Posted by: Boaz | March 16, 2014

Purim Wonder…

I wonder if the same sort of people that dress up themselves and/or their children as Haman for Purim today, will be represented by those that dress themselves (and/or their children) as Hitler in 1,000 years…

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Posted by: Boaz | December 24, 2013

A Lesson from History #1

“Since wealth is an order and procedure of production and exchange rather than an accumulation of (mostly perishable) goods, and is a trust (the “credit system”) in men and institutions rather than in the intrinsic value of paper money or checks, violent revolutions do not so much redistribute wealth as destroy it.  There may be a re-division of the land, but the natural inequality of men soon re-creates an inequality of possessions and privileges, and raises to power a new minority with essentially the same instincts as in the old.  The only real revolution is in the enlightenment of the mind and the improvement of character, the real emancipation is individual, and the only real revolutionists are philosophers and saints.

The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant (emphasis mine)

Posted by: Boaz | December 17, 2013

Parashath Shemoth–Choosing a Name in Dark Places

This Shabbath we begin to read sefer Shemoth.  The sefer (book) and the parasha (see glossary above) both get their name from the first verse of that section of the Torah (see glossary):  “These are the names (shemoth) of the children of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob…”

There is a crucial idea to be found in this first pasuq (verse) if one looks just a bit below the surface.

In Ancient Jewish reckoning a name is more than the sounds or letters that make up what we’re called or how we’re differentiated in a group.  As Shlomo HaMelekh (King Solomon) reveals in the first pasuq of the twenty-second pereq (chapter) of his Mishlei (Proverbs):

נִבְחָר שֵׁם, מֵעֹשֶׁר רָב

That is, “A (good) name is to be chosen above great riches…”

The name that we’re called to be differentiated in a group is not our choice.  I guess when one gets older they have the choice to change their legal name if they so desire.  However, I believe the Torah is speaking of something else here.

The word shem (name) in Hebrew conveys several different ideas, but the one I want to utilize here is the idea from Mishlei above.  The name we choose is our reputation.  We are constantly confronted with decisions everyday.  Some more crucial than others.  However, over time our minor decisions congeal to create a trend of behavior, and this observed and publicized/shared behavior of ours becomes our reputation.

In the case of the children of Israel who went down to Egypt, they maintained their (good) reputation…even in Egypt.  Egypt here being symbolic of a very strong counter-culture to the righteous living in Ka’anan (Caanan) they were trained for and accustomed to.  In other words, despite the sudden allure of an exotic and erotic culture, the children of Israel maintained their names, i.e. their reputation as righteous people.

It’s not hard to see the comparison to today.  The righteous today are called to a special mission.  We are to light up the darkness, without the darkness dampening our light.  As we zip through this life, let us remember the example of those who came before us.  Who in distant darkness shined bright, to encourage us and guide us in our current time of night…

Posted by: Boaz | November 12, 2013

Guess that Sacred Text!

Are you up to the challenge?  

I will list ten characteristics of a certain well-known religious text of a certain religion, and see if you can guess what text I am referring to by the clues given.

Sounds easy?   Here are the clues!

1.) This religious text is actually composed of several books written over a long period of time all having the same basis of understanding and goal.

2.) Scholars date this sacred text centuries later than the adherents of it do. (Maybe this one is a bit too general) 🙂

3.) Teachings from this text blatantly contradict the Tanakh (Old Testament).

4.) This religious text’s author/authors is/are considered to be a mystic(s) because of their knowledge and feats.

5.) The theological premise(s) and sundry teachings proposed by this text is/are not universally accepted, or universally agreed upon by its own religion.

6.) This text is written using at least one ancient language.  A modern ancestor of this language is spoken today.

7.) The core of this sacred text started out as oral tradition before being written down.

8.) Depending on who you ask, this text philosophically is considered equal to, or not as holy as the Tanakh (Old Testament)— but practically is elevated above it.

9.) This sacred text is read and studied widely by both Jews and non-Jews around the world.

10.) The setting of this text is the Mediterranean, the Near East and their environs.

11.) The primary impetus that lead to the eventual writing of this religious text was, according to tradition, an action performed by “Eliyahu haNavi” (Elijah the Prophet).

Think you know the answer?  It may not be as easy as you think.  

I will post the answer in one week’s time, b’ezrath Hashem.  Good luck!

Posted by: Boaz | October 31, 2012

Trying to Understand Atheism Part 3a: Quality of Life

“I asked G-d if I should become an atheist, and He said, ‘No.'”

