Tag Archives: Egypt

The danger of having less than 25 000 Jews in Belgium

Most of the countries that have their Jewish population dropped below the 25,000 level over the past 70 years were in Arab and Muslim countries including Morocco, Egypt, Algeria and Iran, as those countries effectively expunged the Jewish populations due to anger over the founding of Israel. The total population from all of those Arab and Muslim countries now stands at 27,000, just north of the 25k mark (15k in Turkey, 5,800 in Iran, 2,000 in Morocco and Tunisia 1,000).

On Thursday, after a two-month trial in the Belgian capital, 12 jurors found the 33-year-old guilty of the four anti-Semitic murders during a shooting spree at Belgium’s Jewish Museum in Brussels on May 24, 2014. It was not the first incident against Jews in that country, but it may be considered as the first terrorist attack by IS and the turning point for many Jews to feel not safe any-more in Belgium, because the country from then onwards started also showing an evolution to the far-right and anti-Semitic groups.

Kölner Karnaval Nazi-propaganda against Jews – Germans making fun of Jews in the 1930s

Aalst Karnaval 2019 Joodse Karrikaturen – Recycled puppets for 2019 Aalst Carnaval

We can question of the depiction of Jews in the carnival of Aalst would be of similar intent to what could be seen in Germany in the 1930ies. The stereotypes and images found in Nazi propaganda were not new, but were already familiar to their intended audience. You can not ignore that it reminds us of the Nazi-propaganda during the rise of Nazism. If that carnival group wanted to have a sabbath year, why did they spend so much money on such puppets? Such depictions are just provoking and are adding to the trouble atmosphere which is growing in Belgium.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish organization headquartered in the US, believes that Aalst Carnaval defiles the reputation of Belgium as the host country of the European institutions. This is stated in an open letter to Federal Minister of the Interior Pieter De Crem (CD & V). The federal government must, according to the director of international relations Shimon Samuels, patronize the Aalst carnival group publicly.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an NGO that collects it worldwide for the interests of Jews.

‘We are disgusted by the images of the parade during the carnival on 3 March in Aalst’,

is the letter to Minister De Crem.

‘With stereotyping and hateful images of Jews with bags full of money and hook-noses that are reminiscent of Nazi collaborating Belgium.’

Also the Jewish community was very chocked with those images, which reminded of the years before the 2nd World War.

parade float at the Aalst Carnaval in Belgium features caricatures of Orthodox Jews atop money bags, March 3, 2019 Aalst Carnaval

B’nai B’rith International termed it “disgusting.” Both umbrella groups of Belgian Jews filed a federal complaint for incitement against the group, called Vismooil’n, saying the float looked like Nazi propaganda.

Even the European Commission slammed the display, with a spokesperson saying

“It is unthinkable that such imagery is being paraded on European streets 70 years after the Holocaust.”

Why do those people from that group Vismooil give the impression that Jews are the cause of the rising prizes?

Joel Rubinfeld, the president of the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism, or LBCA.

“Prices are rising, so who do they blame? The fat, greedy Jew,” he said.

Not only on a Facebook page of carnival enthusiasts, we could see lots of “anti-Semitic humour”.

One blamed

“the sad Jews, closed off from the rest of society in Antwerp, who have no sense of humour.”

Another referred to Jews as “dick cutters,” adding they are

“whiners with sausages for ears and woolly curls on their heads.”

Commenting on Jewish anger over the float, another wrote:

“Later you wonder why Jew hatred is growing …”

For Rubinfeld it is

“What’s happening in recent years at the carnival is a symptom of a wider problem, which the return of 1930s anti-Semitism, alongside the upgraded version that we’ve become used to, that targets Israel as a substitute for Jews and visa versa.”

At the moment there is an American petition concerning the Aalst Carnival on the Unesco-heritage-list to remove its status as an intangible heritage. What the carnival group the Vismooil Sunday has shown, with the Jewish decorated float, in any case does not fit with the norms and values that Unesco stands for.

We must take the “view on the Jews” seriously. We may not ignore a serious peril of a growing negative stance against Jews and Muslims. In europe there is a growing tendency to have bad jokes about Jews and to point the finger as if they would be part of the present problems.

Vile comments made by elected officials (including in the US, UK and Iran) attacking Jews and basic Jewish human rights in those two remaining outposts – and defended by senior politicians – rises to the level of attempted genocide of the Jewish people. {FirstOneThrough}

We cannot stay silent and should speak up. We also should show non-Jews that there are different Jewish communities with different lifestyles. But also Jews could come to see that in Christendom and in Islam there are very different groups with totally different ideas. Not all those different groups have a grudge against the other. There are enough religious and non-religious groups who are willing to live together in symbioses. Best way not to make people so afraid they find it better to leave the country is making sure they all feel welcome and can trust each other.

It is up to the governement to make sure that those people who are a danger for democracy are disciplined.

In Belgium the politicians and the police should also show they are taking certain matters seriously and should further protect all of the Jewish community. But also in the Jewish community Jews should make work of it to communicate better with each other and to accept the different sorts of Jews in this country.

