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April 25, 2015 / 6 Iyar, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘declaration of independence’

Dead Sea Scrolls Hi-Tech Preserves Israeli Declaration of Independence

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

The Declaration of Independence was removed from the facility where it is stored in a rare event Tuesday so it could be photographed using an innovative technique developed for photographing the Dead Sea scroll.

The procedure, a joint initiative of the Israel State Archives and Israel Antiquities Authority, was carried out to recreate the document’s original appearance for future generations.

The Declaration of Independence is stored in a special environment meant to ensure its preservation. The document, one of the country’s most important cultural assets, proclaims the establishment of the State of Israel and defines its character.

The scroll is 117 cm long and 29.7 cm wide. It is made in three parts, and bound on the side with an interwoven thread and a wax seal.

It was photographed in the LunderDead Sea Scrolls Conservation Laboratory of the Israel Antiquities Authority, using innovative technology developed especially for the Dead Sea scrolls.

An advanced multi-spectral photographic system allows for photographing the document with different exposures at a number of wavelengths – from the visible region to the near infrared region of the spectrum. The advanced photography will provide information regarding the texture of the material from which the scroll is made, its ink and its surface.

The combination of exposures in the visible range will provide a high quality and exact color photograph identical to the Declaration of Independence, while exposures in the near infrared region will allow reading written characters appearing on the document which have faded over time. With this innovative system a precise and clear copy of the Declaration of Independence was created, as it was when originally signed, prior to the ravages of time that are now visible on it.

Dr. Mordechai Naor, a writer and researcher of the history of Israel described in his recently published book “Great Friday” the ceremony proclaiming the state and the preparation of the Declaration of Independence.

He presented both well-known and little-known details about the scroll, the writing of which was not completed until the time of the historic ceremony, and the problems that arose during the signing.

He wrote, “Because the ceremony was held in Tel Aviv, some of the signatories were unable to arrive because Jerusalem was under siege, and they signed the scroll only a month later, in ‘spaces’ that were left them specifically for this purpose….

“Because the guest lists have not been found to this day, it is not known exactly who the 300 individuals were that were invited to the ceremony proclaiming the state. One person that was almost not allowed to enter was the designated Minister of Justice Pinchas Rosenblüth (Rosen) who forgot to bring his invitation. It was only after Ze’ev Sherf, Secretary of the Situation Committee, intervened was he permitted to enter and thus was also able to sign the Declaration of Independence.”

The Declaration of Independence is the first document reflecting Jewish sovereignty since the time of the Hashmonean kingdom, and it is probably the first document that reflects a desire for sovereignty achieved by a democratic consensus.

The scroll was read as a proclamation of independence, on Friday, the 5th day of Ayar, 5708 (May 14, 1948) in the Tel Aviv Museum then located at 16 Rothschild Street, in the house of the city’s first mayor, Meir Dizengoff. Twenty-five members of the Provisional State Council signed the declaration and twelve others who were in besieged Jerusalem signed it later.

Israel’s Declaration of Independence Printed in Major U.S. Newspapers

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

(JTA) — A full-page advertisement reproducing Israel’s Declaration of Independence appeared in The New York Times and USA Today.

The Helmsley Charitable Trust funded the ads in Monday’s editions on the eve of Israel’s Independence Day.

“By publishing Israel’s founding document in two of the most widely read newspapers across the country, we will reach many Americans who often don’t have the chance to learn about the deep similarities between our countries due to media coverage that focuses primarily on conflict,” Helmsley trustee Sandor Frankel said in a statement. “The promise of Israel’s founders to uphold, in a Jewish state, social and political equality of all citizens without distinction of race, creed or sex; to guarantee the full freedom of conscience, worship, education, and culture; to safeguard the sanctity of holy places of all religions; and the call for peace with all neighboring states, resonates with America’s own deepest values.”

The ad, which also is available online, is being distributed by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the umbrella of some 50 American national Jewish organizations.

The Helmsley Trust has awarded more than $110 million in grants to Israeli organizations since 2009, mainly to Israeli scientific, technological and medical research.

