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Rise of Default Man And its fall

White blob, middle-class, heterosexual, middle-aged Silent Majority man

Note: Re-edit of “The rise and fall of Default Man. November 2, 2014″

Paddle your canoe up the River Thames and you will come round the bend and see a forest of huge totems jutting into the sky.

Great shiny monoliths in various phallic shapes, they are the wondrous cultural artifacts of a remarkable tribe.

We all know someone from this powerful tribe but we very rarely, if ever, ascribe their power to the fact that they have a particular tribal identity.

Grayson Perry in The rise and fall of Default Man, October 8, 2014

How did the straight, white, middle-class Default Man take control of our society?

And how can he be dethroned?

I think this tribe, a small minority of our native population, needs closer examination.

In the UK, its members probably make up about 10% of the population (see infographic below); globally, probably less than 1%.

Attack of the clones: Default Man is so entrenched in society that he is “like a Death Star hiding behind the moon”. Artwork by Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry’s guest-edited issue of the New Statesman is on sale on Thursday 9 October. Visit newstatesman.com/subscribe to get a copy

They dominate the upper echelons of our society, imposing, unconsciously or otherwise, their values and preferences on the rest of the population.

With their colourful textile phallus hanging round their necks, they make up an overwhelming majority in government, in boardrooms and also in the media.

They are, of course, white, middle-class, heterosexual men, usually middle-aged.

And every component of that description has historically played a part in making this tribe a group that punches far, far above its weight.

I have struggled to find a name for this identity that will trip off the tongue, or that doesn’t clutter the page with unpronounceable acronyms such as WMCMAHM.

“The White Blob” was a strong contender but in the end I opted to call him Default Man.

I like the word “default”, for not only does it mean “the result of not making an active choice”, but two of its synonyms are “failure to pay” and “evasion”, which seems incredibly appropriate, considering the group I wish to talk about.

Today, in politically correct 21st-century Britain, you might think things would have changed but somehow the Great White Male has thrived and continues to colonise the high-status, high-earning, high-power roles

(93% of executive directors in the UK are white men; 77% of parliament is male).

The Great White Male’s combination of good education, manners, charm, confidence and sexual attractiveness (or “money”, as I like to call it) means he has a strong grip on the keys to power.

Of course, the main reason he has those qualities in the first place is what he is, not what he has achieved.

John Scalzi, in his blog Whatever, thought that being a straight white male was like playing the computer game called Life with the difficulty setting on “Easy”.

If you are a Default Man you look like power.

I must confess that I qualify in many ways to be a Default Man myself but I feel that by coming from a working-class background and being an artist and a transvestite, I have enough cultural distance from the towers of power. I have space to turn round and get a fairly good look at the edifice.

In the course of making my documentary series about identity, Who Are You?, for Channel 4, the identity I found hardest to talk about, the most elusive, was Default Man’s.

Somehow, his world-view, his take on society, now so overlaps with the dominant narrative that it is like a Death Star hiding behind the moon.

We cannot unpick his thoughts and feelings from the “proper, right-thinking” attitudes of our society. It is like in the past, when people who spoke in cut-glass, RP, BBC tones would insist they did not have an accent, only northerners and poor people had one of those.

We live and breathe in a Default Male world: no wonder he succeeds, for much of our society operates on his terms.

Chris Huhne (60, Westminster, PPE Mag­dalen, self-destructively heterosexual), the Default Man we chose to interview for our series, pooh-poohed any suggestion when asked if he benefited from membership or if he represented this group.

Lone Default Man will never admit to, or be fully aware of, the tribal advantages of his identity. They are, naturally, full subscribers to that glorious capitalist project, they are individuals!

This adherence to being individuals is the nub of the matter. Being “individual” means that if they achieve something good, it is down to their own efforts.

They got the job because they are brilliant, not because they are a Default Man, and they are also presumed more competent by other Default Men.

If they do something bad it is also down to the individual and not to do with their gender, race or class.

If a Default Man commits a crime it is not because fraud or sexual harassment, say, are endemic in his tribe (coughs), it is because he is a wrong ’un.

If a Default Man gets emotional it is because he is a “passionate” individual, whereas if he were a woman it would often be blamed on her sex.

When we talk of identity, we often think of groups such as black Muslim lesbians in wheelchairs. This is because identity only seems to become an issue when it is challenged or under threat.

Our classic Default Man is rarely under existential threat; consequently, his identity remains unexamined. It ambles along blithely, never having to stand up for its rights or to defend its homeland.

When talking about identity groups, the word “community” often crops up. The working class, gay people, black people or Muslims are always represented by a “community leader”.

We rarely, if ever, hear of the white middle-class community. “Communities” are defined in the eye of Default Man.

Community seems to be a euphemism for the vulnerable lower orders. Community is “other”.

Communities usually seem to be embattled, separate from society.

“Society” is what Default Man belongs to.

In news stories such as the alleged “Trojan Horse” plot in Birmingham schools and the recent child-abuse scandal in Rotherham, the central involvement of an ethnic or faith “community” skews the attitudes of police, social services and the media.

The Muslim or Pakistani heritage of those accused becomes the focus.

I’m not saying that faith and ethnic groups don’t have their particular problems but the recipe for such trouble is made up of more than one spicy, foreign ingredient.

I would say it involves more than a few handfuls of common-or-garden education/class issues, poor mental health and, of course, the essential ingredient in nearly all nasty or violent problems, men.

Yeah, men – bit like them Default Men but without suits on.

In her essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”, published in 1975, Laura Mulvey coined the term “the male gaze”. She was writing about how the gaze of the movie camera reflected the heterosexual male viewpoint of the directors (a viewpoint very much still with us, considering that only 9% of the top 250 Hollywood films in 2012 were directed by women and only 2% of the cinematographers were female).

The Default Male gaze does not just dominate cinema, it looks down on society like the eye on Sauron’s tower in The Lord of the Rings.

Every other identity group is “othered” by it. It is the gaze of the expensively nondescript corporate leader watching consumers adorn themselves with his company’s products the better to get his attention.

Default Man feels he is the reference point from which all other values and cultures are judged. Default Man is the zero longitude of identities.

He has forged a society very much in his own image, to the point where now much of what other groups think and feel is the same. They take on the attitudes of Default Man because they are the attitudes of our elders, our education, our government, our media.

If Default Men approve of something it must be good, and if they disapprove it must be bad, so people end up hating themselves, because their internalised Default Man is berating them for being female, gay, black, silly or wild.

I often hear women approvingly describe themselves or other women as feisty.

Feisty, I feel, has sexist implications, as if standing up for yourself was exceptional in a woman. It sounds like a word that a raffish Lothario would use about a difficult conquest.

I once gave a talk on kinky sex and during the questions afterwards a gay woman floated an interesting thought: “Is the legalising of gay marriage an attempt to neutralise the otherness of homosexuals?” she asked. Was the subversive alternative being neutered by allowing gays to marry and ape a hetero lifestyle?

Many gay people might have enjoyed their dangerous outsider status. Had Default Man implanted a desire to be just like him?

Is the fact that we think like Default Man the reason why a black female Doctor Who has not happened, that it might seem “wrong” or clunky? In my experience, when I go to the doctor I am more likely to see a non-white woman than a Default Man.

It is difficult to tweezer out the effect of Default Man on our culture, so ingrained is it after centuries of their rules.

A friend was once on a flight from Egypt. As it came in to land at Heathrow he looked down at the rows of mock-Tudor stockbroker-belt houses in west London. Pointing them out, he said to the Egyptian man sitting next to him: “Oh well, back to boring old England.” The Egyptian replied, “Ah, but to me this is very exotic.” And he was right.

To much of the world the Default Englishman is a funny foreign folk icon, with his bowler hat, his Savile Row suit and Hugh Grant accent, living like Reggie Perrin in one of those polite suburban semis.

All the same, his tribal costume and rituals have probably clothed and informed the global power elite more than any other culture. Leaders wear his clothes, talk his language and subscribe to some version of his model of how society “should be”.

When I was at art college in the late Seventies/early Eighties, one of the slogans the feminists used was: “Objectivity is Male Subjectivity.”

This brilliantly encapsulates how male power nestles in our very language, exerting influence at the most fundamental level. Men, especially Default Men, have put forward their biased, highly emotional views as somehow “rational”, more considered, more “calm down, dear”.

Women and “exotic” minorities are framed as “passionate” or “emotional” as if they, the Default Men, had this unique ability to somehow look round the side of that most interior lens, the lens that is always distorted by our feelings.

Default Man somehow had a dispassionate, empirical, objective vision of the world as a birthright, and everyone else was at the mercy of turbulent, uncontrolled feelings. That explained why the “others” often held views that were at such odds with their supposedly cool, analytic vision of the world.

Recently, footage of the UN spokesman Chris Gunness breaking down in tears as he spoke of the horrors occurring in Gaza went viral.

It was newsworthy because reporters and such spokespeople are supposed to be dispassionate and impartial. To show such feelings was to be “unprofessional”. And lo! The inherited mental health issues of Default Man are cast as a necessity for serious employment.

I think Default Man should be made aware of the costs and increasing obsolescence of this trait, celebrated as “a stiff upper lip”.

This habit of denying, recasting or suppressing emotion may give him the veneer of “professionalism” but, as David Hume put it: “Reason is a slave of the passions.”

To be unaware of or unwilling to examine feelings means those feelings have free rein to influence behaviour unconsciously. Unchecked, they can motivate Default Man covertly, unacknowledged, often wreaking havoc.

Even if rooted in long-past events in the deep unconscious, these emotions still fester, churning in the dark at the bottom of the well. Who knows what unconscious, screwed-up “personal journeys” are being played out on the nation by emotionally illiterate Default Men?

Being male and middle class and being from a generation that still valued the stiff upper lip means our Default Man is an ideal candidate for low emotional awareness. He sits in a gender/ class/age nexus marked “Unexploded Emotional Time Bomb”.

These people have been in charge of our world for a long time.

Things may be changing.

Women are often stereotyped as the emotional ones, and men as rational. But, after the 2008 crash, the picture looked different, as Hanna Rosin wrote in an article in the Atlantic titled “The End of Men”:

Researchers have started looking into the relationship between testosterone and excessive risk, and wondering if groups of men, in some basic hormonal way, spur each other to make reckless decisions.

The picture emerging is a mirror image of the traditional gender map: men and markets on the side of the irrational and overemotional, and women on the side of the cool and level-headed.

Over the centuries, empirical, clear thinking has become branded with the image of Default Men. They were the ones granted the opportunity, the education, the leisure, the power to put their thoughts out into the world. In people’s minds, what do professors look like?

What do judges should look like? What do leaders look like?

The very aesthetic of seriousness has been monopolised by Default Man. Practically every person on the globe who wants to be taken seriously in politics, business and the media dresses up in some way like a Default Man, in a grey, western, two-piece business suit.

Not for nothing is it referred to as “power dressing”.

We’ve all seen those photo ops of world leaders: colour and pattern shriek out as anachronistic. Consequently, many women have adopted this armour of the unremarkable.

Angela Merkel, the most powerful woman in the world, wears a predictable unfussy, feminised version of the male look. Hillary Clinton has adopted a similar style. Some businesswomen describe this need to tone down their feminine appearance as “taking on the third gender”.

Peter Jones on Dragons’ Den was once referred to as “eccentric” for wearing brightly coloured stripy socks. So rigid is the Default Man look that men’s suit fashions pivot on tiny changes of detail at a glacial pace. US politicians wear such a narrow version of the Default Man look that you rarely see one wearing a tie that is not plain or striped.

Suits you, sir: Grayson Perry as Default Man.
Photo: Kalpesh Lathigra/New Statesman

One tactic that men use to disguise their subjectively restricted clothing choices is the justification of spurious function.

As if they need a watch that splits lap times and works 300 feet underwater, or a Himalayan mountaineer’s jacket for a walk in the park. The rufty-tufty army/hunter camouflage pattern is now to boys as pink is to girls. Curiously, I think the real function of the sober business suit is not to look smart but as camouflage.

A person in a grey suit is invisible, in the way burglars often wear hi-vis jackets to pass as unremarkable “workmen”.

The business suit is the uniform of those who do the looking, the appraising.

It rebuffs comment by its sheer ubiquity. Many office workers loathe dress-down Fridays because they can no longer hide behind a suit. They might have to expose something of their messy selves through their “casual” clothes.

Modern, over-professionalised politicians, having spent too long in the besuited tribal compound, find casual dress very difficult to get right convincingly.

David Cameron, while ruining Converse basketball shoes for the rest of us, never seemed to me as if he belonged in a pair.

When I am out and about in an eye-catching frock, men often remark to me, “Oh, I wish I could dress like you and did not have to wear a boring suit.” Have to!

The male role is heavily policed from birth, by parents, peers and bosses. Politicians in particular are harshly kept in line by a media that seems to uphold more bizarrely rigid standards of conformity than those held by any citizen.

Each component of the Default Male role – his gender, his class, his age and his sexuality – confines him to an ever narrower set of behaviours, until riding a bicycle or growing a beard, having messy hair or enjoying a pint are seen as ker-azy eccentricity.

The fashionable members’ club Shoreditch House, the kind of place where “creatives” with two iPhones and three bicycles hang out, has a “No Suits” rule. How much of this is a pseudo-rebellious pose and how much is in recognition of the pernicious effect of the overgrown schoolboy’s uniform, I do not know.

I dwell on the suit because I feel it exemplifies how the upholders of Default Male values hide in plain sight. Imagine if, by democratic decree, the business suit was banned, like certain items of Islamic dress have been banned in some countries. Default Men would flounder and complain that they were not being treated with “respect”.

The most pervasive aspect of the Default Man identity is that it masquerades very efficiently as “normal” – and “normal”, along with “natural”, is a dangerous word, often at the root of hateful prejudice.

As Sherrie Bourg Carter, author of High-Octane Women, writes:

Women in today’s workforce . . . are experiencing a much more camouflaged foe – second-generation gender biases . . . “work cultures and practices that appear neutral and natural on their face”, yet they reflect masculine values and life situations of men.

Personally, working in the arts, I do not often encounter Default Man en masse, but when I do it is a shock. I occasionally get invited to formal dinners in the City of London and on arrival, I am met, in my lurid cocktail dress, with a sea of dinner jackets; my expectations of a satisfying conversation drop.

I feel rude mentioning the black-clad elephant in the room. I sense that I am the anthropologist allowed in to the tribal ritual.

This weird minority, these curiously dominant white males, are anything but normal. “Normal,” as Carl Jung said, “is the ideal aim for the unsuccessful.” They like to keep their abnormal power low-key: the higher the power, the duller the suit and tie, a Mercedes rather than a Rolls, just another old man chatting casually to prime ministers at the wedding of a tabloid editor.

Revolution is happening. I am loath to use the R word because bearded young men usually characterise it as sudden and violent. But that is just another unhelpful cliché.

I feel real revolutions happen thoughtfully in peacetime. A move away from the dominance of Default Man is happening, but way too slowly.

Such changes in society seem to happen at a pace set by incremental shifts in the animal spirits of the population. I have heard many of the “rational” (ie, male) arguments against quotas and positive discrimination but I feel it is a necessary fudge to enable just change to happen in the foreseeable future. At the present rate of change it will take more than a hundred years before the UK parliament is 50% female.

The outcry against positive discrimination is the wail of someone who is having their privilege taken away. For talented black, female and working-class people to take their just place in the limited seats of power, some of those Default Men are going to have to give up their seats.

Perhaps Default Man needs to step down from some of his most celebrated roles. I’d happily watch a gay black James Bond and an all-female Top GearQI or Have I Got News for You.

Jeremy Paxman should have been replaced by a woman on Newsnight. More importantly, we need a quota of MPs who (shock) have not been to university but have worked on the shop floor of key industries; have had life experiences that reflect their constituents’; who actually represent the country rather than just a narrow idea of what a politician looks like.

The ridiculousness of objections to quotas would become clear if you were to suggest that, instead of calling it affirmative action, we adopted “Proportionate Default Man Quotas” for government and business. We are wasting talent. Women make up a majority of graduates in such relevant fields as law.

Default Man seems to be the embodiment of George Bernard Shaw unreasonable man: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to make the world adapt to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

Default Man’s days may be numbered; a lot of his habits are seen at best as old-fashioned or quaint and at worst as redundant, dangerous or criminal. He carries a raft of unhelpful habits and attitudes gifted to him from history – adrenaline addiction, a need for certainty, snobbery, emotional constipation and an overdeveloped sense of entitlement – which have often proved disastrous for society and can also stop poor Default Man from leading a fulfilling life.

Earlier this year, at the Being A Man festival at the Southbank Centre in London, I gave a talk on masculinity called: “Men, Sit Down for your Rights!”. A jokey title, yes, but one making a serious point: that perhaps, if men were to loosen their grip on power, there might be some benefits for them.

The straitjacket of the Default Man identity is not necessarily one happily donned by all members of the tribe: many struggle with the bad fit of being leader, provider, status hunter, sexual predator, respectable and dignified symbol of straight achievement.

Maybe the “invisible weightless backpack” that the US feminist Peggy McIntosh uses to describe white privilege, full of “special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks”, does weight rather a lot after all.

In a phrase used more often in association with Operation Yewtree, they are among us and hide in plain sight.

Egypt Al Azhar: Most ancient Religious Madrasat?

Again, I don’t care about any religious sect. Posting this article just for history buffs.

الأزهر شاهدا على عصره منذ ١٠٥٠ سنة

يسجل التاريخ أن (الأزهر) أنشئ فى أول عهد الدولة الفاطمية بمصر جامعا باسم (جامع القاهرة، الذى سمى الأزهر فيما بعد) حيث أرسى حجر أساسه فى الرابع والعشرين من جمادى الأولى 359هـ/970م ، وصلى فيه الخليفة المعز لدين الفاطمى ثانى خلفاء الدولة الفاطمية صلاة الجمعة الأولى من شهر رمضان سنة 361هـ/972م.

كان التعليم فى الأزهر قائما على الاختيار الحر ، بحيث يختار الطالب أستاذه والمادة التى يقوم بتدريسها ،

أو الكتاب الذى يقرؤه لطلابه ، ويعرض نصوصه نصًا نصًا ،

فإذا اتم الطالب حفظه من علم الأستاذ ، وأنس من نفسه التجويد تقدم لأستاذه ليمتحنه مشافهة ،

فإذا أظهر استيعابا ونبوغا منحه الأستاذ إجازة علمية مكتوبة ، وكانت هذه الإجازة كافية لصلاحه باًن يشتغل بالتدريس فى المدارس أو فى المساجد أو فى جامع الأزهر نفسه ،

وظل العمل على ذلك حتى أواخر القرن التاسع عشر ، حيث استعيض عنه بنظام التعليم الحديث.
وواكب ذلك إصدار عدة قوانين لتنظيم العمل بالأزهر.

وأول هذه القوانين قانونا القرن التاسع عشر: أولهما فى سنة 1872م ينظم طريقة الحصول على العالمية وموادها ، وثانيهما فى سنة 1885م ، وأهم ما تناوله: تحديد صفة من يتصدى لمهنة التدريس في جامع الأزهر أن يكون قد انتهى من دارسة أمهات الكتب فى أحد عشر فنا واجتاز فيها امتحانا ترضى عنه لجنة من ستة علماء يرأسهم شيخ الأزهر.

وفى بداية القرن العشرين استصدر قانون سنة 1908 فى عهد المشيخة الثانية للشيخ حسونة النواوى ، وفيه تم تأليف مجلس عال لإدارة الأزهر برئاسة شيخ الأزهر ، وعضوية كل من مفتى الديار المصرية ، وشيوخ المذهب المالكى والحنبلى والشافعى واثنين من الموظفين.

وفيه أيضا تقسيم الدراسة لثلاث مراحل: أولية وثانوية وعالية ، ومدة التعليم فى كل منها أربع سنوات ، يمنح الطالب الناجح فى كل مرحلة شهادة المرحلة.

فى عهد المشيخة الأولى للشيخ محمد مصطفى المراغى أعد مشروع القانون رقم 49 لسنة 1930م ، لكنه اصدر فى عهد مشيخة الشيخ محمد الأحمدى الظواهرى ويجمع الرأى على أن هذا القانون مثّل خطوة موفقة لإصلاح الأزهر ، ومكنه من مسايرة التقدم العلمى والثقافى والمعرفى.

وفى هذا القانون حددت مراحل التعليم أربعة مراحل:
ابتدائية لمدة أربع سنوات ، وثانوية لمدة خمس سنوات ، وثلاث كليات للشريعة الإسلامية ، وأصول الدين ، واللغة العربية ، مدة الدراسة بكل منها أربع سنوات ،

ثم تخصص مهنى مدته سنتان فى القضاء الشرعى والإفتاء ، وفى الوعظ والإرشاد ،

وفى التدريس ثم تخصص المادة لمدة خمس سنوات تؤهل الناجح للحصول على العالمية مع درجة أستاذ ويعد هذا القانون الذى أنشئته بمقتضاه الكليات الثلاث والتخصصات المدنية والعلمية هو الإرهاص لميلاد جامعة الأزهر القائمة الآن بمقتضى القانون 103 لسنة 1961 م.

بصدور القانون الأخير رقم 103 لسنة 1961م وتحول النظام التعليمى إلى النظم التعليمية الحديثة ،

وتوسع الأزهر فى نوعيات وتخصصات التعليم والبحث العلمى للبنين والبنات على السواء ،

وضم إلى الكليات الشرعية والعربية كليات للطب وطب الأسنان والصيدلة والعلوم والتربية والهندسة ، والإدارة والمعاملات ، واللغات والترجمة ويتلقى طلابها قدرا لا بأس به فى العلوم الدينية ، لتحقيق المعادلة الدراسية بينهم وبين نظرائهم فى الكليات الأخرى.

المصدر : تاريخ الأزهر عبر العصور أ.د / محمد سعدى فرهود.

في سنة ١٩٦٧ طرأ تعديل على الدراسة في كلية الشريعة والقانون بحيث أصبحت مدة الدراسة – في قسمها العام الذي تدرس فيه كافة مقررات كلية الحقوق في عين شمس والقاهرة إضافة الى مقررات كلية الشريعة – ٥ سنوات للحصول على شهادة الليسانس، فيحصل الخريج على كافة الامتيازات المعطاة لخريجي كليات الحقوق ولخريجي كلية الشريعة معاً. مع احتفاظ الأزهر بنظام الدراسة في كلية الشريعة تخصص الشريعة والتي تستغرق مدة الدراسة فيها 4 سنوات دون تعديل شهادتها بمثيلاتها من كليات الحقوق.

No photo description available.

Truths, universally acknowledged, that…

Note: Re-edit of ““It is a truth, universally acknowledged that…” November 28, 2012

“It is a truth, universally acknowledged that a Muslim man, regardless of his fortune, must be in want of a 9 year-old virgin wife…”.

That’s how Nassrine started the discussion with the opening sentence of Jane Austen book “Pride and Prejudice”, a temptation that a reader is most likely to feel and rearrange….

Manna rejoined: “It is a truth, universally acknowledged that a Muslim man will eventually displace his older wife for a fresh naive 16 year-old virgin…”

Azar Nafisi, an Iranian author, held Thursday’s sessions for 7 of her former students, discussing selected English fiction novels and keeping diaries.

What is your “truth, universally acknowledged….?”

Azin, who is in the process of divorcing her third husband, said: “Who is thinking about love these days? The islamic Republic of Iran has taken us back to Jane Austen’s blessed arranged marriages. Nowadays, girls marry either because of family pressures, or to get a green card, or to secure financial stability… And we are talking about educated girls, discussing English literature, and who have gone to college…”

Mahshed replied: “Many women are independent in Iran, and are business women and who have chosen to live alone…”

Manna retorted: “Most women don’t have a choice now. In previous periods, my mother could chose her husband and wearing the veil was optional…”

Nassrine said: “Temporary marriage contracts are all the rage. President Rafsanjani is encouraging these kinds of short-term marriage contracts… Many conservative clerics call these contracts a sanctified form of prostitution… A few progressive men are for these contracts, and I tell them that they should demand that this law gives women the same rights as men… Talk about hypocrisy!”

At the start of the 20th century, the age of marriage was changed to 13 and increased to 18.

In the 1960’s, there was little difference between the rights of both genders, and women were at a par with western democratic States standards in human rights.

As Khomeini grabbed power in 1979, and this totalitarian and theocratic regime came in the name of the Past, and individual freedom was banished… the first law was to repeal the Family-Protection law, which guaranteed women’s rights at home and at work.

The legal marriage age for women was lowered again to 9 year-old, sort of 8.5 lunar years… Adultery and prostitution were punished by stoning to death, and women were considered to have half the worth of men

And why this 9 year-old cut-off standard for marriageable girl?

Prophet Muhammad had officially married Aisha at the age of 9 but he didn’t have intercourse with Aicha until she was 13. They didn’t beget any children. Aicha was the most beloved of wives and the most educated. Aicha’s father was Abu Bakr, later to become the first Caliph of the Muslims.

This terribly jealous wife used to throw tantrums when exposed to injustices.

As Muhammad announced his desire to marry another wife (9 wives in total), Aicha shouted: “This God of yours has the habit of satisfying all your desires in verses…

Aicha was in charge of transcribing the verses during Muhammad’s bouts of epilepsy.

