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Mostly on Rulebase Benchmarks, Politics, Religion and other "stuff" that you can't discuss in the workplace

AZ No-Permit Concealed Gun Carry

Greetings:

This is the dumbest move that I’ve seen yet. No background checks? No protection from totally insane people carrying a concealed weapon. Snopes doesn’t have anything on it. CBS and other news agencies have reported it as being true. The bill has been signed and will be in effect by July or August of 2010.

Everyone knows that I’m kind of right-wing, Second-Amendment-supporting kind of guy. But this is NUTS! Today’s laws in at least 36 states require 12 hours of training in gun safety to be sure that you know how to handle your pistol, they check almost ALL law-enforcement agencies to be sure that you are not some kind of felon or generally nasty guy, and – about 8 weeks later – you get a four year permit. To renew it for another four years you just attend a four-hour course to bring you up-to-date on changes to the laws.

Personally, this will shut down any reciprocity agreements with other states and label AZ as the nuttiest state in the USA. Other nutty states can now say, “Yeah, we’re a little crazy out here BUT have you heard what AZ is doing?”  VT and Alaska are the only states (maybe VA as well) that don’t require a concealed permit for concealed carry.  Honestly, this is just NUTS.  I firmly believe in the Second Amendment, but I also believe that to carry a concealed (or out in the open) weapon of ANY kind you should have been checked out and have passed a minimum course of training of SOME kind!  Alaska is a long way away and VT is a tiny piece of real estate on the northeast – not quite as big as the DFW area.

Well, those are my feelings.  I think we got it right in Texas.  You can’t carry in a bar (where bar is defined as any establishment that gets more than 50% of its income from the sale of alcoholic beverages), government office building, schools (any school), churches / synagogues / temples / mosques, hospitals, drug stores, etc.  AND, a business can put up a sign (in a very specific way and language) that says even permit holders can not carry guns / weapons in their place of business.  (I don’t go to those places and I leave them a note telling they why.)  Personally, I think that if you have a permit, you probably should be allowed to carry IF THE OWNER / PASTOR / PRIEST / WHATEVER gives you permission even in a bar, church or even a school.  Faculty in a university (or even a grade school) should be allowed (required?) to carry.  Naaaahhh – just allow it.  If they don’t want to carry let them be the victim along with the students the next time some nut comes in (without a permit, of course) and shoots up the place.

Back to AZ.  Think about it.  They are right on the border with Mexico and the Mexican drug wars can now spill over across the border and the people of AZ can’t do a bloody thing about it.  Me?  If I ever have to go to AZ it will be to drive through without stopping and carry a much firepower as I can – just in case.  I think I would rather get in the rattlesnake pit during the Rattlesnake Roundup here (Sweetwater) than to spend a night in AZ.  And all of this coming from a right-wing, independent, gun-toting Texan.

SDG

Yaakov

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April 17, 2010 Posted by | Guns-n-Ammo, Political | 2 Comments

Back to the Shabbos, Part V

Greetings:

So, what can we do to observe a biblical Shabbos – not a Kosher Shabbos in the sense of the Talmud, Mishna and the other Rabbinical writings – but one that is according to the scriptures?  Around my home this comes up almost every Saturday.  Normally, my son and I go to Temple on Friday evening then come home for a movie and bed.  Saturday during the day is the problem…  What to do when there are no services and the television is sooooo  alluring!  Probably we need to look at scripture and see what G-d has to say and how it applies to life today.

I covered most of the scripture in Shabbos Part III (and I updated most of the scripture references today) so I shan’t list them again here.  Suffice it to say that the Most Holy One takes a very dim view of doing anything that might be construed as work on His holy day.  What you can and can not do, what you should and should not do, is (to me) fairly explicit.  But, if you have a question  you should consult your Rabbi, your Pastor, your Priest – someone who can help.  BUT, and this is extremely important, that person should believe that the Bible is the very Word of G-d, not just a book of fairy tales to entertain children on Sunday morning.  Some might believe that it is not inerrant and, from my point of view, that is OK if they believe that it contains G-d’s word and is to be followed.

So, that being said, what should a person DO on the Sabbath?  (Remember, this blog is a guide and not the Word of G-d.)  There is an excellent Guide for Shabbos that has all 39 things that should not be done by Observant or Orthodox Jews.  For those who are Christian or not-very-observant there still are a few things that we should and should not do.

