Monday, December 29, 2014

America is Not a Racist Country

Gary Fouse

This article originally appeared in Eagle Rising.

I was born in 1945 in Los Angeles. Some might say I grew up in a part of the country that was spared racial segregation as it existed in the deep South. That would not be completely accurate. In those days, black people basically resided in South Central LA and some pockets of Venice on the West Side. We were segregated by neighborhood.

My mother was from North Carolina, and I grew up thinking of it as my second home. My mom and dad would take me back there every couple of summers to visit her family. Actually, it was usually just my mom who took me. I remember when I was still a small boy and we were driving past a restaurant that had a sign on the window reading, "Whites only." Even at my tender age, the sign caught my attention. That was the North Carolina of the 1950s. That it existed anywhere in the US said something about the entire country. It is fair to say that America at that time was, indeed, a racist country. It was most severe in the South, but to one degree or another, it was everywhere.

Then came the 1960s and the Civil Rights movement. It was a time of marches, race riots, Martin Luther King, and ultimately reform. It was not just a reform of our laws but a change in the way white people thought of black people. The greatness of Martin Luther King and those who worked with him was that they struck a cord in the psyche of white Americans. One of the things that makes this country great is that when people really see injustice in front of them-true injustice- they will correct it. Thus, in my lifetime, I have seen a transformation in this country that is of historic proportions, a change that few countries and few people would be capable of in a period of a couple of generations.

It is painfully true that many black Americans have been left behind in the inner cities and constitute an economic underclass for lack of a better expression. Does the legacy of slavery and segregation still play a role in this? To some extent, yes. However, I think there are other factors more important.

Larry Elder, a black radio talk show host who is nationally syndicated, believes that the biggest problem facing black America today is the lack of a stable family and the absence of the father. He points out that in the worst days of Jim Crow, the black illegitimate birth rate was about 25%. Today, it is over 70%. White racism, according to Elder, is so far down the list of problems facing blacks today that it is insignificant. I agree though my perception as a white is always going to be different from that of black folks.

But how to explain this odd statistic? There is only one plausible reason I can come up with. Our government leaders in the 1960s, trying to do the right thing, instituted a system of welfare that all but destroyed the incentive to have a stable two-parent family and for people to wait to have children until they could support them. Instead, welfare encouraged the idea of having children early and out of wedlock. The government would take care of the expenses. Sub-standard housing in the inner city? The answer was subsidized housing projects that became urban nightmares.

And where has all of this brought us? Today, we are consumed with Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and other young black men who for one reason or another have gotten involved in deadly encounters with cops and died as a result. The black community is angry. The cops are being accused of being racist murderers. The justice system is accused of being unfair to blacks, which results in a disproportionate number of blacks in our prisons. Did they commit the crimes they were convicted of? That seems irrelevant. We have protests, marches, riots and now two dead NYPD officers. Never mind that there is not one shred of evidence that Brown or Garner were singled out by the police because they were black.

Let me come directly to the point: America today is not a racist country. Are there racists walking around? Yes, but they come in all colors. The phenomena that we see in certain cities like Los Angeles where black gang members and Mexican gang members are shooting it out on the streets against each other and continuing that warfare in California prisons, is not because of white racism. Black on black murders and Hispanic on Hispanic murders cannot be blamed on white racism. And shame on all of us when we ignore these murders to focus on the relatively rare cases where minorities are shot by cops almost always in circumstances that are justified as just happened last night in Berkeley, Missouri a St Louis neighborhood. If Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton want to lead marches, they should be marching in Chicago, where black on black murder is at a deadly high. Where are the protests against that?

America is still a country with racial issues and racial divisions. But America today is not a racist country.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Muslim Persecution of Christians, September 2014

The Muslim persecution of Christians in September started making prominent appearances not just in the Islamic world, but also in the West—in America, Australia and Europe.

In the United States, in Columbus, Indiana, three churches were vandalized on the same night. The words most frequently sprayed were "Infidels!" and "Koran 3:151." The verse from the Koran states, "We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve [or "infidels"] for what they have associated with Allah [reference to Christian Trinity] of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers."
Father Doug Marcotte of Saint Bartholomew's Catholic Church, one of those vandalized, said, "There's a lot of bad stuff being done in the name of Allah and so when people see this happening in Columbus, whether that was truly the person's intent or there's something else going on, it makes people nervous. It makes people upset. It makes them scared."

Meanwhile, in Australia, AAP reported that "Church-goers in Sydney's west have been left shaken after a stranger shouted death threats from a car bearing the Islamic State flag. The car drove past Our Lady of Lebanon Church at Harris Park on Tuesday and witnesses claim it had a flag similar to those brandished by Islamic State jihadists hanging out the window." A church official said the people in the car threatened to "kill the Christians" and slaughter their children: "They were strong words and people were scared of what they saw." Witnesses saw a flag outside the window with the words, "There is only one god and Muhammad is the prophet." And as happens frequently in Muslim-majority nations, police security was later dispatched to patrol the Harris Park church while hundreds partook of the mass inside.

People in a car bearing a jihadist flag verbally abused parishioners at the Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Sydney, Australia in September, threatening to "kill the Christians" and slaughter their children.

In Denmark—2013's "happiest country in the world"—Christians of Middle Eastern backgrounds continued to experience "harassment, verbal attacks and in some cases direct violence from Muslims," reports TV2, especially in Muslim-majority areas, such as Nørrebro. One Christian, "Jojo," born in Denmark of Lebanese parents, shared her experiences. Once when sitting in her parked car, several Muslims surrounded it, harassing her about her Western attire. When one of them noticed she was wearing a cross, he said "Well, you have a cross on—then you are also a Christian f***ing whore. Do you know what we do to people like you? Do you know what we do to people like you? You get stoned [to death]."

Another Christian woman of Iranian background recounted how she and her son are harassed on the Muslim-majority block where they live—and where she stands out for not wearing a hijab, the Islamic veil: "My son is being called everything. I get called all sorts of things. Infidel. Filthy Christians. They tell me I ought to be stoned to death. My son was beaten at the bus stop. He was called pig, dirty potato (Muslim slang for Danes), and that 'you and your mother should die."'

Islamic dreams of conquering Europe were prevalent. A senior analyst in Spain warned that, because Islamists see the Iberian peninsula as being "under Spanish and Portuguese occupation," greater risk of terrorism exists there than in other Western areas. Because Iberia—or, in Arabic, Al-Andalus—was under Islamic domination for centuries, many Muslims consider it part of the Islamic world, or Dar al-Islam, which needs to be reconquered, no less than Israel, also seen as occupied Islamic territory.

More pointedly, in the Islamic State [IS], in a lengthy message partially addressed to the "crusaders"—a reference to the West—some members declared, "We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah." Members of the IS also invoked a statement attributed to Muhammad, that Constantinople would be conquered before Rome—and it was, in 1453. The implication was that the Eternal City of Rome would be next.

Around the same time, Rome responded by rejecting a motion to name a street after the late Oriana Fallaci, a veteran journalist who had once written that, "the Muslim world is attempting to conquer the West in the name of Islam." In explaining their decision, local politicians described Fallaci's writings as containing "religious hatred," or "Islamophobia."
In Canada, while 80 special Muslims went to the trouble of attending a Muslim rally on behalf of persecuted Christians, sadly, another rally, an extremist Al Quds Day Anti-Israel Hate Fest, drew approximately 6,000 participants.
The rest of September's roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and country alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity.

Muslim Attacks on Churches

East Jerusalem: A Christian church was attacked numerous times: On September 29, young Muslim men, with ties to a Palestinian militant group, wired shut the door of the Living Bread Church and sprayed a gaseous substance at those inside. An earlier gas attack had already occurred on September 17. Hours before the second attack, someone threw a rock through one of the windows of the church, and the day before that, Sunday, September 28, a Palestinian and others assaulted a church member as he was emptying trash into a dumpster outside the church.
On Sept. 21, a Palestinian militant, without warning, ran up behind a church leader, Karen Dunham, and knocked her to the pavement: "This guy charged me as fast as he could," she said. "He came up behind me and just slammed into my back, and I fell and I hit the ground. My face is bruised. There's bruises on the side of my cheek, on my face, on my head, on my knee, cuts on my head, and my wrist was fractured."

Egypt: A Christian priest in Egypt appealed to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to intervene on behalf of yet another church being threatened by "religious extremists." So far, local authorities have done nothing. Four years ago, the Coptic Church of St. Abram in Shubra al-Khaima received a permit to build an additional building. During those same four years, seven "thugs"—in the words of the report—have prevented it from being built. The "thugs" had mobilized local Muslims to threaten and demonstrate against the church. "The priest lamented that 'after suffering many long years' they finally managed to acquire the permit to build, but then the next obstacle presented itself in the person of the aforementioned seven 'thugs' who constantly harass, and incite Muslim mobs, against the church, whenever it tries to exercise its right to build the services building. Islamic law forbids the building of new churches or the renovation of existing churches."

Iraq: Islamic State militants "completely destroyed" the ancient Green Church in Tikrit. They packed the church with explosives and detonated them -- completely destroying the ancient church, which belonged to the Assyrian Church of the East. Almost from the time it was built in the seventh century, when Islam overran Iraq, the church had been attacked, ransacked, and destroyed by Muslim rulers and others, but was restored on the orders of Iraq's late President Saddam Hussein in the 1990s.

Nigeria: Many more churches and a Christian university, Kulp Bible College, were forced to shut down as a result of the advances of the Islamic jihadi group, Boko Haram. In one instance, a pastor reported that "Boko Haram violence has been getting worse every day, and our members are fleeing the area by the thousands. Recent attacks in Borno and Adamawa states where our churches are located have seen Boko Haram take over the Army base. As a result, about 350 Christians have been killed."

Separately, in Kaduna state, where "Muslim Fulani assailants seem driven to rid the area of Christianity and use the land to graze their cattle," according to church leaders, 46 Christians, including two pastors, were slaughtered in raids. According to an eyewitness,
"Suddenly we heard sounds of gunshots around our village. The pastor was still in the pastorate when the Muslim Fulani gunmen forced their way onto the church premises. They cut him, his wife and a daughter with a machete, and then tied the hands and feet of the three of them before setting the house on fire. The three of them were burned to ashes in the living room of the pastorate. We only found the charred remains of the three of them the following morning.... The gunmen then came onto the church premises and began shooting. I heard them shouting at the top of their voices, saying they must obliterate any trace of Christianity in the town."
Although Muslim Fulani have historically had property disputes with Christian farmers, Christian leaders say attacks by the herdsmen constitute a war "by Islam to eliminate Christianity" in Nigeria.

Sudan: In the latest incident of a nearly two-year wave of church demolitions, closures and confiscations, security agents padlocked a 500-member church building, the Sudan Pentecostal Church [SPC] in Khartoum. The church also houses the Khartoum Christian Center (KCC). "The church is concerned that the building might be sold by the government, which renders more than 500 worshipers to have no place for worship," a source told the Morning Star News. The Islamist government appears to be seeking any pretext for closing churches, sources said. In this instance, the space for the church was originally designated as "office space." But, as one source asked, "How do you close a church building that has been in operation for 20 years in the name of the church being meant for offices?" The church has a deed showing that it owns the building and property -- a situation that raises the question of the government's right to sell it.
On June 30 bulldozers demolished the Sudanese Church of Christ in the Thiba Al Hamyida area of North Khartoum as church members watched, while security personnel threatened to arrest them if they tried to block the bulldozers, church members said.

Syria: The Islamic State destroyed the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Der Zor, seen as the "Auschwitz" of the Armenian Genocide. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians perished in Der Zor and the surrounding desert during the genocide. In the summer of 1916 alone, more than 200,000 Armenians, mostly women and children, were massacred by Ottoman Turks. Armenia's foreign minister issued a statement calling the church's destruction a "horrible barbarity," and referred to the Islamic State as a "disease" that "threatened civilized mankind." The church was built in 1989-90 and consecrated a year later. A genocide memorial and a museum housing the remains of the victims of the genocide were also located in the church compound. Thousands of Armenians from Syria and neighboring countries gathered at the memorial every year on April 24 to commemorate the genocide.

Pakistani Rape and Dhimmitude
  • Four young Muslims gang raped a 15-year-old Christian girl and filmed it. The girl's father, although he was threatened against filing a complaint, went to police, who confirmed the existence of a video that corroborates the violence. The video will apparently be introduced as evidence against the youths. A lawyer, Mushtaq Gill, issued a statement that, "Many Christian girls continue to be victims of sexual assault by young Muslims, who go unpunished" and that, "in this case there is also a video, flaunted as a trophy."
  • Two Christian women were abducted, forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men. Lawyer Mushtaq Gill said, "A Christian girl, Sairish, forced to marry a Muslim in 2009, in her heart never abandoned the faith and continued to pray to Jesus Christ even after her marriage. After a few years she found the courage to rebel against the situation and run away.... Her life is now in danger because if she declares herself Christian, Muslims may accuse her of apostasy and the punishment would be death." Each year, approximately 1,000 women in Pakistan are forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men. Whenever a case of this nature reaches the law courts, those women, under threat and blackmail, often declare that their conversion and marriage were decisions freely made, and the case is closed.
  • Another Christian family fled their hometown, Lahore, to save their daughters from forced conversion to Islam. According to the Justice and Peace Commission, the two sisters, aged 12 and 8, were studying in public schools, where learning to recite the Koran is mandatory. Apparently, because the girls recited the shehada, the Islamic declaration of faith, "an Islamic cleric, the father of a student stated that these girls had become Muslims and thus needed to be taken from their Christian parents and entrusted to adult Muslims." The parents pulled their daughters out of school, but then the headmaster and other Muslim teachers "warned the parents to send them back to school, offering the family financial aid regarding the school fees." The parents quit their jobs and fled the region.
  • Police arrested 15 Christians and booked 45 other members of the minority community under the blasphemy law for allegedly desecrating Muslim graves in a village in Punjab province. According to the AP, "The case was registered after a local cleric filed a complaint alleging that the Christians had desecrated over 400 Muslim graves to occupy the land in Chak village in Faisalabad, about 150 kilometres from Lahore." Rights groups said it was a spurious charge meant to prevent the Christians from acquiring the land. In fact, the accusations were later proven false.

