Monthly Archives: April 2017

New Seat New Fruit Old Seeds Take Root

New Seat, New Fruit, Old Seeds Take Root (Randyjw; April 30, 2017)

 

The seeds have been transplanted

from container to the ground

into G-d’s safe hands entrusted

for mine were not to be around

If G-d smiles kindly on them

and blesses them with sun and rain and air

I’ll know that I’ve done rightly

by placing them gently in His care.

 

Wishing you the best, my little grapefruit seeds. May you stay well, and, not just alive, but to thrive and set down roots in the rich earth I’ve carefully created for your home. Love you, tamid va’ed. xoxo.

 

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Trust Your Doubts

 

Trust Your Doubts (Randyjw; April 30, 2017)

 

Run like the wind

When you’ve become entangled in something which leaves you no way out but to sink further within

then gather your courage, stick to your will and your guns, and get out of there just as fast as you can

When the answer becomes as clear as day

and you were made to question what the heart had said with the little protestations it had relayed

don’t let the mind be reeled in by the veneer of a cover in which you will continually doubt the decisions that you’ve made

You will learn that you had always been right and your previous life and self will have to be buried in their proverbial grave

Dig yourself out and relocate to another location

find another place from which to try to rectify the mess from the bed in which you’ve laid in a new, safe haven

and be ever careful not to inflict these same mistakes on the next ones you encounter, as such

for when you accepted the union between controller and user, their problems and your baggage will join to taint all those you touch

 

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Under Shades Of Blue

 

Under Shades Of Blue (Randyjw; April 30, 2017)

 

Believe in you. That’s the best you can do. Believe in a higher power, if that’s your truth.

Knotted with another version, another person, another hue, make sure to color balance correctly, to get the proper, total view.

🌈

 

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Candelika

 

Candelika (Randyjw; April 29, 2017)

 

There comes a time, sometime,

when weariness sets in

and you just keep getting

beaten down,

again and again

It’s hard to dredge up

that energy

to keep you going

through the fire and the rain

but you must somehow

learn to put a foot in front

of the other, just the same

It might be a step between

living and final rest

but existence is certainly

much better than not

And that is what drives you

just to be and do that well

because the candle that

dances with a small flame, at first

survives with the fuel of hope

and that each dark corner it will have brightened

will have been the worst, already past

And each moment, it steps anew

in emboldened waltz of enlightenment

and learns many steps, and dances

wildly and crazily on its own

 

~~

 

Instant love.

(https://youtu.be/YK3_puJbPOs)

Am I right?

 

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See

See (Randyjw; April 29, 2017)

 

You can whisper your dreams to the whelk shell on the beach

certain that the words will remain trapped in the spirals inside

You can shout them to the waves that come crashing right in reach

who will carry them back to sea on the next outgoing tide

But it’s the shells found with the holes which make the pendant, chain and rest

for it is they that share those dreams and keep them close to heart and chest

 

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Beams

Beams (Randyjw; April 28, 2017)

 

Thoughts of you occupy my being and soul

In every day and every hour,

In every ray and every flower

and take me over completely whole

 

I can do nothing else but feel the merge

that you’ve astrally travelled to fill my vessel

with the eternal essence of your soul

this evening, internally, as your weight settled close by my bones

transported by satellite telepathy across mere electrons through their nodes

 

Sometimes, you feel like a light touch

with me when I need, yet freely leaving as you please

I said, “please… don’t go…”; but I felt that you did and then were

slowly sliding away, and it was okay,

as it is a special thing, which only certain two can share

for that moment, which can stand in time,

will be its own testament to what was then,

what will eternally be,

and what might never repeat again.

 

It is; it was; and that is all that really matters —

this circle of life, and atoms, and hearts that shatter continually, and often, together.

 

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Filled With Surprise

Filled With Surprise (Randyjw; April 28, 2017)

 

surprised it didn’t go away

surprised that it held fast

surprised that afters had their say

to find that it did last

surprised that it would give you space

surprised it let you breathe

surprised that when you turned around

and found it couldn’t leave

surprised to learn it swayed and bent

surprised and light of air

surprised to find that in the end

what oddly kept it there

 

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Happy Birds

Happy Birds (Randyjw; April 28, 2017)

 

Little birdies in a nest

in a lemon tree

little birds of happiness

paired like you and me

 

Little birds flit to and fro

and fly because they’re free

Little birds can come and go

because they simply “be”

 

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Thanks Again, Jedda Knight

 

Thank you to the man in Jedda, Saudi Arabia who has given a donation to help with the needs of still-suffering Holocaust survivors. That was very thoughtful of you, and your previous contribution was also very kindly. Thanks, again.

 

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How New is the New Hamas Charter?

How New is the New Hamas Charter?

  • The Arab states that reject Israel today forget that they themselves would not exist without the Mandate system – a point seldom if ever acknowledged in public forums where the legitimacy of Israel is debated.
  • If there is any Palestinian desire for a two-state solution, it is questionable: according to current maps of “Palestine,” and the New Hamas Charter, it is supposed to be on its neighbouring state, Israel; not next to it. The wish of Palestinian leaders to have a Palestinian state is never realized solely due to the unending rejection of their Jewish neighbour.
  • Article 19 of the New Charter repeats that there will never be peace so long as Israel still exists. It declares: “We do not leave any part of the Palestinians’ land, under any circumstances, conditions or pressure, as long as the occupation remains. Hamas refuses any alternative which is not the whole liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.”

———————————————————————-

Anyone with a serious interest in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians will be familiar with the oft-cited Charter (or Covenant [mithaq]) of the terrorist group currently ruling the Gaza Strip, Hamas. The Charter (in Arabic here) was published on 18 August 1988. Its proper title is “The Charter/Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement ‘Hamas’ Palestine”, Hamas being an acronym for “the Islamic Resistance Movement”.

This April, the Lebanese news site al-Mayadeen leaked a draft version of a much-revised version of the 1988 Charter, due to be released “in the coming days”. The anti-Israel website Mondoweiss subsequently provided an English translation of the draft, made by someone from the Ayda refugee camp in the West Bank. So far, I have been unable to find the Arabic text of the draft online, even though it has been discussed many times in the wider Arabic media. We shall turn to it later, but it is obviously sensible to look first at the 1988 version as a basis of comparison. And even before that, we need to see how the Hamas Covenant differed from, and resembled, the PLO Covenants of 1964 and 1968.

The full title of the movement is crucial to an understanding of the document and its aims. Hamas had been founded in 1987 as an intransigent extension of the Palestinian Mujamma linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, and was explicitly hardline and neo-Salafi in its religious orientation. This was in conspicuous contrast to its rival Palestinian movement, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), founded by the Arab League in 1964 as an overtly secular and nationalist entity. The two PLO National Covenants of 1964 and 1968 exclude religion as a basis for the anti-Israel struggle.[1]

But in those versions, that secular nationalism takes two distinct forms. The 1964 PLO Charter is based on the concept of pan-Arabism as inspired by the Arab League and Egypt’s president at the time, Gamal Abdel Nasser. Palestinians are simply Arabs among millions of Arabs, and their struggle for liberation was carried out with little emphasis on the creation of a Palestinian state. This view changed, however, after 1967, when the Six-Day War showed the powerlessness of the Arab states to resolve the Palestinian issue. When Egypt and Jordan attacked Israel (Egypt’s closing the Strait of Tiran was a legitimate casus belli, cause for war), Israel repelled them and ended up sitting on land — Gaza, the Sinai Peninsula, Judaea and Samaria — which it immediately offered to return in exchange for recognition and peace. That offer was rejected in a matter of weeks at the Khartoum Conference.

During and after the “peace process” and the Oslo Accords of the 1990s, the Palestinian leadership promised that it would delete the most offensive and anti-peace clauses of the 1968 Charter. Many years later, nothing has been done, and the existing Charter remains unchanged.

Nationalism is not an Islamic concept. Even pan-Arabism falls outside the remit of Islamic ideology and practice. Almost from the beginning, Islam has been predicated on the idea of a global community (the umma), which embraces all Muslims and Islamic regions, allegedly since the beginning of time, with a promise of eventual Islamic control over the Earth. According to a sound tradition in the canonical collection by al-Bukhari, among the five things given to Muhammad that had not been given to any previous prophet was that, “Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation only but I have been sent to all mankind.”[2] In another version, he is recorded as saying: “I have been sent to all mankind and the line of prophets is closed with me.”[3]

This sense of global scale has characterized the Islamic world from its beginning in the form of empires. These started with the Umayyads (661-750) and ended with the Ottomans (1299-1922). The long history of Islamic imperialism had two imperishable effects: it prevented the development of nation-state polity and imposed the theory of religious rule. Self-identification for imperial citizens functioned only through the family, clan, tribe, village or town or city; or according to religious affiliations of various kinds. Everywhere, the only true citizens were orthodox Muslims; subjugated minorities such as Jews and Christians were kept strictly as inferiors, with a separate set of harsh laws and a special tax, the jizya, to pay for “protection”.

This legacy of Islamic dominance, of jihad as a legitimate and regular policy towards non-Muslim Europe, African regions, Central Asia and India, combined with the illegitimacy and unacceptability of Jewish, Christian or secular rule over Islamic territory, has left a deep mark on the Palestinian sense of identity. Formerly subjects of the Ottoman Empire in Syria, almost overnight in the 1920s the Arab Palestinians found themselves adrift in a sea of international rules and regulations concerning territory and national identity. This was the never-acknowledged pivot around which the growing conflict with the Jewish Palestinians revolved — and still revolves.

The emergence of various nationalisms in the Islamic world since the early twentieth century (such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Syria) owes little or nothing to traditional Islam and much, if not everything, to the impact of the West, where nationalism first developed. Some Muslim states (such as Iran, Morocco or Egypt) have always had a sense of territorial identity, but most have been provinces of imperial systems. When the League of Nations set up three Class A mandates for Syria/Lebanon, Palestine/Transjordan, and Mesopotamia (Iraq), it created five nations out of two provinces. The Arab states that reject Israel today forget that they themselves would not exist without the Mandate system – a point seldom if ever acknowledged in public forums where the legitimacy of Israel is debated.

Palestinian nationalism is, therefore, an extension of the wider Arab nationalisms created out of the mandates, both in terms of the Palestinian Kingdom of Jordan and the long-postponed future state of Palestine. If there is any Palestinian desire for a two-state solution, it is questionable: according to current maps of “Palestine,” and the New Hamas Charter, it is supposed to be on its neighbouring state, Israel; not next to it. The wish of Palestinian leaders to have a Palestinian state is never realized solely due to the unending rejection of their Jewish neighbour.

So long as the PLO dominated the political landscapes of the West Bank and Gaza, an eventual shift, through reasonable political compromise presumably from both sides, to a two-state solution, remained the only game in town. The secular-nationalist position of the Palestinians offered some hope of political normalization and the publication of a new Covenant. That changed in 1987 with the emergence of a major rival to the secular-nationalist position in the form of a new resistance organization, Hamas, founded shortly after the start of the First Intifada. Hamas is an acronym for harakat al-muqawama al-islamiyya (“Islamic Resistance Movement”). One year later, in 1988, Hamas made waves when it released its own Charter, an uncompromising document that took the PLO commitment to the abolition of Israel into deeper and little-charted waters, including the elimination of all Jews everywhere.

While both Hamas and the PLO/Fatah dreamed — and still dream — of a single Palestinian nation to replace Israel and its surrounding disputed territories, they differed in one major respect: the Hamas nation of Palestine would be an Islamic state, governed by Islamic values and shari’a law. Things had changed regionally since the two PLO Covenants were made public.[4]

The Middle East and the Islamic world in general were experiencing a shift: from Western-influenced political values based on modern states ruled by man-made law and based on secular governments whether democratic (as in Lebanon) or dictatorial (as in Syria) towards a return to and intensification of traditional Islamic theories of governance, made and governed solely by Allah (God, although their qualities are quite different, if not opposite).

Some form of Salafi Islam had existed from the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, together with the financial windfall from oil and the rise of jihadi movements such as al-Qaeda, brought violent radicalism to the fore, not only in the Shi’i world, but across Sunni countries from Egypt to Afghanistan.

Hamas had started life through connections with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which, although fundamentalist in orientation, originally was not particularly violent. Hamas, however, clearly engaged with the broadening current of anti-Western terrorism justified by jihad, a current that culminated later in the emergence of the Islamic State.

Hamas’s 1988 Charter reflects this. It notes more than once that Palestinian nationalism should be religious in nature and quite distinct from other secular forms of national expression:

“Nationalism, from the point of view of the Islamic Resistance Movement, is part of the religious creed… If other nationalist movements are connected with materialistic, human or regional causes, nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement has all these elements as well as the more important elements that give it soul and life. It is connected to the source of spirit and the granter of life, hoisting in the sky of the homeland the heavenly banner that joins earth and heaven with a strong bond.” (1988 Charter, Article 12)

“Nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its religion. Its members have been fed on that. For the sake of hoisting the banner of Allah over their homeland they fight.” (1988 Charter, Article 13)

Notably, other parts of the 1988 Hamas Charter resemble the 1968 PLO Covenant. For example, in Article 13, we read:

“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.” (1988 Charter, Article 13)

This comes very close to the PLO’s secular use of “armed struggle” (al-kifah al-musalah):

“Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. This is the overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase. The Palestinian Arab people assert their absolute determination and firm resolution to continue their armed struggle and to work for an armed popular revolution for the liberation of their country and their return to it” (1968 PLO Charter, Article 9).

And the use of “jihad” by Hamas comes even closer to the PLO’s “Commando action” (al-‘amal al-fida’i), literally “self-sacrificial action”. (1988 Charter, Article 10). Fida’i is from the same Arabic root that gives us fida’iyin (Fedayeen).

Hizbullah, Israel’s greatest military threat in Lebanon, is, like Hamas, a revolutionary religious organization inspired by the Shi’i clerical regime that has been ruling Iran since 1979. Although Hamas is a Sunni entity, it has been as happy to accept arms and money from the Islamic Republic as Iran has been delighted to give them. This is of major significance. The assault on Israel is only part of what we see now as an international religious undertaking, one that incorporates the Iranian regime, Hizbullah in Lebanon and Syria, the Islamic State in the Middle East and Europe, al-Qaeda, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and dozens of Islamic actors from ideological movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Pakistan’s Jama’at-i Islami to outright terrorists such as the Taliban in Afghanistan or Boko Haram in Nigeria.

Hamas, then, is far from being alone. While it may have ideological differences that make it hard to form a unity coalition with Fatah in Gaza and the West Bank, it is clearly open to alliances with Iran, Hizbullah, and whatever remains of the Islamic State in Sinai, Libya or elsewhere.

Armed Hamas militiamen on parade with a mock rocket in Gaza. (Image source: i24 News video screenshot)

 

However, the announcement of a new Charter this year, along with its supposedly reformed content, has suggested to some that Hamas may be about to enter a new phase. But is this so? Even a cursory glance will show that it is not.

The truth is that the new Charter, though vaunted as a major shift for the group, is, in reality, little more than a public-relations exercise. Hamas leaders have got smart, but have not changed their spots.

The most obvious change lies in the wording concerning Jews and Israelis. Whereas the Charter Mark I of 1988 contained numerous examples of pure anti-Semitism, singling Jews out as repellent enemies of God and calling for their wholesale destruction, it has finally dawned on the leadership that racist, anti-Semitic and genocidal words do not fare well in many Western states, even in ones with an anti-Zionist agenda.

The result is now a presumed distinction between Jews and Zionists/Israelis. Thus, we read:

“Hamas differentiates between Jews as people of the holy book, and Judaism as a religion and the occupation and the Zionist Project as something separate, and it sees that the conflict is with the Zionist Project not with the Jewish people because of their religion. And Hamas does not have a conflict with the Jews because they are Jews, but Hamas has a conflict with the Zionists, occupiers and aggressors.” (New Charter 2017, Article 15)

However, this article follows one that is quite different:

“The Zionist Project is a racist, aggressive and separatist project based on violating others’ rights and is against Palestine’s people and its vision for freedom, liberation, sovereignty and the return of the refugees. And the Israeli state is the tool of this project and its foundation.” (New Charter 2017, Article 13)

Needless to say, it is alleged that Hamas cannot possibly be anti-Semitic — evidently trying to block out the 3,000 years of documented history that took place before World War II:

“Hamas sees that the Jewish problem and the “anti-semitism” and the injustice against the Jewish people is a phenomenon related to European history, not to the history of Arabs and Muslims or their heritage.” (New Charter 2017, Article 16)

This is, of course, mere bluster that ignores the fact that outright anti-Semitism is to be found in the Qur’an, the Sacred Traditions (ahadith), shari’a law regarding the treatment of Jews and Christians as dhimmi inferiors to Muslims, or the countless persecutions and pogroms carried out against Jews in Muslim countries.[5]

In Article 16 of the New Charter, propaganda dominates the narrative and distracts us from Hamas’s underlying commitment to traditional Islamic thinking about Jews and Judaism.

The difference between Hamas’s unchanged jihad ideology and the image it now wants to project may be found in Articles 8 and 9 of the New Charter:

“8. Hamas understands Islam in all its details, and it is appropriate for all places and times in its neutral spirituality, and Hamas believes that it is the religion of peace and forgiveness, and under its shadow all different religious followers live safe and in safety. As well as it believes that Palestine was and will stay as an example of coexistence, forgiveness and civilian innovation.” (New Charter 2017, Article 8)

“9. Hamas believes that the message of Islam came with morals of justice, truth, dignity and freedom, and is against injustice in all its shapes, and criminalizes the criminals whatever their sex, color, religion or nationality are. Islam is against all shapes of religious extremism, sectarian extremism and ethnic extremism, and it is the religion that teaches its followers to fight against the tyranny and help weak people and it teaches its followers to sacrifice their time, money and themselves in the defense of their dignity, land, people and holy places.” (New Charter 2017, Article 9)

Here, we see in a fuller form the same connectivity to religion that characterized the first Charter.

Despite the claim that Islam is “the religion of peace and forgiveness, and under its shadow all different religious followers live safe and in safety”, it soon becomes clear that Hamas’s intentions towards Israel and the rest of the non-Muslim world have not changed in the least. First, the New Charter declares the Balfour Declaration, the British Mandate, and the 1947 UN partition resolution to be “illegal from the beginning” (New Charter 2017, Article 17), meaning that there can be little room for manoeuver about Israel’s right to exist. That is driven home in the next article:

“We do not recognize the Zionist state. All shapes of occupation, settlements, Judaization and the forgery of truth are illegal. These rights do not dissolve with time.” (New Charter 2017, Article 18)

And that is followed by a return to the jihad doctrine:

“Hamas confirms that no peace in Palestine should be agreed on, based on injustice to the Palestinians or their land. Any arrangements based on that will not lead to peace, and the resistance and Jihad will remain as a legal right, a project and an honor for all our nations’ people.” (New Charter 2017, Article 21)

Article 19 of the New Charter repeats that there will never be peace so long as Israel still exists. It declares:

“We do not leave any part of the Palestinian’s land, under any circumstances, conditions or pressure, as long as the occupation remains. Hamas refuses any alternative which is not the whole liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.” (New Charter 2017, Article 19)

The New Charter is mere window-dressing; even a casual reading of it should show that the new Hamas is the old Hamas wearing a different face to try to disguise the true intransigence and hatred that have always characterized it.

Dr. Denis MacEoin is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute, where he writes about Islam, Israel, Left-wing and Christian anti-Semitism and the Middle East.


[1] For the Arabic originals see here and here

[2] Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah, in Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 7, Number 331

[3] Narrated Abu Hurayra, Sahih Muslim 4:1062

[4] A short but scholarly comparison of the three charters by Philipp Holtmann is available here.

[5] See Andrew Bostom (ed.), The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: From Sacred Texts to Sacred History, reprinted 2008.

© 2017 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.

———————————————————————–

The above article by Dr. Denis MacEoin first appeared April 24, 2017 at Gatestone Institute.org. All copyrights are retained by their original respective owners and no endorsement with or between either website or organization is implied. This article reprinted with permission courtesy of Gatestone Institute.

 

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The Sabra

The Sabra (Rachelgv; April 28, 2017)

 

The desert waits patiently

drying the earth

the spectre raised mired

in the realms of a red sand

an aside cast of mirth

though never forgotten

by the lost blossom

put forth by the sabra

in which whose lands

the real inhabitants

of this scorched birth

were laid

the thirst, when drunk

its quench would slake

no salty bitters

in the mirage

of an oasis made

 

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Massachusetts Shore

 

Massachusetts Shore (Randyjw; April 28, 2017)

 

P-town and scrimshaw;

horseshoe crabs and seaweed;

clams in the sand;

driftwood fleeting.

Feelings of nostalgia…

the salty, cold-air

all-encompassing;

seagulls and sea terns

skim the bay

the dark Atlantic

on an out-of-season day.

 

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Corn Flowers Fragrant

Corn Flowers Fragrant (Randyjw; April 27, 2017)

 

(https://youtu.be/qBDkhfrOZaE)

 

(https://youtu.be/I2bOvscmgIQ)

 

(https://youtu.be/1scTmeZC0W8)1

 

 

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A Kindof Feivish High-Five

 

A Kindof Feivish High-Five (Randyjw; April 27, 2017)

 

Out of breath

galloping ferociously

hanging on by the coattails

with the horse you rode in on

bumping along wildly

flapping errantly in the breeze

hanging on by the skin of my teeth

to dangling threads set on edge at your sleeve

Wheeeeeeeee!!!

 

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Colors Barely There

Colors Barely There (Randyjw; April 26, 2017)

 

It’s funny; this was already titled, when karma deemed it should see the light. I also have a number of other photo posts in reserve to release. I’ll be curious to see if the world is still on the same wavelength, again!

 

I like these two musical accompaniments for the beautiful poetry contained within them:

 

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaT04YFgAIY&list=RDZaT04YFgAIY)

 

(https://youtu.be/lXUKLr3sLtA)

 

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Tree Sun

Tree Sun (Randyjw; April 25, 2017)

 

(https://youtu.be/JmnYqKl1LzE)

 

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She’s A Grand Ole Flag

She’s A Grand Ole Flag (Randyjw; April 25, 2017)

 

(https://youtu.be/TBENdLawhiU)

 

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BaYom HaShoah Hazeh

BaYom HaShoah Hazeh (Randyjw; April 23, 2017)

 

Today we mark a day to honor the lives of those who have perished

Usually, we celebrate G-d’s miracles in our lives both freely, or at His call

This day, this rite of our gathering is to celebrate those whom G-d has cherished

And G-d marks and joins us, on Yom HaShoah,

For six million Jewish,

one-and-a-half million children,

the skies are opened

and the deluge falls

 

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Advice About Advice, Wink

 

Advice About Advice, Wink (Randyjw; April 23, 2017)

 

Unsolicited advice,

in my humble opinion,

is usually not-so-nice,

yet, freely given!

 

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In Happier Days

 

Some days are meant to be sad ones; this one seems to have been pre-ordained. It is Yom HaShoah — a day chosen by the Jewish people to pay tribute to the lives of our brethren taken during the Holocaust. It is a day of introspection, of reflection, of reverence. It is very much our own day: not specified by G-d, not referencing another faith or culture into which we’ve found ourselves immersed, by dint of the paths our ancestors were forced to take in the course of our exile along the roads of our history.

 

We’ve seriously felt the pangs of this struggle in our experience of isolation in our collective acceptance within the larger society. The rejectionism is duly noted, as well, when you see, on an individual basis, patterns left evident in repeated avoidance of Jewish subject matter, fully negating heritage, faith and identity, in the process. Guilt by association toward those of the Jewish faith, along with the cowardice to stand by fully-invested toward those of the same, tells me more in silence about the person it reflects, than it does about anything else. It tells me, really, all I need to know.

 

I paid my respects yesterday to the ancestors of all my people, the six million who were murdered through the callousness of others. I’ve already known this pain, which sears itself into my heart. I relived the collective memory of the Jewish people.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

In Happier Days (Randyjw; April 23, 2017)

 

Through the slavery of Egypt;

through the auto-da-fe’s; the pogroms;

through the Inquisition; the Crusades;

and the exile of Babylon.

 

The destruction of our Temple

was more than the razing of a building;

it was the attempt to destroy through deicide

what they couldn’t destroy within.

 

The burning of our skin

in the synagogues

as they torched us alive in flames

worshipping false G-ds with idols

and blaspheming the Good L-rd’s name.

 

They eradicated us en masse in genocide

and overtook the Holy Land,

What they didn’t take, through Holocaust,

was that G-d would foil their plans.

 

G-d knows how to make it rain,

blessing, in its proper times.

As much as is done for the earth,

He has done, as well, for our minds.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Today I woke up to the cold, grey sky that such a day deserves. A chilly rain was falling, as it had been for awhile. And not to mix the profane with the Holy, but rather to integrate the lessons we learn through living, within our societies, I was struck by the recognition of my life (and mortality), by observing it, as if an outsider, in the story of the brief life of Erin Moran, who has come to the end of her life, here on earth, at the age of 56.

 

Erin Moran was an integral figure in our society, featuring as a star amongst one of the top-rated, most-iconic television shows of all-time. The American classic, “Happy Days”, created by Garry Marshall, started its 11-year run on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) network, beginning in 1974. The show became synonymous with the definition of situation comedy, shoring up the wildly popular format and spurring the successes of other such t.v. shows, like “Laverne and Shirley” and “Mork and Mindy”.

 

The show was set in the timeframe of the 1950’s and progressed through the 1960’s, as well. Centered on the fictional Cunningham family, it portrayed a small-town atmosphere of close-knit friends and family life. Erin Moran played Joanie Cunningham, daughter to Howard (played by Tom Bosley) and Marion (played by Marion Ross) Cunningham, and sister to Richie (played by Ron Howard) and Chuck (played by two, separate people in only the first two seasons). Other ancillary figures included their friends, Warren “Potsie” Weber (played by Anson Williams), Ralph Malph (played by Don Most), and Arthur Fonzarelli (a.k.a., “Fonzie”, or “The Fonz”; played by Henry Winkler); Fonzie’s cousin, Charles “Chachi” Arcola (played by Scott Baio), whom her character would later marry; and drive-in diner owners, Matsuo “Arnold” Takahashi, of the diner’s namesake, “Arnold’s”, and later, Al Devecchio (played by Al Molinaro), who would replace Arnold when Arnold later married, and left the diner.

 

Television, in those days, was also a simpler affair; they certainly don’t make ’em like they used to. Thankfully, the choices were great, because everybody, pretty much, watched the same thing. Unlike the move to today’s individualized programming with a choice of 800 offerings, there was more unity, with less diversity, since there were less than eight t.v. stations on our channels, and we all had a common frame of reference to the same societal cues coming from our t.v. sets.

 

With less choices, people engaged in much of the same activities, as did everybody else. It led to a sense of more cohesion, even though not all voices were always included. In those days, though, minority characters did find a role on these programs, whether in singular roles or series, such as “The Jeffersons”, “Good Times”, “Sanford and Son” and “The Cosby Show”. Diner owner , “Arnold”, was played by Hiroyuki “Pat” Morita, who also famously played Mr. Miyagi (“Wax on; Wax off”) to Ralph Macchio’s character, in “The Karate Kid”.

 

I saw Pat Morita in-person, once, and also had the opportunity to meet Henry Winkler, once, when I directed him to a phone, so he could call his wife. Back in those days, there were no cell phones, either. Imagine the inconvenience, when we had to walk a slight distance to find one. He was a really sweet, kind man. He kissed me on the cheek and called me “doll”, in thanks for helping him accomplish his mission. Yay! I think how sweet he was for wanting to think of his family and being so kind. In typical star-fatuation, I told my mother I wasn’t going to wash my cheek for a week! (Of course, I did, though…)

 

Several decades later, this is kindof my turn-around “thank-you”, to pay a favor of kindness in return, for being so kind to me, back then. I’m sorry to learn of your loss, Fonz. You were a pillar of support for millions of us out there, in the days. You were a guiding compass and a beacon of ethical morals for a world finding their way, both in real life and in the work you relayed. I know, because I have read about it in the past, that your personal life helping others found its way onto the big screen, and into our lives, as a result. I admired that then, and still do, today. To you, on Yom HaShoah, I send you a big “thumbs up” and a long, heartfelt “Aaaaaaayyy!!!”

