Beyond the Cusp

September 4, 2014

Europeans Youths Leading Western Return

Probably the least covered story due to Media’s preconceived notions blinding them from seeing a trend which is in its early stages as well as their willful blindness to anything religious are signs of a resurgence of morality and returns to religious belief in G0d even if the rejection of organized religious institutions had been retained. This has been evidenced recently with Jewish youths coming to protect the Synagogues from the assaults by anti-Israel rioting demonstrators who had overwhelmed the marginal force put up by police to prevent these demonstrations from turning violent and break containment in order to attack Jewish stores and Synagogues. Similar evidence has been seen at retreats with religious themes and counter demonstrations countering anti-Christian demonstrators. This silent revolution of sorts is a predictable reaction to the attacks on Judeo-Christian society which have been on the rise throughout the West, particularly in Europe. This prediction came up over a decade ago in discussions with friends on what could be expected to occur in Europe and the West in response to the growth, increased presence, and escalated forcefulness of Islam as the numbers of Islam grew and their actions became more aggressive as their numbers grew as a percentage of populations. This return to religious belief was predictable as a reaction of the youth against their parents’ desertion of religion over the past number of decades and a result of seeking answers in a different direction than the one taken by their parents. But what future might this portend?

 

This return to religious foundations will reinstate the possibility for a return to civil and social assistance to address societal safety nets which potentially could have the people insist that government be driven from being the sole domain of government and instead be returned to groups of individuals who would eventually form new churches and organized religious establishments free from the current systems which have driven the flight from religion in the current adult populations. Where this will ultimately lead is difficult to predict as the youths returning to religion are doing so in an age where an association of like believing people can span a large area geographically and remain tightly connected through electronic media and social networks. Their networks could also work as a means to establish a loosely coordinated international set of religious groupings which might control larger grouping numbers, virtual congregations and larger religious institutions, which would rival or supercede any traditional religious institutions, possibly approaching or exceeding the population of the Catholic Church or any of the Protestant Synods etc. This could lead to a religious revolution and potentially leading to a unification of the Christian religious institutions into a unified church where these new religious cyber-institutions through their growth and interactions could resolve differences which today set the individual religious institutions against each other preventing their combining their congregations and efforts thus leaving them in opposition instead of building and merging bringing more unity. These new religious networks would provide just such a unifying of the separate religious factions which might even produce a unified version of the Bible which incorporated all of the similarities and managed to mediate the differences between the existing numerous translations of the original writings. Such a result would strengthen the unity and permit a merging of the separate faiths thus increasing religious unity and forming a unified belief system allowing for increased strength through unified belief structures and definitions of principles. This may be the power that resolves some of the difficulties currently facing modern society and allows for an answer to some of the threats and challenges facing our current nations and communities. This could be just the solution which will reinvigorate our moral core in our societies which will return a special meaning which appears to be so lacking in so many places and interactions in our society. This could bring a rebirth of compassion, understanding and a morality which allows for a closer relationship between the otherwise disparate societies and civilizations at different places technologically, financially and seemingly spiritually bring people across the globe closer as they will have developed a mutually accepted core definition for the meanings and values in life, and with these shared values they will have developed a unified language through which they can exchange and share through their shared faiths and human values, things which today work more to separate too many of us and our societies. Perhaps the future really is going to be bright and promising.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 16, 2014

Israel and America Nations Headed in Opposite Directions

Spend a good amount of time in the malls and midtown shopping outdoor malls in Israel and the United States and simply count the numbers of baby carriages and pregnant women and you will quickly see a glaring difference. In Israel you cannot take more than a half dozen steps without having to sidestep one or the other and in America you can hardly find either in most cities. These are the signs of a healthy society which is growing against a moribund society dependent on immigrations, both legal and illegal, to support the need for workers. Read the newspapers and you will see that in Israel they have built an effective barrier to prevent further illegals coming across the border from Egypt while giving illegal immigrants already in the nation seed money and a plane ticket to get them to voluntarily relocate outside of Israel while the United States political class appears to be earnestly determined to grant as many as twenty-million illegal immigrants an easy path to citizenship making them legal for employment. The United States is willing to take the workers with other illegal immigrants in order to keep population growth positive as without the influx of illegal aliens into the United States the population would be on a slow decline and accelerating. The population in Israel, particularly the Jewish population, is growing at an increasing rate to such an extent that demographics experts are now predicting that even should Israel annex all of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem and grant the majority of the Arab population citizenship over time the Jewish majority would not be challenged by the so-called demographic Arab bomb.

 

But that is not the full extent of the differences between the United States and Israel. Where religious service attendance and open practice of religion are on the decline in the United States it is rapidly growing in both numbers and percentage of the population in Israel. Religious observance is being attacked by the government in the United States as is evidenced by the current hearings in the Supreme Court over the Affordable Care Act’s demand that employers provide birth control and other reproductive health services without copay including all abortifacient drugs. In Israel there is a growing movement to provide any necessary assistance, medical care, adoptive options, and support for mothers deciding to keep their child after birth providing viable options for those women who are considering turning to abortion believing they have no other real alternative. These efforts have been received and greatly appreciated with some of the mothers who were aided and had their baby saved by the efforts of these private organizations turning around and joining them in seeking out women in distress and giving them alternatives to getting an abortion. There are those in Israel who claim the trending away from abortion as a solution to pregnancies is due to the great love and respect for life that is a central theme in Judaism. They credit the increasing religious observance with being somewhat responsible for the movement away from abortion and the increase in people and organizations providing assistance and alternatives to abortions.

 

There is a general feeling of optimism accompanying the growth in faith and religious observance in Israel which is almost palpable. The Synagogues, Churches, Mosques and Temples are filled for weekly services and a growing number of Torah and Bible classes with some even being offered in languages other than Hebrew as there is a relatively large immigrant population responding to the call growing in Jews worldwide to make Aliyah and return home. There are signs that the numbers of Jews returning home to Israel will continue to increase as the world situation devolves further with growing anti-Semitism throughout the world including the Americas and Europe as well as other regions where such has long been a serious problem. Meanwhile, there has been evidence that the numbers of immigrants crossing the southern border of the United States have decreased over the past decade with some evidence of some of those who had already come into the United States, often illegally, are now returning south of the border as they have been unable to find the employment and better life they had sought. The difference between America and Israel is one is growing and vibrant and the other not so much. Perhaps this may be part of the growing troubles between the two nations who have experienced great relations that recently have turned troublesome. Such an end is sad to see, but perhaps these two friends will find a path to rebuild their relations in the near future.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 25, 2014

Synagogue Firebombed in Ukraine

The place is Zaporizhia, southeast of Kiev, where the community’s Giymat Rosa Synagogue was firebombed by unknown assailants on the night of February 23, causing minor damages. The building showed the scars from traces of a fire on the facade of the balcony. The fortunate news is that there were no casualties and the authorities have promised to take precautions and to do whatever was necessary to arrest those responsible. The neck of a glass bottle was found near the area damaged by the fire affirming that a Molotov cocktail was the cause of the fire which also confirmed the suspicions this was the result of an intentional act. There have been other threats by forces from both the now deposed government including some threats made by government police and other threats came from elements from among the opposition protesters. The Ukrainian police claimed the Jews were behind the opposition to the government while those from the opposition were blaming the Jews for supporting President Yanukovych and his cronies and as such responsible for the deaths of opposition demonstrators shot by the government police. This is not a new situation for Jews living in a nation going through internal turmoil such as civil wars and other uprisings.

 

Even the United States had a major incident where Jews were victimized being held responsible for working against the government of the United States. This event came immediately after the end of the United States Civil War (War Between the States) when General Ulysses S. Grant as the military governor of the Kentucky Territory (governing the areas including Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi) ordered all properties, homes, cattle, horse and other assets confiscated from the Jewish residents and for them to be removed from the areas under his charge. Despite this situation being countermanded immediately as reports reached the White House, such while commemorative was too late to avoid much of the damage as the reversal of Grant’s orders took over a week before the new orders reached the area. Communications were quite a bit slower and the confusion quotient was fairly high, but there was no excuse for the order to have been given in the first place. If it could happen that Jews were singled out for scorn and blame without any proof of actions and chosen as others of equal or greater responsibility were not so treated is an anathema to any civilized society. Let us hope that nothing similar occur anywhere throughout the Ukraine which thus far appears unlikely.

 

Still, the Jewish communities in Kiev particularly and throughout the Ukraine have beefed up their security in response to the increased tensions. Reports from within the communities throughout the Ukraine tell of them putting their activities on hold out of safety concerns. There have also been arrest warrants issued for President Yanukovych and various members of his Administration over the violence perpetrated by security and police forces during the months of the demonstrations. Meanwhile, President Yanukovych was reportedly seen to be in a southern port in the company of Russian Marines. The area he was reportedly currently hiding is an area that is among those aligned with Russia as the majority of the citizens are Russians who were imported into the Ukraine during the reign of the Soviet Union in order to serve as a cause for Soviet forces to be injected and the rest of the Ukrainian population pacified. If there will be any shove back from Russia, it will be in response to petition from these Ukrainians as many may prefer to remain aligned and even ruled by the Russians. There have already been reports of demonstrations against the new government and calls from those demonstrating for the return of President Yanukovych as the duly elected President of the Ukraine. The struggle for the heart and soul of the Ukraine is not yet a settled disagreement and the potential for additional violence is still high enough to cause serious concerns until the new government has been elected hopefully as scheduled for May 25. A prayer for the people of the Ukraine and for calm to be the rule and not the exception and for the nation to heal and come together once a new government has been elected. Let us call for patience and for all anticipation be for changes through the ballot box and not the baseball bat.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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