Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Judaism

It is a virus: You scratch one spot and it spreads; (Jan. 29, 2010)

It is a virus; a sort of mushroom that spreads over your skin and inflicts crazy itching.

You start scratching one spot and you end up lapidating your entire body.  It has affected me for over a month.

I finally saw a physician, not a skin specialist, in the town dispensary and she told me that she witnesses many such cases lately.

The virus is in the air and that is how you are contaminated; many victims experienced lousy moments for many weeks.

The physician prescribed a single pill (costing $8) with effects that last for a week. Got to take another pill for a second week; that should take care of the mushroom.

The physician said that without the pill the itching takes 6 weeks to subside.

In my case and with the pill I should be okay within days: I was healed the next day.

I decided for the second pill to make sure that the mushroom is dead once and for all.  I am not sure: three weeks later and I am itching; not necessarily of mushroom; but what do I know?

Itching is not the main topic of this article: it just gave me a perfect analogy.  The virus is Israel.

If you say Israel is an apartheid State because it subjugates the Palestinian people to a different law of the land than the one applied on the Jew,s then Israel is upset.

If you say Israel is a theocratic State because it extends citizenship to any Jew who sets foot in Israel then Israel is angry.

Why, all of the over 600 religious laws that govern daily life, as applied by the Pharisee during Jesus time, are still valid and harshly controlled.

The secular Jews agree that Israel is back to the Dark Age, but how to convince the US neo-conservative “Christians” that this is so?

If you say that Israel is comfortable with ghetto-like environment because it cordonned off all its frontiers by walls (frontiers that are not yet delimited in its Constitution) then Israel is appalled

If you say Israel is a Sparta State because it believes in military resolution for any contention with any neighboring State then Israel is incensed. Why?

Israel is worse than Sparta: after 3 years of forced military service the citizen has to submit to a month per year in “the reserves” service.

If you say Israel has been committing crimes against humanity since before its inception in 1948, and Gaza is the latest in evidence, then Israel rejects Goldstone’s report in all its sections.

If you say Israel has a peculiar kind of “democracy” that was called “apartheid democracy” in South Africa where laws are selectively and not equitably applied on all citizens; or if you say that the kind of democracy applied in Israel is barely a developed version of City-States democracies of Antiquity such as applied in Athens, Tyr, or Sidon then Israel feels obfuscated.

I you say Israel refuses to grow up and abide by its responsibility as a member of the United Nations and respect UN decisions then Israel is furious: Israel constantly expects the US to cover up illegal activities with the veto power.

If you say the Arab States want peace for returning all the conquered lands in 1967 as proclaimed in 2002 Arab Summit in Beirut then Israel feels resentful and laughs it off.

If you say that Israel is a racist State because the UN declared “Zionism a form of racism” then Israel is up in arms to drop this statement.  Can you believe it?

Israel is investing money to demonstrate that Indians living in the region of Malihabad, (near Lucknow in the Uttar Pradesh), and known as Pathans Afridis are Jews from the tribe of Ephraim that lived in northern Galilee during Jesus time.

The Indian Shahnaz Ali was hired by Israel Institute of Technology to test the DNA of this “tribe” and hopefully extrapolate the results to include the Pashtoun tribes on the borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Is that a form of racism? Since when any religion was based on race?

I did a rough estimate: I figured out that the Phoenicians are over one billion, give or take one standard deviation, and are spread over the five continents!

If you say that Israel is “the vastest psychiatric ward in the world with no treating personnel” then Israel is ready to lambaste the Israeli author as a schizophrenic, leftist, and probably “anti-Semitic” mole.

If you say that Israel is indeed a very, very peace loving State then Israel is infuriated because you are mocking it.  It is a virus.

No matter what you say is non receivable.

Best attitude is to censure your opinions and refrain from mentioning Israel, Jews, Judaism, Hebrew, or the Diaspora.

One term is admissible: Jews were gazed by Nazism and the number better be exact: 6 millions no less and not one over that scientifically reached number.

Repeat: Jews were gazed and not shot, poisoned, killed, trampled, or exterminated in any other form of “final solutions”.

Repeat: Exactly 6 millions or the holocaust literature would have to be republished; any number over 6 millions and Germany would be infuriated and Merkel would have to cancel the seventh nuclear submarines, built for free for the State of Israel, at Germans’ tax payer expenses; and for what use are these nuclear submarines put in service?  Maybe to support NATO policies?

It is a virus: mushroom or no mushroom you feel itching like crazy and Barack Obama and George Mitchell first of all.

