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Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

DAMASCUS, Syria – Mohammed Oudeh, the key planner of the 1972 Munich Olympics attack that killed 11 Israeli athletes, died Saturday morning in Damascus, his daughter said. He was 73.
Oudeh was a leader of “Black September,” an offshoot of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s Fatah group that was established to avenge the 1970 expulsion of Palestinian guerrillas from Jordan.
My title to this post may be misleading to Palestinians. They would term he was a fighter.
Whereas for an Israeli he would be nothing but a terrorist.
“Before Munich, we were simply terrorists. After Munich, at least people started asking who are these terrorists? What do they want,” he said. “Before Munich, nobody had the slightest idea about Palestine.”
So one who plans murder of athletes (for the simple reason they belonged to the state of Israel) is a propagandist and not guilty of murder.
On the flip side of this let us see what Israel set out to do: Oudeh escaped narrowly an attack by Israel’s Mossad spy agency in 1981. He was sitting in a hotel cafe in Warsaw, Poland, when a gunman shot him in his left wrist, chest, stomach and jaw.”It was a Palestinian double agent, recruited by the Mossad. … He was arrested 10 years later, put on trial (by the PLO) and executed.”
In setting a wrong to right with another wrong both Israel and Palestine have merely clouded the moral question. When shall we get to see the truth?
After the last man has been either killed (revenge killing or honor killing, no matter what you call it) truth shall be determined. The angel who walks length and breadth of the globe will count the number of people stoned for adultery,hands cut off for stealing or fried in an electric chair for real or imagined crimes, poisoned or killed by hired assassins for power or for family wealth and ask the Most Glorious seated on the White Throne of Judgment ,’What is the moral of this slaughter house, O Lord?’
What do you think will be the answer?

benny

(ack:AP News-reporter Albert Aji)

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School District 202 in Plainfield, Illinois, joins other school districts across the nation in banning “look-alike drugs”: candy cigarettes, fake chewing tobacco, non-alcoholic beer, and oregano. Various reasons are cited for the ban, one being that candy cigarettes can possibly lead to real cigarette use, that they send an inappropriate presmoking message. Secondly, that the prevalence of fake drugs makes it difficult for school administrators to find the real ones. And that the use of certain substitutes such as mint-flavored herbal snuff increase the chance that users may be considered “yuppies.” (Chicago Tribune, 1/7/92, 2/7/92). If child minders cannot distinguish between the real and playacting why should they mind children? They should spend their time usefully elsewhere and not mess up with children.
Much of our draconian laws arise from our own unfounded fears. Like Israel choking the Palestinians in Gaza and they think it is collective punishment and would send a strong message to Hamas. I am sure if given chance the state of Israel would be at it even after 100 years. From this collective punishment the only group that is reaping much in public support and sympathy is Hamas.
Israel in a way is raising a fresh wave of intifada from child of today.
If the powers that be in Israel could only distinguish between a punishment that work and that doesn’t the Palestine problem would have been by now on the table. Like the school administrators cannot distinguish between fake drugs and the real, the Israel government cannot search their own hearts or minds and arrive at a balanced view without the pressure groups orthodox Jews and the like, coming in between.
I am responsible for my life. It is plain as day. But interference from all corners should make me irresponsible for the mess around me, there must be wrong with laws that create this situation? For instance I paid the cost of raising my child, a quarter million of hard earned money, and end up with a son who stays home and smoke pot; he cannot even speak English that I thought was requisite for a well educated man. Who is to blame. Somewhere all my labor,discipline, industry and everything I regarded as fruits of progress have been messed up.
In short someone has shortchanged quarter of a million of my money, I raised with sweat of my brow. Who is irresponsible party and is to blame?
benny

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1.

Have you have ever lived in a street where only doctors lived and the  word ‘quack’ was ever uttered only by a duck?

2.

I know a doctor who had loan sharks for his clientele and none of them ever came to him with a heart complaint?

3.

The only croupier in my neighborhood had spent his lifetime in Las Vegas. He retired and went for a medical check up. He was told by his G.P he might have had Parkinson’s disease from his kindergarten days and he didn’t notice it?

4.

Do you the know Mr. Rip Van Winkle, the congressman from New York,  who lounged in Washington DC, among other lawmakers who made infernal din and could  sleep? He asked, as he went at the end of term to the sergeant ‘Who is this Bill I heard so much lately?’

5.

Bob Ripley who made Believe it or not a household name spoke when he was first taken by a midwife and slapped? He said,’I did not even do a thing!’

6.

Richard Wagner had never heard the word Israel; nor did ever pass a racial slur on Jews? Do you know there are Jews who never listen to his Twilight of the Gods without thinking  it would make a beautiful musical score for ‘Bombs over Gaza’?

7.

The writer of this piece never descended to silliness but the Web  raised it to inspired silliness?

benny

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The New Jerusalem

Rev 21:10-14 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. vs.14The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

In previous posts regarding the Church,whose builder is Jesus Christ, I had stated the churches of the world were built on Peter the Man. These carried the inherent flaws of man,-his pride, ambition, superficiality and guile. The story of Adam clearly shows how he was beguiled by Satan. He could not walk with God since he was afraid. Satan had deflected his mind first and thereafter his body also followed. It is the case with his churches. Adamic nature of man produced only divisions. His church and his city are not man made or on a rock that was half and half. Jesus expressed his will. (St.Matt 16:18-19,23)

Only that the Rock he had in mind had to be transformed as clear as crystal.

The vision of John the divine is after the similitude of man. So we need to see it as a narrative from the standpoint of Man.

The rock is like jaspar and as clear as crystal. Peter the man who minded the things of man has become jewel and do mind the things of God.

The Scriptures is like a play where God Holy Spirit and Man hold the stage of eternity at any time or age. There are exits and entrances for angels prophets, kings of the world. Parts are written for women,wicked and good alike. Notwithstanding such a cast plays subordinate role to the Triune God.

Good theater is when the personages that make up the cast carry the story forward. This way each of us is part and parcel of it.

We see God in the Old Testament as the Judge beginning with the calling of Abraham out of Canaan:Jerusalem was the visible center of His people where law and its obedience instilled in people to make a distinction of godly and gentile peoples. Law in itself didn’t make any one perfect but gave the people of God a context and a standing in reference to Him.

Second Act begins with the Advent of Christ. In sending the Son God made man to live and walk under grace. There was a kind of freedom that made people fall on Him than on dead works of Law. Both are for Adamic man and the only difference implied is in the way he viewed Law: law written on stone tablets were inward and on his will to fulfill the requirements of Law. On the other hand man under grace relied on His mercy and His Will. With the outpouring of Holy Spirit (revelation) focus on Man becomes clearer. He is of the House of God and the people would see God among them.

Raison d’etre of churches of the world holds such a fellowship as the bedrock but in practice churches have proved to be the biggest recruiting centers for Satan. A simple example of Catholic Church would suffice. With such rampant child abuse does Vatican do the one thing that is needed? Disband all her hierarchical pomp and circumstance to make bishops truly shepherds of the flock and oversee their parishes accountable to their wards? Vatican is an amalgam of State and Church that has got her arithmetic wrong. In matters of Church they have applied cold logic of a state protecting its instruments of power. In matters of State they acquiesced and diluted or misplaced the very principles of Christ, in securing advantage for her See. Thus the Church survived in the Nazi Germany and during the time of Franco.

Can State and Church co-exist? The New Jerusalem shall be a proof that nothing is impossible for God. The New Jerusalem will have Children of Israel, nations and those who are washed by His blood.God and Church of Christ make State and Church as one. The Millennium vision of the Prophet (Isa.11:6-9) speak of Lamb and the wolf coexisting. God the Judge and the Church of Christ shall be one House.

The New Jerusalem is unlike the old where so much blood has been shed. In 70AD the Imperial Rome defiled the city of Peace. Many wars fought there since that time make it unfit for the work of Christ who is also called the Prince of Peace. I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

Here we have revelation and work where the Church minds the things of God.

benny

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When I became aware of fashion trends Elvis was the reigning king. My  eldest brother Babs was the trendsetter for my brother and me. Being the first born he had the privilege of clothes by yard and stiched to measure by one tailor whom we knew by name. What’s more my father made it a matter of family honor to accompany him to shop. Afterall Babs was going to study medicine.  He could parade the thoroughbred for the punters to bet on.  A doctor made every Marwari, Bihari or arami sit up and notice. It was thus my brother set out to be fashion plate.

