one of his non-Jewish clients:
"I found myself constantly looking at my mobile for no good reason, often in front of my children.
I am experimenting with checking my emails once a day so if you need me urgently please call me or text on [number]. Otherwise I will respond to your email as soon as I am able to.
Thanks for helping me break this cycle!!!"
The push-back against technology and towards true tikkun is beginning.
So, after readers Alizah and Stella drew my attention to THIS post over on Rav Berland, talking about apartments falling from the sky, I decided I should go over to Musrara yesterday afternoon, to look at the sky and see if anything else would happen while I was doing that.
It’s a strange thing with the Breslov stuff, that whenever you open up a book by Rebbe Nachman, or by Rav Ofer Erez, or by Rav Natan, it always seems to give you a message about what’s really going on in your life.
True, a blog post isn’t exactly the same, but it’s close enough.
So while I was already going to Musrara, I thought ‘let me go and see if there’s anything else to rent there’ – because the old bag who has got my house money still isn’t giving it back in the meantime.
So I found the *one and only* apartment currently listed there for rent, and miraculously, it wasn’t one of the millions I’ve already seen over the last few years, and I looked at the sky a lot before I went to take a look at it.
On the one hand, it had three bedrooms, and they all had a window (kind of…), and two reasonably new bathroom / toilets which is already a plus. On the downside, the kitchen pre-dated the Second Temple, there were red ants everywhere, and while I could fit my furniture into the salon, walking around it would definitely be a challenge.
On the one hand, he was very kindly dropping the price to only double my last mortgage, and it had a place out front to sit, and it was very close to the Rav, and they had no plans to sell it anytime soon, so we could live in it for years. On the other hand….
I sat on a bench looking at the sky for a while in Musrara, and I started to feel really, really down.
I came home, and the down kind of spiraled even further down. I went to bed, I woke up – and I realized I was feeling really angry at God. The sticking point was not the grotty, ucky, disgusting kitchen, the red ants, or the weird shape of every single room. I could have lived with that.
The sticking point was the furniture.
I have a table and sofa that are approaching 20 years old, and are massive. I’ve been trying to tell my kids and husband for five years that we need to get rid of them, but as my daughter keeps telling me, they’ve moved so much that this furniture is their anchor point.
The table and sofas makes them feel at home. And the table and sofas are just way too big for any apartment we can afford to rent in Musrara.
And strange to say, this is what opened up the conversation with God this morning, because I started to get really angry at the stupid situation I currently find myself in where every option is really bad.
I decided I have to lay things out on the table, so to speak, as there is no point pretending, so I told God bluntly:
“I am not on the spiritual level to happily live in yet another hugely expensive rented dump just to be in Musrara. I can’t do it anymore.”
We moved to Musrara four years’ ago as part of our misguided ‘fake pious’ stage, where we really thought Meah Shearim was the pinnacle of Jewish perfection. We stayed because it’s where the Rav is, and being close to the Rav is really important.
But socially for anglos, Musrara is a wasteland.
And it’s so expensive and dumpy.
And I got burned on that property I tried to buy because so much of that area is problematic, legally.
And I just can’t do it anymore.
If I’ve learned one thing over the years, it’s that God wants us to be real. Maybe, this whole experience has been going on as part of the tikkun for the last time we tried to move to Musrara, because back then, we were trying so hard to be people we really aren’t, religiously.
On Shabbat, Hamodia ran an interview with Rav Dan Tiomkin, who wrote an amazing book for BTs called ‘Reclaming the Lost Self’. I read that book at the height of my religious identify crisis three years’ ago, and it was extremely helpful.
. In the interview, Rav Tiomkin set out his ‘5 stages’ of the baal teshuva experience, as follows:
This process is similar for immigrants to a new country, too, so if you’re a BT who moved to Israel (like I am…) and then gets all Breslov on top of that (which is like moving to a different planet) – then it’s a triple dose of what’s being described.
Man, no wonder things have been so difficult the last few years!
BH, with my ‘can’t do expensive dumps’ anymore epiphany, I think me and my husband are now, finally, moving into that fifth and last stage of harmony, where we really just start to serve God the way He intended.
Maybe, now we finally got the message about not trying to fit in where we don’t, or trying to be people who we aren’t, God can now clear the way for us to find the place where we really belong, at least enough, in all our freakshow-frum weirdness.
So, I didn’t get an apartment when I looked at the sky (yet….).
But maybe, I got something even better.
A couple of weeks’ ago, I had to go for a ‘talk’ with my kid’s teacher and headteacher at her high-school. The kid had skipped one day too many, and even the patience of her understanding Israeli school teachers was starting to wear thin.
When they asked the kid how she was getting on in the school, which is half-boarding, the kid explained how it’s hard to make friends because everyone is stuck in their phone. Like, everyone.
The teacher immediately cut in, and said that she’d also observed that, and that she could see how all these ‘smart phones’ were completely ruining the generation, and making it so hard for normal, friendly interaction to happen between the students.
They’ve all been in school together for a year, and they are still practically strangers, because it’s easier to play candy crush than to come out of your shell and really talk to someone else.
It’s so sad.
Since we had to move out to a different part of Jerusalem four months’ ago, both my kids have been feeling lonely and isolated in the hosue, as we now live a 50 minute walk away from their friends.
The older one is busy studying for bagrut, and boards full-time, so she notices it much less. But the younger one? The younger one is sinking a little, and I feel powerless to stop it.
We had another fight over it yesterday, as I noticed she spent three hours solid on her phone, texting.
“What do you want me to do instead, what?!” she challenged. “I can’t just go downstairs and put a sign up that I want some friends! There’s nothing to do here!”
She’s right. There’s nothing to do here.
Except shop a little, or eat out a little, and really, how much can you do even that?
But that’s not all. When I was telling her she spends too much time on her phone, she snapped back that I spend too much time on my computer, and that I also have no friends and she’s just mirroring me.
(See, the Breslov ideas are sinking in, one way or another…)
It bothered me a lot, because I think she’s right. Sure, I’m a writer by nature, and if I wasn’t typing on a keyboard, I’d be scribbling on a pad or scratching a stylus into mud, but aside from that, life is pretty lonely at the moment.
Since the house has imploded, I’m feeling pretty lost in the world. I don’t want to stay in this lonely flat (which is actually very nice, just in completely the wrong area) and I also don’t want to have to move into an expensive dump just to live in the ‘right’ area, because I don’t think I can live like that anymore.
So I’m stuck.
My husband (who does actually know a lot of stuff, and is often very useful) tells me that I have a bad case of yeoush, or despair, at the moment, and that we all do in generation. He’s also walking around a little like a brain-dead zombie, from all the stress and uncertainty we’re going through (again…) at the moment.
I so want things to change, he so wants things to change, but at this point, I just feel like I have no option on the table except holy apathy. When I was in Uman, I managed to squeeze out another couple of six hour praying sessions, but since then, even just keeping my regular hour a day is challenging.
I have a lot of yeoush about what’s going on, and that I can’t seem to change or do anything about, not by praying, and not by trying, and not by hustling.
In the meantime, my kid has taken to playing a song on her phone with the chorus ‘let’s be lonely together’. When I’m hanging up the washing, she’ll suddenly appear behind me and tell me: “Ima, let’s be lonely together.”
She’s a very deep kid.
She’s in a very lonely place.
And so am I.
UPDATE: Further to George's thoughtful comments, I went to look up the full text in English translation on the Ramban's comments on the creation of the world, which you can read for yourselves HERE.
I can't see anywhere how the Ramban is saying the world is 13.8 billion years old, or even anything like that. I know Mr Schroeder 'darshened it out' that way, to fit his own beliefs about the age of the world, but nothing like that is in the original text, as far as I can see. Please, do comment and let me know if you're spotting something I'm missing....
Of all the many, many, MANY deceitful things modern science has brainwashed people with, top of the list – at least for me – is the idea that the world is 4.5 billion years old (sic).
Why is this idea so incredibly corrosive and corrupting? Because it completely skews reality, as we see it playing out in front of our eyes. The Victorian gentlemen who made all this stuff up to try and loosen the hold of the Anglican church on ‘scientific enquiry’ 150 years ago knew that anything that could do to show the world wasn’t 6,000 ‘young’ would blow the Old Testament out of the water as the literal word of God.
That was the aim. That was always the aim.
Sure, there was also a lot of geological 'evidence' that seemed to lend some support to the position of an old earth.
But only if you assumed, as Hutton, Lyell and Darwin did, that the world was in some ‘steady state’ of development that hadn’t changed for millions and billions of years.
