Thoughts on Christianity

A place to relax and socialize - to muse, think aloud and suggest
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Re: Thoughts on Christianity

Unread post by ICfreely » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:23 am

The Purim Story in 4 minutes: Go Esther!

full link:

Yeah, go Esther…please!

"Welcome to Jehanna, a city as beautiful as her name. We greet you, and wish you only peace on your stay..."

G-dspeed, Hadassah. @)--‘-,----

Witchy Woman – Eagles

full link:

[Verse 1: Don Henley]
Raven hair & ruby lips
Sparks fly from her fingertips
Echoed voices in the night
She's a restless spirit on an endless flight

Woo hoo, witchy woman
See how high she flies
Woo hoo, witchy woman
She got the moon in her eye

[Verse 2: Don Henley]
She held me spellbound in the night
Dancing shadows & firelight
Crazy laughter in another room
And she drove herself to madness with a silver spoon


Ah, oh ah ah (waahaa)
(repeat x 2)

[Verse 3: Don Henley]
Well I know you want a lover
Let me tell you brother
She's been sleeping in the devil's bed
And there's some rumors going round, someone's underground
She can rock you in the night-time 'til your skin turns red

The Dark Moon’s Spiritual Meaning Is Rooted In The Goddess Lilith — Here’s What That Means

Since the moon has existed far longer than calendars, it makes sense that maybe the inner self reacts more sensitively to planetary movements than it does to the changing of days. Much of the speculation about the spiritual impacts of the legendary dark moon can be linked to the dark moon goddess Lilith. Lilith's origins can be traced to a number of sources. Some paint her as a feminine, fertile goddess similar to the Roman Venus, and some claim she was a demon. In astrology, she has come to represent "primal, impersonal, creative source which seeks manifestation beyond the material or emotional," according to Astrology Club. In recent history, the symbols of Lilith and the Dark Moon have been embraced by feminist movements. ... ns-8100304

Ephesians 6:12

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Re: Thoughts on Christianity

Unread post by ICfreely » Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:59 pm

That “Witchy Woman” video was originally published on October 8, 2010 and had over 6.6 million views and within 24 hours of me posting it here got removed form EweTube. Hmmm…

Video unavailable

This video contains content from UMPG Publishing, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.

Too bad ‘cause the imagery was oh so fitting. :)

But you can still view it here though (for the time being anyway):

[Sorry, I wasn't able to embed the video.]

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Re: Thoughts on Christianity

Unread post by ICfreely » Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:12 am

Oh no, Esther! Comments have now been disabled for the EweTube “Go Esther!” video I posted.

Learn the Purim Story in four minutes with this funny, sassy animated version of the Book of Esther - condensed and hipped up for the modern student or family. Celebrate Esther's bravery, Mordechai's wisdom and BOOOOO Haman.

Featuring the Hebrew Mamita, Vanessa Hidary with music and effects by Michelle Citrin and Jonathan Bayer!
LOTS more Purim videos at

Sometimes, someone has to take a stand to set things right. Sometimes...that YOU.

Meet Esther, the young woman at the middle of the famous Purim story. Follow her as she gets swept up into history, leaving her jump rope, her people, and her cheering section behind...maybe

BimBam (formerly G-dcast) is a new media studio making Jewish videos, apps and animated series that are joyful, empowering introductions to Jewish ideas and life for kids & adults. Watch something Jewish at

Thanks to all of our generous funders that contributed to the G dcast series on Jewish Holidays. Specific thanks to the ROI Community and each of the writers, narrators, producers, educators, and sound engineers that contributed to this animated interpretation of Purim (פּוּרִים "lots") including Jonathan Bayer, Michelle Citrin, Vanessa Hidary aka Hebrew Mamita, Sarah Lefton, Matthue Roth, Jeanne Stern, Jason Vasche, JJ Wiesler, and Evan Wolkenstein.

Oy veyzmir. What have I done…


full link:

Lions of Israel
Published on Jul 27, 2019

Exodus 10:12 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail hath left.”

…to incur the wrath of G-d?

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Re: Thoughts on Christianity

Unread post by ICfreely » Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:42 am

What is Judaism and what is Satanism?

In haunted Salem, a Jewish church founder preaches the art of ‘Satanic’ social change
At a former funeral home in a town inextricably linked to witchcraft, secular Jew Malcolm Jarry opens a new heaquarters for his Satanic Temple, a controversial movement with up to 50,000 members worldwide

By Matt Lebovic 26 October 2016, 4:36 pm

SALEM, Massachusetts — Just in time for Halloween, a controversial Satanic temple has set up its international headquarters in Massachusetts’ beloved Salem.

Located one-mile from historic sites tied to Salem’s 1692 witchcraft hysteria, the building — a former funeral home — was inaugurated last month by activist Malcolm Jarry, a self-described “secular Jew” who co-founded The Satanic Temple (TST) in 2013. Jarry is a pseudonym, and he refuses to be photographed.

The temple houses an art gallery in honor of Baphomet, a “sabbatic goat” representing the universe. Behind the two-story building, an eight-foot tall statue of Baphomet sits in a plain shed, where visitors can pay to view it.

With up to 50,000 members in chapters around the world, TST has garnered colossal media attention in the last three years. Chief among Jarry’s causes are marriage equality and women’s reproductive freedom. Any issue related to the government using religion to restrict individual freedom is also likely to engage temple leaders, some of whom staged a 2014 “Black Mass” at Harvard University to push the envelope on religious freedom.

Outside of New England, TST has taken legal action against the placement of edifices of the Ten Commandments in civic settings, including statehouses. To illustrate how such displays violate religious freedom, the temple has insisted it be allowed to erect goat-headed Baphomet statues in the same locations. TST is also planning to take on some schools’ use of isolation, denial of bathroom access, and corporal punishment of children.

For the 49-year-old Jarry, there is not much conflict between being Jewish and a Satanist. :blink: As a matter of fact, the two identities have come to inform each other, he said.

I see it like Buddhism,” said Jarry. “Satanism is something that can co-exist with being a Jew,” he said.

In addition to Jarry’s belief that Judaism and Satanism can co-exist, there are parallels with how Judaism and Satanism have been branded by their detractors, he said.

The false accusations that have been thrown at Jews historically are similar to what some people say about Satanism,” said Jarry, mentioning accusations of blood libel and — more recently — fabricated allegations that Israel perpetrates genocide against Palestinian children.

I do not accept when people delegitimize Israel or use lies to marginalize Israel,” said Jarry. “I am an unwavering supporter of Israel, so long as it remains democratic, pluralistic, and protects human rights.

