The World is Built with Grace

At our Prayer for Israel meeting today, Ps 89:2 came up and I was reading the NKJV version. While it reads ok, it gives little hint of the depth of meaning the Rabbi’s attach to this verse.

Here’s how the NKJV renders it:
“For I have said, “Mercy shall be built up forever;
Your faithfulness You shall establish in the very heavens.”

Note that there is no mention of man here, and the use of the word ‘mercy’ hides to some degree the reality that this verse actually speaks of ‘grace’.

I spend quite a bit of time focusing on this verse in my ‘Amazing Grace’ article here – http://goo.gl/9Vxxjj

Here is a better version (with Verse 1):
“I will sing of the grace of YHVH, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.

For I said, the world is built with grace; in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness.”

Noting the Hebraic poetic approach to often repeat a phrase in the same or almost identical manner to emphasis it and you might note that the first declaration establishes a reverence from the author (King David) for the ‘grace’ of God and for “man’s” promotion of it.

Similarly there is a possible repeat in the phrases in verse 2.

The phrase ‘the world is built with grace’ is repeated in a slightly different way with ‘in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness’.

That is, the creation is both a demonstration of, and results from, the ‘grace’ of God, but the creation (the heavens) are also a means through which God declares his on-going ‘grace’ and reliability or trustworthiness (faithfulness).

The Jewish understanding of ‘chesed’ (the word used here and translated as ‘mercy’ in the NKJV) is that of the concept of ‘kindness’ or love that is overflowing and having few boundaries.

Or to state it another way, ‘grace’ means ‘overflowing and boundless kindness’.

The view then that the creation itself is an example of the overflowing and boundless ‘love’ or kindness of God certainly fits with this interpretation of Ps 89:1-3.

I think though that there are two possible ways though that this phrase, ‘‘the world is built with grace’ can be understood.

As already intimated, it can be seen as a declaration of the Almighty’s great act of grace in creating this Universe and in sustaining it moment by moment, but it can also be seen as embodied the true purpose of man and that is through grace to built the world he lives in daily.

To repeat: “… the true purpose of man is, through grace, to built the world he lives in …”

In the Talmud, there is a very famous statement that:

The world rests upon three things: Upon Torah study, upon Divine service (i.e., prayer and sacrifices), and upon the practice of chesed (grace).’
– Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) 1:2

It appears that the third of these pillars is derived from this understanding of Ps 89:2, so that we can say

“And upon the practice of chesed (grace)” – as it is written, “The world will be built through kindness (grace)”.

That is, it is man’s practice of grace in his dealings with his fellow man that truly creates and sustains the world.

It is man’s practice of grace that most perfectly embodies his being made in the ‘image of God’.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Judea & Samaria: Are the Settlements a Source of Conflict or a Part of the Solution?

A Presentation by Sondra Oster Baras,  Director CFOIC Heartland’s Israel Office

We had a great turnout of 60+ people to hear Sondra talk about the miracle of the State of Israel and in particular the return to Judea and Samaria.

She gave a most inspiring overview of the work of HaShem in fulfilling His promise to the Jewish people with the miracles of 1948 and 1967.

She also explained clearly and most effectively the essential security aspects of Israel remaining in Judea and Samaria (also called the ‘Mountains of Israel’ in the Bible).

She spoke about the great practical work of Christian Friends of Israeli Communities (CFOIC.com) and played a couple of short videos to illustrate this.

Here is the audio of her talk – Audio of main talk

ed5e9-macabee2bmap New-Israel-Map

Picture1 Picture2

 

And for a short video on the security problem see here

 

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Recent Israeli Innovations: My Top Five

1. An end to hunger – preserving the freshness of food

Between a third and half of the food grown today never makes it to market. Produce of all kinds is “lost” to spoilage and disease, due mostly to transportation, storage, and other logistics issues. As a result, hundreds of millions of people still go hungry – but they don’t have to, thanks to an invention by Israel’s Pimi Agro. By applying a formula based on hydrogen peroxide — “with a few key additions,” said Nimrod Ben-Yehuda, CTO and co-founder of Pimi – fruits and vegetables remain fresh and viable for up to 10 weeks, significantly cutting losses due to rot and deterioration during the transportation process.

It sounds like a fantastic claim, but one Pimi can prove through the extensive scientific studies the company has undertaken over the past decade – studies that were persuasive enough for agricultural and food authorities around the world, including in the US, UK, Germany, Australia, China, and many other countries, to approve Pimi’s all-natural, zero-chemical method of preserving produce.

2. SCiO – checking the health of food, drink and matter: This Unbelievable Device Will Change The Way We Interact With The World

  • SCiO is a tiny handheld scanner that can tell you whether an apple you want to bite into is fresh, what’s in the pills your doctor prescribed, how many calories are in your meal, or whether your plant needs more water. SCiO reads the chemical make-up of materials. It is a non-intrusive, no-touch optical sensor that provides a seamless user experience. Discover your world with the click of a button. With this device, you’ll be able to analyze food, plants, and medications. For example:

    Get nutritional facts about different kinds of food: salad dressings, sauces, fruits, cheeses, and much more. See how ripe an Avocado is, through the peel!

  • Find out the quality of your cooking oil.
  • Know the well being of your plants.
  • Analyze soil or hydroponic solutions.
  • Authenticate medications or supplements.
  • Upload and tag the spectrum of any material on Earth to our database. Even yourself!

3) Healing wounds without stitches: Stitching, Israelis Invent New Wound-Closure Method

When it comes to treating large, open wounds, not much has changed in the past five thousand years. Just as the ancient Egyptians used needles and thread to patch up their wounded, doctors employ the same stitching ‘technology’ today to prevent infection and facilitate healing. Nonetheless, when a wound is too big, too complex, or when the patient is subject to a higher mortality rate, the average suture procedure just doesn’t do it.

 topclosurecover-400x225 TopClosure works by first stretching out the skin around the wound to avoid the need for skin grafts, and second by ensuring that the wound scars in an aesthetic and healthy fashion. According to Dr. Topaz, it’s time to bid farewell to skin grafts, surgery and stitches for complex wounds, and to welcome a new method that he hopes will soon become the standard in severe wound treatment.

4) Protecting commercial planes from terrorist missiles:

Israel has successfully completed a series of tests of an anti-missile defense system for passenger jets, the system’s manufacturer and Israel’s Defense Ministry announced. Elbit System’s C-Music system – whose Hebrew name translates to “Sky Shield” – is designed to protect commercial airliners against shoulder-fired missiles. The system detects incoming missiles with a thermal camera. When the missile reaches a certain proximity to the aircraft, the system fires a laser at the missile’s seeker which deflects it off of its trajectory, allowing it to explode at a safe distance from the aircraft.

“The experiments, carried out in southern Israel, were some of the most complex and sophisticated ever carried out in Israel,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement Wednesday. “They simulated a range of threats that the C-Music system will have to deal with.” “C-Music is considered the most advanced system of its kind in the world, and will provide ultimate defense to planes,” the ministry said. “It combined advanced detection and disruption technologies, and meets the stringent requirements of commercial flight.”

  • The Iron Dome – what more needs to be said!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Prayer Meeting for December 2014

Israel News Update December 2014
(mostly summaries from dailyalert.org)

U.S.-Led Coalition Halting Islamic State Advances, Officials Say – Carol Morello
The military campaign against Islamist extremists in Syria and Iraq is inflicting heavy damage, said coalition officials in Brussels, where foreign ministers of 60 nations are meeting. In a joint statement, the ministers said that the Islamic State’s advances are being halted and that airstrikes on its strongholds have helped Iraqi and Kurdish troops reclaim territory. But they cautioned that the Islamic State is far from defeated.
    Nevertheless, the Islamic State has continued to expand its influence across the Middle East and North Africa. Army Gen. David M. Rodriguez, who heads the U.S. Africa Command, said Wednesday that the U.S. military is now tracking militant training camps in eastern Libya affiliated with the group. (Washington Post)

Palestinian Stabs Two Israelis at West Bank Supermarket – Tovah Lazaroff
A Palestinian stabbed two Israelis at a supermarket in Mishor Adumim in the West Bank on Wednesday. An off-duty security guard from the Prime Minister’s Office who witnessed the stabbings shot and wounded the Palestinian, who was from the nearby village of Eizariya. One of the wounded Israelis, who himself is a paramedic, called the Magen David Adom emergency hotline.
    The Mishor Adumim Industrial Park employs some 2,500 Palestinians who work alongside Israelis. Both Israelis and Palestinians work and shop in the Rami Levy supermarket. (Jerusalem Post)

Israeli Murdered by Palestinians in West Bank – Akiva Novick
On Monday, Avi Ben-Zion, a farmer from Netiv HaGdud in the West Bank, was heading home when several Palestinians stopped him and pulled him out of his car, after which they pounded his head with an iron bar and escaped with his vehicle. Ben-Tzion was found lying in the middle of the road in what was initially believed to have been a traffic accident. He died on Wednesday. IDF soldiers later arrested three Palestinians in towns near the scene of the attack. (Ynet News)

Gazans Face Winter in Ruins – Nidal al-Mughrabi and Luke Baker (Reuters)

Three months after the war in Gaza, barely any progress has been made on rebuilding the territory, despite donors pledging $5 billion.

Israel tightly monitors the import of construction materials and equipment into Gaza, arguing that otherwise it could be used to rebuild tunnels used by Hamas to carry out attacks.

Some 40,000 residents live in temporary shelter and thousands more are facing the winter rains in barely habitable ruins.

An Israeli government official said Israel was willing to help in any way to ensure reconstruction in Gaza moved forward rapidly, but it also wanted to be sure that Hamas was not rebuilding its militant infrastructure.

