Beyond the Cusp

March 2, 2015

Signs in the Streets and on the News

 

Where the obvious signs that make the news come from within Europe, the signs in the streets are visible throughout the world. Probably the most obvious of signs is right there in many Jews’ mailboxes inside a blank and nondescript envelope. Perhaps that since January 15, 2015 the French Army’s “Opération Sentinelle” has protected seven-hundred-twenty-two (722) Jewish schools and synagogues in France might give one pause. The army has reported three-hundred-seventy-two (371) incidents perpetrated against the soldiers standing guard in front of the protected sites. What would have happened to the Jews without the soldiers standing in front of their temples and schools? In addition, in Sweden a radio asked the Israeli Ambassador if Jews are not the cause of anti-Semitism. The magazine used to come in the mail unconcealed with Jewish features displayed vibrantly and proudly on its covers as if to say we are proud Jews who are vital members in our communities. Now it sneaks through the system and into our homes surreptitiously hiding that bright, loud, and proud cover declaring here lives a Jew stuffed within a blank envelope declaring, nothing to see here, move along. Next thing you know Jews will be moving their mezuzahs from the outsides of the front door to inside the front door. We will tell ourselves it is just to be closer to this sign that declared our Jewishness but we will know it is done to avoid it being vandalized or to conceal any identifier that says here lives a Jew. It will be in the little things and a few big things such as wearing a smaller Yarmulke or getting one of those new Yarmulkes which are designed to look like hair made to match your hair color and be almost completely invisible. You tell yourself that it does the same thing as your old Yarmulke because you know it is there dismissing the fact that it used to declare here goes a Jew proud of his heritage who walks unafraid within our communities, but we are no longer unafraid, are we. Then there are the signs that only the initial Jews see and are shocked. The vandalized cemetery, the graffiti on the Synagogue’s walls and main entrance, the anti-Semitic graffiti on the park benches and the bus stop walls which are hurriedly covered over so as not to alarm others, especially those Jewish others as there are more than enough worries these days though to talk of it is forbidden. When we do address these distressing truth we use hushed tones because we fear spreading our trepidations throughout our communities, but it really is still all-pervasive. It is so serious and severe a threat that even the Rabbi speaks about these threats playing them down while stressing how we belong and the government is addressing our safety so there is nothing to fear.

 

The government will see to our safety, spoken like a true progressive liberal leftist. That alone is a sign of the root problem, our total reliance on the government to fix all problems. We need just inform them and they will dispatch the necessary increased security around our synagogues, schools, yeshivas, libraries and kosher stores and our Jewish magazine is coming wrapped in a shroud and we start to sneak when outside the friendly confines of our well-knitted society and virtually or actually gated houses, a sort of voluntary ghetto with gilded gold caged secured entrances and high fence exteriors guarded by mobile patrols; we are most definitely safe, sane and secure. Do we not realize what is there plainly for us to see? We have already placed ourselves in a ghetto even if the cells cost half a million Euros, Dollars, Pounds or other coinage, the government will not even need to round us up. How long before those guard patrols will no longer be guarding us from the outside world but instead it will become them guarding the outside world from us. I know, it could be worse, but is not this the worse we warned about last year and haven’t the signs started coming at us faster and faster? How will we know that it has gone too far and it is too late, how much hatred is too much and changed into a threat from all the society? We need remember that it does not take a majority, just a society threatened and refusing to protect us as the costs have become too great. Is the sign when we are told we need pay an extra tax to cover our protection as the government can no longer afford to guard us unless we pay an extra tax to defray the costs. That is called the Jiyza in Islam and immediately separates us from the mainstream society and a sign that we accept our Dhimmitude and will curtail our behavior and from now on show our deference for our bettors of the society. Will this be the sign that the government has gone over to the other side? Is this a sign of too little to make us leave or that we should have fled months if not years ago.

 

This is our home; our family has lived here for three generations; my work or business is here; I am too old to start my life over; there are a million excuses and only one single argument on the other side, an argument which should beckon us and inspire in us in the same way as the Shofar calls on the high holidays, that is Eretz Yisroel, that is Yerushalayim, it is the call that says that it is time to return home no matter what holds us in place. In Israel we are the government, we are the military, our sign is emblazoned on the national flag and our symbols are everywhere. Is Israel perfect, no, but we are working to make it so. There will be those in Europe tempted to head to the United States which will gain them a few decades before the United States has reached the same level as in Europe, just far more subtle and disguised. The United States has just recently reached the point where crimes against Jews are almost always not considered hate crimes or crimes committed against us because we are Jews, we are simply victims and our Jewishness has nothing to do with it. Europe has passed that point and reached the point where there are those who are claiming that we Jews are the cause of the violence against us. Has there been any progress on the assassination of a Rabbi walking to Synagogue one Saturday Shabbat morning visiting Florida from New Jersey who was gunned down in broad daylight. Have they reclassified that assassination from a robbery gone wrong to the hateful murder it actually was? Of course they haven’t and the investigation, if you were to inquire, has come up against some difficulties but it is still an open investigation and that it will remain until all have stopped inquiring, then it becomes a dead file and gets filed with all the rest of the unsolvable cases. Perhaps that is one of the signs that the time has come?

 

If we still have any doubts, may it be pointed out that the anti-Israel and anti-Zionist rioting and rampaging on our college campuses have becoming anti-Semitic and target the Jewish students regardless their political alignment. Is that an imminent sign that the time has come to return home where you will be accepted for your Jewishness. It is time to return home and you will find something else in Israel awaiting your arrival, the societal ever-so-slow movement towards embracing our faith. I cannot begin to relay how warming returning home has been for me and for my wife as well. Are there any problems or difficulties, of course there are but they are largely due to language difficulties which we expected, but the willingness of the people, our fellow Jews to understand and make us feel welcomed and as if we have support while we make the transition. At our age, which for many people is anything over twenty, learning a completely new language, which we knew the words when singing in synagogue, is a monumental task which often, in our case constantly, seemingly impossible but with the mostly joyous assistance and patience of our new-found friends and neighbors we will get there eventually. To all our people in the Diaspora, time is a-wasting, so what will it take to bring you home? We in Israel fear you may wait until travel is restricted and it is too late to leave. You are making all the same excuses which were prevalent and chanted by the Jewish communities of the Weimar Republic, and that end result was really great for those comfortable, assimilated Jews. They did not request for you to prove what you were; they simply checked your grandparents were and assigned your religion from that. Then they came for the Jews in the middle of the night and later even the light of the sun could not prevent their taking the Jews, the society accepted this. There were French towns which readied their Jews in advance of the horrific depravity to reach their town resplendent in their dress uniforms, the French beat their advance and prepared their Jews without being forced to, they volunteered us. When the curtain opens and the real fearful society is given a choice on which community they must place on stage to be slaughtered, you know who will be offered in sacrifice, it will be as it has always been, us offered as a sacrifice to their new overlords. Then it is way too late. Do not remain because of your comfort for that is a very fragile item which can be extinguished with the slightest breeze of a waving hand over a paper making it so, and that moment approaches and will sweep across the globe. I realize how that will become a threat to Israel. I also know that standing together with the L0rd our G0d that we will prevail over any enemy, no matter how strong they may be, especially if we have faith and love for each other. So, what are you waiting for, an engraved gold-leaf invitation?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 24, 2015

A Fundamental Difference

 

There was an episode of Star Trek titled “The Savage Curtain” where a molten rock creature named “Yarnek” decided to learn what the difference was between the forces of good and evil. It pitted Spock, Kirk, Abraham Lincoln and Surak representing the forces of goodness against Colonel Green, the Klingon Kahless, a tribal savage woman named Zora, and evil incarnate from Earth history, Genghis Khan representing the forces of evil. After good finally triumphs over evil Yarnek argues that it sees no difference between the forces of good and evil. The difference pointed out was what each side fought for, their root cause and not their methods of achieving victory which was defined by a base and simple reality of the contest. Yarnek is satisfied that it understand and returns Spock and Kirk to the Enterprise and returns to standing motionless happy in its new found wisdom and prepares to stand motionless is some prop room until Yarnek gets a new role in some ‘B movie’ in the future.

 

The simple premise depicted in the episode was a basic principle for the studies of history and philosophy which prepares college freshmen to critical thinking on a not so critical basis in 100 level coursework. It also can be utilized to define the root differences and similarities between Islamist Fundamentalism and other driving forces throughout human history, but for simplicity sake we might wish to limit the discussion to what would fit into a single Star Trek episode. We might even simplify the discussion to Yarnek style simplicity and examine what each driving force behind other philosophical movements in the past and present.

 

Let us first look at Fundamentalist Christianity and their desire as it pertains to the goals set for Christianity. The end goal of Fundamental Christianity is to live a life which is beneficial to mankind and to spread the words of G0d as defined in the New Testament and fulfilling the new Covenant defined within. Christianity is a proselytizing religion where they are pressed to spread the world of Christ, the sacrifice which Jesus made in the name of all mankind, and to persuade all people through their actions and the introduction to the teachings of Jesus as defined by the Apostles depiction of the teachings and life of Jesus in the New Testament. Initially the Christians were a passive force spreading their newly found faith by word of mouth and by their actions and ultimately their passivity and refusal to lift up arms against their oppressors. This changed after the Roman army fought under the banner of Christendom under the Constantine. After Constantine had his vision, his revelation, the drive for conquest, which was a Roman concept, was married to the message of Jesus and Christianity. This led to the new definition of what could be called an Imperial Christianity. Christianity carried forth with it now being the accepted religion of the Roman Army and thus its new defining principle to spread Christianity over the world and convert all to Christianity. This continued until the Reformation of Christianity which introduced those forces which introduced competing definitions of Christianity. These new and supposedly more pure forms of Christianity ended up married to governments of Christian nations and then began the attempts of each strand of Christianity to become preeminent. This continued until Christianity was purged from the political attachment it held to governance until then. Once Christianity was stripped from defining governance a remarkable thing happened, no longer were wars fought between Christian nations to impose their particular brand of Christianity on the others; Christianity now allowed for the separate forms of Christianity to exist, though the version practiced by the reigning monarch did tend to receive preference. The wars continued but were now no different in their aims, to conquer the known world and rule all mankind; it just was no longer performed in the accepted name of Christianity. The splitting religion away from the state and thus from earthly politics allowed for the birth in Christianity for freedom of religion which is the present state though the attaining a complete break from imposing Christianity rather than spreading Christianity through example and teaching and a total reliance on persuasion and devoid of the means of force is a concept still being perfected. What can be said is that Christendom has made great strides towards the allowance of freedom of religion and equality of all religions before the governance.

 

If we now investigate Fundamental Judaism, a force that likely only existed for a few short periods; we find the target of this early form of Judaism which spanned from Abraham through to the conquest of the lands which made up the kingdom of the two most heralded rulers of the Jews, King David and his son, King Solomon. The initial period of Jewish Fundamentalism was during the becoming a people through realizing their goals of conquering the lands they believed were granted them by G0d. The period of Jewish History in question stretched from the start of Judaism with Abraham, their Exodus from Egypt and their forty years of purification and change from a mindset of a people under bondage to a people enjoying freedom with Moses and on until they had conquered their “Promised Lands” under the leadership and marshalling of forces initially by Joshua. Once these lands were brought under Jewish rule their designs on the world were completed and the rest of their mission, their desire to live as G0d had intended, was to be a force for good as defined within Torah, and to study Torah and divine from Torah what being a people of goodness actually required from them and by living a life defined by Torah, the Jews were to be a light unto the nations of the world, an example of living a holy and blessed life. There were no designs or desires to rule the world or over any peoples once the Jewish state was established. The second period of Jewish Fundamentalism could be defined as the modern Zionist movement which has defined their purpose is to reestablish Jewish rule and autonomy over those same lands as are defined in Torah as the ancient homelands gifted them by G0d. There is no desire to conquer the world or to convert the world, but only to live in their corner of the world and be as a light unto the nations, a representation of goodness as defined in Torah. As above, there are no designs or desires to rule the world or over any peoples once the Jewish state has been established nor is there any desire to convert anybody. The region under Jewish control will have a religious theme and basis over the governance, or at least is supposed to have such, but is still instructed by Torah to not only allow freedom of worship, but equal treatment under any Torah ruled kingdom thus the concept of freedom of religion is one of the basic ideals of Judaism. There is no driving desire to convert others to Judaism unless a person chooses to seek conversion and even then there are stringent requirements of any convert but they would be welcome within any Jewish society.