As of the Bible: Customs in the Levant, part 2.  (March 15, 2009)

Note: I intend to post a series of articles on the theme: “Customs and traditions in the Near East”. All these customs and traditions of the Land in the Levant were practiced thousands of years before Judaism came to be.  The Jewish religion adopted the customs of the land and wrote in the same style of imagery, maxims, and aphorism.

Jesus warned Peter that he would repudiate him three times before the second crow of the cock

There is a custom in the Levant when guest hear the second crow of the cock to prepare to start leaving.  The host has invariably to retort “You guys are mistaken, this is the first crow”. You may search Google for how many times a cock crows per day but in the Levant we maintain that cocks crow at sun down, midnight and at dawn.

Jesus said about the surprise visit of sudden death: “Stay awake; you don’t know when the Master of the house will show up; in the evening, at midnight or the last crow of the cock“. 

The oriental Christian communities used the nights to pray and watch for the second coming of “Son of God” (Preparing for the next coming)

On the same theme of sudden death Jesus recount another aphorism of the land “Two of you are grinding wheat in a quern (hand mill), one is taken away and the other saved”. 

It was the custom for two women friends to undertake the boring task of grinding wheat grain in two circular stone querns. a  A strong woman could do it alone but it is more fun to pass the time when two are chatting away.  Thus, you can never know when your closest friend will die.  Nowadays, in remote areas, the hand mill or “jaroush” is used to convert wheat grains into crushed wheat which is a staple ingredient to many traditional dishes like “tabouli”, “kebeh, and countless varieties.

Revelations abound in the Bible to the prophets, Elizabeth, Marie, and many times to Joseph who obeyed and executed the orders promptly. 

Revelations are common phenomenon in the Levant.  A family would pay visits to shrines dedicated to a saint for fertility or for kinds of handicaps; the family would stay at the shrine praying and fasting as many nights as necessary until a revelation related to their wishes descends. 

The families visit shrines confident that their “demands” would be exhausted.

When babies are born they are wrapped like mummies. First the baby is washed with lukewarm water and their bodies rubbed with salt and then scented before a square piece of cloth join their arms by the side of the body and the legs stretched. 

An unwanted baby or when someone is cursed the maxim says “You were not rubbed with salt when you were born

The Syrian Christ (Book Review, March 12, 2009)

In 1916, Abraham Mertie Rihbany published “The Syrian Christ”; eleven editions have so far been printed.  This manuscript was a compendium of articles submitted to the Atlantic Monthly from 1914 to 1916.  Rihbany wrote: “When I read the Bible, I have the distinct impression that I am reading a fresh letter arriving from my parents and relatives in Lebanon”.

Abraham Rihbany undertook to explain to the western Christians the customs and traditions of the civilization in the Levant (Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria) that are almost unchanged since Christ and an exhaustive explanation of the written and verbal style of the Bible.

The target audience is the American Christian (mostly among the Protestant sects) who tends to accept every word in the Bible integrally without much openness, analysis, or comprehension of the customs and traditions of the Levant that are described in the Bible. The purpose is to describe the environment and daily life in which Jesus lived, grew up, roamed, was nurtured, and the language (Aramaic), the maxims, the aphorisms of “The Sacred Land” that Jesus spoke.

It was the author’s premise that assimilating the Syrian customs and traditions allows the western Christians to comprehend the verbal imageries of the Bible and appreciate their real values and how the multitudes of stories start to make sense.

The verbal and written style in the Levant is characterized by direct pronouncements expressing feeling and describing what is seen and heard.  The sentences are not encumbered by prefixes such as “I think”, “I believe”, “I am not sure”, “It is possible”, “There might be other versions”, “I might be wrong”, “It is my opinion”, or what the western writers have adopted from the Greek rational style.

The written style in the Levant sounds of utter confidence, categorical, and conveying the total truth, though it does not mean that the people cannot discriminate or feel the variations and uncertainties.  The writers in the Levant simply feel that all these attachments are redundant since it is a fact of life that nothing is categorical or certain.  Thus, superfluous additions disturb the flow of thoughts and the ideas that need to be conveyed.  Rihbany feels that the western readers of the Bible should tone down their uneasiness with “outrageous” direct pronouncements and sentences in the Bible.

