Archive for the ‘judaism’ Category

The book I read to research this post was The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict A Very Short Introduction by Martin Bunton which is an excellent book which I bought on kindle. This book is part of an extensive series where they get an expert on a topic to write roughly 150 pages about it. They are on the whole pretty good and my knowledge on this topic was quite limited mostly just to stuff I saw on the television. The land area of Israel & Palestine combined is about the size of Wales so it is only small. One problem was that the Jews were driven out by the Romans in biblical times and in the meantime Arabs or Palestinians had settled in the area and prior to World War 1 it was part of the Ottoman Empire. Jews had been calling for the return of their homeland since the pogroms in 1880’s Russia and the first conference for this was held in Basle in Switzerland in 1897. After that there was a steady trickle of Jews to the area although they found it difficult to find anywhere to live or find work so many left again. It’s interesting to note there was a Palestinian soccer team sent to one of the early world cups. Anyway Britain took over Palestine after World War 1 and was meant to be preparing it for self government but was just interested in their own interests. There were several conferences meant to partition the land between Jews & Palestinians and the main one was probably in 1947 when Israel was recognized as a state. The Americans did put pressure on Britain to reluctantly agree to this as they needed favorable terms for paying America back. More recently Palestine has been recognized as a non member state by the UN and Israel recognizes it needs an independent government. A major problem is the number of Jewish settlements in Palestine which does contravene International Law. A lot of the problem is the growing population in Israel with people emigrating there and needing somewhere to live. They have also built rather a controversial wall around much of Palestine in an attempt to stem terrorism but has been compared to apartheid and cause much hardship. Also in Palestine there has been much road building to Jewish settlements that often ploughs through peoples land. There has also been several wars especially in 1967 when Israel captured much Arab land in retaliation for them attacking her but as they have made truces much of this has been returned. Another issue is the Lebanon where a weak country was destabilized by the presence of the PLO and various other factions that descended into civil war and an invasion by Israel to try and restore order which has also meant a buffer zone being kept between the 2 countries and the people in this area are resentful. I’d probably need to write alot more to cover this properly and I think there is no easy solution although they seem to have made progress. I really enjoyed the book .

 

The book I read to research this post was The Middle East For Dummies by Craig S Davis which is an excellent book which I bought from kindle. The middle east or near east as it is sometimes called extends from Morocco in the west to Pakistan in the east and from Turkey in the north to as far south as the Sudan. This area is predominantly Muslim but there are considerable numbers of other religions like Coptic Christians and Jews. The Coptic Christians have their own pope called the Alexandrian pope. Although many people think the main issue behind the Arab-Israeli War was the fact that the Jews had a homeland in the middle east other issues just as important were the Americans & Russians trying to get the countries on their respective sides and selling them weapons and giving them aid in the process. Also Israel due to its rapidly expanding population often settled Jews in settlements in areas they had invaded and often forced Arabs off land to make way for these. They also gave the Jews licences to drill for water on their land but not the Arabs. In Algeria a million French people governed 9 million Arabs and this has often been called the French Vietnam. Charles de Gaulle whilst president gave Algeria its independence. There is still a civil war going on here. This book looks at all the different countries in this region on a country by country basis. A lot of the problems were caused by the colonialization by Britain, France & the Turks. I enjoyed reading this book and it is very interesting also with sections on the history of this region. Contrary to popular thought when the Muslim’s conquered huge areas in the 6th Century people weren’t forced to become Muslim. Non-Muslims paid higher taxes and were an important revenue source and becoming a Muslim was considered an honor of which one had to want before it could be conferred. Many became Muslim in order to pay less taxes but there were still large numbers in the region of different religions. There was a case quite recently where a school was on fire and because the girls weren’t wearing headscarfs there were men who blocked the exits and refused to let them escape. I think in any religion there are going to be daft radicals. I mean like if you are of a Christian faith like me just look at groups like the Scientologists & Mormons to name but two. Islam is a very varied religion with even groups like Sufism who believe in being spiritually aware and having a spiritual connection with God.

The book I read to research this post was The Second Messiah by Christopher Knight et al which is a very good book which I bought from Amazon. This book is similar to the kinds of books Andrew Collins & Graham Philips write in that they have taken the information in the bible and looked at what the evidence suggests. The book mainly focuses on the Turin Shroud & Jesus. According to this book Jesus never claimed to be God and the idea of son of god is a mystical one applying to everyone else as well. Jesus founded a church called the Jerusalem and when he died his successor was James both one of the apostles and his brother. Peter was a bit of a heretic who taught Jesus was God and what he taught appealed to the Greeks & Romans. When Jesus died he wasn’t very popular but when James was put to death there was a massive uprising which ended in the Romans putting to death and expelling the Jews from Israel. The Turin Shroud according to the authors contains the image of a crusader put to death possibly by the Saracens. The shroud didn’t come into contact with the poor man but apparently it contains predominantly lactic acid which came into contact with oxygen and reacted to form the image. It goes into how it was created but it’s quite complex. I’m not sure if I agree with everything in the book but it is definitely an interesting read. I do enjoy reading these kind of books.

The book I read to research this post was A Brief History of The Holy Grail by Giles Morgan which is a very good book which I bought from Kindle. The roots of what the holy grail is like giving perpetual youth lie in pagan religion. Some claim the holy grail was what Jesus used at the last supper others claim it was what Joseph of Arimethea used to collect Jesus’s blood & yet others claim it was the sacred bloodline of Jesus’s descendants. A small blue receptacle was found at Glastonbury which some claimed was the holy grail. There’s a legend that Joseph of Arimethea & the virgin Mary went to Glastonbury. The King Arthur stories which although a fictitious work were based on much older legends tell of Percival trying to save the Fisher King with the holy grail but when he sees it at the white castle he doesn’t ask what it’s purpose is. There probably was a King Arthur but he wasn’t called Arthur. Many films have been inspired by the King Arthur legends like obviously Excalibur but also Star Wars & the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The holy grail in a famous scene in Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade was depicted as being made of wood & Jesus didn’t have a lot of money so it was probably not made of a precious metal. The eskimoos believe if you drink out of a walruss skull it has similiar properties to what we believe about the holy grail. They also believe the northern lights are spirits trying to reenter our world. The Nazis tried to hijack the King Arthur legends & the holy grail story for their own ends. Hitler was obsessed with ancient artifacts. They tried to make out christianity was a left over of judaism & that the Cathars who claimed they had descended from had possessed the holy grail. It’s from stories like that, that some people wonder if they found the holy grail.

The book I read to research this post was Beneath the Pyramids by Andrew Collins which is a very good book which I bought from Kindle. About 200 years ago 3 huge underground chambers were discovered near the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. There was no treasure there so the people who discovered it didn’t spend all that much time exploring it. I have a friend who is psychic & he wrote a book mostly of predictions & transcripts of medium sessions. But in his book one thing he predicted was that pyramids will be discovered in China & it will change how we perceive that different cultures were isolated from one another. It’s interesting that at a site in Egypt there is a site of stones set up celestially much like a small scale Stonehenge & some of the stones are newer than the rest because obviously the stars changed over time & they had to change the circle to acommodate this. A mass grave was found near the Valley of the Kings where upto 40% of the bodies had died had died of things like knife & arrow injuries. They could tell this because they hadn’t tried to heal. Many of the others had terrible injuries but had somehow survived. These bodies were dated to about 10,500BC & it’s interesting that a medium called Edgar Cayce had stated during a medium session that people from the Caucasus mountains near Russia had arrived in Egypt in around 11,000BC & there had been a lot of violent strife. At the time Edgar said this it was disputed by historians but now they’re having second thoughts. Egyptians or historians have also found mumified small animals. It’s interesting that in The Ten Commandments story the Jews made a golden calf because many Egyptians & Jews worshipped cows. It was a sort of rival religion at that time.

 

The book I read to research this post was The Arcadian Cipher by Peter Blake et al which is a very good book which I bought from a car-boot sale. This book presents some quite interesting theories especially concerning the crucifixion of Jesus. Many of the classic artists studied things like the kabalah & gnostic christianity & this often influenced their pictures. Nicholas Poussin studied hebrew among other things for example. Although in many pictures & in many hollywood films for that matter Jesus is shown high off the ground at the crucifixion in practise he may have only been a few inches off the ground. Another theory in this book is that Jesus may have not been nailed to the cross as that was reserved for roman soldiers who broke the law, it would have been a horrific death either way. Often people who were crucified took days to die & if they broke their legs so they suffocated that was seen as welcome relief. Nazareth apparently didn’t exist at the time of Jesus & the title of Jesus of Nazareth was a mistranslation of Nazareone which was an egyptian religion which involved magic. According to the Talmud Jesus was egyptian & when he was crucified he was accused of being a magician among other things. As you probably know he did live in egypt as a child. We’ll probably never know the truth concerning these theories but they are interesting.

The book I read to research this post was The Moses Legacy by Graham Phillips¬†which is an excellent book which I bought at a car boot sale. The supposed idea in the bible that we are all descended from Adam & Eve is nonsense because their son Cain got married so there must have been others. Also it says they built a city which I think would be beyond one family. The name Moses probably comes from the egyptian word mose meaning son & Moses was probably the son of the pharoah who took an interest in the jews. Obviously for literary purposes it’s better to make him a jew in the bible. There were probably 2 Moses one who led them out of egypt & got the pharoah to release them & another who guided them to Israel. In the original bible it didn’t tell you which mountain Moses died on & it was due to Justinian the first, leader of the byzantine empire who claimed it was mount sinai & that appeared in later bibles. The old testiment bible wasn’t written down for hundreds of years & the jews memorized it & there are certain things like the domestication of camels which happened later on but before the bible went to print. Around the time the jews left egypt, the egyptians followed similiar religious practises to judaism ie they worshipped one god called Aten which means giver of life but their god didn’t have a specific name, these were the only 2 religions in the world at that time to not name their god. The egyptians must have got disillusioned with their gods prior to that. For more on that have a look at my Act of God post which explains that. A couple of generations later the egyptians went back to worshipping lots of gods.