I think there is always a temptation to oversimplify complex issues especially when in a debate.  It’s very easy to say that the opposing side is all “X” and my side is all “Y”.  In the real world there are always exceptions and I find that things like faith and individual people can be pretty complex and don’t always fit a mold.

Understanding something like atheism (or theism for that matter) is not so cut and dry, and certainly I won’t convince anybody of the opposite party with my conclusions with just three posts on my hobby-level blog.  My intent isn’t necessarily to do so anyway.  I’m writing out my thoughts from my own encounters and observations.  I’m sharing these things with you, dear reader in hopes it will only help and not hinder, and perhaps more selfishly, to write out my own thoughts on the matter to help me better understand where I’m holding.

As I mentioned before, not every person fits the mold that supposedly goes with their “category”.  For example, in college two of my good friends were “confessed atheists” and they helped me out on several crucial occassions to a much greater extent than my Christian friends did—who are supposed to be more charitable, supportive, etc.  I learned then that regardless of religion, race, creed, etc. that people are people.  They’re going to mess up, or they’re going to impress, and it sometimes has nothing to do with their faith or lack thereof.

Everyone has good days and bad days.  That’s why I tend to size people up as individuals, looking at their gifts, their strengths and weaknesses (and what can I learn from them), and try not to rigidly group people into larger stereotypes or assumptions despite their track record.  Of course, I do start off with broad assumptions unless proven wrong by that individual, and I think broad assumptions can be made based on religion vs. “lack thereof” like in my discussion here.

I will summarize my thoughts/opinions into 3 main categories:  Quality of Life, Intelligence, and Sehnsucht.

Quality of Life: 

Studies have shown time and again that a majorityof people have several benefits from their faith.  On average religious people are happier (1), cope better with trauma, stress and addiction, and have benefits to their brain that are not yet fully understood (2)

Who says religious people happier?  I think over the years “people of faith” have consistently “scored higher” in happiness/wellness in polls, and a recent poll shows more of the same (with Jews [and primarily Orthodox Jews] on top!)  Whatever the reason(s) is/are it’s certainly something worth noting.  If the goal of one’s life is to be happy and enjoy it, then it would seem that religion is not only legitimized by this data (not that it has to be), but also actually necessitated as a means of obtaining that goal.  Coming from the atheist’s perspective that “Religion poisons everything good in this world”, or that “faith is a psychosis” etc. would seem to be unfounded criticisms (and not a very mature or thought-out thought process either IMO).

My belief is that people are happier or find a better well-being in life through faith is because we were created with that need in place.  The reason why G-d is so concerned with people turning away from Him in the Bible narratives is not because He’s a big bully (chas v’shalom) like Richard Dawkins postulates, but because He knows how much better off we are when we’re striving to be closer to Him.  More on this later (IY”H) in the section regarding Sehnsucht.

While I was learning for my undergrad in Sociology & Anthropology my professor (3), who is also a licensed therapist, shared studies with us that he did for his latest publication.  He did research that showed joining a fraternity or sorority increased a person’s alcohol intake by I forget how many times over .  It was unbelievable how much more so vs. the average college student NOT a member of a fraternity or sorority.  I think it was a few 100 percents more.  And with the drinking came everything that goes with it, promiscuity, rape, violence, vandalism, etc. all at a ratio that corresponded directly to the increase of alcohol consumption.

What does this have to do with the price of beans in China you ask?  I brought it up because after he shared his research with us he also shared some statistics in regards to those who get help from alcoholism from such organizations as Alcoholics Anonymous, etc.  Then he mumbled something under his breath about how studies show those who seek faith-based counseling have a better recovery from addiction and less chance of relapse.  He was agnostic and had a hard time acknowledging this, but he did anyway which said a lot about his character.  I was glad he did because it showed his work has integrity and that he was willing to show research that was maybe counter his world view (which tends to be truer information—also in historical sources).  It was also good information to know because 12 years later I used the information as a reference in my blog. 🙂

In summary, research shows (4) that people of faith have a better quality of life, which I defined as a life in which either there is either minimal health problems and delinquency or enhanced health/betterment and a life that changes those around them in a positive way.  Of course one could always differ on this definition, but it’s the measurement I used for my own observations.

Next article will be on Intelligence; more specifically discussing the atheist perception that somehow people of faith are “less intelligent” than they are.

