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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Kaddish Prayer for Those in Slaughter in Jerusalem Synagogue

How to Say The kaddish in Hebrew.  

It's the prayer for the mourners which is now posted on YouTube,  done so well that I wanted it on my blog.  We have just had a tragic slaughter in Jerusalem and this is the reason I find the prayer, the kaddish posted on facebook.

4 rabbis had come to visit Israel and were in a synagogue at 7am in West Jerusalem, one I may have visited when I was there.  3 were American-Israelis with American passports and the other was a British-Israeli.  They were butchered with cleavers, hatchets, knives in an attempt by 2 young Palestinians to behead them, evidently.  6 others davening there with the rabbis were injured and are in the hospital.

There is no excuse whatsoever for such a primitive and bloody act, other than the fact that both Hamas has been inciting all Palestinians and Fatah rewards such people by naming places after them.  If they think that this will weaken Israel's resolve in their government's agenda, they should think again.  This will only make them more resolved to carry out their programs.  You cannot let terrorists dictate what happens to you.

This is being referred to as the start of the 3rd Intifada.  I said it had already started months ago.  It's too bad that Palestinians who want to just live like normal folk have to be led by such conniving men like Mahmoud Abbas from Fatah  and  Khaled Mashal of  Hamas terrorists, both fanatics with different styles.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Friday, October 31 Day of Rage in Israel

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                     

                                         Fatah (PLO) Mahmoud Abbas

A rabbi has been shot in a serious assassination attempt by a Hamas terrorist .  The terrorist is now dead  from a shootout with the police and is a martyr according to the Arabs.  The rabbi is in critical condition.  All he wanted was the right to pray on the site where our Temple used to stand.  The Arabs won't allow even a slight movement of the lips, thinking the person is praying.  If this is seen, he is arrested.
 Though all of Jerusalem is Israel's capital, this site, the Temple Mount site on Mt. Moriah, is taboo to Jews as a place to pray through Moshe Dayan's decision at the end of the 1967 war in keeping peace with Jordan.
Now, Friday has been declared "A Day of Rage," as if this attack wasn't enough for the Arabs.  They've been rioting for several weeks as it is in Jerusalem.  They pick on Friday, their day of rest and prayer to rage.  Friday evening is the start of the Jewish sabbath and Friday in the United States is Halloween, the night of trick or treaters out to get candy.
It is Fatah, former PLO, who are led by Mahmoud Abbas that declares this day one of rage.  They even call on their fighters, yes, they do have fighters, to defend Al-Aqsa.  This is referring to the Mosque of Omar, aka Dome of the Rock which was built on the Temple area of Jerusalem by the Caliph Abd el-Malik in the 8th century CE.
El Aksa, which in Arabic means the farthest from Mecca and this site supposedly marks the site of the legendary flight of Mohammed from Mecca to Jerusalem on his flying horse.

Abbas also calls for aid "OCCUPIED" Jerusalem.  They're not as aware of facts like Jordan's King Abdullah, who knows that Jordan lost the War of 1967 and thus lost land that Abdullah I had taken illegally.  Jerusalem is again in the hands of Jews which their king David (1010-970 BCE) had built.  In fact, it's called the City of David.  Palestinian Arabs lived in Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967, 19 years without Jews around.  Jews have lived there for over 3,000 years minus 19 years.  Well, you have to say that they are persistent if nothing else.  Once they start a fable, they stick to it.  They don't want to be confused with the facts.

Abbas is calling for his day of rage big time.  The announcement was published by the Fatah Mobilization and Organization Commission today.  The Day of Rage is to happen throughout Israel and in countries which are home to refugees. 

 They are to express their opposition to ANY  attack on the holy places and foremost among them is the Al-Aqsa Mosque.  They consider desecration of Al-Aqsa as a declaration of a religious war against the Palestinian people and the Arab Islamic nations.

All this is read into their minds from some Jews who just want to pray there but haven't been allowed to do so, even by their own Israeli government.  How terrible!  Praying!

