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Tevet 12, 5773, 12/25/2012
Do you know the real history of the Christmas holiday? Is it really the birthday of Jesus? Why is a tree cut down and brought into a house? Why is mistletoe hung, and why are people encouraged to kiss under it? Where does Santa Claus come from, and who was he really? What is the original idea of 'gift giving' on this day? Did you know that the celebration of Christmas was banned by law in Massachusetts in colonial days? Why?
Holidays are given to us to in order to remind us who we are. We remember the history and the importance of the day and use it to develop and mold us into better people so we can serve G-d better.
***Note: This post is a re-post from 2007 entitled: CHRISTMAS AND PAGANISM. I want to remind everyone that this piece is not meant to hurt anyone's feelings or put anyone down. This is merely to enable people to make an educated decision as to what they want to teach their children and bring into their home.
Growing up in the West, where people are steeped in a xmas atmosphere with trees, lights, mistletoe, santas and manger scene decorations, I decided to do some research to find out more about the symbols of Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, some of the holiday decorations are very beautiful to the eye, but I believe that one should know the truth behind these symbols in order for them to be true to themselves and serve G-d the best they can. We should not be deceived by 'cosmetics' or decorations, if behind these symbols lies darkness and leads people away from truth.
And so, below are some questions posted on the internet asked by people wanting to know more about their own holiday, and some of the answers posted by their own fellow holiday celebrators.
Why do we celebrate Christmas in December when Jesus was born in March or even around the feast Of Tabernacles (sukkot) in the Fall? Why did the Catholic Church choose December 25 for the birth date of jesus?
"The idea to celebrate Christmas on December 25 apparently originated in the 4th century. The Catholic Church wanted to eclipse the festivities of a rival pagan religion that threatened Christianity's existence. The Romans celebrated the birthday of their sun god, Mithras during this time of year. Although it was not popular, or even proper, to celebrate people's birthdays in those times, church leaders decided that in order to compete with the pagan celebration they would themselves order a festival in celebration of the birth of (their god)….
Question: Why do "Christians" use a Pagan symbol, like the Christmas tree, in their celebration of the birth of Jesus?
Answer: "Because way back in the day, the Catholic church started to absorb Pagan symbols in order to make conversion less of a drastic step for Pagans."
"Pagan and Christian families would bring a live tree into the home so the wood spirits would have a place to keep warm during the cold winter months. Bells were hung in the limbs so you could tell when a spirit was present. Food and treats were hung on the branches for the spirits to eat and a five-pointed star, the pentagram, symbol of the five elements, was placed atop the tree. The colors of the season, red and green, also are of Pagan origin, as is the custom of exchanging gifts."
Christians, you believe in the Tanach, the Bible. G-d specifically commands:
This is what the Pagans did. Are you are carrying this on?
Question: Why do they allow a plethora of other Pagan symbols?
Elves are a pagan idea from Scandinavian countries.
Answer from another Christian site:
"Christmas is a Pagan holiday - "Christmas" is not in the Bible, and we are not commanded to celebrate the Messiah's birth in all of Scripture. The Messiah was not born on or near December 25. He was born sometime in late September (most likely Sept. 29) or early October during the Feast of Tabernacles, but no one can be sure of the exact day. If the Almighty Sovereign Creator wanted us to celebrate the day He would have told us in Lev. 23.
"December 25th was celebrated by the Pagan sun-worshippers of Mithraism as the "birthday of the invincible sun," because on that day the sun began its return to the northern skies "the winter solstice." And so, the sun and the Son, have become a deliberate Pagan mix. Tammuz, the Babylonian Pagan sun deity, was also the first counterfeit savior… December 25th was also the date of the Pagan Brumalia (winter) festival in Rome. It was preceded by the Saturnalia festival Dec. 17-24 - in honor of the Roman god Saturn, as a period of unrestrained merriment in celebration of the winter solstice. The Saturnalia and Brumalia festivals were so popular among the heathen and so deeply entrenched in their customs, that rather than attempt to reform the Pagan populous the Roman Church, the Emperor Constantine, chose instead to absorb their festivities into the Constantine Roman Catholic Church."
Friends, is this what you wish to perpetuate? Do you wish to continue pagan ways in today's world?
Paganism: It's the fastest-growing religion in Australia, according to the 2001 census. Sydney pagan worshippers learns about spells, covens and the importance of being "skyclad"( being clad/covered only by the sky, Ritual nakedness performing their rituals naked).
So, to my brothers and sisters on this planet who celebrate xmas, this is not an attack, but an honest query to you: What’s the deal here? What are you bringing into your homes? What rituals are you really observing? Will you embrace a holiday that brings paganism into your homes? Should you not go back to the word of G-d as given to Moses on Mt. Sinai? Should you not embrace instead the 7 laws of Noah as commanded by G-d to all Gentiles, whom He created and loves and wants to be closer to Him? To read about what your obligations are as a Gentile, you must RETURN to the source.
Wishing you truth and a closer relationship with the One Creator of the Universe. May you remove darkness from the world and let in the light!
Hear this even MORE informative lecture/ show. Click here: Everything You Wanted to Know About Xmas But Were Afraid to Ask
Kislev 25, 5773, 12/9/2012
Why do we take it? How is it that a society chooses to sleep, rather than wake up from their bad dream and fix things? Sometimes it takes a 'the shock factor' to do what 'rationalization' smothers. The little known Chanukah story of how the Hasmonean revolt started, was actually because of a very brave woman!
(This is a re-post of a previous chanukah blog)
The background of the Chanukah story recalls the struggle for religious freedom from the Hellenistic Syrian-Greeks in the year, 165 B.C.E. Antiochus, who was the occupying King at those times, sought to crush our Jewish identity and passed decrees against the practice of Judaism. We were forbidden from studying the Torah, we were forbidden to keep the Shabbat (Sabbath) and we were forbidden from making a brit milah (circumcision). To do so meant the death penalty.
"Hellenistic rituals and sacrifices were instituted in the Bet HaMikdash (the holy Temple in Jerusalem), thus desecrating the sacred center of Jewish ritual life. Many Jews were impressed by the culture and power of their Greek conquerors and adopted their customs and practices. These Jews came to be known as "Hellenists". – Sound familiar to our situation today?
“Other Jews were infuriated by the oppressive decrees aimed at destroying their religion, and vowed revenge. They were led by Mattityahu, a Chashmona'i (Hasmonean) who lived in Modiin with his five sons, who came to be known as the Maccabim. This name is derived from the first letter of each word in the phrase "Mi kamocha ba'elim Hashem?" ("Who is like You, O L-rd, among the mighty?". After three years of guerrilla warfare in the hills and forests against the strong and powerful armies of the Syrian-Greek King Antiochus, the relatively small and poorly armed Maccabim won, and recaptured Jerusalem. But WHAT started this revolt? What shocked the Maccabim into action?
One of my favorite stories of Chanukah is the story about Chana (Hannah). Not the extremely powerful story of Hannah and her 7 sons, but a different ‘Chana’.
This 'Chana' used what I think is an important strategy to wake people up from their stupor. Shock.
Too many of us do not want to change our daily routine. We are comfortable in our lives and we don’t want disruption, and so it easier to bear burdens if they come in servings that we are able to swallow. If an evil regime passed all their terrible laws at once, people would be convinced they must fight. But if the laws are ushered in one by one, in bite sized pieces, we learn to adapt. We act this way because it is easier to be a little uncomfortable than have to go to battle and face having to risk it all, to lose everything we have worked for and even possibly risk our lives and that of our children. No one likes disruption, and so we swallow the evil.
Sometimes we need someone to slap us, to wake us from our stupor and fight the evil that has embedded itself in our midst. A young woman who lived many years ago did just that. And we should all thank her.
The Marriage of Chana, Daughter of Mattathias (Mattityahu)
As part of their campaign to break the spirit of the Jews, the Greeks decreed that every maiden must spend her wedding night in the bed of the regional governor, and that only afterward would she be permitted to her husband. They wanted to destroy Jewish sanctity and degrade the Jews. As a result of this decree, the Jews stopped marrying. For three years and three months, no wedding was held in Judea. Then it came time for Hannah, daughter of Mattityahu the Hasmonean to marry. In spite of the decree, Mattityahu held a great celebration, inviting the leaders of the nation, for Mattathias' family was extremely prominent. The bride sat, as was customary, at the head table, but suddenly stood up, clapped her hands together, and tore her expensive wedding dress, exposing herself.