1. http://www.gallup.com/poll/152732/Religious-Higher-Wellbeing-Across-Faiths.aspx, http://www.gallup.com/video/152798/Gallup-Event-Religion-Wellbeing-Health-Part.aspx, http://www.gallup.com/video/152801/Gallup-Event-Religion-Wellbeing-Health-Part.aspx

2. http://www.andrewnewberg.com/change.asp

3. http://ww2.valdosta.edu/soc/Dr.MichaelCapece.shtml

4. Interestingly enough, just today a friend of mine who’s a therapist and an Orthodox Jew told me how much they wish they could bring faith-based healing or philosophy into the therapy when helping clients because of the success rate of those that are religious vs. not (my friend works in state-funded clinic where mention of even a higher power could get them in trouble).

Posted by: Boaz | September 5, 2012

Trying to Understand Atheism Part 2: The “Godfather”

In my previous post on this topic I mentioned how a friend and fellow theist turned antagonist (and atheist) cited the works of Richard Dawkins during our debate, and that I should check out his books and documentaries.  I don’t really have time for the books, nor do I think they’re necessary.  Just from reading excerpts I got his jist, and the rest is just an attempt at convincing the reader he’s right.  I did view his documentary entitled, “The Virus of Faith” however just to be fair.

Before I give my opinion of what I found, I want to first state that it is ALWAYS a weak move to recommend a documentary to back up your argument.  As a rule, documentaries are ALWAYS going to present the spin on facts that the film’s producers want it to…whatever the cause may be.  They purposely withhold information from the viewer that would diminish the film’s argument, or they select only footage germane to what they want to show/prove.  After watching several documentaries during debates from the standpoint of the “other side”, and seeing their glaring flaws I only recommend documentaries “pro-my views” to others that share those views as a means of encouragement.

For example, I recently watched a film supposedly depicting the horrors that Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank live through under Israel’s “military occupation” (see my review here: https://soultapestry.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/peace-propaganda-and-the-promised-land-a-response/.)  Anybody who’s lived in Israel and keeps up with things knows within the opening scene the film is garbage.  They purposely used footage from the most recent Intifada and let the viewer know that this is daily life for the “peaceful” Arabs there.  It was Leftist propaganda at its best, but as I’ve already argued…documentaries are not really the BEST thing to use unless your audience is woefully uninformed.

Dawkins’ documentary is no different.  He begins with a glaring logical fallacy called “affirming the consequent” when he compares raising children towards political views vs. religious views.  He makes a claim that just as we don’t raise children to any particular political party, so too we should not raise children to any religion.  This is totally fallacious.  Although as he says we do not call our children a “Tory Child” or “Labor Child” (or “Democrat Child” or “Republican Child” for Americans) based on the Party affiliation of the parents is correct, I would claim that we raise children to be adherents of a particular Party or political ideology in all but name.  Studies bear this out to be true: http://www.gallup.com/poll/14515/teens-stay-true-parents-political-perspectives.aspx.  For someone who’s entire “un-faith” structure is based on supposed rational thought he was off to a destructive start.  It gets worse.

I believe it was in another one of his documentaries, “The Root of All Evil/The God Delusion” that he said that politics are important.  Since religion is clearly NOT important to him, how can he make such a comparison as the one above?  For a proper argument in the vein of the one he was attempting to make, the two subjects being weighed have to have some basis of equality of value.  To Dawkins they clearly do not and so his argument falls flat for this reason as well. 

What’s more is that he neglects to mention that ALL parents everywhere in a normal situation raise their children in the lifestyle that the parents already have chosen.  Vegans wouldn’t raise their kids to be meat eaters because the parents adopted a different lifestyle that they believe to be better for whatever reason.  By the same token, religious parents feel similar in raising their children.  They believe that their lifestyle is a better way and so would want their kids to live that way too.  The same goes for anybody with any lifestyle or background under normal circumstances.  By Dawkins’ reasoning kids should be made to grow up in a vacuum so as not to learn any of their parents’ lifestyle choices…or seemingly to him, only in regards to the parents’ religious beliefs which is not only impossible, but a ridiculous argument.  When logic is your “god” you have to do better than that.  The whole basis for his world view could be built on fallacious logic…the very thing he accuses his opponents of!

There’s more:

Dawkins has stated, 

“The main residual reason why I was religious was from being so impressed with the complexity of life and feeling that it had to have a designer, and I think it was when I realised that Darwinism was a far superior explanation that pulled the rug out from under the argument of design. And that left me with nothing.”

Darwinism doesn’t prove there’s not a G-d.  In fact, Darwin himself gave credit to G-d for what he observed, or at least held that He had to be considered:  http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/09/what_darwin_said_about_god.html

As one can see from that article, Darwin also didn’t believe that it was possible for something as complex as an eye to just spontaneously develop through the evolution that he observed!  I don’t know if Dawkins mentions any of this in his writings, but regardless he shouldn’t cite Darwin as his inspiration.  To Darwin the complexity he saw bespoke of a Creator’s involvement, not “evolution”.  The fact that atheists/agnostics around the world rally to Darwin’s cause as the father of their “unfaith” is just as ironic as Christians being the cause of hundreds of years of pogroms, crusades and genocide towards Jews when they in fact worship one.

Finally, in an interview (and subsequent clarification/explanation by Dawkins himself) he stated that a possible explanation of how life began on Earth was that extraterrestrials started it.  Now, I understand he’s not saying that this is for sure what happened, but the fact that he’d rather believe this with just as much so-called scant “scientific proof” over an Intelligent Designer (that to me is revealed by the complexity of the universe…as he mentioned) is beyond my comprehension.  Which to me is very telling about what’s really going on with atheism.  This will be the topic of the third and final installment, IY”H.

Posted by: Boaz | August 29, 2012

Trying to Understand Atheism Part 1: The Encounter

This book recently appeared on my Amazon.com recommendations list: http://www.amazon.com/Godless-Evangelical-Preacher-Americas-Atheists/dp/1569756775/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1346254265&sr=1-1&keywords=godless+dan+barker

The book itself is mainly a diatribe against Christianity (which is both understandable and easily done theologically), but I always find accounts of people who “reinvent” themselves interesting.  Although I won’t read it due to other priorities I appreciate its concept and want to learn from it.  Hence this article.

After viewing this book I began another inner quest on the topic of atheism.  A topic that I had not thought about seriously for at least 6 years.  As a concept “atheism” still baffles me…I guess primarily because it is so foreign to me, but I still want to understand it.  So let’s first go back to when I first really thought it over and go from there to see what happens.

About 6 years ago I was deeply obsessed with an online discussion forum hosted by a Christian organization named “First Fruits of Zion” (FFOZ).  FFOZ is an organization and publication group that teaches that the Torah was not nullified by Jesus (or Paul), and is equally binding on Jews as well as Christians.  A theological concept known as the “One Law/Torah Movement”.  I recently discovered that they no longer teach that the entirety of Torah is binding on non-Jews, and I applaud them for coming closer to the truth.  It was during that time of my debating on their forum that I concluded a very intense and objective study that took almost 2 years on Jesus’ supposed Messiahship.  I was able to come to the now too obvious conclusion that he of course is NOT the long awaiting Mashiach through lots of time devoted to reading, critical thinking and (thankfully) crucial help from a good friend.

At that same time I met someone on the forum who was also questioning traditional Christianity, and maybe even Jesus himself.  We began a very easy and edifying correspondence via e-mail.  I shared findings from my research and he began to find peace from the problems that plagued his faith.  After a few weeks into our discourse he told me he began what he felt was a more true faith, one that fit the context of the “entire Bible”.  After some time, the tone of his e-mails took on a different pitch.  He came to the conclusion that if his faith in Christianity was so easily undone by shredding presumptions with research, then any religion, the totality of a religion and not just theological alterations, could be undone the same way.

Almost over night, the young man with the sweet e-mails and encouraging notes, and well thought out questions turned bitter, angry and provocative.  He told me that his father was an atheist and he was raised with no belief in a god and was fine.  That changed when he met his wife, and she being a very devout Baptist, would not marry an atheist so he converted.  He struggled over the next several years of marriage with religion.  He told me it never made sense to him, but that he would just swallow certain things to get along with his wife.  Learning about historical Christianity and Torah helped him to iron out some of the things that always bothered him (e. g. the Trinity, Virgin Birth, Hell, etc.)  He told me that he prayed everyday for his wife to become pregnant, and it never worked so he stopped (I offered some Jewish solutions to the problem [i.e. certain Tehillim to say, etc.] before his turn to atheism and he said at the time he would try them, but never said later that he did or not).

Of course I was heartbroken.  His poor wife.  He said that he was finally himself and not a faker and never felt so good.  I never asked how his wife took it, but I could only imagine.  The years he spent on shalom bayis was admirable, and I felt he just threw it out the window on an impulse.  I suggested that he study out his position more.  Do more research, take some time, more soul-searching (prayer was obviously out of the question).  He liked the idea and counter-suggested that we have a debate.  Me vs. him, theism vs. atheism.  Already caught up in the debate fever from the other discussion forums that I haunted I readily agreed.

The debate was quickly going nowhere.  Immediately he began to insult my input and personal experiences as childish, fantastical and VERY unconvincing.  I was a little stung obviously, but more upset that he broke the rules of a formal debate.  Ad hominem arguments are automatic forfeits of a classical argument (which I declared it to be before agreeing to it).  He was unfazed by this, telling me that he’s no longer bound to any rules of etiquette and all the more so those of religion.  He could do what he wanted now and didn’t care who he offended (as an interesting side note of irony, he was a cop in real life.  Someone whose job was to enforce laws told me that he was not bound by laws or rules). 

Obviously the debate died a horrible atomic death, but his chiding e-mails increased as did the caustic language used.  He recommended I check out writings from the infamous Richard Dawkins as well as one of his documentaries.  (I watched the documentary to be fair.  More on this later.)  We debated what I found to be lacking in Dawkins’ argument, and seeing for myself he was just as unbending in his unbelief as I was in my belief I backed off and let the relationship cool into a memory.  Shortly after that, however he sent a final e-mail stating how his wife was finally pregnant and that G-d had nothing to do with that.  It never occurred to him, or at least didn’t let it sink in, that just perhaps their prayers were finally answered (or at least his wife’s who I’m sure never stopped praying), and/or the segulas (spiritual remedies) worked.  I also wondered at the timing of the event.  Why didn’t G-d let her conceive when he was actively praying?

That was my first hardcore exposure and debate with a “born-again” atheist.  Our back and forth seriously made me question my own beliefs.  It was a mental and spiritual struggle that took weeks to resolve.  It’s not easy to really look at the apparent holes, flaws, etc. in one’s beliefs and fill them in or make them digestible.  To try to collate them along with their criticisms into something I could not only live with, but grow from was one of the hardest things I’ve gone through.  I think the difficulty was compounded by the fact it was so close on the heels on another major shift of mine from Christianity to Judaism, but difficult nonetheless.

In the next segment I hope to discuss what I find lacking in the arguments of Richard Dawkins, the “Godfather of Fundamental Atheism” (as I call him), and in atheism as a whole  in part of my attempt to understand it.

Posted by: Boaz | August 21, 2012

Esav Continues to Spurn His Birthright

“וְיַעֲקֹב נָתַן לְעֵשָׂו, לֶחֶם וּנְזִיד עֲדָשִׁים, וַיֹּאכַל וַיֵּשְׁתְּ, וַיָּקָם וַיֵּלַךְ; וַיִּבֶז עֵשָׂו, אֶת-הַבְּכֹרָה”

“And Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way. So Esau despised/spurned his birthright.”  (B’reishees [Genesis] 25:34 [emphasis mine] JPS)

The other day a thought popped into my mind about Christian/”Messianic” Jews.  Esav (Esau) is used interchangeably with Edom in the Tanach and Rome in the writings of Chazal (the Sages).  We see the first usage of Esav = Rome in aggados (1) from the middle 2nd Century C.E. (just after the Bar Kochba rebellion). (2)

“It has been taught: Judah b. Ilai said: My teacher (possibly R’ Akiva) blessed be he used to say ‘The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau [Gen. 27:22]; the voice of Jacob cries out at what the hands of Esau did to him at Beitar (3).'” Gen. Rabbah. 65:21, et al.

Judaism considers Rome, and by extension the Catholic Church (and her offspring known as Protestantism) headquarted in Rome, as Esav.  What does that mean?  It means in a spiritual way that the relationship Klal Yisrael has with Rome/Christianity is very much mirrored by that of the Biblical text of Yaakov (Jacob) and Esav.  I however see it as more applicable to Jews who become Christians as I will shortly explain, IY”H.

First off, we saw above that Esav spurned his birthright for food because he was SO hungry.  He gave up his connection to his lineage (Avraham [Abraham] and the covenant/promises G-d gave through Avraham‘s line; thereby cutting off his own line to such promises/blessing), nullified his right to physical and spiritual “property rights and responsibilities”, and even relegated his role in his immediate family!  For what?  For food!  Something fleeting, physical, man-made and temporal.

