Monday, April 21, 2014

How Moscow Felt About Jews

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                   

                           Nathan Goldfus/Goldfoot, b: 1870 Lithuania; d: 1912
Moscow is the capital of the Russian republic.  Jews have not been allowed to live there.  Orders were even issued in 1490, two years before the Spanish Inquisition, that Jews could not enter Moscow.  These same orders were issued again in 1549, 1610 and 1667.

Jews were living in Lithuania in 1321.  By 1398, mostly Karaite Jews were living there.  In 1495 Jews were living in Vilna, Grodno and Kovno, totalling 10,000, but in that same year from 1495 to 1502 they were excluded from Lithuania.   By 1529 they received a charter guaranteeing freedom of movement and employment, but in 1566 to 1572 they had to wear a Jewish badge.  They also couldn't give evidence in court.     White Russia (Belarus) was annexed to Russia in 1772 and after that happened, Jewish merchants began to go into Moscow, mainly from Shklov.  From 1826 to 1856, a ghetto was created there.  Most Jews residing there permanently were Cantonists or teen-aged conscripts that had been drafted into the army.  From 1805 to 1856, Jews were subject to the decree from 1827, and a very high number of Jewish children were taken away from their parents with the intent of converting them to Christianity.  The Jewish communities were expected to supply early a certain number of recruits between the ages of 12 years of age and sometimes even as young as 8 years of age and up to 25 years old.  Once they were in the service they had to serve for 25 years if they lived that long.  The count didn't start until they were 18 years old, so they had to serve until they were 43 years old.

There was a Catherine I, who was an empress of Russia.  She ruled from 1725 to 1727, and in May of that last year expelled all the Jews living in Little Russia (Ukraine).  This order was then countermanded after her death.
Catherine II the Great Empress, ruled from 1762 to 1796.    In 1791, she  hadn't allowed any Jews into Moscow by writing up a decree about it. Her method of dealing with the Jewish policy was a combination of liberalism and coercion.  She allowed Jews to register in the merchant and urban classes in 1780 but permission was restricted to White Russia (Belarus) in 1786.  This marked the beginning of the Pale of Settlement.    Jews were to live in the Pale of Settlement, which consisted of 25 provinces of Czarist Russia in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus,  Ukraine and Crimea.It also included Bessarabia, which was a province, formerly Romanian, and now in the Moldavian and Ukrainian Republics.
                                 Pale of Settlement

Jews were living there when Bessarabia was annexed to Russia in 1812.  Between 1839 and 1858 Jews were forbidden to live within 50 versts of the frontier with Russia proper and, like the gypsies, couldn't ever become government officials.  Lots of anti-Semitism existed in Kishinev.  90,000 Jews escaped from Soviet Russia through Bessarabia in 1919 to 1925 and many emigrated from there to Brazil. Catherine II was nasty to Jews in her last years.  She prevented the extension of Jewish settlement and in 1795, prohibited Jewish residence in the countryside areas.

My grandfather, Nathan Goldfus, was born in Telsiai, Lithuania in 1870.  I"ve managed to trace his ancestors back to 1730 to Iones "Jonah Goldfus in that same city.  Nathan's father was Morris Goldfus, a distiller. Either grains or potatoes are used to make Russian Vodka which must be 40% alcohol.   How his family managed to exist all that time in this city is astounding, but we know that they got there after living in the Rhineland (Germany).    Some members of the Goldfus family were given special passes to sell corn in Russia proper.  A few people were allowed to live outside the Pale if they were members of the liberal professions with a high school diploma, big businessmen, skilled artisans, and ex-Cantonists (by then converted to Christianity.)  .  If you were a common Jew and found outside the Pale of Settlement without permission, your fate depended on the decision of the local governor.

 These young Jewish recruits were educated at special schools outside the Pale of Settlement  and then sent far away to do their service in the eastern provinces like Siberia.  Thousands were converted and assimilated, but many died from hardship.  Most of these cantonists were from poor families who could not buy their child out of doing service in the Russian army.  The Russian police were brutal in picking up the children which literally amounted to kidnapping.  This led to a lot of corruption and much resentment against the richer Jews by the poorer ones.

Moscow's Jewish quarter expanded rapidly and was a center of the Hoveve Zion.  In 1891 there were 20,000 craftsmen, workers, teachers living there but they were all expelled to the Pale of Settlement.  After Russia's 1905 revolution, things got better for them.

The 1st World War started in 1914 and ended in 1917.  During the war, 100,000 Jews were expelled or emigrated to the Russian interior in Lithuania.  After the 1917 revolution, the Jewish population of Moscow increased greatly and it became the most important Russian Jewish center.  It held Jewish cultural activities such as Tarbut, the Ha-Bimah and Yiddish theaters which flourished for a time.  That was culture, but religious life did not grow.  The cultural authorities came to an end in the last year of Stalin.  Everything revived, such as culture and religion with the introduction of Perestroika."which was a political movement for reformation within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during the 1980s (1986), widely associated with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his glasnost (meaning "openness") policy reform. The literal meaning of perestroika is "restructuring", referring to the restructuring of the Soviet political and economic system.Perestroika is often argued to be the cause of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the revolutions of 1989 in Eastern Europe, and the end of the Cold War."

                                              Russian  Jews

There were at least 175,000 Jews in Lithuania at the start of WWII.  About 25,000 were deported by the Russians from Lithuania and Latvia in July 1940.  The remaining Jewish of Lithuania were massacred by the Germans and the Lithuanians by 1943.  24,000 Jews were living there in 1959, but by 1989 about half had left for Israel, leaving 12,312 Jews behind.   By 1989 there were 232,000 Jews in Moscow.

Resource: Jewish Encyclopedia

Friday, April 18, 2014

What Happens to Jews' Souls When We Die?

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Typically, Jews are not to concerned about what happens when we die.  We are more concerned about our actions while alive, for we trust that G-d will do right by us.  What happens will happen, but it's best to be on the safe side and live as good a life as we humanly can.  We're very realistic and know that "for dust you are and to dust shall you return" because this is what it says in Genesis 3:19, but "the spirit returns to G-d who gave it" (Ecclesiastes 12:7.  We realize that "the end of man is death," Rabbi Johanan (Berakhot 17a).  We shall all die.  Being a very scientific minded-people, we haven't had enough proof that there is a certain thing that happens to us, so we don't dwell on it.  We have to accept the fact that it will happen.  BUT.....
King Solomon said, "A good name is better than precious oil; and the day of death than the day of one's birth."  (Ecclesiastes 7:1, Berakhot 17a).  So don't sully your name by doing bad things, for it goes down in the great book.  Our good deeds and our bad are recorded, we say, every Yom Kippur, when we ask G-d for forgiveness for our sins.  A picture in my mind is that of a scale and of our sins being weighed.  We don't want to tip the scales towards sins, so have to work pretty hard to perform a lot of mitzvot "good deeds" so that scale doesn't tip the wrong way.

Our present world we were born into is viewed as a hallway that leads to still another world.  The belief in an afterlife, in a world to come called Olam Haba, is where man is judged and where his soul continues to live on is something embedded in Jewish thought.  "All Israel have a share in the world to come" is in the Mishna, Sanhedrin 11:1. Olam Haba refers to the eternal world of the spirit to which the human soul passes after death.  It also is used as the time following the advent of the Messiah, when all the world will be perfected.

 A certain type of existence still continues in Sheol.  Sheol, according to the biblical conception, is where the dead live (Gen. 37:35; and Is. 38:10.  It's a place far below the earth where we the dead cannot give thanks to God anymore.  Usually it's thought of as a place for the wicked (Ezekiel. 32:15.  The name in the Bible is synonymous with shahat and avaddon.  In some places we read that the dead were considered to possess certain psychic powers.

At the end of days, people won't die anymore and all who are dead will rise.  This idea of Resurrection became a fundamental doctrine in Pharisaic Judaism.  The classical liturgy emphasized that faith in G-d is important as G-d is the reviver of the dead.  People die in this world because of sin either from Adam's sin or else personal sin.  There are even many rabbinic legends that talk of a belief that the dead carry on some connection with the living and even take an interest in their affairs.

People  praying for the intercession of the dead seemed to start very early in our belief. "An example is: "Oh papa, please help me!"   When a Jew is dying, he recites the Shema which is, Shema Israel Adonoi Eloheinu Adonoi Echad.  Here Oh Israel--the lord our G-d---the lord is ONE.  In other words, people, there is only one G-d.

If we have become very important in this life and are very worthy, we are a greater loss to the living.  More people grieve for us and their anguish is very sharp.  We have all seen the faces of the parents who have lost their children on the ferry in South Korea.  Every child was important to those parents and they are suffering a great loss.  In our Jewish tradition, we address ourselves to the dignity of the deceased and to comforting the relatives and friends of the deceased who are mourning the loss of that cherished person.

Life is most important to us.  When we make a toast, we say, L'Chaim "to life!"  We don't relish dying at all.  It's not something glorious to do. If we get a bad doctor's report we will go to 3 doctors afterwards to get the help we need if necessary.   We're very sad when someone dies, and so the tradition is to sit shiva for our father, mother, wife, husband, siblings and children.  This is a 7 day period of mourning that follows the burial.  We do bury our deceased, not cremate.  Then there is a 30 day period called shloshim when we should not listen to music or get married or do any shaving or cutting one's hair.  This ends the mourning period except if the deceased was your mother or father.  Mourning for them lasts for 12 months and is called avelut. During this time you don't participate in any joyous events, such as dinner with music,  theater or  concerts.  A special prayer for your parent is said daily called Kaddish by the sons for 11 months of the year.  After that, 12 month period,  you live a normal life again and are not to mourn anymore.

If you read the Bible, you will see many passages showing that our early ancestors looked upon death as rejoining one's fathers.  People received blessings to die a good old age.  Moses himself lived till age 120 and he was a righteous person.

Reference:  To Be a Jew; a guide to Jewish observance in Contemporary Life by Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin
The New Standard Jewish Enchclopedia ---on death.
Update: Rabbi Friedman on the soul after life.  from www.Sinai 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Who Lived In Canaan Before the 12 Tribes of Jacob?


Nadene Goldfoot               Noah on the Ark, father of Shem, Ham and Japheth                                              
                                                                           Moses with the 10 Commandments

2,000 BCE:  G-d said to Abram (Abraham), "Go for yourself from your land, from your relatives, and from your father's house to the land that I will show you.  And I will make of you a great nation....and you shall be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse;  and all the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you.  