Also let us think about why there are now 17 countries with over 25,000 Jews which is half of the total that existed when Israel was founded in 1948.

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Find to read:

  1. 25,000 Jews Remaining
  2. A Hebrew-Christian movement
  3. Jeshuaists = Juifs pour Jeshua ou Jésus Christ
  4. Marchons avec courage!

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Filed under Headlines - News, History, Religious affairs, World affairs

4.1 million Syrians having fled their homeland

In December already more than 1 million refugees entered Europe. Some 4.1 million Syrians have now fled their homeland, according to the United Nations, victims of more than four years of civil war in their homeland. This is the latest war to redistribute people from ravaged countries.

After the two world wars the United Nations responded with the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol which clarified the rights of refugees and the obligations of the 148 members that became party to one or both of these instruments.These obligations have greatly burdened these countries in the current Syrian refugee crisis.

According to the United Nations, those countries in Europe absorbing refugees include:

  • Turkey, which shares a border with Syria, has taken in almost half.
  • Lebanon has taken in over a million, increasing its population by 25 percent.
  • Jordan has taken in 629,000, with about 20 percent living in camps.
  • Iraq has taken in 249,000 despite attacks by ISIS, which has captured portions of the country.
  • Egypt has taken in 132,000. Billionaire Naguib Swiris has offered to buy an island from Greece or
    Italy as a new home for these refugees.

Besides the refugees entering these countries, Europe has received nearly 250,000 asylum requests, many of which will not be processed for several years.  The sheer number of migrants seeking refuge to Europe is so overwhelming and stretching the capacities of these countries that British lawmaker Nigel Farage of the Independence Party has labeled it a problem of  “biblical proportions.”

English: Israeli and Syrian flags

Israeli and Syrian flags (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Around half of Syria’s prewar population of 20 million has been forced from their homes.  A European Parliament resolution in March 2015 condemning attacks on Christians and other minorities said more than 700,000 of 1.1 million Syrian Christians were among those who fled the country. In Iraq, the pre-2003-war Christian population may have been as high as 1.4 million. Estimates today put it at fewer than 350,000.

In the past these situations were already foretold. The Book of books spoke about signs we should come to see. Today many of the signs spoken of should be clear for those who believe in the Only One true God.

The refugee crisis has followed years of unending battles among nations and within nations. Enemies change but the result is the same. Fear and uncertainty are now the norm. Governments in Europe and the U.S. ponder how commitments made long ago can be kept. They see no clear way out of the dilemma, and in many cases, put off inevitable crises with temporary fixes.

 

Read more about in “Today in Prophecy – Syrian Migrant Crisis

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Filed under Crimes & Atrocities, Headlines - News, History, Religious affairs, World affairs

Great things, Voice of God and terrors


“32 “For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it? 33 Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? 34 Or hath God deigned to go and take Him a nation from the midst of another nation by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35 Unto thee it was shown, that thou mightest know that the LORD He is God: there is none else besides Him. 36 Out of heaven He made thee to hear His voice, that He might instruct thee; and upon earth He showed thee His great fire, and thou heardest His words out of the midst of the fire.” (Deuteronomy 4:32-36 KJ21)

“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, He is God, the faithful God, who keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations,” (Deuteronomy 7:9 KJ21)

“And the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great fearsomeness, and with signs and with wonders;” (Deuteronomy 26:8 KJ21)

“the great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles.” (Deuteronomy 29:3 KJ21)

“Happy art thou, O Israel! Who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! And thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee, and thou shalt tread upon their high places.”” (Deuteronomy 33:29 KJ21)

“and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel.” (Deuteronomy 34:12 KJ21)

“And I will stretch out My hand and smite Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in the midst thereof; and after that he will let you go.” (Exodus 3:20 KJ21)

“And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 7:3 KJ21)

“”When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, ‘Show a miracle for yourselves,’ then thou shalt say unto Aaron, ‘Take thy rod and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent.’”” (Exodus 7:9 KJ21)

“19 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, “Say unto Aaron, ‘Take thy rod and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’” 20 And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. 21 And the fish that were in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 7:19-21 KJ21)

“2 Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow from his neighbor, and every woman from her neighbor, jewels of silver and jewels of gold.” 3 And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people. 4  And Moses said, “Thus saith the LORD: ‘About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt;” (Exodus 11:2-4 KJ21)

“And the LORD said unto Moses, “Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”” (Exodus 11:9 KJ21)

“And the LORD said unto Moses, “How long will this people provoke Me? And how long will it be ere they believe Me for all the signs which I have shown among them?” (Numbers 14:11 KJ21)

“(I stood between the LORD and you at that time to show you the word of the LORD, for ye were afraid by reason of the fire and went not up into the mount), saying:” (Deuteronomy 5:5 KJ21)

“For who is there of all flesh that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?” (Deuteronomy 5:26 KJ21)

“the great temptations which thine eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm—whereby the LORD thy God brought thee out. So shall the LORD thy God do unto all the people of whom thou art afraid.” (Deuteronomy 7:19 KJ21)

“the great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles.” (Deuteronomy 29:3 KJ21)

“10 and showedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh and on all his servants and on all the people of his land. For Thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst Thou get Thee a name, as it is this day. 11 And Thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors Thou threwest into the deep, as a stone into the mighty waters.” (Nehemiah 9:10-11 KJ21)

“yet Thou in Thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to show them light and the way wherein they should go.” (Nehemiah 9:19 KJ21)

“The pillars of heaven tremble, and are astonished at His reproof.” (Job 26:11 KJ21)

“3 The voice of the LORD is upon the waters; the God of glory thundereth; the LORD is upon many waters. 4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.” (Psalms 29:3-4 KJ21)

“Marvelous things did He in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.” (Psalms 78:12 KJ21)

“how He had wrought His signs in Egypt and His wonders in the field of Zoan,” (Psalms 78:43 KJ21)

“48 He gave up their cattle also to the hail, and their flocks to hot thunderbolts. 49 He cast upon them the fierceness of His anger, wrath, indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them. 50 He made a path to His anger; He spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence, 51 and smote all the firstborn in Egypt, the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham. 52 But He made His own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock. 53 And He led them on safely, so that they feared not; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.” (Psalms 78:48-53 KJ21)

“They showed His signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham.” (Psalms 105:27 KJ21)

“wondrous works in the land of Ham, and fearsome things by the Red Sea.” (Psalms 106:22 KJ21)

“20 who hast set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt even unto this day, and in Israel and among other men, and hast made Thee a name, as at this day; 21 and hast brought forth Thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt, with signs and with wonders, and with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm, and with great terror;” (Jeremiah 32:20-21 KJ21)

“And the sound of the cherubims’ wings was heard even to the outer court, as the voice of the Almighty God when He speaketh.” (Ezekiel 10:5 KJ21)

“6 on the day that I lifted up Mine hand unto them to bring them forth out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands, 7 then said I unto them: “Cast away every man of ye the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” 8 But they rebelled against Me and would not hearken unto Me. They did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt. “‘Then I said, “I will pour out My fury upon them, to accomplish My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.” 9 But I wrought for My name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen among whom they were, in whose sight I made Myself known unto them in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.” (Ezekiel 20:6-9 KJ21)

“He brought them out after he had shown wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years.” (Acts 7:36 KJ21)

“For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,” (1 Thessalonians 1:9 KJ21)

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,” (1 Peter 5:6 KJ21)

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All Giza Pyramids in one shot. Русский: Все пи...

All Giza Pyramids in one shot. Русский: Все пирамиды Гизы на изображении. Español: Las Pirámides de Guiza (Egipto). Français : Les Pyramides de Gizeh (Egypte). Català: Les Piràmides de Giza, a Egipte. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Preceding:

Searching or overlooking God’s presence

Summerholiday season time to read the Bible

Holiday making and dreaming

Home-stayers and their to do list

Written by inspiration of God for our admonition, to whom it shall be imputed if they believe

Les épreuves, signes et prodiges de Dieu

Beproevende God heeft tekenen gegeven

Versuchungen, Zeichen, Wunder, Streit und eine mächtige Hand

The Aleppo Codex is a medieval manuscript of t...

The Aleppo Codex is a medieval manuscript of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh), associated with Rabbi Aaron Ben Asher. The Masoretic scholars wrote it in the early 10th century, probably in Tiberias, Israel. It is in book form and contains the vowel points and grammar points (nikkudot) that specify the pronunciation of the ancient Hebrew letters to preserve the chanting tradition. It is perhaps the most historically important Hebrew manuscript in existence. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Additional reading

  1. God giving signs and producing wonders
  2. Written down in God’s Name
  3. The Almighty Lord God of gods King above all gods
  4. El-Shaddai God Almighty Who no-one may see and live
  5. Jehovah God Maker of the entire universe served by a well-trained army
  6. God’s will is that all sorts of men should be saved
  7. Scripture words written for our learning, given by inspiration of God for edification

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Filed under Quotations from Holy Scriptures, Religious affairs

The Best Bedtime Stories

English: Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh: An Al...

Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh: An Allegory of the Dinteville Family, oil on wood painting by the Master of the Dinteville Family, mid 16th century, Metropolitan Museum of Art (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

In preparation for the most high day of the year, celebrating two big liberations we can prepare our children with stories which relate to modern times, our slavery, our often forgetting God’s Paths, giving us also opportunities to take away the annoying time of waiting, but also remembering why waiting is sometimes worthwhile and in this case our waiting shall be sanctified.

 

Pharaoh, like we, had to know it were not Moses and Aaron who had managed to turn the water in Egypt to blood, bring millions of frogs into the cities and fields, create an infestation of lice, and destroy the spring crops with balls of flaming hail. It was the Work of the Most High Elohim Hashem Jehovah. By strength of hand Jehovah the 10 plagues came over Egypt. The sanctify of the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of animal is God’s. And when they had to go forth in the month Abib it was Jehovah the God of the People of Israel Who was to bring them into the land of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, which He swore to their fathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey, that they shall keep this service in this month. and we still can look forward into what is coming into reality, God’s Land made for His people. A blessed hope.

