Beyond the Cusp

June 8, 2017

The Christian Situation

 

There are a number of different peoples who have problems in the Islamic Middle East and North Africa (MENA). One of the most covered is Israel where over half the world’s Jews reside and are in mortal danger in one way or another every single day, especially with the missiles and weapons of mass destruction held by Iran. Another group which has gotten its fair share is the Kurds who despite being largely Muslim are not accepted well by their Arab coreligionists. But there is one group that unless there has been some heinous act of barbarity or one particular group is facing a special situation, they are mostly ignored. These groups are the many different types of Christians. We spend much of our time here at BTC on Israel and the United States as that is where much of the news coverage emanates from and where we do or have lived. Today we will go a little afield of this and try to give this particular message about the Christians some attention. The first thing people need to realize are who these disparate groups of Christians are. We will list those we know of and where they predominantly reside. There are the Coptic Christians who largely reside in Egypt, the Maronite Christians living mostly in Lebanon, the Chaldeans (also known as Kaldaye and Kaldanaye) who are a form of Catholics and reside largely in Iraq, the Assyrian Christians who obviously reside mostly in Syria but also into Iraq, the Yazidis Christians who are a derivative of the Kurdish peoples and like them reside mostly in Syria and Iraq, and then there are other smaller groups of Christians throughout the MENA area and also those Christians throughout the world who reside on the borders of Islam where there is often frictions and even terrorism and outright warfare placing all civilians in danger in the area. The sad news is that almost all Christian communities in the MENA regions in every nation are facing falling populations as they are facing the contempt and violence which before them was inflicted on the Jews. The Jews have all but left the MENA nations, which is why the Christians are now facing these harassments, as these nations purge their populations of the non-believers, those not following Islam. As this purge continues, these populations will reach a critical point where the Muslims will feel it easiest to force their conversions or simply murder them, the choice between Islam and death. When this point is reached, any remaining Jews will be grouped right along with the Christians and executed if they refuse to convert. Even conversion will not end the strife as once converted they will be scrutinized by their fellow Muslims for any breach in their observance or appearance of still keeping to their former religion. All of these supposed transgressions will be met with death as notice to the remainder to remain pure and diligent in their newly adopted faith of Islam.

 

Levels of Christian Persecution Within MENA

 

It should be noted that there is one nation where the Christian population is healthy and growing and that is Israel as there is true freedom of religion in Israel and all religions are recognized and accommodated including Islam (both Sunni and Shiite), Christianity (all the above mentioned and almost every other form of Christianity found on Earth), Baha’I, Hindu, Buddhist, Animist, Druze, Atheist and other less well known religions. Outside of Israel, the story is mostly not as kind. In Syria and the areas ruled by Islamic State, it is unsafe for people in general, and for non-Muslims, it gets even more treacherous, with the danger becoming critical in a moment, and with little warning. In Iraq, there is sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite Islam yet they still find time to make being a Christian a dangerous religious choice. Some groups of Christians have made themselves useful to the ruling form of Islam in their area and are thus treated as protected, but this protection will only last for as long as these Christians are filling that niche needed by the Islamic believers. Often this takes the position of being able to cross certain otherwise uncrossable areas to take messages to those Muslims who are kin to the ones protecting these Christians, as they are able to cross the frontier between two warring sects of Muslims delivering their messages or other packages. This also permits getting messages into the prisons as Christians often have relatives imprisoned giving them reason to visit and then the system in place within the prison takes over and the message will get to the intended. Being a Christian in an Islamic world, specially now with Islam becoming resurgent and thus more aware of their Islamists becoming more brutal in their means of rulership with Sunnis warring with Shiites and vice-versa, their lives are more fragile than the finest china. The one item they both do agree upon is that non-Muslims, those not following their version of Islam, must be converted or eradicated. This has placed some of the smaller sects of Islam, such as the Kurds, the Kharijites or the Sufri and any other small Islamic sects in mortal danger. Eventually, if permitted to take its course, Islam would face a final battle for the good of Islam where either Sunni or Shiite will prevail proving them the beloved of Allah as Allah rewards strength and abhors weakness.

