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Friday, January 30, 2009

Jewish Concept of Heaven

Jewish Concept of Heaven

from What Does Judaism Say About.?" Louis Jacobs

We have all heard about the Islam concept of heaven, especially for martyrs. They go to a heaven with 72 virgins, one of the motivating forces for people to become suicide bombers.

We Jews, on the other hand, have no such notions. When we die, we believe in "the world to come," or Olam ha-Ba.) There are two theories that rabbis have had. One is the resurrection of the dead and second, the immortality of the soul. The original doctrine was that when a man dies, he is truly dead. His "soul," is also "dead," until after the Messianic Age when it is reunited with his body after being raised from the grave. When the man died his soul lived on in Heaven until they are to be reunited. Orthodox Judaism accepts the combined beliefs. "The world to come" refers to the immortality of the soul or the resurrection of the dead.

Reform Judaism accepts only the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. Maimonides said that the resurrection will be only a temporal one and that eventually they will return to dust and the soul will remain immortal. Some modern people feel that the immortality of the soul is a Greek belief, and that what survives is the whole personality of man. Some therefore reject the beliefs in bodily resurrection and in Hell and Paradise as places for everlasting punishment and reward.
Maimonides said in his code that "there are no bodies or bodily forms, but only souls of the righteous who are like the ministering angels. There is no eating or drinking or anything which the human body needs in the world. There is no need for sitting, standing, sleep, death, distress, laughter, or procreation. The righteous sit with their crowns on their heads and bask in the radiance of the Divine Presence."

For others, being good and accepting this kind of reward is just not rewarding enough to motivate them. They want to hear that they will eat and drink and have beautiful women and wear garments of fine linen and embroidery and live in marble palaces and have vessels of silver and gold. Our sages felt that this is vain and nonsensical and has no value and are only great for people who are alive. All that has to do with the needs of the body, but we won’t have a body. Since all we know now is material pleasures, it is that that we desire now. It’s difficult to imagine the great goodness which the soul experiences in the world to come. That good is great beyond all our understanding and incomparable beyond all our imagination.

Man has questioned how humans survive after death since our mind is dependent on his brain. In this life, we need a brain. There may be other ways that the mind or soul function in the Hereafter.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Update: Portland-Ashkelon Sister City Ass. from Tamar

Subject: Ashkelon under fire. Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2009 23:08:01 +0000 from Tamar Boussi in Israel

Ashkelon under fireBy Marty Davis January 07, 2009
As the sirens go off and we wait in our shelter to hear the boom of the missiles, we wonder when this will end. For the past eight years there has been constant bombardment of Sderot and the surrounding settlements. This is not about political issues; it is about civilians under extended fire.

In Ashkelon, 122,000 residents have been under fire with little protection. Most homes do not have shelters as they were built in the 1950s and 1960s. The neighborhood shelters are underground and impossible to reach in 30 seconds. Today alone, we have suffered 14 rocket attacks with accompanying physical, psychological and personal damage. The resolve of our people to stand strong against this onslaught is a direct desire to end a situation where we have to live in fear. Our children are climbing the walls as they cannot leave their homes. There is no school, and no shopping centers are open. These children are terrorized to the point where even at the ages of six and seven they are wetting their beds. They demand that the light stay on all night, and even then tell of their nightmares the next morning - all this on a daily basis. Our children will need psychological help to overcome their fears of loud noises and sirens.

"I'm not running anymore." Our elderly are unable to reach their shelters, even if they have one. They suffer from the ongoing missiles and cannot leave their homes to buy food, get their medicine, or see their doctors. A good friend, who survived five death camps during the holocaust, TB resulting in the loss of a lung, a quadruple bypass, and cancer, sits in his chair and waits for the sirens. He is not moving as it is too difficult. His answer is: "I'm not running anymore". The Municipality and the Home Front are doing a great job as far as immediate response to every emergency; however, we are ill prepared in terms of safe rooms and public buildings with secure rooms.

A number of years ago I was involved in building programs and projects on Israel's northern border (known as the confrontation line). I would watch katyusha rockets hitting the road in front and behind my car. I was fulfilling a Zionist ideological imperative by assisting those in need. Who would have thought that today I would be living in the "new" confrontation line in the south? The real desire is that this current war comes to an end that provides a strong beginning.

We pray for a true peace that can allow us to reach our potential as a people that are involved in developing new medicines, new science and technology. A country that can assist our neighbors in developing their potential as true partners. Can this dream ever become a reality? Herzl said: "If you will it, it need not be a dream". I think we can sum it up in one word, "tikva" - hope.

© 2001-2008 All rights reserved.
Resource: Tamar Boussi, President Portland-Ashkelon Sister City Ass.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

KBOO's Debate About Israel-Gaza

Debate With Palestinian Professsor From Bethlehem University
by Nadene Goldfoot

The Palestinian Hamas representatives are so good at relating false facts that are so contrary to reality or of their purpose or history. Today a Palestinian professor from Bethlehem University was on KBOO, a Portland radio station, and was debating in some fashion a representative of our Portland Community who is supportive of Israel, Bob Horenstein. I heard such a distortion of history from this professor that it was appalling to me to listen to him . I might add that Bob was not given hardly any time for rebuttal of facts, and in one case none. Under these conditions, he did a terrific job.

In the end of this "debate", the professor commented that the Palestinian resistance (meaning bombing Israel with rockets) will not stop in order to seek peace. We say that when they stop shelling us we can sit down and talk. The professor wants the world to boycott Israel and is also against the United States for supporting us. He is looking for Obama to say, get out of their land. He has a distorted view of the land that is Israel, thinking it still belongs to the Palestinians, who were not even in the area in any large numbers, but mostly came into the area to seek jobs from the Jews. He naturally forgets these little facts. So to start with, we are never to be on the same page of reality. He continually said to go to the United Nations site for facts.

I was most distressed to hear a W. Seaman being interviewed afterwards as a spokesman for Jews for Palestinians, or some such group here in Portland. Doesn't he realize that we all bewail the death of the enemy but that we realize that a country cannot live under such conditions as being bombed, and for 8 years at that? Believe me, he would be the first to scream if his neighborhood was bombed once! He would run immediately for the states! To me Jews like this are cowards in that they cannot fathom the history or conditions that our brothers are living through in Israel. They pontificate about what is right, thinking that there is no rightousness for Jews. How obscene. True to form, this is the USA and we all have our right to speak. We Jews range from the extreme left to the extreme right, but most of Israel and Portland Jews are backing Israel's decision to stop the attacks once and for all, hopefully. My fear is that Olmert's faction wouldn't go through with it as they are led by such an eager leader of obtaining peace at all costs, costing Israel the most.

We know that the United Nations has become a different mix than what it was in 1948. Today it is topheavy with Arab nations, who stick together, being many are actually related to each other. Since they have this power, they have been issuing absurd statements that we cannot take seriously. For instance, in their cease fire resolution, they did not even mention Hamas and their terrorism against Israel. If you want to look at a good cease fire resolution, look at what Oregon just voted on and passed. Saner people realize that a country cannot put up with 8 years of shelling upon its citizens and not have the right to protect itself. Israel must prevail. Once it goes down the drain, the rest of the Western world will follow as if caught in a whirlpool of death and destruction. It's already happening in some parts of Europe as emphasized by Holland's president.

Resource: KBOO 9:30am 1/15/09

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Year 2012-Predictions of Cataclysm and the Moshiah

I had Shabbat dinner with relatives this past Friday night. The conversation turned to the coming of the Messiah "Moshiach". I know that both we Jews and many Christians expect the Messiah to come very shortly. Throughout history people have been expecting a Messiah's coming. This is the first time that I know of that both Christians and Jews are expecting him to come at the same time.

With this knowledge known to me, I have read the Bible Code I and II with great interest. The year 2012 was mentioned as something happening that was very important. This is a code found from the Hebrew writings of the 5 Books of Moses laid out in rows without spaces, and finding that at intersections of letters, facts have been found. I can read Hebrew and saw the charts and could read them. It's mindblowing. Isaac Newton was trying to find such a code, but with computers of our age, it has now been accomplished. Many disregard this finding as they can do the same thing with the book, Moby Dick. I doubt if they can find the very facts that the mathematician, Eliahu Rips of Israel has discovered and continues to discover. What is hard is that they predicted a few times what would happen, but can't do it all the time.

Today I watched a TV program on the History channel that was titled, Nostradamus-2012 on from 5pm to 7pm. It discussed the Bible Code and other resources that are saying similar things. The information was taken from "The Lost Book of Nostradamus" made up of many pictures that have been interpreted. The gist of it is that there may be a galactical realignment in the heavens causing an upheaval. Our choices in our lives determines the earth's fate.

This also sounds familiar. It's a part of Judaism. Doing good deeds is very important. The program mentioned that our Torah spoke of the end of days. Evidently we are in the 7th milinnium now, and our calendar soon ends. On the Jewish calendar this is the year 5769. The Christian "Revelations" discusses the end of days. My cousin was talking about the Chafetz Chaim having a dream and needing to tell everyone that the Messiah was coming soon. We talked about what "soon" meant.

The TV program today started with speaking of the Mason's calendar coinciding with 2012. The Hopi Indians also feel that this date is important and that we are moving into the 5th world now. The Mayan Indians are famous for their calendar which is more accurate than what the world uses today. They have December 21, 2012 as the last day of the calendar.

All the events that have been happening lately are prophesized in one way or another to happen at the end of days. Mesopatamia is actually the old name for Iraq and was spoken of 1500 years ago as being a part of the end of days. . That's mentioned. The economic crisis we're facing, with the stock market falling is part of events along with all the environmental occurrances, earthquakes and tsunamis. Atomic energy and Iran developing possible weapons is certainly pointing to something out of the end of days. Terrorism and Israel's rebirth are also things described in the end of days.

We are warned. The book of Nostradamus is a wake up call. We could be within three years of something huge happening. Our choices dertermine our fate.

This program is or will be for sale on the website of the History Channel. I have bought other program from them. It's replaying right now.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


90 rockets and mortars, the 122 millimeter grads, have landed in Ashkelon since the start of Operation Lead. 6 had hit Ashkelon just before the start. by Wednesday evening, 4 had hit Ashkelon. One of them had hit a three story building causing a lady to have an asthma attack and be taken to Barzelai Hospital. A soldier in one of the hospital beds said he had been hit by sniper fire, and his hand was bandaged. We haven't heard about that possiblity happening.

Ashkelon's mayor voiced that the Operation Lead must go on and achieve its goals of stopping the artillary from hitting Israel. He feels that Hamas is in shock. (To get away with such shelling for 8 years and now feel the retaliation would come as a shock, I imagine.)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Day of Rage

Palestinian terrorists are vowing attacks on Jews worldwide now that we have finally decided that enough is enough of being shot at for the past 9 years. A Lebanese Arab has shot at a group of Israelis shopping at a mall in Odense, Denmark.

Suicide attacks have been promised by irate Arabs that are Hamas, Al-Qaeda and Hizbullah. It's been typical in the past to kill innocent civilians, especially Jewish women and children. Any known Jewish establishment might be targeted. This isn't news to us, but we'll just have to be more wary.

When I lived in Israel from 1980 to 1985, we had to be careful all the time of planted bombs. Children at the jr. high in Safed checked people's packages that were entering the school. They had put on a display of all the containers that had been found to carry some sort of bombs. Bombs were found in loaves of bread that they would leave on a sidewalk. Schools had been attacked as well as buses and trains. At least I didn't have to worry about suicide bombers then, but citizens do now. We must be aware.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Power of Journalists

Attacking Israel Through Journalism
The reporting about the situation for the past eight years has been from negligible to nil in the matter of reporting the ongoing rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza. Yet anything that can be misconscrewed as Israel's misbehaving is blasted in large letters in the papers and other media.
Why they can't report situations honestly is because most of them have their own agenda to emphasize, and their own friends to support. Instead of being true journalists, they have become some sort of politicians.
Honest Reporting is working on revealing what papers are so biased. One paper they found to have slanted journalism is the Huffington Post, and internet newspaper founded by Ariania Huffington. I noted that they do get articles from Al Jazeera, an Arab newspaper.
I've found this to be the case on our own Oregonian newspaper right in the editorial section, where the editor writes his opinion. I can't remember reading at any time a headline or article that has told of Israel being attacked by rockets from Gaza after Israel pulled out of Gaza. This was to be a time of peace, but Israel has suffered for 8 years shelling from the terrorists, yet the world did not react in any outcry or seem to care one bit, except the Southern Israelis around Sderot. Let Israel react finally to the bombings they have endured and suddently there is such an outcry and rage. How dare Israel not play the part of the sitting ducks! That is their role in life!
I was outraged reading the editorial's paragraph that stated: "hundreds and hundreds of rockets launched from Gaza into Israel-with the support and often the direct involvement of the Hamas regime-have provoked Israel powerfully.
Not hundreds and hundreds of rockets were launched. In this year alone, over 3,000 rockets, missile and mortars have hit southern Israel. Since the 19th of December to the 29th, 10 days, 200 missiles hit Israel including grad missiles that have hit deeper into Israel. Why did the writer only say hundreds? To make the history appear less important or less serious than it really was, no doubt. It's either that or he certainly did not research very well. Then again, this was a writing of his opinion, in which he throws in what seems to be a fact but in truth is not. This is how propaganda is written.
The second part, "with the support and often the direct involvement of the Hamas regime" really offended me. Why did the author hedge about who is doing the firing of rockets, missiles and mortars? Hamas is ruling the region. Hamas are the known terrorists who have struck at women and children in schools and buses. Hamas is the group who was voted for in Gaza by its citizens. Hamas are the fighters. There may be splinter groups, but they're all part of Hamas. With the support? Who does the editor think is doing the fighting? To me the journalism of the article is aiding and abetting terrorism against Israel by downplaying the role of Hamas. That's not true journalism. It's opinion colored by predudice.
This should be a warning to all that rely only on news from newspapers. We don't know the feelings of the journalists or how they really receive the news. In this case, are they relying on Palestinians for information only so that they can go back to a comfortable bar and write their "scoop" or are they seriously trying to get background and knowledge about the conditions and writing honest reports. One cannot rely on one source only for information.
I am in shock at the lies written in letters to the editor that people are reading as the gospel because it is in the newspaper. Have people not been educated in this city to realize that writers may not be educated in the situation but are showing their sympathy towards certain groups which means prejudices towards the other group?
One journalist that I truly admire is Joan Peters, a Christian who sympathized with Palestinians, and decided to do some of her own investigating. In her searching, she came upon written information that changed her whole attitude, and she realized who the Palestinians really were, where they had come from, when they had come, and that Israel had the right to be there in their homeland. She is a true historian and did not cover or diminish facts that she had found.
In culmination, she wrote her book, "From Time Immemorial", which tells of the origins of the Arab-Jewish conflict over Palestine. I only wish that some of these terribly opinionated people would read it.
Reed College in Portland, Oregon always emphasized the question, "What's your source?" I ask that when I hear outlandish statements about Israel's situation. I would hope that more people would become wiser and find out the truth by checking out their sources.
Mitchell Bard Fact Sheet #64