At home my brother and I waited to see the outcome. That evening my eldest brother came home very agitated. he had seen himself as a buck in the swim of things among young bucks as he. He swore a father who didn’t know Elvis or what he stood for was a disgrace. Babs confided later in the evening, all he had mentioned drain pipes when the tailor took the measure. It seems my father put his foot down emphatically and said, ‘No way!’  The tailor said helpfully it was the trend.  My Father seemed to have said, ‘devil take the trend’ Of course it was he who paid, so tailor was sure drainpipe style was a flash in the pan. From my brother’s angst I became aware of fashion as one’s visiting card to the world.

The world took measure of you in the way you presented yourself. Period.

When my turn came I was sure I would say no as emphatically as my father had expressed, to drainpipes. Unfortunately it didn’tcome to that. My brothers were already in far corners of the earth and their discards were in the shelf. My father examined them and they were more mothballs than fabric in them.  For once he and I were in accord. He said in my earshot to my mother,’I hate to see Benny in them.’ I felt proud that he placed me rightly as the youngest in the family. ‘No drainpipes, No discards for one as privileged as I’, saidI.

In 1964 when I first went to Chennai (Madras then) I found among list of  my wardrobe written in my mothers rounded handwriting most of fathers woollen pants neatly packed. Only then I appreciated Joseph’s coat of many colors. Every color that graced on the backs of Ruben Levi, Naphthali and Simon must have found in the patchwork. Wily old Jacob! wily old father who knew how far the hand-me-down should stretch!

Even now I shudder as I write these ,’what madness came over me to wear my fathers clothes?’.

Under the sweltering Madras summer 40 degree heat my woollen pants took a terible beating. While my friends and I were chilling out at Buharis on the Mount Road, I was feeling the heat that stuck to my calves.

The pants of my father was designed to hang sportingly on a gargantuan midriff but I always had that lean and hungry look in those days. Of course I hungred after a slice of fashion but to tell the truth the belt tightened around the middle belied that  lean and hungry look.

At an age of drainpipes I was sporting bellbottoms! Now I have a sneaking suspicion I set the trend of bell bottom that came only a decade later.  Did some Mexican tourists copy my style or what?

Once or twice my friends noticed my woollen pants and asked in a friendly concern,’Wouldn’t you find it terribly hot, ben?”

“Oh no In  fact I love them!” How humiliating to think of it!

Having brazenly weathered under discards, hand-me- downs I don’t care too hoots for fashion.

Only two prayers I have in my old age:

O God let me have fresh clean toilet roll for my bottom and a clean handkerchief to blow my nose in. For the rest I don’t care.’

benny

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Gen 4:3-6 2 Ti 3:16-17

In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

How should one read the Scriptures?

With our rational mind of course. We are humans and as such if my understanding can not follow it rationally I am likely to go wrong. is it not? Rasputin the mad monk of Tsarist Russia belonged to a sect that held on literally to the Romans vs.1 Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? He committed sin on the basis of the Pauline verse. He indulged in orgy so God’s grace may abound. He sinned so he may find grace! He made Grace as a medium for cleaning up his lust for flesh. Did it cure him? No he died of it.

Take this verse:

And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell (Matt 18:9)Even though blind cannot one sin?

I cited these extreme examples to show there are areas where literal interpretation or common sense cannot do work properly. In interpreting Bible especially.

As a Christian I believe the Scriptures is God breathed. If I accept the account of Genesis where God breathed into man what am to infer? I have that spirit, is it not? Spirit of man can be understood by man and things of God are better understood and followed through by His spirit. If I try to understand by the spirit of man I do not think the Bible would have held much interest to me. Instead the Book has been a source of great delight to me and many passages have on several occasions served me in the manner these were meant to do: teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness(2Ti 3:17). It has taught me in the past when I was more likely to go wrong and also prevented me at times from following certain course of action. The third aspect of training is what I expect- and it is for my lifetime, so my life may not be drawn off the rails when I least expect it. Samson was confident of his strength but he found he had become like any other when the Philistines came upon him. There are such instances I could learn from. Even so there are great areas I cannot make sense literally or spiritually. I leave these aside since there are enough lessons my life in flesh can learn. So I do not dismiss the book as of no meaning.

The story of Cain and Abel is a story and it can be understood at different levels. The moral of the story is plain as day and it is provided in the vs 7. Considering that Jesus refers to it Mt.23:35 it must have held certain significance to him. Abel is qualified as righteous because he pleased God with his sacrifice. God found favor with his offering while He did not favor that of Cain.Cannot God exercise free will that we often appropriate for ourselves to justify our actions? The consequence of God’s preference outs Cain’s nature. He murdered Abel stealthily.

God is Spirit.It is spirit of foreknowledge that Simon Peter could use when he identified correctly who Jesus was.

16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.(Matt 16:17)

We have that spirit of God and it is what keeps us falling into the hands of the Evil One. The Scriptures being God inspired we grow in His knowledge by correctly handling the Word.

Since the Scriptures is to be understood spiritually let me see what the story of Cain and Abel teaches us. God clothed man with skins since he felt shame in his nakedness. I think this act prefigures the atoning work of Jesus. Abel must have spiritually discerned how to find favor with God.

In trying to understand the Bible I find certain helpful tips. I find St. Paul’s instruction to Timothy very useful. Of this I shall come back by and by.

While studying a text ask yourself:

Does this passage belong in spirit with rest of the Bible? From the selected text of Cain and Abel let me point out the following;

Abel’s offer of fat portions from his flock echoes in the sacrifice of OT priests. God clothing Adam and Eve with skins also bear the truth in the Pauline epistle: without shedding of blood there is no remission or redemption.

Does the passage teach some needful or useful lesson?

Does it rebuke some trait that you have carelessly allowed to remain? Such a trait could be standing in your relationship with God and man.

This means you need to read the Bible in the right spirit and meditate over the passage. After all the main thing is how you may get the best out of your reading. If you handle the word of God correctly, as Paul writes to Timothy you are being trained in righteousness.

Benny

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Rabbi Benn Weiss had to visit an ailing aunt who lived three days journey from our town. I volunteered to keep him company throughout the trip and my friend and counselor agreed. On the first day as we broke the day’s travel at a way-side inn he had company of travelers who had been to Jerusalem. From their animated tone of talk I guessed they were Zionists and were telling my friend about the advent of Messiah.
“He is the prince of peace,” Rabbi Benn Weiss explained to me. I asked, “ A fine prince of peace, to keep away while brothers are at each other’s throat”. Seeing raised eyebrows all about me I explained, “ Prince of peace must not only settle peace but also see that there is no room for the Children of Israel and of Ishmael to quarrel. ” The Zionists heard this part of conversation and they laughed loudly. “O Rabbi, your companion seems not to know anything of the complex issues that we must grapple with.”
“Yeah,” I snapped, “ You laugh as though the whole land is yours. You remind me of a burglar who the night before burgled my house and before the judge defended with an impassioned plea that he had owned the goods all along!”
The rabbi tried to change the topic but his friends went on lecturing me as to the way God had picked out Abraham for His blessings. Even before one could recite the verse I preempted the move by citing that I was quite familiar with it. I quoted the verse without an error and added,“ You were kicked out of Jerusalem by the Romans. What for?” I explained that the Jews were scattered to far corners of the earth because they had rejected the Messiah. It is God’s judgment.”
Later I told my friend that God had promised the patriarch that he would bless all nations through him, “ Does it not prove then that God scattered Jews so when Christianity spread, it would find a ready soil for conversion?”
The Rabbi was all for changing the subject and I said, “Jews were blessed so Christianity may be spread throughout.” He at last could say, “ I cannot think except as a Jew, Jake, nor can you except as a Christian. So let us not discuss or intrude into the office of God.”
Useless controversies can only be a waste of breath. God’s judgment is representational dispensation. Why? We represent God’s love here on earth and any dispensation we attribute to God has to be then representational in nature. Lack of peace only means we are imperfect beings. Advent of Prince of Peace is merely a standard for us to take measure from.
benny

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