 

MENA Refugees Admitted United States by Year and Religious Breakdown

 

The recent strikes against Coptic Christians in Egypt being responded to by the Egyptian military air strikes on the training facilities for those terror groups identified who struck these Coptic Christian communities is a new and welcome face for Islam and is a good indicator that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has at least his nation heading in a proper direction. And there are other signs that a new era may be emerging in the world of Islam. This will be due in no small part to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as well as the recent visit by United States President Trump who read fifty national leaders about their responsibilities and taking a lead in transforming Islam for the modern era. One cannot know exactly what President Trump said to these fifty leaders behind closed doors, but if their actions against Qatar, which forced them to expel certain Hamas individuals who had been hiding in a safe house within their borders, are any indicator, that message was received and they are intending initially to comply. The pressure was placed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. This was an immediate response to President Trump’s strong message that there was a role which the Arab and Muslim world must take if they are hoping to distance themselves from radical Islamic terrorism and be a part of the solution, not the problem. This should also, with time, force them to be more accepting of others starting with other varieties of Islam and finally other religions and recognizing their right to exist.

 

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi could be a chapter if this were a book. His actions place him as the leader of these changes which the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia will need to set their sites on meeting if not exceeding his actions and examples, which will be a test for them. Egyptian President el-Sisi has addressed Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the leading Sunni institution of higher education in the world, and both times demanded that they bring their curriculum into the modern age and teach tolerance and stay away from the imperative for Islam to rule the world but instead teach that Islam should become a major contributor to improving the world and gaining adherents through their good and beneficial actions rather than the old message of conquest and conversion by the sword. It appears that his pressures are paying dividends, as we mentioned yesterday, in that Al-Azhar University has hired their first non-Muslim professor who is going to teach in their medical school. Where this is but a small step, every journey into change and reaching into the future, or even the present as in this case, starts with that first step no matter how small or how timid, that first step is always the most difficult. We can feel certain that President el-Sisi will keep the pressure on for change and modernization. He has stated that modernization of Egypt is his eventual aim and towards that end he will be instituting a basic education package which all schools must teach which will include literacy in that all students can read and write with a degree of proficiency and that they also be taught basic math and sciences and that these prerogatives be accepted in the Madrasa and move from simply teaching the memorization of the Quran and enter into teaching a modern set of assignments such that the Egyptian people will be capable of working within an advanced society and perform factory work and higher level work and that Egypt transcend from their current 73% reaching 100% as their immediate goal.

 

Here is a list of illiteracy rates for the population over fifteen years of age in the MENA nations; Afghanistan 72%, Pakistan 50%, Mauritania 49%, Morocco 48%, Yemen 46%, Sudan 39%, Djibouti 32%, Algeria 30%, Iraq 26%, Tunisia 25.7%, Egypt 28%, Comoros 25%, Syria 19%, Oman 18%, Iran 17.6%, Saudi Arabia 17.1%, Libya 16%, Bahrain 13%, Turkey 12.6%, Lebanon 12%, U.A.E. 11.3%, Qatar 11%, Jordan 9%, Kuwait 7%, Israel 3%, Azerbaijan 1.2%, and Armenia 1%. As is noticeable, some of the nations have abhorrent and rampant illiteracy while more than one might initially expect have high literacy rates but overall they could all use improvement. These numbers show the results of efforts as over the past twenty-seven years the trend has been noted and significant with literacy rising from 59% in 1990 to 78% in 2010 on average across the MENA nations. Below is a graph depicting results in basic math skills in some Arab nations where testing has been conducted.

 

TIMSS 2011

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

In closing we are going to share a video titled “Christians At Risk in Iraq Urgently Need Your Help” from the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council. We will mention ahead of time that this is a request for funding but may still be of interest as information and of course, those wishing to assist in these efforts will find this useful, or at least this is our hope.

 

 

 

 

 

April 20, 2017

Which World Controls the Future?

 

There are basically two worlds, the technological, industrialized, computer, information, advanced world and the world still back far enough in development that world conquest is their big challenge. That is the face of the complexities in today’s world and it is very uncertain which world will prove to be the more solid and most able to survive persevering over the other one. One is sending robotized scientific probes to the planets, their moons, asteroids, comets, studying the Sun and searching the vast cosmos for other inhabitable planets close enough to Earth-like that they could serve as a second home for mankind and other interests. The other is planning on how they will conquer the entire world and force everyone to follow their religious rules and follow the customs of Islam serving Allah and basing their entire society on the Quran and likely Sharia as the law for all the Earth. These two worlds could not be any more opposite in the future they see for humankind. One is reaching for the cosmos and beyond while taking medicine into new frontiers conquering ageing and making discoveries that will feed the planet and make previously undrinkable water safe for consumption. The other places science aside except in how it can produce more efficient weapons with an emphasis on advance weapons systems, nuclear warheads and the missiles on which to mount them to target the Great Satan, the United States as well as the capitals of Europe and Israel. The contest between these two worlds may come down to the developed world actually understanding the aims of the other world and understanding that they really and honestly believe that conquest of the world and subjecting to Islam is not only possible but their raison d’etre. Where will the future take us?

