Thursday, October 31, 2013

How It Was Decided Who Went to Europe and Who Went to Neighboring Judean States in 70 CE

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                            

People lived in communities before 70 CE when Jerusalem was destroyed for long periods of time.  They davened (prayed) together in their communities, whether they were at the Temple or in their own community groups.  The First Temple was destroyed in 586 BCE and rebuilt in 538-515 BCE.  This 2nd one was not destroyed until 70 CE when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem.   These groups that prayed together would have needed to have at least one Cohen in their midst.  The Cohen was the very important leader in prayer and first to read from the Torah.  Neighborhood groups would have made sure that this traveling group would have had a Cohen in their midst.  They would have wanted at least one Levite as well.  The rest could have been who we call "Israelites, "  or the rest of the Jews of the tribe of Judah and maybe others, like Benjamin and such who still lived with them.

Each community or block of homes had its own leader.  He would have been probably a Cohen, or if none lived there, a Levite, or another Israelite.  These leaders were the richest and smartest with leadership qualities.  They would have been the one to settle arguments between people,and  handle all the problems.  They were the person looked up to, a cross between a G-dfather like the Italians had and a Rabbi.  It became an inherited position, from father to son.

When Jerusalem was burned down, after starving the people first, and much bloodshed in 70 CE, those that survived would have followed their leaders.  Some had seen and heard of the green grasses of Europe in trading expeditions, and might have thought of leading his charges there.  Other leaders would have had  connections nearer to Judah  and would have led people in that direction.

This is how we separated from each other.  Groups would have followed the Mediterranean into today's Turkey and crossed over into Europe that way while others went eastward or down south back into Egypt , Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, etc.  Syria had been explored and lived in by Jews from King David's days, so that was probably chosen right away as a good place to find refuge.

Today the idea of neighborhood leadership still exists in Syria, at least before the Civil War.    They haven't had to call the police at every trivial problem like we do in the USA.  Instead, they have this neighborhood leader who settles things, something like a wise King Solomon.  The position happens to be hereditary, and it is an expensive position, because after settling some big bruha, the leader is expected to treat everyone at a restaurant or hall for a big party, depending on the depth of the problem.  It's a great way to celebrate a decision.

This way of handling neighborhood events happens in Egypt, as well.  One recent disagreement in a new residential district was settled by a group of the elderly men  of the neighborhood who came as a group to the parties involved and stayed until the 2 with the disagreement shook hands.  Everyone was  made to feel better about the whole thing this way without losing face.  It's very diplomatic.

The United States has not had the luxury of such comradeship in neighborhoods because of its newness and being settled by a conglomeration of people from all over the world.  We only hear about such decision making from being in on an interceding of someone who has a problem such as alcohol and needs an intervention of family and friends.  Only instead of a neighborhood g-dfather, they have a counselor in charge.

Note that from 70 CE, both Ashkenazi Jews, Mizrachi Jews and Sephardic Jews were all just from the tribes of Judah, the biggest and strongest of the tribes from the very beginning and now were still  remaining after being attacked by Babylon and Assyria and taking away tribal members.  The 10 tribes had wound up being scattered all over the Middle East and a little into the Far east, with Pakistan and Afghanistan  being farther away.  They were taken to  Persia and were there for a long time.  Some wound up in India.  There was not a place in the Middle East that the 10 tribes were not taken into for one reason or another.  And yet, we still had Jews remaining in the destroyed state of Judah and Israel, holding down the fort.

France was not that far from Judah.  That was a place they most likely landed at after being in Rome and the rest of Italy.  Whether they wandered there on their own or were taken as Roman soldiers or slaves, they got to France and then Germany.  And that's the story of how Ashkenazi Jews came to be.  From there it was a time of wandering from place to place, England, up the eastern European land into Russia, and then even to Khazaria where it was like another Jewish state, a place of refuge because their Bulan (king) decided to become Jewish.  Khazaria is on the south side of Russia.  That state lasted a while, then was taken over by Russia.

And who replaced those leaders?  The rabbis did, of course.  No longer having the Temple didn't mean the end of Judaism.  The people improvised with their g-d given intelligence and created synagogues and Rabbis.  That was the center of Judaism and the Rabbis had to settle all the  problems.

Ashkenazis tramped through unknown territory whereas the Middle East was pretty well occupied.  Comparing the two, Europe was the wild west.  You didn't know who you were going to meet up with;  Barbarians, tattooed men, painted men, they didn't have an inkling, so young men who were not married, being the most adventurous, would venture forth.  Sometimes they got lost and didn't make it back to a main established group and so somebody would marry into the pagan group, teach them about Judaism, and thus establish a Jewish family.  They were forced into this early on in their adventures until their women were brave enough to accompany them.  It was not an established practice but did happen occasionally.  So there was more intermarrying amongst Ashkenazis than Sephardis and Mizrachi Jews.

Even if Mizrachis did intermarry, where they were, they could have been marrying up with a lost tribal member anyway.  By 600 CE, Islam was spreading causing Jewish tribes to become Muslims.  Before that, people were carried away and others were brought in to take their place and back again, so people were completely mixed up in that one area called the Middle East.  Iran's population probably is carrying a lot of Jewish genes.  I'm sure there are many Syrians with Jewish genes.

One of the practices of Arab people is to marry within the family.  That happened with many Jews as well.  Cousins married cousins.  Where it is not prevalent in today's Jewish society, it still is practiced in the Arab society in certain cases.  Jews, if from the same neighborhood for a long period, can go back at least 5 generations to find out they are related to their spouse to some degree.

Reference:  My Syrian Rabbi; lecture.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Good versus Evil

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                  
There must be  one opinion as to what is good and what is evil in this world just as there is but one G-d. Surely he isn't telling the Christians something different from the Jews or the Muslims.  There must be one accepted form of good and evil that we all can accept.  

 It's how mankind judges for themselves what they are doing and what category it fits into as to what we see as good or evil.  The highest form of goodness to perform is to save a life.  We can't all be lifesavers, such as what swimming pools hire, and such, but if the moment comes, that is a huge piece of goodness.  Evil would be to take a life such as in murder.

"To hate evil is as much a virtue as to love justice.

To hate cruelty is as much a virtue as to love mercy.

But it is not enough only to refrain from evil or to disdain cruelty.  One must also actively pursue justice and mercy for it is written in :  (Psalms 34:15, 37:27.)
  1.  Turn away from evil
  2. Do good.  

We start by being kind to animals. 

Eating the flesh of a living animal is forbidden. This teaches us to be sensitive to cruelty to animals

1. The Torah prohibits the torture or causing of pain to any living creature.  It is our duty to save every living creature from pain or distress, even if it has no owner.  
2. If the animal has hurt a human, we are allowed to kill it.
3. We look upon hunting which  involves an element of cruelty to animals in the kill as something we are not to do. .  Usually it has no utilitarian value as meat is available in stores.
4. We do not sit down and eat until our animals are fed.  "And I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you shall eat and be satisfied." Deut. 11:15)
5. We may drink before giving water to our animals because man is less capable of enduring thirst than hunger.  "Drink, and I will give your camels drink also." (Genesis 24:14.)
6. Show kindness to our animals:  A righteous man considers the life of his beast.  (Proverbs: 12:10)

Rules of Engagement  in War

War has been with us ever since man crawled out of caves.  Moses in Deuteronomy 20:19-20,  4,000 years ago,  laid down conduct in war: in the 2nd millennium BCE

 1. When you besiege a city for many days to wage war against it to seize it, do not destroy its trees by swinging an axe against them,  for from it you will eat; and you shall not cut it down;  
2. Is the tree of the field a man that it should enter the siege  before you?  
3. Only a tree that you know is not a food tree, it you may destroy and cut down, and build a bulwark against the city that makes war with you, until it is conquered.  

Moses in Deuteronomy 20:10-12, 
1. When you draw near to a city to wage war against it, you shall call out to it for peace.  
2. It shall be that if it responds to you in peace and opens for you, then the entire people found within it shall be as tribute for you, and they shall serve you.  
3. But if it does not make peace with you, but makes war with you, you shall besiege it.  
4. ...and you shall smite all its males by the blade of the sword.  
5. Only the women, the small children, the animals, and everything that will be in the city---all its booty---may you plunder for yourselves.
The enemy back then was given the opportunity make peace.  Those who accepted this offer were required to pay taxes, perform national service, and if they were going to remain in the land, accept the 7 Noahide Laws of Behavior. Evidently it was a new way of thinking for many.

In 1864 the Geneva Convention was signed by some major European powers.  Nations came together to accept practice in War and came to positive international  humanitarian laws called "international treaties on the laws of war.  The opposite of positive laws of war was customary laws of war.  Some of these were discussed in the Nuremberg War Trials.  .  

The Hague Convention of 1907 was accepted by all civilized nations for about 50 years, and were part of the customary laws of war and binding on all parties whether the party had been a signer to the treaty or not

Decisions of laws of war:

1. Wars should be limited to achieve political goals that started the war; territory control, and should not include unnecessary destruction.
2. Wars should be brought to an end as quickly as possible.   WWI lasted from 1914 to 1918; WWII lasted from 1939 to 1945; Korean War lasted from 1950 to 1953, Viet Nam War lasted from November 1, 1955 to August 15, 1973 with it really being over April 1975; Gulf War of Desert Storm last from January 16, 1991 to February 28, 1991-43 days; January 29, 2002-March 19, 2003 Iraq War when Iraq, North Korea and Iran were called the Axis of Evil by President Bush.  
3. People and property that do not contribute to the war effort should be protected against destruction and hardship.  (refugees and their homes) 

Acts of Kindness

Being Good includes doing acts of kindness.  This is when we may even have to exert ourself on behalf of another. Even if this results in our inconvenience or to the injury of our interests, we are to show humanity and love for our fellow mortals.  We are taught in the  Torah, "And you shall love your neighbor as yourself in  (Lev: 19:18).   Hillell said:  "what is hateful to you, do not do to others."  We call this the Golden Rule.

 1. We are taught to extend the hospitality of one's home for food and lodging as the need arises.
 2. We are to visit a person who is ill as soon as possible when you hear about the illness.
3. Orphaned girls should be helped to marry.
4. If you find something that isn't yours, you are to return it to its rightful owners.
5. You are to help keep  money or property of another from being  lost or damaged.
6. If you see a neighbor whose life is in danger, you must go to every trouble and expense to help him.  "You shall not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor." (Lev. 19:16).
7. If you hear of a conspiracy against another human, you must tell him to reveal the danger. "You shall not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor."

We see so much of what is mentioned here as still being enacted in warfare today.  We can count our civilization having existed already for 4,000 years.  Surely the idea of good and evil must be recognized as being important if we are to continue living together.

Evil is when Iran is busy making uranium with the purpose of making an atomic bomb to drop on Israel.  When Prime Minister Netanyahu was speaking with Prime Minister Enrico Letta yesterday,  "He noted that many countries in Europe, North America and Asia have nuclear energy with neither centrifuges nor plutonium and added that Iran is insisting on centrifuges and plutonium in order to be able to produce enough materials for a nuclear bomb.'"  Evil is also being demonstrated by the world ignoring this fact.

We are told  to turn away from evil and in its place to do good.  We cannot turn away from evil by ignoring it.  I hope we are all on the same page as to what is evil and what is good.  Such use of uranium is for evil as its purpose is to destroy and to kill.  
Resource:  To Be a Jew by Rabbi Hayim Haleavy Donin
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia

Monday, October 21, 2013

Nazi Extermination of Jews: They Didn't Know?

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                             

People in Europe say they didn't know what was going on.  Really?  How could that be.  Everyone knew that on September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland.  The USA entered WWII on December 7, 1941 when Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was bombed by the Japanese.  Then we were involved in two fronts; Europe and Japan.

Jews in Europe knew before 1939 that they were scapegoats once again for the Germans.  Starting in 1933, laws were being passed and carried out against the Jews.  For starters, Jewish doctors could be involved in the city's charity services.  Jews couldn't serve in government service.  There were no more Jews allowed to the bar to be lawyers.  There was a limit put on how many Jewish students could attend public school.  Citizenship was revoked of Naturalized Jews.  Jews couldn't be editors.

By 1935 Jewish officers in the army were expelled and the Nazis announced the Nuremberg Laws.
 Jewish teachers could not work in public schools.  Jews couldn't sit on benches in the park.  "The Nuremberg Laws classified people with four German grandparents as "German or kindred blood", while people were classified as Jews if they descended from three or four Jewish grandparents. A person with one or two Jewish grandparents was a Mischling, a crossbreed, of "mixed blood". These laws deprived Jews of German citizenship and prohibited racially mixed marriages between Jews and other Germans.

1936 added that Jews could not be tax-consultants.    Jewish veterinarians could not work.

1937 passed the law that Jewish children were not allowed in public schools.

 In 1938 Jews could not change their names or the names of their businesses.  The final straw was that all Jewish woman had to add "Sara" and men had to add "Israel" to their names.    Auctioneers that were Jewish had to end that profession.  Jewish gun merchants were excluded from this profession.  If you were Jewish, you had to report all your property in excess of 5,000 reichsmarks.  Jews couldn't go to health spas.  Then on October 3rd, Jewish property was confiscated and it had to be transferred from Jews to non-Jewish Germans.  Passports held became invalidated and they had to surrender their old ones which were valid only with a big J stamped on them. From November 9th to 10th Kristalnacht happened. Jewish businesses were attacked and Jews were attacked and killed who were on the streets.   November 12th brought the end to all Jewish-owned businesses.  All Jewish children were expelled from public schools.  Jews couldn't  move freely in their cities and could not even have carrier pigeons.  Of course, all state contracts with Jewish firms  were cancelled.  Midwives could not work that were Jewish.

1939 forced Jews to surrender their gold and gems, any precious metals.  Lottery tickets couldn't be sold to Jews.  My uncle was one of the last German Jews to get out and come to the USA.  It cost the family all the money they had in order to do this.  He came over on the last ship allowed to leave.

