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Of Course You Realize This Means War!

Sympathy for the Devil Victims

This means war - Bugs BunnyAfter the Islamic terror attack in Nice, politicians around the world expressed their sympathy with the people of France, sending warm thoughts and prayers.  Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada said “Our sympathy is with the victims.” Leung Chun-ying of Hong Kong expressed his “deepest sympathies” with the French people.  Hillary Clinton’s “thoughts and prayers” were with the families of the killed and injured.  Julie Bishop, the Foreign Minister of Australia’s “thoughts and sympathies” were with the victims and their families.”

In the meantime, security services were investigating the massacre, trying to figure out the motive and connections of a killer yelling “allah achbar.”  Same thing in Orlando, in Paris, and at many terror attacks.  Why did they do it, asked the investigators.  Were the terrorists acting alone?  Does this mean war?   Can’t be!

Let me save the investigators some time and money.  In each case the killer(s) did it for the cause of Allah.  They weren’t acting alone.  They were part of a network of 1.6 billion Muslims, whose religion demands that they subdue and dominate the world.  Even though the Orlando shooter and the Nice truck driver may have planned and carried out their killing by themselves, they were motivated by the entity known as “Islam.”

It’s a fragmented outfit, with members killing each other more than they attack outsiders.  Some of its adherents are the most vile, violent people on earth, but there are also sects such as the Sufi and Ahmadiyya who oppose any aggressive activities. Nonetheless, there have been close to thirteen hundred Islamic attacks so far in 2016, leaving twelve thousand dead, and fourteen thousand injured (with most of the victims being members of opposing Muslim sects).

crueltiesofalger00crokuoft_0007

This Means War

Islam’s record of violence is not a modern phenomenon, nor is the barbarity of ISIS.  Historians estimate that eighty million people died in the Islamic conquest of the Indian sub-continent.  Over a hundred and ten million black Africans were killed as a consequence of the Muslim slave trade.  Islam was not spread throughout the world by peaceful missionaries, convincing disbelievers of the beauty of their faith.  This means war.

There used to be resistance.  Much of India was under the thumb of Islam for over eight hundred years, but the population held on to its own beliefs, often under great duress.  When Islam conquered much of the Middle East, destroying Christian holy places, the Church, the European monarchs decided this means war, and the Crusades were organized to take them back.  They failed.  Islam moved on to conquer large swaths of Europe.  At the siege of Vienna in 1683, it appeared ready to over-run the continent.

“…throughout the camp that every man who has infidel prisoners was to put them to death, and whoever neglected to do so should himself be executed and his property given to the informer. When this order became known to the ghazis of Islam, they drew their swords and put their prisoners to death. 100,000 infidels, impious idolaters, were on that day slain. Maulana Nasir-ud-din Umar, a counselor and a man of learning, who, in all his life had never killed a sparrow, now, in execution of my order, slew with his sword fifteen idolatrous Hindus, who were his captives“.

That war hasn’t ended.  Only the resistance has wound down.  Large swaths of territory in France, Belgium, Sweden, and Germany, are “no-go” zones, no longer under control of their respective governments.  In other areas with significant Muslim populations, crime rates are soaring, as new-comers feel no obligation to respect the laws of the land.  Women and Jews are especially vulnerable targets.  The uber-wealthy pushing to increase immigration have walls around their compounds to protect themselves.  For the rest, the sense of security enjoyed by Europe, and even America, has dissipated.

The severed heads were tied up in rugs like bundles of grain and placed on the heads of the captives…Then the heads were stuck upon lances and taken to the gate of the chief minister for payment.

The severed heads were tied up in rugs like bundles of grain and placed on the heads of the captives…Then the heads were stuck upon lances and taken to the gate of the chief minister for payment.

An Invasion of Values

It’s not an invasion by an army.  It’s rather a set of values that has marched through the Gates of Vienna, this time unopposed by any armies, uncontested by a society that feels values are relative, there is no truth, and that the bad guy is the civilization that has brought untold progress and prosperity to much of the world.  Post modernism, moral relativism, keeps them from understanding what is happening, from realizing that this means war.