Just as Esav spurned/rejected his birthright for immediate satiation, or for something that’s appealing to the “eye”, so to Christian Jews when they convert to that man-made, empty religion (in comparison to the fullness they have already in their own faith and heritage) they spurn their Birthright they already had with G-d, and all of its promises and covenants.  Christianity created a need that doesn’t exist, and a method that is entirely foreign to the Holy Tanach, but is right at home in a Greek myth.  They just needed to look a little deeper and their own faith and not depend on the bad experience of Hebrew school as a kid as a glimpse of the whole, and gaze a little farther down the road for the long term benefits they have lost for a bowl of red stuff (Gen. 25:30)! (4)

Not only does this similarity exist in the Torah‘s narrative, but one can see more.  There are a group of Christian Jews (and non-Jews) that claim to “keep Torah” and consider themselves shomer Shabbos or shomer miztvos (observe the Biblical Sabbath day [Saturday] properly and perform Biblical commandments and still view both as valid for a Christian to do).  They also, almost without exception, are vehemently against what they refer to as “Rabbinic Judaism” or “Rabbinic Law” which they consider, at the very least, to be tampering of the Torah as G-d intended.  Judaism calls this same corpus of work the Oral Torah and believes that it was originally purely an oral tradition passed down from G-d to Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses) before being written down and is diligently studied and lived as such today by Orthodox Jews.

The connection of all of this to the narrative is found in Rashi’s commentary to B’reishees 25:27.  There Rashi tells us that to demonstrate his false piety to his father Yitzchak (Isaac) who represents the correct way, the direct lineage of covenant and promise, i.e. Klal Yisrael, that Esav would ask seemingly thoughtful questions on Jewish law “how do we tithe salt and straw?”, etc.  when in reality salt and straw do not need to be tithed.

We can see this in the groups that claim to keep the Torah.  They dabble in the Oral Law because they have to to know any halacha (even if it’s just to reject it) as well as use the Masoretic text of the Tanach for their own purposes, but you can tell by their questions, by their answers, and more importantly by their actions that they don’t really respect the whole system (Written and Oral).  They basically live the way they deem fit as individuals, but with a “front of observance” just like Esav.

Another similarity:  We see in B’reishees 36:2 that Esav married outside of his family, i.e. the shiksas (5) of the time.  Christian Jews routinely intermarry with non-Jews despite the cultural tradition of even secular Jews to never marry a non-Jew.  This reminds me of the Jewish joke about the Lesbian who comes out and tells her Jewish mother that she’s gay and has a girlfriend.  “Well at least she’s Jewish” the mother concludes.

It’s also a Biblical injunction for a Jew not to marry a non-Jew as we see in Ezra 10, but for them the NT trumps all, which goes back to the above point that they (Torah “observant” Christian Jews) basically do what they want anyway despite the show of putting Torah first.

Another similarity:  They dress like non-Jews, act like non-Jews, speak/think like non-Jews and engage in activities totally contrary to halacha and what is considered fit for a Jew (e.g. hunting)…just like Esav did (B’reishees 25:27).

Finally, they have separated themselves from their own people physically and spiritually:

וַיִּקַּח עֵשָׂו אֶת-נָשָׁיו וְאֶת-בָּנָיו וְאֶת-בְּנֹתָיו, וְאֶת-כָּל-נַפְשׁוֹת בֵּיתוֹ, וְאֶת-מִקְנֵהוּ וְאֶת-כָּל-בְּהֶמְתּוֹ וְאֵת כָּל-קִנְיָנוֹ, אֲשֶׁר רָכַשׁ בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן; וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶל-אֶרֶץ, מִפְּנֵי יַעֲקֹב אָחִיו

“Then Esau took his wives and his sons and his daughters and all his household, and his livestock and all his cattle and all his goods which he had acquired in the land of Canaan, and went to a land away from his brother Jacob.” (B’reishees 36:6 [emphasis mine])

Once part of the family, Esav now takes everything and goes away from his people…never to return and always to live in enmity with them.  Christian Jews have done the same.  They chose a pagan tradition to follow in place of their own beautiful tradition.  Christianity turns them against their own people when it makes them so “anti-Rabbinic” which in truth is the seed of Korach’s Rebellion (B’midbar [Numbers] 16-18), and prevents them from living in frum Jewish communities where they belong.  The anti-Semitism is so rife in the NT I can’t believe they would want to be part of something like that as Jews…and non-Christians are the blind ones?!

Please, if you’re a Christian Jew reading this, return to your people and Hashem’s ways.  Don’t be the token Jew for Christian pep rallies anymore and dwell with Klal Yisrael who’s dwelling place is described as : “How goodly are your tents, O Yaakov, your dwelling places, O Yisrael…” (B’midbar 24:5)

(1): Please see the definition of this word, and any others not defined here above in the “Glossary”; and if it’s not there let me know and I’ll add the word.

(2): 132 to 136 C.E.

(3): Beitar is where Bar Kochba’s army was finally surrounded and annihilated by the Romans.

(4): Just as a side thought…the color red is significant here.  Christians are obsessed with blood, (and Catholics particular in “eating” JC’s blood) which is also red like the lentils in the narrative.  This fascination and importance on blood in Christianity is mostly a siman (sign) of that relgion’s spiritual nature.  In this case the emphasis on blood and sacrifice is from Mithraism upon which a significant amount of Christian theology/structure is based.

(5): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiksa

*The author would like to thank the Jewish Virtual Library for their help in researching this article.

Posted by: Boaz | August 16, 2012

Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land: A response

I was asked to view the following documentary: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/peace-propaganda-and-the-promised-land/

I did so out of fairness to the argument even though I already knew what I would see because I’ve heard it all before.  Just like any documentary, the producers only chose footage or information (true or otherwise) that backs up their argument and neglected to add details or context to the information shown which would undermine their agenda.

For example, it starts by saying at the end of the 1967 war Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem and that the U.N. passed a resolution telling them to leave.  Yet they remain illegally or something like that.  First off it neglects to mention who started the hostilities pre-1967 by threatening to invade Israel and “push them into the sea”.  Convenient…it makes Israel looks like the aggressor which any historian (or anyone who can pick up a history book and read) with half a brain would tell you that’s hogwash.  The film also doesn’t tell you that the pre-’67 borders for Israel are untenable from a defensive military standpoint.  When you are surrounded by enemies who not only threaten to destroy you, but have attempted to on numerous occasions (and continue to do so), it is tantamount to suicide to reduce your defensive capability.  This is not something you can ask of a sovereign Nation to do.  No other Nation would do this if pressed so.

Also, while we’re on this topic, something else that the film neglected to mention is that those three areas that were occupied did not belong to the “Palestinians” either, but were actually part of Jordan, formerly Trans-Jordan a recently established Arab State from another demographic/geopolitical butcher job by the British.  What makes the most sense is to return the Jordanian refugees left behind, i.e. “Palestinians” back to Jordan where they come from.  Unfortunately the King of Jordan doesn’t want this because of his fear that they will align themselves with more extreme elements in Jordan, i.e. the Muslim Brotherhood.

Back to the Leftist propaganda in the guise of a “documentary”:  The film also shows a lot of footage of verbal and physical abuse of Arab civilians and a lot of military coming and going saying, “this is how it is every day for the “Palestinian People”.  Malarkey.  First of all, we don’t have tanks and platoons of soldiers rolling in there every day making life hell for them.  I’ve actually driven through part of the West Bank and have stayed several nights there and what I saw of the Arabs was they went about their business unharassed.  There was maybe one soldier every several hundred feet to protect US.  They have checkpoints BECAUSE THEY COME INTO ISRAEL AND KILL PEOPLE.  It’s a security precaution and until they elect a valid political party instead of a terrorist organization which refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist it will remain that way and rightly so.  I haven’t seen any Liberal try to negotiate with someone who vehemently doesn’t think they should exist, and until they do they should remain silent on the matter.

As far as the footage of the soldiers beating or verbally abusing “poor innocent” Arab civilians, it seems to me common sense that these too are taken out of context, but I guess you can’t count on everyone’s common sense.  What the film doesn’t show is what the Arabs did to provoke the reaction.  Whether it was just killing an Israeli soldier and his buddies were lashing out or perhaps a Jewish family was just slaughtered in the night or what have you.  Does this make it right?  Not necessarily, but it explains what is really happening instead of just rounding up random Arabs and beating them.  There’s also a lot of footage out there showing what Arabs do to captured soldiers and Israeli civilians which is a lot worse.  This isn’t retaliation on the behalf of the Arabs, let’s go back to the beginning and remember that they started the conflict, and continue the conflict.

The verbal abuse at the checkpoints is also understandable.  Do you know how many times they’ve been asked by a seemingly innocent looking Arab, “I just want to go home” or “I just want to go pray” only for that person to be a suicide bomber?  They don’t tell you that in the film either.  The footage is taken out of context as usual.  The man holding up his papers saying that they’re real or valid or whatever…how are we to know that is the case?  Because he says so in front of a camera?  Give me a break.  I don’t see how people can fall for this.  Total ignorance of what’s really going on there.

The film, although a supposed documentary about how the media is biased towards Israel, falls into the same supposed trap of their subject by throwing fairness into the wind towards Israel throughout.  Most notably when mentioning the genocide at Sabra and Shatila.  The film puts full blame on Israel for this action even though it was Christian Arabs that did the actual killing, as well as the fact their exists testimony (from a Lebanese Muslim no less) that Israel didn’t order the slaughter.  Israel gets no benefit of the doubt, and in doing so the film makers swing the pendulum the complete opposite way…heaving an unbearable weight onto their hypocrisy and undermining the desired objectivity of a documentary.

I could go on and on, but won’t.  I have more important things to do than to try to convince a wall about what’s reality versus fantasy, but I do know that I am comfortable in my position having seen with my own eyes, having done research outside of biased documentaries, and having the seichel to realize that history, fact and common sense are on my side with me.  If the Liberals were so set on actual human rights and the easing of human suffering or “fairness” and “peace” they would also be protesting Turkey for their long-standing ILLEGAL occupation of Cyprus, ongoing and BLATANT genocide in Sudan (which is ignored by the U.N. and doesn’t prevent a Sudanese warlord from getting a job he’s definitely not qualified for there), the defacing and destruction of Jewish holy sites in Muslim lands (I’d like to see a checkpoint scenario there with the tables reversed), and Saudi Arabia refusing to let a Jew even in the country.  But Jews have to make room for the Arabs on our Land?  Land that is the size of New Jersey and we already have HALF OF OUR TOTAL POPULATION as a people there?  Jerusalem isn’t even mentioned ONCE in the Q’ran…NOT ONCE!  And it is our holiest site, but we should give it up because the British let Arab squatters live there for awhile?  What is wrong with people?  I just don’t get it.

I also look forward to the day when the Arabs are ready for Democracy and foist the grip of Hamas/Chezbollah, etc. from around their necks and actually contribute something to the world at large besides hate, ignorance and barbarity.

Posted by: Boaz | July 10, 2012

Let’s Get the Facts Straight

After reading the below articles I had the following conclusion:

http://www.aish.com/jw/me/My_Life_as_an_Egyptian_Muslim_Radical.html

http://www.aish.com/jw/me/An_Islamic_Reformation.html

I think it is beyond wonderful and great that Muslims are embracing a peaceful interpretation of their faith and are beginning to apply it, and are waking up to the evils that are prevalent in Islam around the world!  However, to say that Islam was always peaceful and loving and it has recently been corrupted by fundamentalists I think is inaccurate.  History shows that Islam as a religion was forged in the fires of conquest and forced conversions.  There was zero tolerance for those that did not convert.  It’s definitely an affective means of growing a religion considering how widespread Islam is today…but a loving, peaceful religion this does not make. 

The same conclusion can be made with Christianity.  Today’s version of Christianity is more or less loving, charitable and positive (as long as they stay away from converting Jews).  However, this is only Christianity’s recent form.  Up until relatively recently Christianity committed numerous atrocities, crimes and tortures to Jews and others as well as engaged in numerous wars of conquest and genocide.  Even the modern Evangelical’s approach to Israel and its people is also a relatively new one, being only about as old as the modern State of Israel itself.  Go figure. 

If you have the misfortune of being black in the South before the Civil War you were enslaved by the VERY Christian white population there, whereas the more liberal north is what saved you.  Ironic.

Please see another article of mine regarding the history of “Christian” love: https://soultapestry.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/2000-years-of-christian-love/

Christianity was indeed always a loving, forgiving and peaceful religion, as long as you weren’t Jewish or Muslim, or a different skin color, or displeased the king or bishop, etc.  Islam wants to supplant the world order with sharia law.  They don’t have a concept of adhering to the “law of the land” which really means no matter how “peaceful” they are, they ultimately want to win.  Christianity has their own designs for ultimate world conquest.

Again, it’s great that muslims are becoming more tolerant and loving, etc. if it’s sincere, but to say that they are following the proper path of Islam is a chiddush (new idea)!  Islam up until this point has been walking a different path, and I think it’s important to clarify that point.

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