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Jeremy Corbyn isolates British Jews

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The Jeremy Corbyn and Jewdas Seder abridged
British Jews send a message to Jeremy Corbyn;’s Labour

Oy vez, Je-rem-meee Corrrrrr-bin. The Labour Party’s leader’s been hit with those allegations of anti-Semitism again and challenged over his commitment to deal with bigots in his party’s ranks. It turns out that parroting the line about his life-long fight for anti-racism and how much he loathes racism and how Jew hatred is wrong (who knew?) isn’t convincing everyone. Andrew Neil posed a few questions on the matter in a Q&A that gave Jews hope that their lot is not being ignored, boosted the Tories and assured Prince Andrew that he is not the worst person in interviews.

Watch the full Andrew Neil interview with Jeremy Corbyn

The full Andrew Neil interview with Jeremy Corbyn. You'll want to see this.

Posted by Conservatives on Tuesday, 26 November 2019

As Nick Cohen says of Corbyn’s unwillingness to apologise to Jews: “The best is to admit its guilt and reform. Labour cannot because Labour’s leader and his supporters are so contaminated by racial prejudice they lack the moral capacity to change, or even admit to themselves the need to change.”

The papers lead with the horror show:

Corbyn Jews

Only the Daily Star and Mirror don’t lead with Corbyn. The Star looks at two big Lottery winners. The Mirror goes for a story on the NHS, those Lottery winners, a recycling “disgrace”, and a chance to win a “giant Olaf toy”, as seen in the films Frozen and Frozen 2. No room for those pesky Jews:

daily mirror corbyn

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis is one of the many upset by Labour’s inability to grasp the situation. His open letter is here in full:


The overwhelming majority of British Jews are gripped by anxiety. The question I am most frequently asked is: What will become of Jews and Judaism in Britain if the Labour Party forms the next government?


The Jewish community has… learned the hard way that speaking out means that we will be demonised… and accused of being partisan or acting in bad faith by those who still think of this as an orchestrated political smear. Yet, I ask myself: should the victims of racism be silenced by the fear of yet further vilification?


The way in which the leadership of the Labour Party has dealt with anti-Jewish racism is incompatible with the British values of which we are so proud. It has left many decent Labour members and parliamentarians, both Jewish and non-Jewish, ashamed.


It is a failure to see this as a human problem rather than a political one. It is a failure of leadership. A new poison – sanctioned from the very top – has taken root in the Labour Party.


Many members of the Jewish community can hardly believe this is the same party that they proudly called their political home for more than a century.


How complicit in prejudice would a leader of Her Majesty’s opposition have to be in order to be considered unfit for high office? Would associations with those who have openly incited hatred against Jews be enough? Would describing as ‘friends’ those who endorse and even perpetrate the murder of Jews be enough? It seems not. What we do know from history is that what starts with the Jews, never ends with the Jews.


It is not my place to tell any person how they should vote. I simply pose the following question: What will the result of this election say about the moral compass of our country? I ask every person to vote with their conscience. Be in no doubt – the very soul of our nation is at stake.


And Labour’s response? If you watched the video above, you will have heard Corbyn refuse to apologise. And worse still, as Cohen notes:

Reassurance comes there none. In its place, Labour released its race and faith manifesto this morning. Buried in it was a commitment to ‘enhance the powers and functions of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, making it truly independent’.

It sounded a sweet aspiration until you remembered that Labour is the first party since the neo-Nazi British National Party to be the subject of a formal investigation into institutional racism by the commission. The commission’s lawyers have reportedly received thousands of documents, some from disgusted former Labour staffers detailing how complaints about the party were dismissed or ignored. We know the commission’s lawyers spent hours ‘forensically examining the depressingly mountainous evidence of anti-Semitism within the Labour party’ before deciding that there is ‘an arguable case that Jewish people are being unlawfully discriminated against by Her Majesty’s Official Opposition.’
And the response from Corbyn and his clique is to descend into conspiracy theory and question the commission’s independence.

There was no process in Labour to deal with anti-semitism before Corbyn was made leader, says Corbyn… Well, you know, needs must. Brendan O’Neill asks who sees Neil’s interview, looks at Corbyn’s record on Jews – that mural, the wreath, those ‘friends’, the lesson in ‘English irony’, the Jewish MP hounded out of the party – and still votes for him?

Why do so many decent people want to serve under him as an MP? Vote in Labour moderates to save the Party, say the likes of Tony Blair, a man who claims to be appalled by the racism rife in the party he once led. Egregious balderdash. Vote Labour and you get Corbyn, a man who heads a group lacking in the moral capacity to admit grievous error and move on.

Too often accusations of racism in his Labour are recast as ‘smears’, part of a conspiracy to do him and his down, say the fans. Who runs this conspiracy? Well, who runs all the conspiracies that lead to all your problems. You know who, that’s who. Nudge-nudge. Wink-wink.

But fear not, Jews, because Corbyn knows racism exists in other places and will make sure the synagogues, shops and streets where Jews meet are well defended. But if they breach the Jewish school’s gates, these enemies possessed by a hate Corbyn can neither fathom nor identity, Jews can flee to Israel perhaps – the country Corbyn targets as the epitome of all that’s wrong with the world.

First they protect us for our own good. Then they block our escape route. Not again. Never again.

A vote for Corbyn’s Labour is a vote for racism. Please don’t do it.


          

Centenarian Philip Kahn: From Harlem Hospital to Hiroshima to Home

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NEW YORK, NY – The world in which Philip Kahn and his twin brother Samuel- the sons of Jewish Polish immigrants- were born in New York’s Harlem Hospital on December 15, 1919 was in the first year of recovery from the most brutal war of then recorded human history. That war, World War 1 (also […]
          

Fruit of ‘US-backed colonization’: Israel to DOUBLE Jewish population in West Bank’s Hebron

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Preview Two weeks after the US announced that it did not consider illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories to be in breach of international law, Israel announced a plan to double the Jewish population of Hebron.
Read Full Article at RT.com
          

Smeared by ‘Israel lobby’? Dutch cartoonist scoffs after being branded ‘Nazi sympathizer’ over Netanyahu caricature

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Preview A Jewish group is up in arms over a Dutch cartoon that suggests Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to use claims of anti-Semitism against Jeremy Corbyn for his own political benefit. The cartoon’s artist has defended his work.
Read Full Article at RT.com
          

Verne W. Critz Celebrates the Festival of Lights

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The delicious smell of latkes wafted through the halls of Verne W. Critz School as students learned about and celebrated the traditions of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights. Students in Heather Nolan’s and Jessica Richards’ kindergarten classes read Naomi Howland’s “Latkes, Latkes, Good to Eat,” prior to pairing up to play a game of dreidel. They also sang the dreidel song and learned about the lighting of the candles on a menorah and the significance of the Jewish holiday, which was held this year from Dec. 2-10. The students also had the opportunity to taste latkes, some for the very first time. Ashley Sagistano’s third-graders also learned to play the dreidel game and taste latkes. They were asked to write down whether they preferred their potato pancakes with sour cream or apple sauce and then recorded their preferences on a graph. Retired Verne W. Critz special education teacher Jackie Kramer visited first-graders in Shelley Tooker’s class where she read Sylvia A. Rouss’ “Sammy Spider’s First Hanukkah.” She taught the students about the customs and traditions of this beloved holiday and made the students latkes from her favorite recipe.
          

Kick off December with a workout that would make Ruth Bader Ginsburg proud

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On Monday, Dec. 2, you can work out like Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with The November Project, which encourages people of all ages and fitness levels to join in group workouts. The 45-minute yoga session will take place at the National Museum of American Jewish History. After, attendees are invited to check out the museum's exhibition "Notorious RBG."
          

A Muslim girl is with in love by having A christian guy and really wants to marry him

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Praise be to Allah The Muslims are unanimously agreed whether he is Jewish, Christian or anything else, because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning) that it is not permissible for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim,: “And give not (your daughters) in wedding to Al-Mushrikoon though he pleases you till [...]

The post A Muslim girl is with in love by having A christian guy and really wants to marry him appeared first on WiniThemes.


          

Hamsters, lions, lemmings, donkeys

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Devastating news. An article - ‘The shocking history of Tory Party anti-Semitism’ -  on the Jewish Voice for Labour website mentions one Charles Challen MP. The relevant part reads ‘In October 1945, an antisemitic petition was drawn up by residents of Hampstead, with the help of the Conservative MP for Orpington, Waldron Smithers, requesting “that aliens of Hampstead should be repatriated to assure men and women of the Forces should have accommodation upon their retu [...]
          

Humility not welcome here

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An utterly over the top piece in the Times today by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis who proclaims (as usual unsupported by evidence) that ‘thousands’ of complaints about anti-Semitism haven’t been dealt with by Labour, and that the Jewish community is experiencing great anxiety about the possibility of a Labour government. All this on the day that Labour’s ‘Race and Faith’ manifesto is launched—so one assumes it is a deliberate attempt to undermine that event [...]
          

Miami Jewish federation sells affordable housing for $60.5M

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The Greater Miami Jewish Federation sold two affordable housing properties in Miami-Dade for a combined $60.5 million. Property records show the nonprofit sold the Federation Gardens building at 10911 Southwest 112th Avenue in Kendall to Federation Gardens Preservation L.P. for $36.5 million. It also sold the Federation Towers at 757 West Avenue in Miami Beach to the same buyer for $24 million. Records show the buyer is tied to the Affordable Housing Institute of Orlando ... [more]

The post Miami Jewish federation sells affordable housing for $60.5M appeared first on The Real Deal Miami.


          

3 Theories for What Revelation's 'Wormwood' Judgment Could Really Be

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Many Christians—and even churches—avoid studying the book of Revelation, often believing it to be too confusing, inapplicable or metaphorical. However, the individual who avoids this book unknowingly shortchanges themselves: Readers are told in the first few verses that those who read and truly hear this revelation will be blessed. Furthermore, believers are challenged in 1 Thessalonians 5 not to be found ignorant regarding these end-times events because we do not belong to the night or in darkness. Today, we will try to dissect one of the most mysterious judgments in Revelation: Wormwood.

In the final book of the Bible, the apostle John is well into a lengthy, colorful description of coming events. Elderly and exiled, John is an eyewitness as a series of seven seals on a vellum scroll are peeled back, one by one. Only the Lamb of God who was slain was deemed worthy to open these seals from what is obviously a very important document. Seal one through six have already been opened with dramatic and effective results. Revelation 8 starts by telling of a period of time—one half-hour—when heaven will be completely silent after the breaking of the seventh seal. Then, seven angels, appointed for this specific moment in time, prepare themselves to sound.

The third trumpet is accompanied by an ominous series of events in John's vision: "The third angel sounded, and a great star from heaven, burning like a torch, fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. The name of this star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter" (Rev. 8:10-11).

While not everyone asserts that prophecy will be dealt specifically via an incoming comet or asteroid, admittedly, a casual English reading of the entire chapter of Revelation 8 certainly lends itself to such an interpretation. That said, there are other options regarding the meaning of this Wormwood and what its arrival may portend in this prophetic "trumpet" discussion.

Often, in our corporate church imagination, the prevailing narrative regarding the blowing of the trumpet spawns visions of a spiritual entity (angel) perched peacefully on a cloud awaiting his cue. When the time has arrived, he blows the third trumpet and watches, disengaged, from his cushy seat in the heavens while a giant rock splashes into the earth's most important freshwater source.

But maybe, just maybe, there is an angel who is more involved than this cartoon version—and perhaps we're not looking at an impact/collision event at all.

It would be easy to keep our collective sights only on "natural space activity" (however erratic) and forget another theory about Wormwood that may, according to some scholars like Michael S. Heiser, be the most obvious conclusion regarding these poisonous waters. Could Wormwood be a fallen angel?

The notion that trumpet three, Wormwood, would be an entity—especially with how many spiritual and demonic beings these judgments are increasingly producing around this time—will probably appear in that day to both Christ's devoted ones and the Antichrist's followers as a real possibility.

In this article, we will explore possible alternate explanations for Wormwood in order to prepare you for the end-times reality that could begin at any moment. But first, I should explain how to approach serious interpretation of Revelation and its mysterious prophecies.

Biblical Literalism

When interpreting the Wormwood judgment, scholars arrive at many different conclusions—some easier to grasp than others. Some believe the "falling star" could actually mean a "falling angel," and others suggest that the "bitterness" (poisoning) of wormwood actually means "famine" and has nothing to do with water. We'll get to both of those theories in the next section. Nevertheless, both concepts demand that the question of literality in the interpretation of Revelation is at least visited briefly so readers can understand: 1) why the interpretations—even among scholars—vary so widely, and 2) why many of these theories are equally plausible.

There is a popular (and respectable) principle of biblical interpretation that many instructional books will teach as one of the first rules to follow when studying the Bible: "If a verse can be interpreted literally, it should be. The only occasion when a Scripture should not be taken literally is when doing so creates an absurdity."

For instance, 2 Timothy 4:13 contains a clear, non-allegorical order for Timothy to bring Paul's cloak and documents. To take 2 Timothy 4:13 as literal does not create an absurdity, because it's not illogical or unreasonable in any way to assume Paul wanted Timothy to swing by with some supplies next time he was headed Paul's way. However, John 3:3, taken to the fullest application of literality, means that a man must crawl through his mother's womb again (be "born again") before he can go to heaven. But as we know, even Nicodemus realized that a literal interpretation would create an absurdity, so he sought clarification, and Jesus further explained that this rebirth was "of ... the Spirit" (John 3:4-6), leading us today to understand that this was a metaphor.

Therefore, to follow one of the most fundamental principles of biblical interpretation, "wormwood" would be a poisoning of fresh waters (not "famine") and "Wormwood" would be a space-body mass object of some kind (not an "angel" or "fallen angel"). Assuming we're dealing with asteroids and a poisoning, we have been able to conclude a literal interpretation that "does not create an absurdity." This is perhaps why many scholars of the Word resist the allegorical or metaphorical approach to the book of Revelation any time we can see a logical, literal explanation for what's coming.

Yet the very first rule of biblical interpretation, which must be acknowledged before any and all others in any serious approach to Scripture, is this: "There can only be one, true meaning of the verse in question, and that is the meaning that the author of that book intended for his original readers. No interpretation that disagrees with the author of the book (and, by extension, the Holy Spirit who led such a composition) can ever be the right one."

The real issue lies in getting to the bottom of what that author meant, and not in deciding what we think makes the most sense to us today. That faulty approach is called eisegesis—"putting into Scripture what was never there"—which is the opposite of exegesis—"pulling out of Scripture what has been there from the beginning." It's also to commit the error of placing hermeneutics (what it means to us, today) ahead of exegesis (what it meant to them back then).

Yet this conundrum has never been bigger than when we get to Revelation, for the following reasons:

Unlike a didactic work or a historical narrative, John was documenting a future reality, not a past one, and the language of his vision often demands allowance for the same kind of prophetic imagery we have seen elsewhere in the Word, ripe with symbolism and metaphor, much like some of the messages given by the major prophets of the Old Testament.

Parts of Revelation can be interpreted literally without creating an absurdity, whereas other areas absolutely cannot.

As will be shown shortly, the original audience can and did recognize a language and imagery ("star" as "angel") from first-century authors that is lost from mainstream Bible studies today. This unfortunately tends to leave the interpretation of a difficult book like Revelation only to those supremely educated scholars whose field of specialty (like Heiser and Gregory K. Beale) lies in comprehending the full and complete culture at the time of the original author's penning. Since this is a minority, that means that an extreme minority of the church is sorting it all out, and the responsibility of comprehending "literal" versus "nonliteral" appears insurmountable for many.

Based on those points, we may be tempted to say all these trumpet judgments are symbols, and none of them are literal. If John intended to share his already overwhelming prophetic vision in language his contemporaries would understand—perhaps because what he saw was already so hard to put into words of any language—then we, too, should be willing to visit that possibility. It all boils down to context.

Rethinking Wormwood

Well-known among Bible scholars, but largely undiscussed in lay-Christianity, is the fact that the word "star" is frequently a personification of either a saint or angel in the Word, as well as classic and ancient extrabiblical Jewish writings or apocryphal accounts. One major, scriptural point of comparison scholars also make is the link between Michael as guardian angel in Daniel 12:1, and his relation to the intelligent and personified "stars" two verses later. This association was so well known by the New Testament writers that it felt like a natural extension of terms by the time John of Patmos wrote that "The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches" in Revelation 1:20b.

And elsewhere, in The New Bible Commentary, the close proximity of the other stars of the trumpet judgments as angelic messengers of death appears obvious enough to immediately consider Wormwood an angel as well: "Since the star that falls at the sounding of the fifth trumpet (9:1) is an angelic being, it is possible that Wormwood is also an angel."

But another question is now presented: If the "star" is really an "angel" and not an asteroid that might set off eruptive phenomena or some equivalent, then what, exactly, are the "bitter waters" that result in death?

When we trace "wormwood" back to its Hebrew root, la'anah, it represents extreme suffering and destruction—the opposite of righteousness and justice. That could mean just about anything in an eschatological trumpet judgment creating mass death. Beale postulates that Wormwood may not be referring to a literal poisoning of fresh waters, but a pouring out of bitter suffering, a curse, that results in death by famine.

Though Wormwood is described as "burning," fire isn't remotely limited to literality. Even on some occasions when fire has meant a literal flame, it has also indicated a personification or theophany (Ex. 3:2-6, 13:21, 19:18). Most pertinent to our study, however, are moments when "fire" represents a symbol of the wrath of God or a judgment:

God's wrath is fire. Psalm 89:46 says, "How long, O Lord? Will You hide Yourself forever? How long shall Your wrath burn like fire?" (See also Ezek. 21:31, 22:31, 38:19).

God's rebuke is fire. Isaiah 66:15 says, "For the Lord shall come with fire and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury and His rebuke with flames of fire."

God's fury is fire. Lamentations 2:4 says, "He has bent His bow like an enemy, with his right hand set like an adversary; He has killed all who were pleasant to His eye; in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion, He has poured out His fury like fire."

God's jealousy is fire. Zephaniah 3:8 says, "Therefore wait for Me, declares the Lord, until the day when I rise up to seize the plunder; for My decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour on them My indignation, all My fierce anger; for all the earth will be devoured with the fire of My jealousy."

There are more examples, but you get the idea. Fire is used throughout the Word to represent a judgment of God upon the earth. With this in mind, one of the most powerful arguments for "fire" as a judgment of God in the form of famine is Ezekiel 5.

The prophecy regarding the "thirds" begins with friction between Israel and the Babylonian armies, during the symbolic act of cutting Ezekiel's hair:

"As for you, son of man, take a sharp sword. Take and cause it to pass upon your head and upon your beard as a barber's razor. Then take balances to weigh and divide the hair. You shall burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city when the days of the siege are fulfilled. Then you shall take a third part and strike it with the sword all around the city. And a third part you shall scatter in the wind. And I will draw out a sword after them. You shall also take a few in number from them and bind them in the edges of your robes. Then take some of them again and cast them into the midst of the fire and burn them in the fire. For a fire shall come out into all the house of Israel" (Ezek. 5:1-4).

It seems pretty clear by this point that fire is judgment, but obviously not a literal flame that engulfs and kills "all" the house of Israel. Looking a little way down the road in the same narrative, we read what this "fire" actually refers to:

"I will do in you what I have not done, and the like of which I will not do anymore, because of all your abominations. Therefore the fathers shall eat their sons in your midst, and the sons shall eat their fathers. ... A third part of you shall die by pestilence or by famine; they shall be consumed in your midst. ... When I send upon them the deadly arrows of famine which shall be for their destruction and which I will send to destroy you, then I will also increase the famine upon you and break your staff of bread. So I will send upon you famine and wild beasts, and they shall bereave you of children. And pestilence and bloodshed shall pass through you. And I will bring the sword upon you. I the Lord have spoken it" (Ezek. 5:9-17).

This passage is a clear and present indicator that "fire" as a judgment can mean "famine." (For a fuller explanation of this topic—and how the first two trumpets fit this pattern as well—read The Wormwood Prophecy.)

Battle of the Ages

Scripture makes no small point about it: The third trumpet will be devastating and terrifying. It may be delivered via a meteor collision. It could come as a sweeping famine. A nuclear event is not entirely out of the question. Perhaps an asteroid will strike a nuclear power plant, and the ensuing desolation will launch a dearth unlike any the world has yet seen.

Or perhaps the event will have a different, darker undertone.

Maybe the third trumpet—or all the trumpets—will be a byproduct of spiritual warfare taking place in heavenly realms, between which our planet—along with many other unsuspecting cosmic bodies—will become caught in the crossfire.

Some may think that this possibility is surely an exaggeration, but consider this: we often make the assumption that since angels can appear in a fleshly, human form (Heb. 13:2), and since Jesus walked the earth as a man, in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16), that entities within the spiritual realm are of similar size and capability as human beings. But nothing could be further from the truth. We know from Scripture that God's strength is unending (Job 9:4), His knowledge is infinite (Ps. 147:5) and all victory is His (Col. 2:15).

Furthermore, Revelation 10:1-3 gives us insight as to what one particular angel appearing during this time will look like: "Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud and a rainbow on his head. His face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. He had a little scroll open in his hand. He set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and cried out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he cried out, seven thunders sounded their voices."

This one holy entity is so large that the Bible tells us he literally stands over the land and sea. His voice—as a roar of a lion—is enough to call forth the response of seven thunders. Thus, this being has the strength to provoke natural elements upon the earth.

Revelation is filled with accountings of holy angels interacting with natural elements in the earthly realm out of obedience to God, but what of the fallen ones? What about those entities who were once similar to the angels of heaven, but rebelled alongside Lucifer so long ago? Will these agents of evil attempt to manipulate created fixtures as well?

We know in that day, Satan will be rallying his forces to wreak havoc upon the earth because he is aware that his time is short (Rev. 12:12). It stands to reason that during these last days, the battle between good and evil, which has raged on since the beginning of the world, would culminate into a climax: the battle of the ages.

To some, this may seem far-fetched, especially since some people interpret the trumpets to represent more subtle means of judgement, such as famine or pestilence. To jump to the conclusion that these instruments of judgment could really mean that bodies within the universe are being knocked around like ping-pong balls seems to some individuals to be quite a jump.

But the next trumpets clearly illustrate that cosmic disturbance will be completely unlike anything our solar system has experienced: "The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day had no light, and likewise a third of the night" (Rev. 8:12).

This upheaval will permanently change things on earth. There is no reparation that can be made for the type of damage that will occur for our planet and its surrounding orbital bodies during this catastrophic event.

When the trumpets begin to sound, a dark day has indeed arrived for planet Earth and all those who inhabit it. Death, disease, warfare, pain, torment and dread will run rampant across all who dwell therein on that terrifying day. The only hope for mankind in that moment will be found in whether or not they are one of God's own. For those who reject Him, the nightmare will be just beginning.

But for God's children, Revelation 21:4 tells us a beautiful and joyous reunion with their Maker awaits them: "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. There shall be no more death. Neither shall there be any more sorrow nor crying nor pain, for the former things have passed away."


Thomas Horn is the CEO of SkyWatchTV and the founder of Defender Films and Defender Publishing.

CHARISMA is the only magazine dedicated to reporting on what the Holy Spirit is doing in the lives of believers around the world. If you are thirsty for more of God's presence and His Holy Spirit, subscribe to CHARISMA and join a family of believers who choose to live life in the Spirit. CLICK HERE for a special offer.


          

Mike Bickle: Today's Christians Need to Become More Like This Godly Woman

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The Christmas story is a remarkable testimony of how the Father used a young lady to partner with Him in bringing His Son to the earth. It is a glorious story that reveals how He leads His people and how He wants them to respond to His leadership.

When the angel Gabriel told Mary she would conceive and bear the Messiah, Mary responded by trusting the Lord's leadership. God is looking for this kind of heart response in His people.

As we look at the Christmas story, we should not merely admire the nobility of Mary's choices. In fact, Mary's life is a model that can inspire us to respond rightly to God's leadership throughout our lives, especially in seasons when circumstances become difficult.

Good News

Gabriel visited Mary, saying, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" (Luke 1:28b, NKJV).

Can you imagine Gabriel appearing to you and declaring such wonderful things about your life? You would expect that being favored by God would mean you would have a life of remarkable blessed circumstances. However, the glorious promises of God that Mary received would unfold slowly through many surprising, difficult seasons. Mary would need to hold on to and remember Gabriel's encouraging words throughout her life as she carried the promises of God in her heart.

After greeting Mary, Gabriel told her she would conceive by the Holy Spirit and bear a Son, Jesus. He revealed to Mary that her Son would be great and would be called the Son of the Highest. Her Son, Jesus, would be given the throne of David and would reign forever. Gabriel was summarizing what Isaiah had prophesied hundreds of years earlier: "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6).

Mary knew these prophetic Scriptures well, and now Gabriel told her she would bear the Messiah of whom they foretold. But instead of shrinking back in fear or unbelief, Mary responded to these glorious promises with a willing heart for God to do to her as He had said. She believed Him.

Gabriel's initial charge for Mary to rejoice was a practical, pastoral exhortation she would engage in for the rest of her life as she carried these promises in her heart. It was not a one-time call of exuberance to explode with joy at the possibility of what was happening. Through the troubles and misunderstandings Mary would experience, she would continually need to lay hold of the command to rejoice and trust the Lord's good leadership in her life. Choosing to rejoice in God's promises despite hardship would realign Mary's heart repeatedly in the years ahead, strengthening her to persevere and to continue to grow in faith.

Favor and Adversity

What does a life look like under the favor of God? It is easy to miss some of the unexpected hardships Mary endured for decades to come. As spoken by the angel Gabriel, Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit. God was with her, but she initially experienced tremendous amounts of shame. After being visited by Gabriel, Mary traveled 100 miles south to Judah and spent over three months with Elizabeth. When Mary returned home to Nazareth, she was visibly pregnant. This was a serious issue because she had already been engaged to Joseph.

In the ancient world, a broken engagement would require a legal divorce. If she had been with another man, Mary would have been guilty by law to be stoned. Her story was that God made her pregnant. Mary would have seemed like a bold-faced liar or so delusional that it would have been another problem. Her fiance, Joseph, was deeply troubled, and rumors were spreading throughout her community. Over 30 years later, these same rumors of Mary's fornication were still being passed around in Jerusalem (John 8:41).

Before God stepped in and told him Mary was telling the truth, Joseph was planning to break off his relationship with her. The Lord was dramatically using Mary, but she experienced intense shame and misunderstanding from those she loved most. Through it all, Mary's heart was growing in love, faith and humility.

The way we grow in mature love, faith and humility is by choosing to trust God again and again in the face of unexpected hardships and the unexpected delay of some of His promises to us. When we are perplexed and want to operate in the flesh, but instead choose to stop and say, "God, I trust Your leadership," we are realigning our hearts with His heart and promises. In believing God's promises and responding with faith and gratitude despite difficulties, we are rejoicing as Mary did. Through this process of realigning our heart even thousands of times, we slowly grow in love, faith and humility. Mary did this repeatedly throughout her life, and, as she did, she matured in her love for the Lord and in her confidence in His good leadership.

Toward the end of Mary's pregnancy, she had to make the long, intense journey to Bethlehem with Joseph for the census. After they arrived, she was ready to give birth, but there was no room for them in the inn. She went through the agony of labor in a dirty stable and then had only a manger in which to lay her beloved newborn Son. I would have thought that since the angel Gabriel told Mary God's favor was upon her and she would bear a Son who would reign forever, the circumstances around His birth would have been a bit easier. Mary had received these great promises and endured the months of intense shame, but now she did not even have a proper place to deliver and care for her Son.

Despite the difficulties and human dynamics Mary experienced, a series of supernatural events surrounded Jesus' birth. Shortly after Jesus was born, some excited shepherds showed up, looking for a baby in a manger. An angel had told them Christ the Savior had been born and was lying in a manger. The shepherds tell Mary they saw a host of angels praising God over her Son's birth. Later on, when Mary and Joseph went to dedicate Jesus in Jerusalem, two prophetic witnesses, Simeon and Anna, testified of Jesus' glorious identity. Afterward, wise men from the East brought gifts and came to worship Jesus.

After all Mary had endured since Gabriel's visit, these things confirmed the promises over Jesus' life and encouraged Mary that God was really with her. After all these glorious confirmations of the Lord's promises, I would have expected things to be a bit easier for Mary in the coming years. But although God was moving powerfully in Mary's life, the difficulties, delays and opportunities for discouragement were not over.

Not long after the Magi left, an angel visited Joseph in a dream, warning him to flee with his family to Egypt because Herod wanted to kill Jesus. Imagine this. Young Mary had borne the stigma and shame of her pregnancy among her friends and relatives; now she had to temporarily flee with her family to a foreign land because the government sought to destroy her little boy. Is this what a blessed and favored life looks like? There are sometimes very unexpected challenges in the midst of fully receiving and walking out the Lord's good promises.

Things became even more difficult for Mary down the road. Joseph was still there when Jesus was 12, but Mary was widowed sometime after that. Matthew 13:55-56 says Jesus had four brothers and several sisters. What does a widowed woman do with seven or eight children in their teens and younger? In addition to experiencing the pain and trauma of losing her husband, Mary would have faced incredible pressure as a widow with so many children.

When Jesus was 30, He took six weeks off from the carpenter's shop to fast and pray in the wilderness. He returned home anointed by the Holy Spirit, and then the whole town He loved and grew up in turned against Him. He was a most reliable young man and had a phenomenal reputation; however, the elders of the synagogue were enraged by His claim to be the one of whom Isaiah prophesied. They were so angry they tried to drive Him off a cliff and kill Him (Luke 4:29).

Mary saw how her Son was so badly mistreated by the leaders of the town He grew up in, and she would have needed to realign her heart again and again in faith with the promises of God throughout His ministry. The angel Gabriel had initially told Mary that Jesus would be great (Luke 1:32). She must have struggled, wondering why the elders of His hometown were so against Him.

After Jesus began His ministry, His brothers did not believe Him (John 7:5). In essence, Mary's own children—whom she raised to honor the God of Israel—did not "believe in Jesus" even as young adults. Mary must have struggled with the spiritual condition of her sons at the time of Jesus' ministry. Some of her closest friends and family members considered Him to be mentally unstable because of the things He said and did (Mark 3:21). The top religious leaders in the nation concluded Jesus was demonized and was thus a dangerous cult leader who was deceiving the people (John 7:47, 8:48). Rumors of Jesus' mother's fornication were passed around in their attempt to discredit Him and His ministry (John 8:41).

In other words, Jesus' life and ministry did not appear to be "great" as Gabriel promised. By many standards, it seemed to be just the opposite. Again and again, Mary had to believe the promises of God and trust His good leadership.

A few years later, Mary watched her Son be rejected by the nation and die on a cross. The religious leaders plotted against Jesus, and the Jewish crowds cried out for Barabbas. Jesus' three and a half years of ministry appeared to have little fruit. He had healed many thousands, but only 120 people believed in Him enough to make it to the prayer meeting in the upper room after His Resurrection (Acts 1:15). Mary endured unexpected pain and misunderstanding as she partnered with God and trusted His leadership in her life. Now her Son's earthly ministry came to an end, and He was rejected by the nation rather than exalted as King. The promises were long in coming, and it seemed impossible for them to be fulfilled. However, Mary had trusted God from the beginning, and she persevered in trust by the grace of God even here.

Mary only saw a partial fulfillment of the promises during her lifetime. She conceived by the Holy Spirit and brought forth the Son of God into the world according to the word of the Lord given through Gabriel. However, Gabriel also told Mary that her Son would be great and reign forever. While Jesus was on the earth, He was despised by many and rejected by His brothers, His hometown and the top political and spiritual leaders of His nation. He suffered and died to bring salvation to sinners before He was raised in glory.

The complete fulfillment of the promises over His life will not be until the age to come. A day is coming when He will be seen by all as great in love, power and mercy. Mary would have seen a glimpse of this during the revivals of the early church, but the fullness is yet future.

The Heart of Mary

Mary's life is a picture of the right heart-response to the leadership of God. When she did not fully understand, she trusted God's leadership over and over again. When it seemed to cost her everything, Mary still said, "May it be unto me according to Your word" (Luke 1:38b, MEV).

Mary's trust in God and her willingness to be used by Him and "to rejoice" in Him were not a one-time response. It was her way of life. She signed up time and time again through the difficulties. She trusted God and repeatedly realigned her heart with God's word.

Rather than give up when things got hard, Mary persevered with joy by the grace of God.

Too often, we lose faith that God will fulfill His promises because we are not seeing immediate results to our prayers. Or we may conclude that our weak prayers are ineffectual. But the truth is that we offer our prayers in human weakness, but they ascend to God in power because of the sufficiency of the blood of Jesus and because they are in agreement with God's heart.

How do we demonstrate the faith of Mary even when our prayers feel weak or ineffective? Instead of measuring the effectiveness of our prayers by the results we see or the emotions we feel during a particular prayer time, we must measure it by what God says in His Word. Jesus declared in the Word that everyone who asks and keeps on asking will receive, and everyone who seeks and keeps on seeking will find (Matt. 7:7-8).

Our prayers—all of them—are heard, even if we do not feel anything when we offer them. Do not measure your prayers by how you feel when you pray them but by the extent to which they are in agreement with God's will and Word. Beloved, our weak prayer times may not move us, but they move the heart of God.

The apostle John emphasized that we can have confidence that our prayers are heard regardless of how we feel while we are praying. In 1 John 5:14, he wrote, "This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us."

God assesses the activity in our lives very differently than the way we assess it with our natural minds. The fullness of the glory of our lives in Christ is hidden from our own eyes as well as from the eyes of others in this age. Yet both the glory of God and the promises made to Mary will become evident to all when Jesus appears at His Second Coming.

Colossians 3:3-4 says, "For you are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life shall appear, then you also shall appear with Him in glory."

The challenge is that often we do not see the glory of God in our lives. Because it is indiscernible and hidden from our emotions and our five senses, we cannot measure it. We look at our lives as small, weak and boring, and yet Jesus sees them through the lens of the riches of glory. He sees what we don't see, and that includes our prayers.

Our many small acts of obedience, including our prayers, are glorious in God's eyes. By understanding the value of our weak prayers, we are empowered to see them as relevant and powerful. Though they may seem weak according to the flesh, every prayer in God's will matters to God.

The way God led and used Mary reflects His perfect leadership. The fulfillment of God's promises is often delayed and released in stages in a context of difficulty, in order to cause us to cling to Him in a way that helps us grow in love, faith and humility.

Being used by God to change history is not the same as being mature in love. God called Mary and then brought her on a journey to grow in greater love. God unfolds His purposes in a hostile world and uses the adversity to bring forth His people in mature love, humility and partnership.

God desires to partner with those who will trust Him through everything and continually say yes to Him without quitting. Like Mary, we need to realign our hearts in agreement with the promises of God and trust His leadership even in difficulties. God's promises are still real when delay and adversity come; the Lord uses these things for our good (Rom. 8:28).

When we choose to rejoice, hold on to the promises and trust God through the challenges, He releases grace and empowers us to persevere with joy and grow in love. If we do our part and respond to Him with a willing heart, God will do His part and impart abundant grace.

READ MORE: For more stories about Christmas, visit christmas.charismamag.com.


Mike Bickle is the director of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri, and author of several books.

CHARISMA is the only magazine dedicated to reporting on what the Holy Spirit is doing in the lives of believers around the world. If you are thirsty for more of God's presence and His Holy Spirit, subscribe to CHARISMA and join a family of believers who choose to live life in the Spirit. CLICK HERE for a special offer.


          

If You Feel Dry Spiritually, You May Need the Holy Spirit's New Wine

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My mornings begin basically the same way each day. I wake up, usually assisted by my wife's influence, and then before I do anything else, I start to read from the Bible.

I do this because it allows me to read and receive before my mind gets distracted by all of the opportunities that will present themselves to me once I arise and leave my bedroom.

I do not usually follow a set Bible reading guide. I like to open my Bible and let the Spirit of G-D direct my time in the Word. Many times, I begin reading a text based upon something that impacted my heart the day before or something I heard someone say that stuck in my mind.

One such occasion took place after a friend did an excellent teaching on the miracles of Yeshua (Jesus). In his teaching, he brought out some insights that I had never noticed before. These insights caused me to follow a path through the text that brought me to a hidden lesson that I had missed while reading previously.

The passage is from John 2 and is very familiar to many because it tells us of the very first miracle that Yeshua performed.

"Now there were six stone jars, used for the Jewish ritual of purification, each holding two to three measures. Yeshua said to them, 'Fill the jars with water!' So they filled them up to the top. Then He said to them, 'Take some water out, and give it to the headwaiter.' And they brought it. Now the head waiter did not know where it had come from, but the servants who had drawn the water knew. As the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, he calls the bridegroom and says to him, 'Everyone brings out the good wine first, and whenever they are drunk, then the worse. But you've reserved the good wine until now!'" (John 2:6-10, TLV).

In the past when I viewed these verses, I focused on the miracle of the water being turned into wine, which I have to say was a pretty great way to begin a miracle ministry. But, when I read these verses again, for some reason the words "Jewish ritual of purification" stood out and jumped off the page. Why had I never noticed those words before?

My mind went to 2 Timothy 3:16-17: "All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for restoration, and for training in righteousness, so that the person belonging to God may be capable, fully equipped for every good deed."

We all know that every word of Scripture was written purposely and that each word was designed to teach us something that will equip us to be capable for every good deed. So, I began to dissect the text to see if there was something in there that I had missed that might help me in my understanding and walk with the Lord.

I started with the stone jars, which made me think about 2 Timothy 2:20-21: "Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay—some for honor and some for common use. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these, he will be a vessel for honor—sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work."

In the narrative of John 2:7, we find that Miriam, Yeshua's mother, saw that they had run out of wine at the wedding feast and she asked Yeshua to do something about it.

Yeshua's response was to tell them, "Fill the jars with water!" So they filled them up to the top."

Yeshua saw the empty jars and knew the answer was to fill the jars up to their tops with pure water. The result of refilling these stone jars was that a miracle took place. These jars that had become empty and common had been turned back into vessels of honor filled with new wine. The best wine.

These renewed stone jars were not simply restored so that they once again could be used to bring purification to those whom their water came in contact with. They had miraculously become more than what they once were.

My eyes were opened to a new way to view these verses. I saw that these stone jars represented men and women. Mankind was created in the Garden of Eden, pure and holy. We were all created to be vessels of honor.

But due to sin, we became vessels of common use. Why? Because we were emptied of the water of life, that which made us pure. But like these empty stone jars, Yeshua came to renew us to be vessels of honor.

He took our empty jars and filled us with living water so that as John 7:38 tells us, "Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture says, 'out of his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'"

But Yeshua didn't stop with just making us what we once were. He went further to make us better than we once were. He didn't just fill us with water; He turned our water into wine, the new wine of the Holy Spirit. {eoa}

Eric Tokajer is author of With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, #ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer, Jesus Is to Christianity as Pasta Is to Italians and Galatians in Context.


          

Why We Can't Ignore the Holy Spirit-Given Mandate to Share the Gospel With Jews

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Susan Perlman knows that sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ can be difficult in a culture that is growing increasingly hostile to the gospel and to the things of God.

But as one of the co-founders of Jews for Jesus, Perlman has, for 46 years, experienced the added test of trying to convince the worldwide Jewish population that Jesus is the true Savior of the world. Another group and their fearless leader were tasked with the same daunting challenge nearly two millennia ago.

"It's important for me to share the gospel with Jewish people because Jesus and His disciples did it," Perlman told Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of "Greenelines" on the Charisma Podcast Network. "You think of His message in John 8:24, when He explained, 'Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.' Then again in John 14:6, He says, 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no one comes to the Father but through Me.'

"With both of these statements, when He made these unique claims about Himself, He was speaking to other Jews. Remember when Peter, because of his evangelistic activity, found himself standing before the 771 religious leaders of the Jewish people at the time? He declared there is no other name besides Jesus, or Yeshua, by which men can be saved.

"So, if Jesus and Peter and all the other disciples thought it was important to share the gospel with Jewish people, why should I think any less? It's an important opportunity. First of all, if you know a person that has a Jewish background, then try to engage them in a conversation about Israel and what they think about Israel. Eventually, steer it into a spiritual conversation, and then you can talk to them about the Bible and Jesus. Leave it to them to share what they want to share."

In 2015, The Atlantic magazine reported there were 350,000 Messianic Jews worldwide. Jews for Jesus reported that as of 2017, 20,000 Messianic Jews were living in Israel.

For more about the work of Perlman and Jews for Jesus, please listen to this podcast.


          

Israeli minister announces plan to build new Jewish settlement in Hebron

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Israel’s defence minister announced plans to build a new Jewish-only settlement in the heart of a flashpoint West Bank city on Sunday, weeks after the United States said it no longer considered such communities illegal.
          

What Happened in the Halle Synagogue Attack?, by Esther Dischereit

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Current Events
Esther Dischereit
Numerous uniformly cube shaped objects serving as memorials in a field bathed in the colors of sunset
Photo by mini_malist / Flickr

After every right-wing act of violence we hear once more that it was a “lone wolf” attack. Esther Dischereit argues that this is an implausible cover-up of attitudes sympathetic to Nazism.

On October 9, 2019, an assassin in Halle, Germany, shot two people and killed them, and he also shot several others, wounding them. He wanted to kill those who had come together in the synagogue on Yom Kippur, the highest Jewish Holy Day, and he put an incendiary device in the Jewish cemetery nearby. He didn’t succeed. When he realized he had failed to kill Jews, he killed Kevin S., who was in a snack bar for döner, a Turkish fast food. For the perpetrator, Kevin S. was, as it were, someone who associated with Turks, migrants, presumably also Muslims. He was shot for and instead of someone else. Jana L., a non-Jewish resident of Halle whom the perpetrator shot when he meant to kill the people inside the synagogue, also certainly died instead of Jewish people.

Katrina Turner, a representative of the African-American community in Charlottesville, broke out in tears when in 2017—after the Ku Klux Klan invaded her city—she recounted her memories of Heather Heyer, a counterdemonstrator who was killed, and of the many more were injured. Turner repeated this sentence twice: “. . . that a white woman died for us.” As the Ku Klux Klan supporters marched into town, they chanted this slogan: “The Jew will not replace us.” In this context, the figure of the “Jew” signifies that white domination of the world is under threat. In this sense, being Jewish is elevated to being simply “the other” and becomes a shorthand for all efforts and aspirations that could disturb the image of a healthy, pure “Aryan” people.

In such milieus the “Jew” also represents left-wing political positions and queer, feminist, and diverse worldviews, including ways of being human that supposedly bring decay, including taking in refugees and wanting to live as peaceful neighbors to Muslims. Each of these concepts is well known. Historically, this has not stopped these people from seeing Jews as a “red danger” while at the same time denouncing them as “capitalist bloodsuckers.”

 

“Happy about Every Synagogue”

The attack in Halle is different from what happened in Pittsburgh, Christchurch, and France not because of the ideological fanaticism, not because of the cold-bloodedness, but because the attack took place in a country where the “Final Solution” happened under Nazi rule. The image of people trapped in a synagogue is superimposed upon the image of people driven into a synagogue. The exits were blocked, and German Einsatzkommandos set the synagogue on fire. After millions of Jewish people had been killed or driven out, every political establishment after 1945 at first had to tolerate the few who remained and later on court them from time to time. After the October attack, Germany’s federal chancellor, Angela Merkel, declared that “we are happy about every synagogue, every Jewish community, and all Jewish life in our country.”

Up to now the Islamic community, with its roughly 4.5 million members in Germany, has not experienced such a public validation. Such attentiveness to mosques that have been set on fire or headscarves that have been spat on is still waiting to appear on the political stage. A few days ago at the event celebrating the ten-year existence of the only existing Jewish scholarship, the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Scholarship Fund (ELES), it was Hakan Tosuner, director of Avicenna, the Islamic Scholarship Foundation established five years ago, who said: “Precisely in light of yesterday’s tragic incident, Jewish-Muslim solidarity is more important than ever. . . . Whether synagogues or mosques are attacked, we must be united in solidarity.”

Perhaps it is inappropriate to express these thoughts publicly at this time. But it remains a fact that this threat has not just become evident now for the first time and that other citizens are also affected. The Roma and the Sinti peoples are continually exposed to an endless stream of threats that has made it necessary for this minority, too, to erect a special protective wall at the entrance to their center in Baden-Württemberg. Four days after Halle, Daniel Strauß, chairman of their association, received this threat of an attack on his cell phone: “After Halle, your cultural center is up next.” In Germany, Austria, and the Balkans, this minority was also a victim of Nazi racial fanaticism.

“Try to speak: I am glad you exist, that you exist here, among us.” It may strike one that perhaps this sentence sounds untruthful. It hardly seems right, and I must confess that I personally don’t demand such a statement. Absolutely no one has to be happy or not happy that I exist. I am here, all the same, whether someone else is happy about that or not. Is it the responsibility of government representatives to welcome me as a ward? Is this attitude legitimate simply because someone is a member of the majority?

 

“A Foreign Race”

It is basically a question of reversing an attitude of being unhappy about someone and wanting to send her or him “back home.” Donald Trump exemplifies this when he denies that the Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are “real Americans.” The AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) politician Alexander Gauland recommended that the former German minister for integration Aydan Özoğuz should be “disposed of like waste material.” With reference to the same person, a party member said that she should care about “over there, where she belonged.” The opponent is said to be base, branded as “another race,” stigmatized as “the other” and foreign.

This use of the language by the legal political arm of the right-wing terrorist milieu continues in the struggle over public space, the struggle for the political opinion of others. Antifascist projects and initiatives on the left, booksellers, and others are overrun with incendiary devices and death threats. But it was only in June 2019 after the Christian Democratic Union district president of the city of Kassel, Walter Lübke, was murdered by the neo-Nazi Stephan Ernst that an outcry broke out in the political establishment.

Lübke fulfilled his obligation to take care of people who entered the country seeking protection as they fled dictatorship and civil war. He clearly injured the feelings of the right-wing extremists when he said that whoever did not agree with such values was at liberty to leave Germany. This murder followed a series of murders by the National Socialist Underground (NSU). Preceding this one, nine people, all of them migrants, were killed as well as a female German police officer, and a bomb attack injured more than twenty people in Cologne. The existence of the NSU was discovered in 2011. In the trial in Munich, which ended in 2018, Beate Zschäpe was sentenced to life in prison. In the eyes of those who were family members of the victims, the sentence exonerated the other accomplices who were accused. It was evident that the court had wanted to limit the group of culprits to a core of three and to the most immediate environment. Additional investigations were not done (e.g., in connection with a list of the right-wing extremists’ targets that was discovered). Two hundred and thirty-three goals referring to Jewish life were identified on this list. A greater number of targets referred to migrant communities, and others specified politicians and parties.

 

Ideological Incendiary Devices

Crimes motivated by anti-Semitism have taken place since 1980, with the murder of the rabbi and publisher Shlomo Lewin and his partner, Frida Poeschke, since the arson attack on the synagogue in Erfurt, those injured in Düsseldorf-Wehrhahn and in other places: 1980, 1992, 2000, 2003. . . . Nevertheless, after every right-wing terrorist act of violence we hear, repeated like a mantra, that this was an attack by a single individual. At first the danger from these networks assembled by neo-Nazis ready to do violence was perceived little by little. In August, the German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation counted those who posed a threat to public safety at forty-one, although the number of right-wing extremists ready to engage in violence has been identified as over twelve thousand. Their sympathizers are said to be as many as twice that. More than five hundred arrest warrants for neo-Nazis have not been served. Where were they sought?

After every right-wing terrorist act of violence we hear, repeated like a mantra, that this was an attack by a single individual.

It is about time that independent commissions investigate the security forces that not only refrain from proceeding against right-wing extremism but may themselves be involved. Many incidents involving police in Hesse, Thuringia, and in the army suggest this possibility.

The criminals of the National Socialist regime were largely left unpunished. This culture of immunity from punishment has continued and spread with regard to right-wing extremism in our democratic system. This is the real problem. The antifascist initiatives and archives have an extensive amount of research material at their disposal. It is thanks to them that not everything can be swept under the rug.

This culture of immunity from punishment has continued and spread with regard to right-wing extremism in our democratic system.

As the political arm of the culprits, the AfD denies that it had anything to do with these crimes. But they are the ones who for a long time have been planting ideological fire accelerants. Remarks against Jews are heard again and again from members of the FPÖ (Freedom Party of Austria); denial that an ideological system is at work here follows close on the heels of such statements. These are implausible cover-ups of an attitude sympathetic to Nazism.

Initiatives like “Indivisible” or “We are the many” make clear that they oppose the ethnically tinged “You are the stranger” with a “we.” In August of this year thirty-five thousand people demonstrated in Dresden in favor of this stance; thousands are once more in the streets. Citizens can demand that the right-wing extremists who commit arson, their spiritual mentors, and networks be investigated. Flirtation with such a body of thought is not only tasteless but, given the brutality of the milieu, it is the beginning of the end.

Translation from the German


          

New US Law To Give Holocaust Survivors Billions In Insurance Reparations With No Proof Required

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Legislation with bipartisan support that would restore the rights of Holocaust-era insurance beneficiaries to recover billions in unclaimed payments left behind after World War II has been introduced in the U.S. Congress by jewish Representative, Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Due to federal court rulings and a failure by insurance companies to adequately publish the names of […]

          

Assimilation

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by Jennifer A. Minotti (Cambridge, MA) Looking back, my Ethiopian orphaned daughter acclimated fairly quickly to our life in Vermont, set amid colorful foliage and our blue-blooded friends. Surely, once she got situated, she started to protest her differences, but that … Continue reading
          

A Sabbath Prayer

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by Hadassah Brenner (Raanana, Israel) It’s the Sabbath Eve And the shuk is filled with wonderful smells- Knafeh and fresh Challah bread Chai tea, dried ginger, zahtar spice. The cheapest deals you’ll find Just before the stands close for the weekend. I … Continue reading
          

Social Worker - Louis Brier Home and Hospital - Vancouver, BC

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As innovative leaders in eldercare, our vision is to enrich the quality of life of Jewish seniors in everything we do. $66,807 - $83,324 a year
From Indeed - Tue, 22 Oct 2019 19:55:11 GMT - View all Vancouver, BC jobs
          

Ofra Halperin, Orly Sarid, Julie Cwikel (2015) The influence of childbirth experiences on women׳s postpartum traumatic stress symptoms: A comparison between Israeli Jewish and Arab women. Midwifery, Volume 31, Issue 6, Pages 625–632

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Um parto não vaginal (instrumental ou cesariana) e uma memória negativa da experiência do parto são fatores importantes no desenvolvimento de sintomas de TEPT após o nascimento, e mulheres com sintomas de TEPT são menos propensas a desenvolver TEPT. amamentação.
          

DP Mihai Malaimare Jr. on Capturing the Dark Comedy of Jojo Rabbit in Living Color

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Jojo Rabbit is director Taika Waititi’s satirical send-up and equally sober analysis of Nazi fanaticism told through the whimsical musings of an aspiring Hitler Youth. With Waititi in the scene-stealing role of Adolf, 10-year-old protagonist Jojo Beltzer’s imaginary friend, the film is loosely based on the young adult novel Caging Skies, about a Jewish girl […]

The post DP Mihai Malaimare Jr. on Capturing the Dark Comedy of Jojo Rabbit in Living Color appeared first on Studio Daily.


          

Saturday Stories: Sacha Baron Cohen, Hiding Judaism, And Tianna Bartoletta

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Matt Wilstein, in The Daily Beast, on comedian Sascha Baron Cohen's must see/read (really, watch it, the video's in the link) award acceptance speech where he explains why he thinks Facebook is the greatest propaganda machine in history (and he isn't complementing them).

From the Forward Staff, in The Forward, with 27 Jews very briefly sharing their fears of being Jewish - fears I can honestly say I have at times felt myself. It's a short read. And it's heartbreaking to me.

Tianna Bee, on her own blog, on Mary Cain, Nike, abuse, abusers, and elite sport. Do read this. It's great.

By Agência Brasil Fotografias - Provas de Atletismo nas Olimpíadas Rio 2016, CC BY 2.0, Link
          

Jewish Dating

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Jewish Dating Reviews regarding the Top 10 sites that are dating Jewish Singles Meet Hot United states The frantic speed of life

The post Jewish Dating appeared first on Mocuza.


          

Bennett Approves New Jewish Neighborhood in Hebron’s Wholesale Market

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The wholesale market in Hebron was owned by the Jewish residents of the city until the August 24, 1929 massacre.
          

In Ramallah Speech Israeli Academic Accuses Israel of Robbery, Violence, Oppression

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Raanan, who last January was called by a French news website "the new Jewish Zuabi," teaches in Sapir College in Sderot.
          

Can Luciana Berger win in UK’s most Jewish constituency?

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Finchley used to be a Labour-Tory marginal but Brexit and anti-Semitism have reshaped the contest
          

When a Jew-Bashing Christian Leader Makes Jesus Look Bad

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Blaming Jewish People Israel Anti-semitism Flag - 900
On November 26, an Orthodox Jewish news outlet ran this attention-grabbing headline: "WATCH THIS SHOCKING HATE: Christian TV Host Rick Wiles Calls Impeachment A 'JEW-COUP.'" Tragically, once again, in the eyes of religious Jews, the word "Christian" is associated with...
          

Comment on Podcast interview: writing characters with physical disabilities [audio] by DavidG

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Yes, lots of individual interviews. People with various disabilities, people with different orientations, people with different ethnicities. Actually, probably simplest to copy the sidebar of topics: addiction || African-American / Black || agoraphobia || alcoholism || American Indian || Argentine || aromantic || Asexual || Asian || Asian American || Asperger's || atheism || Autism || autoimmune disorder || bi-romantic || Bipolar || Biracial || Bisexual || black || blind || bulimia || canadian || Caribbean American || childfree || Chilean || Chinese || Chinese-American || Crohn’s Disease || demisexual || Depression || diabetes || Diabetic || Disability || Dysphonia || dyspraxia || eating disorder || ED-NOS || epilepsy || Eskimo || European || Family Life || fibromyalgia || Filipino || French || Gay || Genderqueer || Generalized Anxiety Disorder || graysexual || hapa-haouli || hearing aid || hearing loss || heart condition || Hindu || Hispanic / Latino || HMS/EDS || Hypermobility Syndrome || immigrant || Immunodeficiency || Indian || Indian-American || Jewish || Korean-American || Malaysian || Meniere's disease || Mental Illness || mestiza / mestizo || middle eastern || mixed race || Mormon || Muscular Dystrophy || Muslim || Native American || nigerian || Nigerian-American || Obsessive Compulsive Disorder || OCD || Orthodox Jewish || osteoarthritis || Pagan || panic disorder || Pansexual || Peruvian || Polycystic Kidney Disease || Portuguese || Psychosis || Pueblo Indian || Queer || Questioning || QUILTBAG || Rheumatoid Arthritis || Russian || Self-harming || social anxiety disorder || South Asian || Spinal Muscular Atrophy || Taiwanese || Tourette's Syndrome || vertigo || West Indian || young adult voices
          

Pueblo Adventists Condemn Planned White Supremacist Attack on Jewish Temple

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From ANN – 28 November 2019 | Joining the community of Pueblo, Seventh-day Adventists issued a statement regarding the planned bombing of Temple Emanuel, the Jewish temple in Pueblo, and delivered it to the synagogue leadership on Friday, November 8. At sunset, a dozen Adventist church members and leaders attended the Shabbat eve service in […]
          

Jewish student targeted by McGill student government in alleged anti-Semitic bullying

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Jordyn Wright, a Jewish student and part of the Student Society of McGill University’s (SSMU) Board of Directors, was targetted by her university’s student government over her decision to attend a trip to Israel sponsored by Hillel Montreal. “This winter break, I have decided to participate in a...
          

7 Amazing Jewish Converts

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Inspiring stories from those who joined the Jewish people.
          

Four Jewish Insights for Thanksgiving

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How to unlock the door to gratitude.
          

Third Opinion for 12/01/2019

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Led by co-hosts Mike Deeson and Laureen Jaffe, Third Opinion is a discussion about current events and pressing issues that face the Jewish community and the State of Israel. A variety of opinions are expressed and feedback and call-ins are encouraged.
          

Third Opinion for 11/24/2019

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Led by co-hosts Mike Deeson and Laureen Jaffe, Third Opinion is a discussion about current events and pressing issues that face the Jewish community and the State of Israel. A variety of opinions are expressed and feedback and call-ins are encouraged.
          

Seged (Sigd)

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Seged (Sigd)

Seged is a religious festival observed only by Ethiopian Jews known as the Beta Israel. The participants wear clean, preferably white, clothes, symbolic of the state of purity in which they have kept themselves for seven days. The priests who lead the procession sing prayers and carry the Orit (the Jewish scriptures in Geez) and other holy books wrapped in colored cloth. Everyone who climbs the hill carries a stone, which is placed on a circular wall marking the holy area where the Orit will be placed. The ceremony includes a commemoration of the dead and readings from the Orit. More...
          

Healthcare: Travel Nurse - Med/Surg RN - Creve Coeur, MO - Dallas, Texas

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Travel Med Surg Registered Nurse (RN) $1,354 Weekly Take Home with this great Med Surg Registered Nurse (RN) position in Creve Coeur, Missouri. Job Details --- $1,354 Weekly Take Home --- 7:00a-7:00p and 7:00p-7:00a (days and nights available) --- Walk Through State Job Requirements --- MO or Compact Registered Nurse (RN) license. --- BLS --- 1 year of recent US hospital experience Things To Do In Creve Coeur: --- Antique Mall of Creve Coeur --- Millennium Park --- New Jewish Theatre --- Holocaust Museum --- Tilles Park --- Natonal Museum of Transportation About Us At GHR Travel Nursing, we want to make your travel experience a great one! As a GHR Travel Nurse, we are committed to giving you the chance to experience life, while saving lives. We offer great pay and one of the best benefits packages in the industry, including: --- Flexible scheduling options --- Personalized service --- Health insurance --- 401(k) investment plan --- Referral bonuses --- Free liability insurance coverage --- Weekly pay --- Direct Deposit or Pay Card option Stay updated on all of our Registered Nurse (RN) opportunities by signing up for Job Alerts! For more details on this and our other nationwide Registered Nurse (RN) opportunities, contact Deana DeFranco at 716-670-8413 or email at Ddefranco@ghrtravelnursing.com. We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. ()
          

World News (Dec 1, 2019 EDN): Ray Dalio & Tudor Jones Warn: “We Will Kill Each Other” If Our Broken Economic System Isn’t Fixed – Ray Dalio: “We’re near the end, in the late stages, of our reserve currency system” – Gloves Come Off: China “Insists” Existing Tariffs Must Be Scrapped For “Phase 1” Trade Deal – Fruit of ‘US-backed colonization’: Israel to DOUBLE Jewish population in West Bank’s Hebron – Peter Hitchens: “If Bodies Like OPCW Cannot Be Trusted… W

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Continue to… …because it’s coming,… …as planned by TPTB and as predicted… Dalio & Tudor Jones Warn: "We Will Kill Each Other" If Our Broken Economic System Isn't Fixed https://t.co/z9CxGbzm40 — zerohedge (@zerohedge) December 1, 2019 Ray Dalio: "we're near the end, in the late stages, of our reserve currency system"https://t.co/z9CxGbzm40 — zerohedge (@zerohedge) December ... Read more
          

Delores

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Oh the things that happen in the wee small hours. I get a lot of requests for various role play characters but this one has got to take the cake, I was in a group chat room and snapped into my interpretation of a Jewish (or ) and a particular viewer was inspired. I closed my chat room and picked out my best leopard prints and a character was born. Delores does small penis humiliation in that loving but blunt sort of way. I try my hardest to keep a straight face but this is just pure comedy. I put my heart and soul into everything that I do and love to be challenged outside of my comfort zone. This is a prime example and an added bonus of me being horrified that it's out there for the world to see. World, meet Delores. Fantasy includes or eludes to and may prelude some further acts of kink: taboo, female domination, Verbal Humiliation, SPH, small penis humiliation, erotic goddess, orgasm denial, JOI, humiliation, small penis humiliation, masturbation instruction, CBT Instruction, Extreme Domination, Femdom POV, BDSM Instruction, Cock Tease, CBT, Masturbation humiliation, sub training, Masturbation Encouragement, Verbal Humiliation, Cock Tease, JOI, Jerk Off Instruction, Mental Domination, submissive male, all in the family.

Format: mp4
Duration: 15:20
Video: 1280x720, AVC (H.264), 6834kbps
Audio: 156kbps





File size: 785.6 MB






          

Letters to the editor Wednesday: Chick-fil-A wrong to pull charitable support

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Chick-fil-A wrong to pull charitable supportI must say I'm extremely disappointed that Chick-fil-A caved to those in the LGBTQ community who complained about the Christian charities they support.I have gay relatives and friends who would never make such a complaint. Chick-fil-A has always been proud of their Christian values, and I support their refusal to open on Sundays. But, I guess when Muslims, Buddhists, Jewish, or other non-Christian faiths start [...]
          

My roommate got a really really horrible infection inside her

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anger after chicago school district removes 'persepolis'

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Gov. Tom Wolf also recently signed a law to enable aCommercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C PACE) program,which is among the recommendations in the new solar report. It aimed at helping commercial property owners finance the costs of clean energy upgrades, like adding rooftop solar.

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Weekly What To Do: Happy Thanksgiving Weekend

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Thanksgiving time! Enjoy a movie with friends and family or just remember the horrible messed-up violence after with Akira.

PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES
Wed, Nov 27, 7:30pm
Aero Theatre 1328 Montana Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90403
$

On the road heading home for Thanksgiving, businessman Steve Martin meets an obnoxious chatterbox (John Candy), and the two opposites get stuck together as Murphy’s Law affects every attempt they make to reach their destinations.

SINGIN' IN THE RAIN
Fri, Nov 29, 7:30pm
Aero Theatre 1328 Montana Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90403
$

On a short list of the greatest screen musicals ever made, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN began with legendary MGM producer Arthur Freed giving screenwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green a stack of songs he'd written early in his career (with partner Nacio Herb Brown) - including "Broadway Melody," "You Are My Lucky Star" and the title song - with the simple request to weave a story around the numbers.

Queen Mary Christmas
Select dates starting November 29, 2019 through January 1, 2020
The Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA.,90802

General Admission is $22 for children and $29 for adults. 
+ parking, separate cost

Embark on an immersive holiday adventure through the outdoor North Pole Village for live entertainment, ice skating at the True North Ice Rink, and holiday beverages and treats at the Making Spirits Bright Bar and the rink-side Lodge. Climb aboard the ship to experience a vintage rush of holiday joy and stroll through the tree-lined decks to find Mrs. C reading stories to little ones and Ol’ Saint Nick hosting meet-and-greets in his Captain’s Quarters, amongst strolling performers and more. The Winter Wharf onboard the ship will feature stocking decorating, gingerbread house making, and insta-worthy photo opportunities.


Grand Opening Day!
Friday, November 29, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM
Bob Baker Marionette Theater
4949 York Boulevard Los Angeles, CA, 90042
Free

A ribbon cutting by special guests and opening ceremony will kick off the day at 10am, with puppet shows on the hour beginning at 11am. The six puppet shows throughout the day will celebrate and explore the six decades that the Bob Baker Marionette Theater has been delighting kids of all ages. Surprise guests will introduce each decade and share the stories and history from the Theater over the years. Additional exhibits, activities, and walk-around puppets will occur throughout the day, with historic Bob Baker photography and a virtual reality Bob Baker experience next door at our neighbors, MorYork.

Chopping Mall & Phantom of the Mall in 35mm: Black Friday
Friday, November 29, 7:30 PM – 11 PM
Cinematic Void
6712 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90028
$12
Shopping to you drop as Cinematic Void takes you back to the mall this Black Friday with Chopping Mall (aka Killbots) and Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge, both in 35mm.

SATIRICAL CINEMA: Using Comedy to Undermine Hate
- Free Triple Feature!
Sat, November 30, 2019
3:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Free
In THE GREAT DICTATOR, Charlie Chaplin skewers Adolph Hitler. In THE PRODUCERS, Broadway producers Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder hope to stage a flop called “Springtime for Hitler.” In World War II satire JOJO RABBIT, the blind nationalism of a German boy (Roman Griffin Davis) and his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), is challenged when the boy's mother (Scarlett Johansson) hides a Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS Trilogy
Sat, Nov 30, 1:00pm
Egyptian Theatre 6712 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028
$15

If your family's not gonna appreciate you a wizard and some tiny half-lings will.





Unique Markets Holiday Pop-Up: DTLA
Nov 30-Dec 1
Hudson Loft
1200 S Hope St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
$15

"Unique Markets is taking over DTLA's historic Hudson Loft for two fabulous floors of holiday shopping! Attendees will have the chance to shop over 100 of the best independent designers and emerging brands while exploring the building's stunning architecture.

Always an immersive experience, there will be festive-freebies such as holiday portraits with Oh Snap Studios, drinks from Califia Farms, Revive Kombucha and Harmless Harvest, and snacks from CLIF Bar. The holiday market will also showcase interactive art and photo experiences, live DJs, free gift-wrapping stations, and screenprinting from Constant Contact, with a special live portrait-drawing experience from Society 6. Come experience the creativity and meet the designers and business owners of your favorite local brands in-person"

LA Kings Holiday Ice
November 30, 2019 - January 12, 2020
LA Live
Individual General Admission (L.A. LIVE): $22
Kids Age 6 and Under: $17
Seniors 62 and over: $17
Military (up to 4 guests) with ID: $17

The annual LA Kings Holiday Ice presented by Coca-Cola brings outdoor ice skating to L.A. LIVE's Xbox Plaza! The LA Kings Holiday Ice Rink presented by Coca-Cola will be open November 30, 2019 - January 12, 2020*. Skate your way into the holiday season! The ice rink is only here for a limited time, so don't miss out on this fun family activity, romantic date night, or a fun way to pass the time before and after a sports game or concert!

Alex Film Society Presents
22nd Annual The Three Stooges
Big Screen Event!
Saturday, November 30, 2019 – 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm
Alex Theatre
216 North Brand Boulevard
Glendale, CA 91203
$17

Celebrating 22 years of Stooge madness, the theme is ‘Fresh Pandemonium’ – featuring shorts we’ve not previously shown in the past 21 years.Stooge family in attendance. Lots of Raffle baskets filled with Stooge goodies from C3 Entertainment.

Screening of anime classic AKIRA (1988)
Sat, Nov 30, 2019, 11:59 PM
Vista Theatre
4473 Sunset Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027

$12.75 – $99

One of the last chances to see Akira on the big screen. The Akira Special Screening we posted on about a week ago already sold out. Its also makes it your third chance to see Akira in two weeks.


"SPECIAL NOTE: This is part of a Japanese anime series we’re doing for our Winter 2020 season. AKIRA actually gets removed from rep theater circulation on 12/1/19 indefinitely. So if you want to see AKIRA in a movie theater, this may be your last chance for a while"

Jackalope Underground DTLA
Saturday, November 30th & Sunday,
December 1st, 2019 from 11am to 7pm daily
Grand Central Market, DTLA
308 S. Hill Street, Los Angeles CA
Free

Shoppers can expect to find trendsetting indie goods including original fashion and jewelry design, paper goods, innovative home decor and housewares, art, photography, food, plus much more. 

Hollywood Christmas Parade 2019
Sunday, Dec 1, 6 PM
Hollywood Boulevard, along the stree
Free
* Bring a sweater, suppose to be cold that night

It's our own short and sweet parade for Christmas. Spend a few hours checking it out and be bitter it's in no way as big as Macy's. But just chill, because it's still not NYC here. Fun for the whole family and you smack dab in them middle of Hollywood for other sights.


Dark Delicacies 25th Anniversary Party
Sunday, Dec 1, 11 AM – 6 PM
Dark Delicacies
822 N. Hollywood Way, Burbank, California 91505
Not really sure of festiveness.
Kicking off our 25th Anniversary Month! Lots of surprises!Loads of full posters to give-a-way... Drawings for prizes $25 surprise boxes & $15 surprise pails for kids to benefit "Wildlife Care of Southern California"



Dumpling & Associates Pop-Up
Dec 3rd, 2019 - Mar 5th, 2020
Tue - Sun, 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
ROW DTLA 777 Alameda Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021
$25 early bird
$32


Whether a ravioli, a pierogi or a traditional xiaolongbao, dumplings are a religious experience for foodies. Although they are delicious on their own, they are much better with all the “associates” that come with them — think garlic or spicy dipping sauce. Upon entering this 14-room experience, guests will be met with whimsical art installations inspired by traditional dumpling associates. The exhibition will bring you on an interactive journey of how a dumpling comes to be, including the Garlic Swing (think Miley’s Wrecking Ball), the Mr. Dum-bling Bling room and the Dumpling Jacuzzi. The result is a uniquely instagrammable and delicious experience that fully immerses attendees into this culinary canon.

In Fabric
Tuesday, December 3rd, 2:00 P.M.
3131 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
FREE ADMISSION. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. RSVPs REQUIRED.

A lonely woman (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), recently separated from her husband, visits a bewitching London department store in search of a dress that will transform her life. She’s fitted with a perfectly flattering, artery-red gown—which, in time, will come to unleash a malevolent curse and unstoppable evil, threatening everyone who comes into its path.

From acclaimed horror director Peter Strickland (the singular auteur behind the sumptuous sadomasochistic romance The Duke of Burgundy and auditory giallo-homage Berberian Sound Studio) comes a truly nightmarish film, at turns frightening, seductive, and darkly humorous. Channeling voyeuristic fantasies of high fashion and bloodshed, In Fabric is Strickland’s most twisted and brilliantly original vision yet.
          

SATIRICAL CINEMA: Using Comedy to Undermine Hate - Free Triple Feature! Nov 30

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SATIRICAL CINEMA: Using Comedy to Undermine Hate
- Free Triple Feature!
Sat, November 30, 2019
3:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Free

In THE GREAT DICTATOR, Charlie Chaplin skewers Adolph Hitler. In THE PRODUCERS, Broadway producers Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder hope to stage a flop called “Springtime for Hitler.” In World War II satire JOJO RABBIT, the blind nationalism of a German boy (Roman Griffin Davis) and his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), is challenged when the boy's mother (Scarlett Johansson) hides a Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic.


          

Meorot

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04-9592481  |  http://www.jewishagency.org/partnership2gether-regions/program/5071
          

Euro-Israel Journey Spain

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14-18All over the countrySocial issues & Israeli societyJudaismIsraeli history & ZionismEducational seminarsEnvironment & natureIsrael & International tourIsraelA weeklong tour of Spain’s Andalusia region followed by the core three-week Israel Journey experience. Retrace Jewish history during the Golden Age of Spain, climb the Rock of Gibraltar, and soak up the sun on Spain’s famous Costa Del Sol. Then continue from Spain to Israel, traveling from the Galilee in the north to the tropical Red Sea in the south. Experience a Shabbat in Jerusalem, watch the sunrise from the top of Masada, and tap into the innovative spirit of Tel Aviv.1-800-698-1002  |  http://passport.bbyo.orgEnglishhttp://passport.bbyo.org/contact/
          

Art City Professional Development in Performing Arts Fields

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This project provides the youth from Kiryat Malachi, an opportunity for professional development in Performing arts fields. The Participant are Learning educational values through performing arts. Art City contribution to the community / region and works in all areas of social and cultural activity in the city and serves as an attraction for youth empowerment zones: Empowering the sense of belonging to the youth of the city; Creating a positive image to the city of Kiryat Malachi Integration of cultures through performing arts.

08-6753464  |  http://www.jewishagency.org/partnership2gether/program/17861
          

Yeshivat Shaalvim

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University ageThe southLeadership & activism trainingJudaismVolunteer opportunitiesEducational seminarsEnvironment & natureIsraeli home hospitalityJewish studyMeet Israeli peersIsraelHere, in a beautiful rural setting, removed from the distractions of the busy city, one can blossom, grow and reach one's fullest potential studying the Torah. In a warm family atmosphere, conducive to serious learning, Sha’alvim prepares its students for a life dedicated to learning Torah, and caring for the country and people of Israel.972-8-9276652  |  http://www.shaalvim.orgHebrewhttp://www.shaalvim.org
          

Yeshivat Ohr Yerushalayim

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University ageAcademic studyHebrew ulpanLeadership & activism trainingJudaismIsraeli history & ZionismSpiritualityVolunteer opportunitiesEducational seminarsEnvironment & natureJewish studyMeet Israeli peersIsraelA Beit Midrash program designed to develop the student's independent learning skills coupled with intensive touring of Israel aimed at nurturing a love for the land, people and State of Israel.972 2 533 2424  |  http://yoy.org.il718 874 8165  |  English
          

And Pedagogy Shoah Education In Israeli State Schools Jewish Identities In Post Modern Society

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And Pedagogy Shoah Education In Israeli State Schools Jewish Identities In Post Modern Society
          

NO SURRENDER: Imprisoned in a Nazi POW Camp, a Christian Soldier says, “We Are All Jews Here.”

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Roddie Edmonds

Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds’ is recognized by Yad Vashem as the only American soldier to receive the honor of “Righteous Among the Nations” for his heroism in World War II. Like German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Dutch citizen Corrie ten Boom during World War II, his story of courage in a newly released book NO SURRENDER is destined to become a classic.

Sgt. Edmonds’ remarkable story lay untold for decades in his frayed diary tucked away in a cigar box. That is, until his granddaughter used the true story for her college history project. Years later, his son, Rev. Chris Edmonds was compelled to track down any still-living Jewish soldiers his Dad saved; a legacy far bigger than he imagined. A series of “divine coincidences” shapes NO SURRENDER, a newly released Harper One book by Chris Edmonds and Douglas Century. Each page is gripping; woven together with bravery, humility, and a message for today.

The Battle of the Bulge sets the stage where Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds stepped into history 74 years ago.  He and his men in the 106th Infantry, 422nd Regiment – the Golden Lions – found themselves in the Ardennes Forest only nine days after they arrived in France in late 1944. A miscommunication between commanders on a faulty phone line turned into one of the worst intelligence disasters in World War II. Seventy-five hundred Americans were forced to surrender to the Nazis. With seven Panzer divisions and surrounded by 13 German infantry divisions, American bravery was plentiful but big weapons were scarce.

Reading NO SURRENDER came closer to marching me straight into the Ardennes Forest in World War II history as any book I have ever read. Vicariously connecting with the horror, I heard the clattering treads of German tanks. I lost feeling in my feet walking through the December 1944 snows, one of the coldest and wettest winters on record. I agonized looking into the shattered faces of dead American soldiers. In a delirium of exhaustion, I wondered if I would fall dead in the middle of a forced march. I smelled uniforms worn for months coated in mud and excrement. Then reading about the capture and imprisonment of the Golden Lions in Nazi POW camps, Stalag IX-A, and IX-B, I discovered the valor of Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds and “his boys.”  Like most of The Greatest Generation, Edmonds returned home unwilling to talk about it. When family and friends asked about the war, he would only comment, “We were humiliated.”

Years passed. Chris Edmonds, Senior Pastor of Piney Grove Baptist Church in Maryville, Tennessee was a family man, a father and grandfather, a busy pastor, and ran a charity which helped teenagers. Although his Dad had passed away in 1985, his interest about his Dad’s service later took center stage. Chris explains the unexpected turn-around in his own life. “One evening my wife Regina and I watched a TV news program where we learned that nearly 300 World War II veterans died every day. I was shocked.” His Dad’s diary quickly filled his thoughts. That night the pastor sat at his computer and googled his Dad’s name, “Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds.” A tiny one-off fact in a New York Times article from the 1970s caught his attention. Chris prayed right there sitting at his computer. “Lord, your timing is always perfect. Please lead me.”

“My Dad was a leader who wouldn’t ask his men to do anything he wouldn’t do,” Chris Edmonds

Chris’ detective work later resulted in a trip to New York City where Lester Tanner, one of “Roddie’s boys,” warmly welcomed Chris and his wife Regina to the Harvard Club. “When we started talking, I was shocked to learn that not only did my Dad save Lester Tanner’s life, but he saved other men as well!”  The first meeting with Lester opened more relationships, and more stories of men on Roddie’s list; among them Paul Stern, Sydney “Skip” Friedman, and Sonny Fox. Chris said, “My dad’s story was becoming my story too.”

Over the months Chris followed the leads and learned about the defiance against evil in Stalag IXA and IXB. One story stood out. On January 27, 1945 – an ice-cold morning with hundreds of prisoners lined up outside – Nazi Major Siegmann ordered Edmonds to identify all Jews in his command. Every man knew it would mean death for the American Jewish soldiers. Master Sergeant Edmonds had ordered his men the night before not to surrender any of the aptly named “Golden Lions.”

At the risk of his life, the Tennessee-born Christian soldier uttered these words to Siegmann in a firm, strong voice. “We are all Jews here.”

These heroic comments changed not only the personal history of the Jewish soldiers but the lives of more than a thousand non-Jews under his command. Eventually liberated, they arrived back in the USA on April 28th, 1945. Roddie had jotted in his diary, “I’m just a little guy but war isn’t right. Lives upon lives are lost. People forget God more and more. It seems as if someone should get wise…and let God be our commander.”

“I know that my father was willing to die to save Jewish men under his command because he believed a Jewish man, Jesus Christ had died to save him.” Rev. Chris Edmonds

Having already spoken throughout the United States and Europe in Jewish and Christian settings, Chris is  completing an extensive book signing schedule for NO SURRENDER, giving media interviews, and adding many more speaking engagements for Jewish and Christian audiences. A documentary film entitled “Footsteps of my Father” created by The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous has also been nominated for many awards.

Chris has established the Roddie Edmonds Foundation and Roddie’s Code LLC: Choose goodness, Oppose hate, Dignify life, and Express love to all.  “I think Dad would be surprised at the recognition he’s receiving since he would say he was ‘just doing his job.’ “

Chris is also pursuing in the U.S. Congress a Medal of Honor for his Dad. “I want the Jewish community to know that my Dad’s actions in World War II mean something today as they face more hatred again all over the world. And I want to inspire others, people like my dad, like me, ordinary people, Christians who care about our Jewish friends. You don’t have to be perfect to do something extraordinary.”

Master Sergeant Edmonds’ message, “We are all Jews here,” is one that is significant today. While Nazi POW prisons and concentration camps are relics of evil, the Nazi ideology of hatred is resurrecting the hatreds that “Never Again” wanted to quell. Spreading far beyond the past, the hatreds are infecting worldwide news, college campuses, textbooks, governments, and social media.

I predict NO SURRENDER will become a classic story of heroism.

I pray that “We are all Jews Here” is on our lips and in our actions to confront the world’s oldest hatred.

No Surrender is available to order at: www.nosurrenderbook.com

Arlene Bridges SamuelsArlene Bridges Samuels is a Pro Israel Christian Advocate and author at The Blogs-Times of Israel.


          

Should I give all my money away?

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Q. Dear Umbra,

I have a well paid job. Should I donate my income post-living expenses to organizations working to fight climate change instead of saving?

— Rolling-In-Cash Humanitarian

A. Dear RICH,

It’s a rare treat, when you write a climate advice column, to get to explore a dilemma between two good options. What a lucky place you’re in, and what an admirable inclination! I love when the holidays provoke feelings of goodwill and generosity, as opposed to bitterness and seasonal depression. It’s such a nice change of pace!

While I love the idea of hurling a massive stack of hundos, Hustlers-style, at the abstract existential threat we all know and hate, that fantasy starts to collapse once you start poking at it. To answer your question, we have to answer two additional questions: What counts as “organizations working to fight climate change,” and how do you figure out how much money you should be donating to them? In other words: how many hundos are in that stack, and what exactly are you throwing them at?

There is zero question that a transition to a carbon-neutral or -negative society doesn’t happen without, in technical terms, a fuckton of cash. Estimates range from a modest $300 billion to $44 trillion. Political will to address climate change is really, really important, but frankly, so is money. A criticism regularly levied against climate-forward billionaires running for president, for example, is that they could do a lot more good spending their money directly on climate initiatives than spending it on a likely ill-fated presidential campaign.

I’ve argued before that almost any job, in the right hands, can be a job that fights climate change. A similar, if not identical, argument can be applied to donations — we need all kinds of initiatives beyond installing solar panels in developing countries (although we need that, too!) Organizations that develop green, affordable housing? Yes! Groups that strengthen abortion access in climate-vulnerable areas? Bingo! Refugee resettlement agencies? Hell yeah! Good old-fashioned poverty alleviation projects? Yes ma’am!!!

And like I said, political will is really important. So donating money for the climate could mean throwing some much-needed financial resources at pro-climate candidates, particularly in swing districts.

So how do you pick a place to put your money? If you ask a proponent of effective altruism, you should treat charity as you would an investment — you want the biggest return per dollar, in terms of generating well-being of some sort. The Centre for Effective Altruism actually designs donation portfolios, mutual-fund style, to promote this type of giving.

I think that’s a very sensible choice for those who have a limited amount to give and want to get the most charitable bang for their buck. But ultimately, I think you need to follow your heart. If you’re trying to sustain giving away a really substantial proportion of your income, which is what it sounds like, you probably want to feel some sort of personal connection to what you’re giving it away to.

This brings us to the “how many hundos” portion of our program, which I’ve been quite looking forward to. Should you give away, truly, everything you can?

I’m Jewish, so I’m going to start with what I know, which is the law of tzedakah. It’s a fundamental Jewish principle that essentially translates to “charity,” but that doesn’t quite capture the obligation implied; it’s more about a duty to facilitate a more just world. It’s a God-given requirement to give away at least 10 percent of your income to support those in need, and to generally use whatever wealth you have to support the dignity and wellbeing of others.

Because the foundation of Judaism is to analyze and argue over the precise meaning of its various rules, there’s a spectrum of rabbinical opinions on just how burdensome tzedakah is supposed to be. There’s a Talmudic dictum floating around somewhere that a Jew should actually donate no more than 20 percent of her income to charitable causes, because that would be too burdensome on her life.

The debate over how much to give is also very much alive in the field of applied ethics. An idea similar to tzedakah appears in philosopher Peter Singer’s Principle of Sacrifice: “If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it.”

Toby Ord, an Australian philosopher at the University of Oxford who studies morality and poverty, uses Singer’s Principle of Sacrifice to argue that anyone with some extra money has a moral imperative to help the poor. “In ages to come, when global poverty is no more, people will look back at our time and be dumbfounded by the moral paralysis of those who had the resources to help,” he writes. “For a moral theory to demand that we make large sacrifices in righting these wrongs is not too demanding, but just demanding enough.”

In 2009, Ord founded the organization Giving What We Can, which encourages people to make a habit of donating 10 percent of their incomes. I wrote to Julia Wise, the current president of Giving What We Can, which has since become a program of the Centre for Effective Altruism, to ask her opinion on your question.

“Your ability to do good is often best served by maintaining your own ability to contribute over the long term, rather than burning out quickly,” Wise responded in an email. “I do think people should consider their moral values in their budget, and that donating to effective charities can be a great way to live your values in the course of your daily life. But I think taken to an extreme (not having savings, not spending time with friends or family because that costs money), it can be counterproductive.”

You may hear “10 percent” and think, wow, that’s not very much! You’d be surprised. In the United States — which actually has a pretty thriving charitable culture relative to other rich countries, thanks to the influence of the church and other religious organizations — only about 53 percent of households donate to charity at all, and those that do give about $2,500 a year on average. That’s about 4 percent of the median American household income. Ten percent might be an impossible, life-hindering burden for a lot of families due to factors like the rising costs of housing and healthcare relative to wages. It might have no impact at all on the daily life of someone like Jeff Bezos.

Of course, we’re not just talking about daily life. You, RICH, are also talking about saving for the future. I’ll admit something a bit dark that has been plaguing my own personal budgeting process lately: Every time I contribute to my 401K, which is an embarrassingly recent practice, it’s hard to ignore a small internal voice that demands: “What is this FOR?” I have no freaking clue what the world will look like in 40 or 50 years, when I’m supposed to withdraw this money. I have no idea if money will even be useful at all! It could be a Waterworld barter economy situation!

But I think giving up on a future that I can look forward to, that I want to have some money for, dampens the will to fight for it. It might be a very simplistic way to look at saving, but I think that saving for the future and making even very abstract plans for it is an expression of optimism. It’s an action that says, “I think that the future will be OK, and I’m going to be around to enjoy it.”

And so is putting your money toward facilitating that future for everyone, in the form of whatever regular, consistent charitable giving or political donation you choose. So here’s my suggestion: Start at 10 percent of your income. Why not! Nice round number, and you were probably thinking of giving more anyway. See how that goes. See if you can live a little more simply, but not ascetically, and still put a little money away for yourself or your hypothetical children for the future. If you feel like you can give more, give more.

But as soon as you start to feel resentment toward your chosen causes, I think that that’s a sign that the amount you’re giving away is no longer sustainable. (Larissa MacFarquhar has a whole book about this, Strangers Drowning, that I recommend.) You want to balance your sense of duty with a sense of optimism for the world’s future. Without that, what is it all even for?

Thankfully,

Umbra

This story was originally published by Grist with the headline Should I give all my money away? on Nov 28, 2019.


          

Making Peace big time

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  No one ever said the quest for peace would be easy.  All need  “shalom bayit” (peace in their own home).  tThere needs to be peace amongst the Torah observant population and peace amongst the Jewish Nation as a whole. Next is peace between the Jews and the nations of the world. Our holy Torah teaches us […]
          

Turkey Time

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How to Avoid Holiday Heartburn Even if you aren’t a “foodie” most people look forward to indulging in the culinary delights of holiday time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. This means that even people who are typically disciplined eat too much in one evening, eat rapidly, imbibe amounts of alcohol they are unaccustomed to and consume foods that may not be part of their regular diet because “tis the season.” While nobody likes a medical grinch, there are ways to have gastronomic fun without paying the price with holiday heartburn. Dr. Niket Sonpal is an internist and gastroenterologist at Touro College of Medicine. He shares his tips for having your holiday cake and eating it too.   Heartburn happens when stomach acid flows backward into the esophagus. It can also go by two names: GER (gastroesophageal reflux) or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). GER is also known as acid indigestion, happening only once in a while. GERD is chronic heartburn that can lead to esophageal cancer if left untreated. Here are some tips for avoiding holiday heartburn: Eat light turkey, not dark High-fat food can spell trouble if you are prone to heartburn, so do yourself a favor and skip the skin when it comes to turkey time. Your best bet is to eat turkey breast and avoid oilier dark meat. The same goes for gravy. If it isn’t fat free, it may be smarter to skip this dish. Choose baked, not mashed If you have chronic heartburn, you don’t have to give up your favorite foods. You just have to choose wisely to save yourself some pain later on. For example, mashed potatoes can trigger heartburn, but baked potatoes may not. When it comes to dairy products, the less fat the better. Limit butter and avoid sour cream. Choose multigrain rolls or bread When choosing grain-based food for the holiday, you can’t go wrong with multigrain bread or rolls. Corn bread and white bread are good choices too,if you want to avoid heartburn. One side dish that should be strictly for the kids, however, is macaroni and cheese. This is one of those dishes known to trigger acid reflux, according to the National Heartburn Alliance. Selecting a salad Salads are good news for those with chronic heartburn or GERD — if you have the right salad dressing and ingredients, that is. High-fat foods are a known trigger for acid reflux, so the National Heartburn Alliance recommends avoiding creamy salad dressings, as well as oil and vinegar. Your best bet is a low-fat salad dressing, and avoid tomatoes, raw onions and other acid-aggravating ingredients. (Want fruit in your salad? Choose apples, not oranges, if you want to avoid heartburn.) Avoid foods that cause heartburn People who suffer from heartburn often know the trigger foods that cause symptoms. Common foods include chocolates, caffeine and greasy foods. These foods relax the lower esophagus sphincter muscle, when this muscle is relaxed, the food will go back up and cause heartburn. Other foods that can trigger heartburn include acidic foods such as citrus fruits or carbonated beverages. This means avoid Champagne! Skip mint desserts Candy canes and chocolate mint desserts are best left for others. These dangerous holiday delectables are notorious for helping acid reflux on its way. Eat more ginger Ginger is one ingredient that can help ease heartburn, if you don’t get too much of it. (More than 2 to 4 grams per day can actually cause heartburn.) Ginger is a natural match for root vegetable dishes commonly served during the holidays. Heartburn-friendly vegetables include carrots, cabbage, peas, broccoli and green beans Linger over your food Take the time to eat slowly and enjoy your food. Rushing through your meal or chewing with your mouth open can increase your chances of indigestion or heartburn. Linger over your food and allow yourself to feel full by giving your food time to digest. Limit alcoholic beverages Have to have that holiday egg nog? Limit it to one glass. This festive beverage can do double the damage. Not only does it contain alcohol that irritates your stomach, but it contains the added dose of diary that can cause bloating and gas. Cut yourself off After-hours holiday parties can keep you snacking all night, but eating too close to bedtime can make acid reflux worse. Stop eating and drinking (water included) three hours before bedtime. Ditch the post-meal nap Sleeping right after eating can increase GERD symptoms. Instead of falling asleep, try going for a walk. Dr. Niket Sonpal is a native of Long Island, N.Y. and a graduate of the Medical University of Silesia – Hope Medical Institute in Poland. He is an adjunct assistant professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine and clinical instructor at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Brooklyn. Sonpal completed his fellowship in gastroenterology at Lenox Hill Hospital.
          

Netanyahu's Iran Strategy Is a Total Failure

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Netanyahu's Iran Strategy Is a Total FailureSeen today, Netanyahu’s decade-long reign has left Israel more isolated than ever before in its struggle against an Iranian regime that perceives the Jewish state as its main regional enemy.



          

The Deportation of Omar Shakir: The Israeli Supreme Court and the BDS Movement

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Two judgments handed down just days apart—one by the Israeli Supreme Court and the other by the European Court of Justice—highlight a growing jurisprudential divide between Israeli and international courts on the status of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. As the Israeli Supreme Court continues to maintain the constitutionality of laws equating boycotts of settlements to boycotts of the country as a whole, the European Court of Justice rules that settlement products must be labeled clearly, so that consumers can make an informed choice on whether to buy them.

On Nov. 12, the European Court of Justice ruled that Israeli food products from the West Bank and Golan Heights must be explicitly labeled as coming from “Israeli settlements,” rather than from Israel itself. The ruling, which cited European Union regulations designed to allow consumers to make informed choices about their food purchases, held that since international humanitarian law limits Israeli jurisdiction in these territories to that of an “occupying power,” it would be misleading to represent such products as being “from Israel.” The court added that the very fact that a product comes from “a settlement established in breach of the rules of international humanitarian law may be the subject of ethical assessments capable of influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions, particularly since some of those rules constitute fundamental rules of international law.”

The European Court of Justice’s decision to require the labeling of settlement products underscored the potential stakes of the long-anticipated Israeli Supreme Court judgment in Human Rights Watch v. Interior Minister, handed down just a week earlier. In its judgment, the court upheld a government decision to expel Human Rights Watch’s (HRW’s) Israel and Palestine director, Omar Shakir, from the country, based on a law barring entry by foreigners who promote boycotts of Israel or its West Bank settlements. The case marked the first time the court was called upon to rule on the law’s application to boycott-related activities directed primarily at the settlements, rather than at Israel itself.

The 2017 and 2011 Boycott Laws: Conflating Boycotts of Israel With Boycotts of the Settlements

As Lawfare readers may recall, in March 2017 the Israeli Knesset passed an amendment to the law governing entry to Israel, banning BDS activists from the country (BDS is the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel). The law states that nonpermanent residents must not be granted visas (subject to exceptional circumstances) “if they, or an organization they act for, has knowingly promulgated a public call to boycott” Israel or “an area under its control” (i.e., Jewish settlements in the West Bank). The amendment joined the 2011 “Boycott Law,” which imposed civil tort liability and various administrative sanctions on boycott activists, including allowing the government to deny activists certain subsidies and to bar them from obtaining government contracts. In 2015, in Avneri v. The Knesset, a divided court upheld most of the 2011 law, striking down a provision providing for punitive damages in civil tort cases and construing the law narrowly in order to limit liability to instances where there is a proven causal link to concrete damage. (For more on Avneri, see here and here.)

Most significantly for our purposes, a majority of justices in Avneri upheld the law’s contentious provision (which applies equally to the 2017 amendment), equating settlement boycotts to boycotts against Israel as a whole. Two dissenting opinions in Avneri (written by Justices Yoram Danziger and Uzi Vogelman and joined by Justice Salim Jubran) blasted this particular provision as an unconstitutional violation of free speech that serves to silence debate on one of the most deeply disputed political questions in Israel. Arguing in defense of the provision, however, majority justice Elyakim Rubinstein pointed out that Israeli administrations from both sides of the political spectrum have taken part in the settlement project and have even offered Israeli citizens incentives to move to the West Bank. Since the Israeli government allows its citizens to lawfully inhabit settlements, Rubinstein argued, it is only right that a law seeking to shield Israelis from the harmful effects of boycotts should protect them as well. At the same time, Rubinstein and the other majority justices took pains to emphasize that the law applies only to those who promote boycotts that target someone merely on the basis of their ties to Israel or to an area under its control. A boycott directed at an individual company due to its specific behavior, by contrast (for example, because it engaged in discrimination or in some other problematic activity), would not risk running afoul of the law.

Human Rights Watch: The Facts of the Case and the Court’s Decision

The facts and background to the Human Rights Watch case, as described by the court, were as follows: Back in 2016, when HRW first requested a foreign expert visa for Shakir, an American citizen, the Foreign Ministry objected on the grounds that HRW itself was biased against Israel, “falsely waving the flag of human rights” in the service of “Palestinian propaganda.” Shortly thereafter, the ministry withdrew its objection, citing political and diplomatic considerations, and the Interior Ministry granted Shakir his visa. An administrative petition by the right-leaning organization Shurat HaDin, among others, led to an additional reversal, and the visa was revoked. The new decision was based on a memorandum issued by the Strategic Affairs Ministry (charged in Israel with heading up the fight against BDS), which argued that the problem was Shakir himself—who had called in the past for boycotts of Israel and the settlements—rather than HRW. The human rights group was not barred from operating in Israel; it merely had to find a different employee.

The case reached the Supreme Court after an initial appeal was rejected by the Jerusalem District Court in September of this year. Several amici from both sides of the political spectrum, including NGO Monitor, Shurat HaDin and Amnesty International, submitted briefs to the court. A group of former foreign service officials also joined the proceedings as amici, arguing that removing Shakir would cause substantial and lasting damage to Israel’s image as an open and democratic society.

The government’s case against Shakir included allegations of activities from as far back as 2006, when Shakir founded a student organization at Stanford University that called for divestment from companies profiting from Israel’s rule in the occupied territories. The government also pointed to more recent activities predating his employment by HRW, including lectures he gave that praised the BDS movement and a petition he signed in 2015, pledging to honor the BDS call and calling to boycott a Muslim-Jewish dialogue initiative promoted by the Israel-based Shalom Hartman Institute. The government argued that Shakir’s boycott activities continued after he joined HRW and came to Israel as its representative. Specifically, the government pointed to efforts by Shakir and HRW to get FIFA, international soccer’s governing body, and the Israeli Football Association to stop holding games in settlements. The government also cited various tweets Shakir sent out promoting HRW reports and positions on the settlements—including a report calling for pressure on Israeli banks to stop doing business in settlements, a call on the UN Human Rights Council to publish its list of businesses operating in settlements, and a report calling on Airbnb and Booking.com to stop listing settlement properties on their websites.

The appellants, for their part, challenged the constitutionality of the 2017 amendment, arguing that even though foreigners don’t have a right to enter the country, they should not be denied a visa or fear deportation for expressing unpopular views. Mainly, they claimed, the law violates the free speech and equality rights of Israelis (and Palestinians), whose ability to engage freely with foreigners the government doesn’t agree with is limited by the law. They also argued that Shakir’s activities—particularly those undertaken on behalf of HRW—shouldn’t be considered boycott activities, since they were motivated by a desire to combat specific human rights violations and to encourage private corporations to respect their human rights obligations under international law. They argued that upholding the decision to remove Shakir for such activities would compromise the continued ability of human rights defenders to do their jobs. Finally, they contended that since Israel doesn’t deem HRW a “boycott organization,” it can’t penalize Shakir for activities undertaken under its auspices. The fact that the whole affair began with an attempt to bar HRW itself from the country demonstrates that the government’s real goal is to silence the human rights group’s criticisms of Israeli policy.

Writing for the court, Justice Neal Hendel cited the principles the court laid down in its Alqasem decision from 2018, allowing American student Lara Alqasem to stay in the country despite past involvement in BDS. Most importantly, the court reiterated that the purpose of the 2017 law is preventive rather than punitive. It seeks to protect citizens from the discriminatory effects of boycotts by preventing BDS activists from abusing their time in Israel to promote the delegitimization of the state (Interestingly, Hendel—who also wrote the Alqasem decision—was the only justice in Avneri to hold the 2011 law’s civil tort in its entirety to be an unconstitutional violation of free speech. For more on the Alqasem case, see here.) When a person proves—as Alqasem did—that he or she is no longer involved in BDS, the preventive rationales don’t apply. However, it is the individual who bears the burden of proof, and in Shakir’s case, his activities since entering the country prevent him from meeting this burden.

The court avoided ruling on the constitutional questions, holding that they would best be addressed in a direct challenge to the law submitted directly to the Supreme Court, and noting that a separate constitutional challenge remained pending. (This separate challenge was rejected a few days later, after the petitioners’ lawyer agreed to drop the case at the court’s urging.) Justice Noam Solberg, in a concurring opinion, went a step further—casting doubt on Shakir’s standing to raise constitutional arguments on behalf of the rights of Israeli citizens and residents.

At the same time, the court held that, contrary to the appellant’s protestations, Shakir’s activities since joining HRW are indeed covered by the 2017 amendment. While once again acknowledging that the law doesn’t apply to boycotts targeting specific behaviors, the court stated:

An individual who negates the very legitimacy of the State of Israel or its control of the Area, and seeks to undermine it through a boycott, is [included in the law], even if he disguises his position with the rhetoric of human rights or international law. The test is a substantive one, and the words the de-legitimization campaign wraps itself in do not grant it immunity.

Shakir’s extensive boycott-related activities, grounded in “blanket opposition” to Israel’s control of the West Bank, were therefore covered by the law.

In a last-ditch effort to avert Shakir’s removal, HRW and Shakir petitioned the court last week for a rehearing before an extended panel of judges. Given the court’s reluctance to reopen the issues that were decided in Avneri and to hear constitutional arguments against the 2017 amendment, it seems unlikely that this new petition will be successful. Meanwhile, Shakir—whose request to remain in Israel until the new petition is decided was quickly denied by the court—left the country on Nov. 25.

Human Rights Groups in Israel: An Uncertain Future?

The court attempted to mitigate the potential impact of its decision on the future work of human rights groups by drawing a distinction between Shakir and HRW, emphasizing that HRW can always request a visa for someone else who is not “involved up to his neck” in BDS activities. “It could very well be,” the court stated, “that Shakir’s activities as the organization’s representative do not justify classifying Human Rights Watch as a boycott group—whether because … they constitute a negligible portion of HRW’s global endeavors, or because of their content. But when taken together with [Shakir’s] previous personal activities, they suffice in their entirety to demonstrate ‘substantial, consistent and continuous’ involvement by Shakir in promoting boycotts[.]” By grounding its decision in the specific facts of Shakir’s case—his involvement in BDS before ever joining HRW and his refusal to commit (as Alqasem had done) to refrain from promoting boycotts while in the country, the court hoped to sidestep the sticky question of how the 2017 amendment, as applied by the court, would impact the future work of human rights groups.

Ultimately, however, the court’s distinction between Shakir and HRW remains unpersuasive. As noted, the law pursues preventive rather than punitive aims—and past activity is therefore insufficient to warrant deportation. If actively promoting HRW’s stance on settlements is enough to demonstrate ongoing promotion of boycotts, any new employee could face similar consequences. Israeli employees of HRW, too, could face civil or administrative ramifications simply for implementing HRW’s stated policy of calling on businesses “to stop operating in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank as part of their duty to avoid complicity in human rights abuses.” Indeed, HRW has announced that Shakir will remain its Israel-Palestine director, operating from a neighboring country. “There’s no point in replacing Omar, because our next researcher would have the same problem,” HRW Executive Director Kenneth Roth explained.

In Alqasem, the court noted that the preventive rationales of the 2017 law are aimed at those who “threaten Israeli democracy and seek to subjugate it through the imposition of an aggressive and violent boycott.” In Human Rights Watch, the court clarified that what is at stake is also, potentially, the “delegitimization of Israel and of its policy” (emphasis added). Indeed, the boycott laws, coupled with the court’s continued acquiescence to the law’s conflation of Israel with Israeli settlements, threaten to impair the ability of citizens and noncitizens alike to engage in free discourse on one of the most difficult issues facing the country. They risk undermining the ability of human rights groups to defend human rights and promote respect for international law when their positions and interpretations of the law do not align with those of the Israeli government. They also threaten to further erode the all-important distinction in a democracy between delegitimization of the country itself and criticism of government policy.

And while the judges who handed down the European Court of Justice’s Nov. 12 judgment on settlement product labeling are unlikely to meet the same fate as Shakir the next time they come to Israel, the two decisions—rendered within days of one another—nonetheless demonstrate a growing disconnect between the discourse on settlements in Israel (and now, perhaps, the United States) and abroad.


          

"Holidays aren’t just our history. They’re our present. They show us the way forward."

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In Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield wrote,
Thanksgiving teaches us two values that lefties hate: gratitude to a higher power and coexistence.

...Days of thanksgiving were not unique in American history. But Thanksgiving as a paradigm of man’s relationship with G-d, and man’s relationship with man, is part of American exceptionalism. It’s how English, Scottish, French, and Dutch settlers were able to come together. And how waves of German, Irish, Jewish, Swedish, and Italian immigrants joined them to make the United States of America.

It’s why, despite the weight of history, African-Americans, Mexicans, and American Indians could all meet around a common national table in thankfulness and fellowship even in a divided nation.

...The real lesson of Thanksgiving is not that history isn’t complex, or that oppression doesn’t exist, but that oppression is not the most powerful force in human history. Fellowship and gratitude are. Politeness and civility are not a white supremacist conspiracy. They are the ways that we live together.

Assuming that we want to live together.

Thanksgiving doesn’t mean that we don’t have fundamental differences. The pilgrims and the Indians certainly did. They don’t mean that we have never fought and will never fight again. Only that we will not fight in this moment, that we will appreciate our common humanity, and the higher power that blesses us with prosperity and peace. If we can’t do that even for a moment, then we can’t coexist.

...Columbus Day has become a casualty in many parts of the country. Thanksgiving is next. And then the Fourth of July. Each of those days plays a vital role, not only in the nation’s history, but in its present. They’re part of an ongoing journey, of discovery, coexistence, and independence that has not ended.

Holidays aren’t just our history. They’re our present. They show us the way forward.

...Thanksgiving is a weapon that shatters the politics, history, and economic theorems of the Left. That weapon is the transcendence of gratitude. The politics of radicalism are fueled by outrage. Nothing is ever forgotten or forgiven. There is never a moment’s peace. Not even at the dinner table.

But Thanksgiving reminds us that we don’t have to be prisoners of the past. That our conflicts, past and present, personal and national, can be set aside if we choose faith and love, even for a moment.

...Thanksgiving liberates us from that prison, as it liberated the ancestors of our nation. Americans are not the prisoners of history. We make our own history. We transcend our past and build our future.

That is the power of Thanksgiving. It frightens the Left. And it should.

Thanksgiving, from its earliest days, had the power to unite a nation. The greatest weapon of the radicals is division. They amplify the divisions of family and nation, breaking us apart and driving the wedges deeper. But the true power of Thanksgiving can defeat them and reunite a nation.
Read more here.
          

Louis C.K. Tells Israeli Audience He’d ‘Rather Be In Auschwitz Than New York City’

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Disgraced comedian Louis C.K. inserted his foot in his mouth again, telling an audience in Israel that he’d prefer to be in the concentration camp where millions of Jewish people were massacred than be in New York City.

“I’d rather be in Auschwitz than New York City,” C.K. said during a Thanksgiving night performance in Holon, a city south of Tel Aviv, according to multiple reports.

“I mean now, not when it was open,” he added.

Auschwitz was a concentration camp built and operated by Nazi Germany where 1.1 million men, women and children were exterminated during World War II, including 865,000 Jews who were gassed on arrival. Many who were not gassed died of starvation, beatings and disease.

Although many on social media got a belly laugh out of the joke – one Twitter user said they bought tickets to his show because of it – and the Daily News reported that “the audience burst into applause” for the comedian, others on Twitter went berserk:

C.K., who is of Jewish descent, is in the middle of an international comedy tour that includes sold-out shows in Slovakia, along with performances in Hungary and a series of U.S. shows in Detroit, Akron, Reading, Mobile, New Orleans and Houston.

During his Holon set, C.K. also addressed his behavior as being wrong, according to the New York Daily News.

“If they say ‘yes,’ then still don’t do it, because it’s not popular,” he said in apparent reference to the growing #MeToo movement.

But this isn’t the first time C.K. has referenced masturbating in front of women during a comedy set. Earlier this year in a San Jose comedy club, C.K. told the audience, “I like to jerk off, and I don’t like being alone.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Louis CK Enforces Cellphone Ban at His Stand-Up Shows

Pete Holmes on Louis CK: 'It Would Be Wonderful if He Would Evolve' (Video)

Louis CK Jokes About His Sexual Misconduct: 'I Like to Jerk Off, and I Don't Like Being Alone'


          

Dec 5, 2019: Department of Medicine Grand Rounds - Michael Steinman, MD at Parnassus Campus

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“Deprescribing for Older Adults – Beyond the Obvious"

Dr. Steinman is a national leader in identifying and improving the quality of medication prescribing in clinically complex older adults. He devotes most of his time to research, while also maintaining an active clinical practice in the geriatrics clinic and inpatient general medicine service at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. Dr. Steinman's research program focuses on improving how doctors prescribe medications for older adults, and is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and other funders. His research interests also include improving evaluation and care for older adults with multiple chronic conditions, and pharmaceutical industry marketing, and he has a strong interest in mentorship and supporting career development for junior investigators.

Dr. Steinman is co-Principal Investigator of an NIH-funded national research network for research on deprescribing medications in older adults; Associate Director of the UCSF Pepper Center for Aging Research; Co-Director for Research, Director of Research Training, and Director of the T32 Aging Research Fellowship in the UCSF Division of Geriatrics; and Visiting Research Scientist at the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living (formerly known as the Jewish Home of San Franciso). He also has leadership roles with several national organizations, including service as co-chair of the American Geriatrics Society Beers Criteria guideline panel.

PLEASE NOTE MEDICINE GRAND ROUNDS ARE HELD IN HSW-301

To access MGR live streams and current semester recordings, please visit ETS here: DOM Medical Grand Rounds.

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David Guetta Net Worth

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Pierre David Guetta was born on 7 November 1967 in Paris, France of Belgian, Moroccan and Jewish descent. He is one of the most successful producers to this day, though he firstly became known as a DJ in some of the world’s best nightclubs. So how rich is David Guetta? Sources estimate his current net …

The post David Guetta Net Worth appeared first on Net Worth Post.


          

Rabbi Henry Sobel, 75, Dies; Defied Brazil’s Military Rulers

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The leader of the largest liberal Jewish congregation in Latin America, he took a stand when a journalist was killed by his torturers in 1975.
          

The War of the Curls

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Walk down the streets of Tel Aviv or Haifa, and you’ll see many women with naturally curly hair. But turn on Israeli TV news, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a female anchor who hasn’t pressed her hair flat. And this isn’t just a trend among news anchors. In Israel, female politicians, entrepreneurs, and celebrities who step into the limelight are soon found featuring straight, shiny locks, no matter their hair’s original texture.

Male politicians and celebrities with curly hair exist in Israel, but since they tend to keep their hair short, it’s been less of an issue; women, who more often keep their hair long, are in the eye of this cultural storm. But recently, there’s been a cultural uprising brewing, as curls take center stage in the national conversation.

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John Rawls’ ‘A Theory of Justice’ and Jewish Heresy

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John Rawls’s undergraduate senior thesis, A Brief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and Faith, has given us an invaluable new perspective on his intellectual formation. The young Rawls, who planned to become an Episcopal priest, spent his Princeton years immersed in neo-Orthodox Christian theology and dedicated his thesis to an exploration of its themes. It was in this essay that Rawls first developed his idea of “moral arbitrariness,” and it is significant that he did so in the context of a fierce attack on the Pelagian heresy.

The theological issues involved in this dispute go back, as we have seen, to the very beginnings of the Christian church. Early Christians confronted a question of theodicy: how can we vindicate the justice of an omnipotent God, given the terrible suffering we see all around us—and given His apparent intention to punish many of us with eternal damnation? A natural way of answering this challenge would be to insist upon the radical freedom of human beings. God, being good, has created us to be capable of morality, but we cannot be capable of morality without being free to choose to do evil. Human suffering (or a great deal of it, at any rate) is the result of the free choice of free men, and, precisely because it is always in our power to merit God’s favor by doing right, we cannot deny that God justly punishes us when we sin.

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A History of Silence

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The last fight I ever had with my father, was [after] a friend of mine had just taken his life in the early days of the AIDS crisis. And I was out at the beach staying with a friend. My dad lived on the North Shore (Long Island, New York) and he came down to console me. And we were talking about ACT UP and the work I was doing. And he gave me this, like, old lefty thing—he was a Bolshevik—and he said, “You know, I really love what you’re doing, Av, but there will never be a revolution in America so long as there’s television.”

I said, Listen, this is the last time we’re having this conversation. I have two choices: I can do nothing—and I know what happens if I do nothing. People continue to die. Or I can try something. Maybe it will work, and maybe it won’t. And if it doesn’t work, I’ll try something else. And maybe less people will die. So, we’re never having this conversation again. It doesn’t matter whether there will be a revolution. People are dying. There really isn’t a choice. If you look at it that way, there is no choice.

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Breaking Bread

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This week on Unorthodox, we’re thankful for bread, bagels, and deli.

We talked carbohydrates and community on stage at the JCC of Metro Detroit with two Jewish guests who run Detroit institutions: Jackie Victor, CEO and co-founder of Avalon International Breads, and Phil Goldsmith, fourth-generation owner of New York Bagel.

Continue reading "Unorthodox Ep. 205: Live From Detroit, Plus a Pilgrimage to Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan" at...


          

Teaching Hebrew to the Puritans

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Dickdook Leshon Gnebreet: A Grammar of the Hebrew Tongue, the first Hebrew primer produced in the North American colonies, concludes abruptly with a citation from the Prophet Zephaniah:

I submit to the Judgment of the truly Learned in this Ancient Tongue, and Conclude by Wishing, that the Time may come when the Prophecy in Zeph. 3. 9. shall be accomplished, כִּי-אָז אֶהְפּךְֹ אֶל-עַמִּים, שָׂפָה בְרוּרָה, לִקְראֹ כֻלָּם בְּשֵׁם יְהוָה, לְעָבְדוֹ שְׁכֶם אֶחָד . For then will I turn to the People a pure Language, (or Lip) that they may all call upon the Name of the Lord, to serve him with one Consent. (or Shoulder.)

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The New MMA Hotbed: Israel

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Aviv Gozali had just defeated his Ukrainian opponent by submission in 56 seconds—an eternity, given his previous, record-setting 11-second submission win on Aug. 25 in Connecticut—and the delirium enveloping the sold-out crowd in Menora Mivtahim Arena on Nov. 14 surely rivaled the decibel levels celebrating the league basketball titles captured in the building by dynastic Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Gozali basked in the roar of fans enjoying this mixed martial arts (MMA) fight night as the public-address system played one of the best-known ballads by Israel’s legendary singer-songwriter, the late Arik Einstein. It opens with:

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Thanks, Norman Rockwell

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Norman Rockwell, ‘Freedom from Want,’ 1943 (Wikipedia)

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The Birth of Tradition

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On a blustery December day in 1985, three Jewish women from Houston strode into Bloomingdale’s department store in New York City. They came to sell, not to shop. In their hands were five large boxes, each one weighing about 40 pounds, packed with sealed copies of Tradition, a Jewish trivia board game they had created. Tradition had just been profiled in The New York Times on Nov. 30, and the game was gaining traction, but nothing prepared the women for the chaotic scene that awaited them that day.

When they arrived at the stationery department to unload copies of the game, the manager informed them that a previous order of 60 games that arrived the day before had quickly sold out. In a memoir she wrote about the making of the game, Tradition co-creator Estelle Panzer recalled what happened next: “We immediately started opening the boxes of games we had brought. The games did not even make it to the shelves. People ran up to us and grabbed the games as we were removing them from the shipping boxes. Within two hours, all 60 games were gone!” Panzer and her collaborators, Janis Odensky and Judy Jordan, watched in amazement as New Yorkers fought and scrambled to purchase copies of Tradition to keep for themselves, or to give as Hanukkah gifts that season. “We left New York,” Panzer wrote, “feeling as if we had conquered the world.”

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How did November become the Mizrahi Heritage Month? And what’s Mizrahi anyhow?

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A Yemenite family walks through the desert to a reception camp 

 

Recently, a growing number of Jewish American organizations began marking November as the "Sephardic/Mizrahi Heritage Month." In the American context, awareness months come to illuminate histories of marginalized communities whose stories are overshadowed and underrepresented in the official curricula and memory. The Mizrahi heritage month, by contrast, is not a local, grassroots initiative that emerged in response to experiences of discrimination or marginalization. Instead, it is a transatlantic importation of recent attempts by the Israeli government to commemorate the forced expulsion of Jews from the Arab and Muslim world in the wake of the establishment of Israel. Nor is November a month that has any particular significance in the histories or rituals of any of the dozen Jewish minority communities that resided in Northern Africa and the Middle East. Instead, the specific date, November 30th, was chosen by the Israeli lawmaker as a symbolic birth date of the mass exodus of Jews from Arab speaking lands triggered by the UN Partition Resolution of November 29th, 1947.

 

Erroneously, in the North American Jewish world, the terms “Sephardi” and “Mizrahi” are often treated as synonymous. Yet, unlike the term “Sephardi,” which originates in the expulsion of Jews from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492 (Sepharad is the Hebrew term for Spain), Mizrahi is a category which is not only far more recent in historical terms but is also politically charged and rooted in a specific Israeli context. Mizrahi, literarily meaning “eastern” or “Oriental” in Hebrew, was an adjective-turned-term that was coined in pre-statehood Palestine and later used in Israel to denote any non-Ashkenazi Jew. In early statehood Israel, a considerable degree of patronizing attitude and discrimination towards “Oriental Jews” who were regarded as less civilized, ill-educated, lacking sufficient ideological commitment resulted in discrimination. During the 1950s, Mizrahi Jews were sent to frontier settlements and to newly established "development towns" that were established in the country's peripheral regions. Soon enough, these towns transformed into conspicuous pockets of deprivation and poverty, and their Mizrahi residents became a discernible low-status blue-collar class, deprived of the same employment and education opportunities as their Ashkenazi peers. In that process, the adjective "Mizrahi” became a highly contested and politically charged term, and not a neutral sociological category.  

 

Years of a persistent civic struggle for equal rights by Mizrahi activists and scholars in Israel, accompanied by demands for recognition of their full history, did not solve all social problems and inequality nor erase past scars. During the 1970s, the Likud Party’s leadership reappropriated the Mizrahi struggle to claim a stake at the Israeli national story. Other political parties, such as Shas, the non-Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox party that was established during the mid-1980s, also tried to harness the Mizrahi struggle with a considerable level of success. A 2014 legislation that created a new day of commemoration for Mizrahi Jews is yet another attempt to divert the Mizrahi call for equality in Israel to a political cause. In particular, it uses the politics of memory to create a false equation between "Jewish refugees from the Arab World" and the Palestinian refugees. Jewish communities in the Middle East and North Africa region had undergone different experiences, not just between different countries, but even between various communities in the same country. 1948 was undoubtedly a turning point for a great number of them, and the Israel-Palestine conflict loomed over much of it. But casting these rich histories into one single-dimensional narrative is, in fact, a cynical strategy employed by the Israeli Right to avoid the need to address Palestinian claim for compensation on behalf of the Palestinian refugees. 

 

Right-leaning Jewish organizations in the US, such as the San Francisco based JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East), were quick to adopt the Israeli ready-made mold of “Mizrahi commemoration” and to blend it with the American practice of “awareness months.” Their website describes them as a non-profit “committed to achieving universal recognition to the heritage and history of the 850,000 indigenous Jewish refugees Arab from countries.” Similar ideas are expressed by Hen Mazzig, a charismatic yet controversial "Hasbarah" (pro-Israeli advocacy) speaker who tours North American campuses, to speak to students about his family's immigration from Tunisia and Morocco, his experiences as a gay officer in the IDF, and ways of combating anti-Israeli critics. Critics of Israel on US campuses are described by him as silencing Middle Eastern and North African Jews. Almost simultaneously, a call upon Jews to join a mass kaddish (a prayer traditionally recited in memory of the dead) on November 30th appeared on the pages of the Jerusalem Post. It remains unclear if these are grassroots initiatives or a well-orchestrated state-funded campaign. As the Jewish daily The Forward revealed, Mazzig is most probably a contractor paid by the Israeli government. 

 

While asserting correctly that the heritage of Middle Eastern Jews does not receive equal space in the American-Jewish establishment, the kind of heritage that JIMENA and wishes to promote is equally superficial and shallow and is mostly comprised of stories of persecution and harassment followed by a final expulsion and a Zionist redemption. The historical narrative they are offering has less to do with the particular heritage and histories of these diverse communities and more to do with a politics of competitive victimhood and a “quid pro quo” argument about the nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which Jewish refugees from the Middle East are cast as mirror images of the roughly 750,000 Palestinians who were expelled during the 1948 War.

 

As historians who dedicate their careers to research modern Jewish history, who believe in the importance of studying the histories of Middle Eastern Jewish communities alongside Ashkenazi communities, we welcome the intent to deepen and broaden our understanding of the place of these communities. Eurocentric assumptions, including our tendency to understand Jewish modernity writ large as coming out of the experiences of European Jews, provides a very narrow prism that fails to capture the Jewish historical experience in all its richness and diversity. It is about time that academic Jewish Studies programs would expand their curriculum and educate the students and the wider public about the culture and history of Mizrahi Jews, alongside other non-Ashkenazi communities such as the Yemenite Jews, Iranian (Persian) Jews, Greek and Balkan Jews, Caucasus Jews, Bukharan Jews and more. We also believe in the value and the importance of heritage months to raise awareness to and help advance our understanding of marginalized social groups. Notably, per the Library of Congress website, the American-Jewish Heritage month is celebrated in May, as part of an effort of Jews to be part of the “big American Jewish tent.” We raise our eyebrows, however, at what seems as what might be an attempt to hijack this noble cause for a partisan issue and a state-sponsored invented tradition. Jewish communities in the US should pay greater attention to the non-Ashkenazi stories alongside the Ashkenazi saga. But we wonder if a day of commemoration that is copy-pasted mechanically rather than reflectively by Jewish diaspora communities would serve that purpose.


          

The Myth of the First Thanksgiving is a Buttress of White Nationalism and Needs to Go

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Most Americans assume that the Thanksgiving holiday has always been associated with the Pilgrims, Indians, and their famous feast. Yet that connection is barely 150 years old and is the result of white Protestant New Englanders asserting their cultural authority over an increasingly diverse country. Since then, the Thanksgiving myth has served to reinforce white Christian dominance in the United States. It is well past time to dispense with the myth and its white nationalist connotations. 

 

Throughout the colonial era, Thanksgiving had no association whatsoever with Pilgrims and Indians. It was a regional holiday, observed only in the New England states or in the Midwestern areas to which New Englanders had migrated. No one thought of the event as originating from a poorly documented 1621 feast shared by the English colonists of Plymouth and neighboring Wampanoag Indians. Ironically, Thanksgiving celebrations had emerged out of the English puritan practice of holding fast days of prayer to mark some special mercy or judgment from God, after which the community would break bread. Over the generations, these days of Thanksgiving began to take place annually instead of episodically and the fasting became less strictly observed. 

 

The modern character of the holiday only began to emerge during the mid to late 1800s.  In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared that the last Thursday of November should be held as a national day of Thanksgiving to foster unity amid the horrors of the Civil War. Afterward, it became a tradition, with some modifications to the date, and spread to the South too. Around the same time, Americans began to trace the holiday  back to Pilgrims and Indians. The start of this trend appears to have been the Reverend Alexander Young’s 1841 publication  of the Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers, which contained the only primary source account of the great meal, consisting of a mere four lines. To it, Young added a footnote stating that “This was the first Thanksgiving, the harvest festival of New England.” Over the next fifty years, various New England authors, artists, and lecturers disseminated Young’s idea until Americans took it for granted. Surely, few footnotes in history have been so influential.

 

For the rest of the nation to go along with New England’s idea that a dinner between Pilgrims and Indians was the template for a national holiday, the United States first had to finish its subjugation of the tribes of the Great Plains and far West. Only then could its people stop vilifying Indians as bloodthirsty savages and give them an unthreatening role in a national founding myth. The Pilgrim saga also had utility in the nation’s culture wars. It was no coincidence that authorities began trumpeting the Pilgrims as national founders amid widespread anxiety that the country was being overrun by Catholic and then Jewish immigrants unappreciative of America’s Protestant, democratic origins and values. Depicting the Pilgrims as the epitome of colonial America also served to minimize the country’s longstanding history of racial oppression at a time when Jim Crow was working to return blacks in the South to as close to a state of slavery as possible and racial segregation was becoming the norm nearly everywhere else. Focusing on the Pilgrims’ noble religious and democratic principles in treatments of colonial history, instead of on the shameful Indian wars and systems of slavery more typical of the colonies, enabled whites to think of the so-called black and Indian problems as southern and western exceptions to an otherwise inspiring national heritage. 

 

Americans tend to view the Thanksgiving myth as harmless, but it is loaded with fraught ideological meaning. In it, the Indians of Cape Cod and the adjacent coast (rarely identified as Wampanoags) overcome their initial trepidation and prove to be “friendly” (requiring no explanation), led by the translators Samoset and Squanto (with no mention of how they learned English) and the chief, Massasoit. They feed the starving English and teach them how to plant corn and where to fish, whereupon the colony begins to thrive. The two parties then seal their friendship with the feast of the First Thanksgiving. The peace that follows permits colonial New England and, by extension, modern America, to become seats of freedom, democracy, Christianity and plenty. As for what happens to the Indians next, this myth has nothing to say. The Indians’ legacy is to present America as a gift to others or, in other words, to concede to colonialism. Like Pocahontas and Sacajawea (the other most famous Indians of Early American history) they help the colonizers then move offstage. 

 

Literally. Since the early twentieth century, American elementary schools have widely held annual Thanksgiving pageants in which students dress up as Pilgrims and Indians and reenact this drama. I myself remember participating in such a pageant which closed with the song, “My Country Tis of Thee.” The first verse of it goes: My country tis of thee/ Sweet land of liberty/ Of thee I sing./ Land where my fathers died!/ Land of the Pilgrim’s pride!/ From every mountain side,/ Let freedom ring!” Having a diverse group of schoolchildren sing about the Pilgrims as “my fathers” was designed to teach them about who we, as Americans, are, or at least who we’re supposed to be. Even students from ethnic backgrounds would be instilled with the principles of representative government, liberty, and Christianity, while learning to identify with English colonists from four hundred years ago as fellow whites. Leaving Indians out of the category of “my fathers” also carried important lessons. It was yet another reminder about which race ran the country and whose values mattered. 

 

Lest we dismiss the impact of these messages, consider the experience of a young Wampanoag woman who told this author that when she was in grade school, the lone Indian in her class, her teacher cast her as Chief Massasoit in one of these pageants and had her sing with her classmates “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land.” At the time, she was just embarrassed. As an adult, she sees the cruel irony in it. Other Wampanoags commonly tell of their parents objecting to these pageants and associated history lessons that the New England Indians were all gone, only to have school officials respond with puzzlement at their claims to be Indian. The only authentic Indians were supposed to be primitive relics, not modern, so what were they doing in school, speaking English, wearing contemporary clothing, and returning home to adults who had jobs and drove cars?

 

Even today, the Thanksgiving myth is one of the few cameos Native people make in many schools’ curriculum. Most history lessons still pay little to no heed to the civilizations Native Americans had created over thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans or how indigenous people have suffered under and resisted colonization. Even less common is any treatment of how they have managed to survive, adapt, and become part of modern society while maintaining their Indian identities and defending their indigenous rights. Units on American government almost never address the sovereignty of Indian tribes as a basic feature of American federalism, or ratified Indian treaties as “the supreme law of the land” under the Constitution. Native people certainly bear the brunt of this neglect, ignorance, and racial hostility, but the rest of the country suffers in its own ways too.   

 

The current American struggle with white nationalism is not just a moment in time. It is the product of centuries of political, social, cultural, and economic developments that have convinced a critical mass of white Christians that the country has always belonged to them and always should. The myth of Thanksgiving is one of the many buttresses of that ideology. That myth is not about who we were but how past generations wanted us to be. It is not true. The truth exposes the Thanksgiving myth as a myth rather than history, and so let us declare it dead except as a subject for the study of nineteenth-and twentieth-century American cultural history. What we replace it with will tell future Americans about how we envision ourselves and the path of our society. 

 


          

Prophetic Actions

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A prophetic action (prophetic act) is something done (at God's directions) in the natural (physical) realm that supports God's workings in the spiritual realm, to bring forth results that would be manifested in the natural realm. Such prophetic ministry becomes the forerunner of that move of God that opens the channel for His glory and power to be released that will affect our natural environment.

The prophetic act or activity is usually displayed or demonstrated or communicated in a dimension or language that is thought to be easily understood by those to whom the revealed prophetic actions is intended.

Prophetic acts that might have yielded fruits of great glory are of no special significance if not ordered by God.

THREE KINDS OF PROPHETIC ACTIONS

1.PROPHETIC ACTIONS PERFORMED BY GOD HIMSELF

The Prophetic acts of God often convey His love for His people. But many times these prophetic acts also communicated God’s disappointment, correction, and rebuke.

Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them

This is a prophetic act of enormous prophetic portion. God provides a covering for them in the form of a prophetic act of the redemption. God made them coats of skin to now cover them. The coats were not to shield them from the elements as we use coats today, but they were to cover them in their now perceived nakedness. Our sin exposes us not to God but to ourselves and to the perceptions of others.

2. PROPHETIC ACTIONS PERFORMED BY A PROPHET

Acts 21:10,11 10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus 11 And coming to us, • he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns * this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’”

Agabus revealed to Paul and the disciples that the road ahead wouldn’t be easy for the owner of the belt (Paul).

3. PROPHETIC ACTIONS PERFORMED BY A BELIEVER

The best example of a prophetic act performed by a believer is water baptism. A prophetic action enables the recipients to see what they are unwilling to accept through mere words due to their frightened or hardened hearts. If they reject the physical act, then the state of their hearts is exposed. Water Baptism is a Symbolical enactment of death to self and resurrection to a new life with Christ.

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Baptism will not save you but the prophetic act of obedience to God’s commandment will place you on the path of salvation.

Prophetic acts can break accepted cultural, ethical, and religious norms.

  1. Jeremiah was told not to marry or have children in order to live out a prophetic action before God’s people (Jer.16:1-13). God’s prophetic words to His people were all the more potent as they came through this bachelor-prophet: as Jeremiah had no offspring, so the children born to Jewish parents would die from disease and by the hand of their enemies.
  2. Ezekiel was ordered toshave his beard and head (a disgrace for a Jewish man; see II Sam.10:4-5), and then to burn one third of it in the center of Jerusalem, strike one third with a sword throughout the city, and scatter the remaining third to the wind (Ez.5:1-17). He was then to explain to the people in Jerusalem how his actions represented the judgments that were coming upon them.
  3. The prophet Hosea was divinely directed twice to marry prostitutes (Hos.1:2-9; 3:1-5). His marriages, and the children he fathered in the first marriage, were prophetic actions to Israel.
  4. The prophet Zechariah was commanded to place a kingly crown upon the head of the high priest Joshua (Zech.6:9-15). His act was noteworthy because priests were forbidden from ruling as kings, and vice versa (see II Chr.26:16-21; Num.3:10; 16:39-40).This violation of the written word was followed by a prophetic word that foretold the Priest-King, Jesus Christ, who would rebuild Jerusalem’s temple and rule on the throne of Israel – a true priest on His throne.

Moses ROD

  1. Moses was always carrying out prophetic acts with his rod, he was always prophesying with his rod. God chose Moses, knowing he had a speech impediment (see Exodus 4:10), so He (God) could speak through him; so He could do signs, wonders and miracles through him; so He could do prophetic acts through him. God chose a man who now knew how to LEAN ON HIM. God said to Moses in Exodus 4:2, “What’s that in your hand? . . . USE IT!” His rod became his point of contact for prophetic acts.

  2. In Exodus 14, after the Israelites fled from Egypt, we read about the Egyptians pursuing them with vengeance; they wanted to retrieve their slaves; the exodus of the Israelites had humiliated them; they were all devastated at the loss of their firstborn. In verses 15, 16 & 21 we see that Moses had to DO something, not SAY something. “Don’t speak . . . ACT! Stop praying, stop crying out to Me and get the people moving forward. Stretch out your rod over the sea and divide it . . .”

Elisha & King Joash's Arrow

2 Kings 13:14-19 14 Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. 15 And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows. 16 And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the king’s hands. 17 And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the LORD’S deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them. 18 And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed. 19 And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.

  1. Elisha the prophet instructed the king to release arrows eastwards from a bow. Apparently, this was a prophetic act that meant that Israel would triumph over her enemies, the Syrians, who were occupying Israel's land in the east of Jordan.
  2. Following that, Elisha gave instructions for another prophetic act: "The arrow of the Lord's deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them". Having said that to the king, Elisha instructed the King to strike the ground with arrows. King Joash dealt only three blows to the ground - to the reproach of Elisha who told him that because he struck the ground only three times, therefore Syria would suffer defeat not more than three times; while had the king struck the ground repeatedly Syria would have been rendered beyond recovery and would cease to be of any further threat to Israel.

The measure of victory we gain over our enemies comes from the obedience we give to divine instructions.

Your obedience + God's faithfulness = Great Things

Can you be trusted with more?

Luke 16:10 New American Standard "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.


          

The Fatherhood of God

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Galatians 4:4–7 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

There are many people today that believe in God. People believe that God exists or maybe exists. There is no problem in modern days to believe in some form of deity and have a monotheistic view of his existence. In Asia is common to believe in many gods but in western countries people that even have doubts have no problem in either accepting or debating the existence of one God.

What people have a hard time to understand is that God reveals himself to us in different ways but one form, “The Father”.

Knowing the Father

Here’s what Jesus had to say about God in His days,

John 16:2-3 2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3 And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me.

Jesus explained that it wasn’t enough to believe in God but he was teaching people to get to know Him and the Father. Reading the gospels we can detect that only four times does Jesus so much as mention the name of God, while He speaks of the Father at least forty times.

The revelation of God as the Father of men

The revelation of God as the Father of men was a practically new conception exposed in the teaching and in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ—not in His teaching alone. We should never have known God as Father by the message of Jesus Christ only; we should never have been able to conceive what Christ’s idea of God was if we had not seen that idea worked out in the very person of Jesus Christ Himself. It was not alone that He told us what God was. He said that when He walked before men, He was Himself one with the Father on Whom the eyes of men might gaze:

John 14:6-10 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye would have known my Father also; from henceforth ye have known Him and have seen Him. Philip saith unto Him, Lord show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and dost thou not know me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; how sayest thou, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth His works.”

When Christ told us that to see Him was to see the Father, we learned that fatherhood is something expressed in humility, obedience, service, purity, innocent suffering, honorable death, and victory over sin and the grave. Divine fatherhood, in other words, is love and power exercised on behalf of others. The bond between the Father and us is no longer merely what it was in the Old Testament era. The God of Israel has become our abba, an ancient Aramaic word for “Daddy” (Gal. 4:6).

The ”Father” in the Old Testament

The notion that God is a father, of course, is rooted in the Hebrew Scriptures (e.g., Exod. 4:22; Deut. 32:6; Isa. 43:6; 63:16; 64:8; Jer. 31:9, 20; Hos. 11:1; Mal. 2:10). What marks Christian doctrine off from Jewish doctrine (and even far more from pagan doctrine) in this regard is not the paternity of God, but the centrality and emphasis given it by Christ.

The fatherhood of God was constantly on the lips of Christ, from the time He was 12 and told Mary and Joseph He had to be about His Father’s business (Luke 2:49) until the very end of His earthly life, when, on the cross,

He prayed for His executioners and commended His spirit into His Father’s hands (Luke 23:34, 46). Between those two episodes stand many dozens of affirmations concerning the fatherhood of God. Nor is Christ alone in these affirmations for, as a converted Jew, Paul also affirmed his belief in the fatherhood of God (Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 8:6; 2 Cor. 1:3; 11: 31; Col. 1:3), as did all the apostles. For biblical and historic Christianity, the supreme name of God is “Father.”

God’s fatherhood

God’s fatherhood is perhaps the most fundamental thing about Him. That is why He is constantly making us — each of us — His children. That is why He is constantly desiring to make a family of us. He will not relent until He has succeeded. His paternity makes it so. When we echo the words of Christ and call God “Father,” when we recite the Creed, meant as it is for those who are born again, we are naming God as our Father and Christ as our Brother, a Brother with whom we are the joint heirs of the universe (Rom. 8:17; Heb. 1:2). As the adopted children of God, we claim membership in a family much more extensive, important, and enduring than the human family from which we sprang. To confess belief in God the Father, therefore, is to affirm belief in an ultimately benevolent universe.

ASCENSION - the right hand of the Father

John 20:17 “Mary, go and tell my disciples that I ascend unto my Father, and your Father, my God and your God”

The ascension is an image from the ancient world’s royal ceremonies. The new king would enter the throne room, the inner sanctum, in a spectacular procession. He began his session at the royal court by giving gifts and appointing governors over the realm.

The Ascension moves Christ’s work from one of humiliation to exaltation. Currently, the Lord Jesus is in heaven. The Scriptures frequently picture Him at the right hand of the Father-a position of honor and authority (Psalm 110:1; Ephesians 1:20; Hebrews 8:1).

The right hand of the Father

The right hand of God (Dextera Domini “right hand of the Lord” in Latin) or God’s right hand may refer to the Bible and common speech as a metaphor for the omnipotence of God and as a motif in art. In the Bible, to be at the right side “is to be identified as being in the special place of honor”. the “right hand” is used throughout the Scriptures as a symbol for both intimacy with, and the power and authority of, God. Thus in the Gospels, Jesus quotes from Psalm 110: “The Lord said to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet’” (Matthew 22:44).

The idea here is of God “the Father, Almighty, the maker of heaven and earth”, enthroned in the heavens, before whom all Creation bows down. And since the “one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son” is as fully and truly God as the Father is, he is enthroned alongside him, as his equal. In heaven no one seats at the left hand of the father since there is no room for lack of honour in the Throne room. Through Christ, we are (or at least have the potential to become) “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). As such, then in our rightful home of heaven, we will dwell in the divine beatitude – that is to say, at the right hand of the Father, along with our fellow human being Jesus Christ.


          

The Orthodox Nationalist: The October Revolution Part I – TON 112719

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Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson presents part one of a two part series on the mechanics of the Bolshevik takeover of power in the October revolution in 1917.

In February, the Tsar was overthrown in a military coup – he never “resigned” – but this was only a pretext. The Provisional Government, the “Whites,” were weak, divided and incoherent. Because of the connections Trotsky and others had made with New York bankers, especially the Schiff clan, the Bolshevik faction, relatively small in February of 1917, had grown many times its original size in October.

How a tiny, unpopular party grew from a few hundred in February to 400,000 in October is something that requires a substantial answer. The reason is German assistance, the emptying of the prisons, the use of German POWs as infantry, mercenaries from abroad and, most of all, the influx of huge sums of money from Jewish bankers in New York.

In the short period of time between February and October, more than 40 Red newspapers sprang up all over the country that outclassed their rivals in production quality. Finally, the abortive coup of Gen. Kornilov to end the chaos of Kerensky's regime (some say set up by Kerensky himself) destroyed what was left of army discipline, and the small but powerful Red battalions swept into the unguarded Petrograd center.

And this was just the start.

Presented by Matt Johnson


The Orthodox Nationalist: The October Revolution Part I – TON 112719




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The Daily Nationalist: The Arch-Rabbi of Canterbury – DN 112719

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Carolyn Yeager talks to Sven Longshanks about Justin Welby’s philo-semitism and the lack of people who will stand up to Jewish bullying.

Justin Welby is known by the Jews asthe first Jewish arch-bishop of Canterbury’.

He has authored a foreword in a report to the church, condemning Christians for making ‘false’ accusations against the Jews.

The Chief Rabbi has endorsed the report and even gets the last word to it, confirming the total control Jews have over Welby and the Church of England. 

Presented by Sven Longshanks and Carolyn Yeager


The Daily Nationalist: The Arch-Rabbi of Canterbury – DN 112719




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Jan Munk, leader of Jewish community dies

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December 2, 2019

Prague Daily Monitor

Czech Television reported that Jan Munk, the Chairman of the Prague Jewish Community, passed away on Sunday, after a long illness. He was 72 years old. Previously, Munk served as the Director of the Terezín Memorial and was instrumental in reshaping the content of the memorial's permanent exhibitions and displays. Munk was a larger-than-life figure, in the Jewish community in Prague and played a key role in keeping the community together.

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Jan Munk, leader of Jewish community dies

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December 1, 2019

Prague Daily Monitor

Czech Television reported that Jan Munk, the Chairman of the Prague Jewish Community, passed away on Sunday, after a long illness. He was 72 years old. Previously, Munk served as the Director of the Terezín Memorial and was instrumental in reshaping the content of the memorial's permanent exhibitions and displays. Munk was a larger-than-life figure, in the Jewish community in Prague and played a key role in keeping the community together.

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Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, Volume 6

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Confronting Modernity, 1750–1880

Edited by Elisheva Carlebach


          

A Hanukkah Tree for Her Methodist Mom

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A Jewish daughter searches for the perfect gift for her Christian mother.
          

A Christmas Tree for Hanukkah

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Guideposts staffer Mari Pack, who is Jewish, shares how she and her brother surprised their mother, who is Christian, with a Christmas tree on the final night of Hanukkah.
          

MENA Lit Chat with Massoud Hayoun, Author of "When We Were Arabs", Dec 4

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Join us at the CMES for a conversation with acclaimed novelist Massoud Hayoun about his new novel, When We Were Arabs: A Jewish Family’s Forgotten History.

There was a time when being an “Arab” didn’t mean you were necessarily Muslim. It was a time when Oscar Hayoun, a Jewish Arab, strode along the Nile in a fashionable suit after Shabbat services on his way to bring tobacco to his dying grandfather, long before Oscar and his father arrived at the port of Haifa to join the Zionist state only to find themselves first hosed down with DDT then left unemployed on the margins of society. In that time, Arabness was a mark of diverse cosmopolitanism, of intellectualism. Today, in the age of the Likud and ISIS, Massoud Hayoun, the Jewish Arab journalist that Oscar raised in Los Angeles, finds his voice by telling his family’s story.

Massoud Hayoun is a journalist based in Los Angeles, most recently freelancing for Al Jazeera English and Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown online while writing a weekly column on foreign affairs for Pacific Standard. He previously worked as a reporter for Al Jazeera America, The Atlantic, Agence France-Presse, and the South China Morning Post and has been published widely. He speaks and works in five languages and won a 2015 EPPY Award.

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies is a non-partisan academic research unit. The views of our contributors, guest speakers, and affiliates do not necessarily reflect the views of CMES or of the University of California, Berkeley.

If you require special accessibility accommodations to attend our activities or access the center, please contact cmes@berkeley.edu three business days in advance.
          

The 2019 Violinist.com Holiday Gift Guide

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By Laurie Niles: Gift-giving is one of the great joys of the holiday season, and each year we compile a list of some of the year's best new recordings, books, gear and other offerings from violinists for you to consider in your holiday gift-giving, gift-asking — and loading of the smartphone, computer or other device. We hope this allows you to consider a music-related gift.

We also would suggest considering supporting your local live music scene by purchasing tickets to local music events or simply making a year-end donation to a musical non-profit of your choice. I've tried to be inclusive, but I'm sure I have missed some ideas, so please feel free add your suggestions in the comments section. And yes, in this case, you are allowed to toot your own horn and recommend your own CD or book or product! You may also wish to refer to our gift-giving guides from previous years; I've listed links to those at the end of this blog. Also, please consider purchasing a gift from one of our Violinist.com sponsors, which you can find in our Directory of Shops and Services or on the right-hand side of this page.

Many of the recordings below are linked to Amazon.com. Note that if you follow these links and make a purchase from Amazon, a portion of that will go to support Violinist.com. (If you would like to give a donation to support Violinist.com, click here.) I've also listed the artists' names in italics, and sometimes those are linked to stories we have written this year about them and their work. And whenever you buy any of these selections, from any source, you'll be helping to support the musicians and other artists who created them.

Violinist Gift Guide 2019

RECORDINGS:

Brahms, Ligeti: Violin Concertos
Augustin Hadelich, violin
Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Miguel Harth-Bedoya conducting.

The Brahms Violin Concerto is always a treat, but especially in the hands of Augustin Hadelich, who also plays it with his own cadenza. He also performs Ligeti's Violin Concerto, with a new cadenza written by Thomas Adès. Here is our 2018 interview with Augustin about the Ligeti.

Augustin Hadelich
Augustin Hadelich.

6 Partitas by Antón García Abril
Hilary Hahn, violin

The way Antón García Abril put together the Six Partitas he wrote for solo violin makes his inspiration clear: he wrote six single-movement pieces and named them "Heart; Immensity; Love; Art; Reflexive; You" -- "H-I-L-A-R-Y." This is Hilary Hahn's world premiere recording of the partitas, commissioned by Hahn for solo violin. These works continue the longstanding tradition of composers such as J.S. Bach and Eugene Ysaÿe writing six polyphonic works for the violin. Read our interview with Hilary about these works here.. "Before these pieces existed,” said Hahn, “I knew they needed to be written. Antón García Abril deeply understands the violin, and he epitomizes a musical tradition that has never before been expressed in the solo violin repertoire. His voice is romantic and impulsive, abrasive, beautiful."

Hilary Hahn
Hilary Hahn. Photo by Dana van Leeuwen for Decca.

Across the Stars
Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin
John Williams, composer and conductor
The Recording Arts Orchestra of Los Angeles

Two great artists unite: At the request of violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, award-winning film composer John Williams created arrangements for solo violin and orchestra of some of his best and most popular movie themes. The album includes 12 arrangements, with music from the Star Wars series such as "Luke and Leia," "Yoda's Theme," "Across the Stars" and "Rey's Theme"; as well as "Hedwig's Theme" from Harry Potter; and music from Schindler's List, Memoirs of a Geisha, Dracula, Cinderella Liberty and more. The arrangement and performance of "Hedwig's Theme" from Harry Potter, is especially impressive.

John Williams and Anne Sophie Mutter
Composer John Williams and violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. Photo by Prashant Gupta, courtesy Deutsche Grammophon.

Chaplin's Smile
Philippe Quint, violin
Marta Aznavoorian, piano

Who knew that the great cinematic artist Charlie Chaplin was also quite a composer (as well as a violinist)? In celebration of Charlie Chaplin’s 130th Birthday, violinist Philippe Quint released this album with 13 new arrangements of songs from Chaplin's films including City Lights, The Great Dictator, The Kid, Limelight & Modern Times. Joshua Bell makes a guest appearance on two tracks. In a process that took more than three years, Quint, in collaboration with arrangers Charles Coleman and Leon Gurvitch, went through dozens of songs and soundtracks written by Chaplin to select the songs best suited for violin and piano. Here is our interview with Philippe about the creation of this album.

Philippe Quint
Philippe Quint. Photo by Isi Akahome.

Torke: Sky, Concerto for Violin
Tessa Lark, violin
Albany Symphony, David Alan Miller, conducting

Nominated for a 2020 Grammy, this album features violinist Tessa Lark performing a concerto written for her by Michael Torke, inspired by American bluegrass and Irish reels. It's one of three albums Lark released in quick succession this fall; the others are Fantasy, featuring Fantasies and Rhapsodies for violin, including her own "Appalachian Fantasy"; as well as Invention, a duo collaboration with bassist Michael Thurber, with both Bach Two-Part Inventions as well as their own compositions. See our latest interview with Tessa Lark here.

Tessa Lark
Tessa Lark. Photo by Lauren Desberg.

Ascent
Matthew Lipman, viola
Henry Kramer, piano

Violist Matthew Lipman dedicates this album of viola fantasies to the memory of his mother. Recipient of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Lipman commissioned Clarice Assad to write "Metamorfose," a commentary on grief and acceptance which receives its premiere recording on this album. He also includes Dmitri Shostakovich’s long-lost "Impromptu for Viola and Piano," Op. 33, recently unearthed in the Moscow State Archives. Other pieces include Robert Schumann’s "Fairy Tale Pictures," York Bowen’s "Phantasy," Garth Knox’s "Fuga libre" and Franz Waxman’s popular violin showpiece, "Carmen Fantasie." Joining Lipman is pianist Henry Kramer.

Matthew Lipman
Violist Matthew Lipman.

Rhythm Future Quartet and Friends
Jason Anick, violin
Olli Soikkeli, guitar
Max O'Rourke, guitar
Greg Loughman, bass

If you love jazz, you will love this album of gypsy jazz by the Rhythm Future Quartet, featuring violinist Jason Anick, who teaches jazz violin at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. You can also procure transcriptions of their music here.

Jason Anick
Jazz violinist Jason Anick. Photo by Sasha Israel.

Bach: Sonatas
Renaud Capuçon, violin
David Fray, piano

"I listen to Bach, much more than I play Bach. I listen to Bach all of the time," said violinist Renaud Capuçon. "It gives me a mix of energy, wisdom, strength." This collaboration with pianist David Fray grew from a mutual love for and understanding of the music of Bach. Here is our recent interview with Renaud about Bach and more.

Renaud Capucon
Violinist Renaud Capuçon.

Hermitage Piano Trio Plays Rachmaninoff
Hermitage Piano Trio
Misha Keylin, violin
Sergey Antonov, cello
Ilya Kazantsev, piano

Here is another Grammy-nominated album, featuring the Hermitage Piano Trio. "When listening to (Rachmaninoff's) music — especially his orchestral works — I am always in awe of how skillfully Rachmaninoff utilizes string instruments in conveying the soul, passion and drama in his compositions," said said violinist Misha Keylin. "The two piano trios on this album were written by Rachmaninoff during his earlier years, but the maturity in his melodies and the themes are unmistakably traditional and on a grand scale. The phrases grow from almost barely audible church psalms and funeral processions to explosive climaxes that almost sound as if judgment day is upon us.

The Hermitage Piano Trio
The Hermitage Piano Trio. Photo By Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

The Butterfly
Martin Hayes, Irish fiddle
Brooklyn Rider
Johnny Gandelsman, violin
Colin Jacobsen, violin
Nicholas Cords, viola
Michael Nicolas, cello

Irish fiddler Martin Hayes and New York string quartet Brooklyn Rider celebrate a decade-long musical friendship with this album that celebrates traditional Irish music. They came up with unique versions of 12 tunes, from well-known traditional Irish tunes to "Maghera Mountain,” which was written by Hayes as a teenager and recorded for the first time here.

Brooklyn Rider Martin Hayes
Irish fiddler Martin Hayes with New York string quartet Brooklyn Rider.

Silenced Voices
Black Oak Ensemble
Desirée Ruhstrat, violin
David Cunliffe, cello
Aurélien Fort Pederzoli, viola

For its recording debut, the Chicago-based Black Oak Ensemble has put together an album of music by six Jewish composers whose work was suppressed by the Nazis, with works by Dutch composer Dick Kattenburg; Czech composers Hans Krása and Gideon Klein; and Hungarian composers Sándor Kuti, Paul Hermann, and Géza Frid. "It is poignant music but also incredibly human," said the trio's violinist Desirée Ruhstrat. "That these pieces were written in a concentration camp is incredible."

Black Oak Ensemble
The Black Oak Ensemble: David Cunliffe, Desirée Ruhstrat and Aurélien Fort Pederzoli.

Marsalis: Violin Concerto; Fiddle Dance Suite
Nicola Benedetti, violin
The Philadelphia Orchestra, Cristian Macelaru conducting.
Wynton Marsalis, composer

"Nicky said she wanted a piece that would allow her to inhabit an expansive range of human emotions," Marsalis told Decca, in describing the violin concerto he wrote for Nicola Benedetti. "Though I have long loved the violin, she schooled me in its august history, in its tremendous expressive capabilities, and in a compendium of old and new techniques. From a very young age, Nicky’s dream was to move people with the magic of virtuosity and the warmth of her sound. The concerto begins with her telling us the story of her dream, the playing of it IS the realization of that dream, and it ends with her going down the road to play for the next gathering." Click here to read our interview with Nicola Benedetti about the creation of this concerto

Benedetti and Marsalis
Violinist Nicola Benedetti and composer Wynton Marsalis.

None But the Lonely Heart
Daniel Lozakovich, violin
Russian National Philharmonic, Vladimir Spivakov conducting
Stanislav Soloviev, piano

I first heard Swedish violinist Daniel Lozakovich in 2014, he was just 12 years old, and I was immediately taken with his musical maturity and beautiful vibrato. Now age 18, he just gets better and better -- he is touring as a soloist and has made several recordings. This one explores works by Tchaikovsky, including the Violin Concerto, Méditation from Souvenir d'un lieu cher; and arrangements of two vocal works, Lensky’s Aria from Eugene Onegin and Romance, Op.6 No. 6, "None But the Lonely Heart."

Daniel LozakovichViolinist Daniel Lozakovich. Photo ©Johan Sandberg, courtesy Deutsche Grammophon.

Gateways
Maxim Vengerov, violin
Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Long Yu conducting

China's oldest symphony, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra marks its 140th anniversary with a series of three albums featuring works by major Chinese composers. "Gateways," the first of these, features two works by Qigang Chen: "Wu Xing" (The Five Elements) from 1999, and "La joie de la souffrance" (The Joy of Suffering) from 2017 - as well as Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances and Kreisler’s Tambourin chinois. Violinist Maxim Vengerov is the dedicatee and first performer of "La joie de la souffrance." Click here to read our interview with composer Qigang Chen about this work.

Qigang Chen
Qigang Chen. Photo by Violinist.com.

C. Schumann, Smyth & Beach: Works for Violin & Piano
Tasmin Little, violin
John Lenehan, piano

British violinist Tasmin Little presents an album of works by women composers which includes Clara Schumann's Drei Romanzen, Op. 22; Dame Ethel Smyth's Sonata Op. 7; and three works by Amy Beach: Sonata Op. 34, Romance, Op. 23, and Invocation, Op. 55. "When you hear these works, you wonder why they have been neglected for such a long time," Little said.

Tasmin Little
Violinist Tasmin Little.

Beethoven and Sibelius Violin Concertos
Christian Tetzlaff, violin
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Robin Ticciati conducting

When one of the most respected violinists in the world releases a recording of two major violin concertos, it's time to listen. German violinist Christian Tetzlaff, who teaches at the Kronberg Academy, performs the Beethoven and Sibelius Violin Concertos with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Robin Ticciati conducting. Definitely worth a listen.

Christian
Violinist Christian Tetzlaff. Photo: © Giorgia Bertazzi

Salonen Cello Concerto
Yo-Yo Ma, cello
Esa-Pekka Salonen, composer
Los Angeles Philharmonic

This recording captures the live performance in Los Angeles on February 8, 2018 of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s cello concerto featuring Yo-Yo Ma and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Salonen. In Salonen's words, it begins with "a simple thought emerging out of a complex landscape. Almost like consciousness developing from clouds of dust." The second movement follows with "slow cello arches...looped to create harmony from single lines." This is followed by the third movement of music that is "often dance-like; sometimes gesticulating wildly, perhaps from the sheer joy of no longer having to do with clouds and processes. Finally the kinetic energy burns itself out gently, the rapid movement slows down, and the cello line climbs slowly up to a stratospherically high B-flat, two centimeters to the left from the highest note of the piano."

Yo Yo Ma
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Photo by Jason Bell.

BOOKS and MISCELLANEOUS

In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores: Violin and Piano

At last, it is the sheet music for Hilary Hahn's encores! For background: in 2013, Hahn brought to life 27 new encores for violin, each by a different living composer. This collection includes Hahn's own markings as well as style and performance notes. Read more in our interview with Hilary about this new edition.

Hilary Hahn In 27 Pieces Encores book

Practizma Journal: Empowerment, Efficiency & Joy for Musicians
Susanna Klein, author

Here is a journal designed not only to help you track your practice hours, but also to improve your practice psychology and goal-setting. "I would love to make musical practice more joyful and more powerful," said author Susanna Klein, a professor of violin at Virginia Commonwealth University -- and also blog contributor on Violinist.com -- who created this journal. "Many musicians become obsessed with how much they practice instead of what they actually get done or how they feel about their work. This can lead to injury, inefficiency, and what I call the 'practice blues.'" It's also an old-fashioned, analog 80-page journal, with high-quality paper and binding, meant for using with pencil or pen. It does not require you to get on your computer or phone.

Practizma

Simon Fischer: Transcriptions for Violin and Piano

British pedagogue Simon Fischer, known for his books such as Basics, Practice, Warming Up and more, has released a book of transcriptions for violin and piano of well-known pieces from the classical repertoire, such as Tchaikovsky's Waltz from ‘Sleeping Beauty." There are eight arrangement in all, including pieces by Dowland, Purcell, Rossini, Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Chopin and Johann Strauss II. There are virtuosic as well as easier arrangements, complete with fingerings and instructions, as well as some alternatives offered for easing technically challenging moments.

Fischer transcsriptions

3D-Printed Mutes by Wiessmeyer and Son

Several respected colleagues have recommended these mutes, not only because they come in every color of the rainbow (fun!) but also because they work quite well. My teaching colleague Cheryl Scheidemantle likes the "Viol Violin Mute" and the "Dual Tone Violin Mute" and our own Krista Moyer said that "I have tried almost all of them and really like the sound they produce." For a detailed description of the mutes, see the Wiessmeyer & Son website.

3D mutes

Music Stand Lights

Aria Stand Light
A good number of my friends who play in the LA Opera have these because they work so well when you are stuck in a pit in the dark. But they are also great for church gigs and anything where you need good stand lighting. Aria has a deal going until December 7, save 15% by using the promo code BrightenYourFuture on their web site, linked above.

Lotus Stand Light
A number of V.commers also recommended the Lotus stand light, as it does not obstruct line of sight and is very portable.

Stand Lights

Blackwing Pencils and a Pencil Holder

Many musicians love blackwing pencils because they are dark, require little pressure to write with and have a replaceable eraser. The above link is from Shar, and you can also find a pencil holder for your stand. Another nice option is the magnetic holder, which allows you to simply stick your music to the pole of most kinds of orchestra stands.

KorfkerRest Shoulder Rest

It's light, it's elegant, it stays on the fiddle, and it works really well. I started using one in July and have not gone back. But it's an expensive shoulder rest. Here is our review of the KorfkerRest for violin.

KorfkerRest

PinkyHold

Created by Cyrus Forough, this simple little contraption is designed to help a student's muscle memory by providing the correct positioning for the bow pinky. You can get just one for your student, or if you are a teacher you might like a package of 10, 50 or 100. They come in lots of colors.

PinkyHold

Buckshot Pro Bluetooth Speaker, Powerbank and Flashlight

Honestly, you can get any Bluetooth speaker you'd like, so that you can conveniently listen to music from your phone, everywhere. But this is the one that I have, and I completely love it. First, it's a very good speaker. But also: it's insanely sturdy, water-proof, dust-resistant and it doubles as a flashlight as well as a power bank with which you can charge your phone in a pinch. It fits in my purse, in my car, you can take it camping, etc. Might seem like a weird combination of things, but it works!

bluetooth speaker

You might also consider giving a gift from our previous guides:

  • The 2018 Violinist.com Holiday Gift Guide
  • The 2017 Violinist.com Holiday Gift Guide
  • The 2016 Violinist.com Holiday Gift Guide
  • The 2015 Violinist.com Holiday Gift Guide
  • The 2014 Violinist.com Holiday Gift Guide
  • The 2013 Violinist.com Holiday Gift Guide
  • The 2012 Violinist.com Holiday Gift Guide
  • The 2011 Violinist.com Holiday Gift Guide
  • The 2010 Violinist.com Holiday Gift Guide
  • The 2009 Violinist.com Holiday Gift Guide
  • The 2008 Violinist.com Holiday Gift Guide

  •           

    Hatred of Israel is the Symptom. Hatred of Western Society is the Disease.

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    Many on the political Left, such as Rep. Ilhan Omar, complain that American Jews support Israel because Israel is a Jewish-majority country. All Americans should support Israel because Israel is a civilized country similar to the United States in terms of culture and values.
              

    Jewish Customers Call For Wayfair To Pull Inaccurate Hanukkah Merchandise

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    Wayfair is not new to controversy. The affordable furniture retailer was in hot water earlier this year for profiting off of border detention facilities that separate families and keep immigrants in inhumane conditions — and now they’re getting dragged online for not having “a single Jew on the design staff” after a confusing Hanukkah-themed shower […]

    The post Jewish Customers Call For Wayfair To Pull Inaccurate Hanukkah Merchandise appeared first on Mommyish.


              

    widowhood way back when: how pilgrims progressed through loss

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    If you’re facing a Thanksgiving dinner that might be hindered by a bad case of heartburn or having to cope with troublesome relatives, consider what the original Pilgrims had to cope with. Especially the widowed survivors.

    For a look back, we discovered the informative article, Pilgrim Burials on the site http://www.lovetoknow.com/.

    According to this excerpt from authors J.C. Redmond and MaryBeth Adomaitis, “Pilgrim burials were relatively simple affairs. The occupants of the Mayflower were buried in unmarked graves because it is thought that they didn't want the Native Americans living in the area to know how small of a population they were.”

    The authors go on to describe later Pilgrim burials, “When Pilgrims died, headstones were not erected at the burial site. No artisans skilled in carving stone had come over with the first group of settlers. In addition, there was no stone available in the area where the Pilgrims settled from which to fashion a monument to the dead. Their first priority was to concentrate on the tasks necessary for survival; even if the stone carvers had come on the trip, there wasn't any time to carve headstones.

    A family wanting to erect a headstone in memory of a loved one would have to go to the expense of having one brought over from England.”

    Redmond and Adomaitis describe burial rituals, “In the early years after the arrival of the Pilgrims in North America, funerals were a very simple matter. No funeral ceremony was conducted and no special sermon was given. The grieving family did not wear mourning clothes for a certain time after the death.

    Embalming of the body of the deceased was not done. On occasion, graves were opened and reused. The bodies of a family or a small community may share the same grave.”

    So enjoy the food and be grateful that as difficult as some relatives can be, at least you aren’t stuck with them for all eternity.

              

    Come Follow Me: 1-3 John; Jude

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    The Epistles of John

    The Epistles of John are believed to have been written around 100-110 AD by John the Apostle.

    Fighting the Heretic Gnostics

    In this time period of early Christianity, the church was fighting various factions that taught different teachings regarding Christ.  Perhaps one of the most challenging groups of heretics would be the Gnostics.  The term Gnostic comes from the word “gnosis” which means a hidden knowledge or secret.  There were several different groups of Gnostics, each with varying beliefs. However, most had some concepts in common.  First, they believed they held secret knowledge from the apostles or through revelation that extended the gospel to another level.  Many would attend regular Christian meetings, but then also have their own meetings, where they believed the higher knowledge was taught.  For a time, some versions of Gnosticism dominated certain areas of the Christian world, and even threatened to overtake what is called the “proto-Orthodox” Christian Church.

           Heresy #1, good Jehovah and bad Elohim

    1 John begins by telling us, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1:5).  Many of the Gnostics believed that the Garden of Eden story was about a god that created mankind in order to mess with them.  This god, Elohim, did not want to bless mankind, but to toy with them.  Meanwhile, the god Yahweh/Jehovah sought to save the people from the cruelty of the god Elohim.

    John was teaching that God Elohim was and is a God of light, and not an evil god. The apostle then explained that we are to follow God and Jesus in the light. The Gnostic concept is that man was sinless, because it was God that caused the Fall, not man. However, we read, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1:8).  Gnostics blamed sin on Elohim, and hoped for salvation through Yahweh.  Yet, John teaches that we are responsible for our own separation from God, through our own sins.

    Early Christians saw that Jesus was the Messiah, or the mortal Yahweh. He is the Son of God and the Angel of God’s Presence (Shekinah).  There was no battle going on between Elohim (God the Father) and Yahweh (God the Son).  John emphasizes this concept:


    “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also” (2:22-23).

    Connected to the concept of “God is Light” is that we must also seek the light, and reject the darkness.  This includes the concept that hatred equals darkness.  

    “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes” (2:9-11).


        Heresy #2 - Christ as Spirit, Jesus as Man

    Among the key heretic issues taught by many Gnostic sects  was a belief in the docetic (dual) nature of Jesus:
    1. They believed that the man Jesus and the God Christ were separate individuals.  When Jesus was baptized, the God Christ entered into him (the dove descending), and God the Father spoke saying, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee....I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son” (Hebrews 1:5).  They did not think that Jesus the man was born the Son of God, but was begotten at baptism through a spiritual rebirth, when the God Christ entered into Jesus and became a part of him through mortality.

    2. Christ did not suffer, Only Jesus did.  The Christ did the miracles and taught the people. But the man Jesus went through the suffering.  Upon the cross, “... about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46, Psalms 22:1).  In other words, prior to the suffering, the God Christ left Jesus to suffer and die alone.

    3. The man Jesus was rewarded for his sacrifice by being the first to resurrect.  The God Christ, however, continued as a Spirit, never having been born , suffered, nor died as a mortal.

    On this topic, John warns us about the danger of such a heresy:

    “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (4:2-3).

    As we can see from the Gnostic belief of a separate Jesus and Christ, they did not believe that Christ came in the flesh.  Here, John intentionally uses the full name Jesus Christ, to show that Jesus the man and Christ the god are both the same being.  Jesus is god and man, Christ is god and man. Jesus = Christ.

    And this is a sign of an anti-Christ (not necessarily THE Anti-Christ of the last days), which was in the Christian world in 100AD.  The Gnostics believed Christ continued as a spirit, never suffering nor truly interacting with mankind directly, but indirectly through Jesus the man.  For the Gnostics, Christ never resurrected in the flesh, and never will have a resurrected body.

    Today, we can partially judge a Christian Church by determining whether it believe Jesus came in the flesh (mortality), died on the cross, and resurrected.  Resurrection means he forever retains his physical body, just as he retains his spirit.  Resurrected Jesus is God.

      Modern heresy of the Athanasius creed

    The current concept of the Trinity came about through two councils: the Council of Nicea and the Council of Chalcedon, both done in the 4th century AD.  Prior to this time, many Christians believed that Christ came in the flesh and resurrected.  They believed that God the Father and God the Son were two separate beings.  For example, the early Christian defender Origen taught that Jesus was a God subordinate to the Father.    

    However, from the end of the second century to the fourth century AD, more and more Christian leaders embraced Hellenistic (Greek) philosophy and embedded several such concepts into Christian belief.  Among these was the concept that there is only one God and he is of a pure substance (Spirit) that is completely different than any other substance.  Bishop Athanasius pushed for a new creed or belief that would designate the Father, Son and Holy Ghost as only one Spirit with three persons.  Other bishops, such as Arius and the historian Eusebius disagreed, but lost when Constantine (not yet baptized as a Christian) accepted Athanasius’ creed and established it as the Nicene Creed.  Constantine sent  many “heretic” Christians, who did not accept the Trinity, to the copper mines, which essentially was a death sentence.

    It would still take over a century for the Nicene Creed to become Christian doctrine, as it almost lost out again in the 4th century.  Still, the Nicene Creed left many questions.  How could Christ be spirit and still have a physical body?  At the end of the 4th Century, the Council of Chalcedon began and determined the duality of Christ.  Today, most Christian religions embrace the two creeds as doctrine, even though the Bible is rather silent on such issues.
    In fact, early Christans intentionally changed First John to reflect the Trinity in it.  1 John 5:7-8 tells us:

    “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”

    This clearly sounds like evidence of the Trinity creed. However, scholars now call this the “Comma Johanneum”, or Johannine Comma or Clause.  The portion that was the later addition is: “in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth”.

    Without the clause, the verse originally stated, “For there are three that bear record, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”

    The clause does not appear in any texts prior to the ninth century AD.  Such an effort to intentionally change the feel and thought of First John goes entirely against his teaching in the epistle!  He stated that Christ resurrected and had a body, while also being the Son of God.  Historically, the comment was added in a later Bible version called the Textus Receptus, which was used in all Bible translations from 1522 onward until the past century.  Yes, it is even in the King James Bible, which is one reason why LDS believe the Bible to be correct and the word of God  insofar as it is translated correctly (Article of Faith 8).

    Jesus taught that “God is a Spirit” (John 4:24), which is often used as evidence of the Trinity.  However, here John teaches that “God is love” (1 John 4:8).  God as spirit and love show attributes of God, not a specific statement that God is only one thing.  God can be a spirit, love, resurrected being with a physical body, and many other things.  To define him only as a spirit is to delimit him and our understanding of whom he really is.

    What we do know, John teaches us:

    “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he (God) is pure”  (1 John 3:2-3).







    Background on Jude

    Scholars differ on which Jude is the author of this epistle: whether it is the apostle Jude, the brother of Jesus, or if they are the same individual.  All agree that Judas Iscariot is not the author of the epistle.  

    The epistle was controversial in the early days of Christianity.  All early Christian leaders believed in its authenticity, but argued over whether to include it in the canon of scripture, because of controversial concepts contained within it, including its quoting or referencing of non-canonical writings.  Origen discusses the early controversy over the epistle of Jude by some church leaders, though he personally accepted it.  The controversy continued into the 4th century, as noted by Eusebius of Caesarea in his Ecclesiastical History.

    The epistle was not directed towards any particular Christian congregation, but was written to be distributed throughout all the churches of Christ.  Jude’s few verses are very similar to that found in 2 Peter (mostly chapter 2).  Scholars believe that either there was a previous source both used, or that one was the source for the other.

    Keeping your First Estate

    Jude begins his epistle discussing the importance of contending for the faith, and fighting against apostates who seek to turn believers from following Christ and his gospel.


    “ 5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
    6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
    7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude).

    Israel in Egypt is compared with the premortal existence.  From Egypt, Israel was offered a fresh start, a freedom, as they moved to the Promised Land.  Yet, many fought with Moses, thinking they knew better. In doing so, they were destroyed.

    So it was in the premortal existence.  We were spirit children of God in the prior life.  Yet, as only spirits, we were limited to our growth, agency, and free will.  To move forward, we required a fresh start in mortality, with the expectation that we would believe in Christ and follow God through his appointed prophets.  

    In Abraham 3, we read about this premortal experience:

    “ 22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;
    23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.
    24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;
    25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;
    26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.
    27 And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.
    28 And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him” (Book of Abraham 3).

    Here we see that some chose to rebel, rather than follow the plan God set forth. Lucifer and many others rejected their first estate, or the experiences of the premortal life.  Instead of coming down to gain a body and have a chance at choosing eternal life through Christ, they rejected everything and were cast down from heaven, becoming Satan and his demons.  As Jude notes, these are they who rejected their first estate and are to be enchained in Outer Darkness in the final day of judgment.

    So will it be for those who indulge in fornications and sexual pleasures that do not fall under the mandate of God.  Sodom and Gomorrah is noted as a place that was destroyed for its sinfulness.  Professor Harold Bloom wrote that Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed for its sinful sexual behaviors (including homosexual and heterosexual acts), but for the inhabitants not being hospitable.  In other words, God put up with their sinful natures until they attempted to impose that lifestyle upon others (such as on Lot and his angelic visitors).

    Jude warns us that such sinful nature is the cause for destruction for a people.

    Body of Moses

    One of the two very controversial portions of the Epistle of Jude is the story regarding Moses’ body.

    “9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”

    Here, the greatest of the angels, Michael, contends with Satan for the body of Moses. Origen noted that this was a part of an ancient Jewish text entitled the “Assumption of Moses” (also known as the Testament of Moses), believed by modern scholars to have been written in the 1st century AD.  The Assumption of Moses that is now available no longer contains this story, but is believed by many to have been at the end in the original. This is part of the controversy that arises with Jude’s epistle.  He is actually quoting from a non-canonical source!

    The concept comes forth that rather than dying, Moses is to ascend to heaven, even as Enoch or Elijah did.  In Jude, Michael must fight for Moses that he may ascend in a translated or raptured state, rather than die.

    Enoch’s Prophecy

    “14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
    15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

    Again, Jude quotes from another non-canonical source.  This time, it is from one of the various surviving books of Enoch.  The writings of Enoch were well accepted by many Jews and Christians from the 2nd century BC and until St Jerome rejected it for his compilation of the Bible.  Enoch is quoted or referenced dozens of times in the New Testament, with Jude as the most well known.

    Fragments of Enoch writings are found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, suggesting that the ancient Essenes accepted Enoch as scripture. Interestingly, the fragments within the Dead Sea Scrolls are only one of two places wherein we find a person named Mahujah/Mahijah who questions Enoch.  The other known writing of Enoch that has this encounter is found in Joseph Smith’s translation of the Book of Moses (Moses 6:40)!

    Jude’s connection between Moses and Enoch is an important one. Both are called of God to be an important prophet in their days.  Both have a heavenly vision and then are sent back to earth with the commandments and teachings of God.  Both foresaw the coming of the Lord in glory and power among men.  In LDS belief, Enoch prepared his city of Zion to be lifted to heaven, while Moses tried to bring the children of Israel into the presence of God at Sinai, and then into the Promised Land.  Enoch saved his people from the evil that occurred before the Flood, while Moses saved his people from the evils in Egypt.

    There is another place, besides Jude, where both prophets are discussed and offered as symbols of the coming Lord Jesus Christ.  Joseph Smith received a revelation while studying the Bible regarding the Creation, the Fall of Man, and the times of Enoch before the Flood.  All of this Joseph received through the eyes of the prophet Moses.

    As with Enoch, Joseph Smith also proclaimed that the Lord would return for his Second Coming in great power and glory.  Our job is to keep the commandments, be chaste, virtuous, and righteous in following Christ. In doing so, the day may come when the archangel Michael may contend with the devil over us, that we may gain our second estate and receive a crown of glory.












    Bibliography

    Nag Hammadi Library (Primarily Gnostic writings found at Nag Hammadi, Egypt):
    http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/nhl.html

    First Peter - wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Epistle_of_John

    “Condemned to the Mines, Copper Production and Christian Persecution”, Biblical Archaeological Review, Nov/Dec 2011, pg 30:  http://www.bib-arch.org/bar/article.asp?PubID=BSBA&Volume=37&Issue=6&ArticleID=2

    Comma Johanneum - wikepedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma_Johanneum

    Epistle of Jude - wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistle_of_Jude

    Epistle of Jude - Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08542b.htm

    Epistle of Jude - Early Christian Writings: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/jude.html

    Inhospitality of Sodom - http://joelsmonastery.blogspot.com/2010/02/lds-gospel-doctrine-class-old-testament_15.html

    Lack of Hospitality by Sodom - Book of J, Harold Bloom, pp 299-301: http://www.amazon.com/Book-J-Harold-Bloom/dp/0802141919/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320158037&sr=8-1

    Assumption of Moses - wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assumption_of_Moses

    Assumption of Moses (AKA Testament of Moses): http://www.piney.com/Testament-Moses.html

    Book of Enoch (as quoted by Jude): http://www.piney.com/ApocEnoch1.html

    Mahijah/Mahujah: http://joelsmonastery.blogspot.com/2010/01/gospel-doctrine-old-testament-lesson-5.html

    Book of Moses: http://lds.org/scriptures/pgp/moses?lang=eng


              

    An Expert’s Guide To The Jewish Deli

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    There are few places with as many tasty choices as a Jewish deli, but do you know your blintzes from your bialys? This handy guide is here to help you order like a pro, and never miss out on the most delicious snacks. Every country has delicious snacks of its own, but few locations are […]
              

    12/2/2019: Comment: JEZZA’S NO GOOD, SAYS MIRIAM

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    AFTER Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis questioned Jeremy Corbyn’s fitness to be Prime Minster because of his party’s response to anti-Semitism, the Labour luvvie Miriam Margolyes went on Channel 4 News to try to help. The actress said as a Jewish woman she...
              

    432 juifs Marocains ont immigré vers Israël depuis 2011

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    L’émigration des Marocains juifs vers Israël a atteint un niveau record depuis 2011. Selon les chiffres du Jewish people policy institute (JPPI), environ 432 personnes sont parties du Maroc ces dernières années. Un chiffre largement supérieur à d’autres pays comme la Tunisie, le Yémen et l’Algérie. Le JPPI est un organisme semi-gouvernemental qui a pour […]
              

    Meet Sam: Jewish Moishe House Resident of the Week!

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    Allie: What brought you to DC? Sam: I was living in Indonesia as part of the Boren Scholars, which is a year-long post-grad language program. I went before officially graduating from the University of Maryland because I wasn’t ready to enter the workforce just yet. I decided to go, learn a new language, and then […]

    The post Meet Sam: Jewish Moishe House Resident of the Week! appeared first on GatherDC.


              

    Hatred towards Jews on Full Display at York University

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    Last Wednesday's attack on Jewish students meeting at Toronto's York University was no surprise for many of us who have seen the rise of hostility against Jews on university campuses across Canada. The Jewish students meeting had the required permission
              

    The Myth of 'Occupied Palestine'

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    The legality of Jewish settlements in the West Bank largely hinges on whether the disputed territories are "occupied."
              

    It Shouldn't Happen to a Radio Presenter 70: Telling Your Producer to 'Shut The F**k Up'

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    Earlier today Nick Ferrari hosted an hour long phone-in with Boris Johnson. Nowadays all these interviews are not only filmed, but streamed live. We have a whole host of cameras in the studio, and unlike certain other broadcasters if we are going to stream something we are increasingly professional with the video production. It's just as much a TV studio than a radio studio.

    This interview has become (in)famous because of some fake news which many on the left have revelled in promulgating today, despite being appraised of the truth and what really happened.

    At one point in the interview, Boris Johnson was seen doing a throat-slitting gesture. He was, at that moment, having some difficulty answering a question about social care. 

    This was leapt upon by conspiracy theorists who assumed it must be Boris Johnson signalling to Nick Ferrari to end this line of questioning and to move on to another subject. This was seen as proof that Boris was much more comfortable in a studio with Nick Ferrari, who would do his bidding in a way Andrew Neil was never likely to. But as usual, it was cock-up, not conspiracy. But that didn't stop the likes of David Lammy, David Schneider, Jewish Voice for Labour and many others spreading this utter lie on Twitter, although at least the two Davids had the good grace to delete their tweets eventually, once they were informed of the truth.

    In a studio environment, all presenters use signals to the producers who are behind the screen in the gallery. Nick uses a throat slitting sign to tell his producer to 'shut the f**k up' and stop talking in his ear. I use the same gesture if I don't want to speak to a particular caller.

    If I want the producer to be quiet - and it does happen, even though I welcome advice in my ear - I tend to do a Larry Grayson 'shut that door' kind of signal in a sort of dismissive hand gesture. With the cameras on you have to be wary of doing something that might be seen as inappropriate, but the presenter-producer relationship is one of mutual trust and things are said and done in the heat of the moment that are forgotten minutes later. It's a live studio environment.

    I remember one incident where my producer was in a particularly bad mood one day, and so was I. He asked me to read something out, which I duly did, but a minute later he buzzed in my ear and told me to do as I was told and read the 'fucking thing out'. He clearly hadn't been listening.

    I was triggered. I replied in kind and it escalated in us both calling each other the 'c' word through the glass, all the while while I was conducting a conversation with a caller. Thank God I pressed the right button. We didn't speak for the remaining 45 minutes of the show. But we kissed and made up afterwards, especially when he realised I was in the right!

    On a live show these things happen. Adults get over them. Non-adults harbour resentments for months afterwards.

    Anyway, I digress. All Boris Johnson was doing was mimicking what Nick Ferrari had done to his producer. He clearly found it very amusing. Some time later in the hour Boris noticed on the TV screen in the studio that Sky were showing a video of him 'throatslitting. He then drew Nick's attention to it and Nick explained what he had been doing and Boris explained he had mimicked Nick. End of story, you'd have thought. 

    Here is the clip of Boris explaining what happened...

    But still the conspiracy theories abound and people who aren't fans of either Boris or Nick are delighting in spreading them. Shameful, really. But that's what happens now on social media, and the poor bloody voter is expected to sort the wheat from the chaff.

    Shelagh Fogarty discuss this in today's Daily Trail podcast on the LBC Election 2019 podcast feed.

    Shelagh


              

    Friedrichstadt-Palast Berlin: Germany's Largest Entertainment Theatre Honours Its Jewish Roots On 100th Anniversary

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    The eventful stage history of todayís Friedrichstadt-Palast Berlin began one hundred years ago. On 29 November 1919, the Jewish theatre visionary Max Reinhardt opened the Groi??es Schauspielhaus - the predecessor to the Palast.

    Renamed the Theater des Volkes (Theatre of the People) during the Third Reich, the theatre was controlled directly by Joseph Goebbelsí Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Operations resumed at the theatre located in the Soviet sector of Berlin after the war as early as summer 1945 and it was accorded its present-day name of the Friedrichstadt-Palast in 1947. Up until 1990, the Palast was the largest entertainment theatre in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) - and today also in reunified Germany. In light of the resurgence of anti-Semitism and as a sign of solidarity for Jewish life in Germany, the Palast is proudly acknowledging its Jewish heritage during the celebrations with a flag bearing the Star of David.

    Since the start of the 2019/20 anniversary season, the Palast has been reviewing the theatreís eventful history with a variety of activities. The most visited theatre in the German capital has now hoisted a flag outside its main entrance bearing a Star of David and the inscription 'Jewish roots since 1919' in German and English.

    'Our founders of 1919 later suffered under the Nazis. Max Reinhardt as a Jew, Erik Charell as a Jew and homosexual, and Hans Poelzig as an expressionist architect. While Reinhardt and Charell went into exile, Poelzig was banned from pursuing his profession,' tells Dr. Berndt Schmidt, General Director of the Palast. 'It's part of our theatre's DNA and an obligation for the present. Especially in the wake of the attack on the synagogue in Halle and the assaults on rabbis and members of the Jewish community all across Germany.'

    Given its eventful history, the Palast today consciously stands for freedom, diversity and democracy.

    Since 2014, the theatre has no longer invited the ambassadors of countries whose laws oppress homosexuals to its premieres. In 2017, Schmidt moreover publicly distanced himself from the racist and nationalist world views of the Alternative f¸r Germany (AfD), a political party with far-right extremist elements that is also represented in the German Bundestag. A dispute erupted in the media and among theatremakers as to whether a state-owned theatre is allowed to make such public statements. Dr. Berndt Schmidtís perspective: 'When we see freedom and artistic freedom in jeopardy, German theatres are not only allowed to ñ they even must. What else should the lessons from German history be?' At the height of the controversy on 7 October 2017, the entire theatre with almost 2,000 guests had to be evacuated for a short time due to an anonymous bomb threat.


              

    Belgian Carnival town renounces UNESCO title over racism row

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    Belgian Carnival town renounces UNESCO title over racism rowThe famed Belgian Carnival town of Aalst wants to renounce its place on the U.N. cultural heritage list, saying it is sick of widespread complaints that this spring’s edition contained blatant anti-Semitism. Town officials say the float objected to, with stereotypical depictions of hook-nosed Jews sitting on piles of money, was trying to make a joke and they contend no one should try to muzzle humor of any kind during the three-day Carnival. UNESCO, Jewish groups and the European Union have condemned the float as anti-Semitic, with the EU saying it conjured up visions of the 1930s.



              

    Israel plans new settler homes in flashpoint West Bank city

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    Israel plans new settler homes in flashpoint West Bank cityIsrael’s new defense minister has ordered plans for new settler housing in the volatile West Bank city of Hebron. In a letter sent to defense officials Sunday, pro-settler Defense Minister Naftali Bennett called for “planning processes to be advanced” for new Jewish settler housing. Enlarging the Jewish population in Hebron is likely to deepen tensions there.



              

    Johnson Distances Himself From Tory Record on Crime: U.K. Votes

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    Johnson Distances Himself From Tory Record on Crime: U.K. Votes(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans to review Britain’s security, defense and foreign policy in the wake of a terror attack on Friday, which killed two civilians, and ahead of a NATO summit that begins in London on Monday.The attack has already interrupted this weekend’s campaigning for the Dec. 12 election and could influence the final result as voters turn their attention away from Brexit to issues of security. Johnson’s opponent, Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn, said he didn’t agree that convicted terrorists always should serve out their full prison terms. He also accused governments of worsening the threat of such attacks and said the “war on terror has manifestly failed.”Must Read: The Tories Secretly Fear Trump Could Wreck Johnson’s ElectionFor more on the election visit ELEC.Key Developments:Johnson pledges Conservative government will make sure convicted terrorists serve their full prison sentencesJohnson plans a review of Britain’s security, defense and foreign policyLabour narrows Tory lead in four of five new opinion pollsSecurity Minister Says Hung Parliament Disrupted Tory Terror Policy (11:19 a.m.)Security minister Brandon Lewis said the government would have already started the process of stopping the early release of convicted terrorists if it wasn’t for the U.K.’s hung parliament.Speaking on BBC Radio’s “Pienaar’s Politics,” Lewis said “we’d already started making steps in that direction” but that “one of the problems with parliament being utterly frozen over Brexit” is that this kind of legislation is unable to pass.The Conservative party won a majority in parliament in 2015, before losing it in 2017 and ruling in a minority government with support from the DUP. A number of resignations and expulsions over Brexit in 2019 further hampered the party’s ability to pass its legislation further.Johnson Refuses to Take Blame for Previous Tory Policies (9:55 a.m.)Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to distance himself from decisions made by previous Conservative governments as he appeared on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.When pushed on the record of the Tories on law and order and spending since 2010, Johnson repeatedly said he’s only been prime minister since the summer, and that previous governments had to implement “prudent” management of public finances.Johnson also said a government under him would invest more in the criminal justice system. He said about 74 convicted terrorists have been released early, and that they were now being “properly invigilated” in light of Friday’s attack.Umunna Says Terror Attack Shouldn’t Be Politicized (9:32 a.m.)Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesman Chuka Umunna criticized the two main parties for turning the terrorist attack into a “political football,” saying instead the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats should all accept at least some blame for creating the current justice system because they have all been in government over the last two decades.Umunna, who quit Labour to join the Lib Dems this year, said the focus should be “on properly funding the parole board and the probation service.”Raab Says He Takes Nothing for Granted (9:25 a.m.)Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who may be facing a tight race to maintain his seat in Parliament, said he’s taking nothing for granted before the Dec. 12 vote.Speaking on Sky’s “Sophy Ridge on Sunday,” Raab said the closeness of the polls in his constituency shows the risk of a hung Parliament, and that voting Conservative was the only way to avoid such an outcome.Former Adviser Says Ministers Ignored Warnings (8:50 a.m.)A prison expert said he warned in 2016 that the parole system couldn’t cope with terrorists, but the government ignored his findings.Writing in the Sunday Times, Ian Acheson, who was hired to advise ministers on the dangers of Islamic extremists in prisons, said he sent then-Justice Secretary Michael Gove a list of 69 recommendations, of which 68 were accepted. However, when the government’s report was published, under a new minister Liz Truss, it was weakened so only a fraction of the recommendations remained, including none of those about the probation service.Corbyn Declines to Say How He’d Vote in 2nd Referendum (8:40 a.m.)In the Sky interview, Corbyn avoided saying how he would vote in the second Brexit referendum that he’s promised if Labour wins the election.Corbyn also said the party apologized and regretted any antisemitism anyone’s suffered and that he wished “our party had acted on it more rapidly.” Earlier in the week, Corbyn had repeatedly declined to apologize to Jewish people for the behavior of some in his party.Corbyn Won’t Rule Out Early Release for Terrorists (8:30 a.m)Corbyn said convicted terrorists should not necessarily serve out their full prison terms and pledged to increase spending on the prison service. On Friday, a convicted terrorist who was released early from prison killed two people and injured three others in an attack near London Bridge. Usman Khan had been a guest at a conference on prisoner rehabilitation when he started attacking other delegates.“It depends on the circumstances; it depends on the sentence, but crucially it depends on what they’ve done in prison,” he said in an interview on Sky’s “Sophy Ridge on Sunday.” He said he understood that the Parole Board was not involved in Khan’s early release and there was no probation service involvement in monitoring him.While Johnson pledged that a Conservative government would ensure convicted terrorists weren’t eligible for early release, Corbyn said he wanted to instead focus on increasing spending for the prison service and ensure anyone up for early release has a psychological assessment to see if they are a threat.“Our probation service was half privatized, is not up to scratch, is not able to deal with the number of cases they have to deal with and a lot of prisoners are simply put on a tag, or ex-prisoners rather, put on a tag which if they breach clearly the police are alerted.Corbyn Says Foreign Policy Has Worsened Terror Risk (Earlier)In a speech in York later Sunday, Corbyn will say the “war on terror has manifestly failed,” and that actions by governments have worsened the threat of attacks.The Labour leader will praise the response of police officers, and say they were right to use lethal force on Friday and say nothing can “absolve terrorists of blame for their murderous action,”. But he’ll also warn that for too long the U.K.’s “leaders have made the wrong calls on our security.”“The threat of terrorism cannot and should not be reduced to questions of foreign policy alone,” he will add, according to extracts released by the Labour Party. “But too often the actions of successive governments have fueled, not reduced that threat.”To contact the reporters on this story: Jessica Shankleman in London at jshankleman@bloomberg.net;David Goodman in London at dgoodman28@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, James Amott, Helen RobertsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



              

    Progressive Judaism Teen Shabbaton in Tokyo

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    By Rabbi David A. Kunin The Jewish Community in Tokyo (JCJ) was excited to host the November teen shabbaton of Asian Progressive Judaism (The Asian Congregations of the UPJ of Australia, New Zealand and Asia). Eighteen young people (plus their young feeling chaperones) from Beijing, Hong Kong, Hiroshima, Shanghai and Tokyo came together to celebrate […]

    The post Progressive Judaism Teen Shabbaton in Tokyo appeared first on eJewish Philanthropy.


              

    Leveraging Israeli-Americans for the Benefit of the Wider Community

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    By Jay Ruderman The Israeli community in the United States continues to grow, in numbers and in influence. Despite this, Israeli-Americans are no more likely to integrate into the larger American Jewish umbrella than in years past. This is something we must address if we want to ensure the strength of the American Jewish community […]

    The post Leveraging Israeli-Americans for the Benefit of the Wider Community appeared first on eJewish Philanthropy.


              

    Reviews from Michael_Novakhov (3 sites): Michael Novakhov from Michael_Novakhov (17 sites): Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks℠: New Abwehr operations - Google Search

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    Michael_Novakhov shared this story .

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    Reviews from Michael_Novakhov (3 sites): Michael Novakhov from Michael_Novakhov (17 sites): Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks℠: Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘pimp’ Ghislaine Maxwell’s ‘biggest mistake’ | The Weekly Times

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    Michael_Novakhov shared this story from Search | The Weekly Times.

    The alleged victims of deceased billionaire Jeffrey Epstein spoke to the media after testifying against him in court.

    Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘pimp’ Ghislaine Maxwell’s ‘biggest mistake’

    Ghislaine Maxwell’s “biggest mistake” was luring Prince Andrew's accuser into her and paedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s depraved world, according to a friend.

    The 57-year-old, accused of being Epstein's "pimp", is said to “not give a s**t” about Virginia Roberts-Giuffre and the scores of other girls that Epstein abused, The Sun reports.

    According to a family friend, Maxwell feared that the legal action launched by Ms Roberts-Giuffre, who now lives in Australia, would expose her network of powerful friends which she spent years building and protecting.

    Laura Goldman, 61, a former New York City stockbroker who mixed in the same social circles as Maxwell, said the alleged madam was “undoubtedly” the brains behind Epstein’s predatory schemes as she was much more intelligent, well connected and charming that he was.

    “Ghislaine was hysterical about the defamation suit Virginia Roberts launched,” she said.

    “That suit made her nutso. She saw that as a threat to her whole network of famous friends.

    “Ghislaine said her ‘biggest mistake’ was ever involving Virginia. Ghislaine doesn’t give a s**t about the girls like Virginia who suffered, she is more worried about exposing her network.”

    Ms Goldman said she last saw Maxwell about 10 years ago, but still shares mutual friends with her – and remains friends with the socialite's sister Isabel Maxwell.

    She said she attended many events with Epstein and Maxwell in the 1990s and even attended one of the billionaire’s infamous parties at his home in Florida – which was packed with “young girls”.

    “I got invited to attend by a male friend who was going," Ms Goldman recalled.

    "It was back in the ‘90s. I got there and there were lots of married men without their wives and young girls all over.

    “Prince Andrew wasn’t there. I didn’t think the girls were underage but they probably were in retrospect.

    “Jeffrey’s house in New York was very lavish but his Florida place wasn’t. It was away from the beach and at the end of a road.

    “It was not a party for a woman to be a guest at and I was uncomfortable. Because of that I didn’t want to go to any of his New York events because I knew there was just something wrong about it.

    “After Jeffrey was arrested the first time back in 2008 I didn’t want any more to do with either him or Ghislaine after that.”

    RELATED: Damaging Prince Andrew photo resurfaces

    RELATED: Prince Andrew reveals ‘truth’ about photo

    Ms Goldman also criticised Prince Andrew – who has always denied Ms Roberts-Giuffre’s claims to have had sex with the royal when she was 17 or knowledge of Epstein's activities – for not realising what the scores of young girls at Epstein’s events were really there for.

    She said: “I think Prince Andrew is a dolt. He lives in a different world and may well have thought those girls were servants but obviously, they weren’t.

    “He is part of a world of people who think they are entitled to get whatever they want. It’s a different reality to most people.

    "They believe it’s all coming to them and the world owes it to them.”

    Ms Goldman also told of her surprise when Maxwell was pictured at an In-N-Out burger restaurant in Los Angeles in July.

    Maxwell is believed to have been photographed by her lawyer, Leah Saffian, whose dog appeared to be with the socialite – and whose metadata was linked to the picture.

    Ms Saffian has kept a low profile since the allegations but The Sun pictured her ironically going through the drive-through of her local In-N-Out burger joint in Los Angeles this weekend.

    “Ghislaine does not eat at In-N-Out. She is obsessed with her figure. She always used to make a very offensive joke that she was on a ‘Holocaust diet," Ms Goldman revealed.

    “I couldn’t believe she would allow the first picture of her for however long to be at a fast food restaurant. I was shocked.

    “I bet it was the first time she had ever been there. She’s very, very vain.”

    It comes after Ms Goldman said Maxwell was "sex obsessed" and has managed to find herself a new boyfriend.

    Telling how she became close to the Maxwell family, Ms Goldman said: “My parents are Holocaust survivors and Isabel does a great deal of work talking about the Holocaust.

    “The Maxwells lost something like 300 members of their family in the Holocaust and as a family they have done a lot for the state of Israel.

    “I was always active in the Jewish community scene so that’s how I got to know Isabel. I’ve travelled with her to Israel and people would literally stand up when she walked into a room, her family commands respect.

    “I didn’t get to know Isabel’s twin sister Christine who live in Dallas but I knew of her because she is a Holocaust academic, too,” she said.

    “I got to know Jeffrey through academic circles at first. He had links to universities I was also associated with.

    “Back then in the 1990s there were all kinds of parties in New York and there used to be a joke in the early days that Ghislaine would show up to the opening of an envelope.

    “She would literally be at every event, networking. That was her job. No-one actually knew what she did for a living. Going to parties and meeting people was her thing. She was everywhere.

    “She always wore nice and expensive clothes. Then she started to be with Jeffrey at events. I think she was attracted to him for all sorts of reasons,” Ms Goldman added.

    “For a start he was a very domineering character, like her father Robert. And she wanted money. The kind she was used to before her father died. I myself wasn’t really her cup of tea, I wasn’t fancy enough."

    Maxwell has denied any wrongdoing.

    This article originally appeared in The Sun and was republished here with permission.

    Originally published as ‘Biggest mistake’ of Epstein’s ‘pimp’



    Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks℠

    Michael Novakhov from Michael_Novakhov (17 sites)

    Reviews from Michael_Novakhov (3 sites)
              

    Comment on Reports from Cuba: Strays and Kings by Rayarena

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    OMG Asombra, you are so RIGHT! The faux mammy is no more fake than General castro! LOL. In fact, in hindsight, fidel and his faux "revolution" [Batista just abandoned ship and castro like an opportunistic virus did nothing more than fill the leadership vacuum] was foreshadowing of what was to come. Except, I never thought that it would get to this level of absolute obscenity with: Mariela and her fake LGBTQ Group The late Cardinal Jaime Ortega and his archioscese [an obscene front] Adela Dworin heading Cuba's ever diminishing faux Jewish community A number of fake dissidents and bloggers Fake businessmen who front government owned businesses A Fake Chinatown with fake [black] Chinese waiters dressed in traditional Chinese clothing. Fake Taino Indians Fake Santeros performing rituals for tourists, etc...
              

    Brian Lee Days

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        Brian Lee Days, 47,  Beardstown, passed away to his heavenly home on Thursday, November 21 at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.


              

    Fiona Hill Should Be Condemned by Jewish Groups. She Won’t Be

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    The former senior director for European and Russian affairs for the Trump administration, Fiona Hill, testified last week in the House impeachment hearings. At one point, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., asked her: “Would you say that these different theories, these conspiracy theories that have been targeting you, spun in part... CONTINUE
              

    On Being Grateful

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    Two days from today on the fourth Thursday of November, people in the United States will celebrate a national day of Thanksgiving. A similar holiday is celebrated on the same or other days by people in many nations.
     
    In the United States, a day set apart for giving thanks has been observed, most years, since the first colonization of our country. Sixteenth century French and Spanish explorers and settlers in what is now known as the United States observed a time of thanksgiving. British settlers, in what became the Commonwealth of Virginia, began arriving in 1607. In 1619, the first representative assembly in America was convened “to establish one equal and uniform government over all Virginia” and would provide “just laws for the happy guiding and governing of the people there inhabiting.”1  After a ship’s arrival that year with more settlers, they gathered to pray and give thanks on December 4, 1619.2  Their thanksgiving celebration, noted by some as the first Thanksgiving in what we know as the United States, was likely a day of prayer and fasting, thanking God for His safe deliverance to the new land. Their fast was likely broken by a simple, common meal made from provisions from their ship.
     
    Today’s Thanksgiving celebrations can also be traced back to a 1621 harvest feast at the Plimoth [1621 spelling of Plymouth] Plantation where the settlers had a successful growing season. Autumn or early winter feasts continued there sporadically in later years, first as an impromptu religious observance and later as a civil tradition.
     
    These concepts of giving thanks and expressing gratitude seem to be timeless. It is seen as an important human instinct in the writings, teachings, and traditions of the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Baha’i and other faiths. In secular writing, we find Cicero writing in 54 BC in Pro Plancio that “Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues, but the parent of all of the others.”
     
    Let’s focus on that word gratitude.  In his guest Tuesday Reading, Gratitude, an Emotion to Be Expressed in All Seasons,3 in January 2019, Bill Hogue, retired University of South Carolina CIO and now Leadership Coach with the MOR Leadership Programs, quotes Robert Emmons, University of California, Davis psychologist and author on gratitude:  “Feeling gratitude starts with the realization of what we have received from others and what it has cost them.”4  
     
    Note the emphasis on both what we receive and the cost to the giver. Too often our focus in all on what we receive. In his essay, Bill told the story of his grandmother, who dropped out of school and did piece work in a New Hampshire shoe factory. She sacrificially gave him a two-dollar bill every birthday. And, I think of my subsistence farmer grandfather in Shepherd, Texas, who rarely had any money but would save a penny or a nickel from time to time to give to one of his grandchildren. I think of parents who labor in their jobs to send their children to college. And, members of our staffs who often must sacrifice time with families to complete their assigned work on time. The point I wish to make is that gratitude must be, and really can only be, seen in terms of both the gift and the cost of that gift to the giver.
     
    So, what does gratitude have to do with leadership and being a leader?  A lot. Research has demonstrated that if you take gratitude as one of your core reference points, your mindset will shift. A gratitude mindset can lessen panic, envy, anxiety, stress, and depression, and strengthen relationships, increase happiness and optimism, and reduce stress and negativity. And, you will be healthier. All of these qualities positively impact your life, your leadership, and your workplace.  
     
    While there are many ways to develop your skill of showing gratitude, here are four that I think are particularly effective:
      
    1.  Observe your life and world from a gratitude mindset.  You are likely to be amazed at the good things we have come to take for granted.  Sharon Melnick, business psychologist and author of Success Under Stress,5 suggests that too often we let mental stress deflect our appreciation of what we have. She mentions three stressors, in particular, that we need to combat – an excessive focus (1) on what we don’t have, (2) on not meeting expectations imposed by ourselves and (3) on the question whether we choose wisely. Melnick argues that we combat these stressors by having gratitude for what we do have, by reminding ourselves of the expectations we have met and acknowledging those wise choices we have made. 
      
    2.  Actively look for opportunities to express gratitude. Researchers Francesca Gino, of the Harvard Business School, and Adam M. Grant, of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, studied6 the impact of saying “Thank you” in the workplace.  They found that there was a 50% increase in the amount of additional help offered as a result of showing this simple appreciation! Surely, each of us can do this. Unfortunately, another of their studies showed that 15% of us never say “Thank you” at work, and 35% of those surveyed had never heard their managers say thank you.
     
    Bill Hogue, in his Tuesday Reading,3 noted that “Gratitude is a practice, and getting started is simple.  Make a commitment right now that you will express gratitude three times today. Put three quarters [or some other object, such as three small, smooth stones, that will remind you of your commitment] in your left front pocket.  Your objective is to empty your pocket by the end of the day.  Move a quarter to your right pocket each time you express your thanks to someone for something they've done while silently acknowledging what it cost them to do it.  Pretty easy.  And the dividends to you and others will far outweigh your investment.”
     
    Other approaches to verbalize your appreciation work as well. In those "ancient days" when people wrote messages on paper and sent them by mail, one large paper company printed cards with a banner “You Made My Day” and a rainbow logo and encouraged their staff to acknowledge colleagues who had been helpful with a note. Some individuals posted their “You Made My Day” cards above their desks as reminders and encouragement to themselves for the good work they had done. Although archaic, a handwritten note of appreciation, personally delivered to a person’s desk, will still be much appreciated and long remembered. (I got such a note last week and it really made, not only my day but, my entire week.) And, if a handwritten note seems too archaic, you can settle for an email, or a tweet, or a post on Facebook. But, do step up and take the initiative.
      
    3.  Show respect to those around you. Treat others with the same level of courtesy and respect that you expect to receive: smile, show kindness, exhibit patience, don’t interrupt, and listen. One health care organization introduced a “ten-five” rule: If you come within ten feet of another person, acknowledge their presence by making eye contact, nodding, smiling, … And, if you are within five feet, verbally acknowledge their presence with a word – “hello,” “good morning/afternoon,” “how are you,” … Doing this resulted in significant improvements in morale and personal interactions.
      
    4.  Don’t complain. When you complain you reinforce a negative state of mind without offering a solution. Instead, take a few deep breaths and focus on the positive. Work to see if there is a positive side to the negative event you experienced.  
     
    Each of us might profit by working on your ”showing gratitude” skill and practicing it more. It will be good for you, the work you do, and for all those around you. So, schedule time in the coming days and weeks to further develop and put into practice your gratitude mindset. You'll find it to be a good thing to have in your skillset.
     
    I hope you do enjoy your Thanksgiving celebration with your family and friends this week. No matter our circumstances, we do have much to be thankful for. And, note the wise counsel of William Arthur Ward, one of the most quoted writers in the United States: “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”  
     
    .  .  .  .  jim
     
    P.S.  After I had originally completed this essay, I was watching the CBS Friday Evening News. The last news item was about a man who served in the Vietnam war as a helicopter gunship door gunner. On Christmas Day 1970 he was given a letter written by a young schoolgirl. The line that stood out was “I want to give my sincere thanks for going to fight for us.” He carried that letter with him reading it every day. He said that the letter got him through the war and that he still reads it often.  The power of expressed gratitude even from someone you don’t know!
     
     
    Jim Bruce is a Senior Fellow and Executive Coach at MOR Associates.  He previously was Professor of Electrical Engineering, and Vice President for Information Systems and CIO at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.
     
     
    References:

    1. Jamestown, Virginia, Wikipedia.
    2. The First Thanksgiving in America, Visit Williamsburg website, September 10, 2019. 
    3. Bill Hogue, “Gratitude, an Emotion to Be Expressed in All Seasons,” Tuesday Reading, January 2018.
    4. Clare Ansberry, "Beyond Thankful: Cultivating a Life of Gratitude," Turning Points, Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2017.
    5. Sharon Melnick, Success Under Stress: Powerful Tools for Staying Calm, Confident, and Productive When the Pressure's On, Amazon, 2013. 
    6. Francesca Gino and Adam Grant, The Big Benefits of a Little Thanks, HBR Podcast and Transcript, 2013.

     
    Note: This essay draws on material contained in prior Tuesday Readings on the subject.

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    The Chief Rabbi’s intervention in Britain’s general election

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    Much of the reaction to the Chief Rabbi’s dramatic and unprecedented intervention in Britain’s general election campaign has proved the truth and importance of what he has said. In a comment piece in The Times (£) today, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis writes: “The Jewish community has watched with incredulity as supporters of the Labour leadership have hounded parliamentarians, members and even staff out of the party for challenging anti-Jewish racism. Even as they received threats, the response of the Labour leadership was utterly inadequate. “We have endured quibbling and prevarication over…

    The post The Chief Rabbi’s intervention in Britain’s general election appeared first on MelaniePhillips.com.


              

    Muslim and Jewish #Youth groups unite in Edmonton to serve #Homeless

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    Two youth groups from different religious backgrounds joined forces to help the less fortunate in Edmonton on Saturday. Young women from the Muslim group Gathering Angels and the Bat Mitzvah group ...
              

    Alumni Profile: Beth Wain Brandon

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    Beth Wain Brandon’s father, Norm Wain, immigrated to New York City from Russia as a youth with his family and a group of likewise struggling villagers. Even though they had extremely modest means themselves, the group used to regularly pass around a collection hat because they knew someone was always worse off than them. It was a lesson that stuck with Norm, who still volunteers to this day, and one that he passed down to his four children, including his eldest daughter Beth.

    “Growing up, I got the message to get involved–if you’re capable, then lend a hand,” Brandon says. “I consider myself extremely lucky to have been born into a family that always valued giving back.”

    When she arrived at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland Marshall College of Law, Brandon was committed to getting a strong legal education, while also developing the skills that would help her to do good for those in need of assistance. After graduating she spent more than a decade with the prominent Cleveland law firm Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff, while maintaining a strong community presence, including volunteering with Planned Parenthood, a passion of hers that predated law school.

    “I thought Cleveland-Marshall was an amazing place to attend law school. Being in the center of the city, and the contacts that opens in the legal field, are huge advantages going into practice,” Brandon notes.

    With a growing family to raise, Brandon eventually elected to give up the full-time practice of law, which freed up more time to dedicate to her passions within the community. 

    She holds a strong presence in the local Jewish community. Brandon, a proud Shaker Heights native, dedicates a good deal of her time to the Cleveland Jewish Federation, where she currently serves as a Federation Board of Trustees Vice Chair and Allocations Committee Chair. She also serves as Director of the Mount Sinai Health Care Foundation, and previously served as Assistant Treasurer for Bellefaire JCB, Secretary for the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, and President of the Ohio Jewish Communities Board.

    Brandon continues to lobby and raise awareness and funds for Planned Parenthood and is also involved with the YWCA of Greater Cleveland, where she helps formerly homeless individuals and families reach their highest level of self-sufficiency through the Circle of Women program.

    “I consider it a privilege to volunteer in the community and follow in the footsteps of my mentors,” Brandon says.

    In recognition of her lasting impact on Cleveland’s Jewish and general communities, Brandon was recently recognized as the 2019 recipient of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s Gries Family Award.

    Even though it has been more than two decades since Brandon has practiced law full time, she still finds her legal education invaluable and has maintained friendships and contacts that she made starting on the very first day of law school. She uses both the legal knowledge and the collaboration and consensus building skills she learned in law school in her leadership positions on a daily basis.

    “What you learn in law school is so much beyond just learning the law,” Brandon adds. “Law school teaches you how to think, how to interact and collaborate with so many different people and how to have confidence in approaching the world. 

    The family that Brandon left practice to shepherd is now grown and her three adult daughters are now in position to follow in her footsteps and give back to the community. All three of her children either work for non-profit organizations or are actively involved in volunteer capacities.

    “I’m so proud of my children for all that they do in the community,” Brandon says. “I think they definitely see the legacy in community service that my parents set for me and that I have been able to pass down to them.”

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    Enjoy your Trip with Fun Activities in Katzrin, the Golan Heights

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    Enjoy your Trip with Fun Activities in Katzrin, the Golan Heights
    By Hadassah Levy  The ( צימרים בצפון ) is a fortune trove of timber lands, mountains, streams, cascades and natural life. It’s additionally wealthy ever, archaic exploration and culture, with attractions and exercises for pretty much everybody. It’s prescribed to begin your voyage through the Golan with a visit to Katzrin, the biggest Jewish town […]
              

    Comment on Seditious Jews Orchestrating Trump Impeachment Lynching by Joe Cooper

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    You're getting a good education in truth, even though you call it hate, you keep coming back for more, so here it is. SOMETHING ELSE WE KNOW, is that your jew controlled media has been LYING to us all our lives about most everything, ESPECIALLY our history in particular regarding the World Wars and an important and virtually hidden part, the JEWISH financed and led Bolshevik Revolution that took over Russia starting in 1917 with the savage murder of the Tsar and his family, and establishment of the Red Terror which genocided upward of 60 million white Christian Russians in the most horrible evil ways. That's HATE you misguided weasel, you need to repent of your LYING WAYS!! Your G-d you keep referring to is Satan, and even he isn't going to save you in the end.
              

    Comment on Seditious Jews Orchestrating Trump Impeachment Lynching by Joe Cooper

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    Something else we also know, is there is an inherent pathological paranoia and victim mentality in your tribal DNA, and you're a prime example exhibiting it here. And bizarrely, you keep mentioning hate, as all your tribesman do, when you are faced with truth, truth means hate to you, very weird. And this line: "The history of the persecution and slaughter of Jews had been going on for thousands of years long before the Holocaust..." is just plain insanity, I mean really Singer, listen to yourself. It's a classic example of another weird Jewish psychological derangement called "projection", blaming others of what you're really GUILTY OF YOURSELVES!! For thousands of years jews have been swindling others and slaughtering children in ritual blood sacrifice, that's why you've been kicked out of different countries 109 times, shall I go on??
              

    Comment on Overview of The Finder cult, on heels of FBI Vault release of Finder’s documents by Kerry Bindon

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    This satanic operation has been a Jewish apostate historic pattern since and even before Christ but gone into hyper drive in the 17th century with Sabbati Zevi in 1666 and Rothschild initiate anf then Frank and Wieshaupt infiltration of Masonic lodges that then began the overthrow of English French Kings and following American Russian revolutions and both world wars China's Jewish communist takeover the war on drugs terror and all others in the world these elites are just 0.01%or less and will be easy to remove when enough people wake up and remove these perverts from their nefarious and ubiquitous rule which they no longer deserve in fact the opposite we no longer need an outdated pyramid control and a switch to an universal network that encompasses 100% human control and nurture let's pray
              

    War in Montreal

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    The New York Times Canada Letter today lead with a story about how local regulation in Montreal threatens a culinary tradition:

    [Irwin Shlafman and Joe Morena] are competitors in the business of Montreal bagels, which have a distinctive flavor from being boiled in honey-infused water before being baked in a wood-burning oven.

    These days, however, Mr. Shlafman and Mr. Morena are united against a common threat — environmentalists who want to abolish the pollutant-producing ovens where the bagels are made.

    The battle heated up late last year when rumors began to circulate that a City Hall official was planning to ban the ovens, which emit fine particles that can aggravate respiratory ailments like asthma. Angry neighbors had complained to the city and some were boycotting the vaunted bagel shops.

    Coming to the defense of the bagels were fans who treasure the carb-heavy snack as an essential part of the city’s Jewish history and social fabric.

    Montreal bagels have become a global culinary emblem of the city, alongside smoked meat and poutine, and are doughy unifiers in a majority French-speaking province buffeted by identity politics.

    Next time I'm in Montreal I hope to try these wood-fired bagels. If they're still available.


              

    ‘We’re Looking at Things All the Time’: Integrated Approach to Whole-Patient Treatment Guides Rosomoff Center

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    Medical director Shaun Corbett, MD, recalled the medical history of a chronic pain patient successfully treated at the Rosomoff Comprehensive Rehabilitation Center at Miami Jewish Health Systems, in Florida.
              

    Homily 351 – Why is This Night Different – Holy Thursday

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    In the Jewish ritual of Passover, a boy asks the father leading the meal a famous question, “Why is this night different from every other night?” The father is to reply with the story of the first Passover… “Because on this night God saved our ancestor from slavery in Egypt…” The angel of death passed over […]

    The post Homily 351 – Why is This Night Different – Holy Thursday appeared first on Voice in the Wilderness.


              

    What I Read in November

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    I didn't read much in November, but I still finished four books - including two of my favorite reads of the year, which I'd say makes for a successful reading month.

    Up next? I'm about to finish She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement - just in time to hear author & Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jodi Kantor speak at my work conference later this month!

    As December begins, I know I won't come anywhere near my goal of reading 80 books by the end of the year - but hey, sometimes life gets in the way. It's been a good reading year, regardless of the numbers - & I hope to finish a few great ones to round out the year. Stay tuned!

    In the meantime, here's what I finished in November:

    Whisper Network by Chandler Baker
    Five coworkers (with varying degrees of friendship) have all had their own experiences & run-ins with the man who may soon take over their company. What will happen those experiences & run-ins start to bubble to the surface? And whose death is it that is being discussed in the trial transcripts that appear between each chapter? I stayed up late to finish this one, & I'm still thinking about it. ★★★★★

    Speak No Evil by Liana Gardner
    I received an ARC of this book from Hidden Gems, & it took me a very long time to finish it. There was a lot going on here: evangelical snake charmers, abusive foster families, a Native American reservation, a period of self-imposed silence, a chatty psychologist, a stabbing... it was a lot to follow & keep track of. I was torn: It was compelling enough that I wanted to know where it was going & how it ended, but it was a long, winding, & ultimately unsatisfactory road to get there. ★★★☆☆

    Color Me In by Natasha Diaz
    When Nevaeh's parents divorce, she & her mom move in with their Black, Christian relatives; meanwhile, her white, Jewish dad pushes her to have a belated bat mitzvah, leaving Nevaeh to balance familial expectations, & racial tensions. It had potential, & I appreciated the ending, but there were a lot of smaller storylines that jumbled the overall effect. It could've been pared way down for a more impactful story. ★★★☆☆

    Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
    Oh, this book is so beautiful. It's written in verse - not quote poetry, maybe, but almost like a written version of spoken-word? OK, I guess that is poetry. This is a memoir of the author's childhood growing up in Ohio, in the South, in Brooklyn - her complex relationships with her grandparents, her mother, her siblings. I highlighted so many passages in my Kindle that I may just need to buy a physical copy of the book. ★★★★★

    Tell me what you're reading, then add me on Goodreads to keep in touch & see what I've read in months past. You can also follow my bookstagram account!

    My "What I Read in..." posts include Amazon affiliate links to the titles I discuss. If you buy a book using one of these links, I will receive a small percentage of commission. Please don't feel any obligation to use these links, but if you do, it will help me buy more books.

              

    After U.S. decision, Israel plans new Jewish settlement in Al-Khalil

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    Israel's defense minister announced plans to build a new Jewish-only settlement in the heart of a flashpoint West Bank city on Sunday, weeks after the U.S. said it no longer considered such communities illegal.
              

    JOJO RABBIT (2019)

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    A young boy in Hitler's army finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.

    The post JOJO RABBIT (2019) appeared first on Frame Rated.


              

    BEN-HUR (1959)

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    When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

    The post BEN-HUR (1959) appeared first on Frame Rated.


              

    Kylie Jenner Invited Beyoncé to Her Friendsgiving

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    Over the weekend Kylie Jenner hosted her annual Friendsgiving celebration, and it was a lavish yet intimate affair. Kylie capturing the whole feast on her Instagram Stories over the weekend, documenting everything from how "moist" the turkey was to her elaborate table settings. But it was a space saved for "Beyoncé" that stirred up the hive.

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    Related | Kylie Jenner: Get Rich or Die Following

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    Whether or not the real Queen Bey was in attendance has yet to be confirmed, but it's almost beside the point. The concept of leaving a seat at the table open, not unlike the tradition of saving a chair for Elijah in the Jewish faith, has the potential to be Kylie's greatest cultural contribution since "Rise and Shine." If you are gonna save a seat for anyone at dinner tomorrow, it might as well be for Beyoncé.

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    Bey reservation aside, the entire table setting is objectively impressive. Kylie decorated with bouquets of white flowers, embroidered napkins, and a ceramic pumpkin on each place setting. Martha Stewart, watch the throne.

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    Related | Kylie Jenner Sings "Rise and Shine" to Stormi in New Video

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    Also catching people's attention were the creative nicknames that Jenner gave to her guests. Sister Kendall was playfully christened "Daddy Long Legs," best friend Stassie Karanikolaou's tag of "1942" was a nod to her love of Don Julio Tequila, and Kylie dubbed herself "600 mil" in light of the recent sale of her namesake cosmetics brand.

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    Impeccable hostessing, and incredible foresight. On the off chance she actually does show up, do you really want to run the risk of being the person that didn't have enough room for Beyoncé? Exactly.

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    Photo via Instagram


              

    2019 "Arab Youth Survey" "Arabs dislike Americans and Persians the most." (Jewish Hoax)

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    according to the "Arab Youth Survey" of 2019 Americans and Iranians are the most unpopular Nations,Governments and people within the Arab World. the Arabs accuse both Americans and Persians for "Imperialism in their Nations" according the survey {{file|t=sIFXY_1575204227}} {{file|t=uDnaT_1575204309}} US President Donald Trump and Irans Supreme leader Khamenei are the most "Disliked" politicians in the Arab World according the survey. now lets have a look who is behind "Arab Youth Survey" and why Israel is missing in the list. "Arab Youth Survey" is the sister organisation of the american company called PSB Research {{file|t=9ZCp4_1575204897}} which was founded by the Jewish Fox News Host and outspoken Zionist Douglas Schoen {{file|t=kca2m_1575205153}} The so called Jewish owned "Arab Youth Survey" https://www.arabyouthsurvey.com/ is influencing the Arab and Western Media with fake surveys that potray USA and Iran as the "Biggest enemies of the Arabs" and "Donald Trump and Irans Supreme Leader as the most hated figures". Why are those "American" Jews trying to make Arabs hate Americans and Persians (Iran) ? Simple Answer: Shift the Arab hate on Jews towards Americans and Persians.
              

    Pharmacy Technician | National Jewish Health

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    Denver, Colorado, Minimum Qualifications Education      High School Graduate or equivalent Work Experience     Two years of pharmacy technician experience in hospital or retail pharmacy. Special Training, Cer
              

    The Jewish Community of Youngstown holds Holiday Bazaar

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    The Jewish Community of Youngstown held their third annual Holiday Bazaar on Sunday.
              

    Is saying ‘I’d kill for those shoes’ OK? One woman and Sixth Commandment.

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    Puppeteer Marilyn Price relies on her Jewish faith to make good choices and live life fully. Part of a series on the Decalogue in modern life.
              

    Fiona Hill Should Be Condemned by Jewish Groups. She Won't Be.

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    The former senior director for European and Russian affairs for the Trump administration, Fiona Hill, testified last week in the House impeachment hearings. At one point, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., asked her: "Would you say that these different theories, these conspiracy theories that have been targeting you, spun in part by folks like Mr. Stone as well as fueled by Rudy Giuliani and others, basically have a tinge of anti-Semitism to them at least?" This was Ms. Hill's response: "Well, certainly when they involve George Soros, they do. I'd just like to point out that in the early 1900s, the...
              

    Hitler's top hat up for auction in Germany

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    Nazi memorabilia including Hitler's top hat and a cocktail dress worn by his companion Eva Braun is going under the hammer at a German auction house, drawing calls from the Jewish community to stop a...

              

    Gentiles and Jews interrupt each other over booze

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    This week, we welcome, for the second time, Stephanie Butnick and Liel Leibovitz, two-thirds of the Jewish podcast, “Unorthodox.” They just published an amazing new book, The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia: From Abraham to Zabar’s and Everything in Between.

    We talk to them about Jewdar, Chinese food and Christmas, Drake, Thanksgivuhkuh and other fascinating entries in the book!

    In Signs of the Times, Pope Francis urges us to ask: “Do I, a Christian, have at least one poor person as a friend?” And he considers updating the Catechism to include “ecological sins.” In our third and last story, we discuss a new study from the Pew Research Center that analyzes how American adults feel about the relationship between religion and politics.

    Feel free to send us your questions, concerns, cocktail recipes or join us for discussion on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. You can help other listeners find the show by leaving us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts!

    If you’re not doing so already, please consider supporting us on Patreon, where we have started a newsletter exclusively for Patrons! Stay tuned for things like .gifs from Ashley, advice requests from Zac or book recommendations from Olga.

    Thank you to those already supporting us. We would not be able to do this without you.

    P.S. America Media will be launching a new podcast next month called “Plague: Untold Stories of AIDS and the Catholic Church,” hosted by our national correspondent, Michael O’Loughlin. The first episode premieres on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day. Please visit the show’s page or wherever you listen to podcasts and listen to the trailer and subscribe.

    Links from the show:

    Pope Francis calls on Christians to remember the poor, ‘the treasure of the church’
    Pope Francis: Catechism will be updated to define ecological sins
    Americans Have Positive Views About Religion’s Role in Society, but Want It Out of Politics

    What’s on tap? 

    Stephanie and Liel brought us Arak, “a delightfully alcoholic beverage made of grapes and aniseed.”


              

    Kim Kârda, Kim Zararda: “Size Nasıl Geliyorsa Öyledir” yazısına 278 ve Bilme tarafından yapılan yorumlar

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    ‘Yaban Aklın Evcilleştirilmesi’ (Yazan: Jack Goody, antropolog) kitabını bedavaya indirmek için aradım, daha henüz bulamadım ama bulup okuyacağım. Eminim her kitabı gibi şahane.Teşekkürler. Diğer bazı kitaplarını çok beğenerek okumuştum. 278 yazınızdan dolayı ve Goodyʼʼnin şahane incelemelerinin çoğu ile örtüştüğü için ʻʻbilme ve bilgiʼʼde neden site devasa büyük beyinlileriyle boy ölçülemeyeceğini anlatayım. Önce o ünlü ve medeniyette nihayet özel mülkiyet olan zeka. Benim için insanlar zeki, bitti. Bir de eğer doğal alaycı hislerime kapılırsam eklerim: 1. Zekada herkes eşit ama bazıları daha eşit. 2. Kadınlar 100 yıl önce saçı, kısa akıllı idi ama şimdi zeki. 3. Serfler 4-5 yıl önce salaklardı ama kapitalistlerin zekilere ihtiyaçları artınca, şehirlere gidenler burjuva oldu. Serfler, maşallah, ya Allaha ya da laiklerin allahı Gen-Darwinʼe şükür zeki oldular. Liste 10-20 sayfa olabilir. ŞİMDİ DE ZEKA VE GÜÇ. Hemen yine Darwin ve Marks dahilerle başlayayım: Daha zeki olanlar kazanır. Bakteriler ve virüsler gibi. Her ikisi de ʻʻsabırlı olacaksın, eninde sonundaʼʼ demeyi unutmazlar, nedense. 1. Lévi-Strauss çıplak vahşileri çalışmakta ve not almakta. Bildiğiniz gibi, antropologlar hediye verirler. Şef, ne zaman etrafta diğer vahşileri görse hemen bir yaprak ve çöp alıp karalamaya başlar. Bizim büyük beyinliler, başta Hortlak ardında Zileli, Başkaya ve site %95ʼi laikler, bilimselleşmiş zekiler, hemen hoplar zıplarlar: ʻʻBak şu aklı evcilleştirilmemiş vahşiye, bizim gibi okula gidip elini ayağını öptüklerimiz zekiler gibi olmada rasyonel yolu tutmaktansa büyüye benzer, yani kısa yol, akıl dışı yolu tutmuş.ʼʼ 2. Bir arkadaşa bir gün ʻʻnasıl oluyor da bu üstün zekalılar apaçık olan şarlatanlığı görmüyorlar?ʼʼ dedim. Eliyle tavanı gösterdi, ʻʻoraya kadar kitap okumuşlar, vazgeçerler mi?ʼʼ dedi. 3. Antropologlar dünyanın her yerinde çıplak ve yarı çıplak vahşiler arasında bir tip buldular. Bu tipler olağanüstü becerili. Kızılderililer çocuklarına ʻʻaman bunlardan uzak durun, yoksa eninde sonunda onlara köle olursunuz!ʼʼ öğretirler. Darwin ve Marks dahiler büyük becerileri kendilerine benzettiler, bireyselleştirdiler. Sağ ve sola yeşili ışığı yaktılar. Sağda Nişanyan, Necip ırkçı faşistler, solda aynı ama farklı Hortlak Zileli, Başkaya ve site %95ʼi. Bunlar için zeka ve güç aynı, ama doğru yolda oldukları için farklılar. Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao etrafında veya şimdi Trump, Putin, Merkel, Xi Jinping b*kların üstünde toplanan sinekler gibi değiller. Hadi öyle olsun. Allah veya Gen veya Darwin veya Marksların işine akıl ermez. Goody ile ilgili bazı notlarım. Asılları İngilizce ve tercümeler hoplatma zıplatma kısımları. 1. The power of the written tradition Not : Bu benim bayılarak okuduğum. Sitede defalarca değişik şekilde söyledim. Bir defasında bir büyük beyinli diplomalı anarşist ʻʻCahilliği mi savunuyorsun?ʼʼ dedi. Kendisi ve benzerlerinin süper yıldızı, süpermürşiti 19. yüzyıl anarşisti Chomskyʼye soruldu : en gerçek anarşistler kim? Biraz uslu terbiyeli orta sınıf hık mıkı etti ama sonunda ʻʻ(İspanya iç savaşındaki) okuma yazma bilmeyen köylülerʼʼ baklasını ağzından çıkardı. Bizim diplomalı anarşist eski Stalinci günlerinde öğrendiği yazma ustalığı ile Marksist-Leninist-Stalinist kalıplara anarşist lakları koydu anarşist oldu. Goody, ʻʻYazının Güç Geleneğiʼʼ kitabında, Kuzey Gana'daki LoDagaa Bagre'sinin - yazıldığı zaman diğer versiyonlara göre nasıl üstünlük kazandığını ve toplumların yüz yüze değil, yazıları sözlü ezberlemenin nasıl kazandığını ve eğitimde temel olduğunu gösterir. Bu çılgınlığı en başta ve en güzel İslam ifade eder; Kuranʼın kelime kökeni ʻʻıqraʼʼ, yani oku, ve savaş narası ʻʻgebertin kitapsızlarıʼʼ. Hıristiyanlar da geri kalmaz: Bible = Kitap. Yazının, haklı olarak, site laik anarşistinin beyninin en derini yerlerine demir atması misali, fetiş veya tanrılaştırması sonsuz doğal ve rasyonel ve mantıksal… 2. Theft of history Goody, ʻʻTarih Nasıl Çalındı ?ʼʼ kitabında, Batı tarih yazılarında Avrupa ve Batıʼyı (SARIŞINLAR tarihi) merkez alma önyargılarını eleştirir. Sarışınların hırsızlığı kutsal ve insan doğası etmesi daha eskiye gider. Doğu ve diğer kültürlerin bulgularını da çalarlar, özellikle demokrasi, kapitalizm, bireycilik ve aşk — aman bilhassa Başkaya, Zileli ve Hortlak duymasınlar. Bunların hepsi Avrupaʼda başladı, Aydınlık devriyle ışığa kavuşup aklı başına geldi, Devrimlerle teoriden pratiğe çevrildi, kapitalizm, sosyalizm, komünizm ve nasyonalizm, laisizm gibi sarışın mavi gözlülerin telif hakkı ile korundu. Hortlak, Zileli ve Başkaya ve site %95ʼi, cüzi bir aylık ödemeyle, Türk-Kürt bayicisi ve mümessilliğini kazandılar. Goody, üç ırkçı ve sarışın hayranları Marks, Weber ve Eliasʼı, kendinin çok daha beğendiği Batı tarihçileri Fernand Braudel, Moses Finlay ve Perry Anderson ile kıyaslar. Hortlak, Zileli, Başkaya ve site yüzde 95ʼi nakaratı: Goodyʼde Doğu ezikliği var. Herifin isminden (godly) bile belli Erdoğancı olduğu. Amerikan ajanı, feyto falancı. Boş ver geçmişi üstat, biz kapitalistler, Marksistler ve anarşistler gibi İleriye bakarız. Yaşasın kazananlar! Yaşasın Aydınlık! Yaşasın Bolşevikler! 3. Capitalism and Modernity: The Great Debate Goody bu eserinde Avrupa/Anglo-Amerikaʼnın sosyoekonomik büyümedeki diğer tüm kıtaları ne zaman ve neden aşmaya başladığını inceler. Ayrışmanın Endüstri Devrimi ile geldiğini ve on altıncı yüzyılın daha önceki burjuva devriminin, ticaret ve üretim faaliyetlerini geliştirme konusunda birçok Avrasya çapında ifadelerden biri olduğunu savunur. Hortlak, Zileli, Başkaya ve site yüzde 95ʼin nakaratı: Marks ve 19. yüzyıl bolluk anarşistleri hariç, boş ver geçmişi. Godly bir Doğu eziği, bir gavur düşmanı. Yaşasın Marks!, Yaşasın Darwin! Yaşasın Irkçılık! Yaşasın Kazananlar! 4. Islam in Europe Not: Bu özellikle ırkçı faşist Hortlak'ı hoplatıp zıplatır. Hortlak'ın devasa bilgisi en büyük kozu, sitedekilerin kendisinin aynısı olması en büyük şansı. Goody, ʻʻAvrupaʼda İslamʼʼ kitabında, İslam'ın Avrupa tarihinde oynadığı merkezi rolü inceler. Doğudan Batıya, halkın, kültürün ve dinin hareketine bakarak, İslam ile Batı arasındaki ayırım şarlatanlığını ifşa eder. Not : Çok sevdiğim bir arkadaş başka türlü söyledi. Batı, 10-11 yüzyılda, Allah Rahim Hariç, Müslüman oldu. Bu sitenin aşık olduğu Sarışın Batı anasını, bacısını, 7 yaşındaki kızlarını bile para verirsen satar. Not: Diplomalı anarşistin müritlerinden biri, sanırım Ögürsel adlı aynı Hortlak gibi yobaz ve ırkçı eski araba satıcısı ama boş zamanlarında politikayı hobi etmiş Necip gibi bu doktor da politikayı hobi edinmiş bir hödük, ben ʻʻrahimʼʼ kadının seks organı, tabii bağlamda hayat veren ʻʻuterusʼʼ, olduğunu söyledim. Tabii hemen işin içinde Erdoğancılık var diye uyuz olup ve benim günlerce kaynak notlarımı kurcalayıp bir sürü zaman kaybıma neden oldu. Not: Bu çok yeni. Bende binlerce dahası var. 22 November 2019ʼda, Ali G yıldızı, komedyen Sacha Baron Cohen, ʻʻeğer Facebook 1930'larda mevcut olsaydı Hitler'in anti-Semitik inançları için bir platform oluştururdu.ʼʼ dedi. "If you pay them, Facebook will run any 'political' ad you want, even if it's a lie. And they'll even help you micro-target those lies to their users for maximum effect," "Under this twisted logic, if Facebook were around in the 1930s, it would have allowed Hitler to post 30-second ads on his 'solution' to the 'Jewish problem'." Ayrıca Google'ı, Twitter'ı ve YouTube'u “milyarlarca insana saçma sapan şeyleri” zorladığı için eleştirdi. Kürtlük Temsilcisi Hortlak nakaratı: Bak şu allahın Yahudisine, hani Yahudiler benim özel mülkiyet Dev Kürtlerinin dostuydu. Hani Yahudiler de benim Kürtler gibi ilericiydi. Ajan efendim, ajan. Zaten biliyorsunuz komploculuk Yahudilerin doğasında. Ermenilik Temsilcisi Nişanyan Nakaratı: Bak şu alçak Uygarlık düşmanına. 21 Kasım 19, “Bugün Cumhuriyetin eğittiği kuşaklara egemen olan büyük siyasi akımların ortak paydası, Batı düşmanlığıdır: İslamcılık, Milliyetçilik ve Sosyalizm, evrensel uygarlığın yaratıcısı olan toplumlara karşı Türkiye’nin ufuklarını kapatma arzusunda birleşirler.” Yanlış Cumhuriyet – (Doğru) S. Nişanyan Nişanyan, diğer bir ırkçı, faşist, yobaz. Bir defa mülkiyete sahip olmanın ʻʻinsan doğasındaʼʼ yazısına bazı toplumları örnek vererek itiraz ettim ve bu yobazların bilimselliği hemen hemen para kadar kutsal olduğunu bildiğimden, bu ʻʻinsan doğasıʼʼ olduğu inancının iki kaynağı, ruhani Allah ve laik allah Gen vasıtasıyla ispat edilemeyeceğini hatırlattım. Bu adam bin iki bin yıl önce yaşasaydı, kuşların uçmasını kuşlarda ʻʻuçma doğasıʼʼ ile anlatırdı. Ama Darwin amcası gelir gelmez uçmanın canlılar tarihinde yer aldığına benden çabuk inanıp belki kitap bile yazmıştır. İşte bu nedende bunlar çok üstün zekalılar. Yaltakçılık ve utanmama doğalarında. Nihayet, aynı bu site gibi ırkçı faşistleri arkasına takmış olan Nişanyan da aynı Zileli gibi eminlik içinde, dolaylı olarak, ʻʻbak bana inananlar sayısına, bir de aritmetik bildiğini iddia ediyorsunʼʼ dedi. İnandıklarının en büyük yalanlar olduğunu ifşa eden yazılar sayısına gelince de aynı soytarılık edilir. Gel de bunların tıpkıları Trump, Erdoğan ve modası geçmiş Stalin gibi sayılarla kazananlardan farkı görmeye çalış. No dice! Zileli-Başkaya nakaratı: Hortlak + Nişanyan + sitenin %95ʼi bizim tarafta, F**k off!
              

    Are "Jewish (Re)Settlements" Legal?

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    Following the latest US policy decision on the Jewish civilian residency communities in Judea and Samaria of November 18, declared by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, which reads:

    Turning now to Israel, the Trump administration is reversing the Obama administration’s approach towards Israeli settlements.
    U.S. public statements on settlement activities in the West Bank have been inconsistent over decades.  In 1978, the Carter administration categorically concluded that Israel’s establishment of civilian settlements was inconsistent with international law.  However, in 1981, President Reagan disagreed with that conclusion and stated that he didn’t believe that the settlements were inherently illegal.
    Subsequent administrations recognized that unrestrained settlement activity could be an obstacle to peace, but they wisely and prudently recognized that dwelling on legal positions didn’t advance peace.  However, in December 2016, at the very end of the previous administration, Secretary Kerry changed decades of this careful, bipartisan approach by publicly reaffirming the supposed illegality of settlements.
    After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate, this administration agrees with President Reagan.  The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.
    I want to emphasize several important considerations.
    First, look, we recognize that – as Israeli courts have – the legal conclusions relating to individual settlements must depend on an assessment of specific facts and circumstances on the ground.  Therefore, the United States Government is expressing no view on the legal status of any individual settlement.
    The Israeli legal system affords an opportunity to challenge settlement activity and assess humanitarian considerations connected to it.  Israeli courts have confirmed the legality of certain settlement activities and has concluded that others cannot be legally sustained.
    Second, we are not addressing or prejudging the ultimate status of the West Bank.  This is for the Israelis and the Palestinians to negotiate.  International law does not compel a particular outcome, nor create any legal obstacle to a negotiated resolution.
    Third, the conclusion that we will no longer recognize Israeli settlements as per se inconsistent with international law is based on the unique facts, history, and circumstances presented by the establishment of civilian settlements in the West Bank.  Our decision today does not prejudice or decide legal conclusions regarding situations in any other parts of the world.
    And finally – finally – calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law hasn’t worked.  It hasn’t advanced the cause of peace.
    The hard truth is there will never be a judicial resolution to the conflict, and arguments about who is right and wrong as a matter of international law will not bring peace.  This is a complex political problem that can only be solved by negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
    The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate peace, and I will do everything I can to help this cause.  The United States encourages the Israelis and the Palestinians to resolve the status of Israeli settlements in the West Bank in any final status negotiations.
    And further, we encourage both sides to find a solution that promotes, protects the security and welfare of Palestinians and Israelis alike.
    I add more to previous lists of opinions (here; and here;) supporting the full legality and legitimimacy of Jewish residency in Judea and Samaria:

    Talia Einhorn.

    Douglas Feith.

    Observation of Amnon Lord.

    Dore Gold.

    Matthew Mainen.

    Eugene Kontorovich.

    ^
              

    Ali MacGraw, "Goodbye, Columbus," 1969

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    classic_film posted a photo:

    Ali MacGraw, "Goodbye, Columbus," 1969

    Based on the controversial novella by Philip Roth, this 1969 hit romantic comedy-drama starred Richard Benjamin (b. May 22, 1938) and fashion model and film ingenue Ali MacGraw (b. April 1, 1939) in her first starring role.

    Others in the cast included Jack Klugman, Nan Martin, Michael Meyers, Lori Shelle, Monroe Arnold, Kay Cummings, Sylvie Strause, Royce Wallace, and Anthony McGowan. It was filmed on location in New York. "Goodbye, Columbus" is among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the 500 movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies. MacGraw earned a Golden Globe and Laurel Award for her performance as the wealthy Jewish college student Brenda. MacGraw was not the first choice for the role - Barbara Parkins and Natalie Wood both turned down the part.

    When released in Germany, "Goodbye, Columbus" was retitled "Zum Teufel mit der Unschuld" / "The Hell with the Innocence," and in Italy, the film was released as "La ragazza di Tony" / "Tony's Girlfriend," even though the Jewish American character played by Benjamin was named Neil.

    Synopsis, via IMDb:
    A Jewish man and a Jewish woman meet and while attracted to each other, find that their worlds are very different. She is the archetypal Jewish American Princess, very emotionally involved with her parents' world, and the world they have created for her, while he is much less dependent on his family. They begin an affair, which brings more differences to the surface.


    ********
    Image shared here only for non-profit commentary, critique, criticism, discussion, research, news reporting, education / information, research, teaching, and/or parody purposes per the provisions and guidelines of the U.S. Fair Use doctrine, pursuant to Title 17 U.S. Code § 107 regarding use of copyright material. Not for commercial use (see Creative Commons license).


              

    Ali MacGraw, Playing Tennis, "Goodbye, Columbus," 1969

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    classic_film posted a photo:

    Ali MacGraw, Playing Tennis, "Goodbye, Columbus," 1969

    Based on the controversial novella by Philip Roth, this 1969 hit romantic comedy-drama starred Richard Benjamin (b. May 22, 1938) and fashion model and film ingenue Ali MacGraw (b. April 1, 1939) in her first starring role.

    Others in the cast included Jack Klugman, Nan Martin, Michael Meyers, Lori Shelle, Monroe Arnold, Kay Cummings, Sylvie Strause, Royce Wallace, and Anthony McGowan. It was filmed on location in New York. "Goodbye, Columbus" is among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the 500 movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies. MacGraw earned a Golden Globe and Laurel Award for her performance as the wealthy Jewish college student Brenda. MacGraw was not the first choice for the role - Barbara Parkins and Natalie Wood both turned down the part.

    When released in Germany, "Goodbye, Columbus" was retitled "Zum Teufel mit der Unschuld" / "The Hell with the Innocence," and in Italy, the film was released as "La ragazza di Tony" / "Tony's Girlfriend," even though the Jewish American character played by Benjamin was named Neil.

    Synopsis, via IMDb:
    A Jewish man and a Jewish woman meet and while attracted to each other, find that their worlds are very different. She is the archetypal Jewish American Princess, very emotionally involved with her parents' world, and the world they have created for her, while he is much less dependent on his family. They begin an affair, which brings more differences to the surface.


    ********
    Image shared here only for non-profit commentary, critique, criticism, discussion, research, news reporting, education / information, research, teaching, and/or parody purposes per the provisions and guidelines of the U.S. Fair Use doctrine, pursuant to Title 17 U.S. Code § 107 regarding use of copyright material. Not for commercial use (see Creative Commons license).


              

    Ali MacGraw, On the Phone, "Goodbye, Columbus," 1969

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    classic_film posted a photo:

    Ali MacGraw, On the Phone, "Goodbye, Columbus," 1969

    Based on the controversial novella by Philip Roth, this 1969 hit romantic comedy-drama starred Richard Benjamin (b. May 22, 1938) and fashion model and film ingenue Ali MacGraw (b. April 1, 1939) in her first starring role.

    Others in the cast included Jack Klugman, Nan Martin, Michael Meyers, Lori Shelle, Monroe Arnold, Kay Cummings, Sylvie Strause, Royce Wallace, and Anthony McGowan. It was filmed on location in New York. "Goodbye, Columbus" is among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the 500 movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies. MacGraw earned a Golden Globe and Laurel Award for her performance as the wealthy Jewish college student Brenda. MacGraw was not the first choice for the role - Barbara Parkins and Natalie Wood both turned down the part.

    When released in Germany, "Goodbye, Columbus" was retitled "Zum Teufel mit der Unschuld" / "The Hell with the Innocence," and in Italy, the film was released as "La ragazza di Tony" / "Tony's Girlfriend," even though the Jewish American character played by Benjamin was named Neil.

    Synopsis, via IMDb:
    A Jewish man and a Jewish woman meet and while attracted to each other, find that their worlds are very different. She is the archetypal Jewish American Princess, very emotionally involved with her parents' world, and the world they have created for her, while he is much less dependent on his family. They begin an affair, which brings more differences to the surface.


    ********
    Image shared here only for non-profit commentary, critique, criticism, discussion, research, news reporting, education / information, research, teaching, and/or parody purposes per the provisions and guidelines of the U.S. Fair Use doctrine, pursuant to Title 17 U.S. Code § 107 regarding use of copyright material. Not for commercial use (see Creative Commons license).


              

    Ali MacGraw, Club Pool, "Goodbye, Columbus," 1969

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    classic_film posted a photo:

    Ali MacGraw, Club Pool, "Goodbye, Columbus," 1969

    Based on the controversial novella by Philip Roth, this 1969 hit romantic comedy-drama starred Richard Benjamin (b. May 22, 1938) and fashion model and film ingenue Ali MacGraw (b. April 1, 1939) in her first starring role.

    Others in the cast included Jack Klugman, Nan Martin, Michael Meyers, Lori Shelle, Monroe Arnold, Kay Cummings, Sylvie Strause, Royce Wallace, and Anthony McGowan. It was filmed on location in New York. "Goodbye, Columbus" is among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the 500 movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies. MacGraw earned a Golden Globe and Laurel Award for her performance as the wealthy Jewish college student Brenda. MacGraw was not the first choice for the role - Barbara Parkins and Natalie Wood both turned down the part.

    When released in Germany, "Goodbye, Columbus" was retitled "Zum Teufel mit der Unschuld" / "The Hell with the Innocence," and in Italy, the film was released as "La ragazza di Tony" / "Tony's Girlfriend," even though the Jewish American character played by Benjamin was named Neil.

    Synopsis, via IMDb:
    A Jewish man and a Jewish woman meet and while attracted to each other, find that their worlds are very different. She is the archetypal Jewish American Princess, very emotionally involved with her parents' world, and the world they have created for her, while he is much less dependent on his family. They begin an affair, which brings more differences to the surface.


    ********
    Image shared here only for non-profit commentary, critique, criticism, discussion, research, news reporting, education / information, research, teaching, and/or parody purposes per the provisions and guidelines of the U.S. Fair Use doctrine, pursuant to Title 17 U.S. Code § 107 regarding use of copyright material. Not for commercial use (see Creative Commons license).


              

    Phases Of Jewish History

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    Phases Of Jewish History
              

    The Holy of Holies and the Umbilical Cord: The Evolution of a Ritual Object by Jill Hammer

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    In the Jewish calendar, we’re just past the holiday season—the High Holidays, the harvest festival of Sukkot, and the concluding festival of Simchat Torah when the last verses of the Torah are read and the first verses are started again.... Read More ›
              

    Should gender matter in Christianity?

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    By Rebekah Simon-Peter

    The topic of gender and Christianity has been in the news the last couple of weeks. Specifically the role of women in church leadership. After telling wildly popular evangelical Bible teacher Beth Moore to “go home,” influential fundamentalist preacher John MacArthur clarified his thoughts on women in church leadership. He warned that “empowering women makes weak men” and “weak men make everybody vulnerable to danger.”

    Wait a second. Studies around the world show that empowering women is the key to developing economies, family well-being, better nutrition and equal rights. So how could this move be anti-male, anti-social or anti-Christian?

    When you take the long view of religious development, I believe MacArthur has it exactly backward. Rather than derail Christianity, the full participation of women in all aspects of Creation is the fulfillment of the Christian impulse. A look at Judaism reveals why.

    Judaism is built on the power of distinctions. The creation stories exemplify the distinctions between the first six days and the other days of the week; between the sun, moon and stars; between plants and animals; and between humans and God. The evening prayer in Judaism plays on those themes by glorifying the distinctions between night and day, and between sleep and activity. Havdalah, the blessing that ends the Sabbath, lauds the differences between holy and secular, and between Sabbath and the rest of the days of the week. Ancient Jewish prayers even prompt men to pray with thanksgiving that they were not made a woman, a gentile or a slave. Distinctions matter in Judaism.

    Christianity goes in a decidedly different direction. Rather than playing on distinctions and dualities, Paul has a vision of integration. “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) Indeed, women play a major role in the Gospels.

    This theme of unity and integration is further celebrated in the New Testament. Consider the story of Pentecost. When the Spirit comes, all hear a unifying message in their own language. This unity is celebrated as people share in a common life, a common purse and a common purpose. Finally, we see in Revelation 7:9-10 that all tribes, peoples and languages have a common trajectory — unity within the oneness of God.

    So what’s with the stink about gender distinctions? Truth be told, MacArthur isn’t the only one who forgets the integrative impulse in Christianity. Mainline Christian churches have their own version of his call for strong women leaders to “go home.” Women are called the “B word” and sent packing in more ways than one.

    I wonder if the focus on gender isn’t indicative of deeper problems in the church. Like decline in worship, influence and imagination. Todd Anderson, a District Superintendent in the West Ohio Conference of the UMC, recently told me, “The church is only in decline where the status quo is enforced.” He should know. Every District Superintendent is painfully aware of how the status quo stifles new life. That’s why Todd is working across state lines, district lines, and conference lines to create new, experimental ministries. And they’re bearing fruit.

    Decline is not a Christian value. The status quo is not a Christian value. Women preaching, turning things upside down, is. That’s what lets new life in.

    Interestingly even Judaism itself has moved toward integration. While distinctions still matter, female clergy are beginning to be ordained in the orthodox world. Even transgender clergy are being welcomed.

    Bottom line: If empowered women are threatening some men, perhaps those men need to deepen their own sense of self, rather than seek to bring women down a peg.


    Learn more about Rebekah's work at rebekahsimonpeter.com


              

    November 28: 1 Chronicles 24–25; 1 Peter 5; Micah 3; Luke 12

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    With family: 1 Chronicles 24–25; 1 Peter 5

    1 Chronicles 24–25 (Listen)

    David Organizes the Priests

    24 The divisions of the sons of Aaron were these. The sons of Aaron: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. But Nadab and Abihu died before their father and had no children, so Eleazar and Ithamar became the priests. With the help of Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, David organized them according to the appointed duties in their service. Since more chief men were found among the sons of Eleazar than among the sons of Ithamar, they organized them under sixteen heads of fathers' houses of the sons of Eleazar, and eight of the sons of Ithamar. They divided them by lot, all alike, for there were sacred officers and officers of God among both the sons of Eleazar and the sons of Ithamar. And the scribe Shemaiah, the son of Nethanel, a Levite, recorded them in the presence of the king and the princes and Zadok the priest and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar and the heads of the fathers' houses of the priests and of the Levites, one father's house being chosen for Eleazar and one chosen for Ithamar.

    The first lot fell to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah, the third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim, the fifth to Malchijah, the sixth to Mijamin, 10 the seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah, 11 the ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shecaniah, 12 the eleventh to Eliashib, the twelfth to Jakim, 13 the thirteenth to Huppah, the fourteenth to Jeshebeab, 14 the fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer, 15 the seventeenth to Hezir, the eighteenth to Happizzez, 16 the nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Jehezkel, 17 the twenty-first to Jachin, the twenty-second to Gamul, 18 the twenty-third to Delaiah, the twenty-fourth to Maaziah. 19 These had as their appointed duty in their service to come into the house of the LORD according to the procedure established for them by Aaron their father, as the LORD God of Israel had commanded him.

    20 And of the rest of the sons of Levi: of the sons of Amram, Shubael; of the sons of Shubael, Jehdeiah. 21 Of Rehabiah: of the sons of Rehabiah, Isshiah the chief. 22 Of the Izharites, Shelomoth; of the sons of Shelomoth, Jahath. 23 The sons of Hebron:1 Jeriah the chief,2 Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, Jekameam the fourth. 24 The sons of Uzziel, Micah; of the sons of Micah, Shamir. 25 The brother of Micah, Isshiah; of the sons of Isshiah, Zechariah. 26 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Jaaziah: Beno.3 27 The sons of Merari: of Jaaziah, Beno, Shoham, Zaccur, and Ibri. 28 Of Mahli: Eleazar, who had no sons. 29 Of Kish, the sons of Kish: Jerahmeel. 30 The sons of Mushi: Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth. These were the sons of the Levites according to their fathers' houses. 31 These also, the head of each father's house and his younger brother alike, cast lots, just as their brothers the sons of Aaron, in the presence of King David, Zadok, Ahimelech, and the heads of fathers' houses of the priests and of the Levites.

    David Organizes the Musicians

    25 David and the chiefs of the service also set apart for the service the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who prophesied with lyres, with harps, and with cymbals. The list of those who did the work and of their duties was: Of the sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asharelah, sons of Asaph, under the direction of Asaph, who prophesied under the direction of the king. Of Jeduthun, the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei,4 Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the direction of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with the lyre in thanksgiving and praise to the LORD. Of Heman, the sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel and Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, and Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, Mahazioth. All these were the sons of Heman the king's seer, according to the promise of God to exalt him, for God had given Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. They were all under the direction of their father in the music in the house of the LORD with cymbals, harps, and lyres for the service of the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman were under the order of the king. The number of them along with their brothers, who were trained in singing to the LORD, all who were skillful, was 288. And they cast lots for their duties, small and great, teacher and pupil alike.

    The first lot fell for Asaph to Joseph; the second to Gedaliah, to him and his brothers and his sons, twelve; 10 the third to Zaccur, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 11 the fourth to Izri, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 12 the fifth to Nethaniah, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 13 the sixth to Bukkiah, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 14 the seventh to Jesharelah, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 15 the eighth to Jeshaiah, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 16 the ninth to Mattaniah, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 17 the tenth to Shimei, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 18 the eleventh to Azarel, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 19 the twelfth to Hashabiah, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 20 to the thirteenth, Shubael, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 21 to the fourteenth, Mattithiah, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 22 to the fifteenth, to Jeremoth, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 23 to the sixteenth, to Hananiah, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 24 to the seventeenth, to Joshbekashah, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 25 to the eighteenth, to Hanani, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 26 to the nineteenth, to Mallothi, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 27 to the twentieth, to Eliathah, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 28 to the twenty-first, to Hothir, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 29 to the twenty-second, to Giddalti, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 30 to the twenty-third, to Mahazioth, his sons and his brothers, twelve; 31 to the twenty-fourth, to Romamti-ezer, his sons and his brothers, twelve.

    Footnotes

    [1] 24:23 Compare 23:19; Hebrew lacks Hebron
    [2] 24:23 Compare 23:19; Hebrew lacks the chief
    [3] 24:26 Or his son; also verse 27
    [4] 25:3 One Hebrew manuscript, Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts lack Shimei

    (ESV)

    1 Peter 5 (Listen)

    Shepherd the Flock of God

    So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,1 not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;2 not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

    Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

    Final Greetings

    12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. 13 She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with the kiss of love.

    Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

    Footnotes

    [1] 5:2 Some manuscripts omit exercising oversight
    [2] 5:2 Some manuscripts omit as God would have you

    (ESV)

    In private: Micah 3; Luke 12

    Micah 3 (Listen)

    Rulers and Prophets Denounced

      And I said:
      Hear, you heads of Jacob
        and rulers of the house of Israel!
      Is it not for you to know justice?—
        you who hate the good and love the evil,
      who tear the skin from off my people1
        and their flesh from off their bones,
      who eat the flesh of my people,
        and flay their skin from off them,
      and break their bones in pieces
        and chop them up like meat in a pot,
        like flesh in a cauldron.
      Then they will cry to the LORD,
        but he will not answer them;
      he will hide his face from them at that time,
        because they have made their deeds evil.
      Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets
        who lead my people astray,
      who cry “Peace”
        when they have something to eat,
      but declare war against him
        who puts nothing into their mouths.
      Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision,
        and darkness to you, without divination.
      The sun shall go down on the prophets,
        and the day shall be black over them;
      the seers shall be disgraced,
        and the diviners put to shame;
      they shall all cover their lips,
        for there is no answer from God.
      But as for me, I am filled with power,
        with the Spirit of the LORD,
        and with justice and might,
      to declare to Jacob his transgression
        and to Israel his sin.
      Hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob
        and rulers of the house of Israel,
      who detest justice
        and make crooked all that is straight,
    10   who build Zion with blood
        and Jerusalem with iniquity.
    11   Its heads give judgment for a bribe;
        its priests teach for a price;
        its prophets practice divination for money;
      yet they lean on the LORD and say,
        “Is not the LORD in the midst of us?
        No disaster shall come upon us.”
    12   Therefore because of you
        Zion shall be plowed as a field;
      Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins,
        and the mountain of the house a wooded height.

    Footnotes

    [1] 3:2 Hebrew from off them

    (ESV)

    Luke 12 (Listen)

    Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees

    12 In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.

    Have No Fear

    “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell.1 Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?2 And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

    Acknowledge Christ Before Men

    “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

    The Parable of the Rich Fool

    13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

    Do Not Be Anxious

    22 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?3 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,4 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his5 kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

    32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

    You Must Be Ready

    35 “Stay dressed for action6 and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants7 whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he8 would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

    41 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant9 whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

    Not Peace, but Division

    49 “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! 51 Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52 For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

    Interpreting the Time

    54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

    Settle with Your Accuser

    57 “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. 59 I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.”10

    Footnotes

    [1] 12:5 Greek Gehenna
    [2] 12:6 Greek two assaria; an assarion was a Roman copper coin worth about 1/16 of a denarius (which was a day's wage for a laborer)
    [3] 12:25 Or a single cubit to his stature; a cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
    [4] 12:27 Some manuscripts Consider the lilies; they neither spin nor weave
    [5] 12:31 Some manuscripts God's
    [6] 12:35 Greek Let your loins stay girded; compare Exodus 12:11
    [7] 12:37 Or bondservants
    [8] 12:39 Some manuscripts add would have stayed awake and
    [9] 12:43 Or bondservant; also verses 45, 46, 47
    [10] 12:59 Greek lepton, a Jewish bronze or copper coin worth about 1/128 of a denarius (which was a day's wage for a laborer)

    (ESV)


              

    Rod Liddle: Labour accuses Conservatives of trying to sell Britain's health service

     Cache   
    Britain’s health system became a battleground in the country’s election campaign on Wednesday, as opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn accused Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson of secretly seeking a post-Brexit trade deal with the United States that would drive up the cost of drugs and imperil the state-funded service.
    With the future of the National Health Service a hot issue in campaigning ahead of the Dec. 12 general election, Corbyn waved 451 pages of documents at a press conference declaring that they covered six rounds of negotiations between U.S. and U.K. negotiators over two years from July 2017. The documents, which have previously been published in redacted form, cover preliminary soundings ahead of formal trade talks that are set to begin once Britain leaves the European Union.
    Corbyn said the leaked trade dossier provided proof Johnson was planning to put the National Health Service “up for sale” in trade talks.
    "He tried to cover it up in a secret agenda and today it has been exposed,” Corbyn said.
    Johnson — who was not prime minister for most of the period when the talks took place — rejected the claim.
    “It is a total nonsense, and it is endlessly repeated by the Labour Party, that the NHS is somehow up for sale,” Johnson said. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
    Labour is campaigning heavily on the claim that the overstretched but treasured NHS is not safe in Conservative hands.
    Though the claim that the health service as a whole could be up for sale after Brexit is overstated, Labour is hoping to tap into concerns that the Conservatives will be looking for a bigger role for the private sector in the NHS’s future.
    The leaked documents do bolster Labour’s claim that health care could be a bargaining chip in U.S.-U.K. trade talks. At present, the NHS can often negotiate low prices from drug companies because it is so big.
    In future negotiations the U.S. could try to demand during trade talks that Britain pay American pharma firms more for drugs. It could also push for extended patents that would prevent Britons buying cheaper generic versions of U.S.-patented drugs — something that happened in talks on a U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal.
    Corbyn cited the drug Humira, which is used to treat a variety of ailments, including rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. He said the NHS pays 1,409 pounds ($1,814) a packet, way lower than the equivalent price in the United States of 8,115 pounds.
    “We are talking here about secret talks for a deal with Donald Trump after Brexit. A deal that will shape our country's future,” he said.
    The leaked documents covered more than pharma issues, offering insight into how the Trump administration saw post-Brexit trade. Other discussions focused on agriculture, chlorinated chicken and food labeling.
    The documents also suggested that a post-Brexit deal between the U.K. and the EU that kept Britain closely aligned with the European economy would come at the cost of a special free trade agreement with the United States.
    According to the documents revealed by Corbyn, the U.S. trade representative made clear that a U.K. commitment to the EU’s customs union and single market would make a U.K.-U.S. free trade agreement “a non-starter.”
    Labour was struggling to push the focus of the election onto domestic issues and away from allegations that Corbyn — a longtime champion of the Palestinians — has allowed anti-Jewish prejudice to fester in the left-of-center party.
    On Monday, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis accused Corbyn of allowing the “poison” of anti-Semitism to take root in his party and said “the very soul of our nation is at stake" in the Dec. 12 election.
    Corbyn condemned anti-Jewish prejudice and said he was rooting it out of the party — but declined four times during a BBC television interview Tuesday to apologize to British Jews.
    While Johnson says Corbyn’s record on anti-Semitism makes him unfit to lead the country, the prime minister has been accused of makin...
              

    Shelley Morrison, Will and Grace actor, dies aged 83

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    Tributes paid to the actor who played Rosario Salazar in the US sitcom between 1999 and 2006

    Shelley Morrison, best known for her role as maid Rosario Salazar in the US comedy Will and Grace, has died at the age of 83 from heart failure following a short illness.

    Born to Sephardic Jewish parents who emigrated to the US from Spain, Morrison appeared in 68 episodes of the pioneering LGBT comedy between 1999 and 2006. While Morrison was reportedly only meant to be in the programme for a single episode, Salazar proved so popular that she ended up appearing in eight seasons. Morrison reprised her role in a 2016 election webisode in support of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, though she did not return for the reboot in 2017.

    Continue reading...
              

    Comment on What’s Yom Kippur? 12 Facts by How To Plan Your Jewish Wedding – Coffee Shop Rabbi

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    […] Jewish calendar when most rabbis do not perform weddings. (Why would anyone want to get married on Yom Kippur? I don’t know, but I know rabbis who have gotten that […]
              

    Comment on What is a Ketubah? by How To Plan Your Jewish Wedding – Coffee Shop Rabbi

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    […] the rabbi may have advice or requirements about things like the ketubah and the […]
              

    «Доносчику доставался окурок»

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    12/01/2019  10:09:58 ЭДВАРД СТАРОСЕЛЬСКИЙ На IV Сочинском международном кинофестивале показали документальный фильм «Школа палачей» – о том, как нацисты учили местных жителей убивать евреев в концлагерях. В эксклюзивном интервью Jewish.ru сценарист фильма Эдвард Старосельский рассказал, что пережил в плену его отец, как люди предавали за окурок и почему выбор есть всегда. Почему вы решили заняться …
              

    Comment on Glossary by Gospel Postcard: Magdala | JerusalemPerspective.com Online

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    […] finds indicating a flourishing Jewish presence in Magdala include several ritual baths (mikva’ot), a public structure, which has been identified as the first-century synagogue, and a stone table […]
              

    Jeremy Corbyn Refuses To Be Worn Down By The Attack Of The Jews.

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    Sixty-Six Million Innocents Perish Jewish Freemasons Vladimir Lenin and Lev Bronstein (who deceptively called himself by the Russian surname, Leon Trotsky) and their fellow Jewish conspirators, with the financial aid of Jewish bankers (the Warburgs, Rothschilds, et al) and rabbis in the U.S. and Europe, transformed the Russian Empire into the greatest Orwellian system of monstrous […]
              

    The teashop empire

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    Author and journalist Thomas Harding describes how a family of Jewish immigrants to Britain in the 19th century went on to create Lyons – one of the country’s best-known food and restaurant companies. Historyextra.com/podcast

    For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
              

    Certified Nursing Assistant - CNA - Days | Kindred Healthcare

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    KH Louisville at Jewish Hosp, Kentucky, What makes Kindred Healthcare a great place to work? Our people, of course! Our clinicians answer this special calling because they have a fundamental, internal drive to directly help people. In
              

    Certified Nursing Assistant - CNA - Part Time Nights | Kindred Healthcare

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    KH Louisville at Jewish Hosp, Kentucky, What makes Kindred Healthcare a great place to work? Our people, of course! Our clinicians answer this special calling because they have a fundamental, internal drive to directly help people. In
              

    Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School: Learning Specialist (Maternity Leave)

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    Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School (www.bernardzell.org) is an independent Jewish day school for the 21st century where academic purpose, collaborativ
              

    Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray Shows How to Make Prayerful Creations with Swedish Weaving in Her New Book

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    Deborah Katchko-Gray is a professional cantor and accomplished needle artist. When she’s not weaving melodies with her voice she’s weaving embroidery thread, creating Judaica with a technique called Swedish weaving. Swedish weaving is a type of embroidery in which the stitches are worked on the surface of the fabric. Rather than the needle passing to … Continue reading
              

    Adventures in Mini Tallit Making

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    For the past few weeks I’ve been having fun working out how to make a doll size tallit. It’s not quite there yet, but it’s pretty close. For my first versions I tried woven wool fabrics so I would have fibers coarse enough to make little tassels at the ends of the tallit. I’m kind … Continue reading
              

    Is Rick Wiles a 'True Christian'"

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    Just curious. Do 'True Christians' believe in a super-secret Jewish cabal out to rule the world - along with all those queers in the Democrap Party? Or is Rick Wiles just another random nutter who happens to have White House press credentials? ---Quote--- ‘Jew Coup’: Impeachment Effort...
              

    Protesting the Israel Defense Forces is not anti-Semitic

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    Student protesters gather in York University’s Vari Hall to denounce an event that brought members of the Israel Defence Forces to campus, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Photo from Twitter.

    On Wednesday night, a controversial event hosted at York University called “Reservist on Duty: Hear from former Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers” sparked a protest that saw hundreds join Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) to denounce the presence of IDF personnel on campus, citing reports from the United Nations and Amnesty International that accuse Israeli soldiers of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    The event quickly became the centre of a media frenzy as images and video of clashing protesters were picked up and amplified by official news outlets including Global News, the National Post, the Toronto Sun, City News and others. With few exceptions, media portrayals have emphasized responses from the same group of people: notably, Mayor John Tory, Liberal MP Michael Levitt, Premier Doug Ford, and the CEO of the Friends of Simon Wisenthal Centre, Avi Benlolo, all of whom portrayed the protesters as a violent, hate-filled mob driven by virulent anti-Semitism.

    On Thursday, Doug Ford tweeted “I am disappointed that York University allowed for a hate-filled protest to take place at Vari Hall.” This sentiment was echoed by John Tory who posted “I have heard concerns from several Jewish groups in our city today. Anti-Semitism and violence is totally unacceptable.”

    In an interview on CityNews, Benlolo claimed that “York University has become a toxic place.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau even weighed in, tweeting “On Wednesday night, violence & racist chants broke out against an event organized by the Jewish community at York University.”

    The problem with these accusations is the total lack of credible evidence to support them. News reports have honed in on videos of protestors chanting “free free Palestine” and “viva viva Intifada”, presumably as proof of rampant anti-Semitism on display. But for Palestinians and their supporters, these chants refer to national self-determination and resistance to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. Such references are a far cry from anti-Semitism – unless, of course, we conflate support for the human rights of Palestinians as itself a form of outright discrimination against people of the Jewish faith.

    Fliers calling for protests of the Reservists on Duty event at York University on Nov. 20, 2019.

    Unfortunately, Tory, Ford, Benlolo and others did not bother to explain what they found so hateful or anti-Semitic about the protest, nor did they find it expedient for York to conduct an internal investigation before rendering their judgments and fuelling tensions.

    With so few dissenting voices appearing in the media coverage that followed the protest, we can hardly blame the public for believing them.

    Media reports have also completely ignored evidence of violence that was directed at the protestors. One of them, who is also a teaching assistant at York, was sent to the hospital with a concussion after being punched in the back of the head. Other protestors report being kicked, pulled by their hair and choked by their scarves. According to SAIA, the violence was initiated by members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), a far-right group with links to white-supremacist organizations and that is widely considered a terrorist organization. Prior to the protest, York administration sent a letter to Meir Weinstein, national director of the JDL, informing him that “the University does not give permission for individuals to enter our campus lands for the purpose of participating in protest or demonstrations or any other inappropriate conduct.”

    Objective journalism and principled politics require that we hear from both sides—as well as impartial witnesses—before drawing conclusions. So long as all criticisms of the Israeli state are immediately and uncritically branded as anti-Semitic, Palestinian voices will be silenced and barred from public discourse, and coverage of the issue will remain one-sided and unhelpful.

    Joel Roberts is a PhD candidate in Social and Political Thought at York University. He has served as the graduate student representative on York’s Board of Governors, and has written about provincial politics, university governance, student protest and media representation.


              

    Israeli Defence Minister Approves New Jewish Neighbourhood in Hebron

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    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett approved on 1 December the planning of a new Jewish neighbourhood in the city of Hebron in the southwestern part of the West Bank, the ministerial press service said.
              

    Birthstone Jewellery – The Ideal Gift For Young And Old

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    Image Source: Storyblocks The origin of how birthstones came to be corresponded with certain months of the year is not entirely clear and varies from country to country. However, the most documented correlation comes from Josephus, a 1st century Jewish historian, who believed that there’s a connection between the 12 stones in Aaron’s breastplate that [...]
              

    Book Review: When the State Winks: The Performance of Jewish Conversion in Israel by Michal Kravel-Tovi

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    In Israel, Jewish conversions by first and second generation repatriates from the former Soviet Union are often depicted in public discourse as ‘wink-wink’ conversions, whereby converts and the state pretend that converts’ commitment to the Jewish faith and practice is sincere rather than performed solely for the duration of the conversion process. In When the State Winks, Michal Kravel-Tovi unsettles this narrative, offering […]
              

    UK group: Rabbi badly beaten in #London, hate crimes on rise

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    LONDON — A neighborhood watch group that protects largely Jewish neighborhoods in London says a visiting rabbi has been badly beaten by men shouting anti-Semitic abuse. The security group Shomrim said ...
              

    12/1/2019: WORLD: AIR STRIKE ON GAZA STRIP

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    AN Israeli warplane attacked a Hamas position in the Islamist-run Gaza Strip after a rocket was fired from the enclave at the Jewish state. It was the third rocket to be fired from the Palestinian territory in as many days and came two weeks after a...
              

    I personally don have a lot of money

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    ADMINISTRATIVE ASSOCIATE - The Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors - Quebec City, QC

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    Provides back up support to Senior Secretary and assists with Room Booking overflow; Primary responsibility is answering and directing all calls from the main…
    From The Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors - Tue, 26 Nov 2019 10:42:49 GMT - View all Quebec City, QC jobs
              

    Followup –

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    To my previous post about Stephen Miller.  The leading bodies of the non-Orthodox Jewish communities have released a statement about the developing Stephen Miller story – you can find it at this link:  Miller Statement
              

    Saving thousands of Jewish graves throughout Europe

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    European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative working on some 30 individual protection projects in four European countries.


              

    В Умані на паломника напали з ножем під час молитви

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    Зранку в суботу, 30 листопада, в Умані невідомий напав із ножем на єврейського паломника, який молився на могилі Цадика Нахмана. Як повідомляє сайт jewishnews.com.ua, постраждалого відправили в лікарню, оскільки він був на межі втрати свідомості. Равін Умані Яаків Джин повідомив, що він шокований цим випадком і що це не перший раз, коли на паломників нападають […]
              

    Comment on Jewish Senator Introduces Law To Imprison Americans For Criticizing Israel by ron abbass

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    Hi Donzeli - thanks for commenting, most appreciated. The bill is intended to silence those who are against the evil, wickedness and lawlessness of the Zionist state and those Jews and non-Jews who support them i.e. Christian Zionists. Peace to you and yours, Donzeli.
              

    Jewish tycoon's furious blast at Labour leader...Jeremy Corbyn has forgotten the misery of the past

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    Sir Lloyd Dorfman said he feared for 'my country'. He warned that Britain risks being known again as the 'sick man of Europe' if a Labour government recreates the 'economic misery' of the 1970s.
              

    Humanists UK mourns Sir Jonathan Miller CBE

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    Humanists UK is deeply sad to report the death of its patron, the author and polymath Sir Jonathan Miller CBE. Sir Jonathan Miller was born into a Jewish family in 1934 and grew up in Hampstead. He studied natural sciences and medicine at St John’s College, Cambridge and University College London, graduating in 1959. He […]
              

    28 января откроется выставка «(Не) время для любви»

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    28 января 2020 года в Еврейском музее и центре толерантности откроется выставка «(Не) время для любви», посвященная влюбленным, пережившим Холокост. Экспозиция расскажет истории 10 пар: Инге Кац и Шмуэля Бергера, Рошель Шлейф и Джека Сутина, Мани Нагельштейн и Мейера Коренблита и других героев.

    В основе проекта — дневники, мемуары и биографические романы, опубликованные бывшими узниками концлагерей, еврейскими партизанами и подпольщиками, их детьми, внуками и приглашенными биографами в течение последних двух десятилетий.

    Выставка приурочена к 75-му Международному дню памяти жертв Холокоста (27 января). Воспоминания героев будут сопровождаться произведениями современных художников. Посетители увидят работы французского художника Кристиана Болтански, польского скульптора Мирослава Балки, инсталляции современных израильских художников Сигалит Ландау, Таль Шохат, Михаль Ровнер, Рами Атера, Моша Каши, Нелли Агасси и других.

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    Jewish Student Government Member Ordered To Cancel Israel Trip Or Resign

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    The trip, called “Face to Face,” leaves at the end of the month and includes visiting Palestinian areas of the West Bank.
              

    Jewish Mother Removes Son From German School Due To Classroom Anti-Semitism

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    Comments such as “It’s as hot and humid as Auschwitz in here” or “you Jew” are common, she said, noting that her son’s Jewish identity is not public.
              

    Jewish Teens Attacked By Group Of Men In Brooklyn

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    The group smacked one teen in the head, knocking off his kippah. They then snatched the kippah off the head of the other boy.
              

    Jewish candidate for British Labour Party bombarded with death threats

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    “I’m not asking for sympathy, I just feel like I need to put down a marker to say this is not normal and it is not acceptable.”
              

    Remembering The Ultimate Jewish Polymath — Jonathan Miller

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    Miller astonished audiences with his variety of interests.
              

    There Are Five Kinds Of Jewish Grandparents. Which One Are You?

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    Are you ‘wistful’ or ‘joyful’?
              

    Far-Right Pastor Calls Impeachment A ‘Jew Coup,’ Begs Trump To ‘Wake Up’

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    “This isn’t news. It’s a direct attack on our communities. And it’s a complete lie,” Jewish social-justice group Bend the Arc wrote @TwitterSafety.
              

    You Can Now Book A Marvelous Mrs. Maisel-Themed Vacation In Miami

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    Which makes sense, given the hotel’s deeply Jewish history.
              

    Book of the Day: Broken Angels

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    Imprisoned in the Lodz Ghetto, Elsi discovers her mother’s desperate attempt to end her pregnancy and comes face-to-face with the impossibility of their situation. Risking her own life, Elsi joins a resistance group to sabotage the regime. A Nazi doctor. A Jewish rebel. A little girl. Each one will fight for freedom—or die trying.
              

    Book of the Day: Finding Rebecca

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    Nothing could keep Christopher and Rebecca apart: not her abusive parents, or even the fiancé she brought home after running away to England. But when World War II finally strikes the island of Jersey, the Nazi invaders ship Rebecca to Europe as part of Hitler’s Final Solution against the Jewish population.
              

    Greg Laurie: What Many Christians Don't Realize About the Deadly Consequences of Sin

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    Abu Zarin Hussin from Malaysia was known as the snake whisperer. The 33-year-old firefighter had great skills in handling venomous snakes, specifically cobras. He was featured on the TV program Asia's Got Talent. But one day, a snake he was working with bit him. He died three days later.

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    Here's what the Bible says: "Be not deceived. God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life" (Gal. 6:7-8).

    We see this law played out in the story of Haman from the Old Testament book of Esther. Haman had hatched a plot to exterminate Mordecai and the Jews. This was a blood feud that went back a long way, because Haman was an Agagite. That means he was a descendant of King Agag, an avowed enemy of Israel.

    God had directed King Saul to destroy King Agag, but Saul disobeyed. So here in the book of Esther, we find one of King Agag's descendants devising a plan to destroy the Jewish people.

    The problem was that Haman had been elevated to the second-most powerful position in the kingdom. So he went to King Xerxes and convinced him to sign a decree that all the Jewish people throughout the kingdom of Persia would be put to death in one year.

    Mordecai found out about it, and there was only one person who could help: his cousin Esther, who happened to be the queen. Her husband didn't know she was Jewish, because Mordecai instructed her to keep it a secret.

    In a message to Esther, Mordecai said: "Do not think that in the king's palace you will be more likely to escape than all the other Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, protection and deliverance for the Jews will be ordained from some other place, but you and your father's house shall be destroyed. And who knows if you may have attained royal position for such a time as this?" (Esth. 4:13-14).

    Although the name of God is never mentioned specifically in the book of Esther, the hand of God is evident on every single page. He was working through events, and there was a lot of reaping of what had been sowed. God is always present and at work in our lives as Christians, whether we feel Him or not. He was at work in the life of Esther, He was at work in the life of Mordecai and He was at work in the lives of the Jewish people. And He worked through ordinary human events. God takes impossible situations and turns them around for His glory.

    In the end, Haman reaped what he sowed. In fact, he hung on the very gallows he had set up for Mordecai.

    We tend to think of the law of sowing and reaping in a negative sense. But the law of sowing and reaping is both negative and positive. While Haman reaped the repercussions of his own treachery, deceitfulness, envy and hatred, Mordecai reaped the rewards of his faithfulness, honesty and integrity.

    As life goes by, you realize that it's a good decision to obey God. Here's my advice: Do what God tells you to do. In life, follow the Word of God, the Bible.

    There will be times when that isn't difficult to do. And there will be times when it is. There will be times when it's very difficult to make a stand for Christ and very hard to hold your ground. But do what is right before God.

    I know there are people who seem to get ahead in life when they're dishonest and cut corners. They still get the promotion and the attention. Meanwhile, you labor away faithfully and quietly, and no one seems to notice. It all will come out in the end, because everyone will reap what they sow.

    As you look back on your life, you'll find some who pursued fun while you pursued faith. Some pursued sexual pleasure while you pursued sexual purity. Some pursued this world while you pursued the next one. And while they reap corruption, or death, you're reaping life. While others feel used, you feel new. So, sow to the Spirit. Put God first in all things. Don't play around with sin, or sin will play around with you. There are no exceptions.

    Every day, from the moment you get up to the time you go to bed, you're either sowing to the Spirit or sowing to the flesh. And you'll find that you reap what you sow.

    It starts with your thoughts and what you let into your mind—what you contemplate. Fill your mind with the things of God. Sow to the Spirit, and you won't regret it.

    Essentially it comes down to this: Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny. {eoa}

    Greg Laurie is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship with campuses in California and Hawaii. He began his pastoral ministry at the age of 19 by leading a Bible study of 30 people. Since then, God has transformed that small group into a church of some 15,000 people. Today, Harvest is one of the largest churches in America, and consistently ranks among the most influential churches in the country. As of 2017, Harvest has joined in affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention.

    For the original article, visit harvest.org.


              

    Dec 9, 2019: Managing your Energy Everyday at Hess Building: 1470 Madison Ave 6th floor

     Cache   

    The Mount Sinai National Jewish Health Respiratory Institute Presents:

    Managing your Energy Everyday

    Patient Education Class

    Do you ever wish you had the energy to do more?

    Come learn how everyday tasks including self-care, household chores, hobbies, and work can be made easier. Specifically we will discuss how energy management, proper breathing, and simplifying work can make a difference.

    Monday, December 9th 3 – 4:30 pm

    Location: Hess Building 1470 Madison Ave 6th floor

    Room 6-122 6th floor

    Elevator bank left of security desk

    Please RSVP to :

    respiratoryinstitute@mssm.edu

    View on site | Email this event


              

    Trump Got His Wall, After All

     Cache   

    IN THE TWO YEARS AND 308 DAYS THAT DONALD Trump has been president, he has constructed zero miles of wall along the southern border of the United States. He has, to be fair, replaced or reinforced 76 miles of existing fence and signed it with a sharpie. A private group has also built a barrier less than a mile long with some help from Steve Bannon and money raised on GoFundMe. But along the 2,000 miles from Texas to California, there is no blockade of unscalable steel slats in heat-retaining matte black, no electrified spikes, no moat and no crocodiles. The animating force of Trump’s entire presidency—the idea that radiated a warning of dangerous bigotry to his opponents and a promise of unapologetic nativism to his supporters—will never be built in the way he imagined.

    And it doesn’t matter. In the two years and 308 days that Donald Trump has been president, his administration has constructed far more effective barriers to immigration. No new laws have actually been passed. This transformation has mostly come about through subtle administrative shifts—a phrase that vanishes from an internal manual, a form that gets longer, an unannounced revision to a website, a memo, a footnote in a memo. Among immigration lawyers, the cumulative effect of these procedural changes is known as the invisible wall.

    In the two years after Trump took office, denials for H1Bs, the most common form of visa for skilled workers, more than doubled. In the same period, wait times for citizenship also doubled, while average processing times for all kinds of visas jumped by 46 percent, even as the quantity of applications went down. In 2018, the United States added just 200,000 immigrants to the population, a startling 70 percent less than the year before.

    Before Trump was elected, there was virtually no support within either party for policies that make it harder for foreigners to come here legally. For decades, the Republican consensus has favored tough border security along with high levels of legal immigration. The party’s small restrictionist wing protested from the margins, but it was no match for a pro-immigration coalition encompassing business interests, unions and minority groups. In 2013, then-Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions introduced an amendment that would have lowered the number of people who qualified for green cards and work visas. It got a single vote in committee—his own. As a former senior official at the Department of Homeland Security observed, “If you told me these guys would be able to change the way the U.S. does immigration in two years, I would have laughed.”

    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP REVIEWS PROTOTYPES FOR HIS “IMPENETRABLE, POWERFUL, BEAUTIFUL” WALL. (AP/EVAN VUCCI)

    Senior adviser Stephen Miller is usually regarded as the White House’s immigration mastermind, but his maneuvering is only a sliver of the story. The most fine-grained and consequential changes would never have been possible without a group of like-minded figures stationed in relevant parts of the government—particularly the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, the agency within DHS that administers visas. Early in Trump’s presidency, said the former DHS official, there was a “strategic sprinkling” of people who “shared a common vision and were ready to outwork everybody.” They included Gene Hamilton, Miller’s “terrible sword at DHS” (his actual title was senior counselor to the secretary), and Francis Cissna, the soft-spoken former head of USCIS whom colleagues describe as “an encyclopaedia of immigration law” and “a total immigration nerd.” “If you said to him, what’s on page 468, second paragraph” of the Immigration and Nationality Act, another former DHS official marveled, “he would quote it to you.”

    Amidst the chaos at DHS, the restrictionists have already radically scaled back America’s asylum and refugee programs for years to come. But no category of immigrant ( 1 ) The major avenues for legal immigration are via family (including marriage), employment and humanitarian programs for refugees and asylum seekers.has escaped the uptick of denials and delays—not the Palestinian student with a Harvard scholarship who was deported upon landing in Boston, or the Australian business owner forced to leave after building a life here. Not the Bolshoi Ballet stars who somehow failed to meet the criteria of accomplished artists, or the Iraqi translators who risked their lives for the U.S. military and whose annual admissions went from 325 to just two after the change in administration. Then there are the consequences that are harder to capture in headlines or statistics: the couples whose marriages broke down when the foreign spouse was forced to wait far longer than usual in their home country, and the unknown number of people who have abandoned the attempt to stay because of financial hardship or the strain of living with a level of uncertainty that becomes untenable.

    “What became clear to me early on was that these guys wanted to shut down every avenue to get into the U.S.,” the first former senior DHS official said. “They wanted to reduce the number of people who could get in under any category: illegals, legals, refugees, asylum seekers—everything. And they wanted to reduce the number of foreigners already here through any means possible.” No government in modern memory has been this dedicated to limiting every form of immigration to the United States. To find one that was, you have to go a long way back, to 1924.

    GERMAN-JEWISH REFUGEES ABOARD THE MS ST. LOUIS, WHICH WAS TURNED AWAY FROM THE UNITED STATES AND CUBA IN 1939.(BETTMANN VIA GETTY)

    “ANATION OF IMMIGRANTS”—THESE FOUR WORDS, ( 2 ) The phrase was popularized by John F. Kennedy, who used it as the title of his 1958 book.genius in their concision, mask the messiest of histories. People like to recall that George Washington wanted America to “be an Asylum to the persecuted of the earth.” Less often praised: Ben Franklin’s contention that immigrants are “the most ignorant Stupid Sort of their own Nation.” Americans have been having some version of this argument ever since. And for much of the country’s existence, public opinion towards immigration has ranged from tepid to hostile. As Daniel Tichenor, author of the comprehensive history, “Dividing Lines,” puts it, “We love the immigrant past and dread the immigrant present.”

    One rare exception came after the Civil War, when the country was desperate to replace the men who had died on the battlefield. A flourishing postwar confidence revived the idea that the country could absorb a never-ending stream of foreigners and fuse their best characteristics into that superior being, an American.

    The turn began in the 1880s. Extremes of wealth had sparked massive labor strikes; out West, people fretted that the land was running out. Now, newcomers were a threat, and the more foreign they seemed, the more threatening they were. An early warning was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the first-ever prohibition of all people of a specific race. Over the next decade, a surge of European migrants accounted for 40 percent of population growth. From the 1890s, this wave was dominated not by English, Scandanavians, Germans or Irish, but by poorer southern and eastern Europeans and Russian Jews. As the country slid into a long depression, the new immigrants became the source and the target of a tinderbox anxiety. There were lynchings of Italians in New Orleans; attacks on Jewish farmers by Mississippi nightriders; a riot against Russian Jewish factory workers in New Jersey.

    EDITORIAL CARTOONS FROM THE 1880S-1900S (ABOVE: LOUIS DALRUMPLE. BELOW: C.J. TAYLOR/ MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY MUSEUM)

    For decades, nativists in Congress tried and failed to translate this hostility into new immigration laws. It wasn’t until the early 1920s, after Warren Harding was elected president on an “America First” platform, that two Republican lawmakers, Representative Albert Johnson and Senator David Reed, finally realized a restrictionist dream: a comprehensive racial quota system devised to keep American bloodlines pure. “[T]he country would never be the same,” wrote John Higham in his definitive account of American nativism, “Strangers in the Land”—“either in its social structure or in its habits of mind.”

    To build the public case for their legislation, Johnson and Reed teamed up with the leading eugenicists of the day. Johnson enlisted Harry Laughlin, who in 1936 received an honorary degree from a German university for his contributions to the “science of racial cleansing,” to conduct research for the House Immigration Committee. Johnson also worked closely with Madison Grant, whose manifesto, “The Passing of the Great Race,” is a deranged codification of white men into three “races” of descending desirability—Nordics, Alpines and Mediterraneans. Grant’s conclusion, drawn from spurious analyses of skull shape and nose width, was that the new immigrants should be scientifically excluded from the definition of whiteness. They were “human flotsam … breeding out their masters and killing by filth and by crowding as effectively as by the sword.”

    In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge signed the Johnson-Reed Act, which accorded with his own belief that that “America must be kept American.” The law would ultimately shut down most immigration except for a meager inflow dominated by people Madison Grant would have called Nordics. Everyone else faced waitlists of 10 to 75 years, depending on the quota allotted to their country of origin. The law also birthed a national immigration bureaucracy—what Tichenor calls “an increasingly elaborate immigration control system of racist design.”

    Until this point, nearly everyone who arrived at a port of entry like Ellis Island was admitted to the United States. There was no requirement for a visa. Johnson-Reed was deliberately engineered to prevent most immigrants from ever boarding a steamship, by requiring them to obtain visas from U.S. consulates abroad. The State Department, which ran the consulates, was notoriously anti-Semitic: In 1921, the chief of the Consular Service supplied a report to Congress describing Jewish people as “filthy, un-American, and often dangerous in their habits.” By the 1930s, as Hitler launched his assault on the Jews of Europe, the new visa system was perfectly calibrated not to help the growing ranks of refugees, but to keep them out.

    In 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered consulates to give Jewish refugees “the most humane and favorable treatment possible under law.” After that, admissions actually went down. Mere presidential preference was no match for the immigration bureaucracy, which erected, in the words of historian David Wyman, a formidable “paper wall.”

    The paper wall’s architect was Samuel Miller Breckinridge Long—Breckinridge Long to the public. Thin and rangy, intermittently beset by nervous ailments, Long was born to a family that was practically Confederate aristocracy. He’d glided through Princeton, married into money and spent a good deal of his career as a bureaucrat of middling talents. Thanks to his old pal “Frank” Roosevelt, in 1939 he was put in charge of refugee admissions, though he had no relevant experience. From then on, Roosevelt essentially abdicated refugee policy to Long because he was so spooked by the politics: In 1938, the year of Kristallnacht, 86 percent of Americans opposed an emergency increase of refugee admissions.

    BRECKINRIDGE LONG (MYRON DAVIS/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION VIA GETTY)

    From the nativists' perspective, Long was the best possible man for the moment. He believed the overwhelming majority of refugees were propagandists, subversives, freeloaders and derelicts. And he knew exactly how to protect his country from the “alien influx”—with the merciless application of rules, regulations, procedures and forms.

    In 1940, Long issued a memo instructing subordinates to avoid granting visas to European refugees for a “temporary period of indefinite length.” From today's vantage point, his methods are eerily familiar. “We could do this by simply advising our consuls to put every obstacle in the way and to require additional evidence and resort to various administrative devices which would postpone and postpone and postpone the granting of the visas,” he explained. Later, he would crow in his diary: “The cables practically stopping immigration went!”

    Consular officials had enormous latitude in determining a refugee’s fate. In France, you had to obtain an exit visa, a transit visa, an entry visa for the U.S., moral and political affidavits of support, certificates of good behavior and a paid ticket for the ship. You couldn’t get a visa without a ticket, which were sold out months in advance, and you couldn’t get a ticket without a visa, which were only valid for four months, and if just one of your documents had expired on the day of departure, you had to start all over again.

    “IT TAKES MONTHS AND MONTHS TO GRANT THE VISAS AND THEN IT USUALLY APPLIES TO A CORPSE.”

    One of the most powerful tools employed by visa officials was the public charge rule—a component of federal law which states that a person can’t be admitted to the United States if they are likely to become a burden on the state. Although the rule had been on the books since 1882, it was barely observed until the Depression. Under Long, consulates wielded it with abandon. To Jewish refugees of Nazi Germany, the rule must have seemed like a sadistic joke, since throughout the 1930s they had been forced to relinquish up to 90 percent of their capital when they left the country. Even if they were lucky enough to have American financial sponsors, the standards of proof were constantly shifting. As a result, there were multiple years after Hitler seized power in which the U.S. did not fill its annual quota of just under 30,000 immigrants from Germany. In 1938, for example, the State Department admitted 19,552 former residents of the Third Reich, not all of whom were Jewish.

    And yet Breckinridge Long wasn’t satisfied. Convinced Germany was infiltrating America with spies disguised as refugees, he created, for the first time, a centralized immigration processing system based in Washington. Applicants submitted letters of support, financial records and character testimonies. Sponsors were scrutinized. Five committees from different agencies reviewed every application. After that, the flow of refugees nearly stopped altogether. In a speech, Representative Emanuel Cellar blamed Long for the “gruesome bottleneck.” He observed: “It takes months and months to grant the visas and then it usually applies to a corpse.”

    A MEETING OF THE WAR REFUGEE BOARD IN 1944. SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY HENRY MORGENTHAU, JR., IS IN THE CENTER. (FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT LIBRARY)

    In January 1944, Treasury Secretary Robert Morgenthau demanded a meeting with Roosevelt and Long to discuss the situation. He came armed with an investigative memo, which he titled “Report to the Secretary on the Acquiescence of This Government in the Murder of the Jews.” It documented Long’s machinations in devastating detail. Roosevelt immediately agreed to create a War Refugee Board outside Long’s control. Its work during the remainder of the war demonstrated just how many more lives could have been saved: According to Wyman, it managed to rescued around 200,000 people in 18 months.

    Long fumed at his demotion, raging to his diary that he had been “thrown to the wolves.” One of his great regrets was that he no longer enjoyed the favor of his old friend Frank. The loss of status gnawed at him. He retired by the end of 1944, and after writing a memoir that failed to find a publisher, mostly concentrated on breeding race horses, which usually lost. To the end of his life, according to his biographer, Neil Rolde, he never acknowledged, or apparently even realized, the magnitude of what he had done.

    And yet even after the horrors of the Nazi regime were fully revealed, Johnson-Reed wasn’t overturned for another two decades. The law that replaced it, the Hart-Cellar Act of 1965, is often celebrated as the moment that America opened its doors to the world. At the time, though, its authors had more modest goals. Shamed into action by the civil rights movement, they planned to abolish the racial quotas and create a merit system allowing for limited immigration from outside of Europe.

    It was only a last-minute nativist intervention that turned the law into something very different. An antsy Democratic congressman named Michael Feighan secured a provision allowing people to qualify through family ties as well—reasoning that since most immigrants were white, it would protect the racial status quo. “The bill that we sign today is not a revolutionary bill,” President Lyndon Johnson promised. “It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society,” Senator Ted Kennedy agreed.

    Instead, the law changed the composition of America by accident. Among other things, Feighan completely failed to consider that people from non-European countries would qualify under the merit system and then sponsor their relatives, the process restrictionists term “chain migration.” ( 3 ) “Congress was saying … 'We need to open the door for some more British doctors, some more German engineers,’” sociologist Stephen Klineberg told NPR. “It never occurred to anyone, literally, that there were going to be African doctors, Indian engineers, Chinese computer programmers who’d be able, for the first time in the 20th century, to immigrate to America.”The foreign-born population grew from 9.6 million in 1965 to 45 million in 2015, with 90 percent of those new arrivals coming from outside Europe—mostly from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The United States became, wrote historian Aristide Zolberg, “the first nation to mirror humanity.” To restrictionists, the 1965 reforms are the original sin, the moment when America betrayed its workers, sacrificed a mythic social cohesion and placed the country’s heritage and its future at mortal risk. And ever since, reversing those reforms has been their overriding goal.

    NEW CITIZENS IN LOS ANGELES ON SEPTEMBER 13, 1995.(GILLES MINGASSON/GETTY)

    BACK WHEN JEFF SESSIONS WAS A U.S. SENATOR, HE routinely selected a few staffers to join him in his office for a seminar-style discussion of whatever happened to be on his mind that day. Increasingly over the years, the subject was immigration. These conversations could last for hours. Some staffers surreptitiously tried to work on their phones while the senator dialed up an academic or wended his way through an idea as if preparing to argue a case before a jury. But Sessions’ communications director, Stephen Miller, was invigorated by the intellectual exchange. “They kind of fed off each other,” said one regular attendee. Late in the day, Sessions often took Miller along to his hideaway—the unmarked nook each senator has near the chamber. There, Sessions would decant that day’s conversation into a speech written on a legal pad and deliver it on the floor. “I don’t know how many people listened,” a former staffer said.

    Miller, though, was paying close attention. He’d been railing against immigrants since his high school days as a minor conservative talk radio celebrity in Santa Monica, but his vitriol tended towards the generic—immigrants shouldn’t speak Spanish; their communities were incubators for terrorism and crime. By contrast, Sessions’ desire to curb immigration was part of a wider set of concerns about Americans who had been shut out of the modern economy, underpinned by a cohesive historical argument. On numerous occasions, he praised Johnson-Reed, ignoring its explicitly racist motivations and painting it simply as an effort by Coolidge to raise wages, as well as the sole engine of America’s postwar prosperity.

    THEN-SENATOR JEFF SESSIONS AND HIS COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, STEPHEN MILLER, IN JANUARY 2014 (ANDREW HARNIK/THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

    Similar historical references were cropping up in Miller’s private emails, too. In a series of messages from 2015 obtained by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Miller pinged Breitbart reporter Katie McHugh with ideas for stories celebrating “the heritage established by Calvin Coolidge” and lamenting the damage done by the 1965 legislation. The culmination of the Miller-Sessions mindmeld was a 25-page primer hand-delivered to every Republican congressional office that year. Written by Miller, it lauded the 1924 reforms for ushering in “a sustained slowdown that allowed wages to rise, assimilation to occur, and the middle class to emerge.” It would become a foundational document for the Trump campaign’s immigration platform.

    The day after Trump’s election victory, Gene Hamilton started assembling a team to develop an immigration roadmap for the transition and beyond. Hamliton, then a legal adviser to Sessions in his thirties, relied heavily on staffers for Sessions and Senator Chuck Grassley, whose offices had for years been a lonely beacon for restrictionist groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR; the Center for Immigration Studies and NumbersUSA. From the outset, according to “Border Wars,” by Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael Shear, Hamilton’s small braintrust knew they had to fight on two fronts—against liberal-minded career staffers and mainstream Republican appointees wedded to the status quo.

    Hamilton himself had a deep knowledge of DHS ( 4 ) Before working for Sessions, Hamilton had spent two years working for various DHS offices, and also interned at Immigration and Customs Enforcement while in law school.and a knack for the inside game, both of which became valuable assets when he joined the department. “He would take the pen on a lot of things,” the former DHS official said—meaning he’d assume responsibility for writing a document, giving him the power to set the terms of the debate and the process. “He was sort of the political commissar,” another former senior DHS official explained. “You had to work with him to make sure you weren’t going to get your legs chopped out underneath you.”

    For USCIS director, Hamilton recommended Cissna, a DHS lawyer who’d spent the past two years detailed to Grassley’s office. “Our family is literally a product of our nation’s legal immigration system,” Cissna said at his confirmation hearing, explaining that his grandparents were Peruvian, his wife’s family was Middle Eastern and that he only spoke Spanish to his kids at home. Although he largely shared Miller’s policy goals, his position on immigration “wasn’t a race thing,” the second former DHS senior official told me. Instead, the official said, Cissna saw himself as a “steward of the law,” which he believed should be enforced according to the narrowest interpretation. Quiet and not overtly political, he was nonetheless a canny operator. When he took over at USCIS, “he knew which small things could change to have a big effect,” said Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “He couldn’t be bamboozled by bureaucrats. He knew their job in a way a lot of political appointees don’t.”

    FRANCIS CISSNA. (WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY)

    Kathy Nuebel Kovarik, a veteran Grassley staffer, was put in charge of the USCIS policy office a couple of weeks after her former boss recommended her to Trump via tweet. (“@POTUS If u want a real expert on fixing H1B a former staffer of mine just moved to HomelandSecurity Call my office I will tell WHO SHE IS.”) She brought in Robert Law, FAIR’s governmental relations director, as her senior adviser. Law was smart but rigid. “You couldn’t convince him of anything he didn’t already believe,” said a person who worked with him at USCIS. Along with other alumni of restrictionist groups, ( 5 ) Julie Kirchner, a former FAIR executive director, became USCIS ombudsman, and Jon Feere, a former CIS analyst, became a senior adviser at ICE.Law became a resource for some DHS officials who lacked an immigration background but found the issue consuming their jobs. “They could tell you, this is the law, this is the history of it. It was fascinating,” said one. “They had been following this for decades.”

    At first, things didn’t move as nearly quickly as Miller and Hamilton wanted, mostly because of Trump’s first DHS Secretary, John Kelly. “He was a difficult guy for people to mess with. Even Stephen Miller,” recalled the former DHS official. It wasn’t until Kelly became White House chief of staff in July 2017, another former official explained, that Miller was able to “consolidate his strength.”

    A couple of months later, a meeting was convened at the department, with the acting secretary, Elaine Duke, the most senior figure present. According to a person who was there, Hamilton abruptly took control of the gathering, cutting Duke out of the conversation completely. “Everyone was looking at each other. We’d never seen anything like this—a guy with no standing [taking over the meeting].”

    Hamilton informed the group they needed to produce memos outlining how to enact 10 White House policy priorities, including how to get rid of a 20-day limit on holding children in detention and how to use family separation to discourage migration. He wanted the memos within days.

    The DHS policy office started work according to normal operating procedure—gathering information and assessing the legality and merits of the proposals. Normally, this would take months. “It drove the White House crazy,” said the former DHS official. “Duke’s chief of staff kept asking, ‘Dude, where are the memos?’ He was getting pounded by the White House.” Many of the memos were never produced, the official added, because “some of the [ideas] were so clearly bad.” (Hamilton didn’t respond to a request for comment.)

    GENE HAMILTON “WAS SORT OF THE POLITICAL COMMISSAR,” A FORMER OFFICIAL SAID. “YOU HAD TO WORK WITH HIM TO MAKE SURE YOU WEREN’T GOING TO GET YOUR LEGS CHOPPED OUT UNDERNEATH YOU.”

    At USCIS, the pressure to scrap old policies and roll out new ones was relentless. In theory, the chief counsel’s office was supposed to conduct thorough legal analyses of all new initiatives. Sometimes the office was cut out of the loop; sometimes lawyers were informed of a new memo the day before it dropped, requiring them to scramble till midnight or later to ensure it met basic legal standards. Comment skirmishes broke out within draft documents, with career staff inserting concerns and political appointees stripping them out. The political appointees “really didn’t care about the operational impact of different policies or litigation concerns,” recalled a former agency lawyer. Hamilton himself has essentially confirmed this. “That sounds like the craziest policy you could ever have,” he said in a deposition when asked if DHS had assessed the litigation risk of ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. “You could never do anything if you were always worried about being sued.”

    Kovarik and Law also pushed staffers to dig up evidence for their preferred policies, even when the facts didn’t oblige. For instance, they insisted on advancing the termination of temporary protected status ( 6 ) A temporary status provided to nationals of certain countries experiencing problems that make it difficult or unsafe to return there.for several “shithole countries”—the president’s term—even when experts at State and USCIS recommended extensions. The problem with the official analysis for Haiti, Kovarik explained to a career staffer in an October 2017 email, “is that it reads as though we’d recommend an extension because we talk so much about how bad it is.” The staffer replied, carefully, "We can comb through the country conditions to try to see what else there might be, but the basic problem is that it IS bad there.” Later that month, Law assigned an “important research project” to a low-level employee. “I need positive data on the current status of Haiti to bolster the recommendation to terminate TPS. Improvements or the like that I can plug in,” he wrote. “Be creative.”

    In a separate exchange, Cissna complained that staffers hadn’t done a very elegant job of massaging the facts in order to end TPS status for Sudan. "The memo reads like one person who strongly supports extending TPS for Sudan wrote everything up to the recommendation section and then someone who opposes extension snuck up behind the first guy, clubbed him over the head, pushed his senseless body of out of the way, and finished the memo,” he wrote.

    Even though USCIS had announced plans to kill DACA and end TPS for six countries, the political appointees were being bombarded by Miller to go faster. One of his obsessions was a regulation for a far tougher version of the public charge rule, which had to go through a mandatory administrative process. In June 2018 emails obtained by Politico, Miller berated Cissna for the “unacceptable” timeframe, writing, “I don't care what you need to do to finish it on time.” Cissna stuck to his principles. “He believed,” said the former DHS official, that “this could all get done through the rule of law.”

    ACTIVISTS OUTSIDE THE SUPREME COURT IN NOVEMBER, FOLLOWING A HEARING ON DACA.(CHIP SOMODEVILLA /GETTY)

    OVER AND OVER, IN PUBLIC AND TO HIS STAFF WITHIN USCIS’s boxy beige headquarters on Massachusetts Avenue, Cissna insisted that his mission was simply to enforce the law as it was written. At an event last year, he brought along his copy of the Immigration and Nationality Act, a brick of a book stuffed with yellow post-it notes, and patted it almost affectionately. “Everything we do at the agency should be guided by that, not by, you know, any other thing,” he said in his halting manner. “That’s our Bible.”

    It was an effective claim, and a disingenuous one. So much of America’s immigration code is open to interpretation. There’s no objective test for whether a concert violinist meets the legal standard of “exceptional;” whether a full-stack Java developer is a “specialized” occupation; whether a certain type of kidney condition technically qualifies as a “hardship.” Many decisions inevitably come down to the judgement of individuals, which means they’re susceptible to the peculiar psychology of the immigration bureaucracy.

    “In my own office, I am queen,” one former visa adjudicator told me. What she meant was that the guy down the hallway might require a lot more evidence than she did, or interpret the legal criteria more stringently, and that it wouldn’t be remotely strange if they each reviewed the same case and reached opposite conclusions. Within processing offices, “people get reputations,” she said. There are the officers inclined to give applicants the benefit of the doubt and those hunting for a reason to deny. Many aren’t ideological at all, but are swayed by the preferences of their supervisors. “Everyone learns to write for the teacher,” one officer observed.

    All this variability gives each USCIS office a distinct culture. It’s why lawyers regard the Vermont processing center as reasonably fair and efficient and the one in California as more of a crapshoot. You can sense these distinctions as an immigrant, even if you don’t understand them. You file one application and it goes through smoothly; then a subsequent one gets snagged on some unseen impediment. A new boss, maybe, or a big immigration controversy, or some directive that causes the culture within the agency to change.

    A few months after Cissna was confirmed, in February 2018, he removed the phrase “nation of immigrants” from USCIS’s mission statement. Less noticed but more significant was his decision to strip references to “customer service” from internal manuals. Staffers knew exactly what this meant. USCIS started referring to applicants as “customers” during the Obama administration, and the change was detested by more skeptical employees, who preferred terms like “foreign nationals” or “aliens.” León Rodriguez, the agency’s director from 2014 to 2017, explained that the deletion of the word “customer” could reshape every aspect of an officer’s work: “It’s a statement that your performance will not be judged based on how you treat the people with whom you’re interacting. Your courtesy, transparency, care in explaining things, compassion. Over time that changes what people prioritize.”

    “THE STATISTICS FOR VISA APPROVALS AND DENIALS FOR THE LAST DECADE WERE RELATIVELY CONSISTENT,” SPAULDING SAID. “THEN ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO, ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.”

    The new priority was visa fraud. There had long been a subset of staffers, including upper-level employees, who were convinced that most immigrants were trying to cheat the system in some way. They were mostly kept at bay because the agency’s own statistics showed consistently low levels of fraud. Under Cissna, that all changed. “There was a sense of urgency across the agency that was palpable,” said Spaulding, who worked as an investigator for the fraud unit in Philadelphia from 2006 until 2019. He described the new mandate as: “Your job as adjudicator is to ferret out fraud. Good adjudicators find fraud. Bad ones don’t.” Adjudicators were also trained in more adversarial styles of interviewing, Spaulding said, “like a Customs and Border Protection officer.” (USCIS spokesperson Matthew Bourke said adjudicators regularly receive training to detect fraud but are not instructed to be adversarial.) Across the agency, there was a pronounced shift to what Rodriguez called a “law enforcement model—the sort of culture change very much driven from the top.”
    Meanwhile, the political appointees under Cissna were churning out memos announcing administrative changes to visa processing that were devastating in their banality. “If you go through the statistics [for visa approvals] for the last decade, they were relatively consistent,” Spaulding said. “Then about two years ago, all hell broke loose.”

    The first memo, issued in October 2017, eliminated something called “prior deference.” Previously, if a person had been greenlit multiple times for certain visas, the adjudications officer would check the circumstances that had changed since the last one. Now, every petition has to be reviewed as if the person was a first-time applicant—a vastly more time-consuming exercise. A former USCIS lawyer told me the memo was very much motivated by the new emphasis on fraud: Excavating old applications provided an opportunity to “get that gotcha moment.” Publicly, though, the agency couldn’t cite that as the justification, “because the stats didn’t back it up. So we had to say something else.”

    The administration, Miller included, often insisted that its policies weren’t anti-immigrant, that it wanted to prioritize high-skilled workers over family-based migrants. And yet the changes coming out of USCIS seemed designed to make it difficult for those workers to come to the United States, too. Denials for first-time H1B applicants, who need a bachelor’s degree, jumped from 6 percent in the 2015 financial year to 32 percent in the first quarter of 2019. And even those numbers don’t tell the full story. An H1B visa typically lasts three years, but lawyers report a pattern of approvals for durations so short they are effectively useless—a week or even a day. In a hearing in D.C. district court, the judge asked the lawyer representing USCIS whether a one-day approval was “as good as a denial.” The government’s lawyer admitted: “There's little practical difference, I would agree with that.”

    EVERY USCIS OFFICE HAS ITS OWN DISTINCT CULTURE. (JOHN MOORE/GETTY)

    For immigrants trying to navigate the rapidly changing rules, everything just kept getting harder. The length of most forms has doubled or tripled or worse. Fees are going up for many visas. Under a new policy of mandatory in-person interviews for employment green cards, the average processing time has gone from around 10 months to more than two years in multiple cities. Yet another memo enabled the government to reject applications without giving the person a chance to correct errors, even incredibly trivial ones. ProPublica found a case that was rejected “because the seventh page, usually left blank, was not attached.” Another was denied “because it did not have a table of contents.” (USCIS has since said it does not intend to reject petitions for “innocent mistakes.”) Meanwhile, the agency has barricaded itself from communication. It is in the process of shuttering 16 of its 23 international offices. Where lawyers could once call or email the office that was handling a case, now they spend hours on hold in a Kafkaesque game of phone tag with a national customer service center. If they miss a return call, they have to start the inquiry from the beginning.

    Inside USCIS, the new restrictions and requirements created a “pattern of chaos,” Spaulding said, as adjudicators struggled to “respond to what they think their superiors want.” For instance, the agency is issuing far more RFEs, or requests for additional evidence. ( 7 ) In the first quarter of 2019, the agency issued RFEs in 60 percent of H1B cases, compared to only 20 percent in 2016.“RFEs used to be common sense under Obama—if you can show the evidence, you get approval,” said Matt Cameron, a Boston lawyer who handles both employment and asylum cases. Now, they’re used as a stalling device. Lawyers are routinely asked for basic documents they’ve already submitted. One attorney was told to prove that the client’s mechanical engineering degree was relevant to his job as a mechanical engineer. Another was instructed to provide additional evidence that her client’s marriage was genuine. “I’m like, are you high?” the lawyer said. “Two people who have adopted a child together eight years ago have a fake marriage?”

    More often, though, attorneys say they simply receive the same vague, boilerplate questions for multiple clients. For an officer behind on his caseload, Spaulding explained, an RFE is “one of the best ways to buy time.” While the applicant prepares a response, the case is no longer counted as open on the officer’s docket. By the end of 2018, USCIS’s total backlog of pending cases was a record 5.7 million.

    Still, Stephen Miller wasn’t satisfied. He kept pushing Cissna to rush out the public charge regulation before it had been fully vetted. When word started to spread that Cissna could be forced out, restrictionist groups told reporters his ouster would be a “colossal mistake.” But it was too late. On May 24, Cissna resigned at Trump’s request in a Miller-driven purge that also claimed DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. (Cissna didn’t respond to requests for comment.) For the past two years, one USCIS career staffer recalled, she and her demoralized colleagues kept telling themselves that “it could be worse.” Then, in June, Ken Cuccinelli was named the agency’s acting director—“and it did get worse.”

    A MAKESHIFT ENCAMPMENT AT THE U.S. BORDER PATROL STATION IN MCALLEN, TEXAS, THIS MAY.(REUTERS/LOREN ELLIOTT)

    LATE THIS SUMMER, KEN CUCCINELLI INSTALLED A lumpy human-sized replica of the Statue of Liberty in USCIS headquarters, by a window overlooking Massachusetts Avenue. It was a very on-brand bit of trolling: About two weeks earlier, he had finally announced the public charge regulation at a press conference at the White House. There, Cuccinelli suggested that the famous Emma Lazarus poem affixed to the Statue of Liberty (the real one) would be more accurate if it read: “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.” The poem, he added, was about “people coming from Europe.”

    Cuccinelli is a very different political animal from Cissna, one far more suited to Trumpworld. One of his conditions for accepting the job, according to a source, was that a government car ferry him every day to Washington from his home an hour and a half away in rural Nokesville, Virginia. A conservative purist with a showman’s instinct, he tweets a lot, often about Immigrations and Customs Enforcement or CBP operations that seemed to excite him more than the work of his own agency. Some of the tweets are transparently bespoke for an audience of one. In September, he posted an image of a framed photograph of Trump next to a giant stack of paper, which was a new USCIS policy changing all uses of “foreign nationals” to “aliens.”

    KEN CUCCINELLI WITH LADY LIBERTY AND WITH CBP OFFICERS ON THE RIO GRANDE. (@USCISCUCCINELLI/TWITTER)

    He also shares his boss’s impatience with the slow pace of policy-making. “It seems like everybody in government defers to DOJ,” Cuccinelli told Mark Krikorian at a recent panel discussion. “I don’t operate that way. Lawyers advise and they can deal with my decision as best they can. They may not be [happy].” A former DHS official who worked with Cissna told me Cuccinelli “respected what Cissna did. But where Cissna would have to get something to 98 percent to make him feel good, I think Ken Cuccinelli is much more of a 60 or 70 percent kind of guy.”

    Some DHS leaders, though, felt Cuccinelli’s Trumpian pronouncements were getting in the way of Trump’s agenda. Exhibit A was the outrage provoked by his comments on the Statue of Liberty. “There was concern at DHS that you had an extremely complicated rule, the public charge, which deserved a full policy discussion,” said one former official. “It was fettered by this discussion of the poem, which bore no relevance to the issue.” Asked whether Cuccinelli had ignited the controversy by accident or on purpose, the official paused for an uncomfortably long time and finally said, dryly, “He thinks of himself as a very talented communicator.”

    Out of all the administration’s immigration reforms, the public charge rule has been the most ambitious by far. In the past, the term was defined to mean anyone who was primarily dependent on government assistance. Restrictionists pointed out that only cash benefits were counted—excluding major entitlements like food stamps, Medicaid and housing subsidies. But the new definition is aggressively broad. Most new immigrants aren’t actually eligible for welfare. But the rule grants officers vast discretion to determine whether the applicant might become a public charge at any point in the future. They would be empowered to collect reams of personal financial information and reject any applicant whose income is lower than 250 percent of the poverty line, even if that person has a financial sponsor.

    In essence, the rule would create a backdoor mechanism to alter the composition of immigrants to the United States. Low-income legal immigrants tend to be nonwhite, and they also tend to come here via family-based green cards. According to an analysis by the Migration Policy Institute, the new definition would potentially exclude more than half of all family-based green card applicants. That is, 71 percent of applicants from Central America, 69 percent from Africa, 52 percent from Asia—but only 36 percent from Europe, Canada and Oceania. The regulation, said Ur Jaddou, chief counsel of USCIS during the Obama administration, “fundamentally changes who gets to use our legal immigration system by race and class without an act of Congress.” (In October, a few days before the rule was due to go into effect, it was temporarily halted by three federal judges. The government is expected to appeal.)

    Cuccinelli’s other priority was asylum, one of two major humanitarian categories of legal immigration. (The other is the refugee program, for people requesting protection while in a foreign country rather than at the U.S. border.) Miller had long been incensed that around 90 percent of people pass the “credible fear” screening—the initial interview that determines whether a claim will go before an immigration judge. People explained to him in meetings that the first hurdle was set intentionally low by Congress, to ensure asylum seekers get a fair hearing, and that only a minority (28 percent) eventually succeed. But Miller was convinced the screenings were an outrageous loophole and demanded they be made more restrictive. Cissna pointed out that the agency couldn’t change the requirements without breaking the law. At one meeting, when Miller kept hounding him about it, Cissna finally erupted. “Enough. Enough. Stand down!” he shouted, according to The New York Times. Cuccinelli had none of these qualms. On his second day on the job, according to Buzzfeed, he sent the division an email scolding officers for failing to prevent “frivolous” claims.

    THE “SHEER NUMBER OF BOTH SIGNIFICANT AND LESS SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IS OVERWHELMING,” SAID THE FORMER USCIS CHIEF COUNSEL. “IT WILL TAKE AN AMBITIOUS PLAN OVER A SERIES OF YEARS TO UNDO IT ALL.”

    Within USCIS, asylum officers have always been a band apart. They work in a separate office from visa adjudicators and wear plain clothes, no badges. When the division was launched in the 1980s, it was something of a scandal to visa officers when it was staffed with human rights lawyers and refugee workers. Today, the asylum corps is especially resented by border patrol agents, a longtime officer said. “In their view, we’re a bunch of hippies letting in people they try to keep out.”

    But there’s nothing hippie-ish about the work they do. Asylum officers go through hundreds of hours of rigorous training, learning to distinguish the person who has assumed a false identity because they’re fleeing a violent gang from the person assuming a false identity because they’re a member of that gang. Vetting an applicant can take anywhere between two and five years. “I have to make sure I’m not getting the wool pulled over my eyes by a war criminal,” the officer explained. Since Congress isn’t likely to overhaul the asylum criteria anytime soon, Cuccinelli set about changing the culture of the division itself. Under a DHS pilot program, around 60 border patrol officers are now conducting credible fear screenings. According to government data obtained by Buzzfeed, they have approved less than half of applicants so far. The agency is also hiring 500 new asylum officers, targeting people with law enforcement or military backgrounds, who, according to USCIS spokesperson Matthew Bourke, are “uniquely equipped to support the agency’s improved vetting procedures and fraud-detection efforts.” In a particularly unsubtle move, the division’s head, John Lafferty, was replaced by the director of the fraud unit.

    When you put all of this together, it’s clear that the Trump administration has fundamentally altered the nature of humanitarian immigration to the United States—initiatives that are supported by both parties and have been an essential component of foreign policy since the end of World War II. In 2017, Gene Hamilton and Stephen Miller tag-teamed to reduce annual refugee admissions from 110,000 to 45,000. Since then, the number has been slashed to an all-time low of 18,000. In October, the administration started implementing a regulation ordering that asylum seekers be turned away from the southern border if they have passed through another country without seeking asylum there first. What this means, in practice, is that the only people able to seek asylum at the border are Mexican citizens.

    And yet the restrictionists still aren’t satisfied. After all, the administration hasn’t come close to their goal of halving legal immigration. “Any real changes”—such as ending birthright citizenship or the visa lottery—“are the kind of thing Congress would have to approve,” said Krikorian. FAIR’s governmental relations director, RJ Hauman, told me Trump “botched” his first year with a flawed rollout of the travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries. “It tainted everything,” he said, especially the president’s chances of getting more ambitious reforms through Congress.

    SHERIFFS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY MEET PRESIDENT TRUMP AT A FAIR EVENT IN SEPTEMBER. (WHITE HOUSE/JOYCE N. BOGHOSIAN)

    In response, the administration is doing its utmost to appease its most hardcore supporters. For 13 years, FAIR has held an annual convention in Washington D.C. to connect conservative talk radio hosts and anti-immigration personalities. Under previous presidents, it was a niche affair, but this September’s event might as well have been sponsored by the Trump administration. FAIR flew in nearly 200 sheriffs, who received a briefing at the White House from Kellyanne Conway, as well as a photo op with Trump. Afterwards, they made their way back to the Phoenix Park Hotel, just around the corner from DHS. Some 70 radio hosts were crammed into a couple of conference rooms. “We’re in the heart of the swamp, up to our knees in muck,” FAIR’s communications director, Dave Ray, remarked to a talk show host named Tom Roten, who has blamed immigrants for his West Virginia county having “the highest concentration of HIV in the country, maybe even the world.” (This is not true.) Ray went on to discuss the “human carnage caused by criminal aliens and drugs;” at one point, Roten asked, “What if we cut the snake off at the head at the border?”

    Cuccinelli spent an entire morning powering through eight back-to-back interviews, fueled by his usual cup of McDonalds sweet tea. He talked about family separation with Roten who complained that “the media only shows these kids crying.” Children were constantly crossing the border with different adults, pretending to be related, he stated. “You’re exactly right, Tom. They’re being recycled,” Cuccinelli agreed. (Greg Navano, ICE’s assistant director of investigative programs, said that among other methods, the agency sometimes conducts DNA tests of family units, and that around 15 percent of the tests uncovered an adult falsely claiming to be a child’s biological parent.)

    In November, Cuccinelli was promoted to DHS deputy acting secretary. Kathy Nuebel Kovarik became acting deputy at USCIS and Robert Law, the former FAIR lobbyist, ascended to the head of the policy office. The agency has promised a new flurry of major policy changes before the end of the year. And in what is perhaps the purest expression of the administration's intentions so far, it started sending Central American asylum seekers to Guatemala with no access to an attorney, no review by an immigration court, far away from the border infrastructure of activists and reporters and lawyers or any form of help at all.

    AN INFANT IN BORDER PATROL CUSTODY.(JOHN MOORE/GETTY)

    IT’S EASY ENOUGH TO BELIEVE THAT BECAUSE NONE of the Trump administration’s reforms are entrenched in law, they can be overturned as quickly as they were introduced. And yet even though, in theory, the policy memos can all be withdrawn, the “sheer number of both significant and less significant changes is overwhelming,” said Jaddou, the former USCIS chief counsel. “It will take an ambitious plan over a series of years to undo it all.” Formal regulations, like the third-country asylum rule and public charge rule, if it succeeds, will be especially hard to unravel.

    The institutional implications run deeper. The backlog of delayed cases will likely take several years to get under control. The administration has promoted six judges with some of the highest asylum denial rates to the Justice Department’s immigration appeals court, including one who threatened to set a dog on a 2-year-old child for failing to be quiet in his courtroom. Those appointments are permanent.

    The refugee program, too, will take years to rebuild. The plunge in admissions caused a plunge in funding to the nine resettlement agencies, which have closed more than 100 offices around the country since 2016. That’s a third of their capacity, according to a report by Refugees Council USA. “The whole infrastructure is deteriorating,” said Rodriguez, the former USCIS director. Because the application process is so lengthy, even if a new administration raises refugee admissions on day one, it would take as long as five years before increased numbers of people actually make it to the United States. Consider that in January 2017, the State Department briefly paused in-bound flights for refugees who had finally made it through the gauntlet of health, security and other checks. As of this summer, some of those refugees were still waiting to leave. While the flights were grounded, they missed the two-month window during which all of their documents were current. When one document expires, it can take months to replace, causing others to expire and trapping the refugee in what the report called “a domino effect of expiring validity periods.”

    Even harder to repair is the culture shift within USCIS. New visa adjudicators will remain in their jobs long after the political appointees have gone—kings and queens of their own offices. Employees who were promoted for their skeptical inclinations will stay in those positions, setting priorities for subordinates. The multitude of changes at USCIS are the product of an administration that regards immigration as its political lifeblood. There’s no guarantee—or indication—that any of the potential Democratic nominees would apply the same obsessive zeal to overturning them.

    Back in 1924, Johnson-Reed’s supporters never anticipated the Holocaust, and yet they expanded its horrors. We don’t know where our own future is headed, but we live in a time of metastasizing instability. Last year, the United Nations’ official tally of refugees passed 70 million, the highest since World War II. Mass migrations, whether because of violence or inequality or environmental calamity or some murky blend of factors that don't conveniently fit existing laws, are the reality and challenge of our era. There aren’t any easy solutions. But already, what started as a series of small, obscure administrative changes is resulting in unthinkable cruelty. If left to continue, it will, in every sense, redefine what it means to be American.


              

    Anti-Semitic 'poison' runs deep in Corbyn's Labour Party, Britain's chief rabbi warns

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    Britain’s chief rabbi said opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was unfit to be prime minister because he had failed to stem anti-Semitism “sanctioned from the top” and now gripping his party.

    His comments stirred up campaigning ahead of the Dec. 12 vote where the United Kingdom faces a stark choice between Prime Minister Boris Johnson offering Brexit and Corbyn proposing a radical socialist vision for the world’s fifth largest economy.

    Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, in an article in The Times, questioned how complicit in prejudice an opposition leader would have to be to be considered unfit for office.

    “It is a failure of leadership. A new poison — sanctioned from the top — has taken root in the Labour Party,” wrote Mirvis, of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.

    “Be in no doubt, the very soul of our nation is at stake.”

    An anti-Labour activist holds a placard outside the venue prior to opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn launching Labour’s Race and Faith Manifesto, in north London on Nov. 26, 2019. ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images

    Such an intervention from a religious leader is unusual.

    Anglican leader Justin Welby said it was unprecedented and indicated the fear felt by many Jews.

    Ever since Corbyn, a veteran campaigner for Palestinian rights, shocked the establishment by becoming Labour leader in 2015, he has been dogged by criticism from members, lawmakers and Jewish leaders that he has failed to tackle anti-Semitism.

    He has repeatedly said he abhors anti-Semitism and supporters accuse foes of trying to make political capital.

    However, nine of his lawmakers quit the party in February, citing the leadership’s handling of the accusations among their reasons, and in May Britain’s equality watchdog launched an investigation into possible discrimination by Labour.

    Rapper backs Corbyn

    Mirvis said Labour leaders’ response as their supporters drove lawmakers, members and staff out of the party for challenging anti-Jewish racism had been “utterly inadequate.”

    Corbyn has also been criticized for the party’s delay in fully adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-semitism.

    A Labour spokesman said Corbyn was a lifelong campaigner against anti-Semitism while the party was rooting out discrimination with suspensions and education programs.

    British grime rapper Stormzy at Glastonbury, Somerset, United Kingdom June 2017. WENN.com

    “A Labour government will guarantee the security of the Jewish community, defend and support the Jewish way of life, and combat rising anti-Semitism in our country and across Europe,” the spokesman said.

    Alfred Dubs, who escaped from the Nazis in Czechoslovakia as a child in 1939, said the rabbi had gone a bit far.

    “I don’t believe he’s (Corbyn) anti-Semitic even though under his leadership things have happened which should have been dealt with much faster,” Dubs told BBC Radio.

    With just over two weeks until the election, a poll by Kantar showed Labour had squeezed the Conservative lead to 11 points from 18 over the last week.

    Grime star Stormzy said it was important for voters to register by the end of Tuesday. “I will be voting for Jeremy Corbyn,” the rapper added, calling Johnson a sinister man.

    That prompted British minister Michael Gove to quip that Stormzy was “a far, far better rapper than he is a political analyst.”


              

    Το τρέχον τεύχος του Biblica / The current issue of Biblica

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    Biblica 100:3 (2019)

    • John Screnock, "Reading Esther in the Levantine Literary Tradition," 321-338 (abstract)
    • Ji Seong J. Kwon, "Rewritten Theology in the Greek Book of Job," 339-352 (abstract)
    • George Athas, "Qohelet in his Context: Ecclesiastes 4,13-16 and the Dating of the Book," 353-372 (abstract)
    • Daniela Scialabba, "Travel and Wisdom: An Interpretation of Sirach 31[34],9-12; 39,4; 51,13 in the Jewish and Hellenistic Contexts," 373-385 (abstract)
    • Francesco Filannino, "La novità del regno: Καινός nel vangelo di Marco," 386-407 (abstract)
    • Jean-Philippe Fabre, "Pour en finir avec le plan des Actes: La Samarie: une question d'historiographie théologique," 408-425 (abstract)
    • Pasquale Basta, "'So you shall put away the evil from among you':  Exclusion from the Community in Deuteronomy and in the Early Pauline Churches (1 Corinthians 5-7)," 426-454 (abstract)




              

    Hallmark’s making some Hanukkah movies. The only problem? They’re anti-Semitic.

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    These holiday specials are really Christmas movies with Jewish characters, and they draw on old, dangerous tropes.
              

    Students, Give Zionism Its Rightful Place in Civil Discourse

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    In light of a recent op-ed in The New York Times, it is important to reflect on comments made last week on our campus. In the Times op-ed, Blake Flayton, a progressive, Jewish student at George Washington University (D.C.), discusses the ways in which he finds himself “pushed to the fringes of a [progressive] movement […]

    The post Students, Give Zionism Its Rightful Place in Civil Discourse appeared first on The Emory Wheel.


              

    Latkes and Learning: A Hanukah Discussion about Jewish Identity

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    Latkes and Learning: Reflecting on Jewish Identity this Hanukah Thursday, December 19 at Noon / For FJC members only RSVP by December 16 to help us plan We provide latkes and drinks. Please bring a side or salad. Because of its historical basis in the Maccabean revolt, Hanukah is an apt time to discuss [...]

    The post Latkes and Learning: A Hanukah Discussion about Jewish Identity appeared first on Falmouth Jewish Congregation.


              

    FJC Hosts a Brown Bag Lunch & Free Film Screening of “The Human Element”

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    Brown Bag Lunch and Free Documentary Film Screening of The Human ElementPost  Thursday, December 5 at Noon (film starts at 12:30 P.M.) Falmouth Jewish Congregation will host a free screening of the documentary film "The Human Element" on Thursday, December 5. The event will begin with an optional brown bag lunch at Noon, with [...]

    The post FJC Hosts a Brown Bag Lunch & Free Film Screening of “The Human Element” appeared first on Falmouth Jewish Congregation.


              

    Historian Kirsten Fermaglich Presents a Jewish Book Council Author Talk on Dec. 12

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    Historian Kirsten Fermaglich Presents a Jewish Book Council Author Talk on her Study of Jewish Name Changes Thursday, December 12 at 1:00 P.M. at FJC's Blanche & Joel D. Seifer Community Center Free and open to the public. Book sales handled by Eight Cousins Bookstore Winner, 2019 Saul Viener Book Prize, given by the [...]

    The post Historian Kirsten Fermaglich Presents a Jewish Book Council Author Talk on Dec. 12 appeared first on Falmouth Jewish Congregation.


              

    Novelist Jennifer Acker Presents a Jewish Book Council Author Talk on January 23

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    Novelist Jennifer Acker Presents The Limits of the World in a Jewish Book Council Author Talk Thursday, January 23 at 1:00 P.M. Free and open to all. Book sales and signing handled by Eight Cousins Bookstore, Falmouth What reviewers are saying about The Limits of the World: “Acker’s debut is a carefully drawn portrait [...]

    The post Novelist Jennifer Acker Presents a Jewish Book Council Author Talk on January 23 appeared first on Falmouth Jewish Congregation.


              

    FJC Hosts a Free Community Christmas Dinner, 2-4pm

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    FJC Hosts a Free Community Christmas Dinner Wednesday, December 25, 2-4pm Falmouth Jewish Congregation is pleased to announce that it will host its first community Christmas dinner from 2-4pm on December 25. Knowing the popularity of Falmouth’s community Thanksgiving meal in past years, the congregation hopes to gather those who would like to spend [...]

    The post FJC Hosts a Free Community Christmas Dinner, 2-4pm appeared first on Falmouth Jewish Congregation.


              

    Upper Cape Interfaith Alliance Offers Three-Part Exploration of the Sabbath

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    Upper Cape Interfaith Alliance Hosts Three-Part Exploration of the Sabbath Thursdays, January 9, 16 and 23 at 7pm (the final session includes a potluck dinner and begins at 6:30pm) Join neighbors from a variety of faith backgrounds to explore the Sabbath. RSVP to uppercapeinterfaith@gmail.com. All are welcome to this third program offered by the [...]

    The post Upper Cape Interfaith Alliance Offers Three-Part Exploration of the Sabbath appeared first on Falmouth Jewish Congregation.


              

    Daily Rambam Class for December 2, 2019 - Kislev 4, 5780 (1 Chapter a Day)

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    The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in the one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
              

    Daily Rambam Class for December 2, 2019 - Kislev 4, 5780 (3 Chapters a Day)

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    The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in the one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
              

    WATCH: Shea Rubenstein Releases Single ‘’Flying High’’

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    Eleven years ago, Shea Rubenstein’s debut album, Ohavti, struck a chord with fans of in the Jewish music world. “Tick Tock” is a fan favorite, but the song that resonated
              

    Chassidic Masters: A Day in the Life of a Jew

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    The day has 12 hours; the Jewish day has the 12 sons of Jacob
              

    63 Writing Contests in December 2019 - No entry fees

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    December is a great month for writing contests. This month there are no fewer than 63 contests, and none charge entry fees. Prizes range from $30,000 to envy. (If you win a Pushcart, envy is quite enough.) As always, read the restrictions to make sure you qualify.

    If you want to get a jump on next month's contests go to Free Contests. Most of these contests are offered annually, so even if the deadline is past, you can prepare for next year.

    Good luck!

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    Green Stories Writing CompetitionGenre: Interactive fiction about building a sustainable society. Prize: £750: 1st prize £500, 2nd prize £100, third prize £50 plus £50 for best student submission (18-25 years) and £50 for best < 18 year submission. Deadline: December 1, 2019.

    Frightening First Line ContestGenre: Scary first line. Prize: Free Gotham class. Deadline: December 1, 2019.

    The David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction is offered annually to the best book in American historical fiction that is both excellent fiction and excellent history. Prize: $1.000.    Deadline: December 1, 2019.

    Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize is sponsored by the Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival. Genre: Non-fiction essay between 4 to 10 pages, set in Brooklyn about Brooklyn and/or Brooklyn people/characters. (Up to 2500 words). Prize: $500. Deadline: December 1, 2019.

    Better Than StarbucksGenre: Metrical poetry. Your sonnet can be shakespearean, petrarchan, spenserian, rhymed, or slant-rhymed. Blank verse is fine, as long as the sonnet form is clearly identifiable. They'll consider tetrameter, hexameter, etc. as well as pentameter. Prize: $100.  Deadline: December 1, 2019. Previously published work accepted.

    The Pushcart Prize honors the best "poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot" published in small presses and literary magazines. Magazine and small press editors may nominate up to six works. Pushcart Press publishes yearly anthologies of the winning submissions. Prize: Publication. Deadline: December 1, 2019.

    Poetry Center at Smith College PrizeRestrictions: Open to sophomore or junior high school girls in New England. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 1, 2019.

    Tony Quagliano Poetry Fund, International Poetry AwardRestrictions: Open to poets who have a published body of work over a period of years. Poems must be in English. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 1, 2019. (Biennial award)

    Arnold Adoff Poetry AwardsGenre: Poetry books for children and young adults. Novels in verse, memoirs in verse, collections of original poetry, and edited collections are all acceptable formats for the awards. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 1, 2019.

    Fresh InkGenre: Fiction. Prize: Short-story — $1,000 Under 7,500 words; Novelette — $1,500 From 7,500 to 17,499 words; Novella — $2,000 From 17,500 to 39,999 words; Novel — $3,000 40,000 words and over. Deadline: December 1, 2019.

    Law & Technology International Writing CompetitionRestrictions: Open to all college and university students around the world. Genre: Essay. (See topics.) Prize: £2,000. Deadline: December 1, 2019.

    The Sillerman First Book Prize for African PoetryRestrictions: Open to African poets who have not yet published a collection of poetry. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1,000 and book publication through the University of Nebraska Press and Amalion Press in Senegal. Deadline: December 1, 2019.

    The Schneider Family Book Award is sponsored by the American Library Association. The award honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Prize: Three annual awards each consisting of $5000 and a framed plaque, will be given annually in each of the following categories: birth through grade school (age 0-10), middle school (age 11-13) and teens (age 13-18). (Age groupings are approximations). Genre: May be fiction, biography, or other form of nonfiction. Deadline: December 1, 2019.

    Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian WritingRestrictions: Open to published writers who are writing from the region. Genres: All. Prize: $1000. Deadline: December 1, 2019.

    Flo Gault Student Poetry PrizeRestrictions: Full-time undergraduate college students in Kentucky. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 1, 2019. 

    The W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction honors the best fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. It recognizes the service of American veterans and military personnel and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction. Genre: Military fiction. Prize: $5000. Deadline: December 1, 2019.

    New York Encounter Poetry ContestGenre: Poetry on the theme "Crossing the Divide." Prize:  Cash prizes of $300, $200 and $100 will be awarded to first, second and third place poems.  DeadlineDecember 2, 2019.

    Washington State Book AwardsRestrictions: Open to Washington State writers. Genre: Published book, all genres. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 2, 2019. 

    Literature MattersRestrictions: UK residents. Genre: "Awards will be given to individual writers or other literary creators, recognising their past achievements and providing them with financial support to undertake a proposed new piece of writing or literary project. Launched as part of the RSL’s new Literature Matters programme, priority will be given to proposals which (a) will help connect with audiences or topics outside the usual reach of literature, and/or (b) will help generate public discussion about why literature matters." Award: £20,000. Deadline: December 5, 2019.

    Polar Expressions Publications CompetitionRestrictions: Open to Canadian students in kindergarten through grade twelve. Genre: Short Story. Prize: $300, $200, $100. Deadline: December 6, 2019.

    J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress AwardGenre: Uncompleted work of nonfiction on a topic of American political or social concern. Prize: $30,000 fellowship. Deadline: December 9, 2019.

    Friends of American Writers. Restrictions: The author must be a resident (or previously have been a resident for approximately five years) of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota or Wisconsin; or the locale of the book must be in a region identified above. The author must not have published more than three books under his/her own pen name. Genres: Books can be fiction or creative non-fiction and published in 2017. Self-published and e-Books are not eligible. Prize: $4000. Deadline: December 10, 2019.

    The Sunday Times Audible Story AwardRestrictions: Open to any author who has been published in the UK or Ireland. Genre: Short stories of 6000 words or less. Prize: £30,000. Deadline: December 13, 2019.

    Four Way BooksIt's No ContestRestrictions: Book-length manuscript written in English by a New York City resident (5 boroughs) emerging writer for a first or second collection of poems, stories, or a novella.. How to submit: Email your manuscript in one Word or PDF file and include all contact information on your cover page. If you would like, you may include acknowledgments, bio, and notes. You should include a table of contents. Pagination suggestions: aim for at least 45 pages of text for poetry and between 80-150 pages of text for a novella, and 150-250 pages of text for story collections. Kindly send your manuscript to us at editors@fourwaybooks.com. Simultaneous submissions are allowed. Prize: Publication, royalties. Deadline: December 15, 2019.

    Commonwealth Club of California Book AwardsRestrictions: Open to residents of California.   Genre: Book of poetry, fiction or nonfiction. Prize: Gold medal. Deadline: December 15, 2019.

    Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Literary Nonfiction (Kansas Book Award). Restrictions: Author must establish a connection to Kansas by birth, education, employment, residence or other significant claim. Genre: Novel or collection of short stories published within the last three years. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 15, 2019.

    Kent State University Peace Poetry Contest. Genre: Poems, maximum 100 lines, on "themes of peace, conflict transformation, and student advocacy". Prize: $500. Deadline: December 15, 2019.

    Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) provides direct support to individual Bronx artists who create literary, media, visual, and performing works of art. Prize: 25 BRIO grants of $3,000 each are awarded to Bronx artists. BRIO award winners complete a one-time public service activity. Deadline: December 16, 2019.

    Spark Award: Held by SCBWI open to members of SCBWI who are self-published. Genres: Fiction and nonfiction. Prize: Envy. The SCBWI is our most prestigious national organization (US) for children's book and YA writers. Deadline: December 19, 2019.

    Rider University Annual High School Writing ContestRestrictions: Open to high school students. Genres: Essays, poetry, fiction. Prizes: 1st-$100, 2nd-$50, 3rd-$25. Deadline: December 20, 2019.

    The Four Quartets PrizeGenre: unified and complete sequence of poems published in America in a print or online journal, chapbook. Poems in the sequence may have been published in different journals provided that they were brought together and they form a complete sequence. Prize: Three finalists will receive $1,000 each. The winner will receive an additional $20,000. Deadline: December 23, 2019.

    Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award.  Restrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter free of charge. Others must pay a $15 entry fee. Genre: Poetry, unpublished and published. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 23, 2019.

    Cecil Hemley Memorial AwardRestrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter free of charge. Others must pay a $15 entry fee. Genre: Poetry, unpublished and published. Lyric poem that addresses a philosophical or epistemological concern. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 23, 2019.

    Lucille Medwick Memorial AwardRestrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter free of charge. Others must pay a $15 entry fee. Genre: Poetry, unpublished and published. Original poem in any form on a humanitarian theme. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 23, 2019.

    Lyric Poetry AwardRestrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter free of charge. Others must pay a $15 entry fee. Genre: A lyric poem on any subject. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 23, 2019.

    The Writer Magazine/Emily Dickinson AwardRestrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter for free. Others must pay a $15 entry fee. Genre: A poem inspired by Dickinson though not necessarily in her style. Prize: $250. Deadline: December 23, 2019.

    George Bogin Memorial AwardRestrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter for free. Others must pay a $15 entry fee. Genre: Poetry that takes a stand against oppression. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 23, 2019.

    Robert H. Winner Memorial AwardRestrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter for free. There is a charge of $15 for non-members. Open to mid-career poets who have not had substantial recognition, and is over forty, and who have published no more than one book. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $2,500. Deadline: December 23, 2019.

    VCU Cabell First Novelist AwardGenre: First novel published in 2019. No self-published books. Prize: $5,000. Deadline: December 30, 2019.

    Writers' HQ Flash Quarterly ContestGenre: Unpublished flash fiction, 500 words max. Prize: 450 pounds. Top three winners win membership to Writers' HQ, a British writing resource site, and admission to three WHQ writing retreats. Winners outside the UK can substitute a manuscript critique for the retreats. Deadline: December 31, 2019.

    Solution Loans Short Story ContestRestrictions: Open to UK residents 18 years and up. Genre: Short fiction on theme of "Coins." Prize: £200 and publication on the Solution Loans website. Deadline: December 31, 2019.

    Lilith Magazine Fiction CompetitionGenre: Story of interest to Jewish women. Prize: $250.  Deadline: December 31, 2019.

    Ezra Jack Keats Children's Book AwardGenre: Published or self-published picture books that portray the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family, and the multicultural nature of our world. Prize: $3,000. Deadline: December 31, 2019.

    The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards recognizes outstanding works that contribute to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. Awards are given for both fiction and nonfiction. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: December 31, 2019.

    Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry, Griffin Poetry PrizeRestrictions: One prize goes to a living Canadian poet or translator, the other to a living poet or translator from any country, which may include Canada. Genre: Poetry. Books must have been published in English during the calendar year preceding the year of the award. Prize: C$200,000, is awarded annually in two categories – International and Canadian. Each prize is worth C$65,000. Deadline: December 31, 2019.

    L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future ContestGenre: Speculative fiction prose, up to 17,000 words. Prize: $1,000 with $5,000 grand prize. Deadline: December 31, 2019. Read details HERE.

    Blue Mountain Arts Poetry Card ContestGenre: Poem. Prize: $300. Deadline: December 31, 2019. Read details HERE.

    Best Translated Book Awards for FictionGenre: All original translations published between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018 are eligible. Reprints and retranslation are ineligible. Prize: $5,000.00. Two awards of $5,000: one apiece for the author and translator of the winning book in fiction. Deadline: December 31, 2019.

    Natan Notable Books AwardGenre: Recen­t­­ly pub­­lished or soon to be pub­lished nonfic­­tion book on Jew­ish themes. Prize: $5,000. Deadline: December 31, 2019.

    Society of Classical Poets, High School Poetry CompetitionRestrictions: Open to high school students. Genre: Poetry. Three poems not exceeding 108 lines. The poems must be within the four themes used by the Society. Prize: First Prize: $100. Deadline: December 31, 2019.

    Society of Classical Poets, Poetry Translation CompetitionGenre: Poetry not exceeding 108 lines. Prize: First Prize: $100. Deadline: December 31, 2019.

    Ouen Press Short Story CompetitionGenre: Short story on theme of "The Gift." Prize: £300 top prize. Deadline: December 31, 2019.

    Viva la NovellaRestrictions: Open to Australian and New Zealand writers. Genre: Novella. Prize: $1,000 and publication in SeizureDeadline: December 31, 2019.

    Black Caucus of the American Library Association. BCALA presents four awards to an African American writer published in the United States during the previous year: one for adult fiction, one for nonfiction, one for a first novelist and one for poetry. These awards acknowledge outstanding achievement in the presentation of the cultural, historical and sociopolitical aspects of the Black Diaspora. Prize: Four $500.00 awards. Deadline: December 31, 2019.

    Lex:lead Essay Competition. Restrictions: Finalists must show citizenship in an eligible country and enrollment in studies with at least one law class in an eligible country to be confirmed for award. Genre: Essay on topic: How can access to justice reduce poverty and support economic development? Prize: $500. Deadline: December 31, 2019. You must register by October 31.

    The Lyric College Poetry ContestRestrictions: Open to undergraduates enrolled full time in an American or Canadian college or university. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 31, 2019.

    Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry PrizeGenre: Poetry chapbook. Prize: $350. Deadline: December 31, 2019.

    Daily News PrizeGenre: Poem, of any length, written by a US or UK Virgin Islands resident accepted for publication by The Caribbean Writer during the deadline year. Prize: $300. Deadline: December 31, 2019.

    Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust Article Prize CompetitionGenre: Nonfiction of 7,000-10,000 words about the Holocaust. Prize: $1,000 top prize. Deadline: December 31, 2019.    Questions/submissions: dapim_h@univ.haifa.ac.il

    Best Translated Book Awards for PoetryGenre: All original translations published between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019 are eligible. Reprints and retranslation are ineligible. Prize: $5,000.00. Two awards of $5,000: one apiece for the author and translator of the winning book in fiction. Deadline: December 31, 2019.

    Neil Postman Award for Metaphor. Sponsored by Rattle. Genre: Poetry. All published submissions during the year are considered for the prize. Follow their regular submission guidelines. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 31, 2019.

    USNI General Prize Essay ContestRestrictions: Authors must be USNI members or those eligible for membership. Genre: Essay "to advance the professional, literary, and scientific understanding of sea power and other issues critical to national defense.” Prize: $6,000. Deadline: December 31, 2019.

    William Carlos Williams Poetry CompetitionRestrictions: Open to students enrolled in programs leading to the Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy degree. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $300.   Deadline: December 31, 2019.


              

    Certified Nursing Assistant - CNA - Part Time Nights | Kindred Healthcare

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    Fiona Hill Blasts Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories Against George Soros In Testimony

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    Comment on This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay by Non-Fiction Novellas in November – Annabookbel

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    […] is a bijou helping of more stories in diary form from the author of This is Going to Hurt (reviewed here), recounting seven years on the Christmas nightshift. Being Jewish, Kay got stuck with working over […]
              

    Worship for Kids: December 8, 2019

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    By Carolyn C. Brown

    From a Child's Point of View

    Old Testament: Isaiah 11:1-10. Because they are so dependent on their leaders, children are very appreciative of those who are fair. A teacher who grades fairly, a coach who gives everyone a chance, or a Scout leader who does not play favorites is highly valued. Having had experience with leaders who are less than fair, children appreciate the fair ones and claim God's promise of a totally fair leader.

    A sprout growing out of a stump is not common enough in nature to assume that children (or urban adults) will be familiar with the phenomenon. It will need to be scientifically explained before children will understand Isaiah's message. Older children, once they understand the Jesse tree, often find great hope in it for all the seemingly hopeless situations in their lives and world.

    Psalm: 72:1-7, 18-19. This psalm praises two leaders: Solomon (and his son); and God's messiah. Children begin to understand the psalm when they hear it as a public prayer for King Solomon, and they can add their prayers for their own leaders. Then they are primed to think about GOd's promised leader, who is more fair than even the most just human leaders.

    Epistle: Romans 15:4-13. One example of God's justice is that God kept the promise that Jesus would come to the Jewish people. (Keeping promises is part of God's justice.) But Jesus kept the promise for everyone else. God's justice is for everyone, so God wants us to work on getting along with all people. For Paul, that meant spending his life introducing the Christian faith to non-Jews and trying to help Jews and Gentiles get along. For children today, it means treating everyone—people of other ethnic, economic, or neighborhood groups; and even people they do not like—with love and respect.

    Because this is a complex passage, few children will make any sense of the text as it is read. Plan to present its message to children through the sermon.

    Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12. Children are fascinated by the colorful aspects of John the Baptist. They need to hear that John wore animal skins and ate locusts (grasshoppers) and honey because they were easy to find. John was too busy telling people about God's justice to spend time cooking or finding neat clothes. Compare his dedication to that of athletes preparing for the Olympics, or a person who is so busy making a gift for a friend that she forgets to eat.

    John's poetic images (Abraham's children, axes laid to trees, sandals to be carried, winnowing forks, chaff burning in unquenchable fires) are too much to explain in one worship service. So simply present John's message in words children understand—that God does not care whether your families are rich or poor, whether your brothers and sisters are smart and attractive or embarrassing, whether your friends are the "in" group or "nerds," or which church you go to. God cares about what you do. God expects you to live by God's rules or to repent (change your ways).

    Watch Words

    Children use fairness instead of justice. Fairness is often applied to everyday situations, while justice seems removed from everyday concerns. Use the terms interchangeably and often, to help children recognize their connection.

    Define repent if you use it. John does not want us to be sorry for the unjust things we do. He wants us to stop treating people "unfairly" or "unjustly."

    Avoid Gentile. Speak instead of God's justice, which includes all people. Name specific, familiar groups that are treated today as Gentiles were treated in Paul's day.

    Let the Children Sing

    "Hail to the Lord's Anointed" is based on Psalm 72. Older children can match the verses in the psalm with those in the hymn, but the vocabulary of the hymn is challenging, even for twelve-year-olds.

    "Lord, I Want to Be a Christian" is the easiest hymn with which children can sing their repentance.

    The Liturgical Child

    1. In the worship center, display a Jesse tree. Ask a creative person to make an arrangement in which an evergreen branch is drilled into a small stump, or a pot covered with burlap to look like a stump. Or wrap a sand-filled bucket with brown craft paper to look like a stump, and "plant" a small tree or evergreen branch in the bucket.

    2. While lighting the candle of God's promised justice as the second candle of the Advent wreath, read Isaiah's prophecy, or some statement such as this:

    We all want to be treated fairly. God has promised that one day we will be. Last week we lighted the first candle of Advent, for God's promised peace. Today we light the second candle, for God's promised justice. We light it for all the little kids who are picked on, for those whose poverty means they never get a fair chance at anything, and for those who live in countries ruled by unfair people and laws. God promises that day there will be justice for us all.

    3. Invite the congregation to read Psalm 72 as if they were in a crowd, shouting to a king they hope will be a just leader. Divide the congregation in half and ask the people to read the verses alternately, loudly and enthusiastically.

    4. If you pray for just leaders, include children's leaders—teachers, coaches, and club leaders.

    5. Create a litany prayer of petitions, to each of which the congregational response is, "Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

    Sermon Resources

    1. Explore Old Testament stories about our longing for, and failure to attain, justice. As each story is told, add a poster board ornament to your Jesse tree (Or ask a child to add the ornament). Consider the following ornaments/stories:

    • Adam and Eve begin the human failure to live by God's rules (an apple with a bite out of it).

    • Through Moses, God gave us a clear set of rules for just living. But God's people immediately and repeatedly to proved that knowing the rules does not give us the power to create just world (Ten Commandment tablets).

    • David and Solomon tried to build a just nation. Though they did well, neither was perfectly just, and the kings who ruled after them were often miserable failures. No human can establish God's justice (star of David, or crown).

    • Knowing that we could neither follow just rules nor build a just world on our own, God promised to establish the justice. God would send a Messiah. Describe how Jesus inaugurated this justice in his ministry, death, and resurrection (cross and crown).

    2. Invite children and other worshipers to create new pairings of animals who will get along. Such pairings lead to joining usually uncooperative human groups.

    3. Paraphrase Paul's encouragement to Jews and Gentiles to get along. Address it to different groups that do not treat one another well today. Consider including older and younger brothers and sisters, rival school groups, even "the boys" and "the girls." Such a paraphrase might be repeated as the Charge and Benediction.

    4. Open a sermon on justice with the cry, "But it's not fair!" followed by examples ranging from a child whose friends are going to a movie while she must visit a sick aunt with her family, to a poor athlete who tries hard but never gets the good results of a gifted athlete who hardly seems to try at all, to people who live under oppressive governments and social systems.


              

    Amazon: Πουλάει χριστουγεννιάτικα στολίδια με θέμα το… Άουσβιτς (Φωτο)

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    Amazon: Πουλάει χριστουγεννιάτικα στολίδια με θέμα το… Άουσβιτς (Φωτο)
    Amazon: Πουλάει χριστουγεννιάτικα στολίδια με θέμα το… Άουσβιτς (Φωτο)
    02/12/2019 - 10:52

    Χριστουγεννιάτικα στολίδια με φωτογραφίες του ναζιστικού στρατοπέδου συγκέντρωσης του Άουσβιτς διέθετε προς πώληση η Amazon.

    Το γεγονός προκάλεσε την αντίδραση του Μουσείου Άουσβιτς-Μπιρκενάου που δημοσίευσε τις φωτογραφίες των στολιδιών που εικονίζουν συρματοπλέγματα και παραπήγματα στο στρατόπεδο γράφοντας στο Twitter: «Το να πωλούνται “χριστουγεννιάτικα στολίδια” με εικόνες του Άουσβιτς δεν μοιάζει σωστό».

     

    Παράλληλα προέτρεψε την Amazon να τα αφαιρέσει από τον κατάλογό της. «Το Άουσβιτς σε ανοιχτήρια μπουκαλιών, αυτό είναι μάλλον ανησυχητικό και ασεβές» προς τη μνήμη των θυμάτων, τόνισε το Μουσείο στην ανάρτησή του στην αγγλική γλώσσα.

    Σε ακόλουθη ανάρτησή του, το μουσείο ανέφερε πως η Amazon απέσυρε τις καταχωρήσεις των προϊόντων που υπέδειξε, προτού σε τρίτη ανάρτηση τονίσει πως εντόπισε κι άλλα.

    Αναφερόταν μεταξύ άλλων σε ένα mousepad κι ένα κεραμικό «χριστουγεννιάτικο στολίδι» στο οποίο εικονίζεται βαγόνι τρένου που μετέφερε Εβραίους στους θαλάμους αερίων.


              

    Environment Health and Safety (EHS) Specialist II

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    Florida International University is classified by Carnegie as a R1: Doctoral Universities - Highest Research Activity and recognized as a Carnegie engaged university. It is a public research university with colleges and schools that offers 196 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, computer science, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida’s anchor institutions, FIU contributes almost $9 billion each year to the local economy. FIU is Worlds Ahead in finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission. FIU has awarded more than 220,000 degrees and enrolls more than 54,000 students in two campuses and three centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell, FIU@I-75, and the Miami Beach Urban Studios. FIU’s Medina Aquarius Program houses the Aquarius Reef Base, a unique underwater research facility in the Florida Keys. FIU also supports artistic and cultural engagement through its three museums: Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. FIU is a member of Conference USA and more than 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. For more information about FIU, visit http://www.fiu.edu/. Environment Health and Safety (EHS) Specialist IIDevelops, implements and manages the environmental programs and supporting systems, for all campus locations, in accordance with local, state and federal regulations and industry standards. Develops, implements and manages the environmental programs and supporting systems, for all campus locations, in accordance with local, state and federal regulations and industry standards. Identifies, evaluates, recommends and implements University policies, departmental work procedures and industry best practices to assure awareness of, and compliance with air, water, waste management, tanks, oil, general pollution prevention & related environmental requirements. Responsible for the long-term planning for renewal of stormwater, industrial waste, air, above ground storage tanks, oil use, lakes, and grease trap system operating permits, system improvements, and operational changes to maintain and enhance regulatory compliance. Manages, communicates and maintains appropriate quality control systems to inspect, monitor, assess and guide the actions of University operations staff, including University building and project managers, lab personnel, contractors, and others, on the various aspects of environmental compliance relevant to University operations. Coordinates with environmental regulatory agencies to assure compliance, implementation of corrective action plans, and tracking and reporting to sustain regulatory compliance.  Provides timely notification to the Environmental, Health, and Safety (EH&S) supervisor and or director regarding conditions of non-conformance/compliance. Manages permit tracking, monitoring, renewal and reporting programs to assure regulatory compliance, and provides corrective actions. Prepares and submits regulatory reports and documents; assists the Chemical Safety Office with the preparation of regulatory reports (Tier II, Biennial, etc.) using various applications and database programs. Participates as a member of the EH&S 24-hour Emergency Response Team and meets obligations to respond to environmental or chemical contamination emergencies during non-business hours. Conducts facility inspections/evaluations and recommends action plans on corrective measures related to the enhancement of regulatory compliance regarding erosion and sediment, stormwater management, illicit discharge, and MS4 permit programs. Provides direct support services to the University community through training, written communication, performing scheduled and unscheduled inspections, permit compliance assistance, compliance reporting, technical evaluations, and similar functions. Investigates reports/claims pertaining to potential sources of pollution, suspected violations of pollution control regulations and issues violations with corrective actions is accordance with FIU policy. Contract services with approved vendors for extraction, testing, analysis of water or soil samples as required or requested. Coordinate with Facilities Management to provide corrective actions as necessary. Provides support to the University as it relates to new processes/research requiring new environmental controls, permits, etc. Responsible for Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) compliance, including EPA Notice of Intent/Termination filings, SWPPP preparation and implementation, auditing, record-keeping and reporting, and corrective action implementation Conducts trainings and workshops for FIU businesses and members of the community on stormwater, grease trap systems, and air emissions compliance as required Coordinates events in collaboration with the Office of Sustainability and other FIU units to promote community outreach and education on environmental compliance Performs other related tasks are required or as directed. The omission of specific duties does not preclude the supervisor from assigning duties that are logically related to the position. Reviews construction site plans in conjunction with Facilities Management and FIU Building Department to ensure compliance with environmental regulatory requirements.   Minimum Qualification: Associate's degree and 2 years of relevant experience.   Departmental Requirements: Environment, Health, and Safety related experience.   Desired Qualifications: Professional Environmental Certification highly preferred, including one or more of the following: CHMM, CET, REA, etc. Experience creating and preparing Tier II reports. Knowledge of state and federal regulatory policies and procedures regarding environmental compliance, including the Clean Air Act, Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Planning (SPCC), National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits.   Advertised Salary: $ 40,000 - $45,000   Pre-employment: Criminal Background Check Driver's License Check Fingerprinting Check   Other Information: Ability to travel locally and nationally. Ability to work flexible hours as needed. Travel to FIU Campus   For further information or to apply online use the Apply for this Job link on this page and reference job opening ID # 520021 FIU is a member of the State University System of Florida and an Equal Opportunity, Equal Access Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.  
              

    Licensed Practical Nurse - LPN - Days | Kindred Healthcare

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    KH Louisville at Jewish Hosp, Kentucky, Interested in a career with Kindred Hospitals ' a place where you can put your heart into and make a real difference in our patient's lives. Come and grow your career with Kindred Hosp
              

    Licensed Practical Nurse - LPN - Nights | Kindred Healthcare

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    KH Louisville at Jewish Hosp, Kentucky, Interested in a career with Kindred Hospitals ' a place where you can put your heart into and make a real difference in our patient's lives. Come and grow your career with Kindred Hosp
              

    Save Big at Lowe’s on Black Friday

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    My husband is not much of a shopper (that’s putting it mildly). He will drive me and wait while I shop, playing video games on his phone in the car, but actually browsing in a store? That’s rare, unless it’s a home improvement place. Mention tools and that man is in heaven. He has been […]

    The post Save Big at Lowe’s on Black Friday appeared first on The Jewish Lady.


              

    Love Pumpkin Pie? Here are 28 Recipes!

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    It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without Pumpkin pie. I love it, everyone in my family loves it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment. Woman’s Day has created 28 different versions of the old favorite. Every one sounds so good: Classic Pumpkin Pie Chai Pumpkin Pie Pumpkin Pie Cake Pumpkin Pie S’mores Caramel Pumpkin Pie Pumpkin […]

    The post Love Pumpkin Pie? Here are 28 Recipes! appeared first on The Jewish Lady.


              

    “Jew,” why is the word important?

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    Without the word Jew next to his name, would anyone know that it was a Jew, Jonas Salk, who defeated the worldwide horror of Polio? Kazimierz is the old Jewish quarter of Krakow, Poland.  Jews have been living in Poland for 1,000 years by the...
              

    Jewish History Soundbites: Rav Aharon Kotler's Endless Activism

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    Jewish History Soundbites With Yehuda Geberer To Save A World: Rav Aharon Kotler's  Zatzal Endless Activism. Yartzeit this shabbos 2 Kislev.
              

    Oif Simchas/Events Lakewood November 26 '19

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    Chasunas:
    Joseph - Cohen at Ne'emas Hachaim Hall Goldsmith - Mitnick at Ateres Chana Hall Bais Faiga
    Schuldenfrei - Florans at Fountain Ballroom Lakewood Cheder
     -Vort: Hachosson Yitzy Kohen to Hakallah Chana Schickler Bas R' Moshe Dovid at Westgate Simcha hall 100 Ropshitz Court Lakewood 8:00 pm                                             
      -SHUVU Lakewood reception at 1460 Row Cedar Row participation of Harav Reuvein Feinstein shlita, Harav Yeruchom Olshin shlita, Harav Elya Brudny Shlita 7:30 pm Buffet Dinner- Video presentation

    Mesivta Yeshiva of Long beach Alumni Dinner for Lev L'Achim at Tiferes bais Yaakov hall 613 Oak street 7:30 pm with the rosh Yeshiva Rav Mordechai Respler shlita

     Parlor Meeting to benefit  the Pitssburgh kollel Bais Yitzchok Jewish Learning center of Pittsburgh, PA at the home of Reb Yisrael Meir Shapiro, 315 Caranetta, Lakewood
              

    Lakewood, NJ: Failure to Vaccinate or Vaccine Failure?

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    Anti Vaxxer Article by Mr. Justin Steiner of Lakewood posted origianly on Childrens health Defense .org (Justin Steiner is a pseudonym for the author who lives in Lakewood, NJ and prefers anonymity given the current controversy over vaccination.)

      On November 14, thousands congregated at the National Mall in Washington DC the V.I.E. (Vaccine Injury Epidemic) Event, calling on legislators to hear us out. But was anyone listening?

    Apparently not in New Jersey.

    In a letter dated November 14th, Senator Bob Menendez sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg lamenting that New Jersey’s measles outbreak last winter, “has been fueled, in part, by misinformation about vaccine safety spread via Facebook ads”.

    I live in Lakewood, where most of the NJ measles cases occurred. Early last winter, there were 30 documented cases of measles in Ocean County.  Everyone recovered without incident and no serious complications were reported, but the Lakewood “outbreak” made national news and was used to amplify fears over what is a generally benign virus and create panic both within the community and throughout the state.  Additionally, the outbreak was used to promote a sneaky legislative amendment that seeks to abolish religious exemptions in New Jersey. As winter approaches this year, it’s worth reviewing the facts on the ground.



    … rather than revisiting the concerns of those seeking exemptions, many officials dismissed these people as reckless, ignorant and in need of an education.
    Reviewing the facts
    The fear mongering tactics prompted enough skepticism for some community members to pursue Freedom of Information Act (FOIA, known in NJ as Open Public Records Act [OPRA]) requests from various health and government agencies, and they yielded some interesting information.

    Since 2008, CHEMED, an Ocean County health clinic has received more than $2 million from the State of New Jersey to increase vaccine uptake. Substantial efforts were directed towards promoting vaccine compliance in the non-public school population, but despite these efforts, religious exemption rates in this cohort more than doubled from 2.4% to 5.2% within the span of just a few years. Obviously, this did not bode well for the clinic’s future funding and public relations campaign.  But rather than revisiting the concerns of those seeking exemptions, many officials dismissed these people as reckless, ignorant and in need of an education.

    During the Lakewood measles outbreak, many private schools were actively encouraged to exclude children who had not received the MMR vaccine even though current public health policy does not call for exclusion of unvaccinated children from school unless there’s illness in that particular school [2]. However, CHEMED successfully pressured the Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) to exclude all unvaccinated children from school until the outbreak ended[3].  Additionally, children were banned from school for an arbitrary 42 days after the last reported case, allegedly to ensure no conceivable transmission. These sweeping school exclusions have no precedent in public health and are merely a social engineering tool used to force compliance[4].

    Since many families who choose not to vaccinate are also not afraid of measles, the results of this overreaching and punitive policy were predictable: many parents opted to expose their children to measles. Then, after self-limiting symptoms and rapid recovery, the kids were able to bypass the extended exclusion period enforced by the health department and rejoin their friends at school. In effect, the clinic and OCHD incentivized families to get measles so that children could return to school, thereby magnifying the gravity of the outbreak they had the power to better contain.

    Examining this “outbreak” more closely, 23 of 30 cases occurred in just four families. Of the remaining seven cases, six were among vaccinated individuals, including the “index case”, the first person to come down with the disease in Lakewood. The only other clear-cut case of measles was in a six-month old infant, too young to be vaccinated, who caught the disease directly from the index case and recovered uneventfully.

    An additional 46 reported cases were either determined to be vaccine strains or failed to meet clinical criteria for measles. Many of these cases occurred days after vaccination, leading to the uncomfortable reality that the vaccine itself was causing measles. To the health department’s credit, unlike the Disneyland outbreak, these 46 cases were not added to the total tally of the measles outbreak.

    Recognizing that people may be concerned by the vaccine’s apparent ineffectiveness or even disease-causing properties, the health department reassured people with the unsupported claim that if they were vaccinated and contracted measles, it would be “less severe illness”[5].

    In Lakewood, “vaccine hesitancy” is based on reality, not rhetoric. People are concerned for the health of their children.
    Vaccine failure and failure to vaccinate
    In reality, the measles outbreak in Lakewood is a story at least as much about vaccine failure as it is about the failure to vaccinate. The index case was a vaccinated individual. In addition, many cases of those with “measles-like symptoms” implicated the vaccine itself.

    In Lakewood, as elsewhere, many parents have stopped vaccinating because they have observed devastating vaccine injuries in their own families. New Jersey leads the nation in autism, and with an estimate of over 4,000 cases of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Ocean County may have the highest rate in New Jersey. The Orthodox Jewish community where the outbreak has occurred, is a very close-knit community. After witnessing a child’s regression into autism, or the development of another neurological or autoimmune condition that occurred in close proximity to the administration of a vaccination, they share their stories with friends and family. In Lakewood, “vaccine hesitancy” is based on reality, not rhetoric. People are concerned for the health of their children.

    Ocean County health authorities have not sought to understand these concerns.  By not following evidence-based practices they spread the measles, hurt families, scarred children and created the illusion that those who question vaccines are disease ridden. It is time to expand the conversation regarding vaccines beyond the initiatives that seek to vaccinate every person without consideration for individual needs and beliefs. We need to work toward a framework that listens to the concerns of families as we work to preserve and improve the health of our children.


              

    On the Feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal: In Ways That Baffle the Minds of Modern Men

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    God works in ways that baffle the minds of "modern" men who are so impressed with "progress" and "change" and "innovation" and "novelty." He chooses the lowly and those who count for nothing to show forth His bountiful mercy to His ungrateful creatures, providing them with sacramental helps and, at times, admonitions to them to reform their lives. He reaches out to us time and time again to call us back to Him through His true Church, beckoning us to trust Him more, to make better and more fervent use of the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Penance and the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, to be more devoted to Him by offering up our prayers and sacrifices and daily efforts to Him through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

    "Modern" men, steeped in rationalism, seek to disparage the fact that God has indeed spoken to genuine mystics and chosen souls by means of private revelations and apparitions. This is why the then Joseph "Cardinal" Ratzinger in the year 2000 disparaged the reality of the apparitions of Our Lady, the very Mother of God herself, to Saint Bernadette Soubirous in the Grotto of Massabielle near Lourdes, France, in 1858 and to Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos in the Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal, fifty-nine years later, that is, in 1917:

    Before undertaking an interpretation of the message of Fatima, we must still attempt briefly to offer some clarification of their anthropological (psychological) character. In this field, theological anthropology distinguishes three forms of perception or “vision”: vision with the senses, and hence exterior bodily perception, interior perception, and spiritual vision (visio sensibilis - imaginativa - intellectualis). It is clear that in the visions of Lourdes, Fatima and other places it is not a question of normal exterior perception of the senses: the images and forms which are seen are not located spatially, as is the case for example with a tree or a house. This is perfectly obvious, for instance, as regards the vision of hell (described in the first part of the Fatima “secret”) or even the vision described in the third part of the “secret”. But the same can be very easily shown with regard to other visions, especially since not everybody present saw them, but only the “visionaries”. It is also clear that it is not a matter of a “vision” in the mind, without images, as occurs at the higher levels of mysticism. Therefore we are dealing with the middle category, interior perception. For the visionary, this perception certainly has the force of a presence, equivalent for that person to an external manifestation to the senses.   

    Interior vision does not mean fantasy, which would be no more than an expression of the subjective imagination. The person is led beyond pure exteriority and is touched by deeper dimensions of reality, which become visible to him. Perhaps this explains why children tend to be the ones to receive these apparitions: their souls are as yet little disturbed, their interior powers of perception are still not impaired. “On the lips of children and of babes you have found praise”, replies Jesus with a phrase of Psalm 8 (v. 3) to the criticism of the High Priests and elders, who had judged the children's cries of “hosanna” inappropriate (cf. Mt 21:16).   

    Interior vision” is not fantasy but, as we have said, a true and valid means of verification. But it also has its limitations. Even in exterior vision the subjective element is always present. We do not see the pure object, but it comes to us through the filter of our senses, which carry out a work of translation. This is still more evident in the case of interior vision, especially when it involves realities which in themselves transcend our horizon. The subject, the visionary, is still more powerfully involved. He sees insofar as he is able, in the modes of representation and consciousness available to him. In the case of interior vision, the process of translation is even more extensive than in exterior vision, for the subject shares in an essential way in the formation of the image of what appears. He can arrive at the image only within the bounds of his capacities and possibilities. Such visions therefore are never simple “photographs” of the other world, but are influenced by the potentialities and limitations of the perceiving subject. (Theological Commentary on the Fatima Message.)

    As I noted in May of 2010 as the then conciliar "pontiff," Ratzinger/Benedict visited Fatima, Portugal:

    In other words, just as Modernists contend that Faith itself is a matter of interior consciousness that comes from within so do they believe that seers such as Saint Bernadette Soubirous and Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos have had real but necessarily "subjective" experiences that have no actual visible, spatial reality with the eyes of the body.

    It is important to examine the connection between the Theological Commentary on the Fatima Message of ten years ago and the "homily" given on theEsplanade of the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima yesterday [May 14, 2010].

    First, Ratzinger/Benedict made the point yesterday that the three shepherd children of Fatima were able to "see" Our Lady because they had "these innocent and profound mystical confidences," meaning that the children had to have pure, innocent souls to see interiorly what they thought they had seen with their eyes. This corresponds exactly to what he wrote ten years ago, that "this explains why children tend to be the ones to receive these apparitions: their souls are as yet little disturbed, their interior powers of perception are still not impaired."

    My friends, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI does not believe that Our Lady physically appeared before the physical eyes of Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia. He has dismissed the Fatima apparitions as an "interior vision" that are designed to move us closer to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and have nothing at all to do with apostasy in the ranks of those who believe themselves to be Catholics or, Heaven forfend, the consecration of Russia to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart by a true pope with all of the world's bishops.

    Ratzinger/Benedict does not believe triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary that he referred to gratuitously yesterday has nothing at all to do with the consecration of Russia or the conversion of souls to the true Faith, Catholicism. Why did Ratzinger/Benedict make reference to that triumph, therefore? Because it makes life easier for those in the Motu communities and for Bishop Fellay of the Society of Saint Pius X as they bask in the false reassurance that their false "pontiff" is a partisan of the Fatima Message. One cannot believe in a request of a message that conflicts with good relations with those in Russia, whether it be the Communists of yore (and the present day, of course) or the Orthodox at the present time.

    If what happened at Fatima was but a mere "interior vision," then why did each of the children, when being examined by ecclesiastical authorities, give identical testimony as to what they saw with the physical eyes of their bodies? Each had the identical vision? Logic has never been Ratzinger/Benedict's long suit as his rejection of Thomism (both Thomistic Philosophy and Thomistic Theology) has opened up to grow from young adulthood into an old man who has lived in a world of contradiction, paradox and ambiguity which makes it almost impossible for to him to see the fallacies in what he presents as "explanations" of the Faith and the events associated with It.

    Second, Ratzinger/Benedict said yesterday [May 14, 2010] that God "has the power to come to us, particularly through our inner senses, so that the soul can receive the gentle touch of a reality which is beyond the senses and which enables us to reach what is not accessible or visible to the senses." This corresponds with his statement of fourteen years ago:

    It is clear that in the visions of Lourdes, Fatima and other places it is not a question of normal exterior perception of the senses: the images and forms which are seen are not located spatially, as is the case for example with a tree or a house. This is perfectly obvious, for instance, as regards the vision of hell (described in the first part of the Fatima “secret”) or even the vision described in the third part of the “secret”. . . .

    It means rather that the soul is touched by something real, even if beyond the senses. It is rendered capable of seeing that which is beyond the senses, that which cannot be seen—seeing by means of the “interior senses”. It involves true “objects”, which touch the soul, even if these “objects” do not belong to our habitual sensory world. This is why there is a need for an interior vigilance of the heart, which is usually precluded by the intense pressure of external reality and of the images and thoughts which fill the soul. (Theological Commentary on the Fatima Message.)

    Why is it "perfectly obvious" that the images and forms seen, to cite the false "pope's own example, by the fourteen year-old Bernadette Soubirous and Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia "are not located spatially"?

    Our Lady did not actually part the earth and show Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia a vision of Hell that they saw with their own eyes? This was merely an "interior" vision vision of theirs that did not really happen in time and space?

    The the buds on holm oak tree over which Our Lady hovered as she physically appeared to Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia did not change their appearance as seen by eyewitnesses who came to watch them? They were all suffering from mass delusion when they saw the following things? (On Full Display: The Modernist Mind.)

    Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI does not believe in the actual, physical reality of apparitions. When was the last time you heard him make reference to the miraculous conversion of the Catholic-hating Jew named Alphonse Ratisbonne Our Lady appeared to him as in the same image as she appeared to Saint Catherine Laboure of the Daughters of Charity in the convent at Rue du Bac in Paris, France, on November 27, 1830, one hundred eighty years ago. That image, of course, is the one that Our Lady instructed Saint Catherine to have the Miraculous Medal patterned after, demonstrating that he is indeed conceived without stain all of sin and is the Mediatrix of All Graces.

    What?

    Our Lady sought to convert a Jewish man by actually appearing to him. Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI makes no reference to this as he would tell us that Alphonse Ratisbonne merely had an "interior vision" that was unique to the "interior" process of conversion that was taking place within him without his knowing that it was happening. There is only one slight problem with such a Modernist explanation: it is contrary to the truth.

    Perhaps Father Ratisbonne himself can explain the truth to us, aided by an introduction provided by the great foe of all forms of naturalism as he sought to build up the City of Mary Immaculate and was thus a fervent client of the Miraculous Medal a sign of total Marian consecration, Father Maximilian Kolbe, M. I., about his conversion:

    Once again it happened on a train, on April 6, 1924. To tell the truth, that is a place where one can easily meet persons with the most varied ideas. On the train I was relating the story of Ratisbonne's conversion, when a gentleman--one of those who are always ready to pronounce without proofs--observed ironically, "It's so nice to hear you tell all this, Father!" I replied that I could show him documentary proofs of the story, because just some days before I had received from Rome a collection of these, printed in 1892.

    Therefore I wish to publish some extracts from these documents. To begin with, I shall give you same passages of a letter written by Ratisbonne himself to a parish priest, the Director of an Archconfraternity founded to pray for the conversion of sinners.

    (After describing his family background, his wealth, his engagement and the trip he made to the Orient before the marriage--during which he stopped in Rome, despite the aversion he felt for Catholic Rome--Ratisbonne described the efforts of Baron de Bussieres, a zealous Catholic convert from Protestantism, to bring him into the Church. This nettled Ratisbonne. here is how he relates the visit he paid to Baron de Bussieres.)

    "On entering M. de Bussieres' house I met with a first disappointment, because the maid, instead of simply taking my visiting card, immediately brought me into the parlor. As far as I could, I tried to dissimulate my ennui behind a feigned smile, and I sat down next to Baroness de Bussieres, near whom her two little daughters were playing. The conversation began with the usual insignificant topics, but soon I was displaying the passionate dislike with which I described the impressions I had received in Rome. In a condescending sort of way I considered Baron de Bussieres a devout person. Consequently, because this was a favorable opportunity for me, I did not refrain from some rather cutting remarks about the situation of the Jews in Rome, which relieved my feelings somewhat. However, it was these complaints of mine that brought the conversation around to religion. He spoke to me of the greatness of Catholicism. But I answered sarcastically with objections that I myself had read or that I had heard from others. However, I restrained my impious assertions somewhat, so as not to shock the faith of the little girls playing near us. Finally M. de Bussieres said to me: 'Well, inasmuch as you condemn all prejudices and profess such liberal principles, and because yours is such an enlightened and advanced mind, would you be brave enough to submit yourself to a harmless experiment?'

    "What experiment?"

    "'To carry about with you an object that I will give you. Here, take this image of the most Blessed Virgin. That sounds ridiculous to you, doesn't it? However, I consider it very effective.'

    "I must admit that I had never expected such a proposition. At first I felt like bursting out laughing and shrugging my shoulders. But then I thought, 'What a splendid story this scene will make in the account of my trip!' So I accepted the medal which was placed around my neck. When I rested on my breast I laughed aloud and said, 'Well, well! Now I am a Catholic! . . . Apostolic . . . and Roman!'

    "M. de Bussieres was genially triumphant over the victory he had won, but wanting to exploit it to the full, he said, '"Now, to complete the test, you must recite, morning and evening, the Memorare, a very short, but very efficacious prayer to the most Blessed Virgin, composed by St. Bernard.'

    "But what on earth is this Memorare?" I exclaimed. Let's have done with all this mummery!

    "At that moment I felt a great surge of vexation. The name of St. Bernard made me remember my brother, who had written the life of this saint. I had never been willing to take the book in my hands. But his souvenir awakened my rage against proselytism, against the Jesuits and against those whom I called hypocrites and apostates.

    "So I begged M. de Bussieres to let it go at that, and making a joke of the affair, I told him I was sorry that I could not offer him even a single Hebrew prayer in return and that consequently I would have to remain in his debt. The fact was that I did not know any prayers at all. However, my adversary insisted that if I refused to say this short prayer, the whole test would fail, and thus I would prove that I was only an obstinate unbeliever. Since I attached no importance whatever to the matter I finally promised to recite the prayer. He went to get a copy of it right way and asked me to write it out. I agreed, but on the condition that he would give me the original and keep my handwritten copy. What I wanted to do in fact was to add to my notebook the new 'pledge of justice.'

    So we finally came to an agreement. At the end we parted, and I spent the rest of the evening at the theater, forgetting all about the medal and the prayer. When I returned to my lodgings, however, I found a visiting card from M. de Bussieres, who had come to return my visit. He invited me to stop at his house again before leaving Rome. since I had to give the prayer back to him, after packing my valises in view of my departure the next day, I sat down and copied the prayer. It ran: 'Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known hat anyone who fled to thy patronage, sought thy aid, or implored thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother; to thee I come, before I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O mother of the Incarnate Word, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.'

    "I wrote out the words of St. Bernard without paying any attention to them. It was late; I was tired and was about to fall asleep standing up.

    "Next day, January 16th, I got everything ready for my departure. But as I went about I found myself constantly repeating the words of that prayer. My God, how had they taken such possession of my imagination?

    (Ratisbonne goes on to relate how M. de Bussieres persuaded him to delay leaving so as to have a chance to see the Pope, Gregory XVI. In the meantime he brought his guest to visit some of the Christian antiquities, which gave him a chance ot discuss religious topics.)

    "Everything our eyes beheld--monuments, paintings, the local customs--became topics of conversation. All this led on to various religious questions. M. de Bussieres brought them up so simply and spoke of them so enthusiastically that sometimes in the depths of my heart I thought 'If anything can turn a man aside from religion, it is certainly the persistence some people show in trying to convert him!' My natural irreverence led me to make fun even of most serious things. To my barbed remarks I added an infernal fire of blasphemies, which I no longer have the courage even to think of today. In spite of all this, however, M. de Bussieres, while expressing his disappointment, remained indulgent and calm. Once he even went so far as to say, 'In spite of your irritation, I am sure that sooner or later you will become a Catholic, because deep in your nature there resides a naturally straightforward judgment, and this tells me that you will let God enlighten you, even if he has to send an angel from heaven to do it.'

    "All right," I replied jokingly, "but let it be when I am in a good mood; otherwise, the thing might off badly.

    "As our carriage was passing near the Scala Santa, M. de Bussieres stood up and doffed his hat, exclaimed, 'Hail, O sacred stairway! Here is a sinner who will mount you on his knees some day!'

    "I cannot express what I felt at the idea of paying homage to a stairway! I laughed heartily, as at something entirely unreasonable. Later, as we were passing by the lovely villas and gardens that lined the sides of Nero's aqueduct, I too raised my voice, and using the same words as he, I exclaimed, 'Hail, ye truly divine marvels! Before you one should bow his head and  not before a staircase of whatever kind!'

    (Ratisbonne continues with the story of his meeting with some Protestant friends on January 20th, in a cafe where they were reading the papers.)

    "As I left the cafe, I meet M. de Bussieres' carriage, and he invited me for a ride. As it was a beautiful day, I willingly accepted. When we got to the church of Saint' Andrea delle Fratte, M. de Bussieres excused himself for a moment, because he had an errand to run. He asked me to wait for him in the vehicle; but instead I preferred to get down and visit the church. Within they were preparing a catafalque for a funeral, so I asked the Baron, 'Whose funeral is it?'

    "'The Count de Laferronays',' he replied, 'a good friend of mine who died suddenly. That is why you may have found me rather glum these last couple of days.'

    "I did not know the count; had never seen him in fact. So the news did not make any special impression on me, beyond that produced by the information about a sudden death. M. de Bussieres left because he had to see about preparing the place where the family of the deceased would sit. 'Excuse me me for a few minutes,' he said, as he went into the monastery. 'I shall be back shortly.'

    (On February 18th and 19th, in the deposition he made during the investigative process set up to make clear the circumstances of his conversion. Ratisbonne stated the following among other things.)

    "When I traversed the church, I arrived at the spot where they were getting ready for the funeral. Suddenly I felt interiorly disturbed, and saw in front of me something like a veil. It seemed to me that the entire church had been swallowed up in shadow, except one chapel. It was as thought all the light was concentrated in that single place. I looked over towards this chapel whence so much light shone and above the altar I saw a living figure standing, tall, majestic, beautiful and full of mercy. It was the most Holy Virgin Mary, resembling her figure on the Miraculous Medal of the Immaculate. At this sight I fell on my knees right where I stood; several times I attempted to lift my eyes towards the Most Blessed Virgin, but respect and the blinding light forced me to lower my gaze; this, however, did not prevent me from seeing the luminosity of the apparition. I fixed my glance on her hands, and in them I could read the expression of mercy and pardon. In the presence of the most Blessed Virgin, even though she did not speak a word to me, I understood the frightful situation I was in, the heinousness of sin, the beauty of the Catholic religion . . . in a word, I understood everything.

    "When he returned, M. de Bussieres found me kneeling, my head resting on the railing of the chapel where the most Blessed Virgin had appeared, and bathed in tears. I do not understand how I managed to get to the railing, because I had fallen to my knees on the other side of the nave, and the catafalque stood between me and the chapel. I must add that the feeling that accompanied my weeping was one of gratitude towards the Blessed Virgin and of pity for my family, buried in the darkness of Judaism, for heretics and for sinners. M. de Bussieres raised me up and, still weeping, I told him, 'Oh, that person must have prayed very much for me,' thinking of the deceased Count de Laferronays. [Father Kolbe note: "M. de Bussieres had in fact recommended Ratisbonne to the prayers of M. de Laferronays."]

    "He asked me several questions, but I could not answer, so deeply was I moved. So he took me by the hand, led me out of the church to the carriage and helped me to get in. Then he asked me where I wanted to go.

    "Take me wherever you like," I said, "after what I have seen, I will do anything you want."

    "'But what did you see?' he asked me.

    "I cannot tell you; but please bring me to a confessor, and I will tell him everything on my knees."

    "He brought me to the church of the Gesu, to a Jesuit, Father Villefort, to whom in the presence of M. de Bussieres, I related all that had happened to me."

    (In his letter he continues.)

    "All I can say of myself comes down to this: that in an instant a veil fell from my eyes; or rather not a single veil, but many of the veils which surrounded me were dissipated one after the other, like snow, mud and ice under the burning rays of the sun. I felt as though I were emerging from a tomb, from a dark grave; that I was beginning to be a living being, enjoying a real life. And yet I wept. I could see into the depths of my frightful misery, from which infinite mercy had liberated me. My whole being shivered at the sight of my transgressions; I was shaken, overcome by amazement and gratitude. I thought of my brother with indescribable joy; and to my tears of love there were joined tears of compassion. How many persons in this world, alas, are going down unknowingly into the abyss, their eyes shut by pride and indifference!They are being swallowed up alive by those horrifying shadows; and among them are my family, my fiancee, my poor sisters. What a bitter thought! My mind turned to you, whom I love so much; for you I offered my first prayers. Will you some day raise your eyes towards the Savior of the world, whose blood washed away original sin? How monstrous is the stain of that sin, because of which man no longer bears the resemblance to God!

    "They asked me now I had come to know these truths, since they all knew that I had never so much as opened a book dealing with religion, head not even read a single page of the Bible, while the dogma of original sin, entirely forgotten or denied by modern Jews, had never occupied my mind for a single instant. I am no sure that I had even heard its name. So how had I come to know these truths? I cannot tell' all I know is that when I entered the church, I was ignorant of all this, whereas when I left I could see it all with blinding clarity. I cannot explain this change except by comparing myself to a man who suddenly awakens from deep sleep or to someone born blind who suddenly acquires sight. He sees, even though he cannot describe his sensations or pinpoint what enlightens him and makes it possible for him to admire the things around him. If we cannot adequately explain natural light, how can we describe a light the substance of which is truth itself? I think I am expressing myself correctly when I say that I did not have any verbal knowledge, but had come to possess the meaning and spirit of the dogmas, to feel rather than see these things, to experience them with the help of the inexpressible power which was at work within me.

    "The love of God had taken the place of all other loves, to such an extent that I loved even my fiancee, but in a different way. I loved her like someone whom God held in his hands, like a precious gift which inspires an even greater love for the giver."

    (As they wanted to delay his Baptism, Ratisbonne pleaded.)

    "What? The Jews who heard the preaching of the apostles were baptized at once; and you wish to delay Baptism for me who have heard the Queen of the apostles?"

    "My emotion, my ardent desires and my prayers finally induced these good men to fix a date for my Baptism. I awaited the appointed day with impatience, because I realized how displeasing I was in the eyes of God.

    (Finally the 31st of January came. He described his Baptism.)

    "Immediately after Baptism I felt myself filled with sentiments of veneration and filial love for the Holy Father; I considered myself fortunate when I was told that I would be granted an audience with the Pontiff, accompanied by the General of the Jesuits. In spite of all this I was quite nervous, because I had never frequented the important people of this world; although these important people seemed to me too insignificant when compared to true grandeur. I must confess that I included among these great ones of the world the one who on this earth holds God's highest power, i.e., the pope, the successor of Jesus Christ himself, whose indestructible chair he occupies.

    "Never will I forget my trepidation and the beatings of my heart when I entered the vatican and traversed the spacious courtyards and majestic halls leading to the sacred premises where the pope resides. When I beheld him, though, my nervousness suddenly gave way to amazement. He was so simple, humble and paternal. This was no monarch, but a father who with unrestrained love treated me like a cherished son.

    "O good God! Will it be thus when I appear before you to give you an account of the graces I hare received? Awe fills me at the mere thought of God's greatness, and I tremble before his justice; but at the sight of his mercy my confidence revives, and with confidence so will my love and unbounded gratitude.

    "Yes, gratitude will from now on be my law and my life . I cannot express it in words; so I shall strive to do so in deeds. The letters received from my family give me full liberty; I wish to consecrate this liberty to God, and I offer it to him from this very moment, along with my whole life, to serve the Church and my brothers under the protection of the most Blessed Virgin Mary." (Father Anselm W. Romb, OFM Conv., Commentator and Editor, The Writings of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv.: The Kolbe Reader, pp. 22-31.)

    Just an "interior vision"? No, not at all.

    The apparition of Our Lady to the future Father Marie-Alphonse Ratisbonne was no "interior vision." Our Lady herself appeared to the Catholic-hating Jewish man to convert him to the true Faith just as she had appeared to a chosen soul, Saint Catherine Laboure, to show forth her love for us sinful men for whom her Divine Son shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood to redeem and to teach us that all graces that were won for us on the wood of the Holy Cross are sent by her Divine Son through her hands as the Mediatrix of All Graces. And just as the conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne seemed very unlikely in human terms, so was it the case that the sisters of the Daughters of Charity were shocked to learn over forty years after Our Lady had appeared to one of them that it was, of all people, Sister Catherine Laboure who was the chosen soul. God does indeed work in ways that battle not only the minds of "modern" men but of those who are consecrated in His holy service.

    Saint Catherine Laboure's mother died when she was nine years old. She told Our Lady, after picking up and kissing a statue of her "Now you will be mother." Little did Catherine Laboure know just how much that meant to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who was to draw this chosen soul closer and closer to her throughout the course of her lifetime at the dawning of the Age of Mary during the year, 1830, when a second French revolution overthrew the hereditary king of the House of Bourbon, King Charles X, in favor of the "citizen-king," Louis-Philippe, of the House of Orleans, who was overthrown during the French Revolution of 1848. Saint Catherine Laboure was chosen to be the very instrument by which that young Catholic-hating Jew would have access to the Miraculous Medal and then recognize Our Lady's image when she appeared to him in the Church of San Andrea delle Fratte on January 20, 1842.

    Saint Catherine Laboure was given the penance of a confessor, Father Jean-Marie Aladel, who did not at first believe that his penitent was a chosen soul who had been given to see visions of the heart of the founder of her order, Saint Vincent de Paul, or of Christ the King, no less that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's apparition to her as King of men and their nations had a public as well as personal dimension to it as it portended the fall and abdication of King Charles X and the end of France's hereditary monarchy that had been restored following the final defeat and exile of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815. France, the elder daughter of Holy Mother Church, had become a land of instability. But it was in France nevertheless that Our Lord, Christ the King, sought to make His merciful designs known to "modern" men by means of Our Lady's apparitions in France to Saint Catherine Laboure talked and to Melanie Calvert and Maximim Giraud at LaSalette in 1846 and to Saint Bernadette Soubirous in 1858 and to the seers at Pontmain on January 17, 1871.

    Sister Catherine Laboure had an inking that she would see Our Lady on the night of July 18, 1830:

    Catherine's heart was bursting with the certainty that grew and swelled within it, the certainty that something was about to happen, something of great moment. Lying wide awake and staring up at the pale whiteness of the bed curtains, she clutched in her hand her piece of that precious surplice [of Saint Vincent de Paul]. She talked to Saint Vincent a long time in her prayers, telling him again of her soul's dearest wish--to see with her own eyes the Blessed Virgin. It was a startling wish, a startling prayer, on the lips of this hard-headed, practical peasant girl, but it can no longer surprise us, who have seen her intense love of the Mother of God take root and burgeon and fructify; nor could it surprise her, who had witnessed the intimate wonders of Heaven, had seen the Lord Himself.

    Suddenly, as if struck with an inspiration, she tore the tiny clothing two and swallowed half of it. It was a simple act of devotion, growing out of a simple faith. Sophisticated rationalists might sniff at it as ludicrous superstition, but those whose believing mothers have signed their brows with the sacred wedding ring and given them holy water to drink will understand.

    A serene peace came over Catherine. In her mind was a single, confident thought: Tonight I shall see her. Tonight I shall see the Blessed Virgin. She closed her eyes and slept.

    She had been sleeping some two hours when a sudden light flickered in the dormitory. The light came from a candle carried by a little child of four or five, a child of extraordinary beauty and so surrounded with radiance that the whiteness of his little gown was dazzling. He approached the bed where Catherine lay. He called her softly:

    "Sister Laboure!"

    She did not stir. He called again, insistently:

    "Sister Laboure!"

    She moved a little, his voice had entered her dreams, and sleep was slipping away. Then:

    "Sister Laboure!" once more, and Catherine awoke, her eyes big and staring. She turned her head in the direction of the sound. It seemed to come from the door. Through the haze of her bad curtains she saw the brightness. She sat up quickly and drew the curtains. The child said:

    "Come to the chapel. The Blessed Virgin awaits you."

    Catherine was not frightened. The child had come to take her to Our Lady; it was the moment she had longed for and prayed for, the great part of her life. Only one thought leaping into her mind made her hesitate: "We shall be discovered!"

    "Do not be uneasy," the radiant vision answered. "It is half past eleven; everyone is asleep. Come, I am waiting for you."

    Catherine jumped out of bed and threw on her clothes. Now, the clothes of a novice Sister of Charity are a complicated bit of costume, and that Catherine could manage them in this highly excitable moment, tying every last ribbon, pinning every last pin, proves as nothing else that she was neither excited, nor upset, nor in ecstasy. She might be going to a rendezvous with Heaven, but the feet that took her there were firmly planted on the earth.

    The child led the way to the door and they passed into the hallway. She was amazed to find the hall lights burning.

    Down the narrow stairs they went, for the chapel was on the first floor. Catherine's wonder mounted: everywhere the lamps were lit, and yet they met no one. Once or twice, in her eagerness, she hurried ahead of her little guide, then fell back in humble confusion.

    Now they were at the chapel, Catherine gasped in astonishment when the heavy door, which must be locked, swung wide open at the child's mere touch. The chapel was ablaze with light! The chandeliers, the candles on the altar, all burned brightly. Why, she thought, it is like a Midnight Mass!

    The child moved on into the sanctuary. Obediently, Catherine followed. He stopped by the chair that the Director used when he gave conferences to the Sisters. Instinctively, Catherine knelt.

    Nothing happened. The Virgin was not there. The child stood calmly waiting, as if for a cure, as if he were part of a play. The minutes were long and the stillness grew loud with noises: the scurry of a mouse, the cracking of a pew, the distant clatter of a carriage. Catherine shifted on her knees. Anxiously she glanced over her shoulder toward the gallery. The night Sisters, up with the sick, might be passing. But there was no one. Suddenly the child spoke:

    "Here is the Blessed Virgin."

    In the same instant Catherine heard a sound like the rustling of a silk dress, and, looking toward the direction of the sound, saw a lady descending the altar steps. The lady seated herself in the Director's chair. As she sat there, she reminded Catherine of St. Anne in the picture over the sacristy door. Catherine's eyes flew to the painting and back to the lady. But no, she was not like St. Anne. A doubt clouded the novice's mind. Was this really the Mother of God? The child reassured her:

    "This is the Blessed Virgin."

    Even this did not allay all her doubts. Was the whole thing a dream, a fancy, of the night? She blushed. The lady was looking at her, waiting. The child spoke again, startling her, for now his voice was a man's voice, deep and commanding and stern. She held back no more, but threw herself at Our Lady's knee and rested her hands in Our Lady's lap. Then she lifted her head and looked up, up into her Mother's eyes. Many years later she was to write with ecstatic remembrance of this moment that it was the sweetest of her life.

    "My child," said Our Lady, "the good God wishes to charge you with a mission."

    But that could wait. This moment was Catherine's; and Mary went on to tell her of God's plans for her, to warn her of the trails that would come upon her, and to show her how she should bear them.

    The good God wished to charge her with a mission. She would meet with many difficulties in carrying it out, but she would overcome the difficulties by thinking upon the glory of God as her reason for doing what He wanted. Most comforting of all, she would know with unerring certainty the Will of God; she would be spiritually secure, for she would recognize at all times what God wanted of her.

    "You will be tormented," Our Lady continued, "until you have told him who is charged with directing you. You will be contradicted, but do not fear, you will have grace. Tell with confidence all that passes within you; tell it with simplicity. Have confidence. Do not be afraid."

    "You will see certain things: give an account of what you see and hear. You will be inspired in your prayers: give an account of what I tell you and of what you will understand in your prayers."

    "The times are very evil. Sorrows will come upon France; the throne will be overturned. The whole world will be upset by miseries of every kind." As she delivered herself of this ominous prophecy, pain crossed the Virgin's face. There was a remedy however:

    "Come to the foot of the altar." she indicated the spot. "There graces will be shed upon all, great and little, who ask for them. Graces will be especially shed upon those who ask for them."

    "Then the Mother of god turned her attention to the Vincentian Fathers and the Sisters of Charity. "My child, I particularly love to shed graces upon your Community; I love it very much," she said. "It pains me that there are great abuses in regularity, that the rules are not observed, that there is much relaxation in the two Communities. Tell that to him who has charge of you, even though h

              

    At the Point of No Return as Captain Kangaroo Holds Court

     Cache   

    The ongoing effort to take down President Donald John Trump has entered a somewhat decisive phase now that the impeachment circus has commenced. There is no need, at least as far as I see it, to discuss the simple fact that this effort began during the administration of then President Barack Hussein Obama/Barry Soetoro and has been continued by the mammoth network of American intelligence communities with the assistance of the current president’s own Cabinet and sub-Cabinet appointees and numerous career bureaucrats who believe that it is their duty to “supervise” a duly elected president whose policies meet with their disdainful disapproval.

    How Trump Has Enabled Those Who Have Sought and Continue to Seek His Ruin

    Before discussing the coup itself, which, as Andrew McCarthy opined recently is being undertaken not necessarily to remove President Donald John Trump but to weaken him politically, something that, it would appear, might not occur given how Captain Kangaroo's coup hearings are unfolding as his self-shaped narrative of impeachable conduct unravels before his very eyes, it should be noted yet again that Trump’s lack of preparedness to be president and his ignorance of the necessity of staffing a president’s political appointees who are the nominal, sometimes very, very nominal, superiors of the career apparatchiks in the administrative state have resulted in a White House staff is that unusually at odds with itself and that leaks like a sieve even from those are supposed to be his allies and not the plants put there by the intelligence community.

    Although, I have noted this in the past on several occasions, it is necessary, as I see it, to do so yet again as readers can forget what they have read, especially with all the verbiage available in cyberspace with just the press of a finger on a hyperlink. Repetition is the mother of learning.

    First, Donald John Trump knew nothing about the Constitution of the United States of America before his election on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. He still knows nothing about the Constitution of the United States of America. While I am a critic of the false principles underlying the Constitution, it is nonetheless true that it is the governing charter of the Federal government. One who aspires to be the chief executive of the United States of America ought to have some familiarity with the provisions of the document that outlines the responsibilities and powers of the Federal government, including the limitations upon the exercise of those powers. 

    Mind you, Barack Hussein Obama/Barry Soetoro and all other statists of the false opposite of the naturalist “left” had contempt for the Constitution of the United States of America because he believed it to be an “outdated” document that had to be deconstructed of its actual meaning to provide for the alleged “needs” of “the people” in a “changed” world.

    In other words, the former president and commander-in-chief of the coup against the current president believed in the sort of “living constitution” that can be manipulated by Federal judges and/or ignored by presidents and congresses who have the “needs” of “the people” in mind. This is nothing other than a secular version of the late Karol Josef Wojtyla/John Paul II’s “living tradition,” which was relabeled as the “hermeneutic of continuity” by Antipope Emeritus Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, that is nothing other than condemned Modernist precept of “dogmatic evolutionism.” Jorge Mario Bergoglio, of course, is just an open dogmatic evolutionist without any pretext.

    President Donald John Trump is not a reader. He fashions himself a doer. He simply hath not the attention span to engage in the realm of ideas. He reacts to the world by pure viscera, and he may never realize that his visceral instincts, while correct on some occasions, can never be substituted for a clear-sighted understanding of First and Last Things, ignorance of which consigns any man, including the president, to becoming his own worst enemy over the time and also to becoming easy prey for those who make it appear as though they know the world better (another spoiler alert: military generals and intelligence officials) even though they, the “experts,” are equally clueless about First and Last Things.

    Second, Donald John Trump was also ignorant of the actual complexity of the existence, no less the structure, of the Executive Office of the President, which is a massive behemoth consisting of 1,869 full-time employees. It was as president-elect that Trump remarked to the two-faced man who had tried to sabotage his election and was conspiring even at that time to undermine and cripple his presidency, Barack Hussein Obama/Barry Soetoro, that he, Trump, did not know how many people worked in the White House. Such ignorance was inexcusable and is directly responsible for much of the chaos in his presidency as the man with the gigantic combover of dyed hair was simply unprepared to staff the Executive Office of the President, which is why he “outsourced” much of the personnel selection process of the nogoodniks in the Republican National Committee who cared only about giving their friends cushy jobs and to try to “limit the damage,” as they continue to see it, that could be done if Trump actually did carry through with his threat to “drain the swamp.”

    Third, Donald John Trump, as has been noted on this site several times before, was equally unprepared to name individuals to fill sub-Cabinet positions in the fifteen Cabinet departments of the Federal government. This is how he got saddled with holdovers from the Obama/Soetoro administration, including the nefarious Sally Yates, who served as Acting Attorney General of the United States of America while a New Yorker who is tougher than Trump, Charles H. Schumer, the Minority Leader of the United States Senate, slow-walked the nomination of United States Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions (R-Alabama) to serve as the Attorney General of the United States of America. Obviously, it should go without saying that Trump’s selection of Sessions was mistaken in the first place.

    Fourth, Donald John Trump made a huge mistake by retaining the petty statist and vicious narcissist named James Brien Comey as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.).  Comey should have been fired. Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Andrew McCabe, should have been fired. Even without all of the evidence that has been revealed in the past three years now concerning the corruption within the highest reaches of the F.B.I., the United States Department of Justice (D.O.J.), the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.), the National Security Agency (N.S.A.) and the United States Department of State, Comey and McCabe should never have been retained.

    Fifth, Donald John Trump made a “yuge” mistake, as they say in New York, by thinking that he could schmooze the retained Comey, whose new book confirms that he had contempt for Trump before his election and distrusted him after his inauguration. Trump has far, far too much confidence in his ability to win people over to his side, and it was when he saw that he could not “play” Comey, who has always been every bit the self-seeker, he chose a most inopportune to fire Comey, which played into the latter’s hand perfectly.  Comey wanted a “special counsel” appointed to investigate the nonexistent “collusion” of the Trump campaign with Russia, and he got exactly the man he wanted, deep state’s own Robert Mueller (see an editorial in The Boston Herald on Mueller’s prosecutorial misconduct in his current role as leader of another American coup, Investigators Reveal Bias Against Trump) and Real Clear Politics’ Carl Cannon’s Special Prosecutorial Abuse, when another ill-chosen appointee, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein, chose his former boss at the United States Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division to conduct what has turned out to be an investigation whose scope is ever-widening. 

    These were completely unforced errors. However, Donald John Trump is the epitome of the “carnal man,” which refers not only his notorious behavior as a serial adulterer in each of his three “marriages” but, much, much more importantly, his absolute obsession with himself and how he is viewed by others. There are more important things for a president to do than to be on something called “twitter” all day long as he responds to what the idiots in the chattering class are saying about it.

    Trump also has caused numerous problems for himself by surrounding him with lowlifes such as the late Roy Cohn, the sodomite who mentored him never to admit that he had made mistakes and to attack others without any mercy or distinctions, the weaselly coward and financially crooked Michael Cohen and, of course, the amoral pro-abort named Roger Stone, the thrice married, thrice divorced serial adulterer named Rudolph William Giuliani, who became a pro-abort thirty years ago in order to receive the cross endorsement of the New York State Liberal Party (an endorsement that came with a twenty-five thousand dollar donation), who had absolutely no business being sent on any kind of investigation in Ukraine. There is an investigation to be undertaken in Ukraine, which is the ground zero of the deep state’s effort to thwart Trump's election and to cripple his presidency, but that is the purview of United States Attorney General William Barr and United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut John Durham, not of Rudolph William Giuliani. Trump's trust in Giuliani is similar to the trust that Madame Defarge (also known as Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton) placed in Sidney Blumenthal to run rogue "intelligence" operations for her whilst she was the United States Secretary of State from January 21, 2009, to February 1, 2013.

    Similarly, despite the parade of the cast of characters that walked in and out of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in the Borough of Manhattan, City of New York, New York, President-elect Trump did not acquit himself well when he selected such men as James Mattis, Rex Tillerson and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions to serve in his Cabinet, and the selection of Reince Priebus to be his first White House Chief of Staff was disastrous. Also, the presence of his Kabbalist son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in the White House was ill-advised, to say the very least.

    President Trump was also hamstrung by selected such warmongers as Herbert Raymond “Daddy Warlocks” McMaster and John Bolton, of all people, to serve as his National Security Advisers after his original selectee, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, for whom Barack Hussein Obama/Barry Soetoro had an intense personal animus, was kneecapped as follows by the combined statist likes of Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Brien Comey, Deputy Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Andrew McCabe and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Peter Strzok:

    Oddity No. 1: Then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe personally contacted Flynn on the second full working day of the Trump administration and asked him to meet with FBI agents, a meeting that McCabe reportedly characterized as no big deal. That should have been Flynn’s first red flag. The FBI doesn’t do “no big deal” interviews.  

    McCabe’s request apparently came at the direction of his boss, former FBI Director James Comey, whose now-transparent camera lust led to the nugget last week that he wanted to exploit his perceived — and likely biased — view that the Trump administration would not be sophisticated enough to spot an end run around normal protocols and White House legal counsel.  

    Was there anything legally wrong with Comey’s and McCabe’s duplicitous efforts to lull Flynn into a false sense of security, gain direct, solo access to him and not warn him about lying to agents? Nope. And that’s why his attorney’s probe of that angle went nowhere with the court.

    But “legal” doesn’t mean it was proper. McCabe dispatched Peter Strzok and another agent to do the interview. Pause a moment: Comey, McCabe, Strzok. All three subsequently were fired for cause. Comey’s and Strzok’s strong anti-Trump biases, and McCabe’s conflicted links to the Clinton campaign, are well documented. It is fair to question their motivations for seeking out Flynn the way they did. Their actions were unprecedented for senior-most leadership of the FBI … yes, odd.   

    And so Flynn, who now faces criminal sentencing for lying to FBI agents, was contacted by McCabe, who not only lied to FBI agents but did so, unlike Flynn, while under oath. McCabe remains uncharged. Words such as “odd” and “ironic” fail. (Three Oddities in in FBI Handling of Michael Flynn interview.)

    For present purposes of this commentary, you see, James Brien Comey’s Machiavellian calculation about the unsophisticated nature of the chaotic Trump White House on the second day of its operation proved to be quite successful as it set the stage to cripple President Donald John Trump’s presidency by taking out his National Security Adviser. Moreover, Flynn, who had no reason to lie to FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, about the meeting that he had on December 22, 2016, with Russian Ambassador to the United Nations to ask him to cast a veto on a United Nations resolution condemning the Zionist State of Israel for its continued building of Israeli settlements on the West Bank, found himself under questioning for doing what Jared Kushner wanted done: to protect his beloved State of Israel.  (Flynn-Kislyak Conversation on Israel.)

    In other words, it was the desire to help the Zionists that was used by the DeepStateniks to go after Flynn and thus to use their own strategies to capitalize on Trump’s unpreparedness to govern and the misplaced trust that he put in James Brien Comey.

    Similar unforced errors on the part of Donald John Trump continues to this day, including that unfortunate “tweet” of his on Friday, November 14, 2019, the Feast of Saint Josaphat as the witness he  sought to undermine, former American Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch

    The Bick Stops Squarely At Obama/Soetoro’s Oval Office

    The observations above are not meant in any way to detract from the simple truth that the effort to prevent Donald John Trump from being elected and then, failing that, to undermine his presidency with all manner of false accusations that are then dutifully reported as “real news” by the administrative/deep state’s operatives and stooges within the mainslime media began right in the Oval Office with the imperious Barack Hussein Obama/Barry Soetoro, who said of himself in 2008 that:

    Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for.

    (APPLAUSE)

    We are the change that we seek. We are the hope of those boys who have so little, who've been told that they cannot have what they dreamed, that they cannot be what they imagine.

    Yes, they can. We are the hope of the father who goes to work before dawn and lies awake with doubt that tells him he cannot give his children the same opportunities that someone gave him.

    Yes, he can.

    We are the hope of the woman who hears that her city will not be rebuilt, that she cannot somehow claim the life that was swept away in a terrible storm.

    Yes, she can.

    We are the hope of the future, the answer to the cynics who tell us our house must stand divided, that we cannot come together, that we cannot remake this world as it should be. (Raw Data: Text of Barack Obama's Super Tuesday Speech.) 

    Mind you, the now former President Barack Hussein Obama/Barry Soetoro still believes his own narcissistic rhetoric. He really does believe that he was the “one” we had been waiting for and that not no one was qualified to replace if he did not approve of his successor and was assured that he (or she, another “chosen one,” Madame Defarge) would continue his policies without any qualification. This is what the former self-anointed secular savior of the United States of America said Thursday, November 3, 2016, in an anti-Trump campaign speech in Raleigh, North Carolina:

    I’ve got Republican friends who don't think or act the way Donald Trump does.  This is somebody who is uniquely unqualified.  I ran against John McCain.  I ran against Mitt Romney.  I thought I’d be a better President, but I never thought that the Republic was at risk if they were elected.  And guess what, North Carolina -- the good news is, all of you are uniquely qualified to make sure this guy who is uniquely unqualified does not become President.  You just got to vote.  You just got to vote.  (Applause.)  And the nice thing is, you don’t just have to vote against that guy because you’ve got a candidate who is actually worthy of your vote -- who is smart, and who is steady, and who is tested, is probably the most qualified person ever to run for this office, and that is the next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton.  (Applause.)  (Obama/Soetoro Speech, November 2, 2016.)

    Whether not United States Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, whose report on how the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department’s mishandling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal permitted the malefactors to escape unpunished and criticized in the mildest manner possible, or the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, John Durham, ever state categorically that Obama/Soetoro was (and continues to be) the mastermind of the ongoing coup, it is no more believable that the nefarious duo of James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence from August 9, 2010, to January 20, 2017 and John Brennan, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from March 8, 2013, to January 20, 2017, were acting as “roque agents” in the intelligence community than it was to believe that Lois Lerner was acting on her own when she headed the Exempt Organizations section of the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to thwart the application of “conservative” organizations or that “rogue agents” in the IRS’s Cincinnati, Ohio, office were to blame. It is also implausible that the Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Andrew McCabe’s infamous “insurance policy” against then-candidate Donald John Trump that was heralded in “tweets” by FBI Special Agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page was taken out without some level of White House approval, if not directly from Obama/Soetoro himself. No, no matter what the Horowitz report or Durham findings may state publicly, it is really inarguable that the impetus for the ongoing coup against Donald John Trump was not the brainchild of Barack Hussein “play by the book” Obama/Barry Soetoro.

    The former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency John “I voted Communist Gus Hall, a stooge of the Communist Part of the Soviet Union, for president” Brennan was not acting on his own when he pushed the self-important, above-it-all, self-appointed philosopher king and gatekeeper, James Brien Comey, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation into establishing a false narrative that Trump campaign aides Carter Page and George Pappadapoulous were working in behalf of the government or Russian President Vladimir I. Putin. John Brennan worked for and at the direction of Barack Hussein Obama/Barry Soetoro, and though the proof may never be established directly, there is no doubt that the man who whose own “qualifications” for being president consistent of having served in the Illinois State Senate and for two years in the United States Senate before announcing his campaign for the 2008 Democratic Party presidential nomination, which he won narrowly over the carpetbagging expert in cattle futures named Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton, remains the mastermind behind the effort to prevent Trump’s election and then to thwart his presidency at every step of the way.

    Indeed, Brennan’s role is at the center of United States Attorney John Durham’s investigation:

    In the waning days of the Obama administration, the U.S. intelligence community produced a report saying Russian President Vladimir Putin had tried to swing the 2016 election to Donald Trump.

    The January 2017 report, called an Intelligence Community Assessment, followed months of leaks to the media that had falsely suggested illicit ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin while also revealing that such contacts were the subject of a federal investigation. Its release cast a pall of suspicion over Trump just days before he took office, setting the tone for the unfounded allegations of conspiracy and treason that have engulfed his first term.

    The ICA's blockbuster finding was presented to the public as the consensus view of the nation's intelligence community. As events have unfolded, however, it now seems apparent that the report was largely the work of one agency, the CIA, and overseen by one man, then-Director John Brennan, who closely directed its drafting and publication with a small group of hand-picked analysts.

    Nearly three years later, as the public awaits answers from two Justice Department inquiries into the Trump-Russia probe’s origins, and as impeachment hearings catalyzed by a Brennan-hired anti-Trump CIA analyst unfold in Congress, it is clear that Brennan’s role in propagating the collusion narrative went far beyond his work on the ICA. A close review of facts that have slowly come to light reveals that he was a central architect and promoter of the conspiracy theory from its inception. The record shows that:

    • Contrary to a general impression that the FBI launched the Trump-Russia conspiracy probe, Brennan pushed it to the bureau – breaking with CIA tradition by intruding into domestic politics: the 2016 presidential election. He also supplied suggestive but ultimately false information to counterintelligence investigators and other U.S. officials.
    • Leveraging his close proximity to President Obama, Brennan sounded the alarm about alleged Russian interference to the White House, and was tasked with managing the U.S. intelligence community's response.
    • While some FBI officials expressed skepticism about the Trump/Russia narrative as they hunted down investigative leads, Brennan stood out for insisting on its veracity.
    • To substantiate his claims, Brennan relied on a Kremlin informant who was later found to be a mid-level official with limited access to Putin’s inner circle.
    • Circumventing normal protocol for congressional briefings, Brennan supplied then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid with incendiary Trump-Russia innuendo that Reid amplified in a pair of public letters late in the election campaign.
    • After Trump's unexpected victory, Brennan oversaw the hasty production of the tenuous Intelligence Community Assessment.
    • Departing from his predecessors’ usual practice of staying above the political fray after leaving office, Brennan has worked as a prominent analyst for MSNBC, where he has used his authority as a former guardian of the nation’s top secrets to launch vitriolic attacks on a sitting president, accusing Trump of "treasonous" conduct.

    Now Brennan is among the most vocal critics of the more comprehensive of the two Justice probes, the criminal investigation run by U.S. Attorney John Durham and Attorney General William Barr. "I don’t understand the predication of this worldwide effort to try to uncover dirt, real or imagined, that would discredit that investigation in 2016 into Russian interference," he recently said on MSNBC.

    The Trump-Russia collusion theory was not propagated by a few rogue figures. Key Obama administration and intelligence officials laundered it through national security reporters who gave their explosive claims anonymous cover. Nevertheless, Brennan stands apart for the outsized role he played in generating and spreading the false narrative. (Brennan Was the Prime Mover of Russiagate.)

    This is not all, however, as it was John “Get Out the Vote for Gus Hall” Brennan made sure that the alleged White House hearsay “whistleblower,” Eric Ciaramella, who is a protégé of one Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. (see Alleged Whisteblower Erich Ciaramella Was Biden Guest at State Department Banquet), got to be his—and the administrative state’s—eyes  and ears at the nerve center of the Trump White House (see the very informative video: John Brennan Handpick Ciaramella for White House). Eric Ciaramella also accompanied the aforementioned Biden to Ukraine when the latter attempted to strongarm Ukrainian leaders into firing the prosecutor who was investigation why the Burisma company, which was co-owned by the inexperienced one-time drug addict named Hunter Biden, had received a contract from the Ukrainian government:

    SEN. RAND PAUL: I think [alleged Ukraine whistleblower] Eric Ciaramella needs to be pulled in for testimony... he is a person of interest in the sense that he was at the Ukraine desk when Joe Biden was there and Hunter Biden was working for Ukrainian oligarchs. Simply for that, I think he is a material witness and needs to be brought in, the other question is, while the whistleblower is protected from being fired or from retaliation in court proceedings, the whistleblower is not protected from being asked who gave him the information, because we can't have a country where the private contents of the president's phone calls are leaked to people who are not supposed to be in that loop.

    I think all these questions have to be asked. I don't think the whistleblower statute was never intended to have criminal trials and people put before the penalty of criminal justice without being able to hear from their accusers. So I think ultimately, he should testify. Adam Schiff is going to prevent it in the House. In the Senate, I will be advocating that if it comes to the Senate, we haven't had a vote yet of what the rules should be. By a simple minority, we should make the rules that the president is allowed to call all his witnesses, and then it is up to the president who he wants to call as his witnesses. (Rand Paul Says Ukraine "Whistleblower" is a Material Fact Witness and Must Testify.)

    Ciaramella, it would appear, played a key role in the Obama/Biden White House of trying to “neutralize” Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, meaning that the so-called “whistleblower” (whose very appellation as such is inaccurate as the president of the United States of America is not subject to the jurisdiction and oversight of the intelligence community), meaning that the thirty year-old former “student activist” from Yale is no “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”:

    More information is coming to light regarding CIA analyst and alleged whistleblower Eric Ciaramella. A new report from Judicial Watch revealed Obama-era visitor logs from the White House, which showed Ciaramella’s contacts during his tenure in D.C.

    In their recent analysis of the visitor logs, the nonprofit examined his ties to Alexandra Chalupa, a contractor hired by the DNC during the 2016 election. She reportedly coordinated with Ukraine to investigate President Trump and his former campaign manager Paul Manafort. The logs showed Chalupa visited the White House 27 times and that her point of contact was Ciaramella. Judicial Watch released a detailed list of several other questionable figures who visited the presidential mansion.

    Daria Kaleniuk is the co-founder of the Soros-funded Anti-corruption Action Centre (ANTAC) in Ukraine and visited the White House on December 9, 2015.

    Former adviser Rachel Goldbrenner visited on both January 15 and August 8, 2016. During the time of her visit, Goldbrenner served as an adviser to former UN Ambassador Samantha Power, who was behind the unmasking of Mike Flynn.

    Former European Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland also met with Ciaramella and reportedly was involved in the Clinton-funded dossier. She visited on June 17, 2016. Judicial Watch has released documents revealing that Nuland was involved in the Obama State Department’s “urgent” gathering of classified Russia investigation information, which was disseminated to members of Congress within hours of then-candidate Trump taking office.

    ANTAC Director Artem Sytnyk visited on January 19, 2016. He is tied to the release of documents during the 2016 campaign that were detrimental to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Sytnyk was convicted in Ukraine — along with Serhiy Leshenkco — for releasing official documents about Manafort to interfere with the 2016 election.

    Judicial Watch is calling on Congress to question Ciaramella about these meetings. (Judicial Watch Unearths Visitor Logs from Eric Ciaramella's Time at the White House.)

    Even the Obama White House knew that Hunter Biden’s connections to Burisma were problematic, but the don from Chicago by way of Hawaii wanted to protect his vice president, which is why Ciaramella became a “whistleblower” in the first place:

    Of all the supposedly shocking revelations that have emerged from the impeachment hearings this week, here’s one that the Democrats in Congress hope you don’t hear about: The Obama White House knew that Hunter Biden’s extremely lucrative appointment to the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, which occurred the month after his father was named the administration’s “point person” on Ukraine, reeked of corruption — and they didn’t do anything about it.

    In Congressional testimony Friday, former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch confirmed for Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), that in 2016 the Obama State Department privately ran her through a series of practice questions and answers to prepare Yovanovitch for her Senate confirmation hearing.

    Stefanik confirmed that one specific question Yovanovitch was asked to prepare for was, “What can you tell us about Hunter Biden’s being named to the board of Burisma?” Incredibly, Yovanovitch later testified that the State Department told her to deflect any questions she might get about Hunter Biden and Burisma by referring Senators’ questions to the vice president’s office.

    This admission regarding her senate confirmation prep session was startling, and it flatly contradicted a prior statement Yovanovitch had made in the hearing: “Although I have met former vice president several times over the course of our many years in government service, neither he nor the previous administration ever raised the issue of either Burisma or Hunter Biden with me.” (Obama Administration Knew Hunter Biden was Shady, Witness Admits.)

    When all is said and done, despite Obam/Soetoro’s fear that a President Donald John Trump would overturn ObamaDeathCare, end the globalist policy of “open borders” and reorient American foreign policy according to this country’s legitimate security interests, it is my belief that the principal reason that the former president was so intent on preventing Donald John Trump’s election and then thwarting his presidency thereafter was the latter’s prominent public role in raising questions about the forty-fourth president’s country of birth. Without discounting the fact that the fascistic Obama/Soetoro and the rest of his Jacobin/Bolsehvik adherents of the farthest reaches of the false opposite of the naturalist left do not believe that anyone other than they are qualified or even have the right to hold public office, it is my belief that the Barack Hussein Obama/Barry Soetoro’s visceral hatred for Trump originated with the “birther controversy.” Although Donald John Trump has a pretty thin-skin when it comes to criticism, he is a completely rank amateur in the thin-skinned department in comparison to the prima donna Obama/Soetoro, who was ever ready to use the “race card” to stifle opposition, a ploy that worked more times than not.

    There is no need to address the specifics of the ongoing coup’s end game, impeachment, being led at present by the shameless congenital liar named United States Representative Adam Schiff (D-People’s Republic of California) except to note that the administrative/deep state operatives who have been hard at work for well over three years now in multiple Federal agencies and departments believe that they, not elected officials, set the policy agenda for the government of the United States of America and that anyone who dissents from that agenda must be disobeyed and then accused of betraying what they think are the “best interests of the nation.” It is beyond question now that the career bureaucrats, including those in the intelligence communities, and the foreign service, several of whose self-righteous, preening and posturing creatures have been in the public spotlight this past week, believe that elected officials are so much window-dressing that gives them cover to govern as they “know” is best for us unwashed masses.

    Journalist Sharyl Atkisson made this observation in a different manner:

    Under the U.S. Constitution, it is the president of the United States who determines foreign policy. How can President Trump be “at odds with foreign policy” when he’s the one who determines it?

    President Trump may well have been altering foreign policy on Ukraine. It should be of no surprise that he wasn’t operating “business as usual,” since he ran on that platform and has executed it from day one. It’s clear that Kent and Taylor didn’t like or agree with Trump’s ideas, and believe they know what’s best. Trump rankled, contradicted and “embarrassed” them by operating outside the “regular” chain.

    But they seem to miss the fact that their desires are subordinate to the president’s. “Official foreign policy,” as they called it, is not an independent unmovable-force object that exists outside the president’s authority; it is what the president determines it to be. The diplomats must execute the president’s wishes or resign from their posts if they feel they cannot bring themselves to do so.

    Kent and Taylor genuinely seem to believe Trump was acting for his own political benefit — though they acknowledged they never had spoken to him or met him. Obviously, President Trump would say he was acting in the national interest. But their testimony makes it pretty clear why President Trump would develop a communications chain that would attempt to minimize career diplomats who do not wish to execute his wishes and may be working to undermine them.

    Trump’s enemies may cheer on the idea of diplomats and other officials choosing to oppose or undermine his wishes. But based on our Constitution, the dissenting diplomats are the ones who are at odds with “official foreign policy”— not the other way around. To the extent they are attempting to further policies that oppose or undermine the president’s wishes, they are the ones conducting the “shadow campaign.” (The President, Not Diplomats, Sets 'Official Foreign Policy'. See also What impeachment is really all about.)

    Even though President Donald John Trump was ill-advised mention in his July 25, 2019, phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, regardless of any nonexistent threat to withhold American military assistance even if that assistance was delayed for a time, something several of the unusually taciturn Vice Preisdent Michael Richard Pence’s aides were concerned might cause a political problem, the previous administration, that under Barack Hussein Obama/Barry Soetoro and Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., constantly threatened predominantly Catholic and/or Mohammedan nations to change their laws that defended the inviolability of the preborn child and criminalized sodomite behavior:

    Last month, the eyes of the world were on Africa as President Obama welcomed Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari to the White House and, for the first time as president, visited his father's home country of Kenya.
     
    Reports indicate that Buhari and U.S. President Barack Obama discussed the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram, as well as possible political and economic reforms for Buhari's struggling country. Similar discussions took place in Kenya.
     
    While all seemed well on the public front, the reality is that both Buhari's and Obama's visits were used by the White House to promote what Pope Francis called "ideological colonization." This agenda was let slip just days before Buhari arrived in Washington, when the U.S. State Department indicated it would push the Nigerian government to redefine marriage.

    According to the Nigerian Pilot, America's Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, told reporters that "[a]s a policy, we will continue to press the government of Nigeria, as well as other governments which have provided legislation that discriminates against the LGBT community."

    Thomas-Greenfield defended the pressure, saying it was not international interference in Nigeria's domestic affairs, but rather is "very much a work in progress...I think you will agree with me that the law in Nigeria really went far in discriminating against this community but also people who associate with them. So, we will continue to press the government, to press the legislature to change these laws and provide human rights for all Nigerian people regardless of their sexual orientation."
     
    Across Africa, millions of people face starvation, war, oppression, poverty, and death due to a lack of basic aid. For decades, the United States has provided myriad forms of aid designed to help nations surpass these problems.
     
    Under the Obama administration, however, humanitarian aid has often come with a price tag: Abandoning traditional values, especially those related to contraception, abortion, and marriage.
     
    In 2011, Obama issued a memorandum that directed all U.S. embassies worldwide to promote LGBT rights, which he said were "central to the United States commitment to promoting human rights."
     
    "Under my Administration, agencies engaged abroad have already begun taking action to promote the fundamental human rights of LGBT persons everywhere," he said.
     
    That same year, the administration made aid to Nigeria dependent upon its not enacting the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act. And before she stepped down as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton compared same-sex relationships to race and sex in a speech that left African leaders furious.
     
    Last year, at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden both suggested that Africa's war-torn, impoverished nations could attract economic and development aid from the West by becoming more gay-friendly.
     
    This is social engineering at its finest, but it is not limited to redefining marriage. Contraception and abortion policies -- euphemized as "family planning" -- are also pushed upon Nigeria, whose citizens have rejected these mandates, which they consider harmful anti-women policies.
     
    Again, this "ideological colonization" is not limited to Nigeria. During his visit to Kenya, Obama publicly lectured president Uhuru Kenyatta on his nation's laws against same-sex sexual relationships. According to CNN, sexual relationships between males over 14 is illegal, and punishable by as many as 14 years in prison.
     
    This is the same administration that has spent substantial political capital on a deal with Iran that includes scant reforms in that dictatorial, terrorist-supporting nation, and opened relations with Cuba despite requiring few, if any, political reforms from the Castro dictatorship.
     
    African leaders have long opposed Obama's 21st-century imperialism, especially religious leaders. In October, Ignatius Kaigama, the Archbishop of Jos in Nigeria - whose diocese is in the heart of the area affected by terrorist organization Boko Haram - and Bishop Joseph Osei-Bonsu of Ghana told me that they were tired of international pressure to legalize gay marriage.
     
    The Nigerian prelate explained, "Marriage is between a man and a woman... even outside of scriptural support, our culture tells us that, nature tells us that."
     
    And despite threats of denial of much-needed aid, he says, Africans will not capitulate to the demands. "These are our cultures, and we're not going to compromise over them."
     
    Former Population Research Institute Media and Research Coordinator Anne Morse, who is beginning a doctoral program on population studies, was recently in Kenya. An observation she made on Facebook is instructive:
     
    "Dear President Obama," wrote Morse, "[please] justify why--for every dollar USAID spends on water and sanitation in Kenya--it spends TWELVE dollars on family planning." Morse noted that she "[had] seen 4 advertisements for condoms today, but hasn't had a hot shower since Sunday."
     
    The worst example of America's new-age imperialism is found in the growing evidence that President Obama purposely withheld aid to fight the terrorist group Boko Haram. While Buhari's predecessor has been accused of refusing U.S. aid to fight Boko Haram, what has been less reported is that the refusal came in part because the United States demanded Nigeria change its laws on marriage.
     
    These accusations aren't just coming from Catholic bishops. A former U.S. Congressman, a Pentagon Army spokespersona Nigerian official, and the Nigerian Ambassador to the United States have all confirmed this is the case. To quote Ambassador Adebowale Adefuye in his statement to the Council on Foreign Relations, "the U.S. government has up till today refused to grant Nigeria's request to purchase lethal equipment that would have brought down the terrorists within a short time."
     
    Nigerian-American Winnie Obike, a Ph.D. candidate in political communications at the University of Maryland, told me that she is "appalled by the Obama administration's foreign policy objectives for the African continent."
     
    "It is ironic that a president who has passionately apologized for America's 19th and 20th century imperialism has adopted a twenty-first century imperialism toward Africa by forcing nations to change their beliefs on marriage, abortion and contraception in exchange for basic humanitarian aid," said Obike, who was the Minority Outreach Coordinator for the Minnesota for Marriage Campaign.
     
    "Nigeria and other African nations need humanitarian aid and help fighting terrorist groups like Boko Haram, not the West's declining values," said Obike. "I urge President Buhari not to compromise traditional values in exchange for foreign aid."
      
    In 2009, President Obama was given a Nobel Peace Prize because many hoped he would lead the world to greater peace and security. With less than 18 months left in his time in office, he can finally earn the award by setting aside his own ideology and focusing on the real aid needed by Nigerians, Kenyans, and many other Africans. (Obama's Twenty-first Century Imperialism on Display in Africa.)

    How was this not impeachable and Trump’s putative threat to withhold military assistance to Ukraine that was granted after a delay of five weeks considered impeachable?

    Well, there is intimidation and then, I suppose, there is intimidation.

    A complete farce.

    Moreover, what business does the government of the United States of American even have in Ukraine that justifies the sending of American military equipment and technology?

    It is not an accident that many of the self-important military figures have testified before United States Representative Adam “Captain Kangaroo” Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee as these war hawks believe in endless war, and it does not matter to them that civilian control of the military is vested by Article II in the President of the United States of America. It is the president, not military officers nor career foreign service officers who establish American military and foreign policy.

    President Dwight David Eisenhower was a globalist in his own right who had the blood of countless numbers of Catholics from Eastern Europe who were forcibly “repatriated” to the countries, then under the yoke of Soviet domination, were executed as “traitors” once they had been returned (“Operation Keelhaul”). Nevertheless, though, Eisenhower, a graduate of the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, and a career military office, understood the dangers posed by the military-industrial complex, some of whose contemporary products deem it to be an act of “commitment to the truth” to cooperate in the takedown of their Commander-in Chief, which he expressed as follows in his Farewell Address to the Nation on January 17, 1961:

    Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small,there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research-these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.

    But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs-balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage-balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between action of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.

    The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well, in the face of stress and threat. But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise. I mention two only.

    A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

    Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peace time, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

    Until the la

              

    Stone, Winifred

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    Winifred F. Stone November 27, 2019 Winifred F. Stone, 93, passed away on Wednesday, November 27th. Winifred retired from the Jewish Home after 30...
              

    A letter from home

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    A German woman discovered that her childhood home was stolen from a Jewish family who fled Nazi Germany. Last year, she tracked down the address of one of the children, and wrote him a letter.
              

    Essays On Jewish History And Literature And Kindred Subjects Volume 1

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    Essays On Jewish History And Literature And Kindred Subjects Volume 1
              

    Faculty Forum: Global Scholars Program RFP Information Session

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    Event Date: 
    Wednesday, December 4, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
    Kent Hall, 1140 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10027 Room 617
    Faculty interested in the Global Scholars Program are invited to an upcoming information session on December 4, 2019, from noon to 1:00 p.m. in 617 Kent Hall, the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies. The proposal deadline is January 31, 2020. Please review the distinct eligibility and application requirements for each at the above, for they vary.
    Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement
    Event Type: 
    Location: 

              

    Language And Jewish Thought Patterson David

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    Language And Jewish Thought Patterson David
              

    Psalms 103:2

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    Psalms 103:2 “Praise the LORD, my soul, and don’t forget all his benefits,” ❤ Jewish Bible Complete
              

    BWW Review: Tony Kushner Inserts Himself Into His Early Effort, A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY

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    Six years before the world premiere of part one of his eventual Pulitzer-winning, monumental theatre epic ANGELS IN AMERICA, Tony Kushner was an inexperienced 26-year-old playwright who, as inexperienced 26-year-old playwrights are wont to do, wrote and directed an Off-Off Broadway play about young, optimistic bohemians living in Berlin during the rise of Adolf Hitler, which was regularly interrupted by a then-contemporary character offering commentary on the parallels between the emergence of the Third Reich and what was going on in America at the present time.

    Jonathan Hadary, Nikki M. James and
    Crystal Lucas-Perry (Photo: Joan Marcus)

    Since this was 1985, A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY targeted the trickle-down administration of AIDS-ignorer Ronald Reagan. The play wasn't exactly an earth-shaker, but one audience member who saw talent in its author was Oskar Eustis, then co-artistic director of San Francisco's Eureka Theatre. Eustis not only directed a new production for his company, but also commissioned Kushner to write the play that would define his career.

    With word of ANGELS IN AMERICA spreading, Joseph Papp then produced A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY at The Public. The earth remained unshaken and the piece was pretty much regulated to obscurity.

    Which brings us to the wild new production that returns the drama to The Public, again directed by very the politically-minded Eustis, now that company's artistic director .

    Crystal Lucas-Perry, a whirlwind of frenetic energy and a damn good blues singer, plays the Reagan-era character with the Old Testament name Zillah (previous played at The Public by performance artist Reno as a Jewish Long Islander), but now she's joined by a stand-in for Kushner himself, named Xillah, played by Jonathan Hadary as a folksy intellectual progressive.

    "It's his first play, this play. It's never worked," Zillah informs viewers after complaining to Xillah that he never bothered to give her "even a trace of a backstory or anything oppositional to do... except creep in between the Berlin scenes to fret and fume ineffectually at the audience about Ronald Reagan."

    Xillah is willing to admit that the play doesn't "entirely" work, and yet after years of strictly college productions ("no professional theater would touch the goddamned thing") reaction to the current presidential administration has prompted interest.

    "Things are so bad people want to do this play!" he incredulously reports.

    That incredulousnes