But Hannah exclaimed to them all, 'now you are so zealous as to shield your eyes?, for THIS you are zealous, yet you are willing to have a Greek see me naked and have his way with me?' She added, "Why, when I shame myself before my relatives and friends are you so filled with embarrassment and anger that you wish to kill me, but you agree to surrender me this night so the heathen governor can lie with me? Why do you not learn from Simon and Levy, sons of our forefather Jacob, who avenged the rape of their sister Dinah (in Genesis, chapter 34)? They were only two brothers who fought and took a whole city to free her, I have FIVE brothers - and where are you?'
This, my friends, is what spurred the revolt of the Maccabees on the Syrian-Greeks and led to the first holiday commemorating religious freedom and the lift of the yoke of Hellenism and Greek occupation.
The story of Hannah goes on:
"Everyone realized that Hannah was right; her brothers discussed the matter and came to a decision. They dressed their sister in the finest garments and brought her with great ceremony, at the head of a large procession, to the King. Hannah's brother's declared, "We are the sons of the High Priest, and it is not fitting that our sister be given to the governor. Our sister is fit only for the King himself!" The brothers' words found favor in the King's eyes.
The brothers accompanied Hannah to the royal bed chamber, and thereupon, seized the King and killed him. Afterward, they stormed out killing ministers, guards, and servants, who were in the palace. So began the Hasmonean revolt. "
A sequel to this story is the story of yet ANOTHER Jewish Heorine named Yehudit (Judith). Yehudit was a beautiful woman who single-handedly saved the Jewish town of Bethulia during the Hasmonean revolt.
"Answer me, O L-rd, as You answered Yael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, when you delivered the wicked general Sissera into her hands. Strengthen me this once that I may bring Your deliverance to my people whom this cruel man vowed to destroy, and let the nations know that You have not forsaken us..."
Yehudit then unsheathed Holofernes' heavy sword which was hanging near his bed and brought it down upon his neck with all her might.
She leaves his bloody corpse soaking his mattress and takes the head and her maid away from the slumbering enemy camp to Bethulia. She tells the Jews of Bethulia that victory will soon be theirs. She takes the head of Holofernes and puts it on a stake in public view to strengthen the will of the people. She then tells the Jewish men to wait for dawn to make a surprise attack. The enemy's camp is not prepared for a Jewish onslaught on them. When the morning comes with the charge of the Jews towards their camp, Holofernes's men run to their commander's tent where they find his headless body on the blood soaked mattress. In their shock, fear and confusion, they flee for their lives. The Jews won the revolt and Yehudit was their hero.
This Chanukah, we must remember the valor and strength of the Jewish women who risked their lives, to keep Israel Jewish. To Chana and her 7 sons, to Yehudit, and to Chana the daughter of the high priest who shocked the Jews into action, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Kislev 21, 5773, 12/5/2012
"I am coming for you" and "Machine gun in my hand" are just two songs that are on the (tongue in cheek) Palestinian Hit Parade. Can an entity such as this be real partners for peace? It's a rhetorical question, I know. But it is worth a peak into the music coming out of a society, to try to understand them better.
American music is mostly about boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, heartbreaks, new found love, and 'walking on sunshine'. Examining music and poetry from Israel during the early years, it was mostly about 'the Land of Israel, peace, peace, and more peace, and building a better tomorrow. Today, Israeli music has gravitated more towards the American love/relationship realm as the world has gone more global and that's what sells. Love is always a topic of the arts. In the Palestinian Authority, they also play Arabic love songs, but it is the songs of war that also dominate their culture. And this is worrisome. Hatred, guns, bullets, swords, blood, skulls, death, martyrdom and Allah are common themes found in their battle songs. Songs get people to identify with them and songs get people marching.
For a quick 46 minutes of 'fun', take a listen to the show by clicking HERE.
And now, here is a piece written by my weekly guest, Walid Shoebat, an Arab researcher and former Islamic terrorist. Put on your seat belts, he's going to give you an inside look at some of the music his old peers continue to embrace.