  • You should attend services at your selected Church, Temple or Synagogue.
  • You should not do whatever is your normal work.
  • You should read the bible to see what G-d has to say to you.
  • You should light no fires that were not lit before the Sabbath.
  • You should not extinguish a fire on the Sabbath that was lit before Sabbath.  (Not to be confused with putting out a house fire or some such!)
  • You should not watch TV nor listen to the radio if someone is working there.
  • You can watch TV DVD, movie, a TV show or something like that or play music that you have previously recorded.
  • Even if you favorite football team is playing should you watch TV.  And recording it to watch at a later time is to defeat the very purpose of not watching.
  • You should not work at anything that is your normal work.
  • Building a home for someone else (for free) is perfectly fine.
  • Sitting with someone who is ill (for free) or helping someone complete a task (for free) that is not their normal work is OK.
  • Do not hire someone to do something for you on the Sabbath.  Note that the Hebrew translation in the JPS version says that you should not cause anyone in your settlement to work and, today, your settlement is the world itself.

Above all, you must decide what G-d wants you to do or not do on His day.  What is more important?  Watching TV or obeying G-d?  I do believe that if there is an emergency, you should take care of it.  But remember this; G-d is not a fool and will not be mocked.  He knows every inclination of your heart so that if you try to fool Him then you are fooling no one but yourself.  However, lets’ look in more detail at just a couple of these.  Not watching TV or radio IF SOMEONE IS WORKING THERE.  I would think that listening to music from a 24-hour channel on TV would be fine – nobody is working there and it was programmed days or months in advance.  However, someone has to keep the station on the air so we are, in effect, causing someone to work.  Frankly, I can’t think of a single instance where a radio or TV station is left on the air with no one watching or working.  BUT, if you find one, then feel free to watch or listen.

Watching a DVD or listening to pre-recorded music should be fine.  But singing as a family or church or temple group is even better.  If you belong to a gun club, like myself and my son, then going to the gun range is OK since it is an all volunteer group and no one is actually working.  We are just “hanging out” and enjoying each other’s company.

I used working on a home for someone else as just an example of many activities that could be done that are for good of someone else.  Helping balance a checkbook is work (it is work for the other person) but writing something to praise G-d is not work.  (Even though writing two or more letters is considered forbidden by Orthodox.)  Orthodox consider braiding your hair as forbidden since it is a form of weaving.  I don’t go quite that far.   Personal hygiene should be practiced every day and even more just prior and during Shabbos.

You see, we, all of us, like to consider ourselves as middle-of-the-road persons.  If someone is more restrictive than ourselves then they are too right-wing and too conservative.  If someone is less restrictive than ourselves then they are too left-wing and too liberal.  That being said, this whole thing, this blog, this page, is dedicated to trying to explain the sanctity and holiness of our Shabbos, our day of rest, our day of communing with the Almighty to my family and to my extended family throughout the world.  So, while I might not be in agreement with Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed or Messianic Judaism, I would like to think that I am in agreement with what G-d has given us in the bible that I consider to contain the Holy Word of G-d.  Thanks for listening…  🙂

SDG

Yaakov

December 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Leave Tiger Alone !!

Greetings:

Writing about a celebrity should be easy – they make such large targets that they are almost impossible to miss.  For example, Tiger Woods and his now infamous auto accident the other night.  All the world is agog trying to find out all of the little details.  Did his super-model spouse actually use a 9-iron to whack him or did she use the smaller, more manageable putter?  Did he have one drink or two or five?

WHO CARES ??  Apparently the same folks who read National Enquirer.  What I find most interesting is that the very same people who say that a celebrity was just doing something for a “photo opp” are the very same people who are  busy buzzing around about this.   And, yes, I see the irony that I continue the coverage by writing about that insane coverage.

My deal old Daddy (now long gone to his heavenly reward) when asked about the recent scar on his face (actually due to minor skin cancer) would remark, “It’s my wife and my fire wood and NONE of our business.”  A lot of things were personal to Dad and he did he best to deflect curious and silly inquiries about him, his health, his finances, etc.  I suppose that his attitude (of which I seem to have adopted just wee bit) is that a man or woman does have a personal life about which strangers have no business asking for details.

Bottom Line:  It’s none of your business what Tiger did the other night.  It has nothing to do with his usually outstanding golf game.  And because of all of those nosy busybodies we missed getting to see him play that spectacular game of his this week.  So, to all you nosy busy bodies, get off his back and let him play golf.  He didn’t beat his wife.  He didn’t shoot anyone.  He committed no crimes of any kind.  DROP IT !!

