web analytics
September 27, 2016 / 24 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘sacrifice’

If You See Muslims Celebrating this 9/11, It’s to Commemorate Abraham’s Sacrifice of… Ishmael

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

The quirky lunar calendar, which Jewish tradition mixes with solar calendar adjustments, but Islam just lets run wild, is a cause of special concern for Muslims this year, especially Muslims living in America. The most maligned religious group in recent US history, American Muslims are terrified that their heavily armed neighbors might take the wrong way the fact that celebrations of Eid al-Adha — Festival of the Sacrifice, could fall on September 11 this year, on the “date which will live in infamy,” replacing in most Americans’ consciousness December 7, 1941, the original date that will live in infamy, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Alas, it is quite possible that the 15th anniversary of the al-Qaeda attacks on New York’s Trade Towers and on the Pentagon will feature festive Muslims, please keep your guns holstered.

As Jews we have our own issues with Eid al-Adha, which is a deceptive attempt to replace the story of Abraham’s binding of Isaac, which follows the story of the expulsion of the maidservant Hagar and her son Ishmael to the desert, with a revision which places Ishmael, father of the Arabs, on that altar on the Temple Mount. A culture with little regard for historic truth, or truth altogether, Islam simply fixed all those inconvenient stories in the Torah with its own “improved” version.

So that this year, Muslims will be celebrating on September 11 — and 12, depending on local lunar sightings, two lies: the first one ancient, about how Abraham actually designated his son Ishmael to be the chosen one; the other new, that the attacks on 9/11 were an aberration of Islamic tradition, and certainly had nothing to do with the xenophobic Saudi school of Wahhabism, even though most of those men on the four hijacked planes 15 years ago were Saudis.

According to the original version of the story (delivered circa 1248 BCE) God commands Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. Abraham binds Isaac on an altar, raises his machete, and the angel of God stops him at the last minute, saying “Now I know you fear God,” at which point Abraham sees a ram caught in some bushes and sacrifices it. The Torah relates that the binding took place at “The Place,” which Abraham then names “God will Watch,” which later books of the Jewish Bible identify as the hill upon which Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem.

Islam, which, unlike Christianity, does not recognize the sanctity of the Jewish Bible and the five books of Moses, attempts to revise two historical problems, in a medieval world that was well versed in Jewish and Christian scripture: the story of Sara commanding Abraham to expel her maidservant Hagar and her boy Ishmael to the desert, and God compelling Abraham to obey her; and the story of Isaac’s binding, Abraham’s and Isaac’s ultimate sacrifice which seals the Jewish nations’ second covenant with God.

Here’s how Islamic tradition worked its magic:

God instructed Abraham to bring Hagar, his Arab wife, and Ishmael to Arabia from the land of Canaan. As Abraham was preparing for his journey back to Canaan, Hagar asked him, “Did God order you to leave us here, or are you leaving us here to die?” Abraham nodded, afraid that he would be too sad and that he would disobey God. Hagar said, “Then God will not waste us; you can go.” Although Abraham had left a large quantity of food and water with Hagar and Ishmael (in the Torah version they only get one bottle of water), the supplies quickly ran out, and within a few days the two began to feel the pangs of hunger and dehydration.

Hagar ran up and down between two hills, al-Safa and Al-Marwah, seven times, in her desperate quest for water. Exhausted, she finally collapsed beside her baby Ishmael (the Torah says he was a grown man, and already plotting to murder—or sodomize—Isaac) and prayed to God for deliverance. Miraculously, a spring of water gushed forth from the earth at the feet of “baby Ishmael.” Other accounts have the angel Gabriel striking the earth and causing the spring to flow in abundance. With this water supply, known as the Zamzam Well (lifted directly from Biblical Miriam), they traded water with passing nomads for food and supplies.

That took care of the embarrassing story about Abraham’s Arab son being kicked out to the desert.

Next comes Abraham’s command from God to sacrifice his dearest possession, his son. The son is not named in the Quran, but most modern Muslims believe it to be “Ismail.” Upon hearing God’s command, Abraham prepared to submit to the will of God. During this preparation, Satan tempted Abraham and his family by trying to dissuade them from carrying out God’s commandment, and Abraham drove Satan away by throwing pebbles at him (a typical Quranic plagiarism of a Jewish medrash). In commemoration of their rejection of Satan, stones are thrown at symbolic pillars during the Stoning of the Devil at the Hajj rites.

When Abraham attempted to cut his son’s throat, he was astonished to see that his son was unharmed and instead he found a dead ram which was already slaughtered. The Torah story of the binding is retold almost intact by the Quran, except for the later name switch, from Isaac to Ishmael.

And so, while the Muslims celebrate this 9/11 (the prudent ones will probably push it off to the 12th, why look for trouble), and while most Americans recall with pain the first foreign attack on mainland USA since 1812, Jews will mourn both the losses of 9/11 and the bastardizing of our sacred tradition by semi-literate nomads with no respect for the truth.

JNi.Media

The Sacrifice Was Worth It – Happy 68th Israel!!

Friday, May 13th, 2016

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Do the Israeli holidays, created by the secular state, have as much meaning and importance as the Torah holiday’s? Rabbi Mike Feuer joins Yishai on Spiritual Cafe to give meaning to remember on Memorial Day and usher in Israeli Independence Day. Then, the Lone Soldiers Center hosts a very special English-speaking memorial for fallen IDF soldiers and Yishai was there.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

The Pesach Sacrifice

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

The Temple Institute reenacted the entire Pesach sacrifice ceremony (which was essentially a nationwide BBQ in Jerusalem).

In olden Days, and hopefully soon again, families would come to Jerusalem, sacrifice a lamb, cook it on the alter in the Temple, and then each family would gather together and eat the lamb for dinner on Pesach night.

As this was a reenactment and not an actual Pesach sacrifice, the meat was distributed to needy families.

Shmot 12:8: “And they shall eat the meat on this night, roasted over the fire, and matzot; with bitter herbs they shall eat it.”

Pesach Sacrifice 2015 3

Pesach Sacrifice 2015 1

Pesach Sacrifice 2015 2

Pesach Sacrifice 2015 4

Pesach Sacrifice 2015 5

Pesach Sacrifice 2015 6

 

Video of another practice run:

Photo of the Day

Jews Petition Police to Offer Passover Sacrifice on Temple Mount

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Two Jews have petitioned Jerusalem police in the name of dozens of others for permission to carry out the mitzvah of the Passover sacrifice on the Temple Mount this year, for the first time in nearly 2,000 years.

The petitioners claim that police authorization is the only obstacle to ascending the Temple Mount, praying and offering their sacrifice of a lamb, as commanded in the Torah.

They said 100 Jews will be present and will bring with them a portable sacrificial altar and other equipment as described in the Torah.

Rabbi Menachem Boorstein, who is involved with studies of the Holy Temples, said that the mitzvah of the Passover sacrificial offering can be carried out without violating Jewish law. The Chief Rabbinate forbids Jews from ascending the Temple Mount, while a growing number of national religious rabbis permit it under certain conditions and in certain places.

Even the idea of public asking for permission to offer the sacrifice, let along the act itself. could be enough to set off Arabs to wage an all-out war.

Every time a Jews dares to mumble a prayer on the Temple Mount, Muslim officials and police immediately drag them away.

Hundreds of yeshiva students ascended the Temple Mount on Tuesday, the first day of the Hebrew month of Nissan and two weeks before Passover, to hear a lecture on the holy site and on Passover.

Muslims reportedly clashed with the crowd and beat up one of the Jews, but there has been no official confirmation of the claim that there was no provocation besides the actual presence of Jews, which by itself is enough to send the Arabs into a frenzy.

Below is a video of the peaceful moments the crowed of Jews enjoyed on the Temple Mount.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Restoring Order and Maintaining Peace

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Leaders can fail for two kinds of reasons. The first is external; the time may not be right and the conditions may be unfavorable. There may be no one on the other side to talk to.

When British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was asked what was the most difficult thing he had to deal with in government, he replied, “Events, dear boy, events.” Machiavelli called this Fortuna: the power of bad luck that can defeat even the greatest. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you fail. Such is life.

The second kind of failure is internal. A leader can simply lack the courage to lead. Sometimes leaders must oppose the crowd. They have to say “No” when everyone else is crying “Yes.” That can be terrifying. Crowds have a will and momentum of their own. To say “No” may be to put your career, even your life, at risk. That is when courage is needed, and not showing it can constitute a moral failure of the worst kind.

The classic example is King Saul, who failed to carry out Samuel’s instructions in his battle against the Amalekites. Saul was told to spare no one and nothing. This is what happened, as told in 1 Samuel 15:

When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “May the Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.”

But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?”

Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God. But we totally destroyed the rest.”

“Enough!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” “Tell me,” Saul replied.

Samuel said, “Although you may be small in your own eyes, are you not head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. And he sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.’ Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?”

“But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”

Saul makes excuses. The failure was not his; it was his soldiers’. Besides, he and they had the best intentions. The sheep and cattle were spared to offer as sacrifices. Saul did not kill King Agag but brought him back as a prisoner. Samuel is unmoved. He says, “Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.” Only then does Saul admit, “I have sinned.” But by then it was too late. His career as a leader was at an end.

There is an apocryphal quote attributed to several politicians: “Of course I follow the party. After all, I am their leader.” There are leaders who follow instead of leading. Rabbi Yisroel Salanter compared them to a dog taken by its master for a walk. The dog runs on ahead, but keeps turning around to see whether it is going in the direction the master wants it to go. The dog may think it is leading – but actually it is following.

That, on a plain reading of the text, was the fate of Aaron in this week’s parshah. Moses had been up the mountain for forty days. The people were afraid. Had he died? Where was he? Without Moses they felt bereft. He was their point of contact with God. He performed the miracles, divided the sea, and gave them water to drink and food to eat. This is how the Torah describes what happened next:

“When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered round Aaron and said, ‘Come, make us a god who will go before us. As for this man Moses, who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ Aaron answered them: ‘Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.’ So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and he fashioned it with a tool and made it into a molten calf. Then they said, ‘This is your god, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt’ ” (Exodus 32:1-4).

God became angry. Moses pleaded with Him to spare the people. He then descended the mountain, saw what had happened, smashed the tablets of the law he had brought down with him, burned the idol, ground it to powder, mixed it with water and made the Israelites drink it. Then he turned to Aaron, his brother, and said, “What have you done?”

“Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil. They said to me, ‘Make us a god who will go before us. As for this man Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!” (Exodus 32:22-24).

Aaron blamed the people. It was they who made the illegitimate request. He denied responsibility for making the calf. It just happened. “I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!” This is the same kind of denial of responsibility we recall from the story of Adam and Eve. The man says, “It was the woman.” The woman says, “It was the serpent.” It happened. It wasn’t me. I was the victim, not the perpetrator. In anyone, such evasion is a moral failure; in a leader, all the more so.

The odd fact is that Aaron was not immediately punished. According to the Torah he was condemned for another sin altogether, when years later he and Moses spoke angrily against the people who complained about lack of water: “Aaron will be gathered to his people. He will not enter the land I give the Israelites, because both of you rebelled against my command at the waters of Merivah” (Numbers 20:24).

It was only later still, in the last month of Moses’s life, that Moses told the people a fact that he had kept from them until then:

“I feared the anger and wrath of the Lord, for He was angry enough with you to destroy you. But again the Lord listened to me. And the Lord was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, but at that time I prayed for Aaron too (Deuteronomy 9:19-20).

God, according to Moses, was so angry with Aaron for the sin of the golden calf that He was about to kill him, and would have done so had it not been for Moses’s prayer.

It is easy to be critical of people who fail the leadership test when it involves opposing the crowd, defying the consensus, blocking the path the majority is intent on taking. The truth is that it is hard to oppose the mob. They can ignore you, remove you, even assassinate you. When a crowd gets out of control there is no elegant solution. Even Moses was helpless in the face of the people at the later episode of the spies (Numbers 14:5).

Nor was it easy for Moses to restore order now. He did so only by the most dramatic action: smashing the tablets and grinding the calf to dust. He then asked for support and was given it by his fellow Levites. They took reprisals against the crowd, killing three thousand people that day. History judges Moses a hero – but he might well have been seen by his contemporaries as a brutal autocrat. We, thanks to the Torah, know what passed between God and Moses at the time. The Israelites at the foot of the mountain knew nothing of how close they had come to being utterly destroyed.

Tradition dealt kindly with Aaron. He is portrayed as a man of peace. Perhaps that is why he was made high priest. There is more than one kind of leadership, and priesthood involves following rules – not taking stands and swaying crowds. The fact that Aaron was not a leader in the same mold as Moses does not mean that he was a failure. It means that he was made for a different kind of role. There are times when you need someone with the courage to stand against the crowd, others when you need a peacemaker. Moses and Aaron were different types. Aaron failed when he was called on to be a Moses, but he became a great leader in his own right in a different capacity. Aaron and Moses complemented one another. No one person can do everything.

When a crowd runs out of control, there is no easy answer. That is why the whole of Judaism is an extended seminar in individual and collective responsibility. Jews don’t, or shouldn’t, form crowds. When they do, it may take a Moses to restore order. But it may take an Aaron, at other times, to maintain the peace.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Sacrifices of Peace

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Originally published at Sultan Knish.

In one of the most famous events in the Bible, G-d commanded Abraham to sacrifice his only son. So Abraham took his son Isaac, bound him on an altar and prepared to bring him up as a burnt offering. And then the voice of the angel called to him and told him not to harm his son.

G-d did not want human sacrifices. The peace process does. After the handshake with Arafat in the Rose Garden led to a wave of terrorist attacks, Prime Minister Rabin invented a new sacrifice to describe the dead Israelis murdered by the Muslim terrorists who had been permitted to enter Israel, to form armies, to train openly and to kill openly. Korbanot Shalom. Sacrifices of peace.

In Ancient Israel, in the Tabernacle and the Temple, the Korban Shelamim, the Peace Offering, was brought as a celebratory offering to be eaten by all. In the modern State of Israel, the Korbanot Shalom were brought by the families of the dead who often had little more than a few scraps of skin tissue, a finger or a hand caught in a crack in the sidewalk to remember their children by.

In the old Israel, only the pagan worshipers of Moloch, the abominable cult that placed its own sons and daughters into the idol’s flames, practiced human sacrifice. In the new Israel that was ushered in on that glorious day in the Rose Garden under the beaming gaze of Bill Clinton, everyone in the land was expected to be prepared to offer up their children to the Moloch of peace, the idol of the Palestinian Authority, its altar engraved with Nobel Peace Prizes, its service overseen by the international diplomats and domestic pacifists who had appointed themselves its Priests of Peace.

Peace made the service of death into a national duty. There was no telling where or when one might be called upon by Israel’s peace partners in Ramallah to become a sacrifice for peace. It might be at a mall or at a pizzeria or while riding the bus. An Israeli could become a sacrifice for peace at any time. And the Labor Party leaders would bow their heads solemnly over his grave, like the biblical elders were obligated to do over every murder victim in their vicinity. But unlike the elders, they could not recite the ceremonial verse, “Our hands did not shed this blood.”

Eventually Prime Minister Rabin, who had offered up so many Israelis as sacrifices of peace, was privileged to himself became a sacrifice of peace. His ascension is commemorated annually and has long since made its way into the Israeli curriculum as an example of the dedication to peacemaking that is expected of the true visionary of peace.

The sacrifices of peace have diminished as the left has fallen out of power. The wooden altars of the Moloch of Peace stand empty and the Priests of Peace pass mournfully through international airports, studying maps, drawing up plans and calling for new sacrifices. And eventually their call is heeded.

In the spring, America’s prince of peace, the man who had thrown thousands of American soldiers with their hands tied behind their backs into the arms of the Taliban, who had sacrificed every other American ally in the region, came to Jerusalem to demand that the altars once again be raised up and the blood of peace flow over the negotiating tables.

“It can be tempting to put aside the frustrations and sacrifices that come with the pursuit of peace,” Obama told a carefully selected audience of Israeli students. Some of them future sacrifices on his bloody altar of peace. “Here on Earth we must bear our responsibilities in an imperfect world. That means accepting our measure of sacrifice and struggle.”

And so the measure of sacrifice comes again. The ceremonial release of terrorists with blood on their hands commenced this festival of negotiations. Some of the freed terrorists had been notoriously talented sacrificers; claiming the lives of women and children. And in reward for their service, the Moloch of Peace smiled upon them and commanded that they be set free.

Daniel Greenfield

Archaeologists’ Discovery May Be in Abraham’s Home City of Ur

Friday, April 5th, 2013

British archaeologists have discovered a huge 4,000-year-old building that probably was in use in the ancient city of Ur, where the forefather Abraham lived before leaving with his father Terah for Israel, then known in the Bible as “the land of Canaan.”

The ancient city of Ur was discovered approximately 90 years ago and is thought to be Abraham’s birthplace, but the latest discovery is the first time a building has been unearthed that might be connected with the city or have religious connections to it.

The unearthing of the large structure, approximately 260 feet on each side, includes several rooms around a large courtyard.

“It might be an administrative building, it might have religious connections or controlling goods to the city of Ur,” Manchester University archaeologist Stuart Campbell told the Associated Press.

Among the artifacts discovered were signs of idol worship, which also was prevalent in Canaan until Abraham introduce the concept of one Deity to the world.

Iraq is known to host a wealth of history underground but has not been accessible to Western archaeologists for more than three decades because of the tyrannical regime of Saddam Hussein and ensuing wars.

One of the images that was found is that of a ram, the animal that Abraham sacrificed in Canaan after God “tested” him with His order to sacrifice his only son. Yitzchak (Isaac), who was to inherit the land for future generations of Jews, as written in the Bible:

“And Abraham stretched out his arm and took the knife to slaughter his son, and the angel of God called from the heavens and said, Abraham, Abraham…. Do not stretch forth your hand to the lad, nor do the slightest thing to him, for now I know that you are a God fearing man, and you did not withhold your son, your only one, from Me.

“And Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw a ram caught in a thicket by its horns and Abraham went and took the ram and offered it as a burnt offering instead of his son.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/archaeologists-discovery-may-be-abrahams-home-city-of-ur/2013/04/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: