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Slashdot FW: Holocaust Dropped From Some UK Schools

May 24, 2007 on 8:29 am | In News | No Comments
Posted by kdawson on Thursday May 24, @09:47AM
from the careful-you-might-offend-somebody dept.
dteichman2 writes “It appears that some UK schools are ignoring the Holocaust. A government-backed study, funded by the Department for Education and Skills, found that some teachers are reluctant to teach history lessons on the Holocaust for fear of offending Muslim students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial. Additionally, similar problems are being encountered with lessons on the Crusades because these lessons contradict teachings from local mosques.”

I don’t know what to say.

UPDATE:   My lovely wife let me know that this is a hoax.  Big relief! :)

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Scientology = Crackpot Cult

May 13, 2007 on 10:13 am | In News, Thoughts | No Comments

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/6650545.stm
Row over Scientology video
By John Sweeney
BBC News

Forwarded from Nicolaw.

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Boy tells Catholic mom that he is an atheist

April 13, 2007 on 6:32 am | In Thoughts | 1 Comment

Boy tells Catholic mom that he is an atheist.  hmmm… has anyone else ran into family members that are very vocal about your religious beliefs?   When I converted to Judaism, I only had support from everyone around me.  I must have won the lottery :)

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You can now use your OpenID to post comments!

April 8, 2007 on 12:41 pm | In News | No Comments

I’ve received a few emails from people that rightfully expressed their displeasure of having to register to post a comment. Granted, it is a rather pain in the backside especially if you’re commenting on a number of blogs keeping the logins/passwords straight.

From my point of view, it has cut down on 99% of the spam. So a compromise was made:

I’ve set up this blog so you can use your OpenID! :) If you don’t already have an OpenID, you can get one or register normally to post comments.

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Why did I switch religions?

March 22, 2007 on 2:43 pm | In Thoughts | 2 Comments

Every once in a while I’m asked why I switched from Christianity to Judaism.  Far too many people think I switched simply because my wife and my in-laws are Jews.  It is very simple to explain:  I was already one but didn’t know it ;-)

Let me explain before anyone gets uppity the definition of being Jewish….

When I was a young child, I believed everything everyone told me.  My brother, Michael, once convinced me that he was an alien with super-human powers and I really believed him!  This was a time when I thought darn! was a mighty swear word.  The “F”-word nobody used around my mom else risking a washing of the mouth with soap (she never actually washed out our mouths with soap but the threat of it kept our mouths relatively clean).  My sister, Pauline, was a natural extension of me - I pointed and she got things for me…  like a proper younger simbling should… right? ;-)

Getting off track here a bit.  The point is that I was so very gullible and I didn’t stop to ask questions.  When I did start asking questions that , I was usually shot down as just plain wrong to ask questions.  Doubting the teachings of the Christian (insert favorite denomination) Church was wrong.  Even with family friends it was a very touchy subject and it seemed to me, at the time, that the individuals that I was asking the questions to just weren’t that knowledgeable about such things.  It turned me off of religion for a long time but I did continue researching religions.

From the quasi-new age Wicca (about 125 years old) to Hinduism to Odin (the Father of Gods in Norse Mythology), I couldn’t find anything that said this is the one.  The idea of classical Buddhism is appealing, where Buddha is an enlightened human teacher that leads by example, it starts to fall apart as many other religions as we start tacking on “I’m a better (whatever) than (that other person) because I do (this) too to show my piousness”.  That and we tend to raise teachers up on high and eventually make them gods.  Don’t believe me?  Take for example, Jesus.

According to the Gospels, Jesus was a carpenter, a learned teacher (Rabbi), the Son of God, and God incarnate.  I can believe the first three quite easily:

  1. Carpenter:  A quite common profession that Jews at that time were adept at.  It wouldn’t be unreasonable that Jesus was a carpenter.  It probably wouldn’t make any difference if was a privy raker but being a carpenter is more glamorous.
  2. A learned teacher (Rabbi):  Since the beginnings of Judaism, we Jews have always encouraged people to learn and debate everything including God.  The parables attributed to Jesus in the Christian Bible tend to support that he was a highly intelligent person with a gift for public speaking.  Whether he was literate and able to write is up for debate because according to everything I’ve read, Jesus didn’t actually write anything for the rest of humanity (perhaps because literacy was very rare even among the Roman nobles?).  He depended on his disciples to carry his messages to the populace in the Mediterranean.  Primarily in the Roman Empire.
  3. Son of God:  In so much as each and everyone of us are Sons and Daughters of God.  It wasn’t uncommon for Jews back then, or even now, to have sex prior to marriage.  Unlike in Christianity, sex is a good thing and nothing to be ashamed of.  Having sex prior to the marriage was considered part of a compatibility test for those people that are considering the possibility of marriage.  Getting pregnant was a very real possibility and not that much of a problem.  THERE ARE NO BASTARD JEWS.  Why?  A child is a good thing and a blessing.  It is quite likely that Mary (Mariam) became pregnant in one such encounter.  Whether it was immaculate conception or a wild time in the hay, shouldn’t make any difference.  It is the message that Jesus, on behalf of God, gave to the world that matters… right?

The last one where Jesus is God is a bit of a stretch.  I think this is where the early Church (first 4 hundred years) and the middle Church (dark ages) shows their ugly heads.

The early Church had very little to do with Judaism because most of the converts, actually almost all, had worshiped the Roman gods.  When the Roman Empire was rapidly declining, the Roman Emperor Constantine changed the state religion to Christianity (Constantine was not a Christian and never actually converted himself) due to a power shift from the Roman Priests to the priests of the new cult of Christianity.  Most of the Roman festivals and rituals were transformed, slightly, and adopted by the early Christians.  Very little was different for the common man - nothing really changes accept the name of the god you worship.

When the Middle Church came to power, it was about power.  The western Roman Empire had fallen (the Eastern Roman Empire became the Byzantine Empire then eventually to the Ottoman Empire) with no real stable government on the horizon.  The Middle Church largely took over the role of the Roman Empire… bind and subjugate neighboring lands under the guise of religion.  They learned from the fall of the empire that it was necessary to keep a strict hierarchy within their ranks and to keep the populace ignorant.  It is a whole lot easier to control your empire that way - at least for the short term.

When I met my wife and had my first seder at her parents’ home, I took a serious look at Judaism.  What I read before was off.  In some cases, way off.  I suspect that the authors of the books that I read about Judaism may have been either deliberately misleading their readers or didn’t know jack about Judaism.  Probably a bit of both.

Judaism is a lot of things but primarily it has one focus:  Understand the world.  God is part of the world but to what extent he/she/it actually interacts with it is unknown.  You know what?  It is okay and even encouraged for people to ask questions.  Even those silly or blasphemous questions that I asked when I was young.

As my mother-in-law would say, “That’s way cool!

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FW: Froebe Fibers is finally open

March 17, 2007 on 8:16 am | In News | No Comments
ballons

 

I am proud to announce that at 8:47 a.m. on Saturday, March 17th, Froebe-Fibers entered the world. With five unique colorways, the store is healthy and functional.   

 Froebe Fibers

The dynamic duo, tzurriz and dreamsweaver, have opened their hand dyed yarn store today!   (tzurriz is my wife :) 

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How the intellectual climate in Germany shaped the future Führer.

February 22, 2007 on 8:30 am | In Terrorists | No Comments

Adolf Hitler

How the intellectual climate in Germany shaped the future Führer.

By Clive James

Posted Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007, at 12:41 PM ET 

The following essay is adapted from Clive James’ Cultural Amnesia, a re-examination of intellectuals, artists, and thinkers who helped shape the 20th century. Over the coming weeks, Slate will run an exclusive selection of these essays, going roughly from A to Z, abbreviated for these pages.

You have everything that I lack. You are forging the spiritual tools for the renewal of Germany. I am nothing but a drum and a master of ceremonies. Let’s cooperate!
—Adolf Hitler at the ­Juni-­Klub, spring 1922, as quoted in Jean Pierre Faye’s Langages totalitaires.

