Tag Archives: World War II

Dr. Miller looking at Jews in France

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

Jews and France: 11 Interesting Facts

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

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

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

Greatest Jewish Scholar

Rashi

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

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

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

Monument in memory of Rashi in Troyes, France

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

Troyes centre ville1.JPG

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

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

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

Talmud on Trial

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

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

Medieval Crusades

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

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

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

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

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

French Chocolate’s Jewish Origins

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

Dark Chocolate with Espelette pepper.

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


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

Equality

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

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

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

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

Napoleon’s “Sanhedrin”

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

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

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

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

Official Names

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

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

The Dreyfus Affair

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

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

France and the Holocaust

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

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

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

Resurgent Anti-Semitism

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

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

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

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

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

France in Israel

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

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

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

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Preceding articles

Kindertransport

Apocalyptic Extremism: No Longer a Laughing Matter

Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God

What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism

The Rise of Anti-Seminism

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

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Additional reading

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

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Further reading

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

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Remembrance and freedom in the Netherlands – Dodenherdenking and Bevrijdingsdag

Remembrance Day 4 + 5 May =  low-key affair, focussing on memorial services + parades at war memorials + military graveyards.

Liberation Day = Bevrijdingsdag = celebration of freedom => free festivals throughout the country

lighting of bevrijdingsvuur (Freedom Fire) = transition to a day of celebration commemorating liberation + celebrating freedom.

victims of Nazi persecution: Jews, Sinti, Roma + others

victims of Japanese camps in Indonesia

capitulation > City of Liberation > Wageningen Hotel de Wereld

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Voorgaande artikelen / Previous articles:

Religieuze feesten in mei 2016

Dodenherdenking. (Opinie)

Geef Vrijheid Door

Bevrijdingsdag Wine, Art & Jazz festival

May, for many a month for mothers and many celebrations

Integrated Expat - a British expat's views on Nijmegen, Arnhem & the Dutch

On 4 and 5 May every year, the Netherlands first remembers the sacrifices made by those who lost their lives, then celebrates the freedom those sacrifices made possible. Dodenherdenking (Remembrance Day) is a low-key affair, focussing on memorial services and parades at war memorials and military graveyards. Bevrijdingsdag (Liberation Day) is a celebration of freedom, with free festivals throughout the country. After a day of remembrance of those who gave their lives, the lighting of the bevrijdingsvuur (Freedom Fire) symbolises the transition to a day of celebration commemorating the liberation and celebrating freedom.

There are always many events surrounding both Remembrance Day and Liberation Day, particularly in the east of the Netherlands, so I will give some background information and pick out a few interesting things I discovered about this year’s celebrations in Gelderland. This year is the 70th anniversary of the official end of WWII, so many places have…

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Headlines - News, History, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs

The price of freedom

Those people who say they don’t want to remember the dead, nor celebrate the liberation of their country because “it’s not about them” do forget that it is about their own family , those who existed long before them and they who would come after them. It is because of those battle fought, the talks having taken place, the covenants being made, that we also thanks to the European Union do have a period of already 70 years with out a war in the Netherlands.

Also not wanting to remember all their struggles shows disrespect and proves the egoism which has taken its toll in this capitalist materialist world.

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To remember

paternal grandfather = adventurous + accomplished technical engineer, who traveled the world

WW2 => joined the resistance >> team betrayed => Nazi’s transported him to a concentration camp

By miracle, he lived to see the early days of May 1945 > survived bizarre allied bombing > passed away, only shortly upon his return to his family.

done his duty > fought for freedom

I agree we need to rewrite history + have a critical look at whose dead we commemorate + whose freedom we allow ourselves to celebrate – + at which cost.

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Preceding articles:

May, for many a month for mothers and many celebrations

Religious celebrations in May 2016

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Kirsten van den Hul

I never got to meet my paternal grandfather. From what I’ve been told, he seems to have been quite an amazing man. An adventurous and accomplished technical engineer, who traveled the world (wonder where I got that from ;-)) before settling down with his wife, my grandmother. Life looked good, he had a job, they bought a house, they were starting a family.

Then WW2 started.

Now he could have just done nothing when the Germans invaded his country. He simply could have kept on working as an engineer, trying to make ends meet in those difficult years and raise his two blue-eyed baby boys. But he didn’t. Instead, he joined the resistance.

I would have loved to be able to talk to him and ask him why he did that. If he ever was afraid. If his wife ever tried to dissuade him. If he ever worried about his…

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Headlines - News, History, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs

Summermonths and consumerism

Summertime seems to have difficulties to show her face this year. Over a few days the days will shorten again and we did not have yet some real good nice warm days.

