Tag Archives: Palestine

97-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor scoring high on TikTok

Tik Tok a youngster gadget

We know already of Hadassah Tirosh who has amassed over 2 million followers on TikTok, where she proudly and openly shares about her Jewishness. She is not only Jewish, but also a Mexican Israeli trans content creator. whose early content, which begins in December of 2019 was posted under her previous name, David, who she remembers fondly and has taken the time to thank for helping her become the person she is today — she’s seen proudly wearing different colourful kippahs, her Star of David necklace and being generally proud and open about her Jewishness.

In 2021 Tik Tok is the seventh most used in the world, with the majority of its users being millennial and Gen Z. But it might be a very high surprise to find a 97-year old lady being a “hipster”.
Lily Ebert isn’t your typical 97-year-old. In June, after only joining the platform earlier this year, Ebert reached 1 million followers on Tik Tok and has now amassed over 1.2 million in total.
How?
Ebert is a Holocaust survivor and, together with her great-grandson Dov Forman who runs her account, is teaching the internet about her remarkable life and experiences as a survivor of Auschwitz and how she made a life for herself after liberation.

Lily Ebert from the camps

Lily Ebert

Lily Ebert, born in Bonyhád, Hungary on 29th December 1923

Originally from Hungary, Lily Ebert, the eldest of six children in a happy and loving family. When the Nazis invaded Hungary in March 1944, her family got to face the worst nightmare one can wish for.

Shortly after Germany invaded Hungary, Lily, her mother and her siblings were sent to the ghetto, and soon after were put on a train, crammed into dark and almost airless cattle wagons, to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Lily at the age of about 4 or 5 had received from her mother a small gold pendant. Even then it wasn’t very expensive or unique but young Lily was very pleased with her present and now in the camp she did not want it to be taken by the Nazis. The small pendant had gone hiding, safe inside the heel of her mother’s shoe. Lily and her mother wore the same size of shoe and as they arrived at the camp her mother asked Lily to swap shoes with her.

Although this happened over 70 years ago Lily can still remember her arrival at the camp. After the long and terrible journey, ‘everyone was half-dead’. They were ordered to climb out of the train and stand together five in a row. There was a man with a stick in his hand. It was Dr Mengele, the notorious Nazi doctor who became known as the Angel of Death for his brutal experiments on inmates, though at the time Lily didn’t know who he was. With one movement of his hand Dr Mengele sealed the fate of the people before him. He sent people right or left — to life or to death. When they had arrived, Lily and her two sisters Renee and Piri were sent in one direction, while her mother Nina, brother Bela and sister Berta were sent to the left, the way to the gas chambers and crematorium. Lily never saw them again.

Lily had put on her mother’s shoes and was ordered to take a shower, whereafter her hair was cut, and their remaining belongings were stolen. It was her only remaining possession and a reminder of her happy childhood. It was a link to her murdered mother and a symbol of defiance. The Nazis would not be allowed to steal it! The Nazis left them with only their shoes, not having any idea of what was hidden in the heel of Lily’s shoe, the tiny pendant Lily’s last link with her mother. When the shoes wore out, she placed the pendant in her daily ration of bread. After about four months in Auschwitz, the sisters were transferred to an ammunition factory near Leipzig. The pendant went with them.

March to liberation after a human and a viral war

When the Front started closing in on the area, they were forced to leave Leipzig and sent on a two-day march. After seeing and suffering unimaginable horrors, on the second day of the march, April 13, 1945, they were finally liberated by Allied forces.

Lily tried to rebuild her life. She wore the pendant every day in memory of her murdered family. Eventually, she married and had children. In 1953 she was reunited with Imre, one of her brothers, who had been imprisoned in a Nazi labour camp. In 1967 she came to London with her husband and three children.

Having become a proud grandmother she came to face another life-threatening struggle: COVID-19. In January, she struggled with a brutal bout of the virus, but true to her nature, she fought through. For her it was her second chance to be alive.  It was then that her great-grandson Dov Forman decided to share a photo of his great-grandmother to Twitter celebrating her miraculous recovery.

Dov Forman

My 97-Year-old Great Grandma, Lily Ebert BEM – Auschwitz Survivor, has just recovered from Covid- 19. Today she went on her first walk in a month after making a miraculous recovery. A fighter and survivor

Image

The response was extraordinary; the photo has since been retweeted over 17,000 times and has received more than a quarter of a million likes, with people from all over the world responding to send their well-wishes and express their admiration for Lily’s strength and bravery.

Finding viral fame

On the back of this unexpected reaction, Dov set up a TikTok account for Lily. At first, their videos mainly consisted of Dov introducing his great-grandmother and encouraging people to follow the account in order to have her story reach as many people as possible. But once they started building up a following, people quickly began expressing an interest in the details of Lily’s extraordinary life.

Soon enough, the account became dedicated to answering followers’ questions about the Holocaust and Lily’s experiences of it, with questions ranging from asking what they ate in the camp, to what happened to babies that were born there, and what the sleeping conditions were like.

She also remembered some Hungarian poems and recites them on the application.

No human anymore, but just a number

Though it is not always easy to answer all the questions she gets, she finds it a necessary act:

“Of course it is hard but if I could survive it, I can talk about it. And for the future, to ensure that something similar [to the Holocaust] cannot happen again, I have to talk about it.”

Lily’s most viewed video, now with over 20 million views, shows her answering the question,

“How did it feel to get your number in Auschwitz?”

Revealing a faded tattoo on her left arm, Lily confidently tells her followers:

My number is A-10572. That is what I was, they did not call us by our name. We were no longer humans. We were only a number and we were treated like numbers.”

The video now has over 29,000 comments from people expressing their solidarity with Lily and gratitude for her honesty and strength.

Downsides of Tik Tok and Twitter, also platforms of hate talk

However, despite the overwhelmingly positive reactions and encouraging words of support, like all social media platforms, TikTok comes with its downsides, too. For Jewish creators on TikTok, the fun comes with a hefty dose of antisemitism.

It seems as if the kids on TikTok are churning out a new trend nearly every week. The never-ending scroll of the “For You Page” sends users on a twisting path of all sorts of niches and topics. The app truly has something for every interest, from sea shanty challenges to tortilla wrap hacks to — antisemitic caricatures?

In May, around the time when violence was escalating between Israel and Palestine, Ebert’s account received a slew of hateful antisemitic comments. In one particular instance, under a video of Lily simply wishing her followers “a lovely, peaceful weekend”, and by a repeated similar wish in Hungarian, her native language, she added “Shabbat Shalom,” despite the mundanity and kindness of this video, it quickly became the subject of a swarm of hateful comments. it went even so far that she was called to be responsible for the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Another said, “Happy Holocaust,” while another said,

“Ask her if she thinks the treatment of Palestinians reminds her [of] the treatment she got in the camp.”

Another response was

“Peace be upon Hitlar [sic]”

to one which asked if she believed the treatment of Palestinians reminded her of her treatment in the camps. All of this for a grandmother’s simple greeting. Sadly, this experience of antisemitic hate isn’t exactly unique.

Holocaust survivor Lily Ebert's TikTok account was hit with antisemitic messages. (Campaign Against Antisemitism via JTA)Although these comments were clearly abhorrent, unjustified and unacceptable, like everything else Lily and Dov handled them with the utmost dignity. Posting to Twitter, Dov wrote:

“Over the past few days my great Grandmother (Auschwitz survivor) and I have continued to receive messages of hate on Tiktok and Twitter… We will not allow this to stop us from educating about the horrors of the past, and what hatred can lead to. Hate only breeds hate.”

Hero Magnus, a university student and TikToker, explains how her Judaism-related content would often get slammed by offensive comments.

“The really vicious comments are usually from actual Nazis, and I just block and delete. When I was making a ton of Jewish content, I would get a couple of those on practically every video,”

she explains.

“I often also got casually mean stuff from Christians or culturally Christian atheists who wanted to tell me that Judaism is backwards, cultish or stupid.”

Additionally, Jews of Colour on TikTok experience vitriol both from outside the Jewish community and within.

Shekhiynah Larks, a Black Jewish TikTok creator, describes that, in fact, most of the antisemitism she experiences on the app comes from white Jews and Black non-Jews, not Neo-Nazis.

“When I do receive antisemitic comments, it’s more coded with anti-Blackness at the same time,”

Larks says.

“It’s more people posting ‘free Palestine’ on my page and asking me how I can be Black and a Jew, I’m being brainwashed by white Jews, and that I don’t care about Black people.”

She also notes that many white Jews comment on her videos asking her invasive questions that probe into her Jewish identity and conversion, showing they don’t really view her as Jewish enough.

Aviva Davis writes:

There are many white and white-passing Jews using their platforms to share information and educational resources about systemic racism and anti-Semitism and how one’s identities intersect and influence the way one is treated in society. This is great! Better yet, share resources created by Jews of Color (hint hint, nudge nudge).

Aviva Majerczyk remarks

While the invalidation of Jews of Color is rampant throughout the Jewish community in real life as well, on TikTok, these racist commenters may feel more empowered to voice their backwards views behind anonymous accounts.

Still going strong

Lily Ebert keeps going strong. She still wears the tiny gold pendant and shares its remarkable story with all those who have time to listen.