There hasn't been any act of aggression to desecrate any mosque in Israel.  It's what they perceive to happen.  It turns out that what they would do to Israelis they see and think that this is in the works by Israelis.  They don't get it that we don't do things to others that we wouldn't want to happen to us.  It's our Golden Rule.  It's Judaism in a nutshell.


Jerusalem Temple Mount Faithful Head Suffers Assassination Attempt

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                    

An assassination attempt was made on the head of the Temple Mount Faithful organization in Jerusalem, Rabbi Yehuda Glick, last night, October 29, 2014 outside of the Begin Center.  He had just been in a conference about the Jewish presence on the Temple Mount.
                                           Begin Center, Jerusalem

Glick has dual citizenship with the USA and Israel and has advocated for Jews to have the right to pray on the Temple Mount, which they are not allowed to do because the grounds and Mosque are in Jordan's hands and they won't allow it.  Glick himself was arrested last October for praying on the Temple thus was barred from there.  The decision was reversed following a 12-day hunger strike.  He has been constantly threatened all the time for wanting to pray there.

This Temple Mount area is the site of the Jews' Temple built by King Solomon (961-920 BCE). Jews had prayed in their Temple for over 1,000 years before the Romans destroyed it.   The Babylonians had attacked and destroyed the Temple in 586 BCE, but Jews finally were allowed to go back and rebuild it.  Again, it was destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans.
                                             Dome of the Rock (Mosque of Omar)

 Then, a Roman temple was built later on the site, and since the Moslem Period when Mohammad died in 632 CE, a mosque has stood there which is the Mosque of Omar, also called the Dome of the Rock.  It was built in the center of the Temple area (al-Harim ash-Sherif) in Jerusalem by Caliph Abd al-Malik in about 738 to replace the temporary structure set up by Caliph Omar a century earlier.  It is situated on the traditional site of Mt. Moriah.   The area around the western and southern walls of the Herodian Temple compound was excavated  after the Six Day War of 1967 in 1968.  Moshe Dayan agreed to letting the Mosque and grounds remain in the hands of Jordan in order to keep the peace.
 Rabbis have also come out to say that the site is no longer holy to us.  The Temple Mount Faithful have been making plans to build a 3rd Temple.  Plans may have started as early as 1967, but I know that they were in progress in 1980 as I was able to meet my 3rd cousin, Stanley Goldfoot in Jerusalem and he showed me their plans which was a diagram on a scroll of the future Temple.  Stanley had been the chief of Intelligence for the Stern Group before Israel's birth of May 14, 1948.  Like Boy Scouts, they wanted to be prepared for the right time to rebuild, but hadn't decided on where that would be.
The shooter was 32 year old Palestinian Mu taz Hijazi, an Islamic Jihad activist who was wearing a helmet and got away on a motorcycle.  He had shot Glick 3 times.  Hijazi went up to Glick and asked him to identify himself and then shot him in the chest and stomach.

Hijazi was killed early Thursday morning in East Jerusalem after a shootout with the police.  Officers came to arrest him and were then shot at by Hijazi.  They shot back and he was killed.  Hijazi had a record and had been arrested and had served 11 years in an Israeli prison.  He got out in 2012.

Islamic Jihad said they took responsibility.  This was an act of Palestinian vengeance in response to what is happening in Jerusalem.  Right now Glick is fighting for his life and the latest report 2 hours ago is that he is in critical condition.   There has been much rioting going on in Jerusalem lately.  Last week, a Hamas terrorist plowed into a crowd of pedestrians with his car, killing a 3 month old baby girl and a young woman.  Seven others were injured.  Palestinians have been throwing Molotov cocktails and have thrown rocks at Jews.  In order to contain this, Israel had to add on 1,000 security forces around Jerusalem.  The level of readiness is to the 2nd highest level nationwide.  The Temple Mount has been closed to Muslims and Jews.(Update) It was opened after a day of closure.)