1311 BCE:  Moses was told by G-d, "from the hand of Egypt and to bring it up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivvite, and the Jebusite.  (Exodus 3:2-17)

Before the Israelite conquest of Canaan around 1271 BCE, which was 3,285 years ago,we see that there was not one people occupying the promised land but 7 of them and also others in the surrounding territory.
1. Canaanites.  They lived in the land of Canaan, and traditionally descended from Canaan, son of Ham, son of Noah. Noah's sons were Shem, Ham and Japheth.  the Israelites were descended from Shem.   Canaanites were divided into 10 peoples who occupied the land between the Nile and the Euphrates Rivers.  The name "Canaan" appears in inscriptions from the 15th century BCE and from the 14th century.  The people who lived in Syria applied it to themselves.

Their origin appears to have been a mixture of Horites, Hittites, and Hebrews.  They date back to the Hyksos period in the 17th century BCE.  The Hyksos were semitic peoples who overran Egypt after the destruction of the Middle Kingdom.  Excavations in Egypt have found pieces with names similar to Hebrew.  They ruled in Egypt from about 1720 to 1580 BCE when the Israelites had entered and treated them  well.  The time of being slaves began after the expulsion of the Hyksos which means rulers of the foreign lands.   Canaanites were almost all killed or assimilated by the Israelites in the 13th century BCE when Joshua led them into the land.  G-d had told Moses that was to be their Holy Land.  The Philistines also attacked and killed the remnant of them in battle in the 12th century BCE and the Arameans in the north during the 11th century.  The remnants were under the rule of Kings David and Solomon and so were absorbed this way.  Later, the name of the Canaanites was saved only among the Sidonians and Phoenicians.

2.  Hittites were an ancient people living in Asia Minor.  They were powerful and this power extended southward to Syria in the 15th Century BCE.  Their main kingdom which started about 1650  fell in about 1200 BCE during the time of the Exodus. They lived in what is now Turkey.   Small Hittite kingdoms continued to flourish in northern Syria and the Eland along the Euphrates River.  These states were overrun by the Armenians and the Assyrians.

The Bible connects the Hittites with the Canaanites and shows that some lived in Canaan in an early period.  Abraham bought the cave at Machpelah from Hittites.  Esau took wives from the Hittite people.  The Hittites were one of the 7 peoples from whom the Israelites conquered Canaan.  Later, King David of Israel (1010 -970 BCE) had Hittite warriors, and his son, King Solomon (961-920 BCE) , had Hittite wives.

3.Amorites. They were one of the ancient people there.  What happened to them?  They were either killed or assimilated into the Israelites.  "Amorites" is mentioned in cuneiform and hieroglyphic sources where its significance is not constant.  Sometimes it was used as an ethnographic term meaning the Western Semitic tribes, and on others it was a geographical term, naming the whole area of Syria and what became to be called after 135 CE as Palestine.

From the middle of the 2nd millenium, and Abraham was born in the 2nd millennium BCE, there was an Amorite state in central and southern Syria which included the Lebanese Mountains and important harbor towns.  It was an important link between Egypt and Mesopotamia.  Egypt and the Hittites fought and struggled against each other, and the Hittites annexed it.

Amorites, dating from the days of Abraham, were living on both sides of the Jordan River, especially in mountainous regions.  Moses led the conquest of 2 Amorite kingdoms; Heshbon and Bashan.  At this period, the Amorites were no longer a pure western Semitic group but were mixed with other strains living in the same area, like the Horites and the Hittites.

Rabbinic and medieval literature spoke of "the ways of the Amorite."  They were talking about the folk-practices that were so alien to the spirit of Judaism.

4. Perizzites were one of the 7 Canaanite peoples living in Canaan before the Israelite conquest under Joshua. Their descendants were made tributary by King Solomon, so they hadn't all been killed.  Tributary means paying tribute to another to acknowledge submission to obtain protection or to buy peace.  A state that pays tribute to a conqueror.

5. Hivites were one of the 7 nations living in Canaan when the Israelites took possession of the land.  Gibeon was one of their main cities.  Joshua was forced to enter into a league with the Gibeonites under fraudulent means which was extended to the other Hivite cities.  Some of the Hivites lived in northern Canaan near Mt. Hermon.  (Josh. 9:17).   (Josh. 11:3).

6. Jebusites were a Canaanite people who settled in the land before the Israelite conquest.  They lived in the hill region around Jerusalem which they called Jebus.  Joshua defeated a Jebusite-led coalition.  Jerusalem was occupied only in the reign of King David.  The last Jebusite king was Araunah.  They remained in the city under King David and became tributary under King Solomon, so they had  paid a tribute to buy peace.   In the course of time, they were assimilated into the Israelite people. (Sam. 5:6-7), II Sam. 24:15).  

Arameans were a group of Semitic tribes who invaded the Fertile Crescent in the 2nd half of the 2nd millennium BCE in the time of Abraham and roamed between the Persian Gulf and the Amanus Mountains.  Aram and Israel had a common ancestry and the Israelite patriarchs were of Aramaic origin and maintained ties of marriage with the tribes of Aram. In fact, Shem's 5th child was Aram, so they were closely related, being from siblings of Shem.    In Akkadian sources of the 12th century BCE, the Arameans achieved considerable political importance not long after when independent Aramean states and princedoms like Aram-Dammesek, Aram-Naharaima, Aram-Zobah came into being in Syria and Mesopotamia.  The Aramaic language spread among the people where they lived and became current throughout western Asia.  The Aramean deity in Syria was Hadad, god of wind, rain, thunder and lightning.  Aran-Dammesek was the most important Aramean kingdom in Syria from the 10th to 8th centuries BCE and was called after its capital DAMASCUS.

Then you shall call out and say before Hashem, your G-d, "The Aramean sought to destroy my father; and he went down to Egypt and sojourned

 there, few in number; and he became there a nation - great, strong and numerous."

DEUTERONOMY (26:5)  This declaration is a brief sketch of Jewish history, which shows that the Land could never have been given to Israel without G-d's loving intervention.  The Aramean is the deceitful Laban, who deceived and  pursued our forefather Jacob.  (Rashi).  Updated 4/10/14.

Horites were another ancient people who originated south of the Caucasian mountains.  They invaded Syria and Canaan in the 17th century BCE, which would be just a little after Abraham's time of the 20th century BCE.  They mixed Akkadian mythology with their own tradition and were responsible for bringing Sumero-Akkadian culture to the Hittites.

They lived near Mt. Seir in Abraham's time but their land was conquered by the Edomites.  Egyptian documents from the 16th century call Canaan "Haru" whereas before it had been known as "Rutenu."  Scholars have identified the Haru with the Horites and believe that they were pushed back by the Amorites and Canaanites to the Mt. Seir region where they were later driven by the Edomites.  It was not always a peaceful area even then.

Edomites lived in Edom, which was also called Idumea.  It was a country in southeast part of Canaan which was also called  Seir since Mt. Seir was there.   It was mountainous and fortified easily for this reason.  The land was fertile.  It was south of the Dead Sea and bordered on the Red Sea at Eilat (Elath) and Ezion Geber.  The Edomites were Semites originally, traditionally the descendants of Esau, and lived by hunting.  Esau was the son of Isaac and the oldest twin of Jacob.  The patriarchs of Judaism were Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Esau had become Jacob's enemy over a fight about their birthright and receiving the firstborn blessing.  Jacob had tricked him into giving it to him, instead.  Esau was out to kill him for this causing Jacob to flee to Haran and not returning for 20 years.  The relationship between these 2 brothers symbolizes the relationship between the 2 nations developing into 2 hostile camps.  In the Talmud, Esau was synonymous with villainy and violence.  Esau in late Hebrew literature implies a course materialist.

They had forced out the Horites who were living there and were organized along tribal lines headed by a chieftain called an Allooph.  They later turned themselves into a monarchy with a king.  They were the traditional enemies of the Israelites.  They fought Israel's first king Saul and were defeated by King David who partly annexed their land.  They  regained their independence during King Jehoram of Israel's  reign but wars between the 2 states  happened often.  In the 8th century they became vassals of Assyria.  Assyria had attacked Israel in 721 BCE and carried off 10 of the 12 tribes.

When the 1st Temple was destroyed, the Edomites plundered and looted with the Babylonians who had attacked in 597 and 586 BCE.  They were then driven out from Seir by the Nabateans and so occupied southern Judah during or after the period of the Exile.  The Edomites were conquered by John Hyrcanus who forced them to convert to Judaism, and from then on they were a part of the Jewish people.  John was the son and successor of Simon the Hasmonean and ruled from 135 to 104 BCE.  He had been governor of Gezer, but after his father and 2 brothers were murdered by his brother-in-law Ptolemy, escaped to Jerusalem where he took over the power.  He became a high priest. but had a breach between himself and the Pharisees and was closer to the Sadducees.  In the end he calmed the country and his last years were peaceful.

King Herod (73-4 BCE)  was one of the descendants of the Edomites. He was the son of Antipater the Idumean by his Nabatean wife, Cypros.    During the Roman General Titus' siege of Jerusalem, they marched in to reinforce the extremists and killed all they suspected of having tendencies towards peace.  The name shows up in the Talmud as a synonym for an oppressive government, especially Rome.  It was used for Christian Europe as well.

Nabateans were people of Arab extraction who lived in Edom in the 6th century BCE.  Their capital was at Petra (Rekem).  They were nomads originally but soon learned to develop agriculture under almost desert conditions by an elaborate system of water conservation.  They fostered caravan trade and established a chain of agricultural settlements across the Negev Desert.  When the Seleucid Empire was falling apart, the Nabateans extended their power up to and including Damascus.  They came into conflict with Alexander Yannai.  The Romans overpowered them in 63 BCE.  their country was annexed in 106 CE and became the Provincia Arabia.  The Nabateans developed a remarkable Arab-Hellenistic culture, especially in their rose-red rock-cut city of Petra.  Petra lies in southern Jordan today and is their main city of interest.  It's now a UNESCO World Heritage center.

Hebrews, or in Hebrew called Ivrim, a descendant of Eber, grandson of Shem or one who comes from the other side of the River (Euphrates) in Hebrew-ever ha-nahar).  Abraham is called "the Hebrew" in (Gen 14:13).  The terms was later used interchangeably with Israelites in (Exod. 9:1).  Whether the Habiru and the Hebrews are the same is debatable, but it looks like it's true.  Hebrew was used instead of Jew in Europe but Israelite was more common.  Hebrew was the origin of Ebreo and Yevrei, the Italian and Russian words for Jew.

The only people remaining today from this time are the Jewish people who absorbed the remnants of the people who were living in Canaan at the time of the Exodus.  They are were either killed or absorbed into the Israelites.

Resource: The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Census Time of the 12 Tribes of Israel

Nadene Goldfoot                                                       

Moses was born in 1391 BCE and died in 1271 BCE as best as has been figured.  He led the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land which was Canaan .  When he started he was 80 years old  So it was in the year 1311 BCE that this exodus started.  He didn't make it as he took 40 years to get there, so died at age 120 outside of the land and Joshua had to take over his position of entering the land.  They found that it was important to take a count, a census of the tribes and this is recorded in the Torah twice under NUMBERS, one of the 5 books of Moses.

Every Jew was counted individually as they passed in front of Moses and Aaron at the beginning of their trek away from Egypt and presented proof of his tribal descent. This happened on the 1st of the 2nd month, in the 2nd year after their exodus from Egypt.    They received their blessing and guidance.  Once counted the tribes were arrayed around the Tabernacle, demonstrating that the presence of G-d was the starting point.  It was the central focus of the nation then and for always.  "Jews are a nation by virtue of the Torah."  It is their reason for being a nation,  their raison d'etre.  By accepting this they became a people and by following the Torah they remain a people.  They camped around the Tabernacle which held the Tablets of the Law and marched with it wherever G-d led them.  Our saying is, "More than the Jews have preserved the Sabbath, the Sabbath has preserved the Jews."  The Jews follow their law in that the Sabbath starts on sundown Friday night and ends on Saturday night with the showing of 3 stars in the sky.

The biblical commentator, Rashi, noted that at the beginning of NUMBERS it was G-d who counted the nation at every significant turn.  They were counted as individuals which shows the worth of every person counted.  It would have been easier to count them in masses but sheer numbers wasn't the point of the census.  Each person was to feel that they mattered and that they had a personal responsibility to grow and contribute.  Each tribe had their own uniqueness and each individual was precious in his own right.

Our 5 books of Moses in Numbers tells how the nation slid and an entire generation had to die through the 40 years of walking, but their children came out of it strong and courageous.  They were ready to claim their destiny as the heirs to the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as they gathered around the Tabernacle ready to follow Moses.

The 2nd census was taken after the plague.This was a plague that killed 24,000 people who were part of the exodus.  The people  had settled in Shittim and  started seeing the women of Shittim who came over to them and were being very suggestive.  The foreign women invited the Israelite men to their feasts of their gods and they complied and started to praise their god, Baal-peor. Now,  sexual morality is the foundation of Jewish holiness and we are not to be immoral.  Balaam, a great magician,  counseled Balak, king of Moab,  to entice Jewish men to break their law and they did for the offer of sex. Balaam had told Balak that the only way to harm the people of Israel was to seduce them into sin. For only then would G-d punish His people.  One man was so brazen as to bring his paramour right to Moses and sinned in public view.  You can imagine what he was doing.  He was killed for doing this-the punishment of the period.    This evidently was the plague that hit the Israelite  men.   Then  G-d spoke to Moses and to Elazar, son of Aaron the Kohen and told them to take a census of the entire assembly of the Children of Israel, from 21 years of age and up, according to their fathers' houses, all who go out to the legion in Israel.

What we learn from this is that the 600,000 some people on the exodus did not march continually every day, but they did take a break once in a while and here that break led to the death of many for fornicating and starting to worship other gods.  It was not an easy task to change their habits. Here the Moabites were guilty of enticing them to sin in the hopes that G-d would then destroy them.  What has happened to the Moabites now days?  Do you think they are hiding out in some canyon someplace?  I'm afraid not.  They have long disappeared. They may be showing up in DNA tests as a few segments of genes, but as a people, known on this planet-no.  If there are descendants, they are not known as the Moabites anymore.   But Am Yisrael Chai.  The Jewish people are still here.  There are now 6 million Jews  in Israel according to the latest census.

TRIBE                                                        POPULATION      POPULATION      POPULATION
                                                              NUMBERS CH. 1      NUMBERS CH 26      CHANGE

1. Reuben                                             46,500                          43,730                          -2,770
2. Simeon                                             59,300                          22,200                        -37,100
3. Judah                                              74,600                          76,500                         + 1,900 
4. Issachar                                           54,400                          64,300                          + 9,900
5. Zebulun                                           57,400                           60,500                         + 3,100
6. Dan                                                 62,700                           64,400                         + 1,700
7. Naphtali                                          53,400                           45,400                          - 8,000
8. Gad                                                45,650                           40,500                          - 5,150
9. Asher                                             41,500                            53,400                        +11,900
10. Ephraim                                       40,500                            32,500                          - 8,000
11. Manasseh                                    32,200                            52,700                        +20,500
12. Benjamin                                     35,400                            45,600                        +10,200
TOTALS                                        603,550                          601,730                          -1,820

Resource: Tanach, The Stone Edition, ArtScroll Series, Mesorh Heritage Foundation

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sanhedrin Court of Ancient Israel

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                    

Israel was created as a kingdom when Saul  born in 11th century BCE from the tribe of Benjamin and was made its first king.  King David was the 2nd king and ruled from 1010 BCE to 970 BCE.  His son, King Solomon was the 3rd king who ruled from 961 BCE to 920 BCE.  When Solomon died, problems started with a revolt led by Jeroboam against Rehoboam, Solomon' son and successor in 933 BCE.  The seceding tribes were led by Ephraim.  The other tribes were Manasseh, Issachar, Zebulun, Naphtali, Asher, Dan, and Reuben and Gad and part of Manasseh. So the next king of Israel was Jeroboam from 933 to 912 BCE.  Hoshea was the last from 730 to 721 BCE.
                                King Solomon
Judah was created out of the southern part of Israel in the revolt.  Rehoboam was king and ruled from 933 to 917 BCE.  Their last king was Zedekiah from 597 to 586 BCE.

By the time the Romans occupied Judah, they came along and set up their own choices for rulers, like Herod.
The Sanhedrin, meaning an assembly of 71 ordained scholars who acted as both Supreme Court and legislature.  The head was the Nasi, usually a descendant of Hillel.  He was a scholar in the 1st century BCE and founder of a school called the House of Hillel and was an ancestor of a dynasty of patriarchs who held office until the 5th century.  He was born in Babylonia but had come back to live in Judah and earned a small living by doing manual labor while studying with famous teachers such as Shemaiah and Avtalyon.  He was appointed president of the Sanhedrin and worked with his friend but ideological opponent, Shammai. Shammai was concerned about the Romans occupying their country so set up many rules to keep the Jews from mixing with them as they were heathens.  His name Shammai is possibly identical with the Pharisee Sameas who rallied the Sanhedrin against Herod's attempt at intimidation in 47 BCE.    They were the last of the pairs (Zugot) of scholars.  He was noted for his humility and leniency.  Legal issues usually were solved by Hillel.  He is credited with writing the Golden Rule:  Don't do to others what you would  not want done to you.  How many countries of today had a supreme court of 71 judges before the 1st century?  Israel of today carries on with a supreme legal court system.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Blood Moon, a Divine Sign For Israel? Passover and Sukkot-Great Importance

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                
In the book, Joel, it says:  “I will set wonders in the heavens and the earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke; the sun will turn to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and awesome Day of Hashem” (G-d).  (Yoel 3:3).  Rashi tells us that Joel was the son of Samuel and a contemporary of Elisha and Joel, Nahum and Habakkuk.  All prophesied during the reign of Manasseh, king of Judah from 720 to 692 BCE.    

We have a rare occurrence "of 4 blood moons happening about every 500 years.  A blood moon is when the Earth comes between the sun and the moon, and the sun is shining through the atmosphere of the Earth and casts upon the moon a red shadow.  This makes the moon appear to be red."  "famous line refers to a blood moon, a lunar eclipse on Sept. 20, 331 BCE that happened right before the Arbela battle of Alexander the Great. A blood red moon has been seen throughout history as a sign of impending doom. However, these events are simply the result of a lunar eclipse, or when the Earth is aligned between the moon and the sun.

"According to NASA, there will in fact be an unusual series of four total lunar eclipses during 2014 and 2015. What is more, in each year the first eclipse occurs on the first night of Pesach and the second occurs on the first night of Sukkos."  The first night of Pesach (Passover) this year is the 14th of April (14 Nisan).  Pesach this year will have a blood moon.   Pesach lasts for 7 days in Israel 8 days outside of Israel, the last day being on the 22nd of April.

 A blood moon will also accompany Sukkot or Sukkah (Feast of Tabernacles)  which starts on the 8th of October 14 Tishrei) .  It lasts for 7 days and ends on the 16th of October.  It commemorates the special protection given the Israelites during their 40 year wandering in the desert and recalls the little booths they built in the fields and lived in during the exodus and during the harvest.

Blood moons will accompany  two festivals next year of 2015  as well.  This doesn't often happen. In fact, it's rare.   Although "since a blood moon happens fairly regularly, 4 appearing so closely together is extremely rare.    There have only been a series of blood moons like this a handful of times over the past 500 years.

"The Jewish Talmud (book of tradition / Interpretation) says; . If the moon's face is as red as blood, (it is a sign that) the sword is coming to the world." Therefore:  Blood Moon = sword coming; 

Often, such things as lunar eclipses seem to be forewarning of events to come, like if you have an earthquake, your house will shake and you might be in mortal danger.  The Jewish and Muslim calendar  is based on the moon while the standard world calendar is based on the sun.  Pastor John Hagee, an Evangelical Pastor based in Texas, has alerted many about the meaning of the blood moons.  He pointed out that rare appearances of 4 blood moons on these same feast days, Pesach and Succot, have coincided with major world events for Israel and the Jewish people.  

1.  He pointed out that in 1492 was the Spanish Inquisition where Spain expelled the Jews if they didn't convert to Catholicism, which was the only Christian religion at that time.  So that was terrible, and it affected the whole world's attitude towards Jews from then on.  On the other hand, Columbus discovered American in 1492, so that was a good thing because over a million Jews finally immigrated from Europe in the early 1900's and found it to be a haven compared to what they had been living through.  

2.  In 1967 we had the Six Day War when Israel won against a united Arab army made up of all the surrounding nations and was even able to recapture east Jerusalem.  What is bad is that the nations are trying to force Israel back to the 67 lines which would take east Jerusalem from our hands and put us in a position that is incapable of defending, surely to bring about the demise of Israel.  Netanyahu explained this with great patience after he was hit with it by Obama on live TV as to why Israel could not afford to go back-even for the sake of peace.  (Peace has often been held out as the cheese only to not be fulfilled.) 

For the first time in 2,000 years, Jerusalem and the State of Israel are together again.  Israel is not about to let this position unravel. 
I did not find 1967 listed but did find the following for 1968.  

  Lunar Eclipse               Jewish holiday of Passover and Sukkot                                                                                       
April 13, 1968
April 12
October 6, 1968
October 6
Pastor Hagee believes that the flag of Israel will be flying over the walls of the city of Jerusalem when Messiah comes, and it's going to be forever, he said.  Every nation that rises up in judgment against Israel, God will punish and punish severely."

As for Israel's biggest worry today,  'the only reason that Iran will not acquire a nuclear bomb will be that Israel chooses a military solution to that crisis," Hagee told CBN News.  He believes that if this happens, it will start a series of events that will change the course of world history.  He added that if Israel doesn't  take action, then it will still change the course of world history. Therefore, whatever happens between Israel and Iran will change the course of world history.  We're on the verge of something big, it sounds like, for Iran is very busy embarking on something pertaining to uranium and Israel has been threatened constantly by them.

However, getting back to the meaning of the 4 red moons, "A lunar eclipse must happen exactly at full moon. On a lunar calendar the fifteenth of the month (first day of festival of Pesach and Succot) falls on or within a day of exact full moon, so any lunar eclipse must be on or within a day of the fifteenth of the month. Hence, any lunar eclipse that happens near the equinoxes must fall on or within a day of Passover (spring) or Sukkot (autumn). Therefore the coincidence of these festivals with lunar eclipses is not as rare as Biltz implies."  He's " the founder of El Shaddai Ministries, a Hebrew roots resource and teaching ministry located near Tacoma, Washington.

"The first eclipse (March 20, 2015) is total. "Even more remarkable is that the total lunar eclipse of Pesach 2015 will be preceded by a total solar eclipse that will occur on Rosh Chodesh Nissan, two weeks earlier."   A total solar eclipse is said to be stunning and awe-inspiring. Therefore a total solar eclipse could be interpreted as a great sign to those who witness it. But how many people will witness this particular eclipse? The eclipse path is in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. The only landfalls that the eclipse path will make are the Faroe Islands and Svalbard. The population of the former is 50,000 and the latter less than 3,000. The eclipse is of short duration, and the weather can be overcast much of the time at that latitude. There is a good chance that few people, if any, will actually see this eclipse."
The second solar eclipse (September 13, 2015) is partial and falls on Rosh Hashanah. Though many people have experienced a partial solar eclipse, most of them had no idea that anything was going on. This is because unless a partial eclipse is very close to being total, the sun is not appreciably dimmed. Not actually witnessing these events but instead just knowing that somewhere some sort of solar eclipses are happening seems to fall far short of being specific and spectacular signs of end times.

  In 2015 there is an eclipse on Rosh Hashana. on Sept 13, 2015.  
But according to NASA, only one of the four lunar eclipses will be visible from Israel – the one on the first night of Sukkos (September 28) in 5775/2015. Sukkot will start September 27th at sundown and end on October 4th.  ("Sukkos is directly connected to prophecies concerning the future collapse of the cultures of Yishmael and Eisav at the time ofMashiach. We know this from the astounding haftaras we read on Sukkos, describing the War of Gog U’Magog, the climactic war involving all of civilization, that will occur at that season." This comes from Roy S. Neuberger, author of the article in the Jewish Press.)  

A Christian minister, Mark Biltz, explains that  the the 2nd Coming of Christ must happen at Sukkot, and Jesus's crucifixion was at the time of Passover.  One of the key goals of El Shaddai Ministries Is to fight replacement theology by restoring the Jewishness of Yeshua, Jesus to Christians.  He argues that the unusual event of 4 lunar eclipses on these 4 dates has great significance.  He also mentions 2 solar eclipses in 2015 having prophetic implications.  This is pretty much what Hagee is following. 

 In 2017 Passover is celebrated from April 10-18)   April 11th is a full moon, full pink, named so by Native Americans as the pink in spring flowers.  I wonder if it shows up as redder in Jerusalem.  Sukkot occurs from October 4 to October 11th. October 5th is a full moon and already listed as a blood moon.  
Combine this with a recent find of a prophecy from 750 years ago by Rabbi  Judah the Pius in in Germany in the 13th Century  who said that 2017 was going to be significant.  He said that 1967 was the beginning of the END OF TIMES and 2017 would be the end of the END OF TIMES.  Events in between that he said would happen have happened.  Now, what will happen in 2017?  

Resource: *****
Update 4/1/14 theory debunked

Khamaeni, the Holocaust Denier and Why He's So Wrong

Nadene Goldfoot                                          

The Nazi, Adolf Hitler, plotting with The Arab Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini in Berlin, Germany on November 21, 1941. 

The Mufti  issued a fatwa, a summons to a holy war against BRITAIN in May 1941 and this was declared in Iraq.  The Mufti of Jerusalem  was then instrumental in the pro-Nazi coup.    However, when the Jewish immigrants  were attempting to get to Palestine by shiploads in the late 30's, Nazis were at the apex of attacking Jews in Germany.   Then  England decided not to follow the  mandate to create a Jewish State there.  Instead, they decided to re-admit former supporters of the Mufti of Jerusalem, the Arabs, into Palestine instead and forcibly kept the Jews out!

"Most Holocaust denial claims imply, or openly state, that the Holocaust is a hoax arising out of a deliberate Jewish conspiracy to advance the interest of Jews at the expense of other peoples. For this reason, Holocaust denial is generally considered to be an antisemitic conspiracy theory, frequently encountering criticism."  Holocaust deniers are calling themselves revisionists, lately.  They can call themselves many things, but I call them stupid.  
                                          Jews forced to go to Aushwitz on cattle trains.  

" Aushwitz was a network of concentration and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II. It consisted of Auschwitz I (the base camp); Auschwitz II–Birkenau (the extermination camp)Auschwitz III–Monowitz (a labor camp to staff an IG Farben factory), and 45 satellite camps."  This was just one of many.  

Germans were good at many things, and the one thing they were outstanding in from the 30's onwards was in keeping records.  They recorded every minute of the Holocaust including all its ugliness.  To say that the Holocaust didn't exist is ridiculous.  There are so many records of every detail taken by the Nazis themselves. They took still pictures and moving pictures as well as moving picture news reports.   One would have had to have been either just born recently and kept from the library or if elderly, had been in some sort of prison where news never got to you.  Whatever Khameni of Iran's problem is  must be pure denial.  He is in big denial. Just recently he pronounced that "If Shoah did indeed take place, there is no certainty about what happened there."  

What happened there was brutality of Nazis and other anti-Semites who worked as fast as they could to slaughter 6 million Jews.  They gassed them and burned them in furnaces.  They shot groups who fell into already prepared pits.  They had decided that their economic woes were all the Jews' fault and so to deal with that and make themselves richer, they set about to kill a whole people.  To them, six million would have been a good start.  If they hadn't been stopped they would have continued to kill every Jew on the face of the earth.  Canada and the USA would have been the next site to find us.

Jews have been scapegoats for others to blame all the ills of the world on for centuries, ever since they lost their country in 70 CE to the Romans.  They have had to wander and depend on the emotions of the king of a county as to how he was feeling towards Jews at that moment.  Sometimes they asked them into a country to help out with their economic woes, as they were good accountants.  They were smart people.  Then, eventually that got in the way as it caused jealousy within the people of the land and eventually they were exiled.  In Germany's case, Jews had been there since before 1,000 CE and were loyal Germans, industrious people, and the first to be attacked for being "different" from all the other Germans. Being different meant that they weren't Christians.   

One way the Germans kept tract of how many Jews they had was through the use of IBM punch-out cards, made in the good old USA. They started their IBM-Nazi agreement in 1933.   The same type of cards were used in the USA on their Japanese in internment camps during the war, too.  The Germans identified and catalogued Jews in their programs executed in the 1930s to the selections of who lives and who dies in the 1940s.  Eventually everyone died.  They could have used a computer, but they weren't invented yet.  Hitler's identification program was essential for quick and efficient confiscation of their property, clothing, gold in their teeth, etc, and putting them in ghettos for storage, deportation, enslaved labor, and the ovens.  

Records of evidence are in our USA government archives that are public.  The Khameni should fly over sometime and sit down and read some of the evidence. Khameni cheers people who join him in this denial.   

What's frightening is that the USA seems to be basing their policy towards the Islamic republic, Iran, as being  an honest broker.  Why are they taking Iran at its word?  They have been lying to us before, and are lying now.  If it turns out that they truly are lying to us about uranium and their goals, Israel and the USA are heading into an abyss of no return.  An example of lying from Iran is "Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif  who had told ABC's George Stephanopoulos last September that reports that  Khamenei had openly denied the Holocaust were as a result of "bad translation" and were taken "out of context."  Not so.  He knew that's how Khameni thinks.  He's a consummate Holocaust denier since it really goes against Islam as well.  

Surely he has heard of the Nurenburg trials held in Nurenburg, Germany from November 20, 1945 to October 1, 1946, trying 23 leaders of the 3rd Reich of Nazi Germany.  After the atrocities of what the Nazis had practiced in trying to erase a whole people, the Jews, and other victims, they were put on trial and found guilty.  There's even a movie about it, Judgement at Nuremberg which was made in 1961.  This brought out the fact that their crimes were committed in violation of the Law of Nations or the Laws of War.  It was directed by Stanley Kramer and such famous people as Spencer Tracey, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Maximilian Schell, Werner Klemperer, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, William Shatner and Montgomery Clift were in it.  An earlier version was broadcast as a TV episode of Playhouse 90.  Somebody, send Khamenei a copy of this trial!  

As it turns out, the Arabs put the pressure on the British to not fulfil their obligation to create a Jewish State in Palestine so that the Nazis could capture them all and kill them.  Those trying to enter Palestine in the late 30's and early 40's were turned away by the British who were mandated create the Jewish state and failed miserably. If the USA hadn't stepped into the war, Britain would have been taken by the Nazis.  I find it ironic that two of the judges at Nurenberg were British.   "Geoffrey Lawrence, 3rd Baron Trevethin, 1st Baron OakseyDSOTDKCPC (2 December 1880 – 28 August 1971) was the main British Judge during the Nuremberg trials after World War II, and President of the Judicial group." 

 One wonders if he was related to Lawrence of Arabia.  Thomas Edward Lawrence was #2 in a family of 5 illegitimate boys whose father was Sir Thomas Chapman. "an Anglo-Irish landowner, the last of the Chapman baronets of Killua Castle in Ireland."  They all took the surname of Lawrence when the parents, Sarah Lawrence and Thomas Chapman  lived together but didn't marry. Sarah Lawrence had given him the 5 boys.  He had daughters from his 1st marriage who Sarah was governess for.  Unless the judge was related to Sarah's Lawrence family, they were not connected.   

Israel is wary that Khameni is plotting to finish what Hitler started, and that is to exterminate all the Jews now living in Israel with his uranium plans of creating a weapon of some sort, most likely an A bomb.  

Different religions have tried to wipe out Jews.  First it was the Christian Crusaders of Europe starting in 1096 who attacked Jews as well as their target, the Muslims, and then the Spanish Inquisition culminating in 1492, the Holocaust of a Catholic Hitler who was quite irreligious but political from 1933 to 1945, and now the Muslim Arabs since 1948 who will not abide Jews within their circle of the Middle East.  Perhaps it is meant that Jews are to survive.  Our saying is Am Yisrael Chai!  The people of Israel live!  The world would be much better off if those who haven't would  just accept us. Note that not once have Jews been aggressive towards anyone in the world, but have had to be defensive against all the attacks in order to survive.  And survive we have!