And the Muslim clerics want to emulate their prophets, particularly in lifestyle that pleases their pleasures and comfort…

Sanaz was to meet with her long-time preferred Iranian young man, accompanied by her family, across the border in Turkey: The beau was settled in England for the last 6 years and decided to give it a shot and get engaged with Sanaz. The discussion among the girls was on how to discover the compatibility attribute, after so many years of absence, before Sanaz agrees to get engaged.

Nassrine suggested that “The first thing you should do to test your compatibility is dance with him

This suggestion was a reminder of the “Dear Jane Society” idea of forming dance sessions: Teacher Azar had gathered the girl students after class following a lecture on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice to dance in the style of Austen’s period (the Napoleonic age). But that is another story.

Note 1: The story is taken from “Reading Lolita in Tehran” by Azar Nafisi

Note 2: If interested in a biography of Aicha, check https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2008/10/11/aicha-la-bien-aime-du-prophet-by-genevieve-chauvel/

Chinese family in Peking a few year before Mao died

Depuis 5 ans, ma famille (femme et 2 enfants) partage un pavillon de 3 maisons disposées en en fer de cheval autour d’une cour. Nous vivons dans notre maison avec mes beaux-parents, mon beau-frere, ma belle soeur dans 3 pièces, une par menage. C’est un luxe d’habiter cette ruelle (houtong) au centre de la ville. J’ai eu de la chance d’avoir pu quitter mon immeuble de la périphérie de Pékin.

A 5:30 am, je transvase les pots de chambres de la nuit dans un grand seau que je vide au bout de la ruelle dans les WC publics. Un quart d’heure pres, et je me trouverais attendant en queue.

Je me hâte pour aller chercher le lait au point de vente du quartier, une petite guérite ouverte une heure seulement. Je remplis mes deux quarts en verre. Ca coute 3 yuans par mois pour un quart de litre quotidien. Un yuan valait 2.70 francs.

La ration de sucre est un kilo par mois par famille.

Pas de viande dans les jardins d’enfants

Le matin, je n’ai pas le temps d’attendre que le poêle chauffe pour cuire mon petit déjeuner”. Je caresse la tête de mes filles engourdies de sommeil. J’enfourche mon vélo pour une distance de 15 km a mon travail.

Sur le chemin de l’institut, je prend mon casse-croute du matin, bol de bouillon de riz et deux petits pains dans une ancienne petite maison de the’. Vite servi dans un endroit chauffé’ et le tout pour 3 maos (27 centimes de franc)

J’aime bien cette course a velo car la solitude est rare et synonyme de liberté’. Je peux rêver a ma guise a des projets fous et sans lendemain. L’ivresse de ne pas être contrôlé’.

C’est sans remords que nous réservons la douzaine d’oeufs par mois et par famille pour les enfants. Pour dégoter des oeufs supplémentaires, j’ en achète au chemin de travail: par des des codes gestuelles, je m’approche d’une maison, paie et reçoit des oeufs. La plupart du temps j’en achète des oeufs les dimanches.

On ne livre a domicile la ration familiale de charbon que la première semaine de chaque mois. Sinon, on doit aller au depot a des heures d’ouverture inconciliable avec mes horaires et je dois me charger du transport en empruntant une charrette et puis la ramener a l’autre bout du quartier.

Ce n’est pas l’effort qui me rebutte, c’est la bêtise qui m’enrage.Quel pays serait la Chine sans ce gaspillage insensé’ de force humaine?

For most of its “revolutionary period” China had no serious currency. The people valued the “tickets for rations“. National tickets, tickets that can be used everywhere in China, especially for cereals (rice, wheat flour and corn flour..) were 5 times more important than province tickets and 20 times the tickets of districts.

There were many categories of tickets: for cereals, for meat (poultry), for vegetables, for coal, for industrial products (stoves, watches, furnitures…).

A person had to carry a bag of different tickets when he had to go “shopping” at various designated outlets.

Note 1: From the book of Claudie et Jacques Broyelle ” Apocalypse Mao”, 1980

Note 2: It is beyond comprehension the millions of Chinese who died out of famine, malnutrition and cruelty through Mao dictatorship since 1949. No less than 100 millions died from One Man ideas to institute his ideology.

Jewish Dominance Of The African Slave Trade

lundi 15 juin 2020

La domination juive de la traite négrière africaine

Qui était vraiment derrière la traite négrière?

Indication: ce ne sont pas les Européens blancs qui sont blâmés pour l’esclavage aujourd’hui.

Et ce ne sont pas les soi-disant «suprémacistes blancs» qui dénoncent la domination juive de la traite négrière: ce sont les intellectuels noirs.

Who was really behind the slave trade?

Matthew Nolan: “Si une vente aux enchères d’esclaves est tombée sur un festival juif, elle a été reportée en raison du manque d’acheteurs et de vendeurs.”

Video Player

Qui a amené les esclaves en Amérique?

Professeur Tony Martin – Les métiers de l’esclave

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Marcus Garvey – “The African Slave Trade”
L’écrivain noir suivant s’excuse auprès des Blancs pour les avoir blâmés pour les crimes d’esclavage commis par les Juifs:

Dontell Jackson – We Thought They Were White Dontell Jackson – Nous pensions qu’ils étaient blancs
Website: We Thought They Were White Site Web: Nous pensions qu’ils étaient blancs

Video Player

Livres :

Who Brought The Slaves to America

The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews

Highlights and Key Points from The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews (29 pages)

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Source : 

Jewish Dominance Of The African Slave Trade

February 3, 2020

https://christiansfortruth.com/jewish-dominance-of-the-african-slave-trade/

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VOIR AUSSI :

–   Le livre «Les Juifs vendent des Noirs» suscite un mouvement de demandes de réparations

–   Le pillage de l’Afrique par les sionistes

–   Ministre de l’intérieur israélien : « Israël est le pays de l’Homme Blanc »

– 

–   Les Juifs et la traite des Noirs

–   New York. Les indics sionistes fichent leurs voisins Noirs pour le compte de la police

–   USA. Assaut juif contre les intellectuels noirs

–   Le martyr et l’holocauste des Noirs par les Juifs trafiquants esclavagistes

Walking barefoot: The advantages for all and the kids

Note: Re-edit of “Why kids should go barefoot more (and probably adults, too) March 5, 2016″

Lauren KnightFebruary 29, 2016

During an unseasonably warm day this past winter, my husband and I walked with our three boys to the playground down the street from our house.

The sunshine was toasty and the boys were quick to take advantage of it.

As soon as we arrived, all three of our little boys immediately shed the light jackets they had been wearing, along with their shoes and socks, and took off, small bare feet pounding and bouncing on the playground’s rubberized soft surface.

They ran fast, climbed easily, using their feet to wrap around the poles they scaled, clearly delighted. 

It wasn’t long before a few other children at the playground caught on and attempted to remove their shoes and socks.

“NO!” one mother shouted, “Do not remove your shoes and socks,” she told her son.

When he whined and asked her why not, she simply stated, “We always keep our shoes on outside.

This was nothing new. We have, for years, been the odd family out at the playground, the ones who play chase, balance on a slackline nearby, and practice handstands shoeless, sometimes all five of us at the same time.

On one occasion, a parent would not let his son take off his shoes when we invited him to come onto our slackline — not only did the slackline end up covered in mud, but the little boy gave up quickly — he was unable to keep his balance with his shoes on.

Another time, a father chastised me to his child for allowing my children to go shoeless, implying that I was endangering them somehow.

The judgements don’t bother me: I am secure in my parenting choices and have made them purposefully and fully-informed, but it did make me wonder why so many parents of young children forbid them from taking off their shoes outdoors.

I decided to research the myths and benefits of going barefoot, and what I found out may surprise you.

Two common reasons parents give for not allowing their children to go barefoot outside include fear of injury to the foot, and fear of picking up some unsavory disease or illness through their feet.

Unless you are in the city where there is broken glass everywhere, the likelihood of injuring one’s foot is minimal, especially on a soft rubber surface where it is easy to see and avoid stepping on objects.

Both children and adults who go barefoot frequently also have a heightened sense of their surroundings and can easily spot a sharp object they need to avoid.

Children’s feet also toughen up the more they go barefoot, leading to more natural protection.

As far as picking up an illness or disease from going barefoot, our skin is designed to keep pathogens out, and you are far more likely to spread or contract an illness through your hands (think public doorknobs, sinks, keyboards, and handrails) where germs are most plentiful.

(Unless the skin is injured, the skin is the best protective envelope. The problem is that it is difficult to check the skin before the kids remove their shoes.)

Also, children are much more likely to put their hands, not their feet, in their mouths and touch their faces and eyes, where disease or illness most commonly enters the body.

Parasites are not likely to be transmitted through the foot in a developed country. (In Non-developed countries, they go barefoot anywhere and they develop a thick skin)

Since the advent of modern plumbing, hookworm is much less common, especially in non-tropical regions that experience cold winters.

A child is much more likely to contract a mosquito- or tick-borne illness than a parasite these days.

In fact, shoes actually create an opportunity for illness by trapping bacteria and fungus (along with the heat and moisture) establishing an ideal environment for the growth of icky things like athlete’s foot and toe fungus.

Kevin Geary, parenting guru, teacher, and author of Revolutionary Parent, a site dedicated to raising physically and psychologically healthy kids, argues that shoes are actually quite bad for children.

Shoes destroy feet, preventing proper toe spread, which interferes with the foot’s ability to function properly, and prevent proper movement development, which can make children be more susceptible to foot and lower leg injury.

The benefits of going barefoot are plentiful.

1. One major benefit of allowing a child to go barefoot is that it strengthens the feet and lower legs, making the body more agile and less prone to injury.

2. It enhances proprioception, the sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement. Going barefoot helps a child develop body awareness.

3. Skin of feet have a much better resistance, or coefficient of friction, to slippery paths

4. Geary explains that the nerves in our feet are sensitive (the sole of your foot has over 200,000 nerve endings– one of the highest concentrations in the entire body) for this very reason the nerves make us safer, more careful, and better able to adapt to the ground beneath us.

5. When barefoot, we are better able to climb, cut, pivot, balance, and adjust rapidly when the ground shifts beneath us, as it does when we walk on uneven terrain, or anything besides concrete and pavement.

6. Dr. Kacie Flegal, who specializes in pediatrics, wrote about optimal brain and nervous system development of babies and toddlers, stating that being barefoot benefits a young child tremendously. “One of the simplest ways to motivate proprioceptive and vestibular development is to let our babies be barefoot as much as possible.”

7. Flegal goes on to say, “Another benefit to keeping babies barefoot is the encouragement of presence of mind and conscious awareness. As the little pads of babies’ feet feel, move, and balance on the surface that they are exploring, the information sent to the brain from tactile, proprioceptive, and vestibular pathways quiet, or inhibit, other extraneous sensory input. This creates focus and awareness of walking and moving through space; babies get more tuned in to their surroundings.”

8. Another benefit of going barefoot is that it encourages a natural, healthy gait.

9. Adam Sternberg wrote about the topic for New York Magazine in 2008 and cited studies that reveal the damage shoes are doing to our feet; in particular, that we humans had far healthier feet prior to the advent of shoes.

Sternberg further reported that despite these findings, people are still not actively encouraged to go barefoot outdoors.

Podiatrist Dr. William A. Rossi said it all when he wrote,

“It took 4 million years to develop our unique human foot and our consequent distinctive form of gait… in only a few thousand years, and with one carelessly designed instrument, our shoes, we have warped the pure anatomical form of human gait, obstructing its engineering efficiency, afflicting it with strains and stresses and denying it its natural grace of form and ease of movement head to foot.”

10. And finally, going barefoot is a joy to the senses, especially to young children who experience all the newness of the tactile world around them.

Think of the relaxing feeling of walking on soft warm sand at the beach, the refreshing feeling of cool dewy grass in the early morning of a summer day, the feeling of slippery wet mud squishing between toes in the garden, the feeling of the rough bark of a climbing tree, the surprise at the splash of a puddle underfoot.

All of these sensations are available when we allow our children to experience a bit of shoe-free time. Perhaps you should join us and kick off those shoes at the playground and in the backyard.

Enjoy your feet and what they were made for.

Lauren Knight is a frequent contributor to On Parenting. She blogs at Crumb Bums.

 

Jewish Wailing Wall? Turned out to be a false story

Note: I loath separations walls, to divide among other neighboring people, kind of No see, No hear, Does Not exist. Walls of Shame for humanity.

I loath even more all walls that were meant to wail on or pray in front of. I am posting this long, repetitious, tedious  and convoluted article just for whatever historic information that might interest you. I just stopped editing the rest of the article.

The present “Wailing Wall” is a modern invention (devised about 350 years ago) and Jewish scholars know this to be a certain fact.

That “Wailing Wall” is actually the Western Wall of Fort Antonia. The true Temple was located over the Gihon Spring on the southeast ridge of Jerusalem.

There can be no doubt of this fact. It is time for all people to abandon these false religious sites.