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Find also:

 

  1. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  2. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  3. Challenging claim 2 Inspired by God 1 Simple words
  4. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  5. Many Books, yet One
  6. Eternal Word that tells everything
  7. Bible in the first place #1/3
  8. Why think that (5) … the Bible is the word of God
  9. Creator and Blogger God 8 A Blog of a Book 2 Holy One making Scriptures Holy
  10. Creator and Blogger God 9 A Blog of a Book 3 Blog about Prophecy
  11. Creator and Blogger God 11 Old and New Blog 1 Aimed at one man
  12. Miracles of revelation and of providence 1 Golden Thread and Revelation
  13. Isaiah’s Book of the Messenger of Glad Tidings
  14. Date Setting
  15. Exodus 9: Liar Liar
  16. Commemorating the escape from slavery
  17. 1 -15 Nisan
  18. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  19. High Holidays not only for Israel
  20. About a man who changed history of humankind
  21. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  22. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  23. Ransom for all
  24. Thoughts on Passover
  25. Shabbat Pesach service reading 1/2
  26. Shabbat Pesach service reading 2/2
  27. This Passover maybe we can liberate ourselves
  28. 14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception
  29. 14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus
  30. 14 Nisan a day to remember #3 Before the Passover-feast
  31. 14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain
  32. 14 Nisan a day to remember #5 The Day to celebrate
  33. The Evolution Of Passover–Past To Present
  34. Passover and Liberation Theology
  35. Deliverance and establishment of a theocracy
  36. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  37. The day Jesus died
  38. Impaled until death overtook him
  39. Jesus is risen
  40. Christ has indeed been raised from the dead
  41. Risen With Him
  42. To whom do we want to be enslaved

 

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  • God Called Moses The Exodus Story Continues (Part 4 of 5) (vineandbranchworldministries.com) + God Called Moses to Go and Rescuse His People From Slavery (part 3)  + God Called Moses to Go and Rescuse His People From Slavery (part 2)  + God Called Moses to Go and Rescuse His People From Slavery (part 1)
  • Exodus 10 – The Eighth and Ninth Plagues
  • The Exodus Story God Calls Moses to Go Down to Egypt
  • Exodus 5:4-5 – But the king of Egypt said, “Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their labor? (church4u2.wordpress.com)
    There has always been a pattern of God calling his people out of their normal rhythms to take time to worship Him. Even in this famous story of when Moses confronted the Pharaoh of Egypt, the main thing that God wanted was for his people to cease from their labor, come aside and worship Him. This pattern offends those who see work as a way toward power. Work is a good thing, but the Sabbath is a weekly reminder that God wants to deliver us from our false identities of power and bring us back to Himself.
  • The Sixth Plague: Boils (rough) (ninapaley.com)
    And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast.
  • Fast from Complaining (robertsmusings.com)
    In the 17th chapter of Exodus, the people quarrel with Moses and test the LORD, complaining that Moses has led them out of Egypt and into the desert to die of thirst. Modern advertising takes advantage of human thirst for things that might provide salvation. Rarely will an ad show the benefits of a particular product over its competitors. Instead advertisements portray a lifestyle we might seek imply that if we buy their product, we will have the lifestyle we seek.
  • 23.5 Moses 23, Day 5 (thenotesaregood.com)
    For God to bring them across the Jordan river into the Promised Land, they would have to travel this country.  And, like Sihon, Og king of Bashan marched out to meet them.
  • To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core (theinscribedheart.com)
    The carnal man represents the man who was born from a carnal birth and was shaped by worldly orientation through being subject to the influences of a deceived and wicked world. The carnal man will be merciful to carnal living and would rather comprise with the enemies of the soul rather than destroy them. He is double minded, trying to serve the flesh and live spiritual at the same time.
  • Choose Positivity (matheusyuhlung.wordpress.com)
    The world is full of negativity. I’m sure you’ve experienced your share as well. Amidst the lies that exaggerates fear, it is very much essential to trust on the God whose name is Jehovah El Elohim; which means The LORD God of Gods, the LORD, mighty, powerful, strong One over all.
  • Those People Will Turn Your Children Away From Me: (dailydevotionswithdawn.wordpress.com)
    We are to purge the things in our life that would cause us to turn from God. Jesus even said that if our hand offended us, to cut it off. (I think he was speaking figuratively?)

    If we obey God, and stay close to Him, we are blessed:

  • Reflective Moment ‘Establishing Testimony’ (mylordmyfriend.com)
    Jethro had heard the story how God had bought them out of slavery. He had heard the story of redemption. He heard the story of the wonderful and victorious power of The Lord. Moses told Jethro all the Lord had done to Pharaoh and Pharaoh’s people to make Pharaoh, let them go. Moses told his father-in-law about all the hardships and troubles that had come on them along the way, but the Lord had delivered them.

    A wonderful story, to get into, but this is only a reflective moment. When our family and in-laws here what, Our Lord, Our Redeemer and Our Friend, has done and is doing for us, are they wanting to come around.

    Moses life and calling, was a testimony to His God, and people wanted to here. Our lives and our callings, should also be a testimony for what Our Lord, Our redeemer and our Friend is doing in our lives.

  • Resources of help (helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com)
    Moses made excuses because he felt inadequate for the job God asked him to do. It was natural for him to feel that way. He was inadequate all by himself. But God wasn’t asking Moses to work alone. He offered other resources to help (God himself, Aaron, and the ability to do miracles). God often calls us to do tasks that seem too difficult, but he doesn’t ask us to do them alone. God offers us his resources, just as he did to Moses. We should not hide behind our inadequacies, as Moses did, but look beyond ourselves to the great resources available. Then we can allow God to use our unique contributions.

 

Laya Crust

Bo sigart by Laya Crust

Parshat Bo: Exodus, chapter 10 -13

Haftarah: Jeremiah  46: 13 -28

The Best Bedtime Stories

Story time is one of the best times of the day.  We are transported to magical places. We meet extraordinary people and see things we would never come across on a typical day. Stories make time enchanting when reality is boring. You need to get someone to brush teeth? Tell a story. The wait in the doctor’s office is hours long? Tell a story. The car ride isn’t ending? Tell a story.

Our family’s favourite source of stories was Tanach (the Jewish Bible). Between the angels, the giants, the talking snakes and the trickery, what could be more exciting?

Take this week’s Torah reading. Our heroes are Moses and Aaron, two poor brothers, who were on a quest to free a nation of slaves. The downtrodden  slaves were in the grasp of…

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Filed under Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs

A Bird’s-Eye View of Fishing

Problems to solve

Fishers — whether humans or birds — have three fundamental problems to solve:

(1) find fish, (2) approach them, and (3) capture them.

A typical method of early Egyptian fishermen was to use a harpoon to spear fish. These fishermen employed the same basic techniques that some birds of the heron family used long before human competitors appeared on the scene.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron (Photo credit: Vicki’s Nature)

The gray heron, a bird common in Egypt’s Nile delta, uses its sharp beak like a lance to spear fish. It can even spear two different fish at the same time, and it may eat over a pound (0.5 kg) of fish a day. The heron might be said to surpass human fishermen in guile.

Generally, herons specialize in stalking and striking their prey. A heron will wade slowly through shallow water or sometimes just stay totally still with its beak at the ready. When a fish comes within striking distance, the heron plunges its head into the water and captures the fish with its beak. Patience is usually the key to the bird’s success.

Fishing

Fishing With Bait

According to the book The Life of Birds, green-backed herons in Japan seem to imitate people who feed bread to fish found in ornamental lakes. Those ingenious birds use pieces of bread to lure fish to within easy reach.

Egrets in the Caribbean also use bread to lure fish. Egrets even catch fish without any bait at all, using their yellow feet. Standing in shallow water on one foot, they wag their other foot in the water to attract the attention of inquisitive fish.

Grab-and-Go Techniques

African fish eagle just caught a cat fish in L...

African fish eagle just caught a cat fish in Lake Baringo, Kenya (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Birds do their fishing in various ways. Fish eagles, often called osprey, could best be described as grab-and-go fishers. They fly above the water, keeping a lookout for any fish swimming near the surface. Once one is spotted, they fold their wings and dive steeply toward the water, realigning their swoop as necessary before snatching the fish with their talons. This technique requires perfect timing and excellent eyesight.

Sometimes the African fish eagle discovers that the fish it has captured with its talons is too heavy to lift. The fish may weigh up to six pounds (2.7 kg)! What does the eagle do then? Naturalists have observed some solving the problem by paddling to shore using their wings!

Diving for Dinner

Gannets and boobies also dive for fish, but they use a vertical dive. Small flocks fly together searching for shoals of fish that swim near the surface. The silvery bodies of these fish change the color of the sea from dark blue to pale green when viewed from above. This telltale patch of green sets gannets and boobies in motion.

After locating a shoal of fish, gannets plunge like arrows into the water at speeds of up to 60 miles (96.56 km) an hour. The birds create a spectacle one might compare to an Olympic diving competition. Other flocks soon notice the activity and quickly arrive at the spot to share in the feast.

An African Fish Eagle about to catch a fish in...

An African Fish Eagle about to catch a fish in Lake Naivasha, Great Rift Valley, Kenya. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unlike herons, boobies and gannets do not spear the fish when their head enters the water. The force of their dive carries the birds to a depth of several feet. Then, as they swim to the surface, they catch the fish and swallow it whole.

Terns are also proficient divers, but they swoop and hover much closer to the water. The Handbook of the Birds of the World explains that rather than dive-bombing as boobies and gannets do, terns depend on “skill, grace and agility in flight.” They will scoop a fish from the surface. Only briefly, on occasion, do they pursue a fish under water.