As part of their mission to teach people about the Holocaust and its devastating effects, Lily and Dov have now co-authored a book together called “Lily’s Promise: How I Survived Auschwitz and Found the Strength to Live.” to come out coming September.

Leave a comment

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Cultural affairs, Educational affairs, Headlines - News, History, Political affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

As West Bank Settlers Try to Take More Palestinian Land

Rabbi Arik Ascherman lets us know

As West Bank Settlers Try to Take More Palestinian Land

I am actually in a bit of pain. I have barely felt most of the blows I have received in recent days from settler youth sent by their elders to accompany cows and sheep on a rampage of theft in the fields of the Taibe junction we had planted with Bedouin shepherds. These are mere children trying to be tough. However, a week ago Tuesday one of them managed to hit me in the back with the stick he was brandishing. I am trying to avoid overuse of pain killers, except for the adrenalin every day when I return to keep the cows and sheep out of the fields.

In addition to the physical pain, there is the great sadness that adults are corrupting these children in this way. I have been oscillating between telling them that they are thieves, and we have nothing to talk about, and telling them that I pray they will find an uncorrupted corner of their souls that will inspire them to return to what God asks of them. Almost every day I ask them if they wish to act like the descendants of Abraham and Sarah, or like Amalek, summarizing the words of Rabbi Shimshon Rafael Hirsch I cited on my Times of Israel blog two weeks ago on the reading for the Shabbat before Purim, Deuteronomy 25: 17 – 19:

Don’t Forget:

Don’t forget a thing if the day will come when you will want to be like Amalek, and like Amalek you won’t want to remember your obligations or to know God, but will look for the opportunity in small or big matters to exploit your advantage to harm other human beings. Don’t forget this when the day will come, and you will want to rid yourself of your role and mission as the Jewish people that you accepted among humanity.

This week I have been suggesting to some of these troubled youth that we set up a “Reish Lakish club.” Reish Lakish was a thief who changed his ways and became a scholar frequently cited in the Talmud.

Last Thursday night, immediately after the reading of the Purim Megillah, we had an emergency meeting postponed from the previous night with a representative of the Taibe Municipality, a leading Palestinian activist, and legal counsel. As I will explain, the Book of Esther came to life for me.

For much of the past three years the struggle has primarily been that of Torat Tzedek and the Bedouin shepherds, with some support from the Municipality. Landowners have taken action when settlers tried to set up additional outposts on their lands. However, from the additional outpost Neriya Ben Pazi successfully set up on “State Land,” the settlers have taken their incursions, intimidation and theft of everything the shepherds plant for their flocks, to a new level. Our successes in 2019 to significantly cut down the level of theft were reversed in 2020 both because of this outpost, and because of incredibly heightened State support for settler aggression this past year. In 2020 settlers forced many Bedouin off the land, and now have begun to plow some of it themselves. Between fear of what the State can do to those who raise their heads, and tensions between the landowners and the Bedouin working and living on the lands, the landowners have been overly slow to take the steps necessary to save their lands.

Day after day, we have literally been holding them off. We stood guard as those shepherds who have not been totally intimidated planted. In areas where the fear was too great, we did the planting as well. We have been in constant conversation with the legal authorities, demanding that they do their job. Because last year’s losses have left family’s financially strapped, we helped secure financing for seed and tractors and contributed ourselves. Settlers have savagely responded by intensifying their attempts to ensure that their flocks eat everything that has been planted just as it is beginning to grow. They want the shepherds who dare to resist to believe that they will not benefit from even one stalk of the barley that was to feed their flocks from May through September. They call or “visit” the shepherds to warn them that they will pay a price for any connection with us. We call the security forces, who say they will do nothing until they see ownership papers, but have taken no action when owners have lodged complaints and even discouraged owners from doing so. They usually refuse to identify suspects, but last year froze a case by claiming that the perpetrators were not known. When there are enough of us, we can successfully keep the settler flocks out of the planted areas. I admit there have been days when I have broken the rules and been there alone, because I can’t bear to watch what happens otherwise. Expelling flocks alone is physically more challenging, and we are less likely to be attacked when the settlers know that we are filming them from several angles. I was alone when hit in the back on Tuesday.

Then, there have been the days I have just walked away and expelled flocks when the police have refused to do anything, and then had the audacity to order me not to do anything.

At the meeting, the lawyer explained the hard facts. With the settlers acting as if the land is theirs, and even plowing some of it, the next step will be to claim that it is theirs legally. They are already smirking and crowing that the Bedouin have fled, and won’t be coming back. On Friday, one of them scoffed at the idea that the ownership papers of “goyim” mean anything. At the meeting the Palestinian activist assured that many would support the Municipality and the owners and the Bedouin if they take the decisive legal and other steps that must now be taken.