SDG

Yaakov Kohen

December 3, 2009 Posted by | Celebrities | | Leave a comment

Is a Christian a Jew?

Greetings in His Name:

It’s been a while since I did any regular posting here but I’ll try (once again) to make regular posts for consideration of friends and family.  The question today is, “Is a Christian a Jew?”  This will be remarkably short (by my standards) since the answer is very simple:  Yes.  How do I know that?  From Paul’s (former Saul of Tarsus) writings in the letter to the Romans, Chapter 11: (Yes, it’s rather long but necessary to the whole argument.  So read carefully and understand that I have taken the liberty of using Goyim rather than Gentile, Avraham rather than Abraham, etc.)

  1. I say then, Hath G-d cast away his people? [I Sam 12:22, Jer 31:37]  G-d forbid!  For I also am Yisraelim, of the seed of Avraham, of the tribe of Benyamin.
  2. G-d hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.  Do ye not know what the scripture saith of Eliyah?  How he maketh intercession to G-d against Yisrael, saying
  3. [I Kings 19:10] “Lord, they have killed thy prophets, digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.”
  4. But what saith the answer of G-d unto him?  “I have reserved to myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.”
  5. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
  6. And if by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace.  But if it be of works, then it is no more grace; otherwise work is no more work.
  7. What then?  Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the the election had obtained it, and the rest were blinded. [Is 29:10]
  8. According as it is written, [Deut 29:4, Is 6:9] “G-d hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear.” unto this day.
  9. And David saith, [Ps 69:22] “Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompense unto them:
  10. Let their eyes be darkened that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.”
  11. I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall?  G-d forbid!  but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Goyim, for to provoke them to jealousy.
  12. Now, if the fall of them be riches of the world, and the diminishimg of them the richs of the Goyim, how much more their fullness?   [Jer 30:4, Zech :11]
  13. For I speak unto you Goyim inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Goyim, I magnify my office.
  14. If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh and might save some of them.
  15. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
  16. For if the first-fruit be holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
  17. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatnes of the olive tree;
  18. Boast not against the branches.  But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
  19. Thou wilt say then, “The branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.”
  20. Well, because of unbelief they were broken off and thou standest by faith.  Be not high-minded but fear!
  21. For if G-d spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
  22. Behold, therefore, the goodness and severity of G-d; on them which it fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness if thou continue in His goodness; otherwise thou also shall be cut off.
  23. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in; for G-d is able to graft them in again.
  24. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature and wert grafted contrary to nature into the good olive tree, how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
  25. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes but as touching the election they are beloved for the fathers sakes.
  26. For the gifts and calling of G-d are without repentence.

OK, that’s enough scripture for now.  I will deal with works and grace, predestination, foreknowledge and election, etc. in another blog at a later date.  Note that the “wild olive tree branches”, meaning the Goyim or the Gentiles, were grafted INTO the true olive tree that is Judaism.  NOWHERE does Paul (nor any other apostle) say that there is to be a new religion to be called Christianity, nor Messianic Judaism nor anything like that.  No, rather he says that those who were NOT Jews shall be grafted into Judaism BECAUSE of their belief.  After all, the New Testament [Acts 11:26b] does say that it was in Antioch that the Schismatics were first called Christian, a Greek word for Messiah, or Messiahim or followers of the Messiah.  And history books seem to record that until that time the Jewish leaders referred to them as Schismatics, not as Messiahim of Messiah Jews – just a splinter of Judaism, like Reformed , Conservative, Hassadim or Lubavitch.

The MAIN point here is the so-called Christians today are actually nothing more than Jews who believe that Y’Shua was (and is) THE Messiah, the deliverer of Israel, not a whole new religion that would in later days persecute the very Jews that He came to save.    Y’Shua Himself said, [Matt 5:17] Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill.  [18] For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.  [19] Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Not one jot (a punctuation mark) nor one tittle (a flourish made on the first letter of each book or chapter that was decorative in nature only) would pass away until all be fulfilled.  Now most Christians say that the Law (Torah) was all fulfilled in Y’Shua.  I shan’t argue with that for I also believe it to be true.  But I will say that even though the Torah was fulfilled in Y’Shua that it can not be thrown out.  Did not G-d say through Malachi (Ch 3, v.6), “For I AM the LORD, I change not.”  I G-d does not change, then it would follow that what he said through Moshe, through Isaiah, through any of his prophets, that they are a covenant forever, not just for that time and period?  Y’Shua only repeated that when he said that the Torah would not change.

And again, in David’s Psalms 19:7, The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the souls; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making the wise the simple. [8] The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandments of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. [9] The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgements of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.  [110] More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold.  sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Remember, that Y’Shua kept all of the commandments; that all of the first century New Covenant apostles and disciples kept the commandments as best they could; not that they could obtain salvation through keeping the law, no one can, but that they might please G-d by being obedient.  As I told my son the other day, we don’t keep the law and the commandments because we HAVE to do so, we do this to please G-d.  G-d himself said that obedience is better than sacrifice and that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.

And, again, Y’Shua said to the 12 apostles, [Matt 10:5] These twelve Yshua sent forth, and commanded them saying, “Go not into the way of the Goyim, and into any city of  Samaria, enter ye not. [6] But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Yisrael.

And again, Y’shua talks with woman who wanted healing [Matt 15:22] And behold a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. [23] But He answered her not a word.  And his diciples came and besought saying, “Send her away; for she crieth after us.”  But he answered and said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Yisrael.”

And the passage continues where she rationalizes that even dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from the table of the Master and Y’Shua marveled at her faith and her daughter was healed.  There are several lessons here but the one that I am pointing out is the Y’Shua was sent to the Jew first  and then to the Goyim.  All of that to say this:

The so-called Christian is a Jew who believes that Y’Shua is the Messiah who came and is to come again.  Acts 11:26 says, … “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”  Not that they themselves called themselves Christians, but they were called Christians by others.  By others!  They themselves attended services on Friday night or Saturday morning in the temple or place of worship at home.  In Rome they met on the “Lord’s Day” – meaning Ascension Sunday – each week before work and had a very brief service and sang some hymns and then went to work.  This because the Jews who were in charge (the priests and others) of the Temple (Synagogue) of that day would not permit talking about Y’Shua in the temple itself.

There.  That should be enough to chat about for a while.  BTW, as to the question, “Can a Jew be a Christian?” that has been answered here as well.  A Christian IS A Jew and a Jew who accepts Y’Shua as the Messiah is a Christian.  Plain and simple.  Not a Christian-Jew nor a Jewish-Christian nor a Completed-Jew nor a Converted-Jew nor a Converted-Christian.  They are one and the same.  Salvation came to the Jew first and then to the Goyim.

SDG

Yaakov

November 21, 2009 Posted by | Religion | Leave a comment

Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Greetings:

Abstract:
“I could be wrong,now – but I don’t think so!” (From “It’s a Jungle Out There”) The following is for those seeking understanding on the traditions of three of the world’s main religions. Most of what follows is history and not meant to open up a discussion but mainly to help those who don’t really understand the differences in the three main religions of the world nor the sub-groups within each one. This came about because I have many friends who believe that a Jew is a Jew and a Moslem is a Moslem (Muslim is the plural of Moslem) and a Christian is a Christian. Each one has many shades and colors of meaning and this is just my attempt to explain the grouping to my friends and neighbors.

I’ve given a bit of thought to the problem of explaining the world’s three mainline religions to my friends. This paper follows their origins along with some thoughts about the breakdown of each one into its main components.  One of the problems in this dissertation is that I have not found a way to post anything in Hebrew, Greek nor Aramaic so most of this will be Julian dates and a (best as I can do) transliteration of the Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic words into pronounceable words in English.  Also, this article is directed to those not terribly familiar with all three religions but mostly with one or the other.

Judaism is the oldest and more established of the three main religions of this paper.  Born when Avram (later Avraham) was called out of Ur (supposedly located in Iraq between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers) and later established by Moshe when he led the Children of Israel out of Egypt and G-d gave him the Torah to give to the Children.  Judaism seems to be (or is) composed of four (or five) main branches:  Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed and Hassidic.  All believe in the ONE G-D and that there is no other G-d or gods.  Outside of that, they seem to be all over the map in what they believe.  My Rabbi once told me that there is a Jewish proverb that wherever there are two Jews you will have three opinions; the first Jew’s opinion, the second Jew’s opinion and G-d’s opinion.  He also told me that the original characters for a Jew as three yuds; two side by side and one in the middle just above them showing that two Jews are united under one loving G-d and father over all.  But, you can’t show that in the early printing so the third yud was dropped.