Fighting from keeping Jews from praying on their own Mount Moriah!  This is what they are all up in arms about.  If a person is seen from the Mosque to be moving their lips in prayer, they have been arrested or accosted by the Muslim authorities.  .  Of course this makes it all the more paramount to pray there.  You don't tell a Jerusalemite that he can't pray in his own city of Jerusalem!

The Palestinian Arabs are celebrating right now for this attempt.  This attitude is probably the #1 reason why there will never be peace between the Arabs and Jews.  (1).

Resource:  (1) 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ashkenazi Jews of Today Are 30th Cousins

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                  
Rabbi Solomon Yitzhaki (1040-1105) born in Troyes, France, Studied in Rhineland (Germany)in Worms.  He is better known as RASHI, the great biblical scholar and commentator.  

       I have some chromosomes I share with either Rabbi Samson Wertheimer (January 17, 1658-August 6, 1724)  or his brother, Moshe.  Samson was the chief rabbi of Hungary and Moravia and a rabbi of Eisenstadt.  He was also an Austrain financier, court Jew and Shtadlan to the Austrian Emperor, Leopold I.  He was born in Worms, Germany, the son of Joseph Josel Wertheimer (1626-Maya 2, 1713) and was educated in the Yeshiva at Worms and also at Frankfurt am Main, in Germany.  I'm Ashkenazi Jewish as my grandfather lived in Telsiai, Lithuania.  These brothers are descendants of Rashi.

The Jewish Press newspaper told of a study about Ashkenazi Jews authored by Shai Carmi at Columbia U and medical researchers whose genes were compared with non-Jewish Europeans and found unique genetic markers of the Ashkenazim.  Itaik Pe'er concluded that everyone of Ashkenazi Jews is at least a 30th cousin.
We can trace our ancestry to a "bottleneck" of just 350 Jews dating back about 600 to 800 years ago.  Another study had taken us to only 4 females from another bottleneck.  Bottlenecks are when a whole community is killed and only a few are left in which our genes generate from.  It shows we've lost a lot of potential genes from other who were not able to produce offspring.

800 years ago brings us to the year 1214; the Middle Ages.  to 1414.  What happened between these years? From 1146 to 1391 the Jews of Spain were forcibly converted to Christianity.  Many kept the faith and became Marranos or hidden Jews, now called Anusim who have recently gone back to Judaism.  The big bang for Spanish Jews came in 1492 with the edict to convert, leave, or remain Jewish and die.   For starters, the Jewish community in Jerusalem was massacred by the Crusaders in 1099.  This wasn't a good sign, but showed others that our lives didn't matter to them.  So, by 1290, England threw all of the Jews out for the next 400 years.  Jews were thrown out of France in 1306.  In Toledo, Spain, 12,000 Jews were massacred by their mob in 1355.  Jews were thrown out of Hungary from 1349 to 1360.

Resource: The Jewish Press, Friday, September 19, 2014,  page 54, International News, Study:  Ashkenazi Jews share Close Genetic Ties, Week in Review page edited by Jason Maoz.  Timeline of Jews

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Jews Traveling TO the Ukraine To Rav Nachman

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                  
Why would anyone brave traveling today with all the terrorists trying to blow up planes and go to of all places, Ukraine?  It's in the middle of a war between Russia and Ukrainian rebels.  If you happen to be one of New York's Breslov Chasids, you might be going there to make an annual pilgrimage.

Who was Rav Nachman to deserve such respect and daring?  His grave is in Uman, Ukraine.  He was born on April 4, 1772 and died on October 16, 1810 at the young age of 38.  Reb Nachman was the grandson of the Baal Shem Tov.
Now, who was the Baal Shem Tov?  He was Israel Ben Eliezer, born in 1700 in Podolia gubernia, Ukraine and died in 1760 and the founder of Hasidism.  In 1735, because of miraculous cures that he performed, he became known as the Baal Shem or Baal Shem Tov.  That means the master of the Divine Name, a title given to men who had the power to work miracles by using the Divine Name.