The manuscript is of six chapters in 187 pages.  The first chapter is about Jesus the Syrian man, his birth, the star, obedience to parents, holyday and Eucharist.  The second chapter is on the Levant verbal style, the daily parlance, the curses, love of the enemy, “the untruthful eastern person”, impression when challenged by professionalism, speaking in maxim and aphorism, and swearing. Chapter three is on bread and salt, the sacred food, “our daily bread”, “forcing invitation to eat”, “retarding a leaving guest”, and family reunions.  Chapter four is on boarding and sleeping overnight, the “souk”, the rooftop of the house, the grapevine and garden, and the shepherd.  Chapter five is on the sisters of Marie and Martha, women in the Levant, Saint Paul and women, Jesus and his mother, and “a gentle woman”.  Chapter six is called “here and there” in the Bible.

You will realize that the custom was, especially for widows, to be persistent in their demands, sit by the judge feet and keep urging him until the judge relents and gives in.  The custom was for a traveler to stop at the main Carrefour of a town and wait for the first passerby to invite him to stay the night and be fed; if the wait was prolonged then the town would be blemished of infamy for centuries. The custom was to refrain from sharing “bread and salt” until the conversation settle all the differences and the parties are satisfied that they are friends and loyal.

You will learn that visiting a shrine of a Saint was targeting a specific demand; the mother or the family would sleep overnight and sometimes for many days until the Saint or his “ghost” shows up to deliver the good message. The author explains the external form of patriarchal attitude and the internal customs within a family; the custom of keeping doors open until the time to go to bed.

People in the Levant know the cause and effects of phenomenon but they also believe that if God wishes then the effects will not take place no matter what. This is a far cry of the western mind that insists that God has nothing to do with errors or failures and some other supplementary causes have to be investigated when the appropriate effects do not materialize.

(All these customs and traditions of the Land in the Levant were practiced thousands of years before Judaism came to be.  The Jewish religion adopted the customs of the land and wrote in the same style of imagery, maxims, and aphorism. The original manuscripts describe accurately the culture of the land and in the same style even though a few wrote4 in Greek, the language of the highly literate of the period. The writers of the Bible and the New Testaments were people of the land and spoke in the language of the land. Thus, it would be beneficial to be cognizant of the culture and civilization of the land in order to fully appreciate Christianism and the teaching of Jesus. The Bible is a wonderful source for learning the customs of the Land if read to that purpose)

Note 1: I read the Arabic translation by Ussama Ajaj Al Mohtar ISBN: 9953-417-05-9. When I get hold of the original English version then I might have another go for a thorough detailed review.

Note 2: The author Abraham Metrie Rihbany was born in 1869 in the village of Chouwir in Lebanon, one of 11 kids. He integrated a Protestant school in Souk al Gharb in 1886 and was appointed to teach the elementary classes for 3 years in order to cover the expenses. He immigrated to the USA in 1891 and contributed in editing the first Arab daily in the USA “Kawkab al Shark” (The Eastern Planet). Rihbany ventured into a new job of talking in churches in the evening about the “Sacred Land” for contributions. He was selected to represent the Syrian associations in the USA to the Peace Conference held in Paris in 1919. Abraham Rihbany met with the delegates and King Fayssal for 4 months and published a book on that event “Wise Men from the East and from the West” in 1922.

In 1918, Rihbany published “America Save the Near East” urging the USA to deny France and Britain any mandate status over the States in the Levant and warned on the organized Zionist movement to settling in Palestine.  Rihbany published eight books in total among them “Militant America and Jesus Christ” in 1917 and an autobiography “A Far Journey” in 1913 after he visited Lebanon with his wife in 1898.  Rihbany died in 1944; he was 75 of age.

Note 3:  Tourists to the Levant, visiting the urban centers, might not recognize the basic characteristics shared by the population.  Whatever differences seen by tourists are at best skin deep.  The behaviors of the urban citizens are basically the same as in the villages regardless of the verbal proclamations and intentions expressed to the contrary. , March 12, 2009)

 

 

“Thus Spoken Jesus” (Part 1, March 3, 2009)

 

Note: this is an ongoing piece

 

            Nietzsche wrote “Thus Spoken Zarathustra”, Jebran Khalil Jebran “Thus Spoken Orphelis”, Nasri Sayegh “Thus spoken a Killer”.  Every extremist sect would like you to believe that their “Book” is the truth, the guidebook to life and that not a single word should be changed or tampered with.  They have the freedom of opinion and I have mine.  I write “Thus Spoken Jesus”.

 

“Rabbi (Master) how should I behave in life to get to Paradise?” asked a follower.  Jesus said “Rabbi in your eyes.  My message is not a set of instructions delivered by a teacher.  If you badly need instructions in order to live then read the prophets who spoke in the wilderness and abide by the laws.  I tell stories and speak in parables (examples) of the Land.”

