Through A Glass Darkly

Dear blogging friends, I am going to publish something that may upset you.  Please believe me, I am not a person who judges others according to their race, religion, national origin, or beliefs….as long as those beliefs do not include racism, religious intolerance, espousal of genocide, hatred, murder, or the worship of martyrdom.

Unfortunately, the Jewish People have been on the receiving end of all of the negative things I’ve listed above.  The mere fact that we still exist is a miracle.

According the the Pew Research Religion and Public Life Project, the world religion landscape looks like this:

Christians 31.5%

Muslims 23.2%

Unaffiliated 16.3%

Hindus 15%

Buddhists 7.1%

Folk Religionists 5.9%

Other Religions 0.8%

Jews 0.2%

That’s right, folks, Jews make up 0.2% of world religions!  Yet not one day goes by that the Jews are not in the news.  Jews in the News!

Jews make up 22% of Nobel Laureates, even though we make up 0.2% of the world’s religious affiliation.

It is my opinion that the overwhelming success of the Jewish People in education, business, academics, medicine, and survival of the endless persecutions we have endured, have made us even more hated by those who would wipe us off the face of the earth.

Now, Israel.

First of all I must make a few remarks about the recent (i.e., not Biblical) history of the connection of the Land of Israel and the Jewish People.

In the year 70 of the Common Era, the very same Romans who killed not only Jesus, but hundreds of other Jewish martyrs–in the year 70 of the Common Era (Jews reckon time differently), the Romans sacked Jerusalem and drove the Jews into the hills.  In the year 640 C.E., the Moslem Conquest replaced the Romans, and the Jews were faced with forced conversion, death, or eviction from The Land.

Most fled, many chose forced conversion rather than leave the beloved Land, and some disappeared into crevices and caves.  They never left.  They are still there, but now live openly in their Land.

The Land then underwent a period of serial conquests by Christians and various Caliphates, finally settling into the Ottoman Empire, ceding to the British Empire, and finally becoming the Jewish State in 1948.

Even though the State of Israel began with a vicious war and has been at war ever since, Jews from other Middle Eastern countries such as Morocco, Egypt, Algiers, Iraq, Iran, Syria, etc. etc. made their way back home–some voluntarily, and many because of forced evictions from their home countries, which became one by one Islamized and forced the Jews out violently.  In fact, some 900,000 Middle Eastern Jews were evicted starting in the late 1800s and continuing until now, when the few staunch holdouts are finally being forced out or outright killed.

Back to Israel.  Did you know that tiny Israel, the size of the state of Rhode Island (the smallest state in the United States), is surrounded by 23 Moslem countries?  Take a look at the map on the Pew Foundation map to get an idea of what that looks like.

You must understand, we are a thorn in the Moslem Middle East’s side!  What is this tiny state full of historic enemies doing right in the middle of a solid bloc of Moslem countries?

And to add insult to injury, we (Israel) have taken in several other ethnic groups that are unwelcome and have been severely persecuted in Moslem countries: Baha’i, Druze, Christians (of course!),  and although no one wants to admit it, the Bedouin, who were at one time a migratory people with their own belief system and language, who now live in Israel (not without their own set of problems, but they have the same rights as anyone else in Israel).

Now we come to the Palestinian People and the awful conflicts we have.

Everyone who does not understand the fundamental differences between the Palestinians and the Jews likes to point to the 0.2% and shout, “Why can’t you just get along?”

This is why.

Le’Chayim!  To Life!  We will live and not die, even if we must fight and fight to keep on living.  Le’Chayim!

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30 Comments

  1. Wow. There is no negotiation with that. BUT….their fervency for their religious beliefs is amazing. Not good for Isreal or peace, but think what one could do with that intensity of motivation if used for good.

    Reply
    • Yes! Yes! But sadly, this is not the case. I have had so, SO many conversations with Muslims who WOULD have been my friends except that they are taught horrible things about Jews in school…..it’s so unnecessary. They are taught “Blood Libel” stories in school–I found this out from a woman I shared a hospital room with (I had been bitten by a cat, she suffered from awful diabetes), who told me what her daughter was learning in school about the Jews. I saved her life three times when her blood sugar crashed and she started having seizures, and I ran down the hall with my IV pole and grabbed a nurse. After the third time she asked me, “Why did you save my life? You’re a Jew and I’m a Palestinian.” All I could think of to say was, “You’re a human being. Nothing else matters. You’re a human being. How could I stand by and let you die?” Then we hugged for a long time, and then she never spoke to me again. I have had other, less dramatic conversations with Arab women and in fact with an Arab man who painted my house. We had to have a glass of Turkish coffee together before he would begin work. We agreed that if everyone would just sit down and have coffee together, there would be peace!