Is the fight over?  Is Western civilization about to crumble, to be overtaken by a misogynist, murderous intolerant ideology? Yes, if Western civilization refuses to recognize that it’s at war, a very old war.  Yes, if Western civilization refuses to resist the attackers.

One can only hope that as Islam presses its attacks, in places such as Paris, Cologne, Sweden, San Bernadino, Fort Hood, Orlando, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, it will be impossible to deny that we are under attack.  Sure, many officials deny that the terrorism has anything to do with an Islamic war on the West. It’s isolated incidents, criminals, mentally disturbed loners.  If there’s no army, no organization or terror network the officials can point to, there is nothing they are able to see.  Hopefully, these officials will be voted out of office by people who don’t have walls, don’t have armed security to protect the lives of their loved ones.  People who see the repeated attacks on their way of life, and understand that this means war.

Jerusalem-synagogue-attack-Palestinian-poster-e1416301820882

Is Islam so different from the other two Abrahamic religions?  Judea was once a warlike, marauding state, fighting in God’s name.  That was well over two thousand years ago.  Christianity has a bloody history, especially in its record with South American natives.  Though intertwined, the monarch and the Christian faith were distinct entities. And the bloody violence ended hundreds of years ago.  Of the Abrahamic religions, only Islam is in a state of perpetual war.  Maybe they’ll evolve out of it, as did the others.  But can we afford to wait?

Map of Islamic expansion

Map of Islamic expansion

Here’s a suggested strategy for Western civilization:

  • Identify the enemy: when a terrorist shouts “allah achbar,” believe that he’s doing it for the cause of Allah.
  • Identify immediately  all acts of terrorism, rather than conceal or minimize them, whether in the US, Europe, and especially Israel (which has been the canary in the mine-shaft).
  • Close all schools and mosques in the West which are funded by Saudi Arabia. The current wave of Islamic aggression has its roots in Saudi Arabia’s ultra-conservative Wahabi movement
  • Demand that the Saudi government, and especially Saudi clerics clearly and vehemently denounce and issue fatwas forbidding acts of terror against non-Muslims.
  • Expropriate, or if necessary confiscate all critical infrastructure or entities owned by radical Islamic nations or individuals.
  • Shut down Islamic propaganda organizations in the West, such as Al Jazeera, and CAIR, and the Nation of Islam.
  • Deport any non-citizen who endorses terror against the West.
  • Establish that support of terror is treason, with all the consequences that incurs.
  • Governments must pacify their no-go zones, establishing government authority and control.
  • Enact strict controls over all immigrants, including refugees entering the country. In wartime, it is not discrimination to keep out potential enemy forces.
  • Teach the real history of Islam in schools and universities; its death count over the centuries, its role in creating the African slave trade, its taking of European slaves.  Teach that America’s first war was against marauding North African Arabs.  Explain the role of women, the fate of homosexuals, the intolerance towards non-believers.
  • Fight an all-out war against terror organizations on their home turf, whether Iraq, Afghanistan or Qatar.
  • Above all, have the will to defeat a ruthless enemy that has been coming for you for fifteen hundred years.

I look forward to the day when the imams, the muftis, sheikhs, princes and presidents loudly denounce all terrorism, when they encourage their followers to live peacefully with other peoples.  When they say to the infidels “our way is not your way, but you are free to live as you wish.”  Many, many Muslims already feel this way, but are being drowned out by the Jihadists. Unless they speak louder, this means war.

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A Call To Arms

Shattered by Esti Mayer

Shattered
by Esti Mayer

Pick up your guns, strap on your helmet and report for duty. The bad guys are coming, and we have to mobilize. There have been skirmishes in many places, as varied as Ottawa, St. Jean, Chattanooga, Fort Hood, London, Paris, Västerås (Sweden) and others.  Lord only knows where’s next, and He isn’t saying.

Don’t have a gun? No problem. There’s the vast logistics and support network needed by an army at war. A call to arms doesn’t mean you have to personally fire a weapon.

surrender

surrender

You have no time for logistics? Can’t take off time from work? So what are you going to do to help for the Yazidi, Kurdish, or Assyrian

victims of ISIS?.   Are you concerned about the Syrians? Do you want them, or North African refugees in your country? Should you be concerned about the anti-science suppression of GMOs, which make proper nutrition available to the world’s poorest people? What about the campaign to delegitimize the only western democracy in the Middle East?

Call to arms- bomb us

A Call to Bomb

There are so many more issues: religious or environmental fanaticism, political correctness, sexual correctness, corporate greed, union greed. The list goes on and on. Can you really say you have no time to answer a call to arms? Many people consider themselves apolitical. Either they don’t care, or think one person can’t make a difference. They’re wrong. If you pay any taxes, politics affect your life. If you don’t grow your own food, politics affects you. Unless you’re a hermit, completely off the grid, politics affect you, whether it’s the stability of your job, the cost of your electricity, or the cost of your food. Even if you’re completely off the grid and nuclear war breaks out, politics affects you.

An Electoral Call to Arms

Voting makes a difference. Look at the economic decline of the U.S.A. under the current administration. Look at its loss of influence, its loss of respect. President Obama’s reset of relations, his red lines drawn in disappearing ink have given tyrants a free hand to flex their muscles, to threaten their weaker neighbors in the Ukraine, the Middle East, or the South China Sea. His quest for peace, for ending war, has made the world a much more dangerous place. On the home front, his election should have put paid to the issue of American racism. But race relations have deteriorated to levels unseen since the 1960’s as some unscrupulous people issue their own call to arms. What would have happened if Mitt Romney had won the election? John McCain? Any answer would be sheer speculation, but we can say for certain that different policies would have brought different results. The people who voted for Obama changed their country, changed their world.

In Canada, the choice of leader also makes a difference. Tom Mulcair, the Leader of the Official Opposition (and leading in some opinion polls) is very clear: he

a call to arms down

A Call to Down Arms

doesn’t want Canada fighting ISIS overseas. Does he want to wait till ISIS is conducting more than skirmishes on our shores? Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau mocked the Prime Minister’s combative policies, accusing him and his supporters of ““trying to whip out [their] CF-18s and show how big they are.”” He advocated Canada giving victims of ISIS rapes, torture and beheading advice on how to stay warm in winter.

So given ISIS’ track record, given its ambitions, given its skirmishes in North America, does it make a difference who is elected Prime Minister? Who is the President of the United States? To be apolitical in the face of such horror is to say you don’t care. That makes you an enabler.

For most Americans and Canadians, no matter how passionate they feel about a political issue, there is little they can do. We live in a representative democracy where we select the government that will make choices on our behalf- whether to go to war or appease, fight climate change or fight poverty, battle oppressors or constructively engage them, drop bombs against ISIS, or drop blankets on their victims.

There are Canadians and Americans picking up weapons (be they real or metaphorical) in the fight against ISIS, in the fight against fanatics that threaten our way of life, that threaten our safety and livelihood.  The call to arms they have answered is one that all of us must heed.

Voting Call to Arms

Weapon of Choice

It’s election time in Canada, and election time is approaching in the U.S.A. Therein lies the opportunity; therein lies a call to arms. It’s when we tell our leaders what direction to we want our country to turn towards. The choices are very stark.  Pick up your gun by working in support of the people who will best protect our interests, best protect our way of life. Campaign for the candidate who has learned the lessons of history: peace doesn’t come from appeasement. It comes from strength.

 

Your comments are welcome
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God is sanctified through those near to Him

Ferguson "protest"

Ferguson “protesters” burning

In August 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, eighteen year old Michael Brown, a suspected thief, was killed while attacking a police officer. “Protesters” expressed their dismay by looting business, burning buildings and torching police cars.   Brown’s family members, those supposedly near to him physically attacked one another over who had the right to profit from souvenirs. Truth was not welcome; witnesses had their lives threatened for testifying that Brown was the aggressor, rather than the police. The death of a single suspected criminal was turned into a tragedy for a community, for a nation.

