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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

After the Fall of Nineveh

Assyrians Beyond the Fall of NinevehAssyrians Beyond the Fall of Nineveh by William M. Warda
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am somewhat biased in that I know the author. None the less I will say that the information in the book is top notch. I do have some criticism with the lay out and presentation. The first half of the book deals with proving that the modern Assyrians are descendants of the Ancient Assyrians. Their sovereignty may have been lost but they continued to remain on their land. This fact has been ignored and the viewpoint shunned. Critics say that Christian Iraqis bought into this after Achaeologist named Laynard posited the suggestion that the two were the same. Mr.Warda does an ample job discussing historical documents showing that the people living in Mesopotamia were in fact referred to as Assyrians. The sources are Greek, Christians and Arab. More over the similarity of motifs between Christian and Pagan Assyrian work is well noted and convincing. Some of the reason behind the cover up stem from an old testament prophecy via Nachum which states that Assyria will be destroyed. The Assyrians also got a lot bad press from the Bible. The Assyrians themselves upon becoming Christian did try to conceal their past.

The author does delve into the Assyrians modern history quite well. Beginning with the conversion by Addai he goes through the whole course of history raising the highpoints of their contributions and good times and showing the reader what their life was like. The history give a broad overview something which a new comer to Assyrian history will find valuable. To someone of more knowledge they may find themselves craving a more in-depth approach. the Assyrians when given the chance have a lot to offer but due to what the author deems as Islamic fundamentalism they have been persecuted. In this instance he is right. The author also feels that religion is not a factor that unites the people but rather divides them. These are two things that could have been discussed even further. Perhaps that is the subject for another book.

Great work on Assyrian history and a must have for any library. The subject of the Assyrians has been ignored for too long and it is time to start learning.


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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tolkien's book of Lost Tales II

The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two (The History of Middle-Earth, #2)The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Let us say that over all this is a great tome. The writing by JRR Tolkien for the most part is excellent, with a few passages that are a bit of a challenge to understand. The problem is not with JRR Tolkien's writing but rather with the extensive notes written by his son, Christopher Tolkien. Ok yeah I get it he want to explain the differences between the these rough versions of the story and the official in the Simarillion but he goes into over kill and frankly that is not needed.

The book continues with Eriol's sojourn in Tol Eressea. The elves of that island tell him several more tales and he tells them a few of his own. Eriol lived in a town on the Great Land and during a minor skirmish he lost everything. His parents were killed and he was pressed into servitude. Eventually he escapes and he makes his way to Tol Eressea. His friend tell him the Tale of Tinuviel. Beren in this version is an elf not a human. Tinuviel is half faery and half elf. They fall in love when he ventures into their relam that is hidden from Melko by the queen's magic. The Queen Gwendeling is a faery. The realm is made up of free elves both Noldoli and Avari elves. Now the king does not quite approve of this match so he challenges Beren to obtain one of the Simarils from Melko's crown. Beren sets off on his quest. He becomes a servant of Melko and his cat assistant Tevildo. After a long period of time Tinuviel longs for Beren and set out to rescue him. Using magic that causes her foes to fall asleep she breaks into Melko's realm to rescue Beren. Huan the king of dogs help out and you know they hate cats.
In the end there is a battle between the Wolf King and Beren and much like Tiw in the Norse legends he looses his hand. In a strange way they end up together.

In Turumbar and Foaloke , the short version of "Hurin's Children" documents the wars of elves and men against Melko. Hurin gets captured and tortured. Part of the torture involves watching the fait of his children. Turin goes off to King Thingol to be raised in his court. Turin becomes a great warrior, slaying off many orcs and goblin. But he ends up banishing himself from the court after killing another elf for insulting him. He continues his adventures slaying orcs with a good friend from Thingols kingdom. They have many an adventure together but all that ends when Turin is rescued from the captivity with the Orcs. by mistake he slays his friend. He does fall in love with an elven girl but loses her to Glurund (Foaloke) the dragon. He sees his mother's homestead taken over by a corrupt person . He kills the corrupt person get banished from his mothers village and gives himself the name Turumbar. THE Dragon manages to steal away his sisters memory and the two end up connecting. In the end the Dragon is slain and the tainted gold is liberated. Things end off there but the book that was released later called "Hurin's Children" has a very different ending.

"The Fall of Gondolin" documents a hidden city that is found by a wandering Noldoli who escapes from Melko servitude. Many elves and Noldoli are enslaved by Melko. Ulmo the sea god leads this elf to the city. His coming was fortold and much like a prophet he warns the inhabitant to leave and return to Valinor. His word is not heeded. Our hero marries the elven princess and remains with her for many years. They have a child named Earel. Eventually Melko finds out about this hidden city and after a brutal war and some internal treachery the city falls. everyone ends going to the beach hideout. A special destiny is held in store for Erendel.

"The Nauglafring" is about the cursed gold from the slaying of Glorofund the Dragon. Somehow Hurin is released from captivity and he is the one who brings forward the gold. The simaril which has been liberated by Beren is combined with this gold to make an elaborate piece of jewelry. But the gold is cursed and that curse involves people killing each other over it. This soon leads to war between and elven kingdom and a dwarf kingdom because the Elves enslave them into making the Jewelry. The elven Kingdom gets destroyed. In retaliation Beren and Tinuviel are called from the faery realm to extract vengeance. There is further loss for Beren and Tinuviel but vengeance is secured. They have a daughter named Elwing.

Earendel weds Elwing and then loses her. He takes to the seas to find her. The final part of book delved into Aelfwine. A confusing expalanation to say the least. You can red it and find out. Well worth it for Tolkien fans.


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Monday, April 22, 2013

Feasting with a Dark Goddess

Feast of the MorrighanFeast of the Morrighan by Christopher Penczak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Lately there has been more information available on the Morrigan. Like Ishtar or Inanna she is a goddess of love and war. Similar to Hekate or Isis she is Goddess of magic. "Guises of the Morrigan" by Sorita D'Este and David Rankine a source for this tome and one which I have read, give the reader a full dose of legend and lore concerning the Morrigan. For the price available it makes a great read and supplement the work I am reviewing. Another book "Dark Goddess" goes more into spell craft and also cover lore and legend. This treatment covers the lore and legend but not as deeply as the other two. It sticks mostly with the 'Invasion Chronicles' and Morrigan's roles within it.

Most of Celtic Lore was lost with the Christianization of the Celtic Lands. The Morrigan seems to be lurking their in the shadows but never taking a direct role in affairs. Usually her role is on the side line using magic to confound the enemy. She is also a teacher instructing the would be warrior on how best to succeed on life's battlefield. Morrigan is the Goddess who stand s behind you, godes you into battle and tests and torments you at times because that is part of the learning process.

Penczak's book does not go into spell craft. There are no spells for love, money or miracles. The author is taking a more Theurgic approach and is giving over a paradigm that is geared towards self evolution. Besides delving into Celtic lore, Penczak gives a Hermetic interpretation to the Morrigan and his book is filled with Shamanistic exercises that call for interaction with plant and animal allies. Certain exercises call on different aspects of the Morrigan. Christopher Penczak focuses primarily on three, Badb,Macha and Nemain.

Big question is whether Badb,Macha and Nemain are three different Goddess or three aspects of the same. Badb is a crow goddess who eats the remains of the dead after a battle is completed. She is very opportunistic and goal oriented. Macha is the horse goddess. She has five different incarnations in Celtic mythology. She is a seer of the future,queen, faery woman and sorceress. Nemain is the Goddess who's screams kill the enemy on the battle field. During the Battle of Moytura all three of these Goddess or aspects defeat the Fir Bolgs with magic.

Identities are seldom well defined. Sometimes the Morrigan is conflated with the Caileach, the old crone who creates the world and grants sovereignty. Others she is identified with Danu (anu) the mother goddess. Are these all the same Goddess or different ones. It can be confusing. The Morrigan has Dagda make love to her by a river before going to battle against the Fomirians. This gives him in away the right to be king and win the battle. Cuhulain spurned her advances before the Cattle Raid of Cooley. This caused the Morigan to turn against Cuhulain and in a sense withdraw her blessing from him.

The book lists several animal and plants that can be associated with the Morrigan. Animals like the Wolf, Crow, Cow, Eel are a few. Mr. Penczak also uses the Kabballah and planetary influences to help define this difficult to define Goddess. From there the reader is giving a plenitude of recipes for oils and incenses. The book has several path workings and rituals scattered through out. Many of the meditation involve going through the the world tree, some have you going through the river of life. The meditations involve interacting with aspect of the Goddess,animal allies, the god, becoming a lover t the goddess herself and connecting to the world and it's creations.

This book makes a fine edition for this seeking to work with and become acquainted with the Morrigan. It is not the only one you will read but makes a great companion for the other two mentioned previously.


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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Invocations to the Morrigan

Mother of Beauty and Strife Daughters of Ernmas Mother of the Time Before Ériu, Banba and Fódla Guardian and the Secret Door Mother of the Black Crows Children of the Ninth Wave Don, Modron, Matronna Fertile Womb and Deepest Grave With the Rivers Flowing Filled with Waters and Starry Light Anu, Danu, Morrighan We call you in this rite. Evocation of Ernmas Mother of the Great Mother, Mother of the Great Queen. Power before the Timeless Power, When the world was new. Ernmas, Iron Death. Ernmas, Primal Land. Ernmas, Pangaea of the Emerald Isle. Land Mother Grand Mother Mother of Ériu Mother of Banba Mother of Fódla Witch Mother War Mother Mother of Badb Mother of Macha Mother of Morrigan Ernmas, Iron Death. We call to you. Invocation to the Morrighan as Universal Mother Mother of the Emerald Isle Mother of all life Anu, Danu, Morrighan Mother of Beauty and Strife Daughters of Ernmas Mother of the Time Before Ériu, Banba and Fódla Guardian and the Secret Door Mother of the Black Crows Children of the Ninth Wave Don, Modron, Matronna Fertile Womb and Deepest Grave With the Rivers Flowing Filled with Waters and Starry Light Anu, Danu, Morrighan We call you in this rite. Invocation of the Battle Crow Badb I call to you. Badb Catha Battle Crow I call to you. Badb Catha Morrigu Battle Crow Queen I call to you! Daughter of Ernmas Daughter of Delbaeth Wife of Neid I call to you now. Bringer of Fury Grant me success in my battles. Avenging Lady Grant me justice Prophet Crow May your calls lead to wisdom and success Nine times eternal! So mote it be. Invocation to Macha Macha of the Red Fire Mane Macha of the Black Feathered Cloak Macha of the Green Burial Field Be with us. Daughter of the Sea Tender of Dreadful Acorns Faery Queen Be with us. Macha, Mother of Twins Macha, Seer of the Future Macha, Lady of the Red Tresses Be with us. Grant us your blessings. May we heed your warnings And always honor you as Goddess and Queen Blessed be. Meditations Take white candle and left candle light it along with incense. Chant Morrigan. Drift down a river to island. Triple form goddess give you gifts of food,weapons and lullaby. Light a white, red and black candle chant morrigan. Travel to river end up in phosphorescent cave meet warrior goddess ask about plans. Meet with Macha and Neith. Circle casting First you sense your blade or wand and then use it to make you circle.Go deosil three times. I cast this circle to protect us from all harm on any level. I charge this circle to draw the most perfect of energies for my work here. I create a space beyond space, a time beyond time, where the highest will, Sovereignty, reigns supreme. So mote it be Calling Quarters To the North, to the sacred city of Falias, I call to the realm of elemental earth. I call upon the spirit of earth by the blessings of the wizard Morfesa, keeper of the Stone of Sovereignty. Hail and welcome. To the East, to the sacred city of Gorias, I call to the realm of elemental air. I call upon the spirit of air by the blessings of the wizard Esras, Keeper of the Sword of Truth. Hail and welcome. To the South, to the sacred city of Finias, I all upon the element of fire. I call upon the spirit of fire by the blessings of the wizard Uiscias, Keeper of the Spear of Destiny. Hail and Welcome. To the West to the sacred city of Murias, I call upon the element of water. I call upon the spirit of water by the blessing of the wizard Semias. Keeper of the cup of compassion. Hail and Welcome. Releasing the Circle To the North, to the sacred city of Falias,I thank and release the powers of elemental earth I thank and release the wizard Morfesa, keeper of the Stone of Sovereignty. Hail and farewell. To the West, to the sacred city of Murias, I thank and release the powers of elemental water I thank and release the wizard Semias, keeper of the Cup of Compassion. Hail and farewell. To the South, to the sacred city of Finias, I thank and release the powers of elemental fire I thank and release the wizard Uiscias, keeper of the Spear of Destiny. Hail and farewell. To the East, to the sacred city of Gorias, I thank and release the powers of elemental air. I thank and release the Wizard Esras keeper of the Sword of truth. Hail and fair well.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Black African Origins of Civilization

Black Genesis: The Prehistoric Origins of Ancient EgyptBlack Genesis: The Prehistoric Origins of Ancient Egypt by Robert Bauval
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Black Africans founded the first societies and their societies an knowledge formed the bedrock of all human civilization? Well yeah, I could have told you that a long time ago. THe problem is that many professors in the academia and Egyptological world were all to quick to dismiss this notion. African scholar Amanta Dio tried to bring it to world attention but was laughed. Anyone who tried to reveal this truth recieved roughly the same treatment.

The Greeks themselves said that they learned everything about society and astral mysteries from the Egyptians and the Ethiopians and that they were black. Scholars these days have a lot to learn. Thomas Brophy and Robert Bauval have decided to expose this truth and they have done it using a very innovative tract by using archaeology and astronomical knowldege. What folows is a super detailed book whith all the events put together one after another. Their knowldge of astonomy and the sights built is rather detailed so if you wish to grasp it all you had better pay attention.

Starting with Jebel Wainat and the Oasis Dakla in the Sahara the authors piece together an intriguing narrative. These sights housed cave, Egyptian Hieroglyphics and Cave painting. Heiroglyphics?? THe Egyptians were never have thoughtto made it that far out into the wilderness. The drawing show cows, humans dress as cows enacting shamastic rites. Archeaology shows that there were donkey trails leading out into the Sahara complete witth watering stations for supplies. These runin though predate Egyptian civilization as do the hieroglyphics. Other sights include rings of stone that ar somewhat reminiscent of Stonehendge. Nabta Palya had such a ring along with the burial of cow bones and a huge cow stone.

What were these rings for? It is obvious that these Aricans venerated cows and the Egyptians venerated Hathor the cow Goddess who's thigh is represented by the big dipper. Closer examination shows that these rings measured the movements of the stars in the sky. Most important for them was them was the rising of the Sirius star in midsummer which brought on the midsummer monsoons. For the Egyptians it was the flooding of the Nile.

These Saharan Star people moved through the desert as it became too dry. They first settlec in the Elehantine area and moved up. THe au8thors bring forward convincing proof that the Pyramids of Giza were also contructed to measure the Rising of Sirius Star. Other stars that were also observed were Orions Belt, the Sun and the Big Dipper.

One fantastic fact filled book. For those interested in African or Egyptian history or just regular truth seekers this book is for you.


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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Legacy of Sephardic Leader II

A Legacy of Leaders IIA Legacy of Leaders II by Azoulay,Yehuda
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Author David Azoulay keep coming out with great books illuminting the lives of the Sephardic sages. Conntinuing in the lines of the first book , the author documents the life and story of 27 Torah sages. THe layout like the last one consists of an entry for each chacham. The format starts with a biography and then stories that empathise the tzadiks saintliness. At the End of the book there is a brief history of selected Sephardic yeshivas that were set up in the Middle East and Israel. These Toarah giants come from Tunisia, Morocco, Syria,Turkey and Iraq. Most of the sages hail from Morrocco and Iraq. Good many of them are family members or students Babi Sali or the Ben Ish Chai.

One of the most noted is Rabbi Yaacov Culi, author of the Meam Loez. He was born in Jerusalem in 1628. He edited many of his grandfather's writing. Later on in life he moved to Constantinople to lead the Turkish community. He had to deal the challenge of Sabbtai Tzvi. A majority of the communtity was uneducatated in matters of Jewishness. The proceeds of the money generated from the sale of Meam Loez want to fund the Yeshivas.

Hacham Yehezkel Papo came all the way from Bosnia.Born in Saraviejo,Bosnia he was ordained at a young age.He dedicated his life to torah study and he was heavily into mussar. Mussar stressed character development. He rarely ate because he was so invovled with Torah study. He ended up being the Rabbi of Bulgaria util his death. One stroy illustates his value of human life. One time a Jewish man was going t be killed in prison for some crimes unless he came up with a certain amount of money, Rabi Papo asked everyone to donate their gold. There were not enough funds. He fibnally told the community that he would sell the Torah scrolls. They finally relented . He felt a human life was more imprtant then Torah scrolls.

In 1900 Rabbi Yacoub Kassin was born in Jerusalem. In 1927 he founded the yeshiva Gan Levanon. The New York Syrian community invited him over to become their Rav. He spent a periond of time there and returned to Jerusalem. He ventually returned toNew York to be the main Rav until his passing. He published books anomysoulsly in order to demosntate humility. His master pioece Or Halevannah is believed to have helped heal him from Serious illness.

You will enjoy these stories. They offer a quick entertaining read and gift the reader with a lesson in character traits and Torah. THes Rabbis were self sacrificing, dedicated to learning, enterprising and very, very honest. THe modern world can learn much from them.(less)

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Tolkien's Book of Lost Tales

The Book of Lost Tales, Part One (The History of Middle-Earth, #1)The Book of Lost Tales, Part One by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The History of the Middle Earth was put together by Christopher Tolkien, JRR's son. The effort involved sifting through his fathers notes and organizing them, which in itself is a difficult task. Oft time names were changed from story to story and Christopher had to decipher outlines and light pencil markings. In many a case we have just outlines and scant poems thrown around. But this is the backstory to the Simarrilion. This is where Middle Earth according to Tolkien was created. The story line that comes out of this work is the same as that of Simarillion save that you will notice that names are different and there are multiple versions of the stories told. Look at the Simarrillion as the finished product. Bear in mind that as I give you the summary I will not remember most of the names the language is difficult to work with. More over I wish to add in that at the end of each tale Christopher Tolkien included some notes. This at times helped clarify things and at other times it was rather confusing to read.

Eriol, who was touched by the light of Earendel, is touched with a penchant for wandering. His marine adventures land him on the Lost Isle of Tol Erresea. While sojourning there he ends up befriending a goodly number of Elven folk. Going through the town he comes to the capital city of Kothirion which is named after the city of Kor in Valinor. It is there that Eriol comes to the Cottage of Lost play. To enter he must allow himself to become smaller. The Cottage is host to nightly gathering and revelry of story telling. Vaire and Lindo the hosts tell Eriol the history of the Middle Earth like his human ears have never heard before. Rumil tells him even more stories. At one point Eriol wishes to drink of the "Limpe" an elven drink that will give him elven immortality. but first he must hear from Queen Meril. To drink the Limpe is to side with elves until the end of time even if it means going against humans. Eriol becomes hesitant.

In the beginning Illuvatar created the Ainur and the rest of the universe by making music. Once the Ainur were created they were inputted a story and taught to make music. They make music and create the universe with Illuvatar. Illuvatar makes mansions and dwelling in the astral level for the ainur, but lurking in the outer reaches corrupting everything is Melkor.
Illuvatr though is able to counter Melkor. Eventually the Ainur stop making music and see the world they have created. It arda. Melkor with is dark designs goes down the arda in order to corrupt it. Several ainur choose to descend to Arada despite Illuvatar's not wanting them to. They descend.

They explore this twilight world and end up creating the Island of Valinor. This is done to give the Valar a home and as a defense against Melkor. As Melkor corrupts the planet with destructing and foul created beings. The Valar confront him. Tulkas a mighty warrior does not trust him, There is not fight at this point but Melkor is wily. He agree to taking Holy light and creating two poles of if to light up the Arda. Later when the Valar have crafted their hall, Melkor destroy the light. What is left is gather into two fountain called Kullkillion and Talimpe. From these two trees grow, called Laurelin Talpion. Gold and silver light they give off. Melkor still continues with his reign of destruction. This leads to a conflict where in Manwe and Tulkas fight and deceive Melkor. They chain him up for a period time and leave him in the Halls of Mando. (Sounds like the Loki story)

With the birth of the elves the Valar are happy. Simultaneously the Valar send someone to lead the first emissaries to Valinor. the three elves go back and Orome leads them through the Great Land to the shores of the West were Ulmo transports them on an island (which Tol Erresea). THe three families of elves are brought over. Some do get lost in the Great lands. At the same time Melkor is unchained a bit early and is put into the service of Tulkas. There are three families of elves the Noldori,Solimposi and the Teleri. The Teleri will learn poetry from Manwe, the Noldori will learn smithcrafting from Aule and the Solimposi become music makers on the shores.

Tol Erressea used to be Ose's island. Ose is a servant of Ulmo, the sea lord. When Ose anchors the Tol Erresea to the sea floor and stopping it's use this develops a mini feud. Some Solimposi remain on the island and play music with sea shells. Ose also teaches them how to ride swans and how to build ships. Ulmo uses this later to lead them to Valinor.

Unchaining Melkor might not have been such a great idea. he made some nasty friends down in Mandos and while in valinor he is prone to spreading vicious lies. He turns the Noldori and the Valar against each other. During a celebration Melkor and Ungoliant, a giant spider from the south, steal into Valinor and kill the two trees. Ungoliant drink the light from them. The silmarillion are also stolen. The Noldori are angry, under the leadership of feanor they head to Middle Earth, stealing ship from the Solimposi they flee Valinor.

The further tales recount the creation of the sun and moon and the concealment of Valinor. The book finishes off with the battle of tears. A battle where men and Avari elves goe against Melkor. The men learn to speak from an elf named Nuin. For those hard core Tolkien fans this book is a must read. I liked the Simarrillion better but this gives you the inside look at a subcreated universe.

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Legacy of Sephardic Leaders

A Legacy Of Leaders: Inspiring Stories And Biographies Of Sephardi HachamimA Legacy Of Leaders: Inspiring Stories And Biographies Of Sephardi Hachamim by Yehuda Azoulay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a treasure trove. Documenting the lives of 25 great rabbis from the Middle East. These Rabbis came from such countries as Iraq, Syria, Yemen,Morocco and Egypt. Some of them we are all familiar with like Rabbi Yisrael Abuchatzeira (The Baba Sali) and the Ben Ish Chai (Rabbi Yosef Chaim). The book introduces the Chacham or wiseman and then gives a background of the family pedigree and then launches into a short bigraphy. After the biography the author relays stories associated with the chacham. Many great work of literature came from the realm of Sephardic Jewry. Some of which we are familiar with like the Orach Chaim, Shulchan Aruch and others. Prior to this edition coming out in English the world of Sephardic Torah giants was closed off to non Hebrew speakers. Finally it is out. Drink Deep of the wisdom.

The lives of these Rabbis goes back some three hundred years. Starting in 1696 with the birth of Rav Chaim Benatar in Sale, Morocco, he was the author of the Ohr Chaim and Pri Toar. Like many of these Tzadikim he was involved with intense Torah learning and supporting the poor and the yeshivot. Miracles are associated with him as they are with all the Rebbeim. He lead many Jews to Israel during his life time and was buried in the jewish Cemetery of Har Zeitim. When the Jordanians conquered the Old City of Jerusulem they tried to move his grave to build a road.Every worker that tried to move his stone was curseed with some very unfortunate circumstances. His most well known student was "The Chida"

Hailing from the land of Yemen was the Rashash or Rav Shalom Sharaby. He was a rug merchant in Yemen and traveled from town to town. His father died when he was young so the responsibility of caring for the family fell on his shoulders. He was a brilliant Rabbi and even in Yemen he managed to explore the heights of Kabballah. Upon escaping a dangerous situating he vowed to move to Eretz Yisrael. His journey to Eretz Yisrael took him through Baghdad, Suria and even India. Once in jerusalem he worked as a cleaner at the beth el yeshiva. He hid his knolede for a long time until he was discovered leaving answers to difficult Halakhic questions inside of book. He evenutally married the Rosh yeshiva's daughter. He would eventually become Rosh yeshiva himself. Many miracles were associated with him. When Jews were harrassed in the Old City his prayers would cause them to be paralysed. he gained respect for the Jewish community.

You have a taste of what is in store for this book to find out more you will have to buy it and read it. For the torah jews i t will inspire to teshuva. For the historian it will give you a glimpse into a previously hidden world

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tortured in Russia

Tortured For ChristTortured For Christ by Richard Wurmbrand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Any ideology can be used to promote violence against another group whether it be religious, ethnic, or gender based. One such violent ideology was communism which stripped the individual of their humanity. Individuality and personality were lost under the harsh environment created by the Communist Dictators in Russia. Their basic premise was to shove atheism down your throat.
Richard Wurmbrand was also Jewish by birth and the communists did not like Jews either. His wife Sabina was also Jewish. Her whole family was wiped out by the Nazis. Their son Mihai or Michael is carrying the reingns of leadership.

Richard Wurmbrand started out his life as a atheist in Romania. The Church never really appealed to him. He described himself as the worst kind of atheist. A Romanian carpenter from the Romanian mountains changed all that. He wanted to bring a Jew to Christianity because Christ was Jewish. Richard then went on to witness many people to Christ. As a pastor he endured Nazi brutality when the invaded Romania. He felt that the communists from Russia were even more brutal.

The author tells how he witnessed in army bases and how he managed to get his materials distributed during communist rallies Witnessing was outlawed , religion was outlawed. To kill religion the communists planted moles in the religious movement and encouraged people to spy on eack other .

When a believer was caught they could expect to have their family taken away and they would be tortured. But they endured, they hated sun bit not the sinner. The family was persecuted as well.

Richard advocated more bible to be sent to troubled regions . Speak up for Christians. Work at witnessing the oppressor.

Great book even if you are not Christian. It shows the strength of the human spirit and how evil ideologies can be.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

The Child of Promise

Episode Two: Twice Born (The Gospel of Ruth)Episode Two: Twice Born by Griffin Ced
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The author's take us on a very short but exhilirating ride on this one. Taking place in two locations several hundred years after where the first one lefts off, the story now has two locations. In New York we find Sarah screaming in an uptown Chicago apartment building during a very intense rainstorm. She is about to give birth to Andrew. She is accompanied by Michael and George who are her boyfriend and girlfriend in this extended family. It is a challenging birth to say the least.

Meanwhile in Scottland, Tali wakes up from a real long rest. His appearance is changed and so is that of the world.Running through the Forrest after popping up from the ground, Tali has run in with Ruth McBain's car. Ruth is Mary Mcbain's Great grand, grand daughter. What follow doctor visits and general introductions.

Cannot wait to see what happens next. I guess I will have to be patient for the third installment. Too bad the book is only 43 pages.


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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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