The Strange Story of
the False Wailing Wall

By Ernest L. Martin, PH. D., July 2000

 

[The secular dates in this article rendered B.C.E. and C.E. (meaning “Before Common Era” and “Common Era”) are identical to the false religious dates B.C. and A.D. (“Before Christ” and “After our Lord”) which erroneously became standard in Christian countries (though 3 years off) in the sixth century of our Era.]

Listen to the Byte Show Interview on this article:

The Strange Story of the False Wailing Wall – Listen • Download • MP3

There is absolute proof that the present site of the Jewish “Wailing Wall” in Jerusalem is NOT any part of the Temple that existed in the time of Herod and Jesus.

In fact, that particular location that the Jewish authorities have accepted represents the Western Wall of an early Roman fortress (finally built and enlarged by Herod the Great).

King Herod called it Fort Antonia, after the famous Mark Anthony who lived at the end of the first century before Christ. 

It was formerly called the Baris in the proceeding hundred years and it finally became known as the Praetorium in the New Testament period (the central military edifice in Jerusalem where the commanding general of a Legion of troops had his headquarters).

This rectangular type of building clearly resembles most permanent military camps that the Romans constructed throughout the Empire to house their Legions.

When the Bordeaux Pilgrim visited Jerusalem in 333 C.E., he looked east from an area in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (then in its final stages of being built) and said he saw this Praetorium directly eastward with its walls (he mentioned “walls” in the plural – meaning the southern and western walls) firmly entrenched in the bottom of the Tyropoeon Valley.

This central valley of Jerusalem (the Valley of the Cheesemakers) separated the eastern mountain ridge of the city (the original Mount Zion of the Bible) from the larger and more extensive western ridge.

What the Bordeaux Pilgrim provided in his writing is a perfect description of what we call today the Haram esh-Sharif. It is the remains of Fort Antonia.

This Herodian structure housed the Tenth Legion left by Titus after the Roman/Jewish War of 66 to 73 C.E.

The Tenth Legion continued its presence within its walls for over 200 years — until the Legion left for Ailat on the Red Sea in 289 C.E.

The Haram esh-Sharif (Fort Antonia) is the only remaining part of the Jerusalem that existed in the period of Herod and Jesus. And the present Jewish authorities have mistakenly accepted its Western Wall as being the wall of Herod’s Temple. They are wrong! It is actually the Western Wall of Fort Antonia.

But how did the present “Wailing Wall” get erroneously selected by the Jewish authorities as a holy place for the Jews?

As I have abundantly shown in my new book “The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot” and in my supplemental articles on the ASK Web Site, the Jewish authorities in and around Jerusalem from 70 C.E. until 1077 C.E. (for over a thousand years) only showed their religious interest for the location of the Temple at the area positioned over and around the Gihon Spring.

This was at least 1000 feet south of what later became known as the Dome of the Rock. This is the exact area that the Genizah documents from Egypt show the Jewish authorities wished to live (to be near their Temple) in the time of Omar, the Second Caliph (638 C.E.).

The Jewish records show (mentioned in my book and supplemental articles) that it is without doubt the southeastern ridge of Jerusalem that contained the Temples of Solomon, Zerubbabel and that of Herod.

With the period of the Crusades, things begin to change. After a period of 50 years (from 1099 to 1154 C.E.) during which no Jewish person was allowed into the City of Jerusalem, we then have records that a few Jews began to return to Jerusalem.

It was only at this time (around 1054 C.E.) that some Jewish people started to imagine that the Christian and Muslim identification of the Dome of the Rock for the site of the former Temples might have relevance.

This was first mentioned by Benjamin of Tudela. It was this Jewish traveler in about 1169 C.E., who first suggested that the region of the Dome of the Rock should be considered the site of the former Temples.

This was a great error, but within a hundred years after Benjamin all Jews in the world came to believe it (I will explain why the Jews erroneously did so in a biblical and historical way in next month’s article titled: “Expansion and Portability of Zion”).

A new area for the site of the Temple was selected by the Jews in the time of Benjamin of Tudela. Benjamin even pointed to a low balustrade that existed in his time near the western entrance to the octagonal edifice (this balustrade has since been destroyed) and he identified it with the “Western Wall” of the Holy of Holies that earlier Jews had mentioned in their former literature.

Benjamin was wrong. The “Western Wall” that the Talmuds and the writers of the Midrashim referred to was that remnant wall that was at one time the Western Wall of the Holy of Holies from the ruins of a later Temple than that of Herod.

This later Temple was twice attempted to be built (once was in the time of Constantine from 313 to 325 C.E. and again a short time later in the period of Julian the Apostate about 362 C.E.). The particular site where those two later Temples were attempted to be constructed was within the proper precincts of Herod’s former Temple. This later Temple was built over and near the Gihon Spring on the southeast ridge (1000 feet SOUTH of the Dome of the Rock).

But in the time of Benjamin of Tudela (1169 C.E.), some Jews decided to reposition the Temple from that southeastern section of Jerusalem up to the Dome of the Rock. They also invented a new “second” Western Wall as a part of the supposed Holy of Holies by identifying it with that ruined balustrade at the western entrance to the Dome of the Rock.

During this time (in 1169 C.E. and for the next 380 years), the Jewish people paid NO ATTENTION whatever to the “Western Wall” of the Haram esh-Sharif which is now called their “Wailing Wall.”

Until the 16th century of our era, that western area produced NO INTEREST in the minds of the Jewish authorities or laity.

Indeed, from the Crusades until the rise of the Ottoman Empire in 1517 C.E., the Jews customarily assembled in the very opposite direction — at the EASTERN side of the Haram on the Mount of Olives (or, at the EASTERN wall itself at what they called the Gate of Mercy if the Muslim authorities would allow them to get that close).

They congregated in the eastern part from the Haram in order to face the Dome of the Rock in the west that they finally considered (erroneously) to be the former spot of their Temples.

When Benjamin of Tudela visited the spot in the middle of the 12th century, he was able to stand at the eastern wall and pray toward the Dome of the Rock.

However, a few years later, the Jewish traveler Petachia of Ratisbon mentioned the “Gate of Mercy” but said “no Jew is permitted to go there.”

Petachia said the Jews were then meeting on the Mount of Olives and “prayers were offered up there” (Elkan Adler, Jewish Travellers in the Middle Ages, p.90).

This is further vindicated by Rabbi Jacob in 1238-44 C.E. who said “we ascend the Mount of Olives…until we reach a platform which is on the Mount of Olives, where the Red Heifer was slain, and we go uphill to the platform which faces the Temple gate. Thence we see the Temple Mount and all the buildings upon it, and we pray in the direction of the Temple” (ibid., p,117).

Further on in his writing, Rabbi Jacob states: “Around the Foundation Stone, the Ishmaelite kings have built a very beautiful building for a house of prayer and erected on the top of a very fine cupola [Dome]. The building is the site of the Holy of Holies and the Sanctuary” (ibid. p.118).

Though the Jewish records show that Jews before the Crusades believed the Temple Mount was over the Gihon Spring, now in the 13th century it was being reckoned (wrongly) to be at the Dome of the Rock.

Later, in the time of Isaac Chelo (1334 C.E.), he refers to the “Western Wall” that was mentioned by Benjamin of Tudela which he said stood before the Temple of Omar ibn al Khattab

The language of Chelo is confusing because he strangely called Omar’s “Temple” as being the “Gate of Mercy” and that the “Western Wall” was located before the Temple [which normally means east of the building].

But since Chelo is citing Benjamin (who placed the “Western Wall” just in front of the entrance to the Dome of the Rock), this is no doubt what Chelo also intended to convey. Yet Chelo mixed-up the chronology and said his “Western Wall” was discovered in the time of Omar (638 C.E.) when some Jews told him that there was some “heaped rubbish and filth over the spot, so that no one knew exactly where the ruins [of the former Temple] stood.”

But an old Jewish man finally showed Omar (back in 638 C.E.) “the ruins of the Temple under a mound of defilements” (ibid. p.131).

The records are chronologically confusing because the later Jewish travelers misidentified a “Western Wall” as being that of two different time periods.

The first period was that when the Muslims first conquered Jerusalem in 638 C.E., and the second period was that which began with Benjamin of Tudela in 1169 C.E. (well over 400 years later).

Indeed, as I have explained in my book, the first “Western Wall” was connected with the Holy of Holies of the Sanctuaries built in the time of Constantine and Julian, while the second “Western Wall” (over 400 years later) was thought to be at the west side of the Dome of the Rock.

The Jews in the Crusade period finally accepted the Dome of the Rock as the general site of the Holy of Holies. There is a further complication in rationally trying to identify the “Western Wall.”

This further confusion is the selection by the Jews of the present “Wailing Wall” as being the “Western Wall” mentioned by the early Talmudic Jews in their literature.

The truth is, on the other hand, that later “Western Wall” had nothing to do with the Holy of Holies and everyone knew this. The “Wailing Wall” is actually the outer “Western Wall” of the Haram esh-Sharif which I have shown in my book to be the Western Wall of the former Fort Antonia and it has nothing to do with ANY of the former Temples of the Jews.

This latter wall was finally selected by the Jews in about 1570 C.E. This is our modern “Wailing Wall.” But in order to semi-justify their selection, present day Jews are prone to mix up the two earlier accounts and erroneously to confuse them with events surrounding their present “Wailing Wall” that is located north of Robinson’s arch.

When the Present “Wailing Wall” Was Selected by the Jewish Authorities

Let us look at the historical records to see what happened in about the year 1520 C.E. (and again in 1537 C.E.) that caused the Jewish people to abruptly accept the wrong spot.

They abandoned their customary practice of officially assembling at the EASTERN wall at the Gate of Mercy (or mainly on the Mount of Olives). The Jewish authorities decided to select the WESTERN WALL of the Haram esh-Sharif (just north of what became known as “Robinson’s Arch“) as their official site for assembly.

It was an error of the first magnitude to transfer their devotions to this Western Wall of the Haram. Israeli scholars today understand that the present “Western Wall” has nothing to do with the former “Western Wall of the Holy of Holies” that was thought to be previously located at first near the Gihon Spring and then later (1000 feet further north) at the west entrance to the Dome of the Rock.

In his excellent book “The Western Wall,” Meir Ben-Dov wants it to be clearly understood that the Western Wall of the Haram (the present Wailing Wall) is NOT the same as the “Western Wall” mentioned in early Jewish literature that once considered it to be a part of the Holy of Holies. Notice how Ben-Dov makes this abundantly clear:

“There is a tradition that the Temple’s Western Wall remained standing [after the Roman/Jewish War of 66 to 73 C.E.].” Meir Ben-Dov then continues: “This is not a reference to the western wall of the Temple Mount [the present Wailing Wall of the Haram, emphasis mine] — all of its walls [those of the Haram] have survived to this day.

The western wall about which it was prophesied [by Jews in the Talmudic period] that it would never be destroyed, is the Western Wall of the actual sanctuary, and in the course of time, it [the Western Wall of Herod’s Temple] was razed to the ground completely” (The Western Wall, p.27).

The Western Wall that later Jews were prophesying would NOT be destroyed was the Western Wall of the Holy of Holies of the Temple that was attempted to be built in the time of Constantine and Julian (in the fourth century). As for the present Wailing Wall, it was finally selected by the Jewish authorities only about 350 years ago and that wall had nothing to do with the Holy of Holies.

Indeed, No Jew in history before the sixteenth century thought that outer Western Wall of the Haram esh-Sharif was holy and important.

Something happened that made the Jewish authorities to accept the erroneous Wailing Wall site.

What occurred that made the Jews eventually to pick this upstart “wall” that wasn’t even a part of the inner sanctuary (that the former “Western Walls” were a part of)?

The fact is, something very mystical occurred in the history of Judaism in the early sixteenth century that caused the Jewish authorities and people to abandon the other two sites which they formerly accepted for the location of their Temples and they began to concentrate on their present “Wailing Wall” as the holiest spot in all Judaism.

That story is an interesting one. I will now cite two Jewish sources that explain how the Jews finally accepted their new “Wailing Wall.”

The Site of the “Wailing Wall” Was at First a Christian Holy Place

Let us understand the historical reasons why the Jews finally (and erroneously) accepted their present Wailing Wall as their holiest place in Judaism. The Jewish records of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries inform us that the place of the “Wailing Wall” was a spot situated at the base of the Western Wall of the Haram esh-Sharif where Christian women would assemble at various times in order to deposit their garbage (such as ordure, menstrual clothes and other junk).

The first Jewish account of this practice refers to about the year 1520 C.E. It describes the place as having long been a dump of religious significance for Christian women.

Before 1520 C.E., NO Jew or Muslim was at all interested in the place (it had no significance for them) because it was a Christian site that only Christians believed to be significant. It was a Christian “dump” of religious meaning to Christians alone.

The pile of refuse at the spot was so huge (having accumulated for decades over the site by the deposits of the Christian women) that it finally became noticeable to the first Ottoman king who conquered Jerusalem (Selim – the father of Suleiman the Magnificent).

Since the garbage dump was near a region where Selim had his palace, he inquired why the filthy area was there and who maintained it.

The historical account of what happened is first given in a Jewish historical work recorded in approximately 1730 C.E. (about 200 years after the event it claims to recount). The man who wrote it was Moses Hagiz, a then resident of Jerusalem. The full narrative is given in the excellent book mentioned above written by Meir Ben-Dov, Mordechai Naor and Zeev Aner for the Ministry of Defence Publishing House in 1983 titled: “The Western Wall (HaKotel),” pages 108-110.

Let us notice carefully the gist of the story. In fact, there were actually two stories that became entwined together within the decades that follow the first account, but it is easy to gather the main points and to understand the central thread of their themes without any ambiguity.

The first (and chronologically the earliest for the actors of the story) is that given by Moses Hagiz (mentioned above). He reports it was Selim (the father of Suleiman the Magnificent) who was the feature actor.

The second story on the other hand describes a time about 20 years later, and it has Suleiman himself as the central actor. The Jewish writer Eliezer Nahman Poa wrote this second story of the account (sometime in the 17th century). It is the earlier of the two accounts from the point of view of relating the story to listeners and readers.

Some features of the two stories remind us of allegorical personages mentioned in ancient accounts found in the Holy Scriptures. These stories no doubt evolved in order to make political points or to show lines of religious significance within the accounts.

I will now copy in italics what the above book “The Western Wall” relates.

One day he (the Sultan Selim) saw from his window, an old gentile woman, more than ninety years of age, bring a sack or box (basket) of garbage and drop it at a spot near his office. He became very angry…and sent one of his slaves to bring the woman and her sack. When she came he asked to which people she belonged and she told him that she was a Roman (Christian).

Selim then asked her where she lived and she answered: ‘Not far from here, about two days’ walk’ [Bethlehem] and explained that that was why she was tired because, according to the custom the Roman leadership imposed, everyone who lived in Jerusalem had to deposit garbage at that spot [that became the Western Wall] at least once a day; those who lived in the environs of the city had to do it twice a week and those who lived at least three days away had to do it once every thirty days, because that place was the house of Israel’s God [the site of the Temple] and when they were not able to destroy it completely, they decreed, by a ban,….that the name of Israel should never again be mentioned concerning it.

Therefore, (said the old Woman), do not be angry that I came with a bag of garbage to your royal court. I meant no offence to you. The king, may he rest in paradise, listened to everything the woman had to say and then told his slaves to detain her until he had investigated the matter to see if she spoke the truth …. His slaves brought to him many others who brought (sacks of garbage) and he interrogated them and found that they told the same story as the woman….

He (the Sultan) opened his store of silver and gold and took several bags of coins as well as a basket and a hoe which he slung over his back. He issued a proclamation: All who love the King and want to give him satisfaction should watch and follow suit!. 

He then went to the garbage heap and scattered a bagful of coins so that the poor should dig for them, and, out of their love of money, clear the garbage away. He (the Sultan) stood over them and encouraged them…. Every day he scattered more coins….

For some thirty days, more than ten thousand people cleared away garbage until he revealed the Western Wall and the foundations as they can be seen today by everybody….” [End of first quote from the book by Meir Ben-Dov titled “The Western Wall.”]

The above represents the first story. It gives the essence of the account that brings the Wailing Wall into focus and it states that the narrative was chronologically based in the time of Selim (about 1520 C.E.). I now continue with the further quote from the book “The Western Wall” about the second account.

The hero of the second, parallel story about the discovery of the Wall is the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, the son of the Selim, referred to above. The author (or source) of this story is Eliezer Nahman Poa (17th century) and he attaches the story to the verse, He raises up the needy from the earth; He lifts up the poor from the garbage heap (Psalm 113:7). Poa brings the story from an oral tradition and introduces it with the words, And this was told to me:

In the days of the king Sultan Suleiman, nobody knew the location of the Temple [emphasis mine], so he ordered a search of Jerusalem to find it.

One day, the man in charge of the search who had already given up hope [of discovering the true site of the Temple], saw a woman coming and on her head was a basket full of garbage and filth.

What is that on your head? he asked.

Garbage, she said.

Where are you taking it?

To such-and-such a place.

Where are you from?

From Bethlehem.

And between Bethlehem and this place are there no garbage dumps?

We have a tradition that anyone who brings garbage and dumps it here is performing a meritorious deed.

This must be it said the man [it must be the place of the Temple], and [the captain] ordered many men to clear out the garbage from that spot. The garbage which, because of the great time that had passed, had turned into earth at the bottom. And so he uncovered the holy place. He went and told the king who rejoiced greatly and ordered them to clear and sweep (the place) and wash the Wall with rose-water. [End of the second account recorded in the book “The Western Wall.”]

[Then, Meir Ben-Dov continues with his commentary on the two accounts.] 

We may assume that the tradition which ascribes the discovery to Suleiman is the more reliable of the two, not only because its source, Eliezer Nahman Poa, lived closer chronologically to the event or because its strands are more true to folk-tradition, but also because Suleiman was famous for his preoccupation with excavation and building. It was he who, in 1538 completed the walls of Jerusalem which are still standing.

It would appear that theory line [the first account] was transferred (by Moses Hagiz?) to the beginning of the Turkish occupation and to the earlier sultan in order to give it more importance. Thus the Selim version was created later. The logic of such a transfer would be: If the new rulers decided to search Jerusalem” for the unknown Temple site [emphasis mine, note that NO ONE at this time KNEW the whereabouts of the former Temples], why would Selim not do it [cleanse the site at the Wailing Wall] immediately on their arrival?

Meir Ben-Dov continues:

The stories cited above serve as examples of the general historical legends connected with the Wall in the past. Another type of legend is connected with the sanctity of the Wall in the present, a sanctity which is both general and particular. The general sanctity finds expression in the tales about miraculous cures effected by the Wall, in stories about its desecration being punished, and similar motives, which are common in folk literature in connection with other holy places and saints. When they happen at the Wall, however, the miracles that happen are more intense. [End of commentary cited in the book “The Western Wall.”]

A Significant Observation in Regard to these Jewish Accounts on Why the Wailing Wall was Selected?

It is important to recognize that these records show that at the beginning of the sixteenth century (a mere 380 years ago) NO JEWISH PEOPLE were going to the Western Wall of the Haram esh-Sharif and calling it the Western Wall of the Temple. Indeed, the Jewish historical narrative we have been reading states that in the days of Suleiman (1538 C.E.) “nobody knew the location of the Temple, so he ordered a search of Jerusalem to find it.”

And why was the first account dated to the rule of Selim (the first Turkish ruler to conquer Jerusalem)? It was to justify the fact that NO ONE knew precisely in the early sixteenth century WHERE the actual Temples were located. True, all at this late date thought that the site of the former Temple was SOMEWHERE within the area of the Haram esh-Sharif. But exactly where? No one knew.

Isn’t it interesting that even the scholars today are in the same plight of understanding? They are also as ignorant as the historians and theologians were at the time of the beginning of the Ottoman Empire.

Further Evidence the Jewish Authorities DID NOT Accept the Wailing Wall Until AFTER 1520 C.E.

The Jewish authorities in Jerusalem did not at first accept the site of the Christian dump as having any Jewish significance. It was only after the Muslims decided to clean up the area that some Jews became interested in the place of the later Wailing Wall. But soon after the Ottoman invasion of Jerusalem, certain miraculous events occurred that gave confidence to the people of Jerusalem that the Dome of the Rock was located near the former Holy of Holies of the Temple. Let us notice what happened.

In the year 1517 C.E. (when the Ottoman Turks first entered Jerusalem under Selim), it was then believed that the area of the Dome of the Rock had the best credentials for being the place of the Holy of Holies. Zev Vilnay in his “Legends of Jerusalem,” relates: “It is said that during the Feast of Tabernacles in 1519 it [the crescent on top the Dome of the Rock] turned eastward [its horns turned to the east].

The Arabs believed this to be a portentous omen. They attempted to turn it [to face] southward, in the direction of Mecca, the holy city of the Muslims in Arabia [the crescent’s normal position was toward the south with its horns pointing westward]” (page 30).

The Muslims interpreted this eastward positioning of the crescent to signal the coming of the Messiah (Jesus had taught that he would come back to earth from the east and to the Mount of Olives).

After the restoration of the crescent on the Dome, another similar event occurred three years later in 1522. Again Vilnay states: “Rabbi Moses Bassola, who visited the Holy Land in 1522, in the time of the Turks, reported that the ‘rumor concerning the crescent is, that an overturned crescent [was] facing south [it was bent toward the south], protrudes from a big column of metal at the head of a dome [the Dome of the Rock] which the Arabs have in the Temple” (page 30).

These supernatural events seemed to substantiate the thought that the Dome was indeed the site of the Temple. There were even more miraculous occurrences concerning the crescent atop the Dome of the Rock.

Vilnay reports another occurrence that happened a year later (in 1523) when a false prophet of the Jews named David ha-Reubeni came to Jerusalem claiming to be the Messiah. Vilnay continues: “David ha-Reubeni, a false Messiah of Israel, went to Jerusalem from Arabia. He was on his way to Rome to petition the Pope for help in his endeavor to restore the Jewish people to their land.

In 1523, ha-Reubeni entered the Dome of the Rock [this was normally forbidden to any Jew, but the so-called supernal events happening at this time, notably with the mysterious twisting of the crescent atop the Dome of the Rock, caused even the Muslim Arabs to admit David ha-Reubeni into the inner sanctuary of the Dome of the Rock].”

Vilnay continues with the story: “Now on the top of the dome there is a crescent which faces westward [it horns pointed westward]. On the first day of the Feast of Pentecost, this crescent was seen to face the east [it had twisted a hundred and eighty degrees with its horns now pointing eastward], and when the Arabs saw this, they shouted in great alarm. I asked them, ‘Why do you shout?’ They answered, ‘Because of our sins this crescent has turned toward the east, which is an evil omen to the Arabs

A workman climbed to the Dome and returned the crescent to its former position, but on the next day it was facing the east. And the Arabs continued to shout and to weep as they vainly tried to turn the crescent.” These supposed supernatural signs caused David ha-Reubeni to further proclaim his Messiahship. He teamed up with another Jew named Solomon Molcho in Rome and many Christians believed that some type of Jewish Messiah was indeed in their midst. The two men, however, were judged for practicing witchcraft and both died ignominiously.

The prime reason I give these historical accounts at this juncture is because at the beginning of the Ottoman rule, it was common knowledge both by Muslims and Jews that the former Temple was then recognized as being near or at the site of the Dome of the Rock. There is not one mention of the importance of the “Wailing Wall” that was located at the Western Wall of the Haram esh-Sharif in these early records. However, this was soon to change.

A most eminent individual arrived on the historical scene who was to drastically alter the beliefs of the Jews — almost to a man, woman and child. This was Rabbi Isaac Luria. With the advent of Rabbi Isaac Luria around 1570 C.E., the “Wailing Wall” became a prominent holy fixture among Jews. This was because of the influence of Rabbi Luria. He was a most powerful mystic and religious leader among the Jews.

The historical records reveal that it was Rabbi Luria who selected the former Christian holy site at what became the Wailing Wall. What this all shows is that not only Jews by this time did not know the precise area of the Temple site, but they and the Muslim Turks were now relying on a Christian traditional site to locate it for them. And what tradition did they select? It was a very negative and hostile Christian tradition that was designed to antagonize the beliefs of Jews and Muslims.

Still, the Jews and Muslims reasoned that IF the Christians had for a long time cast garbage at the site where the Wailing Wall was finally selected (and the heap of rubbish had grown so high that the bottom of the pile had turned back into soil), then surely THE CHRISTIANS MUST BE RIGHT.

This was Jewish and Muslim reasoning at the time. After all, the Jews and Muslim authorities readily admitted that no one of them knew the precise spot where the Holy of Holies had once been located. The actions of the Christians regarding the place of their “religious dump” impressed the Jews and Muslims. There seemed to be historical precedents for this belief.

Recall that there was also an early Jewish account that when Omar the Second Caliph back in 638 C.E. was seeking the spot of the Jewish Temple that an old Jewish man showed the Sultan where the Holy of Holies had been.

It was also a rubbish dump (but mentioned in the records some 900 years before the time of the Ottoman Turks). It was this earlier story that had long circulated in the Middle East that no doubt led Selim (or Suleiman and later the Jewish authorities) to think that this new rubbish dump that the Christians had maintained was in some way connected with the original Temple site.

What is astonishing is the fact that the stories relate that it was the Christians who had initiated the dump and had perpetuated its use from olden days. Jews and Muslims in the preceding 350 years had paid no attention to the site whatever! It was other areas that Jews and Muslims were interested in.

It must be remembered that Omar was shown in his day the Temple site over and near the Gihon Spring, while the accounts of the Christian women some 900 years later in the sixteenth century had repositioned the Temple site to an area somewhere near their rubbish dump that was adjacent to the Western Wall of the Haram.

So, first the Muslims and then the Jewish authorities in the middle and late sixteenth century began to think that perhaps the Christian identification at what became the Wailing Wall was indeed the correct site.

What an anachronism!

Here we have the Muslim authorities in the time of Suleiman the Magnificent relying on a Christian site that was established as a place of hate and revulsion to locate the Jewish “House of God.” Indeed, this garbage dump (according to the story) became a Muslim prime proof of where the once glorious Temples were located. This must be the case because the accounts show that neither Selim nor Suleiman before their selection of the dump area (with all their historians and professional men) were able to discover the true site of the Temple.

The Ottoman Turks were oblivious of the real site. True, tradition placed the Temple somewhere within the Haram esh-Sharif, but just where within that enclosure was the correct spot? What is interesting is the fact that there is still not a scholar today (whether Jewish, Muslim or Christian) who can inform any person dogmatically where the Holy of Holies was even at this start of the twenty-first century.

All scholars and religious authorities are still in the dark regarding what they consider to be the exact spot for the Temple within the area of the Haram. The fact is, however, they are all looking in the wrong place. The Haram esh-Sharif (as I have adequately proved) is the military camp of Fort Antonia. The actual Temples of God were located 1000 feet further SOUTH from the Dome of the Rock and 600 feet SOUTH of the southern wall of the Haram esh-Sharif.

Why Did the Jewish Authorities Finally Select the “Wailing Wall” as a Wall of Herod’s Temple?

The historical records show that the Jewish authorities DID NOT at first follow the Muslims in this identification of this Christian garbage dump as being near the Temple (or that it pointed toward it).

The Jews had to rely on other factors to accept the area of the dump. True, it is clear that the Jewish authorities finally relented and began to pay attention to the “Wailing Wall.” This happened because of the experiences and teachings of a most respected Rabbi that finally accepted the spot as holy.

That Rabbi was Isaac Luria (referred to as Ha-Ari, “the Lion”), the creator of what became known as the Lurianic Kabbalah. Indeed, the Jews from the time of Benjamin of Tudela (1069 C.E.) until the rise of the Ottoman Empire (1517 C.E.) showed not the slightest attention to this formerly Christian part of the Western Wall as a place holy and sanctified to them.

It was a Christian holy spot for many years. Then it was cleaned up by the Muslims to become a holy site to them. And eventually, the Jewish authorities felt it was also proper for them to recognize it – but they were the last to do so in Jerusalem.

It was when Rabbi Isaac Luria told them that the Shekinah was then located at that former Christian dump, that the Jews began to assemble (and later to flock) to the region and pushing out the Muslims who had at first cleaned up the place from its Christian defilement. Up to the time of Rabbi Isaac Luria (who was born in Jerusalem 1534 and died 1572 C.E.), the Jewish custom (for almost the previous 400 years) was to assemble at the Eastern Wall at the Gate of Mercy (or, on the Mount of Olives) and pray westward toward the Dome of the Rock.

They adored a balustrade they thought was the Western Wall of the Holy of Holies. But Rabbi Luria changed this. I will now show what prompted this action of acceptance. What the Jewish authorities did was to heed the words of Luria and from then on they began to assemble (as they do now) at their new “Western Wall.”

The Importance of Rabbi Isaac Luria

In the middle of the sixteenth century, practically the whole of the Jewish people went over to a belief in the philosophies of a man named Rabbi Isaac Luria. He was the person who established what is called Lurianic Kabbalah (a form of mystic Gnosticism) that led people into doctrines that were as foreign to Moses, Isaiah and Ezra as anyone could get (and this also includes the teachings of those Jews who wrote the Talmuds and other writings up the about the thirteenth century).

Among other false doctrines (that are counter to the simple teachings of the Holy Scriptures), Luria taught the Gentile doctrine of the Immortality of the Soul and even more Gentile in origin, the doctrine of the Transmigration of Souls (very similar as the Hindus do today). Both these doctrines are diametrically contrary to the basic teachings of the Old Testament (the Tanak) and also of the New Testament.

[I have written numerous research papers showing this which can be read and downloaded on our ASK Web Page.]

Rabbi Luria promoted as a prime doctrine that it was normal for the people who lived in one generation to appear after their deaths as other persons in the next generation (and his teaching did not require a resurrection from the dead, as Scripture demands). In other words, Luria believed and taught Reincarnation (Metempsychosis). And the whole of the Jewish nation at the time went over to believing his strange and anti-biblical teachings (while they continued to keep the Sabbath, food laws and other external rituals that identified the people as still being Jews). Note what the Encyclopedia of Religion has to relate about the influence of Luria.

“LURIA, ISAAC (1534-1572), known also by the acronym [A’RiY, that is, Ha-Ari (ha-Elohi Rabbi Yitshaq, “the godly Rabbi Isaac”); Jewish mystic. Isaac Luria was the preeminent Kabbalist of Safed, a small town in the Galilee where a remarkable renaissance of Jewish mystical life took place in the sixteenth century.

Not only did Luria’s original mythological system and innovative ritual practices achieve great popularity in Safed itself; they also exerted profound influence upon virtually all subsequent Jewish mystical creativity. By the middle of the seventeenth century, Lurianic theology and ritual practices had permeated much of the Jewish world.

It has been observed that Lurianism was the last premodern theological system to enjoy such widespread acceptance within Judaism” (Vol.9, pp.54,55). Luria even adopted some theological teachings similar to Christian belief in the Trinity (that God is found to be One God manifested in Three Persons).

Luria went even further. He used the same principle of interpretation of the early Christians, but he devised “ten different manifestations of God” (that he called Sefirot) that were supposed to represent “one” God. Luria’s top and foremost manifestation of his plural “Godhead” was a “Non-being” never known by Moses or the Prophets, or those Sages of the Talmuds. He called his final manifestation of the Deity as Ein Sof which means in Hebrew “No End” (or, simply, “the End is Nothing” or “Nothing is the End”) which is another way of saying in a philosophical sense “there is NO definable God” (or, all that there is in the Universe is NOTHING – or that God is a “God” who is in exile or in hiding).

This was another way of teaching there is “no God” in the final analysis of things. In a word, it is a teaching advocating atheism. Luria also followed in the footsteps of Maimonides even further in his acceptance of the principles of Aristotle.

For a century and a half, Luria had a profound influence on all sections of Jewish religious belief and society. Continuing with the comments in the Encyclopedia of Religion, we read: “It appears that Luria possessed the traits of a genuinely inspired and charismatic individual. He became known in Safed as an extraordinarily saintly person who had been privileged to experience personal revelations of Kabbalistic knowledge from the Holy Spirit, the prophet Elijah, and departed rabbis.

He was regarded as having knowledge of such esoteric arts as metoposcopy and physiognomy and the ability to understand the language of animals. He was able to diagnose the spiritual condition of his disciples and others and provided them with specific acts of atonement for restoring their souls to a state of purity.

To his formal disciples, who numbered about thirty-five, Luria imparted esoteric wisdom, vouchsafing to each one mystical knowledge pertinent to his particular soul, such as its ancestry and the transmigrations through which it had gone. He also gave his disciples detailed instructions on the meditative techniques by which they could raise their souls up to the divine realm, commune with the souls of departed rabbis, and achieve revelatory experiences of their own” (Vol.9, p.55).

Rabbi Luria was born in Jerusalem in A.D. 1534. In Jewish opinion, he was a most important child in a prophetic point of view. It was believed that Elijah the prophet appeared to the father of Rabbi Luria and told him “to keep this child well, for a great light shall shine forth from him to Israel and to the whole world” (Vilnay, Legends of Jerusalem, p.199).

Through much meditation (that he learned in Egypt), he finally moved to Safed in Galilee and won over most of the Jewish Kabbalists who lived there. He was capable of pointing out at a distance the unmarked and unknown graves of past Rabbis and holy men and to precisely identify them. There was no way of proving Luria wrong in most instances because many of the graves he discovered had no markings on them, and people had to assume that Luria (because of his saintliness) had to be right in his identifications.

“Visiting holy graves was considered particularly desirable by the Kabbalists of Safed. Isaac Luria, the foremost exponent of that school, is credited with having ‘revealed’ hitherto unknown graves” (Encyclopaedia Judaica, article “Luria“). Continuing the quote: “The custom of visiting graves itself seems to be of old Arabic origin.

Nearly all the Jewish travelers who visited Erez Israel mentioned graves in their accounts and, indeed, many travel books outlining itineraries and listing the graves enjoyed wide circulation. A pilgrimage to a holy grave was considered to have therapeutic value and many customs developed for such visits. Candles were lit at the grave; often the supplicants made ceremonial processions around it and prostrated themselves on it.

There was—and still is—a widespread custom of placing a small stone or pebble on the grave and some pilgrims take a stone from it when they leave. It is also common practice to leave a written petition at the grave. As early as the beginning of the tenth century the Karaite scholar Sahl b. Mazli’ah complained: ‘How can I remain silent when some Jews are behaving like idolaters?

They sit at the graves, sometimes sleeping there at night, and appeal to the dead: ‘Oh! Rabbi Yose ha-Gelili! Heal me! Grant me children!’ They kindle lights there and offer incense…’ (Pinsker, Likkutei Kadmoniyyot, Nispahim, II p. 32)” (Encyclopaedia Judaica, article “Jewish Holy Places“). True enough, this practice is outright paganism in its origin.

The Karaite Jewish scholar mentioned in the last quote was absolutely correct. People who do such things are practicing heathen and idolatrous customs and it is utterly condemned in the Holy Scriptures (Isaiah 8:19,20). In the majority of cases, these grave sites that the people began to visit in pilgrimages in the land of Israel in the time of Rabbi Isaac Luria were identified “miraculously.”

There were very few graves that had gravestones with inscriptions that identified the person who was buried at the spot. This is where Rabbi Isaac Luria became so famous and recognized as being saintly. He was considered to possess the spirit of Elijah and the spirits and souls of other important men of the past. The new Encyclopedia of Judaism (edited by Jacob Neusner, Avery-Pick and Green) has this to say about these “miraculously” identified graves (most of which were unmarked and no one could prove one way or another whether Luria was correct in his selections). The Encyclopedia relates:

“During the sixteenth century, many graves of Mishnaic and Talmudic rabbis were miraculously [emphasis mine] identified in Palestine and became loci of individual and organized pilgrimage. With the spread of Luranic Kabbalah and the collections of the miraculous deeds of Luria himself [emphasis mine], entitled ‘The Praises of the Ari,’, local pilgrimage sites began to appear among many Jewish communities throughout the entire Muslim world, especially in North Africa.

There [in North Africa], [the native] Berber popular religion, with graves of holy men, sacred trees, groves, brooks, pools, rocks, and grottos, had been thoroughly syncretized with local Islam….” [Continuing the quote:] “By the twentieth century, in Morocco alone there were no fewer than 652 shrines to Jewish saints…. This is due to the common influence of the Lurianic Kabbalah in both its intellectual and popular manifestations…

Even those Middle Eastern and North African rabbis who objected to the more exuberant and syncretistic practices of popular saint veneration tended to take a generally permissive attitude, due in part to the ubiquity of saint veneration and in part to a desire to keep pilgrimages and other practices associated with such venerations as much as possible within Halakhic [oral law] bounds.

Thus, for example, while the great Iraqi legal decisor :Yosef Hayyim (1833 or 1835-1909) ruled that the Jews of Arbil in Iraqi Kurdistan ought to abandon their custom of sacrificing cattle on the graves of tzaddiqim in times of drought [the tzaddiqim were dead ‘righteous men’ of the past], he did not forbid prayer at those places. This tolerant attitude continues throughout much of the Sephardic world and in the state of Israel today, where saint veneration has undergone a major revival and is stronger than ever before” (Encyclopedia of Judaism, pp.679,680).”

Yes, there is widespread acceptance of these saint venerations even in modern Israel. It was Rabbi Isaac Luria who commenced in earnest (and popularized) these pilgrimages to the graves of dead men who were thought to be righteous and still alive (often hovering around their graves).

These dead men (who were still thought to be alive) were thought to have the powers of blessing and healing — and they could still work miracles for those who relied on them for spiritual help. Indeed [continuing with the Encyclopedia of Judaism]: “In the 1960’s, synagogues named after tzaddiqim began to proliferate, and some became the sites of major annual hillulot [pilgrimage]. Around the same time, pilgrimages to graves of holy men buried in Israel began to attract increasing numbers of people…..

The hillulot of Simeon b. Yohai [the reputed originator of the Zohar which taught the Kabbalah] on Lag B’Omer at Meron in the Galilee has become the most important pilgrimage among Sephardim in Israel, attracting more than 100,000…. A great many new pilgrimage sites have emerged in Israel in recent decades, and newly recognized individuals are continually being added to the pantheon of tzaddiqim” (The Encyclopedia of Judaism, pp.688,699).

These actions are pure and simple paganism in action (utterly condemned in the Torah and Tanak – the Holy Scriptures). The prime originator of these pilgrimages to the graves of ‘righteous men’ is the same man who first selected the Wailing Wall as a divine spot for the Jews to assemble.

This was Rabbi Isaac Luria. He was one of the most powerful men in sixteenth century Judaism (with outstanding influence throughout all of Judaism). His credentials center around the fact that he could identify the persons in unmarked graves through visions, dreams and supernatural revelations, not through the application of sound historical and geographical methods.

Indeed, Luria’s prestige is still extremely high among many religious Jews. Those who accept him and his teachings are those Jews who have the religious mentality that governed the Jewish masses in the sixteenth century. Christians and Muslims have their share of such people as well. It is by such visionary and miraculously claimed identifications that so many places of pilgrimage have been selected to adore and at which the Jewish people should assemble and pray. But are these places genuine? The real truth is, there has been much error that has infiltrated into the bosom of the three Abrahamic faiths.

The Christians and Muslims of the past have done the same thing on a large scale. The ubiquity of the practice (and its popularity even today) shows just how pervasive and insidious are such customs. If people believe them (as do thousands upon thousands of folk), they do immeasurable harm to the real facts of history and they perpetuate “Dark Age” religious and societal practices that have no basis of fact in demonstrating historical or geographical truths. Time is long overdue for a rectification of these absurd and ridiculous teachings and false identifications.

Notice Some False Geographical Identifications Made by Rabbi Isaac Luria

This Rabbi should not be looked on as a simple deceived “religious man.” This is because of the supreme influence that the man and his teachings have had (and still have) on modern day Judaism. Let us look at a few points. There was also a side to Rabbi Luria that many people have decided to ignore. But we need to be aware of it. The fact is, Luria also made some outstanding mistakes in his selection of former sites mentioned in the Holy Scriptures. We are told in Vilnay’s The Legends of Jerusalem that Rabbi Luria supposedly knew in his day in a supernatural way where Jeremiah was placed in the Court of the Guard mentioned in Jeremiah 32:2. Notice what Vilnay records:

“It is told of Ha-Ari the holy, head of the Safed Kabbalists in the sixteenth century, that he discovered the Court of the Guard and its pit into which Jeremiah was cast. [Ha-Ari then envisioned:] ‘And the mouth of the pit is narrow and its bottom large and round, about two ells in diameter. And there are places cut out of the mountain rock which were used as jails by the kings of Judah. And it is told that Jeremiah the prophet is buried in the Court of the Guard” (pp.242–3).

The only trouble was, Rabbi Luria (that is, Ha-Ari) picked the spot now called “Jeremiah’s Grotto” in back of the East Jerusalem bus station. Luria selected the wrong place — a place that the Holy Scriptures would in no way allow. Luria was about 3000 feet north of the true site that was near the Gihon Spring. It is clear in the biblical text that the prison in the House of the King of Judah was located just south of the Temple.

Another geographical and historical error attributed to Rabbi Luria (Ha-Ari) was his selection of the person who supposedly “blocked up” the Gihon Spring in earlier days (which had in the previous century been re-discovered in Jerusalem). According to Jewish historical sources, the Gihon Spring was again revealed and restored to the knowledge of the Jewish people by the disciple of Isaac Luria named Rabbi Haim Vital.

This great mystical leader of the Jews brought all Judaism within the embrace of the Lurianic Kabbalistic teachings in the sixteenth century. I shall give the Jewish rendition of how the Gihon Spring was again restored to the knowledge of the Jews, as shown in Zev Vilnay’s Legends of Jerusalem, pp.276,277. Remember that Jews of this time were prone to accept the teachings of some of the mystics as divine revelations direct from God.

“In the sixteenth century, Jerusalem was ruled by a tyrannical Turkish governor called Abu-Seifen — Father of Two Swords. Knowing that a king of Judah had sealed up the Fountain of Gihon, he asked whether there was one who could open it. His friends advised him: ‘There is a wise Jew in this city, a man of God, and his name is Rabbi Haim Vital. He will surely know how to open it.’

The governor sent for him on Friday, the Muslim day of rest, and said: ‘I command you to open the fountain, which was sealed by your king, during the time that I am at prayer in the mosque. If you obey not, your blood be on your head.’ Then a miracle occurred, and there appeared to Rabbi Vital in a vision his teacher, Ha-Ari the holy [that is, Rabbi Luria], head of the mystics [who had been dead several years]. He said: ‘The soul of King Sennacherib, the enemy of King Hezekiah, has been transmitted into the body of this governor, and in your body there is a spark of the soul of King Hezekiah, peace be upon him!

[The Lurianic Kabbalistic teaching of the Ha-Ari (Isaac Luria) believed in the Transmigration of Souls — an Indian or Gentile doctrine never believed by mainline Jews before the revelation of the Kabbalah in the thirteenth century. This vision of Isaac Luria to Haim Vital continued by saying:] ‘And now is the time to open the Fountain of Gihon, for it was without the consent of the sages that Hezekiah sealed its waters.’ ‘And now,’ continued the vision of Rabbi Luria, ‘if you are able to open the sealed Gihon, you will bring great blessing upon the people!’ Rabbi Vital answered: ‘I shall open the fountain.’”

This account vindicates the belief that Rabbi Vital accepted the instruction of “Rabbi Luria” that it was indeed King Hezekiah who “blocked up” the waters of the Gihon Spring [this belief, however, was the first historical falsehood].

As it has been shown in my book “The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot,” we have records from the Crusade period that it was actually Saladin, the Kurdish Muslim ruler about 400 years before who “blocked up” the Gihon (Francesco Gabrieli, Arab Historians of the Crusades, p.93). But the Jewish people in the sixteenth century believed that Rabbi Luria was (through the teaching of the Transmigration of Souls) a re-manifestation on earth of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Elijah and the Messiah all combined in the person of Rabbi Luria.

With such credentials, Jews thought Rabbi Luria must have known the true sites in Jerusalem and the long-lost unmarked graves of many early Rabbis who lived in Galilee. They also believed he must have known it was Hezekiah who “blocked up” the Gihon, rather than Saladin as the historical records revealed. Saladin was the right person, NOT Hezekiah as Luria stated in his visionary explanation. Some of Luria’s identifications were gigantic errors.

But why blame the Jewish people for believing such “miraculous” identifications when we equally have a similar amount of erroneous sites promulgated by our early Christian and Muslim authorities and still maintained by their modern representatives. There needs to be a thorough house cleaning of all of these nonsensical and paganized forms of idolatry that now permeate the religious beliefs, customs and traditions of the Jews, of the Christians and of the Muslims. God help us and save us from our stupidities.

How the Wailing Wall Was Selected as a Jewish Holy Site

The ordinary Jewish people in the sixteenth century had no idea how anti-biblical Luria’s teachings were or how wrong his geographical identifications were. They accepted his teachings altogether because he was to them a holy man of the first rank. And in his endeavor to select former unmarked graves of early Rabbis of the past, and also to show holy places long forgotten by the Jews, he had a hand in determining the Wailing Wall (that was at first a Christian/Muslim holy site) as being a holy place for the Jews.

Indeed, in my research it appears that Luria was the first person in Jewish history (450 years ago) to point out the present “Western Wall” (the “Wailing Wall”) as the place to assemble for the Jewish people and where they ought to worship God. No Jewish person had ever gone to the “Wailing Wall” (as we call it today) until Luria told one Rabbi Abraham Halevy that he was worthy to see the Shekinah (the Divine Presence). Vilnay spoke about Luria (Ha-Ari) and what he said to Rabbi Abraham Halevy. Notice the comment by Vilnay.

“Once the holy Ha-Ari said to Rabbi Abraham: ‘Know that your days are numbered and that you will soon die if you will not do as I tell you: but if you do, you will yet live another twenty-two years. This is what I bid you do: Go to Jerusalem and pour out your prayers before the Wailing Wall and you will prove yourself worthy by seeing the divine Presence there.’ Rabbi Abraham went home, shut himself in his house for three days and three nights, clothed himself in sackcloth and ashes, and fasted the whole time.

Then he went forth to Jerusalem; he stood before the Wailing Wall in prayer, deep meditation, and weeping. The image of a woman, clad in black, appeared to him on the face of the wall. Immediately he fell upon the ground in great fear. Tearing his hair, he cried in a loud voice: ‘Woe is me, what have I seen?’ Finally he fell in a deep slumber and in a dream the divine Presence appeared to him, clad in fine raiment, and said to him: ‘Console thyself, My son Abraham; there is yet hope for thee, and the children of Israel will return to their inheritance, and I will have mercy on them.’ He arose and returned to Safed, and when Ha-Ari the Holy saw him, he said to him at once: ‘Now I know that you have seen the Divine Presence and you can rest assured that you will live another twenty-two years” (Legends of Jerusalem, pp.165,166).

As a result, Rabbi Abraham Halevy who witnessed these things at the “Wailing Wall” lived exactly 22 more years. The people considered this an astonishing confirmation of Rabbi Luria’s divine powers and the truthfulness of his revelations for identifying geographical sites of former holy sites. From that time forward, Jews in Jerusalem began to flock to that former Christian holy spot (which the Muslims had cleaned up after they inherited it from the Christians), and the Jewish authorities soon turned it into what is now called the “Wailing Wall.”

The fact is, the geography of the “Wailing Wall” fits the erroneous theological teachings of Luria to a tee. Beyond that wall (eastward) was “nothing” (no buildings or shrines) and it provided support to his Kabbalistic teaching of the Ein Sof as being in Exile and in a state of “Nothingness,” and that God’s “end” would terminate in “nothing.” In other words, Luria’s God for the Jewish people was a “Nothingness” (a truly exiled and unknowable “God”). It is no wonder that Luria’s “God” could not be seen.

To Luria and those who followed him for the next 200 years, there was “NO discernable God” in the final degree of his non-thesitic understanding of the divine epiphany. Plainly, if a person reasoned the Lurianic philosophical beliefs to a proper conclusion, the person encounters “NO God.” He finds only “empty space.” The “empty space” east of the Western Wall was ideal in Luria’s mind to emphasize the “Ein Sof” (Nothingness) of the Deity. And the Deity was not in His Temple, but in exile (like the Children of Israel).

And to further demonstrate this, the account shows the Shekinah first decorated as an old woman in black mourning clothes as a sign of its exile from its “home,” and then when Rabbi Halevy was blessed with longer life the Shekinah appeared in resplendent glory. To Luria, it was this Wailing Wall that best represented the spot to show the exilic condition of the Shekinah (and even Luria’s tenth display of his divine epiphany called the Sefirot — the Ein Sof as also being in exile).

From then on, Jews began to assemble at this part of the Haram esh-Sharif. In time, it became their most holy place in Jerusalem. It had nothing to do with the Western Wall of the Holy of Holies that earlier Jewish authorities had spoken about. As far as I can find, before the time of Luria no Jewish person ever went to the present “Wailing Wall” to pray. But Luria directed the Jewish people to the Western Wall. In doing so, he sent them to the wrong place. But Jewish people at the time were so impressed with Luria, that they gave him a status that equaled that of Moses (or even greater). The Jewish authorities at his time absorbed his beliefs almost hook, line and sinker.

The Perpetuation of the False (and Anti-biblical) Teachings of the Kabbalah

Luria also established his own unique version of the Kabbalah.

The teachings of this form of worship are almost thoroughly in the mystical vein. Through his teaching of Transmigration of Souls, he stated to his disciples that he had inherited the “soul” of Adam, along with some other “souls” (who came into Luria’s body to inhabit it by reincarnation). Several “souls” entered Luria’s body: those of Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah and he even had the “soul” of the Messiah.

Luria won over most of the influential Rabbis at the time with his teachings, and for the next 200 years (until the Jewish enlightenment of the 1700’s). Lurianic Kabbalah reigned supreme in most Jewish circles (see the Encyclopaedia Judaica article “Judaism”).

Most Jews do not believe in many of the weird teachings of Rabbi Luria today. Many Jewish scholars and intellectuals have now learned to place such beliefs into a category of “dark age mentality” that most religious groups have gone through at one time or another.

This is true enough, but it is the philosophy behind the concepts of Rabbi Luria that often continue to be believed by many religious Jews. There is still among religious Jews (and many Christian and Muslims) believers in what must be called “Dark Age doctrines of a Middle Age mentality.”

At any rate, I have shown with an abundance of historical and biblical evidences that the original Temples of God were positioned over and around the Gihon Spring in the southeastern part of Jerusalem. The evidence is so strong that one wonders how such an obvious fact could be so hidden from the attention of the world for so long? Perhaps we all ought to read the whole of Isaiah 29 once again.

The answer why the site of the Temples has been hidden is no doubt found in that chapter 29 of Isaiah.

In conclusion, the acceptance of the present “Wailing Wall” by the Jewish authorities as a wall of Herod’s Temple was inspired by false visions and dreams and so-called miraculous events that turned a former Christian holy site into the prime Jewish spot for divine veneration.

That spot was NOT discovered by using historical and biblical facts.

The present “Wailing Wall” is a modern invention (devised about 350 years ago) and Jewish scholars know this to be a certain fact.

That “Wailing Wall” is actually the Western Wall of Fort Antonia. The true Temple was located over the Gihon Spring on the southeast ridge of Jerusalem. There can be no doubt of this fact. It is time for all people to abandon these false religious sites.

Best French king decapitated: Louis 16

Note: Re-edit of “Decapitated French king Louis 16: Probably the best king the French failed to value. 2015”

Talleyrand said during the revolution that culminated in a period of utter Terror:

The French had no idea that in the Regency, in their long history, they never had it so well and lived that well” 

Louis 16 succeeded to his infamous grandfather Louis 15 who reign long, dilapidated the treasury and lost most French colonies to England, including India and Canada.

Louis 16 is another case of orphaned kid: his mother died when he was 10 and his elder brother died at the age 14.

During his upbringing, he was not taken care of, and mostly ignored by his grandfather, his aunts and his sisters. They all considered that his elder brother and even his 2 younger brothers to be far more brilliant and capable for ruling.

The British David Hume esteemed greatly the precocious intelligence of this future king when he saw him as kid. Ben Franklin would describe Louis 16 kindness as “His eyes expressed the milk of human tenderness.

When Louis 15 died, in the most horrible of deaths by measles, Paris celebrated and all joints opened their doors for this happy great news.

As they celebrated when Louis 14 died.

Two successive rules of lapidating the treasury and engaging in frequent wars had exhausted the French citizens.

Louis 15 was the epitome in ineptitude.

He reigned for 59 years, the longest of any monarch in history, and he spent his life fucking little girls of less than 14 years old that the various noble and immoral classes and institutions offered to him in order to keep this lazy kind busy.

The girls stayed prisoners until they gave birth and were sold at high prices for noblemen.

Louis 15 lost the French colonies in India and Canada to England and signed the humiliating treaty to end the 7-year war with terms that weakened the French navy to its minimum and other trade imbalances.

Louis 15 is famous for instituting the “Black cabinet“, the secret service agency or “”Secret du Roi” that was located in Versailles close to his bedroom apartment.

This agency was constituted of 32 members and was headed successively by Prince Conti, Jean-Pierre Tercier and Marshal de Broglie.

This secret service agency figured out ways to tacitly ship weapons to the new American insurgents.

This secret agency ran havoc in Europe by controlling, managing and creating events, scandals and subversive situations.

This most inept king stank awfully for 10 days during his disease and only his 3 sisters were permitted to care for his decaying body.

The body was placed in a double lead box containing chaux to prevent the nauseous smell from emanating. The convoy avoided crossing Paris and was buried silently.

Prime minister Choiseul ruled unperturbed for 12 years.

Russia Catherine II referred to Choiseul  as “Europe coachman” and the Queen of Austria adulated him for arranging the marriage of her daughter Marie-Antoinette to the French Dauphin, in direct line for succession.

This astute and dynamic minister wrote about his monarch Louis 15:

“His was the most inept of a person. A soulless and without spirit man. He loved making harm as little kids love to make animals suffer. He lacked any kinds of vigor to make decisions and his vanity was incomparable. He knew he had no potential for anything and totally inconsequential and let his ministers and sweethearts rule the kingdom.

Louis 15 believed that his amorous activities solidified his authority. He believed that everyone must obey his current sweetheart and mistress because she was honoured by his intimacy…”and on and on

Louis 16 was officially sacred absolute monarch in June 1775 at Reims. He went through the traditional motion of touching 2,400 patients, a touch that should heal many of the sick persons.

His first decision was to lock up the latest mistress of Louis 15, Madame du Barry, in a monastery. She was later beheaded by the revolutionaries in 1792.

Once, the people in Paris threw a lavish fiesta and 136 persons died. Louis 16, still a Dauphin (first in line for succession) refused to receive his allotted salary until all the bereaved families got their compensation.

Louis 16 was expert in drawing maps and had passion for geography and marine activities, like building ships and constructing ports. He was also expert in fabricating locks and keys.

He could go hunting for 8 hours straight and kept detailed diaries of his daily activities and expenses.

Louis 16 was a rotund colossus with blue eyes and jovial face, though he was endemically a melancholic person and faithful to his wife.

Sex was not a pleasurable or exciting activity for this hardworking king who read abundantly books and all state reports and who enjoyed eating.

He restituted the rights of the Huguenots (French protestants) that Louis 14 had revoked in the edict of Nantes, a century ago.

He rebuilt the French navy to become at par with the British navy and dispatched two military campaigns to America to support the insurgents, which culminated in the surrender of the British troops in Yorktown.

He was the first and only monarch who recognized the independence of the USA, even before the battle of Yorktown in 1778.

Beaumarchais, the author of the famous play “The Barber of Seville“, was the main agent who exported through a fictitious company all the necessary military equipment and everything else to the American insurgents.

The first French secret agent to contact the insurgents in Philadelphia was Chevalier de Bonvouloir. He met the 5 leading  insurgents, including Ben Franklin, Francis Daymon and John Jay in Carpenter’s Hall and sent coded letters to the French ambassador in London who dispatched them to Vergenne, the French foreign affairs minister.

Chevalier de Bonvouloir was a crippled short man. His parents sent him to the Antilles early on in order to safeguard the status of the family from a handicapped unwanted child.

The Congress sent Silas Deane as its clandestine representative to France in order to enrol volunteers and de La Fayette got in contact with him before his first trip to America.

This massive aid to the American insurgents and the reconstitution of the navy exhausted the treasury and a few ministers of finance were sacked and replaced in order to establish an equilibrium in the budget.

In one harsh winter season, Louis 16 ordered distributing supplies to the poorer classes in France.

In 1786, accompanied by the navy and war ministers, Louis 16 inaugurated the construction of the grandiose artificial port in Cherbourg.

Louis 16 could easily retain his power as an absolute monarch if he wished to: He had the means militarily, institutionally and was loved by the people outside Paris. He preferred not to shed blood and agreed on a Constitutional monarchy as stated by the national Assembly.

When he was in Versailles, guarded by loyal Belgium troops, he opted to spare the blood of his citizens, during the women march that was organized by Choderlos de Laclos, and followed La Fayette to Paris where he became practically hostage to the revolutionaries.

As Louis 16 escaped Paris in the night, La Fayette got in contact with Thomas Paine, the American revolutionary who settled in Paris and was against any kinds of monarchy and who wrote the pamphlet “Common Sense” that triggered the Boston Tea Party insurgency.

Thomas Paine said to La Fayette: “This should be a great new to you. You won’t have to care for this Royal family and its security. You have a wonderful opportunity to declare the “Republic

The monarch was caught in Varenne,  and he could easily continue his flight in crossing the bridge if he allowed the military to open the way by opening fire on the crowd. La Fayette had to come and secure the return to Paris for his monarch.

In many critical occasions, the king ordered his guards not to fire on the mob. I

n one incident, 500 Swiss guards were killed  and massacred by the mob because he ordered them not to defend themselves.

Captain Napoleon Bonaparte was watching this bloody scene from a window. At the first opportunity, Bonaparte fired his canons on the mob and became one of the 3 consuls, before snatching power and becoming an absolute dictator for 16 years.

Thomas Paine convinced the French Assembly to vote for the exile of the King to New Orleans, in the French Louisiana Territory before Napoleon sold it in 1803. 

Again, the infamous and bloody Marat (who will be assassinated by a woman royalist in his bath) turned the table over and the Assembly voted for the decapitation of the monarch

The famous Alexis de Tocqueville, who analyzed the American political system in the 19th century, also analyzed the French system during the Regency (or Louis 16 period) concluded that the administrative institutions were so well smoothly running that for 50 years after the revolution not much has been reformed or altered to the institutions.

Louis 16 was the ideal monarch to submit to the Constitutional monarchy system, a system he openly and publicly agreed to and promised to defend. The French in Paris begged to differ and never had confidence in this monarch.

Is a reflected cruelty the one unpardonable sin? The Invitee of a day

What if this predetermined cruelty was a response to a prolonged reflective cruelty of the other person or a group of people? Wouldn’t that cruelty be considered a self-defence legitimate reaction?

A couple of months ago, I read the short novella for Truman Capote “The Invitee for a day”. It is a wonderful short story and an autobiography of Strekfus Persons ( the true name of Capote) when he lived as a child with distant cousins of 3 unmarried old ladies and the unmarried brother Oncle B in Alabama.

Miss Sook Faulk, a 60 year-old unmarried woman, had the heart of a child and didn’t feel comfortable but with children. Miss Sook, Strekfus and the dog Queenie were inseparable and great friends.

The unnerving fact is that when I stumbled again with this small book, I had the impression that I have never finished it. Wrong. When re-reading it, I realized I had read it all, and I enjoyed it even better the second time around.

This wretched life that Americans lived in down south, in isolation and away from human communities, with humongous ego and pride that they should not need any support system to survive was pretty common. Especially during the financial crash of 1929 and the prohibition period.

I felt that Miss Sook felt deep in her bone the useless cruel pride of Americans. And worst, their predetermined mind to inflict cruelty for a sick unbounded ego of superiority, even when living a wretched life in isolated and desolate corners in their land.

Note: Truman Capote (Strekfus Persons) was born in New Orleans but spent part of his childhood in Alabama with distant relatives. Wrote his first novellas at age 17 and published “The haunted Domaines” at age 24. In 1951 he published “La Harpe d’herbe” and “Breakfast in Tiffany” in 1958. “In Cold Blood” of 1967 made him famous, but he never wrote another book since then. The novella “The Invitee for a day” is an autobiography of his stay with elder distant relatives in Alabama.

Damascus under canon and airplane bombs in 1925: During French mandated power

Note: Re-edit of “In Damascus under the bombs, Year 1925 by Alice Poulleau”  May 19, 2013

In 1925, the French journalist and painter Alice Poulleau finished writing her book “In Damascus under the bombs”, a collection of 3 years of diaries,  and was published in 1926. The book was banned by the French authority in every colony and territories occupied by the French troops. The book was re-published only in 2012.

The Syrians revolted against the French mandated power in 1924-26 and the troops pounded Damascus for 48 hours with heavy artillery shells and air raids. Entire blocks in Damascus were devastated and over 1,500 civilians were killed within 48 hours of insane hatred and arrogance of the occupying troops.

Alice dedicated the book to the mothers in France and Syria who suffer the same afflictions. She blamed the French writers and journalists who never set foot in Syria and never witnessed the calamities and horrible massacres and yet, insisted on diabolizing (devils) the Syrian people, relying solely on the High-Commissariat reports.

The devastation hit the antique and ancient souks of Hamidiyeh, the block of the street of Midhat Pasha, the Via Recta, which was later called “Harika” to being burned to the ground…

It was the French mandated power that incited sectarian passions among the various religious entities in order to divide and rule. The occupation power favored the minorities such as the Christians, the Alawites… in the administrative positions…

Alice worked in the Nile Delta and occasionally pushed forward to discover parts of Palestine, such as Rafah, Gaza, Ludds… and further on into Haifa, Mount carmel…

In 1923, Alice had this revelation to investigate Syria and Lebanon. She visited the Houran province, Damascus, Baalbek, Beirut, Sidon, Tyr, Bissan (south of the Sea of galilee), Samak…

Poulleau was under the spell of so much beauty and mythical environment until she got in contact with her French countrymen, officers and soldiers in Syria.

Her wrath grew by the days against the arrogance and ignorance of her French citizens in Syria.

Her encounters opened her eyes to the calamities that the French brought in into Syria…

As Alice returned to Egypt in 1923, she wrote:

“I had this persistent and strong impression that France never attempted to investigate the level of acceptance of the Syrian people to the mandated power, and simply relied on the reports of the High-Commissariat.

I felt this growing disenchantment and the growling of discontent among the Syrians relevant to the one-sided decisions, mismanagement and high-handed reactions due to their baffling of human rights of the Syrians and their dignity…

This was the reason for me to return the next year 1924 to Damascus and witnessing the slaughter hood two years later…”

Note: More summaries and translation of these diaries will be forthcoming. 1,500 Syrian civilians died within 48 hours of bombing and air raids of the Capital Damascus by the French troops.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

July 2020
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