“I don’t think we can prevent folks who really are intent on destroying a community.”

In April, 2015, in Baltimore, Maryland, twenty-five year old Freddie Gray, a convicted narcotics dealer died while in police custody. More than three hundred and eighty businesses and institutions were attacked in the subsequent riots, including a

Baltimore "protest" looters

Baltimore “protesters” looting

seniors’ residence, a pharmacy, liquor stores… Many small, family owned stores— many without proper insurance were destroyed. The economic consequences of the riots will make life even harder for people who burned their neighborhoods down. The violence has made life much more dangerous, with murder rates skyrocketing. Police are afraid or unwilling to act, knowing they could be arrested for doing their job.

“To the youth of this city, I will seek justice on your behalf. This is a moment. This is your moment.”

Near to Him in Charleston

In June, 2015, in Charleston, South Carolina, a young man sat in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church for an hour, before pulling out a gun and killing

  • Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a well-known community leader, civil rights advocate and state senator

    Nearer to Him

    Near to God

  • Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, a high-school girls’ track and field coach, and reverend at her local church
  • Tywanza Sanders, a 2014 graduate of Allen University’s division of business administration
  • Myra Thompson, wife of the Vicar of Holy Trinity REC Church in Charleston
  • Ethel Lee Lance, a 70-year-old grandmother who had worked at the church for 30 years
  • Susie Jackson, 87, a longtime church member
  • Rev. Daniel Simmons, 74, a retired pastor from another church
  • DePayne Middleton-Doctor, a former manager at the U.S. Department of Commerce and community development director

None of the victims were known for violent or criminal activities. In the aftermath of the massacre, the families of the victims forgave the killer. No buildings were destroyed. No police cars were overturned.  The so-called ‘Reverend’ Al Sharpton was ignored. A few days later, the church re-opened for Sunday services, and was filled with those near to Him (God).  Their prayers were the ultimate protest against violence, racism and evil.  A country stood awed by their power.

“Even if my life is worth less than a speck of dirt, I want to use it for the good of society”— Dylann Roof

Malignant Hatred original art by Esti Mayer

Malignant Hatred
original art by Esti Mayer

Near to Him

‘I will be sanctified through those near to Me, and before all the people I will be glorified.’

During the Biblical Exodus from Egypt in the Sinai desert, the two sons of the High Priest Aaron (Moses’ brother) were killed by a fire from the Lord. Moses told God’s words to his brother: ‘I will be sanctified through those near to Me, and before all the people I will be glorified.’ Aaron didn’t protest; he was silent, and then God spoke directly to him, rather than through Moses.

There are many discussions as to why Aaron’s sons, Nadav and Avihu were killed, but they’re just speculation. We do know that they were among those near to God.

Dylann Roof offered his reasons for the Charleston massacre in a rambling manifesto. It’s still hard to understand why these nine people died in church. But we can be sure that they were among those near to God. The forgiveness offered by the victims’ families was an awe-inspiring sanctification of His name. The strength possessed through their connection to the divine enabled them to rise above the bitterness of their suffering. Unexpected death, instead of bringing the depravity and violence of Ferguson and Baltimore, brought the sanctification of God, as happened with Aaron’s sons in the Sinai desert. Mankind was able to demonstrate its capacity for nobility and strength. God was revealed not in the horrific deaths, but in the dignity of the families; of those near to Him.

“I will never be able to hold her again, but I forgive you. And [may God] have mercy on your soul.”

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Remember the Future Holocaust

This Wednesday evening, April 15th, 2015 is Holocaust Remembrance Day. On Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 an agreement was reached between Iran and the United States to lay the groundwork for another Holocaust, one much more technologically advanced, one much more capable of carrying out its goals.  On what day will we commemorate the future Holocaust against Israel? Or will there be anyone left to remember it?