Team-spirit

Fishing as a Team

Pelicans may look ungainly because of their huge beaks, but they are accomplished fliers and fishermen. Brown pelicans usually dive for their dinner, and they may also snatch fish from local fishermen as they haul in their nets. But pelicans really excel at collective fishing.

By nature, pelicans are gregarious. A remarkable trait is their habit of coordinating fishing efforts. Typically, a flock of a dozen birds alight on the water and form a semicircle. Swimming slowly, they herd a shoal of fish into a convenient shallow area. As they do, they all open their wings and submerge their heads in unison, gulping fish into their beaks.

Of course, like any human fishers, birds often fail in their attempts. But their success rate is generally much higher than that of their human competitors.

鷺鷥 Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret (Photo credit: ArthurJo)

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  • Awakenings on the River (playamart.wordpress.com)
    The Daily Post tossed out a challenge with four options this week; I selected this one: “Take a draft post that you didn’t published because it didn’t turn out as you expected. Change the story, revise it, and publish.”
  • Master fisherman heron catches a fish using bread as bait (thisismoney.co.uk)
    As most avid fisherman will tell you, you’ve got to use the right bait to attract the big fish.While a seagull might happily feast on a proffered chunk of bread, a green heron knows exactly how to turn that bread into a fish supper.A fascinating video of the heron’s antics shows the bird dropping the bread in the water to lure a fish.
  • Constant cacophony: Herons return to Devil’s Lake (wiscnews.com)
    According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website, herons are about 4 feet tall, and theycan be identified by their distinctive coloration, which includes blue-grey feathers with a black stripe and plume above their eyes. Their long, yellow beak is perfect for spearing fish.“They’re migrating back now,” Johansen said of the birds, adding that the male herons return first.

    The females arrive soon after.

    “The males will come in, and they’re figuring out their territories, and then they will attract a female to come in and build a nest and start a family together,” Johansen said.

  • Loving Who You Are: The Story of the Heron and the Crow (mylovingartproject.com)
    The heron knew his time had come. Even the crows knew that the heron was the most patient of all the water birds. He did not mind standing in the water for long periods of time. Today, the heron was firmly planted and balanced on one leg. His piercing eyes were searching. He was ready to harpoon his long and agile beak into the water at the first sign of movement.At that very moment, the last crow circled above the heron and accidentally dropped what was in its beak. The crow’s prized catch fell straight down to the water from high above.  It was a thrown out piece of candy wrapped in a shiny red foil. The wrapper sparkled in the sunlight all the way down and hit the water with a small flicker.  This caused a faint glimmer of light and immediately caught the attention of the largest fish in the lake. In a flash, the fish swam quickly up to the surface and the heron, who was ready and waiting, made the final move. The heron was a skilled fisher and he did not need to chase the fish. His beak moved swiftly and decisively down into the water and the fish was his at last.
  • Colonial Waterbird Monitoring (gulfcoastbirdobservatory.wordpress.com)
    All these different species nesting in one place is gorgeous, but add to it that all of these birds were parading around in their fantastic breeding plumage and you have yourself a breathtaking view that you never want to leave. Breeding plumage is of course the plumage many birds acquire right before the breeding season to try to attract a mate. Birds dress up to impress each other too! This plumage may include bright colors or unusual feather shapes (such as plumes and streamers).
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    Words could never do these beauties justice. Whether breeding or not these birds are remarkable, but that extra boost of breeding plumage only adds to the wonder of these amazing creatures. It was an amazing experience and if you ever get the chance to see a heron rookery you should definitely go!
  • Herons and egrets in the UK – your Green shoots photographs (theguardian.com)
    Every year grey herons gather in large numbers to breed and raise young, building huge untidy nests out of large twigs, perilously perched high up in clumps of tall trees. London’s Battersea park has a heronry of 30 nests, but from Ulster to Northamptonshire and Devon to Cheshire, now is the best time to see these nests in the wild. Here is a list of best places to see heronries

    Little Egret~Egretta garzetta
    Little egret (Egretta garzetta) are, as their name suggests, much smaller than the great whites. They are about 60cm tall, with a wingspan of about 90cm. Photograph: Jump for joy2010/Green Shoots/Flickr
  • Wild Heron at the Oceanside Harbor (bilomathewsblog.wordpress.com)
    We like to walk to the beach harbor at Oceanside to watch the activities of people and the pelicans that hang around the fishing boats docked at the harbor. The pelicans will follow the fishing boats that return from the ocean into the harbor knowing that there is possibility of getting fish treats from the boat crew.
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Thoughts on Passover

The traditional Passover Seder Haggadah is not just for Jews—it will move spiritual progressives both secular and religious.

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Thoughts on Passover by Shari Motro

How does one leave home in peace?

Read metaphorically, the Exodus story—which Jews will retell during the upcoming Passover holiday—offers some clues to answering this most universal of questions.

Moses is born a Hebrew slave, but he is raised in Pharaoh’s palace. The setup is an exaggerated version of something familiar to many—to anyone who has wondered whether some cosmic accident landed her with the wrong family; anyone who has felt uncomfortable about the privileges she accrued by virtue of her birth; anyone who at some point experienced her parents as oppressive or narrow. Egypt, in Hebrew, means “narrow place.”

Moses’ initial reaction is the classic teenage rebellion—it’s rash, it’s risky, and it gets him into deep trouble. After witnessing an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave, Moses kills the Egyptian, buries him in the sand, and runs. He tries to disappear, to start over. In Midian, Moses marries a local and has a son who he names Gershom, Stranger (“For I was a stranger in a strange land,” he says).

But running away doesn’t work. At some point, those of us who leave unfinished business behind are called to return. For Moses, the call starts as a fire, a fire that burns but doesn’t consume. The burning bush is a fire that can be neither put out nor ignored.

Miniature ofrom Folio 8r of the Syriac Bible o...

Miniature ofrom Folio 8r of the Syriac Bible of Paris shows Moses before Pharaoh. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Moses goes home to face the conflict he ran from. His task is to negotiate, to mediate between the slaves and Pharaoh, both of whom symbolize aspects of every human soul. He will eventually leave again, but in a different way. Leaving home in peace requires acknowledging the naysaying voice within. Moses can’t leave Egypt for good until his ability to dream his own future overwhelms his fear, until he stands before Pharaoh and speaks his truth.

Yes, I killed the Egyptian.

Yes, I’ve turned my back on you. Look, I’m not you. I’m a different person.

Yes, I want to leave.

Will you let me go?

Pharaoh says no, as parents do. Sometimes parents say no even when they know that eventually they will relent, that everybody will be better off when they do. Nevertheless, some inexplicable force compels them to dig in their heels, to wield their power while they still have it.

Of course, Pharaoh is an extreme example. This is the point of archetypal myths: they use extremes to illustrate lessons that apply to us all. Pharaoh symbolizes attachment—the eminently human tendency to resist change. The plagues are the suffering that results from attachment. Each plague is a message from Pharaoh’s higher self, like a body that keeps getting sick until you listen to it.

For Moses, the message of the plagues may be this: Your blossoming into your most radiant self is not the true cause of suffering—Pharaoh’s suffering, your own suffering, anybody’s. The cause of suffering is resistance.

After the tenth and most devastating plague—the death of the firstborn—Pharaoh finally relents, and the Israelites leave “in haste.” They leave so quickly they can’t wait for their bread to rise; this is why we eat unleavened bread on Passover. What’s the message here?

When the force holding you back finally relents—go. GO. Don’t be scared; don’t feel guilty; don’t hang around saying long goodbyes. It’s time.

And if Pharaoh follows at your heels and drowns in the pursuit, don’t rejoice. According to one interpretation, this is what God said to the angels who sang as the Egyptian chariots were swallowed by the sea:

“Don’t rejoice, for they are my creatures too.”

And yet, the texts are also filled with the opposite, with joy.

Anyone who has succeeded in breaking free knows this tension well. Our glee is tinged with something else, with the sinking recognition that our naysayers’ grief is our grief. And… surviving requires not allowing ourselves to drown in their tears. Surviving is rejoicing despite their pain.

Somehow, on the other side of it all, there is a place where all is forgiven, where the narrowness of our birth canal—every trauma, every grief—becomes a source of love and gratitude, where zero-sum gives way to abundance, where Pharaoh and Moses are one.

I’ve seen only glimpses of this place. For me, this is the Promised Land.

– by Shari Motro

Shari Motro is a professor of law at the University of Richmond.

From the Sikkum Special Seder Messages for Passover

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Preceding posts:

Commemorating the escape from slavery

The Evolution Of Passover–Past To Present

Passover and Liberation Theology

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Additional reading:

  1. Deliverance and establishement of a theocracy
  2. Moving around looking for a homeland
  3. 14 Nisan a day to remember #5 The Day to celebrate
  4. The Song of The Lamb #7 Revelation 15
  5. Materialism, would be life, and aspirations
  6. Emotional pain and emotional deadness
  7. Meaning of life 
  8. Suffering
  9. Offer in our suffering
  10. God helper and deliverer
  11. God’s instruction about joy and suffering
  12. God’s promises to us in our suffering
  13. Suffering – through the apparent silence of God
  14. Suffering continues
  15. Suffering leading to joy
  16. Surprised by time in joys & sufferings
  17. 1 -15 Nisan
  18. Day of remembrance coming near
  19. Another way looking at a language #4 Ancient times
  20. Self inflicted misery #5 A prophet without a hedge around him
  21. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  22. Seven days of Passover
  23. On the first day for matzah
  24. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  25. Children ate the OT passover so why not NT bread and wine?
  26. High Holidays not only for Israel
  27. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  28. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  29. 14-15 Nisan and Easter

