Archive for October 30th, 2009

“Angel Eyes” a Short Story

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Copper always seemed to know the day she and her owners, Mark and Lori, were due to go to the park. Prancing impatiently at the door, she barked once to remind her owners of their tardiness.
“Take it easy, girl”, Mark called from the kitchen as he helped Lori put the finishing touches on the picnic lunch. Packing it in the picnic basket, they joined the light brown dachshund at the door.
Husband and wife, with Copper tugging impatiently on the leash, left the house for the short walk to the neighborhood park.
The weather was sunny, and warm but not overly hot, so the couple set up their blanket and picnic in an open area away from the trees.
After helping Lori set out the picnic items, Mark and Copper engaged in their favorite games of “catch” and “keep-away” with Copper’s favorite purple ball.
After a few minutes, Copper suddenly ran in the opposite direction from where Mark had thrown the ball.
“Copper, come here girl”, Mark called after her. “That’s strange”, he commented to Lori, “I wonder what caught her attention”.
To their dismay, they saw Copper run up to a poorly dressed man. Frantically wagging her tail, Copper circled the man twice and then rolled over on her back, to have her stomached rubbed.
As Mark and Lori walked swiftly over to the stranger, he bent down to rub Coppers stomach. “Good dog, Copper”, the stranger said.
On closer inspection, Mark and Lori could see that the stranger’s clothes were a mismatched conglomeration of cast offs. Wrinkling his forehead in consternation, Mark thought “Oh great, a vagrant”.
“Umm”, he said out loud, “we’re sorry our dog bothered you. C’mom Copper, it’s time to go”.
Standing up to face Mark and Lori, the stranger smiled and said “Go ahead, Copper”.
Turning away from the stranger, with Copper in tow, Lori whispered to Mark, “I sure wish people like that wouldn’t hang around in the park”.
As they returned to their picnic, Copper looked back at the stranger.
Instead of the poorly dressed man her owners had seen, Copper saw the man quite differently.
Clothed completely in a white robe, the stranger had massive white gossamer wings protruding from his back. His eyes blazed with Heavenly fire, but his face was full of compassion and kindness. A glow of pure white light radiated from him and bathed the surrounding area in Holiness, heightening the detail of every leaf, twig and blade of grass around him and erasing all blemishes.
Copper had seen what her owners, with their preconceived notions, had overlooked. She saw the Angel for what he was, an awesome messenger of Almighty God. She saw him with Angel Eyes.

by Steve at Worshippingchristian.org

Jerusalem Must be Capital of Both Israel and Palestine, UN Chief Says

Friday, October 30th, 2009

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) — Jerusalem must be the capital of two States — Israel and Palestine — living side-by-side in peace and security, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all, if peace in the Middle East is to be achieved, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Wednesday.

“This is the road to the fulfillment of both the vision of (the United Nations) Security Council resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, and the yearning for peace of people from all over the world,” he said in a message to the Jerusalem International Forum in Rabat, Morocco, in which he stressed that the international community does not recognize Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem.

The secretary-general cited as obstacles to peace continued Israeli evictions and house demolitions in East Jerusalem, the latest occurring on Tuesday, closure of Palestinian institutions there, and the expansion of settlements contrary to international law and the Roadmap peace plan espoused by the Quartet — the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and the United States –that seeks a two-State solution to the conflict.

“These actions exacerbate tensions, prejudge final status issues, and often have tragic human consequences,” he added in the message, delivered by Robert H. Serry, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process and Ban’s personal representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, UN officials said here.

“I reiterate the repeated calls of the Quartet and the wider international community for Israel to freeze settlement activity, cease provocative and unilateral actions, and reopen Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem,” Ban said.

Ban voiced concern at recent episodes of tension at the Haram Ash-Sharif/Temple Mount compound in East Jerusalem, sacred to both Muslims and Jews, and the potential for further clashes, also citing the “sensitive excavations” by Israel in reconstructing a ramp to the site.

“We all share a responsibility to promote calm,” he said. “Today, access into East Jerusalem remains severely restricted by checkpoints, permits and the (Israeli) barrier, whose route is contrary to the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice.”

“These measures separate families, limit Palestinian economic development and make it difficult for residents of the West Bank to access specialized medical facilities,” he added, urging Israel to respect the “organic relationship” between East Jerusalem and the remainder of the West Bank.

“Only with the achievement of a two-State solution, and a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace, will Jerusalem be fully restored to its rightful place as a symbol of sanctity, brotherhood and peace for the entire world,” he said.

At his monthly news conference at the UN Headquarters in New York, Ban reiterated his warning that disturbances at the Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount compound and other events in Jerusalem can undermine trust throughout the region.

“I call upon all to avoid provocative acts,” he said.

He also called on Israel to re-open its borders with Gaza to allow in reconstruction material 10 months after the end of its three-week assault on Hamas there, noting that a donors’ conference in Egypt raised 4.5 billion U.S. dollars in financial aid for the purpose.

“Little if any of that money has been delivered,” he said. “Families have not been able to rebuild their homes. Clinics and schools are still in ruins. I urge Israel to accept the UN reconstruction proposals as set forth, recognizing that the only true guarantee of peace is people’s well-being and security.”

He called on both Israel and the Palestinians to carry out “full, independent and credible investigations” in accordance with the recommendations of a UN commission led by Justice Richard Goldstone, a former prosecutor at the UN war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, which found evidence that both sides committed serious war crimes in the Gaza war.

He said he was aware both were now going to have their own investigations. “I have not received any further details, but that is positive, I would say,” he said. “I have been repeatedly urging the Israeli Government to institute a credible domestic investigation process.”

Original Link.

“SEARCH JUDAISM” a Book Review by Fern Sidman

Friday, October 30th, 2009

SEARCH JUDAISM

Judaism’s Answers to a Changing World

BY: RABBI YITZCHOK FINGERER

Reviewed by: FERN SIDMAN

The words that we utter each and every morning in our daily prayers were written by the wisest of all men, King Solomon. “The beginning of wisdom is the acknowledgement of G-d.” It is a sublimely simple statement and one that has sustained the Jewish people throughout the millennium. There is little doubt, however, that in our hedonistic culture; saturated with skepticism and replete with atheists of all stripes, there any many who find themselves in a quandary about the veracity of G-d’s existence and wrestle with questions of morality and ethics as they attempt to navigate the vicissitudes of life.

“Search Judaism” by Rabbi Yitchok Fingerer is a scrupulously researched repository of exceptionally enlightening information culled from both religious and secular sources on the eternal questions of moral relativism, free choice, pleasure and happiness, good and evil, the meaning of modesty, reincarnation, why bad things happen to good people, divine revelation and the essence of our souls and more importantly, how they play a major role in our lives. This cogently written book is not specifically geared for intellectuals of the secular humanist genre but for all thinking individuals; irrespective of background and level of observance. Its pages are punctuated by poignant stories and pithy anecdotes, as Rabbi Fingerer posits himself as a raconteur and courageously offers a refreshingly honest treasure trove of answers to such questions as “Does G-d exist?”, “Is our free choice pre-determined?” “Did a Divine revelation really take place?”, Whose morality do we follow?”, among others of this archetype.

As a student of Rav Avraham Pam, zt”l, Rosh Yeshiva of Brooklyn’s Torah VaDaas, Rabbi Fingerer’s stellar intellect virtually leaps forth from the pages of this book as he weaves together an indisputable and inexorable thesis for the existence of G-d. His concrete evidence is predicated upon numerous corroborative scientific, psychological and academic studies; all examined under the light of a Torah perspective. Utilizing a plethora of Torah and Talmudic sources along with the timeless wisdom of our Rabbinic sages as a solid foundation, he explores the findings of such psychologists such as Yale professor Stanley Milgram, repentant atheists as British professor Antony Flew and controversial figures as Harvard professor of ethics, Bertrand Russell. Analyzing their reports and results, Rabbi Fingerer proves that true morality cannot be self-defined, that despite critical scientific modalities for research, the omnipotence of G-d is readily apparent and that the Torah is not just a isolated study in ethics in which one can divorce himself, but a genuine, hands on “roadmap to life” that, if studied properly, becomes infused in the fiber of our very beings.

This compelling and powerful page turner will most assuredly keep the reader absorbed as we remain transfixed on a trajectory of personal and collective self-discovery. “Judaism is about searching and investigating in order to passionately live and learn the truth” says the author. We are taught that when we learn Torah we must ask pointed questions. We know that the language of the Torah is Hebrew and we also know that it is a definitive language and every word, every letter, every punctuation mark is laden with hidden meaning. Just as we peal away the layers of an onion, we must assiduously search for answers to the questions of life. “Search Judaism” will facilitate our innate quest for truth and this book, undoubtedly, will play a pivotal role in bringing our lost brethren back to Hashem.

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Fern Sidman holds a B.A, in political science from Brooklyn College. She was the educational coordinator for the Betar Youth Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was national director of the Jewish Defense League from 1983-1985. She was a researcher for several books written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L. She was the managing editor of the publication entitled, The Voice of Judea, and is a regular contributor to its web site. She is currently a writer and journalist living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in The Jewish Press, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and numerous Jewish and general web sites including, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes and Michael Freund.
We are delighted to have Ms. Sidman as a regular contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

White House Part of Push for ‘Obama Art’

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Freshly uncovered e-mails detail White House involvement in the National Endowment for the Arts’ controversial conference call encouraging artists to create work that promotes the Obama agenda.

Yosi Sergant, then the NEA communications director, encouraged conference callers to create art that supports Obama’s goals in the areas of health care, education and the environment.

“I would encourage you to pick something, whether it’s health care, education, the environment, you know, there’s four key areas that the corporation
has identified as the areas of service,” Sergant said on the call.

White House staffer Buffy Wicks thanked the artists for all the work they had done together during the past two years.

Details of the conference call were made public through release of a transcript and audio on the BigHollywood website.

Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request related to the NEA’s Aug. 10 conference call and successfully obtained documents consisting of internal NEA correspondence, including e-mails involving Sergant and former actor and current associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, Kalpen Modi.

The following are excerpts from the email correspondence:

* Aug. 10, 10:23 a.m.: e-mail from Yosi Sergant to Kalpen Modi: “[The call is] organized by me … I’d ask you to come on and give the exact spiel you gave on Saturday. Walk them through the WH Arts Policy. They won’t know it. Then I will take them into United We Serve and the NEA.”

* Aug. 10, 10:29 a.m.: e-mail from Kalpen Modi to Yosi Sergant: “Oy. This would be awesome to be a part of. Let me know if you think it’s going long, or maybe I can get someone from here to do it if I can’t because of the Social Security mtg.”

* Aug. 10, 11:04 a.m.: e-mail from Kalpen Modi to Yosi Sergant: “Let me see if we can move Social Sec by a few mins. Agreed, it would be great to be on the call and helpful for us also.”

* Aug. 10, 1:37 p.m.: e-mail from Yosi Sergant to Buffy Wicks, deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement: “We have an important call at 2pm for UWS (United We Serve) and the Arts with my peeps. Indie producers around the country. Kal can’t join the call. Any chance you can hop on for 5 minutes and intro with Nellie and I?”

According to Judicial Watch, the names of people on the conference call were redacted due to “privacy concerns,” but some of their titles were disclosed, including: green blogger, publisher, musician, music writer, film/marketing, actress/director, marketing, magazine, marketing/magazine, event producer and actress.

The participants were described by the NEA communications director in an e-mail as a “rad group, who can really get stuff done.”

“These e-mails shed new light on a very serious Obama administration scandal,” Judicial Watch said in a statement. “The NEA is supposed to foster the arts, not serve as a propaganda machine for the Obama White House. We will continue our investigation so we can provide the truth to the American people about this scandal.”

Original Link.

House Democrats to Impose New Taxes, Fees and Government Mandates on Health Care Businesses

Friday, October 30th, 2009

True to form, the Democrats don’t care who they have to walk over or hurt to get to the end result. They will do anything necessary to force a government health care plan down American’s throats. A plan that the majority of Americans are opposed to.
I wonder who they think will pay these taxes and fees? To answer that question: we will.

WASHINGTON — The health care overhaul bill produced by House Democrats would impose an array of new taxes, fees and government mandates on major players in the health industry, including insurers, doctors and drugs and medical devices makers.

In most cases, the pain has been meted out with an eye toward raising the money needed to finance President Barack Obama’s plan for reshaping the health system but also with careful regard for gaining the votes that will be needed to pass a final bill.

Democrats hope to vote next week on the measure, which would extend health coverage to tens of millions of Americans who don’t have it, impose sweeping new restrictions on private insurers and create a government-run insurance plan to compete with them.

Among the industries targeted in the bill are medical device makers — one of the few that failed to cut an early behind-the-scenes deal with Obama and Democrats to help pay for an overhaul. The House added $20 billion in taxes on sales of medical devices like artificial hips and heart stents to the legislation Democratic leaders unveiled Thursday.

That’s more than the industry wants to pay, but it’s a substantial reprieve from an earlier plan in the Senate to slap a $40 billion fee on medical device makers. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has agreed to slash the fee, in part to win cooperation from fence-sitting Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana.

Bayh, whose state is home to prominent medical device makers, including Zimmer Holdings Inc., Biomet and DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., is one of a handful of wavering Democrats whose support will be vital to getting to the 60 Senate votes necessary to advance the health overhaul. That means he and other holdouts have disproportionate power to cut deals on behalf of favored industries that are bracing for major costs under the new system.

Original Link.