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Showing posts from 2015

Ancient Hangover Cure Discovered in Greek Texts

Hiding a hangover in ancient Egypt would've taken some work. Rather than popping an ibuprofen for a pounding drunken headache, people in Egypt may have worn a leafy necklace.
That's according to a newly translated and published papyrus written in Greek with the recipe for a "drunken headache" cure. The 1,900-year-old papyrus containing the hangover treatment is one of over 500,000 such documents found in the ancient Egyptian town of Oxyrhynchus. See pictures and read complete article at --

2,700 year old Farmhouse from First Temple Era and Byzantine Church Found in Central Israel

A huge farmhouse from the First Temple period The sprawling 2,700-year old farmhouse has no less than 24 rooms surrounding a central courtyard, which is a common structure in the Middle East. Altogether the farmhouse area covers some 30 meters by 50. It was so well preserved that some walls were still standing to a height of more than two meters after nearly three millennia. See pictures, video and read article at -

Yeshua’s Traumatized Society

Yeshua was born into a society traumatized by violence. His life was framed by revolts. The uprisings after Herod’s death occurred in the year of his birth, and he was brought up in the hamlet of Nazareth, only a few miles from Sepphoris, which Varus had razed to the ground; the peasants’ strike against Caligula would occur just ten years after his death.
During his lifetime, Galilee was governed by Herod Antipas, who financed an expensive building program by imposing heavy taxes on his Galilean subjects. Failure to pay was punished by foreclosure and confiscation of land, and this revenue swelled the huge estates of the Herodian aristocrats.  When they lost their land, some peasants were forced into banditry, while others — Yeshua’s father, the carpenter Joseph, perhaps, among them — turned to menial labor: artisans were often failed peasants.
The crowds who thronged around Yeshua in Galilee were hungry, distressed, and sick. In his parables we see a society split between the very ri…

Early Third Century Christianity

The Church was a new phenomenon in the Roman Empire. Christians had exploited the empire’s improved communications to create an institution with a unity of structure that none of the other faith traditions had attempted by the third century. Each local church was headed by a bishop, the “overseer” who was said to derive his authority from Jesus’s apostles, and was supported by presbyters and deacons. The network of such near-identical communities seemed almost to have become an empire within the empire.
Irenaeus, the bishop of Lyons (c. 130-200), who was anxious to create an orthodoxy that excluded aggressive sectarians, had claimed that the Great Church had a single Rule of Faith, because the bishops had inherited their teaching directly from the apostles. This was not only a novel idea but a total fantasy. Paul’s letters show that there had been considerable tension between him and Jesus’s disciples, and his teachings bore little relation to those of Jesus. Each of the Synoptic Gosp…

Once upon a time a Preacher, Professor & Rabbi . . .

Once upon a time a Preacher, Professor & Rabbi . . .” sounds like the beginning of a good joke, but in this case it is the beginning of a twenty-five journey. I am the preacher, Dr. Ike Tennison is the Professor and the Rabbi is Jeffrey Leynor. Our destination was to more accurately understand the words of our Bibles and the histories of our religions – Christianity and Judaism. We specifically wanted to focus on the first century CE when both of our religions were Jewish sects and part of Second Temple Judaism and learn more about how one of those sects – the Jesus Movement – became a universal Gentile religion, and the other – the Pharisees – became Rabbinic Judaism. What we discovered, however, is much more important than what we planned. Today, the social bonds that are required to hold Americans together and make it possible for our democracy to exist are breaking down and many of the problems we face – political, economic and religious – are the result. We believe that what…

Why Did the Magi Bring Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh?

Were the gifts of the magi meant to save Jesus from the pain of arthritis? It’s possible, according to researchers at Cardiff University in Wales who have been studying the medical uses of frankincense. Since the early days of Christianity, Biblical scholars and theologians have offered varying interpretations of the meaning and significance of the gold, frankincense and myrrh that the magi presented to Jesus, according to the Gospel of Matthew (2:11). Read the complete article at --

How did the Romans celebrate ‘Christmas’?

It wasn’t until the late fourth century that the church fathers could agree on the date of Christ’s birth – unlike the pagan Romans, Christians tended to give no importance to anyone’s birthday. The big day in the Christian religious calendar was Easter. Nevertheless, eventually the church settled on 25 December as the date of Christ’s nativity. For the Christians, it was a holy day, not a holiday, and they wanted the period to be sombre and distinguished from the pagan Saturnalia traditions such as gambling, drinking, and of course, most of all, worshipping a pagan god! Read the complete article at --

Why the Magi got a bad press

There were not three Magi. The number is not specified. It is only stated that they brought three types of gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh. We can say with near certainty that there were not three but many thousands!The answers are clear once we understand the dilemma faced by the Roman State Church founded under Constantine in the 300s CE.It was excruciatingly painful for the priests of the Roman ‘Mother Church’ to explain why the Magi of Persia had worshiped the infant Jesus and the Roman Empire had destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. Parthia worshiped Jesus. Rome pillaged Jerusalem and destroyed the Jews. How could Romans justify a Christian heritage? The Roman Mother Church therefore blamed the Jews for the death of Jesus although the crucifixion was conducted by Roman soldiers, under Roman imperial authority and with Roman nails. Read the complete article at --

Unearthing the World of Jesus

Surprising archaeological finds are breaking new ground in our understanding of Jesus’s time—and the revolution he launched 2,000 years ago. The Gospels say that Jesus taught and “proclaimed the good news” in synagogues “throughout all Galilee.” But despite decades of digging in the towns Jesus visited, no early first-century synagogue had ever been found.  For historians, this was not a serious problem. Galilean Jews were a week’s walk from Jerusalem, close enough for regular pilgrimages to Herod the Great’s magnificent temple, Judaism’s central house of worship. Galileans, mostly poor peasants and fishermen, had neither the need nor the funds for some local spinoff. Synagogues, as we understand them today, did not appear anywhere in great numbers until several hundred years later. If there were any in Galilee in Jesus’s day, they were perhaps just ordinary houses that doubled as meeting places for local Jews. Some scholars argued that the “synagogues” in the New Testament were nothi…

For NONES TOV Values is a Place to Start

A Dallas Morning News article, "Having faith, if only for kids' sake," caught my attention. Did you know, that "No Religion" is now the fastest growing religious group in America, with 23% of the country identifying themselves that way? In her book, Losing Our Religion: How Unaffiliated Parents Are Raising Their Children, writer Ruth Graham looks at how contemporary "Nones" - people who report that they have no religious affiliation whatsoever - handle the question of moral and spiritual formation with their children. She says of herself that she's been a church member for most of her adult life, but years without regular attendance, her theology is "squishy" and she does not really pray. So what draws her soul? Read Rabbi Leynor’s complete blog at --

Jacob’s Descendants who Go to Egypt: The MT Versus the LXX.

A close look at the different references to Jacob’s descendants, and their number in both the MT and the LXX shows how the tradition of Jacob’s descendants developed over time. Genesis 46:8-27, inParashat Vayigash,lists Jacob’s descendants who came to Egypt; in the Masoretic Text (MT) they total 70, whereas in the Septuagint (LXX), they total 75.  In other words, the MT is missing five names found in the LXX.

The Real History Of Hanukkah Is More Complicated Than You Thought

Americans who know anything about the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah may have heard that it celebrates the victory of good over evil -- the triumph of light over darkness. But the real history of Hanukkah’s origins is more complicated. It is as much the tale of a Jewish civil war as it is about successful resistance against foreign interlopers.
● In 175 BCE Antiochus IV Epiphanes ascended to the Seleucid throne and initiated an explicit program of hellenization in the Jewish territory -- promoting the values of worldly knowledge, physical beauty, hedonistic indulgence and polytheistic spirituality.
● Antiochus’ measures were welcomed by some local Jews and Antiochus encouraged the development of the Greek educational system in Jewish society.
● A growing number of Jews began worshiping Greek gods, too.
The rising influence of hellenism was not immediately a source of open conflict within the Jewish community. But, eventually, Antiochus and his Jewish allies, including the high priest Menelaus…

The Closing of the American Jewish Mind

From the earliest years of my childhood, I always learned that the Jewish community valued intellectual debate. I witnessed this at every stage of my Jewish education. I grew up as the son and grandson of Conservative rabbis, attending services every week where the congregants and leaders engaged in vigorous discussions about the meaning of the liturgy. I studied at the Solomon Schechter Day School where my favorite class was Talmud, where our teacher Rabbi Lerner would carefully walk us through each line of text and demonstrate how every word and sentence could be dissected for new meaning. Rabbi Lerner taught us that the Talmud showed us how the Jewish people believed in debate for debate’s sake rather than trying to make everyone conform to the same opinion. That is the essence of Judaism. . .

We no longer seek debate, nor do many shuls even allow it to happen. We are having trouble being tolerant of the other side. Rather than having different sides of the Jewish community debate t…

“The Greatest Generation” Stood Up and Accepted their Challenge – Now It’s Our Turn!

How many more mass shootings? How many more political scandals? How much more corruption? How many more people killing in the names of their gods? How much more unbridled greed for profit at the expense of "We the People... and the Common Good?" Is this how we, Americans, are choosing to live in our nation today? Is this the legacy we want leave to our children and grandchildren? Was this the vision the Founders had for us? I've mentioned many times, in the work that I do, that I come in contact with those who remain from that the "GREATEST GENERATION." My parents of blessed memory and their friends were part of that group as well. I've spent many hours listening to their stories and being constantly amazed by such a diverse group of people and experiences who came "TOGETHER" to respond to the horrible evils that threatened to swallow the entire world! Read Rabbi Leynor’s complete blog at --…


I always loved Hanukkah, of course as a child, but also as an adult as well. There are warm memories of the sights, smells and feelings which return each year lighting the candles and giving the little gifts to family and friends. Growing up, we heard the story of the "miracle" of the cruise of oil that lasted for eight days. Later, it was interesting to study and learn about the real history behind the Hanukkah story. Read Rabbi Leynor’s blog at --

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day - The Awakening of the “Sleeping Giant”

Today is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Just before 8 a.m. on December 7, 1941, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, Hawaii. The barrage lasted just two hours, but it was devastating: The Japanese managed to destroy nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight enormous battleships, and almost 200 airplanes. More than 2,000 Americans soldiers and sailors died in the attack, and another 1,000 were wounded. The day after the assault, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress

On December 8th President Roosevelt said, “Yesterday the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked . . . No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very cer…

First ever seal impression of an Israelite or Judean king exposed near Temple Mount

Unprecedented King Hezekiah royal seal discovered in Ophel excavations brings to life Biblical narratives of Jerusalem’s First Temple period.  Dating back to 727–698 BCE, and measuring 9.7 by 8.6 mm., the oval impression – discovered amid Jerusalem’s noted Ophel excavations under the direction of HU’s Dr. Eilat Mazar. Around the impression is the depression left by the frame of the ring in which the seal was set.  The impression bears an inscription in ancient Hebrew script stating: “Belonging to Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz king of Judah,” accompanied by a two-winged sun with wings turned downward, flanked by two ankh symbols symbolizing life. See pictures and read complete article at --

Women are especially prone to sexual misbehavior while sex is less a compulsion for men and more a religious duty.

The rabbis characterize women as creatures that are especially prone to sexual misbehavior and men as creatures for whom sex is less a compulsion than a religious duty to be performed out of obligation. This is a conclusion that came from an article that addresses the following question – Should women study Torah? Read the complete article at --

8 things you probably did not know about Pompeii

Roman historian and archaeologist Dr. Joanne Berry shares eight lesser-known Pompeii facts.

1) Pompeii is not frozen in time, nor is it a perfect time-capsule. The eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 caused vast damage – fires were started, rooftops were swept away, columns collapsed. Most of the inhabitants of the town escaped into the surrounding countryside (although we have no idea how many of those died there). They took with them small valuables, like coins and jewellery, and lamps. Organic materials, like sheets, blankets, clothes, curtains, were mostly destroyed. In the years and centuries after the eruption, salvagers explored Pompeii, tunnelling through walls and removing valuable objects. The earliest formal excavations in the 18thcentury were little more than treasure-hunting exercises, which means that records of finds are poor or non-existent. There is also evidence that some finds, such as wall-paintings and pottery, were deliberately destroyed by the excavators because they w…

60-Second Guide to Heresy

Thousands were burned at the stake for heresy in the 11th and 12th centuries. But what were their crimes, and how did these individuals – often known as Cathars – fall victim to this terrible punishment? Heresy was an opinion about the teaching of the Catholic church, which was condemned by the church as inconsistent with it. From the early 11th century, many people accused of heresy were burned at the stake as a result. In 1022, people who were considered heretics were burned for the first time since antiquity. Read the complete article at --

Thanksgiving is Everyday

Afterwards, at the reception, the discussion at the table focused on "catching up" with a number of people from my former congregation, whom I had not seen in years. People told me I looked good and that I seemed much happier. Yes, for me, learning to be happier is a work in process. One person wanted to know just how I managed that! Read Rabbi Leynor’s complete blog at --


I recently started working with a new student towards a Bar Mitzvah ceremony and experience suitable to his needs. I was sitting there with his parents discussing which service we would use and the requirements. I was teaching about what the concept of being a Bar Mitzvah means and his father suddenly said with a gleam in his eye, "I just had a wonderful idea! I was never offered the chance to become Bar Mitzvah. I would love the opportunity to study with my son and share this experience!" Read Rabbi Leynor’s complete blog at --

Iraqi Museum Discovers Missing Lines From the Epic of Gilgamesh

After a century-and-a-half, a new chapter of the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the world's oldest written stories has been discovered. The Sulaymaniyah Museum in Iraq has discovered 20 new lines to the ancient Babylonian poem. Read the complete article at --

Who Was the Most Destructive Jewish "Messiah"? It Wasn't Jesus

Ask Jewish people why they reject Jesus, and most will say it's because he falselydeclared himself to be the Messiah. In maintaining this stance they are following the view of twelfth-century Jewish philosopher and scholar Rabbi Moses Maimonides (known as Rambam) that the true Messiah must deliver the fruits of the Messianic prophesy before he dies. Nevertheless, whether or not Jesus declared himself Messiah, or his followers believed he was the Messiah, shouldn't he be recognized and respected as a dedicated Jew--a fact lavishly illustrated throughout the Gospels of the New Testament? Given the history of Jewish "Messiahs," who today are considered false but still are not rejected as Jews--indeed, some are still honored and revered--how can Jews' shunning of Jesus be justified?  Read the complete article at --

A Psychologist Replays the Trials of Jesus and Paul, and Uncovers Surprising Revelations About Judaism

Jesus and Paul were executed for the primary charge of blasphemy against Judaism, even though some biblical scholars claim that the charges were bogus — not blasphemous by Jewish law and tradition. In both instances, the charges were made by the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of Judaism. The Roman authorities referred both cases to the Jewish authorities because “the charges were Jewish matters.” If Jesus didn’t launch Christianity, if Paul didn’t, who did? More puzzling, how did Christianity get away from Judaism? Interesting questions that beg for fresh thinking. Questions that psychologists, sociologists and historians may be more suited to investigate than theologians or biblical scholars, who are mired in traditional frames of reference. Read the complete article at --

TOV and Our Democracy

One of the things I tell my premarital couples is that, though marriages may be Made in Heaven (or Hell), the Maintenance is Done here on Earth! Every day!!! All relationships need to be maintained in some way. It is our responsibility to nurture and nourish relationships, as well as fix and mend them. It is the same with our Democracy and our way of life. "WE THE PEOPLE" is not a spectator sport! Read Rabbi Leynor’s latest blog at --

LIFE and TOV have Good Numbers & an Invitation for You

In the Hebrew alphabet, each letter has a numeral equivalent. For instance, the letter Aleph, which begins the alphabet equals 1, next letter Bet equals 2 and so on. There are a number of people who believe that the sum total of words or sentences have some hidden spiritual meaning or code. Read Rabbi Leynor’s complete blog at --

Great Example and Lesson About TOV

The following story was shared on Facebook. It is a great example and lesson about TOV.
In Crown Heights, there was a Jew, Yankel, who owned a bakery. He survived the camps. He once said, “You know why it is that I’m alive today? I was a kid, justa teenager at the time. We were on the train, in a boxcar, being taken to Auschwitz. Night came and it was freezing, deathly cold, in that boxcar. The Germans would leave the cars on the side of the tracks overnight, sometimes for days on end without any food, and of course, no blankets to keep us warm,” he said.
“Sitting next to me was an older Jew – this beloved elderly Jew - from my hometown I recognized, but I had never seen him like this. He was shivering from head to toe, and looked terrible. So I wrapped my arms around him and began rubbing him, to warm him up. I rubbed his arms, his legs, his face, his neck. I begged him to hang on. All night long; I kept the man warm this way. I was tired, I was freezing cold myself, my fingers were …

Supreme Court Will Hear Religious Nonprofits’ Contraceptive Mandate Challenge

The future of a controversial provision intended to help ensure individuals have access to various methods of birth control will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court by the end of June. The high court today granted review of all seven cases pending before it regarding challenges brought by religious nonprofits to regulations implementing the Affordable Care Act’s essential coverage provisions. Read announcement at --

Sumerian -- The Cuneiform Script

The Sumerian language was spoken in southern Mesopotamia during the 3rd millennium BCE. It is an isolate language meaning we know of no other languages that relate to it ancestrally. Sumerian is written in the cuneiform script. In fact, it is the first language we know to be written using cuneiform and most likely cuneiform was developed for use by this language. The Sumerian language enjoyed a resurrection during the Old Babylonian period as a literary and liturgical language. The scribes in this period considered the language as essential for maintaining the traditions of a very old period, and wanted to recapture an archaic time of magic and legend. After this period ending c. 1595 BCE, the scribal usage of Sumerian decreased significantly.  See pictures and read article at --

Pew Study Finds More Americans reject religion, but believers firm in faith

“We should remember that the United States remains a nation of believers,” said Gregory A. Smith, Pew’s associate director of research, “with nearly 9 in 10 adults saying they believe in God.” That said, overall, belief in God has ticked down by about 3 percentage points in recent years, driven mainly by growth in the share of“nones” who say they don’t believe in God. But even among Christians — 98 percent of whom say they believe in God — fewer believe with absolute certainty: 80 percent in 2007 compared to 76 percent in 2014. And now 77 percent of adults surveyed describe themselves as religiously affiliated, a decline from the 83 percent who did so in Pew’s 2007 landscape study. Americans as a whole are growing less religious, but those who stillconsider themselves to belong to a religionare, on average, just as committed to their faiths as they were in the past — in certain respects even more so. Read the complete study at --…

Palestinian incitement exposed

These terror filled last few weeks in Israel have left many people wondering:
(1) What would lead a teenager to walk the streets of Israel looking for anyone Jewish to stab to death?
(2) How are such children produced?
(3) What is the cause?
The answer is very straightforward – incitement in Palestinian schools. Read the complete article by Rabbi Dov Lipman, who served as a member of the 19th Knesset --

A Bar\Bat Mitzvah is not a day, it’s a life!

One of the things I love to do is, offer an alternative Bar\Bat experience not only for children with special needs, but also for children (and their parents) who truly want to be part of a meaningful Rite of Passage. For so many children and their families, this has become a Riteless Passage and Passageless Rite exiting the Bar\Bat Mitzvah Mill. Large numbers of these post-Bar\Bat mitzvah vets will not set foot in a synagogue again until necessary. The best way to understand this rite is that it is not just the day -- it's all the choices and consequences which come after that day. Read Rabbi Leynor’s blog at --

The Bible’s First Lessons on Love

The Bible opens with the famous creation accounts, but few probably realize that these are also the Bible’s first lessons about love – the love of the Creator. These are lessons that are well worth learning and sharing with others, because if there is one thing our lives and world urgently need now – it’s the presence of the Creator’s love. See if you recognize the Creator’s in the real salvation message of Jesus (you won’t hear it at a church). Click on this article at --

The Story of the Ten Commandments You Didn’t Learn at Your Church or Synagogue

If there is one thing in the Bible that Christians and Jews agree on, it is the story of the Ten Commandments and the words that were written on the two stone tablets. Many readers picture someone like Charlton Hestonholding two stone tablets in a movie. And then they read the words on the stone tablets, words that are found in Exodus 20. Would you be surprised to discover that those words were not written on the stone tablets? Discover what was written on the stone tablets by clicking on this article at --

The Dangers of the Temple Mount

Clashes over the Jerusalem holy site can tip a political battle between Israelis and Palestinians into a religious battle between Jews and Muslims. The Old City of Jerusalem is that fortunate one-third of a square mile in the world where holy sites of the three major monotheistic religions are intimately contained. In its four quarters are the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Via Dolorosa, the Western Wall, and the Temple Mount, upon which sit the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shrine and one of the Middle East's most recognizable buildings.

It certainly doesn't help that the holy places in Jerusalem also play an integral part in the Armageddon narrative among evangelical Christians. I'd say that's another story altogether, but it's really not. Should the centerpiece of the conflict continue to zero in on the supernatural, a political reconciliation naturally gets harder to manage. As Ibish explained: The danger is that these narratives seem t…

A Tool to Find Banks that Invest in the Local Economy

The reasons to choose a community bank or credit union range from getting the same services at a lower cost to supporting productive investment instead of speculative trading. But while it’s one thing to think about the qualities that are important in our banks, it’s another to find particular local banks that are enacting them. A new tool, called Bank Local, aims to make that process easier. Bank Local maps every banking institution in the U.S., and uses data from three federal agencies, plus its own algorithm, to assign them a Local Impact Rating. Users can type their address into a bar on the site’s homepage, and find a map and list of how nearby financial institutions compare. Read the complete article and find the link to the “Bank Local” tool at --

Will the Knife and Dagger Morph into the Gun and Bomb?

Despite Netanyahu's declaration, as detailed in this update last week, that: "Israel is waging an all-out war on Palestinian terrorism", and despite the enhanced measures against terrorists that have been put in place, we are seeing a substantial and dramatic increase in fatal attacks by young Palestinian terrorists against Israelis. This does not seem to be an organized or planned operation. In almost all the incidents so far the terrorists were "lone wolf" attackers with no apparent terror group affiliation, and the targets were mostly random "soft" targets: a family walking home in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, a child on a bike, people waiting in a bus stop or riding a bus, or just walking in the street. Read Gil Elan’s latest blog at --

Parents Teach Your Children TOV!

I was scrolling through FB the other day and I came upon a wonderful video I had to share. The story takes place in Thailand. Briefly, a mother who is a fruit vender with a cart, with no education appears to be scratching out a living. Her little daughter sees other children enjoying ice cream, but there is no money for her to do the same. Her mother shows her how to cut a pineapple and to make a pop which is put on ice. Her daughter suggests selling them. She takes her pops to the market, but no one buys. Read Rabbi Leynor’s complete blog at --

10 of Britain’s most infamous witch trials

The prosecution and hanging of two men and eight women on Pendle Hill in Lancashire in 1612 has long caught the public imagination, the story being retold in puppet shows, pamphlets, plays and novels. In terms of witchcraft as heritage tourism, Pendle Hill has become the Salem of Britain. A century later, the last conviction for witchcraft in England took place in Hertfordshire.
The stand-out sorcery case of the pre-witch-trial era was that of Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester. In 1441 she stood accused of employing a magician named Roger Bolingbroke and a wise-woman named Margery Jourdemayne to kill Henry VI by sorcery.
They were found guilty, and to warn others against such practices, Robert was made to stand upon a stage constructed in the churchyard of old St Paul’s Cathedral while a sermon was preached against magic. His magical paraphernalia was also exhibited, including wax images, a sceptre and swords draped with magical copper talismans. He was convicted of high treason and…

Can you stay focused for longer than 5 seconds?

“The average attention span at present is just 5 seconds long. Ten years ago it was 12 minutes.”
(1) How does a decreased attention span affect relationships between people, the quality of life, or the ability of people to acquire knowledge?  
(2) Does it make people more frustrated?
(3) Is it addicting people to social media?
(4) Does it make people easier to control and manipulate?
(5) What affect will this have on this generation’s children as they enter adulthood?
(6) Is this simply the result of the advancing technology or by design?

What do you think? Go to our Facebook Pageand let us know -- click here.

What do you really know about Christopher Columbus?

America's love affair with Christopher Columbus has been a rocky one. Some savor his day to celebrate Italian-American heritage, while others chafe at the impropriety of honoring a man who enslaved and killed thousands of native peoples. But our ubiquitous statues and “Columbias” testify to how passionately most of the nation once embraced Columbus. . . The history behind Columbus the person, neither the humanizing Irving portrayal nor the symbolic Columbus square with the deeds of the man himself. “It's a shock to go back and read the original documents and see that all the mean things they say about Columbus are true,” Bushman says. “He was a terrible figure really, who somehow became an idealized symbol for a nation. It's simply remarkable. Read this great article about Columbus published by The Smithsonian Magazine at --

What does the word “religion” mean?

I just began reading Karen Armstrong’s book Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence (Anchor Books; New York, NY). Her introduction provides a tremendous amount of very important historical insights. Below is an excerpt from pages 4-5. I divided it into additional paragraphs and underlined portions because it is packed with so much.
For about fifty years now it has been clear in the academy that there is no universal way to define religion. In the West we see “religion” as a coherent system of obligatory beliefs, institutions, and rituals, centering on a supernatural God, whose          practice is essentially private and hermetically sealed off from all “secular” activities. But words in other languages that we translate as “religion” almost invariably refer to something larger, vaguer, and more encompassing.
The Arabic din signifies an entire way of life. The Sanskrit dharma is also “a ‘total’ concept, untranslatable, which covers law, justice, morals and social life.”

Jewish history’s greatest archaeological crime

In 1999, thousands of year’s worth of fragile and irreplaceable Jewish archaeological antiquities were surreptitiously and violently dug up by Arab bulldozers at Judaism’s holiest site, Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, to build an entrance to a subterranean mosque. The resulting thousands of tons of invaluable debris – believed to contain over 1 million artifacts dating back to the First Temple period – were then carted off in dump trunks and discarded like garbage to a nearby landfill in Jerusalem’s Kidron Valley. The Temple Mount Sifting Project, now in its 10th year, has uncovered hundreds of thousands of invaluable antiquities from tons of ancient debris discarded like trash from Judaism’s holiest site. Read the complete article at --

Tiny stone seal from King David era found in Temple Mount fill

A rare stone seal believed to date from the 10th century BCE was recently found in rubble removed from the Temple Mount, archaeologists announced. “The dating of the seal corresponds to the historical period of the Jebusites and the conquest of Jerusalem by King David, as well as the construction of the Temple and the royal official compound by his son, King Solomon,” he said. “What makes this discovery particularly significant is that it originated from upon the Temple Mount itself.” See pictures and read article at --

Please Remember MaKayla Dyer

Please keep the family of MaKayla Dyer in your thoughts and prayers. She is the little eight year old girl that was shot with a 12 gauge shotgun and killed by an eleven year old neighbor because she refused to let him see her puppy. Please consider making a donation to help the family on funeral expenses too.

Would you like to increase the odds of success for your child? Do this & it’s FREE!

Words are like spotlights that reveal things to those who know them that are hidden from those who do not. The acquisition of words creates a treasure that cannot be taken from your child. With those treasures your child will be able to more accurately make distinctions between things that exists – as well as between reality and fiction. Read the complete blog at --

"This Week In The Middle East" by Gil Elan - Putin's Syria Strategy

"This Week In The Middle East" by Gil Elan, President and CEO of Southwest Jewish Congress.
At the opening plenum session of the UN General Assembly on Monday,President Obama saidthat any resolution in Syria must include the removal of Bashar Al-Assad as president. President Putin, in his speech, insisted thatAssad was not the problemand that his exit would enable the Sunni Jihadists, mainly ISIS and Al-Qaeda affiliated Jabhat Al-Nusra, to take over the country.
Putin's argument has merit. Obama's incessant calls for the removal of Assad is a continuation of the well-intended but totally naive, misguided and eventually disastrous US policy during the so-called "Arab Spring" of assisting with the overthrow of secular, stabilizing, pro-Western dictators in favor of "democratic elections". And we all knowhow that turned out.

Read the complete article at --

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei publishes book on how to outwit US and destroy Israel

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has published a new book called “Palestine,” a 416-page screed against the Jewish state in which he makes his position clear from the start: Israel has no right to exist as a state. His strategy for the destruction of Israel is not based on anti-Semitism, which he describes as a European phenomenon. His position is instead based on “well-established Islamic principles.” One principle is that a land that falls under Muslim rule, even briefly, can never again be ceded to non-Muslims. What matters in Islam is ownership of a land’s government, even if the majority of inhabitants are non-Muslims. Dozens of maps circulate in the Muslim world showing the extent of Muslim territories lost to the Infidel that must be recovered. These include large parts of Russia and Europe, almost a third of China, the whole of India and parts of the Philippines and Thailand.
Khamenei insists he is not recommending “classical wars” to wipe Israel off the map, nor does he want to “massacr…

The World's Oldest Papyrus and What It Can Tell Us About the Great Pyramids

Following notes written by an English traveler in the early 19th century and two French pilots in the 1950s, Pierre Tallet made a stunning discovery: a set of 30 caves honeycombed into limestone hills but sealed up and hidden from view in a remote part of the Egyptian desert, a few miles inland from the Red Sea, far from any city, ancient or modern. During his first digging season, in 2011, he established that the caves had served as a kind of boat storage depot during the fourth dynasty of the Old Kingdom, about 4,600 years ago. Then, in 2013, during his third digging season, he came upon something quite unexpected: entire rolls of papyrus, some a few feet long and still relatively intact, written in hieroglyphics as well as hieratic, the cursive script the ancient Egyptians used for everyday communication. Tallet realized that he was dealing with the oldest known papyri in the world. Astonishingly, the papyri were written by men who participated in the building of the Great Pyramid,…

Why public beheadings get millions of views

This is a very important subject that every American needs to understand. Please take a few minutes to watch Frances Larson’s Ted Talk.
“We're fulfilling the murderer's desire to be seen. When the victim of a decapitation is bound and defenseless,he or she essentially becomes a pawn in their killer's show.Unlike a trophy head that's taken in battle,that represents the luck and skill it takes to win a fight,when a beheading is staged,when it's essentially a piece of theater,the power comes from the reception the killer receives as he performs.In other words, watching is very much part of the event.”
View the video at --

It is Time to Start Talking!

Texas Pastor Talks Down Islamist Gunman While Saving Flock

Rasheed Abdul Aziz, 40, entered the Corinth Missionary Baptist Church in Bullard Texas hours after the regular Sunday morning service and asked to see the pastor.As Aziz was shown into the conference room, “Every hair on my neck just stood up,” said Rev. Johnson, 45. “It was almost like you could just like feel the presence of just negative energy.” Aziz was dressed in camouflage fatigue pants and boots, a black T-shirt and a tactical vest. He was sweating heavily. As Johnson extended his hand, Aziz began yelling about being a “man of Islam” and how his god said he was authorized to take the lives of infidels. He specifically mentioned killing Jews and Christians because their doctrine was contradictory to Islam. Read the complete article at --

Lessons About Prayer: Prayers That Will Not Be Answered

Lessons About Prayer from the Jewish Culture of Yeshua Series #2 Prayers That Will Not Be Answered
The Talmud tells us that God will not answer some kinds of prayer. God will not answer a prayer: that is:
(1) that is not sincere
(2) that asks Him to break one of His own laws
(3) that asks for Him to do what we ourselves should be doing
(4) that asks Him to help us by hurting others

Read the complete article by CLICKING HERE.

Lessons About Prayer: Whom Should I Thank?

Lessons About Prayer from the Jewish Culture of Yeshua Series #1 Whom Should I Thank?
Once a boy who had just eaten lunch turned to his mother and said, “Thank you very much.” But his mother said, “You should not thank me alone, for I only prepared the food.”
The boy wondered, “Whom should I thank?” He went to the grocery store and saw the grocer.  “Thank you, Mr. Grocer, for the very fine bread that I ate at lunchtime.”  “Oh,” said the grocer, “you should not thank me alone. I only sell the bread. I do not bake it.” Read the complete article at by CLICKING HERE.

The Shady Family Behind America’s Iran Lobby

The Shady Family Behind America’s Iran Lobby. This Iran lobby, publicly represented by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), has become a staunch institutional ally of the White House selling the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear deal is known. But while NIAC has done the heavy-lifting—the ad-buying, the leafleting, and Congressional meet-and-greets, all designed to sell lawmakers on the Iran deal—its political efforts also underwrite the economic interests of one very well connected but low-profile Iranian family, the Namazis, who played a key role as intellectual architects of NIAC. Before you make up your mind about the Iran deal, “study” this article & its supporting documents --

Found in Translation: How a Writer Discovered the Bible Anew at the University of Iowa

In August 2002, Aviya Kushner left Jerusalem, where she had been a correspondent for theJerusalem Post, returned to her parents’ home in Monsey, New York, and then drove a thousand miles west to Iowa City to begin an MFA program in nonfiction writing.A native Hebrew speaker with an expressive face, Kushner would prompt her professor to stop and ask what it was that she found so surprising in the class discussions of the text. At first, Kushner thought that explaining the differences would be easy, but slowly it dawned on her that the gaps in understanding were not so easily bridged. Kushner came to realize that the experience of studying Bible in English with her classmates began with her needing to know what they brought to the text as they read. “I found that my classmates believed all sorts of things that I did not think were possible,” she said, but eventually “I understood where they were coming from, and I had a lot of empathy for them.” Read complete article at -- http://www.ta…

Religious and secular Israelis dissatisfied with religious policy

“There is clearly a growing, solid, overwhelming majority of Israelis who are unhappy about the way religion and state are linked and impacting the lives of individuals and the state." The survey found that 95 percent of secular respondents are dissatisfied with the government’s handling of religious issues, with large majorities favoring civil marriage or civil unions and official recognition of non-Orthodox conversions. But the survey also reported dissatisfaction with religious policy among 81 percent of haredi Orthodox Israelis, despite the fact that haredi parties regained control over the Religious Affairs Ministry and the powerful Knesset Finance Committee following the March elections. Read the complete article at --