Rav Nachman had quite a grandfather to follow.  He managed to breathe new life into Hasidic movement by combining Kabbala with in-depth Torah facts.  He attracted thousands of followers during his lifetime and his influence continues to this very day. As a child, he followed the path of asceticism and prayer.  He warned his followers not to abuse themselves physically,  and emphasized having their life full of joy and happiness.  His famous saying is "it is a great mitzvah to be happy."  We can all adopt that one and benefit greatly.  I wonder if the flower children of the 60's weren't trying such a philosophy.

There are now many Hasidic movements besides the Breslov.  His religious philosophy was around the closeness to G-d and speaking to G-d in normal conversation "as you would with a best friend."  Tevia, in Fiddler on the Roof" written by Shalom Alecheim, did this.  This concept called hitbodedut is central to his thinking.  

Rebbe, as he was a Rabbi, was born in Medzhybizh, Ukraine.  Now, Jews went to Ukraine in the first place in waves from Khazaria, the Caliphate of the Ottoman Empire and Byzantium between the 9th and 12th centuries and then again from Central Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries.  Then they came also from Poland in the 16th and 17th centuries.

There were terrible massacres there during the Chmielnicki and Haidamak uprisings in the 17th and 18th centuries.  In the 19th century the Jews came from Galicia and White Russia.  Ukraine was always an anti-Semitic center and the scene of many pogroms in 1905 and from 1918 to 1920.  The soviet government in the 1920's promoted Jewish settlement in the Ukraine using funds of the American Joint Distribution Committee in the regions of  Kalinindorf, Zlatopol and Stalindorf.  By 1930 there were 90,000 Jewish agriculturists there.  About half of Soviet Russia's 3 million Jews lived there before WWII, but under Nazi rule, the Jews were wiped out by the Germans and Ukrainians fro 1941 to 1942.  Jews living there in 1970 numbered 777,126 and by 1989 there were 484,129.

This year in pilgrimage it is estimated that between 2,000 and 3,000 Breslov chassidim will go to Uman from the USA and that about 20,000 to 30,000 will travel there from Israel.  There they will visit the gravesite.  They like to be there for the high holidays of Rosh Hashana, and at Chanukah and Shavuot.  It's because this was when Rav Nachman delivered his formal lessons to his flock.  On the last Rosh Hashana of his life, he stressed the importance of being with him for that holiday in particular.  That's why this annual pilgrimage began.  Uman is 400 miles away from the fighting, so they are not too worried.  Security has been stepped up in Ukraine.

One of the strange occurrences involving the Rav happened in 1800.  Rebbe Nachman moved to the town of Zlatopol and the townspeople invited him to have the final word on who would lead Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur prayer services.  A man was chosen to lead the final prayer service of Yom Kippur, the Neilah.  This man did not meet the Rebbe's approval.  Out of the blue, the man was struck dumb and forced to step down, causing him great embarrassment.  Rav Nachman explained after the fast ended that the man's true intentions were not good and the man was so angry about what was said that he denounced Rebbe Nachman to Rabbi Aryeh Leib of Shpola (the Shpoler Zeide), another prominent Hasidic rabbi.  This started a nasty campaign against Breslov Hasidism.  Well, even rabbis are human.

Being my family came from Lithuania and were closer to the Vilna Gaon (Elijah Ben Solomon Zalman 1720-1797) who practiced Mitnaggedim Judaism (the opposition to Hasidim) , we were not involved in Hasidism in those years.
However, I moved to Israel in 1980 and settled in Safed, in the north close to the Syrian border.  There was a large cemetery there of many famous Rabbis.  A story was told by my friend, Dov Silverman, who put this story into a book he published about when he was walking guard duty on the outskirts of Safed, he had as a partner, a Hasid of the Breslau sect of Hasidim.  The Hasid pointed to a hill on the left of the Safed cemetery and said, "See that hill?  Under it are buried 10,000 tzaddikim.  When the Messiah comes from Meron to Safed, they will all rise and go with him to Jerusalem.
Dov asked when that would be?

"When our Rabbi moves to Safed and lives opposite Mt. Meron where the famous Rabbi Bar Yokhai and his son are buried," he answered.
Building was already in progress to house the Rabbi and his followers in Safed, located opposite Mt. Meron.  By the time I moved there, I could see it clearly at night in the beautiful black Safed .night-time sky loaded with twinkling stars as it also was lit up with lights.
The word in Safed was that  the time was soon to come; some stretched it to be within the next 200 years.

References: The Jewish Press
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Legends of Safed by Dov Silverman

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Discussing Biblical Quotes from "Killing Jesus" From the Eyes of a Jewish Bubba

Nadene Goldfoot   

                           Zechariah, the king of Israel, died in 744 BCE.  He was the son of Jeroboam II and the last king of the house of Jehu.   His reign only lasted 6 months and he was assassinated by Shallum (743 BCE) who succeeded him.
                          The other Zechariah was the Prophet and priest who lived in the first half of the 6th century BCE when Jews returned from the Babylonian Exile. His prophecies are concerned with his own contemporary events.

Political situations that Jews found themselves in way back in "Old Testament" (in Hebrew, Tanakh,)  days are not much different than situations we find ourselves in today.   Writers of the gospel certainly used them.  I see that Bill O'Reilly also uses them to prove his novel, "Killing Jesus," on page 177, where he is listing Zechariah's ( 6th century BCE) predictions of a coming Messiah.

He is quoted by Bill Reilly to have said, "Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!  Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!  See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.  He will proclaim peace to the nations.   His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth."  

The Zechariah reference given below does not speak of this.  I found it listed in Zechariah 9:9-10.  Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!  Shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem!  For behold, your king will come to you, righteous and victorious is he, a humble man riding upon a donkey, upon a foal, a calf of she-donkeys. I will eliminate any battle-chariot from Ephraim and any war horse from Jerusalem, and the bow of warfare will be eliminated;  and he will speak peace to the nations.  His dominion will be from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth.  
This was a prophecy by Zechariah against enemy cities for when the Messiah comes to Zion (Jerusalem).  He's saying that the Messiah will be a humble man riding a donkey rather than an ostentatious horse.  It goes on to say that not only the Messiah, but all Jews will be protected and snatched from the waterless pit of exile by merit of the blood of circumcision covenant and the blood of the covenant of Sinai which is spoken of in Exodus 24:8. {This is referring to the covenant the 600,000 took with Moses to follow the laws). We were chosen to follow the laws and to be the light of the world because we were so stiff-necked; a people who when giving a promise would stick by it.  It did not mean we were special in any other way.  This started as Isaac was the son of Abraham and is based on the covenant Abraham had with G-d and this same covenant was renewed in the Sinai.  It is conditional and depends on us following the Torah.  Israel was to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.  Isaiah describes the image of Israel as the chosen servant of mankind whose suffering will bring salvation to the world and Israel is just an instrument.

 What happened for Jews  is that in 70 CE,  Rome, who was occupying Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple and took  Jews as prisoners to Rome.  Many escaped and became the Sephardis, Mizrachis and Ashkenazis who have been in exile for the past 2,000 years until May 14, 1948.  Jews are still waiting for the Messiah. Christians use it to prove that Jesus, who was crucified in 29 CE,  was the Messiah. Many scholars ascribe the chapters from 9 to 14, in which this was found, to another author or authors, possibly of the First Temple Period, on the basis of their language and content.  King Solomon had the Temple built and he reigned from 961 to 920 BCE.

 Zechariah was a prophet who lived during the time of the return from the Babylonian Exile.  He most likely was a priest and his prophecies were concerned with his contemporary events and foretold about material prosperity, the ingathering of the exiles, liberation from foreign yoke, and the expansion of Jerusalem.  His prophecies got the people to rebuild the Temple which was destroyed in 586 BCE by Nebuchadnezzar.

Bill writes of all the things that will happen to Jesus(c8 BCE -29 CE, died at the age of 37);  like riding into town on a donkey, being falsely accused of crimes not committed, being beaten, spat upon, stripped, soldiers rolling dice for his clothing, and of course, crucified.  He ends this section with "and those who love him will look on in mourning, unable to do anything to stop the agony.  Then he lists the 12 quotes this all comes from in order.  I had to look these up and read what they were about.