  • Orthodox and Hassidic are similar in observances in that both believe that the Masoretic Text (bretween 600 and 1000 AD – 4550 to about 4750 on the Jewish calendar), closely observe all of the 621 laws in HaTorah. HaTorah (The Law) is the first five books of the bible – Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus and Deuteronomy. (Bereshis, Shemos, Va-Yikra’, Be-Midbar and Devarim in Hebrew.)  Some of those laws, most dealing with sacrifice and civil penalties, cannot be observed until the restoration of the temple in Jerusalem or until the nation of Israel moves from a secular collection of of Jews (by birth) becomes the nation of Judah, a nation observant to HaTorah.  Pretty much, they believe that the Bible is the revealed Word of G-d.  More on the Hassidic later.
  • Reformed are the “left wing” of Judaism in that they are observe a “big tent” where you can believe almost anything and still be a Reformed Jew.  (Seriously!  Almost anything!) This “latter day” movement started in Eastern Europe in the early 1800’s and spread to the USA and the UK in the early 1900’s. There is in a short document in Wikepedia on Reformed Judaism that recounts most of the highlights of the movement. Suffice it to say that that Reformed Judaism does not follow the letter of  the “Law” of the Torah nor many of the practices of traditional Judaism.
  • But what about Conservative or Masorti Judaism?  Conservatism is neither Orthodox nor Reformed, but seems (to me) to be an attempt to reconcile between the two main branches and is neither fish nor fowl.  While more liberal than Orthodoxy and more traditional than Reformed, they seem closer to the Orthodox in that they (for the most part) do believe that the Masoretic Bible is the revealed Word of G-d and has been preserved down through the ages.

Christianity came about with the birth and death of Y’Shua (Jesus) who was thought to be the son of a certain Joseph and Mary.  However, Christians believe that G-d himself “caused” Mary to become the mother by a miracle and this was revealed to Joseph in a dream from an Angel of G-d.  Others believe that Y’Shua was a priest (or rabbi) from a little known sect of Jews called Essenes, a minor movement compatible with the Pharasees and the Saducees.  When he was crucified by the Romans he is believed to have risen from the dead after three days (if you believe in a Thursday crucifixion rather than Friday) and ascended into Heaven bodily after a period of about 40 or 50 days and was seen by hundreds during that time.  Present day Julian calendars are denoted as BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini – Year of the Lord).

Christianity can be broken down into three main groups as well:  Conservative (Baptists, Reformed Baptists, Reformed Methodists, Bible Churches, Four Square, Church of Christ, Orthodox – Eastern, Russian, Coptic, etc – and Nazarene.), the Liberal (Presbyterians, Episcopaleans, most Methodists, most Lutherans, Church of England, Roman Catholic, etc.), the Charismatic churches such as Assembly of God and others who hold to the belief that God still gives the gifts of tongues and healing today and the Cultic churches such as Mormans, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the like.  You will find that most of the “TV Churches” are of the Charismatic variety but there are still a sprinkling of the conservative and liberal.  However, all except the cult groups (to be discussed later).  All except the Cults and a few non-trinitarian churches hold that Jesus was the only son of G-d and was, in fact, very G-d himself.  The Trinity is explained as three parts of the ONE G-d and not three separate gods, which would be heresy.

  • Conservatives, for the most part, believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of G-d, baptism is part of the salvation process and only those who believe in their heart and confess with their mouth that Jesus (Y’Shua) was the Son of G-d will be allowed into Heaven.  Some have closed communion (commemoration of the Last Supper) some are open but all seem united in certain causes such as anti-abortion to preserve the life of the unborn baby and yet favor the death penalty for certain crimes.  Some will not allow divorce except for adultery or desertion while others recognize divorce as a sin to be forgiven.  All seem to favor baptism by immersion but some (just a couple) will accept baptism by other congregations of the same denomination but only if they were immersed.  Why so many denominations?  Usually because of splits over methods of baptism, whether communion should be observed every week or monthly or quarterly or annually, titles in the church, etc.
  • Liberals are diverse group who usually do not believe in the inerrancy of the bible (much like the Reformed Jews) and hold to permitting abortion, are strongly anti-death-penalty for anything, don’t really seem to have a firm conviction of who will go to heaven and who won’t and usually vote for the more liberal political party.  Except for the Roman Catholic who are liberal EXCEPT for being strongly anti-abortion and strongly anti-divorce, even more so than their conservative counterparts.  Christianity is, indeed, a multi-colored coat that embraces almost anything.
  • Charismatic churches are pretty much orthodox christianity EXCEPT that they believe that G-d still gives the gifts of healing and tongues in today’s churches.  For many years they were outcasts but recently they have been included into the mainstream churches and even some of the conservative and liberal churches have begun to accept this point of view while not preaching it from the pulpit.  Again, rather strange behavior but the churches seem to be bent on keeping their members even if they have to bend their faith a bit.
  • Cults are the hardest to explain to the outsider.  While the Mormons do believe in the King James Version of the bible as the inerrant word of G-d (so far as it is interpreted correctly) they add several books to the bible that were give to them by Joseph Smith, their founder and first prophet.  These are the Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price and The Doctrines and Covenants.  They are also polytheistic in that they believe that Jesus was the G-d of THIS world but that there are other worlds and other g-ds of those worlds.  One of their main doctrines is that “As Man is, G-d once was and as G-d is man may become.”  Also they seem to hold that Jesus and Lucifer were both sons of G-d and that  only Jesus was chosen to redeem mankind.  Jehovah’s Witnesses, on the other hand, hold that Jesus was a man and only a man which is as heretical in the Christian way of thinking as believing that HaShem was only one of many gods in Judaism.  But, both Mormonism and JW’s are growing at fanatical rates, especially outside the USA where they were first developed.