In the supermarkets they feel the consumption of meat not taking off like they want and therefore they are presenting special bargain prices, advertising against other trying to present the cheapest products. If they would be the best products would be an other matter. Also if they would be produced in a decent ethical way is for many of no concern.

We can imagine Middle School teacher Bob James throughout the year has to face his pupils with all sorts of gadgets, disturbed and tempted by lots of consumer products and market activities.

Real teachers do find it necessary to help others. Bob James also is firmly convinced that all of us need to be more proactive in helping others.

We need to help them when disaster strikes, when they are recovering and then when developing their lives to be the people that God intended them to be. We are meant to be independent of all except for God. On Him alone should we be dependent. Thus, as I seek to help others, I seek to move beyond mere relief and am focusing on rehabilitation and reconciliation. We are to be reconciled with God, with our fellow human beings and with our environment. If any one of these is missing, we will have problems. This is a tall order, but I will always seek to bring reconciliation. {About Me}

He, like many teachers are daily confronted with the non-interest for God, is probably also seeing that today the kids, but also their parents, have made new gods and have more interest in the material belongings than the spiritual.

The Human Use of Human Beings

The Human Use of Human Beings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In previous articles on this blog we pointed out to this behaviour which is destroying our society like CO poisoning, not seen, not smelled, not heard. We are living in a society where eyes are directed on gaining capital, even if we need not to take notice of necessary protection for man or do not mind bringing shortage or harm to others, to get more money.

Our economy is based on consumerism. Ads are designed to appeal to people like me and make me not just want, but Need, the latest thing – whether that be a soft drink or the latest model car. {June 8 – What I Really Need}

In the years straight after the World Wars people seemed to know again the value of the necessities of life. Folks appreciated again the small things. (We remember sitting with three on a bench, having one study book, which we savoured like the best we could have to receive knowledge. We never wanted to have it for ourselves alone and where pleased when we could share things with others.) They were pleased with what they could get. They also wanted to show to others who they were and used their cloths to present their identity.

Today everybody seems to be hiding behind their clothes. They now have to be from one or the other brand, design and colour which is in fashion. All want to belong to the group and hide their own self behind brands which are ‘in’. Everything must be dictated by the market. Nobody wants to go against what the market dictates.

English: RedEye Sailboat Category:Images of Ch...

RedEye Sailboat one of the things people like to have for enjoying themselves and to show off (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Summer this is made even more clear by everybody wanting to go in the garden and show off with what the market advertises and wants to press on everybody. As such, once it is beautiful weather, we can not sit outdoors without having to smell all the combustion products, from the people who do not know how to use properly those advertised and bought barbecue sets.

Having holiday also became equivalent to travelling. When people to day are saying they go on holiday, they mostly mean and want the other person to think they are going to travel abroad. For many taking a holiday in the own garden or in the own country is not having a holiday any more. The market made them to believe to relax and to take vacation or to take leave has to be going abroad and spending a lot of money at enjoyment, entertainment parks, luxury meals and pampering and health treatments.

People have to believe they only count in this society when they can show that they are using the latest gadgets and are ‘by the time’. All people who have not the newest things are ‘old’ or ‘out of date’. They best are ignored or put aside, as not being the right people to associate with. Or they are laughed at as old fashioned or ‘nerds’.

Bob James remarks:

How easily we buy the latest thing and throw away the old. One of the problems is that we not only throw away things, we also tend to throw away people or relationships if they don’t “meet our needs.” {June 8 – What I Really Need}

Those needs have become very selfish. Everything is directed to the ‘I’ and to the ‘what can I gain from this relationship’. Most people want to associate with other people in such a way that they may be sure others will find them interesting for the knowledge and acquaintances of such people. Most relations are build on the use they can provide for the self. Not the giving away has become important, nor the meaning something for some one else, but the meaning for the person him or herself, has become the landmark.

Clearly the focus of most people came on to the wrong things. This also made many relationships not last and break down. Often we see the other person has become of no real value, when not usable any more. We see that at work. As son as a person gets to ‘old’ or to ‘experienced’ and to ‘expensive because of ‘seniority’ he is made redundant.

But also the material things do not get time to stay in use as valuable. As soon there is a new model, the old one is considered as ‘passée’ .
Most people have placed their mind on things which are disposable.

What we should be thinking about is not “things,” but people. {June 8 – What I Really Need}

writes Bob James.

What we should be focusing on more than anything is our relationship with God. {June 8 – What I Really Need} (Though in his article gives a quote about focussing on Jesus, who is not God but the son of God, but who also deserves our attention.)

Today, we can see that a lot of people who are debtors to the material things of this world. Most have forgotten that their body should be a temple, a place for clean things. Natural products for many are a laugh-stock. Biological products for many are either for the ‘loonies’ or have become a way to show off, because they are much more expensive and a way to proof they can afford it and belong to such a class of people, having enough money to buy such things.

Instead of respect for nature and respect for the Creator of all those things man shows more interest to the highly perishable idols presented on television and more and more on the internet, which brings totally new sorts of idols in the living room. All those living according to flesh, often forget that they too, like anybody else, are going to die, but if in spirit they kill the deeds of the body, and that they have much better prospects. For those who live in the spirit can find real intense worthwhile life.

Part of our problem with this issue is that our desires have been made to seem like needs. If we began each day with a focus on Jesus Christ, many of those things we think are “needs” would be shown to be desires. {June 8 – What I Really Need}

Christ Jesus is the man of flesh and blood who gave the world an example how to live according to the will of the Only One God, Whom we should consider the Most High and the Most Valuable. Jesus knew he could not do anything without God. Jesus never did his own will but always wanted to do the Will of God.  Today most consider God a flaw or useless invention.

Lots of people, having all those modern gadgets still do not feel happy. Having so many things they do not yet feel satisfied. They still have a hunger …

They are starving for the real better thing which they do not seem to see by the mist of consumerism. Lots of people are running into problems when they work so hard to take care of all their desires for material things, that they forget to spend more time to build up good relations.

Most people do not see or forget about what they really need.

Bob James thinks about a strong relationship with Jesus Christ, but seems to forget an even more important relationship, namely that with the heavenly Father of Jesus, the Only One True God.

This world needs to find the way back to God. It has lost connection with the Creator. The world has become strayed. We have to take care we become not astray by the temptations around us.

Keep your eyes on Jesus and as such find the Way to God and the way to God’s Kingdom.

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Preceding articles:

Lonely in the crowd

Misleading world, stress, technique, superficiality, past, future and positivism

Less… is still enough

Less for more

Contentment: The five senses

How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace

See the conquest and believe that we can gain the victory

The Cares of Life

The natural beauties of life

Engagement in an actual two-way conversation with your deities

Just be yourself…

A Snippet of Advice on Cultural Analysis

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Find additional literature:

  1. Capitalism
  2. Increasing wealth gap of immense proportions in the Capitalist World
  3. Classes of people and Cronyism
  4. Uncertainty, shame and no time for vacillation
  5. Because men choose to go their own way
  6. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #9 Consumption
  7. A risk taking society
  8. What IF you’re only driven by stress?
  9. Ecological economics in the stomach #2 Resources
  10. How do you keep people from stealing your joy?
  11. 2014 Social contacts
  12. Justififiable anger or just anarchism
  13. Ability for a community to come back from a crisis
  14. Green Claims in Europe
  15. Greenpeace demands scale up of ecological farming
  16. Happy International Happiness Day!
  17. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  18. Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
  19. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  20. Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite
  21. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  22. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  23. Lovers of God, seekers and lovers of truth
  24. Fools despise wisdom and instruction
  25. In a world which knows no peace sharing blessed hope
  26. The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places
  27. Cleanliness and worrying or not about purity
  28. Cognizance at the doorstep or at the internet socket
  29. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  30. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  31. Bringing Good News into the world
  32. How should we preach?
  33. Thanksgiving wisdom: Why gratitude is good for your health
  34. Food as a Therapeutic Aid
  35. Remember there’s a light in the next day
  36. It is a free will choice
  37. To know Christ is filling life with meaning
  38. Heed of the Saviour
  39. Songs in the night Worship God only
  40. Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked

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15 Comments

Filed under Economical affairs, Lifestyle, Spiritual affairs

Less for more

After World War II we did not have so much at school and had to sit with three on one bench having just one book for three pupils. We never felt it as something missing. Though the Germans had first confiscated many assets of my family and the allied forces stolen and destroyed lots of things in the family houses, because the Germans had made their quarters in it, I had not to complain about shortage in my parents house. I had the blessing to be brought up in a wealthy family.

In our house we had no lack of material things, but our parents learned us to share and to respect all the personal in the house who took care of us, the maids, matrons, teachers, cooks, gardener and labourers. Though I do agree we were made clear of the difference of class and if we made friends they had first to be approved of by the pater familias, the father and boss in the house. We were brought up and formed by ideas of class systems, knowing very well the difference between the propertied, the underclasses or lower classes and higher classes.  I, myself left the path of family tradition and went a total different way, with the consequences of seeing black snow at certain moments and having to work hard and long hours to make a decent living. With no regret, because I still would choose for the profession I have enjoyed a lot.

From a lot, I came in a big less … but I did not loose much. In a certain way I think I have gained a lot. The only thing I regret most is that I still can not afford to buy our very good own family wines and I dare not to visit the castles of some cousins. But what I can see, that many families have gone far away from their previous positions of the 19th and 20th century. The 21st century has brought a lot less for most of them.

Noticeable is that we can see a lot of new rich, who have a total different mentality than my grand-grand parents, grand parents and parents. Today we also find a nivelation from the categories who were divided in the golden sixties, noticing the rich from then more ‘poverised’ and not able any more to have so much personal to keep the house(s) and ground(s). But the previous rich and great families had ethics and rules of living which by the present new rich seem to be not known.

By the young we see a lot of youngsters who love to have a lot and best all the newest things, because something having of an older version is not cool and just not done. Many eyes today are on what is presented by the glossy magazines and by the television and computer screens.

English: Amish couple shopping in Aylmer, Onta...

Amish couple shopping in Aylmer, Ontario, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lots of parents feel a pressure by the media giving them a bad feeling if they not provide enough for their kids. Many parents seem to get not only a bad feeling, but a guilty feeling. It is like their kids would be missing something & would look back at it as a sad memory. Many parents have fallen in the trap of commercialism and are going for spending a ton on things they not necessarily need and worse also on ‘things that don’t matter’ like ‘goodie bags’ people always forget to take.

Luckily we may notice some shift in behaviour by some people. It might well be some consumers become more aware of their impact on our environment.

Would it not be better if more people would come back to their senses and consider only buying those things they necessary need and those things that really can improve their quality of life?  It is good to see that there are more people who want to shift their focus and who want a simpler life.

We should be much more aware of our own impact on our environment. We also should take up our own responsibility for the protection of our own environment and for the future of our next generations. When we commit to living a simpler life, we can commit ourselves to get rid of, stop doing, and not including things that don’t bring us happiness, have a meaning in our lives, or does something positive for us. By doing so you will find out that you also shall get rid of the distractions, the noise, & the clutter in your life.

But do know simple living isn’t only about material things. As I started of, remembering the stories which filled our life, traditions which formed us, it was all about a life style of the mind, a feeling which made us to take on the required attitude. We as children had to behave decently and live according to family laws. They ordered life. And this ordering seems to be gone, because there are no laws or rules which are respected and kept by people. Most people have no religion guiding them and the laic or secular conventions have thrown over board the ethics of good and right living. Though the good living and respectful living is a frame of mind, a train of thought that requires us to examine our lives on a daily basis and eliminate things that aren’t working for us physically, mentally, & spiritually.

We should not be afraid to do shortage on our children. It is wrong to think you do short by not giving in on the new trend or new ‘revelation of the season’.  The market wants us to buy everything it can offer. The managers do want our money spend on utilities but also on things we do not really need. Our world has become build on sandcastles. The danger is that the dream and soap-bell are going to burst, not so far in future.

The youngsters today got chained by their i-phones, i-pads, beatiful cars which can ride much faster than is allowed, think they have much choice in the shops and eating places, but have no eye for the real quality of the goods. They became blinded by and for many things.

It is up to their parents, grand parents and their real friends to open their eyes again and to bring them to understand that we are better only to buy those things which were made by people who were fairly paid and were no damage was done to either animal, plant, man or the environment (water and air). We all should come to respect nature much more and should also to come to respect those who make all those things. what I notice today, is that there is no respect at all any more for those who do the dirty work. And that is where our society has gone wrong.

They all were envying the place of some in our society, who had grounds and houses and who gave work at people. They all nurtured people in government to enrich themselves. Now we are facing greedy governments which charge taxes, which make labour to expensive and contribute to less people at work and less people able to make themselves a proper living. The greed of some made the economical world to collapse. And the protective hands of those in parliament, made that it even could happen that those who mocked up the system got bonuses. And nobody seem to have cared, because they were all so busy with themselves only looking at themselves, only concerned about themselves.

The egoism with the want for more has taken mankind and made them to shut their eyes for realism and for the truth of natural laws and ecological matters. As such they all started to poison themselves (literally). The more is giving them less in the end.

Whilst the world should know that there are better options. We do not have to go to find our food miles and miles away from where we live. We do not have to find cheap labour to soothe our mind not having slaves working for us. We do not need slaves and we do not need to be independent on other continents. If we really take care we can provide enough for each of us in our own environment, not damaging our and others their environment.

We can see a lot of literal and figurative bulimia. It is time that we come to consume less and take at heart:

“Less is more”

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Preceding article: Less… is still enough

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Additional reading:

  1. Subcutaneous power for humanity 2 1950-2010 Post war generations
  2. Gender connections
  3. Self inflicted misery #2 Weakness of human race
  4. We all have to have dreams
  5. Forward ever backwards never!
  6. Luxury
  7. Scepticals of the Bible
  8. Watch out

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19 Comments

Filed under Ecological affairs, Economical affairs, Lifestyle, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Reflections on the Great War #1 100 years on

Today 11 November it is remembrance day for the worst tragedy that came over the world, war bringing many countries in agony.

In the 2014 August and November issues of the Christadelphian is spent some time to think about those awful years.
In the august issue brother Roger Long looked also at the “Signs of the times” Nearer the exit?

Today in several countries there is an annual holiday honouring military veterans. At Veterans Day, also celebrated as Armistice Day, Remembrance Day or Poppy Day, the world remembers the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.  At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare, with the German signing of the Armistice. It is marked by parades and church services and in many places the flags of the country and of the union (Europe, Common Wealth, America or United States) are hung at half mast. A period of silence lasting one or two minutes may be held at 11am.

The British do have Remembrance Sunday on the second Sunday in November, the Sunday nearest to 11 November. Remembrance Sunday also sees special events and services relating to remembrance and was this year (2014) on the 9th of November.

The Christadelphian August 2014 issue with Reflections and Lessons from the Great War 1914-1918

The Christadelphian August 2014 issue with Reflections and Lessons from the Great War 1914-1918

 

100 years on

Reflections on the Great War

The First World War was one of the most important events of the twentieth century, shattering the international settlement of the previous century and leading almost inevitably to the Second World War.

The War brought serious challenges to the Christadelphian community, challenges reflected in the pages of The Christadelphian and Fraternal Visitor magazines. In this brief series, these will be considered from time to time.

“A bolt from the blue”

“The murder of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his Consort on June 28th, at Sarajevo, has proved to be the match the dropping of which has converted Europe into a ‘lake of fire’. It has come like a bolt from the blue …” (“Signs of the Times” – September 1914, The Christadelphian, page 451)

Franz Joseph I of Austria 1855

Franz Joseph I of Austria 1855 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the first news was received of the murder by Gavrilo Princip of Franz Ferdinand and his wife, it was not front page news. The Times newspaper reported it on page 7 very much as just another assassination in a Europe accustomed to periodic murders of kings and politicians. After all Tsar Alexander II of Russia had been killed by a bomb thrown by a Polish student in March 1881; the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph’s wife, Elizabeth, had been stabbed to death boarding a lakeside steamer in Geneva by an anarchist in 1898 and the Russian Prime Minister Stolypin assassinated in a Kiev theatre in 1911, to name but a few. The main comment in the newspapers was about the extraordinary ill fortune of the House of Hapsburg: Franz Joseph’s brother Maximilian had died in an ill-fated attempt to become emperor of Mexico in 1867, his son Rudolf committed suicide at Mayerling in 1889, his wife had been murdered and now his nephew and heir and his wife had been shot dead in Sarajevo in yet another episode in the troubled history of the Balkans.

It is doubtful if many of the British public had ever heard of Sarajevo before and many people, including politicians, saw it as an unfortunate episode which might raise temperatures in a troubled area which had experienced two wars within the previous three years. However, those wars had been prevented from spreading by the intervention of the great powers, Austria-Hungary, Germany, Britain, France and Russia, and expectations in the initial days after the murders were that this new mini-crisis could also be resolved. No one in those first days and weeks thought that it would lead to a world war. Other crises involving the Powers had come and gone without leading to conflagration, so why should this one be any different?

Militarism and alliances

Of course, the Powers were all armed to the teeth and had been for some years; in January 1914 The Christadelphian noted the huge rise in the number of Dreadnought battleships across the Powers – up from 1 in 1905 to 125 in 1912 and 150 in 1913. The “Signs of the Times” column noted the “steady drift towards Armageddon” and that the nations were “angrier than ever”. But it also noted the general concern that money devoted to growing armies and navies was being wasted at a time of great social need. In those early months of 1914 there was no great sense of urgency, even amongst eagle-eyed surveyors of the world stage in the Christadelphian Office. Indeed an interesting observation from the Daily Chronicle quoted in February 1914’s magazine was that, “Never has Europe been more militarist or less warlike”. This comment reflected the widespread feeling that the very level of military preparedness made war less likely. The two great alliances, of Austria-Hungary and Germany on one hand and Britain, France and Russia on the other, seemed to cancel one another out and peace of a sort had prevailed ever since 1871 – a period of just over forty years. Whilst there were signs of troubled times ahead, in the spring of 1914 there was little awareness of the imminence of the disaster about to unfold or the millions of lives it would consume. People had become lulled into a false sense of security.

Watching world events

The Christadelphian magazines of those early months have a recognisable mixture of exposition, exhortation and other articles of general interest. There was much concern for the fledgling Jewish settlements in Palestine, then still under Turkish rule; Brother Frank Jannaway sent regular reports of his travels there and in neighbouring Bible lands. There was great concern for Jews being persistently mistreated in Russia, comments on events and matters of interest in other churches and the regular reports of ecclesial activities. Until September, after the war had started, the lecture titles recorded were a cross-section of issues, with few if any indicating an imminent world crisis.