For me the meeting was a Megillah moment. The most dramatic scene for me in Megillat Esther is the back and forth messages between Mordechai and Esther that transform her from a passive woman doing what she is told to a bold and brave leader:

Esther told Hathach to take back to Mordecai the following reply:

“All the king’s courtiers and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any person, man or woman, enters the king’s presence in the inner court without having been summoned, there is but one law for him—that he be put to death. Only if the king extends the golden scepter to him may he live. Now I have not been summoned to visit the king for the last thirty days.”

When Mordecai was told what Esther had said, Mordecai had this message delivered to Esther:

“Do not imagine that you, of all the Jews, will escape with your life by being in the king’s palace. On the contrary, if you keep silent in this crisis, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another quarter, while you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows, perhaps you have attained to royal position for just such a crisis.”

Then Esther sent back this answer to Mordecai:

“Go, assemble all the Jews who live in Shushan, and fast in my behalf; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens will observe the same fast. Then I shall go to the king, though it is contrary to the law; and if I am to perish, I shall perish!”

So Mordecai went about [the city] and did just as Esther had commanded him. (Esther 4: 10 -17)

Like Mordechai, I as a privileged Israeli Jew can paternalistically instruct Palestinians or Israelis in need of public housing, or whoever, what to do. Or, there can be a magic moment when the oppressed become empowered to be partners in fighting for their rights and dignity. We may have reached such a moment on Thursday – a moment in which we all realized that there is a reason why we are here. I use the word “partners.” Mordechai speaks of the salvation that can come from another quarter if Esther does not act. We spoke of all the aid that would come from other quarters if the villagers do act.

Ken Yehi Ratzon May it be the Will of God, Who is never mentioned in the Book of Esther, but was present. Together –– the privileged, the oppressed and God –– in partnership for a better world.

B’Vrakha (In Blessing),

Arik

Leave a comment

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Headlines - News, Lifestyle, Political affairs, World affairs

The corpus separatum and Mahmoud Abbas

When the United Nations voted on a partition plan for a Jewish State of Israel and Arab State of Palestine in 1947, it clearly marked a corpus separatum, a distinct international entity to hold Greater Bethlehem and Greater Jerusalem.

The Arab countries were not pleased with the UN proposal and rejected it. By May 1948 a military coalition of Arab states launched an attack on the new State of Israel.

Arab Legion soldier in ruins of Hurva.jpg

Arab Legion soldier standing in ruins of the most sacred Synagogue, the “Hurva”, Old City.

10 months of fighting, interrupted by several truce periods, took place mostly on the former territory of the British Mandate and for a short time also in the Sinai Peninsula and southern Lebanon. At the end of the war Jordan illegally seized control of three-quarters of the corpus separatum including all of Greater Bethlehem and the eastern half of Jerusalem, in a move that the world did not recognize. Israel took control of Jaffa, Lydda and Ramle area, Galilee, some parts of the Negev, a wide strip along the Tel AvivJerusalem road, western half of Greater Jerusalem and made it its capital and took some territories in the West Bank.  Jordan expelled all of the Jews from the area it seized and granted all non-Jews Jordanian citizenship in an outrageous antisemitic act in 1954.

The Jordanians gave Jordanian citizenship to the Palestinians in the newly named “West Bank” and “East Jerusalem.” They would make no attempt to give them independence or sovereignty throughout their period of illegal control until 1967.

The world one moment thought that the third world war would have started, and as such classes were suddenly interrupted and lots of people went in front of the television screen to follow the  June War, 1967 Arab–Israeli War, or Third Arab–Israeli War, which was fought between 5 and 10 June 1967 by Israel and the neighbouring states of Egypt (known at the time as the United Arab Republic), Jordan, and Syria.

Jordan (and the Palestinians who had Jordanian citizenship) who attacked Israel again  subsequently lost all of the “West Bank” and Greater Bethlehem and eastern Jerusalem. Israel took control of the area, and expanded the borders of Jerusalem in 1980, declaring

Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.

On September 27, 2018 the acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas spoke to the United Nations General Assembly presenting it as if Jerusalem always was and should be the capital of the Palestinian state. Though he may forget that the Jordanians controlled the city and made no efforts to give it to Palestinians (from 1949 to 1967)

While Israel has permitted the Jordanian Waqf to have administrative responsibilities for Muslim holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem (and no King Abdullah, Jordan has NO responsibility for Christian sites), the ownership, control and sovereignty of the city is Israel’s.

The world should remember that Jerusalem has never been a Palestinian capital and from old ancient times it was already declared to be the capital of the Hebrew people.

+

Please do find

Related First.One.Through articles:

  1. Ending Apartheid in Jerusalem
  2. The Arguments over Jerusalem
  3. 750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem
  4. Arabs in Jerusalem
  5. I call BS: You Never Recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital
  6. Here in United Jerusalem’s Jubilee Year
  7. The Invisible Flag in Judo and Jerusalem
  8. The New York Times Inverts the History of Jerusalem
  9. Today’s Inverted Chanukah: The Holiday of Rights in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria
  10. The Battle for Jerusalem
  11. East Jerusalem” – the 0.5% Molehill
  12. Jerusalem, and a review of the sad state of divided capitals in the world

Related First.One.Through videos:

  1. The Anthem of Israel is JERUSALEM
  2. Judea and Samaria (Foo Fighters)
  3. The 1967 “Borders” (The Kinks)
  4. E1: The Battle for Jerusalem (The Who)

Subscribe YouTube channel: FirstOneThrough

4 Comments

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

Warm-blooded, feathered vertebrates

BIRDS

Birds are warm-blooded, feathered vertebrates and are oviparous, that is, egg laying. There are some 300 references to birds in the Bible, with about 30 different varieties being specifically named. Reference is made to their flight, often in escaping their enemies (Ps 11:1; Pr 26:2; 27:8; Isa 31:5; Ho 9:11); their roosting in trees (Ps 104:12; Mt 13:32); their nesting (Ps 84:3; Eze 31:6); their uses, particularly young pigeons and turtledoves, in sacrifice (Le 1:14; 14:4-7, 49-53) and as food (Ne 5:18), including their eggs (Isa 10:14; Lu 11:11, 12); and God’s provision and care for them.

Manyas

Manyas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

26 Observe intently the birds of heaven;+ they do not sow seed or reap or gather into storehouses, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they are?   (Matthew 6:26)

29 Two sparrows sell for a coin of small value,* do they not? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.+ (Matthew 10:29; compare De 22:6, 7).

Birds were among the earliest living souls on earth, coming into existence on the fifth creative “day” along with the marine creatures.

20 Then God said: “Let the waters swarm with living creatures,* and let flying creatures fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.”*+21 And God created the great sea creatures* and all living creatures* that move and swarm in the waters according to their kinds and every winged flying creature according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 With that God blessed them, saying: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the waters of the sea,+ and let the flying creatures become many in the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. (Genesis 1:20-23)

Of the general terms used in the Bible that apply to birds, the most frequent Hebrew word is ʽohph, basically meaning “flying creature” (Ge 1:20), which may include not only birds but also winged insects. (Compare Le 11:13, 21-23.) The Hebrew tsip·pohr′ also occurs in a large number of texts and is a generic term applying to birds in general. (Ge 7:14) A third Hebrew term, ʽa′yit, is applied solely to the birds of prey.

Bird - Seagull enjoying the sunset

Bird – Seagull enjoying the sunset (Photo credit: blmiers2)

The following terms are found in the Greek Scriptures: or′ne·on, meaning simply “bird” (Re 18:2); pe·tei·non′ and pte·nos′, both literally meaning “flier.” (Ro 1:23; 1Co 15:39; compare Int.) At Acts 17:18 Athenian philosophers referred to the apostle Paul as a “chatterer.” The Greek word here (sper·mo·lo′gos) was applied to a bird that picks up seeds, while figuratively it was used of a person who picks up scraps by begging or stealing, or, as in the case cited, one who repeats scraps of knowledge, an idle babbler.

A thoughtful study of birds gives convincing proof of the Biblical teaching that they are of divine creation. While birds and reptiles are both oviparous, reptiles are cold-blooded, often sluggish, whereas birds are warm-blooded and among the most active of all earth’s creatures; they also have an unusually rapid heartbeat. The evolutionary view that reptilian scales and front limbs eventually developed into feathered wings is both fanciful and baseless. The fossils of birds called by scientists Archaeopteryx (or, ancient wing) and Archaeornis (or, ancient bird), though showing teeth and a long vertebrated tail, also show that they were completely feathered, had feet equipped for perching, and had fully developed wings. No intermediate specimens, exhibiting scales developing into feathers or front legs into wings, exist to give any semblance of support to the evolution theory. As expressed by the apostle Paul, birds are of a distinct “flesh” from others of earth’s creatures.

Bird - Duck - Mallard

Bird – Duck – Mallard (Photo credit: blmiers2)

39 Not all flesh is the same flesh, but there is one of mankind, there is another flesh of cattle, another flesh of birds, and another of fish.  (1Corinthians 15:39).

The psalmist called upon the “winged birds” to praise Jehovah (Ps 148:1, 10), and birds do this by their very structure and their complex design. A single bird may have from 1,000 to over 20,000 feathers. Yet each feather is composed of a shaft from which branch out hundreds of barbs forming an inner web, each barb containing several hundred smaller barbules and each barbule having hundreds of barbicels and hooklets. A single six-inch wing feather of a pigeon is thus estimated to contain some hundreds of thousands of barbules and literally millions of barbicels. The aerodynamic principles built into birds’ wings and body design surpass in complexity and efficiency that of modern-day aircraft. A bird’s hollow bones contribute to its lightness, and thus the skeleton of a frigate bird with a 2-m (7 ft) wingspan may weigh only about 110 g (4 oz). Certain wing bones of large soaring birds even have trusslike supports, like the struts inside airplane wings, within the hollow portions.

At the time of the Flood, Noah introduced into the ark for preservation pairs of birds “according to their kinds.”

So Jehovah said: “I am going to wipe men whom I have created off the surface of the ground, man together with domestic animals, creeping animals, and flying creatures of the heavens, for I regret that I have made them.” … 19 And bring into the ark two of every sort of living creature+ in order to preserve them alive with you, a male and a female;+ 20 of the flying creatures according to their kinds, the domestic animals according to their kinds, and all creeping animals of the ground  (Genesis 6:7, 19-20)

also of the flying creatures of the sky by sevens,* male and female, to preserve their offspring alive over all the earth.+

23 So He wiped every living thing from the surface of the earth, including man, animals, creeping animals, and the flying creatures of the sky. They were all wiped off the earth;+ only Noah and those with him in the ark survived.+ (Genesis 7:3, 23)

Manyas

Manyas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is no certain way of knowing how many different “kinds” of birds then existed, some types of birds having become extinct even in recent times. However, it is of interest to note that the listing of birds according to present-day scientific classification presented in The New Encyclopædia Britannica (1985, Vol. 15, pp. 14-106) gives a total of only 221 bird “families,” including some that are now extinct or known only in fossil form. There are, of course, thousands of varieties included within these “families.” {Note}

Following the global Flood, Noah offered up “clean flying creatures” along with animals as a sacrifice. (Ge 8:18-20) Birds were thereafter made allowable by God for inclusion in man’s diet, as long as the blood was not eaten. (Ge 9:1-4; compare Le 7:26; 17:13.) The ‘cleanness’ of certain birds at that time therefore evidently relates to some divine indication of acceptableness for sacrifice; the Biblical record shows that, as regards their being used as food, none of the birds were designated as “unclean” until the introduction of the Mosaic Law. (Le 11:13-19, 46, 47; 20:25; De 14:11-20) The factors determining which birds were designated ceremonially “unclean” are not expressly stated in the Bible. Thus, while most of those so designated were birds of prey or scavengers, not all of them were.  This prohibition was lifted following the establishment of the new covenant, as God made evident to Peter by a vision.

The next day as they were continuing on their journey and were approaching the city, Peter went up to the housetop about the sixth hour* to pray. 10 But he became very hungry and wanted to eat. While they were preparing the meal, he fell into a trance+11 and saw heaven opened and something* descending like a great linen sheet being let down by its four corners on the earth; 12 and in it were all sorts of four-footed animals and reptiles* of the earth and birds of heaven. 13 Then a voice said to him: “Get up, Peter, slaughter and eat!” 14 But Peter said: “Not at all, Lord, because I have never eaten anything defiled and unclean.”+15 And the voice spoke again to him, the second time: “Stop calling defiled the things God has cleansed.” (Acts of the apostles 10:9-15).

Birds

Birds (Photo credit: Emyan)

The identification of the birds specifically named in the Bible presents a difficult problem in some cases. Lexicographers generally are guided by the root meaning of the name, since this is usually descriptive, by indications in the context as to the bird’s habits and habitat, and by observation of the birds known to be found in the Bible lands. In many cases the names are believed to be onomatopoeic, that is, imitating the sound produced by the bird.

The diverse topography of Palestine, ranging from cool mountain peaks to deep sweltering valleys and from arid deserts to maritime plains, all together near the SE corner of the Mediterranean Sea, makes it a focal point for a great variety of bird types. Mount Hermon, in the N, is snowcapped for much of the year, while the region about 200 km (125 mi) to the S along the lower Jordan Valley and near the Dead Sea is hot and tropical. Each of these zones contains birds peculiar to its own environment, either alpine or tropical, as do also the temperate zones and the desert regions. (Ps 102:6; 104:16, 17) Additionally, Palestine is on one of the major migrational routes followed annually by birds (storks, turtledoves, quail, swifts, swallows, bulbuls, cuckoos, and others) traveling N from Africa in the spring or S from Europe and Asia in the fall. (Ca 2:11, 12; Jer 8:7) Thus it is estimated that about 470 varieties of birds may be found in Palestine at some time during the course of a year. In view of the deterioration of Palestinian forests and vegetation over the centuries, it is likely that in Biblical times the bird population was even greater.

