Author Archives: Guestspeaker

About Guestspeaker

A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world. We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".

Sometimes the best answer is a question

English: Poet Rainer Maria Rilke, former secre...

Poet Rainer Maria Rilke, former secretary of August Rodin Česky: Básník Rainer Maria Rilke, kdisi tajemník Rodinův (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The poet Rainer Maria Rilke exchanged special letters with a young, doubtful and novice poet.What he then wrote to Kappus , at the beginning of the twentieth century, is still true today.

Love your questions
Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart
and try to look at your questions lovingly,
like locked rooms.
Or like books written in a very foreign language.
Do not now seek the answers .
which cannot be given you ,
because you would not be able to live them yet.
It is about “living” everything.

Live your questions now.
And perhaps you will then gradually,
without noticing it
find yourself
one day
in your answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke
from :Letters to a Young Poet
Balans, 2009

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Soms is het beste antwoord een vraag

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Soms is het beste antwoord een vraag

Soms is het beste antwoord een vraag.De dichter Rainer Maria Rilke onderhield een bijzondere briefwisseling met een jonge, twijfelende en beginnende dichter.

Wat hij toen aan Kappus schreef, aan het begin van de twintigste eeuw, is vandaag nog even waar.
Heb je vragen lief

Heb geduld met alles wat onopgelost is in je hart en probeer je vragen met liefde te bezien,
als kamers die gesloten zijn.
Of als boeken in een volslagen vreemde taal.
Zoek nog niet naar antwoorden.
Die kunnen je nog niet gegeven worden,
omdat je niet in staat zou zijn ze te leven.
Het gaat er om alles ‘te leven’.
Leef nu de vragen.
Misschien zul je dan geleidelijk,
zonder het te merken,
jezelf, ooit op een dag,
in het antwoord terug vinden.

Rainer Maria Rilke
uit: Brieven aan een jonge dichter
Balans, 2009

English version: Sometimes the best answer is a question.

Photo of Rainer Maria Rilke

Photo of Rainer Maria Rilke (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Are you having such days?

At last the sun is showing herself after a very long grey period.

As the Director of Missions at Centreville (Virginia) Presbyterian Church, Sharon Hoover probably encounters enough people who also feel that the days are pulling at their end. She too has to make her way on this planet, amidst the joys and struggles — and also sometimes at a glacial pace — toward maturity as a Christ-follower. Through God’s grace, she also has stumbled upon some wisdom in her five decades.

It’s my joy to share thoughts, raise questions, and explore doubts. {Life’s path meanders}

She managed to take beautiful photographs of the world which tries to give enough signs of the Hand of the Most High Divine Creator. There you can find a.o. God’s paintbrush dipped into all the colours when creating the Rainbow Hot Springs (Yellowstone National Park)
But you might also be confronted with the human beings making an impact on the planet. Some good, some not so good.

She is passionate about creating space where people can experience God. This drive motivates her to disciple new believers, speak, and encourage women in their faith journey.

In her region she has to face the same flight away from church like in our regions. She, like many pastors in West Europe, has struggled as people walk away from her home church.

Relocation for employment or family reasons have taken some members. Others have chosen to leave due to differences of opinion, theology, or purposes. Regardless of the reason, it hurts nonetheless. {Why Choose the Church?}

She is been on a church staff for more than 20 years and has heard many people’s stories.

Their faith journeys often include at least one unhealthy church encounter. In my discussions with leaders of other churches, I know this is not unique to my faith community. Church nomads travel into new places of worship every week. Discouraged from a previous church experience yet wanting to be part of the larger family of God, they consider the possibility of new church home. {Why Choose the Church?}

People may be restless. In some countries they may be lucky to find different denominations, having a choice of lots of churches. In the so called Catholic country Belgium every village had its own Roman Catholic church and in cities different Catholic denominations also could be found as well as different protestant churches. Today most Catholic churches are  most of the time empty. The protestant evangelical churches which attract youngsters with their shows and entertainment services still manage to get some few at the service, for which people are prepared to travel some kilometres.

In the United States, of which we so much think of the mega churches, according to Barna’s Trends 2017, church attendance is at an all-time low in that so called Christian State. A mere 35 percent of Americans surveyed reported attending church in the past week. Two-thirds of us chose activity other than being with a faith community. Barna researchers probed further asking why people no longer attend church. Millennials’ responses were especially telling. Their top three answers were:

  •   the church is not relevant to them
  •   they find God elsewhere
  •   they can teach themselves
Sharon Hoover at the Redbud Post writes

Somewhere along the way, we have developed the shortsighted view that church is about our personal experiences. What is in it for me? Choosing to follow Christ is indeed a personal decision, but never was the journey meant to be a solo or private one. After our initial encounter with the Living God, continued growth depends on commitment to a local body of Christ. The church. Internet resources, best-selling books, and a walk in the woods can nurture faith, but it is in community where we learn to love, be patient, show kindness, receive correction, and so much more. {A Love/Hate Relationship with the Church}

Roman Catholic Eucharist

Roman Catholic Eucharist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, lots of people have a quaint feeling about religion. Many have a love-hate relationship with God and with the church. Though lots of people still claim to be Christian, we can not see much of a Christian attitude.  You would think that as Christ-followers they would belong to the family of God. Today there is not much to see of them loving such an association with the Body of Christ. Though

God created us to be in community (Genesis 2:18; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 1 Corinthians 12:27). This universal Church, the one that includes all who call on the name of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, draws us into a most unique global space of connectedness. {A Love/Hate Relationship with the Church}

In this globalising world we are constantly confronted with world news and lots of languages. Lots of people can go to many places.

