Daily Archives: 27 Dec 2011

If You’ve Run Out of Things To Pray…

You could always pray Psalm 109… with an enemy in mind.

7 When the sentence is passed,
let him be found guilty—
let his prayer be found sinful!
8 Let his days be few;
let someone else assume his position.
9 Let his children become orphans;
let his wife turn into a widow.
10 Let his children wander aimlessly, begging,
driven out of their ruined homes.
11 Let a creditor seize everything he owns;
let strangers plunder his wealth.
12 Let no one extend faithful love to him;
let no one have mercy on his orphans.
13 Let his descendants be eliminated;
let their names be wiped out
in just one generation!
14 Let his father’s wrongdoing
be remembered before the LORD ;
let his mother’s sin never be wiped out.
15 Let them be before the LORD always,
and let God eliminate the very memory of them from the land.
16 All because this person didn’t remember to demonstrate faithful love,
but chased after the poor and needy—
even the brokenhearted—
with deadly intent!
17 Since he loved to curse,
let it come back on him!
Since he didn’t care much for blessing,
let it be far away from him!
18 Since he wore curses like a coat,
let them seep inside him like water,
seep into his bones like oil!
19 Let them be like the clothes he wears,
like a belt that is always around him. ”  (CEB)

Oh, does that make you uncomfortable?  Is it disconcerting to find such a text in Scripture?  Among the prayers of the faithful?  It shouldn’t  And if you want to know why it shouldn’t read Gordon Wenham’s upcoming volume– especially chapter 9.

Because Our Elected Officials Are The Toadies of Big Business…

English: Tehran, Iran: City Theatre. Pahlavi e...

Every time a butterfly flaps its wings in the Middle East, you and I pay the price.

Oil prices jumped over 2% Tuesday, crossing the $100-barrel-mark after Iran threatened to choke off the flow of oil passing through the Strait of Hormuz. The Iranian threat came in response to a recent tightening of Western sanctions against Iran that attempt to limit the amount of oil that country can export.

But instead of developing a policy leading to energy independence, our moronic leaders continue to dip from the well of the oil industry. Their shortsightedness and ineptitude will nevertheless be overlooked and they will be returned to office by Americans dim of wit.

This is how Some Ultra Orthodox Treat Tiny Girls

One word fits- VILE! Ok two- DISGUSTING! Thanks to Irene Hahn for pointing it out on FB.

If the Christian Zionists don’t denounce this, they are the willing partners of evil, the servants of Satan himself.

An Index for the Talmud

From the New York Times

page du Talmud Source : scanner illustration l...

The Talmud is a considerable body of work: 63 volumes of rabbinical discourse and disputation that form Judaism’s central scripture after the Torah. It has been around for 1,500 years and is studied every day by tens of thousands of Jews. But trying to navigate through its coiling labyrinth can be enormously difficult because the one thing this monumental work lacks is a widely accepted and accessible index.

But now that breach has been filled, or so claims the publisher of HaMafteach, or the Key, a guide to the Talmud, available in English and Hebrew. It was compiled not by a white-bearded sage, but by a courtly, clean-shaven, tennis-playing immigration lawyer from the Bronx.  The index’s publisher, Feldheim Publishers, predicts it will be snatched up by yeshivas and libraries, but more important, it will be a tool for inveterate Talmud students — and there are plenty of those. Feldheim’s president, Yitzchak Feldheim, said the first printing of 2,000 books — a market test — sold out in a few days here and in Israel. More printings have been ordered.

So there you go- if you’re into the Talmud, you’ll need an index.  Really.  With thanks to some painted kid named Mark something or other, I forget, from UNC for the twitter-tip.

Your Congressman Only Cares About the Wealthy…

Because your elected officials ARE the wealthy- ergo, their policies and laws are meant only to preserve their own wealth and power.