Obama’s Vision: Government Itself as the American Ideal

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

In his speech at Ohio State University, President Barack Obama used the word “together” four times.

Yet each time he defined the collective endeavor of Americans as merely that of promoting more government. Thus, while trying to turn American history and even the Constitution into precedents for his goals and policies, Obama reverses reality, undermining not only the conservative vision of America but also the historic liberal one.

Normally, a president would speak of the vast array of efforts made “together” to refer—or at least include—non-government activities. That means the actions of voluntarily formed communities, organizations, corporations, charities, religious groups, and trade unions. It is the freedom, energy, and enthusiasm to form such groups that marks American society as unusual in the world.

All those things are actions independent of the government. It was the virtue of American government that it accepted limitations to permit the maximum space for the autonomous action of citizens and groups of citizens. After all, democracy is not defined as the ability to come together to serve the state. On one level, all countries require some such service. But on another level this is the philosophy of the modern ideological dictatorship.

Let’s consider Obama’s four uses of the word “together” to gain better understanding of his ideology:

That’s precisely what the founders left us: the power to adapt to changing times. They left us the keys to a system of self-government – the tool to do big and important things together that we could not possibly do alone. To stretch railroads and electricity and a highway system across a sprawling continent. To educate our people with a system of public schools and land grant colleges, including Ohio State. To care for the sick and the vulnerable, and provide a basic level of protection from falling into abject poverty in the wealthiest nation on Earth. To conquer fascism and disease; to visit the Moon and Mars; to gradually secure our God-given rights for all our citizens, regardless of who they are, what they look like, or who they love.

Here, Obama cleverly cites cases of consensus government action—the public school system, fighting wars, and the space program–in a misleading way. Two side remarks: First, it is significant that Obama doesn’t say, “To conquer fascism and Communism.” Second, whatever one thinks on the issue, Obama’s claim that gay marriage is a “God-given right” is certainly a theological novelty.

But back to the main point. In other words, because minimal or moderate government has achieved great things, Obama illogically argues that maximum government can achieve even greater things despite the contrary evidence of history, including present-day American history. Today, government doesn’t “stretch” railroads; it blocks oil pipelines; it doesn’t promote agriculture, it refuses to give water to California farmers because of a small fish; it cripples coal mining and pumping petroleum.

It is quite true that land was granted by the government in the mid-nineteenth century to make it possible to build railroads and colleges. But once the land was given, the government stepped entirely out of the picture! Giving one item and then getting out of the way—I’m talking here about creation not regulation—is quite different from the government doing these things itself.

In fact, Obama is here stealing credit from private enterprise and turning American history on its head. The same point applies to “conquer…disease” where Obamacare marks a highly questionable extension of government power to hitherto unimaginable heights.

He continues about providing “a basic level of protection,” which is often called the safety net. But the whole point, of course, is that this idea emerged relatively late in American history and was finally enshrined in the New Deal of the 1930s and afterward.

A “basic level of protection,” however, has grown to extraordinary size, far beyond what was envisioned even in the 1960s, to the point that it threatens the sustainability of the economy and of freedoms. We are not talking any more about “abject poverty,” which the American system has made rare. The safety net has been expanded to the point–as in lavish retirement spending on public employees and “poverty” programs that mainly benefit well-paid bureaucrats– that it may be strangling the country. Obama continues:

We, the people, chose to do these things together. Because we know this country cannot accomplish great things if we pursue nothing greater than our own individual ambition.

This is a fascinating piece of propaganda. He begins by citing the Declaration of Independence—coupling himself with the Founders (because he knows this is his opponents’ main argument) and ending with a refutation of capitalism. He counters “we the people,” (the 99 percent, Democrats, those for strengthening the state) against greedy “individual ambition” (the Republicans, capitalists, those who want to keep individual freedom).The founding argument of capitalism, originally made by Adam Smith was that individual ambition could be harnessed for maximum economic progress. Few students in America today are taught to understand how this apparent contradiction has produced the world’s most democratic, prosperous, and stable societies. By Obama’s definition, however, a government bureaucrat cannot be greedy or oppressive.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/obamas-vision-government-itself-as-the-american-ideal/2013/05/07/

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