Friends and ministry partners allowed me to travel and experience new cultures. I heard languages I had never heard before, ate exotic foods, and found fellow believers in all corners of our planet.

My husband and I faced several life changing circumstances. We became empty-nesters when our daughter headed out for college. I broke my first bone (ouch, my ankle) and he graciously took care of me. Most profoundly, my precious father-in-law Bob passed on to glory. Bob was loved by all who knew him. We mourn our loss but know that Bob is dancing with the Lord and organizing car trips from the rising of the sun to the setting of the same. {Dipping into Memories}

She still can live with many memories, but for many life goes so fast and they are carried away by social-media and their workload, that they forget to live really and before they know the time is gone, and memories have faded by the overload of junk information.

We notice that there are lots of people who struggle but do not have it in them to write it off or to have positive contacts with others pulling them out of the gutter. When Mrs. Hoover struggles with something, she tend to write a lot.

Journaling brings HealingMy initial entry typically makes little sense. It’s an attempt to catalog the crisis. Anger or frustration or animosity emerge in my inability to string words into a legible sentence.

After a while — in some cases it’s the end of that day’s entry, but in other cases, it is weeks or months or years later — my thoughts flow more gracefully. I’m able to find the words. Although the hurt may still be present, I found the ability to grasp my emotions through my journaling. {Journaling: Healing through Private Words}

We may be lucky when we can surrendered emotions onto journal pages, however, the pain flows through the pen and somehow becomes validated.

Pain and confusion take on the form of words. Once we put words to the difficult undercurrents, we begin to move forward in the path of healthy grieving. Faith emerges. A sense of calm replaces the distant and empty feelings. {Journaling: Healing through Private Words}

We get some of those days we can miss like toothache and other days we wonder what we are doing here, whilst other days we would love to happen something here on this earth with us in the centre.

Another day to get dressed, go to work, make dinner, and do the dishes. Also another day to chat with neighbors, meet a friend for coffee, and curl up in my warm bed at night.

But it’s also another day with no burning bush moments like Moses, no Damascus Road experiences like Paul, and certainly no angels like Mary’s Gabriel declaring I had found great favor with the Lord. Again. {Finding Ordinary Perseverance}

English: Steam phase eruption of Castle Geyser...

Steam phase eruption of Castle Geyser in Yellowstone National Park. The steam from the geyser casting a shadow ot itself creating crepuscular rays. Français : Eruption de vapeur du Castle Geyser à Yellowstone. La vapeur créé un jeu d’ombres et de lumière rappelant des Rayons crépusculaires. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some may have their mantra of the day suggesting they ought to have tweetable thoughts throughout the day, sprinkled with Facebook-worthy posts of witty text message screenshots, along with at least one Instagram photo of their food (even if it’s a failed Pinterest attempt) or their outfit-while-standing-with-hand-on-hip-and-leg-slightly-bent. {Finding Ordinary Perseverance}

How many do not let their thoughts been carried away to dark alleys instead of letting them wander on sunny beaches. Either they find it is again a day they do not want to have any more, or they think it was again a day like any other one, wasted … just another day.

We make ourselves crazy when we feel like we have to “be brave and do something courageous” everyday, or face the pressure of “make today the first day of the rest of my life” everyday, or “be the change you want to see in the world” every moment. It’s exhausting. {Finding Ordinary Perseverance}

It is impossible to make of every day a marvellous day let stand an incredible day. It is also not possible to tackle every day on our own. Some days we need others around us to carry us through the day. Not every day can be totally new and different on all parts.

Sometimes, Friends, the bravest thing we can do is to repeat yesterday. The ordinary. One day at a time.

When we look for momentous events daily in our friendships, parenting, job, marriage, and even faith, we set the stage for disappointment. Contentment remains unreachable when the search for adrenaline rush moments becomes our source of significance and fulfillment. {Finding Ordinary Perseverance}

Let’s just work together to take care of our 3rd rock from the sun.

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Intelligent design Not chance > Flight of birds – Feathers

Wing feathers and bones

Wing feathers and bones (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

-Feathers: As well as the general streamlining and aerodynamic qualities of birds and aerofoil wing design, the feathers of birds are all important for effi­ciency in flight and accuracy of navigational movement through the air. Every movement of a feather when a bird is in flight is designed to extract energy from the air and utilise it effectively for control of the aerial medium through which it passes, as well as providing insulation, acting as fans, and contributing to the aerodynamic streamlining of the wonderful creature.

For their weight feathers are stronger than any man made substitute. A bird individually has literally thousands of feathers of different types, generally fluffy underneath (for warmth) and more sail-like above. For example a hen may have more than 8,300, a swan over 25,000 feathers! Eider ducks produce thousands of feathers, which are so soft and fluffy that they are used for eider downs and stuffing pillars.

The construction of feathers is a marvel of design. A single wing feather of a pigeon has more than a million individual parts, which testifies to its phenomenal micro engineering design. There is a central rachis or hollow, foam filled, spine or quill, from which arise barbs and from these barbules which zip together with minute hooks (hamuli). These feathers are kept in perfect order by the bird constantly preening its feathers. The feathers respond to air pressure and change shape constantly in relation to the changing pressure and air flow.

Flight feathers at the wing tip are flexible and mobile like a propellor and respond to flight patterns in movements, speed, landing and braking speed, gliding (called slotting). Other feathers function like like ailerons and flaps in an aircraft.

How could all this marvellous engineering design happen by chance? This is the absurd fantasy of so-called scientists who professing themselves wise are fools (pslm.I4.l, Rom. 1. 19,20).