Adolf Hitler. Click image to expand.Adolf Hitler

 

Adolf Hitler (1889–1945) should need no introduction. Statistics suggest, however, that a large proportion of young people now emerging from the educational systems of the Western democracies either don’t know who he was or have only a shaky idea of what he did. One of the drawbacks of liberal democracy is thus revealed: Included among its freedoms is the freedom to forget what once threatened its existence. Granted the uncontested opportunity to do so, Hitler would have devoted himself to eliminating every trace of free expression that came within his reach. The awkward question remains of whether, on his part, this propensity precluded any real interest in the humanities. The awkward answer must be that it didn’t.   Read more at Slate

We will never forget.

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Working on the Shabbos (שבת)

February 6, 2007 on 1:58 pm | In Kvetching | 1 Comment

For those of you that don’t know the Jewish "Sabbath" (litterally שבת pronounced as Shabbos or Shabbot) starts on Friday at sunset lasting until Saturday at sunset.  These twenty four hours are meant for rest and prayer and definitely no working.  It is part of Jewish Law and is one of the 10 Commandments.  It is very difficult for many Jews to observe שבת because in the American society, we are expected to be available to our work, to our friends, to a million obligations. 

What constitutes as work, rest and prayer is up for debate.  e.g. Does turning on a light so you can see in the middle of the night and not step on the cat that is winding itself around your legs considered work?  What about your child’s soccer practice or games?

I’m currently at a job that requires that I be available for working at any time regardless of whether I’m on-call.   The computer systems that I maintain aren’t ready to be left alone during the שבת…. yet.  If the stuff hits the fan, they call me.  I’m building a series of monitoring systems and maintainance routines that should allow the me to observe the שבת within a few months but I feel guilty about working on the שבת.

Part of observing שבת is to turn off all cell phones, computers, regular phones, so we can rest and pray.  I know that an employer can’t hold it against me for observing the שבת, but when the stuff hits the fan, which it will no matter what we do, many people within the company will be calling for my head because I wasn’t available.  They wouldn’t be able to fire me or even write me up about it, but they could make my work a living hell.

I really really want to observe שבת but I also can’t leave them out there on their own.

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FW: Rabbi Slams Back At Jews For Jesus

January 31, 2007 on 1:48 pm | In News | 3 Comments

Rabbi Slams Back At Jews For Jesus
17:48 Jan 31, ‘07 / 12 Shevat 5767
by Baruch Gordon

Radio Show Host Rabbi Tovia Singer Fires Back at Missionaries Targeting Jews for Conversion with Educational Audio Series Now Made Available Free Online

Outreach Judaism, a leading counter-missionary organization based in New York, has launched a new website, www.OutreachJudaism.org, offering a free, exhaustive library of information regarding Jews for Jesus’ multimillion dollar worldwide missionary campaigns, including a point-by-point audio response to their plans to convert Jews to Christianity.

In the last year alone, Jews for Jesus engaged in a 65-city tour — any city that has more than 25,000 Jews within it — primarily targeting Jewish youth and the elderly for conversion. To combat this aggressive assault, Rabbi Tovia Singer [pictured], founder of Outreach Judaism and show host on Israel National Radio, is now making available his 20-part tape series, “Let’s get Biblical” free via mp3 download to anyone seeking answers to questions posed by Christian missionaries.

Read more…

I have a strong dislike towards the tactics used by the Christian group, Jews for Jesus.  Many of the tactics used are directed at the vulnerable individuals amoung us (Jews).  I’m certain many of the individuals involved in that organization believe they are doing the right thing but they are only hurting people and fooling themselves.

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Breast Cancer 3 Day - 60 Mile walk

December 11, 2006 on 5:06 pm | In 3 Day Walk | No Comments


Join me in the fight against breast cancer

Please support me as I take an amazing journey in the fight against breast cancer! The Breast Cancer 3-Day is a 60-mile walk over the course of three days. Net proceeds benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the National Philanthropic Trust, funding important breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment.

Before my dad’s first wife, Dawn Froebe died of breast cancer in 1970, she gave birth to my older sister Kathryn and my brother Michael.  Last year, my mother-in-law (future mother-in-law at the time) wrote Dawn’s name on her shirt as remembrance of her.  My mother-in-law walked the 60 miles last year along with Gwen.

In August of 2007, my wifemother-in-law, Gwen, Melinda and myself will be walking the 60 miles in three days.  My sister-in-law will be part of the 3 Day Crew!  If you can afford it, please pledge a donation to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.  Click on the image to make a donation.

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