Before he ran for Congress in 1974, Gary Myers was a steel mill worker. His campaign set him back $33,000. Today, Myers’ seat is occupied by Mike Kelly, a wealthy car dealer who married into the Phillips oil fortune. His campaign cost $1.2 million. That contrast is emblematic of the widening wealth gap between members of Congress and their constituents, the Washington Post observes. Between 1984 and 2009, the median net worth of House members more than doubled—from $280,000 to $725,000—even as median household income declined by $100 to $20,500.

It’s not hard to figure out why Congress does what it does.  Just follow the money. (And you keep sending the same greedy criminals back, so you’re just getting what you deserve).

When you elect evil you ought not be shocked when evil does what it is.

Gov. Rick Snyder: Robbing From the Poor and Giving to the Rich- He’s the Anti-Robin Hood


Unemployment in the United States is down to 8.6%, but it’s still a number that is too high. In Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder is dealing with a 10.6% unemployment rate, two points higher than the national average. Sticking with his Republican party line, Snyder has signed new laws into action that will continue the battle against the middle class.  Snyder has signed a bill into law that stops unemployment benefits from reaching the nearly 400,000 Michigan workers and forces them, if available, to take low paying jobs even if the pay is less than the benefits they were receiving. While his critics are hitting him hard, Snyder stands by his actions. …  As many struggle and dread having to bring even less into their household, not everyone in Michigan will be feeling the pain. Snyder has also included a $1.7 billion tax cut for corporations that he believes will help with job creation.

Politicians…  Who but the worst of society run for public office?

A Jewish Perspective on the New Testament

From the good folks at NPR:

The New Testament is constantly being re-interpreted from a variety of perspectives. From feminists, to socialists, to traditionalists; there’s even a version as seen through the prism of Star Wars.

Well now, you can add to the collection The Jewish Annotated New Testament by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler.

Levine, a professor of New Testament and Jewish studies at Vanderbilt University, and Brettler, the Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies at Brandeis University, gathered a group of Jewish scholars to put together the first-ever annotated version of the New Testament from an entirely Jewish perspective.

Read the whole- it’s an excellent report.  Here’s my own first impressions of the volume from a few weeks back.

It’s Not Sharia Law in Israel and the Ultra-Orthodox Aren’t The Taliban, But they Might as Well Be

The President of Israel is a man of sense:

President Shimon Peres on Tuesday called on Israelis to attend a demonstration against religious fanaticism, after two days of rioting by ultra-Orthodox extremists in Beit Shemesh.  Thousands were expect to attend the Tuesday night rally in Beit Shemesh, a city south-west of Jerusalem, organized by pro-democracy and equality activists.

“The entire nation must be recruited in order to save the majority from the hands of a small minority,” Peres urged. “This obligation is everyone’s responsibility.”

“Today is a test for the nation, not just for the police. All of us, religious, secular, traditional … must as one man defend the character of the state of Israel against a minority which breaks our national solidarity,” Peres told reporters Tuesday.

More than 10,000 people are expected at a rally in Beit Shemesh on Tuesday to protest the exclusion of women as well as violence against girls and women by Haredi extremists. The rally will begin at 6 P.M., near the Orot girl’s school.

I applaud him.  I hope that the people of Israel will support him rather than the Israeli Taliban.

Elad’s Expansionistic Goals and Policies

The Associated Press informs us that

A hard-line Israeli group said Tuesday it was launching plans for a new tourist center at the site of a politically sensitive archaeological dig in a largely Arab neighborhood outside Jerusalem’s Old City, drawing fire from Palestinian officials.

The project’s sponsor, the Elad Foundation, said the new visitors center and parking garage will be built above a section of the excavation area known as the City of David, leaving the ruins below accessible. The foundation said no additional land beyond the current excavation site would be used and that construction, which must pass several zoning committees, was still several years away.

Israeli archaeologists at the City of David, named for the biblical monarch thought to have ruled from the spot 3,000 years ago, are investigating the oldest part of Jerusalem. Finds there linked to life and ritual in ancient Jerusalem regularly make international headlines, and the dig has become one of Jerusalem’s most popular tourist attractions.

The site is just outside the Old City walls at the edge of the neighborhood of Silwan in east Jerusalem, the part of the city the Palestinian Authority says it wants as the capital of a hoped-for state.

Elad is continuing to impinge upon Palestinian properties with the clear goal of 1) uniting Zionists behind them and 2) forcing Palestinians out altogether.  Shame on them.  And shame on their clearly politically motivated ‘archaeology’ and the archaeologists they’ve co-opted to achieve their purposes.

New Photos from the Tel Aviv University Excavation at Ramat Rachel and Ir David

Over on Facebook you can check out the new album.  Here’s just one of them (it’s a step stone structure) –

Today With Zwingli

Zwingli on the bronze doors by Otto Münch (193...

On 27 December, 1527, Zwingli responded to an enquiry from Ulm concerning slanders Johannes Eck had leveled at him in November of that year.

From the outset Zwingli unhesitatingly observes that Eck’s senselessness is apparent to one and all. He writes

Ich hab doctor Ioannem Ecken 30 gesten tags Novembris vermanet uff die disputation gen Bernn ze komen, hatt er mir uff 24 tag Decembris ein antwurt überschickt (wie wol imm die anstand, kumpt ouch zuo siner zyt unders liecht) und daby ein gar unerbare erfordrung üwer wysheit frommens predicanten Cuonraden Somen. In dero nit allein ghein wäsenlicher grund, sunder ouch ein söliche lestrung usgeschreyt, das damit üwer wysheyt, wo die nit so christenlich geneygt und gesinnet wär zuo allem friden, seer möchte verwundt und zuo schwären fürnemen geursachet werden. So nun gedachter Eck mit sölcher unsinnigheit ye verhofft der vallenden sach des bapstumbs ze hilff komen, und üwer ersamen wysheyt ouch die frommen Christen sampt dem wolgelerten getrüwen hirten by üch gdar also usbieten, und hiemit minen liben bruoder Oecolampadium und mich als verkerer der warheyt nennen, so ist an üwer wysheyt min demüotig, undertenig pitt, so verr es üwren eeren und üwrem predicanten nit nachteilig, ir wellind Eggen einen fryen platz uftun zuo üch gen Memmingen, Costentz (unseren lieben burgeren) oder Lindow; wirt einer under uns oder bed, ob got wil, sicher erschynen, doch erst nach volziehung des gesprächs ze Bernn. Stande üwer wysheyt mannlich by gottes wort, so werdent ir die gnedigen hilff gottes sehen. Derzyhend ouch minem kintlichen, doch yferlichen flyß.

And that’s it. He is dismissive of Eck because Eck is worthy only of being dismissed. It’s only natural that he feel that way, however, since Eck spent a good deal of his time spreading lies and misinformation about Zwingli and his reforming efforts.

Psalms as Torah: Reading Biblical Song Ethically

Baker Academic have been very kind and sent along galley proofs of Gordon Wenham’s forthcoming volume for me to look over.   My review of this amazingly engaging volume follows:

The Babysitter Who is Charged with Murdering a 9 Year Old

Very sad news today for the parents of the missing 9 year old Aliahna Lemmon.

The neighbor who was babysitting a 9-year-old Indiana girl when she went missing last week will be formally charged with murder Tuesday, a heartbreaking turn for the girl’s relatives who considered him a family friend.

Authorities said Monday night that Aliahna Lemmon had been found dead and Mike Plumadore, who was watching Aliahna and her two sisters when she went missing Friday, was being held on a murder charge. He and Aliahna’s family lived in the same mobile home park in Fort Wayne.

“He was a trusted family friend,” Aliahna’s step-grandfather, David Story, told The Associated Press late Monday, saying he was surprised by the arrest.

It’s usually a family member or ‘trusted family friend’, when a child is murdered (and God knows what else he did to her before that) isn’t it….

I’m off to utter an imprecatory prayer against the murderer and a sorrowful prayer for the family of the little girl.