The Broken Gift Book Reviews

Amazon reviewer- September 28, 2014

Raised Catholic and interested in Kabbalah since 1998, I’ve been asking bigger questions for a long time, and my particular area of interest has been human evolution, from biological, anthropological, and religious standpoints.

I consider myself lucky to have been educated in such a way that my Catholic faith and science were never a threat to each other, even as I was aware of people insistent the world was created in 7 days in other fundamentalist and Orthodox circles. Still, no one could really ever dig deeper into what happened at the dawn of humanity, spiritually speaking.

Just a few years ago, I became aware of writings by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, Rabbi Sara Yehudit Schneider, Rav Laitman from Bnei Baruch, and Rav Berg from the Kabbalah Centre, which dig a bit deeper into the mystery. I learned about sabbatical cycles, Rabbi Isaac of Acco’s calculations for the age of the universe, The Ari’s wealth of contribution to study even in his short life, and so on.
I read The Broken Gift probably a little less than a year ago, thought it was interesting, and actually returned it because I didn’t think it fit in with the worldview that was emerging – but I know now I just wasn’t ready to receive the message.

I’ve since studied a but of Rav Ashlag’s Ten Luminous Emanations, based on The Ari’s writings, which talk about reverse evolution, or de-evolution.

I remembered this book, and downloaded it again recently for a read. I was ready to receive what it said, and it all made sense. I was amazed.

Mr. Friedmann’s book is the book I have wanted to exist for a long time, but hadn’t until recently.

Top 50 amazon reviewer- Could the Torah, the Bible and Science all be telling the same story?, November 19, 2013

In The Broken Gift, Daniel Friedmann takes us on a fascinating journey through the Old Testament, the Torah and currently accepted scientific theories and shows us how these could actually be telling the same exact story of the creation of our universe and the birth of mankind. But how could they be the same when the Bible and Torah tell us the earth and the heavens were created in 7 days and The Big Bang Theory tells us it was millions of years? Is there some way these seemingly different accounts could be telling the exact same story? According to Friedmann that is entirely possible. And in this book he explains how.

This isn’t light reading, but it’s written in layman’s terms, not like a physics book or technical journal. Because these are big ideas to wrap the mind around on a philosophical level, I found myself reading over some pages a couple of times, but not because it was difficult reading. The way he presents these ideas is very thought provoking. I didn’t find any of his ideas to be anti religion or anything like that. In fact, it was kind of comforting to see a way for them to reconcile with each other intellectually.

The book is divided into 12 chapters, each covering different aspects of these huge concepts. Friedman relies on Jewish teachings (of which The Old Testament is a major part) for the religious story of creation. He addresses such things as fossil records, radiometric dating, The Genome Projects, explanations of Biblical passages, oral history, the creation of man, the Flood, Babel, and the conversion of time. I found the conversion of time the most interesting chapters in the book. The question of time, for many people is always the most difficult problem in reconciling science and creationism. Friedman gives an explanation of how the two could actually be the same. One thing I wish he had stressed a little more is the idea that time on earth and time in outer space has actually be measured by astronauts to be different, even though man has only been able to travel a short distance into space. So time on earth and time billions of light years away could actually be different although experienced at the same “time”. (Does that make sense?)
Friedman includes many tables and references including timeline that make it easier to visualize some of these ideas. He also includes a glossary and annexes of Genesis, Divine Time and the Flood background.

I received a complementary review copy of this book.

Jewish Independent Newspaper, November 22, 2013
The Broken Gift by Daniel Friedmann (Inspired Books, 2013)

FP: Was Adam the first man? Was man created by divine act in less than one day almost 6,000 years ago, as the Bible suggests? Or did man appear 200,000 years ago as the culmination of numerous human-like species that existed during a span of millions of years, as the scientific record shows? Could both be true?… In The Broken Gift, author and aerospace engineer Daniel Friedmann examines the questions and provides an accurate gauge on which science and the Bible can come together….

JI: Using religious and scientific texts and analyses, Friedmann has created an equation that, in his view, solves one of the main problems in reconciling the two narratives of the world’s (and humankind’s) creation: time. The Broken Gift is an interesting thought experiment that also explains Friedmann’s views on the Flood story and its influence (or not) on human history, the number of languages spoken in the world, the free will vs. divinely ordained paradox, and humanity’s mission (and our progress towards the messianic era). While most skeptics won’t be convinced by Friedmann’s arguments, he does raise – and provide possible answers for – many questions that have long been debated.

Judge, Writer’s Digest 21st Annual Book Awards, October 17, 2013

The premise of this book, supported by many thought-provoking arguments, is that a dual analysis of scientific evidence and the material related in Genesis lead to the same events and timelines for the beginnings of mankind. Using both scientific and scriptural research, the author, an engineer – seeks to demonstrate a meaningful alignment between what science and the bible tells us. Discussions cover both scientific inquiries, the controversial subject of Creationism, and the current situation of both. The fossil record, genetics, and the timeline for the appearance of homo sapiens are covered. There’s a fascinating interpretation of scriptures as well as the critical conversion of human and divine time to reach similar conclusions regarding humanity’s timeline. Many readers may discern revelations about revelation in Genesis. The book ponders whether there is scientific evidence for the flood. The scientific history of language, from the perspectives of the bible and science, is also especially interesting. Illuminating figures and tables, enhancing the textual assertions, are spread among the chapters. Ample subheads facilitate easy reading of the clearly written book. A glossary of relevant terminology is very handy. The cover design is intriguing. The title by itself is insufficient to reflect the book’s contents. A subtitle suggesting the premise and citing science and the bible would be very worthwhile.

4 stars Inspiring and Informative, October 9, 2013

I’ll admit I was a tad bit skeptical about what I was going to be getting into at first. My religion is very important to me. I am a firm believer in studying and garnering information from different sources to build upon my knowledge and understanding.

What impressed me most about this book from the start was the author’s care to respect the Scriptures and not defunct them but add onto what Christians believe to be true about the Bible and Creation. There first chapter lays out the foundation clearly for the reader to know what to expect while reading The Broken Gift chapter by chapter.

Even if you are clueless about world history, Mr. Friedmann easily intertwines brief history lessons into each chapter so you can easily see how world history correlates to Biblical history.
I’ll be the first to admit – I’m a self-proclaimed nerd. This book has tables, figures, timelines, lists and references galore that grabbed my attention. I was quickly engrossed with relating the history I’d studied for years in school with the history I’d been taught in church and through my independent studies. This book brought back fond memories of a World Religions course I took years ago that helped spark my zeal for knowledge when it came to my faith.