Then Hitler proceeded with his evil work of slaughtering all the Jews he could until at least 6 million had died before the Allies entered and put and end to it all, documenting the scene that they saw.  Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Majdanek, Belzee, Ravensbruck, Sobibar, Treblinka; these were the killing centers.  Still, no one knew what was going on?  There were over 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe built from 1933 to 1945 when the war was over.  Europe had 30,000 slave labor camps; 1,150 Jewish ghettos; 980 concentration camps where Jews were gassed and burned, 1,000 prisoner of war camps; 500 brothels where they used sex slaves and thousands of other camps for killing the elderly and infirm and where they performed forced abortions.  They had holding cells for killing centers.

From April 19, 1943 to May 16, 1943 was the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in Poland by the Jews who made a last stand and lost against the Nazi war machine.  They had been herded into this ghetto and then starved and slaughtered.  All of Poland's Jews were herded into such ghettos then, and in Warsaw were 300,000 to 400,000 who died there.

Knowledge is coming out with numbers higher than previously thought.  This continent of Europe held 42,000 ghettos and concentration camps where one could smell the condition of people being cremated.  People swore, "We had no idea what was happening."  Obviously they never bothered to learn about Hitler's motives and how far he would go, or the background of such well known people such as Mengele and Eichman.  Decent people just turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to the political condition of their state and the condition of other places and especially what was happening to the Jews in their midst.  The Nurenburg Laws were not a secret.

How close is this scenario to what is happening today to Jews?  The world has turned against us in  our struggle to live apart from them and  have our own state once again.  They blame us for daring to do so and can't understand why we needed our own again.  Do they even realize the miracle of our being alive after such a well planned event such as the Holocaust took place where 6 million people were killed simply for being Jewish and not Christian?  There were about 9.5 million Jews in Europe in 1933, and with 6 million killed, that left 3.3 million who escaped.  The situation had been so bad that it was nearly impossible for Jews to get out.  Every sort of red tape prevented them including the highest of prices  that people just didn't have.

We just reached 6 million Jews in the population count of Israel.  The Jews who could have benefited from having their own country were kept away from it by the British.  After the war many did manage to get to Israel which was finally created May 14, 1945.

Are Jews safe today in a non-Jewish homeland?  German Jews had lived in Germany since 1,000 CE if not earlier and had served in WWI along with the rest.  That was about 1500 years of thinking they were safe, living easily through the Spanish Inquisition that affected the rest of the Jews of the world at that time in 1492 and thereafter.  England had accepted Jews in their midst only to throw them out as the political scene changed from right to left or left to right, whatever the power felt like.  So had eastern European countries.  Catherine II caused all Jews in the 1700's to be kept in the Pale of Settlement that wasn't lifted until the end of WWI.  Jews weren't allowed in Russia proper.

Human nature being what it is, we find that only leaders attend to the social mores of their country and only care about their own, or what extending themselves can reap that is rewarding;  a more tribal attitude .  The rest just go about their business as long as they are not personally involved.  The only group that can raise cane usually are the church officials who remind people of their morality if they want to stay out of hell, and what is happening today is that churches and religions are no longer in the positions they used to be, a force to keep people from killing each other.  There are more atheists than ever and less attendance in churches.

 The sad state of affairs is that those churches that have good attendance have turned against Israel, the state created for Jewish survivors of this world.  To top it off, our Arab adversaries have taken over the role of the Nazis in wanting to destroy Israel and Jews as well.

So I don't want to hear about exterminating Israel or Jews.  We've been forged in steel now and are warriors standing up for our rights to live and exist.  We still have our morality intact handed to us from Moses even though the rest of the world sees it as old stuff.  The change we have gone through makes us stronger and more determined than ever never to be in such a position again. Iran can deny our truth all they want that there was even a Holocaust.  It's in the records, in the history book of mankind and G-d above.  Wait?  Take no action?  Sit back and be picked off like doves in a tree?  Not us. Never again.

 We're 14 million which is 0.02% of the world population and we don't intend to be snuffed out. We are defending ourselves and not out to take other people's lands, just  holding onto our own, what is rightfully ours.  Propagandists claim that we are out to take the world and create an empire.  That's because that's just what they've always done and expect us to do likewise.  Little do they realize we've been answering to a higher power all along who is above such thinking.  People can either be with us and be the sons of Light or sit back and claim they know nothing like before  and be a part of the sons of darkness.  They're making their own choices.

updated: 4:41pm

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Nazi Goals Alive in Palestinian Hearts: Nazi Plan to Take Over Islamic World

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                          

What would have happened if Hitler at age 56 had not been stopped in his attempt to kill all Jews on this planet?  The USA's Jews would have been next.  They killed 6 million Jews.  The fact is that  the goals of the Nazis are still alive and well.  The movement didn't die with Hitler (April 20, 1889-April 30, 1945) .
Aleppo, Syria on March 8, 1920 when King Faisal I became King of Syria and the event was celebrated with a military parade.  

 We had knowledge of the Arab-Nazi connection when Haj Mohammed Effendi Amin el-Husseini/Husayni went to Germany to speak with Hitler.  He was a leader of the Arabs in Jerusalem who was highly offended when Abdullah was willing to accept Jews into the Middle East.  Abdullah, ggrandfather of the King of Jordan,  saw the benefits of having these very distant Jewish cousins there and okayed their goal.  But not Hussaynei.  He went to Damascus, Syria as a supporter of the Arab Kingdom of Syria.  The rule of the Arab Hashemites in Damascus fell apart and he had taken a position on pan-Arabism.  He reversed that to local nationalism for the Palestinian Arabs and moved back to Jerusalem.  He then worked from 1920 to create an independent Palestine Arab state so actively opposed Zionism.  He did this by being the leader of a very violent riot and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but pardoned by the British.  From 1921 to 1937, al-Husseini was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, promoting Islam and being against Zionism.

During the WWII he collaborated with both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, meeting Adolf  Hitler and asked him to back Arab independence.  He was promised the leadership of the Arabs after Germany had driven out the British.  He even helped recruit Muslims for the Waffen-SS.  When the war was over, he was under French protection and went to Cairo.

He was able to oppose  both the 1947 UN Partition Plan and his relative, King Abdullah's designs to annex the Arab part of the British Mandatory Palestine to Jordan.  Failing to take over Abdullah's highest position, he became commander of the Arab rescue army (jaysh al-inqadh al-'arabi) of the Arab League and had his own militia.  He  eventually was left on the outside of the PLO and lost most of his influence.  He died in Beirut, Lebanon in July 1974.  The question remains as to if he was so grounded in nationalism or anti-Semitism or both.  I think the latter helped to cause him to become nationalistic, as he saw the Jews had become very nationalistic and was about to create a Jewish state.