      King David of Israel, b: Bethlehem, youngest son of Jesse, armour-bearer of King Saul at age 25, married Saul's daughter, Michal.  The Tanakh tells of his virtues and vices.  

1. Psalms 27:12:  "Deliver me not to the wishes of my tormentors, for there have arisen against me false witnesses who breathe out violence."  This was written by King David (1010 BCE-970 BCE)  who fought against the Philistines of which the giant, Goliath was one.  The Philistines, who were not native to Canaan,  were eventually routed and the Israelites became a nation among men.  They were not even Semites.  These invaders had been one of the European Sea Peoples who migrated south from the Greek Island to crush empires and occupy much of the Middle East.  Egypt survived their onslaught but was greatly reduced in size.  When Moses had  Joshua and the Israelites enter Canaan  c 1271 BCE,  the Philistines were not there.  It was after their defeat in 1191 BCE by Ramses III, heir of the Ramses II who is thought to have been the Pharaoh in the Exodus story who relented and freed the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, that the Philistines were constructing their 5 cities in Philistia along the south coast of today's Israel.  Gaza was the southernmost of the cities.  Actually, coming from Greece, the Philistines can then be said to be European.

Bill has it on page 14 that the northern portion of the Jewish Homeland, Israel, fell to the Philistines.  Wrong, Bill.  It fell to the Assyrians in 722 BCE.  By 721 BCE they were leading off the best of Israelites into captivity.  Then the Babylonians came along in 597 BCE and again in 586 BCE and did the same thing.

 Today's Arab Palestinians got their name from the Romans in 135 CE after fighting for 3 years against the Jewish General, Bar Kokhba, and were so angry at being involved in a war with him for so long that after killing him, they named Judah and Israel   Palestine after the Jewish enemy, the Philistines, just to be antagonizing.   Israelis today have certainly been suffering from a lot of false witnesses breathing out violence from these very same people, who call themselves "Palestinians."  Actually, before May 14, 1948 when Israel became a legal state being the mandate England held was up, both Jews and Arabs were listed as Palestinians being the land was called Palestine.

2. Psalms 35:11:  "False witnesses rise up, for that of which I know nothing they call me to account."  Here we see that King David was describing the machinations of his enemies.  He had been appealing for help against friends that had turned into traitors.  So too, Israel in exile appealed against nations that repayed Israel's contributions with oppression.  They're repeating the past today.  Israel stands alone but for a few friends, and today's attitude of the USA today has been the worst in many respects since 1948.
How many times has this applied to Jews in the Middle Ages who were accused by the Christians of a blood libel?  If they knew anything about Judaism, they would have known that Jews do not eat blood of any creature at all.  Part of the laws concerning food, (Kashrut) go to great lengths telling about how to not eat blood when eating from cows, sheep, those certain animals allowed.

3. Micah 5:1:  "Bethlehem--Ephratah--you are too small to be among the thousands of Judah, but from you someone will emerge for ME to be a ruler over Israel;  and his origins will be from early times, from days of old."  Ephratah was another name for Bethlehem of Judah as found in Genesis 48:7.  As the city of Ruth, a convert from Moab, Bethlehem was an unlikely source of leadership, but it produced David, the ancestor of the Messiah.  (To Jews, the Messiah is yet to come.)  Christians take this for being Jesus.  This is when Jewish rulers start to emerge.  Judah was created out of southern Israel when King Solomon died in 920 BCE.  He had charged too much in taxes and a rebellion ensued causing the split.  The king following Solomon in Judah was Rehoboam (933-917 BCE).  It was made up mostly of the descendants of Judah-the tribe of Judah, and most of the tribe of Benjamin and presumably absorbed the tribe of Simeon which was isolated in the extreme south.  It was a poor kingdom and did not have access to the sea.  Micah was born in the latter part of the 8th century BCE and was a prophet of Judah.  His future monarch he sees from the House of David would bring peace to the world.  This prophecy was already familiar in the reign of King Jehoiakim (608-598 BCE).  One reason Jews do not accept Jesus as the Messiah is that there hasn't been any peace in the world.  Instead, Jews have suffered more than ever.  It took them 1,878 years to regain their own land and finally have a country of their own again.

4. Isaiah 50:6: "I submitted my body to those who smite and my cheeks to those who pluck;  I did not hide my face from humiliation and spit."  Here Isaiah, a prophet in Jerusalem, Judah,  who started prophesying from the death of Uzziah until the middle of Hezekiah's reign (740- 701 BCE). speaks of both his own readiness to be God's spokesman and God"s readiness to inspire him.  Every morning, God inspires him anew with teachings and prophecies, and does it in such a way that he can understand them clearly.  This is part of the prophet's sacrifice.  Christians use a lot of quotes from Isaiah to prove that Jesus is the Messiah but the writing at that time was actually about the Jewish people.  Prophecies of redemption and comfort have been of supreme importance both in Judaism and Christianity.  No doubt Jesus knew many of them by heart himself.

5. Psalms 22:18: "I can count all my bones;  they look on and gloat over me."  David meant this speaking as an individual and as the king.   Frenzied mobs were comprised of the base people.  He's thinking that the mob wishes to take his mantle of royalty for themselves.  Later,  Jews prayed for a final end to Israel's long exile from its land and its Temple.  (The first exile happened in 721 BCE when the Assyrians attacked and took away 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel  to their own lands.)  Quotes 22: 18 and 16 would have been relevant.

6. Psalms 22:16: "My strength is dried up like baked clay, and my tongue cleaves to my palate;  in the dust of  death You set me down."  David had started 21 with not rejoicing in his own strength, but in Yours (God).  He goes on to say that even if the chain of Jewish sovereignty is interrupted, the monarchy will be restored to the seed of David.  People will bless each other with the wish, "May God make you like him (David)."  He knows more than anyone else, kings and powerful people must set an example by acknowledging God's kindness.

7. Zechariah 12:10: "I will pour out upon the house of David and upon the inhabitant of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplications.  They will look toward Me because of those whom they have stabbed;  they will mourn over him as one mourns over an only children and be embittered over him like the embitterment over a deceased firstborn." This is a prophecy of the world of G-d concerning Israel.  The salvation will be so complete that people will be astonished if even one man is killed by the enemy.  The Judeans will be compelled to fight their brethren and see that they were miraculously spared, and they will turn against their enemies who forced them to join their ranks.  It is then that Jerusalem will be restored to its former status. The prophet lived in the 500's BCE.   According to 2 sources, the Targum and the Talmud, 2 events are alluded to here;  the mourning over King Ahab (876-853 BCE) , son of Omri, king of Israel, who was killed in battle by Hadadrimmon, son of Tabrimmon;  and the mourning for King  Josiah(637-608 BCE) , King of Judah, who was slain in the Valley Megiddon/Megiddo.

8. Deuteronomy 21:23: "His body shall not remain for the night on the gallows, rather you shall surely bury him on that day, for a hanging person is a curse of G-d, and you shall not contaminate your Land, which Hashem, your G-d, gives you as an inheritance.  This is part of the 613 laws Moses handed down to the Israelites.  It concerns hanging and burial.  Jews follow this today in that a corpse must be buried within 24 hours.  Bill wrote about Lazaras being dead for 4 days and Jesus raising him from the dead to show a miracle had happened.  .

9. Numbers 9:12: "For Zebulun, Eliab son of Helon.  For the children of Joseph-for Ephraim, Elishama son of Ammihud;  for Manasseh, Gamaliel son of Pedahzur.  For Benjamin, Abidan son of Gideoni.  for Dan, Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai."  This is part of a list of the tribal leaders.  It's from a census taken in the wilderness of the Sinai Desert by Moses and Aaron.They counted men from age 20 and older.  Joseph is represented by his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh as tribes. What is Bill using this for to prove?  I don't know.

10.  Psalms 34:20: "Many are the mishaps of the righteous, but from them all Hashem rescues him." No one becomes truly righteous and great without his share of mishaps.  David conquered despair by composing 34 which is an alphabetical hymn, to show that our every faculty, from aleph to tav (a to z) should be dedicated to G-d.    

11. Exodus 12:46:"In one house shall it be eaten, you shall not remove any of the meat from the house to the outside, and you shall not break a bone in it. "  This is part of the laws of the Pesach offering. and that no alienated person may eat from it.   The Exodus had been discussed in 12:37 previously.   It was saying that the Israelites were in Egypt for 430 years before Moses came along and took them out.
12:  Zechariah 12:10: (repeated reference).  Incorrect.

As I look at all 12 references, only one, that of Zechariah which I found to be from 9:9-10, actually referred to a Messiah.  The rest were comments from contemporary events in the life of the prophets.  Those from Psalms, of course, seem to fit any occasion and are used as comfort for everyone.  As Bill wrote on page 176, "Jesus had led a life that was a continual fulfillment of Jewish prophecy" if taken out of context.  Only the donkey was a reference legitimate to use, and that was a well known reference.  So everybody in Jerusalem could have known it, and certainly Jesus would have known it.  In order to make his point, he could copy this reference to the Messiah.

It was a cruel and horrible punishment to crucify people that the Romans practiced.  It was done by the ancient Greeks and Romans and was derived from Persia (Iran today) but not known to Jewish law.  The custom was introduced into Judah by the Romans and was the usual punishment inflicted by them for rebels. Thousands of Jews suffered this fate under Roman rule.  The New Testament description of the crucifixion of Jesus clearly shows that the Roman procedure was followed.  Jews did not crucify people but were crucified.

 73 BCE-4 BCE Herod I, the Great, king of Judea appointed by Rome.  When he died, there were uprisings by the people so Roman General Publius Quinctilius Varus crucified 2,000 Jews to quell the uprisings.   
30 BCE  Herod the Great by Julius Ceasar, crucifixions; 25,000 Jews till 70 CE.  when Romans burned down the Temple. 

Resource: Novel, Bill Reilly's "Killing Jesus"
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
The Northwest Connection Volume 8 #92,  The Eternal War Between Israel and the Palestinians:  Part I in series by Jim Wagner.  About Philistines.

Friday, September 19, 2014

ISRAEL: The Land That Rests Every Seventh Year

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                 

The year in Israel begins a little differently from other lands.  The Jewish New Year begins at sundown on Wednesday evening on September 24th and is called Rosh Hashana.  This new year coming up is the once every 7th year that is a holy Sabbatical as mandated by the Bible called "Shmita /Shemittah."  "...the 7th year shall be a complete rest for the Land."  Remember that this was from Moses (1391 BCE -1271 BCE) from G-d.  How long has it taken farmers of today to realize that land cannot be continually used to grow the same crops year after year but must rest?  This was told to the Israelites 3,320 years ago and they've been following it ever since.
This means that during the Shemittah, fields may not be worked.  Fruit which grows of itself during these years is free to all.

This dictum is part of many agrarian laws handed to the children of Israel who were living in Canaan before it even came to be named Israel.  Last month, on August 11th which is the 15th day of Av on the Jewish lunar calendar, most forms of tree planting became forbidden.

So, while Hamas was shooting thousands of missiles into southern Israel last month up to August 11th, Israeli farmers planted thousands of fruit trees in advance of the upcoming Sabbatical year when they would not be able to.  Hanan from Moshav Yavul which is on the Gaza-Egypt border, planted peach trees until the very last moment.  His neighbors planted other fruit varieties.
Fruit trees can be dedicated in honor or memory of loved ones. This is because in the Bible, G-d promises to bless everyone who helps in the observance of Shmita.  Many farmers will suffer financially from not planting or working the land for a whole year.  "I will ordain My blessing for you..."Leviticus 25:20.   Many have already been made in memory of the 3 boys who were kidnapped and murdered in Jukne; eyal, Naftali and Gilad.

The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia