Friday, September 23, 2016

New Year Holidays of Jews and Muslims For 2016 On Close Dates

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                                   

We are in the month of Elul right now, going by a calendar at least 4,000 years old that follows the moon; a lunar calendar.  The High Holidays are about to begin,  and we learn of them from
Moses b: 1391 BCE-d: 1271 BCE. 
so we get ready by visiting the graves of relatives and teachers-to remember the sanctity of their  lives and to gain inspiration for the coming year.  It is the custom.                                                                                                
                                                    ROSH HASHANAH-October 2nd-starting

The Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the New Year, starts at sundown on October 2nd,  It is the birthday of the world.  It's also the Day of Judgement, a solemn time of reconciliation and confronting the past year.  However, it is New Year's Day but not as frivolous as January 1st, but a joyous remembrance of the creation.                                                                                                                                                 

     On the eve of the holiday on the 2nd of October this year, families have a big dinner when it is customary to dip an apple in honey to bring in a sweet New Year.  On the 2nd night of the holiday, it 
is customary to eat a new fruit-not yet eaten that season.  The meal can also include more apples and honey.                                                       

 A special challah is made, the bread eaten on the Sabbath (Shabbat) that is made with an egg and braided with sesame and poppy seeds on the top for decoration, but this challah is to be 

made as a round loaf to symbolize a crown, or it can be made in the shape of a ladder, symbolizing Jacob's dream connecting heaven with earth.  The table may have red apples, white grapes, and white figs. I think I'll include deep blue plums while I'm at it.  We may send New Year's cards out to family and friends as well at this time.  Mothers usually buy a new outfit for the children and herself to wear at synagogue for the new year.  It's a happy occasion with high hopes for the future.
                                                           YOM KIPPUR =October 11th-                                                          starting

Ten days later comes another holiday, this time a very somber one; Yom Kippur, which falls on the 10th of Tishri. It is our most holy holiday.   This year it falls on the 11th of October, a  Tuesday.  This is the culmination of the entire High Holiday period.  After this, the old year is ended and the new one begun.  We have a big meal on the eve of Yom Kippur that is joyous. Our challah can be shaped into the forms of birds or have this figure on the top, though I haven't been that artistic.                                                                    

It would be there to symbolize the aspiration and opportunity of man to attain the level of the angels, and the sheltering protection of G-d.  After dinner on the eve of this occasion, we begin a 25 hour fast (no food or water)  that ends in a light repast the next night.  We try to eat so that we will not feel hunger as much since we spend most of the time in the Synagogue asking G-d forgiveness for our sins.  
Men in their large prayer shawls "Tallit" during Yom Kippur in Europe.
Kol Nidre is being chanted during the Maariv Service.  In orthodox synagogues,
men and women are separated for better concentration and meditation.  Usually
a screen separates them.  When men pray, they all have their tallit over their heads like a tent, and women,
if lucky enough to be above like in this picture, see a sea of tents below that is something to behold!  I feel we women are very spiritual and on a high plane anyway, so do not need to copy the men.  We are partners in life and one is not greater than the other.  One need not feel inferior; we each have our specialties and responsibilities.  One sees the rabbi holding the Torah and walking with it among the people.  Everyone will touch their tallit to their lips and then touch the Torah with it in reverence and respect for its words.  
This holiday is marked by physical abstinence of food and for married folks, relations so as to concentrate on the spiritual.  If one is sick or weak, we are exempt from doing this.  We wear shoes to synagogue that are NOT made of leather.  No major washing during this holiday like a bath.  We don't wear cosmetics or anoint our body with anything.  A service of Kol Nidre is sung by the Cantor, a beautiful heart wrenching piece of music  that starts before sunset.  We greet each other at the synagogue with  "May you be finally sealed for good in the book of life", for it is our custom to feel that if we were worthy, our name would go down in the book to live for another year.   The shofar is blown in a rhythmic blast of notes that we all want and need to hear that marks the final sealing of the heavenly gates.                       
                                     ISLAMIC HOLIDAYS 
                                              MUHARRAM OCTOBER 1st=starting
Food typical for this holiday of Muharram from Turkey.
It pre-dates the holiday.  Islam is the 2nd largest religious group in the world.
Mohammad started Islam and died in 632 CE (AD).  


For Muslims, the first day of Muharram, which is the first month in the Islamic calendar, marks the start of the Islamic New Year.  According to my desk calendar, it starts on October 1st, a Saturday this year.    It lasts until October 31st, ending on a Monday. "The festival of Muharram has significant religious importance for Muslims, beginning with the first day, which is known as the Islamic New Year.

"Note that in the Muslim calender, a holiday begins on the sunset of the previous day, so observing Muslims will celebrate Al-Hijra / Muharram on the sunset of Saturday, the 1st of October." "Some Muslim Americans choose to fast during this month, although fasting is not obligatory. Many Muslims engage in voluntary prayer, including evening prayer, during Muharram."
ASHURA=OCTOBER 10th-starting 
They also have another holiday called Ashura.  Note that in the Muslim calendar, a holiday begins on the sunset of the previous day, so observing Muslims will celebrate Ashura on the sunset of Monday, the 10th of October."The Day of Ashura (or Ashurah) is known as the most sacred day in the month of Muharram.

It is the 10th day of Muharram and is a day of fasting for many Sunni Muslims. Many Shi’a Muslims use the day to commemorate the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali in 680 CE. Some Muslims give to charity on this day.

I wish my family and friends a Happy New Year:  : שנה טובה
Leshana tovah tikatev v’tichatem” (לשנה טובה תכתב ותחתם).  “May you be written and sealed for a good year.”  From noon on Rosh Hashanah, when our fates are already written, until Yom Kippur, when our fates for the coming year are to be sealed, we wish each other “Gemar chatimah tovah” (גמר חתימה טובה), “A good final sealing.”
So I also wish my Muslim friends a Happy New Year, and may you also be written in the book of life.  

Resource: The Jewish Catalog by Richard Siegel, Michael Strassfeld, Sharon Strassfeld

Thursday, September 22, 2016

THE COHEN LINE OF J1: Our 400 Years in Egypt Producing Moses

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                           
Terah, whose father was Nahor I, going back to Serug, Reu, Peleg,
Eber, Shelah, Arpachshad, Shem and Noah whose wife was Naamah  His Y haplogroup line (male line)
of J1 or J-P209 goes back as far as 4,000 years to 24,000 years before the present time.-today called

Because the Semite Terah and his wife joined their mass movement West of Ivrim  (Hebrew for Hebrews) from the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers due to fighting, we find our ancestor Terah settling in Ur, a city now in today's Syria,  among other people who had sparsely settled there previously.  Terah was an idol maker, and his son Abram, born in Ur of the Chaldees, finally questioned the validity of such a belief and through G-d, came to disregard it and needed to move to a less populated environment.  Abram had done some heavy thinking while living among the Philistines and Canaanites and had concluded that there was only one G-d controlling the world; not zillions all being stood in for by clay figures.   He was aghast that some of the people had even been sacrificing their sons to gain these gods' good blessings.  Then again, even he had been asked by his G-d to do this and thankfully was told by Him that he was never to do this, an experience that changed his thinking even more so.   Abram took Terah and Sarai  and left town.  Abram had married his niece, Sarai, daughter of his Uncle Haran, and they named their child who came late in life, Isaac.  In turn, Isaac married Rebecca, his 1st cousin once removed,  daughter of his Uncle Nahor II, and their son was Jacob.  (Jacob's story continues under Egypt's story.)  He and Sarai also went through a revelation where their names were changed to Abraham and Sarah.  It shows there had been a change in these people, a growth.                                                                                          
By now the weather had changed and they were experiencing a drought so bad that they had to pack up their tents and migrate onto Egypt, that mighty land further to the south.  Their family group numbered 70 people who packed up and started their trip having a limited supply of food with them.                                                                
Joseph was already there, taken as a child and had become leader under the pharaoh.
As his father and brothers finally had joined him in Egypt, he received grazing land in Goshen for them.  History shows he lived at the time of the Hyksos domination of Egypt during the 18th to 16th centuries BCE.  He would have been a foreigner in the position of viceroy by the pharaoh.  

They entered Egypt and set up their tents and took care of their sheep in flocks that had dwindled in size because of such dry conditions on the way.  All was fine for a very long time, probably a span of 100 years in which the women, who were very fertile and wise in the ways of child bearing, produced many children.  At last the Egyptians became alarmed that a band of 70 had become a people of thousands.  

They were taken as prisoners to spend the rest of the 400 year span in Egypt as slaves, building the storage cities of Egypt.  
Mentuhotep II
2008-1957 BCE/1995 BCE

Ahmose I
At the time of the Ivrim entering Ur, "Egypt was going through its Middle Kingdom period that lasted from 2030 BCE to 1640 BCE.  During this period, "Upper and Lower Egypt were reunited by Theban king Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II who establishes the capital at Thebes, then Itj-tawy. 
Egypt was briefly ruled by competing dynasties from western Asia and its environs.  Reunification occured again under  Ahmose I and a time of economic and artistic prosperity ensued. 
Hatshepsut, the most powerful female ruler of pharaonic history, built her unique funerary temple in western Thebes.    
Ramesses II (son of Seti-1304 BCE
Fighter against the Hittites
Movie has him being adopted brother
of Moses
Ramesses III-(1187 to 1156 BCE)

After the reign of Ramesses III, Egypt’s power gradually declined, leading to the 

Jacob in turn married Leah and then her sister, Rachel, who was his true love. They lived in Haran in Aram-Naharaim.   They were his 1st cousins, being  the daughters of Laban, son of Bethuel who was the son of Nahor II.  His sons from these unions were by Leah:  Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun and the daughter, Dinah.  Rachel bore him:  Joseph and Benjamin and died near Bethlehem giving birth to Benjamin.  In turn, he also took for concubines their handmaidens.  Bilhah, belonging to Rachel,  was the mother of Dan and Naphtali and Zilpah, belonging to Leah,  gave him  Gad and Asher. Altogether Jacob had 12 sons who were the ancestors of the 12 tribes of Israel.   (Gen. 30-9-13).  Jacob then decided to return home after a 20 year absence with his large family and that he had an epitome or revelation when his name was changed to Israel.  He had had  the experience of a struggle with an angel who overcame him and gave him this name.  Jacob had a twin brother, Esau, who was estranged from him and it was in his mind to make up to him as he felt he had wronged him.  His intention was to be the bearer of many gifts and hope he would be in his good graces once again.  Esau became one of the Arabs who existed when Abram had had a son by Sarai's handmaiden,  Hagar the Egyptian princess who was Ishmael.  He also had left his father's camp to join the other natives living there, going against his father's wishes.  Ishmael is looked upon as being the father of the Arab people.  Actually, both Isaac and Ishmael carry their father's genes and Y haplogroup of J1c3d. They now have mutated enough to see the differences in the 2 lines.  
Moses bringing down the 2nd set of stone tablets of the 10 COMMANDMENTS;
son of Amram, Kohath, Levi and wife Milkah.  Levi was his ggrandfather.  
Moses, son of  Amram  and Jochebed, was born in 1391 BCE  in Egypt at a time when the Pharaoh was so worried about being replaced by force that he had all Jewish babies killed under 2 years of age.                                         
Thutmose IV (1401-1391 BCE)
The Lion of Chaeronea could be the culprit ordering the drowning of boy babies.
 His mother, Jochebed, placed him in a reed basket in the Nile where he was found by the Egyptian princess, and raised as her son, not knowing he was a very lucky Jewish baby.  Being raised as royalty, he was well educated and schooled in reading and writing of many languages.  After feeling remorse while witnessing the beating of an Ivrit slave, he hit the overseer of the slaves and killed him, which was against the law even for him, so he fled out of town and meandered eastward to Midian where he met up with a group of women belonging to a local sheik, Jethro, who became his father-in-law when he married his daughter, Zipporah..  Jethro was a religious man, being a priest, too.  Zipporah had 2 sons; Gershom and Eliezer who died before they had children.  Aaron, older brother of Moses, was able to have many sons.  
Canaanites they encountered on their journey of the Exodus
Moses leading the way on the Exodus
At age 80, Moses left Midian and went back to Egypt to haggle with the pharaoh and then  lead the Ivrim out of Egypt.  The 12 tribes had grown so that he was leading a group of  601,730 people according to Moses' 2nd census, down from the first of 603,550 by 1,820 and had to take them back to Canaan, a distance of about as a crow flies, 423 km or 263 miles. The largest tribe was Judah.                                     
Dividing the Red Sea for the Children of Israel (Jacob)
It took him 40 years to fight through lands and get there.  The adults had died off and he came to Canaan with a new generation who were losing their slave-minds.  Joshua was the young leader who replaced Moses now.                                                                          
Moses died in 1271 BCE just outside of Canaan being he was not able to enter.  He was 120 years old.  His gravesite is not known on purpose so that no one would treat him like a g-d.  This man had been the receiver of information from G-d, through a burning bush and other ways.  It was he who wrote the 1st book of the Torah, called 5 Books of Moses that consists of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.  This is our history.  
Here is the typical Cohen haplogroup

Here is a panel of 12 alleles  of a haplogroup for males, the Y; of a typical Jewish Cohen of J-M267. who is also a Cohen in the synagogue.  
12--13--11--30 on DYS 389II
9/2216 Update:  /2:34pm "To confirm J haplogroup type, deep SNP tests must be used. For J1, M267 SNP must be positive. Many other SNP are being discovered as research progresses which links smaller groups together (tribes and clans) such as the Big Y test by FTDNA which will draw the YDNA tree of this unique haplogroup.

It seems that about half of today's Arabs bear this haplogroup. FTDNA.   It is true also for the Jews.  There are other haplogroups that are part of the Jewish people, and one must remember that slaves other than the Abramite family had joined Moses on the Exodus and became part of the Ivrit people as told in the Torah.  All left when given the chance. Other common haplotypes for Jews are E, G, I, R,  and Q.
References: The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Tanach, the Stone Edition by The ArtScroll Series

Monday, September 19, 2016

Part IV Egypt and It's History With the Jewish People

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                  

Egypt, called Mitzrayim in Hebrew, is a country in NE Africa that existed way back in the 20th Century BCE.  Our first Hebrew patriarchs visited Egypt and the beginnings of Hebrew history are connected with their bondage in Egypt and the Exodus with Moses, who was born in Egypt, and who bears an Egyptian name.
"Immigration by Canaanite populations preceded the Hyksos.  Canaanites first appeared in Egypt towards the end of the 12th Dynasty c. 1800 BC, and either around that time or c. 1720 BC, established an independent realm in the eastern Nile Delta".  The 1st Hebrew immigration into Egypt happened during the period of the domination  of the Semitic Hyksos dynasty(1720-1580 BCE  in Egypt of the 18th to 16th centuries BCE. It was during this period that the Israelites entered  the country and were favorably treated.  The Israelites were held in bondage after the expulsion of the Hyksos for a period of 400 years from entering to leaving.  .  Hyksos is an Egyptian word meaning "rulers of the foreign lands."
Tel el-Amarna Letters

 During that period, Egypt was closely involved in Canaanite affairs, shown in the Tel el-Amarna letters which  give us the background and allude to the 1st Israelite incursions there.  A.S. Yahuda, scholar, has shown the influence of Egyptian civilization on the Torah.
During the period of the Monarchy, there were constant Judea-Egyptian relations.  King Solomon (961-920 BCE)  married an Egyptian Princess and brought about a peace treaty this way. That's why he had 1,000 wives.  
 After King Solomon died, Pharaoh Shishak attacked Jerusalem in about 920 BCE in order to help the newly-established northern kingdom which had broken off from the southern newly formed Judah.
Judah's King Josiah (637-608, crowned king at age 8 after his father, Amon, was murdered) was killed in 608 BCE by the Egyptians when in the act of checking the march of Pharaoh Necho through Judean territory. (Necho imprisoned Jehoahaz, son of Josiah and killed Josiah in battle.)   Josiah's successor, King Jehoahaz, son of King Josiah  (608 for 3 months only because he belonged to the pro-Babylonian party and he was deported and died in  captivity in Egypt)  and his brother, King Jehoiakim/Eliakim(608-598) was installed in his place by the Egyptians, and for 3 years was a subject to Egypt, but when Necho was defeated at the battle of Carchemish in 605 BCE, Jehoiakim became a Babylonian vassal.  He died when Jerusalem was under siege by the Babylonians in 598 BCE.
There was a Jewish colony in Egypt before Solomon's Temple was built.  The prophet  Jeremiah was taken to it shortly afterwards.  Jewish military colonies existed in Egypt in pharaonic days.  In the town on Yeb, a great deal of papyri had been found showing local life and showing  the existence of a Jewish Temple under the Persians in the 5th century BCE.
 Alexander the Great (333 BCE) took Egypt and so Jews were a large proportion of the new immigrants who came into the country, some on their own and some being deportees.
Alexandria, Egypt's Synagogue-Eliyahu Hanavi
Synagogues were found to be in existence in Egypt from the 3rd century BCE.  Their community was hellenized in speech and culture.
Bat Mitzva of 12 year old Egyptian Jewish girls in Alexandria, Egypt before 1948. 
Alexandria was the center of Jewish life then and of course it was the center of the great hellenistic Jewish civilization with The Alexandrian Jew,Philo (20 BCE-40+BCE) , the philosopher telling us about it.  It's figured that there were about 1,000,000 Egyptian Jews then
. He had participated in the deputation of Alexandrian Jews to Roman  Emperor Caligula b: August 31, 12; died January 24, 41) ( emperor from 37-41) during the anti-Jewish outbreaks in 40. (Caligula insisted on being worshipped as a god and because the Jews refused to do this, it caused the riots when Agrippa came to visit in 38.  Philo led the Jewish delegation sent to intercede with Caligula.  Luckily, Caligula was assassinated and this put an end to serious consequences then in the Jewish world.)   Philo's  family was one of the wealthiest in Egypt.  He had a hellenistic education, and was most familiar with Greek literature, philosophy.  He knew Plato.  His Jewish education was scant, probably didn't know Hebrew, and his knowledge of the Torah was from the Septuagint and from hellenistic commentaries of the day that were allegorical.  He was quite the writer.  Among much of his writings was an account about Flaccus, governor of Egypt and how he persecuted Jews during the anti-Jewish disturbances, and a great description of the deputation to Caligula. Christians were impressed by his philosophy.
The Ptolemies of Egypt were  in control of Israel and Judah then which lasted for a long time as they were popular.  A dark period existed.  Onias, a high priest (Cohen) , lived during the 2nd Temple period in 230 BCE and refused to pay the 20 talents of silver that had to be given annually to Ptolemy III of Egypt.  By not paying, he put into danger the safety of Judea.  His nephew, Joseph, son of Tobias, succeeded in pacifying the king. The priest's grandson The son of Simon II was deposed by Antiochus Epiphanaes in 174 BCE.  Many Jews had fled to Egypt from the religious persecutions of Antiochus Epiphanes.   Before the Maccabean revolt.  the refugee high priest, Onias, founded a Temple in either Leontopolis or Heliopolis, where he lived after being given permission by Ptolemy IV (Philopator-221-203 BCE, a Macedonian king of Egypt) to do so.  This was when the completion of the 1st Greek translation of the bible took place in Alexandria which had enormous influence.  There had existed a lot of anti-Jewish feeling among the Greek population which burst out into anti-Jewish riots and caused the periodic intervention of the Roman authorities.
The Romans burned down Jerusalem along with the 2nd Temple in 70 CE, so in 71 CE after the destruction, zealot refugees stirred up a Jewish revolt. The Jewish Aluf (General) Bar Kokba fought the Romans from 132 to 135, but while he was killed in battle, had held Jerusalem for 3 years.   In Egypt, another uprising had occurred from  115 to 117 CE.

It's thought that Hellenism's (end of 4th century BCE which was the Greek civilization diffused over the Mediterranean and the Middle East) ,  affect of the Greek religion and culture to be  the cause of weakening the resistance of Egyptian Jewry to Christianity as there were many Alexandrian-Jewish elements in the early Christian literature and thought.  Egyptian Jewish life suffered with the Christianization of the Roman Empire, and riots broke out in Alexandria that were instigated by the bishop Cyril in 415 which drove masses of Jews to be baptized.
At the time of the Arab invasion of 640, the Egyptian Jewish community was unimportant, and under Moslem rule, the former traditions of  hellenistic Egypt were not continued.  The Jewish community now centered in the new city of Cairo which was wholly Arab in character and culture.  Jewish life is told about in the mass of documents of the Cairo Genizah (where sacred books were deposited.  It held many lost Hebrew works including extracts from Aquila's Greek translation of the bible, the Zadokite document, ancient liturgies, and synagogue poetry from Israel, Babylonia and Spain; documents and letters of important persons.  It gave information about the history of the gaonate, the Jews of Egypt and Israel/Judah and then when they were called Palestine between 640 to 1100;
Karaites and Samaritans during Passover An important Karaite community flourished and has survived to modern times.
Today they live in Israel.  
Karaites at prayer
and the Karaites, a Jewish sect that rejected the Oral Law that the Jews also followed.   It originated in the 8th century in and around Persia where the Jewish community was not long established.  They were people who didn't accept the discipline of the Babylonian gaonate.  Arabs had taken Persia in 640 and caused an affect on their interpreting their religion.  .

Mesopotamian Jewry were now organized  under an exilarch/nagid and this was imitated in Egypt.  Many academies of learning were created.  Saadyah Gaon (928 was appointed as head of a famous academy-died in 942) was a native of the Fayyum.  "The Fayum in the Ptolemaic and Roman Period" was explained as follows:
"During the periods preceding the arrival of Alexander the Great in 332 BC, the Fayum was most prominent in the Middle Kingdom (2025-1700 BC). In the Ptolemaic Period, the Fayum was one of the main regions where Greeks settled."
 Generally, the conditions were quite favorable under the Moslems, though "normally the traditional Moslem anti-Jewish code was enforced.  Under Caliph Hakim (996-1021)  there was a period of almost ferocious persecution of Jews.
Moses Maimonides/Maimonides/Rambam (1135-1204) arrived in Egypt in the 2nd half of the 12th century after leaving his home in Cordova, Spain at age 13 with his family to escape the Almohade persecutions.  and found a comfortable Jewish community.  His descendants served as nagids of the Egyptian Jews.  The Turks occupied Egypt in 1517 and conditions improved.  By the 19th century, western influences penetrated the country and made a fast Western affect on the upper classes in Egypt.  The Cattauri and Mosseri families played a part in public life.  The anti-European reaction of the mid 20th century involved the Jews of which many held European citizenship.  This was then linked with an anti-Zionist policy since Zionism had before been looked at favorably.  1948 came when Israel announced it was again created and war was announced 5 minutes later by the Egyptians and her neighbors.  The result of this was that many Egyptian Jews were placed in concentration camps and attacks were made on Jewish homes.   A great emigration of Egyptian Jews started to head for Israel and their number dropped from 90,000 in 1947 to about 30,000 by 1955.  
1967 IDF get to see the Wall in Jerusalem After the Six Days of War
In 1954, there were still 11 active Jewish day schools with 1,750 pupils.  The Sinai Operation took place and Nasser of Egypt dispossessed and expelled many Jews from Egypt.  Most of the others left in the following years.  By 1966, only 2,500 Jews lived in Egypt;  1,800 living in Cairo and the rest in Alexandria.  Most of the remaining males of Egyptian nationality were arrested at the time of the SIX DAY WAR in 1967 when  many Arab countries attacked Israel.  The remaining Jews emigrated to Israel.  By 1990, the Jewish population of Egypt had shrunk to 240. This would be elderly Jews most likely alone.  By 2012, only a few older ladies remained to care for the synagogue and graveyard.

Update: 9/19, 9/20/16
Resource: The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Movie:  Exodus:  Gods & Kings on Moses, Rameses
Movie: Ten Commandments, 1956 , with Charleston Heston
book: Messages from a Syrian Jew Trapped in Egypt