 

I think of the sadness of Erin’s apparent life, living in a trailer park home, where she was discovered upon her passing. It is reported that she had fallen on difficult times, of late. I, too, have lived under such circumstances, even finding myself living in a cheap trailer home as I sought a divorce. I had one hot pot and one burner to prepare my meals, and the bathroom floor had been repaired from previous occupants, but was still in need of bolstering. It wasn’t even a whole trailer; it was subdivided with a separate entrance. It was just one, small room.

 

Those were very tough times for me. Consequently, they were also the time when I began to make a more concentrated effort to be more mindful of my religion and its practices. My television received just over-the-air signals and seemed to offer limited choices, such as “Friends” reruns, or religious programming. Since I had never watched “Friends” to begin with, I decided on the religious programming. I could glean bits and nuggets, which sometimes related to Jewish teachings, and Seventh Day Adventists followed similar dietary commands and offered wonderful recipes, had I had sufficient money for real food. But, I didn’t.

 

What little I could afford at the cheap stores was often shared with the skinny, hungry dog on the park’s corner lot I would feed in the evening at the return of my shift. Those neighbors finally left and brought the dog with them. There were a plethora of abandoned animals that found themselves a fit with our little community, including one black cat that thought I was their mother, since we had shared similar features; the woman who had been her owner had taken ill, and soon passed away. My neighbor watched over the cat. A hard life is so soon cut short.

 

I made myself a tinfoil menorah at Chanukah. Although I didn’t attend services, I adopted a more proactive do-it-yourself approach to religious observance. I also started to really read the Koren Tanach I had brought with me from Israel. Line by line, slowly and very carefully, I worked very hard at trying to learn the Hebrew which I had begun to fail in my Ulpan classes. I was doing pretty well with this, and it was helping me greatly. It was also a breakthrough time for me in being able to pick up a pen and write, again.

 

I enjoyed writing, when I was a child, and then rediscovered my love for it in middle school. But it eventually became something which my mind endeavored to block. It would take several more decades to unleash the creative juices, again. The ironic portrayal of a group of young Jewish girls, described by CNN as “extremists”, while huddled together as police forces were removing their families and other Jewish citizens from their homes, infuriated me enough to the point of some kind of mental severance of the writer’s block, which my mind had previously erected. It erupted in my release, and in my poem, “V’Atah/After All”. I think it had been some kind of shutdown to deal with other prevailing circumstances, which had overtaken and overwhelmed my capacity to place myself in a creative capacity. I used this period and channeled some of my feelings during this time into some further poetry about Israel and my former husband.

 

This ability to write seems to relate proportionally with my coping skills in the handling of emotional issues or life’s often overwhelming, and frustrating, difficulties. I hope I can hold onto this gift, and not let it slip away, again, drifting in and out of consciousness, as if it was its own comatose mind of some other being, and not my own sentient self. I do often dissociate and fly off into escapism, when realism becomes too overwhelming. I’ve always done that. Books were that world, for me.

 

I need it; this ventilation of expression has become the air I breathe. And you’re right; writing about “it”, whatever that “it” might be, does help, and I do need to do more of it.

 

Eventually, with time, and continuing even beyond that environment, I eventually started to buy only Kosher products, and learned which products in the markets were Kosher. But, I’ve been lately letting more and more of my diligent practices slide. When I’m ready, I suppose I can pick up at any of the multiple places I’ve left off, if I desire.

 

Erin’s life leaves me smack dab in the middle of “hanging on”. It’s incomplete and was never fully realized, yet it’s over. Things didn’t gel or coalesce, the way they should’ve; no further opportunities came her way. It’s a life, left too soon, in incredible sadness. Her aloneness in her last years are evident that she really had no-one. Yes, people care, in a sortof abstract way, but look at what happens. An American sweetheart to many, with a painful realization her reality. I see you, Erin. I see me reflected, also, in the mirror that is you, Erin. And I’m sorry for the life you have, unfortunately, led. Thank you for your life, Erin. I’m hoping mine will be better, because of you. In fact, it already is.

 

Goodbye, Sunshine; Hello, Rain…

 

In the days following this post, further media reports have painted a different picture in their portrayal of Ms. Moran’s last days, based on the words her husband has since relayed, since that time. He (Steve Fleischmann), was with Erin, holding her hand until the end. That is really good to know. It’s also nice to learn that they’d first met about a quarter century ago. That makes me feel better that she, at least, was not quite so alone, as had been originally portrayed. But, it was revealed that she had had squamous cell carcinoma, discovered in her throat, and that the treatments had been pretty devastating further to her body. Knowing this, I really feel your pain, Erin. I hope the ongoing squabbles and behavior will subside now, and that you’ll receive your praises in heaven. Keep being the sunshine, Sunshine.

 


 

“Happy Days”; Wikipedia.org:

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Days)

 

Oldham, Stuart. “‘Happy Days’ Star Erin Moran Dies at 56”. Variety.com; April 22, 2017:

(http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/happy-days-star-erin-moran-dies-at-56-1202393048/)

 

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Israel Stands Still

Yom HaShoah (Randyjw; April 22, 2017)

 

Yom HaShoah, 5777

Sunset; Sunday, April 23, 2017 –
Nightfall; Monday, April 24, 2017

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Israel Stands Still (Randyjw; April 22, 2017)

 

Israel stands still

when the siren sounds across the land

recalling the fallen

the never again

You are not forgotten

but remembered again

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Siren of Rehovot, Israel (2012):

 

(https://youtu.be/M_Dc2D2va_A)

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

I Am poem – Anne Frank

by Natasha Hashemi and Claire Hawer

 

(https://youtu.be/2p-a_mCO_JA)

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Eli Atah – Shlomo Gronich and the Sheba Choir

 

(https://youtu.be/CidvVpPMQQ8)

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

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The World Is Your Oyster

The World Is Your Oyster (Randyjw; April 21, 2017)

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World and Squirrel Google Doodle

 

World and Squirrel Google Doodle (Randy; April 21, 2017)

 

World and Squirrel, as I see it.

Earth Day, and a fox, to everybody else.

 

See this beautiful doodle:

 

(https://www.google.com/logos/2016/slideshow/slideshow.html?doodle=earth-day-2017&hl=en)

 

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Magnetic East

Magnetic East (Randyjw; April 21, 2017)

 

Positivity rejecting neutrality

magnetic east heading

reads meteor shower

due for collision

yet under the hour

 

Oscillating waves of

radioactivity

always present,

 

communicating

in the background

of an ironic atmosphere

 

Diffused

in the right amounts,

perfect for habitation

 

when fused

sometimes deadly in

super-concentration

 

and inscribed

in ionic pentameter

 

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Missed One

 

Missed One (Randyjw; April 21, 2017)

 

 

 

Miss…..?

 

 

…..Miss…..?

 

 

Is something amiss?

 

 

Excuse me,

 

 

but I think

you’ve gone

 

missing…

 

This!!!

 

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Our Earth

 

I just rediscovered this… unposted – – – poem fragment?

 

Our Earth (Randyjw; April 21, 2017)

 

I believe it was you

who started this wonderful wave

which went around the world

an undertow and undertone

of moon and sky and sun

Long before the seeds were planted

the earth was prepared for their bed

dry leaves decomposed and its mulch supplanted

the weeds you replaced in their stead

 

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Movie List

 

Movie List (Randyjw; April 21, 2017)

 

101 Dalmations (1961)

A Charlie Brown Christmas (TV)

A Nightmare On Elm Street (Horror)

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Airplane!

Aladdin

Amadeus

An American Werewolf In London

Aristocats, The

Back To The Future

Beavis And Butthead Do America (Language/Other “Issues”)

Bedknobs And Broomsticks

Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Born Free

Born On The Fourth Of July

Boy Who Talked To Badgers, The

Braveheart

Broken Arrow

Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid

Cabaret

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

City Of Angels

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, The

Conspiracy Theory

Crossroads

Dances With Wolves

Django Unchained

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Entrapment

Escape From New York

Escape To Witch Mountain

Exodus

Fantasia (1940)

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Fiddler On The Roof (Musical)

Finding Nemo

Fly, The

Freaky Friday

Forrest Gump

Frosty The Snowman (1969)

Fugitive, The

Gattaca

Ghost

Gladiator

Gone With The Wind

Good, The Bad And The Ugly, The

Grease (Musical)

Green Mile, The

Highlander

Hitcher, The

Homeward Bound II: Lost In San Francisco

Horton Hears A Who

Hunt For Red October, The

Immortal Beloved

Inglourious Basterds

It’s The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (TV)

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (TV)

Jungle Book, The (1967)

Jurassic Park

King And I, The (Musical)

Lady And The Tramp

Little Mermaid, The

Love Bug, The

Mary Poppins (Musical)

Mask of Zorro, The

Mayflower Voyagers, The (Peanuts) (TV)

Michael

Mulan

My Fair Lady (Musical)

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Not Without My Daughter

Now You See Him, Now You Don’t

Ocean’s Eleven

Oklahoma! (Musical)

One Night With The King

Pianist, The

Planet Of The Apes

Puss In Boots

Quick and The Dead, The

Robocop

Rock, The

Rocky

Rocky Horror Picture Show (Musical/Risqué-Campy)

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) (TV)

Saint, The (Val Kilmer)

Santa Clause, The

Saturday Night Fever

Short Circuit

Singin’ In The Rain (Musical)

Sleeper

Some Like It Hot

Sound Of Music, The (Musical)

Spiderman (1 or 2)

Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope

Sting, The

Terminator, The

Time Cop

Titanic

Tommy (Musical)

Top Gun

Total Recall

Toy Story

True Lies

Under Siege

Water Horse: Legend of the Deep, The

West Side Story (Musical)

World’s Greatest Athlete, The

Young Frankenstein

 

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Damaged and Bandaged

 

Damaged and Bandaged (Randyjw; April 20, 2017)

 

recalling rose petals

which drifted to shore

reminders of once loves

who sang songs no more

 

the lockbox was metal

the key turned in the door

the growth of ice crystals

formed to preserve their inner cores

 

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Re: Generations

Re: Generations (Randyjw; April 20, 2017)

 

Two stars burned out

at the end of their skies

novas imploding

from their heat in the night

 

On closer inspection

it was discovered anew

faint pulses in the direction

from which the inner lights grew

 

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Long-Lost Smile Found

Long-Lost Smile Found (Randyjw; April 20, 2017)

 

I’ve thought I should stop at the Musée d’Orsay, spend serious time admiring the van Goghs;

it’s not for naught that his work found resonance in the heart.

Yet, despite that deft delftman’s build on a canvas, filled with lapis and ruby and gold

I’ve always said there is one master with which I could never part.

 

It has been expressed in its time, without tarry

not the Provincialism of local subject or bid

besting the queue for the Louvre by a parry

a provenance felt straight from the depths of within

 

Mastery in a level recognizable to the trained and not

The better work belonged to the one j’adore

appreciative to discernment in the smiles wrought

shared, yet private, locked behind a separate door

 

The rumors seemed to swirl when the masters disappeared

a heist imagined to the crime, which didn’t fit

the Mona Lisa’s supposed smile turned to tears

when determined that hers had been just deemed counterfeit

 

Upturned corners may have dimpled the cheeks into the famous grin

but the attuned ones scoff at the mental disillusion

called out by the daring one with the actual humor and vision

to stand apart and call other shots, hated by the crowd, for both what she is and what she is not

 

Engraved medallions worn with the mottos and shields of the family crest,

while those on the ceiling of Plaster of Paris feature heavily in the gilded homes amongst the patrons of Trieste

Past collections sold at auction or perhaps stolen by the denizen of its citizens

as if solely ground for the trompe-l’oeil they were passing off the hues of the lead-based pigments rather than the leaved sheets of gold they needed to complete the rest of the tin-pressed foil

 

Following the fakers, or forgers or fakir

unknowing were led to purchases of dubious distinction

While previous effects far past of toothsome wins might indeed have been truly invented

there was still something inherently behind that sixteenth century smile beyond the facade of Leonardo’s modest creations

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Saint Catherine’s Monastery – Sinai

 

Saint Catherine’s Monastery – Sinai (Randyjw; April 19, 2017)

 

There is a document, known as the Achtiname of Muhammad (spelled variantly as “Ashtiname”), delineating a written treaty, of sorts, between the monks at St. Catherine’s monastery in the Sinai, formally known as the “Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai”,  and the founder of Islam, Muhammad, which is stated to exist in its original form, someplace, within the Topkapi Palace in Turkey, in what was previously called Constantinople — named after the Byzantine leader, Constantine, who had moved the seat of Orthodox Eastern Christianity to this location — which later was replaced with its Muslim incarnation, Istanbul. Only copies are presently available of the document, given certification by various Islamic scholars, from which we can draw inferences regarding the encounter of Christianity to Islam in the early seventh century, when Muhammad was said to have either given or sent this letter to the religious order at the mountain retreat (1).

 

 

A Wikipedia.org entry on the Achtiname of Muhammad, edited presently by Harryson56, cites a 1902 Board of Council, New York reference to the English translation made by Anton F. Haddad of the Achtiname of Muhammad, which reads:

 

 

“This is a letter which was issued by Mohammed, Ibn Abdullah, the Messenger, the Prophet, the Faithful, who is sent to all the people as a trust on the part of God to all His creatures, that they may have no plea against God hereafter. Verily God is Omnipotent, the Wise. This letter is directed to the embracers of Islam, as a covenant given to the followers of Jesus the Nazarene in the East and West, the far and near, the Arabs and foreigners, the known and the unknown. This letter contains the oath given unto them, and he who disobeys that which is therein will be considered a disbeliever and a transgressor to that whereunto he is commanded. He will be regarded as one who has corrupted the oath of God, disbelieved His Testament, rejected His Authority, despised His Religion, and made himself deserving of His Curse, whether he is a Sultan or any other believer of Islam. Whenever Christian monks, devotees and pilgrims gather together, whether in a mountain or valley, or den, or frequented place, or plain, or church, or in houses of worship, verily we are [at the] back of them and shall protect them, and their properties and their morals, by Myself, by My Friends and by My Assistants, for they are of My Subjects and under My Protection. I shall exempt them from that which may disturb them; of the burdens which are paid by others as an oath of allegiance. They must not give anything of their income but that which pleases them—they must not be offended, or disturbed, or coerced or compelled. Their judges should not be changed or prevented from accomplishing their offices, nor the monks disturbed in exercising their religious order, or the people of seclusion be stopped from dwelling in their cells. No one is allowed to plunder these Christians, or destroy or spoil any of their churches, or houses of worship, or take any of the things contained within these houses and bring it to the houses of Islam. And he who takes away anything therefrom, will be one who has corrupted the oath of God, and, in truth, disobeyed His Messenger. Jizya should not be put upon their judges, monks, and those whose occupation is the worship of God; nor is any other thing to be taken from them, whether it be a fine, a tax or any unjust right. Verily I shall keep their compact, wherever they may be, in the sea or on the land, in the East or West, in the North or South, for they are under My Protection and the testament of My Safety, against all things which they abhor. No taxes or tithes should be received from those who devote themselves to the worship of God in the mountains, or from those who cultivate the Holy Lands. No one has the right to interfere with their affairs, or bring any action against them. Verily this is for aught else and not for them; rather, in the seasons of crops, they should be given a Kadah for each Ardab of wheat (about five bushels and a half) as provision for them, and no one has the right to say to them ‘this is too much’, or ask them to pay any tax. As to those who possess properties, the wealthy and merchants, the poll-tax to be taken from them must not exceed twelve drachmas a head per year (i.e. about 200 modern day US dollars). They shall not be imposed upon by anyone to undertake a journey, or to be forced to go to wars or to carry arms; for the Muslims have to fight for them. Do no dispute or argue with them, but deal according to the verse recorded in the Quran, to wit: ‘Do not dispute or argue with the People of the Book but in that which is best’ [29:46]. Thus they will live favored and protected from everything which may offend them by the Callers to religion (Islam), wherever they may be and in any place they may dwell. Should any Christian woman be married to a Muslim, such marriage must not take place except after her consent, and she must not be prevented from going to her church for prayer. Their churches must be honored and they must not be withheld from building churches or repairing convents. They must not be forced to carry arms or stones; but the Muslims must protect them and defend them against others. It is positively incumbent upon every one of the followers of Islam not to contradict or disobey this oath until the Day of Resurrection and the end of the world. (2)”

 

 

Do note that the paragraph of Haddad’s translation indicates an exemption to the payment of taxes or tithes by those who worship G-d in the mountains or from those who cultivate the Holy Lands:

 

“No taxes or tithes should be received from those who devote themselves to the worship of God in the mountains, or from those who cultivate the Holy Lands…”

 

 

This separation between those who should not pay the tax, from those who must, is delineated in the paragraph following the exempt class, with one which denotes that the poll-tax is to be taken from those “who possess properties, the wealthy and merchants” and must not exceed “twelve drachmas a head per year”:

 

 

“As to those who possess properties, the wealthy and merchants, the poll-tax to be taken from them must not exceed twelve drachmas a head per year…”

 

 

The poll-tax, or what is known as the “jizya” in Arabic, represents a tributary payment to be made by non-Muslim people who have fallen under the yoke of Islamic conquerors. This payment is an extortion of funds from the subject people — an arrangement much like the mafia-like concept of “protekzia” — whereby the domineering invaders are bought off with a gesture of appeasement, in order to spare the subjugated peoples’ lives, who would otherwise be required to convert to Islam, or be killed in their declination of this “invitation” to do so.

 

 

While it may seem comparable to the arrangement of our present-day tax collection practices in a fair democracy, the opposite can be shown to exist: it is a discriminatory practice incumbent upon only the non-Muslim subjects under the aegis of ancient Muslim society; Muslims did not have to pay the jizya.

 

 

This particular delineation noted in this entreaty within Muhammad’s declaration of intent to the monks at St. Catherine’s monastery, said to have been presented at that time, given as being in the second year of the Hajirah by Muhammad from Mecca to Medina, begun in 622 C.E. (making the date 623, or 624, then), purports an implied state of recent victorious conquest by the Muslims upon this regional site in the Sinai Peninsula. But, the Muslim regional conquest of the area did not occur until supposedly later — between 639 and 641 C.E., following upon Muhammad’s death in 632 C.E., seven years earlier. There had not yet been a conquest at that time of Muhammad’s alleged presentation in 623/4 C.E. of the said document.

 

 

As originally revealed by Robert Spencer of Jihadwatch.org in Part VII of an ongoing series of articles which appeared on PJMedia.com, excerpted in the Wikipedia.org entry about the Achtiname:

 

 

“Muhammad is supposed to have died in 632; the Muslims conquered Egypt between 639 and 641. The document says of the Christians, “No one shall bear arms against them.” So were the conquerors transgressing against Muhammad’s command for, as Considine puts it, “no Muslim to fight against his Christian brother or sister”? Did Muhammad draw up this document because he foresaw the Muslim invasion of Egypt? There is no mention of this document in any remotely contemporary Islamic sources; among other anomalies, it bears a drawing of a mosque with a minaret, although minarets weren’t put on mosques until long after the time Muhammad is supposed to have lived, which is why Muslim hardliners consider them unacceptable innovation (bid’a). The document exempts the monks of St. Catherine’s monastery from paying the jizya. While it is conceivable that Muhammad, believing he bore the authority of Allah, would exempt them from an obligation specified by Allah himself in the Qur’an (9:29), the Achtiname specifies that Christians of Egypt are to pay a jizya only of twelve drachmas. Yet according to the seventh-century Coptic bishop John of Nikiou, Christians in Egypt “came to the point of offering their children in exchange for the enormous sums that they had to pay each month. The Achtiname, in short, bears all the earmarks of being an early medieval Christian forgery, perhaps developed by the monks themselves in order to protect the monastery and Egyptian Christians from the depredations of zealous Muslims. (3)”

 

 

Secondly, the Achtiname of Muhammad states that those exempt from the payment of any jizya, taxes, or tithes, would also include those “who cultivate the Holy Lands.”

 

 

If it was one ummah at the time, until Arabia burst forth in 632 C.E. to conquer more lands for Islam, then what “Lands” in the plurality can he mean at the time of 623/4 C.E., when the document was supposedly given by Muhammad to the monks at St. Catherine’s?

 

 

Islam, as a concept which began during the aegis of its founder’s lifetime, given as between 570 – 632 C.E., presides on the basis of being a one-nation land for all Muslims, under one Caliphate. The foremost emphasis is placed on the unity of the one land as its most significant aspect, after the dominant factor of Islamic rule. At the time of Muhammad’s interaction with the monks, the Sinai prior to the conquest by Egypt, between 639 and 641 C.E., could not have yet been considered Islamic “holy land” in 622 C.E., when Muhammad supposedly gave this document. The only people to whom the Sinai might have had holy connotations was to the Jews, being considered as one of the probable locations for the Wilderness of Sin, the desert location where Moses received the Tablets of the Covenant of the Jewish faith.

 

 

In fact, the monastery built there in 522 C.E. for the monks uses this probability as its sole basis for its foundation on that site. When Queen Consort Helena, the mother of Constantine, came to Israel, it’s told she set about denoting the locations where Biblical incidents took place according to her suppositions and the feelings she got from the land upon where she set her feet (I believe this “feat of the feet” is possible, as I’ve delineated in my “Wild Theories” postings; I’m just not so sure whether it applies as accurately to non-native peoples of the land — although some atmospheric ambience may, indeed, “come through”).

 

 

It is, therefore, apparent, that the only connotation of “holiness” that his words can mean is because the site is already known as being holy to the Jews. This aspect of Islam, with its supercessionary superiority complex of replacement theology, being the last in a line of previously wrongful interpretations of religion and G-d now supposed to have been “righted”, means that all transgressors are wrong, as well — at least, according to their religion. Therefore, appropriating Jewish and Christian holy sites and land for conversion to the Islamic Empire (Caliphate), or ummah (the one motherland), and ridding those lands of their Kaffir (non-believing infidels), is the ultimate goal, as described in various writings in the Koran (Islamic holy book) attributed to G-d through the messenger, Muhammad, and through the sayings attributed to Muhammad through the reports (Hadith) by his contemporaries, compiled some hundreds of years after his death.

 

 

A prescient commenter, declared as T. Ibn Ibrahim from USA, on November 28th, 2006, responding to an article on the Achtiname, “Relations with Christians According to Muhammad (s)”, appearing September 17th, 2006 on Islamicity.org, refutes the defense of Islam as a benevolent protector of Christian religious rites and their adherents as asserted by Dr. Aslam Abdallah, the author of the article, validating the important context left out during the analysis of the document, with the following astute observations:

 

 

“Abdullah’s conclusion of Islam’s peaceful coexistence with “Christians” based on the charter with the monks of St. Catherine Monastery in Mt. Sinai is sadly myopic. Muslim historians record that Muhammad had several letters written at that time (ca. 628 CE) to various rulers. I visited Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul,Turkey in 2004 and saw the letter to the Egyptian ruler. Translated: “From Muhammad, the servant and Prophet of Allah, to al-Muqawqis, the leader of the Coptic tribe. There is safety and security for those believers who follow the correct path. Therefore, I invite you to accept Islam. If you accept it, you shall find security, save your throne, gain twice as much reward for having introduced Islam to your followers. If you refuse this invitation, let the sin of the calamity which awaits your followers be upon you. You too are People of the Book; therefore, let us come to a word common between us and you, that we worship none but Allah and shall not associate anyone with Him. Let us not abandon Allah and take others for Lord other than Him. If you do not consent to this invitation, bear witness that we are Muslims.” This sentiment against “People of the Book” (Jews & Christians) is consistent with the Quran: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. The Jews call ‘Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah…Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!”(9:29-30). Furthermore, “O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust” (5:51). (4)”

 

 

The monastery was recently besieged by ISIS gunmen, who have gained a foothold in the territory, which was once a part of Israel. In an attack on a police checkpoint outside the monastery on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, ISIS gunmen killed one police officer and wounded four others (5).

 

 

See this cool picture of the monastery, here:

 

 

(https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Saint_Catherine%27s_Monastery,_Mount_Sinai#/media/File%3AKatharinenkloster.jpg)

 

 

In its past, the Sinai became a province of Egypt, when Egyptians overtook the region. Due to the Egyptian Army’s closures of the Gulf of Aqaba, cutting off Israel’s shipping routes; due to provocations with the same in the passageways through the Suez Canal; due to the U.N. removing peacekeeping forces from Egyptian land, allowing the Army to build up and mass at Israeli borders and from which positions attacks could (and have) begun — Israel and Egypt were at war in 1967, and Israel prevailed in regaining the Sinai land area. This map of Israel shows Israel with its Sinai land. In a later peace treaty signed by Egypt and Israel, the Sinai was given to Egypt.

 

 

The new Israeli land mass chops two-thirds of that area away. If you draw a straight line, tilted like a back-slash between the top of the right-hand fork of the sea at the bottom (which looks like the antenna tip of a slug) and the point approximately at the dot noted as El Arish by the Mediterranean sea curve, the land to the east of that line is noted as Israel, today. In further lines, if you draw a small strip from El Arish to about the next dot east, that area was removed and handed over to Gaza. If you draw a half-moon from northward of Jerusalem, beginning on Israel’s eastern edges, all the way around to the dot which appears to read “Ein Yachav”, that is the Judaean and Samarian rolling foothills known as “Shfelah”, in Yesha/The Shomron (Judah/Samaria), which people want to give to the Arabs for their “West Bank” to Jordan, of which Jordan was removed from the Jewish Homeland, declared in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and illicitly ceded to the Arabs, as well.

 

 

 

 

Egypt is supposed to prevent terrorism in this area, but that doesn’t always happen.

 

It is unfortunate that more people do not heed the reality of what is true, let alone have the courage to report it, as such, much like the commenter, above. The agreement, though, has an expiration date at Judgement Day, when it is preordained in the Koran that the Muslims should fight the Jews and kill them. But, we have no direct indication, in any holy books, as to when this time should appear. Those acting on Jihad, and those who are killing due to other cultic denominations, believe it is already an engagement in progress.

 


.

(1) Wikipedia.org; Ashtiname of Muhammad:

.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashtiname_of_Muhammad)

.

(2) Haddad, Anton F., trans. The Oath of the Prophet Mohammed to the Followers of the Nazarene. New York: Board of Counsel, 1902; H-Vahabi: Lansing, MI: 2004.

.

(3) Spencer, Robert. “The Hypocrisy of the Huffington Post’s Praise of Muhammad”. PJ Media.com; January 26, 2014:

.

(https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/1/26/the-hypocrisy-of-the-huffington-posts-praise-of-muhammad/)

 

.

(4) Abdallah, Dr. Aslam. “Relations with Christians According to Muhammad (s)”. Islamicity.org; September 17, 2006:

.

(http://www.islamicity.org/3365/relations-with-christians-according-to-muhammad…)

.

(5) Khoury, Jack. “Egypt: ISIS Gunmen Attack St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai”. UPI/Reuters via Haaretz.com; April 18, 2017:

.

(http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/egypt/1.784140)

.

 

Additional Reading:

 

ECAW’s Blog. “Mohammmed’s Apocryphal Covenants”; April 23, 2015:

https://ecawblog.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/mohammeds-apocryphal-covenants/

 

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I Melt For You

 

I Melt For You (Randyjw; April 17, 2017)

 

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Palm Song

Palm Song (Randyjw; April 15, 2017)

 

Almost silently,

palm fronds whisper quietly

love songs with the breeze.

 

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Like Silk

 

Like Silk (Randyjw; April 15, 2017)

 

Thin, fine, silver threads

stick, twined in canopies’ net

spinned, gossamer webs

 

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Asleep In The Sea

 

Asleep In The Sea (Randyjw; April 12, 2017)

 

Coughing, gasping, gulping salt

I spill and tumble,

pitch and fault

while the trawler’s net

reels in the weight of the haul

 

Frail and small

I tremble as a man’s loving hands

sorts with wrapped bands

into buckets and cans

lobster, flounder, mollusk, sole

 

My ochre color belying the

nachre within

He must be a good man,

this fisherman,

to his family and wife

To hold me so gently

and think me beautifully

by kissing my cheek

and saving my life

 

Off to the sea I fall

caressed to the depths

while I stay discovered

and treasured no less

awoken from slumbering rest

with gifts of everlasting breath

of ivory-sunshine scrimshaw

engraved within my chest

~~~~~^~~~~~

°

~~~~

°    ~~~

~~~    °

( ° )   ~~

~~~    ~~~

~~~

 

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My Share: Musical Passover

 

My Share: Musical Passover (Randyjw; April 11, 2017)

 

It’s my way to share Passover with you. Enjoy!

 

Gad Elbaz – Mah Nishtanah:

(https://youtu.be/A1rH7rYuZQE)

 

Rae Antonoff – Mah Nishtanah (this is the version I sing, but a bit faster):

(https://youtu.be/V4oSJRvw0l8)

 

Garrison Keillor / A Home Prairie Companion – A Sortof Zydeco Version of “Dayenu”:

(https://youtu.be/tFnCcZNY-Uo)

 

 

Dayenu / Hebrew, edited  (Urdu translation):

(https://youtu.be/fcqFGUh_4bg)

 

Avi Begun – Dayenu / Hebrew (this is a different song. It’s beautiful. It’s dedicated in the memories of four souls killed in the rampage of terror attacks in Toulouse, France):

(https://youtu.be/tqBeqA_gdxk)

 

Jesse Macht – A Different “Dayenu” (I really liked this guy):

(https://youtu.be/EvwxSsJryYU)

 

Pete Seeger – Dayenu:

(https://youtu.be/3FLE0nMulAI)

 

Chava Alberstein – Chad Gadya:

(https://youtu.be/DHdVYy5B6JM)

 

Chaim Parchi – Chad Gadya:

(https://youtu.be/WS9owtlUEe0)

 

Chad Gadya – Spanish and Moroccan:

(https://youtu.be/CVGnOqO9A8g)

 

Jay Levy – Chad Gadya (this is similar to the version I know):

(https://youtu.be/wnVE3pB_2Fc)

 

Eden Mi Qedem – Chad Gadya (Syrian Jewish, in Arabic):

(https://youtu.be/ed-nl2bQmC8)

 

Simcha Spot – Purple Chrein (Horseradish with Beets):

(https://youtu.be/AJZpfWE4TyY)

 

Ohad Naharin – Echad Mi Yodea (Amir Mizroch Compilation; Contains Nuclear, Jihadist, and War Scenes)

(https://youtu.be/tDio5eHks58)

 

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Genocide: U.S. Reaction and Intervention

 

Genocide: U.S. Reaction and Intervention (Randyjw; April 11, 2017)

 

With regard to the Syrian bombing carried out by the U.S. in recent days, the airwaves are ablaze with radio talk show hosts and their call-in listeners opining whether the U.S., Russia, North Korea, Iran or others might escalate the opportunity into a full-blown war.

 

It’s okay to talk about it, but I think that it can also create unnecessary panic, or self-fulfilling prophecy, as it’s said… a sort of “wishful thinking”, if you will, in bringing it to pass. Needing to create something this dramatic, due to a lack of other news to report, would be absolutely heedless (that’s “headless” and “needless” in a conjoined moment).

 

So, people and pundits (I hate that word) rehash American intervention, or lack thereof, to various world conflicts in dribs and drabs throughout time and on these shows, without it ever really being all in one place. But, here, and during the time of a particularly sanguine celebration of the festival of Passover, in which Jews laud G-d’s assistance and deliverance of His people from out of Egyptian slavery and into freedom, Rafael Medoff, of JNS.org, has assembled some of the world’s conflicts, and lists the accompanying U.S. action. I thought it would add a needed element to the backdrop concerning the Passover holiday, this year.

 

Medoff, Rafael. “US Action Against Genocide: A Brief Guide”. JNS.org; April 7, 2017:

(http://www.jns.org/latest-articles/2017/4/7/us-action-against-genocide-a-brief-guide)

 

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A Tel Aviv Dawn

 

A Tel Aviv Dawn (Randyjw; April 7, 2017)

 

As intoxicating

as the scent of orange blossoms

before a Tel Avivian dawn

waves crashing

footsteps bounding

souls longing

during an evening’s run

the taste of a delicate

mango Yotvata

and the spray of the

Mediterranean

on the tip of the tongue

hearts racing

along the tayelet

toward the setting sun

where night-blooming jasmine

leaves accompanying perfumed notes

for every one

 

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Scent of Grass

 

Scent of Grass (Randyjw; April 7, 2017)

 

The scent of cut grass

freshly lingers and wafts

on breezes left by air currents —

in breaths held aloft

 

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Trump Acts On Obama’s Red Line

 

Trump Acts On Obama’s Red Line (Randyjw; April 6, 2017)

 

Between 8:40 p.m. and 8:50 p.m. EST in the U.S., two U.S. Navy destroyers, U.S.S. Porter and U.S.S. Ross, situated in the Mediterranean Sea, have launched fifty-nine Tomahawk GPS-guided cruise missiles on the Syrian fuel tanks, radar installations, and other logistical considerations around and upon the airfield in Homs, from which is suspected originated the launch of the aircraft used in Tuesday’s Syrian chemical weapons nerve agent attack in the Idlib province on the civilians of Syria.

 

I often wonder whether the weapons of mass destruction, which were never “found” during President Bush’s Middle East retaliation in Iraq, might have been transported into Syria by truck during the U.S delay for open talks about whether we were going to strike, or not. If so, there was certainly enough time for a response, while we broadcast our open intent to the enemy.

 

Reported April 6, 2017 by radio broadcast, ABC News Radio.

 

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I Pick Brit, Too

 

I Pick Brit, Too (Randyjw; April 6, 2017)

 

Apparently, a Britney Spears concert scheduled for July 3rd, 2017 in Tel Aviv’s HaYarkon Park has allegedly been the cause for the postponement of the HaAvodah (Labor) Party’s internal elections on the same date to be rescheduled to July 4th, instead. The causes cited, though not referencing the concert directly, indicate that security concerns and traffic congestion will be heightened, due to the event. It’s nice to see we have our priorities straight — I’d pick Brit, too, over a stuffy, old political gathering, anyday…

 

Sometimes (Britney Spears; with Lyrics):

(https://youtu.be/A5xyaAgV47A)

 

Oops!…I Did it Again (Britney Spears; with Lyrics):

(https://youtu.be/DEsqGOHo0nI)

 

Everytime (Britney Spears; with Lyrics):

(https://youtu.be/F91YSqmpWNI)

 

Savir, Aryeh/World Israel News Staff. “Israeli party postpones elections due to Britney Spears gig”. World Israel News.com; April 6, 2017:

https://worldisraelnews.com/israeli-party-postpones-elections-due-britney-spears-gig/amp

 

TMZ. “OOPS, I DELAYED AN ISRAELI ELECTION”. TMZ.com; April 5, 2017:

http://tmz.com/#article/2017/04/05/britney-spears-concert-delays-israeli-election/

 

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Faux-de-deux

 

Faux-de-deux (Randyjw; April 6, 2017)

 

When one can only see

through the clouded lens

of a foregone conclusion

and a seeming end

then the second

never stood a chance

to fit their life

in a dual dance

of a melded blend

 

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Mean

 

Mean (Randyjw; April 4, 2017)

 

Words

learned and used

to describe the leanings

of life’s events

are

words

turned and abused

when inscribing the meanings

of their intent

 

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Lamp And Locket

 

 

Lamp And Locket (Randyjw; April 3, 2017)

 

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Redemption and Plague

 

Redemption and Plague (Randyjw; April 2, 2017)

 

The evening of April 10th, 2017 will begin the week-long Jewish holiday known as Passover, which celebrates the end of more than four hundred years of Jewish slavery in Egypt, our walk away from bondage through G-d’s miracles, and our arrival to the wilderness, where we received the tablets of G-d to accept our covenant in faith as the Jewish people.

 

It is encumbent upon us to teach our children this story, written in the form of a booklet called the “Haggadah” (which means, basically, “the telling”) and to recount each detail as we experienced them while in Egypt. The youngest children then ask four set questions pertaining to our celebration of this event. There is a dinner, or “seder” (which means “order”), held on the first two evenings and a certain format of certain foods and traditions which is the guideline, but from which never will two be the same.

 

The story recounts that Moses was cast on the river in a basket, in order that his mother could spare his life from the Egyptian decree to kill all Hebrew firstborn. The Pharoah’s daughter discovered him, and took him into their home, where he was raised as a son. G-d chooses him to lead the Israelites from Egypt, with his brother, Aaron.

 

Moses approaches Pharoah to ask that the Israelites be allowed to go into the countryside with their cattle and belongings to make prayer to G-d, away from their residence. Pharoah will not permit them to go out and leave all their work behind, making mud and straw bricks at Rameses and Pitom. Moses relays a series of ten plagues, each worse than the next, which G-d inflicts upon the Egyptians for each failed request that Pharoah denies, in order that the Egyptians will realize that it is the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who is doing this. Pharoah’s hardened heart was caused by G-d so that the plagues would not be considered a coincidental occurence. The final act occurs when G-d parts the sea and allows the Israelites to pass through on dry land, and closes the sea back upon Pharoah’s chariot army in pursuit.

 

During the seder, we fill our cups with wine four times (they can be small) and we pour a cup of wine and reserve a chair for Elijah, the Prophet, to join us at each table. The symbolic foods we serve are placed in a certain order on the plate, and generally include: hardboiled egg(s); greens; bitter herbs in salt water (symbolizing our labor and the salt water substituting for our tears); charoset — which is a mixture, generally prepared with apples, sweet red wine, and walnuts, meant to symbolize the mortar for the bricks we made; matzah (“the bread of affliction”), which was prepared for our hasteful journey without leaven (we are only supposed to eat matzah during the week and have not even a crumb of leavened bread within our abodes); and the shankbone of a lamb, referencing the placement of the lamb’s blood upon the lintels and posts of the Israelite doorways to allow the angel of death to pass over these homes and to not take their firstborn inside.

 

The Jewish people look at these miracles and our covenant made again with G-d, same as he had done with our forefathers, as our acceptance to accept Him as our G-d. It is one of the set holidays which G-d commands in the Torah that we should celebrate annually.

 

On this evening, a film is being offered with the same theme of “plague” — one of the worst in most recent times to afflict our planet: Ebola. Between 2013 and 2016, it caused a widespread pandemic in western Africa, where it has been known to occasionally break out in the sub-saharan tropics of Africa since being identified in 1976 (see Wikipedia.org for more information).

 

At the time, Samaritan’s Purse, the 501(c)(3) Christian missionary relief organization, with its medical division of mostly volunteer medical practitioners, World Medical Mission, stayed in the area to help the stricken patients. Speaking on Sean Hannity’s radio show broadcast this evening, Franklin Graham, the President and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, as well as of the Billy Graham Evangelical Association, recounted some little known details of the tragedy. First, they were pretty much operating alone there. Dr. Kent Brantley and missionary Nancy Writebol had also contracted the deadly disease. The medical insurer left them stranded and would not send a plane to the area. They were lucky to come in contact with a government person who could secure the only plane that could handle such a thing, but they had to pay for it out of their own pocket. Both Dr. Brantley and Nancy Writebol survived their ordeals, during which time a protocol for treatment was basically and successfully established.

 

Their drama is told in the documentary film exploring these events, “Facing Darkness”. It debuted on the silver screen on March 30th, 2017, and will be screened in theatres again on April 10, 2017. It seems no coincidence that the date of Passover to relate the story of G-d’s redemption among the plague has been chosen to run this movie. I remember the events. I think it would be a difficult movie to watch, but incredible. Kindof like life, at times.

 

(https://youtu.be/_Xm18oEZ8HM)

 

Download the movie trailer, memes, web banner kit for your website or social media account, and more, here:

(http://facingdarknessmovie.com/resources)

 

Read about the movie, here:

(http://facingdarknessmovie.com/about)

 

For theater locations, and to purchase tickets, please see:

(http://facingdarknessmovie.com/theaters)

 

For information on the Ebola virus, please see Wikipedia.org — “Ebola Virus Disease”:

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola_virus_disease)

 

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My Song, My Dance

 

My Song, My Dance (Randyjw; April 2, 2017)

 

You were never a footnote in my history

nor a chapter of song or verse

not the stanza which remained a mystery

but the coda of my universe

 

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Banning Jewish Practice

 

Some people may find this a difficult or disturbing subject matter involving animals; please be advised.

 

Banning Jewish Practice (Randyjw; April 2, 2017)

 

Kosher slaughter of animals, or “sh’chita”, has been practiced for several thousand years, based on commands and interpretations of the laws governing Jewish practice. These rulings were provided by G-d, and are part and parcel of the Jewish faith, which we are commanded to keep (although the liberal Reform denomination of Judaism does not keep the ritualistic aspects of certain of these commands — but, this is a small number of the totality of all Jews).

 

The many laws must be followed by the expert Jewish butcher, or “shochet”, to follow the exacting guidelines so that the resultant cut of meat from a “fit” species will still be “fit” for consumption (“kosher”) when slaughtered. The practices are based on the laws of the Torah, which lays out the determining factors whether the creature, whether animal, fowl, fish or creeping thing is allowed among the “clean” ones determined by G-d to be fit for consumption.

 

While some people might presume that the “cleanliness” of an animal is based on its diet or hygiene, such that the prohibition against shellfish might be presumed in place due to the predominance of a mostly bottom-feeding diet from such species, or that the pig might be banned due to the presumptive eating of slop and having a predilection to mud bathing, neither of these are the actual reasons why they are disallowed in the Kashrut Jewish diet.

 

Shellfish are not allowed because they do not contain the characteristics of having both fins and scales. Pigs are excluded from the default category because, while they do have parted hooves, they aren’t considered as one that chews the cud — and both traits must be met within this category.

 

Throughout the millenia, people who have held anti-Semitic views have often tried to prevent the Jews from practicing the rituals of our religion. It was as true during the Babylonian exile, when Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, in keeping with their Jewish traditions, convinced their captors to feed them only vegetables and water, rather than the King’s rich meats and wines. Furthermore, Daniel set a clinical research study by making comment that it should be conducted as a test by appearances at the end of ten days: Daniel and his men, versus the meat-eaters. The end result was that Daniel and his men appeared healthier in all respects (plus, they did not have to disobey their religious strictures).

 

Flash forward to the time of the First Temple destruction by the Romans (given as about 600 years later from the Babylonian exile), when they set up a pagan shrine to their idol and bade the Jews to worship it, and forbade them their own practices. The Jews would not comply, and this resulted in the eventual sacking of Jerusalem, as well as the razing of the Temple.

 

In Europe, where they experienced the Dark Ages, as if the dumbing down of society had led to a paucity of knowledge, the rise of various denominations within branches of the Christian faith, plus a belief in a wealth of superstitious rites, led to a fear and resentment of the “otherness” of the Jew, and caused many anti-Semitic edicts and actions perpetrated against the Jewish people. This included the ban of certain practices, such as Kosher slaughter and circumcision.

 

Upon occasion, these same discriminatory rulings against the Jewish people and their religious practice finds implementation amongst various of the world’s countries, in Europe, and elsewhere. These became the rule of the land in olden days — but, they have a chance of being struck down for their obvious discrimination in more modern times.

 

According to a recent article in The Jewish Press, the following countries have a ban on the practice of Kosher slaughter: Denmark, Switzerland and New Zealand. Coming up for a parliamentary vote in the Flemish province of Belgium is a law to compel only the electric stunning of animals before slaughter, which is a practice contrary to Kosher law. Further countries, including Poland, Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden were also on the list banning Kashrut slaughter, back in 2011, but some have since seen that it represents Jewish discrimination and have since remanded their ruling.

 

Jewish law compels the slaughter of animals to be done with the least amount of pain inflicted upon the animal as possible. For this reason, a very sharp blade is used. Other specific practices are also completed, such as the draining of all blood from the animal, as it is forbidden by Jewish law to consume the blood, for the blood is life.

 

Throughout the Torah, there are many stipulations placed on humans to be kind in their dominion over the animals: to yoke them equally; to keep them unmuzzled while they work, in order for them to be able to eat; to feed them before your own meal is eaten, etc. These all form part of the basis for how the laws relate to each other and within the categories relating to the treatment of animals.

 

Having followed these laws for several thousand years already, and seeing the practice of pre-stunning the animals in modern times, which often is a tragic and painful failure, it has been the position from our religious standpoint that the Jewish method is the most humane way to slaughter an animal for food, if one is going to slaughter an animal, at all.

 

Animal rights activists, without fully always knowing what Kosher practice actually entails, disagree. Placing themselves in the Leftist camp, which tends to be funded by people such as George Soros or Arab-supportive groups of the like which side often with terrorist sympathies, their real agenda is anti-Semitic, couched in a veneer of pretence for the animals — even though stunning the animals has been shown to often result in horrid pain for the animals.

 

I think it’s just another way to boycott the Jews. I just thought you might like to be aware of how these countries stand, in case you’re planning to write any letters to their governments or have any travel or trade purchasing considerations in mind…

 

Israel, David. “Belgian Province to Ban Kosher Slaughter”. The Jewish Press.com; March 31, 2017:

(http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jewish-news/belgian-province-to-ban-kosher-slaughter/2017/03/31/)

 

Antebi, David. “What is the Shchita (Kosher Slaughter)?”. Israeli Students Combating Antisemitism (isca-org.com); October 4, 2015:

(http://isca-org.com/what-is-the-shchita-kosher-slaughter/)

 

Updates / Additional Reading:

Berkowitz, Adam Eliyahu. “Marine Le Pen Announces She Would Ban Kosher Slaughter in France”. Breaking Israel News.com; April 26, 2017:

https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/87177/marine-le-pens-muslim-slaughter-ban-targets-kosher-meat/

 

JNS.org, via Breaking Israel News.com. “France’s Le Pen Will Force Jews to Renounce Israeli Citizenship if Elected”; February 12, 2017:

https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/83475/far-right-marine-le-pen-elected-jews-must-renounce-israeli-citizenship/

 

Update (September 28, 2019):

Keidar, Nitsan. “Belgian ban on kosher slaughter goes into effect”. israelnationalnews.com; September 1, 2019:

(http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/268195)

 

 

 

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