Particularly notable are the great numbers of birds of prey (Heb., ʽa′yit) found in Palestine, including eagles, hawks, falcons, kites, and vultures. Back in Abraham’s time, birds of prey tried to descend upon Abraham’s sacrifice of certain animals and birds, obliging him to drive them off until the sun began to set. (Ge 15:9-12; compare 2Sa 21:10.) In their search for food these birds rely on their powerful telescopic sight, rather than on their relatively weak sense of smell.

The well-known sight of a cluster of scavenger birds gathered around a carcass often served as the basis for an ominous warning to an enemy (1Sa 17:44, 46), and repeatedly formed part of divinely inspired prophetic warnings to the nation of Israel and its rulers (De 28:26; 1Ki 14:11; 21:24; Jer 7:33; 15:3) as well as to foreign nations. (Isa 18:1, 6; Eze 29:5; 32:4) Thus, the one used by Jehovah to execute judgement was figuratively represented by “a bird of prey.” (Isa 46:11) Desolation of a city or land was depicted by its becoming the habitat of certain birds of solitary nature (Isa 13:19-21; compare Re 18:2) or by the disappearance of all bird life. (Jer 4:25-27; 9:10; 12:4; Ho 4:3; Zep 1:3) The proclamation calling all the birds to gather to feast upon the dead bodies of Gog of Magog and his crowd (Eze 39:1-4, 17-21) is paralleled by that recorded in Revelation in which the bodies of national rulers and their armies become food for “all the birds that fly in midheaven” as a result of the executional work of Christ Jesus as King.

11 I saw heaven opened, and look! a white horse.+ And the one seated on it is called Faithful+ and True,+ and he judges and carries on war in righteousness.+12 His eyes are a fiery flame,+ and on his head are many diadems.* He has a name written that no one knows but he himself, 13 and he is clothed with an outer garment stained* with blood, and he is called by the name The Word+ of God. 14 Also, the armies in heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in white, clean, fine linen. 15 And out of his mouth protrudes a sharp, long sword+ with which to strike the nations, and he will shepherd them with a rod of iron.+ Moreover, he treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.+16 On his outer garment, yes, on his thigh, he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.+

17 I saw also an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice and said to all the birds that fly in midheaven:* “Come here, be gathered together to the great evening meal of God,+18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of military commanders and the flesh of strong men+ and the flesh of horses and of those seated on them,+ and the flesh of all, of freemen as well as of slaves and of small ones and great.”

19 And I saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the one seated on the horse and against his army.+20 And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet+ that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast+ and those who worship its image.+ While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulfur.+21 But the rest were killed off with the long sword that proceeded out of the mouth of the one seated on the horse.+ And all the birds were filled with their flesh.+ (Revelation 19:11-21; contrast this with God’s comforting words to his people, at Ho 2:18-20).

18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the wild animals of the field,+ And with the birds of the heavens and the creeping things of the ground;+ I will rid the land of the bow and the sword and war,+ And I will make them lie down* in security.+19 I will engage myself to you forever; And I will engage myself to you in righteousness and in justice, In loyal love and in mercy.+ 20 I will engage myself to you in faithfulness, And you will certainly know Jehovah.’+ (Hosea 2:18-20)

Worship of birds as representing the true God was prohibited to the nation of Israel (De 4:15-17) but was prominent among the pagan nations, particularly in Egypt. (Ro 1:23) Hundreds of bird mummies have been found in Egyptian tombs, principally of birds such as the falcon, the vulture, and the ibis, all of which were sacred among the Egyptians. Egyptian hieroglyphics contain some 22 different bird signs.

Bird

Bird (Photo credit: DeusXFlorida (5,003,637 views) – thanks guys!)

+

{Note}: The “kinds” of animals selected had reference to the clear-cut and unalterable boundaries or limits set by the Creator, within which boundaries creatures are capable of breeding “according to their kinds.” It has been estimated by some that the hundreds of thousands of species of animals today could be reduced to a comparatively few family “kinds”—the horse kind and the cow kind, to mention but two. The breeding boundaries according to “kind” established by Jehovah were not and could not be crossed. With this in mind some investigators have said that, had there been as few as 43 “kinds” of mammals, 74 “kinds” of birds, and 10 “kinds” of reptiles in the ark, they could have produced the variety of species known today. Others have been more liberal in estimating that 72 “kinds” of quadrupeds and less than 200 bird “kinds” were all that were required. That the great variety of animal life known today could have come from inbreeding within so few “kinds” following the Flood is proved by the endless variety of humankind—short, tall, fat, thin, with countless variations in the colour of hair, eyes, and skin—all of whom sprang from the one family of Noah.

Sleeping Caribbean Flamingo at the Metro Toron...

Sleeping Caribbean Flamingo at the Metro Toronto Zoo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

+

Additional reading:

  1. Praise be to God
  2. Praise the God with His Name
  3. Praise the most High Jehovah God above all
  4. Make a joyful noise unto Yahweh, rejoice, and sing praise unto Jehovah

+++

  • Pterosaurs cast a giant shadow over today’s biggest winged creatures (theguardian.com)

    Pterosaurs model shadow

    A man walks under the shadow of a model pterosaur. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty

    Look at the birds outside your window: little feathery things that beg for crumbs and make cute chirpy noises. What if they were nine metres across and could fold up their wings and walk on all fours? Not so cute. Long ago, just such hulking creatures ruled the skies.

    Pterosaurs were Earth’s first flying vertebrates. Although birds and bats have taken wing in the 66m years since their extinction, we don’t have any flying creatures that approach the size of the biggest pterosaurs. The largest known specimen, Quetzalcoatlus, had a 10-metre wingspan. An immense vertebra recently found in Romania suggests that pterosaurs may have grown even bigger than that. The largest flying animals today, such as the wandering albatross and the Andean condor, average a wingspan of around three metres.

  • Birds (milliesmindofmadness.wordpress.com)
    Birds are a symbol of freedom and liberty. Then why, I ask, did a bird poo on me yesterday when I was walking my dogs? Why? Could the bird not have the decency to poo somewhere else other than my face. I know that it was multi-tasking but that bird needs to think of others before it let’s loose it’s poo on me. Furthermore, where I was walking was a nice pleasant area so to quote my dad, I got pooed on by a posh bird.
  • Bird (kyle861.wordpress.com)
    Birds (class Aves or clade Avialae) are featheredwingedbipedalendothermic (warm-blooded), egg-layingvertebrate animals. With around 10,000 living species, they are the most specioseclass of tetrapod vertebrates.
  • Rise of Animals: David Attenborough explores evolution of vertebrates (thisismoney.co.uk)
    David Attenborough has visited new paleontological hotspots to fill in evolutionary gaps of how vertebrates came to rule the Earth and how their evolution defines our own human bodies.
    In a new two-part documentary, Rise of Animals: Triumph of the vertebrates, the naturalist explores the origins of the backbone by studying a tiny prehistoric animal and a living fossil living in the south of England.Sir David takes a 500-million-year evolutionary journey to study animals including a newly discovered ‘missing link’ from China, a shallow water predator that swam like a fish but took its first steps on land, giant ancient animals and the famous fossil of the feathered dinosaur.
  • Zoology: Using Animals to Enrich Your World (rebekahloper.wordpress.com)
    Animals serve many purposes. They are a vital part of the ecosystem, they offer companionship, and theycan be sources of food.And creating animals can honestly be one of the most fun parts of worldbuilding. But as always, there are things to consider!
  • A fallen feather (raoulpop.com)
    The birds we seldom notice, unless they muck up our freshly washed cars, are able to do something no human being has been able to do so far, without the aid of an engineered mechanism. They’re able to take flight, freely, and soar high above the ground, surveying all they can see, while humans are stuck on the ground.
  • Doahugou Biota: Study Describes 30 Species from Jurassic of China (sci-news.com)
    Over the last two decades, huge numbers of fossils have been collected from the western Liaoning Province and adjacent parts of northeastern China, including exceptionally preserved feathered dinosaurs, early birds, and mammals. Most of these specimens are from the Cretaceous Period, including the famous Jehol Biota.However, in recent years many fossils have emerged from sites that are 30 million years earlier, providing an exceptional window on life during the Jurassic period, about 160 million years ago.
  • Poachers dump bodies of nine eagles in ditch near Kamloops (calgaryherald.com)
    The remains of eight bald eagles and one golden eagle have been found in a ditch near Kamloops, B.C.Officials with the Conservation Officer Service say the carcasseswere discovered last month in the ditch beside a well-used public road.Heads, feet, tail feathers and wings of all nine birds had been removed.

     

Enhanced by Zemanta

7 Comments

Filed under History, Nature, Religious affairs