Jewish date: 18 Siwan 5770 (Parashath Shelaḥ).
Today’s holidays: Visitation (Roman Catholicism), Desecration Day (Church of the SubGenius), Feast Day of Alphonse Louis Constant (Thelema), Syaday (Discordianism).
Image of the logo of the organization I met with a representative of via WikipediaTopic 1: Something that does not in and of itself entail religious fallacies or misinformation but will affect what religious fallacies and misinformation I am exposed to: I am very seriously considering making ‘aliyyah (immigration to Israel). Having been unsuccessful finding work in the United States, I have come to the conclusion that I need to try something different, and looking in another country is a sensible tactic. If I am going to go to the trouble of moving to another country, that country might as well be Israel, to which, as a Jew, I not only have an historic connection, but which Judaism demands that I must eventually move there anyway. (Not to mention that since I am Jewish, I can claim Israeli citizenship without having to go through the torturous waiting period that countries usually put immigrants through.) I have been actively exploring option of ‘aliyyah since January, and am making real progress towards this goal. This includes networking with people in Israel and finding (thank YHWH) that there is some hope that I can get employed there. Much of the gap in posting last week is due to me visiting a representative of the Jewish Agency for Israel in Miami. I have further plans for attending an “‘Aliyyah Absorption Expo” soon, making a pilot trip to Israel in July or August, and (if all goes well, YHWH willing) making ‘aliyyah a few months after that. Much of what I am doing now is essentially homework, working out the details of what I plan to do. (The idea of reducing paperwork to a bare minimum apparently has not caught on yet.)
How will me making ‘aliyyah this affect this blog? To answer this question, we need to take a step back and look at our present historical context. The formation of the State of Israel, as the Jewish state, in 1948 was unprecedented yet of such obvious relevance to all the major Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) that it could not be ignored, especially since the Muslim states have failed miserably in their repeated efforts to wipe Israel off the map. The result has been twofold among the Abrahamic religions: an increase in religious feeling and attempts to deal with the fact of the State of Israel in some manner, any manner. The attempts have ranged from looking upon the State of Israel as an abomination to be destroyed to embracing the State as a miracle and part of the Messianic process. Even 62 years after the initial shock, the Abrahamic religions are still trying to make sense of the State of Israel, and I strongly doubt that they will figure it out anytime during my natural lifetime. The United States, while unquestionably feeling its fair share of effects from the founding of the State of Israel, is still on the periphery of this event. When I move to Israel, on the other hand, I am going to be living in Ground Zero, where people do not merely try to figure out how to deal with the event, but are rather part of it. So you can expect me to eventually report firsthand on all manner of religious phenomena mentioned in the news and perhaps ones that otherwise escape notice. Though I plan to avoid coming into direct contact with anyone physically dangerous, I do expect to come into contact with secularists, Religious Zionists, Ḥaredhim, Ḥasidhim, Qabbalists, outright heretics, ’Ashkenazim, Sefardhim, members of ‘Edhuth hamMizraḥ, Temanim, Falashim, Catholics, Orthodox Christians, Syrian Christians, Coptic Christians, Ethiopian Christians, Sunni Muslims, Shi‘ite Muslims, Sufi Muslims, Druze, Bahá’ís, Neopagans, Samaritans, and quite likely a number of people of other groups. And I will never be far from somewhere something historical happened to the Jewish people. (As someone once said on a podcast, “I’m living in the Bible.”) So expect a shift in the content and perspective of my Israel reporting.
Topic 2: Current Israel reporting: “Special Alert: Flotilla Battle Unleashes Anti-Israel Wave”. “Peace activists” try to get into Gaza and attack the Israeli navy. Apparently the meaning of “peace” has eluded them. Similarly bad logic is reported in “Yemeni cleric calls for killing US civilians”, which claims that Muslim cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki rationalizes killing US civilians thusly:
American civilians are to blame, he said, because "the American people, in general, are taking part in this and they elected this administration and they are financing the war."So… what if they voted Republican? No, wait a minute, neither Obama nor McCain planned to simply yank all American troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq. And those who vote neither Republican nor Democrat are likely to not get their voices heard in American government. (The two-party system sucks.) And the only way not to finance the wars is to not pay taxes, which is a non-option for anyone with a job (such as a US soldier), at least if one wants to avoid the wrath of the IRS. So… would Al-Awlaki be opposed to killing a political independent who refuses to pay his taxes? Does he advocate checking before killing people? If he does not, there is something very unfair going on here.
Topic 3: For today’s religious humor: “PANDORA’S BOX”: