ISIS Cuts Off The Hands of 4 Kids for Stealing Food and Toys

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A mixed Sunni-Shia family that once lived in ISIS’ Iraqi stronghold of Mosul but has fled to live in the Kurdish north after the terrorist group took over the town last June, has provided deeper insight and revelations about the horrors that people living under the jihadis brand of sharia rule must deal with.

In an interview with the Iraqi news website Rudaw that was published on Tuesday, the Al-Saraj family, with the father being a Sunni and the mother being a Shia, explained that although they are now living in the Kurdish town of Dohuk, they still maintain contact with their friends and loved ones that are still inside Mosul and subjected to the barbarity of the group’s rule.

While it is no secret that the Islamic State regularly amputates the hands of grown adults who have been accused of stealing inside its strongholds, apparently no exception is given by the terrorists when a child is accused of stealing.

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In the interview, the Saraj daughter, who is referred to as just “SA,” read a text message that she received from one of her friends that still lives in Mosul, which indicated that the group’s police force amputated the hands of four kids for stealing.

“Yesterday they cut off the hands of four kids, ages 12, 11, 13 and 16,” the friend texted to SA. “One of the kids stole a toy bird, another stole an electric cable.”

SA’s brother, who is referenced as “Ibrahim,” added to SA’s comments by showing the Rudaw reporter a video of a preteen being shot in the back of the head, execution style, by ISIS terrorists because he stole food when he was hungry.

The report explains that because of ISIS’ takeover in Mosul, there has been a food shortage in the town and it is somewhat understandable why the child stole the food. The video also shows the kid’s father pleading for his son’s life before he was ultimately executed.

“He stole something, he wanted to eat,” Ibrahim stated.

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The Messiah May Be Coming Sooner Than You Think

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A medieval Jewish prophecy regarding the coming of Israel’s Messiah appears to correspond to the current situation in the Middle East.

A piece of rabbinic literature(written 2000 years ago) known as the Yalkut Shimoni touches on many future scenarios both for the nation of Israel and for the world. In its section on the biblical Book of Isaiah and the prophecies contained therein, a rabbi cited by the Yalkut Shimoni states:

“That the year the Messiah will arrive when all the nations of the world will antagonize each other and threaten with war. The king of Persia (Iran) antagonizes the King of Arabia (Saudi Arabia) with war. The King of Arabia goes to Edom (The Western Countries, headed by USA) for advice. Then the King of Persia destroys the world (and since that cannot be done with conventional weapons it must mean nuclear which can destroy most of the world). And all the nations of the world begin to panic and are afraid, and Israel too is afraid as to how to defend from this. G-d then says to them “Do not fear for everything that I have done is for your benefit, to destroy the evil kingdom of Edom and eradicate evil from this world so that the Messiah can come, your time of redemption is now.”

We can see examples of this prophecy unfolding – On September 25, 2007 Ahmadinejad spoke at the UN Assembly and said that “soon the regimes of the Western world will fall and be destroyed. This threat is not just an ideology, we know based on Israeli and world intelligence that Iran has a secret nuclear plant where it is producing nuclear warheads for their missiles.

Another interesting fact recently published in the world press is that astrologers see this winter as the “Nuclear Winter” in which the Western world will be destroyed by Iran with Nuclear weapons (which matches up with ancient prophecy).

This clearly indicates the pending probability of a Third World War, the likes which we have never seen before, to be initiated by Iran. Based on the Prophecy mentioned, the war will have three stages:

Stage One – President of Iran threatens and antagonizes the King of Saudi Arabia
Stage Two – The King of Saudi Arabia turns to the West for advice and protection.
Stage Three – Iran opens fire, starts Third World War and destroys the West.

Why Do People Throughout The World and History, Hate The Jews?

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It has been said that the history of almost all of the Jewish holidays can be summed up succinctly: “They wanted to kill us; we won. Let’s eat.” Why has anti-Semitism been so pervasive in so many countries, in so many time periods and for so many reasons? (One begins to wonder. Perhaps there is something wrong with the Jews and Judaism? After all, there is an old Yiddish saying — “If one person calls you a donkey, ignore him; if two people call you a donkey, buy a saddle.”)

Between the years 250 CE and 1948 CE – a period of 1,700 years – Jews have experienced more than eighty expulsions from various countries in Europe – an average of nearly one expulsion every twenty-one years. Jews were expelled from England, France, Austria, Germany, Lithuania, Spain, Portugal, Bohemia, Moravia and seventy-one other countries.

Historians have classified six explanations as to why people hate the Jews:

Economic – “We hate Jews because they possess too much wealth and power.”
Chosen People – “We hate Jews because they arrogantly claim that they are the chosen people.”
Scapegoat – “Jews are a convenient group to single out and blame for our troubles.”
Deicide – “We hate Jews because they killed Jesus.”
Outsiders – “We hate Jews because they are different than us.” (The dislike of the unlike.)
Racial Theory – “We hate Jews because they are an inferior race.”

As we examine the explanations, we must ask — Are they the causes for Anti-Semitism or excuses for Anti-Semitism? The difference? If one takes away the cause, then Anti-Semitism should no longer exist. If one can show a contradiction to the explanation, it demonstrates that the “cause” is not a reason, it is just an excuse. Let’s look at some contradictions:

Economic – The Jews of 17th- 20th century Poland and Russia were dirt poor, had no influence and yet they were hated.

Chosen People – a) In the late 19th century, the Jews of Germany denied “Choseness.” And then they worked on assimilation. Yet, the holocaust started there. b) Christians and Moslems profess to being the “Chosen people,” yet, the world and the anti-Semites tolerate them.

Scapegoat – Any group must already be hated to be an effective scapegoat. The Scapegoat Theory does not then cause anti-Semitism. Rather, anti-Semitism is what makes the Jews a convenient scapegoat target. Hitler’s ranting and ravings would not be taken seriously if he said, “It’s the bicycle riders and the midgets who are destroying our society.”

Deicide – a) the Christian Bible says the Romans killed Jesus, though Jews are mentioned as accomplices (claims that Jews killed Jesus came several hundred years later). How come the accomplices are persecuted and there isn’t an anti-Roman movement through history? b) Jesus himself said, “Forgive them [i.e., the Jews], for they know not what they do.” The Second Vatican Council in 1963 officially exonerated the Jews as the killers of Jesus. Neither statement of Christian belief lessened anti-Semitism.

Outsiders – With the Enlightenment in the late 18th century, many Jews rushed to assimilate. Anti-Semitism should have stopped. Instead, for example, with the Nazis came the cry, in essence: “We hate you, not because you’re different, but because you’re trying to become like us! We cannot allow you to infect the Aryan race with your inferior genes.”

Racial Theory – The overriding problem with this theory is that it is self-contradictory: Jews are not a race. Anyone can become a Jew – and members of every race, creed and color in the world have done so at one time or another.

Every other hated group is hated for a relatively defined reason. We Jews, however, are hated in paradoxes: Jews are hated for being a lazy and inferior race – but also for dominating the economy and taking over the world. We are hated for stubbornly maintaining our separateness – and, when we do assimilate – for posing a threat to racial purity through intermarriages. We are seen as pacifists and as warmongers; as capitalist exploiters and as revolutionary communists; possessed of a Chosen-People mentality, as well as of an inferiority complex. It seems that we just can’t win.

Now we know what are NOT the reasons for Anti-Semitism.

6 Reasons Why The World Should NOT Trust Iran’s Nuclear Program

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Iranian President Hassan Rohani may succeed in convincing many leaders of the world that the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, doesn’t actually want to gain control of a nuclear arsenal but we have some reasons to doubt the sincerity of Iran’s protestations.

Why Rohani would assert this is obvious: The sanctions that the U.S. is imposing on Iran are doing real economic damage. A crippled economy threatens the interests of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and thus the regime’s stability. We know that the regime isn’t popular among many segments of the Iranian population — witness the brutal crackdown on large-scale protests in 2009 — and that it must make at least some of its citizens happy if it is to survive in the long term.

Rohani hopes to convince the world that Iran’s nuclear intentions are peaceful and that his country is a rational, thoughtful player on the global stage and, therefore, please give us access once again to the international banking system.

Here are some reasons to doubt the sincerity of Iran’s protestations.

1. Rohani, so far at least, hasn’t indicated that Iran is open to reversing course on its nuclear program. He has actually said that the regime will not even talk about suspending uranium enrichment.

2. Compared to the previous president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Rohani is a moderate, likable figure. But this is an example of defining deviancy down. Rohani obviously looks moderate when compared to a Holocaust-denying lunatic. Of course, Rohani has declared himself to be neutral on the question of whether the Holocaust actually happened. He has just done this in a less confrontational way.

3. Having a nuclear arsenal is in the best interests of Iran’s rulers. Put yourself in the shoes of the supreme leader for a moment. You’re surrounded by enemies: Almost the entire Sunni Muslim world despises you. The Jewish state, for which you have a pathological hatred, is trying to undermine your security. And behind them all stands the U.S., the country formerly known as the Great Satan, whose president says he isn’t interested in regime change — but can you actually trust an American president? Of course not. A nuclear weapon in your hands does two vital things. It protects you from external efforts to overthrow your government, and it allows you to project your power across the Middle East. You’ve seen what happens to Middle Eastern leaders who don’t have nuclear capabilities — Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi — and you don’t want to share their fate. Getting an atomic weapon is difficult, but once Iran crosses the finish line, the world will accept it as a nuclear power and the sanctions will dissolve over time.

4. It’s true that the supreme leader has argued that the use of nuclear weapons is un-Islamic. Therefore, the regime would never seek such weapons. I’d only point out that mass murder of innocent people is also prohibited by Islam, but Khamenei’s government engages in this practice through its support for Hezbollah and Bashar al-Assad in Syria, among others. The regime also kills many people directly, of course, including peacefully protesting Iranians.

5. The supreme leader is, in fact, the nuclear program’s chief backer. Reuel Marc Gerecht, the former Central Intelligence Agency officer and an Iran expert, said that in Khamenei’s eyes, “He would disgrace himself before God and his praetorians, the Revolutionary Guards” if he were to give up his nuclear ambitions in exchange for an easing of sanctions. “He has invested everything in the nuclear program. It is the core of the Islamic Republic’s defense against America. Khamenei would be saying to all that America and the rest of the West had defeated him. He would forfeit the Islamic revolution and quite likely his rule.”

6. Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism. Its leaders have threatened Israel with destruction wiping them off the map, countless times! Iran will use its Nuclear Arsenal as a Nuclear Umbrella to protect itself against any possible attack from outside nations, and as cover for Iran’s continued influence and domination of the Middle East Region. In addition, it can supply Nuclear Weapons to its proxies such as Hezbollah and Hamas, of which can detonate a nuclear device in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.

After years of Ahmadinejad’s alienating hijinks, Iran has chosen a different path. It has now a president (and chief negotiator) who is smooth and affable and comparatively moderate. But Rohani has been invested in his country’s nuclear program for years, and there are no signs that he’s interested in disarming in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

The bottom line is that Iran must not acquire Nuclear Weapons at any cost. Not only Israel, but the entire world is at risk, if Iran acquires Nuclear Weapons. Israel, on the other hand, if they really have Nuclear Weapons, will never use them, except as a last resort measure, in case of impending destruction.

Best Advice

Obama’s administration should listen to its former arms control expert, Gary Samore, who, according to Foreign Policy magazine, said this about the regime: “Nobody is fooled by the charm offense; everybody understands the supreme leader is seeking nuclear weapons. No matter how many times Rohani smiles doesn’t change the basic objective of the program.”

Obama Administration’s Agreement Over Iran’s Nuclear Program is Worse Than ‘NO Deal’

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The administration’s defenders are vigorously rebutting allegations that President Obama has made too many concessions in the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. Their defense is a simple statement of fact: There is no agreement yet, so how can the critics be right? They assert that we must wait until the outcome is agreed upon before we can assess it. The concern, however, is both bipartisan and international — with many Democrats voicing alarm and with Israel and the Arab states alike frustrated that a seemingly desperate administration has placed Iran’s interests above those of its allies.

While Obama’s defenders are technically accurate in that Iran has not yet agreed to what has been placed on the negotiating table, press reports citing U.S. officials have provided information on the status of all key issues under consideration and the likely provisions of an agreement, if Tehran is ultimately able to take yes for an answer. Of course, if current negotiating trends continue, the terms could get even worse than described below. They certainly won’t get better.

The concessions already acknowledged by U.S. officials include:

  • There will be no limits on Iran’s ballistic-missile force, the presumed delivery means for its nuclear weapons. The U.S. position of seeking limits on the missile force was abandoned when the Supreme Leader objected.
  • There will be no resolution of Iran’s weaponization activities — described as “very alarming” by the Obama White House in November 2011 — before an agreement is reached. Iran is likely to promise once again to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency in its investigation, but no serious observer would expect anything other than continued obstructionism by Iran. At one point, a resolution of weaponization activities was a precondition for an agreement. Now it is being treated as an implementation issue.
  • Verification will likely be based primarily on Iran’s current safeguards agreement and a promise to implement the Additional Protocol — a promise Iran first made over a decade ago. Even if the Additional Protocol is observed, inspections will be by “managed access” based on Iran’s cooperation and good will. At one point, the U.S. insisted that effective verification required full access to facilities and people. Now, the U.S. and its P5+1 negotiating partners have settled for far less. There will be no unfettered inspections of suspected covert facilities such as the Lavizan-3 site revealed by the National Council of Resistance of Iran on Tuesday.
  • The Arak heavy-water reactor will likely be modified in some fashion but not in any fundamental way that would prevent Iran from using it to produce plutonium for weapons. The initial U.S. position was that the reactor must be dismantled.
  • The economic sanctions that were disrupting the Iranian economy will be lifted in a shorter period than the restrictions on the country’s nuclear program. In fact, Tehran has already received billions of dollars of sanctions relief for continuing the negotiations and observing several easily reversible constraints.
  • The restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will reportedly be phased out after ten years, a period shorter than the time it has taken to negotiate the agreement. The original U.S. position was that restrictions would be permanent.
  • And most important, Iran will be allowed to operate thousands of centrifuges to enrich uranium and to pursue research and development of more advanced models that are many times more efficient. The original U.S. position — backed by multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions demanding complete suspension of all enrichment activities — was “zero enrichment” and “zero centrifuges.” Under President Obama, zero was abandoned as “unrealistic,” and the number of permitted centrifuges moved up in successive proposals from 1,000 to 4,500 to 6,000, and perhaps more. Iran has rejected each offer as insufficient, only to be rewarded with a better one.
  • The greatest concession in the negotiations has been the abandonment of the original U.S. goal of preventing Iran from having a nuclear-weapons capability. This was a consistent and firm position of the Bush administration. It was also the position of the Obama administration until November 2013, when it was given up to secure Iran’s consent to the Joint Plan of Action. Soon after that, Secretary of State Kerry described the new U.S. goal as taking Iran’s “breakout time” from two months to six to twelve months — as if we would know when the clock began, and as if we could do something effective to stop the breakout within that timeframe. The reality is that we have traded permanent concessions for temporary restrictions that will leave Iran as a threshold nuclear state able to build a nuclear weapon whenever it decides to do so. When the deal ends, Iran can openly go to the brink of nuclear weapons with the blessing of the international community.

    The Obama administration will almost certainly try to portray its nuclear deal with Iran as better than no deal, and will accuse those who oppose the agreement as choosing war over peace. Nothing could be further from the truth. A bad deal is far worse than no deal. A bad deal leaves Iran with a nuclear-weapons capability, which would be far more destabilizing than a return to tough sanctions. A bad deal undermines the IAEA’s attempts to get to the bottom of Iran’s covert weapons work. A bad deal undermines the Nonproliferation Treaty, leading to additional dangers around the world. A bad deal is a step toward conflict and more nuclear proliferation in a region of vital U.S. interest.

    Preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear-weapons capability is the surest way to prevent war and preserve peace. To that end, the negotiators should return to the table insisting upon limits that will permanently block Iran’s paths to nuclear weapons and resolve the IAEA’s concerns about Tehran’s nuclear-weapons work as a condition of an agreement. The real choice is not between the administration’s deal and war, but between preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and capitulation.

    The Laws of Genetics Was Actually Discovered Before 3300 Years Ago Within The Bible

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    The Torah is the blueprint of the universe. Every detail, even the most minute, is contained in it – it’s all in there; from the dawn of creation till the end of the generations.

    Is it possible that the two most revolutionary laws in genetics discovered in recent generations – Mendel’s Laws of Inheritance and the Law of Heterosis – appear in the Torah, given more than 3300 years ago?

    Amazingly, the answer is an unequivocal yes. These laws supposedly discovered in the modern era were actually revealed in the prophetic dream of Jacob more than 4000 years ago!

