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Monday, October 26, 2009

"The Invention of the Jewish People" by Shlomo Sand

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 19, 2009

Biblical music with lyrics drawn from the

By JAMES D. WATTS JR. World Scene Writer

October 11/2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can Egypt Protect it's Copts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Khaled Diab
www.guardian.co.uk

TURKEY CHANGES ISRAEL ON SYRIA

Thursday, October 15

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

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

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

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

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

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

END OF THE AFFAIR?

Al-Ahram Weekly
15 - 21 October 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Genocide recognition Now

Protesters in Tel-Aviv demand recognition of Armenian Genocide
17.10.2009

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

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

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

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dvar Torah on Chronicles

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

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

Next Dvar Torah will deal with the Japhetites.

Ara's words

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

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dvar Torah on Chronicles

Dvar Torah on Chronicles

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dvaar Torah Chronicles

Daath Sofrim

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

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Jewish Princedom in Feudal France" by Zuckerman

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

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

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

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

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

The Independent



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

Sunday, 11 October 2009

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

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

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

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

Related articles

Obama vows to end military gay policy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 9, 2009

Crafting Magick by Susan Pesznecker

"Crafting Magic" By Susan Pesznecker

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

Friday, October 2, 2009

"Cruel and Ussual Punishment" by Nonie Darwish

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

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

Baba-Sali

Baba-Sali
Holy Morroccan Sage engaged in Prayer

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