 

Islam has a more original belief on the ideals of conversion which will ultimately lead to a world where the survivors are all Muslims as there would be no room for anything else. Islam teaches its adherents that their religion had replaced Judaism and Christianity. This is the concept of supersessionism. Christianity believed they were the replacement under G0d and they had superseded the Jews thus negating the Covenant between G0d and the Jews and Islam believes they have superseded the Christians and through that, also superseded the Jews. The Muslim believes fervently that the revelation by Muhammad to be the final revelation and that no further revelation is possible as Muhammad was actually the restatement of the Covenant between mankind and G0d and that Islam is the true path while Judaism and Christianity had corrupted the words of Allah and thus perverted religion making their versions of worship an abomination and their sole hope for paradise was through Islam. This is an important part of Islam as it is necessary in order for Islam to fulfill their Covenant with Allah. Islam tasks the Muslims to fulfill Jihad which is defined as the Greater and Lesser Jihad. One form of Jihad is the perfection of oneself under the rule of Allah and the complete and utter surrender of the self to Allah producing a perfected person. The second form of Jihad is the conquest of the entirety of the world for Allah in order to bring the perfect religion of Allah before all in the world allowing them the opportunity to realize their sins and to repent and surrender to Allah and thus become a believing Muslim. Each person is to be permitted the offer of joining Islam and surrendering themselves before Allah willingly but should they continue to reject Islam then they are to be presented with one final choice, Islam or death. This is instructed in the Quran where the Muslim is instructed to spread Islam by the sword if that is what is required. The finality defined by Islam is a world where all believe in Islam and Islam rules the world according Sharia. Nothing less than the complete subjugation of the world by Allah can be accepted as Islam is currently defined and since the Quran cannot be altered there is a point of contention which is not capable of reconciliation between Islam defined by the Quran and freedom, only one can survive. Islam defines the perfection of the world as the supremacy of Islam and the sole existence of mankind is to surrender to Allah and obey the Quran as defined under the Sharia and nothing less is acceptable and the end result is you will ultimately have a world that has been conquered by Allah forever with any person expressing even the most innocent free thought not defined as acceptable under the Quran to be defined as an apostate for leaving the true faith of Islam and who must be put to death.

 

Under Judaism the world continues as it desires with the Jews only insisting on ruling their little corner of the world which is a nation not quite the size of the Philadelphia to Boston greater megalopolis, Christianity desires to teach the world the message of Jesus and hope that their actions are of sufficient influence along with the loving words of Jesus to persuade the world to follow their teachings and Islam simplifies everything and boils it down to conquer the world for Islam and convert all to surrender before Allah. Well, at least that definition just might fit into the basis of a Star Trek episode, nice, compact and simplified to the point of absurdity. I could see Spock correct Bones and Kirk who were arguing, explaining, “Simply put for your understanding, Doctor (glance emotionless at Dr. McCoy); Jews are content in telling only those who ask, while Christians burst forth telling the world, as where the Muslims are simply commanded to conquer and purify the world of nonbelievers. (look with slight smirk at Kirk, sharply turns and returns to his station on bridge)”

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 29, 2014

Are Civil Rights for Sexual Preferences Tantamount to Civil Rights for Minority Races

Looking back to the first plaintive cries petitioning for acceptance and protection from being segregated against in life; many of their complaints revolved around workplace, refusal of housing or rental properties, refusal of service in restaurants or stores, and other generalities which today are granted without even a second thought. No longer is it acceptable or even forgivable to physically assault same-sex partners simply because they disturb your preference for a normalcy where such a situation either never exists because no one desires relations other than the norm or such relations are barred from the public realm.

The initial indications that the demands from the more adamant, some might even say militant, alternate life partners and sexual preferences began to compare their struggle to the Civil Rights Movement of a half century ago. These statements also brought to the fore the first warning protestations that the gender identity lobby was going to aim to overturn every last vestige of normal sexuality forcing their way into mainstream and eventually making their lifestyle and sexual proclivities the norm and traditional relationships the exception, or at least the perception of such. Those making these warnings were mostly ignored as paranoid extremists. Their main claim was that the alternate gender lobby would eventually demand a change in the definition of marriage and even force religious institutions to perform alternate gender weddings regardless of their religious convictions against such relations. Obviously these people were insane and had a very loose grip on reality. Nobody was thinking of challenging the definition of marriage as being a bond between one man and one woman. Such claims had to be absurd and dismissed out of hand, until when in more recent times this exact demand came to fruition. Recent court rulings have gone even further making objections enacted into laws, even those which have passed as citizen initiatives receiving solid majority backing when placed on ballots, have been overturned using Civil Rights Laws and equal access laws as the basis for striking down enacted laws which ban same sex marriages.

As I wrote back in March of 2013 in the article titled The Sane Solution to Same Sex Marriage, the easiest solution is to separate marriage and civil unions making one the purview of the state and the other reserved for religious institutions. With the individual states and other legally approved jurisdictions issuing a license for a civil union which qualifies those so joined all the benefits currently described as marriage benefits such as tax breaks, visitation in public hospitals and other similar rights while marriages will be issued through a religious ceremony and would have no actual civil benefits under the law. With such a difference established the state would still receive their revenue from issuing licenses for marriages and gain additional revenue for same sex unions without all of the aggravations and protestations from the religious and conservatives who have protested allowing marriage to be redefined by statutes or court decisions. The individual states and even more local jurisdictions such as counties, parishes, cities, towns and whatnot can make whatever allowances and combinations to qualify for a civil union without having any effect on the definitions of marriage which would remain with religious institutions. If an union other than traditional marriage of one man and one woman is permitted by any particular church, synagogue, temple, mosque, cathedral, monasteries or other religious institution desires to issue a marriage license to non-traditional couples, then that would be their right as well and they could attract such couples into their fold.

The coming disaster will be the eventuality when men of the cloth will no longer be permitted to even read scripture wherever the original scripture excludes nontraditional civil unions. Such an atmosphere has already cast a pale over the pulpits of Houston, Texas; yes, Texas of all places but such is Houston where they reelected Mayor Annise D. Parker who lives an open lesbian lifestyle. Her sexuality would have little to do with her position as mayor except that her administration recently was embroiled in a tempest over an apparent attempt to force the religious leaders to turn over any sermons or other material which they may have given, written or otherwise distributed which may have had any relevance to be subpoenaed. This action caught a great amount of indignation, challenges and even some outright refusals all basing their hesitance or resistance on religious freedoms under the First Amendment. This did force the Mayor to redefine the subpoena narrowing its coverage but the argument has been started and is not going to end soon in Houston. This was but the initial shot over the bow, given time this type of action will be repeated and slowly but surely it will become accepted and soon clergy will no longer be permitted free range of subject material and will begin to restrict their public positions to politically correct and approved subjects. This is the first step to thought crimes where people can be arrested for holding certain opinions and is the beginning of a dangerous slippery slope to slide down to a dark and hurtful place.

Meanwhile, the gender identity movement has one glaring difference from the Civil Rights Movement. While a minority individual cannot choose their minority status and in everything they do and everywhere they go they continue to obviously be that minority, they literally wear their minority status wherever they go, whether they are alone or in a group, they remain a minority. There is absolutely no choice or manner in which one can disguise or act in some manner and not be perceived as a minority. The same is not true for people with gender identity issues. A same sex couple when walking down the street would only be identified as potentially a same sex couple if they were walking hand-in-hand or with their arms around each other, though such would not necessarily always be accurate as such acts could have other motivations. Still, should a same sex couple simply be walking down the street or walk into a restaurant to have a meal they would not be depicted as such and could pass as two friends walking or taking a meal together. A minority is a minority walking down the street, having a meal with a friend and that is a simple fact which cannot be altered. That is the difference, a choice is made to announce or otherwise make known when a person has gender identity or sexual preferences which may be considered non-traditional otherwise they could just as easily pass as being no different than the next person or group, a minority individual cannot hide their being a minority, period. That is a large difference but the reasoning made by the gender issues advocates is that they should be able to announce and make their difference from the traditional majority without any reactions.

What does one believe would be the reaction if my wife and I entered an establishment which was known to favor people who live alternate lifestyles and we announced we were a traditional couple. Hopefully we would be accepted and not made to feel out of place and uncomfortable. I would hope in most public institutions that the same acceptance is shown people of non-traditional relationships or gender identities. Where the problem arises is solely when religion gets into the mix. This may be the single place where those who live nontraditional lifestyles or have other than traditional gender identities may have to found their own religious institutions or seek those which would accept them as they are. Should they instead choose a traditional religious institution they should expect to need to conceal, or at the least minimize, their nontraditional lifestyle or preferences. The same would apply to traditional individuals should they decide to become members of a religious institution which accommodates solely to people with nontraditional relations or gender identities.

Beyond the Cusp

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