 

“Rabbi, are your parables the only truth and guidelines?” said a follower. Jesus went on:  “There are many versions to my parables and it is up to you to re-write them and edit them according to your fresh set of values. I am not to preach laziness of the mind but to nudge you to individual reflection.”

 

“Rabbi, how can I free my soul from earth attachments?”  Jesus replied “What you freely acquired from your environment and community is yours; it is your own responsibility for whatever you act upon. Don’t blame anyone or society for your behavior. Go to the wilderness and reflect on your soul.  Make sure the location has a large tree with umbrage.  Let the birds and the living creature share your habitat.  Do not overstay your loneliness.  You are not an isolated tree or a plant”

 

“Rabbi, the town is expecting your coming and it is preparing sacrificial lambs in your honor” Jesus replied” Do not imitate those hypocritical Pharisees who hide their sins behind external rituals of piety.  The only sacrifice agreeable to God is your individual conquest against sinful behaviors toward your neighbor”

 

“Son, what the neighbors would say about your wanderings with a bunch of friends?” said his mother.  Jesus replied “Woman, we are not at the same wave length.  You are always worried about the details for survival and society’s customs and traditions.  I have a message that you are not ready to comprehend.  Woman, leave it at that and stop harassing me”

 

“Rabbi, order Marie to help me out in the kitchen” said Martha.  Jesus replied “Martha, Martha, you are worrying about countless matters and you should work for the salvation of your soul.  Marie has poured expensive perfume over my feet and all she wants is to learn and follow my message”

 

“Rabbi is there redemption?” asked a follower. Jesus said “The doors of the master of the house are opened as there is daylight.  Once the master goes to bed then the doors are closed for the night.  All the banging will not open the doors when you are late.”

 

“Rabbi, the Pharisees are parked in and around the temple in Jerusalem, selling and transacting usury” warned a followers. Jesus said: “As I arrive to Jerusalem I will chase out and away all the sacerdotal caste with a whip and turn over their tables. These hypocritical priests have been usurping the message of God for compassion and charity for profit.  The temple is for praying and not a location for the professional guild of priesthood.”

 

“Rabbi, I have been practicing the Ten Commandments of our prophet Moses. Is that good enough to salvage my soul?” asked a follower.  Jesus replied: “Following the Ten Commandments is a good practice to changing your behavior toward your neighbor. But no, if you never learn to love and show compassion to your neighbor then the doors of Heaven are closed to you”

 

“Rabbi, I have the best intentions in the world; the harsh reality of life is not making it easy at all to show my good intentions” said a follower. Jesus said: “Good intentions are the first stepping stones.  Verily, verily, if you fail to nurture your good intentions into tangible acts of charity toward your neighbor then the doors of Heaven are locked to you”

 

“Rabbi, are animal sacrifices acceptable to God for forgiveness of sins?” asked a follower. Jesus replied: “I have come to redempt humanity and liberate man of the superstition of Original Sin.  No sacrificial rituals of man, animal, or things are acceptable to God. You need to sacrifice your sinful tendencies by praying, reflecting, and changing your behavior toward your neighbor”

 

“Rabbi, I don’t seem to get what I want” said a follower. Jesus said: “Knock on doors and it will be opened.  Keep knocking on doors; do not relent on asking for what you want. Keep applying and requesting. The birds have their lodging.  God will offer your “daily bread” as long as you confidently and feverishly ask for it.”

Nietzsche’s “Christianity is a carbon copy of Judaism”, (Part 5, March 6, 2009)

Nietzsche said about his rational style: “Honest men do not exhibit their reasons by argumentation. What needs to be demonstrated is not worth the effort” He could not feign cold and impersonal objectivity.

He regarded the Socratic method of rational argumentation as “symbol of degeneracy”, a powerful poison that altered “the Greeks’ taste”. 

 

Since thoughts are required to generate ideas, and act on the written thought, Nietzsche demands from his readers to stimulate the value of patience in reading his works.

Philology, in a period when we read a lot, is the art of learning and teaching how to read.  We need to meditate half an hour on a paragraph; this habit has all the merit for interpreting aphorism”.  Nietzsche does write in order to be listened to and not to be discussed.

Nietzsche displaces the question of truth to the “value of truth“; and thus,

moral intentions, or the systems of value judgments in relation to the conditions of existence, constitute the germ from which the entire plant grew”. Consequently, the method of Nietzsche is to uncover the origin and the true genesis of the values disseminated by the philosophers, the preachers, and the prophets.