So there is an interesting mix of news. In February 1914 aeroplanes were seen over Jerusalem for the first time; in March it was reported that the European Unity League was advocating an alliance of the states of Europe on an economic basis and that suggestions had been made that Jerusalem should be declared a neutral city. In April there was a report of some Suffragettes setting up their own women-only church; in May the visit of the King and Queen to Paris to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Entente Cordiale alliance with France; in June an article bewailed the failure of clergymen in the established Church to uphold the authority of the scriptures, especially with regard to miracles.

The magazine reports were not entirely ignorant of the threats posed by the Powers’ large armies and navies. In April the “Signs of the Times” reported that there were rumours that some of the Powers might consider that a “preventative” war would be better than allowing their enemies to grow stronger and stronger; it also listed the huge armies of the time – Russia 1,700,000 men, Germany 870,000, France 714,000, Austria 360,000 and Italy 290,000. Relying on its navy, Britain mustered a mere 256,000. In June a letter raised the question of whether it would be wise to send a fresh petition to the British Parliament again to request exemption if conscription was introduced: the rather cautious response was that the time was not right for such an action, although the Lincoln Ecclesia had petitioned on the subject in 1913 and received responses from senior politicians including Asquith, Lloyd George and Winston Churchill.

The July “Signs of the Times”, probably written before the news of the assassination in Sarajevo broke, covered a diverse range of events – the crisis in Ireland over Home Rule; the Suffragette campaign which included planting a bomb behind the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey; oil exploration in Southern Persia; a suggestion from an Admiral Scott that air power and submarines would eventually make warships obsolete; references to a revolution in Albania and to collisions at sea. Even in August, the assassination only made an appearance as the third item in “Signs of the Times”, although the publication of the magazine at the beginning of the month and early requirements for copy may account for this.

The crisis everyone in Britain feared concerned Ireland, which was then entirely within the United Kingdom. A Home Rule Bill passed through the House of Commons in June 1914, but the Protestant northern counties of Ulster had been preparing for some years to resist if any attempt were made to force them into a united independent Ireland. Ulster Defence Volunteers openly marched and prepared to fight, with large numbers of guns being smuggled into the country. British Army officers stationed at the Curragh threatened to resign rather than be ordered to take action against the Protestant counties. Had the war not intervened, a civil war in Ireland would almost certainly have broken out.

The low priority given to the assassination in Sarajevo reflected the initial lack of alarm amongst the leaders of the Great Powers. The German Foreign Minister went off on July 5th on his honeymoon; the Kaiser set out the next day for his usual twenty-day summer cruise to Scandinavia; other leaders looked forward to time on holiday away from the troubles of the world. The British public planned whatever time they could get at the seaside or other holiday destinations, looking forward to August Bank Holiday, then on the first Monday in August.

A rapid escalation

All things continued much as before until July 24, when Austria-Hungary’s fierce ultimatum to Serbia, who it blamed for the assassination, set in train a rapid escalation. The Austrians had first secured the support of the Germans for this move, which made the involvement of Russia and France more likely. Within a week the mobilisation of the rival armies of Europe, unable to stand and watch their allies attacked or threatened, had brought Austria-Hungary and Germany into war with Russia and France. The invasion of Belgium as part of the German plan to defeat France quickly brought Britain into the war on August 4 and the last summer of the old order was overwhelmed by the earthquake which was the Great War.

There are lessons in all this for us. We too live in days when we have become accustomed to living with crises in different parts of the world. They form a constant backdrop to our lives. Scarcely a day goes by without a fresh report of trouble in the Middle East, whilst the Great Powers of our day posture and threaten much as they did a hundred years ago. So it is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security and to push beyond the horizon our expectation of the Second Coming and the final crises of this world which will precede it. The Lord warned us that his return would come suddenly “as a thief in the night”. In 1914, the world which then was disintegrated in the space of little more than a month from the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, serving as a warning of how quickly things change in God’s purpose. The lesson is clear and uncompromising:

“Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming … therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect … Lest he come suddenly and find you asleep.” (Matthew 24:42,44; Mark 13:36)

John Botten

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Continue reading: Reflections on the Great War #2

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The Christadelphian magazine reflects the teachings, beliefs and activities of the Christadelphians – groups of believers living in most countries in the world.

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Do you not yet know the Christadelphians?
Come to get to know more about the Christadelphians.Do find an overview of what Christadelphian people think, live and want to follow up.