 

Expansion of Islam Across MENA and threaten Europe before Ottoman Rule

Expansion of Islam Across MENA and threaten Europe before Ottoman Rule

 

The idea of world conquest by Islam is nowhere near a new idea. This had been the idea since Muhammad gathered his armies in Medina taking that city and followed it with the conquest of Mecca. Muhammad initiated the expansion of Islam and the Arab Empire, which has made them, the greatest colonialists in all of human history (see map above). Their expansion was finally halted in the battle of Tours by Charles “The Hammer” Martel in October 741 A.D., a mere hundred and twenty years after Muhammad began his conquests in the Arabian Peninsula ending the westward conquest in Europe. On the eastern fronts, Islam ran into three forces, which prevented their conquering further lands. At the eastern end of Europe was Constantinople which initially came under attack in the year 330 A.D. and held the Islamic forces in check eventually falling when the Muslims used siege cannons which finally gave the following Ottoman Empire the ability to break through the massive and all but impregnable walls in 1453 (see picture below). The Islamic forces were also stopped after their conquest of approximately one-third of India on their initial thrusts and then over the next eight-hundred years the Islamic forces pillaged their way across all of India into Burma destroying entire cities razing them to the ground slaughtering the entire populations. The conquests in Asia reached their peak until in 1255 when the Mongol Great Khan Mongke placed his brother Hulagu Khan in charge of an army whose goals were to conquer Persia, Syria, and Egypt, as well as to destroy the Abbasid Caliphate. This began the great attacks by the Mongols, which took a heavy toll on the Muslim Empire. In the end, the Muslim faith took roots in the Mongol society, which finally ended their warfare.

 

Great Turkish Bombard Siege Cannon Utilized by Mehmed II in his Siege and Breaking of the Impenetrable Great Walls of Constantinople

Great Turkish Bombard Siege Cannon
Utilized by Mehmed II in his Siege
and Breaking of the Impenetrable
Great Walls of Constantinople

 

The second assault on Europe was made after the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans who ran into difficulties in virtually every front. In Rumania, they faced Vlad the Impaler, Vlad Dracula. He was a ruthless foe who would impale prisoners on pikes along the roadway, which the Muslims would be forced to utilize and other measures of brutality which spread fear within the Islamic ranks. It was rumored that even one of the Islamic leading generals refused to attack Romania claiming that Vlad the Impaler was far too insane and brutal and he would not place his men in danger of such brutalities. The Ottomans were turned back twice at the gates of Vienna. The more famous of these battles had the Polish King Jan III Sobieski reach an agreement where his neighbors would respect his borders while he and his entire military relieved the siege of Vienna. The Grand Vizer Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha began a siege of Vienna on July 14, 1683, and Polish King Jan III Sobieski led the largest cavalry charge in history: 20,000 mounted Poles, Germans and Austrians and Sobieski himself led the charge with 3,000 Polish Hussars relieving the sieged city of Vienna on September 12, 1683. World War I brought an end to the Ottoman Empire as they allied with Germany and Austria-Hungarian Empire against the Allied Powers consisting of Britain, France, Russia, Japan, Belgium, Serbia, Greece, Montenegro, Portugal and Romania. Late in the war, the United States joined the war making an immediate impact assisting in facilitating a quicker end to the conflict. The European Allied nations took control for a period of the nations across the Ottoman Empire that stretched across the Middle East to Iran and across Northern Africa. These lands were divided into individual nations by the European victors using rather arbitrary determinations, which have contributed to many of the problems in these countries today. (The nation that controlled each of these new nations and the dates in which they left are on the map below.) The Muslims are feeling that they were cheated of their proper empire and currently there are different leaders who view themselves as the proper leader who should lead the new Caliphate.