Dhimmitude: Islamic Discrimination Against Christianity

Egypt: Iman Sarofim, a 39-year-old Christian mother of five, returned home to her family after being kidnapped. Initially it was believed that she had voluntarily converted to Islam and fled her family to be with a Muslim man. The woman contacted the family from Suez, where she had been brought by the kidnapper. The return of the woman was celebrated by neighbors and relatives in the city of Gabal al-Tir. Her disappearance had been the cause of clashes between Copts and police, who believed the narrative that she had voluntarily left. In retaliation, police officers entered the homes of dozens of Coptic families and violently arrested dozens of Christians. Separately, Ehab Karam, a Coptic dentist, was killed after he was abducted by unknown persons, most likely for ransom. The kidnapping of Copts for ransom has evidently become a regular part of life in Egypt for Christians, particularly in Upper Egypt. Last February, for instance, police dismantled a crime network that for months had been organizing kidnappings, robberies and extortion against the local Coptic community. "Unfortunately," said the Coptic Catholic Bishop of Assist, Kyrillos William, "the phenomenon continues and there are no signs of improvement. Police operations are episodic and ineffective, they are unable to solve the problem."

Iraq: The Islamic State decreed that all schools in Mosul and the Nineveh Plain which bore Christian names, some since the 1700s, must be changed. Also, the teaching of the Syriac language and culture and Christian religious education has been abolished. Reports indicate that the Islamic State took these moves "in order to erase all traces of cultural and religious pluralism in the conquered areas and turn schools into propaganda tools of jihadist ideology among the new generations."

Saudi Arabia: In the Eastern Province city of Khafji, "religious police," or agents from the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, raided a house where at least 27 Christians, mostly expatriates from various Asian nationalities, were gathered. The Christians, including children, were accused of practicing Christianity in a house church, and were arrested and detained overnight. Authorities also confiscated musical instruments and copies of the Bible. The house had been placed under surveillance after a citizen reported that his Indian neighbor had converted his home into a Christian church. After witnessing a large number of individuals enter the home, officers raided the house. The only religion allowed to be practiced in public in Saudi Arabia is Islam. In the land of the prophet, no public places of worship for non-Muslims are permitted to exist.

Turkey: According to the Armenian magazine, Agos, many of the primary and secondary education books being used for the current school year still describe the Armenians and other Christian communities as enemy forces at the service of foreign powers, including Russia and England, after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. One eighth-grade history book tries to whitewash the Armenian genocide, which is portrayed as a "necessary deportation," never as a massacre.

Uzbekistan: Security forces reportedly raided the home of Pastor Stanislav Kim in Chirchik, 20 miles northeast of Tashkent, the capital. They detained 11 teenagers and three adults, who had gathered there for a volleyball game, and questioned them for more than four hours before releasing them. Officials also searched the pastor's home and confiscated a New Testament, a Bible, several other Christian books, more than 100 slides of hymns, as well as some computer equipment. Voice of the Martyrs, which says there are at least 65 unregistered congregations scattered throughout Uzbekistan, said in a statement, "Please pray that this pastor and his son will not face fines, but will soon be acquitted of any perceived wrongdoing. Ask God to strengthen each believer who was present during this unwarranted raid so that they will not give in to governmental intimidation and pressure, but instead be emboldened to serve our Lord faithfully."

About this Series

While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians is expanding. "Muslim Persecution of Christians" was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface each month.

It documents what the mainstream media often fails to report.

It posits that such persecution is not random but systematic, and takes place in all languages, ethnicities and locations.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Max Blumenthal's Despicable Rant Against Sniper Chris Kyle

Gary Fouse

Hat tip American Thinker

“I haven’t seen American Sniper, but correct me if I’m wrong: An occupier mows down faceless Iraqis but the real victim is his anguished soul,” Blumenthal wrote smugly on his Twitter account. “[T]he whole film’s appeal seems to derive from the latent racism that led America into Iraq.”
-Max Blumenthal

Max Blumenthal is a writer and son of ex-Clinton hatchet man Sid Blumenthal.  Young Max has been featured on this site in the past. Most of the time he is making common cause with the pro-Palestinian movement and demonizing the Jewish state of Israel, which he hates with a passion that borders on the abnormal.

I have often noted that so many of Israel's most fierce critics also hate the US as well- even if they are Americans. Now Blumenthal has confirmed that he belongs in that group with his tweets attacking the film, American Sniper, its protagonist, Chris Kyle, as well as our country. The below article is by Rick Moran in American Thinker.

First of all, it would certainly never occur to Blumenthal to do what Kyle did-put on the uniform of his country and fight to defend it. Yet here he is attacking a brave patriot who is no longer here to defend himself. It is beyond sickening. Maybe he should go and actually watch the film he is attacking. He might learn what a real man is like.

Ten Max Blumenthals could not make one Chris Kyle.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

In The Beginning... REPOST

I originally wrote this post for Christmas Eve 2008 the 40th anniversary of the flight of Apollo 8. I repost it for tonight to remind us of that mission and of a time in which Americans were more appreciative of G-d.

Three words read by William Anders aboard the Apollo 8 mission on Christmas Eve 1968.

1968 was our Annus horribilis. It was a year of unrest at the Democratic National Convention. It was the year that saw the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. It was a year in which riots and protests were the daily fare on the nightly newscasts. It was a year in which America felt at its lowest point. And America needed a boost.

When the Apollo 8 mission was originally planned the mission was not suppose to go to the moon. It was suppose to be in a low Earth orbit checking out the systems on the Command module and possibly the lunar module if one had been ready by then. Instead the mission was changed and Apollo 8 would be the first manned mission to go to the moon. In itself it would be a very dangerous mission, the first of anything is alway a dangerous mission to accomplish. Because of the nature of the mission and the decision to change it, the true mission was kept a secret from the public until the official announcement on 12 November 1968, less than 40 days before the scheduled launch.