‘Satanic Panic’

Satanists, for the record, do not believe that Satan exists
. :huh: Derived from the Hebrew root for “adversary,” Satan is viewed as a symbol, not an idol or deity.

The Church of Satan was founded by Jewish-born Anton LaVey in 1966. Known in his heyday as “the black pope,” LaVey seeded “grotto” churches around the country, and Hollywood figures including Sammy Davis Jr. joined the church. (Davis had converted to Judaism in 1961.)

As the “sigil” for his movement, LaVey adopted an inverted pentacle surrounded by the Hebrew letters for Leviathan, a sea monster featured in the Old Testament. From the center of the pentacle glares the half-human, half-animal Baphomet, both female and male, intending to symbolize the harmony of the universe.

Unlike the occultist LaVey and his Church of Satan, Jarry and his upstart Satanic movement do not associate with magic, he said. Like other religions and non-religions, Satanism has multiple off-shoots and — spoiler alert — Satanists are against submitting to centralized authority, which the pay-to-play cult of LaVey began to exemplify for some practitioners of so-called LaVeyan Satanism.

In recent weeks, TST has been in the news for one member’s attempts to deliver a Satanist invocation at Boston City Hall. The opportunity to open meetings with prayers is by invitation only, and only mainstream religions have ever been asked, said Jarry.

“If the decision is that only we cannot deliver an invocation, then we will sue and we will win,” said the veteran contrarian.

We expect to be treated in the same manner as all other religions and will sue for all of the same rights,:puke: said Jarry, adding that TST’s campaigns are fueled by “the importance of standing for freedom of expression and against tyrannical authority.:rolleyes:

According to Salem city officials, only a handful of citizens have expressed concern about the Satanic temple’s arrival in the bewitched seaport, one of New England’s top tourist destinations. Among Salem’s several thousand Jewish residents, those questioned by The Times of Israel had only positive things to say about their town’s newest faith — or faithless — based neighbor.

Honestly, for us, it is such a non-event,” said Liz Polay-Wettengel, a Salem resident for more than a decade.

We live with so many different types of beliefs here, including a very large Wiccan community, that having a satanic church open doesn’t even register for me and other Salem Jews I have spoken with,” said Polay-Wettengel, who directs marketing for

As long as we can practice our Judaism freely, I have to extend those rights to them as well,:o she said. ... al-change/

What’s the difference between Judaism and Satanism?

Purim is a Jewish Halloween, a Jewish Mardi Gras and a secular [Persian Nowruz/ first day of Spring] New Year rolled into one. And it is not just a holiday for children who know immediately that anything with a costume will be fun. All Jews are commanded to be silly and celebrate the ancient victory [massacre] against their adversaries [hosts] by giving gifts of food to friends and to the poor.

Purim comes in the late winter or early spring. Jews have celebrated by dressing up as both the heroes and villains of the Purim story, as they chase away their winter doldrums and acknowledge that Purim brings springtime. ... ays/purim/
Purim and Interfaith Marriage
By Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael

Originally published March 14, 2006. Reprinted February 27, 2012.

The emphasis in the story of Purim, the Jewish holiday which falls in March this year, is usually on the costumes and raucous booing to drown out the villain Haman’s name. Children parade in their alter egos -_- —as everything from kings and queens to Batman. Jewish communities hold carnivals to revel in the victory of the Jews fighting against the decree of Achashverosh, the drunken king [who graciously spared Mordecai's life]. Friends send each other packages of food called mishloach manot, based on the traditional celebratory ending of the reading of the Megilah, the Purim narrative. We eat hamantashen cookies, tell jokes and write purimspiels, satirical and silly plays, to highlight the fact that the Jews get the last laugh. :mellow:

But wait, aren’t we forgetting something? At the very center of this story is an interfaith marriage! It is about none other than our Queen Esther, named as one of the prophetesses in Israel. She is such an important person that the entire book is named after her. The very fact that the Jews are saved is dependent on a Jewish queen married to a king who was not Jewish. Because of Esther’s position she is able to intervene and save the Jews, and she does this without compromise to her religion.

Now, as we know, interfaith marriage has not been celebrated in our communities over the centuries. Parents have cut off children, families have been shunned. We have lived with the fear of assimilation. However, in this day where the rate of interfaith marriage is close to 50 percent, it is time to look around and notice some of the benefits. Here is a role model from our tradition that seems to indicate very clearly that marriage to someone who is not Jewish has it advantages.

In today’s world there are still plenty of Hamans. :ph34r: Iran is threatening Israel with nuclear attack and Islamic Jihad sends suicide bombers. Skinheads still tattoo themselves with swastikas and synagogues around the world are defaced. Jews are still killed because they are Jews.
Perhaps we now have a glimmer of hope coming from an unlikely place. Interfaith marriages, which until now have been so troubling, now offer us opportunities and new realities.

Perhaps in all the interfaith marriages that are happening today, we are acquiring allies for the Jewish people. Perhaps we now have hundreds of thousands of people who are not Jewish who are also committed to the survival of the Jewish people, its customs and teachings, and to raising Jewish children. Perhaps we have fellow travelers who appreciate the richness of our heritage and will step forward to help us combat the hatred that exists. Perhaps we will find it safer to live as Jews.

Perhaps, like the Purim story, there is and will be a silver lining to interfaith marriage, one that will become another reason to celebrate. ^_^ ... rmarriage/

It all boils down to the delusional self-worshiping question, “Is it good for the Jews?” Nothing else seems to matter.

We Should Learn From Esther, Who Married Outside Her Community to Save Her People
By Sarah Flicker

This article originally appeared in the Forward and is reprinted with permission. Visit For subscription information, call 1-866-399-7900.

I believe we can also think of Purim in another light. Purim is essentially a story about an interfaith relationship that “saves the day.” Our Jewish community spends a great deal of time and energy thinking about issues of continuity, and as part of that discussion there is much time devoted to impeding, decrying and bemoaning modern-day interfaith relationships. In the midst of all this we have forgotten that every spring our people congregate and read the Megillat Esther, a story that shows how an interfaith relationship created the possibility for Jewish continuity. Rather than assimilation being the result, Esther was able to save her people and her faith through marrying outside of it. It is also a story about a woman coming “out of the closet” about her identity, and being loved and accepted regardless.

It is time to rethink and retell the story of Purim, to read the story of Esther as a story of Jewish feminist activism. It is a story about inclusion, continuity and hope. It is a story about a woman and her uncle seeking to change the history of the Jewish people through creative, innovative means. Perhaps it is time that the larger Jewish community begins to learn the lessons of Shushan and imagine alternative possibilities for change and continuity. Rather than continuing to ostracize those who care deeply and passionately about their Jewish heritage, it is time to welcome us back into the fold. ... er_People/

Instead of constantly criticizing Christians/Muslims and pitting them against each other, Jews should take a good hard look in the mirror and focus on Judaism.

There are far too many people who repeat the tired mantra, "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all." They're the people who don't seem to understand the monumental difference between "God is Love" and "Love is God."

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Re: Thoughts on Christianity

Unread post by ICfreely » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:59 pm

Upon reflection, based on my recent posts and somewhat harsh tone, I can see why I probably come off as a “born-again” Christian zealot.

1) I don’t follow any particular sect of Christianity.
2) I don’t know if Jesus walked the earth.
3) Still not sure what the “Holy Trinity” is.
4) I haven’t the slightest clue how/when the world/life came about.
5) Don’t know exactly what happens after physical death.
6) Being a sinner (and Lord knows how much of a sinner) myself, I’m the absolute last person to tell anyone else how to live their lives.

I’m a Christian because I was born into a Christian family. My ancestors, going back at least 12 generations that I know of, inhabited the “cat’s eye” region of northwest Iran -a region that was once part of “Greater Armenia.” The borders shifted, the people stayed. Iran is as much my Motherland as it is any other Iranian’s. Due to the Iranian “collective sense of history” Persians/Muslims never treated Armenians as outsiders. In fact, we’ve coexisted in peace and harmony for centuries. What I’ve witnessed with my own eyes stands in stark contrast to what the Mainstream Media portrays.

My transition to America was fairly smooth. By the time I permanently moved here I had already visited umpteen times and spoke, wrote, read English fairly well. When you move to a new country, it’s incumbent on you to adapt to said country (not the other way around). In general, Iranian-Americans (especially Muslims) keep a very low profile because of the way Americans have been preconditioned by the presstitutes. Just mentioning the word “Iran” stirs a reaction.

“No, I’m not a terrorist.”

“I’m actually Christian.”

“Yes, there is such a thing as Iranian Christians and no, I’m not a refugee who escaped persecution…”

Seeing as I’ve spent most of my life in America I’m pretty much “Americanized.” It’s been a strange/beautiful journey. Been blessed to cross paths with so many sweet spirits out here. When speaking with folks from the old country I feel obligated to play “Devil’s advocate” for lack of a better term. To set the record straight and to tell them that Americans aren’t a bunch of stupid warmongering barbarians. That in fact Americans are among the most generous/charitable people in the world. I try to do the same when speaking with Americans about Iranians. Not to propagandize, but to tell the truth as I see it.

Considering the wealth of the collective Iranian-American Diaspora and all the organizations at its disposal, it’s mind boggling to me that there isn’t a single group dedicated to countering all the erroneous propaganda. Is it due to fear, apathy or plain selfishness? I don’t know. What really infuriates me is the Jewish-Iranians (who are hands down the wealthiest of the Diaspora) playing the “persecuted victim” role when nothing could be further from the truth. Just WOW!

Absolutely no gratitude or sense of loyalty!

Despite being a “guest” in America and it not being my Motherland, if I were to move abroad, I’d still feel obligated to stick up for Americans if needed.

I don’t have any problem with Jews per se. In fact I’ve always gotten along pretty well with them. But I do have some serious problems with Judaism.
“We eat hamantashen cookies, tell jokes and write purimspiels, satirical and silly plays, to highlight the fact that the Jews get the last laugh.” -Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael

I mean, seriously, are those words of a man of God or the demented ramblings of a mad man?

Jews are raised to vocally criticize any and everything under the sun. I’m perfectly ok with that so long as they’re willing to take some criticism themselves. If you go around throwing punches, expect to take a few on the chin yourself. Sorry, but that’s how the real world works.

I’ve had a lot of deep/blunt, yet cordial, exchanges with Jews on the same topics I’ve touched on here. The funny thing is, it’s been easier for me to have these conversations with Jews than it is with Christians.

These are the same Christians who claim to have “found Jesus” and whatnot. Apparently all you have to do is recite the sinner’s prayer and get your ticket to Heaven. The world be damned. All the ills of the world are the “Will of God.” And the worst thing you can possibly do is to oppose “God’s chosen people” ‘cause that’ll buy you a straight ticket to Hell. So much for faith, courage, truth and a sense of right and wrong.

I guess we should all just hold hands and sing, “All You Need is Love”, “Imagine” and the rest of the Beatles catalog in line-formation on our way to the slaughter house.

Sorry, but I’m not buyin’ it.

I believe in God, salvation and life after death, although I can’t (nor do I need) to prove it. I believe in doing unto others. I also believe God gave us eyes, ears, brains and a mouth for a reason. Maybe I haven’t reached the higher level of “enlightenment”. Maybe I never will. Who knows?

Salaam alaikum!

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Re: Thoughts on Christianity

Unread post by Flabbergasted » Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:00 am

ICfreely wrote:It’s been a strange/beautiful journey.
Your life could hardly have been more interesting! So many enlightening contrasts!
ICfreely wrote:Americans are among the most generous/charitable people in the world.
I spent some time in the US in the early 1980s. I have never before or since been shown similar generosity.
ICfreely wrote:Absolutely no gratitude or sense of loyalty!
And zero sense of justice and proportion.
ICfreely wrote:I believe in God, salvation and life after death, although I can’t (nor do I need) to prove it.
As Brahe said, "the language of Truth is simple". The relative implies the Absolute. The relative cannot be discerned as such or reveal order and meaning if the intellect is not essentially central and immutable ("relatively absolute" in man's case; "absolutely absolute" in God´s). Anything, by its mere existence, is proof of God.
ICfreely wrote:Still not sure what the “Holy Trinity” is.
The three Persons of the Holy Trinity are hypostases, meaning they are "degrees of Divine subjectivity". In other words, "God the Father", "God the Son" and "God the Holy Ghost" are God at three different levels of Being; thus one God, not three.

I like to picture it as in the chart below. The Holy Trinity is A-B-C. Now, there are many other triads and ternaries in religions which should be carefully distinguished. For example: B1-C2-C3; or C2-C3-C4; or Yellow-Blue-Red. Technically speaking, these are not "trinities".


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Re: Thoughts on Christianity

Unread post by SacredCowSlayer » Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:11 pm

Dear ICfreely,

Your contributions here (and elsewhere) on CF certainly cause one to think . . . and dare I say, “grapple,” with a number of somewhat nuanced perspectives. Thank you for posting on this topic. While our life experiences are very different, it appears that we share a lot in common.

In recent years I have really become baffled at the levels of blind allegiance to all things “Israel” in the name of the Bible.

So as to disarm the charged nature of this topic, I have (from time to time) begun posing rhetorical questions to (some) self-proclaimed Christians such as, “I must wonder exactly what it means to ‘bless Israel,’—is this necessarily the government that goes by such a name? And by what authority must we accept this? The U.N.? Also, what exactly is a Jew? Is it bloodline? Religious conversion? Both? What are the implications of the “answers” (or lack thereof) to these questions?”

I’ve found that these types of questions do more to stimulate (some) thinking than for me to express my own thoughts on the matter directly. You’re right . . . there is this running thought in the Christian community that anything said that could be construed as “anti-Israel” is per se evil.

I think it’s helpful (for me at least) to take a step back from the issue at hand, and pose thought-provoking questions that don’t directly challenge the (perceived) “core” of the other person. But, as I’ve stated elsewhere, we all have to exercise discernment as we go about engaging with others—especially as it relates to the vast number of topics discussed here on CF.

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Re: Thoughts on Christianity

Unread post by ICfreely » Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:13 am

Flabbergasted wrote:I spent some time in the US in the early 1980s. I have never before or since been shown similar generosity.

Americans do contribute to a lot of charitable causes. Their intentions are good but unfortunately most of the charities they contribute to not only do no good but do a lot of harm.

SacredCowSlayer wrote:I think it’s helpful (for me at least) to take a step back from the issue at hand, and pose thought-provoking questions that don’t directly challenge the (perceived) “core” of the other person. But, as I’ve stated elsewhere, we all have to exercise discernment as we go about engaging with others—especially as it relates to the vast number of topics discussed here on CF.

Point taken, dear SCS.

God Is Love, But Love Is Not God

• 1 John 4:8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Years ago (maybe around 2002 or so), shortly after I had become a Christian, there was a cryptic little quote that popped up frequently on advertisements for a TBN show that featured a woman musing upon 1 John 4:8. I have tried for a couple of years to locate this video online but have not found it as of yet. If memory serves me correctly the woman in question was making the point that she had come to realize that if God is love, then love is God. Then she went on to repeat herself, multiple times: ‘Love is God, love is God…’

Even as a young Christian, something struck me as odd, and flat out wrong, about this statement. Years later I decided to study 1 John 4:8 in depth and found that no less a heavyweight than Augustine of Hippo made a similar statement:
And this passage declares sufficiently and plainly, that this same brotherly love itself (for that is brotherly love by which we love each other) is set forth by so great authority, not only to be from God, but also to be God (De Trinitate, Book VIII). ... s-not-god/
Was Saint Augustine Good for the Jews?
By David Van Biema Sunday, Dec. 07, 2008

St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430) was probably the most influential Christian thinker after the Gospel writers and St. [SAUL] Paul. It is to him that we owe such doctrines as original sin and predestination. Yet he has traditionally been unpopular with those concerned about Christian treatment of Jews over the centuries, a disapproval that was expressed eight years ago by the popular historian James Carroll in his much read book Constantine's Sword. Carroll wrote that Augustine and his followers believed that Jews "must be allowed to survive, but never to thrive" so that their public misery would broadcast their "proper punishments for their refusal to recognize the truth of the Church's claims." And the rest, goes the claim, was bloody history. But in a new book, Augustine and the Jews, Paula Fredriksen, a Boston University religion professor and self-proclaimed "Augustinista," upends the received wisdom. Fredriksen is no coddler of anti-Judaism. A former Catholic who long ago converted to Judaism, she was one of Mel Gibson's most acerbic critics when he released his movie The Passion of the Christ. But her book's subtitle, "A Christian [?] Defense of Jews and Judaism," describes what she contends was Augustine's actual stance on the topic, one she says was "was little short of revolutionary" — in a good way. Excerpts from David Van Biema's interview with Fredriksen. ... 78,00.html

Was Saint Augustine Good for the Gentiles?

Predestination, in theology, is the doctrine that all events have been willed by God, usually with reference to the eventual fate of the individual soul.[1] Explanations of predestination often seek to address the "paradox of free will", whereby God's omniscience seems incompatible with human free will. In this usage, predestination can be regarded as a form of religious determinism; and usually predeterminism.
Genetic determinism is the attempt to reduce the whole of biology to the physical sciences, with the behavior of organisms being shaped largely by their genetic constitution. ... eterminism

What’s the difference between the religious and “scientific” forms of determinism? Is there a difference?

Why Did God Make Viruses?
by Dr. Jean Lightner on November 7, 2014

Given our current knowledge of viruses, it is quite reasonable to believe that disease-causing viruses are descended from viruses that were once not harmful.

The creation model predicts that degenerative changes can occur because mankind sinned and brought death into the world. ... e-viruses/

Did God make “disease-causing viruses”?

Or did G-d make us believe in “disease-causing viruses”?

Did G-d shackle us with the “original sin” in order to rob us of our God given free will?

[The freedom to do what we ought to do (do unto others) and the freedom to do what we want to do (do as thou wilt).]

Is the term “Judeo-Christian” an oxymoron?

Do Christians and Jews worship the same Deity?

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Re: Thoughts on Christianity

Unread post by Flabbergasted » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:32 pm

Earthly existence is full of ambiguities because it manifests God while yet being “other than He”. Man is suspended as it were between abstraction and analogy, rejection and participation, transcendence and immanence: we encounter on the one hand the limitations and imperfections of phenomena (and in some cases their seductive magic) and on the other hand their metaphysical transparency and ennobling and interiorizing quality; the “Eternal Feminine” is both Eve and Mary. (F. Schuon)
Eve is the “Eternal Feminine” from the perspective of descent and immanence; Mary is the “Eternal Feminine” from the perspective of ascent and transcendence.

Some pairs of "descending" and "ascending" perspectives in religion and spirituality:

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Re: Thoughts on Christianity

Unread post by ICfreely » Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:21 am

The name "Mordecai" is of uncertain origin but is considered identical to the name Marduka or Marduku (Akkadian: )…

The Talmud (Menachot 64b and 65a) relates that his full name was "Mordechai Bilshan" (which occurs in Ezra 2:2 and Nehemiah 7:7). Hoschander interpreted this as the Babylonian "Marduk Belshunu" (Marduk-Bel-šu-nu, meaning "Marduk is their lord") "Mordecai" being thus a hypocorism.

The Talmud provides a Midrashic interpretation of the name Mordechai Bilshan as mara dachia ("pure myrrh") alluding to Exodus 30:23 and ba'al lashon [4] ("master of languages")…
Marduk Prophecy

The Marduk Prophecy is a vaticinium ex eventu text describing the travels of the Marduk cult statue from Babylon. It relates his visit to the land of Ḫatti, corresponding to the statue's seizure during the sack of the city by Mursilis I in 1531 BC, Assyria, and when Tukulti-Ninurta I overthrew Kashtiliash IV, taking the image to Assur and Elam in 1225 BC. Kudur-nahhunte then ransacked the city and pilfered the statue around 1160 BC.[who?]Kudur-nahhunte addresses an assembly of the gods.
Vaticinium ex eventu

Vāticinium ex ēventū (Ecclesiastical Latin: [vatiˈtʃ ɛks eˈvɛntu], "prophecy from the event") is a technical theological or historiographical term referring to a prophecy written after the author already had information about the events being "foretold". The text is written so as to appear that the prophecy had taken place before the event, when in fact it was written after the events supposedly predicted. Vaticinium ex eventu is a form of hindsight bias. The concept is similar but distinct from postdiction, where prophecies that were genuinely written or spoken before the event are reinterpreted after the event to fit the facts as they occurred.

Below is a list of similarities between Marduk, the ‘god’ son of Enki, and the Hebrew God, YHWH, who ruled the Great Age of Aries. Were they the same god? You decide. Note: there is no mention of YHWH’s name in the Sumerian texts - or the St. John journals, but they do mention Marduk – who has the same pattern as YHWH.

The Marduk and YHWH Pattern

1) Both gods begin their rule at the start of the age of Aries [2048 BCE][Note: planetary ruler of Aries is the planet, Mars = Marduk] Mars is a war-like planet.

2) Both gods portray Mars characteristics [warriors, aggressiveness, ambition, dominating, conquests, leaders, weapons, destruction]

With my beaver hat firmly in place, I shall bequeath my own Talmudic interpretation of “Mordecai”.

Mars, the Roman god of war, is their lord and vaticinium ex eventu is their modus operandi.

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Re: Thoughts on Christianity

Unread post by ICfreely » Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:22 am

File this under:


Esther's Revenge at Susa: From Sennacherib to Ahasuerus - Stephanie Dalley (2008)


Three centuries before Artaxerxes I in whose reign the Hebrew story of Esther is set, Assyrian campaigns to Palestine, and the resultant deportations of some 40,810 people from the leading families of Israelite Hebrews to Assyrian cities, set in train a tradition of writings that contributed eventually to the Hebrew story. The aim of this book is to show how and why that biblical book arose from a distant background in the Late Assyrian period and some of the conditions under which it remained popular in northern Iraq in subsequent times.

Evidence comes from a variety of sources and periods, presenting quite a complex interweaving of threads in rather long strands. Because the initial events need extensive interpretation, the first four chapters deal in detail with certain Assyrian events, with a view to showing how royal acts of revenge were carried out by gods, as described in royal inscriptions. Alongside this, it is possible to identify other cuneiform texts in which those events were transferred into myth soon after they had occurred. As a result of tragedies affecting four generations of Assyrian kings, the culminating act of human and divine retribution was the sack of Susa in c.647 BC, which the king described as a campaign led by Ishtar and Marduk. This is a first step in linking Esther, Mordecai, and the city of Susa with late Assyrian history.

A second step leads into Egypt, where intermediate evidence is by chance reserved to show Egyptians and Hebrew mercenaries [proto-MOSSAD-omites] on the Nile handing down stories of Assyrian alliances, valour, and court scandals throughout the Persian period. Together with those sources, cuneiform and Aramaic literature is used to pick out characteristics found also in the Hebrew book of Esther, such as the rise of the heroine, letters written by gods, certain kinds of wisdom composition, and the role of the jester who mocks kings in written works. Criticism of the king in literature was permitted in ways that upheld kingship as the only system of government able to avoid poverty and chaos, despite the shortcomings of individual rulers. Some mocking criticism was made palatable by the court jester.

Since Nineveh was the capital city of Late Assyrian Kings, the character of Ishtar-of-Nineveh is then delineated to show both her seductive and her bloodthirsty aspects that are also found in the Hebrew heroine. Belonging to her cult are practices that bear a strong resemblance to specific customs of Purim, the Jewish festival that the book of Esther authenticates. As an international goddess, Ishtar-of-Nineveh sometimes worked in partnership with Marduk, despite the sack of his city Babylon by the Assyrians, for Marduk too was powerful far beyond the confines of his city long before that traumatic event. Among the records of both Babylonia and Assyria can be traced a long tradition of branding Elamites as archetypical enemies. Moving on from these general points to the particular, the vestiges of dates within months, retained inexplicably in Hebrew Esther, are shown to coincide with the cultic calendar for Ishtar-of-Nineveh. To reinforce the conclusion that Ishtar-of-Nineveh and Marduk, leading a royal campaign to kill Elamites in and around Susa in the seventh century, can be equated with biblical Esther and Mordecai killing the inhabitants in and around Susa, many words, phrases, and customs in the Hebrew story, which are often thought to be typically Persian, are shown to belong to the late Assyrian period, and were inherited by the Achaemenids rather than originating under their rule.

I order to explain why Assyrian traits such as the remnant of the cultic calendar, and the vocabulary, were retained in the much later Hebrew text, some evidence for continuity within the cities and cults of erstwhile Assyria, still populated by groups of Jews descended from the eighth- and seventh-century deportees, is suggested, culminating in the kingdom of Adiabene. Its queen Helen, who governed under the umbrella of Parthian Kings, converted to Judaism, in which she was followed by her son and successor Izates. The stories of Esther and Izates are both told by Josephus. Unlike most of his writings, they center upon lands far to the east of Jerusalem, beyond Roman control. On the borders of Abiabene lay the synagogue of Dura Europus with its wall-painting depicting scenes from Esther, and the ‘tomb of Mordecai’ near Hamadan. From these indications derives the deduction that Hebrew Esther found authority within the canon of scripture because the Israelite Jews of the eighth-century diaspora in northern Mesopotamia, who are distinct from Judahite Jews of the sixth-century exile in Babylonia, remained significant during the Hellenistic period. In conclusion, some of the wide variation in texts of the Esther story are outlined, with some reasons suggested for particular changes, and comparisons with other stories, in particular that of Ahiqar, whose transfer from the Assyrian court to a Jewish milieu is comparable with changes of pagan Ishtar and Marduk ["gods"] to Jewish mortals ["g-d's chosen people"].

New material and new interpretations of older material are used to build up the argument. During the past fifty years cuneiform tablets fresh from the ground at Nimrud and She Hamad, and the tombs of Assyrian queens with their inscribed grave-goods, have thrown light on the location, treatment, and lifestyle of Israelites in Assyria. Deportees were not enslaved but settled with their families; and some fought on behalf of Assyria. At the conquest of Egypt, Assyrian influence is reassessed to show a more pervasive influence than is normally assigned. This is relevant to continuity in stories about Assyrian kings. Supposedly wholesale destructions of Babylonia, Susa, and Nineveh are shown to be non-factual accounts, containing metaphors from the sphere of literary rhetoric…. ... us&f=false

The Dynamics of Violence and Revenge in the Hebrew Book of Esther - Francisco-Javier Ruiz-Ortiz (2017) ... er&f=false

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Re: Thoughts on Christianity

Unread post by ICfreely » Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:59 am

Meir Javedanfar is an Iranian-born Israeli Middle East commentator. He left Iran in 1987, eight years after the Iranian Revolution and now lives in Israel. He worked as a foreign affairs commentator at BBC Persian. With Yossi Melman, he has co-authored The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the State of Iran.
Iranian government stirs up antisemitism with invented massacre
Meir Javedanfar Mon 27 Dec 2010
The threatened desecration of the graves of two Jewish saints is just one result of the spreading of fabricated stories

On 10 December, 250 Basij students from Abu Ali Sina University in the Iranian city of Hamedan gathered in front of the mausoleum of two Jewish saints and threatened to tear it down, in revenge for what the students claimed were Israeli threats to infringe on the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

The graves are those of Esther and Mordechai. Esther was the second wife of Xerxes I (the Great) (486-465BCE, also known as Khashayarsha in Persian), the fourth Zoroastrian king of the Achamenid Empire. Esther was a Jew who moved to Persia after the Babylonian captivity of the Israelites (6th century BCE). King Xerxes also appointed Mordechai, who was Esther's cousin and had raised her, as a royal court adviser. The king's vizier, Haman, plotted to kill Mordechai, who refused to bow down to Haman, and all the Jews of Persia. That plan was foiled and King Xerxes, who wanted to protect his country's Jews, hanged Haman and his 10 sons instead.

Since then, every year on the 14th day in the Hebrew calendar month of Adar, Jews everywhere celebrate the deliverance of Persia's Jews from death. Children and adults go to synagogues and read the Book of Esther all over the world, including in Iran.

The hostile act of tearing down part of the tomb is unprecedented in the modern history of Iran, as graves of Jewish saints in Iran (which also include Daniel) have always been considered holy and respected by Jews and Muslims alike. In fact, many Muslim families go to such graves to pray for the health of their loved ones, alongside their Jewish compatriots.

Even more worrying is the revisionism of Jewish history flourishing in Iran under the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The narrative being promoted by this regime is that it was Mordechai who was a murderer because he ordered the massacre of more than 70,000 Iranians. This is being called an "Iranian holocaust".

The eminent Oxford University Professor Homa Katouzian, in his book Sadeq Hedayat: His Work and His Wondrous World, traces this fabrication back to an article published in Iran-e Bastan in 1934. According to Professor Katouzian, this publication, "imitating German antisemitism, fabricated sensational reports of Jewish plots". Not only did this publication reverse the facts in the story of Esther and Mordechai but it also, among other things, distributed reports that Jews were "selling fatal medicine to Muslims". One of the goals of such articles was to emphasise and promote what it saw as the Aryan roots and historical commonality between Iran and Nazi Germany. Such false reports provided the foundation for anti-Jewish Islamist campaigns in the 1940s.

For years afterwards, no one took notice of such antisemitic material, let alone promoted it. This has all changed since Ahmadinejad took power in 2005. These days one can hear about the fabricated and highly anti-Jewish "Iranian holocaust" from Iranian politicians.

This was seen in September this year. Hussein Kanaani Moghadam, secretary general of the Green party (a separate party – not related to Mousavi or Karroubi) and a member of the central committee of the Osulgarayan coalition, stated in an interview: "According to what is said in the Torah, in the time of Khashayarshah (Xerxes), through Esther and Mordechai, Jews were told that they had three days to kill Iranians and it is said that 75,000 Iranian women, children, old and young were massacred by them."

Kanaani Moghadam's fabrication of history did not end there. In order to give a historical basis to this antisemitic belief, he tried to intertwine it with a distortion of Iran's pre-Islamic Zoroastrian history. "In their Iranian Killing festival, which is celebrated in the Persian month of Esfand, they [Jews] read the book of Esther. One of the reasons Iranians leave their homes every year on the 13th day of Farvardin (called Sizdah be dar in Persian) is that on this day the order to kill Iranians was given and, in order to escape from this massacre, the people of Iran took refuge in the countryside."

A similar narrative is also being printed and promoted in Iran's press. The Tehran-based Farda News is one such publication. In an article, as well as promoting the "Iranian holocaust", it tells global Jewry: "Those Jews who accuse Hitler of burning them should look for the real holocaust in their own dark history."

The international community must condemn the Iranian government's antisemitic narratives and statements, and demand that they cease. In fact, the regime should have been confronted in late 2005, when Ahmadinejad first publicly denied the Holocaust. Had Tehran's leaders been widely and vigorously denounced then, they would have received a powerful message that abuse of history :huh: and human rights carries a price. It is still not too late for the world to send such a message to the government of Iran. ... ish-saints

I won’t bother dismantling Meir Javedanfar’s twisted logic. The following comment will suffice.

27 Dec 2010 7:46

Several things have to be said though. One is that the number of 75 thousands is not an obscure invention of Ahmadinejad, but a number taken from the Book of Esther, a fact that was somehow omitted in the article. The celebration of Purim may very well be viewed as dubious by the modern standards. Of course, it should not be forgotten that it reflects a relatively ancient rite, which stems from a different set of moral principles than what we have adapted. Nevertheless, I see how celebrating this holiday in its present form can offend Iranian sensibilities. Secondly, as far as I remember, the students threatened to destroy the shrine if Al Aqsa is destroyed. So I think neither is in imminent danger.

In general, I think that there is no real reason to talk about genocide, since neither the existence of the people nor the numbers from the Book of Esther are reliable. Most probably the[y] constitute self-lauding exaggeration by the Jewish scribes. However, the practice of celebrating this probable non-event in its current form hardly fosters tolerance among the Jewish children (shockingly enough it is considered very much a children's holiday among secular Jews). ... ish-saints
Ahmadinejad has no Jewish roots
Meir Javedanfar Mon 5 Oct 2009
Rumours that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's family converted to Islam from Judaism are false. In fact, they are proud Shias ... ish-family

Make of it what you will, dear reader.

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Re: Thoughts on Christianity

Unread post by ICfreely » Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:59 am

Happy Halloween, everyone.

Esther & Greta Thunberg - Rev. Jeff Binder ...

Greta Thunberg is 16 years old and lives in Sweden. She is soft spoken—shy really—and doesn’t necessarily stand out in a crowd; yet much of the world today is listening to this young woman.

“All my life I’ve been invisible, the invisible girl in the back who doesn’t say anything,” she said. “From one day to another, people [now] listen to me. That’s a weird contrast. It’s hard.”

Greta’s fame started when she posted on social media about protesting climate change by not attending school during her country’s election season. News of her protest went viral around the world, and it soon became a movement to raise awareness of climate change for young people and old alike. This shy girl soon became the center of attention, having the opportunity to meet with people like Barack Obama and Pope Francis. Even as we are gathered here this morning, Greta is sailing on a carbon-neutral yacht as a gesture of her message; she will be one of the main speakers at the upcoming United Nations Climate Summit talks in New York City this September.

Reflecting on her actions that have galvanized a global movement to take action in caring for our natural world, this shy young woman simply states,

“…if I did not fight, I would feel bad,” she explained. “When I grow up, I want to be able to look back and say I did what was possible.”

Can one young woman change the world?

I’ll leave that for us to reflect upon as we engage with our scripture story this morning.

We continue with our series on lesser told Bible stories and characters this week as we tell the story of Esther. In many ways, I find Greta’s story to be similar to Esther’s; both young woman really never seeking fame or notoriety, yet here they are, serving as a figurehead for a movement that affects entire communities and peoples.

Yes, fame seems like a wonderful experience for many, but with it also comes negative side effects. I’m sure if Esther lived in a social media generation, she would be getting the same negative exposure and comments that Greta is receiving. People mock, second guess, and doubt the intentions of such leaders who dare to speak out against the norm. Some people even respond in hate and anger. The life of leadership, whether one seeks it out, or it is bestowed upon someone, is never quite as lovely as it seems.

For such a time as this…

…for such a time as climate change that affects millions of humans and other species each and every day.
…for such a time as refugees and immigrants seeking better livelihoods around the world.
…for such a time as mass shootings and the epidemic of gun violence within our nation.
…for such a time as social unrest and protests over government corruption.
…for such a time as race relations, racism, and white supremacy; of Antifa and Proud Boys.
…for such a time as gender identity and hate crimes.
…for such a time as rising housing costs, and with it, rising homelessness.
…for such a time as a loss of faith.
…for such a time as this.

There is a happy ending to this story. The king listened to Esther’s request. Haman was ultimately executed for his role in masterminding the attempted genocide. Mordecai was exulted. And Queen Esther ruled with authority as the Jewish people were saved.
For such a time as this…

I wonder what this phrase could mean in our own lives today. Sure, it would be easy to raise Esther up as the one person who saved all of the Jewish people, and for us to say that we need a savior like Esther, or Greta Thunberg, to save us from ourselves.
But there were others involved as well.

Mordecai, the older generation of Esther, loved her, raised, and spoke words of inspiration and hope into her life. There were others who were barely mentioned who also prayed and fasted for salvation and discernment. And God was there; not mentioned in this book of Esther mind you, but present and moving the entire time.

If we re-frame our thinking then, the phrase for such a time as this is not just a battle cry for an individual, or a younger generation, or simply a hashtag; no, for such a time as this is our good news today for all people!

We are called for this particular community, for this particular time, for such a time as this.

God is moving among us…all of us…right here today.

Where do we see it? Where can we point to in the world, and say, “Hey, look! There! God is moving there for such a time as this!”

And where can we look to each other, and to ourselves, and say, “This is what I have been put here, in this particular place, in this particular time; for such a time as this.”

May the phrase for such a time as this become not just a one-liner in the face of the world’s injustices, and with it opportunities for action and for good.

May this phrase seep into our very being.

We have all been called for such a time as this. ... -thunberg/

Go Greta!

Ahasuerus and Vashti: The Story Megillat Esther Does Not Tell You

Dr. Malka Zeiger Simkovich, Dr. Rabbi Zev Farber, Rabbi David D. Steinberg

The Stories We are Told

In popular Jewish imagination, Ahasuerus is an illegitimate usurper king, and his royal wife, Vashti, is a grotesque Jew-hating villain, who gets what she deserves. Neither of these portraits appears anywhere in the book of Esther, however. The megillah makes no mention of either Ahasuerus’ or Vashti’s lineage, nor are we told that Vashti persecuted Jews, or, for that matter, grew a tail, and had one hundred and three pimples (contrary to the children’s song popular in some circles).

These widely-held images of Ahasuerus and Vashti originate with rabbinic midrash, but this only raises the question: Why did the rabbis assume that Ahasuerus was a usurper, why did they believe Vashti to be of royal blood, and why did they disparage Vashti at the expense of going against the text? (“Beautiful” [Esther 1:11] and “pimply with a tail” do not jibe well together.)

Overcoming “Esther-Guilt” and the Spirit of Purim

Picking up on the humorous style of the megillah, the rabbis lampoon and mock the Jews’ antagonists in the story.[26] Once Vashti ended up on the side of the enemies of the Jews, through her association with Nebuchadnezzar, she naturally became a target for the rabbis’ ridicule. Nevertheless, why did the rabbis feel the need to paint her in such an extremely terrible light?

Esther is the heroine of the book and Vashti needs to be removed to make room for her. Thus, seeing Vashti as a tragic figure interferes with the Jewish readers’ enjoyment of Vashti’s fall. The image of Vashti as a Jew-shaming libertine justifies the replacement of Vashti by Esther, and allows the reader to root for Esther and enjoy Vashti’s downfall in a “guilt free” reading experience. ... t-tell-you

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Re: Thoughts on Christianity

Unread post by heniek1812 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:33 pm

Yes, Greta should Go. She should go to a good doctor :lol:

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Re: Thoughts on Christianity

Unread post by ICfreely » Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:48 am

A More Religious Megillah: The Jewish-Greek Version of Esther
The Jewish-Greek Version of the Book of Esther and what it tells us about Jewish Identity in Ancient Times.
Prof. Aaron Koller

The Six Additions

These are six blocks of text, conventionally labeled A through F, found in all known Greek versions of Esther and without any parallel in the Hebrew text. These six passages can be grouped into three pairs. Additions A and F, found at the very beginning and very end of the book, are a dream of Mordecai’s (A) and its interpretation (F). In his dream, Mordecai sees two dragons fighting, threatening to destroy the world; peace is effected by a spring that bursts forth. At the end of the book, he realizes that the two dragons represented himself and Haman, and that their conflict would have wreaked havoc had it not been for Esther. Addition A also contains another short narrative of an attempt on the king’s life, foiled by Mordecai – just like the narrative in chapter 2.

Additions B and E are the texts of, respectively, the letter Haman sent out against the Jews, and the letter Esther and Mordecai sent out allowing the Jews to defend themselves. Addition C contains prayers uttered by Mordecai and Esther for the salvation of the Jews, and Addition D tells an expanded version of the story of Esther’s approach to the king. [2]

The earliest fragment of Greek Esther – 1st/ 2nd CE

The origin of these “Additions,” comprising altogether 107 verses (while the original Hebrew text contains only 167 verses) is somewhat mysterious, but it does seem clear that these six passages were literally added onto the book. In 1944, C. C. Torrey summarized the consensus regarding one major theme of the Additions: “The main reason for making the additions, it is commonly said, was the wish of the Greek-speaking Jews of Egypt to give to the story of Esther the religious atmosphere that is so sadly lacking in the Hebrew version.”[3]

This raises a whole suite of important questions. What was wrong with the book of Esther that needed “fixing”? Why did these early readers feel that they had the right to “correct” it?

Why Were the Additions Made?

The goals of these Additions need not be reducible to a single idea, and may in fact originate in different times and places.[4] For our purposes, however, the most important aspect of these passages is the “religious atmosphere” to which Torrey referred, and which pervades the Additions, starting with the very idea of Mordecai as a dreamer.[5] As a dreamer, and especially as a dream interpreter, Mordecai is brought in line with Daniel and, more importantly, with their predecessor Joseph.[6] This not only established Mordecai as reminiscent of earlier biblical heroes, but also establishes his religious bona fides: he, like Joseph and Daniel, was the recipient of divine revelation and (by implication) divine approval. Certainly, the author of Addition A was biblically-oriented:[7] the dream contains many intertextual references to other biblical books. These include use of the imagery of the dragon, fountain, battle, and the contrast between dark and light from Jeremiah 28.[8]

The interpretation of the dream in Addition F adds to the connection to the Joseph story. The Bible, and even the Joseph story, contains different types of dreams. Unlike Pharaoh’s dreams, which need interpretation, Joseph’s own dreams are transparent. Their meaning is immediately clear, even if it is not clear how the reality foretold in the dream will come about. All that is needed is for history to unfold to discover how they come true. The same is true for Mordecai’s dreams, as he discovers, and reveals to the readers, in Addition F:[9]

Mordecai said, “These things have come from God, for I remember about the dream I saw concerning these matters – not even a word of them has failed to be fulfilled! There was the little spring that became a river, and there was light and sun and abundant water: Esther is the river, whom the king married and made queen; the two dragons are myself and Haman; the nations are those that gathered to destroy the name of the Judeans; and my nation, this is Israel, who cried out to God and were saved! The Lord saved his people, delivering us from all these threats of treachery, and performed signs and great wonders which have not happened among the nations.”[10] ... -of-esther

But alas, it was all a dream[work] and the G-dless version of the book of Ishtar prevailed.

Conclusion: Esther and the Human Experience

Despite all of the challenges and controversy surrounding Esther, it remains an intriguing book to scholars, and Purim, a celebration of life and victory, is one of the most light-hearted Jewish holidays. So what does this book, its intricacies, eccentricities, revisions and restorations tell us about the psychology of the Jewish people? The fact that the Hebrew canon preserved the “hidden miracle” of the original text, even with the difficulties it presents, reveals not only a profound trust in the divine, but a belief that human action is often necessary, especially when the face of God appears to be turned away. The actual nature of fate seems to transform once the protagonists, especially Esther, choose to become active. In this way, we see Esther and the Jewish people as a whole in the process of individuation. The book of Esther is not unlike a game of connect-the-dots: seemingly random occurrences mapped out before hand by a distant, all-knowing force, waiting for the player to take the initiative, pick up her pen, and see the larger picture emerge. ... hetype-in/

The good news is that the script is revisable so there’s always a minuscule chance that G-d – the great playwright – will emphasize the celebration of Jews being saved aspect of the story and edit out the whole perpetual paranoia and vengeance thing.

Under Babylonian and Persian Rule
Yosef Eisen

Benefits of Babylonian Exile

This exile, although very traumatic, nevertheless had a great benefit to the Jewish people. There were no more corrupt kings or nobility – in Babylon the Torah scholars had complete authority. Moreover, the Babylonians were not anti-Semites per se; while they only wanted to destroy Judah as an independent political power, they harbored no ill feelings toward the Jewish religion. As such, Jews were given their own cities, where earlier exiled Jews welcomed them warmly. The Talmud tells us that G d chose Babylon as the place of exile for several reasons: Aramaic, the language of Babylon, was very similar to Hebrew. Abraham was born in Babylon, so the Jews were not regarded as foreigners. And it was easy to make a living from the abundant date trees. All told, then, life was pleasant for the Jews once they reached Babylon.

[Cliff’s Notes version: It started out good for “the Jews” then some $chitt went down and Mesopotamia was suddenly stricken with the anti-Semitic plague.]

Lessons of the Purim Story

The entire story was a hidden miracle — no seas split, no fire rained from heaven. Such an event becomes the prototype for Jewish survival in the present exile. Indeed, in this form Purim presents Jewish history as a jigsaw puzzleno one sees how each piece fits in until the end. In the present exile, then, people only see the surface of things, not the deeper underlying significance, just as in the Megillah. (In the late 1800s, the French archeologist Marcel Dieulefoy unearthed the ruins of the Persian palace at Susa after it had been buried for more than 2,000 years. He declared that only someone who was familiar with its layout must have written the descriptions of the palace in the book of Esther. Dieulefoy’s statement gave the lie to the Bible critics who claimed that the Purim story was fabricated.) ... n-Rule.htm

Oh Great Sages and Seers of Zion,

On bended knee and on behalf of my peoples I beg for thy mercy and leniency.

We’ve made great progress and, I’m pleased to say, we even have an “Oskar Schindler” of our very own now!
“The Iranian Schindler”: Abdol-Hossein Sardari’s Fight to Save the Iranian Jews of Occupied France ... ed-france/
What more can we do to atone for our grave sins?

It’s been over 2000 years. How much deeper down the rabbi hole must one go in order to attain this ever elusive deeper underlying significance of Ishtar?

Pray tell, what has G-d scripted for Purim 2020?

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