Israel’s Right to a Jewish Identity – Adam Levick
If the Guardian or New York Times published a long essay about some tiny, obscure indigenous tribe in Africa with a language, culture, and religious tradition unique in the region, whose history extends several thousand years and was threatened with extinction, readers would almost certainly lament their plight. Further, it certainly seems unlikely that many readers would challenge the tribe’s vigilance in protecting its ancient traditions, or its fierce desire to prevent the erosion of its unique religious-ethnic identity.
    The broader debate about Israel’s right to identify with a specific religious tradition is the subtext underlying many debates about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 64 countries have national flags that include religious symbols. Nearly half have Christian symbols and a third include Islamic symbols. 57 countries self-identify as uniquely Muslim states. Jews are not at all unique in seeking to maintain a majority citizenry united by a similar historical memory and a common political and moral destiny.
    The existence of a sovereign Jewish polity is no mere religious, abstract, or ideologically driven desire. Rather, it is a rational approach to ensuring the safety of a small, historically persecuted minority who can no longer risk relying on the goodwill of enlightened nations to ensure its well-being and survival. (CiF Watch-Guardian-UK)

The IDF’s Offensive Electronic Warfare Battalion – Yaakov Lappin
The IDF’s offensive Electronic Warfare Battalion is tasked with disrupting the communications capabilities of terrorist organizations and enemy states. The battalion, 40% of whose members are female, is under the direct command of the IDF General Staff. “Anything that passes through the air, we can target,” said a senior officer. “Who is the other side? Anyone who is armed and seeks to do us harm. Hizbullah, Hamas and hostile states.” “We can thwart terror attacks. I can protect my forces from bombs, if they are targeted with [remote control] explosives. This is part of the security envelope we offer them.”
    The battalion can take over mass-media broadcasts in Gaza, Lebanon or other locations. When a senior Hamas terrorist suddenly sees the IDF chief of staff on his television giving him 12 hours to clear the area, it “undermines his sense of security,” the officer said. (Jerusalem Post)

Israeli Industry Must Make a Passage to India – Moshe Arens
In a few years India will rank among the world’s four largest economies, together with the U.S., China and Japan. Terrorist acts have been an ongoing problem in India and make for common ground in the increasingly close relations between India and Israel. New Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a known friend of Israel, has expressed interest in building closer ties between the two countries. This development represents a great opportunity for Israel on the diplomatic and economic fronts. (Ha’aretz)

International Red Cross Official: World Holds Israel to Legal Double Standard – Yonah Jeremy Bob
Jacques De Maio, head of the International Red Cross in Israel and the Palestinian areas, said Tuesday that the world was holding Israel to a double standard when it came to war crimes allegations. “Why is there so much more focus on Israel than on Syria [and] other places where many more civilians are dying?” he asked at an Institute for National Security Studies conference in Tel Aviv, pointing out that “in other ongoing wars, more civilians die in one week than in Israeli wars in a full year.”  (Jerusalem Post)

Blacklisting of Pro-Israel Watchdog NGO Monitor by the Associated Press – David Bernstein (Washington Post)

•    Former AP journalist Matti Friedman’s article for Tablet this past summer about how the media frames the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians provides a rare insider perspective from someone who actually worked for a major media company’s Jerusalem bureau. Friedman is back with an even more revealing article in The Atlantic. He ruminates about how many Israel correspondents act not as objective journalists, but as part of a class of mostly foreign elites who have taken up the Palestinian cause.

•    The Associated Press, according to Friedman, actually banned its journalists from interviewing Gerald Steinberg, an American-Israeli professor who runs the watchdog organization NGO Monitor out of Jerusalem. “In my time as an AP writer moving through the local conflict, with its myriad lunatics, bigots, and killers, the only person I ever saw subjected to an interview ban was this professor.”

•    Steinberg and NGO Monitor are huge players in the debate over the role NGOs play in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and have been particularly effective in revealing how many NGOs in both Israel and the territories that are hostile to Israel’s existence receive the bulk of their funding from European governments.

•    I’ve been following NGO Monitor for years, and have yet to see the organization tell any lies or make any significant errors, which is much more than one can say for, e.g., Human Rights Watch and other anti-Israel organizations routinely relied upon by the media as objective sources.

The writer is a professor at the George Mason University School of Law.

YNET: Palestinian youths, some as young as nine, rioted in eastern Jerusalem after Israel demolished the home of Abdel-Rahman Shaloudi, who plowed his car into a Jerusalem light rail station. The youths burnt tires, blocking the entrance to Shuafat, and threw stones at the police checkpoint. A number of children aged 9 and 10 even wore masks and shouted “we will keep fighting to the end.”

“The intifada has started,” a 17-year-old told Ynet. “We won’t remain quiet about what happens in East Jerusalem and inside Al-Aqsa. We will continue to struggle and support terror against Israel, that is the only solution we have to save ourselves.”

 

•Elaborating on his frustration, the youth also expressed anger towards the Arab world and Palestinians: “Unfortunately I don’t feel supported, not by the Palestinian government and not by the Arab world. We are disappointed and have nothing to do but protest, block roads and tell the world.”

Where do kids learn to talk this way? They’re exploited and incited.

Palestinian Terrorists Attack Jerusalem Synagogue, Murder Four Jewish Worshippers – Ralph Ellis and Michael Schwarz
Two Palestinian men armed with a handgun, knives and axes attacked Jewish worshippers at a Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday morning and murdered four Israelis. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the men came from east Jerusalem. Eight others were wounded during the attack in the Har Nof neighborhood including two responding police officers. (CNN)
    See also Four Rabbis Murdered in Jerusalem Synagogue Attack – Jeremy Sharon
The victims of the Jerusalem synagogue attack included Rabbi Moshe Twersky, 59, dean of the English-speaking Torat Moshe yeshiva; U.S.-born Rabbi Aryeh Kopinsky, 43; UK-born Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68; and Rabbi Kalman Levine, 50. (Jerusalem Post)

The “Status Quo” on the Temple Mount – Nadav Shragai (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Since July 2, 2014, an upsurge in Palestinian violence has been occurring in Jerusalem, and the number of attacks on Israelis has escalated. The Temple Mount is one of the focal points of this renewed conflict.

The Temple Mount, site of the ancient First and Second Temples, is the holiest place in the world for the Jewish people. Two Muslim shrines – the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock – stand on it today, and it is the third holiest place for Muslims.

The recent events on the Temple Mount are instigated by operatives of Hamas and the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel (both of which are part of the Muslim Brotherhood network) and Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other government officials have repeatedly stated that there will be no change in the status quo on the Temple Mount, and Jewish prayer will not be permitted there.

In July 1967, Israel extended Israeli law to east Jerusalem, including the Old City and the Temple Mount, which came under Israeli sovereignty. In granting Jews the right to visit the Temple Mount, Moshe Dayan sought to mitigate the power of Jewish demands for organized worship and religious control at the site. In granting administrative control to Muslims on the Temple Mount, he believed he was mitigating the power of the site as a center for Palestinian nationalism.

However, the old status quo has been greatly degraded, increasing Muslim control and status on the Mount and greatly undermining the status of Jews and the State of Israel on the Mount.

Terror Attacks
With ongoing attacks against civilians using pipe bombs, knives or stone throwing, there seems to be an attitude of “another one”, let’s clean up and get on with life. See blog Just Another Day in the Life of……. . However, in the background there are really serious threats with risks of mass casualties. Thus we are thankful that the security forces of both Israel and Egypt do seem to be on their toes. ISIS terrorists were behind an attempted hijacking of an Egyptian missile boat in the Mediterranean last month, and planned to strike Israeli maritime targets. The craft was to be used to attack Israeli vessels and offshore gas drilling rigs, located further up the coast, according to the report.

Fears of exactly such an attack have prompted Israel’s Defense Ministry and navy to deploy new seacraft and other resources, including new patrol boats and frigates, drones and anti-missile systems, to protect against such seaborne attacks against drilling platforms in its 36 trillion cu.-ft. Tamar and Leviathan gas fields, worth an estimated $60 billion.

And just in case this gives the impression of more “Israeli” problems, one should be aware that this type of terror is now worldwide. It has now been reported in a UK newspaper that, according to security experts,  terrorists are plotting to blow up five European passenger jets in a Christmas “spectacular” .
The threat has been taken so seriously it came close to leading to an outright ban on all hand luggage, a senior insider has revealed. Mobile phones and electronic devices could still be banned from plane cabins, with the threat of a 9/11-style coordinated attack on London and other major cities feared imminent.
The warning comes as UK officials admit that a terror strike on the UK is now “almost inevitable” particularly with British jihadis returning from fighting alongside the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. An airport security source said: “We’ve been told that five planes are being targeted in a high profile hit before Christmas. They’ve been waiting for the big one. Stuart Palmer

Netanyahu Hails British Christian Zionist “Godfather” of the IDF – Herb Keinon
The ashes of Lt.-Col. John Henry Patterson, a British Christian Zionist who commanded the Jewish Legion during World War I, were interred along with those of his wife in an official ceremony Thursday at Moshav Avihayil, which was founded by Jewish Legion soldiers. According to Patterson’s grandson, Alan, who attended the ceremony on Thursday, one of Patterson’s final wishes was to be buried in Israel close to his men, and Prime Minister Netanyahu initiated the move.
    Patterson was a friend of Netanyahu’s father, Benzion Netanyahu. Ze’ev Jabotinsky wrote about Patterson that “never in Jewish history has there been in our midst a Christian friend of his understanding and devotion.” At the ceremony, Netanyahu said Patterson was the “commander of the first Jewish fighting force in nearly two millennia. And as such, he can be called the godfather of the Israeli army.”  (Jerusalem Post)

Egyptian President al-Sisi vs. Hamas – Yoni Ben Menachem
At the end of last month, Egypt’s Prosecutor General filed a lawsuit against Hamas’ military arm Ezzedin Al Qassam, intending to declare Hamas a terrorist organization and outlaw its activity. Hamas claims that the directive to the Prosecutor General originated from Egyptian President al-Sisi himself.
    The Egyptian move against Hamas comes after the grave terror attack in northern Sinai six weeks ago in which 33 Egyptian soldiers were killed. The extremist Ansar Beit al Maqdes, that recently joined ISIS, claimed responsibility, but according to Egyptian intelligence, Hamas was actively involved in this terror attack by smuggling explosives and its fighters through Gaza’s tunnels.
    The Egyptians claim the terror attack was masterminded by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, that the logistical support was provided by the Turkish intelligence services, and that Qatar financed the operation with $6 million. Hamas has denied all connection to the attack. The writer, a senior Middle East analyst for the Jerusalem Center, is former Director General and Chief Editor of the Israel Broadcasting Authority. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Iran Threatens Hizbullah Missile Attack on Israeli Gas Fields – U. Kafash, Y. Mansharof, and A. Savyon
In November, websites close to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) began reporting about the capabilities of the IRGC missile unit, and in particular about its capability to strike and destroy Israel. At the same time, there has been a marked increase in threats by IRGC officials on behalf of Hizbullah about the latter’s readiness to strike any point in Israel. Furthermore, the IRGC-affiliated Fars news agency is touting the capability of Hizbullah’s Iranian missiles to damage Israel’s natural gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as Israeli naval vessels.
    Fars published statements by IRGC Aerospace Force and missile unit commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh and his deputy Majid Mousavi, who said that Hizbullah is in possession of Iranian missiles with a range of 300 km., covering Israeli territory as far south as Dimona. Hajizadeh added that the IRGC and Hizbullah were a single apparatus. (MEMRI)
    See also MEMRI Back Online after YouTube Backtracks – Oded Yaron
YouTube temporarily closed the account of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) this week for the third time due to complaints by the institute’s opponents. MEMRI monitors the Arabic and Farsi media, and its YouTube channel features clips from Arabic or Farsi television channels along with translations in English, Hebrew, French and other languages. (Ha’aretz)

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Prayer Meeting – Israel Update August 2014

Below are some commentaries and a couple of prayers that are very relevant to the current horrors that Israel and all who love the God of Israel are facing:

Israel Update August 2014

There’s something very ugly in this rage against Israel:

The line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism gets thinner every day.

Why are Western liberals always more offended by Israeli militarism than by any other kind of militarism? It’s extraordinary. France can invade Mali and there won’t be loud, rowdy protests by peaceniks in Paris. David Cameron, backed by a whopping 557 members of parliament, can order airstrikes on Libya and British leftists won’t give over their Twitterfeeds to publishing gruesome pics of the Libyan civilians killed as a consequence.

President Obama can resume his drone attacks in Pakistan, killing 13 people in one strike last month, and Washington won’t be besieged by angry anti-war folk demanding ‘Hands off Pakistan’. But the minute Israel fires a rocket into Gaza, the second Israeli politicians say they’re at war again with Hamas, radicals in all these Western nations will take to the streets, wave hyperbolic placards, fulminate on Twitter, publish pictures of dead Palestinian children, publish the names and ages of everyone ‘MURDERED BY ISRAEL’, and generally scream about Israeli ‘bloodletting’. (When the West bombs another country, it’s ‘war’; when Israel does it, it’s ‘bloodletting’.)

Anyone possessed of a critical faculty must at some point have wondered why there’s such a double standard in relation to Israeli militarism, why missiles fired by the Jewish State are apparently more worthy of condemnation than missiles fired by Washington, London, Paris, the Turks, Assad, or just about anyone else on Earth. Parisians who have generally given a Gallic shrug as French troops have basically retaken Francophone Africa, stamping their boots everywhere from the Central African Republic to Mali to Cote d’Ivoire over the past two years, turned out in their thousands at the weekend to condemn Israeli imperialism and barbarism.

Americans who didn’t create much fuss last month when the Obama administration announced the resumption of its drone attacks in Pakistan gathered at the Israeli Embassy in Washington to yell about Israeli murder. (Incredibly, they did this just a day after a US drone attack, the 375th such attack in 10 years, killed at least six people in Pakistan. But hey, Obama-led militarism isn’t as bad as Israeli militarism, and dead Pakistanis, unlike dead Palestinians, don’t deserve to have their photos, names and ages published by the concerned liberals of Twitter.)

Meanwhile, hundreds of very angry Brits gathered at the Israeli Embassy in London, bringing traffic to a standstill, clambering on to buses, yelling about murder and savagery, in furious, colourful scenes that were notable by their absence three years ago when Britain sent planes to pummel Libya.

Such are the double standards over Israel, so casually entrenched is the idea that Israeli militarism is more bloody and insane than any other kind of militarism, that many Western liberals now call on their own rulers to condemn or even impose sanctions against Israel. That is, they want the invaders and destroyers of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere to rap Israel’s knuckles for bombing Gaza. It’s like asking a great white shark to tell off a seal for eating a fish. America must ‘rein in Israel’, we are told.

‘The international community should intervene to restrain Israel’s army’, says a columnist for the Guardian, and by ‘international community’ he means ‘a meeting of the UN Security Council’ – the Security Council whose permanent members are the US, UK and France, who have done so much to destabilise and devastate vast swathes of the Middle East and North Africa over the past decade; Russia, whose recent military interventions in Georgia and Chechnya suggest it is hardly a devotee of world peace; and China, which might not invade other countries but is pretty adept at brutally suppressing internal dissent.

On what planet could nations whose warmongering makes the current assault on Gaza look like a tea party in comparison seriously be asked to ‘rein in’ Israel? On a planet on which Israel is seen as different, as worse than all others, as more criminal and rogue-like than any other state.

The double standards were perfectly summed up last week in the response to an Israeli writer who said in the UK Independent that Israel’s attack on Gaza and its ‘genocidal rhetoric’ made her want to burn her Israeli passport. She got a virtual pat on the back from virtually every British activist and commentator who thinks of him or herself as decent. She was hailed as brave. Her article was shared online thousands of times. This was ‘common sense from one Jew’, people tweeted. No one stopped to wonder if maybe they should have burned their British passports after Yugoslavia in 1999, or Afghanistan in 2001, or Iraq in 2003, where often more civilians were killed in one day than have been killed by Israel over the past week.

Why should Israel’s bombing of Gaza induce such shame in Israeli citizens (or Jews, as some prefer) that burning their passports is seen as a perfectly sensible and even laudable course of action whereas it’s perfectly okay to continue bounding about the world on a British passport despite the mayhem unleashed by our military forces over the past decade? Because Israel is different; it’s worse; it’s more criminal.

Of course, Western double standards on Israel have been around for a while now. They can be seen not only in the fact that Israeli militarism makes people get out of bed and get angry in a way that no other form of militarism does, but also in the ugly boycotting of everything Israeli, whether it’s academics or apples, in a way that the people or products of other militaristic or authoritarian regimes are never treated.

But during this latest Israeli assault on Gaza, we haven’t only seen these double standards come back into play – we have also witnessed anti-Israel sentiment becoming more visceral, more emotional, more unhinged and even more prejudiced than it has ever been, to such an extent that, sadly, it is now becoming very difficult to tell where anti-Zionism ends and anti-Semitism begins.

By Brendan O’Neill – http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/theres-something-very-ugly-in-this-rage-against-israel/15400#.U918jeCbFqc

Why do people hate Israel? by Dennis Prager

We live in a bad world.

There is nothing new about that. The world has been pretty bad since its inception. That’s why God destroyed it and started all over again (with little to show for the new experiment, one might add).

From a moral perspective, look at the world since 2000.

North Korea remains an entire country that is essentially a large concentration camp.  Tibet, one of mankind’s oldest cultures, continues to be occupied and destroyed by China.

Somalia no longer exists as a country. It is an anarchic state in which the cruelest and strongest (usually one and the same) prevail. In Congo, between 1998 and 2003, about 5.5 million people were killed — nearly the same as the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust.

In Syria, about 150,000 people have been killed in the last three years, and millions have been rendered homeless.

In Iraq, there is a mass murder from terror bombings almost every week.

In Mexico, since 2006, approximately 120,000 people have been killed in the country’s drug wars.

Iran, a genocide-advocating theocratic dictatorship, is very near having the capacity to make nuclear weapons.

Christian communities in the Middle East are wiped out; Christians in Nigeria are routinely massacred.

Of course, the 20th century was even bloodier, but we are only in the 15th year of the 21st century. Nevertheless, showing how awful the world is for so many of its inhabitants is not my point. My point is that, despite all this evil and suffering, the world has concentrated its attention overwhelmingly on the alleged evils of one country: Israel.

What makes this so worthy of note is that Israel is among the most humane and free countries on the planet.

Moreover, it is the only country in the world that is threatened with annihilation.

This is the only time in history when people in free countries have sided with a police state against a free state. One cannot name any time in modern history — the only time in history when there have been free societies — when, in a war between a free state and a police state, the free state was deemed the aggressor. That’s because it never happened before Israel and its enemies.

The question, of course, is why?

Why, during a time when a Kenyan mall is blown up, Islamic terrorists massacre Christians in Nigeria and thousands more die in Syria, is the world preoccupied with 600-some Palestinians killed as a direct result of their firing thousands of missiles in order to kill as many Israelis as possible?

Why has obsession with Israel been the case since its inception, and especially since 1967?

It can’t be occupation. China occupies Tibet, and it merits virtually no attention from the world. And Pakistan’s creation, coming at the same time as Israel’s, led to millions of Muslim (and Hindu) refugees. Yet, that country, too, merits no attention.

There are only two explanations for this moral anomaly.

One is the nearly worldwide embrace of leftist thought and values. According to this way of thinking, Westerners are almost always wrong when they fight Third World countries or groups; and the weaker party, especially if non-Western, is almost always deemed the victim when fighting a stronger, especially Western, group or country. Leftism has replaced “good and evil” with “rich and poor,” “strong and weak,” and “Western (or white) and non-Western (or non-white).” Israel is rich, strong and Western; the Palestinians are poor, weak and non-Western.

The only other possible explanation is that Israel is Jewish.

There is no other rational explanation because the fixation with, and the hatred of, Israel are not rational. Israel is a particularly decent country. It is tiny — about the size of New Jersey and smaller than El Salvador; and while there are more than 50 Muslim countries, there is only one Jewish one. She should be admired and supported, not hated to the extent that there are dozens of countries whose populations would like to see Israel annihilated — again, a unique phenomenon. No other country in the world is targeted for extermination.