      Reply
      • The saddest thing is that y’all are cousins, founded from the same family generations back!
        My dad lived in Saudi Arabia for a couple of years renovating King Khalid’s guest palace. He knew Saudi billionaires and many members of the royal family. With exception of Prince Fahd, he found the people delightful, some of the kindest, hospitable and friendliest he has ever known—as long as religion was not discussed. THEN, wow, it was like night and day. Their god Allah is a cruel master, binding some of the fundamental sects to miserable rules and laws. Yet they serve with a single minded intensity that makes me ashamed of myself. Religion can free or enslave one. I have chosen to follow a religion that sets me free but I do not use opportunities to share my joy with others.
        I worked with a Muslim Nephrologist many years back, I just loved him, he was so kind and wonderful and by golly he tried almost every time we had casual conversations to convert me! He of course did not have the radical views of the current mid-Eastern groups. We tend to wrongly assume that all Muslims are the same, and they have as many different “sects” as Christians do. I admired his courage to speak of what he loved.
        I understand why many people just wish that religion could be done away with due to all the horrors that have come from the evils of religion in the hands of cruel ambition. But from my personal experience my life would be meaningless without it, for I believe that we were made by God for a relationship with Him, and without this we lose the most important part of ourselves.

        Reply
        • I totally agree that diversity in religion is essential….but we must respect one another and not try to convert each other! We all have a purpose and a Divinely given role in this world. I cannot, however, believe that God has a love for violence as a way of serving. Regardless of what the American Muslims publish in newspapers, Jihad is a core value of the Muslim faith–and Jihad means converting the entire world to Islam, by peaceful or other means, depending on the faction. It sounds absurd, but we must remember that in its inception the Church also had that goal and used the same tactics! And now, thank God, things have calmed down, although where I am living now among the Primitive Baptists I am considered to be a prime candidate for conversion, in order to save my soul. I do appreciate their motivation, but I explain to them that I belong to the people of Abraham, and we talk some Bible and get to know each other, and I think that they still think I am mistaken and they feel sorry for me that I will go to Hell, but at least we have a dialogue. (I do have a rather perverse image of a hardshell Baptist and a Jihadi Muslim trying to convert each other…bad me!)

          I too have worked with Muslims who were extremely nice and respectful. In fact, in Israeli hospitals, Jews and Christians and Muslims work together side by side. Unfortunately I have been a patient in Israeli hospitals long enough to experience the complete absence of cultural disparity in quality of care…except when I was hospitalized for GI bleeding over a Jewish holiday, when the Jewish staff was let off to celebrate (and during Islamic holidays, the Muslims also get time off to celebrate) and only the Muslim staff remained. I will not enumerate the iniquities I and the rest of the Jewish patients suffered, not at the hands of the Arab doctors who were very nice and professional, but unfortunately the nurses and other staff basically ignored me, with the exception of forbidding me to light the candles that always accompany the beginning of the Sabbath or holiday. BTW there is a special fireproof place for that very purpose, but they kept blowing out my candles and laughing at me when I burst into tears because lighting candles is a Jewish law. At last one of the nurses took pity on me and led me and my IV pole and candles to a remote part of the hospital where I could light my candles, but she took some guff about it when we got back. I will forever remember her and her courage at going against the stream of hatred. I think of her often, and her attribute of kindness and mercy, and I pray that one day we will all have that kind of heart.

          Reply
          • LOL on the Baptists! They care for your soul at least! Your treatment in the hospital was heartbreaking to read. The great adage to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” would certainly solve many conflicts in the world. But I have a strong belief in the concept of Original Sin, and peace is a pipe dream. Certainly all the prophesies in the OT don’t point to a happy solution to our problems. Heck, Isaiah reads like a horror novel.
            Blessings to you!

            Reply
            • Yeah, Isaiah, and Jeremiah….whew! Jeremiah got thrown into prison for preaching the truth, but he continued to prophesy until he got killed, I don’t remember who by. Great English, huh?

