Tips On The Temple Building
"I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north: 'Give up,' and to the south: 'Keep not back, bring My sons from far, and My daughters from the end of the earth.'" -Isaiah 43:5-6.

Jewish emigration from the countries east and west of Israel was relatively free, but very hard from Russia (north) and Ethiopia (south). Do you think that was a coincidence? "I will bring them from a northern country" (Jeremiah 31:7). At the time of Jeremiah, there was no Jewish Diaspora worthy of note north of Israel.

When? "With fury poured out, will I be king over you... and I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against Me; I will bring them forth out of the land where they sojourn, but they shall not enter into the land of Israel... and I will bring you out from the peoples, and will gather you out of the countries wherein you are scattered, with a mighty hand." -Ezekiel 20:33-38. Holocaust, then the creation of Israel.

Some corroborating details, perhaps? Sanhedrin 97a, "In the generation of messiah, Torah scholars will meet in brothels [as happens routinely in Tel Aviv slums], Galilee will be no more [Arab, off-limits to Jews].... border residents will move from town to town, met with disapproval [Sderot, Kiryat Shmona evacuees].... God-fearers [haredim] will be despised. The face of the generation will be a dog's face, and truth will be lost." More details: "Wine will be expensive despite plentiful harvest, and the entire government will fall into apostasy."

"I the LORD will hasten it in its time," -Isa60:22. Sanhedrin 98a explains that if Israel deserves it the salvation will come fast; otherwise it will come in its own time. Such a reading is divorced from Isaiah's text, which promises to hasten the events without qualification. This can only mean that the time will run faster at the end of days, as in the Mayan concept of time.

The rabbinical doctrine of the supernatural messiah was meant to dissuade Jews from running after every savior. That approach might have saved the nation, but perhaps, on the contrary, it prevented us from liberating our land long ago, when Jews were more numerous than Palestinian Muslims. Rabbis laboriously explained absurdities or metaphors such as the Danielic promise of messiah as someone "like a son of man" flying on the clouds (Sanhedrin 98a), instead of concentrating on much more sensible earlier prophecy where the messiah is said to ride a donkey, meaning that he's a common person. But you don't expect a Temple to descend from heaven at the call of someone who rides a donkey-or even a BMW-and rabbis, averse to building the Temple in mundane ways, wait for the heavenly figure subject to Shas approval.

The concept of heavenly salvation is a perversion of Judaism. God doesn't act in the world directly. Even the Flood was a completely natural event. Everywhere the Scripture says that God did this or that, it's a metaphor for Israel: "God discomfited Sisera" (Judges 4:15) means merely that Jews defeated him. So it is with the heavenly Temple and messianic wars: God wages wars by enabling us to do so.

Support for any political agenda can be found in Tanakh's fanciful prophecies and their even more fanciful interpretations. This childish game is silly. I have no doubt about God's existence, commandments, etc., but I cannot make myself believe the nonsense of heavenly son of man or, for that matter, urim and tummim. It is written rightly that God doesn't perform miracles by violating the laws of nature. The high priest didn't speak with God in the holy of holies; he did not consult the magic amulets; the Ark, if it's so immensely holy, won't have fallen into the hands of heathens and disappeared. And no, I don't believe it is hidden below the Temple Mount.

The end is near. The time runs faster, Israel is gathered from all corners of the earth, Zechariah's two-thirds are lost in Holocaust and assimilation, and Jews returned to Zion with force and miracles. Stop wasting time on theological nonsense. Recognize that the Temple won't descend from heaven. Go build it yourself.

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Learning From Humor Customs Traditions Rituals And Superstition

LEARNING FROM HUMOR

Here is witty story, once more, from my Teaching Stories Archives.

CUSTOMS TRADITIONS RITUALS AND SUPERSTITION IS THERE A LOGICAL BASIS OR RATIONALE ?THE STORY OF THE MYSTICAL CATFood for Thought ByVIKRAM KARVE

The military is steeped in tradition.

There are many customs, traditions and rituals.

I remember, there was a custom in the army, in the artillery, where they do not light more than two cigarettes with a single matchstick.

There was a logical reason for this practice during World War I - but today it seems archaic and meaningless.

In the navy, we do not clink glasses while drinking or making a toast.

This is plain pure superstition.

If we asked the reason for a certain custom which we found meaningless, our seniors would admonish us: "This is the Naval Tradition"

Even in our day to day life, in the name of tradition, we unquestioningly follow traditions and customs and perform all types of religious, social and superstitious rituals without understanding the spirit behind the ritual. A RITUAL is an action performed purely for SYMBOLIC VALUE. In many cases there is no logic or rational explanation for the ritual. This apocryphal story from ancient wisdom " THE MYSTICAL CAT " illustrates how customs, traditions and rituals begin.

The story also tells you how due to repeated repetition over the years these customs and rituals are gradually established and become a part of culture.

And then, once established, customs, traditions and rituals are blindly followed for years and years, despite the fact that, in most cases, these customs and traditions have lost their significance and the rituals have outlived their utility and meaning. THE MYSTICAL CAT"An Ancient Wisdom Teaching Story"ByVIKRAM KARVE

A seeker joined a monastery to learn meditation and the art of living.

Every evening all students and disciples assembled in the large meditation hall for a discourse by the Spiritual Guru followed by group meditation.

Just before the meditation session commenced the disciples would catch a cat, tie it up and place the tied up cat on the lap of the Spiritual Guru.

The Guru would then start caressing the cat and begin the discourse and meditation session.

After the meditation session was over, the cat would be untied and set free.

This was the established daily ritual.

The Guru would start the meditation session only after the tied up cat was placed on his lap and he was extremely particular about this.

Once when the cat could not be found, the Guru refused to start the meditation session and demanded that the cat be placed on his lap.

So the meditation session was delayed and all the seekers launched a desperate hunt for the cat.

The searched for hours till they found the cat.

The cat was duly tied up and placed on the Guru's lap and only then did he start his discourse-cum-meditation session.

The seeker was quite perplexed at the mystery of the tied up cat. He could not understand the significance of this ritual and how it was connected to meditation.

The seeker wondered: "WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TIED UP CAT PLACED ON THE GURU'S LAP AND WHAT IS ITS CORRELATION WITH MEDITATION?"

He asked around but no one knew the answer till someone told him to ask a wise old man who lived in a cave up the hills.

So our curious seeker trudged up the hills to meet the wise old man and ask him the significance of this time-honoured ritual.

"IT IS LIKE THIS," the wise old man said:

"ONE EVENING, MANY YEARS AGO, WHEN THE THEN SPIRITUAL GURU AND HIS DISCIPLES BEGAN THEIR EVENING MEDITATION, A CAT THAT LIVED IN THE MONASTERY MADE SO MUCH NOISE THAT IT DISTRACTED THEM AND DISTURBED THEIR MEDITATION PRACTICE.

SO THE GURU ORDERED THAT THE CAT BE TIED UP DURING THE EVENING DISCOURSE-CUM-MEDITATION PRACTICE.

THIS PRACTICE OF TYING UP THE CAT BEFORE MEDITATION PRACTICE CONTINUED, SO MUCH SO THAT EVEN AFTER THE TEACHER DIED, THE NEXT GURU CONTINUED THIS TRADITION AND A CAT CONTINUED TO BE TIED UP DURING THE MEDITATION SESSION.

WHEN THE CAT DIED, ANOTHER CAT WAS BROUGHT TO THE MONASTERY TO BE TIED UP DURING THE EVENING MEDITATION SESSION.

AND WHEN THAT CAT DIED TOO, THEY BROUGHT ANOTHER CAT TO BE TIED UP DURING MEDITATION PRACTICE, AND THEN AS CATS KEPT DYING, THEY KEPT REPLACING THE DEAD CATS WITH NEW CATS, AND THE PRACTICE OF TYING UP A CAT DURING MEDITATION CONTINUED.

WITH THE PASSAGE OF TIME THIS HAS BECOME SUCH AN ESTABLISHED RITUAL THAT NOW NO ONE CAN DARE TO QUESTION IT. SO IT HAS BECOME A CUSTOM, TRADITION AND ESTABLISHED RITUAL TO TIE UP A CAT DURING THE MEDITATION SESSION."

As years passed, the ritual of tying up the cat during the meditation session continued and continued till it became an eternal established ritual.

Our seeker, who by then had become the Spiritual Guru, wrote a scholarly treatise about the significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice.

WHY DO YOU BLINDLY FOLLOW RITUALS CUSTOMS TRADITIONS AND SUPERSTITION WITHOUT QUESTIONING THE LOGICAL BASIS OR RATIONALE ?

I wonder why we accept customs and traditions without understanding their significance?

Just like a blind man lead by others, why do we blindly follow rituals without examining the meaning, logic and significance of that ritual using our own intelligence and judgement?

Why do we follow customs traditions and rituals that are obsolete and have lost their significance and outlived their utility?

If you see any ritual, custom or tradition being blindly followed and for which there seems to be no rational or logical explanation, remember this story of the Mystical Cat

Ask questions and find out the logical basis for the ritual, custom or tradition.

Is there some rationale for the belief, or is it just superstition?

And if you are not convinced, it is better to stop blindly following superstition which has become meaningless in the modern world of today.

VIKRAM KARVECopyright (c) Vikram Karve

1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve

2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post

(c) VIKRAM KARVE., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

DISCLAIMER:All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.COPYRIGHT NOTICE:No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

COPYRIGHT (c) VIKRAM KARVE (ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

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About VIKRAM KARVE


A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com

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(c) VIKRAM KARVE., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Daily Message August 7 2012
original graphic by: Moonchild

"This planet is our home. "Our life and hers are interdependent.

"- Doreen Valiente"

Merry Meet and Good Morning :))) Blessings to you and yours for a magickal day today. Today is Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesdays are ruled by Mars, the planet that represents war, courage and conflict. It's a day to recharge your personal power. Today is a very strong day and the focus will be on passion, sex, courage and aggression. If you need to be courageous in something today would be the day to take that on.

If you are working with stones today choose rubies, star sapphires, or emeralds. Use topaz for amulets.

Tonight's Moon is Waning, Third Quarter in Aries. The Waning Moon is a time for study, meditation, and little magickal work except magick designed to banish harmful energies. The Waning Moon represents the Goddess in her Crone aspect. It's a time to celebrate the wisdom gained through life. The Moon in Aries is good for starting things, but lacks staying power. Things occur rapidly, but quickly pass. People tend to be argumentative and assertive. The magickal color of the day is Red, and the incense of the day is Geranium. Have an amazingly magickal day!

Credit: esoteric-soup.blogspot.com

Ghostberry Wash
Whew, after a few weeks of hunting for early snowberry or ghostberry, a mildly toxic (when ingested) but otherwise physically harmless plant with deep spiritual value, I've collected all I need and brewed up the wash for Last Harvest (which for me is the Autumnal Equinox, and not Samhuinn, as I perform no harvesting on that day). I make a wash for certain holidays that mark a point of renewal in my tradition. The last one was Bealtuinn, and now my tools and altars need to be rewashed now that my time of great harvest and the end of summer has come. Autumn and Spring are my times of power, I draw from the strength of transitions and the stark realities of life and death that are so prevalent at both seasons. This wash is made with early fly agaric (a spirit with whom I have a close and loving relationship and who plays a big part in my late autumn rituals when the time for bottling the frenzy wine draws near), snowberry (which is in many ways like a natural soap with healing properties and are a great draw for spirits of the dead), hand collected sea salt, juniper (my father grows a great big juniper out back and I harvest from it around this time of year for the Rites of the Dead, Samhuinn and the Crossroads), yarrow, spearmint and some other ingredients I prefer to keep secret. A few days before Last Harvest, everything will get a thorough wash, including my kitchen floor ^ ^. Job well done.Each season takes on a special meaning to me. I am a seasonal kind of witch, my likes and dislikes change with the leaves. The Pacific Northwest is my home and everything in it has an incredibly familiar feel to me, as if I have always been connected to it, even before I was born. The biodiversity of my coast is amazing, and herbs thrive here in a magical way.In spring when the Green Woman and Green Man arrive, the violets, andromedas and camellias become the staple of my herbal inspiration, then in summer when the Bright Lady, Horned God and shining ones rise with the high sun, morning glory, bramble and lunaria decorate my home and hearth. The Wild Woman's altar, deep in the heart of my woods is where the bitter cherry and narcissus grow between the bald spots in the ivy.When autumn comes, I find myself knee-deep in snowberry, rowan, corn and toadstools, decorating the altars of the Silent One with his white rose and chilly bone fingers pressed to his lips and the Bee Queen with her glorious golden hive and honey hair. And when the veiled Hag of winter and her Wild Hunter emerge from the frosty earth to raid the night, the Host behind them with their specters and sluagh, hawthorns, winter squashes, winter apples and holly ring the hearth where cedar fires burn.The seasons change but the old spirits and old gods arrive every time with new messages and new tricks up their sleeve. Every season the world grows more beautiful, and I revel in the magic there.

Reference: candle-magic.blogspot.com

Prophet Amos

Commemorated on June 15

The Holy Prophet Amos, third of the Twelve Minor Prophets, lived during the eighth century before Christ. At this time the Hebrew nation was divided into two kingdoms: Judea and Israel. The Judean king Hosiah ruled in Jerusalem, but the ten separated Israelite tribes were ruled by Jeroboam II, an idol-worshipper. At Bethel he set up an idol in the form of a golden calf, which they worshipped, after they rejected the God of Israel.

The Prophet Amos was a Judean, from the city of Thecua in the land of Zebulon. Simple and untaught, but fervent in faith and zealous for the glory of the true God, this former shepherd and dresser of sycamore trees (Amos 7:14-15) was chosen by the Lord for prophetic service. He was sent to the kingdom of Israel to denounce the impiety of King Jeroboam, and also the Israelites for falling away from God. The prophet predicted a great misfortune which would befall Israel and the neighboring pagan nations, because of their impiety. As a result of his denunciations, the Prophet Amos repeatedly suffered beatings and torture. He returned to Bethel, and threatening inevitable misfortunes, he continued to call the Israelites to repentance.

The idolatrous priest Amaziah of the pagan temple particularly hated the prophet. The prophet predicted speedy destruction for him and all his household, and for this he was subjected to beatings. Hosiah, the son of Amaziah, struck the saint on the head with a club and seriously wounded him. Still alive, the Prophet Amos reached his native village and died there around 787 B.C. He is not to be confused with Amos, the father of the Prophet Isaiah.

Troparion - Tone 2


Celebrating the memory

Of Your Prophet Amos, O Lord,

For his sake, we entreat You, save our souls.

Kontakion - Tone 4


Purifying your fervent heart by the Spirit,

O glorious Prophet Amos,

And receiving the gift of prophecy from on high,

You cry with a loud voice to the nations:


This is our God, and there is none beside Him.

SOURCE:

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2008:


From Halloran To The Havamal
The Political Pagan blogmeister returns to the blog this week quite amazed at the vociferous response to last week's posting "In Defense of Dan Halloran." While he appreciates the commitment to moral integrity on the part of those who disagreed with the author about excusing Mr. Halloran for trimming around the topic of his religious identity in a newspaper interview for the sake of a political campaign, the author remains convinced of the validity and practicality of his original point of view. The author continues to believe that Pagans who operate in the public sphere should not be forced to sacrifice their chances for professional and personal fulfillment on the altar of public self-disclosure. The author wants to see more and more Pagans achieve great success in many professions and occupations, win the respect of their fellow citizens, and THEN "come out" with their Pagan identity at a time and place of their choosing if they judge that this will be a positive contribution to the overall cause of Paganism as well as their personal well-being. The author believes that in the long run, this approach will provide a solid foundation for the Pagans of the future to build upon. Premature self-disclosure in a hostile environment might only lead to self-destruction and public persecution. Having struggled to build a career in the murky waters of higher education, the author is speaking from experience, and hopes that readers can respect that even if they disagree. Let those who are in a position to shout from the rooftops do so; not everyone is in such a situation. Some need to keep their religion private and out of public view, and they should not be looked down upon. The ancient Norse text "Havamal" teaches the need to be careful and circumspect in potentially hostile situations, and not talk overmuch, because one never knows where enemies may be lurking. Until the day when Paganism is widely accepted in American or other societies, a bit of caution and restraint may be the path of greatest wisdom. Of course, the person who loudly and proudly proclaims and defends his identity and dares anyone to oppose him, who is willing to fight to the death outnumbered by his enemies and eventually dies in a blaze of glory shouting "ODIN!" might make a better hero for a Hollywood action movie or Playstation video game, but to the author, this is just juvenile warrior-hero fantasy: great stuff for angry thirteen year-olds, but not real life and not real Paganism.

Ramadan 2012 Is Almost Here
We all are lucky because we are going to have another Ramadan in our lives the month of blessings the month of sacrifice and the month of good deeds. Ramadan Ul Mubarak 2012 is starting Friday 20th July 2012 in most parts of the world and in other parts on Saturday 21st July 2012.

We are now away from Ramadan almost one and a half week only. Preparations for Ramadan are going on everywhere. In Ramadan Muslims fasts from the time of Sunrise to sunset from drinking and eating everything. the real fast is not only of leaving food and drink but also to stay away from wrong deeds like lying, cheating, fighting abusing.

In Ramadan special foods are also made to eat at time of Sehri and Iftar. My mother makes Samosa, Pakora, Fruit Chat, Dahi Vada and many other amazing foods In Ramadan. In Ramadan special prayers are also done by Muslims. Its a month which brings us close of Allah SWT.

This month is also a practice for us to do good deeds in other 11 months of year as well. In this month the blessed night of Laylat al-Qadr also comes.

At the end of this month we Muslims gets happiness of Eid Ul Fitr. So get ready to welcome holy month of Ramadan and do as much good deeds in this month as possible.

Credit: thelema-and-faith.blogspot.com