Friday, April 06, 2012

Easter is the most important religious holiday of the Christian liturgical year

Easter is the most important religious holiday of the Christian liturgical year, observed in March, April, or May to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, which Christians believe occurred after his death by crucifixion in AD 27-33 (see Good Friday). Easter can also refer to the season of the church year, lasting for fifty days, which follows this holiday and ends at Pentecost.

In most languages of Christian societies, other than English, German and some Slavic languages, the holiday's name is derived from pecach the Hebrew name of Passover, a Jewish holiday to which the Christian Easter is intimately linked.

Easter depends on Passover not only for much of its symbolic meaning but also for its position in the calendar; the Last Supper shared by Jesus and his disciples before his crucifixion is generally thought of as a Passover seder, based on the chronology in the Synoptic Gospels. The Gospel of John has a different chronology which has the death of Jesus at the time of the slaughter of the Passover lambs, which may have been for theological reasons but which is regarded by some scholars as more historically likely given the surrounding events.

This would put the Last Supper slightly before Passover, on 14 Nisanof the Hebrew calendar. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "In fact, the Jewish feast was taken over into the Christian Easter celebration."

The English and German names, "Easter" and "Ostern", are not etymologically derived from Pesach and are instead related to ancient names for the month of April, Eostremonat and Ostaramanoth respectively. According to the 8th century Christian monk and historian Bede, this month was dedicated to the pagan fertility goddess Eostre. The Easter Bunny is often identified as a remnant of this fertility festival, although there is no evidence of any link.


Sunday, February 12, 2012


a) The condition of being free from restriction or control.

b) The right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one's own choosing.

c) The condition of being physically and legally free from confinement, servitude, or forced labor.

Freedom from unjust or undue governmental control.

A right or immunity to engage in certain actions without control or interference: the liberties protected by the Bill of Rights.

[Middle English liberte, from Old French, from Latin lberts, from lber, free; see leudh- in Indo-European roots.]

The Duty of Standing Fast in Our Spiritual and Temporal Liberties
A Sermon, Preached in Christ-Church, July 7th, 1775.

Before the First Battalion of the City and Liberties of Philadelphia; And now published at their Request.

By the Reverend Jacob Duche´, M. A. Philadelphia.

Galatians, Chap. 5 Part of First Verse

Stand fast, therefore, in the Liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.

Gentlemen of the First Battalion of the City and Liberties of Philadelphia,

Though I readily accepted of the invitation, with which you were pleased to honor me, and am fully satisfied that there can be no impropriety in complying with your request, yet I confess, that I now feel such an uncommon degree of diffidence, as nothing but a sense of duty, and a sincere sympathy with you in your present trying circumstances could enable me to overcome. The occasion is of the first importance: the subject in a great measure new to me – Throwing myself, therefore, upon your candor and indulgence, considering myself under the twofold character of a minister of Jesus Christ, and a fellow-citizen of the same state, and involved in the same public calamity with yourselves; and looking up for counsel and direction to the source of all wisdom, "who giveth liberally to those that ask it" – I have made choice of a passage of scripture, which will give me an opportunity of addressing myself to you as freemen, both in the spiritual and temporal sense of the word, and of suggesting to you such a mode of conduct, as will be most likely, under the blessing of Heaven, to ensure to you the enjoyment of these two kinds of liberty. Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty, wherewith Christ hath mad us free.


Friday, February 03, 2012


In religion, folklore, and mythology a demon or demoness is a supernatural being that has generally been described as a malevolent spirit, daemon (Greek: daimonion) and djinn (Genie (Arabic: jinni; variant spelling djinni) or jinn is a supernatural creature in Arab folklore and Islamic teachings which occupies a parallel world to that of mankind). A demon is frequently depicted as a force that may be conjured and insecurely controlled. The "good" demon in recent use is largely a literary device (eg: Maxwell's demon). In common language, "demonizing" one's opponent is an aspersion.

The Greek conception of a daemon (δαμων) appears in the works of Plato and many other ancient authors, but without the evil connotations which are apparent in the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible and in the Greek originals of the New Testament. The medieval and neo-medieval conception of a "demon" in Western civilization (see the Medieval grimoire called the Ars Goetia) derives seamlessly from the ambient popular culture of Late (Roman) Antiquity: Greco-Roman concepts of daemons that passed into Christian culture are discussed in the entry daemon. The Hellenistic "Demon" eventually came to include many Semitic and Near Eastern gods as evaluated by Christianity.

The Greek daµµa daimonizomai (Matthew 8:28, Mat 8:33, Mat 9:32, Mar 5:15, Luk 8:36, etc) means "to be under the power of a demon." The Greek word daµ daimonion meaning "evil spirits or the messengers and ministers of the devil."

According to a Jewish opinion which passed over to Christians, the demons are the gods of the gentiles and the authors of idolatry, hence:
17 They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come recently, whom your fathers had never dreaded.
—Deut. 32:17
The idea of demons is as old as religion itself, and the word "demon" seems to have ancient origins. The Merriam-Webster dictionary gives the etymology of the word as Greek daimon, probably from the verb daiesthai meaning "to divide, distribute." The Proto-Indo-European root *deiwos for god, originally an adjective meaning "celestial" or "bright, shining" has retained this meaning in many related Indo-European languages and cultures (Sanskrit deva, Latin deus, German Tiw), but also provided another other common word for demon in Avestan daeva.


John Piper - Demonic power and indwelling sin


Monday, January 30, 2012


Levi/Levy (Hebrew: לֵוִי Leviy, n. Levi, Levite, "joining", from לָוָה lavah "to join, be joined") was, according to the Book of Genesis (Gen 29:34), the third son of Jacob and Leah:

She conceived again and bore a son, and said, "Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons." Therefore his name was called Levi. —Gen 29:34 ESV

The sons of Leah: Reuben (Jacob's firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. —Gen 35:23 ESV

Levi is also known the progenitor of the Israelite tribe of Levi (the Levites); however some Biblical scholars view this as postdiction, an eponymous metaphor providing an Etiology of the connectedness of the tribe to others in the Israelite confederation. Certain religious and political functions were reserved for the Levites, and, according to textual scholars, the early sources of the Torah - the Jahwist and Elohist - appear to treat the term Levi as just being a word meaning priest; scholars suspect that "levi" was originally a general term for a priest, and had no connection to ancestry, and that it was only later, for example in the priestly source and Blessing of Moses, that the existence of a tribe named Levi became assumed, in order to explain the origin of the priestly caste.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

David Littman

David Gerald Littman (born July 4, 1933) is a British historian and a human rights activist at the United Nations in Geneva, representing various NGOs.

David Littman: The UN In The Last Year interview with Pamela Geller.

David Littman was born on July 4, 1933, in London, England. He was educated at Canford School, Dorset, England (1951), and Trinity College, Dublin, where he earned his BA with honors and MA degrees in Modern History and Political Science, followed by post-graduate studies at the Institute of Archaeology, University of London. He married his Egyptian-born wife Gisèle (née Orebi) (later known by her nom de plume Bat Ye'or), in September 1959. They moved to Lausanne, Switzerland, the following year.

The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization was founded by his brother, Louis Littman.

Operation Mural
Littman volunteered for a clandestine humanitarian mission to evacuate Jewish children from Morocco to Israel, via Switzerland. At the time, Moroccan Jews were prohibited from leaving the country. Littman thought he was working for the Jewish Agency – years later it was revealed it was arranged with the assistance of the Mossad. From March–July 1961, posing with his wife and baby daughter as Christians, the 27-year-old Littman ran the Casablanca office of the Geneva-based international NGO for children Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants de l'Afrique du Nord (OSSEAN). His code name was "Mural", and the code name for the mission was "Operation Mural". After months of negotiation by Littman, the children left Morocco in five convoys under the guise of a supposed holiday in Switzerland (with Littman accompanying the last convoy), and from Switzerland went to Israel. In all, he assisted in evacuating 530 Jewish children to Israel. The children's families joined them several years later.

The story of Operation Mural was first made public in 1984, in an article in Maariv. That in turn led to public recognition by President Chaim Herzog at an official presidential reception, followed in 1986, on the 25th anniversary of the operation, by a gathering of the children at which Littman was honored with the Mimouna award in recognition of his activities. A documentary film on the operation, filmed by Yehuda Kaveh, screened in 2007.

On June 1, 2008, at a special private commemorative event at the presidential Jerusalem residence – with Littman, his wife, two children, three grandchildren and former key agents from the Mossad, who had worked with Littman – Israeli President Shimon Peres, said:

"Well, it is a belated ceremony, but it doesn’t lose its value, because what you did stands on its own legs and is not affected by time. I think that the saving of 530 children is, I imagine, the most moving experience a man can have. You say in Hebrew: 'The one who saves one life, is like the one that saved the life of the whole world.' But when you save 530 children, it’s really unforgettable. I want to express, on behalf of our people, our nation, our recognition of your courage, your wisdom, of your determination under extremely difficult conditions".


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Archangel Michael

Michael (Hebrew: Miyka'el, Strong's H317 מיכאל) From מִי (H4310) and (the prefix derivative from) כִּי (H3588) and אֵל (H410) — one of, the chief, or the first archangel who is described as the one who stands in time of conflict for the children of Israel is the archangel mentioned in the Book of Revelation:

7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. (Revelation 12:7)

And this, as a result of Isaiah's account of Lucifer's rebellion and fall from heaven:

12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. Isaiah 14:12-15 KJV

The name means "who is like God," the title given to one of the chief angels (Dan. 10:13, 21; 12:1). He had special charge of Israel as a nation. He disputed with Satan (Jude 1:9) about the body of Moses. He is also represented as warning against "that old serpent," called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world" (Rev. 12:7-9).




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