Right now, I’m in the middle of trying to properly debunk this whole ‘theory of evolution’ in a way that even laymen can understand, but that explains minutely why the science underpinning it is false. But because we’ve all imbibed with our mothers’ milk that the world is 4.5 billion years old, we can’t grasp what is really unfolding in front of our eyes right now.
It’s comforting to think that there are only 1,500 ‘live’ volcanoes in the world right now, and that the rest all sputtered out and died hundreds of millions of years ago.
But that’s false science.
If an estimate of 4,000 volcanoes per million square kilometers on the floor of the Pacific Ocean is extrapolated for all the oceans than there are more than a million submarine (underwater) volcanoes. Perhaps as many as 75,000 of these volcanoes rise over half a mile (1 kilometer) above the ocean floor. - Submarine volcanoes, Oregon State University
Every single volcano on the planet has been live and active within the last 6,000 years. Geologically, things can and do move in the blink of an eye, not millions of years, and a case in point is what is going on in Hawaii right now.
That it’s been slowly oozing out lava for a month you probably already know. You probably also know that there is a geothermal plant that was built on Hawaii that has shifts drilled very deep down in order to access super-hot steam that in turn supplies Hawaii with 25% of it’s electricity.
The plant’s management capped the wells, removed all potentially explosive gases and poured water into the top of the shafts to try and act as a shield incase the lava reached the wells. The lava has now reached the wells – and this is completely unchartered territory as to what happens next.
Presumably, the people who built the plant assumed that they’d have a million, billion years to figure out how to deal with a lava flow coming in their direction. The USGS reassured them that they could ‘map lava flow like rivers’, so no problem building your geothermal plant there!! Go right ahead!!
The reason you find so few really informative sources of info about what’s going on at Hawaii right now is because this eruption is breaking all the rules that the scientists ‘believed’ they knew about how magma and volcano work. (For example, the 'Volcano World' website over at Oregon State hasn't posted anything up at all about Kilauea and has been utterly quiet for a month.)
It’s moving much faster than expected (by about 150 million years…). They have no idea where all this new, fast flowing magma is actually coming from, because according to their warped models of how the world works, there’s not meant to be a lot of that stuff left in modern times, just small pockets, or lakes, that occasionally cause eruptions, but then quickly settle back down again.
No huge, planet-changing events involving volcanoes can occur in anything under 150,000 million years, go back to sleep!
HOW DIFFERENT THINGS COULD BE...
How different would this picture be right now, if the scientists – and the people who hang off their every word – actually grasped that enormous geological changes were a regular feature of the world up until around 2,500 years ago, when they finally started the process of winding down?
That multiple volcanoes were exploding when Moshe took the Jews out of Egypt, and seas were being split in two, and tsunamis, earthquakes and hurricanes were devastating the planet?
That’s only 3,300 years ago.
And that’s exactly what was happening.
If the scientists – and us, too – grasped that enormous world changes can happen literally in the blink of an eye, they would be viewing the situation in Hawaii with very different eyes. They would understand that this massive, apparently never-ending flow of magma is coming from a very deep place within the earth’s core (stoked up by all the evil behavior fueling Gehinnom), and something incredible – a ‘pele’ mamash – could be about to happen.
A couple of days’ ago, the USGS mentioned in a video that the caldera in Kilauea had increased in size from three football fields, to 90 football fields (or from 14 acres to 90 acres). The caldera is the crater that’s at the top of the volcano, it’s where the lava lake sat, before it all drained away.
And this huge change didn’t take 20 million years, it took just three days.
The reason that's important is because IF the caldera collapses, the amount of rock that disappears inwards will impact the amount and the intensity of the explosion that blasts it back outwards, when the volcano explodes.
What’s more, a secondary vent has also now opened at the top of Kilauea, suggesting some sort of explosion is imminent. The worst case scenario is that the caldera will completely collapse. No-one knows exactly what that could cause, but massive tsunamis, the Big Island fracturing, parts of the Big Island ‘slumping’ into the sea – all of that stuff is possible.
I have no idea what God’s plan is, and whether all that stuff is going to happen at all, or right now.
But the point is this: In the blink of an eye, the whole topography of the world could completely change.
Hawaii could sink, other places could rise, still other places could also be submerged by a tsunami of water, some of the thousands of volcanoes on the sea floor, and elsewhere in the world, could start smoking like kilns, pouring out magma that could completely reshape the contours of the world as we know it.
These large explosive eruptions occurred in clusters over centuries, during times when a deep caldera existed at Kīlauea Volcano's summit and few lava flows were erupted. [Ed - there is now a new deep caldera forming there...]
And all this could happen tomorrow.
Not in 150 million years.
If we open our eyes, we can see the evidence all around us, in the freak weather, in the floods, in Hawaii, in the earthquakes, that massive geological changes don’t take the billions of years the ‘scientists’ tell us they do.
They can literally take a day.
There are two main reasons ‘science’ is hanging on to the idea that everything takes millions and billions of years:
And the only reason the false ‘science’ behind Darwinism was ever taken seriously to begin with is because, as we mentioned, Lyell and the other scientific men of Victorian England were trying to ‘rescue the science of geology from Moses’ – or rather, from the Anglican Church.
But Moses was right.
The Torah’s account and timescale of the creation of the world is true.
And Hawaii could be about to prove that in a truly spectacular – pele – fashion.
UPDATE: TORAH SOURCES ON HOW THE WORLD HAS ALREADY CHANGED SIX TIMES IN THE LAST 5777 YEARS
One of my readers asked me to re-post this for her son. I think now is probably as good a time as ever to do that, as it underlines the point about the awesome wisdom of the Torah, and how we'd be very foolish to believe 'science' over Moshe Rabbenu and God.
1) GOD CREATED 974 WORLDS BEFORE THIS ONE.
There were 974 generations and worlds created BEFORE our current one, in a process that lasted 2,000 years.
2) PREVIOUSLY, WHENEVER GOD DESTROYED ONE OF THESE 974 WORLDS, HE DID THAT BY OVERTURNING THE EARTH FROM THE T’HOM, I.E., FROM THE DEPTH OF THE WATER TABLE
God destroyed the previous 974 generations by flipping the earth’s crust over from the water table, completely destroying all life on the planet in an instant, and returning the world to TOHU AND BOHU, the Hebrew terms for chaos and ‘nothingness’.
(Imagine the enormous mind-boggling energy at play in 'flipping' the world over 974 times. This is why all the carbon dating stuff brings back false readings. This approach works on the 'false science' principle that the world has been steady state for billions of years, and that radioactive isotopes always decomposed in exactly the same way, and in exactly the same environment, as we currently live in.
If there was significantly more water in the world - say, from a Noah's flood - or significantly more carbon - say, from half a million volcanoes all exploding at once - that would completely throw out all these radiometric dating techniques, and render them useless for dating anything more than around 3-4,000 years ago, when the last huge global cataclysms occurred.)
3) GOD WILL CHANGE PLANET EARTH (OUR EXISTING ONE) 7 TIMES BEFORE MOSHIACH COMES
Those seven worlds are:
World 1: Adam and Eve (Year 1 in the Hebrew calendar, 5777 years ago)
Midrash (Bereishit Rabba 10:4) tells us:
Before Adam HaRishon sinned, the heavenly bodies had shorter and quicker orbits. Once man sinned, God caused the celestial orbs to travel in longer and slower circuits. Since then, the apparent circuit of the sun takes 12 months, the orbit of the moon, just under thirty days, etc
Rav Dovid Brown explains:
“In order for the solar year to have been less than 12 months, the earth would necessarily have been closer to the sun that it is now…If the earth was closer to the sun, the energy received from the sun would be greater…greater energy would result in a more powerful earth with capabilities inconceivable to us…The loss of this greater energy would result in a weaker earth and inferior beings inhabiting it.”
To put this another way, the intensity of cosmic rays bombarding planet earth DEFINITELY CHANGED, from current norms, when Adam and Eve were around.
World 2: From Adam to Enosh (Year 1 to Year 1140 in the Hebrew calendar, when Enosh died)
There was a partial flood of the world at this time, and also new mountain ranges sprang up overnight, undoubtedly due to ‘action at a distance’ effects from a passing planet-sized comet or celestial body. Again, this would dramatically affect the atmosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere, rendering modern radiocarbon dating measurements obsolete.
World 3: Enosh to Noah’s flood (Year 1140 - Year 1656 in the Hebrew calendar)
Sforno (Parshat Noach 8:22) explains that:
Before the mabbul (Noah’s flood), the apparent circuit of the sun was directly around the equator.
The change in the attitude of the earth after the mabbul, so that the earth faces the sun at in inclination of the axis, is the cause of the varying seasons.
Before the mabbul, the climate was perpetually warm due to the sun striking the earth directly at the equator. That environment was extraordinarily robust compared to the modern world’s, and the earth had greater energy in all its members, mineral, vegetable, animal and human.
Again, clearly the cosmic rays bombarding the planet during this period weren’t occurring at the same relatively ‘fixed’ levels and intensity observed in more modern times.
World 4: The Mabbul (Noah’s flood) (Year 1656 in the Hebrew calendar, 4121 years ago)
Geologically: A foot of the earth’s topsoil is washed away, the rest of the earth is ‘mixed’ with boiling water that contains sulphur, polluting the earth’s ground and weakening it for the rest of the world’s natural lifespan.
Also, the earth received NO ENERGY from the celestial bodies throughout this time, also severely weakening its ability to produce food and support life.
World 5 - aging, physical degeneration and illness (Beginning around the year 2000 in the Hebrew calendar)
The Midrash (in Pesikta D’Rav Kahana, 22) tells us:
“When Yitzhak was born [in 2048], God increased the light emitted by the heavenly luminaries.”
The Gemara in Tractate Chullin, 91B, also explains how the sun changed its course twice, during the lifetime of Yaacov Avinu (who was born in 2108).
And then there were other enormous upheavals too, at the time of Moses and the Israelite exodus from ancient Egypt.
These astronomical changes brought about changes in the cosmic radiation bombarding planet Earth that had direct and immediate results on how the human body aged, degenerated and became ill, from that point on - all of which is born out by the latest findings in bio-physics.
And all these events also affected the fundamental basis for the accuracy of radiocarbon dating.
The last major changes to the physical nature of the world occurred in the time of King Hezekiah (who ruled for 29 years, around Year 3200 in the Hebrew calendar).
In this particular instance, the Midrash in Esther Rabba (3:1) explains that the world ‘gained’ five hours as a result of this astronomical shift, as measured by the ancient sun-clock of Ahaz.
THE WORLD HAS CHANGED, FUNDAMENTALLY, AT LEAST SIX TIMES IN THE LAST 5777 YEARS
Again, this is why radiocarbon dating simply doesn’t work, accurately, for anything going back more than around 4,100 years.
That’s also why radiocarbon dating happily assigns dates in the millions (and even billions…) of years to organic matter that is actually only maximally 8,000 years’ old (including the Torah’s assignment of 2000 years to the 974 worlds that preceded ours), because it’s working on the twin assumptions stated at the beginning that radiocarbon decays today at the same rate it always has - which is simply not true!
To quote Immanuel Velikovsky, who painstakingly pieced together so much of the scientific evidence that clearly shows that the events described above did occur, and have left innumerable traces even today:
“Bursts of cosmic rays and of electrical discharges on an interplanetary scale would make organic life surviving the catastrophes much richer in radiocarbon.” So any radiocarbon test would date these remains as being much younger than they actually are.
At the same time: “If invasion of the terrestrial atmosphere by ‘dead’ (non-radioactive) carbon from volcanic eruptions, meteoric dust, burning oil and coal and centuries-old forests predominated the picture, than the changed balance of radioactive and radio-inert carbon would make everything in the decades following the events appear much older.”
And on Noah’s flood specifically, Velikovsky writes that: “The Deluge increased the water basin, or hydrosphere, on earth… It’s quite possible that the volume of water was more than doubled on earth in this one cataclysm.”
 (See the following sources: Chagiga 13b, Midrash Bereishit Rabba 3:7, Midrash Tehillim 34:1. Zohar Bereshit 25a).
 Midrash Tanchuma (Yitro 14) tells us: “When God sought to give the Torah He first offered it to all the nations other than Yisroel, but they refused it. He wanted to return the world to its dimension of water. When Yisroel accepted the Torah, the world was stabilised.”
 Pirkay d’Rabbi Eliezer (18) says:
God created seven worlds, or which his favorite is the last. Six of them to come and go, and one which is pure Shabbat.
 (More sources: Sanhedrin 108a, Bereishit Rabba (26:2), Pirkey D’Rabbi Eliezer (22), Bereishit Rabbat 34:11 and 36:1, Agudat Bereishit (10).)
 (Sources: Bereishit (9:3), Brachot 60a, Sanhedrin 100b and 108b, Rashi on Parshat Noach, (6:13))
So, the house saga is continuing to rumble on.
Yesterday, my husband went with our new lawyers (the old lawyer being a big part of the problem…) to talk to the other side about getting the deposit back for the house, which will happen if they would cancel the contract seeing as no bank will give a mortgage on such a ‘complicated’ property.
Remember, we got into this mess because our bank initially said they would give us a mortgage, and gave us an ‘issur ekroni’ that it turns out was not binding. When the bank’s lawyer pulled the mortgage approval out from under our feet, we’d already signed the contract.
In the meantime, the last two months we have run around to every bank in Israel, trying to get another mortgage, with no luck.
It’s not our fault we can’t buy the house. The people selling us told us they’d got a mortgage on it in the past, so either the banks have recently changed their policy on mortgaging ‘Arab’ houses, or someone is lying. Either way, we can’t get a mortgage and we asked the sellers to cancel the deal and return our deposit.
I decided not to go to the meeting yesterday, as I knew I’d get too upset and might say or do something I’d really regret (remember the exploding Salmon, from last year?)
My husband is a lawyer, and he’s much better at keeping a poker face, but even so, he told me there was a lot of shouting going on. The other side have basically gone bonkers, and accused us of ‘burning’ their house by giving it a bad name with all the banks we’d gone to trying to get a mortgage.
I.e., the problem isn’t with the stupid property that is ¾ owned by absentee Arabs that no-one can track down, the problem is with us! We must have done something stupid, that no bank will lend on this property.
And because we did something ‘stupid’ – although clearly, no-one could tell us what that ‘stupid’ thing actually was, apart from actually signing the accursed contract in the first place - we ‘burned’ their house, and now they want the maximum amount to recompense them for their suffering.
To put this another way: it’s the worst case scenario.
I have no idea if they really believe what they’re saying, and / or whether they are just blinded by anger that their house isn’t worth what they thought it was, and greed, but either way it doesn’t look so good.
This has been such a test of my middot, and my emuna, it’s hard to tell you the struggle that is going on inside. When my husband told me the bad news, I immediately started coming up with all these crazy ‘battle strategies’ like kidnapping the seller’s dog and holding it for ransom; or stationing myself outside her flat with my children and a big sign saying ‘[NAME] stole our money!’
Probably my favorite was the idea to hire the New Zealand All Blacks (see above) to come and do the ‘Haka’ for us at the lawyer’s office before we kicked off the next round of shouting and blaming.
(In fact, I might still do that myself anyway, because even King David realized there is a useful side to acting like a crazy, insane person.)
But then I calmed down. I reassured my kids that I wouldn’t really try to poison her dog, or turn into ‘Mrs Psycho the Stalker’, and that I would try to muster up some more emuna to deal with what has been and continues to be a really, really difficult test.
My husband texted Rav Berland’s gabbay to ask for some help or advice from that quarter, and I sat down and wrote my seller a letter, woman to woman, explaining that I realise she’s angry and upset, but that it’s really not our fault that no bank will lend on her property, and trying to take ‘vengeance’ against us is really not going to help anyone.
Not even her, because spiritually, no good will come from the money she tries to squeeze out of us to ‘punish’ us for uncovering the truth about the legal status of her apartment.
(Clearly, I had to push down the urge to tell her I’d hex her for the next 50 generations if she took our cash for nothing. Take a breath, shake out the anger, move on.)
I went and slipped the note under her door, then came back and started to feel pretty low again, and a little teary and sorry for myself.
I know it’s just money. It’s just stuff. It’s not a big deal. We’re all healthy, baruch Hashem, we love each other. That’s what’s really important here.
I asked God to please give me some emuna, and to figure out what on earth the message is behind all this stuff.
How could she accuse me of ‘burning’ her house by trying to get a mortgage on it?! The mind boggles. And such strange phrasing…
Which is when I thought of that phrase that anyone who doesn’t rebuild the temple (the ‘house’ or bayit of the Jewish people) in their lifetime is like one who burned it.
And the sin that burned the temple is sinat chinam, or baseless hatred.
And baseless hatred occurs when we forget that God is in the world, and God is arranging and deciding everything, not my seller and her mentally-retarded macho-man lawyer. And not my negligent, too-laid-back-to-properly-check-any-of-the-details-of-the-contract lawyer, either.
(Take a breath, shake out the anger, move on.)
So yes, God is giving me a clue about what I need to work on still, and He’s set up an enormous test for me and my husband, where we are having to work so hard 24/7 to avoid falling into some massive sinat chinam and revenge tactics.
So ‘Woofy’ is safe for now.
But that haka thing is still kind of tempting.