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  • The Ancient Egyptians Worshiped Sheep (acquiescere9.wordpress.com) > The Ancient Egyptians Worshiped SheepUltimately, the Torah tells us, God commanded the Israelites to take a lamb or a kid for each household. They were to hold it for four days, from the tenth until the fourteenth of the first month, and slaughter it on the fourteenth. This was done in Egypt, despite the Egyptians’ religious beliefs. To this day Jews commemorate this event, calling the Sabbath preceding Passover Shabbat Hagadol
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    Torah Parshat Va’eira Exodus 6:2-9:3
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    Parshah Yitro Exodus 18:1-20:23
  • This Passover 2012, Remember (Again!) – It’s Not Your Religion That Matters, But Your Humanity (nobodysview.wordpress.com)
    A drop of wine is spilled with each recitation in memory of those who suffered in Egypt…not the Jews, but the Egyptians.I guess it’s a solemn reminder that when blood of any kind is spilled, we all lose a little something.  Then, it is important to remember that when there are those in bondage around the world, we ourselves (no matter our religion) are in some way in bondage.
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    It’s 5773, but the Message of Passover 2013 Is Still as Strong as Ever
    There were wanderings, new beginnings, divisions, and some heartache, but in the end, the destination was reached.
  • Preparing for Passover: Six Ways to Prepare (coffeeshoprabbi.com)
    Traditionally, Jews spend the month after Purim preparing for Passover. A lot of the holiday is in the preparation: the seder and the week that follows are the fruit of what we’ve put in the month before. I thought it might be helpful to look at the various ways we prepare for Passover.  If this is your first year observing Passover, don’t try to do everything at once. Choose one or two, and get all that you can out of them.
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    Passover is the festival of telling the story about “deliverance from Egypt.” If you are truly to experience deliverance, it helps to notice from what you need deliverance. Spend some time, between now and Passover, thinking about your own personal Egypt(s). The name for Egypt in Hebrew is “Mitzrayim,” which also means “a narrow place, a tight spot.” Questions to ask myself: Where in my life am I stuck? To what am I a slave? In what parts of my life am I Pharaoh? Do I depend on the slavery of others? What would freedom look like, in any of these cases? What would freedom cost? What is freedom worth?
  • Who Would You Rather Listen To? (spinningrabbi.com)
    One of those valuable lessons of this remembering, is this – G-d freed the Jews so that they were no longer physical slaves, yet they were still slaves.  Now they were their own Pharaoh and the slavery was of the self-imposed spiritual and emotional variety.  Once physically free, it was up to them to free themselves spiritually and emotionally.This lesson applies to all people who are blessed to live in freedom today.  This means that the only one who can free you now, is you.  It’s up to you to free yourself from your personal Egypt.
  • Christian Bale as Moses in ‘Exodus’: First Look (PHOTO) (news.moviefone.com)
    Empire has our first look at Ridley Scott’s “Exodus,” and judging by the impressive construction going on behind Christian Bale‘s Moses, this Biblical tale should be epic indeed.The film follows the story of Moses, abandoned as a baby and adopted by Egyptian royalty, only to hear the voice of God as he grows older and ultimately lead the Israelite slaves into the promised land. In this image, Moses witnesses the suffering of his people at the hands of the Pharaoh.
  • Pharaoh’s Overthrow (brakeman1.com)
    There were six hundred thousand men, besides women and children.  God caused a pillar of cloud to go before them in the daytime, to show them the way they were to take, and at night He led them by a pillar of fire.After the children of Israel had left Egypt, Pharaoh, though his kingdom had been nearly destroyed for his disobedience to God, was angry with himself for having let them go.  So he gathered together a great army, and pursued them to where they were encamped, in the wilderness by the Red Sea.
  • The Ancient Egyptians Worshiped Sheep (menashedovid1.wordpress.com)> The Ancient Egyptians Worshiped Sheep
    the Torah tells us, God commanded the Israelites to take a lamb or a kid for each household. They were to hold it for four days, from the tenth until the fourteenth of the first month, and slaughter it on the fourteenth. This was done in Egypt, despite the Egyptians’ religious beliefs. To this day Jews commemorate this event, calling the Sabbath preceding Passover Shabbat Hagadol…
  • Passover Primer (boiseweekly.com)
    If you’ve walked through a Treasure Valley Albertson’s recently, you’ve probably noticed a table piled high with unfamiliar items–boxes of Streit’s Potato Pancakes, giant packages of Yehuda Passover Matzos, bottles of Kedem Sparkling Concord Grape Juice and murky jars of Mrs. Adler’s Gefilte Fish filled with bobbing, grayish lumps.
  • Now Faith Is (faithrises.com)
    Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest He that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
  • Max, Hannah and some frogs: Kids’ books bring new friends (jta.org)
    Frolicking frogs and magical matzah balls are featured in this season’s crop of new Passover books for children that are sure to engage, inform, entertain and inspire.David Adler, author of the hugely popular early reader “Cam Jansen” series, offers “The Story of Passover.” Adler is highly acclaimed for his straightforward narrative style in non-fiction books, including dozens on Jewish holidays.David A. Adler in "The Story of Passover" provides little-known answers to some intriguing questions. (Courtesy Holiday House)He says he likes to appeal to readers of any Jewish background, whether from traditional, observant Jewish families or those who are interested in learning about Passover.

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