Remembering Past Holocausts

After all, the Nazi Holocaust wasn’t the first; it was just more effective, using the most advanced technology of the mid-twentieth century. Weapons and instruments of torture based on seventeenth century technology led to the brutal destruction of three hundred thousand Jews in what was essentially a feud between the Cossacks and Tartars, Poland, Lithuania and the Ukraine, with a mix of rivalry between branches of Christianity.

Atavistic Hatred Original art by Esti Mayer

Atavistic Hatred
Original art by Esti Mayer

The gas chambers of the Nazis, the scythes and pitchforks of the Ukrainian peasants were nothing compared to the killing power of nuclear weapons. In the future Holocaust, Technology developed in large part by Jews may be used to rid the world of the Jewish state.

It’s clear that Israel cannot depend on the United States to protect its interests. The U.S. has abdicated its role as the world’s policeman, allowing gangs of religious fanatics and dictators to run rampant, pursuing their own evil agendas. It’s clear that Jews cannot depend on local police forces to defend their safety in cities and countries throughout the world.

It also seems clear that the Jews cannot depend on God alone to protect their physical well-being.

Many scholars and thinkers have been asking whether the unparalleled event of the Holocaust did not create a most serious existential crisis in which the text by definition was invalidated. After six million Jews, including nearly two million children, lost their lives within five years under the cruelest of circumstances, can we still seriously speak about a viable covenant in which God promised to protect His people?… The Holocaust, they believe, proved that we have only ourselves to rely on, and that even the return to Israel is to be understood as a secular liberation of the galut experience.

To write God out of the picture would be to write Judaism and the Jewish people out of the picture. So that too, is not a viable course of action.

Preventing the Future Holocaust

In fact, there is no correct answer, no proper course of action. There are too many variables, too many characters acting with their own free will; acting from a set of beliefs and values that are totally alien to us. Only hindsight may enable us to know what were the right and wrong choices in dealing with Iran’s promise to annihilate Israel, to destroy the Jews.

My great-grandfather was the senior rabbi in Warsaw during the Nazi holocaust. Prior to the war (following the death or Rabbi Kook), he was offered the position of Chief Rabbi of Palestine (Israel). Knowing difficult times were coming, he refused to leave his community in Poland, although he encouraged others to move there. At the outbreak of the war, Jewish leaders wanted to evacuate him to safety. Again, he refused to leave his people. When faced with a round-up by the Nazis, he made his decision. (A few rabbinic leaders made a different kind of decision)

Tirosh Veyaitzher

Tirosh Veyaitzher

Rabbi Zvi Yecheskiel Michelson, dean of the Warsaw rabbinate, deliberately remained at home while a large roundup was on. He did not go out as the Germans ordered, but put on his prayer shawl and phylacteries and stayed inside. He preferred to be shot on the spot, hoping that this his boy would be thrown into one of the wagons that accompanied the roundup and find a last resting place in the Jewish cemetery. So he willingly opened the door to the search party, but when the Germans saw the tall old man, with his long silver-white beard, they became uneasy. One of them mumbled, according to the Jewish policeman who accompanied the search: “This must be Moses in person.” They slammed the door shut and left the aged rabbi alone. He must have decided then that staying with his people in their last moments was even more important than being buried in a Jewish cemetery. He rose, went down to the courtyard, and joined the marching ranks of Jews towards the Umschlag, from which the people were sent to Treblinka. (p. xiii)

May the blood of my great-grandfather be avenged. May the future holocaust be prevented.

 

Your comments are welcome

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The Face of Evil Today

The Bible Names Its Enemies:

The Bible names its enemies: Egypt, Amalek, the Philistines, and many others.  For each of them the Bible spells out why they are considered the

Joseph Dwells in Egypt, by James Jacques Joseph Tissot

Joseph Dwells in Egypt by James Jacques Joseph Tissot

enemy, and what to do about them.  We are told not to hate the Egyptians because we were strangers in their land. We were also refugees there, and military allies.  Though Pharaoh did evil, Egypt doesn’t embody wickedness.

Amalek is the face of evil in the Bible,  the paradigmatic bad guy.  The nation attacked the Jewish people shortly after the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea. The Bible, in response, promised “a war for the Lord against Amalek from generation to generation.” Amalek is linked to Haman, who tried to eradicate the Jews of the Persian Empire. Even Nazi Germany is fancifully tied to them.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is a global religious leader, philosopher and moral voice for our time. A towering intellectual and prolific author, he is respected and revered by Jews and non-Jews alike. He examined the face of evil in a recent essay in which he wrote that the Egyptians hated and enslaved the Israelites, because they feared their strength. When the reason for the hatred would disappear so would the hatred, because of rational self-interest.

Amalek, on the other hand, attacked the Israelites simply because they could. It was an irrational hatred that could not disappear when the reason disappeared, because there was no reason. Rabbi Sacks explains it is this irrational face of evil that the Bible demands we remember.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

The Face of Evil Beneath the Heart:

The Rabbi explains:

It is easy at times of peace to forget the evil that lies just beneath the surface of the human heart. Never was this truer than in the past three centuries. The birth of Enlightenment, toleration, emancipation, liberalism and human rights persuaded many, Jews among them, that collective evil was as extinct as the Amalekites. Evil was then, not now. That age eventually begat nationalism, fascism, communism, two World Wars, some of the brutal tyrannies ever known, and the worst crime of man against man.

In the peaceful times that followed World War II, many Americans, Canadians, and Europeans forgot again about the face of evil, the irrational hatred which dwells in many hearts. The troubles in the world were attributed to the evil acts of the strong and powerful, to legacy of colonialism. The violence in South-East Asia, the Middle East, were explained away as rational responses to the legacy of western imperialism.

the face of evil

the face of evil

Refusing to Recognize the Face of Evil:

On September 11, 2001, it became impossible to ignore the face of evil, casting its evil eye. Although many people still searched for explanations or conspiracies, there was nothing to rationalize the brutal terror unleashed upon America. Rabbi Sacks declares:

Today, the great danger is terror (emphasis added)

…That is why are commanded to remember and never forget Amalek, not because the historic people still exists, but because a society of rational actors can sometimes believe that the world is full of rational actors with whom one can negotiate peace. It is not always so.

The Rabbi Is Wrong:

Rabbi Sacks is wrong. The greatest danger is not terror. It’s radical Islam, which is the source of virtually all contemporary terrorism.

One cannot remember, never mind confront the face of evil if you refuse to call it by its name. We are not commanded ‘not to hate’ the chariot riders (Egypt), or to remember what the attackers of the weak (Amalek) did. We don’t identify these enemies by their military techniques. Terror is a technique, used to demoralize and crush. It is being used by the adherents of a specific religion, in the name of their religion. Victims may refuse to identify the purveyors of fear as Muslims, but the terrorists aren’t shy about it. A politician, a journalist, a Rabbi might say that terror isn’t Islamic, but the Muslims terrorists say it is. An Orthodox rabbi is not a higher authority on Islam than the many Muslims who proclaims terror as an integral part of their faith.  The Muslims who oppose them don’t deny the nature of their violence. A Brooklyn Imam, identifying radical Islam as a “cancer,” said:

“These scholars consider any verse that calls to treat people with kindness to have been abrogated. All that remains valid is ‘Kill! Slaughter!’ Is that the only thing that God tells us? …Muslims of the religious sector are time bombs.”

Put a Name to the Face of Evil:

Moses at the battle against Amalek

Moses at the battle against Amalek

If we refuse to name the contemporary Amalek, surely we cannot remember them.   If we’re too afraid to name them, they are winning.

In the first Biblical encounter with Amelek, Moses, the leader of the Israelites held up his arms during the battle, and the people were inspired to victory. The leaders of today such are not raising their hands, and the people hesitate to fight back. Rabbi Sacks says the evil is “terror.” The Dalai Lama says it’s not fair to associate terrorism with Islam.  Gandhi, the icon of nonviolence rationalized “…if Hindus became Muslims to save themselves from death, it was …not forcible conversion.”  The failure to identify, never mind remember the face of evil, the contemporary Amalek, is a violation of an obligation to God, of a responsibility to mankind.

Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama

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All Your Deeds Are Recorded In The Book

Eighteen hundred years ago Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi taught:

What is the proper path a person should choose for himself…  Know what is above you: an eye that sees and an ear that hears, and all your deeds are recorded in the Book.
(Ethics of the Fathers 2:1)

While this is stating the obvious for believing Jews and Christians, for non-believers it’s an absurdity.  At least it was an absurdity till one or two decades ago.  Now it’s no longer a declaration of piety, but rather a statement of fact.  With the proliferation of security cameras, there are eyes all over the streets, inside buildings, elevators, buses…  All watched, all recorded in the book.

We think our private electronic communications are hidden from prying eyes, but anybody who has anything to do with Sony Pictures has discovered otherwise.  Supposedly hidden personal emails, cel phone numbers, hackedsalaries, social insurance numbers have been placed out in the open, where an irresponsible press has gone on a feeding frenzy, publishing any private embarrassing material they come across.

Anybody who uses Facebook should know the perils.  Many companies demand that potential employees hand over their Facebook passwords, so they can scrutinize their personal behavior and beliefs.  Many have lost their jobs over Facebook comments.

Search engines record everything you look for, so they can target you better with ads.  Google reads all emails on its servers, including every single Gmail document.  The company considers that users have no reasonable expectation of privacy.

Reading your private book

Reading your private book

Although such snooping was part of the mandate of the American National Security Administration, people were still stunned as to how much personal information the NSA gathered.  But with simple, off-the-shelf technology and a six thousand dollar drone, any interested eavesdropper can listen to your phone calls, break into your Wi-Fi network, and peruse anything there.  Everything is recorded in the book, and the book is open.

In his nineteen forty-eight dystopian novel 1984, George Orwell described a world where the government watched everything a

Big Brother Is Watching- Everything Is Recorded in The Book

Everything Is Recorded in The Book

person said or did.  “Big Brother is Watching You” was written as a warning, but has ended up as a model.  What is perhaps most disturbing is that people have become complacent about it.  We traded our privacy, our personal space, for the ability to instantly disseminate videos of cats.

We’re not likely to get rid of Big brother in the near future; cute videos are a big part of our lives.  Instant business and personal correspondence have become too important.  Our friendships with people we’ll never meet take up a big part of our lives.

Digitial technology has the ability to instantly record and store everything its eyes and ears pick up.  And they’re picking up more and more every day.  Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi’s concept of everything being recorded in the book is no longer scientifically absurd; humans have the technology to do it.  If there’s an omniscient God, It dwarfs humanity’s abilities in this field.

Another Rabbinic teaching offers a potential solution:

A fence for wisdom is silence.
(Ethics of the Fathers 3:17)

When you choose to speak, when you choose your path of action, do so in a way that you won’t be embarrassed if it turns out you are being recorded in the book— whether by the NSA, Google, or God.

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God or the Devil?

Who would you rather be: God or the devil?  We have job descriptions for each, in case you’re having trouble deciding.

Glen Beck says that America has already made its choice between God or the Devil.  Is it too late for the country to change its mind?  We’ll know more on November 4th.

(please click images to follow links)

If_You_Were_God

Job description

devil

Job description

 

A hundred years ago, Robert Johnson sang about the consequences of making the wrong choice.

If you’re still unsure and want some background information, this essay describes the  contrasting views of the devil in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

You don’t actually have to be God or the devil.  But you do have to choose.

re-ay

Behold, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil…

bachem hayom

This day, I call upon the heaven and the earth as witnesses: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. You shall choose life, so that you and your offspring will live…

Burning Original art by Esti Mayer

Burning
Original art by Esti Mayer