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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…

 


 

“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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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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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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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.

 


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(1) Wikipedia.org; Ashtiname of Muhammad:

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

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(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.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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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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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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