As hard as it is for modern, rational and irreligious people to accept, Israel’s Jewishness is a primary reason for the hatred of it.

Ironically, this fact — just as with the fixation on the Jew before Israel’s existence — confirms for this observer the divine role the Jew plays in history. Few Jews are aware of their role, and even fewer want it. But, other than the influence of the left, there is no other explanation for all the animosity toward Israel.

ISIS May Not Have Reached Canada, but the ISIS Mentality Has:

The Middle-East is a depressing place.

Today the Levant serves as a cautionary tale in how quickly societies can tear themselves to pieces when the only dominant ideologies are extremist ones.

A lesson, apparently, which many Western societies seem to be losing sight of. Against the backdrop of the current conflict in Gaza, the past few weeks have seen synagogues attacked in Paris, and openly anti-Semitic demonstrations in Germany. And an attempted lynching of Jews in Calgary, Canada.

Yes, Canada. When Syrians went out to demonstrate for change in 2011, everyone had their own idea of the kind of society they wanted Syria to emulate. For me personally, that society was Canada.

But on Friday 18th of July, Canadian values were blatantly and contemptuously disregarded as a demonstration of a thousand “pro-Gaza” demonstrators turned into a brutal and vicious assault on a group of ten pro-Israel Calgarians, who at the time were holding a token counter-protest.

The account of the violence inflicted on the small group is sickening. A middle-aged woman who had been recovering from surgery was repeatedly punched.

A young man had the Israeli flag he was holding tied around his neck noose-like, and dragged along the streets.

A young woman was set upon by no less than six thugs and beaten unconscious. Another young man had the shirt ripped off his back, was bitten and beaten into a concussion.

All because the mob of “pro-Gaza” rioters found the open expression of an opposing view deeply offensive. And apparently, the only answer to such “offense” was to physically and barbarically assault those deemed to have inflicted the offense. To treat the Jews in Calgary like one would treat a Jew in Gaza.

ISIS may not be in Canada yet, but their mindset is very much alive there.

Let’s be very clear about what happened in Calgary that day; a small group of Jewish and non-Jewish activists got together to express their opinion on an issue, and were in no way interfering with the much larger “pro-Palestine” demonstration expressing an opposing view.

But Calgary amply demonstrated that one doesn’t have to wave the ISIS flag or pledge bai’a to its Caliphate to share the group’s vicious and extremist mentality. On that day, it wasn’t just a small group of Jews who were assaulted; it was the very core and definition of the values of Canadian society that were so blatantly and viciously violated.

It is those values that define societies, that differentiate a country that everyone aspires to live in, from the failing crap-holes that make up much of the Middle East and which people cannot flee fast enough. There is a reason why Europe and North America are the favored destinations for most Arab expats and asylum seekers.

The apathy of Calgary’s police was just as shocking as the assaults themselves. No arrests were made in the aftermath of the brutal violence. Indeed, one of the Jewish victims of the barbaric violence was admonished by a Calgary police officer, who told him “when you’re wearing that [the Israeli flag] what do you expect is going to happen here?”

And so it begins. The capitulation of every liberal society has always begun by justifying the actions of extremists. What did the young Calgarian expect to happen.

What do Copts in Egypt expect to happen when they openly pray in their churches in a predominantly Muslim country. Why are they surprised when their churches are attacked and burned.

What does a woman living in Raqqa expect to happen when she doesn’t wear the burqa. Why is she surprised when ISIS thugs whip her in public.

What does a KFC franchise in the Lebanese city of Tripoli expect to happen in such an anti-American atmosphere. Why are they surprised when the place is burned down.

And it is morally reprehensible to justify the violence of that day by pointing to events in Gaza. At any given time, there is always a war or strife going on someplace on this miserable planet, and exploiting world events to justify thuggery is to give any extremist group carte blanche to act with complete impunity.

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper is probably the most pro-Israeli politician in the Western world, but that will be of little comfort to Canada’s Jewish population, who have seen brazen violence against them go unpunished and unaddressed. Likewise, the response of Naheed Nenshi, Calgary’s colorful liberal Muslim Mayor, has been anything but forceful.

So what is a vulnerable community to do when those whose job it is to uphold the safety of a society’s individuals fail to do the task entrusted to them?

Enter Ezra Levant; lawyer, author and conservative media personality. I seriously do not like the guy. Everything in his punditry comes down to Arabs, or oil, or Arab oil. But Levant has stepped in where Calgary’s authorities and politicians are too timid to go.

While one may not like Levant’s politics or style, the victims of the Calgary violence could not have found a more tenacious person to champion their cause or shine the spotlight on the barbarity of the “pro-Palestine” thugs.

When society fails to uphold its values, it is the Ezra Levants of this world who step in. Levant is currently putting together a legal defense fund to seek redress for the brutality inflicted on the Jewish demonstrators and their supporters, and to collect signatures for a petition expressing outrage on the events of that day.

As a Syrian who has witnessed his own country fall apart, and seen the region in general continue its inexorable descent into extremist madness, I have some heartfelt advice for Canada. At one point, we hoped to emulate you. Please do not end up emulating us, through apathy, complacency, or appeasement.

It begins with a few Jews being beaten up. And I guarantee you it will end with this.

by Aboud Dandachihttp://adandachi.com/istanbul/isis-mentality-in-calgary/

 

From the TIMES of London article by Richard Kemp.

Published at 12:01AM, July 25 2014

 

Palestinian rockets are like the Nazi V1s. Civilian casualties were inevitable then and now ‘The Israelis are doing it all wrong. The RAF didn’t fly off to bomb Belfast in the troubles.”

These words from a respected media commentator embody the extraordinary lack of understanding by so many in this country who think the Israelis’ fight with Hamas is like ours with the IRA and can be dealt with in the same way.

 

Gaza is not Northern Ireland and Hamas is not the IRA. We governed and policed Ulster to wipe out the terrorists. In Gaza the government are the terrorists — designated as such around the world. In 2005 Israel withdrew all its citizens and security forces from Gaza. Since then it has been a separate state — now under the heel of Hamas — at war with Israel and dedicated to the extermination of the Jewish state.

Hamas is a heavily armed militia, fighting from territory it controls. The IRA, for the most part, was more like a highly dangerous criminal gang that could be dealt with by soldiers acting as policemen.

The absence of Israeli forces in Gaza for nine years let Hamas build tunnel networks to smuggle in military materiel, manufacture and store munitions, deploy forces and infiltrate beneath the border to launch attacks against Israel. It also gave Hamas the freedom to prepare formidable defences, the reason why there have been so many casualties since the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) began its ground offensive a week ago.

For a while there were barricaded “no-go” areas in Belfast and Londonderry which, until broken down in 1972, prevented the entry of troops. But the security forces never withdrew from the province and did not need to launch raids from Britain or fight their way back in.

A closer comparison is Britain’s battle with the Nazis’ V rockets. Like Hamas’s rockets, the V1 “doodlebug” was an explosive missile, intended to kill civilians indiscriminately. At the height of the campaign more than 100 V1s a day were fired at the south coast of England, fewer than the average of 130 Hamas rockets fired at Israel in this conflict. Like Hamas’s rockets, V1s regularly sent terrified British civilians racing to the shelters.

And yes, the RAF did bomb the towns that harboured them. In 1943 Bomber Command launched a 600-bomber raid to destroy the assembly shops in Peenemunde and in the first six months of 1944, 2,000 tons of explosives were dropped on launch sites on the French coast.

Hamas cannot defend its rocket sites with ack-ack guns and fighter aircraft. Instead it uses human shields, deliberately locating missiles among the civilian population. This tactic is very familiar to our troops fighting the Taliban in Helmand. I had to order raids into densely packed high-rise apartments in Kabul where terrorist cells were using human shields, including babies.

The presence of civilians at the V1 sites was not a significant consideration for Britain, which had to stop the rockets at any cost: 732 innocent civilians died in the raid on Peenemunde. In different circumstances the Israelis use the most sophisticated and comprehensive means of avoiding civilian casualties yet employed by any army in the world. Multilayer surveillance systems confirm whether there are civilians in the target area; triple-lock authorisation is required for every strike; phone calls, leaflet drops, radio messages and harmless explosive charges warn civilians to leave. Many missions are aborted if civilians remain in a target zone

The tragedy of so many civilian casualties is to a large extent due to Hamas’s policy of compelling men, women and children to stay in the path of danger.

The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, blamed this use of human shields after 15 people, many of them children, were killed in the shelling of a UN-run school. Hamas hopes this will deter the Israelis from bombing but, with barbaric reasoning, its greater hope is that the attacks will go ahead, killing its own civilians. We have all seen the images of dead babies on Gaza’s mortuary slabs. No amount of protest from Israel about the morality of its armed forces and their adherence to the laws of war can outweigh the influence of these images, used by Hamas supporters to incite mass protest against Israel.

It is a mistake to believe these marches are simply the natural outpouring of support for bleeding and beleaguered Palestinians. The chants of “Jews back to Birkenau” would have had Oswald Moseley bristling with pride.

Humanitarian groups and world leaders, including Nick Clegg condemn the IDF for war crimes and Ban Ki Moon characterised Israeli military operations as an atrocity. This rising condemnation of Israel’s defensive operations — lawful under the Geneva conventions — plays right into Hamas’s hands. It validates their criminal use of human shields and will encourage jihadist groups everywhere to follow suit.”

It’s time to bust the ‘Israeli blockade led to Hamas rockets’ myth
By Alan Johnson

Fallacy NOUN (plural fallacies) – A mistaken belief, especially one based on unsound arguments. (Oxford Dictionary)

Here is the widely believed fallacy: the Israeli blockade of Gaza led to the firing of Hamas rockets from Gaza.

And here is the little known truth: it was the firing of Hamas rockets from Gaza that led to the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

The fallacy distorts our understanding of why these escalations keep happening and what will make a durable peace possible. The fallacy frames the Israeli blockade of Gaza as motiveless and cruel at best, demonic at worst, while it presents the firing of Hamas rockets on Israeli civilians as acts of resistance. The fallacy makes us think that if only Israel “lifted the blockade” then peace would break out.

The fallacy spreads because of ignorance.

People do not know that when Israel left Gaza in 2005, the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon – who, like Rabin and Barak before him, and like Olmert after him, had crossed his Rubicon, finally accepting the need to divide the land – said: “We desire a life living side-by-side, in understanding and peace. Our goal [in disengaging] is that the Palestinians will be able to live in dignity and freedom in an independent state, and, together with us, enjoy good neighbourly relations.”

They do not know that the reply from the Hamas bomb-making chief Mohammed Deif was instant. On the website of the Izz-al Din Qassam Brigades he declared: “I thank Allah the exalted for his support in the Jihad of our people. I ask for your assistance to our jihad… We shall not rest until our entire holy land is liberated … To the Zionists we promise that tomorrow all of Palestine will become hell for you…”

They do not know that in spite of the Hamas threats, after leaving Gaza Israel signed an Agreement on Movement and Access with the Palestinian Authority which gave the Palestinians control over their own borders for the first time in history, allowed for imports and exports, and even approved construction of a seaport and discussions on an airport.

Unfortunately, Hamas does not respect deals made between the PA and Israel.

They do not know that Hamas launched a coup in 2007, took over the Strip, drove out its Palestinian political rival Fatah, threw their fellow Palestinians from rooftops, and declared as the new rulers of Gaza that they would now use the Strip as a base to destroy Israel.

They do not know that as a direct result, not only Israel but also Egypt put restrictions on the borders with Gaza, and Israel instituted a legal maritime blockade around Gaza to keep rockets and other weapons out of the hands of Hamas, while letting food and other humanitarian aid in.

They do not know that a UN inquiry (the 2011 Palmer Report) determined that Israel’s policy was legal given the threat it faced.

They do not know that in March 2014, Israel intercepted an Iranian ship, one of several intercepted by Israel, with a cargo of weapons to Hamas in Gaza, including advanced M-302 surface-to-surface missiles, showing again why the naval blockade is necessary.

They do not know that millions of Egyptians loathe Hamas as much as Israelis do. (Watch this compilation of Egyptian bile being poured over the heads of Hamas.)

They do not know that Hamas describes Palestine as “an Islamic Waqf (Endowment) consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgment Day” or that it pledges “Israel will exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it”.

They do not know that Hamas rejects all possible compromise with Israel, and all possibility of a negotiated peace in the following terms: “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavours.”

David Horovitz, the British-born editor of the Times of Israel, expresses the exasperation of many Israelis about all this. He pleads for “opinion-shapers overseas to… exercise just a smidgen of intellectual honesty”, and stop contriving not to see that “If there was no rocket fire from this non-disputed enclave, there would be no Israeli response, and nobody would be dying.”

Hatred of Jews is fuelling protests across the Western world – Andrew Bolt July 30 2014

A PUTRID Jew-hatred has returned to the West, fed by mass immigration and stoked by the Left.

Do not mistake this anti-Semitism for mere anger at Israel over the war in Gaza. That war is just the calculated pretext for a month of menace that has terrified many Jews — as well as those of us who prize civilisation over barbaric tribalism.
France now has more than six million Muslims and two weeks ago Arab protesters — some chanting “death to Jews” — attacked synagogues, torched cars and burned Jewish shops in Sarcelles, a suburb of Paris dubbed “Little Jerusalem”.
Germany now has four million Muslims. Arab and Turkish protesters were this month filmed shouting “Gas the Jews” and other Jew-hating slogans and a Berlin imam, Sheik Abu Bilal Ismail, was filmed at his mosque preaching: “Oh Allah, destroy the Zionist Jews … Count them and kill them to the very last one. Don’t spare a single one of them.”

The Netherlands has almost one million Muslims and protesters in The Hague this month chanted “Death to the Jews” in Arabic, while some waved the black flags of the Islamic State terrorist group. The home of Holland’s chief rabbi was pelted with rocks.

Belgium has 700,000 Muslims and in Liège this month a Turkish shop showed a sign that read: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment, but Jews are not under any circumstances.” Two months ago four Jews were shot dead at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, allegedly by a French Muslim.

Austria has 500,000 Muslims, and this month Arab protesters invaded a soccer game involving an Israeli team, kicking players and waving Palestinian flags.

Even in Sydney this month, Greens senator Lee Rhiannon told an anti-Israel crowd that Israel was guilty of “war crimes”, while protesters waved the black flags of jihad and the yellow flags of the Hezbollah terrorist group.

A Jewish ABC reporter covering the protest was abused by a man of Middle Eastern appearance shouting: “Shame on you! Ya Jewish! You are Jewish! Shame on you!”

Meanwhile, Greens MPs back boycotts of businesses with links to Israel and the Sydney Morning Herald last weekend printed a cartoon of a hook-nosed Jew on a couch gleefully using his remote to bomb Gaza, above a column claiming Jews should have been taught a lesson by the Holocaust against committing “these atrocities”.

But, like I said, this is not really about Gaza, where Israel is fighting Hamas terrorists who have fired thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians in the past two months — and keep firing even during ceasefires.

Yes, these pictures of dead Palestinian children are horrifying. They are meant to be, which is why Hamas shoots from among its civilians and orders them to ignore Israeli warnings to move clear of targets.

That is also why the United Nations has found missiles hidden in at least three schools it runs in Gaza and why Hamas so pointlessly launches them at Israeli cities — to provoke Israel into exactly this self-defence against an enemy whose stated aim is to destroy it.

Then when Israel does shoot back, cue protests and riots around the world to exhaust the West’s willingness to defend not just Israel but Jews generally.

Don’t tell me these protests are about Israel’s “blockade” of Gaza, which actually has a border with Egypt porous enough to let Hamas smuggle in thousands of rockets.

Don’t tell me they’re about Israel’s “occupation” when Israel does not occupy an inch of Gaza.

And especially don’t tell me these protests are about Israel’s “war crimes” or “murders”.

No, if these protests are really against killing Muslims — and not against Jews — then where are the protests over the 2000 Syrians killed by other Muslims in the past two weeks?

If these protests are really against barbarism, then where is the outrage over the Muslims who this month had their heads hacked off by Islamic State militants in Syria’s Raqqa and impaled on a fence? If these protests are against crimes against children, then where are the marches against the Boko Haram terrorists who cut the throats of schoolboys and enslaved nearly 300 schoolgirls in April?

If these protests are about alleged “apartheid” policies, then where are the petitions denouncing the Islamic State for destroying Mosul’s ancient Christian community this month by demanding Christians convert, flee or die? And where are the protests against Muslims slaughtering Muslims in Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq, where 5500 civilians have been killed this year?

Or is killing a Muslim only an international outrage when a Jew does it in self-defence? Is the only good Jew one who let himself be killed?

How the Media Is Helping Hamas
by Bassam Tawil

We know that Hamas uses human shields. But why would you report this when you are sitting in the middle of the Gaza Strip, surrounded by Hamas gunmen?” — Reporter covering the war, who asked not to be identified.

Besides the human shields story there is another item that the international media choose to ignore: the extrajudicial execution of Palestinian “collaborators” during the last two weeks. The executions were reportedly carried out in the most brutal manner. Hamas has also been shooting suspected “collaborators” in the legs to prevent them from moving around.

It is the media that is helping Hamas get away with war crimes.

Hamas and its Palestinian and Western propagandists continue to insist that the Islamist movement does not use civilians in the Gaza Strip as human shields during war. But the truth is that Hamas itself has admitted that it does use innocent civilians as human shields, to increase the number of casualties and defame Israel in the eyes of the international community.

This admission, however, has, of course, gone unnoticed by most Western journalists and analysts reporting on the war in the Gaza Strip. Many Western journalists in the Gaza Strip choose to ignore the fact that Hamas is forcing civilians to serve as human shields. They also seem to ignore the fact that senior Hamas officials and militiamen have found shelter among civilians and in hospitals, especially Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital. Is it really a coincidence that Hamas spokesmen gave interviews to the Arab and Western media from the premises of Shifa Hospital? Why hasn’t anyone even noted it as odd?

Of course, the Hamas spokesmen, to attract the attention of the media, pretend that they are visiting the wounded in the hospital, but in reality, these Hamas spokesmen have been staying inside the hospital, bearing in mind — even certain — that Israel would not target such a sensitive site.

What is disturbing is that foreign journalists did not bother (or dare) to ask any of the Hamas leaders and self-proclaimed spokesmen whether they were hiding inside the hospital, regardless of what the answer would doubtless be. They apparently did not even ask themselves this question. .

One foreign journalist explained that asking such a question would have “endangered my life.” Another admitted over coffee that he and his colleagues were too scared to report news that would anger Hamas and other radical groups.

“We know that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields,” the reporter, who asked not to be identified, said. “But why would you report this when you are sitting in the middle of the Gaza Strip, surrounded by Hamas gunmen?”

On July 22, Hamas and Palestinian “resistance” groups issued a warning to residents of the Gaza Strip to remain indoors after 11pm. The warning, which was also ignored by most journalists, was published on several Hamas-affiliated web sites

So here is Hamas, literally imposing a curfew on the residents of the Gaza Strip, in the hope that they will be killed or wounded by Israel. But this, as far as the international media is concerned, is a story that is obviously not worth reporting,

More evidence of Hamas’s use of civilians as human shields surfaced on July 10. The Hamas-run Ministry of Interior published a statement on its Arabic web site asking residents not to heed Israeli calls to leave their homes so they would not be harmed by the IDF.

This warning, of course, did not appear on the ministry’s English language website. It seems, unsurprisingly, that Hamas does not want the world to know its leaders, from luxury hotel suites in Qatar and elsewhere, are using civilians as human shields.

Although almost all the foreign journalists covering the conflict in the Gaza Strip have Arabic-speaking “fixers,” none of these “fixers” deemed it necessary to alert their foreign colleagues to the Hamas warning. Some Western reporters who later learned about the warning preferred to look the other way. After all, who wants to get into trouble with Hamas, particularly when its leaders and fighters are extremely nervous and busy moving from one hiding place to another?