    Before we take a closer look at the dream of Jacob and his struggles with Laban the Aramean, we need to clarify a few central points about our topic – the creation of the world and the deeds of the patriarchs of the Jewish people as described in the Torah.

    The World Was Created According to the Torah

    The Zohar(1) states in a number of places that the Torah existed before the world was created. It teaches that when God wanted to create the world, He “looked” upon what was written in this supernal Torah, and formed the entire universe accordingly. In the Zohar’s precise words: “The Holy One looked into the Torah and created the universe.”

    This means that the Torah serves as a kind of blueprint for the universe and history down to its tiniest details – all that was, is and will be, from the dawn of creation unto the end of the generations.

    The Midrash(2) compares this to a king who designs a palace according to his future needs. His plan defines the layout of every room, office, hall, window, opening, etc., and how they will appear once constructed. In the same way, God created the world in accordance with the needs of human beings to fulfill His commandments.

    For those of us accustomed to thinking of history as a progression of events, from earlier to later, this idea might sound radical and even strange. How can it be that all of the historical events of which the Torah speaks in greatest detail were already written in the Torah a long time before they actually occurred? For example, how could God’s Torah contain the exodus from Egypt thousands of years before the event actually took place? How could it describe a man named Jacob, son of Rebecca, who went to live with Laban the Aramean before Jacob and Laban were even born?

    These ideas only make sense if we keep in mind that the Torah is the creation of God, who transcends time, and knows all of the mysteries of the universe, and what will occur on any particular day at any particular time. Everything is revealed to Him, and He understands all. Something that happened long ago is the same in God’s eyes as something that will happen in the distant future. This is why the Creator of the world can write in fullest detail in the Torah about all of the events of the world well before they actually take place.

    Furthermore, the Zohar and the Midrash imply that not only did God write in the Torah all that would happen in the future, but that the entire universe was originally created only in accordance with the words of the Torah, on all its levels, including its most esoteric aspects. The Torah provided a grand plan for the world – foundational and all-inclusive – for according to its contents, God generated the infinite details of creation, the laws of nature, and the events of history.

    On this point, the Gaon of Vilna taught: “Everything that ever was, is and will be is all included in the Torah, from [the first line of] of Genesis until the last line of the Bible. And not merely the general principles of the world, but also details about every species and every individual person and all that will take place in each person’s life from the day of birth until the day of death. [This includes] every incarnation and the details of the details of the details. This also includes all of the species of animals and beasts and all of the living creatures of the world. [So too] every kind of grass and plant and all of the details of the details of the details [about them as well]. Every species and member of the species, for all time including what will happen to them and where they came from….”(3)

    In other words, if the natural world follows certain rules, it is because this was what was determined in advance by the Creator in accordance with the “operating instructions” contained in the Torah. It is no wonder that the Sages of Israel knew scientific principles that have been discovered only recently – for even science is embedded in the Torah, and is available to every Jewish person studying Torah under the necessary conditions: thoroughly, thoughtfully, honestly, and respectfully.

    Scientific knowledge – as demonstrated by the many examples in this book – was placed in the Torah so that it might be revealed later. On some occasions, the knowledge is encoded in the Torah, and can only be deciphered after a careful reading of an event or series of events.

    This is true of the specific case of Jacob and Laban to which we now turn. This narrative is a prime example of the many places in the Torah where the laws of nature are encoded in the text. In this case, we will uncover the Torah’s understanding of two of the laws of genetics discovered only recently by modern science.

    Jacob Confronts Laban the Aramean

    The Torah teaches that Jacob shepherded the flocks of Laban the Aramean for seven years, in exchange for the hand of Rachel, Laban’s daughter, in marriage. At the end of this seven year period Jacob was given Leah instead. In order to marry Rachel, Jacob was forced to work an additional seven years. With the birth of Joseph, Jacob’s eleventh son, Jabob said to Laban: “Send me out so that I might go to my own land” (Genesis 30:25).

    But Laban was adamant that Jacob should stay and continue to serve him. He knew that as long as Jacob remained in his camp, God would continue to bless him. Laban offered a new salary to Jacob, to convince him to stay. As a result they agreed that Jacob would take ownership of all of the “speckled and spotted” animals in the flock.

    After reaching an agreement, Laban suddenly changed the terms and interpreted the new arrangement to mean that only the newly born flock, speckled and spotted, would be given to Jacob. In order to prevent disagreements about which flock was born at which time, he immediately separated out all the speckled and spotted sheep and goats, and assigned them to his sons, telling them to travel three days journey in the opposite direction of Jacob. This ensured a clear and complete division between the two groups. It further garunteed the likelihood that all animals subsequently born to Jacob’s flocks would be of a single color, and not speckled and spotted. (A careful reader of the text will note that Laban constantly changes the conditions of his agreement, in order to cheat Jacob of his rightful due. Laban’s trickery is confirmed by the words of the angel to Jacob (Genesis 21:12) as well as in Jacob’s pained statements to his wives (ibid. 21:41) during this period. See the classical commentaries on the Torah for more explication of these issues).

    Amidst Laban’s abuses, Jacob has a spiritual vision (ibid. 31:10):

    “And it came to pass at the time that the flock was fertile and I [Jacob] raised my eyes and saw in a dream that the rams which leaped upon the flock were streaked, speckled, and spotted.”

    This is the opposite of reality, since Jacob’s animals were not spotted: Laban had already removed such animals out of Jacob’s portion of the flock.

    “And an angel of God said to me in the dream: ‘Jacob!’ And I said: ‘Here I am!’ And it said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see the rams upon your flocks streaked, speckled, and spotted. For I [the angel] have seen all that Laban has done to you.’”

    From the point of this dream onwards Jacob begins to understand the depths of his father-in-law’s deception, and decides to send the least fertile animals to mate with Laban’s flock.

    “He sent the feeble animals to Laban [those animals least likely to be fertile] and the strongest [and most likely to be fertile] stayed with Jacob’s flock.”

    And the result?:(4)

    “And the man’s [Jacob’s] wealth grew and grew and he had scores of livestock and male and female servants and camels and donkeys.”

    We must understand two puzzling things in this narrative:

    Why did Jacob see in his prophetic vision the more fertile animals as being spotted, when all he had in his flock were solid colored animals?

    Why was Jacob careful to remove the less fertile livestock from his flocks and give them to Laban? What difference did it make between the less and more fertile animals in terms of his goal – that the newborns would be spotted?

    Truthfully, we cannot understand the deep reasons behind the actions of our forefathers. Their spiritual level far exceeded anything of which we can conceive. But it is possible to understand that the Torah hints here to fascinating laws of nature recently discovered by science, as we will explain.

    It is important to note that before his prophetic dream, Jacob devised a simple and natural plan for getting what he deserved:

    “And Jacob took rods of green poplar from the almond and plane tree and peeled white streaks in them and made the white within the rods appear. Then he set the rods he had peeled in front of the flocks in the gutters of the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink – that they should conceive when they drank. And the flocks conceived before the rods and brought forth streaked, speckled, and spotted cattle” (Genesis 30:37-39).

    This passage suggests that something seen at the time of conception can influence the physical nature of the developing offspring. For this reason the sheep that saw the streaked rods at the time of conception eventually gave birth to streaked offspring.

    This phenomenon is mentioned in Midrash Tanchumah (Naso, chap. 9) as well:

    “The King of the Arabia said to Rabbi Akiba: ‘I am a Cushite [dark skinned] and my wife is a Cushite, yet she gave birth to a white skinned baby. I will kill her if she had relations with another man.’ He [Rabbi Akiva] said to him: ‘Are the figures [statues in the form of people] in your house black or white?’ He answered: ‘White.’ He said to him: ‘When you were with her she must have looked up at the white figures and then gave birth to a child that looked like them. And if don’t believe it go look at our father Jacob who made streaked rods [for cattle to look upon during conception in order to create streaked offspring].’ The King of Arabia thanked Rabbi Akiba.”

    There are other interesting cases published in medical literature.

    For example, in the German Medical journal Der Ertz (Volume 7, p. 30) Dr. Untzer notes a case in which a skin disease left a red mark on the forehead of a child. The child’s mother, who was then pregnant, was concerned that if she looked upon the mark, her new baby would be born with one as well. Several months later, she gave birth to twins – each bearing a red mark on its head.

    In another incident, Dr. Van Sveeten in Commenter Zu Barhev(Volume 3, p. 406) describes a pregnant woman who was startled when a large worm fell on the back of her neck. When her daughter was born a few months later, the child had a birth mark in the very same shape and color as the worm that had fallen on the mother’s skin.

    A Norwegian author, Beirnson, writes in his book Miracles of Will that when his wife was pregnant, she was terrified of seeing a man with a fatty growth on his ear. “I am afraid that our baby will have a growth on its ear!” she said. And so it was that their oldest son was born with such a growth on his ear. After a few years passed, his wife was pregnant again and a guest who was seriously cross-eyed visited them. Mrs. Beirnson stared, transfixed, at the visitor. Later, she told her husband that she was afraid that her next child would be born cross-eyed too. And so it was that their child was born with a severe case of cross-eye.

    Another case: Dr. Z. Maston writes in the journal Maternal Impressions and their Influence upon the Fetus of the experience of arriving at the house of the William family in order to treat a gunshot wound to the head of Mr. William, caused by a stray bullet from a hunting rifle. He did not expect to have to treat a hysterical Mrs. William, screaming that her husband’s injury was a disaster for other reasons: Mrs. William was pregnant and she was sure that her baby would be born with red marks on its head. Just moments before, while treating her husband, Mrs. William had noticed that she had smeared blood on her hands and face – and instinct told her that this blood would reappear as marks the body of her unborn child.

    Two months later, Dr. Maston returned to the William home to deliver the baby. The baby appeared healthy and normal, its skin smooth and clear – except for large red spots in the exact place where its father had been injured. According to Mrs. William, the injury had occurred on the fifty-second day of her pregnancy. “From that moment on,” she said, “I was gripped with fear every time I had to treat my husband’s wounds.”

    There are many more descriptions of similar incidents in the Israeli parapsychology journal World of Mystery.(5)

    Notes and Sources

    (1) Zohar 2: 151b and 3:168a.

    (2) Bereshit Rabbah 1.

    (3) In his commentary on Safra DiTzniuta (a part of the Zohar), chapter 5.

    (4) Genesis 30:41-43.

    (5) Vol. 10, pp. 31-34.

    ISIS Terrorists Fear Being Killed by Woman and Losing Their Precious 72 Virgins

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    ISIS Militants Fear Being Killed by Woman and Losing 72 Virgins for Martyrdom

    kurdish-women-fighters

    As it is believed that many jihadists fear that being killed by a woman would cost them their promised “paradise” in the afterlife, it is worth noting that a Kurdish female is one of two commanders leading the resistance against the Islamic State’s quest to capture the strategic Syrian border town of Kobane.

    “Mayssa Abdo, known by the nom-de-guerre of Narin Afrin, is commanding the YPG in Kobane along with Mahmud Barkhodan,” said the rights group leader Rami Abdel Rahman.

    Afrin, who is believed to be 40 years old and hails from the Afrin region of the Aleppo province, is just one of a number of women who have answered a call to duty by joining the peshmerga to fight the Islamic State terrorists.

    Women involvement in the fight against the Islamic State plays a significant role in upsetting ISIS militants’ mental state because they fear being killed by a woman will result in them being sent to “hell”, one 27-year-old female fighter named Tekoshin told AFP.

    “I think [they] were more afraid of us than of the men,” she said. “They believe they’ll go to hell if they die at a woman’s hands.”

    U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., in an interview with The New York Post in September also referenced that notion when he climed that Jihadists fear being killed by women because under jihadist law they would be denied the “paradise” they were promised in the afterlife, which also includes a God-given 72 virgins.

    “These ISIS soldiers apparently believed that if they were killed in battle, they went to paradise as long as they were killed by a man,” Royce said. “And these female soldiers were communicating their satisfaction with the fact that they had taken the fight to ISIS and had stopped the advance, turned back the advance — slayed a number of these fighters, who would then run away,”

    The Reason Why Jews Don’t Force Non-Jews to Convert

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    The-Reason-Why-Jews-Do-NOT-Force-non-Jews-to-Convert

    As usual, there are many answers to this question, all of them are related.

    First, let’s start with a brief history. In the time of Abraham, Abraham did try to convert many people. He did this by having an open tent which allowed people from every direction to come and learn about Gd. Then, in the time of the Exodus from Egypt, the Jewish people again, accepted any converts who would come to the Jewish people and become part of the nation. In Jewish tradition these people were referred to as the “Eruv Rav” or the “Mixed multitudes of people” who did not come from the Israeli tribes, but who saw the miracles that happened in Egypt and wanted to attach themselves to Gd.

    Traditionally, the Eruv Rav was the source of many bad things that the Jewish people did. Some explain, that this happened because while they were awed and inspired by Gd, they were not truly loyal to the Jewish people.

    Jump forward a few hundred years, and before the time of Christianity, the leaders of the Jewish state, were fighting a war with the Idumeans. After winning the war, and being tired of the constant fighting over generations, the leaders decided to convince the Idumeans to all convert to Judaism. They did so, and centuries later, some Jews of Idumean decent (namely King Herod) attached themselves to Rome, became leaders of Israel and were very cruel to the Jewish people. Again, their loyalty to the Jewish people was questioned.

    So Jews in general, do not like mass conversions of people who are joining the “winning team”. There is a question of their loyalty to Judaism and the Jewish people. In other religions like Christianity and Islam, this is not such a big deal, because those are religions made up of many nations, while Judaism is a religion only made up of a single nation. You can’t be Jewish and not be part of the Jewish People.

    On another level, we are not concerned about losing many members, or not having enough Jews around. In the Torah, Gd says not to count the Jewish people directly, or else a plague will come about. We are also promised that we will be an eternal nation. We will never die out. Because of this promise, and a general statement that our numbers should not really be counted (except when absolutely needed, like to build community projects or help the poor) there is no concern that we are “too small”, or that other groups of people are larger than us.

    From the perspective of Judaism, we know what is correct and right for our people. We know the Truth, and we are not in competition with anybody else in the world. We share what we know about Gd and his unity, and about living in a Just society. The rest of the details of how other nations live is not our concern. As long as people act Justly and Peacefully and don’t try to take away our home from us, we let other people live however they wish to live.

    Is THERE Life on Other Planets According to The Bible?

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    Life-on-Other-Planets-Aliens

    Human beings have always asked the question: Do plants, animal life, or even sophisticated cultures exist on other planets? What does the Torah say on this issue?

    This question was in full public eye during the 1950’s and 1960’s, when the first manned spacecraft were about to be launched.

    In 1960, the astronomer Dr. Frank Drake took the first practical steps to finding an answer by scanning the skies in search of radio signals from alien cultures. In 1961, he published the “Drake Equation” – a statistical formula that sought to estimate the number of advanced civilizations in the universe. The calculations took into account a number of factors, such the estimated rate of stars’ development, the number of planets that might have suitable conditions for life, the estimated period of existence of advanced civilizations. Dr. Drake postulated that in our galaxy alone, there are some 10,000 civilizations in addition to our own. It is interesting to note that since Drake’s first estimate, subsequent astronomers have raised this estimate significantly.

    What does the Torah say on this issue?

    During the preparations for the first manned flights into space, modern-day Torah Sages were asked the question: What does the Torah tell us about the possibility of sentient life existing elsewhere in the universe? Their answer was usually along these lines: We do not know of any specifically negative answer in the Torah, so that essentially, there is no contradiction between the opinions of those who claim that such civilizations exist and any basic tenet of Jewish belief. Still, the overall spirit of the Torah implies that there is no life elsewhere in the universe, other than that which exists here on Earth.

    Before man landed on the moon and investigated it, astronomers argued vehemently about the possibility of life existing there. In his book, “Heavenly Hosts”,(1) the astronomer, Dr. N. Vidal notes with amazement that the great Sage and Kabbalist, Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi, was asked about the possibility of finding life on the Moon. The elderly Rabbi replied with a quotation from the preface to the Tikkunei Zohar,(2) in the section entitled Patach Eliyahu:

    “And You [God] created heaven and earth… and on earth there are trees and grasses… and birds, fish, domestic animals, wild beasts and human beings.”

    “In view of this statement,” continued the Rabbi, “it is highly unlikely that there is life on the moon, for it states explicitly that: ‘on the earth, there are trees and grasses, birds and fish, domestic animals, wild beasts and human beings.’ This implies that only here on Earth were these creatures created.”(3)

    Are Alien Life-forms mentioned in the Zohar?

    The first step in weighing the large amount of evidence that suggests that we have been visited by alien life-forms, is to sift out all the lies and fantasies, such as cases in which a supposed UFO was actually a secret American military plane. Many past and future sightings may also be dismissed in similar ways. Still, even after all the sifting, we are left with an impressive body of evidence. Are there any sources in the Torah that can explain these manifestations, without resource to flying saucers?

    In a number of places in the Zohar and Talmud, the Sages tell us about the existence of strange creatures, usually invisible, which are similar to human beings in several ways and similar to angels in other. They are called “shedim” (often translated as “demons”), and are made from a turbid spirituality, somewhat insubstantial.(4) They can change their shape and appearance, and can appear to human beings in a variety of forms.

    Is it possible that these shedim are the “aliens” of modern times? This is a particularly apt question since some people swear that they have seen aliens looking like those portrayed in science fiction films. Could these films be a reflection of real life? Or, perhaps, real life reflects what is seen in the movies. Perhaps those people saw shedim, who resembled, in their eyes, creatures from outer space.

    The Zohar provides us with other explanations on this subject; it speaks about alien life forms that exist beneath our world. While the Zohar may not intend its comments to be taken literally, at face value, they are a clear statement of the existence of creatures beneath our world, of which we are unaware.

    The Zohar(5) explains that there are seven lands in the lower world: Eretz, Adama, Arka, Gia, Neshia, Tzia and Tevel, which envelop each other like the skins of an onion. The highest and largest of these, Tevel, is the land upon which we live. The Zohar adds that there are very small creatures in all these places, humanoid in form, which also have an awareness of God; though one far inferior to our own. Some of these creatures wear clothing while others are covered by layers (or perhaps armor), that may be red, black, white or a mixture of colors. Many live no longer than ten years.

    The Zohar(6) tells the story about Rabbi Chiya and Rabbi Yossi, who were on a journey together and stopped to rest alongside a cracked rock. Suddenly, one of the inhabitants of Arka appeared before them and told them that in his land, there are inhabitants who look different than him. Commenting on Genesis 8:14, the Zohar(7) explains that when Cain was banished, “from the face of the earth,” he was accepted by the inhabitants of Arka, a lower land.

    This information, which is surely distant from the world of research, deals with alien creatures which may exist in the inner layers of our world, in places not yet investigated by modern science. Are the aliens from outer space in fact the creatures already known to Torah Sages 2,000 years ago? The Sages knew of many mysterious things that exist on our tiny planet, which is still so unknown.

    Dr. Vidal further suggests that according to this quotation, not only does life not exist on the moon, it may not exist anywhere else in the universe.

    It is also true that ever since contemporary Sages expressed their views on this subject, all the claims made by scientists about the existence of life on other planets have been treated with strong reservation by the observant Jewish public. Conversely, as time has gone by, outstanding scientists, such as the late Dr. Carl Sagan, have added their voice to the opinions expressed by Dr. Drake. Dr. Sagan believed that the number of planets occupied by advanced civilizations was far higher than in Dr. Drake’s estimate.

    At the same time, slowly but surely, as research on this subject progresses, many in the scientific world seem to be coming round to the opposite view held by Dr. Drake. The following is an extract from an article written by William Broad, an award winning science reporter at the New York Times, February 8, 2000, under the headline: “Maybe We Are Alone in the Universe, After All.” The article is a faithful description of the logical conclusions that have brought about this turnaround:

    “In the last few decades, a growing number of astronomers have promulgated the view that alien civilizations are likely to be scattered among the stars like grains of sand, isolated from one another by the emptiness of interstellar space. Just for Earth’s own galaxy, the Milky Way, experts have estimated that there might be up to one million advanced societies… Now, two prominent scientists say the conventional wisdom is wrong. The alien search, they add, is likely to fail.”

    The astronomer Dr. Donald Brownlee and the geologist Dr. Peter Ward from the University of Washington, claim that based upon the latest astronomical findings, geological research and the fossil record, it is the specific composition of matter on earth and its relative stability in space that permit the development of life. Contrary to previous assumptions, these turn out to be extremely rare conditions. Everywhere else in the universe, conditions do not permit life – radiation levels are too high, key elements are lacking and planets lack orbital stability.

    In their book: “Rare Earth,” the two authors write that many of the basic assumptions made by scientists such as Dr. Drake and Dr. Sagan, suggesting that there is life on other planets, have no foundation in reality. “The Drake Equation is riddled with hidden optimistic assumptions,” state the authors. They also claim that there are many astro-biologists who agree with them. According to Ward, the latest research indicates that most planets in the universe suffer from ongoing catastrophic events, such as a high rate of meteor strikes – many more than we suffer here on Earth. Ward writes that without the protection we get from the giant planet Jupiter – whose strong gravitational field attracts dangerous space debris – the number of meteor strikes on Earth would be 10,000 times higher. Thus, the chances of life existing in the center of the galaxies are exceedingly small: “If you’re in the interior of the galaxy,” Dr. Ward said, “you’re always getting bombarded.”

    According to Ward, new research has revealed that very high levels of radiation comprising X-rays, gamma rays and ionizing radiation are also present in the center of galaxies, which preclude the development of life. As listed by the two authors, the other very rare conditions found on earth required for life are: a suitable, precise distance from the sun, which allows for the existence of liquid water (were we closer to the sun, the water on Earth would evaporate; further away, it would freeze) and the existence of moons, which stabilize the planet’s rotation allowing for moderate climatic changes.

    Ward and Brownlee conclude: “These are extremely rare conditions, but it seems that there are many who don’t want to recognize the fact.”(8)

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    Notes and Sources

    (1) Vol. 1, page 250.

    (2) An ancient part of the Zohar – “The Book of Splendor” – and a volume unto itself, dealing with the mystical understanding of the Torah.

    (3) It is worth noting one dissenting opinion to this approach. In his book Sefer HaBrit (“The Book of the Covenant,” first printed in 1797), part 1, chapter 3:3: “The Stars in the Heavens,” Rabbi Eliyahu Pinchas of Vilna discusses a verse from Judges 5:23: “Cursed are you Meroz, said the angel of the Lord. Curse bitterly its inhabitants, because they did not come to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.” According to one opinion in the Talmud (BT Moed Katan16), Meroz is the name of a star. Thus, R. Eliyahu Pinchas writes:

    “Why should this physical world (“olam ha-asiyah”) not have myriad worlds, making it inferior to the [spiritual] worlds of yetzirah, beriyah and atzilut, which each have [spiritual] worlds without number, as is known to the kabbalists.” According to him, the verse from Judges suggests that there is an alien civilization on another planet which was supposed to help Israel fight its battle. When needed, their help did not materialize and they were cursed.

    Other opinions state that Meroz is the name of an important individual, or a place in close proximity to Jewish settlements of the time, or – if indeed a star – part of the zodiac that did not shine down to the benefit of Israel in its war against its enemy. It was cursed in the same way that a man curses his luck when it fails to come to his aid in hard times.

    (4) See Rabbi Moshe Chayim Luzzatto (1707-1746), Derech Hashem(“The Way of God”), Part 1, chap. 5.

    (5) Zohar 1:10a; 1:40a; 1:41a.

    (6) Ibid. 1:157a.

    (7) Ibid. 1:54b.

    (8) Scientific conclusions on this topic remain at an extremely speculative level, and are subject to constant change. We present the current theory because it stands in such stark contrast to the widely accepted opinion of the ubiquity of sentient life in the universe, and thus has much in common with the accepted Torah opinion. Though the conclusion may be disappointing to some, the approach is based upon more solid scientific principles than the alternative.

    When Does the Fetus Receive Its Soul?

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    When Does the Fetus Receive Its Soul

    Fetus

    By the end of the 19th century, it had become clear to science that the human brain produces measurable electrical currents. This discovery eventually led to the electroencephalograph (EEG), a device which enables doctors to measure the electrical activity in the brain, through electrodes attached to the head.

    It is obvious that when a person dies, the brain ceases to function, which is represented on an electroencephalogram as a straight line, devoid of the waves and peaks that signal brain activity. Based upon this observation, scientists have suggested that the onset of human life can also be defined by brainwaves; that is, the day when the brain begins to function and emit electrical currents. For if an EEG displaying no brain activity testifies to the death of a person, then the beginning of brain activity must testify to the fact that a fetus is a living human being in every way.

    The challenge inherent in this idea lies in determining the exact day when electrical activity in the brain of a fetus begins – a challenge that no scientific researcher had attempted to confront. Who could imagine the possibility of testing the brain function of a fetus, whose body was the size of a bean, and brain the size of a pinhead?

    This situation existed for much of the 20th century. By the end of the century, however, technology advanced to the point that such experimentation became possible. Professor David Lygre, of the Central Washington University, author of Life Manipulation, is considered one of the leading experts in the field. He writes: “We do not know much about the development of the brain of the fetus… until about the fortieth day of life, at which point the basic structure of the brain is in place, and it becomes possible to discern slight electrical activity.”

    The identical conclusion – though from a different perspective – was reached by a team of British scientists, who published their results in New Scientist.(1) According to this study, fetuses can experience pain from approximately the fortieth day of life onward. In the conclusions of their findings, they suggest that all women considering an abortion should be informed of this discovery, and that laws for protecting the rights of fetuses should be established. Publication of the article resulted in major protests against abortion practitioners.

    In light of this, it is clear to scientists that at around the fortieth day after conception, the fetus gains the status of a complete human being – a living and feeling entity like any one of us. This further implies that even according to science, the act of abortion – or “terminating pregnancy” as it is sometimes called (in order to silence human and particularly maternal conscience) – can actually be considered an act of murder!(2)

    This is truly a unique and interesting discovery. But could it be possible that the Creator of the Universe would leave us without knowledge about an issue so crucial to human life, until technological advances of the late 20th century allowed us to measure the brain’s activity? Or would God, as Creator of man and author of the Torah, reveal to us this essential information within the context of Jewish law?

    The following mishnah deals with the ritual purity of a woman who experienced a miscarriage. It draws a distinction between a fetus that was lost before it was considered a complete entity and one that was lost after it was considered human in every way:(3)

    “A miscarriage up to the fortieth day is not considered an embryo [in matters of ritual purity].

    [If a miscarriage occurs] from the forty-first day, she [the mother] is ritually impure…”

    How did the mishnah, composed two thousand years ago, know information that was only discovered at the beginning of the twenty-first century using the most advanced equipment in the world?

    It is worth noting that even today, scientists have not yet determined the exact day upon which the fetus can be considered fully human. Professor Lygre merely stated that it is “approximately the fortieth day.”

    Thousands of years ago the mishnah already gave us an exact answer.

    What is the source of this knowledge?

    For us, the answer is clear.

    According to the Kabbalah, a fetus receives its soul with the first three days after conception. This spiritual force illuminates it and engenders its growth. Without this, the ovum would simply decay. Terminating pregnancy even at an early stage is thus considered snuffing out the soul of a human being. See Rabbi Isaac Luria, Otzrot Chayim, Sha’ar A’nach , chap. 3.

    It should also be noted that there have been countless cases when doctors recommended abortion due to predicted birth defects or retardation, yet were proven wrong when an intelligent, healthy child was born. And even in the event that they were correct, it is forbidden to kill a fetus that shows signs of birth defects, just as it is unthinkable to kill an adult human being who suffers from such disabilities. While Jewish law does allow for abortion in unique and limited cases, it is only after the approval of qualified rabbinic authorities.

    It is also vital to make clear that in many cases when a mother was told that a fetus was dead and should be removed, it turned out, upon further examination, that it was actually alive!

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