The free spirit should analyze the genealogy of values since “Truth is this type of error without which a certain type of living species would not know how to live. From life perspective, it is how we perceive values that all depend in the final analyzes” 

Amoral Nietzsche is a kind of hyper-moralist since he intends to free mankind of the poisons that himself secrete; poisons such as the value systems diffused in “symbols, masks, sickness, hypocrisy, misunderstanding, cause, remedy, stimulant, and poison.”

For Nietzsche, Christianity, and in general, religions and their sacerdotal caste systems are characterized by stifling and oppressing societies. In order to criticize Judaism and then Christianism Nietzsche had first to laud the origins of Judaism.

Nietzsche considered the Old Testament as a work of art “where we find men, things, and words in a style so grandiose that the Latin and Greek literature have nothing to lay upon it”.  (Actually, the written style of the Old Testament is the Levantine style, this Near-Eastern region on the east of the Mediterranean Sea and west of the Tiger River in Iraq.  The stories recount the customs and traditions of this homogeneous people in the Near East for thousand of years, sharing the Aramaic language and the same religion, sets of structured Gods, architecture of the temples, and mythical stories of the Land).

Nietzsche went as far as writing that the Jews “are the most remarkable people in the universal history to whom we owe the most influential moral law in the world” before the Jewish sacerdotal hierarchies transformed the religion into an instrument of interpreting happiness as a recompense, and misfortune as sin punishable for the disobedience toward God.  

(Actually, the moral values are the one of the Levant, and the horror war stories and genocides committed against Canaan and the Philistines are pure fictional stories that the Jewish scholars in Alexandria of 200 BC decided to attach to the history of the Levant in order to create for the Jews a place under the sun…

The psalms of David and Solomon are carbon copies of the psalms of the Land, from Babylon, to Canaan, to Assyria, and the religion of the Middle East, written over 2,000 years before the first Jewish scribe wrote the first chapters in Alexandria around 200 BC.)

For Nietzsche, Christianity emulated the worst kind of religious philosophy that the Jewish sacerdotal caste ended practicing and enforcing upon society, a carbon copy of the seriously altered Judaism.

Nietzsche considers that Christianity was conceived as the art of lying piously and has been perfected through many centuries of serious training techniques. Nietzsche claims that “Sin, as is felt wherever Christianity dominated, is a Jewish invention, a moral for slaves, and thus, Christianity endeavored to spread Judaism around the world”.

Note 1: I think that Christianity in Byzantium and Medieval Christianity in Europe tried to distance itself from Judaism on political ground by adopting pagan ceremonies, pomp, and symbols. The reformists of Luther, Protestants, and Calvinists steered Christianity back to the fold of Judaism.

I have read and published many book reviews and articles on early Christian sects. I have to concur that the early Christian sects were fundamental in disseminating Jewish customs, traditions, and laws.  They opened the way for Judaism to penetrate many “gentile” countries. 

A Jewish Kingdom Kazakh was established in the Caucasus by converted Jews (Ashkenazi) that had no origin with Near Eastern Jews (Sephardic). These Ashkenazi expanded to Central Europe, Russia, and Germany after their Kingdom was ransacked around the year 950 AC and now they established the Zionist State called Israel. 

Moslem religious sects emulated the early Christian-Jewish sects’ customs and dogmas and aided in the spread of Judaism even further toward East Asia.

 

Note 2: As Anti-Semitism was understood in the early 20th century, Nietzsche was not anti-Semite.  He lambasted this wave in Europe as “muddle and stupidity in the spirit, and conscience of Germany press that are leading the Jews to the slaughterhouse as a scapegoat in order to absolve all the public and private malaise”.  Nietzsche also blamed vigorously the wedding of his sister to an anti-Semitic leader. 

He wrote: “it fills me with melancholy and bitterness.  It is a question of honor for me to have a clear and neat stand against anti-Semitic attitudes and activities.  I fear and have great repulsion that this party might use of my reputation and my name for their own cause.” 

Nietzsche position is consistent with his quest to return to the original values that glorify life before the sacerdotal castes high-jacked the religious institutions and altered the moral values to enslave man.

 

Note 3: The Zionist State of Israel has been pressuring the world community to adopting a ridiculous definition of anti-Semitism: any State or individual that criticizes the Zionist genocide and apartheid policies against the Palestinian people should be labeled anti-Semite.  The USA, France, and Italy’s Berlusconi are slipping toward that dangerous path and trying hard to resist a vigorous denouncement of the recent Israeli’s genocide war in Gaza.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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