SONGS OF DEATH by Walid Shoebat
In my teenage days it was all about defeating Israel. Revolutionary songs played a key role in galvanizing Arab masses to Jihad against Israel; from wedding songs our fathers sang from 1948 glorifying terrorists to 1967 and 1973 during Yom Kippur. But now, it is getting much worse with Islamist Nasheed songs that speak of fortresses of skulls.
I memorized them all and we sang them with joy waiting for the day that we will get at the Jew’s Adam’s apple.
While Israel had Hatekva (Hope) as their national anthem, we had Fidae (terrorist) as our national anthem which originally came from Egypt taking the same music from their famous Biladi (my country), but changing the lyrics to Fidae (Terrorist)
Fidai Fidai Fidai Ya Ardi ya ardal judud
Terrorist, terrorist, terrorist my land the land of my forefathers …
With my persistence and my fire
And the volcano of my vengeance
And my blood’s desire
To my land and home
I climbed the mountains and entered the struggle
I did the impossible and broke the shackles
Palestine is my home and the path of my victory
Palestine is my vengeance
And the land of my steadfastness
“Palestine” is defined as a “vengeance” and not just as a country. But the word “terrorist” in Arabic songs was not only a signature of revolutionary organizations like the PLO. The best Arab classical singers took pride on such songs. Singers like Abdul Halim Hafez, Umm Kulthum, Farid Al-Atrash and Fairuz who were all secular and the most favorite in the Arab world, yet they all contributed providing terror songs. Here you will find Abdul Halim Hafez from my old days:
Terrorist, terrorist terrorist terrorist … terrorist
I gift my blood to Arabism
I live or I die
I really do not care
Just to see the Arab flag reign
In the midst of dangers
There I will be
Victory was never safe
Inside the locations
Between the canons
In the middle of the bombs
I go down and fight
I live or die
I really do not care …
Then you will find Farid Al-Atrash, one of the best classical singers in Arab history. He even sang songs praising terrorists:
He sings of the day when the Jew will finally meet his ultimate fate as predicted in Islam:
Tell them where will you [the Jew] hide?
For you have a bitter appointed day
We united crescent and cross
And we gathered far and near
It will be a destined day
That history will record
They glorified Allah and said
Allah is great
Allah is great
There is no God but Allah
Then you have the time during Yom Kippur in 1973, the favorite song was Bismiallah (In the Name of Allah)
Bismillah (in the name of Allah) Bismillah
Allah is Great Bismillah
Bismillah Call to the prayer Bismillah
We revive our Jihad in Bismillah
Allah Akbar (Allah is Great)
And say O Lord
The victory is great
We crossed the Sinai in Bismillah
Arab revolutionary songs are designed to make the terrorist intimate with his guns and his explosives. It is fast speed and its purpose is to move the adrenaline to make one’s blood boil with anger and hatred.
Take the song titled My Machine Gun in My Hand
With my machine gun
In my hands
I will continue on the path
Since occupied territories
Will never return for free
I will continue on the path
My machine gun
And my bullets
Are the path to my salvation
And who will stand in my path
I will shoot in the head
And I will continue on the path
My machine gun is my comrade,
My friend and my brother
We understand each other’s language
And it saves me in time of trouble
My machine gun is always on my shoulder
It’s my bed and my blanket
And as long as we are together
We will never be afraid
And will continue on the path
Palestinian Revolutionary songs intend to make teenagers come out by the droves like locusts to kill the enemy Jew.
The song I Am Coming For You just does that
(notice about 1:20 in, the IDF soldiers attacked by rocks)
I am coming for you
I am coming for you
From every corner, nick and cranny
I am coming for you
With my weapons and my faith
I am coming for you
Our war is the war of the streets
I am coming for you
I swear that I will stand in front of you
From every wall and house
We will come down
With knives and daggers
And with our hand grenade
We declared the people’s revolution
I swear my enemy
You will not escape
From the hand of the people and the revolution
And I will jump across the fire
As the people go on the path
Today Islamic revolutionary songs do not only call for eradicating the Zionist occupier but elevates a distinct pride when Islam removed past empires. It is globalist in its aspiration and is void of musical instruments, which are forbidden to use in Islam.