              The Original Sin. Lots to say about that, and I’d love to hear your take on it.

              Reply
  2. I’m speechless except to say it sent chills down my spine.

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  3. savemefrombpd

     /  August 5, 2014

    (Le’Chayim! To Life! We will live and not die, even if we must fight and fight to keep on living. Le’Chayim!)….Amen ve’amen

    Reply
  4. The part that confuses me so much is how ANY religion can stand on the precept that killing others is a holy duty that will bring them closer to their God (Allah). If that is where you begin, then there is no reasoning or negotiation. I respect that all people have the right to follow their own version of religion (or not), but killing others in the name of God will never, ever, be right. Of course, what WE believe doesn’t matter. It seems it would take generations and generations of changing the basis of the religion in order to reach a more tenable position that might offer the hope of peace. I refuse to believe it is impossible. Anything, anything, is possible. Even the Catholic church has begun a painfully slow progression towards embracing a more accepting view, without sacrificing the tenets on which they choose to build their faith. Surely Muslims have the capacity to do the same.

    The video is heartbreaking and horrifying, all at once. So sad. So incredibly sad.

    Reply
    • Your comment brings to mind the history of the Catholic Church, with its Crusades and its Inquisition…..also a culture of martyrdom, in the case of the Crusades, and murderousness, as in the case of the Inquisition and subsequent world conquests with forced conversions, and death as a consequence of refusal. Interesting factoid: it was recently discovered that due to the use of rape in terrorizing Jews in the late 1400’s culminating in expulsion in 1492, 1 out of 5 Spaniards today are genetically Jewish. This is because Jewish identity is passed down through the mother, and the Spaniards were inadvertently making more Jews! How’s that for irony?

      Back to your comment. Yes, over the centuries the Church has certainly moderated and grown with the times. After it became unpopular to have Inquisitions, the Church did and does continue with heavy missionary work, but not by force and now by service. While I don’t agree with any type of missionary activities–trying to sway people from their own traditions and convince them that God will only love them, or will love them more, if they accept (fill in the blank) as their personal God, at least the Catholic missionaries are now operating in the Kindness And Service mode rather than the We Will Kill You If You Don’t mode. That said, I know more traumatized “lapsed Catholics” than I can count, who were terrorized as children by Sunday School nuns threatening them with eternal torment if they failed to….actually I don’t know what they might have failed to do, since they never told me and I never asked. I was scared to find out!

      If the Catholic Church could moderate itself in “only” 600 years, could Islam do the same?

      That reminds me of a joke.

      How many psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb?

      Only one, but the lightbulb has to really want to change.

      Reply
      • I know it sounds incredibly naive, and even I sometimes falter in my belief, but I keep hoping and praying that the younger generations that come up will be the momentum that might eventually move things in another direction. That even though the basis of the Muslim religion (as I understand it) is “honor and eternal glory by death” that the young mothers and fathers will become less and less willing to sacrifice their children to this idea, or that the young university students will be exposed to other cultures and become friends with their Jewish neighbor, or their Catholic neighbor, (etc etc) and will somehow finally begin to see the senselessness in killing those people who are anything other than Muslim. That they will begin to QUESTION their own religion, and thereby, begin changing what it means to be an honorable and devoted Muslim. My hope has always been in the children, even though, as we all know, children can just as easily be taught to hate. If they can be taught to hate, they can also be taught tolerance and love. They can be taught to see people as PEOPLE, and not as “other than Muslim”. This is what I pray.

        As for the “but they have to want it” joke, (and the not-so-funny truth of it), even that has the promise of improvement. Exposure, education, compassion, acceptance are all possibilities, even when dealing with centuries of one-directional thinking. It angers me and frightens me in ways that are sometimes unbearable that eradication is ever on the table in any discussion. Destroying the Jewish race is a horrifying concept, and my hope is that there will be too many voices who raise their fist in protest of any such idea. The world as we know it continues to evolve, and my prayer is that this conflict will evolve as well, and that there actually will be a day where everyone can live peaceably, side by side, without fear of death and destruction lurking around every corner. Until that day comes, then surely we must speak out loud to protect the persecuted.

        Reply
        • I share your hope and prayer. When blood libel is taken out of the Islamic textbooks and children are taught tolerance and love instead of hate, when the Hebrew University cafeteria is not blown up by an Israeli Arab student at the very same University, then we will have peace. But it is an enormous job to bring mutual tolerance, and I am afraid it will take many generations.

          My Moroccan Jewish neighbors told me that before the First Intifada, the neighborhood was mixed Arab and Jewish. The Middle Eastern Jews speak Arabic as their first language/mother tongue, and my neighbors told me that they used to all celebrate each other’s weddings, funerals, holidays…until Yasser Arafat incited violence and hatred. Then the Arabs isolated themselves from the Jews, except for shopping at our markets and malls, and getting free medical care and education, free electricity and water (which we pay for), and other benefits. My landlord, who is a Jewish contractor who hires the Arab building companies (almost all of the building companies are Arab), is careful to make sure they have time and money to celebrate Ramadan and other Islamic holidays.

          Your vision of mutual tolerance and respect is a truly wonderful one, and I hope that we see it in our days.

          Reply
  5. Sadly, I have not been horrified or offended by what you have writeen Laura. I cannot understand the skewed belief system of a people who would accept medical help for themselves and their children and at the same time tell ‘you’ quite openly that she would willingly die if that was called for in that moment. nor that after everything Israel has done to save her son she woud be ‘happy’ if he became a terrorist, suicide bomber for the “sake of tearing Jerusalem away from the Jewsish people”.
    During my brief visit to Israel I saw and heard much – it’s part of my nature to observe and hear what is happening. I was fortunate I had wonderful people to explain what was being said. Most importantly was what I saw with my own eyes… what Palestinians told me when we were talking quietly together.
    Too much to go into here,this video is proof that some peoplecannot be ‘saved’ and the miniscule .2% of Jewish people will keep on being the scapegoats for the mentality of the Islamic brainwashing.
    I believe Israel has to continue to fight – they have no other course left tothem and the ‘world’ should get off their collective rears and stop the Islamic infiltration by immigration or otherwise bcause one day, we may find ourselves in this same situation.
    Well said Laura – Blessings always
    Susan x

    Reply
    • Thank you, Susan. I appreciate hearing your personal experiences, and would love to hear more. I feel that the more people experience the situation on the ground, the more understanding we can bring “the world” of the unfortunate realities we face daily.

      One thing that strikes me about this video is that the young woman vacillates between shouting her allegiance to “shahada” while at the same time–or intermittently–expressing grief for the two daughters who died in her arms. And of course rather than let her sick son die, she took advantage of Israeli medical outreach to have him treated in a high-tech hospital (which also takes care of the Palestinian families who have family members as inpatients), and now that he is restored to health, she shouts that the best thing for him, what would make her happiest and proudest, is if he were to die as a martyr. Or really, as she shouts over and over, that death is better than life and that “they,” her culture, reveres death the way “we,” the Jewish culture, reveres life………how can that culture of death be changed, except from within? Will the world still be spinning on its axis when that happens?

      When I watch videos like this, I am struck by the sense of uncertainty of the mothers and children who recite as by rote that martyrdom is the “best thing.” It stinks of indoctrination, a catechism of hate and destruction. Although they will and do carry out their horrific suicide bombings etc., beneath the hard shell blood-thirst indoctrination is a human being. How many centuries will it take before they put down their bombs and show their faces?

      And to further the irony, Hamas whines daily to the UN, the EU, and anyone else who will listen, about “asymmetrical casualties.” Huh? I thought death was better than life for them. Apparently not, if it makes Israel look bloodthirsty.

      I abhor the loss of life that results from Hamas purposely placing their command centers and weapons caches beneath schools, mosques, hospitals, playgrounds, and other public places, and then forcing its citizens to occupy those places so as to crank up the civilian casualty count. What hypocrisy! They love shahada? They are creating so many shaheeds, their god must be thrilled! On the other hand, they use these heartbreaking numbers of victims of their own making to bring down judgement on Israel.

      I’m afraid this is a war we can’t win (or better, a culture clash we can’t resolve) without spillage of much more blood, innocent and otherwise.

      Reply
      • Unfortunately I have to agree with you again Laura. It makes me angry – which is useless, when I see the news reports and hear others talking about how aggresive Israelis are.

        I’ve always believed that we all bleed red – and that the sooner people realise this, and stop the leaders who thrown away others lives, but keep themselves safe, then we will always have wars. Is it a necessary evil? I don’t think I could begin to answer that, yet I know that this will and must go on so that one day, G-D willing, there will be an end to it.

        When you go back to Israel- we will come over and say hi…. it woud be my very great pleasure. I truly had a wonderful time there. I could become lost in the history, ancient and more modern. What is wrong with people that they cannot see things without their blinkers on?

        Stay well – look after your back and your father. If I had the Jewish words to offer a blessing I would. Please accept it in spirit….
        Blessings and love
        Susan x

        Reply
        • Thank you! Le’chayim is good–to Life! Wow, I look forward to you as honored visitors when I finally get Home. Anyone else who wants to come, we’ll have a barbecue in the park and go visit amazing places that you can read about in the Bible that are right there! It’s amazing.

          Yes, I hear your words that “we all bleed red.” I think that’s a very important point, one that everyone should listen to and heed.

          Blessings and love back,

          L

          Reply
  6. I remain confounded by the ongoing conflict between family members. I blame Abraham because Sarah wanted a child so badly and instead of waiting on God, she demanded Abraham take Hagar. Abraham should have stood up to Sarah and stood up for God and refused. Who knows why. Maybe he lusted after Hagar. Maybe Sarah henpecked Abraham. Who knows. All I know is the trouble began immediately with Hagar flaunting her pregnancy and later Ishmael making fun of Isaac. Talk about family dysfunction!!

    It seems to me like too many forget the familial ties. I think that should count for something, but as someone who grew up in a dysfunctional family I also know sometimes family is the worst to be friends/companions/whatever and sometimes distance and time is best with certain people.

    The other thing that bothers me greatly is the fact that SO many people believe that Allah and Jehovah are the same. They are NOT. Allah is all about death and destruction. Jehovah is all about love and life. I’m not saying His PEOPLE are always like that — as in the things you cited above like the Crusades, etc. — but HE is ALWAYS about love and life.

    Even when people who call themselves Christians (you know I don’t b/c I don’t want to be associated with that name and what it has come to mean; I am a follower of Jesus, the Christ.) see actual recordings of real people, like this woman, who actually say things like “the best thing ever is to be a martyr,” STILL won’t believe there’s anything wrong with people like her or with their vicious god.

    If anyone has actually studied the Scripture, actually taken time to read the entire Bible it is so obvious that God Himself GAVE the land to the children of Israel. He always warned them what would happen if they did not follow the Law, but turned their backs on Him: He would scatter them to the ends of the earth . . .which He did. He also said, “If My people who are called by My name repent . . . I will forgive them and I will heal their land . . ” and He said He would gather up the remnants and return them to the land. That also happened in the eras you describe above and is still happening today as more and more Jews in other countries returned to the Promised Land on earth.

    I remain confounded at this mindset of death, killing, martyrdom for martyrdom’s sake, etc. I know Israel isn’t perfect. America isn’t perfect. Yet I know Israel is God’s wife. God said that in my Old Testament and made . . . oh, good grief, I can’t remember his name but he was a prophet and had to marry Gomer, a prostitute in order to portray God and the children of Israel. In my New Testament we learn followers of Jesus are His bride. That doesn’t mean God, my Abba, has divorced Israel. You are still His wife. I am Jesus’ bride. I told you a long time ago I’ve always pictured true followers of Jesus to be like cousins to the Jews. That’s just my individual way of looking at it. This is just one part of my reasoning why I believe we’re cousin-like.

    No matter what happens, I pray America will always understand how important it is for us to support Israel. God said, “I will bless those who bless you and persecute those who persecute you.” We, as a nation, have turned our backs on so many things God has said. Slowly but surely from the time I was a child we began turning away. We haven’t turned our backs completely, as a nation, but too many people have an all-encompassing viewpoint of religion (man-made) that they open their minds and hearts to absolutely everything . . . except when it comes to true followers of Jesus and when it comes to Jews and Judaism.

    Keeping you and your dad in my thoughts and prayers always, my dear friend!!
    -Kathy

    Reply
    • Wow, Kathy, you bowl me over. Your using “Abba” sent chills down my spine. Where did you learn that Hebrew name for “Daddy”? (Formal for “father” is “Av,” but nobody uses it when talking about their father or their Father.)

      Regarding the whole issue of Sarah and Abraham, whose names at the time were Sarai (which means “my sister”) and Avram, because they hadn’t yet received the extra “H” in their names, which is taken from the Tetragrammaton (mystical stuff): Genesis 16:1 through 16:16 has the whole story, in very few words. 16:1 “Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, “See, now, HASHEM (God) has restrained me from bearing; consort, now, with my maidservant, perhaps I will be built up through her.” And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai.”

      Later in that chapter, Hagar flaunts her pregnancy around the camp. At that time, a woman’s stature in society was measured according to the number of children she bore. And in Jewish law, if a woman has not borne during the first ten years of marriage, her husband must divorce her, because only through reproduction will the Jewish People survive, since we are few in number anyway.

      So Sarai sends the pregnant Hagar into the desert, and after some interesting things happen, an angel of HASHEM says to her 16:10….”I will greatly increase your offspring, and they will not be counted for abundance.” That is interesting, since He told Abram that his offspring would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sands of the ocean (no time to look up reference, sorry, but you probably know it anyway!)

      Then, in 16:12, speaking of Ishmael, ….”And he shall be a wild-ass of a man, his hand against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him, and over all his brothers shall he dwell.”

      Now this is curious, because although Sarai was a prophetess, and of course Abram the greatest prophet that ever lived besides Adam, for some reason they were blinded to this apparent mistake. But HASHEM God does not make mistakes, and in those days, everything that happened was by divine decree. When this sort of thing occurs–an apparent disconnect–in the Hebrew Bible, it is a finger pointing to something deeper, which will be found in the holy mystical texts. I will ask my teachers about this; I’m sure they will have some amazing answers!

      I believe that there is room for all the diverse nations, and that each has its special “mission” upon the earth. Maybe the Muslim nations are there to challenge us to rise up and stand up for what we know is right?

      Jesus taught peace during a time of corruption and in-fighting. The Prophets tried desperately to warn the Jewish People that if they did not heed HASHEM GOD and act righteously, that they would be banished from The Land, and that is exactly what happened.

      We learn that we will bring the End of Days in two ways: either by mass repentance, which will bring the Messiah (and I don’t care whether it is his first or second appearance, just so he GETS HERE!!!), or by difficulty, strife, and war. Unfortunately, it looks like the war of Gog and Magog is knocking at our door (Iran) and in fact has already started (Syria). This will indeed be “a war to end all wars,” so it’s good to start preparing NOW, because I don’t think anywhere will really be safe.

      On that level, the Muslims might actually be HELPING to bring about the End of Days and to bring the Messiah, because since we have chosen the hard road, maybe they are giving us the opportunity to “get it over with.”

      Looking forward to partying with you under the Big Tent (made from the skin of the Leviathan) and the Big Barbecue (the Behemoth, cooked by our jolly friends the Kohen Priests)!

      Much love in return, always love to share the Bible with you–Laura

      Reply
      • I learned the word “Abba” from watching Zola Levitt’s program for years. I learned a lot about the Jews and the Jewish ways of life which showed me why Jesus used the parables He used: He was talking to everyday people about the things they saw and did every day. Zola opened my eyes to so many things and I enjoyed his program very much. He died on my birthday quite a few years ago.

        He was Jewish by race, but only kept the Holy Days and Feasts — not really “religious” according to some standards. He was a musician, playing everywhere including Christian denominations. One day while playing at a particular Christian congregation he was struck by what he heard and he converted to Christianity. He main goal was to reach out to other Jews and his second goal was to teach Christians about Jews. He took tours 3 or 4 times a year. He would start out in the countries along the Mediterranean Sea where Paul established churches in the 1st century. He ended every tour at Petra. However, according your budget and the time you were able to go on a tour, you could start your tour anywhere. If all you had time for was to see Jerusalem, you could join the tour there and go back home from there. If you had time and money, you could go on to Petra and go back to America with everyone else. Zola and a camera crew would usually stay behind to make lots of films to be taken back to his home in Dallas to be edited, etc.

        Sometimes the films they made would show 1st century Christians. Sometimes it would be about Jacob (Israel) and his sons. One time he went through all the prophecies about the 12 sons and what it meant and what happened to each son. Pretty cool!! The actors used period-clothing, work tools, animals, etc. to bring reality to the stories. Every Passover/Resurrection weekend, they play the same program where Zola, dressed up in the clothing of a priest — all white, would explain what each part of the meal represents and how the Messiah is seen through the bread that is pierced and striped and is in 3 parts, where all the 3 parts are placed in a bag with 3 compartments, how the second one (which would be seen as Jesus for us followers of Jesus) is hidden away and later taken out (for followers of Jesus to show His death, burial and resurrection.)

        His music was beautiful!! He could play any reed instrument, but his favorite was the oboe.

        He wrote wonderful little books (booklets?) and one I loved where he followed a baby from conception to birth and compared each major changing aspect to the Feasts!! The Feast of Trumpets was when the baby could hear!! 😀

        He also had shows where guests would come and talk about current events happening in Israel and on one show he had a woman from a high political post in Palestine. He treated her very kindly, never arguing, just asking questions and maybe clarification. He had guests who were Jews by both birth and religion (spirituality,) who were Christians (followers of Jesus,) who were Messianic Jews (those who had converted to Christianity, but most still seemed to keep the Feasts and the Holy Days.)

        I miss him!!

        Reply
  7. I was not offended and found the comments very interesting. I grew up very Christian (babtised Lutheran). Until about 6 years ago when I felt that this whole ‘god’ thing was kind of funny and seemed more scifi than real. There is no title for what I believe, aside from we are all the same energy, people, plants and animals.
    I often wonder where we would be if there were NO religions…. I feel better off.

    Reply
    • John Lennon felt the same way–in his song “Imagine” he says it. It’s a wonderful idea, for everyone to quit using religion as a reason to war against each other. If you think about all the wars that are in the name of religion/ideology, it’s clear that that is not what they are about. They are about real estate.

      Reply
  8. Laura, Bless you for writing this post. Whenever I read about the recent conflict, i think of you. Certainly you have a better view on these matters as you are from that region.

    We have a race in Indians that is said to be carrying the lineage of Jews. “Konkanstha Marathi Brahmin ” . These people are also known for their intelligence, fair skin, grey eyes and money saving practise.

    Palestinian problem has too many angles to it and frankly I dont see any solution to it, not until the entire history is forgotten and people sit with the honest intention to solve the problem. Unless people see that death is ugly and a loss whichever house it visits.

    I would love to read about your experiences.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Ashu! Wow, I didn’t know that the Indian Jews were recognized as a “real” entity. But of course they would be! I knew that there was formerly a large Jewish population in Kochi, of which there are just a few left now, having been wiped out in the Muslim conquests–I can’t remember which one. Many Indian Jews have sought asylum in Israel. They are called Bnei Menashe, the Children of Menashe, who was one of the sons of biblical Joseph. They live mostly in Hevron, which is a very interesting and therefore fought-over place.

      My experiences in India, or Israel?

      Om Shalom–L

      Reply
  9. istralouise

     /  August 6, 2014

    I want to thank you for your post. The statistics are interesting to me, but I am politically a supporter of Israel already.. It sickens me a little every time I hear people wanting more and more concessions from the people there.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for your kind words and support! Yes, it doesn’t make any sense, does it? But they have the support of “the World”–the Palestinians, I mean–the “world” loves an underdog, but they fail to educate themselves about who the underdog really is!

      Reply
  10. After reading all the comments here, I would like to mention that throughout the world history . India has always been attacked for its riches and cultural, spiritual knowledge.
    We have never been offensive, even now when we are challenged by all the sides on various issues. God, how will people learn to control their anger and stop suffering from persecution complex.

    Reply
    • So true! Whenever there is “good stuff,” it draws energy, both good and bad. India is such a patchwork quilt of extremes….extreme wealth, extreme poverty, extreme beauty, extreme ugliness, extreme wisdom, extreme ignorance, on and on and on……I have only been to India once, to an Ayurvedic hospital in the Nilgiri hills above Coonoor in Tamil Nadu, and I was very ill so I could not travel, but even in that heavenly spot I saw things that to the Western mind would be shocking, and I found a Guru who has changed my life by opening up my brain, and I ran into such wealth and power as I have never seen, and yet such grinding poverty as would never be condoned in the West, and yet the rich were riding on the back of the poor…but, even as I write this I am wearing my nearly-pure gold earrings that I bought in Coonoor, probably mined by some poor slave…..I think it goes beyond anger, Ashu, I think it’s greed.

      Reply
  11. I thank my cousin, who shall remain anonymous, for this gem rom 2002, still as relevant today: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/161yaihr.asp

    Reply

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