Apollo 8 launched at 7:51:00 a.m. on December 21, 1968. During the flight, three fellow astronauts served on the ground as capsule communicators (usually referred to as "CAPCOMs") on a rotating schedule. The CAPCOMs were the only people who regularly communicated with the crew. Michael Collins was the first CAPCOM on duty and at 2 hours, 27 minutes and 22 seconds after launch radioed, "Apollo 8. You are Go for TLI". This communication signified that Mission Control had given official permission for Apollo 8 to go to the moon. Over the next twelve minutes before the TLI burn, the Apollo 8 crew continued to monitor the spacecraft and the rocket. The S-IVB third stage rocket ignited on time and burned perfectly for 5 minutes and 17 seconds. The burn increased the velocity of Apollo 8 to 35,505 feet per second (10,822 m/s) and the spacecraft's altitude at the end of the burn was 215.4 miles (346.7 km). At this time, the crew also set the record for the highest speed humans had ever traveled.

Five hours after launch, Mission Control sent a command to the S-IVB booster to vent its remaining fuel through its engine bell to change the booster's trajectory. This S-IVB would then pass the Moon and enter into a solar orbit, posing no further hazard to Apollo 8. The S-IVB subsequently went into a 0.99 by 0.92 AU solar orbit with an inclination of 23.47° and a period of 340.80 days.

The Apollo 8 crew were the first humans to pass through the Van Allen radiation belts, which extend up to 15,000 miles (25,000 km) from Earth. Scientists predicted that passing through the belts quickly at the spacecraft's high speed would cause a radiation dosage of no more than a chest X-ray, or 1 milligray (during the course of a year, the average human receives a dose of 2 to 3 mGy). To record the actual radiation dosages, each crew member wore a Personal Radiation Dosimeter that transmitted data to Earth as well as three passive film dosimeters that showed the cumulative radiation experienced by the crew. By the end of the mission, the crew experienced an average radiation dose of 1.6 mGy.

At about 55 hours and 40 minutes into the flight, the crew of Apollo 8 became the first humans to enter the gravitational sphere of influence of another celestial body. At 64 hours into the flight, the crew began to prepare for Lunar Orbit Insertion-1 (LOI-1). This maneuver had to be performed perfectly, and due to orbital mechanics had to be on the far side of the Moon, out of contact with the Earth. After Mission Control was polled for a Go/No Go decision, the crew was told at 68 hours, they were Go and "riding the best bird we can find". At 68 hours and 58 minutes, the spacecraft went behind the Moon and out of radio contact with the Earth.

When the spacecraft came out from behind the Moon for its fourth pass across the front, the crew witnessed an event no one had ever seen — Earthrise. Borman saw the Earth emerging from behind the lunar horizon and called in excitement to the others, taking a black-and-white photo as he did so: Earthrise, seen for the first time by human eyes. In the ensuing scramble Anders took the more famous color photo, later picked by Life magazine as one of its hundred photos of the century.

As they rounded the Moon for the ninth time, the second television transmission began. Borman introduced the crew, followed by each man giving his impression of the lunar surface and what it was like to be orbiting the Moon. Borman described it as being "a vast, lonely, forbidding expanse of nothing." Then, after talking about what they were flying over, Anders said that the crew had a message for all those on Earth. Each man on board read the story of creation from Book of Genesis. Borman finished the broadcast by wishing a Merry Christmas to everyone on Earth. His message appeared to sum up the feelings that all three crewmen had from their vantage point in lunar orbit. Borman said, "And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, and a Merry Christmas to all of you, all of you on the good Earth"

After 10 lunar orbit, Apollo 8 returned to Earth on 27 December 1968. A successful and historic mission.

So on this Christmas Eve, we should remember a historic moment in Human history that took place 40 years ago.

William Anders

"We are now approaching lunar sunrise and, for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Jim Lovell
"And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Frank Borman
"And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth."

View at YouTube

On this Christmas Eve I wish to again recall the words of Apollo 8 in wishing you a Merry Christmas.

And God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.

Merry Christmas to my Christian Friends!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Killed in the Line of Duty

Gary Fouse

"They always knew they could be
They never thought they would be
God knows none ever should be
Killed in the line of duty"

"Killed in the Line of Duty" by Dan Marcou

(Hat tip Goodfellows)

Rafael Ramos-Po Wenjian Liu

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The NY Shooter-The Motive is Known

Gary Fouse

So now it's official. It was pretty obvious from the moment it happened, but now there is no doubt. The killer of two NYPD cops today was out to get revenge for Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Beyond the tragedy itself, New York is in a state of crisis as the police force has literally and figuratively turned its back on the city's leftist mayor Bill de Blasio, who just a few days ago told the citizens that they should fear their own police-the same police who gave their lives on 9-11 when they and firemen rushed into the Twin Towers to save their fellow citizens. You can view the video where the cops turn their backs on de Blasio as we walks through the hospital below.

If De Blasio has blood on his hands for helping stoke the fires, others do as well. In the past days and weeks, President Obama and Attorney General Holder have spoken out on the Brown and Garner cases in ways that were highly critical of the police in Ferguson and New York. Never mind that grand juries in both cases composed of bi-racial jurors decided that no charges were merited.

Everyone who took part in the violent demonstrations where officers were attacked on the Brooklyn Bridge has blood on their hands. Those who marched through New York chanting, 'What do we want?" "Dead Cops. "When do we want it?" Now," also have blood on their hands.

But if De Blasio, Obama and Holder have blood on their hands, Al Sharpton has blood all over his tailor made suit. Once again, this despicable man has stoked the fires and incited violence with his demonstrations and chants of, "No justice-no peace." How this man has persevered through the decades amid all the incitements, the phony accusations, the slander, the income tax problems, Crown Hts.etc., I cannot fathom.  And here he is with his own show on MSNBC and most recently a guest at the White House where he is included as one of those who will solve the problems of race and policing in America. He is the one that the CEO of Sony reached out to for absolution after her tasteless e-mail remarks about Obama. It is beyond sickening.

And read the  words of these poseurs after they have contributed to the wave of violence against our police that has now culminated in the deaths of two officers.

"Two brave men won't be going home to their loved ones tonight, and for that, there is no justification," Obama said in a statement while vacationing with his family in Hawaii. "The officers who serve and protect our communities risk their own safety for ours every single day - and they deserve our respect and gratitude every single day."
(Now you say it.)

"Our nation must always honor the valor -- and the sacrifices -- of all law enforcement officers with a steadfast commitment to keeping them safe," Holder said. "This means forging closer bonds between officers and the communities they serve, so that public safety is not a cause that is served by a courageous few, but a promise that's fulfilled by police officials and citizens working side by side."
(Talk about straddling the fence.)

"I have spoken to the Garner family and we are outraged by the early reports of the police killed in Brooklyn today," civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton said in a statement. "Any use of the names of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, in connection with any violence or killing of police, is reprehensible and against the pursuit of justice in both cases."
(Translation: Don't blame us.)

"We're all in this together," said de Blasio to a group of cops in the hospital. (One answered, "No we aren't.")

Words. Empty hollow words by men who should have been supporting their police instead of throwing them under the bus while mobs raged.

And I'd like to know where Chief Bill Bratton is in all this. How he can stand by silently while the mayor trashes his officers is beyond me. In my mind, he should resign in protest.

To all of the people I mentioned above, those with names and those whose names we don't know, I say....
Are you proud?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Muslim Persecution of Christians, August 2014

Muslims beheading Christians was a visibly growing spectacle throughout the month of August. Islamic State [IS] militants cut off a Christian man's head—after compelling him to say the shehada, the Islamic profession of faith, "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger." When the shehada is spoken before Muslim witnesses, the speaker becomes Muslim and thus, in theory, safeguards his life and possessions from the jihad. Not so for this hapless man, who, after renouncing his Christian faith for Islam, was still slaughtered on camera (graphic video can be viewed here).
The Christian Post has the story:
A Christian man in Syria recently had his head brutally hacked off by Islamic militants after being forced to deny his faith and salute Mohammed as "the messenger of God".
The incident was caught on video for the world to see and broadcast as a warning to "everyone like him".
In the video that was posted to YouTube with translated captions, the helpless Christian man is surrounded by armed militants wearing masks and he is heard reciting as instructed: "There is no God but God and I testify that Mohammed is the messenger of God."
An apparent leader in the group of militants is then heard instructing the group: "No one will shoot him now, do you understand? He will not be killed by shooting because it is merciful for him."
"He will be beheaded because he is Kaffir, non-Muslim, sided [with] the government and was not praying at all. Everyone like him will have the same end, beheading," said the militant.
A militant armed with a machete then grabs the defenseless man by the hair and begins to cut his head from his body as the group cries "Allahu Akbar... there is no God but God."
Apparently inspired by the spate of beheadings conducted by the Islamic State, a female British convert to Islam, who is believed to have relocated to IS-controlled territories, "is threatening to behead Christians with a blunt knife," according to the Daily Mail. Umm Hussain al-Britani—formerly Sally Jones of Chatham, a member of an all-girl rock band and single mother of two—warned in messages since deleted "You Christians all need beheading with a nice blunt knife and stuck on the railings at raqqa … Come here I'll do it for you!"
In Nigeria, the Islamic group Boko Haram, which seeks to enforce Islamic law over the whole African nation, beheaded a six-year-old boy, because he was Christian. During Sunday church services, over 100 Islamic militants descended upon Attagara, a Christian-majority village. With machetes and machine guns, they slaughtered men, women, and children.
According to Christian Today, "One villager, Sawaltha Wandala, was arriving at church for the second service when he saw children being massacred. One six-year-old boy had been slashed and thrown into a ditch, but he was alive. Wandala picked him up and was carrying him to a hospital in Cameroon, when he was stopped by five of the militants. The men reportedly took the child from Wandala's arms and beheaded him, then began beating the 55-year-old with tree branches. After striking him in the head with a rock, they left him for dead."
Another Christian man, John Yakuba, was told by Boko Haram members, "You must convert to Islam or else you will die a painful death."
When Yakuba refused to denounce Christ, they tied his arms and legs to a tree, and hacked his hands with a knife.
"Can you become a Muslim now?" the militants asked.
"You can kill my body, but not my soul," Yakuba cried out.
The men continued to cut his feet and back with a machete and knife to torture him.
"We will show you," they said.
Yakuba's head was slashed, and an axe was driven into his knee, reaching the bone.
He lost consciousness and was left tied to the tree for three days before someone found him, after which he was taken to the hospital in a coma.
In a separate attack by Boko Haram, where approximately 100 people from a Christian-majority region were killed, a survivor reported: "I thank God for sparing my life, but three of my neighbors and members of our church were killed during the attack. These Christians in our village had their throats slit with knives while their hands were tied behind their backs. Some houses were bombed as the Boko Haram gunmen were chanting, 'God is great!' in Arabic."
In Kenya, militants from the Somali Al Shabaab Islamic organization abducted a group of traders near the resort island of Lamu, and drove them into a dense forest. The militants eventually released three of them, because they were Muslims, but beheaded the fourth, a Christian.
While "infidel" Christian men were beheaded, Christian women—including children—were raped and enslaved in various regions of the Islamic world.
In Iraq, approximately 1,500 Christian and other minorities not able to escape the advance of the Islamic State were gang-raped and sold as sex slaves, some for as little as $25. A joint statement by two senior UN officials declared that "Atrocious accounts of abduction and detention of Yazidi, Christian, as well as Turkomen and Shabak women, girls and boys, and reports of savage rapes, are reaching us in an alarming manner." One young woman, who managed to hide a mobile phone in the prison, spoke of horrific experiences, including being raped by dozens of men over a few hours. Other women said children born out of rape were ripped from their mothers' arms, and never seen again.
In Muslim-majority Bangladesh, where Christians make up less than one percent of the population, dozens of men armed with machetes, knives and iron rods attacked the convent of Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions nuns in Boldipuku, a village mission in north Bangladesh. "The nuns were beaten and molested, ending when police arrived," reported Bishop Sebastian Tudu. According to Catholic Online,
"[S]ome 60 men attempted to loot the building and rape the nuns... The attackers first tied the hands and legs of the mission's two night watchmen and gagged them in the early morning hours .... Three PIME nuns suffered attempted rape and were sent to their provincial house in Dhaka, the national capital where they are trying to overcome the shock and mental suffering."
In Pakistan, yet another Christian girl, 12-year-old Muqadas ("Sacred"), was raped by a gang of Muslim men. The girl, who worked as a maid for a Muslim family, was returning home from work,
"when Muqadas was kidnapped by two Muslim men and three women. They took her inside a school (which was closed) and the two men, identified as Ashraf Alias Achi and Ghaffor Alias Paida raped her repeatedly in turn. The girl was later abandoned."
As usual, for filing a complaint with local police, her family received threats of more violence. According to the family's Christian lawyer, Sardar Mushtaq Gill,
"In Pakistan rape is used as an instrument of arbitrary power over Christian girls, who come from poor and marginalized families. It is a form of violence that wants to reiterate the submission to Muslims. The rest of society is not outraged because the victims mostly belong to religious minorities, who are the most vulnerable. Rarely rapists are punished. Furthermore, rape victims face terrible difficulties; they do not receive adequate medical treatment for sexual assault. Many girls are traumatized and become depressed and in need of psychological assistance."
(See here for more on the sexual abuse of Christian minors in Pakistan.) For his troubles, Gill, a vocal human rights activist who represents abused Christians, was again targeted for assassination: his home was sprayed with bullets overnight, for the second time.
Although beheadings and rape in the Islamic world may seem distant from the minds of most in the West, the exiled Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, Iraq, warned the West that its turn will come. In an interview, Archbishop Amel Shimoun Nona, said:
Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future. I lost my diocese. The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead. But my community is still alive.
Please, try to understand us. Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles. You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.
The rest of August's roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and country alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity.

Muslim Attacks on Churches

East Jerusalem: Seven years of harassment and attacks by Muslims finally forced Calvary Baptist Church to leave their church building. The attacks began in 2007, soon after the congregation moved into the building, located in a predominantly Muslim area. Within 10 days of beginning meetings and worship services, a Muslim who lived near the church attacked a member with a knife. Then someone tried to set the building on fire. Next came vandalism. First, cars parked at the church were damaged, then property. Finally, some children were physically assaulted on their way to church. The congregation was finally evicted after the landlord was threatened. "How dare you do this," he was told. "This is a disgrace to Islam. If you don't do anything about this, we will." The landlord eventually succumbed to the pressure and the 110-member congregation had to leave the building. This is the third church in Muslim-majority East Jerusalem to be forced shut in recent years.
France: In the early morning of August 5 at Thonon-les-Bains, a man of about 30, described as a "young Muslim," committed major acts of vandalism in the church of Saint-Hippolyte and in the adjacent basilica of Saint-François-de-Sales. He overturned and broke two altars, the candelabras and lecterns, destroyed statues, tore down a tabernacle, twisted a massive bronze cross, smashed in a sacristy door and even broke some stained-glass windows. (Click for images of the destruction caused in the church.)
Iraq: Soon after the unprecedented Christian exodus from Mosul, after the Islamic State told Christians to convert to Islam or die, a human rights organization went to northern Iraq to provide assistance and support to all displaced Christians. It reported that "around 45 churches in Mosul ... were destroyed and converted into mosques and centers for the Islamic State." According to Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako "This is a humanitarian disaster. The churches are occupied, their crosses were taken down," and up to 1,500 manuscripts, many ancient, were burnt.
Nigeria: According to Vatican Radio, "In Madagali, Boko Haram are said to have looted parish property, vandalized and then set alight buildings belonging to the church. Fr. Obasogie was not sure of the number of people killed or of other causalities in the Madagali attack but he says there are many. .... Christian Churches within Maiduguri Diocese have borne much of the brunt of the terrorist activities…According to Fr. Obasogie, all Christian churches on the major road linking Maiduguri and Adamawa state have been closed after several acts of terrorism at the hands of Boko Haram sects."

Muslim Attacks on Converts to Christianity

Iran: According to the Idaho wife of Iranian-American Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been imprisoned in Iran for nearly two years, her husband has received death threats from Sunni militants from the Islamic State, held in the same detention center: "He's already under threat because he is a convert to Christianity. Now we understand that ISIS members in the prison have said he is their number one target." The pastor is in the same ward but a separate section from the Islamic State adherents, his wife said, adding that he is afraid to leave his cell and join the general prison population in the yard for exercise. "I fear for his life," she said, adding that the couple's young children have submitted a video to President Barack Obama pleading with him to bring their father safely home. Separately, Pastor Matthias Haghnejad, a former Muslim, is charged with enmity against Allah, a crime that can be punishable by death, while the fate of two other Christians arrested with him remains unknown. The pastor was arrested when intelligence agents stormed his home. They arrested the church leader along with Mohammad (Vahid) Roghangir and Suroush Saraie, two other converts staying with him. The agents also seized Bibles, Christian booklets, and the pastor's personal computer. On August 3, after being interrogated for two hours, the pastor was charged with "Moharebeh," or "waging war against Allah," a capital offence in Iran. All three converts have been targeted by the authorities in the past, including for "evangelism" and "actions against public security."

Iranian-American Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been imprisoned in Iran since 2012, is pictured here with his family in happier times.

Kenya: Hussein Hassan Mohammed, 30, a Muslim convert to Christianity, tearfully recounted his experiences at the hands of Muslims at Mogotio King's Outreach Church, where he originally announced his conversion in April. He told of how he was beaten unconscious inside a mosque, how Islamic leaders had paid assassins to kill him, and how his own father tried to poison him to death (similar to the experiences of another Muslim convert to Christianity in Uganda, whose aunt tried to poison him). For a while, he was arrested and tortured because authorities refused to believe that he had really converted to Christianity (they thought he was an Islamic terrorist pretending to be Christian, which happens frequently). Then, while he was recuperating in hospital, he called his father, 72-year-old Hassan Mohammed, who came to visit him at the hospital:
"Are you serious about what you told me, that you had embraced the Christian faith?" his father asked, to which Hussein, replied, "Yes." According to the Christian convert:
"My father came with the food, but my conscience rejected the food. The doctors noticed that I was restless. I was told to eat the food, but I refused. The doctor tried to give the food to the cat, but it too refused to eat it, hence the food was taken to the laboratory, where it was found that it was a poisoned food."
Police guarding Mohammed arrested his father. Questioned about why he would want to kill his son, he told them, "My son has forsaken Islam as well as defiling our community by joining Christianity." Said Hussein: "I thought my father had come to help, but I realized that he had come to kill me." Still, when he was discharged from the hospital, Hussein pled for the release of his father. Mohammed said he had forgiven his father, and police released his father.
New Zealand: Friends of Khalid Muidh Alzahrani, a Muslim convert to Christianity known as Daniel, "fear the refugee has been abducted from his Christchurch flat and taken back to Saudi Arabia—home to the Islamic holy city of Mecca—where it is against the law for Muslims to abandon their faith." Daniel arrived in Christchurch about five years ago on a Saudi government scholarship to study English, eventually converted to Christianity and applied for asylum. He was granted refugee status on the grounds that he would be persecuted in Saudi Arabia, and told friends he was terrified he would be kidnapped and forced to return. The Saudi ambassador to New Zealand said that Daniel had "insisted" on returning home to visit his mother and the consulate had paid for his air ticket. But, according to National,
[H]is friends don't believe it—they say he was last seen in the company of two strange Arab men and believe he was taken out of the country under duress, possibly by agents of the state or family members....
There have been numerous documented cases of Saudi nationals being uplifted from foreign countries. In 2012, columnist Hamza Kashgari, who'd been accused of insulting the prophet Mohammad on Twitter, tried to seek asylum in New Zealand but was intercepted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, sent home and jailed without trial.
In May last year, a young Saudi Christian who had arrived in Auckland two months earlier and claimed asylum was snatched off the street by three men just three days before his refugee interview and was flown back to Saudi Arabia, where it is believed he spent time in prison and was tortured. His lawyer, Roger Chambers, said the man had managed to secretly make contact with his friends in Auckland.
"He has had a dreadful time in Saudi Arabia," Chambers said. "[He was told] more than once if he did not renounce his Christianity that he could expect to be beheaded."
Yemen: Muslim relatives of a woman who converted to Christianity placed gasoline in one of her kitchen bottles, which caused her to catch fire while cooking breakfast for her family; eventually she died from the burns. Morning Star News reports:
In southern Yemen, Saeed woke to the sound of screaming. He shot out of bed, pushed panicked family members aside and saw his wife stumbling out of their kitchen, engulfed in flames. His wife, Nazeera, had been preparing breakfast at about 9 a.m. when she poured liquid from a cooking oil bottle into a hot pan. The liquid flashed, and the bottle exploded. While her four children watched, screaming, Nazeera was being burned alive. "I rushed out of the room," Saeed (full name undisclosed for security reasons) told Morning Star News, weeping. "I couldn't even speak to ask her what happened. All I could think about was putting the fire out and then getting her to the hospital. But my 16-year-old son, he couldn't stop himself and held on to her, hugging her while she was burning. He got hurt, and I had to pull him away from her." About two weeks later, Nazeera, 33, died as a result of her burns. When Saeed returned to his home in a village (undisclosed for security reasons) after her death, a relative told him the unthinkable—members of both his family and hers had taken the vegetable oil out of the bottle and replaced it with gasoline. Saeed knew the reason—many years ago, the two had become Christians and refused to return to Islam.
Dhimmitude: Islamic Discrimination Against Christianity

Libya: Roaming bands of armed Islamic militants went door to door in Tripoli's jewelry stores. They ordered the owners to stop selling any crosses or Christian icons. "Immediately thereafter," report Arabic media, "the store owners collected all the crosses and Christian icons and delivered them to their Christian villages outside of Tripoli. Other store owners hid the Christian crosses and icons deeply, in the hopes of transferring them somewhere later, because they live in Tripoli and have no outside Christian villages to deliver the banned Christian items to."
United Kingdom: Yasmin Jackson, a 24-year-old Christian mother, claims staff at Kingswood Daycare Nursery in Mitcham, south London "starved" her five-year-old daughter because her packed food was not halal—that is, prepared according to Islamic custom. According to the Daily Mail, Ms Jackson, a single mother and former nursery worker, said, "When I picked her up at the end of the day the first thing she said to me was, 'mummy I'm really hungry, can I have my lunch now?'" The mother went to speak with the manager. When she asked why her daughter was not allowed to eat her packed lunch, the manager said "We didn't know if it's halal." The mother responded, "We are a Christian family and it was a chicken sandwich," to which the manager said, "We don't allow any non-halal meat in the nursery."

About this Series

While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians is expanding. "Muslim Persecution of Christians" was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface each month.
It documents what the mainstream media often fails to report.
It posits that such persecution is not random but systematic, and takes place in all languages, ethnicities and locations.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SONY Caves to N Korea

Gary Fouse

And where is our president?

For those of you who may not know,. Sony Pictures in Culver City, California sits on the site of the old MGM Studio lot. I know this because my father used to work at MGM.

Today, it has just been announced that in the wake of cyber terror threats to hit US theatres with 9-11 attacks if the film, "The Interview" is shown, many theatres have cancelled plans to show the film, which was set to debut on Christmas Day. Now Sony Pictures has cancelled the Christmas debut.

As we suspected all along, it also now appears that thebthreat comes out of North Korea.

And where is President Obama? He is too busy announcing the re-establishment of relations with Cuba.

What comes next? Do we cancel showings of films like, "American Sniper" if ISIS threatens to strike our theatres that show it?

Never Trust A Jewish Woman Carrying A Jug Of Wine! Repost!

Reposted from Monday, December 2, 2013

By now you have heard about Mattiyahu and his sons.  How led by Judah Maccabee, the Jews fought off the Syrian-Greeks.  How they defeated the Syrian-Greeks, how they cleans the Temple, and how the miracle of the oil taught Jews the power of G-d.

But how many of you know the story of Yehudit (Judith)?  Not many, but because of her it is customary for women to perform no work during the time of lighting the menorah.
It is not clearly known when the story which we are about to tell actually took place. The story first appeared in a very ancient book named after the heroine, Yehudit (Judith), and it was written in Hebrew. However, the original text was lost, and only a Greek translation remained, and not a very accurate one at that.

The story was retold in different versions. According to one version, it happened during the time of the Maccabean revolt against Syrian oppression, and Yehudit was a daughter of Yochanan the high priest, father of the Hasmonean family.

At any rate, the heroic deed of Yehudit has inspired faith and courage in the hearts of Jews throughout the ages.


The town of Bethulia, in the land of Judea, came under siege by Holofernes, a mighty Syrian-Greek general, at the head of a huge army.

Holofernes was notorious for his cruelty in suppressing rebellions. When he captured a rebel stronghold, he showed no mercy to the men, women and children sheltered there.

Now he was determined to crush the rebellion of the town of Bethulia, whose inhabitants refused to recognize the oppressive rule of the Syrians.

The men of the beleaguered town fought bravely and desperately to repulse the repeated assaults by the superior enemy forces. Seeing that he couldn’t take the fortified town by force, Holofernes decided to starve the inhabitants into submission. He cut off the food and water supply, and before long the town was indeed brought to the verge of surrender.

Hungry and thirsty, and in utter despair, the townspeople gathered in the marketplace and demanded that, rather than die of hunger and thirst, they should surrender to the enemy.

Uzziah, the commander of the defense forces, and the elders of the town tried to calm the populace without success. Finally they pleaded, “Give us five more days. If no salvation comes by the end of five days, we will surrender. Just five more days . . .”

Reluctantly the people agreed, and slowly they dispersed. Only one person, a woman, remained in her place, as if riveted to it, and she addressed Uzziah and the elders, who had also turned to go. Her voice was clear and firm.

“Why do you test G‑d, giving Him only five days in which to send us His help? If you truly have faith in G‑d, you must never give up your trust in Him. Besides, don’t you know that surrender to Holofernes is worse than death?!”

So spoke Yehudit, the noble daughter of Yochanan the high priest. She was a young widow. It was several years since she had lost her beloved husband, Menashe, and she had devoted all her time to prayer and acts of charity ever since.

Yehudit was blessed with extraordinary charm, grace and beauty, but she was particularly respected and admired for her devoutness, modesty and lovingkindness.

Yehudit’s words made a deep impression on Uzziah and the elders.

“You are quite right, daughter,” they admitted, “but what can we do? Only a downpour of rain that would fill our empty cisterns could save our people, but it is not the rainy season. We are all suffering the pangs of hunger and thirst. Pray for us, Yehudit, and maybe G‑d will accept your prayers . . .”

“We must all continue to pray, and never despair of G‑d’s help,” Yehudit said. “But I have also thought of a plan. I ask your permission to leave town together with my maid. I want to go to Holofernes . . .”

Uzziah and the elders were shocked and dismayed. “Do you know what you are saying, Yehudit? Would you sacrifice your life and honor on the slim chance that you might soften Holofernes’s heart? We cannot allow you to make such a sacrifice for us.”

But Yehudit persisted. “It has happened before that G‑d sent His salvation through a woman. Yael, the wife of Heber, was her name, as you well know. It was into her hands that G‑d delivered the cruel Sisera . . .”

Uzziah and the elders attempted to discourage Yehudit from such a dangerous mission, but she insisted that she be allowed to try. Finally, they agreed.


Yehudit passed through the gates of Bethulia, dressed in her best clothes, which she had not worn since her husband passed away. A delicate veil all but hid her beautiful face. She was accompanied by her faithful maid, who carried on her head a basket filled with rolls, cheese and several bottles of old wine.

The sun had already begun to hide behind the green mountains when Yehudit and her maid wound their way toward the enemy’s camp, their lips whispering a prayer to G‑d. Presently they were stopped by sentries, who demanded to know who they were and who sent them.

“We have an important message for your commander, the brave Holofernes,” Yehudit said. “Take us to him at once.”

“Who are you, and why are you here?” Holofernes asked, his eyes feasting on his unexpected, charming visitor.

“I am but a plain widow from Bethulia. Yehudit is my name. I came to tell you how to capture the town, in the hope that you will deal mercifully with its inhabitants . . .”

Yehudit then told Holofernes that life in the beleaguered town had become unbearable for her, and that she had bribed the watchmen to let her and her maid out. She went on to say that she had heard of Holofernes’s bravery and mighty deeds in battle, and wished to make his acquaintance. Finally she told Holofernes what he already knew, that the situation in the besieged town was desperate, that the inhabitants have very little food and water left. Yet, she said, their faith in G‑d remained strong, and so long as they had faith, they would not surrender. On the other hand, she added, before long, every scrap of kosher food would be gone, and in desperation they would begin to eat the flesh of unclean animals, and then G‑d’s anger would be turned against them, and the town would fall . . .

“But how will I know when the defenders of the citadel will begin to eat unkosher food, as you say, so that I can then storm the walls and capture the city?” the commander of the besieging army asked.

“I had thought of that,” Yehudit answered confidently. “I have arranged with the watchmen at the city’s gates that I would come to the gate every evening to exchange information: I will tell them what’s doing here, and they will tell me what’s doing there.”

Holofernes was completely captivated by the charming young Jewish widow who had so unexpectedly entered his life and was now offering him the key to the city. “If you are telling me the truth, and will indeed help me capture the city, you will be my wife!” Holofernes promised. Then he gave orders that Yehudit and her maid were to have complete freedom to walk through the camp, and anyone attempting to molest them in any way would be put to death immediately. A comfortable tent was prepared for the two women, next to his.

The two women, veiled and wrapped in their shawls, could now be seen walking leisurely through the armed camp at any time during the day and evening. Fearful of the commander’s strict orders, everyone gave them a wide berth. Soon, they attracted little if any attention. Yehudit could now walk up to the city’s gates after dark, where she was met by a watchman.

“Tell Uzziah that, thank G‑d, everything is shaping up according to plan. With G‑d’s help, we shall prevail over our enemy. Keep your trust strong in G‑d; do not lose hope for a moment!”

Having delivered this message for the commander of the defense force of the city, Yehudit departed as quietly as she had appeared.

The following evening she came again to the city’s gate and repeated the same message, adding that she had won Holofernes’s complete confidence.

In the meantime, Holofernes, having nothing special to do, spent most of his time drinking, with and without his aides. When he was not completely drunk, he would send for Yehudit. She always came to his tent in the company of her maid. On the third day, he was already getting impatient.

“Well, gracious Yehudit, what intelligence do you bring me today? My men are getting impatient and demoralized doing nothing; they cannot wait to capture the city and have their fun . . .”

“I have very good news, general. There is not a scrap of kosher food left in the city now. In a day or two, famine will drive them to eat their cats and dogs and mules. Then G‑d will deliver them into your hands!”

“Wonderful, wonderful! This surely calls for a celebration. Tonight we’ll have a party, just you and I. I shall expect you as my honored guest.”

“Thank you, sir,” Yehudit said.


That evening, when Yehudit entered Holofernes’s tent, the table was laden with various delicacies. The general was delighted to welcome her, and bade her partake of the feast. But Yehudit told him she had brought her own food and wine that she had prepared especially for that occasion.

“My goat cheese is famous in all of Bethulia,” Yehudit said. “I’m sure you’ll like it, General.”

He did. And he also liked the strong, undiluted wine she had brought. She fed him the cheese, chunk after chunk, and he washed it down with wine. Before long he was sprawled on the ground, dead drunk.

Yehudit propped a pillow under his head and rolled him over on his face. Then she uttered a silent prayer.

“Answer me, O L‑rd, as You answered Yael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, when you delivered the wicked general Sisera 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 . . .”

Now Yehudit unsheathed Holofernes’s heavy sword, and taking aim at his neck, she brought the sword down on it with all her might.

For a moment she sat down to compose herself. Then she wrapped up the general’s head in rags, concealed it under her shawl, and calmly walked out and into her own tent.

“Come quickly,” she said to her maid, “but let’s not arouse suspicion.”

The two veiled women walked leisurely, as usual, until they reached the gates of the city. “Take me to Uzziah at once,” she said to the sentry.

Uzziah could not believe his eyes as he stared at the gruesome prize Yehudit had brought him.

“There is no time to lose,” she told the commander. “Prepare your men for a surprise attack at dawn. The enemy’s camp is not prepared for it. When they run to their commander’s tent, they will find his headless body, and they will flee for their lives . . .”

This is precisely what happened.

The enemy fled in confusion and terror, leaving much booty behind. It was a wonderful victory, and it was the G‑d-fearing and brave daughter of Yochanan the high priest, the father of the Hasmonean family, that saved the city of Bethulia and all its inhabitants.

A beautiful woman, a jug of wine, some goat cheese and a general loses his head.  What could not be done by men and arms, a woman did with stealth and looks.  One of the first written examples of the Honey Trap/Honey Pot.

Here is a Classic Chanukah Song for tonight:

Chanukah Jewish Rock of Ages

Click here if the video does not load.

Happy Chanukah!!!!!