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Archive for July, 2012

While Rome took control of Israel it was decreed that Torah should not be seen anywhere in the land. There came Pappos Ben Yehuda and found Rabbi Akiva carrying on as usual giving lectures to great assemblies and studying Torah.
The visitor was aghast and asked,’Akiva, are you not afraid of the wicked government?’
The Rabbi said,”I will tell you a parable: to what is the matter like? A fox walking along the running stream saw some fishes darting in and out with great agitation. The fox asked what was the matter. They answered,’From nets which men are bringing against us.’
He said to them,’Let it be your pleasure to come upon the dry land, and let us you and me,dwell together ever as my fathers dwelt with your fathers.’
‘Are you he whom they tell that you are the wisest of all animals? You are not wise but a fool. If we are in the place which is our life-element, how much more so in a place which is our death element?'”. The Rabbi added,’So alas it is with us: now while we sit and study Torah, in which it is written,’for that is thy life, and the length of thy days,’we are in such plight, how much more so if we go and neglect it!’ (from the Talmud)
Note: Rabbi Akiva was the greatest scholar of his age, and his support won Bar Kochaba wide following. When Rome prohibited the study of Torah in 135 AD, he defied the decree. He was arrested as a rebel,imprisoned and executed at Caesarea.( ack: The Jews in Their Land/ed. Ben-Gurion.pub.1966)
benny

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Yesterday I came across some old books and one of which is the World of Islam (pub.1966). I had posted earlier some illustrations. Here is a manuscript from which I had drawn the woman. Now that I have the book I hope to post some of the originals now and then.b.

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Former Lenin University at the background,Lenin Hill

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A Floundering Ship-Syria
‘Rats leave the sinking ship’you must have heard before. In fact rats move in a sinking ship judging from the near collapse of Syria. It was long in coming and the crew are a motley mixture of sects that are attracting some rats from far off. The Arab Spring was a reef that the ship of Bashar al-Assad could not avoid. The “Friends of Syria” meeting in late February met in Tunis in order to ship arms to Syrian rebels. Friends are in name only. In fact all those Sunni factions wherever they are want to settle scores with Shi’ia faction supporting al-Assad. Saudi Arabia and members of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC),- like Qatar and Kuwait, are friends on geopolitical grounds. If the royal family of Bahrain,-Sunnis, has a stranglehold on the majority Shi’ia population the troops sent by the Saudi government are there to prop up the King.
Little is known about the exact nature of Syria’s opposition. But it must be at present what we saw at the initial stages of the Arab Spring, many protesting on genuine grounds for more political freedom. We saw this in Libya and in Egypt. Jihadists are eying for their chance to come in. U.S. Ambassador Rob Ford, who personally met with opposition groups before he left Syria, stated that the opposition is made up of two main constituent groups. The first more liberal and secular, while the second is Jihadist in outlook. There will always be token moderates as in the case of Mali or in Egypt. In the former the rebels that declared Azawad were Taureg separatists. Now the north is under foreign mercenaries and a wing of al-Qaeda. The moderates will not be able to hold on given the unstable nature of ‘friends.’ Loyalty to the country is not an issue as much as to the sect and tribe.
To quote‘Little is known about whether the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood resembles their Egyptian equivalents or whether they draw from more nefarious influences from groups like the Salafist Al-Nour Party in Egypt. Perhaps most disturbing of all was official U.S. Government confirmation that Al-Qaeda in Iraq has begun to conduct operations in Syria against the Assad government.’(www.opencanada.org/news/the-pitfalls-of-arming-syrias-opposition/)
Mighty mess grows out of acorns like war on terror in Iraq.
benny

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Some tales with much moral add’d to lend weight
Prophets have told us: such is their bless’d state
We took it gospel truth: They are all dead.
None returns after he has pass’d the gate.

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