Read more about them in :

  1. Who are the Christadelphians
  2. What are Brothers in Christ
  3. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  4. Review of the Christadelphians from some older articles

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Please find additional reading:

  1. All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting… George Orwell
  2. August 4, 1914 to be remembered
  3. 11 November, a day to remember #1 Until Industrialisation
  4. 11 November, a day to remember #2 From the Industrialisation
  5. 100° birthday of war and war tourism
  6. 1914 – 2014 preparations
  7. Liège 2014 remembering the Great War
  8. Mons 2014 remembering the Great War
  9. Friendship and Offer for the cause of democracy
  10. Juncker warns for possible new war

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  • Remembrance Day: Millions across the UK including London and Belfast to mark those lost (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
    This weekend – Armistice weekend in the 1914 centenary year – London will have three rivers: water, people and poppies.
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    For the first time on any war memorial anywhere in the world, the names of former comrades, former allies and former enemies will be listed together, alphabetically, with no distinction of rank or country. President François Hollande will open the memorial. Both the Prime Minister David Cameron and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, were invited. Neither, sadly, will attend.
  • The History of Remembrance Poppies (serenataflowers.com)
    At this time of year it’s hard to miss those unmistakable red poppies adorning everyone’s lapels and buttonholes. Having become such an iconic symbol of the sacrifices made and the lives lost in past wars how did this simple little flower come to mean so much to so many?
  • World War One: Use our widget to search for anyone in your family or your street who died in The Great War (manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
    The last recorded death in the conflict from Greater Manchester was James Isherwood Bolton, of Belmont Road, Astley Bridge.He sadly lost his life on Armistice Day, November 11, 1918.James Arthur Parkes, of Meadow Bank, Chorlton, was the oldest casualty when he was killed on March 29, 1917, aged 67.

    And the youngest to die was 15-year-old Frederick Thorley Finucane, the son of Theatre and Emily Finucane, when he died on November 27 1914.

    The bloodiest day was on July 1, 1916, when 585 soldiers from Greater Manchester died in the Battle of the Somme.

  • Opinion: Echoes of Great War reverberate to this day (ww1.canada.com)
    If you had been in one of those cold, wet trenches on the Western Front, bracing yourself to go “over the top” into the face of machine-gun fire, how would you want future generations to honour your potential death?Well, having spent a lot of time between attacks listening to cries for help from No Man’s Land, you’d probably not be satisfied with occasional remembrances of your sacrifice.Rather, you’d want future generations to figure out what happened, with a view to making sure the Armageddon you were living through at least became the War To Make Wars a Lot Less Likely. And today – just three days shy of the 100th anniversary of Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia, starting the First World War – it’s fair to say this is a debt posterity hasn’t properly paid.
  • Arrivals: This week, Remembrance Day (thestar.com)
    Military expert Doyle has assembled 100 objects to tell the story of the Great War, beginning with the 1911 Graff and Stift Double Phaeton open car in which Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, were travelling when they were assassinated, and ending with the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium, and other memorials that remember the war dead.
  • Today in History, Oct. 28 (rep-am.com)
    On Oct. 28, 1914, Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip, whose assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, sparked World War I, was sentenced in Sarajevo to 20 years’ imprisonment (he died in 1918); four conspirators were sentenced to death. (Princip escaped the death penalty because he was underage.)
  • Time Machine: Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (1875-1914) (rosiepowell2000.typepad.com)
    The assassinations produced widespread shock across Europe. There was a great deal of initial sympathy toward Austria. Within two days, Austria-Hungary and its ally, Germany, advised Serbia that it should open an investigation on the assassination, but the Serbian government responded that the incident did not concern them. After conducting its own criminal investigation, Austro-Hungary issued what became known as the July Ultimatum, which listed demands made to Serbia regarding the assassinations within 48 hours. After receiving support from Russia, Serbia agreed to at least two out of ten demands. The government mobilized its troops and transported them by tramp steamers across the Danube River to the Austro-Hungarian at Temes-Kubin. Austro-Hungarian soldiers fired into the air to warn them off. On July 28, 1914; Austria-Hungary and its ally, Germany, declared war on Serbia. Under the Secret Treaty of 1892, Russia and France were obliged to mobilize their armies if any of the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austo-Hungary and Italy) mobilized. Russia’s mobilization completed full Austro-Hungarian and German mobilizations. Soon all the Great Powers, except Italy, had chosen sides. World War I had begun.
  • Speech: Remembrance Day (gov.uk)
    Ladies and gentlemen, we come here, of course, to pay our respects to all of the fallen and of the wounded in all conflicts over the last 100 years. 2014 also marked the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of WW2 and the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, commemorated by World Leaders, including HM the Queen, in Normandy this summer. This spirit of courage, bravery and sacrifice continues to the present day. As we welcome home our returning troops from Afghanistan, we grieve for the 453 of them who were lost to that conflict. We also pay tribute to the Cambodian troops currently serving overseas in UN Peacekeeping operations in countries as far afield as Mali and Lebanon. We wish them success in their missions and a safe return home upon their completion.Today, as every day, we remember those who volunteered, served, fought, and died, all for the cause of freedom. We have with us today several veterans of these conflicts. We are grateful for your service. We thank you, and we salute you as we salute those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We will remember them.

6 Comments

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, History, Political affairs, World affairs

A Story of the Soldier and a Spider

Many times we look for solutions in the wrong directions. Often we have an idea of difficult solutions when they could be so simple, and there lying in front of us, without us noticing them. At moments we also can loose trust in the Higher Being because it looks as if we do not get the answer to our question right away. When we look at it, after we needed some patience, we shall see that the Most High always provides the best answer in our, but mainly also in His interest, and at His time.

We should trust Him more and give our live in His hands instead of directing it so much ourselves.

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To remember

Scrambling for cover > crawled inside one of the caves.

After praying … he thought, “Well, I guess the Lord isn’t going to help me out of this one.”

“what I need is a brick wall and what the Lord has sent me is a spider web. God does have a sense of humor.”

“I had forgotten that in you a spider’s web is stronger than a brick wall.”

Facing times of great trouble it is so easy to forget the victories that God would work in our lives, sometimes in the most surprising ways.

“In God we will have success!” [Nehemiah 2:20]

With God, a mere spider’s web can become a brick wall of protection. Trust and believe that He is with you always. Just ask for his help and you will see His great power and love for you.

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Additional reading:

God’s non answer

Does God answer prayer?

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  • The Spider (oluwaponmile.wordpress.com)
  • A Story of the Soldier and a Spider (kgphotostudios.wordpress.com)
  • A Story of the Soldier and a Spider (growthhunters.net)
  • God and the Spider (christianmotivations.weebly.com)
  • Encouragement! (whatshotn.wordpress.com)
    …”In the time of the Old Testament, wild animals were much more prevalent in the Middle East than they are today. The Bible mentions lions…Judges 14:5…wolves Jeremiah 5:6…bears…1 Samuel 17:34…leopards…Hosea 13:7…and hyenas…Isaiah 13:22…Although stone walls could keep predators away from living areas and livestock, the walls would have to be very tall and would take a long time to make…
  • The Watcher: I Do Love A Good Spider Shot (jbrianwaddington.wordpress.com)
  • Ear Maggots- Woman Has 57 Maggots Removed (blogpestcontrol.com)
    Imagine an excruciating burning and itching inside your ear. After three days of constant pain and ear tugging, you are shocked to discover a maggot crawling out of your ear; and the worst part… Not being able to tell anybody about it! That’s exactly what happened to 92 year old Catherine McCann of Arlington Heights, Illinois.
  • The Example of Nehemiah (Part 2) – The Enemy (flaniganjames.wordpress.com)
    Non-believers explain away the existence of God and convince themselves that His divine attributes are accredited to some impersonal “force” of nature.  Like the saying made popular by the Star Wars movies, “the force be with you”, they believe in some mysterious, unknown force that can possibly be harnessed by a select few “masters” who can train their senses to connect with this force to control it for their purposes, thus placing human beings as the highest form of life in the universe.  This lie goes back to the garden where Eve was told that if she ate the apple she would be “like God”.  Popular today is the phrase “thank the universe” as if to honor this unknown force that somehow controls our fate.
  • Giant Spider In The Pants (blogpestcontrol.com)
    While at work today, I got a frantic phone call from my four year old daughter.

    “Daddy,” she cried. “I went to put on my pants and out jumped a big spider!”

    “It’s scary Daddy!” “We caught in a jar.”

    After a examining the spider, and talking to some spider control professionals, I was able to determine that the spider in question was a Giant Arizona Crab Spider; a common spider in Arizona.

Good Time Stories

Photo Credit: Petra via CC Flickr Photo Credit: Petra via CC Flickr

During World War II, a US Marine was separated from his unit on a Pacific island. The fighting had been intense, and in the smoke and the crossfire, he had lost touch with his comrades.

Alone in the jungle, he could hear enemy soldiers coming in his direction. Scrambling for cover, he found his way up a high ridge to several small caves in the rock. Quickly he crawled inside one of the caves. Although safe for the moment, he realized that once the enemy soldiers looking for him swept up the ridge, they would quickly search all the caves and he would be killed. As he waited, he prayed, “Lord, if it be your will, please protect me. Whatever your will though, I love you and trust you. Amen.”

After praying, he lay quietly listening to the enemy begin to draw close. He…

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