Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Jewish Thought on Slander: or Making Fun of Someone

Nadene Goldfoot
Saying things that are not true is slander.  In Hebrew this is called Leshon ha-ra, said (loshen hora).  The spreading of malicious reports to damage another person's reputation is regarded in Judaism as the greatest of crimes.  The Midrash, a book explaining the Torah with more legends including ethics, says "The slanderer speaks in Rome and kills his victim in Syria."  To listen to slander is equally forbidden.  Our scripture cites only the case of a husband who falsely questions his newly-married wife's virginity.  His punishment included both a flogging and a heavy fine.  The Rabbinic courts were given the power to fine and excommunicate the offender until he apologized to the satisfaction of the person he had injured.  Sometimes fasting was required as an additional penance.

You know what this means?  It kills gossiping.  It stops listening to gossiping as well.  I think it has caused us to be researchers and get to facts only, not hearsay. That has even led to people becoming lawyers.

Judaism is big on  the rules for a witnesses.  That is a person who is in possession of testimony and is obliged to give evidence before the court and testify.  We are not to give false testimony and this would be punishable according to the rule, "Then shall ye do unto him, as he had purposed to do unto his brothers."  Two witnesses are usually required.  One is only acceptable in matters of purely religious law regarding things permitted or prohibited.

I'm awfully proud to be Jewish.  Our constant word is "Life". " To Life' or" L'Chaim" is our toast.  If Judaism stands for anything, it is of reverence for life and the preservation of life.  Life is precious for all, people and animals.  Israel was also a land of rules which Moses started with the 10 commandments.  Judaism is concerned with doing right by our family and neighbors so is very judicial, something others have found fault with.  After all, our people had Judges before we had kings.  Deborah (c1150 BCE) , a female was an important judge and a married woman that everyone respected and listened to.  Besides that, she may have had an occupation considering she was the nurse of Rebekah.  .  There's another thing to be proud of; respect for the leadership of a woman at an early period.  The wife in a home has great respect in a Jewish household.  "G-d could not be everywhere so He created mothers."  Leopold Kompert, novelist (1822-66)

There was no one in our history that was for killing or slaughtering of others except during the taking of the Promised Land, and that happened at least as far back as 1313 BCE or 3, 313 years ago when Moses headed there.  He couldn't make it and had to hand over the reigns of authority to Joshua.  Slaughtering was the accepted norm in those days. Moses had reacted violently when he saw the boss of slaves kill a slave for being too slow, and he killed him for doing it.  That was not acceptable, even for a prince in Egypt, so he knew he had to get out of town and state which in later life led him to leading the Exodus.   After Joshua settled the 12 tribes of Israel, they were following the teachings of Moses who had much to say about life with not only the 10 basic commandments but with 613 more.

It's not a religion concerned with what happens when we die.  It's up to G-d and in his hands so we don't speculate as we're not in a hurry to die nor do we worry about it.  If we follow the laws of Moses and live a life of being righteous to everyone, things will be okay.  What's important is what we do when we're here on earth.

I love the fact that we have schools of students intent on understanding the laws from the Torah who can sit around and argue with each other, delving into all the meanings and bringing it all up to date.  Solomon's wisdom is something we all hope to share and to use.

I am appalled at history's people who have hated Jews and who have made fun of our religion.  They only show to us how little they understand.  Usually they make fun of us about things that are the opposite in our religion, like saying we kill children and drink their blood at Passover.  They use our no no's, things we would not do at all, and tell the populace that we have done these things.  That's what hatred is.  Blind ignorance.  The only people affected are the people doing the ridiculing.  Jews know that these mean people are wrong and blind.  What's appalling have been the people who swallow these false stories.

I've seen so many things that make fun of us that I've lost count.  Before and during the 2nd WW there were  many posters and pictures going around calling Jews sheenies and kikes, derogatory terms for "Jews"  and  ugly pictures exaggerating the nose.  None of us have ever rebelled with rioting.  Our rabbis have not issued orders to kill those responsible.

We've had this problem since 1654 when Peter Stuyvesant, governor of (New Amsterdam) New York, banished Jews from that city.  Why?  They were looked down on because they were not Christians.  Here it was the Jews who had invested money and owned shares with the West India Company in Amsterdam, so  the directors of the company asked for the rescinding of the order.

Our problems loomed in the 1920s.  prejudices were openly voiced.  The government wanted to keep Jews out of the country and stop their immigration and a bill by Mr. Burnett was created January 29, 1919. People were reading the " Protocals of Zion" and then "Mein Kampf.".  

One way to fight such things like anti-Semitism is to continue to be a better person or group and show the world that they are wrong.  I think I see that our religion promotes this as well as being a good citizen in the country we live in.  Here, it would be the USA, as most Jews outside of Israel live here. 

Ammunition we use is that of humor and laughter.  Jewish comedians can make a point, and we can laugh at ourselves a lot.  It's better than turning to bullets and hatred.  Of course we do have an Anti-Defamation League.  "The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry in the U.S. and abroad through information, education, legislation, and advocacy.

The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Book: Kike!  by Michael Selzer
Book: Just Because They're Jewish by M. Hirsh goldberg

Who Lives in Israel?

Nadene Goldfoot
Right now, Israel's population is made up of 5, 978,600 Jews.  Probably they will have 6 million by the end of 2012.  They just need 21,400 more to make it.  Between immigration and births, it could happen.  Being it is September 19th, we have 103 days to go to reach the end of December.

Israel also has 1,636,600 Arab citizens and 318,000 Christians and others as citizens as well.
The total is 7,933,200 population in this very tiny state.

When Israel was again recognized as a state on May 15, 1948, the population was 806,000.  82% were Jewish and the rest were Arabs.  That means that there were 660,920 Jews then.  As the Torah tells us, 600,000 slaves left Egypt with Moses in the Exodus to return to Canaan.  Now we're looking at the 6 million mark by the end of 2012.  We lost 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, so our population is just now recuperating our lost numbers.  We will never get back the 6 million people who were slaughtered who could have contributed much to the world.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Let's Talk About Prophets

Nadene Goldfoot
Over 25 Muslim  majority countries have rioted this past weekend over a slight to their Prophet, Mohammad, which leads me into thinking about all the prophets we have had in this world.

Definition in Webster’s Dictionary: one who utters divinely inspired revelations
one gifted with more than ordinary spiritual and moral insight
one who foretells future events
disappearance of a material sense before the conscious facts of spiritual truth

Definition in Jewish Encyclopedia: one designated by G-d to convey His message to men and to give guidance for the future.  It is an ancient institution originating in primitive times, coming to early Semitic peoples in Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, Canaan, but in Israel took on a special form.
Hebrews believed that they had been chosen by G-d who had sent them prophecy to point out the right path.  A prophet is primarily the protagonist of monotheism and morality and had a special role along with the Priest and the sage.

“The Talmud teaches that there were hundreds of thousands of prophets: twice as many as the number of people who left Egypt,” 55 are recorded from Israel of which 7 were females.

The Jewish view is that “if a prophet makes a prophecy in the name of YHWH that does not come to pass, that is another sign that he is not commissioned of YHWH and that the people need not fear the false prophet.(Deuteronomy 18:22)” In other words, he has no power to  hurt you.

Abram, then called Abraham, born in Ur of the Chaldees, patriarch who both Jews and many Arabian tribes trace ancestry from., was called a prophet and founder of monotheism.  Circumcision is done as a covenant of Abraham our Father.  He lived at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BCE or 2,000 BCE..  He was the son of Terah and father of Isaac (by Sarah, also a prophetess)  and Ishmael (by Hagar, the Egyptian concubine and maid of Sarah) In his sleep he dreamt of G-d speaking to him saying that his offspring would be aliens in a a land not their own and they will serve and oppress them for 4oo years, but that nation “Egypt” G-d would judge and they would leave there with great wealth.  The 4th generation would return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite should not yet be full until then.”  He was having a vision of the future Exodus.  (Genesis 15:-13) Lech Lecha.

Thirty  years after the vision, the 400 year period started with the birth of Isaac, also considered a prophet.  The story of Abram sacrificing Isaac leads me to believe that human sacrifice was not unusual in Ur and then also in Canaan during times of distress in the land like famine, lack of rain, etc.  Appeasing the many gods with someone dear to them was practiced by many societies that came much later, such as the Inca Indians.  This story was a step upwards of teaching that G-d did not want his much loved son to be sacrificed and that an animal would do, instead.  Isaac’s son Jacob was also called a prophet.

The first major prophet was Moses, born 7 AdarA1400 BCE or 2,368 years since creation.  God spoke to him directly, not through visions or dreams.  He is the founder of the Jewish religion and not only was considered a prophet but also the lawgiver.  The Hebrew people were already monotheistic as taught from Abraham.  Moses was a man who was brought up in the household of the Pharaoh of Egypt as a prince and was well educated.  He  found out in adulthood that he had been adopted by the princess and was the son of Hebrew slaves, Amram and Yocheved.  He was born at a time when the Pharaoh had ordered all Hebrew slave babies to be killed, having an inkling that one would cause his problems in the future.  

At age 80 he reluctantly went into the service of G-d to free the slaves.  He came to teach the Jews he led to freedom the 10 commandments and more to total 613 rules of conduct.  These laws still are applicable in today’s world.  He did have to act as a General with a troop of 600,000 at his command until his death when he assigned Joshua  to the task of leading his people into Canaan. Moses was married to Zipporah.  They had two sons, Gershom and Eliezer who died as young adults.   Zipporah’s father, Jethro, was a Midianite priest and gave Moses advice on legal administration.

Moses taught that Israel was a holy nation and a model to other people.   Traditionally, the entire Pentateuch was written by Moses.  Considering that he was the only literate person out the the assemblage, this is highly logical.  He died at age 120.    Aaron, his brother and prophet in his own right, became his spokesman and did speak for him as Moses had a lisp and found speaking difficult.  Mirium, their sister, is also considered a prophetess and ancestor of King David.  The 3 siblings are never pictured to be perfect people but are shown with their flaws.  All 3 died in the desert before they reached the promised land.  

Balaam was a non-Jewish prophet who had been invited by the king of Moab to curse the Israelites during their wanderings in the Wilderness. Then he was divinely inspired and said blessings instead of curses.  He’s one of the 7 prophets who spoke to non-Jewish nations.  He had had a vision of being scolded by his donkey.  Balaam This man had the characteristics of a Mesopotamian priest and soothsayer who  became a servant of G-d.

Since then there have been more prophets coming out of Judaism.They all expected Jews to live up to the standards presented by  Moses.  Deborah guided her people in times of difficulty. She had been the nurse of Rebekah. She lived about 1150 BCE.  It was she who roused the Israelite tribes to revolt under Barak against the Canaanite king Jabin of Hazor and Sisera, his ally and commander.  The song of victory is attributed to her and is regarded as one of the oldest compositions preserved in Hebrew.    Samuel lived in the 11th century BCE.  He was not only a prophet but the last Israeli Judge and came from the tribe of Levites.  His mother consecrated him before his birth as a Nazirite so it was already decided that he would serve the sanctuary at Shiloh, which was 25 miles north of Jerusalem in the mountains of Ephraim where the Ark and Tabernacle were kept during the period of the Judges.  where he received the Divine call as a child.  He did foretell the destruction of the House of Eli.  He was a judge in Bethel, Gilgal and Mizpeh.  People were getting prepared for national unity as they had no king yet.  Popular demand was finally for a king and they selected Saul, Samuel found fault with him.  Samuel went to Bethlehem where he found David, and anointed him as Saul’s successor which did come about.

Other prophets had certain roles to fulfill.  Nathan and Ahijah the Shilonite were fighters for social morality where kings were having moral lapses.  Elijah and Elisha opposed any manifestation of paganism.  Amos  lived in the 8th century BCE.  He lived at a time of prosperity under Jeroboam but sensed that the calm was temporary and that grave danger threatened from Assyria.  He also knew of the corruption of the kingdom from the problem of the wealthy upper class and the exploited masses.  He prophesied at Bethel, the royal sanctuary.  Then he foretold of the destruction of the land of Ephraim and the priest of Bethel thought this was treason.   They all seemed to foresee national disaster which would be followed by consolation.

Jeremiah was a prophet during the Babylonian exile.  He gave advice to the Jews:
And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray unto the Lord for it; for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.    He was not for civil disobedience.

Jesus (Yehoshua, Yeshua, Joshua) was a prophet to the Christians b:about 1 CE d: 29 CE who they also considered to be the son of G-d.  Muslims accept him as a prophet.  He is the founder of Christianity.  Judaism has no independent sources for his life except a reference in Josephus, who was a Jewish soldier that lived through the 70 CE destruction of Jerusalem and became a writer for the Romans.Most  Jews would not accept him as a prophet, though his original following and disciples were Jews.   Sources about Jesus come from the New Testament Gospels. There it says his mother was Mary who was a young woman, promised to marry Joseph.   Jesus ( is known to have taught love.)  He taught the doctrine of non-resistance to evil which was  not found in classic Jewish sources.  His story is told reflecting an anti-Jewish sentiment of the early Christians, many of whom were Jewish.  John’s writing reflects him being bitter and contemptuous toward his own Jewish people.  This led to a breach between Judaism and Christianity.  Jesus was not known to marry.  He had collected 12 Jewish disciples who lived with him.

Mohammad was born in about  570 CE in Mecca, Arabia and died in 632 CE.  He is known as the prophet of Islam.  At about the age of 40 he was in Medina and came in contact with many Jewish people who were involved in relating their biblical stories which caught his attention.  He never learned to read or write but was able to get the Koran written later in life and there we see the same stories with a slight twist to capture his own people’s attention.  There are also stories there borrowed from the Jewish Talmud.  He had repeated many times that his mission was to confirm what had been already revealed by former prophets and to correct distortions.

He tried to talk Jews into becoming part of his new group, the Muslims, but they were not about to change, angering him. They did not recognize him as a prophet, just as they did not recognize Jesus as a prophet, either.     This caused him to change some of the new rites and became hostile toward the Jews of Medina who gradually were either annihilated or expelled or converted.  Other Jews of Arabia were treated more leniently.  This may be from political and economical considerations.  One of his wives, Safia, was Jewish. She was the daughter of the Jewish tribe’s chieftain of Banu Nadir b: abt 610 CE.  She had converted but never had any children.   Mohammad  ended his life having had 13 wives marrying with many of the same reasons King Solomon did, for power and peaceful arrangements.  He returned to Mecca with an army of followers, forcing the city to recapitulate.    Muslims consider him to be the last and most perfect prophet.

Jews have had difficulties for 2, 000 years being accepted in the world and being allowed to live in peace because of their  loyalties to Judaism by not wavering to go along with either Jesus or Mohammad. They, along with Christians and Muslims, are always on the lookout for false prophets.  “If the prophet promotes goals, or means to achieve those goals, which are contrary to the accepted value norms of Torah, then he is automatically a false prophet. The promotion of paganism, the unjustified violence in the supposed cause of good, "moral" political and intellectual leaders who are personally immoral, radicals who are determined to destroy everything old to make way for the purportedly blessed new - none of these scenarios is allowed by the Torah.”

 Those Jews that continued to live in the Muslim countries were treated as Dminnis or 2nd class citizens.  At least they were allowed to live and did not not suffer the stigma of being marked and only allowed to live in certain areas and often raided and killed in pogroms as Jews were in the Western world.  Even suffering in the Holocaust where 6 million were slaughtered has not stopped those that survived of their  adherence to their religion.  Christians, who were the slowest to accept Jews are now our best supporters.  If only those Muslims living in the Middle East would look upon Jews as cousins and would accept living with us, the world would be be a far better place.  Then all the prophets would be successful.

Resource: excellent resource
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia

Sunday, September 16, 2012

WORLD CALENDARS: Happy Jewish New Year: Beginning of our Days of Awe

Nadene Goldfoot
For us Jews, tonight is the start of the year 5773.  It is the start of the High Holy Days, or Days of Awe.  This month will include the special days of Rosh Hashannah on Monday and Tuesday which is the start of the 10 days of Repentance in which we ask G-d for forgiveness for our sins, known to us or unknown.  It is important to also ask forgiveness of people who we may have sinned against somehow as well, not just G-d.

The end of the 10 days is acknowledged with the Fast of Yom Kippur, when our name will be recorded in a great book which states information about us. This is the holiest day of the year for us.   It's like a grading period every year which decides if we get another year or not, in a sense.  Were we worthy?

This is the time of looking back and examining our actions up to this date.  Have we followed the commandments towards G-d and people?  It's a serious time.

2,500 years ago our first Temple fell in Jerusalem to the Assyrians.  We remember this event to this day with another Fast called the Fast of Gedaliah as this fall of the Temple marked the destruction of Israel.

May we all have a sweet and good New Year.  With violence pervasive in the Middle East today, we all need to say such a prayer.  You can remember the time by eating sweet apples dipped in honey.  That's how we will start a big seder or dinner tonight.  Another symbol used for this holiday is the pomegranate, something discovered today as being so high in antioxidants, vitamin C and K and pantothenic acid which are so good for us.  Our reasoning dates back to ancient times, so ancient that the pomegranate was used in artistic decorations then.  It is of the numerous seeds in it to remind us that our merits should be as numerous that we have it at our seder.  I guess you could say that Judaism has used a merit system on each and everyone of us since our beginnings, at least with Moses.

Rosh Hashannah, our New Year has been thought of as the birthday of the creation of the world, but Arutz Sheva's article explains that the creation started 6 days earlier on the 25th of Elul.  It's the birthday of the creation of man according to Jewish tradition.  It goes on to say that G-d created light on the first day.  Scientists have confirmed this as fact with the "Big Bang" theory, according to Professor Nathan Aviezer.

Abraham, Father of Monotheism and our biblical patriarch who we trace our ancestry from along with many Arabian tribes, the prototype of humility and kindness, lived at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BCE or about 2,000 BCE.  That's 1,761 years from creation to Abraham, which sounds reasonable for Man to have been aware of who he was and what he must do to survive.  We were in Egypt during the Exodus and first went into the country when the Semitic Hyksos dynasty was in power from the 18th to 16th centuries BCE.  King Solomon had married an Egyptian princess and concluded a trade treaty.  He lived  in 961-920 BCE and was the son of King David and Bathsheba.

Another calendar very similar to the Hebrew is the Chinese calendar who also use the moon and sun for determination.  This is the year of the dragon and their calendar was said to be created in the 14th century BCE, so was invented in 2637 BCE.  Theirs goes in cycles of 60.  February 2, 1984 was the start of a 60 year cycle.  On February 10, 2013, the 30th year of that cycle will start.  One would think that the fire from a dragon's mouth has stirred up the Middle East riots this past weekend which the Oregonian newspaper reports this morning that the US braces for unrest to persist in Mideast.

The Mayan calendar is more complicated to me than our present computer system, but also is figured on a 365 day year, though is is said to be a more accurate  system.  December 21st is the end of their important cycle which depends on alignment of the planetary system.  Many speculations have been made for this date; whether it is the end of the world or a time to just to tear a page off of the Mayan calendar for the next cycle to appear.

The Arabic calendar is also a lunar calendar.  Their calendar starts with the year 622 CE when Muhammad, their prophet of Islam,  made his journey to Medina which is called the Hijra.  The Islamic year  1434 begins on about on November 15, 2012.  Since then according to their calendar, 1433 years have passed since this journey.  This reminds me that our American Election Day falls on November 6th, a Tuesday..  Today on the calendar is 29 Shawwal 1433.  Shawwal is the 10th month.  Their calendar is 11 days shorter than the Christian calendar and cannot be printed beforehand.

Resource: Arutz Sheva:
Oregonian newspaper 9/16/12 front page: US braces for unrest to persist in Mideast, NY times
New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia 

Netanyahu's Interview by NBC's Meet The Press

Nadene Goldfoot
In Portland the 8am's Meet the Press on NBC had an interview of Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel and as usual, Netanyahu was brilliant in his responses.  He maintains that Iran is about 6 months away from having 90% of what they need to have weapons grade material for making nuclear power.  He feels that at this point in time Iran is sitting on the red line that he would draw.  As Susan Rice had said, whose interview was first this morning, "the window of opportunity is not infinite".

David, the interviewer of Meet the Press, also did an excellent job in asking the most pertinent questions and remained very respectful.  He showed a great knowledge of what has been happening in order to ask the important questions, which so many reporters have not been doing lately with people like Romney, for example.

Netanyahu would not allow himself to get into our American politics and stayed gracefully out of the gotcha's.  He did say that fanatics have been rioting all over the world in the past few days and that Iran is a country of fanaticism with goals unlike other countries.  About such people who think it is no big deal for Iran to have nuclear capabilities, he said that they have set a new standard for human stupidity.

Though I have been irate about Obama not meeting Netanyahu in New York, Netanyahu commented that they speak all the time, evidently by phone.  He didn't seem ruffled by the lost opportunity which seems to be a scheduling problem of Netanyahu flying into New York while Obama is leaving New York.   Others have previously commented that there is no excuse for Obama to not  speak with Netanyahu at the UN meeting which Netanyahu must fly here to attend, and that this is a place where he can speak with whoever he wants.  It's a matter of staying and speaking, that's all.  What could be more important for the President of the USA to attend a UN meeting where he could speak with Israel's PM at such an important time in history?  I certainly hope it isn't a matter of campaigning!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Islam Facts: Not Found On A Stupid Video

Nadene Goldfoot
I just braved watching about 10 minutes of the 14 minute trailer of the most stupid video I've ever forced myself to watch.  I could not even give such a video a D-.  It's a definite F.  It bears no resemblance to any facts about Mohammad and only shows up the stupidity of the writers and actors who were in it.  Somebody said the creator was an Israeli by the name of Sam Bacile. They are presuming  that it  is a pseudonym.  The person is not Jewish nor Israeli and definitely is not known in movie making circles in Israel.  A spokesman of the industry in Israel said that whoever made this video is a complete loose cannon and unspeakable idiot.  It's thought it was created by some Middle East Christians.

I know a lot about Muhammad, and I'm not Muslim.    Here in the USA we have such things as encyclopedias of worth, books we can get at local libraries and even where we can buy books online.  We don't even have to leave our homes to do such things.  It should have just made any Muslim who knows his own religious history to scratch his head and wonder about the intelligence of American video makers.  It is not worth the money to make it as it has no academic value.  It should have been ignored.  It's trash.  Whoever on earth even brought  Muslims to its attention should feel shame, and those that have reacted so violently should also feel shame.  

For starters, Muhammad was born in about 570 and died in 632 CE.  He is the prophet of Islam.  In his early days he accompanied the Meccan trade caravans and often met Jews and Christians who probably first turned his interest to religious questions.  When he was about 40 years old he started meditating about G-d., the Hereafter and the Day of Judgement which he believed to be close at hand.

Just from the time period, one can see that his ideas came after Judaism, which started with Abraham as the father of Monotheism in  the beginning of the 2nd millennium BCE or 2,000 BCE and continued with Moses, lawgiver and Great Prophet and founder of the Jewish religion who lived in 1391-1271 BCE.  We know he died according to our Jewish calendar in 2488 at the age of 120.   Christianity  was spread by Jesus starting around 16 CE.  He died in 29 CE on the cross put there by the Romans.

Muhammad  became convinced that he was chosen as the Arab prophet and publicly proclaimed the revelations which he claimed to experience through the intermediation of the angel Gabriel.  These revelations were used to create the Koran.

The following are estimated dates:  
570 Muhammad is born in Mecca
595 Muhammad married Khadija, who later becomes the first Muslim  -Khadija died in 619
610 Muhammad received what he comes to believe as his first visitation from the angel Gabriel and revelation from Allah (God)
613 Muhammad begins preaching Islam publicly in Mecca
615 Friction with the Quraysh causes some Muslims to leave Arabia for Abyssinia
620 The Night Journey:  Carried to Paradise on his horse and met with other prophets.

Muhammad and Islam is a very interesting subject.  One can usually check out the Koran from your city library as well to see what's in it.

I did watch a real honest to gosh movie on TV about Mohammad about a month ago on one of the channels.  I really needed an outline to follow what was happening, and after doing more reading saw they were following history.  It was called: "THE MESSAGE:  Story of Islam"  It starred Anthony Quinn, Irene Pappas and Michal Ansara.  You can't get a great cast like this in any old movie.  Get some background information first before you watch.

If I were still teaching, I would ask my students to do a paper which contrasts how each of the 3 religions were spread.  Then have a discussion about it.

Resource: The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
The Truth about Muhammad by Robert Spencer

9/11 Attacks Give Credence to Video's Message

Nadene Goldfoot
Instead of proving to the world how wrong a stupid video was that was made by a handful of uneducated people in the USA that few of us here have watched or even knew about, radical Muslims, whose group seems to be growing by leaps and bounds, fell into the trap of proving that this poorly made-video is correct.

The hateful al-Qaida, Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists most likely were behind a coordinated attack on the anniversary of 9/11/2001 when Muslim extremists managed to attack the Twin Towers and other places, killing more than 3,000 Americans.  With American cell phones, it's easy to stir up people and dictate attacks.  It's too easy to stir Muslims up with the claim that we were disrespecting Islam with this video.

Americans note that we did not observe this anniversary by attacking Muslims to get even.  Instead, it is Muslims who attacked Americans by human sacrifice; attacking American Embassies in the Muslim world.  First Egypt, then Libya where 4 were killed, people who had befriended that country. These Americans thought they were in safe territory and didn't have Marines to protect them, only a few security people who were killed.   Now it's spreading to Yemen, Iraq, Iran, and Gaza.  Stronger controls in Jordan and Afghanistan so far have kept it under more control.  Don't tell me they didn't have human slaughter on their minds when they stormed that building.  They killed their best friend and spokesman in their violence.

If Muslims are irate that someone had made fun of their prophet, a man who they believe uttered divinely inspired revelations,  they have an unusual way of expressing it.  It's behavior that this prophet was teaching that is now made fun of by these radical Muslims!.  To react by rioting and killing is not doing Mohammed any good at all in garnishing respect.  I haven't seen the film and don't want to, but that's what religion is all about; teaching people how to behave among other people.  Your leadership, who are still dealing with the world in a Genghis Khan type of thinking, are not fulfilling Islam at all, unless of course, people are right in that you just want to take over the world with  7th century thinking.

All this rioting and screaming "God is great" while shooting and throwing grenades and rocks only demeans G-d.  You're turning people off  religion of all sorts, and especially Islam.  You only know force.  That's a very primitive level of thinking to the rest of the world.  It's time to grow up.

Update:  Since Friday's prayers, rioting has also spread out to India, Bangladash, Pakistan, Phillipines, Indonesia, Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria, Kuwait, Qatar, Tunisia, Jerusalem and now a US army post in Afghanistan and an English one with 2 US soldiers killed. .  

Oregonian Newspaper 9/14/12 page kA5, US braces for more violent protests over anti-Islam film by Matthew Lee, Kimberly Dozier from AP.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Now We're Called "Vampires" by Morsi

Nadene Goldfoot
Egypt gets $1.3 billion annually, or maybe it's up to $2 billion now from the USA, yet they would not protect the US ambassador or the Embassy itself, letting  the ambassador die along with 3 others and causing others to be injured and the embassy itself burn.  What do you expect from a new President who called Israel vampires and killers?  Evidently Morsi said this before he was "elected" as president in what most likely was some sort of fixed election.  I can't trust a man who calls Israelis "vampires." Somebody in Washington should have woken up to the fact that this man had ulterior motives.  They call Israelis killers while they are incited at a drop of a hat and killed 4 Americans over what?   That they managed to do it on 9/11 shows they were just out for blood-so who's the vampires now?  Look at your al-Qaida.

Vampires, yet!  The man is so stupid that he doesn't even realize that Jews don't eat blood.  The law of kashrut prohibits Jews from eating blood and Vampires live on blood.  For Jews, only a small proportion of certain animals are permitted to be eaten, and every precaution is taken to avoid eating the blood or even of eating meat with milk products.  Blood to us is regarded as the seat of life or even as life itself.  We have a special way of dealing with a slaughtered animal, like a cow.  First of all, we kill the animal in the swiftest way possible to avoid pain to the animal.  If we could, we'd all be vegetarians, which is a very high level, but most of us cannot do that, so-if we must-no pain to animals.  Then we eat the parts with the least blood and of those parts soak the daylights out of them and salt the meat to take out any more blood.  Yet Morsi is so brainy that he calls us Vampires!   He should know that even when we die, our burial is of keeping our blood within us.  We do not have our bodies drained and have blood replaced by some other preservative or whatever they do in other religions.   We don't allow any vampires to be around us!

Morsi, if you're ever invited to Jerusalem for a meeting, don't worry.  You won't be served any blood.  You'd get bagels and cream cheese and maybe orange soda with it.  No Hebrew National hot dogs with that, either; that would be mixing meat with milk which is a no-no.  .

Morsi's wife is a sharp contrast to Mubarak's wife. "His 50-year-old wife, Naglaa Ali, is a housewife who dons the traditional Islamic veil that cloaks half her body — a sharp contrast to Mubarak's modern-dressing wife, Suzanne".  If you saw 50 year old housewives from Miami, you'd be shocked!

Right now mobs in Egypt are calling "Death to America; death to Israel."  Egypt is not an ally, so what is she besides being a recipient of money.   Why do they need money?   This mob violence has been coming from Gaza as well.
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia

Inflamed Salafist Islamists Firing Up Egypt and Libya

Nadene Goldfoot
It seems that the satire of the Mohammed  video online, "The Innocence of Muslims" was only the catalyst for deeper insecurities and hatreds coming from parts of the communities of Egypt and Libya. It's made a great excuse to attack anything smacking of the USA, including the Swiss Embassy in Iran now.   Salafist Islamic extremists vying for power with the Muslim Brotherhood vented their desire for power yesterday by killing the US ambassador in Libya and 3 others as well as attacking the US Embassy in Egypt first.  This virus has also spread to Yemen and possibly other parts of the Middle East as well.

Al Qaida took advantage of the situation going on in Cairo, so in Benghazsi, Libya attacked the US embassy as if they were copycats, but their extremist leaders were helped out by a  well-armed Islamic militia that took the embassy and set it on fire.  They were supposedly fired up by the video, and then their hatred for the USA, but more importantly acted out of a challenge to Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib and other secular parties that make up the Libyan government of today.  Here we have a situation where the American ambassador felt much loved and in no danger as he would walk the streets alone or with a co-worker to meet and greet the man on the street.  He really loved all of the Middle East.  Then he died by their hand.

 I thought the Muslim Brotherhood was bad enough as far as Jews went, as their goal has been to destroy Israel and kill Jews, and I thought Mubarak was a cold fish, but at least he was keeping order and respecting the peace he was committed to.   This goal against Israel is in the Brotherhood charter; I didn't make this up.  Along come the Salafists who make them look the Brotherhood look like Democrats.  The Salafists   are known through the Nour Party and the Asala Party and have been competitors in the elections.  They are even more conservative if that's possible than the Brotherhood!   They are more opinionated in their beliefs often to the exclusion of intelligence, like attacking and killing others in the name of G-d.     It's the Muslim Brotherhood who rules Egypt right now, and we know we haven't heard a word from Morsi about the storming of the US Embassy and the take down of our flag.  Maybe he's afraid of the violence that these hooligans are demonstrating.  They have become "inflammatory anarchists."

 The man we all admired, Sadat,  was assassinated because he turned out to be  a decent person.  He even came to Israel in peace.  It must have been the Muslim Brotherhood who did him in. It was in fact, fundamentalist army officers that shot him in a parade on October 6, 1981. At the time the Muslim Brotherhood was outlawed.   Sadat was the holder of the Nobel Peace Prize.  The Arab League didn't see him that way, though, and had suspended him from their group.  

What to do about all this violence towards the USA?  We need a stern voice saying that this is unacceptable behavior.  We need a Father figure with the voice and backbone saying that this is contemptible and unacceptable to behave in such a way.  We don't lend money we have to borrow in the first place to loan to people who hate us.  What have we been paying?  Backsheesh?

We have sent in the Marines to Libya's Embassy.  There were no armed soldiers at the embassy.  Now we have an elite unit sent to Tripoli.  At the time of sending, our leaders were trying to decide if this mob attack was a 9/11 anniversary outlash or the video.  The Embassy in Benghazi is a burned-out wreck.  The mob had machine guns and  rocket-propelled grenades.  On the walls written were "God is great" and "Muhammad is God's Prophet."   Obama promised that the killers would be brought to justice.   Libya's leaders said they would find those behind the attack.  President Mohammed el-Megarif apologized for this cowardly assault.

Resource:  Oregonian 9/13/12, Editorial page B8, violence in the Middle East:  Piercing the fog of revolution in Egypt and Libya by David Ignatius
Oregonian 9/13/12 Front Page Headline:  U.S. sends Marines to Libya

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Meshugena Floridian Cause of Riotous Killings

Nadene Goldfoot
One very irreverent Florida pastor caused a tidal wave of trouble including 4 deaths in Libya yesterday by his egotistical actions.  He is that same pastor who in 2010 threatened to burn copies of the Koran and did in fact burn one in his own church.  This caused deadly rioting in Afghanistan.  This man probably has a following of 5 people but was able to gain this notoriety by his actions.

This undocumented pastor, who rose from an assistant hotel manager to pastor without real higher educational schooling is the pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center, a small fundamentalist Christian church, with more chutzpa than smarts, is also running as an independent candidate for US President.  I think he might get a vote of one.  .

Again he caused more rioting by proclaiming September 11th "International Judge Mohammad Day" and promoted a new video which mocks Islam's founding prophet.  If you want respect, you don't mock others.  He hasn't learned the Golden Rule of "Treat others like you want to be treated."  This is the infamous Rev. Terry Jones of Gainesville, Florida.  He mentioned that the film was an American production that shows the destructive ideology of Islam and that it reveals the life of Mohammad in a satirical fashion.  He has called Islam "a total deception."   If you're going to tear down another religion, using satire is like adding fire to oil.  It's kicking someone while they're down.  The man's a shlemiel turning out to be a shmuck.

The attack of Muslims on the USA first came in Cairo to the USA Embassy in the act of taking down our American flag which hung outside the building.  The next attack has resulted in 4 deaths in Libya which includes the Ambassador Christopher Stevens and Sean Smith and 2 others!  The attack came from a small but savage group of Libyans who somehow got through the armed guards with grenades and set fire to the building.  Other Libyans tried to protect the staff and did help in getting the deceased Ambassador to the hospital.  The Ambassador was a much loved person in Libya, having helped in their liberation.

We in North America have something called "freedom of speech."  We don't police people about what they say, but if it's a lie, people can be sued by the injured party.  We're used to speaking freely without fear of prison or death.  Those in other parts of the world do not have this practice in their culture and can't understand how it works.  Unfortunately, those who speak out today with the help of internet, TV, radio, newspapers are not always wise or respectful of others.  We try to teach such skills in our schools, but it does start at home.  Why this pastor feels so free to tear apart a religion in such a maligning way is beyond understanding.  He has no saichel.

We should all learn that as long as there are other people in the world and that we are not alone and isolated there will be other expressions of faith.  We don't all think alike.  It's what is practiced that really counts in a world of people.  That people are decent, do not roam about killing others, actually follow the 10 commandments, or at least 7 of them, or seem to have some inborn natural instinct of decent behavior is what counts.  This is what people should think about; actions are what counts, not what they profess to believe and don't follow anyway.  Terry Jones's actions were not helpful and caused 4 good Americans to die.  All Terry does is get negative attention and cause many Muslims to become even more defensive.

The people of the outer realm of the world from the USA should know that he is alone in his actions.  He's not an important man, and I think he's a little meshugena,  and the whole thing should have been ignored.  Just like the USA will most likely not take out all of Libya for a group's manic actions, so they could have ignored this "unusual" pastor.  Going crazy and rioting over one man's actions of disrespect is not an endearing behavior to others who are not Muslims.  You don't gain respect that way.  To take a life is despicable.  Those that did will be brought to justice in an orderly fashion.

Resource:  Oregonian Newspaper 9/12/12 US Embassy breached in Egypt in film protest by David D. Kirkpatrick, NY Times

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Too Busy To See Netanyahu

Nadene Goldfoot
It's only 56 days to the Presidential election in the United States.  The TV News is buzzing with two important facts.  The first is that Obama cannot fit Netanyahu into his schedule to visit with him while he is in the states attending the UN in New York September 28th , even though Netanyahu said he could fly to Washington DC.  Obama will be on the campaign trail.  Netanyahu would like to know about the word "Wait".  He has been told by Obama to wait.  Netanyahu wants to know "wait for what" and "wait for how long." Evidently Obama has no answer, thus the dodging.

The second fact going on is that the US Embassy in Egypt has had its USA flag ripped down today.  Today is 9/11; September 11th when our Twin Towers were attacked and completely obliterated, along with the 3,000 people in them.

It is noted by many that the Democrats had taken "Jerusalem" out of their platform.  That could be another subject that could come up.  It is being discussed by the general public.  "God" had been taken out and then put back in at the last minute.

Update: Libya's USA embassy was also attacked and one American was killed while others were reported by the Libyans to be injured.
Update: 9/12/12 US Ambassador Chris Stevens and Sean Smith were killed and several others in Ben Gazi in the Embassy which was attacked over an internet video about Mohammad.  The rioting started in Egypt with the takedown of the USA flag and spread to Libya by a small savage group who used grenades, etc on building and people inside.  Hillary Clinton just spoke on TV and Obama will soon follow up.

Resource: NBC News

Thursday, September 6, 2012

American Intelligence Agency's Questionable Report on Israel

Nadene Goldfoot
My greatest fear in life is that people will tire of Israel's problem of staying alive and just give in to the pressures from the world and sacrifice the people and tiny state as something unnecessary and too expensive to support.  I guess that fear came to a head this morning after reading  an article by a shady character by the name of Franklin Lamb, a self-professed lawyer from Oregon, my home state,  who is very anti-Israel and writes about an 82 page US Government report " Preparing For a Post Israel Middle East" commissioned by the US Intelligence community that is coming out that is very unfavorable towards Israel.

G-d forbid if this should ever happen that people would sink so low as to join the Nazi regime in their thinking once again.  G-d forbid that people are so shallow that they do not see the worth of the Jewish people and only see what bigots declare.

That Jewish people are different:  Yes, I guess we are to a certain degree.  We're descendants of an ancient people that are still existing.  We are also of the world and care about it a great deal just like everyone else does and maybe even more.  We're different just like everyone else is different.  We're all special.  Everyone has worth and contributes to society.

For such a tiny state, it seems that so many want to eradicate it.  We thought of starting over in Africa, but no one had the heart to displace people there, and after all, hardly anyone was living in our ancient quarters when we returned. That's where our hearts laid.   It was an empty deserted house waiting to be repaired by the original owners.  No one knew it better than we did nor loved the old place as much.  It was either a deserted mess; swampy, full of killer mosquitoes, or a desert where nothing grew.  No one wanted it, except us.   We had history there, not in Africa.  Our people had been praying 3 times a day to return to our homeland.  You can't fight that motivation.  With those prayers, we'd make it a blooming garden once again.

So here we are.  82 pages of a supposedly US government report of analysis that  this lawyer says has cost $70+ billion to produce, that is said to be full of prejudicial material slanted against Israel  that could have  been written by Hitler himself which  he seems to be happy about.  "The authors concludes that Israel is currently the greatest threat to US national interests because its nature and actions prevent normal US relations with Arab and Muslim countries and, to a growing degree, the wider international community."

Another example that makes my blood boil is "The expanding chasm among American Jews objecting to Zionism and Israeli practices, including the killing and brutalizing of Palestinians under Israeli occupation, as gross violations of American and international law and raise questions within the US Jewish community regarding the American responsibility to protect (R2P) innocent civilians under occupation; "

  I'm speechless if there's any Jews  who believe this garbage.  They should do what I did and move to Israel to see for themselves if their religious principles of Judaism is promoting such disgusting practices. I didn't move there to be a spy, just to teach English and do something for this new country of ours, for like President Kennedy had said about America, "Ask not what you can get from your country but what you can do for it,"  and so I went to help because I was a teacher.   Israel isn't killing and brutalizing, I assure you, and I've written numerous posts in my 3 blogs defending Israel.  Oy!  I'm still speechless.

A little more digging, and I've found a James Clapper who might be at the source of this report.  He's the Director of National Intelligence.  A Charles Freeman was Obama's original choice but didn't give it to him because of complaints that he was a good friend of the Saudi Royal family.  and his position on China's dissidents.

If the fact that American think tanks and prominent government offices have come up with this type of evaluation is true, there is no hope left for America in my estimation.   For anyone whose leadership thinks in this direction is ready to repeat the first grade once more.  I have to hope that Frank Lamb is being wildly delusional.    If, G-d forbid, such an 82 page report comes out  as he says, we must all look at who wrote it, who was on the committee, and what their principals and beliefs are. It's just plain unAmerican!

Update: 1:37pm   Dr. Franklin Lamb is with Sabra-Shatila Foundation based in Beirut.  Just heard unverified report that he was lightly wounded in a shooting in Lebanon several weeks ago.

* Resource:  READ THIS ONE 
Gerard Robins, friend a , same as above by Franklin Lamb

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Democrats and Republicans Differ on Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's Capital

Nadene Goldfoot
Back in 2008, the Democratic Party's platform included a section dedicated to the Middle East called "Stand with Allies and Pursue Diplomacy in the Middle East."  It stressed the importance of the US to lead on peace efforts.  It had said, Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. Yet the USA has never kept its promise on this point and has not recognized it as the capital.  

This year of 2012, evidently Obama's Democratic Party removed a reference to Jerusalem as Israel's capital from the party's official platform.   Three paragraphs titled, "The Middle East" started with a lengthy declaration of support for Israel and President Obama's steps to ensure Israeli military's qualitative edge.

Peace was mentioned in the 2nd paragraph with several warning points favoring Israel, stressing that "the President has made clear that there will be no lasting peace unless Israel's security concerns are met", and that "President Obama will continue to press Arab states to "reach out to Israel" and even as the President and the Democratic Party continue to encourage all parties to be resolute in pursuit of peace, we will insist that any Palestinian partner must recognize Israel's right to exist, reject violence, and adhere to existing agreements." I must say that their reaching out has only been in the form of rockets, missiles and mortars for the past 11 years.  

The platform didn't mention Jerusalem.  Some noticed that the wording about Iran wasn't very strong.  Melanie Roussell, Democratic spokeswoman,  defended the change and said that the present administration has the same policy as everyone has had since 1967.  That's the problem, Melanie.  It's been 45 years that Jerusalem has again been Israel's capital and yet the USA hasn't recognized this fact of life.  This very recognition just might be the ticket to tell the Arab states that Israel is there to stay and that it's time they recognize it and live with it.  

Mitt Romney's campaign stated that the Democrats have refused to acknowledge that Jerusalem is Israel's capital.  He will restore the USA "relationship with Israel and stand shoulder to shoulder with our close ally."

The Democrats revised their platform earlier in the day but  still wouldn't admit that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

Resource: US Democratic Party drops reference to Jerusalem as Israel's capital from platform