Also, you can check out this post if you ever wondered what was going on with Hashem hardening Pharaoh's heart:
For the month of Shevat, we have the following from Rav Itamar Schwartz at Bilvavi:
Also, you can check out this post if you ever wondered what was going on with Hashem hardening Pharaoh's heart:
Genesis and The Big Squish: The Discovery of How the Universe Developed from a Giant Womb, and Not a Wild Fireworks Display
I never realized how stifling the allegiance to the scientific THEORY of Creation was until I dropped it.
Yes, I realize entire books dedicate themselves to aligning the Torah narrative with the Big Bang narrative. (I read them too.) And yes, they're pretty convincing.
Only they sometimes engage in acrobatic semantics to line up everything just right, but they are pretty convincing.
Yet reading the Torah narrative with the unproven scientific narrative in lockstep alongside in your mind actually distracts from the whole point of the Torah starting with Beresheit.
And the theory-influenced mind automatically dismisses any commentary (produced by the most brilliant & holiest minds of humanity) that contradicts the scientific narrative—a narrative based entirely on conjecture.
After all, they believe it all happened billions of years ago, so how can any proof exist?
And with all the unscientific weasel-words like "assume," "maybe," "perhaps," "indicate," "feel," "possibly," etc., peppering their most prestigious papers on the topic, how can anything they say be taken seriously?
In essence, they are no different than their highly intellectual Greek antecedents who theorized that the change of seasons was caused by the abduction of a goddess's daughter by the god of the underworld, and when the daughter unsuspectingly ate 6 pomegranate seeds in the underworld, that act then compelled the daughter to spend 6 months with the god of the underworld each year, making her goddess-mommy so sad that the earth becomes barren & cold for those 6 months, until the return of the daughter brings back Spring & Summer.
It's the same process, the same jump from conclusion to conclusion without any proof—except for the obvious fact of the change of seasons.
And there is no reason why we need to believe any cosmology without any proof.
In the Beginning...Everything was Dark, Wet, and Goopy
So if you want to take to heart Rav Yehudah Petiyah's description of Creation in Minchat Yehudah, then why not?
Initially, he says, the entire Universe was filled with water.
And who's to say otherwise?
After all, modern minds believe this happened billions of trillions of years ago, so who can prove this wrong? Anyway, astronomers are always finding ice all over the Universe: in comments, covering planets, and so on.
Maybe that's proof that that Creation started off, not with a Big Bang, but as a massive pool of water.
(In your scientific paper, you can call it "The Big Slurp." Or "The Big Splash.")
Anyway, this vast pool of water was the Tehom (Deep).
And boy, was it dark!
(Light hadn't been created yet. And Rav Petiyah notes that at that point, darkness—rather than being the absence of light as it is now—was a quality in and of itself. In other words: DARK.)
The Me'am Lo'ez states an opinion that nothing else was created at this time except the Angel of Death, and that he was in the Tehom.
So the entire Universe of the Tehom was dark, wet, and scary.
(Actually, not everyone agrees on what exactly was created on the first day & what on the second. But the Universe as we know it was definitely dark & wet.)
And this pool was so vast, it came all the way up to the Kisei HaKavod (Throne of Glory), which is the Ruach Elokim (Spirit of God) mentioned in Genesis 1:2.
Only the darkness separated between them. (Rav Petiyah brings proof from Tehillim 18:12--"He made darkness His hiding-place about Him as His booth; the darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies." All of Tanach is intertwined.)
Anyway, you had the Kisei HaKavod/Ruach Elokim hovering over the face of the water, like an eagle soars through the air, hovering over its chicks, touching them occasionally.
And this was the Beginning.
The Theory of "The Big Squish"—Actually, It's Not Theory, But FACT
When Hashem created the Heavens and the Earth, He did so within this tremendous pool of water.
First, Hashem made the sphere of the rakia (firmament) and half the Tehom water completely filled this sphere and half the Tehom water remained outside of it.
In this way, says Rav Petiyah, no separation existed between the upper waters & the lower waters, except this layer of the rakia.
At this point, you are hopefully picturing something like a clear ball immersed in water and completely filled with water on the inside.
Then, in the very center-point within this rakia-ball, Hashem created the land.
At this point, everything is very wet and goopy, and Rav Petiyah likens it to the soft, unformed body of an embryo.
(You can call this stage of Creation "The Big Squish.")
On the Third Day, Hashem commanded the lower waters (the water within the ball) to gather into one place, which became the ocean.
And now the land could be seen.
And there was air too, between the land & ocean in the middle of the ball and the sky above.
The Me'am Lo'ez also describes the entire Universe as filled with water, and explains that everything was mud (again, "The Big Squish") until Hashem commanded the water & land to separate, which it did to become a continent & an ocean.
And the land was immediately dry & ready to go—which, says the Me'am Lo'ez, teaches us that when one has the opportunity to do something good, he should not delay!
(The root of eretz/ארץ is ratz/רץ—to run. This is why the land was called eretz and not adamah or another word.)
However, notes Rav Petiyah, everything was still dark because the light still remained above the Tehom.
As you can tell, the initial Creation of the Universe resembles the earliest state of pregnancy as experienced within the womb.
And then things progressed as written in the Torah.
(Rav Petiyah doesn't explain much more from here until the creation of Adam. And the Me'am Lo'ez has a couple hundred pages to say about it, but it's too much to summarize here.)
The Paradox Paradigm
Needless to say, it's important not to get too simplistic about Creation.
We are 3-dimensional beings living in a 3-dimensional world, and a fourth or fifth dimension is already way, way beyond our capabilities of imagination, let alone the mysteries of Creation and what existed before the Universe as we know it.
For example, the Me'am Lo'ez explains that the upper waters weren't and aren't real water as we think of it, but a type of spiritual substance.
And again, who's to say not?
Especially with scientists claiming everything is billions of years old & finding ice all over the galaxy, why not believe that the Universe started off as giant womb?
I seriously have no problem believing in the narrative of The Giant Womb or The Big Squish.
In fact, it's clear that scientists, swayed by their emotions & egos, much prefer a massive sound & light show of the Big Bang theory (much like they probably like watching things crash & blow up in modern action films.)
And they often say as much, stating outright how they chose a particular theory based on a purely emotional preference.
(You can see more about this in: The Zealous Religion of Modern Science)
Also, I came across something very interesting in Rav Dessler's Strive for Truth!, quoting the Tiferet Yisrael (Chapter 33) by the Maharal of Prague.
He said that any allegories mentioned in the Torah are both allegories AND the Truth as the physical observer perceives it.
Meaning, when the Torah presents seeming contradictions, like how Hashem (who is beyond all time & space) "descended upon Har Sinai," we must understand that this wasn't a vision or only "looked" that way...but that's how it really was because reality is relative to the observer.
And the "observer" is us—very limited 3-dimensional physical human beings.
This idea is presented in the Midrash (Beresheit Rabbah 17:4) in which Adam gives names to all the animals & birds.
Hashem asks Adam: "And what is My Name?"
And Adam replies, "Ado-nai, for You are the Lord of all."
(Adon means "Master" or "Lord.")
And Hashem Himself concurs with this statement.
(Strive for Truth!, Volume II, Part 3, The Worlds of Asiya & Yetzira: Absolute & Relative Concepts—Relativity & Reality)
Liberate Your Mind
Judaism is very good at both acknowledging & embracing paradox.
Science is not.
Science looks to oversimplify things & only acknowledge what it can physically see in front of its face (which is why science has been so fluid & errant over the generations).
So science tends to be good with surgery (stuff you can see clearly) & germs (stuff you can see under a microscope), but does a pretty bad job when going outside of the strict boundaries of the physical (like God & Creation).
So feel free to read Parshat Beresheit with a liberated & unencumbered mind.
For more articles relating to Beresheit, please see:
It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize the real problem between meshing Torah with modern science is that much of modern science is neither proven nor as objective as asserted.
Whether best-selling books written by top scientists for laymen or prestigious science journals, scientists cannot stop using words like the following:
These are not scientific words. These are guesses. And “believe” is a term of a faith.
Boy, Am I Glad Astronomers Don't Perform Surgery!
In contrast, the science of surgery is very different. I’ve had a few Cesarean births and guess what?
Nobody “assumed” the location of my uterus—they knew.
They didn’t “suggest” that sterilizing the instruments would “probably” kill germs and “may” prevent infection, they followed certain procedures because research has PROVEN that these procedures and techniques definitely lower the chance of infection.
Furthermore, no one thought it was “likely” that there was a baby in there as opposed to, say, a pumpkin—they knew.
And that’s science you can pretty much rely on.
Because they’re actually able to PROVE things.
With regard to germs, scientists can see germs through a microscope and see what sterilization procedures reduce germs and which don’t. Doctors have also researched the effects of their procedures, making Cesarean births not only possible, but safer than previous generations could’ve ever imagined.
(Having said all that, there are aspects of medical science subject to baseless theories, personal agendas, ego, and greed—which have harmed or killed people. I just focused on the more proven aspects of medical science.)
The Scientific Ego
Today, many people think that scientists are highly intelligent and scrupulously objective.
Not surprisingly, many scientist WANT you to see them that way. But history (including recent history) has not shown this to ever be true for many scientists.
The desire for funding, fame, recognition, and ego-defense affect scientists to a large degree. Scientists can also be a surly defensive lot who don’t hesitate to shoot down and humiliate theories (along with the proponents of those theories) that interfere with their above-mentioned desires.
If you’ve ever actually known academics—whether professors, scientists, doctors, or researchers—or listened to people who know them, you’ll know that many (though certainly not all) possess an elitist mindset, which isn’t conducive to objectivity or integrity.
Would you attend a medical school in which they discussed their personal beliefs about the human body?
“We believe the kidney is located over here.”
“Computer models indicate that this could be an eyeball.”
“We will teach you to perform Cesarean surgery on a woman who is likely to be pregnant because the suggestion of a baby in there is the more intriguing possibility.”
You can't really learn anything useful from guessing, especially emotionally driven guessing, as shown by phrases like: "more intriguing possibility" — a phrase that appeared in a prestigious science publication — or feeling that something is too "remarkable" to be believed, as you'll see below).
Anti-Torah Science Leads to Medical Mistakes
Just as one example: If you believe in evolution and randomness, then body parts that don't have an obvious purpose may be considered flukes or a no-longer-necessary leftover of evolutionary development.
"We don't need these anymore" has been said about tonsils, the appendix, and wisdom teeth.
In my parents' generation, tonsillectomy was a normal part of childhood.
Who needs tonsils? We've evolved beyond that!
Then scientists discovered tonsils play an important part in preventing infection. Yes, some people are indeed better off without their tonsils and need them removed, but it actually harms people to have them removed unnecessarily.
Likewise, the appendix was a big mystery. And I think the only reason why it wasn't removed as regularly as tonsils is because it's much more invasive surgery.
But more recently, scientists began to discover that the appendix also serves a vital function for the immune system. This is accompanied by pompous headlines like: Appendix May Actually Have a Purpose. Nowadays, appendicitis isn't always automatic surgery. If they think it's safe to do so, many doctors try treating it with antibiotics first.
Finally, many pointed to wisdom teeth as evidence of evolution. What do we need those unnecessary and annoying teeth for? They must be primate leftovers!
Then I came across the idea that our diminishing nutrition is causing smaller jaws, which is possibly why crooked teeth are so common today. I don't know if anyone can prove the suggested link between nutrition and jaw-size, but it seems that a smaller jaw might also not have enough room for wisdom teeth—rather than just assuming it's an evolutionary leftover.
But if you're stuck on the evolutionary model, you won't look at the possible causes of the issue. You'll just keep removing teeth.
(And if you're wondering about the difference between me saying "possibly" or "suggested" and scientists saying those words? I'm not using the suggestions in place of proof or twisting your arm to believe that smaller jaws caused by poor nutrition is indeed the only possibility. I didn't entitle the piece: "Case Closed: Wisdom Teeth Removal Caused by Poor Nutrition." And that's the big difference: honesty.)
Heliocentrism! Oh, Wait...
Opposing the Torah narrative also leads to inaccuracies modern science.
For example, one of the scientific debates you used to hear in the frum community is the objection to the tradition of a geocentric universe in which everything revolves around Earth—an objection purely based on modern scientific theory (AKA "wishful thinking").
Instead, people insist on the heliocentric universe (in which everything revolves around the Sun), as proposed by Galileo centuries ago.
In fact, ever since I can remember, people were taught that we live in a heliocentric universe. And I remember a time in which debates among educated frummies consisted of a struggle to find Torah sources that supported the idea of a heliocentric universe.
I also remember reading stuff by educated frummies who expressed serious consternation over the fact that the Lubavitcher Rebbe did not believe in a heliocentric universe and attitudes like: Oh-heavens-to-Betsy-the-Lubavitcher-Rebbe-did-not-believe-that-the-Earth-revolves-around-the-Sun-despite-evidence…
(The above isn't a direct quote, by the way; it's a paraphrase.)
Heliocentric, heliocentric, heliocentric.
Except that no scientist actually believes this.
The Scientific Practice of Inaccurate Terminology
What they believe today is the theory of a barycentric universe in which all planetary bodies (including the Sun) revolve around a constantly fluctuating center of mass called a barycenter. (And according to this theory, this "center" moves tremendous distances from one point to another; it's not just wobbling around in more or less the same place.)
Nothing actually revolves around the Sun.
In fact, no planets revolve around any suns or stars anywhere in the universe.
Yet you will always hear about orbits around the Sun and planets orbiting stars even though scientists don’t actually believe this.
Respected sources like Scientific American & NASA's Space Place still make statements like "the planets all revolve around the Sun"—even though they don't actually believe this.
And people continue to blather on about a heliocentric universe.
But even this barycenter is also just a theory.
They don’t KNOW. There’s no PROOF.
Furthermore, anyone who believes in an expanding universe (which is standard science today) does not believe in any "center of the universe" at all.
(Please remember this every time you read an article written by these same believers that mentions something discovered in “the center of our galaxy” or whatever.)
Anything! As Long as It's Not God...
A 2008 Science Daily article entitled “Earth Not Center of the Universe” admitted in the first paragraph:
“Although the Copernican principle has become a pillar of modern cosmology, finding conclusive evidence that our neighborhood of the universe really isn’t special has proven difficult.”
Meaning, they believe that Earth is not “special” and is not the center—despite the fact that they can find no proof of their belief.
Yet they continue their mythical quest for such “proof” anyway.
And they state outright that Earth is NOT “center of the universe”—with absolutely no proof.
Why? Because they believe in the Copernican principle, which believes that Earth is not in a central, specially favored position—even though there is NO PROOF of the Copernican principle.
Canadian scientists sound very religious. What a dedicated belief system they have!
If you read the original article, you’ll see that it is filled with phrases like:
They also make unproven statements of personal belief like:
In space, there is no up or down, no right or left, no north or south or east or west. Things are in motion and there’s no real center.
Except that there is: Earth.
Furthermore, how do you define the Center of the Universe?
Center of mass? Magnetic pull? Electric attraction? Physical location?
The 2005 Sloan Digital Sky Survey of 400,000 galaxies shows that they were all arrayed in concentric circles around...Earth.
(Even though this jives with my personal belief of a geocentric universe, I still ask: Does it actually show this or does the survey only indicate such an arrangement? Inquiring minds want to know!)
Furthermore, the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation converges on the Earth along its equator and axis.
Likewise, astronomers see red shift (galaxies zooming away from you) wherever they look—which is exactly what you would see in a geocentric universe!
In fact, Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time) states that the only reason why scientists picked out an alternative and completely baseless theory (that wherever you stand in the universe, you see redshift):
“...modesty: it would be most remarkable if the universe looked the same in every direction around us, but not around other points in the universe.”
Again, no indication or proof whatsoever, simply a desire to believe that Earth is NOT the center of the universe. A geocentric view would simply be too "remarkable."
Anyway, that’s their whole basis. False modesty. Gosh, how scientific!
In an October 1995 Scientific American article called Thinking Globally, Acting Universally, cosmologist George Ellis states:
“…we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that.”
I’m not sure what the consequences are for anti-Torah wishful thinking on the part of scientists, but as long as they insist in digging in the wrong places and creating unfounded theories (i.e. myths) instead of following the evidence, I don’t see how we can advance (or safely send humans to Mars or predict astronomical events or describe the Universe accurately)—scientifically speaking, of course.
Rav Avigdor Miller: Where is the Center of the Universe?
Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
Several quotes and points were taken from the following article:
Current Science Excludes Geocentrism Through Unproven Assumptions
(Note: This particular link is shomer anayim friendly, but the rest of the site isn’t necessarily.)
How would the World be with No Moon?
Yet Another Stunning Scientific Discovery: Heck, We Haven’t Got a Clue!
The Venus Effect: Lots of Fun Insanity
May this post serve as some kind of tikkun for all the time I believed the wrong thing.
Recently, a very interesting article came online called Wellsprings of the Deep - Yotzer Ohr - Who Creates Light at the Daf Yomi Review (which actually contains many more fascinating writings outside of the Daf Yomi).
It's all written by Yosef Sebag who learns full-time in kollel in Yerushalayim and also holds degrees in physics and electrical engineering.
I learned a lot of fascinating aspects of light that I never knew. Yosef Sebag also includes helpful graphs and images to make things clearer for the non-science reader.
This article can really boost your kavanah and awareness when making the Yotzer Ohr bracha preceding Kriyat Shema in Shacharit.
It also adds proof to the fact that only God could have created our Earth and all the life therein (rather than an unrealistically chancey big bang in a multiverse). Just as one example, Yosef Sebag emphasizes that only band of light useful for life is the one emitted by our Sun.
What are the chances of that, big bangers?
Anyway, the whole article is full of such tasty tidbits that make you want to cheer, "Mah rabu ma'asecha, Hashem - How great are your deeds, God!"
To go to the article, please click here:
Wellsprings of the Deep - Yotzer Ohr - Who Creates Light
For more about Yosef Sebag, please click here:
Personally, I'm indebted to his translations of both Chovot Halevavot (Duties of the Heart) and its accompanying commentaries for greater insight into this fundamental mussar classic.
Click here to access the translation and commentaries:
Chovot Halevavot and commentaries - English translation
Seeing as Rosh Chodesh Adar (the first day of the Hebrew month of Adar) is on the horizon, I thought it might be interesting to look at the importance of the Moon.
The Moon plays a major role in Judaism, from determining months and holidays to its necessity for the mitzvah of Birkat Halevanah (Blessing of the Moon).
The Moon also contains profound spiritual and kabbalistic significance.
But in this post, we'll focus on just the bare scientific necessity for the Moon.
What would our world be like without the Moon?
Monstrous Tidal Waves
Everyone knows that the Moon affects tides.
The Sun does, too, but to a lesser extent.
The reason why the Earth bulges out at the equator is due to its pull on the Earth.
This lunar pull also keeps the oceans in check. If the Moon suddenly disappeared, the oceans would flood into every continent, completely changing the map of the world.
In fact, the movement of the newly liberated oceans to meet each other would cause 59-foot (the height of a 6-story building) tsunamis all over pushed from behind by the force of the entire ocean.
Every morning, Jews say the blessing "Baruch...rokah ha'aretz al hamayim -- Blessed be...Who spreads the land over the water" to show appreciation for the fact that the water usually stops at the seashore. (Well, that's one of the meanings of the blessing, anyway.)
A major reason why it doesn't encroach further is because of the reining-in effect of the Moon as described above.
Without the Moon, the ocean currents would slow down or stop, preventing the transfer of heat around the world.
The Earth as a Drunken Dreidel
The Moon has a stabilizing effect on the Earth.
As the Earth spins on its axis, it spins at a tilt that wavers between 22-25 degrees.
Without the Moon, the Earth would swing around like a drunken dreidel, veering from zero degrees (no tilt at all, standing straight up) to an 85-degrees tilt (lying on its side, which would chill the upper hemisphere and shine the Sun directly on the South Pole and presumably cause some major warming and melting down there).
Due to the crazy wobble described above, seasons would just come and go randomly.
Antarctica would sometimes be the frozen wasteland we know today and other times be as hot as the tropics.
Hot areas of the world would sometimes freeze and cold areas would sometimes bake.
Rotation on Steroids
Without the Moon, the Earth would spin much faster.
The Moon acts as a gentle restraint on the Earth (perhaps yet another reason why the Moon is likened to a woman in Jewish allegories and Hebrew grammar).
If the Earth spun faster, this would shorten the days to 6-12 hours, which would increase our calendar year to 1000 days.
It would also increase the strength of hurricanes, making Category 5 storms the norm.
Of course, there are other results you likely thought of: darker nights, the absence of eclipses, nearly non-existent tides, no asteroid blocker to protect Earth, and so on.
The Torah Blueprint
Our Sages often emphasize that the Torah is a blueprint for the world. Before Hashem created our world, He created the Torah, then structured the world accordingly.
As you can see from the above, without the Moon, not only would we face the challenge of physical survival, but we wouldn't be able to keep many aspects of the Torah relating to time.
Of course, the monster tidal waves wouldn't occur if the Moon never existed, but only if it suddenly disappeared.
However, a steady tilt, predictable seasons, and the present calendar could never have developed without the Moon. (Not to mention how difficult life would be under such conditions.)
So whether we're grateful that Hashem created a Moon (at the perfect size and the perfect distance!) or we're grateful that Hashem allows us to keep the Moon, may you enjoy a very good month and rejoice in the fact that we even have such a thing as a month!
Chodesh Tov! May this Adar see the Redemption in a sweet way.
If you've read Perek Shira (Chapter of Song), then you probably recognize the following verse from Yeshayah (Isaiah) 42:13 as the Song of Lion:
אריה אומר (יג) ה' כַּגִּבּוֹר יֵצֵא, כְּאִישׁ מִלְחָמוֹת יָעִיר קִנְאָה; יָרִיעַ, אַף-יַצְרִיחַ--עַל-אֹיְבָיו, יִתְגַּבָּר
"The Lion says: 'God will go forth as a mighty man, like a man of wars will He arouse zealousness, He will shout, he will even scream; He will overcome his enemies.' "
*Note: Kinah (קִנְאָה) is always one of those words I get frustrated about translating into English. It can mean religious zeal or zealousness or envy or jealousy, depending on how it's used. Also, teruah (the root word of יָרִיעַ ) can be expressed vocally by a person or by the blast of a trumpet or shofar, making this also difficult to translate exactly.
Metzudat Tzion (Rav David Altschuler, Galicia, published in 1753 by his son, these commentaries were written while locked in a tower; like a dictionary this commentary explains the words in the text)
יָעִיר - hitorerut, an arousal/awakening
יָרִיעַ - teruah, a loud sound
יַצְרִיחַ - a matter of shouting in a great voice (as mentioned in Tzefania 1: "mar tzoreach")
Metzudat David (Same as above; this commentary explains the meaning of the text)
יֵצֵא - He will go out for the salvation of Yisrael
יָעִיר קִנְאָה - He will arouse zeal of the zealousness of His Nation
יִתְגַּבָּר - He will overpower his enemies
Radak (Rav David Kimchi, 1160-1235, southern France)
"God will go out as a mighty man" for the salvation of Yisrael like the mighty one who goes out to war without fear.
"He will arouse zealousness" of Yisrael, whom they [the nations] oppressed in Exile for years.
"He will shout, He will even scream" -- All this is a form of metaphor representing those victorious in war, that they make noise and scream to overpower that which opposes them.
יַצְרִיחַ - it's like "he will make a loud noise/יָרִיעַ" and it says "He will even scream" because hatzricha (bellowing) is even louder than teruah (shouting) and will overpower His enemies.
Ibn Ezra (Rav Avraham ibn Ezra, 1089-1167, Muslim Spain)
"God will go out as a mighty man" -- Indicates the secret decrees that go out from Hashem's Mouth
"zealousness" -- for the Babylonian worshipers of Bal
"He will shout" -- a kind of teruah
Malbim (the words in parentheses also appear in the Malbim's text in parentheses)
Gibur/Mighty Man: The power of a gibur is in his loins as he goes out to war himself like it says "God will go out as a mighty man"
Ish Milchamot/Man of Wars: And a man of wars is not a gibur; he is only learned in the strategies of war. And a man of wars is one who has examined many wars and is expert in the administration of wars. And he is not a warrior himself; he only arouses zeal from knowing the tactics that hasten men of valor and arouse zeal in their hearts.
(And the metaphor is: Just as the gibur himself fights, likewise God will appear with miraculous leadership and the overriding of the planetary/star system Himself by His Own Might. And just as the ish milchamot organizes the men of valor according to his will, likewise will God organize nature and the planetary/star system to concede to His Orchestrations against His enemy.)
יָרִיעַ - It used a metaphor of a man of war's cry of victory that strengthens his battalion.
אַף יַצְרִיחַ - He will orchestrate things so that His enemies will scream out in a broken cry that will terrify them with tactics so that in this way, their heart will weaken. And by means of this tactic, He will overpower His enemies.
Malbim (1809-1879) clearly says that Hashem will override (שידוד) the entire system (מערכה) of orbits and constellations in order to bring His enemies to their knees.
Over the past years, we've been hearing lots of predictions, but we don't know what exactly will occur, nor when or how it will occur.
And the Malbim seems to imply that astronomical predictions simply won't be, well, predictable because Hashem will override anything He chooses in order to achieve His desired result.
We can make observations regarding objects and their trajectories, but it is all subject to change depending on what Hashem plans to do with it.
If you're on His Side (or at least sincerely trying to be on His Side, even if you mess up at times), then His enemies are your enemies and you have nothing to fear, Jew or non-Jew.
Where does it say that? Previously, in verse 12 (included in the Song of the Bear), the Malbim explains:
" 'and in the islands they'll relate His Praises' -- to recognize the Unity of Hashem and His Spirituality (Ruchaniut), that He overrides the planetary/star system."
Malbim may be referring either to:
May we all do true teshuvah from love & not from trials or disgraceful events.
The Malbim (1809-1879) is Rabbi Meir Leibush ben Yechiel Michel who was born in Russia and served as rav all over Eastern Europe. He was bitterly fought by the Reform Movement for most of his adult life, even suffering a brief imprisonment on a false accusation in Rumania by wealthy German Reformers. Fortunately, he left us an amazing commentary on the entire Torah among other valuable works he composed.
This is my own translation and any errors are also mine.
Hi, we’re going to discuss Venus again today.
Well, a friend lent me a copy of The Velikovsky Heresies: Worlds in Collision and Ancient Catastrophes Revisited, which among other things provides a shocking amount of evidence to support Velikovsky’s theory that Venus is actually a comet caught in orbit between Mercury and Earth.
I'm not a chassid of Velikovsky and don't have a stake in him being right. In fact, he wasn't Torah-observant, so his theories can't all be correct. But if he was correct about certain things, then he was correct.
Because I like to check things out myself, I happened upon pseudo-science regarding an anomaly discovered in Venus’s hemisphere, which led me to write my first Venus post, Yet Another Stunning Discovery: Heck, We Haven’t Got a Clue!
But then I started coming across more weird stuff.
For example, there are mounds of entire articles dedicated to Venus’s surface.
But the thing is...we can’t see Venus’s surface—not with telescopes, nor with specially designed spacecraft put in orbit around Venus, nothing.
The only concrete picture we have of the Venusian surface are a couple of photos photographed by specially designed spacecraft just before they were cooked and pressurized to death by Venus’s hellish environment.
(If you want to see all the photos from all the missions to Venus, including the actual surface in both color and black and white, please go HERE.)
Yet any article on Venus will go on and on about:
(And some of this stuff is contradictory, as you'll soon see.)
And gosh...how do scientists know all this stuff—especially since they can’t see past Venus’s clouds nor can they land a spacecraft easily on Venus’s surface (and when they have done it, it didn’t work as well as it should have and the spacecraft died pretty quickly after landing)?
First of all, the spacecraft that actually landed on Venus measured its pressure and temperature.
Second of all, scientists mapped out Venus’s surface by pinging radar waves all over it from special spacecraft. While they couldn’t ping all of Venus’s surface, they managed to ping the vast majority of it.
Here an oversimplified explanation of how that worked:
And while there’s a margin of error in this kind of mapping, it seems to be considered accurate enough.
Very nice, you might be saying. But do pings also tell us whether there is lava? Or erupting volcanoes? Or tectonic plates and subduction zones?
And what are those anyway?
Okay, so first of all…
On Earth, the land we stand on is said to be gigantic plates—tectonic plates, to be exact—that are floating on a sea of mantle.
(On Venus, scientists think there are tectonics—meaning, they think the ground apparently moves around a bit, which is what formed those rifts and mountains indicated by the radar pings, but their information indicates that Venus’s surface is all one big thing, and not split into different “plates.”)
The above are diagrams of plates on Earth. Venus is said NOT to have these.
According to plate tectonics, these gigantic plates of land sometimes start moving around.
When that happens, one plate might slip under the other. (This is one of several ways earthquakes occurs.)
Volcanoes and mountain ranges are thought to usually form this way, through this act of subduction. Subduction zones are large areas in which the plates meet and interact this way, by shoving one plate edge under another plate edge.
Scientists state that Venus does NOT have either of these.
Except how do they know?
Why are scientists so sure that Venus has volcanoes?
(I mean, there were no volcanoes nor lava in the Venera photos, right?)
There are 6 Reasons:
1) Sometimes, a part of Venus’s clouds really heats up in the way that Earth’s atmosphere does above a volcanic eruption. They don’t know exactly how hot those clouds heat up, so they guess it’s as hot as a volcanic eruption. The area that heats up is also similar to the amount of area that heats up above an Earth volcano.
2) In a place where the radar pinged a map of rifts rising from the ground, scientists detected places where the surface got much hotter, then cooled down again.
3) At one point, they spotted a sharp rise of sulfuric oxide in Venus’s atmosphere, followed by a gradual drop.
4) They spotted lightning in Venusian clouds that reminded them of the kind of lightning produced by volcanoes here on Earth.
5) Venus’s surface doesn’t show much erosion or as many craters as an old planet should.
In fact, Venus’s surface looks downright “fresh” or “young,” which is extremely irritating to scientists because a young Venus is exactly what Velikovsky described and they hate Velikovsky like how ISIS hates infidels.
Also, scientists cling to their faith in an old Universe that takes millions of years to form, and a young Venus shakes this faith.
6) You will constantly read about “mantle plumes” on Venus, which many scientists believe to be the source of Venus’s volcanoes. On Earth, volcanoes are generally (but not always) considered to be caused by tectonic plates shoving one under the other (subduction).
Very simplistically speaking, plumes consist of hot stuff that simply rise from the hot inner core to the surface forming a mushroom-shaped “plume” along the way.
Answers to the False Beliefs
Now, before you say, “Well, that all sounds pretty convincing to me!”, it's important to remember that Venus’s atmosphere is very different than Earth’s.
It’s made up of mostly carbon dioxide with some nitrogen and other stuff, moves around Venus faster than Venus can rotate, and its noxious and volatile cloud cover is dozens of kilometers thick.
In fact, all of Venus is vastly different than Earth — except its size and distance from the Sun.
Using Earth as the model for what's going on with Venus isn't very reasonable.
So to answer each belief from above:
1) Venus’s atmosphere is so different and so much more volatile than Earth’s.
If a part of a cloud heated up, even if the area it covered resembles that of an Earthly volcano, that doesn’t prove—and hardly indicates—that a volcano caused that hotspot.
With all those volatile chemicals around, you can assume that hotspots could be caused by the weather.
Really, if you can't know, then the weather is a logical assumption.
What’s more, scientists don’t know how hot that hotspot really was.
2) Jumping to conclusions based on very little evidence
Infrared imaging of one area: “It is the most tantalizing evidence yet for active volcanism,” says Eugene Shalygin from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany. (See HERE.)
First of all, they’ve been talking about Venusian volcanoes for decades...yet this very recent 2008 observation is the best evidence they have?
So what have they been so confident about all this time?
And remember, they can’t see anything or measure anything.
(Also very important: They don’t know the chemical composition of Venus’s lower layer of clouds...just the upper layer. So maybe there are explosive things in there? See HERE.)
Also, the heat was discovered in only one small area of the entire planet (or comet!).
This is a far cry from assuming that Venus is dotted with active or even once-active volcanoes.
Furthermore, MUST heat mean lava? Does it really have to?
If you read the whole article on hot lava flows on Venus (which was published by the European Space Agency in 2015), I’d like to direct you to the many speculative unscientific statements (emphases mine):
"hot regions on the surface below are probably much smaller"
"the team calculate that the feature may only be around 1 square kilometre in size, with a temperature of 830°C"
"Rift zones are results of fracturing of the surface, which is often associated with upwelling of magma below the crust. This process can bring hot material to the surface, where it may be released through fractures as a lava flow."
"Some models of planetary evolution suggest that Venus was resurfaced in a cataclysmic flood of lava around half a billion years ago."
"Although changes in wind patterns could have caused this, the more intriguing possibility is that episodes of volcanic activity..."
"This heat has to escape somehow, and one possibility is that it does so in the form of volcanic eruptions."
"is likely to have an internal heat source, perhaps due to radioactive heating."
(But to my mind, the more intriguing possibility is the belching-dragon possibility.)
Anyway, this is incredibly pathetic.
3) Using Fiction Plot Techniques as Science
Most unscientifically, they state the following regarding the rise and drop of sulfuric acid in Venus’s atmosphere:
“Although changes in wind patterns could have caused this, the more intriguing possibility is that episodes of volcanic activity were injecting vast amounts of sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere.”
[Emphases mine - MR]
Okay, so based on everything they know, there are two possibilities for a rise and drop of sulfuric acid:
So rather than researching which possibility is more realistic—or even provable (remember, they can detect wind patterns to a certain extent)—they go for the possibility which is more intriguing.
Basically, they say, “Volcanoes are more fun than wind, so let’s go with volcanoes.”
How rational! How objective! How scientific!
4) They didn’t actually spot lightning.
Instead, they detected “visible flashes in the atmosphere” and “localised emissions of radio waves”…which could just as easily result from sulfuric acid droplets because they are extremely and electrically charged. (See HERE.)
5) Making Stuff Up
Rather than taking whatever handful of actual facts they possess about Venus and running with that, we see that scientists start inventing “facts” out of thin air.
Many articles about Venus blather about how Venus’s surface “refreshes” itself via lava flow even though there is no hard evidence for lava or even volcanoes—except for some interesting spots of extreme heat in certain areas of Venus, which lie about rifts in ways that sometimes Earthly lava does.
Rather than considering the idea of a young Venus (which is what the evidence they DO have actually points to), scientists turn themselves inside out to make up stuff with absolutely NO evidence.
For example, even if there is volcanic activity on Venus, it doesn’t mean there is so much that it “refreshes” the entire surface of this Earth-size object.
6) Scientists aren’t even sure whether “mantle plumes” even exist.
It’s just a theory.
Isn’t that shocking?
You read about mantle plumes all over the place, but there is no proof. In fact, The Geological Society of London organized The Great Plumes Debate in 2003.
Gosh, how did we miss that one?
Anyway, the prestigious Nature magazine published a whole paper dedicated to the possibility of mantle plumes on Venus. See a detailed summary of that HERE.
Yet we don’t even know if mantle plumes are real.
Seriously. Do a search on "mantle plumes" and see what comes up.
Notice that the entire experiment took place in a laboratory using nano-sand, water, and a heating plate. (Just like Venus!—sarc) The little they know about Venus was too much to put through their computer.
Please also note the following quote from the article:
“The team believes that a phenomenon underlying plate tectonics on Earth also creates Venus’ coronae: mantle plumes.”
See what they did? They declared mantle plumes an Earthly phenomenon when it is only an unproven theory, then they based their belief on that.
More on Tectonic Plates
It took me a lot of searching to figure out why scientists are so bothered by Venus’s lack of tectonic plates.
In fact, Venus’s lack of plates seems to be one thing that all scientists agree on as fact, but I couldn’t find out how they got that information. However, I did discover why they are so bothered by it:
Lack of tectonic plates indicate a young Venus.
According to science, tectonic plates take 1 billion years to form. And after those 1 billion years, it takes even more time for the plates to form subduction zones (which would then lead to volcanic activity).
So the fact that Venus lacks tectonic plates hints at Venus being VERY young and new, relatively speaking—which is exactly what Velikovsky said it was.
Okay, I’m going to quote now from one of the most recent reports on Venus, a Nature abstract, published in April 2017:
“Why Venus lacks plate tectonics remains an unanswered question in terrestrial planet evolution.”
Maybe because Venus is young!
“There is observational evidence for subduction—a requirement for plate tectonics—on Venus, but it is unclear why the features have characteristics of both mantle plumes and subduction zones.”
Okay, but I thought you needed actual PLATES in order for, well, plates to be shoved one under the other—AKA "subduction"?
And what is the deal with mantle plumes?
We don’t even know if they really exist!
Anyway, the abstract goes on to described some fun laboratory experiments they conducted to see if what they propose could even be possible.
Then it says something very cool at the end:
“Scaling analysis suggests that this regime with limited, plume-induced subduction is favoured by a hot lithosphere, such as that found on early Earth or present-day Venus.”
“…early Earth” eh? (In other words, Venus seems young.)
Oh, and this one is funny. Also published in Nature in April 2017:
Planetary Tectonics: Sinking Plates on Venus
The abstract contradicts the title.
The title announces Venus's sinking plates, then the abstract mentions Venus's lack of separate mobile plates altogether.
Actually, the abstract kind of contradicts itself from one sentence to another.
I thought that Venus had NO plates.
You can read thousands of articles online stating that Venus has NO TECTONIC PLATES.
Notice also that the above isn’t a real discovery.
It is just a bunch of model experiments that merely indicate destruction/recycling of Venus’s surface (which remember, scientists MUST believe in...or else! Or else they must admit that Venus’s surface is pretty new).
There is at least one really cool and fairly new fact (an actual fact!) about Venus:
Venus is electric.
When the European Space Agency is not pretending that wind currents are volcanoes, they are able to actually detect real stuff—like the fact that Venus is the only planet with a strong electric field. (Maybe because Venus is actually a comet?) They estimate it at 10 volts.
In contrast, Mars and Earth’s electric field is estimated at less than 2 volts.
(Actually, they don’t even know this! They can’t detect the electric field of Earth or Mars, so they ASSUME it is less than 2 volts. All they seem to know is that Venus’s field is 5 times that of Earth’s.)
Scientists are very happy about this 2016 discovery because now they can go back to their beloved Old Ancient Venus belief, postulating that Venus indeed had oceans and all that fully-developed-planet stuff, but then its electric winds stripped that all away.
Note: It could be that the original researchers writing up the papers would like to be completely forthright about everything, but their papers won’t get published unless they invent suggestions and turn things away from anything Velikovsky proposed. After all, science is and has always been highly politicized. Furthermore, there is a lot of nasty cutthroat competition for prestige and funding going on within the Ivory Towers.
OTHER COOL STUFF ABOUT VENUS
At least, I think that’s the temperatures of the poles and the terminator. It could be that the articles got the order of the “7” and the “5” confused.
Maybe the poles and the terminator are actually the same temperature.
There is more cool stuff about Venus, but I'm going cross-eyed from needing to read between the lines of every single article in order to ferret out the actual facts.
So that's it for now!
Here’s a fun quote from Astronomy Magazine:
“While Venus lies in the habitable zone of our solar system, something happened in its past to take it from a more lush, verdant world into a dry planet with a runaway greenhouse effect from the abundance of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”
Gosh, how does he know that Venus was once a lush, verdant world?
He says is as a statement of fact.
And then something happened—for SURE!
There is no evidence, not even the remotest indication, that Venus was ever a “lush, verdant world.”
Yet he states it has if it actually happened.
That's when science definitely takes a detour into mythological storytelling, creating pictures & stories that never happened.
This has been such a shocking and disappointing journey for me.
Even stuff I learned as fact as a little girl aren’t really true. Or haven't been proven.
Basically, what scientists have done in the Venus field is to believe with their faith in an Extremely Old Universe—and with no hard evidence—that Venus is millions upon millions of years old.
Then every time they run up against indications that Venus is actually a lot younger (and maybe not even a true planet), they twist around and actually MAKE THINGS UP OUT OF THIN AIR to match their Ancient Venus Theory.
And they say things as FACT. They don’t even tell you all the time “we assume.”
They tell you as FACT:
There. Is. NO. Actual. Proof.
In fact, there's even very little evidence—or no evidence at all. And the evidence they do have indicates the opposite conclusions than those which the faithful scientists reached.
Apparently, scientists will do anything to twist science away from the theories of the infidel, Immanuel Velikovsky.
And why are Velikovsky’s theories so threatening?
Because they lead down the road to a Torah narrative.
(They don't actually make it to the Torah narrative, but they do support it much more than other scientific theories.)
Science is No Longer Just For Left-Brains! Creative Right-Brains Finally Have an Equal Shot!
So I think I’ll also become a scientist of Venus. I'm certainly imaginative enough to become one! I look forward to publishing my research paper in the top science journals.
My title will read like this:
FINALLY!: ALL THE PREVIOUS UNKNOWNS OF VENUS COMPLETELY SOLVED & EXPLAINED BEYOND THE SHADOW OF ANY DOUBT!!!
My abstract will read like this:
"Unusually thick-skinned dragons (whose skin we assume may operate similarly to the same anti-pressure suits found on astronauts) may populate the surface of Venus, possibly living in the rifts detected by highly sophisticated radar pings.
P.S. Just for knowing, recent research into Mercury is also showing evidence a being fairly “young” for a planet. For some reason, Mercury scientists are much more open about saying the Mercury seems young.
Perhaps it’s because they don’t have a Velikovsky controversy to quash regarding Mercury.
Or perhaps it’s because people who study Mercury are actually less mercurial (ha!) than those who study Venus.
One of the greatest difficulties for the layperson in finding accurate information is the chest-puffing inherent in reporting.
Headlines blare some version of: READ THIS AMAZING ARTICLE—NOW!!!!!
And then the article itself must satisfy the reader’s emotional needs.
After all, no one wants to read an article that basically says, “Here’s something out of the ordinary, but we have no clue what it is nor do we understand a darn thing about it!”
Combine this with the human (this includes scientists) need for certainty, plus the human (this includes scientists) need for honor and acclaim, plus the tremendous competition for grant money to fund projects, and you can get a very skewed view of the Universe.
Let’s take Venus, for example.
It's a Very Large & Prominent...Something!
In January 2017, various news sources picked up on a December 2015 discovery:
For more than 5 days, Venus had a 10,000 km/6214 mile-long swath running through its atmosphere.
Bizarrely, the swath remained stationary amid a riotous, fast-moving atmosphere. (Venus’s atmosphere rotates around the planet much faster than the planet itself rotates.)
If you look up articles on this swath, you’ll see declarations of it as “a gravity wave,” accompanied by copious explanations and images describing gravity waves and how grav-i-ty waves differ from grav-i-ta-tion-al waves.
You’ll also see a lot of quotes by scientists saying, “We think it might be this, we think it might be that,” along with statements declaring that the gravity wave must somehow be linked through the crazy atmosphere to Venusian mountains.
Even the original article in the highly regarded Nature magazine features the headline:
Large Stationary Gravity Wave in the Atmosphere of Venus
But then you read the actual abstract:
“Here we report the detection of an interhemispheric bow-shaped structure…”
Why call it a “structure”? I thought it was a gravity wave!
“We suggest that the bow-shaped structure is the result of an atmospheric gravity wave generated in the lower atmosphere by mountain topography that then propagated upwards.”
Ah, so the “gravity wave” is just a suggestion. That’s pretty subjective and non-scientific. But don’t we want facts and proofs?
(Also, notice that within the actual abstract, they correctly continue to call it a “structure,” and nothing else. Why? Because they have no clue what it actually was.)
Then the article states that “numerical simulations” lend credence to their proposed suggestion.
However, simulations are not proofs. Or even indications, necessarily.
Furthermore, despite hoopla to the contrary, much of Venus remains a mystery. So what are these simulations based on? After all, there is nothing to stop scientists from just feeding a computer the “right” numbers to make things add up. After all, it’s a simulation.
Then the abstract admits:
“…but the formation and propagation of a mountain gravity wave remain difficult to reconcile with assumed near-surface conditions on Venus.”
Assumed? You mean you guys don’t know the near-surface conditions?
(BTW, I’m starting to gag on the number of times I hear or read the word “assume” within scientific discussions, especially regarding complex theories built on the phrase, “Well, we assume [fill-in-the-blank], so it stands to reason that…”)
Anyway, if you’re dealing with assumed conditions, then really, how are you calculating "numerical simulations"?
Within the body of the article, they state that the knowledge available regarding Venus's atmosphere don't really allow mountain-caused gravity waves.
This means that even their best guess isn’t possible under all the data currently known about Venus.
The article’s abstract concludes with:
“We suggest that winds in the deep atmosphere may be spatially or temporally more variable than previously thought.”
In other words, they don’t know. They don't really even have a clue.
All anyone knows is that a very big “something” hung around against all odds in one place within Venus’s atmosphere.
Fake News on Venus?
Now, the scientists behind the article deserve credit for their honesty and precise language. They’re not presenting anything but the facts of their research and they even rightly refuse to slap any kind of definitive label to the “structure.” (Likely, the headline was picked by editors and not the authors.)
They’re also very clear that they are offering suggestions and assumptions. They don’t pretend to know.
And yes, many reports quote this abstract correctly, state that these were suggestions, and so on.
However, because of the massive filler in all the reports, you the reader will come away from any of these reports certain that a gravity wave anchored to Venusian mountains was hovering in Venus’s atmosphere.
And you’ll also feel smart now that you know the difference between "gravity" waves and "gravitational" waves.
But it's all just not true.
And by the authors own admission, all suggestions appearing in the article are impossible.
They outright state that a gravity wave in Venus's atmosphere is impossible.
(Well, impossible based on what is currently known—or assumed!—of Venus.)
And gravitational waves have nothing to do with anything on this subject! In fact, it’s doubtful whether gravity waves could have anything to do with this!
So why does every single report on this Venus anomaly dedicate most of the report to gravity waves and gravitational waves when there was
So reading these reports just gives you a whole brainful of—well—fake news.
And this kind of thing happens all the time.
(For a fun summary of the Nature article, please see Scientific Anomalies Continue to be Discovered on Venus.)
This morning, I clearly saw the half-Moon in the sky at around 10:00 AM.
Over the past several months, I've gone for many, many walks at this hour and never saw the Moon at this time.
This follows along the lines of the Moon's fascinating appearances observed by so many people around the world throughout this past year as described in the post Thoughts on Nibiru-Part I: The Scientific Pros and Cons.
Furthermore, our Sages stated that sometime after Mashiach comes, the Moon will gain her original status equal to the Sun, a status that was originally diminished (although compensated for by granting her Rosh Chodesh and Birkat Levana via the Jewish people and an array of accompanying stars).
The Jewish People
As written in Thoughts on the Unusually Visible Erev Yom Kippur Moon, the Moon symbolizes Am Yisrael and also women (the Sages often referred to the moon as "the Levana," the feminine form of the word "white"). And its increasing illumination and edging into the Sun's realm is a very good sign that our light and authority is increasing, too. Although it doesn't appear that way in This World, the Kli Yakar says in Parshat Bo (scroll down to the section on "Heavenly Assassinations") that before events happen down here, those events must occur in Shamayim.
The Kli Yakar gives the example of the Sar (angelic representative) of Mitzrayim being slain in Shamayim before the Egyptians even started in pursuit of Bnei Yisrael as Bnei Yisrael stood looking out at the not-yet-parted sea. They Egyptians were doomed before they even began their pursuit, but never realized it until the waters were actually crashing down upon them.
Regarding women, the Kli Yakar explains in both Parshat Beshalach (scroll down to "The Jewish Women at the Crossing of the Sea") and V'Zoht Habracha that in the Mashiach-ruled future, women will achieve a certain equality with men. No, not the feminist view of equality, but a genuine spirituality-based equality, which includes experiencing joy equally. Women will no longer suffer from their reproductive system, for example. He doesn't say that women will become men (that's not the goal), but that "males and females will be equal." He explains that women won't have the tzaar (the suffering) inherent in pregancy and birth (and presumably niddah).
He also says that both men and women will shed their physical bodies, which implies a spiritual existence unencumbered by the limitations of gender for either men or women.
Though we Jews may very much feel like we're under the thumb of Yishmael and Esav, the truth is that our light and realm are actually increasing, as shown by the behavior of the Moon in recent months.
May Hashem illuminate pure emuna for all of us.
Go back to Part I
Why would Hashem need to send something like Nibiru?
What follows is solely my own opinion, based on my own subjective observations and discussions with Hashem.
Your conclusions may be very different.
So here it goes:
I keep getting the “message” (for lack of a better word) that there is very, very heavy din [judgment] hanging over all of us.
And this is what Nibiru symbolizes.
But there is also a tremendous amount of love, too.
Jewish, non-Jewish, secular, traditional, frum—doesn’t matter.
The reason why Nibiru’s existence isn’t entirely clear yet is because the judgment hasn’t been sealed. (Again, no proof, just my thoughts.)
Hashem is still giving us a chance to make teshuvah out of love, out of a sincere to desire to come close to Him and to become better people.
And it doesn’t need to be heroic measures. Baby steps are just fine for beginners or backsliders.
There is tremendous love in Shamayim and the time is ripe for even the smallest step in the right direction.
Some people have suffered so much and are also caught up in Western society’s values (even if they think they’ve lived such a frum life that they’re unaffected by Western mores) that they honestly can’t see the right way.
(Please see How to Avoid being a Victim of Mind Control for more discussion.)
Taking that first baby step feels like taking a step off a cliff while blindfolded.
Way too many people dismiss core Jewish values and even outright halacha as things that “only tzaddikim can do” or things that “people did back then, but it’s not for our generation” or else they present such a watered-down superficial version of the original Torah exhortation that it’s like saying a soggy tissue is the same as the tree from which it came, with the same qualities, strength, and fruit.
The road on which the baby steps must be taken consist of 2 things:
Now, it goes without saying that trekking down this road can involve fails, stumbling, careening, belly flops, potholes, and completely spinning off in a fit of pique.
That’s okay. Those fails are all from Hashem, too.
The main thing is to start walking. Even just a tiny step.
Trials and tribulations are meant to bring us closer to Hashem.
As life presses down on us and closes in, we’re supposed to realize that we have no one else to turn to—and turn to Hashem.
But many times, we don’t do that.
There always seems to be yet another expert with whom to consult, yet another method, treatment, or medication to try. There are addictions and other self-harming behaviors. Or sometimes we just remain in a constant state of anger or in a constant state of detachment and disassociation, lashing out our frustrations and fears either aggressively or passive-aggressively at whoever seems to be the most suitable target.
Anything so as not to face up to the truth and do the work necessary.
Yet despite all our most strenuous efforts, things get worse (or they improve temporarily and then get worse) as described here.
A lot of people are angry at or afraid of Hashem. They've been traumatized and Hashem doesn't seem Compassionate or Loving or Merciful. Deep down, they believe He's punitive, harsh, and sadistic.
And that's why even taking one baby step is so meaningful - because it is so hard to overcome all that false and negative programming.
As seen in Part I, there are definitely indications that something might be out there, but there is no clear undeniable pie-in-the-sky proof.
So does Nibiru exist? It does and it doesn’t.
Is it heading our way? Yes—and no.
In the meantime, Hashem is holding it off.
Why Nibiru? And Why Now?
I began to notice a sharp plunge middot and derech eretz that hit people starting around the age of 35.
And if they didn’t catch themselves (meaning, if they didn’t even try to start taking baby-steps toward a raw personal relationship with Hashem, which includes authentic continuous self-introspection/cheshbon hanefesh), they became progressively worse.
For example, I know people who always behaved with sterling middot, and now you wouldn’t believe the hostility and irrationality they express now—for absolutely no reason, completely unprovoked.
In fact, sometimes, they get hostile after you tell them something genuinely positive about themselves or give them comforting chizuk.
Other times, they wait until you’re in a vulnerable moment, and then they kick you when you’re down—which is incredibly nasty. I’m talking about people that I’ve known for 10-20 years. And even those who didn’t have sterling middot, per se, they still started off as pretty good people.
And this turn that starts at around age 35 affects EVERYBODY—including me.
I personally feel that if I hadn’t read Garden of Emuna and started talking to Hashem directly and making a real cheshbon hanefesh, then I would be a really horrible person right now. Or on medication. Or both!
And other people have confided the exact same thing. They also feel that if they hadn’t caught themselves and started talking to Hashem and doing real nitty-gritty teshuvah, they would be just awful right now.
Doing teshuvah and connecting personally to Hashem don’t mean that you act angelic all the time. Only tzaddikim are good all the time.
But it does save you from becoming the embodiment of Erev Rav.
I've had friends who ended up on Prozac for the long term.
What I didn’t know at first was that one of the possible side effects of Prozac is that it makes its user shoot off his or her mouth.
And it’s done in kind of cheerful way because of the false mood Prozac imposes upon its user.
He or she becomes less sensitive to other people.
In fact, sometimes people on Prozac even say shaming or insulting things to you in a loud, gleeful voice (which is really bizarre and embarrassing).
Because Prozac is usually used for depression and because depressed people see the world and often themselves very negatively and hopelessly, they see you that way too. Then they project their own self-loathing and life-loathing onto you.
So they feel better...but everyone else feels worse.
And let me tell you, it is very ugly to be on the receiving end.
I noticed that some people on Prozac showed no interest in me or even in my response to their words, skipping lightly from subject to subject without pause until they ended the conversation with a light "Well, that's all I wanted to say now...bye!" as if they were starring in a one-woman show, monologuing before an attentive yet passive audience.
Yet others still snipe and cheerfully insert insulting comments even when you don't talk at all, expertly finding something hurtful to say even when you provide no "springboard" and remain totally silent.
With the Prozac-sniper, explaining yourself or calmly confronting his or her misperception (i.e., “Why did you call me ‘neurotic’? I’m not acting ‘neurotic.’ I’m showing enthusiasm. Being enthusiastic is not the same as being neurotic.”), you'll receive a blissful smirk in return. There is never any apology, no admission of misunderstanding, nothing. Your feelings simply do not register through the haze of Prozac. They may even imply that if you are bothered by their behavior, then that is a clear sign you need to be on meds, too.
In fact, I've known Prozac-users who encourage others go on meds. Many even start any children who are just old enough to also go on meds. They do this despite the fact that some meds (such as...Prozac!) are contraindicated for young people. For example, the rate of suicide in Prozac-users at age 13 or younger is so high that even the greedy pharmaceutical community was compelled to issue warnings about prescribing Prozac for that age group.
I saw that some of these Prozac enthusiasts want everyone medicated so that they can continue verbally abusing people (including their own children) without feeling any repercussions (such as healthy guilt or remorse).
And yes, of course, many of them have their own story.
In other words, underneath it all, there is a wonderful person who has been broken by life.
But as things stand right now, their behavior is insufferable and I haven’t the fortitude to continue even the most superficial relationship with such people.
What will it take to wake them up?
Answering the Wake-Up Call
We have millennia of mussar by all our Sages telling us that the trials and challenges in life are supposed to make us turn to Hashem.
But right now, there are people cracking under the weight of marital problems, health problems, chinuch problems, financial problems, problems with neighbors and schools, and much more...and they can't bring themselves to connect directly with Hashem.
And it doesn’t matter whether they are frum from birth or baal teshuvah. Many are in a situation in which they no longer have anywhere to turn. They’ve exhausted resources, schools, “experts,” methods, medications, treatments, and so on.
And they still won’t turn to Hashem.
And they won’t do a cheshbon hanefesh.
Oh, they may say Tehillim or do 40 days of Perek Shirah or give tzedakah or go to the grave of their favorite tzaddik or tzaddika.
And those are VERY good and powerful deeds.
But they aren't a replacement for direct connection and chesbon hanefesh.
It all goes together.
For example, some people keep Shabbat, but they don't keep kosher. Some people engage in serious learning while also engaging in serious machloket and lashon hara. Some people do chessed, but also chisel away at the self-worth of the very people they're supposed to be helping. And so on.
There has to be an attempt to keep the whole package of mitzvot and not just the ones considered easy or more appealing.
Likewise, some of people may go over an interaction in which they feel they may have spoken or behaved inappropriately. And they may even apologize—which is all very good.
But they don’t finecomb through themselves and their decisions and their overall behavior and hashkafah on a daily (or even weekly) basis. They don’t dig down and get dirt under their nails, spiritually speaking.
Rockets from Gaza, terror attacks, tragic accidents, the recent upending in American and British politics, mental health issues (considered “incurable” by standard mental health “experts”), chronic physical problems, rising Jew-hatred, chinuch problems, marital problems, societal problems, and much, much more…and some people are answering the wake-up call.
Personally, I needed the wake-up call several times over many years before I forced myself to answer, as described in How I Only Discovered Emuna 20 Years after I Thought I was already Religious and The Erev Rav Strategy: Following the Biggest Bully.
When Bread and Circuses Just Won't be Enough
This post has given examples from within the frum community.
But when I look outside the frum community, I see even more solidly anchored complacency.
An extremely intelligent and successful Jewish professor once told me, “If someone held a gun to my head and said, ‘Choose a religion!’, I’d choose Orthodox Judaism.”
“Not Reform?” I said. “Not Conservative?”
“No,” she said. “I’d definitely choose Orthodox.”
But the gun isn’t to her head and she has been happily intermarried for years and contentedly lives a life completely devoid of Judaism—no Yom Kippur, no Shabbat candle-lighting, no Chanukah candles or Pesech Seder—nothing.
Most people I know who are assimilated Jews and non-Noachide goyim are content to be as they are. Even a life-threatening illness or the death of a loved one does little to jolt them out of their haze.
The only thing I see that can nudge people into taking that first baby step is something that can’t be dealt with or controlled or smoothed over or ignored.
A large pale green dwarf star appearing in our sky cannot be medicated away.
No “expert” can instruct you in the right method for treating it.
Reality shows, mindless novels, Internet surfing, yoga, Buddhist quotes, “giving it your all!”, atheism, raw food diets, addictions, temper tantrums, chocolate fudge cheescake, pretending not to see it, platitudes, getting angry, and giving away parts of Eretz Yisrael to those who want us dead will not touch Nibiru’s effect in any way.
Nothing can stop it or even deter it.
(And all those underground luxury bunkers are bunk. For all their hype, they cannot survive a direct hit from an asteroid or being in the middle of an earthquake fault or massive flooding. Hashem decides where things hit and He has perfect aim.)
If Nibiru does come, I’m kind of hoping it shows up before the scheduled Amona destruction because then I think the big fake Libtards will forget about Amona and just panic (or do teshuvah!).
People will finally have to confront themselves—and deal with God and what it all means.
And I will, too.
(Believe me, as much work as I’ve done on my own middot, I’d be working a lot more intensely if I had a massive brown dwarf star system visibly bearing down on me.)
Here are some resources for getting started in talking to Hashem and cheshbon hanefesh:
And here is how good deeds and emuna can rearrange the stars (including Nibiru) for your benefit:
Go back to Part I.
I'm a middle-aged housewife and mother in Eretz Yisrael who likes to read and write a lot.
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