 

Dates that the MENA nations received their independence after colonial rule many since the times of the Persians or even earlier

Dates that the MENA nations received their independence after colonial rule many since the times of the Persians or even earlier

 

The Saudi Royals, Turkey President Erdogan, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei all believe they should be the next leader of the Islamic Caliphate. Then there is another issue, whether Iran and Shia Islam should be the true Islam for the future or whether Sunni Islam will prove superior as it has the greatest numbers at eighty to ninety percent. Then inside Sunni Islam, there are different types with the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia, the Muslim Brotherhood that includes Turkey President Erdogan and most of the Imams at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. Finally, there is the Islamic State and their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who claims that he is the rightful Caliph. Saddam Hussein also had claimed he was the new leader and finally there is some claiming they are the Twelfth Imam known as Muhammad al-Mahdi. The one thing that will slow Islam is their inability to settle on a singular leader or even a single version of Islam. Currently, the Iranians are working towards becoming a hegemonic power in the Middle East and extending Shia Islam into Saudi Arabia where the north eastern and oil rich areas of Saudi Arabia already has a Shia majority population. The Sunni-Shia divides by some of the nations are; Turkey 80% Sunni and 20% Shia; Lebanon Sunni 24.5% Shia 47% with Christian and other 22%; Syria (before war) Sunni 73% Shia 14.7% Christian 9.3%; Saudi Arabia Sunni 52%, Shia 25%, Wahhabi 23%; Iraq Sunni 32.5%, Shia 63%, Christian and other 4.5%; Iran Sunni 11%, Shia 87%, Christian and other 2.5%; Egypt Sunni 87%, Shia 3%, Christian 10.25%; and Kuwait Sunni 61%, Shia 39%. The truth is that there are subsects beyond the more basic and simple Sunni and Shia divide which mostly what comes under discussions in the West, but the entirety of the complications of Islam are far more complicated. This may be the redeeming feature as witnessed in Syria. The initial divide is between Bashir al-Assad who is Alawite, which is basically a form of Shia and thus supported by Iran, the preeminent power of Shia Islam, and through Iran, Hezballah, the Shia terror groups from Lebanon, which has recently become the Lebanese military. Then there are the Kurds who despite being Sunni are targeted by all forms of Islam, especially Turkey and President Erdogan. The Kurds defend their area as best they are able and have had success against the Islamic State. There is the Islamic State which is Sunni, then the al-Qaeda aligned groups who are also Sunni and these two groups are enemies as they swear allegiance to different leaders and who you follow is the second level amongst Islamic forces. The Sunni are far more fractured than are the Shia, which actually may serve to permit Shia to slowly make gains and become dominant; especially should Iran become a nuclear power and through this become dominant. Should Iran actually use nuclear weapons, they may turn many Sunnis to switch and choose to join Shia Islam as in Islam you follow the strong horse and such acts would make Iran the strongest horse. As far as their target, it could be anything from Saudi Arabia to Egypt to Israel or the United States.

 

Interstellar Ship Made with Smart Metals

Interstellar Ship Made with Smart Metals

 

All this leads to some commentary about the developed world and what will be required for it to remain the dominant force in the world. First and foremost, the United States will be required to be a force in the world and Europe will need to change direction and find their core beliefs to prevent their perishing under a swarm from Islamic immigrants. Their scientific progress must continue and even accelerate and then be used to raise the standard of living throughout the rest of the world. They will need to set aside more funding for their militaries as only through strength can they avoid Islamic efforts. The remainder of the Christian world needs to take assistance, learn about good governance from the more successful Christian nations, and thus strengthen the Judeo-Christian ethic throughout the world. Space need become a dedicated and central effort with efforts to place permanent bases first on the Moon and soon thereafter Mars and ever further throughout the Solar System. Space is the high ground, which cannot be argued over as whoever holds space holds the highest of mountaintops. Technology is the developed world’s greatest weapon and sharing all of these technologies would be foolish. Once Islam has found a leader brave enough to actually return them to the original Quranic verses from Mecca and away from the verses written as a warlord in Medina, then with Islam taking a form where it is willing to coexist with other religions and not insist on being the superior and only religion, then the world might be capable of finally coming together. There are a fair number of Muslims who currently are working toward just such a goal with one being Egyptian President Sisi. These efforts should be supported when and where possible while the supremacist forms of Islam need be opposed and eventually eradicated if all Islam insist that they must rule the world and force all to do their bidding.

 

Coexistence is the key. The basis of this coexistence would be built upon a new material, which will be forged biological entities, to cooperate; otherwise they are separated and kept aside from all others until they are willing to coexist. The material, which makes sure that all people are willing to coexist and work together, is a living metal which will isolate any supremacist entities which refuse to cooperate with all others. These are the enforcement of coexistence and the enforcers of practical coexistence. Anything uncooperative will be sanctioned by this material until it learns cooperation and coexistence. In this society, the materials themselves will be the police and the enforcers of proper behavior.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 30, 2017

Can We All Have One Tradition?

 

There is a wonderful side of Judaism which will tear it apart. The advantages of these wondrous diversifications, the ever greater variants of the traditions and prayers within Judaism, is that you can seek your own niche where you are most comfortable and everything tends to reflect your concepts and ideals you expect from Judaism. This means that almost any Jew seeking a comfortable place within their religion, Judaism, that somewhere, should you seek long enough or be fortunate and find your home quickly, there is a congregation which practices the Jewish faith exactly as you picture such in your own concepts, points of importance and traditions you remember from your childhood mixed with other items which simply serve to interest and soothe you. This is both an advantage to Judaism and a future anathema for Judaism. Let us explain. We just hope that we upset as few people as possible but we will still tell what we fear and believe.

 

Judaism is a unique religion in that it has remained largely in limbo where the main efforts for over two and a half to a little over three millennia has been to retain everything exactly as they were when the Temple was corrupted by the Greeks and then the Romans with one brief period after the Maccabean revolt when the Temple was rededicated and consecrated for Hashem. Judaism was frozen at a period soon after their return from the Babylonian exile, the second of the three exiles (Egypt was the first) when the Persians permitted them to return and rebuild the Temple and return to their dedication worshiping and serving Hashem. This era came to a crashing halt with the arrival of the Greeks who replaced the Persians and were on their path to conquering Egypt and the Judeans, the remaining Jews residing in Judea and Samaria largely were but a minor conquest. The Greeks did all in their power to pressure the Judeans (Jews) into Greeks by impressing Greek ethics on the Judeans. First was their introduction of the Greek sexual revolution where orgies, homosexuality and pedophilia were introduced and they brought bath houses plus the worship of the perfect, unaltered human form. This led to the Greeks making circumcision against the law and any circumcised males were executed which meant that any Judean following their religion was fearful of being inspected for having been circumcised as that meant certain death. The Greeks were all but immediately replaced by the equally distasteful Romans who were slightly more crafty than were the Greeks. The Romans corrupted the Sanhedrin placing Roman approved and compromised Jews in place and in the main cities the Rabbis were mostly Roman approved. Religious and traditional Judeans retreated to the countryside and the Judean Hills and caves eking out a living subsisting on whatever they could find growing wild or raised in small farming plots. Everything was done to minimize their coming to the Roman’s attention. This led to a strict, traditional and unchanging interpretation of Torah and the practice of their religion and the keeping of their simply life style.

 

The Roman occupation in many ways did not actually begin to come to a conclusion until the decade of the 1950’s and the return of the Jews to their ancient homelands of Eretz Yisroel. The scars and deprivations of the Roman occupation remained even after the fall of Rome as before Rome had even really started their serious decline, they reacted to a Judean uprising by dispersing the Judeans to the farthest corners and throughout their empire just as they had other enemies in order to bury them from the pages of history. Every group that the Romans had used this form of punishment, disappeared from the pages of history just as the Romans had intended. The Carthaginians who were the final political form of the Phoenicians were dispersed thusly with the Capital City of Carthage having the lands surrounding it salted such that it became barren for the next few centuries. The Phoenicians or the Carthaginians, whichever name one wishes to utilize, are gone and no longer consist as a peoples. The others who the Romans thusly treated are equally erased from any following history and to the point that we do not even recognize any names which we could use to display the effectiveness of this punishment. The Judeans proved to be the exception because they had one thing which was different, their definition as a people was transportable and could be applied anywhere and though it was deigned to work best in the Promised Land, in Israel geographically, they had the ruleset and defined history contained in Torah which was established and had an agreed and exact form and wording which was never to be altered making it an anchor.

 

Five beautiful, glorious and holy Torah Scrolls which carry near infinite wisdom and are the foundation of all Judaism and their culture and civilization is built around the Torah and the teaching of Torah

Five beautiful, glorious and holy Torah Scrolls which carry near infinite wisdom and are the foundation of all Judaism and their culture and the Jewish civilization is built around the Torah and the teaching of Torah

 

The other half of their religion and life definition were contained in the Oral Law, their Oral Code which was designed to be flexible and change with time as they proceeded through life together in Israel, but now they were not in Israel or together, thus the Oral Code could be altered in different means for different areas. Thus the Rabbis over the next few centuries wrote and discussed the different ideas and ideals of the Oral Code and codified them into writing such that it would no longer be altered and everybody could remain on the same pages. This became the writings which today make up the Talmud. The most interesting of the concepts in Talmud is that only the final agreed definitions apply as the law, the discussions are included for future reference when new ideas or changes in societies take place. The greatest change has recently occurred, the return and start of the Ingathering of all Jewish Peoples back to their ancient homeland in Israel. But there was and still remains a division in Judaism which derives from whether they were from the Islamic world, including Spain when it was called Andalusia by its Islamic conquerors who were removed finally around 1492 which also included the voyage by Columbus to the New World and the Inquisition in which all non-Christians were brutally converted or killed in a purification of Spain by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella which targeted mostly Muslims and Jews. This forced the majority of the Jewish population to escape with their Muslim neighbors over to North Africa. These Jews mixed with the Jews already living throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Meanwhile there remained a sizeable number of Jews who were spread throughout Europe. There became some not necessarily insignificant differences between these two families of the Jewish Peoples.

 

There are also other groups of Jews with some dating back to the times of King Solomon and others to the full loss of ten Tribes which made up the nation of Israel (the northern kingdom which included the tribes of Dan, Ephraim, Reuben, Gad, Manasseh, Asher, Naphtali, Zebulun, Issachar and Simeon) who had separated from Jerusalem and Judea (the southern kingdom which included the tribe of Benjamin) and became known as the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Some tribes of Jews in disparate regions have made claims as to being descendants from these lost tribes of which two of the most well-known are the Ethiopian Jews and the Menashe from India. The claims of these people are traced and certain realities which would survive in any actual tribes from the Israelites which are commanded in Torah. Should these tribes continue to hold these commandments and practice a Torah dictated lifestyle, then their claim is far more believable and they are invited to return home. The many different peoples is truly amazing and what is even more fascinating is that most of the people from these tribes tested had a particular gene which has been determined as being present in Jews showing the same ancestral maternal origin and also a gene which traces to the Middle Eastern peoples.

 

Eight Hundred Year Old Yemeni Torah Scroll Rescued with the Congregation's Rabbi and Seventeen Desperate Jewish Refugees Accepted and Taken in by Israel Granting Them Citizenship

Eight Hundred Year Old Yemeni Torah Scroll
Rescued with the Congregation’s Rabbi and
Seventeen Desperate Jewish Refugees Accepted
and Taken in by Israel Granting Them Citizenship

 

Where this has led is that even amongst Jews with similar backgrounds, due to the fracturing of the different Jewish communities, there started to form cracks in their practices as each Rabbi came up with something slightly different. Now the struggle is reunifying a religion which though having the identical central basics has also picked up particular practices and traditions which differ each following from a particular Rabbi. This led to some occasions where one Jew would claim, “My Rabbi taught,” while the next Jew countered, “Well, my Rabbi teaches,” and the arguments have led to some less than admirable situations. Judaism and Torah are supposed to unite all Jews to a common heritage through shared history but the histories were fractured by Roman decree and the ravages of time and separation. The Oral history being codified minimized the differences but sometimes the smallest differences are the most difficult to rectify and harmonize. Recently we read an article by Rabbi Melamed who sees the need to rewrite a new oral code which can be utilized as the basis for law in the lands of Israel. These laws would serve as had the original Oral Law and would be adaptable to change, not written in stone. These codes would cover both the secular world and the religious world. They would be a careful blending of Torah teachings and wisdom with the needs of a modern society. This would be worked through using a conclave of leading Rabbis from every discipline in Judaism with all the disparate schools represented from Ashkenazim, Sephardi, Mizraim, Chasidim, Traditional, Orthodox, Zionist, and as many others as can be represented giving the widest view and closest to totality such that what is produced while not granting any one groups complete satisfaction would find the path acceptable to as many Jews as are willing to forge a new unity and new beginning.

 

The horrors of the past will be the flames for the forge with which Israel will become one and our laws will once again be one uniting every Jew and Israelite to the other. The beginning is in sight if we take the opportunity to enlist the many flowers from the far corners of the globe and enlist every Jewish soul, our pluralistic yet harmonious neshama, and once we have merged our futures and woven our pasts into an embroidered and gorgeous prayer shawl with Tzitzit being the only strings attached, we can allow this to cover us all as a single people in our own nation home at last.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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