At the base of each feather are nerve sensors, enabling the bird to exercise perfect control of every feather ,through the operation of up to 12,000 tiny muscles. The birds semicircular canals in its inner ear record the bird’s flight position and detect any change in conditions; this is communicated to the birds brain or cerebellum, very highly developed with an extraordinary number of sensory fibres (neurones), receiving a multitude of messages from transmissions of muscle tensions, and instantaneously reverse transmit, giving the bird split second co-ordination.

Four modes of flight are recognised power flying, gliding, soaring, and specialised flight. An Albatross, which has a 12 ft wing span, can glide round the Southern Ocean for literally thousands of miles above the surface of the sea without once flapping its wings. This is phenomenal. A guillemot dives into the ocean to catch a fish, travelling at 60 miles per hour when it enters the water! A Manx Shearwater traverses thousands of miles of (Atlantic) ocean extracting energy from the waves, which it skims! Hawks and eagles use thermal up-currents to soar in great circles, ascending and ascending into the heavens.

Blue jay flight

Blue jay flight (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Solomon noted the marvellous flight of the eagle “The way of an eagle in the air, it is too wonderful for me.” (Pv, 30.19). David notes the extraordinary power of a dove’s flight “Oh that I had wings like a dove.” (Pslm. 55.6). The owl has perfectly silent, noiseless flight (stealth technology), as a result of an extraordinary array of soft downy flight feathers. Water fowl like ducks, oil their feathers making them waterproof, another miracle of design. For a feather to function, all its parts must be integrated together as a design to work.

It is impossible for a supposed long series of chance mutations over millions of years since it is an irreducible mechanism. Requiring, as in any complex advanced engineering project precision planning. A feather is a system of advanced biotechnology, a miracle.

By brother Richard Lister –
from The Apocalyptic Messenger, May 2003

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Read and sharing: Praying and preparing

Read and sharing: Philemon- Pray and prepare

“And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers.” (Philemon v 22).

A Bolivian aymara woman praying

A Bolivian aymara woman praying (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s one thing to pray for something to happen, but it’s quite another to be so convinced that God will answer your prayers that we actually do something in preparation for that prayer to be answered.

Paul told Philemon,

“Prepare your guestroom because I am on my way. I haven’t been released from prison yet, but I know I will be, because you have been praying.”

Imagine Philemon painting and wallpapering his guestroom. Someone asks,

“What are you doing?”

Philemon’s answer would be,

“I’m getting ready for Paul to stay.”

The reply,

“But he’s in prison!”

And Philemon finally responds,

“I’ve been praying – and he will be out soon.”

We need to work on having as much faith in answers to prayer as Paul and Philemon had.

They remind me of the prayer meeting when the church turned up to pray for rain. Only one lady brought an umbrella! Let’s be that one. Let’s be sure of the answers to prayer God will give. He has done it before and he will do it again. They may not always be the answers we want, but he will answer.

So prepare the guest room, pick up your umbrella, recruit some more Sunday School teachers, plan a mission trip. God answers prayer. Let’s be ready when it happens.

Sair Ching

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Dr. Miller looking at Jews in France

About the Author Dr. Yvette Alt Miller
Yvette Alt Miller earned her B.A. at Harvard University. She completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Jewish Studies at Oxford University, and has a Ph.D. In International Relations from the London School of Economics. She lives with her family in Chicago, and has lectured internationally on Jewish topics. Her book Angels at the table: a Practical Guide to Celebrating Shabbat takes readers through the rituals of Shabbat and more, explaining the full beautiful spectrum of Jewish traditions with warmth and humor. It has been praised as “life-changing”, a modern classic, and used in classes and discussion groups around the world.

Jews and France: 11 Interesting Facts

As France headed to the polls, Dr. Miller presented some fascinating points about Jews and France through the ages on Aish.com

As France went to the polls in the first round of its presidential election, France’s 500,000-strong Jewish community was in the spotlight: two front-runners, Marine Le Pen and Jean Luc Melenchon, having been accused of making high-profile anti-Semitic comments.

Long before France’s unpredictable election, Jews have been making history in France. Here are 11 interesting facts about Jews and France through the ages.

Greatest Jewish Scholar

Rashi

Rashi, acronym of Rabbi Shlomo Yitzḥaqi (born 1040, Troyes, Champagne—died July 13, 1105, Troyes), renowned medieval French commentator on the Bible and the Talmud (the authoritative Jewish compendium of law, lore, and commentary).

A modern translation of Rashi’s commentary on the Chumash, published by Artscroll

Rashi, as the great Medieval Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki is known, is the most widely consulted Jewish rabbi of all time. His commentaries on the Bible and Talmud are considered crucial to understanding these Jewish texts. Rashi’s explanations help us understand the Torah and at times, a knowledge of French can help us understand Rashi.

Monument in memory of Rashi in Troyes, France

That’s because this greatest of Jewish scholars had humble beginnings. Rashi lived in the northern French town of Troyes from 1040 to 1105. Out of a total population of 10,000, Troyes was also home to about 100 Jewish families. Jews travelled from far and wide to consult Rashi. Many of these visiting Jews lodged with nearby Christian families.

Troyes centre ville1.JPG

Troyes centre ville – capital of the department of Aube in north-central France

In some respects, Rashi was very French. He earned his living as a vintner (wine maker), and incorporated some French words in his commentaries. A typical example comes in Rashi’s discussion of the Torah’s description of the beautiful golden Ark that our ancestors were commanded to build, which stood in the Temple in Jerusalem. Its gold ornaments were joined together, or soulderix (soldered in Old French), Rashi explained (Rashi on Ex. 24:18).

Rashi’s sons-in-law and grandsons – who continued to live in northern France – became rabbis of nearly his towering stature, penning additional commentaries on the Torah and leading European Jewry. Their scholarship continues to define Jewish life to this day.

Talmud on Trial

In the year 1239, Paris was witness to a very strange trial; the Talmud was accused of insulting Christianity.

The Talmud was defended by the Chief Rabbi of Paris, Rabbi Yechiel ben Joseph, though there were restrictions on what Rabbi Yechiel could say. Leading the charge against the Talmud was Nicholas Donin, a Jewish convert to Christianity who seemingly harbored an intense hatred of his fellow Jews or, possibly, a desire to impress his new Christian co-religionists. He was encouraged to make fun of the Talmud, quoting its text out of context and distorting its meaning. Presiding over the trial was none other than the Queen Mother of France, Blanche of Castille, and several Archbishops.
After hearing the “evidence”, the Talmud was found guilty and condemned as “dangerous to Christianity”. Volumes of the Talmud were confiscated. In 1242, 24 cartloads of hand-written tractates of the Talmud, representing countless thousands of hours of work, were brought to a public square in central Paris and burned.

Medieval Crusades

In 1095, Pope Urban II called for a holy Crusade to conquer Jerusalem and wrest it from Muslim rule. (The temptation to launch a crusade might have been closer to home. Historians note that the harvest of 1095 was particularly bad in northern Europe; calling for a crusade was a way to distract the population and encourage them to plunder wealth in other lands.)

100,000 men signed up for the Crusade. (The term “crusade” refers to the French word for the crosses they sewed on their clothes.) Soon, their attention turned from conquering Jerusalem to attacking Jewish communities along their path. In three waves, spanning a hundred years, over ten thousand Jews were murdered in Europe and Israel. Frenzied demonization of and violence against Jews became a hallmark of the Crusader period.

France’s Jews were periodically expelled during this intense period of Jew-hatred, as well. In 1182, and again regularly in the 13th Century, Jews were forced to leave French cities, only to be let in again a few years later. In 1306, a more organized expulsion was decreed by France’s King Philip. Short of money after war with Flanders, King Philip decided to force French Jews to flee, and compound their property.

The decree was handed down on July 21, 1306, which was Tisha B’Av, the Jewish day of mourning on which we mourn the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, as well as other calamitous events in Jewish history. The following day, July 22, 1306, 100,000 Jews were arrested. France’s Jews were ordered to leave the country within one month or face death. French Jews were allowed to leave only 12 sous (cents) apiece. Their property was confiscated, auctioned off, and all proceeds reverted to the French crown.

(King Philip’s decree was reversed by his son King Louis, but Jews continued to be banned from France and were ordered to leave in 1322 and 1394 again, before returning slowly over the subsequent years.)

French Chocolate’s Jewish Origins

Following the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, and the introduction of the Inquisition into Portugal in 1536, some Jews fled to the French town of Bayonne, near the Spanish-French border. There, they used their contacts with Jewish traders in the New World to import materials and know-how to process cocoa, a New World product which was just starting to take Europe by storm.

Dark Chocolate with Espelette pepper.

Bayonne Jews adapted cocoa recipes to European tastes, creating sweet versions of chocolate and using additives like milk, butter and nuts. Jews built the Bayonne area into a chocolate center, but their very success undid them: once local Christians learned how to make chocolates too, they petitioned local authorities to ban Jews from the chocolate industry.


Jews were only permitted to resume making chocolate in 1767 when a court annulled the decree. In 2013, the town of Bayonne formally recognized the contribution of Jews to the region’s famed chocolates. “Since we are the inheritors of the Jews’ savoir faire”, explained Jean-Michel Barate, head of Bayonne’s Chocolate Academy, “it was our duty to thank them….” and to right the historical wrong of overlooking the fact that it was Jewish refugees who created sweet chocolate confections as we know them today.

Equality

Avignon, Palais des Papes depuis Tour Philippe le Bel by JM Rosier (cropped).jpg

Palais des Papes – Avignon in south-eastern France in the department of Vaucluse on the left bank of the Rhône river

Although Jews were banned from France for many years after the 14th Century, by the 1700s about 40,000 Jews lived in France, particularly in Bordeaux and Avignon, which never formally expelled their Jewish inhabitants.

These 40,000 Jews became the first Jews in European history to gain full and equal rights with the French Revolution. The decision wasn’t easy: France’s new rulers deliberated for over two years about whether they should extend their new regime’s ideal of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” to Jews. When they did, in 1791, it was seemingly with some regret: “The Jews” explained a leading revolutionary, “conscious of the error of their ways, have felt the need for a fatherland; we have offered them ours.”

Napoleon’s “Sanhedrin”

The Emperor Napoleon styled himself “defender” of the Jews, noting that he had (unsuccessfully) tried to conquer the Land of Israel for France. Back home, even though Jews were nominally recognized as citizens, Napoleon harbored much of the intense anti-Jewish prejudice that was typical in France at the time.
Seeking to assure himself that Jews were indeed “Frenchmen”, Napoleon decided to invite Jews from throughout France to participate in what Napoleon called, with much pomp, a “National Assembly of Notables”. Napoleon deliberately scheduled the Assembly for a Saturday; the “notables” he invited turned up despite the assembly’s scheduling on Shabbat, and voted yes or no to a series of questions Napoleon had devised to ascertain whether Jews could indeed be French. The “notables” were asked whether Jews could engage in manual labor, whether they could marry Christian women, whether Jews would help defend France, etc.

Cover page to siddur used at the Grand Sanhedrin of Napoleon, 1807.

Not satisfied with his Assembly, Napoleon sent word to the governors of France to elect Jewish representatives to a new group, which Napoleon grandly named the Sanhedrin, the ancient Jewish court that governed Jewish conduct for hundreds of years. Like the Sanhedrin of old, this new “Sanhedrin” contained 71 members, was governed by a leader (picked by Napoleon) whom he gave the traditional Hebrew title Nasi, or “prince”, and was meant to issue new decrees for the Jewish people.
Napoleon’s “Sanhedrin” met in Paris with great pomp, and the puppets making up this group did indeed go along with many of Napoleon’s requested declarations. They declared that Jews serving in the French army were free of Jewish mitzvot, or commandments, and (echoing long-held prejudice against Jews, who’d long been forced into the money-lending business by European rulers) declared money-lending illegal for Jews. Even the stooges on Napoleon’s “Sanhedrin” drew the line at some of the Emperor’s requests, refusing to countenance mixed marriages, for instance.

Despite the assurances of this “Sanhedrin”, Napoleon went on to issue a host of infamous Jewish decrees, restricting Jewish rights to live in certain parts of France, suspending repayment of debts to Jews for ten years, and limiting Jews’ rights to go into some areas of business.

Official Names

Another legacy of Napoleon’s rule was an official list of approved names that could be given to babies born in France. Most of these were Christian saints’ names, though a number of Jewish names were included on the list, as well.

The list was abolished in 1993, though even in recent years French authorities have banned some names. In 2016, for instance, a French judge ruled against two parents who wanted to name their newborn Mohamed Merah, after the terrorist who murdered a rabbi and three children outside of a Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse in 2012.

The Dreyfus Affair

Jews were ostensibly equal French citizens, but the dramatic 1894 trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus exposed deep anti-Jewish hatred in France. After being arrested on manufactured charges of spying for Germany (Dreyfus was later exonerated; the real culprit had fled to England and some of Dreyfus’ fellow soldiers forged evidence against him), Dreyfus was publicly humiliated and sent to prison, while a mob of French men and women shouted “Death to Jews!”

Throughout Dreyfus’ trial, French Catholic authorities continued to stir up Jew-hatred. The intense bitterness made many in France conclude there was little future for Jews in France. Emile Zola, the non-Jewish great French author, wrote in 1896 “For some years I have been following with increasing surprise and disgust the campaign which some people are trying to carry on in France against the Jews. This seems to me monstrous….” Two years later, Zola wrote his famous open letter, beginning with J’accuse, or “I accuse”, directed against French President France Felix Faure, complaining about irregularities in Dreyfus’ trial. Zola was prosecuted and found guilty of libel and fled to England for a year to avoid imprisonment.
Another observer came to a similar conclusion during Dreyfus’ trial, realizing that Jews faced an uncertain future in France. Theodore Herzl was a young reporter for the Viennese newspaper the Neue Freie Presse, and he covered Dreyfus’ trial in Paris. He later wrote that the chants of “Death to Jews” shook him to the core, and helped him realize that only a Jewish state could provide security and safety for the world’s Jews. In 1897, Herzl organized a Zionist Congress in Zurich, where he called for the reestablishment of a Jewish country.

France and the Holocaust

With World War II looming, France became a destination for desperate Jewish refugees fleeing Germany and Eastern Europe. From a Jewish population of about 80,000 in 1900, by 1939 France’s Jewish population had swelled to 300,000 as Jews fled to France for safety.

Tragically, that safety proved illusory. After Germany invaded France, it divided the country into a northern, “occupied” zone, and a southern “free” zone which was allied with Nazi Germany. Both areas of France willingly participated in the deportation of Jews from France; in the nominally independent southern part of France, it was French policemen and authorities who helped implement Hitler’s so-called “final solution to the Jewish ‘problem’”. Over 70,000 French Jews were sent to concentration camps; only about 2,500 survived.

After the War, France’s devastated Jewish community was revived by an influx of Jews from former French colonies in North Africa. In the 1950s and 1960s nearly a quarter of a million Sephardi Jews moved to France from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.

Resurgent Anti-Semitism

In recent years, tragically, the call “Death to Jews!” has once more rung out in the streets of Paris and elsewhere in France.

A string of horrific attacks has targeted Jews throughout France. In 2006, Ilan Halimi, a young Jewish man living in Paris, was lured into a trap by local Muslim hoodlums; he was tortured for a month in a public housing project in Paris before being murdered; it later emerged that his ordeal was an open secret in the neighborhood, but no one intervened. His mother later had Ilan buried in Israel, fearful, she explained, that if he was buried in France his grave would be desecrated by anti-Semites.

In 2012, in the central French city of Toulouse, a terrorist shot three children and a rabbi at point-blank range in front of a Jewish school. In 2014, a mob rampaging through the streets of Sarcelles, a Paris suburb, chanted “Death to Jews!”, burned Jewish-owned businesses, and surrounded a synagogue, baying for the murder of those Jews inside. For hours, scores of Jewish families cowered inside, fearing for their lives, until police finally managed to disperse the mob late that night. In 2015, terrorists murdered four hostages in a kosher synagogue in Paris. In 2017, two Jewish brothers were forced off the road in a heavily Muslim neighborhood near Paris and attacked by passers by; one of the brothers’ thumb was sawn off in the attack.

In fact, the number of anti-Jewish hate crimes is going up. In 2014, there were 423 reported hate crimes against Jews in France. In 2015, there were 851 reported anti-Jewish hate crimes.

In the face of rising hatred, more and more Jews are fleeing France. One 2016 poll found that fully 43% of French Jews are considering moving to the Jewish state. In 2014, a record-breaking 6,658 Jews moved to Israel from France. (By way of comparison, only 1,923 French Jews had moved to Israel in 2010, when the number of anti-Semitic crimes was lower.) In 2015, 7,469 French Jews moved to Israel.

France in Israel

Beach promenade of Netanya (Hebrew: נְתַנְיָה‎, lit., “gift of God”; Arabic: نتانيا‎‎) a city in the Northern Central District of Israel, and the capital of the surrounding Sharon plain.

As more French Jews move to the Jewish state, parts of Israel are gaining a distinctly French accent. In 2015, the Times of Israel noted that the Israeli seaside city of Netanya calls itself the “Israeli Riviera” and that in recent years, it has indeed come to resemble the famed French Riviera: “walking along its main pedestrian boulevard, one would be hard-pressed to tell it apart from its twin city of Nice” in France. French restaurants, French style – and French Jews – have given parts of Israel a very French feel.

One recent immigrant from France explained that the rising anti-Semitism in France sparked her family’s desire to move to Israel: “Here we get the feeling that we can protect ourselves. There we have the impression that we are on our own and if, God forbid, something happens we will have to manage.”

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Preceding articles

Kindertransport

Apocalyptic Extremism: No Longer a Laughing Matter

Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God

What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism

The Rise of Anti-Seminism

If you’re going to be a hater, make sure you’ve done your homework.

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Additional reading

  1. Religious Practices around the world
  2. January 27 – 70 years ago Not an end yet to genocide
  3. World remembers Auschwitz survivors
  4. Migrants to the West #6
  5. Protest against Tzahal concert in Antwerp
  6. 2014 European elections
  7. French Muslims under attack
  8. Objective views and not closing eyes for certain sayings
  9. At the closing hours of 2016 #2 Low but also highlights
  10. How importance on religion is placed
  11. Is Europe going to become a dictatorial bastion
  12. Declaration of war against Islam and Christianity
  13. 25 Orthodox rabbis issued a statement on Christianity
  14. The American clouds of Anti-Semitism
  15. Donald Trump after declining numbers of people victimised for their religion managed to increase the numbers again
  16. Incidents of hate have become commonplace in the U.S.A. anno 2017
  17. Today’s thought by the French elections and right-wing populism in the world

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Further reading

  1. Judaism Fast Facts
  2. History of the Jews in France
  3. France Virtual Jewish History Tour
  4. Jewish Attempts at Rejudaizing Converts
  5. The French Jews have landed – les juifs français sur Londres
  6. U.S. Immigration Policy and the Jewish Refugee Crisis of the 1930s
  7. Incarceration and Detention
  8. Villains, victims, untold stories of refugees and officials
  9. That proud History of welcoming refugees
  10. Jewish Refugees and Liberation
  11. Timeline of deportations of French Jews to death camps
  12. Drancy internment camp
  13. Criticism of the Talmud
  14. Alliance Israélite Universelle (political organization)
  15. Adolphe Feder at the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum
  16. death camp showers in ww2
  17. Eisenhower’s Rhine Meadows Death Camps
  18. Was Soviet Jewish Identity Strengthened by Russian Anti-Semitism During the Second World War?
  19. Netanyahu: Allies could have saved 4 million Jews if they’d bombed death camps in 1942 (Lol…..)
  20. Himmler diaries found in Russia reveal daily Nazi horrors – BBC News
  21. Public Service Announcement
  22. Remembering Elie Wiesel
  23. Denial. . . . . . A Film
  24. The Tony Hall case revisited
  25. Never Again!!!
  26. Feast of Saint Edith Stein (9 August 2016)
  27. Surviving The Holocaust
  28. The Deep History of US, Britain’s Never-Ending Cold War On Russia by Finian Cunningham
  29. Bernie Sanders Talks Out of Both Sides of His Mouth, Tries to Justify Signing onto UN Letter
  30. Will We Live Out Our Heritage as People of Faith or Will We Succumb to fear?
  31. At home in London, French Jews dread vote on exiting the EU
  32. ‘French Jews experiencing worst situation since 1945’
  33. Natan Sharansky (French Zionist Jew) to French Jews mulling aliya: Do it!
  34. Natan Sharansky (Jew) : There is no future for Jews in France
  35. In Manuel Valls, French Jews get a presidential candidate they can trust
  36. In Manuel Valls, French Jews get a presidential candidate they can trust (Not good!!!!)
  37. Another 5,000 Jews quit France for Israel
  38. French Jews will have to give up Israeli citizenship, says Le Pen
  39. French Israelis fume at Le Pen’s plan to ban dual citizenship
  40. French Jews ‘will have to give up dual Israeli citizenship’ if Marine Le Pen wins presidential election
  41. French Jews imagine life under Marine Le Pen
  42. French Jews put off by Le Pen now worry about another presidential candidate
  43. French Jews worried over Le Pen’s success in presidential vote’s 1st round
  44. French Jews ‘relieved’ Macron won but worried over Le Pen’s electoral gains
  45. See you at the Demonstration: Protesters Remember the Refugees, Forget the Jews
  46. Looks like a Holocost to me
  47. Israel’s abuse of the Ethiopian Jews is a vital piece of the puzzle of Talmudism
  48. Israel’s New Cultural War of Aggression
  49. How Information Is Controlled by Washington, Israel, and Trolls, Leading to Our Destruction
  50. Jews Are Still the Biggest Target of Religious Hate Crimes
  51. A New Kind of ‘Safety’ School: Coping With Campus Anti-Semitism
  52. What is the Federal Government Doing to Oppose Anti-Semitic Hate Crime?
  53. SPLC Grudgingly Admits Many Recent Hate Incidents Targeted Jews
  54. Politicians React to Vile and Vulgar Palestinian Hatred
  55. Who Is Behind Anti-Semitic Attacks in the U.S.?
  56. Denying Islamophobia is Islamophobia

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Filed under Crimes & Atrocities, History, Political affairs, Religious affairs

To come to live in the peace of fulfilment of our own Divine Identity

We had a look at Susan Billmaier her views on the turbulence of life, and the transformation of the self.

At her blog SusanWithPearls – Living Life. Learning to do that better. Sharing it here.- she often wonders how we know ourselves and how we do get at what is inside.

Lots of people question their own self and look for way to have a good life. For years they try out several things. Most often they go looking for

The self that… is a deeper self, some say a “higher self”, some say a “Christ self”, or the “Buddha/enlightened self”, in some Native cultures it is called, simply, “beauty”. {Knowing your Self is more than knowing the size of your stomach.}

She writes

 Whatever it is– the moral self, the good will– I am not too particular about the label, or the words– it is simply the best that a person can find within themselves and everyone has it…whether they know it or not. {Knowing your Self is more than knowing the size of your stomach.}

Copyright Tam Black 2013 Designed for susanwithpearls.comShe also knows that man has to come to a point where the individual comes to see that it has its own value and its own reason to be, demanding to take personal action and own personal focus on personal awareness.

My own Loving Presence is my Self. I turn my attention inward and become aware of my own Loving Presence. With my focused awareness, my own Loving Presence fills me, grows brighter, and grows warmer. {Claim only the Self that you love. A Journey of Purpose: Day 32}

Being faced with the self one may not loose that self nor the faith in the self. Being confronted with the surroundings one need also to be willing to go into confrontation with it and with the inner thoughts, at the same time willing to perceive the necessary changes to be taken or the changes going on around the self.

as a guiding thought can be notated

Accept your light and your lightness! Feel your Self expand! As you perceive change around you, remain anchored in your Being of Light. Allow yourself to sit peacefully in the still place of nothingness as life moves quickly around you. {Arguing with myself and losing: Journey of Courage 2017 – Day 19}

Too many people do forget that we are here on this earth because we are allowed to be here by the Most High Divine Creator. Many do not want to know about that Omnipotent, Omniscient, Powerful Eternal Divine Source of all life, existence and knowledge, but also of peace and joy Though daily they are confronted with “Existence” that surrounds them.

In ““Self Fulfilled”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 05” Susan Billmaier looks at the guiding thought

In Divine Mind, I am filled full! All are equally filled full. All are equal in Love. I fill my mind with thoughts of fulfillment and remember what I already know. I am determined to fulfill my purpose, to know my Self as Divine Love, and to share the fullness I am.{“Self Fulfilled”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 05}

For her “Guiding Thoughts”

acts like a guided visualization and I see/experience the words. There are days when reading the Guiding Thought seems to open a channel within me and I can feel energy within me moving in a new or different way. {“My Self Has My Back, Now if It Would Scratch…”: Journey of Abundance 2.0 – Day 33}

First page of "On the Difficulty of Knowi...

First page of “On the Difficulty of Knowing One’s Self”, 1744 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We can only ascertain that lots of people are afraid of looking at them self in the light of a Higher Being that would be Master over them and would be responsible for their being. We can enact that it is difficult for man to accept that there is a Higher Being Mightier than them and giving them all what the can see around them. That High Being wants us to come into a good relationship with our self, with others around us and with Him. He wants us to get filled with that what made Him create us in the first place. Even when the first man rebelled it was His love for man that made He wanted to allow them to take care of themselves and to find solutions for themselves, but providing also The solution to bring an end to their agony, suffering and continues wandering. Also that foreseen solution, the sent one from God, the Messiah, God His own begotten beloved son shared that love of God with mankind and gave his life for all. Like that man of flesh and blood did not want to do his own will, but only did the Will of God, we too should come to a point where we want to do the Will of God and share His love with others.  Only that way we can come to fill our mind and heart with love, aligning with the Light of Truth. Steadfast and focused on our own Loving Presence, than we shall be able to live in the peace of fulfilment of our own Divine Identity.

Copyright Tam Black 2016 Designed for susanwithpearls.com

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Preceding

Inner Voice

Transformation is easy, when you step into something that already IS.

In the turbulence of life, listen and wait.

How to Live Beyond the Ordinary

Learning that stuff is just stuff

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Additional reading

  1. No curtain placed over tomorrow
  2. There is no true and constant gentleness without humility
  3. Only the contrite self, sick of its pretensions, can find salvation
  4. For those who make other choices
  5. Knowledge of Christ and fear for God
  6. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #4

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Further writings of interest

  1. Body image bullshit
  2. If I could talk to my younger self
  3. Scattered Thoughts
  4. Spring Cleaning for the Mind
  5. Solitude..
  6. Desires
  7. What’s Happening To Me
  8. “I don’t know what living a balanced life feels like..”
  9. Dear self
  10. Your Greatest Privilege
  11. One-Forty-Five AM Exert- Self Discovery
  12. My sensory problems: The Big List
  13. Flush the Ugly and Soar
  14. Vacay
  15. On Strength
  16. Rejection: What Others Think (Our Challenge)
  17. Color and Character
  18. Making Sense of the Senses
  19. Issue With the Self-Image
  20. It is not what it seems… maybe
  21. Knowing Me…
  22. Am I, a Romantic?
  23. Self Obssession is Getting Out of Hand
  24. The Paradox of Being in the Present Moment
  25. Unity: Coherence of the manifold self (1): Introduction
  26. Unity: Coherence of the manifold self (2): Mental multiplicity
  27. Unity: Coherence of the manifold self (3): Material causes
  28. Who Do You Find Your Worth In? Part 2
  29. A Female Factory Worker & a Writer, the Features of a Woman
  30. Putting Yourself Down: Don’t
  31. Intellectual, maybe not
  32. Work from within: Combatting inflammation with lifestyle changes
  33. Dreaming in India
  34. Connection
  35. The Monkey-Trap
  36. To Open Up, Once More, Memories of a Plant
  37. Selfie Woes
  38. Lets put the self in selfie
  39. The Well of Knowledge
  40. Initially, you are unformed
  41. If I could only…
  42. Time for Changes
  43. Thoughts to Myself
  44. What is love?

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Spiritual affairs

In the turbulence of life, listen and wait.

  • Present-moment awareness = being attuned to Unity of Life + being attuned to unique individual that is “you” + feeling expansion of the possible while accepting the contraction of limitation + accepting the unknown of the infinite and eternal while moving through concrete, tangible experiences
  • resonance that reaches to all life, interacting, interweaving, enfolding, unfolding.
  • boundaries (us/them/other) fade + soften allowing recognition + familiarity
  • practice present-moment awareness: listening, focusing, meditation, prayer, sports, or garden, or drive very fast, taking action = expression of our inner life through our outer life > remaining in center between mind, heart, + actions through listening + waiting.

  • waiting = important = allowing space for movement of the heart to direct our action, rather than the mind = unnerving
  • if taking actions because we have been listening to movement of the heart => each action becomes an expression of a higher unity.

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SusanWithPearls

What is present-moment awareness?   It is being attuned to the Unity of Life while also being attuned to the unique individual that is “you”.  It is feeling the expansion of the possible while accepting the contraction of limitation.  It is accepting the unknown of the infinite and eternal while moving through concrete, tangible experiences (—do we ever really know what our actions mean?).   Present- moment awareness requires that we be open to what might be while living in what is.  That which is before us—the person we interact with, the food we eat, the keyboard on which we type—all of the little actions we take comprise each present moment and link us to the Unity of Life, the infinite, the eternal; every action, every word, every thought carries with it a resonance that reaches to all life, interacting, interweaving, enfolding, unfolding.

Why should we care about present-moment awareness?  We…

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Health affairs, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Welfare matters

Transformation is easy, when you step into something that already IS.

We may have heard that

  “it’s the journey, not the destination…” or “Life’s a journey…” or “it’s part of my spiritual journey…”, so the idea of a journey is not new. {FAQ}

At this site we try to bring views from different people on the Journeys they may make in their life or the adventures they may encounter. We also try like today’s guest writer to let you think about

how your life works as your own personal journey.

You begin to experience your inner-self more consciously and intentionally; through this experience comes a deeper understanding of those quotes, but what’s more, it leads you to a deeper understanding of yourself. {FAQ}

The author knows,it’s all about

“how you observe yourself going through whatever you are going through – trying not to be ‘judgy’ and then recognizing the communications from spirit coming through the mundane of your living life. Then, allowing what is, as you take the messages to a new cognitive level – chewing on it, sensing it some more, inching and feeling your way in your ascension process. {FAQ}

With the many writings we try to bring in front of our readers eyes we do hope they come to see that each of us has their own responsibility to open eyes and ears, and to try to figure out how life is and has to be build up and where we do have to go.

This is awareness. It is being awake. And it seems we do this inch-worm kind of movement until – by the grace of God – a miracle happens and time collapses and “poof” we are on a new and higher level until that becomes the new normal.” like we more than once tried to explain, that {FAQ}

Photo Credit: Neema NdibaThe author Susan Billmaier at her site looks at

how we may develop our pearls: first be receptive to the influence of essential wisdom, learning, knowledge, and art. Then open our minds to understanding. Then protect that wisdom by closing our minds to anything that denies it. Then dive deeply into ourselves to develop that essential wisdom and knowledge within, learning what it means to be it. {Why Pearls}

Though many try to create a fake world they shall come to be confronted with the real world where there is no place for “fake” and in the end we all shall come to a point where we shall have to look at our own life, the years gone, past history … and shall have to consider if we won the race or not.

At that point we perhaps shall come to see if we have changed over the years and if we could grow in the positive sense.

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To remember

  • point of all of these = to embody qualities that express what you hope to become + in taking on these qualities, you change + actually become that which you desire to be, that which you project.
  • 1 = discovery = uncovering something already there
  • 2 = expression + act.
  • Transform mind to align with self.

SusanWithPearls

Havi Brooks’ caper of conscious entry states, “Enter as you wish to be in it; exit as you wish to continue”. Or, as my friend Brad has stated another way: “Don’t be a commercial actor, if what you really want is to be on the silver screen”.  In business I have heard this idea expressed as “dress for the level of success that you want to have.” At a very base level, the idea “Fake it ‘til you make it” says the same thing.

The point of all of these is to embody qualities that express what you hope to become and in taking on these qualities, you change and actually become that which you desire to be, that which you project.

I have been working with this (these) idea(s) pretty intensely the past few weeks…but really, my whole life. Because my life is about stepping into being and expressing

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Salvation doesn’t just find us

Salvation doesn’t just find us.
We have to go out and get it,.
For the harder you work for
something, the greater you’ll
feel when you achieve it….!!!!

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