Besides the human shields story, there is another item that the international media also choose to ignore: the extrajudicial execution of Palestinian “collaborators” during the past two weeks.

Palestinian sources have confirmed that Hamas has executed at least 13 Palestinians on suspicion of “collaboration” with Israel. None of the suspects was brought to trial, and the executions were reportedly carried out in the most brutal manner, with torture that included severe beating and breaking arms and legs.

According to the sources, Hamas has also been shooting suspected “collaborators” in the legs to prevent them from moving around. Many others, including Fatah activists, have been placed under house arrest by Hamas.

This is not a story that Hamas wants the international media to report about. Not even one of the foreign journalists in the Gaza Strip mentioned the brutal killings in their dispatches. Maybe they feared they would lose “access” and be reassigned to Nowhereville.

Hamas has also been successful in stopping the international media from reporting on Hamas casualties. The only victims the journalists are allowed to report about from the Gaza Strip are the civilians. Have you seen any photos or reports in the international media about any Hamas gunmen? Of course not, no one has. The official story is that they do not exist.

Foreign journalists working in the Gaza Strip have complied with Hamas’s demands and continue to avoid stories or photos that expose the Islamist movement’s cynical exploitation of innocent civilians during the war. The media has once again taken sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In this one, it is the media that is helping Hamas get away with war crimes. – Bassam Tawil is a journalist based in the Middle East

Torah Portion 26th July:

At this time of tragedy, and great conflict, leading perhaps to despair; to anxiety and to division caused by media propaganda, distortions and falsehoods, this weeks Torah Portion should bring comfort.

As always Rabbi Sacks sums it up brilliantly. He writes, in speaking about three of the greatest leaders of all time; Moses, Isaiah and Jeremiah:

“The point about all three of these prophecies (of these three leaders) is that they were delivered knowing that bad things were about to happen to the Jewish people.

They are not easy hope; they express hope rescued from the valley of despair.

The second characteristic that made Moses, Isaiah and Jeremiah different was that they delivered their criticism in love.

Isaiah said in the name of God perhaps the loveliest words ever spoken to the Jewish people:

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor My covenant of peace be removed” (Isaiah 54:10).

Jeremiah, in the midst of his critique of the nation, said in the name of God,

“I remember the kindness of your youth, how as a bride you loved Me and followed Me through the wilderness, through a land not sown” (Jer. 2:2).

Moses’ love for the people was evident in every prayer he said on their behalf, especially after they had made the golden calf. On that occasion he said to God:

“Now, please forgive their sin-but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written” (Ex. 32). He was prepared to give his life for his people.”

WOW – these words brought me comfort as I read the blindness and ignorance of Australians who call Israel and the Jewish People, ‘ethnic cleansers’ like Hitler, Pol Pot and Idi Amin. Australians who profess some form of allegiance to the Jewish Messiah, yet hate the very people he represents!

Read on here http://www.aish.com/tp/i/sacks/Leadership-at-Times-of-Crisis.html

Letter home from an IDF soldier in Gaza:

“Today our hearts are pounding in fear, Who of us will die and who will return safely?

We are your messengers in fighting,we are fighting so that you can live peacefully with your children so you can stay alive,we are your protection will you be ours?

We are going on this dangerous mission knowing some of us won’t come back but we will rise in our next position in a storm to heaven as Eliyah the prophet did.

We are going with devotion and dedication,we are asking you to be our protection with your prayers. Protect us by going above and beyond yourselves through your spirituality and good deeds.

Pray for us, pray that you won’t see another mother bearing her son, pray that you won’t see our wives as widows and see our children in tears.

Pray that our children will grow up knowing who their fathers are, pray that we will eliminate the terrorists who aim to destroy us and that we will not injure innocent women and children.

Please, we are begging you as you’re reading this, don’t go on to the next thing that your doing, say a chapter of tehilim / palms – wake up David to ask for full redemption and peace for all the world, take upon yourselves another good deed and send this letter on.

I’m certain that your prayer will make a difference, remember we are in it together, we are on the front lines carrying the weapons, and you are fighting along with us in your prayers, give us strength, protection and success.” – from a soldier in Gaza

A special prayer from a former Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel – for Protective Edge:

“Master of the Universe. We have come this day to place our supplication before You, on behalf of Your nation Israel, and to request mercy for them – for we rely upon the abundance of Your compassion, as is written:

“And He said, I shall cause all My Goodness to pass before you, and I shall call out with the Name of G-d before you, and I shall show favor when I shall want to show favor, and I shall have mercy when I shall want to have mercy” (Shʼmot 33:19).

So Much Praise we must lay before You – for we have merited to see clearly the miracles and wonders You wrought for us against our enemies who plot to destroy us.

Yet, in Your goodness, You have saved us and rescued us from thousands of rockets that they have fired at the cities of our State, and from most of them we were saved, by Your great mercies.

David, King of Israel, taught that we must rely upon you, and especially in situations of danger that have already killed and maimed Jews.

Master of the Universe, our eyes are turned pleadingly toward You, that you show us grace, and give to Your nation Israel favor, good sense, courage and bravery to fight the evil ones – and not to strengthen them. May we have the strength to smite and rout all our enemies, and to fulfill the prayer of King David, peace be upon him:

“I pursued my enemies and caught them, and I did not return until I destroyed them; I crushed them until they could no longer rise up; they have fallen under my feet:” (Mizmor 18:37-38).

Please, G-d, shut the mouths of all those who denounce and besiege us, whether above or below. May this verse be fulfilled for us:

“No weapon that is formed against you shall succeed, and every tongue that rises against you in judgment – you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of G-d and the recompense of their righteousness by Me, says G-d” (Yishaiyahu 54:17).

And may this verse, written at the hand of Isaiah Your prophet, be fulfilled for us:

“Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not dismay, for I am your G-d. I have adopted you and helped you and supported you with the right hand of My righteousness…
All who rage against you shall be ashamed and disgraced… those who war against you will be as nothingness. For I am the L-RD your G-d, Who holds up your right arm and says to you, ʻDo not fear, I will help you.ʼ Do not be afraid, O worm Yaʼacov, O little Israel, for I will help you, says G-d and your Redeemer, the Holy of Israel. Behold, I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth.
You will thresh the mountains and crush them, and reduce the hills to chaff. You shall fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the storm wind shall carry them – and you shall rejoice in the Lord, and shall glory in the Holy One of Israel” (Yishaiyahu 41:10-11,12-16).

And May You Redeem Us completely and speedily, and may we merit to see the Mashiach, ben-David, crowned in his crown, and the Mashiach, ben-Yosef, complete in his glory and his beauty in the building of our Holy Temple, speedily in our days, Amen, may it be Your will.”

Also see Psalms 83, 130 and 142

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

July Meeting & Prayer for Israel

We had a few away again, but we still had an exciting and uplifting time of fellowship.

I have copied below the short articles discussed a little. We also started working through Uriel ben Mordechai’s fascinating new ‘re-transaltion’ of Hebrews – a version of Hebrews that the Hebrews can own at last! Baruch HaShem!

We also touched on the amazing prophecies of Bil’am in this weeks Torah Portion and in particular the message to gentiles in Numbers 24:3-9.

Rabbi Sacks devotion for the 3 Israeli teenagers kidnapped and murdered by Hamas Terrorists:
The powerful words of the great Rabbi Lord Jonthan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth in remembering the Israeli teenagers who were buried a couple of days ago:

“In Memoriam: Eyal, Gilad and Naftali:

This past Shabbat we read the parsha of Chukkat with its almost incomprehensible commandment of the red heifer whose mixed with “living water” purified those who had been in contact with death so that they could enter the Mishkan, symbolic home of the glory of God. Almost incomprehensible but not entirely so.

The mitzvah of the parah adumah, the red heifer, was a protest against the religions of the ancient world that glorified death. Death for the Egyptians was the realm of the spirits and the gods. The pyramids were places where, it was believed, the spirit of the dead Pharaoh ascended to heaven and joined the immortals.

The single most striking thing about the Torah and Tanakh in general is its almost total silence on life after death. We believe in it profoundly. We believe in olam haba (the world to come), Gan Eden (paradise), and techiyat hametim (the resurrection of the dead). Yet Tanakh speaks about these things only sparingly and by allusion. Why so?

Because too intense a focus on heaven is capable of justifying every kind of evil on earth. There was a time when Jews were burned at the stake, so their murderers said, in order to save their immortal souls. Every injustice on earth, every act of violence, even suicide bombings, can be theoretically defended on the grounds that true justice is reserved for life after death.

Against this Judaism protests with every sinew of its soul, every fibre of its faith. Life is sacred. Death defiles. God is the God of life to be found only by consecrating life. Even King David was told by God that he would not be permitted to build the Temple because dam larov shafachta, “you have shed much blood.”

Judaism is supremely a religion of life. That is the logic of the Torah’s principle that those who have had even the slightest contact with death need purification before they may enter sacred space. The parah adumah, the rite of the red heifer, delivered this message in the most dramatic possible way. It said, in effect, that everything that lives – even a heifer that never bore the yoke, even red, the colour of blood which is the symbol of life – may one day turn to ash, but that ash must be dissolved in the waters of life. God lives in life. God must never be associated with death.

Eyal, Gilad and Naftali were killed by people who believed in death. Too often in the past Jews were victims of people who practised hate in the name of the God of love, cruelty in the name of the God of compassion, and murder in the name of the God of life. It is shocking to the very depths of humanity that this still continues to this day.

Never was there a more pointed contrast than, on the one hand, these young men who dedicated their lives to study and to peace, and on the other the revelation that other young men, even from Europe, have become radicalised into violence in the name of God and are now committing murder in His name. That is the difference between a culture of life and one of death, and this has become the battle of our time, not only in Israel but in Syria, in Iraq, in Nigeria and elsewhere. Whole societies are being torn to shreds by people practising violence in the name of God.

Against this we must never forget the simple truth that those who begin by practising violence against their enemies end by committing it against their fellow believers. The verdict of history is that cultures that worship death, die, while those that sanctify life, live on. That is why Judaism survives while the great empires that sought its destruction were themselves destroyed.

Our tears go out to the families of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali. We are with them in grief. We will neither forget the young victims nor what they lived for: the right that everyone on earth should enjoy, to live a life of faith without fear.

“May He destroy death forever, and may the Lord God wipe away the tears from all faces.”

May the God of life, in whose image we are, teach all humanity to serve Him by sanctifying life.” – <end quote>

Thanks Rabbi Sacks and may Israel – the light to the nations, the true People of the Book, and family of Yeshua HaMashiach; the commonwealth of Israel into which we can be grafted through Yeshua – live forever – Am Israel Chai!

Some Interesting and Illuminating Facts About Israel:

Israel, with a little over 8 million people, is the 100th smallest country with less than 1/1000 of the world’s population, but it can lay claim to the following:

The cell phone was developed in Israel by Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel.

Much of the software in today’s computer operating systems was developed in Israel, as well as a lot of the ‘chip’ technology.

Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.

Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel.

The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger ICQ was developed in 1996 by four young Israelites.

Israel’s $100 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbours combined.

Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.

According to industry officials, Israel designed the airline industry’s most impenetrable flight security. US officials now look to Israel for advice on how to handle airborne security threats.

Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.

Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin — 109 per 10,000 people — as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.

In proportion to it’s population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world.

In absolute terms, Israel has the largest number of start-up companies than any other country in the world, except the US (3,500 companies mostly in high tech).

With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and startups, Israel has the highest concentration of high tech companies in the world — apart from the Silicon Valley, USA.

Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture capital funds right behind the U.S. Outside the United States and Canada, Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies.

Israel has the highest average living standards in the Middle East.

On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech startups.

Twenty-four per cent of Israel’s workforce holds university degrees, ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland, and 12 per cent of its workforce hold advanced degrees.

Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.

Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship — and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 — in the world.

Relative to its population, Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on earth.

Immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom, and economic opportunity (including hundreds of thousands from the former Soviet Union).

Israel has the world’s second highest per capita of new books.

Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees, made more remarkable because, this was achieved in an area considered mainly desert.

Israel has more museums per capita than any other country. Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation, diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer.

An Israeli company developed a computerized system for ensuring proper administration of medications, thus removing human error from medical treatment. Every year in U.S. hospitals 7,000 patients die from treatment mistakes.

Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the U.S., over 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany.

With over 25% of its work force employed in technical professions. Israel places first in this category as well.

All the above was accomplished while engaged in regular wars with an implacable enemy that seeks Israel’s destruction, and an economy continuously under strain by having to spend more per capita on its own protection than any other county on Earth.

Between 1901 and 2011, around 850 laureates have been awarded Nobel Prizes. Of these, at least 170 Jews and persons of half-Jewish ancestry have been awarded the Nobel Prize, accounting for 22% of all individual recipients worldwide (vs 0.25% of that population) between 1901 and 2005, and constituting 37% of all US recipients during the same period (vs 2% of that population.

In the scientific research fields of Chemistry, Economics, Medicine, and Physics, the corresponding world and US percentages are 26% and 39%, respectively.

Lloyd George stated in 1923:
“Of all the extreme fanaticism which plays havoc in man’s nature, there is not one as irrational as anti-Semitism. … If the Jews are rich [these fanatics] are victims of theft. If they are poor, they are victims of ridicule. If they take sides in a war, it is because they wish to take advantage from the spilling of non-Jewish blood. If they espouse peace, it is because they are scared by their natures or traitors. If the Jew dwells in a foreign land he is persecuted and expelled. If he wishes to return to his own land, he is prevented from doing so.” 

“Certainly the world without the Jews would have been a radically different place. Humanity might eventually have stumbled upon all the Jewish insights. But we cannot be sure. All the great conceptual discoveries of the intellect seem obvious and inescapable once they have been revealed; but it requires a special genius to formulate them for the first time. The Jews had this gift. To them we owe the idea of equality before the law, both divine and human; of the sanctity of life and the dignity of the human person; of the individual conscience and so for personal redemption; of the collective conscience and so of social responsibility; of peace as an abstract ideal and love as the foundation of justice…Above all, the Jews taught us…Monotheism” – from Paul Johnson, ‘A History of the Jews’.

The Khazars Hoax:

Some anti-Semites try to argue that all the Jewish people in Israel and descended from the Khazars in Russia and aren’t really Jewish. This despite the fact that the first proponent of this argument admitted he made it up!

As recent as 2010 a research paper in The American Journal of Human Genetics, clearly invalidates this Khazar hypothesis.

Also, the genetic researcher M.F. Hammer, wrote in the Proc. Nat’l Academy of Science (May 9, 2000): “Despite their long-term residence in different countries and isolation from one another, most Jewish populations were not significantly different from one another at the genetic level. The results support the hypothesis that the paternal gene pools of Jewish communities from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East descended from a common Middle Eastern ancestral population, and suggest that most Jewish communities have remained relatively isolated from neighboring non-Jewish communities during and after the Diaspora.”

Y-chromosome research of the Jewish people began as an outgrowth of the study of Cohanim—the Jewish priestly family. These studies showed a very high genetic affinity among PRESENT-DAY Cohanim, indicating that they do have a common paternal ancestor, estimated to have lived some 3,000 years ago.

The most recent genetic research using both mitochondrial and y-chromosomal dna has looked at the question of whether the scattered groups of modern Jews can be identified as the descendants of the ancient Hebrews of the Bible, or whether their common ancestry has been diluted through influx of converts and through intermarriage so that little remains of their “Jewish genes.”

This research was based on samples from 29 populations, 7 Jewish, categorized into five major divisions: Jews, Middle-Eastern non-Jews, Europeans, North Africans, and sub-Saharan Africans.

The findings were that most Jewish communities—long separated from one another in Europe, North Africa, the Near East and the Arabian Peninsula—do indeed seem to be genetically similar and closely related to one another, sharing a common geographical origin.

These Jewish communities are more closely related to each other and to other Middle Eastern Semitic populations—Palestinians, Syrians, and Druze—than to their neighboring non-Jewish populations in the Diaspora. The results also indicate a low level of admixture (intermarriage, conversion, rape, etc.) into the gene pool of these various Jewish communities.

One study (‘Nature’ January 2, 1997), involved 188 Jewish males (they thought they were Jewish at least) from Israel, England and North America, who were asked to identify whether they were a Cohen, Levi or Israelite, and to identify their family background.

The results of the analysis of the Y chromosome markers of the Cohanim and non-Cohanim were indeed significant. A particular marker, (YAP-) was detected in 98.5 percent of the Cohanim, and in a significantly lower percentage of non-Cohanim. Calculations based on the high rate of genetic similarity of today’s Cohanim resulted in the highest “paternity-certainty” rate ever recorded in population genetics studies—a scientific testimony to family faithfulness.

This lead Dr. David Goldstein of Oxford University to state: “For more than 90 percent of the Cohens to share the same genetic markers after such a period of time is a testament to the devotion of the wives of the Cohens over the years. Even a low rate of infidelity would have dramatically lowered the percentage.” -Science News, October 3, 1998

The 2nd Word Revisited – A Prophetic Statement?

In his brilliant book, ‘If: The End of a Messianic Lie’, Jewish author and teacher, Uriel ben Mordechai points out that most English translations of Exodus 20:3, which is the 2nd Word (Commandment) are incorrect.

He points out the the phrase עַל-פְּנֵי (Al Panai) has been mistranslated as ‘before me’ or ‘over me’, wherein fact the phrase should be translated as ‘upon the face of’. This phrase occurs in Genesis 1:2 for example and is translated as ‘upon the face of’.

The Hebrew for Ex 20:3 is לֹא-יִהְיֶהלְךָאֱלֹהִיםאֲחֵרִים, עַל-פָּנָי and this is transliterated as “Lo yihyeh lecha elohim acherim al-panai.”

Most translations put this is English as “You shall have no other gods before Me.”.

Commentaries such as the Pulpit Commentary explain that “Before me” literally means, “before my face,” and is a Hebrew idiom, and equivalent to “beside me,” “in addition to me.”

However, Uriel goes into great detail to point out that a more accurate translation is “You shall have no other gods before me” or better still “There shall not be for you another G-d of Israel upon My Face’.

He then goes on to explain that the Almighty is making it clear that the Jewish people were called to never, ever place a face of any being, man, animal or spiritual entity onto the image of God. No being with a face of any sort can fully be YHWH.

As Uriel ben Mordechai puts it “.. we are forbidden to ASSIGN OR ATTACH ANY (visible) FACE, ON OR UPON THE FACE OF GOD’.”

Therefore, this commandment means

You shall not regard another persona imposed upon My Face, as the G-d of Israel’.

What a prophetic statement!

How many have tried to place a ‘face’, a persona upon the Face of the God of Israel and tried to call someone else the Creator and King of the Universe?!

This is a great book – get it now – see http://above-and-beyond-ltd.com/store/books/if.html

A couple of others who share this understanding:

“It is crystal clear in many, many verses that the Almighty 
G-d of Israel is the ONE and only creator. He was, is and will continue to exist forever. He shares his glory with NO ONE. He is the only Rock and Saviour.

There is NO ONE else. That is the crux of Judaism’s belief. G-d made that very clear to my people at Mt. Sinai from the Ten Commandments alone. Why does it say as part of the Second that you shall not have any G-d’s upon my face?

It means that you shall not add on any additional G-ds. We must worship the One and only G-d of Israel.”

– Rebecca – http://disqus.com/proud_conservative_mom/

And:

“After witnessing what Israel had witnessed in Egypt, the mere thought of projecting onto G-d an image or “Face” was not an option.

The second commandment accurately states this. In English, it is translated as; “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Ex.20:3).

Actually a correct translation should read, “You shall have no other gods upon my Face.”

–        Rabbi Ariel Bar Tzadok – http://www2.mrbrklyn.com/resources/avodah-zara.pdf 

 

A Re-take  on Isaiah 9:6:

This prophecy is one, which is extremely well known within Christendom, or more accurately, it is very often quoted and preached on by Pastors and preachers in the mainstream Christian churches. For example, I have attended Christmas Day services where this was the main Scripture quoted and discussed.

One of these occasions some years ago led me to write to the Pastor of a large Pentecostal church here in Brisbane, and try to share with him my understanding of the many ways in which he was mis-interpreting this passage.

Now, in looking back over what I wrote, while I still believe I was pointing him in the right direction, I now believe that if I had better understood this passage in Hebrew, I would have been much more able to show him how very far his understanding was from the truth. I am fairly sure though, that I would still not have influenced him in any significant way to change his cherished Hellenistic doctrines and lens through which he read this passage.

Here though is the utterly remarkable way in which the Hebrew of this passage can be fairly and accurately translated into English that sheds an amazing light on what this passage was really revealing.

Let me first share his translation and then try to explain how this comes about and what it means:

“… For unto use a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be on his shoulders.
A Wonder, a Counselor, Mighty G-d, my Father in perpetuity, shall call him … “Prince of Peace”
’ – translation by Uriel ben Mordechai

There are many Christian ‘Hebrew scholars’ who have translated this phrase differently, but very few of those ‘Hebrew scholars’ have been native speakers of Hebrew like Uriel.

As Uriel points out in much detail, his translation is much closer to how a native Hebrew speaker who knows his/her Tanakh would pronounce it, in particular because they would know how to read the ‘nikud’ (a system of diacritical signs used to represent vowels and distinguish between alternative pronunciations and determine the intended grammatical structure).

Many Hebrew versions of the text also have ‘cantillation marks’ (a system of marks to help with chanting the text which are very much like todays commas and colons, but which dates back to the time of Ezra – circa 510 BCE). This clearly establish where breaks occur in the text and thus establishes that the first 4 ‘nicknames’ belong to the ‘caller’ and only the last nickname, ‘Prince of Peace’ belongs to the one being ‘called’ by the ‘caller’.

Further evidence that these first four nicknames; Wonder, Counselor, Mighty G-d and ‘my Father in perpetuity’ all are labels/names for the Creator and King of the Universe; the God of Israel, is seen in these verses from the Tanakh, where each of this ‘nicknames’ are applied to the Almighty:

פֶּ֫לֶא – ‘Peleh’, a noun meaning a ‘Wonder’ – see Ex 15:11 “Who is like you, Adonai, among the gods? 
Awesome in praise, doing a wonder (peleh)?”

יוֹעֵץ (Yo-etz) – a noun meaning ‘a counselor’ – see Psalm 16:7  “I will bless Adonai, my counselor.”

(Gibor) גִּבּוֹר  (el) אֵל  – meaning ‘mighty or powerful God’ – see Deut 10:17 “For the LORD your God, He is God of gods, and Lord of lords, the great God (Ha’El – הָאֵל), the mighty (ha-Giborהַגִּבֹּר), and the awful, who regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward.”

אֲבִי-עַד – (Avi-ad) – meaning ‘my Father for eternity’ or ‘my Father for perpetuity’ – see 1 Chronicles 29:10b “…Blessed be Thou, O L-RD, the God of Israel our father for eternity”

So we can see that al these ‘nicknames’ have been used elsewhere in the Tanakh to refer to the Almighty. It is true that ‘El Gibor’ can also refer to great leaders of men, but in the grammatical structure of this verse, Uriel shows very clearly, that here it is referring to YHWH Himself.

Lastly שַׂר-שָׁלוֹם (sar Shalom) refers to a Prince or Ruler of peace (see Psalm 2 for example). In could well be that Isaiah had Hezekiah in mind when he penned this, but we can also see how this verse may apply to the end-times Mashiach when he comes to rule the Earth and bring the Peace of God to this world.

This is all articulated in great detail in ‘If: The End of the Messianic Lie’ – get it at http://above-and-beyond-ltd.com/store/books/if.html

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

June 2014 Meeting – Shavuot & Hebraisms in John

It is ironic that Shavuot is such a little-known holiday, given that it commemorates the single most important event in Jewish history – the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.

Shavuot occurs at the culmination of a seven-week period, “counting of the Omer,” that occurs following Passover. The very name “Shavuot” means “weeks,” in recognition of the weeks of preparation and anticipation leading up to the Sinai experience. Since Shavuot occurs 50 days after the first weekly Sabbath during Passover, it is sometimes known as “Pentecost,” a Greek word meaning “the holiday of 50 days.”

Three millennia ago, after leaving Egypt on the day of Passover, the Jews traveled into the Sinai desert. There, the entire Jewish nation – 2+ million men, women and children – directly experienced divine revelation:

“God spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you were hearing the sound of words, but you were not seeing a form, only a sound. He told you of His covenant, instructing you to keep the Ten Commandments, and He inscribed them on two stone tablets. (Deut. 4:12-13)

The giving of the Torah was an event of awesome proportions that indelibly stamped the Jewish nation with a unique character, faith and destiny. And in the 3,300 years since, the Torah’s ideals – monotheism, justice, responsibility – have become the moral basis for Western civilization. In the words of U.S. President Calvin Coolidge, “The Hebraic mortars cemented the foundations of American democracy.”

At synagogue services on Shavuot morning, most Jewish communities will read the biblical book of Ruth.

Ruth was a Gentile whose love for God and Torah led her to convert to Judaism. The Torah intimates that the souls of eventual converts were also present at Sinai, as it says: “I am making [the covenant] both with those here today before the Lord our God, and also with those not here today.” (Deut. 29:13)

Ruth has a further connection to Shavuot, in that she became the ancestor of King David, who was born on Shavuot, and died on Shavuot.

On Shavuot, it is customary to decorate the synagogue with branches and flowers. This is because mid-rashic commentary argues that Mount Sinai blossomed with flowers on the day the Torah was given.

The Bible also associates Shavuot with the harvest of wheat and fruits, and marks the bringing of the first fruits to the Holy Temple as an expression of thanksgiving. (see Exodus 23:16, 34:22, Numbers 28:26)

Israel celebrates the giving of the 10 Words on this day. While this is not explicitly stated in the Torah, it is a reasonable assumption and again has much mid-rashic/Talmudic support.

We read in the NT, in the Book of Acts, that the followers of Yeshua waited for Shavuot in Jerusalem, after Yeshua had ascended some 10 days before.

They waited and then received great power from HaShem which was witnessed by thousands and which resulted in some 3000 becoming followers of Yeshua and believing his message that very day (see Acts 2).

Intriguingly this weeks Parshah (Torah Portion) is Numbers 8:1-12:16, which includes this passage:

Numbers 11:16-17 “Then the LORD said to Moses, Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you.

And I will come down and talk with you there. And I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone.

Note here that HaShem’s Spirit, His Power ‘emanated’ from Moses to these followers, these elders who loved HaShem and were obedient to Moses.

Thus Moses no longer bore the burden alone, but even more importantly, the light of Torah and the power to proclaim it was now in the hands of many more so that the truth of the Almighty could be shared with a great many more and begin to emanate throughout the whole people of Israel gathered in the desert.

Fast forward to the miracle of Shavuot/Pentecost in Acts 2, and we see a very similar event, where just as Yeshua had predicted, his proclamation of the Gospel and Torah was now able to emanate into the world through his followers, these ‘elders’ of The Way, who would now have the Power of the Almighty to enable them to proclaim Yeshua’s message, which was of course the message of the Almighty, just as Moses had been told when HaShem declared that He would sent a prophet who would speak His Words.

Deut 18:18-19 “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.

Acts 1:3-8 “After his death he showed himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. During a period of forty days they saw him, and he spoke with them about the Kingdom of God.
4 At one of these gatherings, he instructed them not to leave Yerushalayim but to wait for “what the Father promised, which you heard about from me. 5 For Yochanan used to immerse people in water; but in a few days, you will be immersed in the Ruach HaKodesh!”
6 When they were together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore self-rule to Isra’el?” 7 He answered, “You don’t need to know the dates or the times; the Father has kept these under his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Ruach HaKodesh comes upon you; you will be my witnesses both in Yerushalayim and in all Y’hudah and Shomron, indeed to the ends of the earth!”

In Jerusalem for Shavuot at that time were very many zealous believers from the Diaspora, who saw this great outpouring of the Spirit of God. In returning home, the message of the Kingdom, of the Coming Age, the Olam Ha’Bah’; this central message of Yeshua, was thus powerfully magnified and ‘emanated’ throughout the world so that Yeshua and his followers could truly be a ‘Light to the Nations’, that is, a revealer of Torah, of The Way (Ps 119) and of the Good News of the Kingdom (Luke 4:43).

Acts 2:1-12 “The festival of Shavu‘ot arrived, and the believers all gathered together in one place. 2 Suddenly there came a sound from the sky like the roar of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire, which separated and came to rest on each one of them. 4 They were all filled with the Ruach HaKodesh and began to talk in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.

5 Now there were staying in Yerushalayim religious Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered; they were confused, because each one heard the believers speaking in his own language. 7 Totally amazed, they asked, “How is this possible? Aren’t all these people who are speaking from the Galil? 8 How is it that we hear them speaking in our native languages? 9 We are Parthians, Medes, Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Y’hudah, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome; 11 Jews by birth and proselytes; Jews from Crete and from Arabia. . . ! How is it that we hear them speaking in our own languages about the great things God has done?” 12 Amazed and confused, they all went on asking each other, “What can this mean?”

So here we see this similar emanation and sharing of the spirit of God to not only the 120 disciples, but the 3000 zealous Jews from the Diaspora as well, who would go and spread this message not only to their brethren but to all the Gentiles of all the Lands they had come from.

The Torah allowed man to become one with God, to find true unity, to recognize the presence of the Almighty in everything so that we can see that HaShem is the only reality.

A great video from AISH.COM on the Torah – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKi3dhT7FUY#t=27

Here also is a such link to the short teaching on the Hebraisms in John

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment