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Thursday, December 31, 2009

"A Trumpet in the Wadi" by Sami Michael

Sami Michael is an Iraqi Jewish author who has experienced the Israeli Arab conflict from several different angles. He relates with both the view points of the Arab and Jewish communities.
The story takes place in Wadi Salib, a slum area located in Haifa. It is inhabited primarily by Israeli Arabs. One particular family living there consists of a grandfather, a Coptic christian who wandered through the Sinai to get to Israel/ Palestine, a mother and two daughters named Mary and Huda. Mary the younger one is a lively young girl who is dating Zuhair, the son of the local crime boss Abu Nakhla. Abu Nakla despite the fact that he sell drugs and prostitutes women is protected by the Israelis. He was an informer during the 1947 war so he get away with murder even if his actions like selling drugs also impact the Jewish population. Zuhair wants to marry , Mary but the family of Mary is not so keen on the idea. Then along comes Alex.
Alex's arrival in the story changes many things. He is a Russian immigrant who studies at Technion university. His Hebrew is rather shoddy and he plays the trumpet at night. Huda who is older and does not have any marriage prospects at the moment will soon become very attached to Alex. Alex rents the room on the roof of the apartment where everybody lives. Abu Nakkla owns the building. Events take on a life of their own and soon enough Alex becomes acquainted and friendly with the rest of the family. As Huda and Alex get closer questions come up because Alex is a Jew and Huda is a Christian Arab. Their love grows stronger and Alex's relation to the family does as well especially after he protects the family from Zuhair when he learn that she would rather marry someone else.
Mary is pregnant with Zuhair's child so she must convince her new found fiance to have relations with her. In the end they get married and Alex's love for Huda remains strong. Yet like all love stories involving Arabs and Jews there is always a tragic ending.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Teen Witch by Silver Ravenwolf

I found out about this book from a student of mine at the school where I worked. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this work. This book is an excellent book even for adults even though it is geared towards teenagers just getting into the craft. The book also has a message for parents that asks them to allow their children the space to explore their own spirituality. Wicca teaches the reader many things about how to get into the craft but also several things that go beyond the craft. There is a spell for everything yet eveen for money spells the author says you may cast your spell but you still have to work for the money you wish to receive. The book has love spells but you can never magick someone into doing something against their will without experiencing bad results. If you are being harassed at school by bullies or having difficulties with adults there is a spell for that. Just remember that if you have a problem you must consult with an adult. A spell alone will not do the trick. It good word of advice is that it does take time to realize our goals.

Wicca is based on worship of the Goddess and the God , sometimes called the Lady and the Lord. The Goddess has three forms the virgin,maiden and the crone. The lord comes in as a baby but is also represented by a hunter. When Wiccans do spells they draw their energy from the power cone. The book also teaches about Esabat and Sabbats. Esbats occur monthly and correspond to moon cycles. While Sabbats concur with solstices. THe most famous being Samahain (Halloween) and Beltane. Witches can practice alone or with a coven. Witches that work alone are called Solitary Witches. Most covens go up to thirteen members and then stop. Reading this book the learner will bee able to annoint and sanctify an alter. Sanctify a space and seal a circle. Moon cycles also determine what kind of spell the practitioner will do. New moon to Full moons are for attracting things into your life. From the Full Moon to the waning moon is a time for banishing.

Wicca is about positive energy. It is a violation of the Wicca code to hurt or harm anyone outside of self defense. You shall not take what belongs to another person or deprive them of oppportunity so that you may benefit. They do not believe in darkness or using dark power.

Silver Raven wolf has garnered up quite a bot of controversy. Some off the stuff I read on the internet mostly points to a difference of opinion. Some people say that she has several of her facts wrong. Since I am new to this the only wrong fact I might have seen was when she called the Goddess Diana the daughter of Queen Aradia. Several sources say that it is the other way around that Diana gave birth to Aradia.Over all I thought it was a great book and it had a very positive effect on me. Something which I shall thank the author for.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Magician's Way by William Whitecloud

There are seven rules of Magic for the main character to learn in order to gain control of his life and achieve true happiness. The first secret is that your thoughts and feelings are not real. They are products of your assumptions about yourself and the situation. The second secret is that your focus creates your reality. Focus on the end result of what you want to see happen and let things flow from their. The
third secrets is that everyone has a heart. We all have dreams and aspirations. The fourth secret is that there is always action to take but nothing to do. This means that we must take action towards the realization of our goals. Doing
requires certain preconditions. The sixth secret is that you get your energy from a higher source. In order for this to happen you have to release your self from certain notion in order to locate where your highest good comes from. The fifth secret is structure determines the outcome want to change the outcome then change thee structure. The final secret is that success takes will. An overall good book that takes the main character through golf lessons, resturaunt, bars, parties, blackmail and bike rides in order for this group to teach him the secrets of Magic. I found the part about focusing on goal and changing yoourself to bee very impoortant towards achieving the happiness we wish to achieve

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cernunnos Oil Recipe

Cernunnos Oil
10 drops Bay oil*
8 drops Orange oil
2 drops Sandalwood Oil
1/2 oz Sunflower oil
*Note: Some folk use either musk or patchouli oil.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Stories From Ancient Canaan" by Michael David Coogan

A score of tablet were found in an archeological excavation located in Ancient Ugarit a Canaanite City in Syria. Today the place is called Ras Shamra. The Canaanites had a language that was a predecessor to Israelite Hebrew . The Canaanite never had a large empire because their units of organization were city states. Usually each city state had it's own king and usually was dedicated to one particular God in the Canaanite pantheon. The City of Ugarit was eventually conquered by Myceneans. Before that in addition to being a home for Canaanites there were other nationalities living there as well. In 1929 an excavation unearthed these tablets written by Ilimilkhu and were housed in the library of Canaanite priest.
The tablets tell several stories. The first one is called "Aqhat" The King of a certain city state named Danel is a wise king who counsels his citizens and decides disputes much like King Solomon. He is unfortunately childless, so he goes into a temple and fast for seven days and he prays for seven days. After seven days the fertility god Baal ascends to the Mountain of El who is the king of all gods and intercedes on his behalf. Danel is given a son called Aqhat. Aqhat is given a bow and arrow built by a god called Kothaar w Hassis, sort of craftsman god. It is such a good bow and arrow that the Goddess of love and war, Anat, wants it. Aqhat refused to give it to her, and he refused her in disrespectful way. In revenge Anat has another god named Yatpan used his vultures in order to have Aqhat killed. Once the Kings son is dead there is seven years of death and famine. Te king kills many birds in order to find thee remains of his sons and give it a proper burial. The Kings daughter meanwhile conceals a dagger and kills Yatpan in revenge.
The second story the "Healers" tells a story of 8 mystical being being that arrive at Danel's dwelling and they stay there for 7 days consoling Danel over the loss of his son. They say that his son will be returned to him or it seems they imply it. after the seventh day Baal once again intercedes on his behalf.
The third story is called "Kirta" Kirta is a king who has lost everything his wife his children you name it. In a deep depression he falls asleep and the gods speak to him in a dream. They tell him to gather an army and campaign against King Pabil and his city state so as in order to win the hand of his daughter Princess Huriya. His troops surround the walls of the city state. As a condition for peace King Kirta wins the hand of the princess. Of course on his way over to Udm Pabil's city state Kirta made a vow to Ashera mother of the Gods and Goddesses. Kirta failed to keep that vow. During festivities he is struck with illness. His sons begin to doubt even after he gets well again. The story ends with him cursing his sons.
The last story is about the god Baal. Baal was the son of Dagon the grain god. At the stories beginning the Sea God wants Baal delivered over to him. El the supreme god agrees. Baal basically fights the sea god with thee help of his consort and sister Anat, to the death. Kothar w Hassis build two special club for Baal They prevail. Next Baal wants his own palace on Mount Zaphon. After some coercion on his behalf from Anat. El and Ashera agree. Kothar w Hassis builds the palace. Baal once getting his palace conquers many cities. In the end the god of death fight it out. Anat comes to his rescue and revives Baal. Of course not after 7 years of famine and drought.
Great book.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Healing Spell

Needed Items:
Small cauldron
Incense (Frankensence)
Alter candle
Proper colored candle(s) to represent the petitioner(s) inscribed with names
Olive Oil
Eucalyptis
Lavender
Purified water
Glass bottle

To begin, prepare your alter. Arrange your cauldron along with your petitioner(s) candle(s), small cauldron, hot purified water, and incense. Concentrate your thoughts on the person(s) needing relief and healing. Visualize them being pain and illness free. Then say:
“I ask you, Goddess, to ease his/her pain. Take it from him and give him relief.”
Carefully add olive oil to your cauldron.
“Destroy it Goddess, so it will harm no one.”

“I ask you Goddess, to erase his/her aches.”
Carefully add eucalyptus to your cauldron.
“Banish them from this world, harming no one.”
Carefully add lavender to your cauldron.
“Give him relief Goddess. Take his/her ills. Purge it from his/her body. Thank you Goddess. As I will it, so mote it be.”
Working counter clockwise, blow out your candle(s) starting with the petitioner(s). Lastly blow out your alter candle. Allow your potion to cool. Once cool, transfer to your glass bottle. Apply once to twice daily the affected area, repeating the spell. Do this for seven days. Longer if for a major illness.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Muslim Fundamentalism is Israel

"Muslim Fundamentalism in Israel" by Raphael Israeli
A mass return to religion is happening these days in the Islamic world and it is no more apparent than in Israel where a Muslims population is ruled by a Jewish majority someone who thy consider a protcted person or a Dhimmi. THe return to Islam happen along to lines. One is an increase of religiousity. Most of the people in this category want to become more religious and they want to comprmise with modernity and Western progress. THe second line is radical Islam. Radical Islam is anti- Western and want to develope independently from the West. They feel that Western culture is empty and immoral.

In Northern Israel the Islamic movement is starting to take hold. Mayors who ideentiofy with Islamic fundamentalism are coming to power as their constituent vote for them. These mayors many of whom recieved a modern education in Israeli Universities are embracing hardcore religion. Village Un Al Fumm is the most poignant example the Leader who previous preached violence against Israel toned down his programs after being arrested by Israeli authorities.

There are several Islamic parties in the Northern part of Israel each with a differening agenda. Some parties and their consituent preach a two solution along with promoting Arab rights inside of Israel.Others want an Islamic state to replace Israel. While others are content with where they are. Most realizde that they must work inside the confines of Israeli law

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"A God Who Hates" by Wafa Sultan

Wafa Sultan, author of this book, lived in Syria for 32 years. She was born in a coastal town called Banias and ended up going to Medical school in order to be a doctor. The book is a combination auto-biography/ commentary on living in an Islamic society. She was born and raised a Muslim. In her mind Muslim society is a closed society that is totally dominated by fear. Islam was born out in the harsh desert environmental where a man never knew how long he would survive. To conquer these fears the Bedouin developed an Ogre so to speak that would help them submerge their fears. Fear is what prevents the muslims from questioning anything in Islam.
The First victim of Islam is the women. Women are treated like chattel with virtually no rights in their society. THey have no say in who they are going t marry. This is illustrated by the story she tells about her grandmother. Her grandmother was married of when she was young against her will to a man she did not love. Running away back to her parents home was no better. It was just as oppressive. She did end up living in her brothers house and then finally living with her daughter Wafa's mother. Wafa's mother was a second wife to a man old enough to be her father. In fact her mother was only one year older than the man's younger daughter. Wafa's mother was never truly happy despite how nice her husband was. Her father died at a young age. Financial affair were left in the care of a Christian business partner while an elder half brother saw to it that Wafa got a good education. Fortunate for Wafa that he was modern minded and got her to go to school. While in Aleppo she saw how smothering life was for a women. She people she lived with were very conservative. The wife never left home with out permission. She could never be seen talking to another man. The wife's husband always used to insult her and put her down.
In a country like Syrian if a woman has sexual relations before marriage it is a stain up the family honor. For it she can be killed. Often times as Wafa Sultan would find out the first person to touch a young woman would not be a boyfriend, rather she would be raped by a brother, cousin or even the father. Wafa found this out and a whole lot more while working in clinics for women. Women as young as nine years old would come to the office with busted Hymens and and signs of pregnancy. To abort the pregnancy and perform a hymenectomy the doctor who was very corrupt would over charge them so as to make the most money possible. The doctors also over looked the signs of abuse that was apparent on the bodies of these women, One woman came to thee clinic with cigarette burns on her body. The Husband had burned her for being stupid. The doctor agreed with the husband.
All in all Wafa grew up in a repressive society that did not respect women in the slightest. Those who did not follow Islam were looked down upon. Her arrival according to her was a blessing and she was amazed at the friendliness and honesty of the American people. According to her Muslims believe in fate and everything is in God's hands. This allows for a certain ambiguity of evading yes or no questions and it also allows them to avoid responsibility for their actions.
Wafa Sultan's book represents a series of books that are critical of Islamic society. It is am insiders views of what is going on, what is wrong and what needs to change. Bear in mind her point of view does not necessarily represent my point of view.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Twelfth Planet by Zecharia Sitchin

Sumeria is the father off all our civilization. Mankinds alphabet, vocabulary, legends and science. The Sumerians also had vwery advanced knowledge of astronomy. They were a civilized high point amongtst a time of very primative people. Too advanced to be explained away by such a term as evolution or natural growth. Te author uses Sumerian legend and the bible to figure it all out, in those works lies the key. The twelve Gods are present in Sumerian,Mesopatamian, Greek and Roman Lore.

Who were these Sumerian gods? Where did they originate? Why are they so human like in their behavior? Due the cuneiforms etched in stone offer us any clues? Yes says Dr. Sitchin. They do. Back wheh the solar system was just forming and the planets had different names. A rogue planet called Nabiru or Marduk was sailing acoss the universerve when all of the sudden it got sucked into our solar system by a strong gravitational pull. As it sailed into our solar system it collided with a planet called Tiamat. The Planet broke in half leaving the other half to roam our solar system as Asteroids. These asteroids have an eliptical pattern. Nabiru also has an eliptical pattern. It does one revolution around our sun once every 3,600 E#arth Years.

Many years later inhabitants of Nabiru would visit Earth and settle their. These astronaughts from Nabiru were called Anunaki or Nephillim the fallen ones ones. They came to our planet after the ice age. THey found harsh conditions and the only area they could really settle was the plains of Mesopotamia. This plain was called Edin which meant plain. It was in Mesopatamia that they built spaceports for their space ships. There main puose was not settlement but mining for gold. Whcih was done off the Southern Horn of Africa. Many Anukaki worked in harsh work conditions until thjey finally rebelled. It was at this point that Anu the leader of planet Nabiru decided to vote in favor of the worker. THe anunaki then took indigenous Homo Erectus and performed genetic experiments. This created Homo-Sapeins the perfect worker. Later the flood would come leaving few human survivors. It was after this that the Anunaki chose to teach humans the rudiments of civilization.

Friday, November 13, 2009

" The Partisan's Daughter" by Louis De Berniere

Chris a gentleman in his mid forties unhappily married in a loveless marriage meets a woman named Roza dressed up as a prostitute standing on a street corner. He picks her up but the woman tells him that she is an ex prostitute. Chris drives her home and the two share a cup of coffee. From their a platonic relationship develops. Chris is married to a woman he calls the "Great White Loaf" the marriage is sexless and loveless. He makes his living by selling medical equipment to physicians. Typical middle class gentleman.

Roza on the other hand smoke and drinks while living in a broken down apartment with the wires hanging out of the walls. She has lived a fast life totally opposite of what Chris lives. The relationship builds upon the stories that Roza tells about herself. She has lived a fast life so there is lots to tell. This contrast greatly with Chris's boring life.

Roza was the daughter of a partisan as the title so aptly tells. Her father a a soldier for Tito the great uniter of Yugoslavia. He fought against Bosnians, Croats and Albanians. He took five bullets in the chest which could never be removed. He has front teeth that were smashed in by a helmet. Roza adored and loved him. She even seduced him at one time, something which made her feel good and the father feel like garbage. Her father and mother were polar opposite who end up getting divorced after she is 18.

Roza grew up on a farm falling in love with her animals and pets until one day a cat eats her pet bird. While growing up she stumbled upon a corpse. While growing up she had a best friend whom she shared a lesbian relationship. Of course this ended like all good things as her best friend leaves to get married.

Roza's life takes a turning point when she goes to college and falls in love with a Croatian man. He ends up leaving her for another woman which prompts Roza to leave the university and try to make it to England. She cannot get there due to Visa requirements. Instead she decide to go to Bosnia. She can feel the Bosnian disdain for Serbs and Christians on her skin. She works there for several months until she is finally accosted by an Albanian man. She has to flee for her life, and ends up taking a boat to England . She falls in love with the boat owner Tommy. She leaves him when she gets to England. Later in England she will work at an escort club get abducted and raped.

The relationship builds as Chris goes there every night to hear her stories. The turning point happens when Chris gets drunk and shows up at her apartment. What happens after that I will let you read and find out.

Monday, November 9, 2009

"The Seige" by Ismail Kadare

Pasha Tursun is sent off to faraway Albania to subdue a rebellious population and make Albania part of the Ottoman Empire. One Citadel decide to hold out against Ottoman rule. They refuse to submit and they refuse to convert. Their mythical leader Skanderbeg holds them to their Christianity and binds them to the Catholic Church. The Ottoman Army is comprised of many different nationalities and they are all camped by the wall of the Citadel ready to take it over. Pasha Tursun has also fallen out of favor with the Sultan so it is imperative that he overtake the Citadel. He brought along with him his four wives, a usual no no for a military campaign.

The Albanian Defenders desperately hold on in the face of overwhelming odds. The first assault by the Ottoman army takes them for a bit of a surprise. THe Turks have brought a cannon which reeks havoc on the walls. but the attack fails. The Albanian forces hold them off. The cannon fails to bring down the walls. The Turks try at least four different assaults against the garrison all of which fail. They try sabotaging their water supply by finding it with a horse. They are successful in finding the water and the defender do encounter intense thirst. but that does not bring them down. Next the Turks try infiltrating the fortress with rats in order to bring disease bu the Albanians counter that with rat traps. They also try tunneling into the fortress but the fortress cave in on them. While the Turks may have destroyed the defender's water supply the defenders destroyed the Turks food supply which was being shipped by Christian Venetians. The defenders also stage a night raid against the Turks.

In the end it is safe to say the Turks hold out. THe book does delve into Military camp life, Ottoman intrigues as well as the the lusty side of Turks in battle. Many soldier are concerned with the women they will capture. Their are feuds between officers over power struggle and little young boys. An officers life in the Otoman army is one of a constant power struggle and always watching your back. To see who may try to kill you for their next advancement.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

When Insults had Class

When Insults Had Class
These classic insults are from an era before the English language
got boiled down to 4-letter words.

The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor:
She said, "If you were my husband I'd give you poison."
He said, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."

A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease."
"That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."

"He had delusions of adequacy." - Walter Kerr

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." - Winston Churchill

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." Clarence Darrow

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." - William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." - Moses Hadas

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.." - Oscar Wilde

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend.... if you have one." - George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second.... if there is one." - Winston Churchill, in response.

"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." - Stephen Bishop

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator." - John Bright

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." - Irvin S. Cobb

"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others." - Samuel Johnson

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." - Paul Keating

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." - Charles, Count Talleyrand

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." - Forrest Tucker

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" - Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." - Mae West

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.." - Oscar Wilde

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination." - Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music." - Billy Wilder

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." - Groucho Marx

Monday, November 2, 2009

GENOCIDE NEVER TO BE QUESTIONED

Aysor
Oct 30 2009
Armenia

At today's press-conference Armenia's Foreign Minister Edward
Nalbandyan said Armenia didn't see any reasons to abandon the process
of international recognition of issue of Genocide. This statement was
made as journalists mentioned that foreign media outlets had reported
such suggestions after Armenian-Turkish protocols signing ceremony
in Zurich.

According to Mr. Nalbandyan, anything unsaid in a couple of articles
among wide circulation cannot show any trends. He stressed that
Armenian leadership had repeatedly stated would never question Genocide
and importance of its recognition.

"Armenian Genocide recognition is a matter that concerns not only
Armenian people but all humanity in order that such crimes could
never happen again," said Armenian FM adding that Armenia always
welcomes Genocide recognition initiated in other countries. He also
mentioned that more than 20 states have officially characterized
and recognized mass killings and deportations of Armenians in the
Ottoman Empire a Genocide. Moreover 3 states had recognized Armenian
Genocide long before Armenia's sovereignty. Besides, two members of the
U.S. Senate have recently introduced legislation calling on President
Barack Obama to officially term the 1915-1918 mass killings and
deportations of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire a Genocide. Senators
Robert Menendez and John Ensign who drafted the resolution urge to
"accurately characterize the systematic and deliberate annihilation
of 1,500,000 Armenians as genocide."

Jerusalem Armenians rallied at the building hosting Turkish Republic

31.10.2009

About 30 Hai Day Bureau and Jerusalem's Armenian
Community representatives held a protest rally in front of a building
hosting a reception in celebration of Turkish Republic Day, Hai Dat
Bureau representative in Jerusalem, Georgette Avagian told
PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.

''We expressed our protest against Israeli ministers and politicians
attending the reception, by reminding them that Turkey was 1,5 million
Armenians' Genocide perpetrator and the one who deprived us of our
historic motherland. We condemn the Israeli government, whose nation
survived the Holocaust, for non-acknowledgement of the fact and
maintaining friendly relations with Turkey,'' Georgette Avagian
emphasized.

Genocide Trials in Israel

Armenian Genocide resolution hearings might be resumed at Knesset
Recently, Hai Dat Bureau representatives in
Jerusalem met Israeli Knesset members. As Hai Dat Bureau
representative in Jerusalem, Georgette Avagian told reporter, the parties discussed the possibility of Armenian Genocide
resolution's inclusion on Knesset agenda. `We urged the
parliamentarians to refrain from linking the issue above to RA-Turkey
rapprochement process. Armenian Genocide discussions are scheduled at
Knesset in April, yet we'll do our best for them to start earlier,'
Georgette Avagian noted.

Monday, October 26, 2009

"The Invention of the Jewish People" by Shlomo Sand

Forget about everything you may have learned in Hebrew school, this book is a myth buster. It is common knowledge that according to the Bible the Jewish people started with Abrahamin Mesopotamia and then went to Egypt to be slave and then was redeemed. After wandering the desert for forty years under the leadership of Moses they came to Canaan where Joshua the brilliant military commander drove out the Canaanites in a lightning fast victory. King David and his son Solomon would form man empire and build massive building in Jerusalem. Later on still the Babylonians and the Roman would drive the Jews from their land and into exile.

The author, a professor from Tel Aviv University, makes good use of current archeological excavation that show that the bible is far from 100% correct. There is no outside reference In Egyptian in any other annals of the Israelites engaging in a mass escape from Egypt. Moses left with 600 thousand male from Egypt along with their families. This large number would have left some archaeological residue in the Sinai Desert. There is none to be found. Excavation in Jerusalem and the West Bank show no evidence of any of the building built by Solomon. Tere is proof however of the Canaanite buildings and there civilization. The building in the North that are attributed to King Solomon. Have actually been built by later Israelite kings long after the supposed Israelite monarchy split into two kingdoms. Jerusalem was naught more than a small village whose population was in decline when King David was supposed to be in power. The lightning fast victories of Joshua are not real. The cities he conquered had fallen Hundreds if not thousands of years apart. The Israelite started appearing gradually on the scene as an outgrowth off the original Canaanite People. They were not monotheistic and many worshiped the other Canaanite gods. The bible was fully written in the Babylonian Exile by the priests and their scribes. It was in Babylon that the elite who were exiled mad e the religion exclusive and strictly monotheistic. Jewish scholarship has known this for a very long time.

The exile is a MYTH. When the Babylonians andd the Assyrians came and invaded ancient Israel.They only deported the Elite and member of the Army. Most of the peasants and farmers were allowed to stay. The Romans did not have the means of moving a large population out of the country hence in that case too only a small number left. In fact a careful reading of historical sources shows that there is reference to an invasion and that many Judeans were killed but there is no reference to an exile or deportations. It can only be assumed that most of them stayed put. This can be evidenced by the fact that jewish life continued to thrive some two hundred years after the Jewish Revolts against Rome. After all the Talmud was written there, the Jerusalem Talmud that is. The early Zionist historians had to deal with this fact when writing the history of the Jewish people a history that would justify building a country in Palestine. Many like Dinur said that there was a Jewish majority up until the time the Muslim armies invaded the Middle East. But there is no mention of deportation of people leaving the country. What ever happened to all those Jews. The Iraqi Rabbi makes a comment that he is worried about all the Jews in Judea accepting the religion of Islam. The Judean peasant may have choosen Islam for a variety of reasons. One was that those who weere not Muslims had to pay heavy protection taxes. A conversion to Islam would annul the protection tax. Besides many Jews did believve that Muhammad was a prophet that came to redeem them and many Jews did in fact fight on behalf of the Islamic Armies during their conquests. This being stated prior to the arab riot of 1929 many zionist leaders including Ben Gurion and Ben Tzvi believed that the local fellahin arabs in Palestine at the time were descendant from Ancient Judeans. Some villages even had a Sharia al Khalil. Something seperate from the Koran. The Palestinians are the descendants of the Ancient Israelites who were never deported from the country.

If the Judeans were nver expelled en masse from the country theen where did all these Jewish communities come from. The author makes a strong case that most of these communities deescended from converts. The official Jewish line is that they do not accept converts. In fact there are contradictory statement in both the Bible and the Talmud with regards to converts. Some of these comments are positive and some are negative. None the less Jewish history is replete with example of mass conversions into the Jewish religion. During the Hasmonean time is when most of these communities of converts came into being. Hellenism made Judaism more universalistic and many societies broke down many wall and questioned their old pagan ways. The Jews themselves were very Hellenistic even having Greek names. The Hasmoneans forcibly converted the Idumeans in the South and the Itrurians in the North. In Egyp there was a large Jewish community that spoke only greek. Tractate and translations of the bible were written for the express purpose of converting. In Elephantine a Jewish temple was discovered. There documents in Persian but none in Aramaic or Hebrew. In fact these Jewish communities that sprang up spoke their native language not Judean Hebrew. In fact 8-10 citizens in the Roman empire were Jews. This is attested to in the writing of many Roman historians. To say that they all ccame from Judea is impossible. The most that could live in Judea at that time was maybe a little over a million. They could not all have radiated out of that small place.
Many women were inclined to acccept the Jewish religion. In fact there was a planned massacre in Damascus but it was called off , because the men thought that they would be massacred in their sleep by their wives who secretly practiced Judaism. There were also Jewish kingdoms in Several location. The most noteable is thee Khazar kingdom just north of Iran. There was also Adiabene which was Jewish and assisted the Judeans during their revolt against the Roman. There was also Dahiua El Kahina the Jewish Berber queen who fought against the Armies of Islam and eventually lost. Her two sons converted to Islam and joined the other side. There was also the Himyar Kingdom in Yemen that was eventually overthrown by Ethiopia aided by Rome.

For Jewish history most people relied on the Old Testament. The last complete History of the Jewish people in anccient times was composed by Josephus Flavius. This was based on the Old Testament. A history off the Jewish people would not be written until the early 1800's by Protestants. Jewish Historians like Jost wrote a history of the Jews but it was thorugh the perspective off the Jews being a followers of a religion not a race or people. Later Salo Baron would write a History that documented the Jews as a people but that most of their development would occur in Exile . Graetz and other historians would make the religious following into a people that centered on the importance of land.

The last chapter goes on about European racial theories and how Zionism was a product of that time. There was talk of Jewish blood and the need to grow healthy again by working the land in Israel. Genetic testing is touched upon with some of the finding proving to be conclusive and other not so conclusive. It seems that politics has a way of coloring scientific experiments. The author finishes off with a discussion on the state of israelcomparing it to other democracies in the world and a cry to make it a country for all of it's citizens.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Biblical music with lyrics drawn from the

By JAMES D. WATTS JR. World Scene Writer

October 11/2009

The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art on Thursday will open an exhibit of work never before seen in the United States by sculptor Moshe Frumin.

Frumin, a native of Poland who immigrated with his family to Israel when he was 8 years old, creates musical instruments that are based on archaeological finds and biblical accounts of music in the Hebrew Bible.

"Every piece is based on a physical depiction, since as an image on an ancient coin or a wall painting," said Arthur Feldman, executive director of the Sherwin Miller museum. "And while these objects are quite beautiful, they are also completely practical — they are meant to be played."

"Moshe Frumin: Ancient Instruments" will include 19 instruments — harps similar to those that King David would have played, shofar horns, drums and other percussion pieces.

Frumin will be in Tulsa for the opening reception, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, to give a gallery talk about his work at the museum, 2021 E. 71st St. The exhibit will remain on display through Jan. 25, 2010.
In concert

In addition, some of the instruments in the exhibit will be used by SAVAE — the San Antonio Vocal Arts Ensemble — when it presents its concert "Ancient Echoes" at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Howard Auditorium on the Oral Roberts University campus, 7777 E. 81st St.

SAVAE is a seven-member group specializing in early and ancient music — from hymns and spirituals from the American South to music that combines colonial Spanish melodies with Aztec instruments (which the ensemble also plays).

The "Ancient Echoes" concert will feature songs and chants that were collected by musicologist Abraham Idelsohn in his authoritative "Thesaurus of Hebrew Oriental Melodies," with lyrics drawn from the Aramaic Greek texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

"Aramaic was the language that Jesus spoke," Feldman said. "So this is a concert that should resonate with people of both the Jewish and Christian faiths, through the common ground of music."

Tickets for the SAVAE performance are $20 adults and $10 students, and can be purchased by calling the Sherwin Miller museum at 492-1818.

Can Egypt Protect it's Copts

You may not expect it from the clergy, but a Belgian priest is proposing that, with plummeting church attendance and the recession, some of the country's 4,000 churches -- especially those "only visited by pigeons" -- should be demolished or reoriented for other, more secular purposes in order to free up resources to maintain more important places of worship.

In contrast, empty churches are not a problem for Egypt's more pious Christian community. In fact, overcrowding is more of an issue. Part of the reason for this is that, like their Muslim compatriots, Copts are becoming outwardly more religious. But they have to jump through bureaucratic hoops in order to secure a permit to construct new churches or even to repair existing ones.

To redress an issue that has long been a sore point, a coalition of 36 Egyptian human rights groups are lobbying for the introduction of a unified building law for places of worship. This campaign is unlikely to go down well among Islamists and Christianophobes who hold the unfounded conviction that Copts are wealthier and more privileged than Muslims and are out to Christianise Egypt.

In many ways, the debate in Egypt mirrors that in Europe where far-right and other Islamophobes stoke irrational fears of the imminent creation of a Eurabia (what I call the European Umma myth) and campaign against the building of mosques. However, there are some key differences. Although some European Muslim communities are centuries old, in western Europe, Muslims have only been around in significant numbers for a couple of generations. Aside from their religions, Copts and Muslims are ethnically, socially and culturally indistinguishable, since most Egyptian Muslims were once Christian and before that ancient Egyptian polytheists.

It is this homogeneity that makes the deteriorating position of the Copts and the gradually worsening relations between the two religious communities over the past three decades so troubling and painful for those millions of Egyptian Muslims and Christians who still enjoy cordial relations. Many look with nostalgia upon a time when people where Egyptian before anything else, during both the era of secular Arab nationalism and the earlier Egyptian struggle for independence, whose symbol was a green banner bearing both a cross and a crescent.

Against the ideological backdrop of national unity, issues of religious division were taboo for years. The state has lived in denial of the problem, which it has contributed to with its recent hamfisted attempts, in order to appease the growing conservative Islamic current, to juggle the conflicting roles of champion of secularism and defender of Islam.

Tired of regular clashes between Muslims and Copts -- which flare up sporadically, often fuelled by rumours of conversions and intermarriage -- progressive and liberal Egyptians have, in recent years, shattered the taboo surrounding national unity. Given Egyptians' love of and penchant for humour, one of the most successful recent treatments of Muslim-Coptic tensions was a hit summer comedy, released last year, starring Egypt's top veteran comedian Adel Imam and Omar el-Sharif. In Hassan and Morqos, Imam, a secular Muslim, plays the part of a moderate Coptic theology scholar, while Sharif, who converted to Islam from Catholicism to marry the Egyptian actress Faten Hamama, plays a devout but mild-mannered and tolerant Muslim.

Faced with the wrath of extremists from both their communities for their moderation, the two characters are forced to go underground as part of a witness protection programme and assume identities in the other religion -- a plot device that is used to scathing comic effect. Chance makes them neighbours and they become good friends in the mistaken belief that the other shares a beautiful expression of their own hidden faith.

Although I found the film went too far in its bid to draw parallels between the majority and the minority, it was generally very honest and very funny, mocking Muslims, Christians and the government mercilessly. The comedy went down well with critics and cinemagoers alike, but almost predictably provoked the ire of Islamists, some of whom ridiculously claimed that, by playing the role of a Christian, Imam had effectively converted and become a missionary.

Alaa al-Aswany, currently Egypt's top novelist, has also been addressing the thorny issue of Coptic-Christian relations. In his novel Chicago, about Egyptian academics based in the American city, he challenges another two-dimensional caricature -- that the Coptic opposition abroad is made up of sell-outs who have become agents of the west.

Although there are certainly opportunists in the diaspora who exaggerate the situation in Egypt for their own gain, the character in the novel -- like numerous real-life expatriate Copts -- left Egypt to escape unofficial discrimination which saw him repeatedly overlooked for promotion at his university. After finding success in America, he used his influence to struggle for reform in Egypt and highlight the plight of his co-religionists, not out of opportunism or hatred, but patriotism and love, as a young Muslim student who accuses him of treachery eventually discovers.

If it continues, this growing maturity and honesty in addressing religious tensions bodes well for the future. If not, then the final scene of Hassan and Morqos, in which the two families join hands while around them a mass riot between Muslims and Copts burns with righteous fury, could be a foretaste of things to come. A good first step to show that faith is a private matter would be to remove religion from ID cards.

By Khaled Diab
www.guardian.co.uk

TURKEY CHANGES ISRAEL ON SYRIA

Thursday, October 15

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the canceled
planned joint military drill with Israel to protest against Israeli
air strikes on the Gaza Strip earlier this year. Prime Minisiter said
the government had listened to the voice of the Turkish people when
it decided to cancel the military exercise "Anatolian Eagle".

This announcement coincided with another statement: Turkey and Syria
sign strategic partnership. Besides, the two countries signed an
agreement on visa-free entry on October 13.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry declares openness to boost bilateral ties
in all possible fields, including military, economy, and energy.

Since Israel and Syria are countries in war, some analysts interpreted
these developments as an attack on Israel.

Israel's media link the canceled joint military drill with some delay
in drone delivery. Recall that Turkey and Israel signed a multi-million
dollar military deal four years ago, under which Israeli Aerospace
Industries and Elbit Systems, Ltd. were obliged to equip the Turkish
military with ten surveillance drones by October 2009.

According to Israeli Valla edition this closing-in also calls into
question weapon equipping to Turkey in general.

END OF THE AFFAIR?

Al-Ahram Weekly
15 - 21 October 2009

The Turkish refusal to allow Israel to participate in military
exercises has plunged Turkish-Israeli relations into a crisis,
and marks yet another power shift between civilian and military,
writes Gareth Jenkins from Ankara Click to view caption Turkish
and Armenian foreign ministers signed pacts in Zurich this week to
establish diplomatic ties after nearly a century of bitterness

The ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) last week cancelled
permission for Israeli aircraft to participate in the annual Anatolian
Eagle military exercises in protest at Israel's policies towards the
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The Anatolian Eagle air exercises have been held nearly every year
since 2001 with the participation not only of Turkey and Israel but
also of planes from Turkey's NATO allies, particularly the US. This
year's exercise, which had originally been scheduled for 12- 23
October, had been planned months in advance. When it became clear that
Israel would not be allowed to participate, the NATO forces withdrew in
protest, leaving the Turkish air force to conduct the exercises alone.

Military-to-military ties have long formed the backbone of the
Turkish-Israeli relationship. Israeli companies have been awarded a
series of lucrative defence contracts in Turkey. Turkish pilots have
been trained at Israeli air force facilities in the Negev desert.

Israeli pilots have travelled to Konya in central Anatolia, where they
have used Turkey's extensive air space to conduct training exercises.

Relations between the two militaries have not always been smooth,
but the Turkish General Staff (TGS) has traditionally adopted a very
pragmatic attitude towards the relationship. Despite their private
reservations, Turkish officers have rarely publicly criticised Israeli
policies towards the Palestinians.

Yet the same has not been true of the JDP, particularly since Israel
launched its brutal military assault on Gaza in December 2008. In
January 2009, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan famously
stormed out of the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland,
after accusing Israeli President Shimon Peres of "knowing very well
how to kill". Significantly, since the Gaza operation, Israeli pilots
have not been invited to use the Konya air range.

Tensions have intensified since the appointment of Ahmet Davutoglu,
Erdogan's former foreign policy advisor, as Turkish foreign minister in
May 2009. An Ottoman nostalgist, Davutoglu has consistently advocated
forming closer ties with Muslim states in the Middle East in an
attempt to reassert Turkey as the dominant power in the region. In
recent months, both Davutoglu and Erdogan have relentlessly criticised
Israeli policy towards Gaza and become outspoken advocates for Hamas,
even in its internal conflict with Fatah.

When the news broke of Israel's exclusion from Anatolian Eagle,
officials from Turkey's Ministry for Foreign Affairs disingenuously
tried to claim that it had been for "technical reasons". But Davutoglu
was less circumspect. When asked why Turkey had prevented Israel
from participating, he told reporters: "We hope that the situation
in Gaza will be improved, that the situation will be back to the
diplomatic track."

Publicly at least, the Israeli government has tried to downplay the
rift by issuing anodyne statements about the importance that it still
attaches to ties with Turkey. But, privately, many both inside Israel
and in the Jewish community in the US have made no secret of their
fury. There have been numerous calls for Israeli defence companies to
stop selling weapons and equipment to Turkey. Jewish groups in the
US have threatened to withdraw their support for Turkey's lobbying
efforts to prevent the Obama administration from recognising the
Armenian genocide.

For others, the Turkish refusal to allow Israel to participate in
Anatolian Eagle is final proof of what they had gradually begun
to suspect. "We used to be told that the Turks liked us," said one
Israeli businesswoman. "That began to change after Davos. Now we are
seeing their true faces."

The exclusion of Israel will also have come as a shock to the US.

Anatolian Eagle used to be the main opportunity for Israeli and US
planes to exercise together.

Perhaps equally important is what the exclusion of Israel says about
the changing balance of power between the military and the civilian
government inside Turkey. Since the JDP first took office in November
2002, it has proceeded very cautiously in its relations with the TGS.

The refusal to allow Israel to participate in Anatolian Eagle is
the first time the JDP has imposed its will on an issue related to
defence in open defiance of the wishes of the Turkish military.

In the wake of the NATO announcement that it was withdrawing from
the exercises in protest at Israel's exclusion, the TGS posted a
statement on its website pointedly noting where responsibility for
the decision lay. "As the result of discussions between countries
conducted by the Turkish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, international
participation has been postponed," it said.

In the past, the TGS did not even consult with the civilian authorities
before deciding which countries it would invite to participate
in military exercises. But, over the last two years, the fiercely
secularist TGS has not only seen its sphere of influence reduced but
has come under unprecedented attack from supporters of the moderate
Islamist JDP in the Turkish media and the judicial system. As a result,
the TGS now has to choose which battles it is going to fight or risk
losing what is left of its once considerable public prestige.

In recent years, and particularly since the December 2008 onslaught
on Gaza, there has been a rapid rise in anti-Israeli and anti- Jewish
sentiment in Turkey. Under such circumstances, applying pressure
to the JDP to allow Israel to participate in Anatolian Eagle was a
battle that the TGS knew it was unlikely to win

Genocide recognition Now

Protesters in Tel-Aviv demand recognition of Armenian Genocide
17.10.2009

On October 16, Im Titsu (If You Like) movement held
demonstration near Turkish Embassy in Tel-Aviv.

Activists held photo exhibition on Armenian Genocide, calling on
Turkish Government to recognize Armenian Holocaust in Ottoman Empire.

Im Tirtsu movement was founded by Israeli university students after
Second Lebanese War. Its organizers' objective is to strengthen and
revive Zionist values in Israeli society, Newsru.co.il reports.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dvar Torah on Chronicles

The last two dvar Torahs dealt with issues that pertained to morality today I shall deal with genealogies. The Book of Chronicles can into depth on the issue. I shall cover the important parts as adequately as I can. From the line of Ham was cursed for violating/raping/castrating his father. Came the like of Canaan and Mitzraim. From Mitzraim came Put and Phoenicia and Nimrod. Phoenicians were the considered the master shipbuilders of their time so considerable were their skills that King Solomon used them to build his Navy. They had great workmanship in terms of building and King Solomon put those skills to use at great cost. Nimrod was considered a great hunter. He was the first known conqueror of the world and he subjugated the entire known world. Ham came from Africa so it shows the impact that Africa has on the world.

Mitzraim we all know as Egypt, from them came the Philistines who took their boat all the way to Crete, Shardinia and Greece. The Philistine would become known as the sea people and were considered famous warriors. Canaan came twelve nation opposite in Holiness to the twelve tribes of Israel. They spoke the holy tongue and tried in some way to cleave to the holiness of the Jewish people. Looking at their ancient rituals one sees the obvious imitation of Jewish ritual. Two important Nations broke off from the Canaan. One that has disappeared was Hath who ended up fathering the Hittites. The Hittites became a huge empire in their time dominating the entire Middle East at one point. They were also a challenge to Egypt. The more important of the two and they are still around are the Chinese. They descended from Sino one of the Canaanite Tribes. They share many components with the Jewish people. They have a reverence for their ancestors and a love for education. They also have a belief that the leader is responsible for the welfare of his people and that when calamity befalls it is usually that the ruler has failed in his duty. The leader has an obligation to govern justly a he is Hashem's representative on Earth.

Next Dvar Torah will deal with the Japhetites.

Ara's words

Rabbis, imams, sultans and their Christian counterparts in the West: They may believe they speak in the name of God but they speak in the name of a figment of their imagination in which they are, if not God, than one with the Almighty. What makes them powerful is their connection with the collective unconscious, and the unconscious is the source of all evil.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dvar Torah on Chronicles

Dvar Torah on Chronicles

The book of Chronicles is chock full of information, so much so that it is hard to select what should be shared. A daunting challenge nonetheless must be answered. Yesterday theme dealt with violence perhaps today’s theme should deal with theft.

Adam the first man lived long enough to see the planet populated with his progeny. He was well over 500 years old and most of his descendants had forgotten about him or were totally unaware of his existence. Yet he lived and a handful of people sat around his feet learning from him the lesson that had been taught to him by Hashem. One might think that things were OK not to bad not to great. People were busy populating the planet and pursuing their livelihood much like they are today.

There were two things that were wrong one was theft and the other was the sprouting of idolatry. The main issue was theft. Even back then people were stealing from each other. The concept of personal property is essential to the torah. Respecting someone else's personal property is a commandment. With the introduction of theft civility in society breaks down. People steal from each other left and right. Today we know right from wrong and that stealing is not allowed. Yet how many of us justify a minor theft? Taking fruit off of someone else’s tree or taking some small item they will never notice? This is theft and it is a sin. Theft happens even on a grander scale. People manage to manipulate the paper work and make it all legitimate. “It’s all here on paper, it's legal. Sometimes entire fortunes are swindled in such a manner.

In the past like today theft lead to animosity and anger. Such anger often would result in violence as it does today. People get angry and kill the people who stole from them. This could ruin not only lives but entire families. During the time of Noach when Hashem flooded the world, theft was one of the main reasons. See what stealing can lead to.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dvaar Torah Chronicles

Daath Sofrim

The book of Chronicle which was redacted by Ezra and Nehemia, is
a book that is meant to complement and expound upon the remainder of
the scriptures after the Chumash, or five books of Moses.
Chronicles starts off by listing the first generations of man.
First Adam is mentioned and then Cain is mentioned. Why is it that so
many people are skipped over. The answer lies in the importance of who
is being mentioned. We have something to learn from those names being
mentioned.
Why should I focus on Cain. After all he was won who rose up and
killed his brother. After which he was exiled to Nod. He quickly got
to work populating the world and building cities. He survived 7
generations of his progeny. Their was a mark on his forhead.
There in lies the lesson. Cain used violence to wipe out Abel ,
his brother and main competitor. Nothing has changed much these days,
afterall there are still violent people who use force to silence the
competition.
Cain's lesson is that violence should not pay and that it didn't
pay back then. The crime did not go unanswered. Cain was banished with
a mark upon his head. This was a lesson to mankind that violence does
not pay. As a society we must learn that bot only that we should not
commit acts of violence but that we should negative sanction to
individuals who commit acts of violence. This will teach both the
individual and society about violence.
The inveighs against violence , so much that Hashem even in the
process of meting out discipline does harm, hurt or kill Cain in
anyway shape or form. This comes to teach us that any religion that
advocates killing someone is to be rejected as false . What religion
is that, I wonder?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Jewish Princedom in Feudal France" by Zuckerman

In 768 the forces of Carolingian France and Ummayad Spain are at war with each other. The Caroligians get help in over taking Barcelona. THey are helped by the local Jews who turn the city over to the French in ex change for a quasi independence in Narbonne France. the Ommayad muslims used to conquer territory with the aid of the Jews. Once the territory was conquered the muslims would leave control of it to the Jews. This time the jews helped the enemies.

The French were not the only ones at war with the Ummayads, the Abbassids were also at odds with the Ummayads. Of course it made sence for the Abbassids and the French to make a treaty or alliance which they did. Part of this treaty was having a representative ogf the Abbassids hold a court in France. This place would be Septimania of France. The person they chose was the the Exilarch of the Israelites, Natronia ben Makhir.

The Exilarchs are descended from the line of King David. After they the Israelites were exiled from Judah by the Babylonians, the princely line of David remained in tact with the exilarch or the Nasi being in charge of the Jews in the Mesopatmian area. In Babylon there was a feud as to who should assume the office of Exilarch or Nasi of the Jewish people. THe choices were Natronia Makhir or Bustenai. Bustenai won out partially because he married into Persian royalty. Natronai then wnet off to France to recieve his own Princedom.

Upon arriving in Septimania not only did he recieve his own throne he had his name changed from Natronai to Theodric and was given a wife from thje Carolingian line. This was done to add legitimacy to the Carolingian line. Septimania served a purpose of defending the French frontier from Muslim Spain. Theodric often made military adventure into Spain. His son William was essential to the defense of the Carolingian empire and Charlemagnes realm. The Princedom lasted al the way until 900 ad. From 768-900 the Jews had major influence in France. The Christian clergy did not like the facts that an Israelite state was established on French soil. They used to offer several ruses to take control of Narbonne and Septimania. THe Enmperors backed up the Makhirs. Later on William would establish the House of G-d in the mountains of Gellone. Several member of the Makhir family died due to palace intrigue or in service of a king or emperor. Very intersting book.

Robert Fisk: Obama, man of peace? No, just a Nobel prize of a mistake

The Independent



The US president received an award in the faint hope that he will
succeed in the future. That's how desperate the Middle East situation
has become

Sunday, 11 October 2009

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-obama-man-of-peace-no-just-a-nobel-prize-of-a-mistake-1800928.html

His Middle East policy is collapsing. The Israelis have taunted him by
ignoring his demand for an end to settlement-building and by
continuing to build their colonies on Arab land. His special envoy is
bluntly told by the Israelis that an Arab-Israel peace will take "many
years". Now he wants the Palestinians to talk peace to Israel without
conditions. He put pressure on the Palestinian leader to throw away
the opportunity of international scrutiny of UN Judge Goldstone's
damning indictment of Israeli war crimes in Gaza while his Assistant
Secretary of State said that the Goldstone report was "seriously
flawed". After breaking his pre-election promise to call the 1915
Armenian massacres by Ottoman Turkey a genocide, he has urged the
Armenians to sign a treaty with Turkey, again "without pre-conditions".
His army is still facing an insurgency in Iraq. He cannot decide how
to win "his" war in Afghanistan. I shall not mention Iran.

And now President Barack Obama has just won the Nobel Peace
Prize. After only eight months in office. Not bad. No wonder he said
he was "humbled" when told the news. He should have felt humiliated.
But perhaps weakness becomes a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Shimon Peres
won it, too, and he never won an Israeli election. Yasser Arafat won
it. And look what happened to him. For the first time in history, the
Norwegian Nobel committee awarded its peace prize to a man who has
achieved nothing - in the faint hope that he will do something good in
the future. That's how bad things are. That's how explosive the Middle
East has become.

Isn't there anyone in the White House to remind Mr Obama that the
Israel ged a US president who asked for an end to the building of
colonies for Jews ` and Jews only ` on Arab land? Bill Clinton
demanded this ` it was written into the Oslo accords ` and the
Israelis ignored him. George W Bush demanded an end to the fighting in
Jenin nine years ago. The Israelis ignored him. Mr Obama demands a
total end to all settlement construction. "They just don't get it, do
they?" an Israeli minister ` apparently Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu ` was reported to have said when the US Secretary of State,
Hillary Clinton, reiterated her president's words. That's what Avigdor
Lieberman, Israel's crackpot foreign minister ` he's not as much a
crackpot as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but he's getting close ` said again
on Thursday. "Whoever says it's possible to reach in the coming years
a comprehensive agreement," he announced before meeting Mr Obama's
benighted and elderly envoy George Mitchell, "... simply doesn't
understand the reality."

Related articles

Obama vows to end military gay policy

Across Arabia, needless to say, the Arab potentates continue to shake
with fear in their golden minarets. That great Lebanese journalist
Samir Kassir ` murdered in 2005, quite possibly by Mr Obama's
new-found Syrian chums ` put it well in one of his last essays.
"Undeterred by Egypt since Sadat's peace," he wrote, "convinced of
America's unfailing support, guaranteed moral impunity by Europe's bad
conscience, and backed by a nuclear arsenal that was acquired with the
help of Western powers, and that keeps growing without exciting any
comment from the international community, Israel can literally do
anything it wants, or is prompted to do by its leaders' fantasies of
domination."

So Israel is getting away with it as usual, abusing the distinguished
(and Jewish) head of the UN inquiry into Gaza war crimes ` which also
blamed Hamas ` while joining the Americans in further disgracing the
craven Palestinian Authority "President" Mahmoud Abbas, who is more
interested in maintaining his relations with Washington than with his
own Palestinian people. He's even gone back on his word to refuse
peace talks until Israel's colonial expansion comes to an end. In a
single devastating sentence, that usually mild Jordanian commentator
Rami Khouri noted last week that Mr Abbas is "a tragic shell of a man,
hollow, politically impotent, backed and respected by nobody". I put
"President" Abbas into quotation marks since he now has Mr
Ahmadinejad's status in the eyes of his people. Hamas is
delighted. Thanks to President Obama.

Oddly, Mr Obama is also humiliating the Armenian president, Serg
Sarkisian, by insisting that he talks to his Turkish adversaries
without conditions. In the West Bank, you have to forget the Jewish
colonies. In Armenia, you have to forget the Turkish murder of one and
a half million Armenians in 1915. Mr Obama refused to honour his
pre-election p se to recognise the 20th century's first holocaust as a
genocide. But if he can't handle the First World War, how can he
handle World War Three?

Mr Obama advertised the Afghanistan conflict as the war America had to
fight ` not that anarchic land of Mesopotamia which Mr Bush rashly
invaded. He'd forgotten that Afghanistan was another Bush war; and he
even announced that Pakistan was now America's war, too. The White
House produced its "Afpak" soundbite. And the drones came in droves
over the old Durand Line, to kill the Taliban and a host of innocent
civilians. Should Mr Obama concentrate on al-Qa'ida? Or yield to
General Stanley McChrystal's Vietnam-style demand for 40,000 more
troops? The White House shows the two of them sitting opposite each
other, Mr Obama in the smoothie suite, McChrystal in his
battledress. The rabbit and the hare.

No way are they going to win. The neocons say that "the graveyard of
empire" is a cliché. It is. But it's also true. The Afghan
government is totally corrupted; its paid warlords ` paid by Karzai
and the Americans ` ramp up the drugs trade and the fear of Afghan
civilians. But it's much bigger than this.

The Indian embassy was bombed again last week. Has Mr Obama any idea
why? Does he realise that Washington's decision to support India
against Pakistan over Kashmir ` symbolised by his appointment of
Richard Holbrooke as envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan but with no
remit to discuss divided Kashmir ` enraged Pakistan. He may want India
to balance the power of China (some hope!) but Pakistan's military
intelligence realises that the only way of persuading Mr Obama to act
fairly over Kashmir ` recognising Pakistan's claims as well as India's
` is to increase their support for the Taliban. No justice in Kashmir,
no security for US troops ` or the Indian embassy ` in Afghanistan.

Then, after stroking the Iranian pussycat at the Geneva nuclear talks,
the US president discovered that the feline was showing its claws
again at the end of last week. A Revolutionary
nei, warned that Iran would "blow up the heart" of Israel if Israel or
the US attacked the Islamic Republic. I doubt it. Blow up Israel and
you blow up "Palestine". Iranians ` who understand the West much
better than we understand them ` have another policy in the case of
the apocalypse. If the Israelis attack, they may leave Israel
alone. They have a plan, I'm told, to target instead only US troops in
Iraq and Afghanistan, and their bases in the Gulf and their warships
cruising through Hormuz. They would leave Israel alone. Americans
would then learn the price of kneeling before their Israeli masters.

For the Iranians know that the US has no stomach for a third war in
the Middle East. Which is why Mr Obama has been sending his generals
thick and fast to the defence ministry in Tel Aviv to tell the
Israelis not to strike at Iran. And why Israel's leaders ` including
Mr Netanyahu ` were blowing the peace pipe all week about the need for
international negotiations with Iran. But it raises an interesting
question. Is Mr Obama more frightened of Iran's retaliation? Or of its
nuclear capabilities? Or more terrified of Israel's possible
aggression against Iran?

But, please, no attacks on 10 December. That's when Barack Obama turns
up in Oslo to pocket his peace prize - for achievements he has not yet
achieved and for dreams that will turn into nightmares.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Crafting Magick by Susan Pesznecker

"Crafting Magic" By Susan Pesznecker

A great book for someone who just about to travel on the road of the writer. Supposedly geared toward writing spells and prayers the book covers other areas such as journal writing, creative writing and journals. I was expecting more techniques on writing spells then on stories. The author begins her book by teaching the reader how to create their scared writing space. This is done by a ritual ass well as by making your own writing stole and consecrating it. The next step is to establish a routine where in the new writer writes every day. The journal is of utmost importance. It documents growth and change and is always a pleasure to look back upon. Journaling helps make you a better writer and increasing your self awareness. Your journal is sub rosa meaning for your eyes only. At times writer will experience writers block or be looking for things to write. There a couple things that are helpful. One thing is the free write. You just write whatever comes to mind. You do not bother editing or controlling whatever comes out. The next is brainstorming. Write down topics that would like to write on. The author also goes to teell about different genres and the elements of stories. Stuff that you learned in middle school writing classes. The last parts touch on magical writing. Alas too much on regular writing and not enough on how to spells.

Friday, October 2, 2009

"Cruel and Ussual Punishment" by Nonie Darwish

Nonie Darwish in her second book on radical Islam offers a rare and unique insiders view of the religion. Herself a former muslim from Egypt, analyzes the religion of her birth with a critical eye.

Mrs.Darwish starts her book with a history of how Islam developed. It
was a religion that developed out in the hot inhospitable desert.
Tribes survived by making war on eachother. Being a good warrior was
the ultimate in manhood . The one who brought in the most booty helped
support the tribe. Good warriors were rewarded with a bigger share of
the booty. Often when they raided women and children were captured as
slaves with the best warriors getting the prime pick . When Muhammad
came up with Islam this desert behavior became codified. Instead of
raiding for the tribe warriors began raiding for Islam.
In the desert the climate was often times very hot. Women often
rmes veiled themselves in order to be better protected from the sun
and constant sand storms. Often time being covered up was a wonans
only real privacy . This too became codified in Islam.
Islam is coming to the West and it has some serios ramifications
for those living in Europe and America. The treatment of women is a
primary concern for the author. Under Sharia law a woman is considered
as a mans property. Imams give lectures on Egyptian Tv about how to
beat a woman if she is not obedient to her husband . A woman has no
rights to divorce her husband and a husband can divorce his wife by
saying, writing or texting her , I divorce you, three times. Honor
killings are also onthe rise in the west with an increase in Muslim
immigration. Women are hung, stoned a or flogged for the mere
suspicion of adultery or talking with another male outside of her
family. The woman is punished even if she herself is the rape victim.
A man can have up to four wives and can engage in pleasure
marriages that last for a few hours. This is in sharp contrast to how
the woman is treated in Islam. Sharia also gives men the right to
enforce their sexual desires over domestic workers. The author delves
into the reason why the females life is so rigidly controlled and how
it negatively affects Islamic society.
One reason for such strict control is that the average Arab lives
in dictatorial society where the are walked and mistreated by everyone
above them. They have no control over their live so controlling a
woman's honor is all that they do have control over .
The fact that most Egyptians are very poor, the practice of
polygamy benefits the rich . Many women prefer to be the second wife
of an older wealthier gentleman than the wife of a poor man. So what
is left for young men? Answer! Nothing but Jihad, where to die in
battle is glorious and 72 virgins await them in paradise.
The author asserts that Islam has no respect for other religions.
She alluded to verses in the koran which call upon Muslims to kill or
wage war upon non Muslims . Jews and Christians are said to be
descended from Apes monkeys and pigs. She also points and documents
sermons given by fanatical imams.
Islam is a totalitarian way of life that puts person into a
mental cage. The Caliph or Islamic ruler is above reproach and to
question his authority is blasphemy against Islam. Such an offense is
punishable by death. Although only 10 to 15 percent of all Muslims are
fanatical they are a threat to non Muslims and moderate Muslims . They
are coming here and they are more radical than preachers in the Middle
East. Immigration must be limited and all immigrants must be agree to
follow US civil law. If Muslims can build mosques and fund Ialsmic
studies here in America then Americans should be able to build
churches and study programs in the Middle East.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Obama and the Turks

BODYGUARDS OF OBAMA AND ERDOGAN BRAWL IN NEW YORK

23.09.2009
Bodyguards of US President Barack Obama and Turkish
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan started a dispute over Premiers'
security issue, which escalated into a brawl.

As Cumhuriyet Turkish newspaper reported, the dispute started over
bodyguards' disagreement on necessary security measures. Premiers'
bodyguards were not provided with radio communication. As a result,
Erdogan had to cancel his address at "G20 and its influence on global
issues" summit, organized by Bill Clinton and return to Sheraton
Plaza hotel.

Erdogan himself interfered in the fight, while one of US bodyguards
pushed him out of the scramble.

Christians Tombs vandalized in Istanbul

Christian tombs desecrated in an historic Istanbul cemetery.
September 22 2009

About 90 tombstones are broken. Incidents of this nature are not rate in the city but the local press failed to report it. Only recently and through a movie, have young Turks begun to learn about past anti-Christian pogroms. Ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew visits the cemetery in question.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) A Christian cemetery was desecrated in Istanbul. Unknown person or persons broke 90 tombstones that bore the sign of the cross and the name of the deceased. The incident occurred a few days ago in the historic cemetery of Valukli near the ancient Valukli Monastery, the only monastery dedicated to Our Lady still open in Istanbul, located outside the ancient walls of Theodosius, and which five non-resident nuns care for.

Istanbuls Christian cemeteries have been desecrated on a number of occasions in the past 20 years. The latest outrage brought back memories of the tragic events of September 1955 when churches, cemeteries and properties owned by Istanbuls Orthodox community were desecrated and destroyed in a pogrom. Eventually dubbed the September pogrom, the event was the brainchild of Turkeys political-bureaucratic-military establishment, known here as Derin Devlet or deep state.

The pogrom has remained engraved in the memories of Istanbuls Christians who at that moment realised that their survival in the city would be difficult, if not impossible.

Young Turks have learnt about such tragic episodes only recently, when Guz Sancisi, a movie by young Turkish woman director Tomris Giritlioglu, was screened in local theatres to great review and box office success.

It is also important to keep in mind that Christian cemeteries are very large and serve as a reminder of the small Christian presence in this country.

Given Istanbuls huge urban development, Christian cemeteries have become surrounded by human habitation and are coveted by developers.

A law adopted in the 1930s transferred title to cemeteries to municipalities; hitherto, they had belonged to religious foundations

Outraged and grieved by what happened, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (pictured) went to see the desecrated cemetery, asking why such acts continue to strike Christian graveyards.

Despite the seriousness of the incident, the local press did not report it.

http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=16387&size=A

Wizards

"Wizards" by Jack Dann and gardner Dozois

These two gentlemen have comiled a colletion of short stories about wizards and and other people who do magic. They have collected at the time it was writen nver before published writing samples fro the likes o Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix, Jane Yolen ,Eoin Colfer and others. The stories are very enterntaining and enjoyable to read.

Stories have such plots as a boy who is raised in a graveyard does a favor for a witch. While out of the graveyard he gets in trouble and the dead witch helps him out. In Holly and Iron two sisters who are related to the Normans and British kings rebel against Norman rule of Britain. One sister dies in battle and the other goes seraching for vengeance. The ending is quite a surprise. SOme of the stores take place in a fantasy world while others occur in different versions of Historical reality. Some stories take place in modern times.

A good idea for this book is to take note of the authors you like best and explore their work further,

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"SnowCrash" by Neal Stephenson

"SnowCrash" by Neal Stephenson

The story is set in futuristic Los Angeles. The Central government is falling apart and shrinking. Various franchises are taking over and private city states each with their own laws are popping up every where. Security is handled by private armies like the Mafia, Enforces and the Crips. Hiro Protagonist the main character is both a hacker and driver for a Mafia owned pizza company. He crashes the car and meets Y.T. a skateboarding kourier who get around by harpooning fast moving cars with a suction harpoon. After Hiro crashes his car she delivers the Pizza for him. After that they form a partnership. Hiro as a hacker gets money for information that he sells to the CIC . Kouriers get all sorts of information. The Metaverse is like a virtual world in cyberspace where Avatars meet up and chat. It is in the Black Sun owned by his friend Da5id that Hiro gets wind of something called "Snow Crash" a sort of cyber drug. He declines the first offer and later on learns about it from an ex girlfriend who was married to Da5id for a while. Hackers and programmers like him have to beware it will infect their brain. Someone is out to get all the programmers. Da5id is not so lucky he gets dosed and ends up totally brain dead. While in the Black Sun a Japanese swordsman tries to take down Hiro but fails. Snow crassh is written in an Ancient Sumerian language that easily enter the brainstructure. Once uttered it give the En or person who controls the namshub access and control over the person;s mind. THe person behind all this is L.Bob Rife he owns the Pearly Gates Church and he is spreading the virus. The Mafia, Y.T. and Hiro team up to stop the spread off the virus. Along thee way Y.T gets kidnapped and ends up on board the Enterprise, an old Navy cruiser purchased by L.Bob Rife, which is his base of operations. Juanita manages to infiltrate the ship which proves crucial in the final battle. Hiro board the ship with the aid of the mafia in order to rescue Y.T and Juanita. Raven is a super strong Villain and Aleut from Alska with a grudge against America. He is an expert assassin who is Hiro's toughest nemesis. Hiro is also an expert swords man.

Excellent story, I found this book very entertaining. The references to Ancient Sumerian mythology and Kabballah are very mind opening. I have found that now I have a bunch of addition material to research. This is a five star book.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Engagement....Palestinians with Jewish Roots

To everyone participating in the long discussion: Our targets do not include slandering Islam or verbally (deninitely not otherwise) attacking its followers. We are against ignorance, extremism and corruption that are responsible for the current conflict in our country.

Christine; In Kaballah we learn that the deeds of the people on earth are a sign for those acting from above. What we are doing now is concentrating on lobbying arround politicians to let them realize that there is no other way. That our direction is a win win while the other diections are lose lose.

But we are seeing more and more supporters and more testifying about their Jewish roots almost every day. We are seeing small but somewhat astonoshing miracles here and there, like meeting a cousin of Wahid last Friday whose mother's family owned the house in Deir Yassin where you can see today 2 Stars of David, as appear on our web site. Like Wahid meeting a neighbour he knows for many years whose last name is Judeh, admitting only now that they are Jews. Like sheik Ja'abri from Hebron refusing to admit that his clan is of a Jewish origin, in order not to lose his leadership and last week hearing from an old Bedouin in Mazarib, that in 1968 he heard on the radio the previous sheik Ja'abari telling to Moshe Dayan that they are of a Jewish origin. That Bedouin who is now in pension from the IDF told me that they are insulted if we call them Palestinians. All these coincidences are not accidents, are not random. They show the additional support that we have.

As to the protests: While these had some success on our borders, the PA sent many buses to collect demonstartors. Most of the busses returned empty, and the few that did not, brought few children whishing to have a free trip in a day of a nice weather.

I also heard, but was not able to verify it yet, that one of the candidates for presidency in Egypt, who is not too favoured by the Muslim Brootherhood, said yesterday in El-Manar, Hizballah TV, that soon the Palestinians of Judea & Samaria will become Jews. It may be a fasle alarm, some misunderstanding, but may be it is true that he said it.

Dennis, we are progressing to publish more videos to show Palestinians testifying about their Jewish origins and religious Jewish symbols found in Paletinian locations. If there is anything you can help in this direction, let me know please.

Carter On the Right of Middle Eastern Jews

Carter enemy of peace

Ben-Dror Yemini

Like many "peace activists", the former president engages in revilement against Israel, which feeds Palestinian rejectionism




Are peace activists the enemies of peace? The fascinating case of Jimmy Carter requires a special look. Carter recently visited Israel – one of many visits – this time in the framework of a special delegation of "Elders" – the world's tribal elders. There is no doubt that this group – one of whose founders is Nelson Mandela – has good intentions, and maybe ability. They have considerable gravitas. But the main question is – what are they doing with their moral weight?



Immediately upon his return to the US, Carter published an article in the prestigious Washington Post. An invective against the State of Israel. Invective cannot rest on foundations of truth. It needs lies. Carter tells a few, for example, about the Hanoun family, "recently evicted from their home of 65 years." Really? In fact, the entire compound belongs to Jews, who were expelled from Jerusalem in the framework of the War of Independence. There is no argument about the Jewish ownership, which dates back to 1875. A Star of David is still to be found on one of the old stone structures at the site. The Hanoun family, by contrast, did not reach the place 65 years ago. If Carter would have checked, he would discover that this is a family of refugees from Haifa (Haifa's Arabs, by the way, were not expelled. They left voluntarily). They were moved into the structure, along with another family, in 1956, by the Jordanian authorities. The owners of the property sought to exercise their proprietary rights. There is not a word about this in Carter's article.



And indeed, there are thousands of tenants, in Carter's state, in Atlanta, who were evicted from their homes because they could not make their mortgage payments. The rights of the Smith family, which was thrown onto the street in Atlanta, are much more established than the rights of the Hanoun family. But Carter is not looking for justice. He is looking for invective. And therefore, he presents his readers with a partial picture, replete with erroneous details, and conceals the fact that the eviction was carried out only after lengthy judicial proceedings, in which the proprietary rights were held up to detailed scrutiny. It is worthwhile to be precise. The Israeli court granted the families living in the compound the status of protected tenants. Moreover, some of the evicted families had the option of generous compensation even though they had no proprietary rights. But the families rejected every offered settlement and every legal defense, due to political pressure, and also received a political visit from Carter and his friends. Nobody offered compensation to the Smith family in Atlanta and Carter did not visit them.



The criticism of eviction of the Hanoun family could be justified. Even if the eviction was legally justified – there is room for political criticism. And on the condition that if Carter seeks to deny the Jews' proprietary rights – he should also make it clear that the Palestinians have no right to claim abandoned property. In practice, the property that was expropriated and confiscated from Jews in Arab countries, as a result of legislation, pressure, persecution, flight and expulsion – is worth more than the property that was expropriated and confiscated from the Palestinians as a result of flight and expulsion. But there is a difference. The Palestinians underwent the experience of flight and expulsion following the declaration of a war of annihilation against the Jewish State, which had barely arisen. The Jews in Arab countries underwent a similar experience – of flight, expulsion and property expropriation – even though they had not declared war on the Arab countries. If so, whose rights are greater?



Has Carter ever told the Palestinians this basic truth? The answer is well known. Like other "peace activists", he treat the Arabs in general, and the Palestinians in particular, like retarded children. They must not be told the truth. They must not be told that if there are rights – then both the Jews and the Arabs have them. And if not – then neither the Jews nor the Arabs have them. He does not tell them that during the 1940's, tens of millions of people underwent the harsh experience of population exchanges, and there is no reason why only the Palestinians should have "the right of return." He does not tell them that more Jews fled, and were expelled from, Arab countries than Palestinians who were expelled from or fled Israel.



It is possible and permissible to criticize Israel over the settlements. Occasionally, this criticism is justified. But Carter, like thousands of other "peace activists", does not advance peace. Their demonization of Israel strengthens those who reject peace. Abu Mazen's position appeared in the same newspaper, the Washington Post, on May 29. He insists on demands the sole significance of which is opposition to the existence of the State of Israel. He agrees, of course, officially, to a two-state solution but on the condition that one of them be a Palestinian state and that the second one also be a Palestinian state, following the implementation of the right of return. He admits that he received an amazing compromise offer from Olmert that included the evacuation of 97% of the territories but he rejected it outright because he insisted that masses of Palestinians flood the State of Israel.



Did Carter issue a condemnation of Abu Mazen? The answer is well known. Carter published an article condemning Israel, one of many. Instead of offering fair criticism, Carter has become part of the incitement enterprise against the State of Israel. Carter is capable of much more. He has succeeded in making achievements in other areas. For some reason, when he touches the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he loses his fairness and his balance. He does not contribute to the advancement of peace. On the contrary. This is Carter's contribution to strengthening Palestinian refusal and to pushing the chances of peace further away."





Ben-Dror Yemini

Biblical Archaelogy

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1251804529782&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Human Rights Watch

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1251804521698&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Let My people Go!

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1194419829128&pagename=JPost%2FPage%2FVideoPlayer&videoId=1251804519731

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner

The setting of the story is a post apocalyptic world twenty five years after the Faeries and Humans and have gone to war. Modern appliances no longer work. People have returned to old farming and hunting techniques. The nature of the world has changed since the faeries released magic into the world. Tree attack people and animals with their roots. Some people are cursed with magic ability. Those who do have magic ability have clear hair and clear eyes. The main character had a sister named Rebbecca who was born with the cursed magic. Her father sets leaves her out in the wilderness for the Faeries to claim or for her to die. The main character goes out to visit her to see if the Faeries really come she sees a bright light but catches no sight of the baby. Days later her mother disappears. The main Characters has a mean father who beats her for coming home late. She has a friend named Matthew and his grandmother is named Kate. The main character goes to her in ordder to get healed from the grievous welts inflicted by her father. It is there that the main character starts having visions of her mother. THe main character leaves Franklin in order to find her mother. A loyal friend named Matthew and he cat named, Tallow set off with her on her quest. Along the way they are attacked by wild dogs and trees. They are rescued by Karin and taken to Wash ville. There they are healed by Allie and Caleb. After getting healed they set off for the arches that lead into faerie world. Matthew who can turn into a wolf and the main character are joined by allie. During the journey the main character discovers that Matthew and her mother knew about other magical people but kept it hidden from the town folk. She also disccovers that Caleb knew her mother from before the war. In the end the main character rescues her mother and things start going back to normal again.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The View From Nebo by Amy Dockser Marcus

Archaeological finds are changing the stories that we have read inside of the bible. Things are not always what they seem. It is a work that is not entirely true and it is a work that is not entirely false. Some things can be proven while others are not so easily proven. Moses the great prophet of Israel was buried on top of Mount Nebo. He died before he was allowed to enter the promised land. It was his punishment for losing his teemper and hitting a stone which produced water. He was supposed to be able to see from Beer Sheba to the Dan. Of coursee from the Peaks of Nebo such wide area is not visible. Turns out that Nebo was burial place for many people. Many Dolmen were found which would mean that Moses was not the only one to use it. The Byzantine later built a Church and Monastery over it. It is currently in use as a religious sight for a Catholic Order of monks.

The biblical figure of Abraham is not so easily proven. In fact it cannot be proven. Many scholars don't show much interest in this person or period. However, scholars have proven that cultural practices are consistent with timing of the narrative and that there was migration to Canaan during the supposed time of the patriarchs. Originally Abraham was not connected with the City of Hebron. That is believed to be added in during the Time of David in order to boost the cities importance. Hebron is a small Satellite city of Jerusalem were the people are insular and prone to fanaticism. It never really had a strong economy. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are a bit easier to prove. Numeira and Bab edh Dhara correspond. One city was completely abandoned along with a cemetery in use since the Bronze age. It showed what village life was like at that time. Numeira showed sing s of catastrophe it was covered in ash which meant volcanic activity. People blocked themselves in and things were preserved like grapes thanks to the ash. An area in Tel Dan has a city that was built using clay molding techniques from Mesopotamia . It fell apart due to extensive amounts of rain. This showed evidence of a migration in Canaan from Mesopotamia.

Proof that Exodus occurred is difficult as well. In Egypt there were workers and there were slaves . Slaves were of all ethnicities. Slaves were the ones who built the cities for Ramses. Workers were in charge of building the Pyramids. Workers were fed by local village folk, they received proper medical care and were given housing. They took spare material and built themselves burial chamber modeled after those of the Pharaoh's there was a classification system for regular worker and the foremen. Those with more status got better treatment. There is no extra biblical reference to any of the events of the Exodus. There is no mention of Moses either save for something written about him by an Egyptian priest called Manetho. It says that he was a renegade priest who has a follower of Lepers. He set off with them for the desert. Rameses himself many Egyptians feel is oft maligned. He was according to Egyptian documents a much loved ruler who was very wise and compassionate. No one is sure which of sons was the first born to die because he had so many of them. He later retreated into religious life and let his sons handle the running off his kingdom. Hence they may have been the Pharoah written about in Exodus. The Sinai desert was not a barrier to Canaan rather it was a bridge. Pottery finds indicate a mixture of Egyptian styles and Canaanite Styles. Often times the two groups met in the region in order to trade. Some scholars believe that there was not one Exodus but possibly several or none.

The origin of the Israelites is shrouded in mystery, many scholar believe that they were originally Canaanites. The Israelite had the same building style, religious holidays and even worshiped some of the same Gods that that the Canaanites worshiped. It is believed that the Israelites started their communities in the Hills and slowly moved down. There is no proof for the lightning victories of Joshua. The Canaanites are also believed to bee the ones who built the water tunnel from the spring into the walled City of Jerusalem. The Canaanites had a high degree of Culture regardless of what the Bible says.
The search for David and Salomon remains elusive. There is no proof that either existed. Excavations have failed to turn up any signs of Salomon's building activity. In fact during the time of David Jerusalem was relatively small. Due to maybe famine the cities population was in a decline. Many building like Hazor which are attributed to Salomon may have been built by Northern Israelites during the divided Monarchy. Whether there was ever a united monarchy is questionable. Hazor many Archaeologist are finding out was built by King Ahab and his son Omri . Ahab was a powerful king one who was to be respected. THE Kingdom of Issrael was shown to begin about 100 years earlier then it's southern neighbor Judea . Judea was too poor to maintain a building program that kept pace with Northern Israel. When the Babylonians came there was proof that they decimated Jerusalem inordr to quell any resistance AND the Elite were sent to Babylon where they live quite well. The rest of the Judeans were allowed to remain and till the land. In fact the Babylonians brought wealth and prosperity to the area.

Many may believe from reading the Bible that Israelites were at odds with the Ammonites. It was believed that the Ammonites were destroyed by the Babylonians. Fact is that they survived several centuries after words thank to underground cave cities, openness to foreigner and strong tribal organization. They helped Judean renegade against Babylon after they assassinated the Gedalia , the governor appointed by the Babylonians. The Edomites were not always enemies either in fact their copper mining and smelting brought them riches especially when the Assyrians were running the show. They did trade inside Judean Negev and set up religious center there as well. This surprised many people.

The Persian period under which the Israelite returned is mostly over looked. Yet many changes were a result of Persian policy. Judea renamed Yehud was fortified to withstand Egyptian rebellion. The bible itself was rewritten several times and Ezra ws not the final editor. There was also a rift between the Judeans who were left behind the strict fanatics returning from Babylon . In the final chapter the book covers the causes for the Jewish revolt against the Roman along with how the Elite cooperated with the Roman.

Baba-Sali

Baba-Sali
Holy Morroccan Sage engaged in Prayer

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One blond hair blue eyed Calfornian who totally digs the Middle East.
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