Islam is broken into two main groups:  The Shite (pronounced Shee’-ite with a soft ‘t’) and the Sunni (pronounced Su’-nee) and, to my understanding, has more to do with a political breakup after the death of Mohammad.  Some followed the sons of Mohammad and others followed the then leaders of Islam.  Even today, while Iraq is mostly Sunni with Shite in political control, Iran is mostly Shite with very few Sunni.  The Arab states (Arabia to most of us) is almost all Sunni with a sprinkling of Sunni.  Islam (the Koran) recognizes the other two main religions of Judaism and Christianity as “People of the Book” since, by their way of thinking, the Jews have the Old Testament and the Christians have the New Testament.  Both are allowed to co-exist with Islam under certain conditions – usually that they don’t preach nor convert anyone from Islam to their faith.  In practice, neither are allowed to co-exist unless Islam is not in power.  Even then, Islamists seem to push for Shari Law and other concessions that they would never allow in a country controlled by Islamists.

I have tried to understand the Islamists point of view and have read an English translation of the Koran.  I do find certain points of view acceptable but, according to the Koran, any other faith other than Islam is not allowed unless the non-believer confesses that Allah is G-d and that his only prophet is Mohammed.    This no believing Christian or Jew could do and still be following their faith.  Frankly, I don’t see any kind of co-existence possible UNLESS we can all recognize that while we have different faiths we have to abide by a civil law that is an amalgamation of all of these different faiths.  And if we do that, then none of us can live by their professed faith.  Truly it is a problem for which the only solution is to have countries that are Muslim, others that are Christian and others that are Judaic.  But, if we did that, the Catholics would want their own country and the Baptists would want theirs, etc., etc.

SDG

Yaakov

November 16, 2009 Posted by | Religion | Leave a comment

Obama “snubs” England’s PM

Greetings:

According to the (London) Telegraph Obama snubbed the UK PM because he was “too tired” to show proper respect. Hmmm… Our CLOSEST ally in the world, the “home country” to most of the USA, that England of Shakespeare who said, “This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England, …”

Why? He was tired from wrestling with the worries of the depression in the USA. (There! Someone has finally called it what it is!) See

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/4953523/Barack-Obama-too-tired-to-give-proper-welcome-to-Gordon-Brown.html

for the complete review. Mostly, the Telegraph is saying that maybe we have the wrong man in the wrong place when he is “too tired” to meed the head of his closest ally in the world. Maybe he would have had more time if Gordon Brown was a the “right” color or represented an African nation or one of the Muslim nations. Maybe… Or maybe Michelle is just keeping him too busy. Who knows?

Whatever the reason, he needs to straighten out his priorities and show the proper respect for a Prime Minister from a nation who has always supported the USA. Maybe we DID get the wrong man in office here….

SDG
Yaakov

SDG
Yaakov
Proud Member of
The Republic of Texas

March 7, 2009 Posted by | Political | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Obama and “Change”

Greetings:

Sorry, Charlie. (Or should I say, “Sorry, Barack.”?) I just do NOT see a “change” in the way things are being done in congress, the senate nor the white house. Same-o, same-o. Only the bankers are getting “bailed out” and the auto makers are getting “bailed out” and the flakes that got mortgages that they could not afford are getting “bailed out.”

What about Ordinary Joe?? You know, the guy who pays his bills even when he doesn’t have the money? Who pays his mortgage on time? And teaches his children that you should always repay a loan? What a fool he is!!

Answer? Well, it will be four years before we can vote for someone who is NOT an Obama, who is NOT a George Bush, who is NOT a rock star of some kind, but a “real” business man or woman who actually knows something about economics. Someone for whom straight answers are NOT ” out of my pay grade.”

SDG
Yaakov
Proud Member of
The Republic of Texas

March 7, 2009 Posted by | Political | Leave a comment

! Java Rules

Greetings:

 

OK, I took the original name from another blog by James Owen who copied it from Daniel Selman.  But since I’m doing more on scripture and ontology than rulebased systems, I thought I needed to change the name.  The link is the same but just what shows up doesn’t lead anyone to think that I’m working full time in the rulebase space any longer.  You can’t do everything so I guess I’ll focus on scripture, some on politics (boooor-ring!) and maybe some on technology when a fever hits.  

 

Enjoy the blog anyway and always feel free to comment.  🙂

SDG

Yaakov

December 21, 2008 Posted by | Rule Stuff | Leave a comment

Comments on Torah

Greetings:

I was reading the comments on the Torah posted on the Ahahvath Sholom Congregation web site.   Rabbi made some interesting observations but, like my original Rabbi Seymour Moskowitz, he presented several different interpretations without saying which one he would prefer.   The passages that I found most interesting was that on Genesis 34, the story of Yaakov’s (my namesake) daughter Dinah, her rape by Schechem, the son of Hamor the Hivite who was a Prince of that country.  Subsequently, the sons of Yaakov killed all the men and took the women and children and cattle as their possessions.  Yaakove was dismayed that they had done this.

Now, here’s the problem.  The question that was raised was not necessarily about the event itself but the “why” this event happened.  Theory One was blaming the victim, Dinah, because she “… went out to see the daughters of the land.”  In other words, she made herself a target.  Some of the Rabbim even suggest that she dressed inappropriately by “showing her arm” or some other such nonsense.  There was even a comment about holding out a bit of meat in front of a bird.

  • “Rabbi Berekiah said in Rabbi Levi’s name: This may be compared to one who was holding a pound of meat in his hand, and as soon as he exposed it a bird swooped down and snatched it away. Similarly, ”Now Dinah… went out” and forthwith ”Shechem son of Hamor… saw her.” Rabbi Shmuel bar Nahman said: her arm became exposed. (Bereisheit Rabbah 80:1)”

Make up your own mind but, to me, this is the same principle as, “Well, see how she was dressed.  She was just asking for it.”  (An argument for rape that has filtered down through the ages.)  I find that a bit hard to believe since Schechem immediately asked to marry her which, to me, indicated guilt and fear that her (many) brothers would be angered.  I am no saying that Dinah was right to “parade around in front of the Goyim” but, even had she done such a thing (which is not actually indicated in the scriptures) she still would not have been a target except to someone who felt that he was above the law and that his father’s position would protect him.

Another interpretation put for was that what happens to some and not to others is  matter of luck, mazel.  (MazelTov, after all, just means that you have “Good Luck”.)  The belief in good or bad luck is faulty in that it takes control of all situations from G-d and puts them into “chance”.  I have never found in the scripture that G-d ever took a chance on anything.  When you find someone casting lots to determine something it was never at G-d’s instructions.  

Here’s my theory (and that of some scholars):  HaShem is in control of the Universe.  Whatever happens always goes back to Him.  When Job was being persecuted by Satan, did not HaShem say to Satan in Job 2:3: “And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.”  G-d took responsibility for what was happening to Job even though Satan was doing it.  G-d is either omnipotent or He isn’t.  If He is, then everything that happens is for a reason.

Small parable to illustrate this:  When you are building a home and you have to hit the nail on the head with a hammer, I’m sure that if the nail could think he would wonder WHY was the hammer hitting him on the head?  Neither the nail nor the hammer can know the final intention of the builder.  Do you remember what Job said about his so-called “misfortunate” circumstances?  In Job 2:9,10: “Then his wife said to  him, ‘Do you still hold fast to your integrity?  Curse G-d and die!’ (10) But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women speaks.  Shall we indeed accept good from G-d, and shall we not accept adversity?’   In all of this Job did not sin with his lips.”

I know that there are those who will want to argue about the Holocaust, babies dying from horrible circumstances, entire communities wiped out and will want to ask, “Shall we blame G-d for this?”  I will discuss that later but, for now, the answer has to be and is, “Yes.  G-d is in control.”  We cannot “blame” G-d for things – only accept what happens as part of something that we do not understand.  More on that in another blog.  For now, back to Dinah.

My own interpretation:  That which the sons of Yaakov took to be vengence, the Almighty (Blessed be His Name), used to keep the family moving and absolutely keep them from falling in with the Goyim of the countryside.   Some are cursed with the riches of this world.  Some are blessed with poverty and can only depend on HaShem to keep them clothed and fed.  Personally, like Tevye, I prefer the curse of riches – and may I never recover – BUT knowing that it came from G-d.  Again, that’s another discussion.

So, what do you think?  Go read Rabbi’s discussion and then I would appreciate your comments.

SDG

Yaakov

December 13, 2008 Posted by | Religion | Leave a comment

Shabbos, Part IV

Greetings:

I’m beginning to have discussions with my son and his friends about the Sabbath, or Shabbos.  Since my household has to obey Shabbos (as we try to obey all of the law of HaShem) I have a problem explaining sufficiently what one can do and what one cannot do on Shabbos.  Basically, I try not to get into particulars unless he asks but here is a brief (really brief) recap of our discussions this week.

Microwaving coffee:  Son, “All we’re doing is warming up food that is already cooked.”  Hmmm…  OK, if I were a Jew traveling with Moshe, then my argument would be, “All I’m doing is putting food on the fire to warm it up.”  Immediate stoning follows that one.  😦

Son, “OK, all I’m doing is throwing a switch to start the microwave.”  Again, traveling with Moshe, “All I’m doing is lighting a match to light the fire to warm the food.”  OK, no matches in those days but you get the idea.  Bad move.

Son, “All I’m doing is going to the Mall to look around.”  My answer to that one was fairly easy, “But looking is shopping even though you did not pay for anything today.”

Son, “Are we going to start sacrificing animals now?” Answer, “No, there is only one place to sacrifice animals and that is the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.  No temple, no sacrifice.  G-d has forbidden sacrificing on every high place in the land.”

Son, “OK, what SHOULD we be doing?”  Answer, “Those things that are pleasing to HaShem and not things that are necessarily pleasing to us.  This is also covered in previous posts Shabbos, part II and Shabbos, Part III.  Watching football is pleasing to us, but are we using it to glorify G-d?  Playing football?  Could be…  If we are playing football with unbelievers in order to tell them about HaShem and the joy of serving Him.  But if we are just playing to pass time, then that time could be better spent reading the bible, listening to recordings about HaShem or watching pre-recorded video on talks about HaShem.  Mostly, it comes down to how much do we love G-d and how much do we want to please him.  (Something taken from an earlier comment.)  We can play for just the fun of football at another time on another day.

If walking in the forest is communion, so be it.  Not argument there.  But not at the expense of gathering with other believers on a weekly basis.  We should be walking with HaShem, G-d, every day, all the time, in a state of constant communion and prayer.  This is what Paul meant when he said to be in constant prayer.  A prayer, after all, is communion with G-d and not necessarily bowing your head and closing your eyes.  That would be really dangerous on the interstate at 60 mph.

Son, “OK, when does Shabbos begin?”  At dark – most Jewish calendars have the time on Friday afternoon when Shabbos begins and when to light the candles.  In winter, it begins about 5:00 to 5:30 p.m., depending on location.  In summer, it could begin at 9:00 p.m.  At the North Pole or the South Pole or anywhere in between, you should observe 24 hours of Shabbos.  (North Pole in Summer has 22+ hours of sunlight, but it begins at dark on Friday and ends at dark on Saturday, roughly 24 hours.)  We get this from Genesis where HaShem records that “This was the evening and morning of the first day.” And the other six days as well began on the evening, not at the Roman time of Midnight.

Finally, I had to tell him that I don’t have all of the answers.  BUT, he has to go read the bible himself and talk to G-d about what he wants to do.  After that, then come discuss it with me.  After all, when he has his own home then he will have to make the rules and reason out the why and why not so long as these things are based on scripture, not what I said, not the feelings nor writings of Rabbim, not what somebody else said that G-d said.

Keep the Faith.  The bottom line is to read G-d’s word and try your best to do what He said to do and not do what He said NOT to do.

SDG

Yaakov

December 12, 2008 Posted by | Religion | , , , , | Leave a comment