Such songs speak of massacres, beheadings and piling fortresses of skulls. They focus on reviving history of the glory days when Islam reigned, not just as a religion but as an empire.
The most favorite of Muslim terrorists is the song “Sawarem” (The Sword). Here it is fully translated:
When I researched Jewish songs I could never find any song that had the word “war” or “blood” or “massacres”. When I finally found a song that had the word "war", it was Lo Yessa Goy El-Goy Kherev. I noticed the word “Kherev” means 'sword' (war), but the song was saying “And nations will not learn war any longer”:
I pray for the day that the words of Isaiah the prophet are finally fulfilled. I’ve had enough of war songs.
Thank you Israel, for teaching me to do away with my war songs.
Kislev 4, 5773, 11/18/2012
Cheshvan 13, 5773, 10/29/2012
This is a public letter to the Prime Minister of Israel. It was written by an Israeli mother in the south of the country who is trying to raise her family without the constant missile and rocket attacks they face, whenever the terrorists in the Gaza strip feel like killing Jews. She wrote this using capital letters, so I am leaving it as is, to show her distraught.
THEY'RE SHOOTING AT MY KIDS!!!
MR. PRIME MINISTER, WHY ARE YOU NOT PROTECTING THEM???
WHY ARE YOU NOT PUTTING A STOP TO THE TERRORIST ATTACKS ON THIS COUNTRY???
INSTEAD OF ELIMINATING THE ENEMIES OF ISRAEL, YOU TRY TO PACIFY YOUR OWN CITIZENS WITH BAND-AID SOLUTIONS.
YOU CAME DOWN SOUTH AND MADE YOUR APPEARANCE AND THEN PROMISED SOUTHERN CITIZENS FUNDING TO ADD ON SAFE-ROOMS.
BUT THAT WILL NOT STOP THE ATTACKS FROM CONTINUING.
(Above) A public bomb shelter in the south set up for people caught outside during a missile or rocket attack. The cement walls are placed in front where it faces the direction of Gaza. Credit: Avraham Goodman from Ma'agalim, Israel
ARE THE SOUTHERN BORDERS OF ISRAEL NOT IMPORTANT???
WHY SHOULD WE CONTINUE TO LIVE UNDER CONSTANT ARAB AGGRESSION?
MY KIDS ARE AFRAID TO PLAY IN THE PARK FOR FEAR OF A MISSILE HITTING THEM FROM THE SKY ABOVE.
WHY DO MY KIDS HAVE TO LIVE THIS WAY? WHY MUST THEY LOOSE SCHOOL DAYS???
IS EDUCATION IN THE SOUTH NOT AS IMPORTANT AS IN TEL AVIV???
WHY DO MOTHERS HAVE TO PRAY THAT THEIR CHILDREN WILL RETURN HOME SAFE FROM SCHOOL OR OUT PLAYING???
WHY DO FIELD TRIPS IN SCHOOL GET CANCELLED BECAUSE OF FLYING ROCKETS???
WHAT PARENT IN TEL AVIV HAS TO CALM DOWN THEIR CHILD AFTER BEING WOKEN FROM SLEEP TO A SIREN AND LOUD VIBRATIONAL BOOMS???
SHOW ME A SCHOOL YARD OUTSIDE OF THE GAZA BELT THAT CHILDREN ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PLAY IN, FOR FEAR THAT THEY WON'T BE ABLE TO RUN FAST ENOUGH TO SAFETY???
REGULAR CHILDREN HAVE FIRE DRILLS IN SCHOOL, MINE HAVE ROCKET DRILLS. IS THAT NORMAL???
CEASE WITH YOUR EMPTY PROMISES!!!
OUR SCHOOLS DO NOT NEED TO BE FORTIFIED!!!
OUR CITIES & TOWNS DO NOT NEED MORE BOMB SHELTERS!!!
WE WANT SECURITY, NOT BAND-AIDS!!!
WE WANT OUR CHILDREN TO HAVE A NORMAL & SAFE CHILDHOOD!!!
WHERE IS YOUR LEADERSHIP, YOUR STAMINA???
WHERE IS JUSTICE?
HOW LONG DO YOU THINK YOU CAN KEEP ADMINISTERING BAND-AIDS?
SHAME, MR. PRIME MINISTER!!!