In the meantime, books translated into Arabic such as  the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Mein Kampf are the most popular ones read in the Arab states.  "Jeffrey Herf, author,  believes that Nazi thinking exercised an important influence on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. But the Brotherhood's founder, Hassan al-Banna, seems to have owed far more to his reading the Qur'an and the Islamic modernist Rashid Rida, as well as his disgust at the incompetent way Arab regimes had conducted the war against Israel in 1948."  "Although Jeffrey Herf's book, Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World,  mostly chronicles German radio broadcasts to the Arab world during the Second World War, it also covers German propaganda directed at Turkey and Iran, as well as Italian propaganda to the Arabs. In addition he pays a lot of attention to the activities of the notorious Palestinian leader, Haj Amin el-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem."

One of their beliefs" from Nazi literature, probably from the Protocals,   is thus an accepted belief throughout the Arab world that there is a map on the wall of the Knesset in Israel delineating the borders of Israel in accordance with the divine promise in the Bible: from the Euphrates to the river of Egypt"  They are worried that Jews have an expansionist plan while they themselves are expanding all over the world.  Their maps do not show Israel at all!  

Since Hitler was involved in racial identification,  Amin Husseini didn't stop to think that Arabs are also  Semites like the Jews.  This is what the Nazis thought of them.  "Hitler said that the conquering Arabs, because of their racial inferiority, would in the long run have been unable to contend with the harsher climate of the country. They could not have kept down the more vigorous natives, so that ultimately not Arabs but Islamized Germans could have stood at the head of this Mohammedan Empire."  Naturally, Hitler didn't care about religion, only race since his moral compass had completely shattered.  This is a quote from Albert Speer's book,  Inside the Third Reich.  

Now we have seen the Nazi flag fly  by a group of Palestinian Arabs near Hebron over the road between Halhaul and Etzion Bloc.  The IDF soldiers couldn't  take it down because it was so high up.  This was the 2nd time this group has done this.  The first time was in May over Highway 60.   This is telling us that their goal to wipe out all Jews and take over Israel comes from this original belief.  It's the same goal of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.  

What Hamas does is glorify terrorists and the act of terror itself, absolutely opposite of the ethics of the Jewish belief and of the USA.  4,000 years ago when the Israelites started to rejoice when the Egyptian soldiers were drowning in the sea as they chased after them, Moses told them to cut it out.  He said that the enemies were children of G-d as well as they were and we could not be happy about this.  So it's become inbred in us not to react like they are, and their behavior is an anathema to us.

In their culture which starts in their schools, they honor the worst killers.  They are giving approval to murder and enticing future terrorists by showing them they will be glorified and honor if they succeed.  It's their ticket to fame.  To be so honored, the ones who kill the most people are the #1 on their hit parade.  Abd al Baseet Udeh killed 30 at a Passover seder.  It was a massacre.  This guy got a soccer tournament for 14 year olds named for him.  Dalal Mughrabi was a bus hijacker in 1978 which was the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history.  She and others killed 37 civilians of which 12 were children.  She has had summer camps, schools, graduation ceremonies and sporting events named for her.  The list goes on and on.  Only the murderers get such honor in their society.

Isn't it the most ironic thing on this planet that the world is backing such people to live right next door to us?  People who tried to exterminate us in the Holocaust are being followed by Arabs trying to do the same thing.  They have selected such behavior as part of their ethics.  It's become another replacement theory, replacing any good moral conduct they may have had  from Islam for such hatred and slaughter and admiring their results.  Evidently the rest of the world feels the same way to not speak out about it.  They only complain when Israel builds a protective wall to defend their civilians from such murderers if it inconveniences them in their travels to find their victims.  

Protocals of the Elders of Zion

Friday, October 18, 2013

Our Rachel's Tomb Now Coveted by Muslims

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                       

We have a big problem.  Our matriarch, Rachel, sister of Leah and 2nd wife of Jacob, is buried within Bethlehem's city limits on the spot where she supposedly died, on the road from Bethlehem to Efrata.   The site is less than a kilometer south of the Jerusalem's municipal border.  You can only get to it from Jerusalem on a road that is protected by high concrete walls there for security.  Rachel is an important woman in Jewish history.

According to Genesis 35:19, Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath, which is another name for Bethlehem.  "Thus Rachel died, and was buried on the road to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.  Jacob set up a monument over her grave;  it is the monument of Rachel's grave until today." 

 From the Byzantine Period on, her tomb was known to be 5 miles south of Jerusalem.  An 18th century domed building stands on the traditional site where Jews used to pray, especially in the month of Elul, which we are now in.  Samuel 10:2;    places the tomb at Ramah, north of Jerusalem.  Samuel was speaking to  Saul while making him a king and said, "When you leave me today you will encounter two men near Rachel's Tomb, at the border of Benjamin, in Zelzah." Jeremiah 31:15" Thus said Hashem:  A voice is heard on high, wailing, bitter weeping, Rachel weeps for her children;  she refuses to be consoled for her children, for they are gone.  ...and G-d said they will return from the enemy's land,...and your children will return to their border.  In Genesis XLVIII: 7 Jacob is saying:   And as for me, when I came from Paddan, Rachel died unto me in the land of Canaan in the way, when there was still some way to come unto Ephrath;  and I buried her there in the way to Ephrath--the same is Bethlehem.

  Until 1948, the domed structure near Jerusalem was the only recognized site in Jewish hands to which it returned after the Six-Day War of 1967.

About 10 years ago, the Muslims, who are a majority now in Bethlehem, began calling Rachel's Tomb the "Bilal bin Rabah Mosque."  There have been no Muslims requesting to go there to pray for the the past 46 years since Israel gained control of this site.  Jews worship there all the time.  Tens of thousands of Jews were there this past Monday and will continue to come by bus from surrounding religious neighborhoods.  The reason is that this time is Rachel's yahrzeit.  On the anniversary of her death, they wish to be there and to offer prayers.

Rachel was the very beautiful daughter that attracted Jacob, causing him to work for 7 years to gain her as a wife for her father, Laban.   Instead, the rule of the land was that the oldest daughter must marry first, so he wound up with Leah, her sister instead.  Leah was plainer and had weaker eyesight than her younger sister.  So Jacob worked another 7 years to earn Rachel.  While Leah gave Jacob 6 sons and a daughter, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun and Dinah, Rachel gave him Joseph and later, Benjamin.  She died giving birth to him.

The United Nation's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization known as UNESCO, passed a resolution in 2010 saying that the "mosque" is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories and that any unilateral action by Israel it to be considered a violation of international law.  They didn't even bother to call it Rachel's Tomb, as it always has been.

Netanyahu's answer was that this attempt to detach Israel from its heritage is absurd and that UNESCO was created to promote the legacy of historic sites in the world.  Here, for political reasons that are obvious to all, this resolution is wrong.  Israel has always maintained freedom of worship for all religions in these sites.  This isn't true for the proposed 'Palestine."  They intend to not let one Jewish person on their land.  Jews will be kept from their own religious sites that mean so much to them.  Rachel's Tomb is now under IDF jurisdiction.  It needs to be under Israeli civilian jurisdiction with the IDF taking responsibility for its security.  Davidi Perl has made this request to the Ministers of Defense, Interior and Religion.  The Arabs attacked Israel over and over  to take land awarded to them legally through the League of Nations.  Now  they have been plotting to take over what is most precious to us, our religious sites.

Rachel, daughter of Laban  and Adinahand, lived at Haran in Aram-Naharaim.  Rachel is depicted by Jeremiah the prophet as weeping for her children driven into captivity by Babylon.  It is G-d's promise to her, specifically, that they will return one day, which they are doing now.  Rachel is remembered magnanimously for not letting jealous resentment lead her to protest when Leah was placed in her stead to marry Jacob. Jacob had actually labored for Laban for 14 years before he was able to marry her.

Bethlehem was actually the name of 2 ancient towns, the more well known one being 5.25 miles south of Jerusalem where David was born and is also the site of the Book of Ruth.  In 1948, Bethlehem had 10,000 people of which 7,500 were Christians since it's also the site of where Jesus was born.  2.500 were Muslims.  From 1948 to 1967 it was under Jordanian rule because they had taken it right away in 1948 though it was part of the Jewish Homeland.  The Six Day War brought it back into Israel's hands once again.  By 1968 it had 32,000 people.  "Though not initially falling within Area C, the site has come under the control of the Israeli Ministry of Religious Affairs. Rachel's tomb is the third holiest site in Judaism. Jews have made pilgrimage to the tomb since ancient times, and it has become one of the cornerstones of Jewish-Israeli identity.  Rachel's story and history have nothing to do with the  Muslim religion. 

 She was the mother of 2 of the 12 tribes of Jacob, a Jewish figure in biblical history.   

  The 12 tribes had gone into slavery in Egypt and  came out 400 years later to follow Moses, who laid 

down the Jewish religion. 

Resource: Arutz Sheva Thousands at Rachel's Tomb for Anniversary of Matriarch's Death by Rochel Sylvetsky
Tanakh, Stone Edition
Haftorah I.
The New Jewish Encyclopedia's_Tomb

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Leftist Can't See What's Wrong With Hamas's Tunnel Making

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                      

Amira Hass has written in Ha'aretz of her feelings about not seeing what's wrong with Hamas terrorists building tunnels in Gaza.  She was serious!   Her reputation is that of being a Jewish woman who is most leftist.    "She is particularly recognized for her reporting on Palestinian affairs in the West Bank and Gaza, where she has also lived for a number of years." She uses the old argument that a piece of iron can either be shaped into a plow or a pistol, or a stone can either be thrown to kill someone or be a part of decoration in a garden.

She is unable to see why their tunnel is considered a "terrorist" tunnel and uses intent as her argument.

To me and others, there is no room or reason to debate the issue.  It's as plain as day.  The terrorists dug the tunnels.  That's a fact.  They dug them to carry on illicit activities; otherwise their routes would have been out in the open.   It's the work of smugglers.  They have smuggled in anything.   They dug them to deliver arms from their source of receiving them from the outside of Gaza.  Since the early 2000 era, they have been bombing southern Israel with mortars, rockets and missiles.  Where do you think they got them from?

Now a new tunnel 1.5 miles long has been found to go from Gaza right to Israel.  This one is thought to be dug in this direction in order to kidnap Israelis.  As a result, construction materials will not be delivered into Gaza by Israel.  There's a freeze on these things now.  Hamas, being very defiant, has vowed to dig more.  Perhaps the upper crust of Gaza will simply implode with all the tunnels underneath them and they'll find that they have dug themselves into a huge pit.

Israel delivers all their needs every day by big trucks.  Any goods they want that are not things that can be used as deadly weapons are being brought in just like any other town receives in the USA.  In fact, Israel had become more lenient in what was going in, and like the old saying, if you give an inch, they'll take a foot.
At a time when peace talks are going on, here we find tunnels right into Israel for anti-peaceful reasons.  What Chutzpa!  Egypt has closed their borders to the Hamas-led people as well.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Don't Proselytize a Rabbi

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                        

The funniest thing I've read in the news, and today it's hard to come up with something funny, was a Christian group trying to proselytize a rabbi in Jerusalem, Israel.  It was an "Ooops" moment.

Proselytizing is frowned upon in Israel. Under certain circumstances, it is illegal.   We've had enough of that with terrible results. For 2,000 years we've suffered the insults and attempts  to force us to become Christians, many of which have led to our deaths.  We do not proselytize others to become Jewish.  As a matter of fact, you have to ask us several times about Judaism or your wish to convert to get our attention.

 No more hitting on us!   Not in our own Jewish state-PLEASE!.  We've had it from Crusaders, the Spanish Inquisition,  Luther, and wherever we have been.  I've been hit on many times, so many I've lost count.  The last I heard about missionaries hitting on Jews was a Christian group who had infiltrated a Kibbutz made up of Nazi Holocaust survivors who had lost faith, so the proselytizers thought.  Their group was sending back reports about their progress in hiding their goals to the Argus newspaper in Ontario, Oregon where I was living and I read all about it.  I was of the one and only Jewish family in town, and so contacted some people I knew about it.  It was a very underhanded and deceitful way of proselytizing people, people who had already suffered enough and who were healing in their own land.
                                            A Cafe in Jerusalem

So what happened?  The Cafe Porta, a cafe in the Clal building in Jerusalem, seemed to be in fact a missionary center trying to convert unsuspecting Jews to Christianity.  The cafe needed a Kashrut certificate in order to be open.  This means that they had to be inspected to make sure they were following the rules of keeping Kosher, somewhat like the system used in the USA for receiving health certificates that are needed.

The Kashrut office sent out their own inspectors of which one was a rabbi,  to check on them and to their surprise, the owner of the cafe met them with some missionary material, including a "New Testament" to clinch what he was passing.  The cafe owner was an eager beaver,  starting right away on his proselytizing of all people, a rabbi!

The cafe lost their Kashrut certification.  It was revoked.

There are about 11,700 Christians living in Jerusalem.  Christians make up 2% of Israel's population which is about 158,000 people, and 80% of those are Arab Christians.  Some Christians come from Russia.  45% of Christians here are Catholic, 40% Orthodox, maybe Greek or Russian, and 20% could be from the USA and other places.  Most live in northern Israel with 22,400 living in Nazareth.

Another underhanded tactic was found to be used on unsuspecting listeners.  The city of Kfar Saba, Israel of 83,600 people in central Israel found out that their city icon was being used by missionaries in Australia, trying to give their activity a stamp of approval.  The very Jewish city  had no idea this was being done and of course was not giving their stamp of approval to missionaries.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Joel's Right-on Prophecies of the Ingathering of Exiles-Jews' Return to Israel

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                     

Lately it's been an interesting search to find what prophets had to say about the present happenings to Israel..  I found that in Joel 3:2-4:21,  were some amazing statements.
For in those days and at that time, when I will bring back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all of the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat and I will contend with them there concerning My people and My possession, Israel, ...Israel, that they dispersed among the nations, and they divided up My land.  (After the Assyrians attack in 721 BCE and took 10 of the 12 tribes as slaves,  as well as the Babylonians in 597-586 BCE, we come to 70 CE when Rome attacked and did just this.)  They cast lots among My people; they gave boys for harlot's fee, and they sold girls for wine and drank it. The implication here is that Israel has done you no harm, so you cannot claim that you are repaying them or G-d for past wrongs. ...and you have sold the children of Judah and the children of Jerusalem to the children of the Greeks in order to distance them from their border.  (The Jewish people were sold into slavery by the Romans who went so far as to change the name of Judah to Palaestina in order to erase the memory of the  Jewish presence of the land).  We can see that history repeated itself with the Jews.  We can't forget that the children of Jacob went into Egypt only to become slaves and emerged 400 years later with Moses at the beginning of their history from c 1671 to 1271 BCE when Moses died.

Finding the exiles:  I (G-d) will rouse them from the place to which you sold them, and I will return your requital upon your head.  I will sell your sons and daughters into the hands of the children of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabaeans, to a distant people.  Announce this among the nations;  prepare for war;  arouse the mighty men; let all the men of war approach and ascend.  Beat your plows into swords and your pruning forks into spears;  even the weak one will say, "I am mighty."  Let all the surrounding nations hurry and come and let them gather together;  there G-d will demolish your warriors.  Let the nations rouse themselves and go up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will  sit to judge all the nations from all around.  (This has been happening with the wars of 1948-1956-1967-1973-1982, and the present against Israel.  It's been the many nations against the one; Israel)  

My holy mountain:  Jerusalem will be holy, and aliens will no longer pass through her. ...Egypt will become a desolation and Edom will become a desolate wilderness;  because of the robbery of the children of Judah, for they shed innocent blood in their land.  Judah will exist forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.  Though I cleanse, their bloodshed I will not cleanse, when G-d lives in Zion (Jerusalem.)  this is understood to mean that though G-d will cleanse the nations by forgiving many of their sins, he will not forgive them for the bloodshed they perpetrated against Israel.  When "G-d lives in Zion, at the End of Days,  they will be punished.  

  Edom, or Idumea, was a country in SE Land of Israel, also called Mount Seir.  It was a mountainous land and easily fortified and had fertile land.  It lay south of the Dead Sea and bordered on the Red Sea at Elath and Ezion Geber.  The Edomites were of Semitic origin, traditionally descendants of Esau, and lived by hunting.  They had fought against King Saul and were defeated by King David.  

Joel lived possibly as early as the 9th century BCE, and more probably as late as the 4th century BCE.  He wrote of when G-d will restore his people from captivity and punish their enemies in the Plain of Jehoshaphat.  This was the place where G-d will gather all nations and plead with them for His people Israel.  From the 4th century, this was identified with the central part of the Kidron Valley, which contained the "Cave of Jehoshaphat" wrongly believed to be situated in the tomb-cave near "Absalom's Tomb". The Kidron Valley separated the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem.  It's importance has always been in defending the city from the north and east.  Jerusalem's only spring, the Gihon, rises in the west flank of the Kidron Valley.  in 2nd Temple times, the Kidron was crossed by one or maybe, two bridges.  The necropolis of ancient Jerusalem was cut in its lower flanks where Absalom's Tomb is. It goes across the Wilderness of Judah and its steep borders housed many hermits' caves and monasteries, the most famous being that of Mar Saba.    The Last Judgment was consequently located there by both Christian and Moslem tradition.

Jehoshaphat was a king of Judah, son of Asa who ruled from 874-850 BCE.  He was the first king of Judah to make a treaty with the kingdom of Israel.  He strengthened the ties by marrying his son, Jehoram to Athaliah, daughter of Ahab of Israel.  He fought unsuccessfully with Ahab against Aram and, with Ahab's son, Jehoram against Mesha of Moab.  He tried to revive sea commerce, but his boats were wrecked at Ezion-Beber.  He is praised for his piety.

There are those who disclaim our Jewish history in the area.  Little do they know.  Ask Joel about that!

The New standard Jewish encyclopedia
Tanakh, the Stone Edition

Monday, October 14, 2013

How Other Y and MT dna Haplogroups Were Added to Our J1 Cohen Line of Israelites

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                     
                                     DNA: is in the shape of the Double helix

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel)  would have all been of J1 haplogroup.  Jacob had 12 sons who were the heads of the 12 tribes of Israel. They would also have had the same haplogroup,  as it goes from father to son with eventually having some mutation as each might have wound up in different places.  Even today we find Arabs stemming from either Ishmael or Esau with J1c3d, same as many of our Cohens in the synagogue.  Why is it that not all Cohens found are so blessed?
                                            Egyptian Circumcision

When Moses, a Levite, most likely carrier of the J1 Y haplogroup came along and led Jacob's descendants out of Egypt after 400 years of confinement as slaves, what went in as a group of 70 came out as 600,000.  They had with them some other slaves that had been working alongside the Israelites on the storage buildings in Egypt.

The followers of Joshua,  of the tribe of Ephriam, successor of Moses who became the commander,   were to clear Canaan of all the people, but they failed in this.  They could not exterminate them or exile them.  G-d had told them that the Canaanite presence was incompatible with both the Land's holiness and their mission on earth.  The result was that the Israelites were drawn to idolatry and debauchery, and were in turn oppressed often and finally exiled themselves.
Ezekiel 47: 21  The 12 tribes, born by 2 wives and 2 maidservants,  were to divide the land among themselves according to the tribes of Israel.  It was their inheritance and for the strangers who lived among them who will bear children in their midst;  they shall be for them like the natives among the Children of Israel;  they are to be allotted an inheritance with them, among the tribes of Israel.  .  It shall be that the tribe within which the stranger has settled, there shall they allot his inheritance--the word of the Lord Hashem/Elohim.

King Saul, son of Kish, was of the tribe of Benjamin. He fought against the Moabites, Ammonites and Arameans and tried to puritfy religion.  He also had to fight against the Philistines.  He had 3 sons; Jonathan and 2 others who all fell in battle.  Ishbosheth survived.   

Besides J1 and J2 which includes Jews, Arabs, Armenians and Kurds, it is found the highest in Iran and Iraq, where it probably originated in Ur and then was carried by traders or warriors. The majority of Jewish men have J1 and some with J2. The Cohen Modal Haplotype is found in J1.   However, the majority of this haplogroup is not found in Jewish men of today.   Other haplogroups found in Jewish men have been E from the Mediterranean area of an ancient genetic influence.  E3b evolved in the Middle East before spreading into the Mediterranean and is also found in Arab populations, especially in Berbers.  G and G2could have originated along the eastern edge of the Middle East or even Pakistan and then dispersed into central Asia and the Middle East.  There is a G2 branch containing the P15 mutation found in the Middle East.  7% of Ashkenazis have this.  Q 1b1a, originating in Central Asia 15,000 to 20,000 years ago made its way to the area of Ur in Iraq.  5% of Jewish men are of this.  R, R1 and R2 is from NW Asia 30,000 to 35,000 years ago and is found in western Eurasia.  R1a may be from Khazaria.
                                  Ofra Haza, Jewish Yemenite singer of Israel

Women have the MT dna haplogroups.  It was thought at first that there were only 7 of them, but at least 2 more have been added to the 7 daughters of Eve.  W is a new addition from the Ural mountains.  J, J1 and J2 come from the Middle East and among Jews. with J2 in the Mediterranean.  K is carried by about 1/3 of Ashkenazis.  I comes from Egypt and Arabia.  H is widespread but is found in the Middle East.  M and N are  super hapolgroups and were in the Middle East.  T comes from Mesopotamia 10,000 years ago.

King David, was the son of Jesse, grandson of Ruth and Boaz of the tribe of Judah.   Ruth was a Moabite.  Her husband, Mahlon,  had died and she went with her mother-in-law, Naomi back to Bethlehem and married Naomi's kinsman, Boaz.    Moab was a country in southern Transjordan, bound by the rivers Heshbon in the north, the river Zererd in the south, the Jordan and the Dead Sea to the west and the Syrian Desert on the east.  Moabites were kindred to the Israelites, being traditionally descended-like the Ammonites, from Lot.  They spoke a lot like traditional Hebrew.  They had settled in their land which had been captured from the Rephaim or Emim.

 During the Exodus period, part of the land came under the rule of the Amorite monarch Sihon, but after the Israelites came it was occupied by them and became land fought over by Israel, Moab and Ammon.  The Moabites united into one kingdom and it was their 2nd ruler, Balaka, who called Balaam to curse the Israelites.  They had extended their land to the Jericho region.  David  ( 1000-960 BCE), conquered the Moabites.

Born in Bethlehem, David  had many women from other places.  In his old age he had Abishag the Shunammite (from Shunem, or Shulamite, Jerusalemite) , an exceedingly beautiful girl attendant, but not intimately as a wife. You can say she was native born but not from the Israelites who came from the east..   His first wife was Michal, daughter of King Saul, Israel's first king.  She remained barren until she died.   Then he had 2 wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the former wife of Nabal the Carmelite and they settled around Hebron.
                                                              Hedy Lamarr, Jewish Actress            
 Bathsheba was his big love.  She was the mother of King Solomon.  She had been the former wife of Uriah, a Hittite, so she might have been one herself.  If not, that had been a mixed marriage.  Hittites were from Asia Minor and had extended power to Syria.  Esau had taken wives from among them.  David had Hittite warriors, and Solomon continued to have Hittite wives.

I Chronicles:  David married more wives in Jerusalem after he came there from Hebron and he had more sons and daughters.  There was Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Beeliada and Eliphelet.

Philistines were either there or fighting.  They could have married an Israelite.  Hiram, King of Tyre, had sent a delegation to David with cedarwood, wall artisans and carpenters to build him a palace.

King Solomon, known for his wisdom,  had many wives.  That's how he solved his political battles, marrying to keep the peace. He had 1,000 wives and concubines.  The realm at that time extended from Egypt to the Euphrates and was the most productive in the whole area. His mistake was in bringing on forced labor for his building projects causing subject peoples such as the Edomintes and Arameans to revolt.   The queen of Sheba came with her retinue to visit him and it is said that the group left with quite a few pregnant women.

Assyrians attacked and took 10 tribes away in 721 BCE.  The Babylonians attacked and took many to Babylonia in 597-586 BCE.  Many were taken to Persia (today's Iran)  during the rein and before of Queen Esther (Hadassah) c330 BCE, daughter of Abihail  and wife of  King Ahashueros and niece of Mordecai.

Ashkenazi Jewish men, those who were separated from the others after 70 CE and who were taken to Rome, then fled to France and Germany, were mostly found to be directly from their home of Israel and Judah, but not all their wives.  Younger single men out scouting or trading would marry women they came across and then establish settlements that became Jewish centers for others, so there was more intermarriage in this group.  This evidently happened while in Rome mostly, and then sparingly in France and Germany and on up into Eastern Europe.  By then, the word was out that they were Jewish and there was much anti-Semitism by 300 CE, so there wasn't that much happening between the 2 sexes.

Jews have managed to pick up other haplogroups from their first encounters probably coming from the east to Ur, now in Iraq where Abraham was born and raised.  They added to their group from the slaves who left with them and joined Moses in the Exodus.  More were added when they invaded Canaan and lived in the land with other peoples.  There was intermarriage, bringing in new blood to keep the lines healthy.  Jews have proven to be highly intelligent and a creative, industrious people.  Though the leaders of each tribe were the original 12 sons of Jacob and their descendants, sometimes males were not born in a family group, and husbands of the female lines would take over.

Resource: Tanakh, Stone Edition
The New Standard jewish Encyclopedia Egypt
Abraham's Children by Jon Entine

Damascus, Syria and It's Jewish Citizens:Relating to Prophecy and The Ingathering of Lost Israelis

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                   

Let's see what the Tanakh, the Bible, the "Old Testament" says about Israel.  Can there be anything there that relates to today's trials and tribulations?  
In Jeremiah:  30: 12-31

The warning:  to those harming Israel.  Maybe the UN should take heed.  
 All who devoured you shall themselves be devoured;  
All who oppressed you will all go into captivity
Who trampled you will be trampled
All who despoiled you, I shall deliver to become spoils

For I will make a cure for you,
And I will heal you from your wounds-the word of Hashem (G-d);
For they called you "Discarded!"  Saying, "She is Zion--no one cares about her!"  

What is Zion?  The prophets called Jerusalem "Zion." when they wished to stress it as a spiritual symbol.  In Maccabean times of the 1st century BCE or CE, Mt. Zion was identified with the Temple Mount and the City of David together, in opposition to the hellenistic quarter on Acra hill.  Josephus identified Zion with the Upper City and its identification with the eastern hill.   Zionism is the movement to secure the Jewish return to the Land of Israel. 

In Jeremiah 31:  7-8, the nation of Israel was referred to was Ephraim, because 10 of the 12 tribes had lived in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, which was led originally by Ephraimite kings.  The entire nation is called "G-d's firstborn, and Ephraim had the status of Joseph's firstborn.  Ephraim's parents were Joseph and Asenath.  Assyria attacked and took the 10 tribes in 721 BCE.  

G-d says, "Behold, I will bring them from the land of the North and gather them from the ends of the earth.  Among them will be the blind and the lame, the pregnant and the birthing together;  a great congregation will return here.  With weeping they will come and through supplications I will bring them;  I will guide them on streams of water, on a direct path in which they will not stumble;  for I have been a father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn. "                                    
Israel was the northern kingdom with kings David and son Solomon.  After Solomon died, Jeroboam took over (933-912 BCE).  The last king was Hoshea (730-721 BCE).  Israel's strength was weakened by constant warfare with the kingdom of Damascus (Syria) and both then fell to Assyria.  Samaria was taken by Sargon in 721 BCE which ended the history of the kingdom of Israel until 1948 CE.  Hosea and Amos, biblical prophets, had stayed with the Israelites.  The Prophets Elijah and Elisha tried to check growing idolatry and social injustice that was occurring there, however.  Whenever we acted like other states, we were in trouble.   That is our lesson.  We are to stand apart.

Damascus's Jewish associations go back to the reign of King David in whose realm it was comprised.  It was the capital of Aram-Dammesek which stood out in the period of the Kings as either sometimes a friend or an enemy.  Damascus had a large Jewish population during Herod's day who built there a theater and gymnasium.  Many of its Jews were killed in the riots in the early stages of the Jewish Revolt against Rome starting in about 67 CE..  The community kept on going throughout all the centuries and was untouched from the Arab conquests of 635 CE when the Muslims were out converting people to Islam.  By the 9th and 10th centuries, Damascus became a Karaite center.  By 1170, Benjamin of Tudela found 200 Karaites and 3,000 Rabbanite Jews.  After 1492's Spanish Inquisition more Jews came to live in Damascus.  

The Turks of the Ottoman Empire captured the city in the 16th century which led to an improvement for Jews who had many wealthy merchants.  The Damascus Affair of 1840 caused many Jews to leave Damascus and the city declined. That was a blood libel used to attack Jews when the superior of the Franciscan convent disappeared and his servant led to a search of the Jewish quarter instigated by local Catholics who were supported by the French consul.  They tortured leading Jews.  One died from it to elicit a confession of murder.  A campaign had been started of incitement against Jews.  A public outcry where Sir Moses Montefiore had to go to Alexandria to interview the ruler of Syria, Mehemet Ali,  led to the quashing of the charges and the release of the survivors.  Montefiore visited the sultan in Constantinople and got a firman condemning the Ritual Murder libel and got back Jewish rights, such as they were being 2nd class citizens or dhimmis.

 By 1848, Benjamin II found 4,000 Jews there but all the Karaites had left.  WWI caused an Arab nationalist feeling and many Jews then moved to Palestine,  Lebanon and other distant countries.  Of the 10,000 Jews there in 1940, only 3,000 remained by 1990 and had been treated horribly by Assad's regime, impoverished materially and intellectually , subject to unbelievable restrictions. 1967's war when all the Arab nations attacked Israel and Israel won, Israel had defeated the Syrian army and occupied the Golan Heights from which the Syrians had been bombing Israeli  towns and cities.  Now, holding onto it is very important for Israel's security.

 It was thought that the  last Jews left in a 1994 airlift to Tel Aviv.  Many Syrian Jews live in Brooklyn, New York today.

Tanakh, Stone Edition, ArtScroll Series
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia

Defining the Size of Eretz Yisrael from the Torah

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                        

One has to look at our Tanakh (Bible-Torah plus)  to find the definition of the size of Eretz Yisrael.  There are many references, not just one.
  Noah (story of the flood)  had 3 sons; Shem, Ham and Japheth.  We are descended from Shem.

Who were the Jewish people?  They were first known as the Hebrews.  Eber was the great-grandson of Shem and the ancestor of Abram who is called Ha-ibri.  From "Eber" comes the word "Hebrew.", the name by which the Israelites were known to foreign peoples.  Eber is the ancestor of the people of Israel.  Our line is from Abraham, his son Isaac and his son, Jacob.  Other issues that Abraham had such as Ishmael and Esau left the family line and started the Arab nations. Jacob's descendants spent 400 years in slavery in Egypt.
Genesis 15: 18-21.  To start with, G-d made a covenant with Abram saying, "Have I given this land to your descendants: -said to be in future- From the river of Egypt (Nile) to the great river, the Euphrates River:  the Kennite, the Kenizzite (friendly tribes living in the( south of Eretz Yisrael, which merged with the Israelites,) and the Kadmonite; the Hittite (powerful and warlike nation who held sway in Syria and Asia Minor from 1800 to 900 BCE.) , the Perizzite (close to Canaanites, and the Rephaim; the Amorite (could be all the people of Canaan before the coming of the Israelites, and sometimes one particular warlike tribe among the Canaanites) , the Canaanite, the Girgashite (one of the peoples driven from Canaan by the Israelites) , and the Jebusite (lived in and around Jerusalem, originally known as Jebus).  "

Exodus 23-31  "And I will set my border from the Red Sea to the sea the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness unto the River

Numbers 34:1-15  The land of Canaan is the land that shall fall to you as an inheritance; according to its borders.
The Southern border:  Your southern side shall be from the wilderness of Zin at the side of Edom, and your southern border shall be from the edge of the Salt Sea to the east.  The border shall go around south of Maaleh-akrraabbim, and shall pass  toward Zin; and its outskirts shall be south of Kadesh-barnea; then it shall go out to Hazar-addar and pass to Azmon.  The border shall go around from Azmon to the stream of Egypt, and its outskirts shall be toward the Sea.

The Western border:   It shall be for you the Great Sea and the district; this shall be for you the western border.

The Northern border:  From the Great Sea you shall turn to Mount Hor.  From Mount Hor you shall turn to the approach to Hamath,  and the outskirts of the border shall be toward Zedad.  The border shall go forth toward Zifron and its outskirts shall be Hazar-enan;  this shall be  for you the northern border.  

The Eastern border:  You shall draw yourselves as the eastern border from Hazar-enan to Shefam.  The border shall descend from Shefam to Riblah, east of Ain;  the border shall descend and extend to the bank of the Kinnereth Sea to the east.  The border shall descend to the Jordan, and its outskirts shall be the Salt Sea;  this shall be the Land for you, according to its borders all around.  

Ezekiel 47: 15-20                                                     

                 Border of Eretz Yisral:   Blue line from Ezekiel, Red line from Torah                                                   
North Side:  From the Great Sea, by the way of Hethlon, to the approach to Zedad, Hamath, Berothah, and Sibraim which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath, and Hazer-hatticon which is on the border of Hauran.  The border shall thus go from  the Sea to Hazar-enon by the border of Damascus, with the northern border extending northward to the border of Hamath.  This is the northern side.  
Eastern side:  Between Hauran and Damascus, between Gilead and the Land of Israel, the Jordan, you shall measure from the northern border to the Eastern Sea.  This is the eastern side.  

Southern side:  Southward:  From Tamar until the waters of Meriboth-kadesh, to the stream, to the Great Sea.  This is the southern side southward.  

Western side:   The Great Sea From the southern border until opposite the approach to Hamath.  This is the western side.  

Deuteronomy 18: 8 when Hashem (G-d, meaning the Name) will broaden your boundary, as He swore to your forefathers, and He will give you the entire Land that He spoke to your forefathers to give, when you observe this entire commandment to perform it--which I command yhou today---to love Hashem, your G-d and to walk in his ways all the years, then you shall add 3 more cities to these 3.  Innocent blood shall not be shed in the the midst of yhour Land that Hashem, your G-d, gives as an inheritance, for then blood will be upon you.  14.  You shall not move a boundary of your fellow, which the early ones marked out, in your inheritance that you shall inherit, in the Land that Hashem, your G-d gives you to posses it. 

This would make Jordan, Lebanon and Syria as part of the biblical land of Eretz Yisrael.    The typical saying was from "Dan to Beersheba" as to the size of the land.  .The Israelites did not succeed in driving out the Canaanites, and because of that their next generation wouldn't see the miraculous victories that their fathers saw.  This generation had to learn the art of warfare.

Tanakh, the Stone Edition, ArtScroll Series
Pentateuch and Haftorahs I