Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Under One G-d

The relationship one has with G-d is represented by the relationship he has with his parents. His father represents the powerful and protective nature of G-d, and his mother represents His nurturing and providing side. In reality, to be whole, both the human father and mother need to have both of these elements. The reality, however, is that usually the father has more of one and the mother has more of the other, so it is necessary that they make a pair or unit with each other so that both elements are present in sufficient and moderate quantities. It is also part of G-d's Design that a human can be born only as a result of that union - something which homosexualty cannot yield. Further, the mother and the father learn from each other and therefore the father learns to be nurturing and the mother learns to be aggressive and the child eventually learns to see his parents as a singular unit, even though they are two different people. This unit is exactly what the Torah in Genesis calls for. It is through this unit that the child learns about G-d for G-d is One and even though you need a human mother and father (two people) to provide both of these elements of G-d, both (and all) of these elements are present in G-d in one indivisible form. Therefore, the separation of G-d or the view that G-d has separate forms each containing an element of His Being is to divide G-d into elements that are already Present within Him as indivisible components. In other words, it amounts to polytheism and the proof is that each element is eventually transformed into an entirely separate being (something the Talmud talks about). Take Jesus for example, he represents one element of G-d, the side ready to give of Himself for the sake of humanity. However, Jesus is the representation of the humanization of G-d and therefore a reduction, and therefore polytheism, because G-d constantly gives of Himself without dying and without taking away from Himself in any way and this is true because He is Infinite. Jesus is finite and cannot be a part of G-d. Further, how can you break the Infinite into parts without creating a series of infinite beings, each one of them being a god on their own? Any religion that humanizes G-d will eventually dehumanize humans, and since the human form of the Christian god is Jewish, Christianity has expliclity dehumanized (and killed) Jewish humans and continues to dehumanize the whole of humanity, although under the veil of unconditional love, or agape. The separation of G-d in order to make Jesus is essentially the same as saying "two gods," for the One G-d exists in total Unity and without any parts and since polytheism rejects/resists unity we see how war is the ape-like and inhuman/inhumane product of this lack of unity. Polytheism is war, monotheism is peace.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"Brothers in Arms"

Israeli history is Jewish history and Jewish history is Israeli history - discuss

Prince Hassan: Arab leaders stole billions from their people

Jordanian Prince Hassan Bin Talal levels scathing criticism at Arab leaders during speech delivered in Kyoto conference: 'Arab leaders stole billions of dollars from the Arab people in order to spend them on weapons to fight Israel, which they can never defeat.' Prince warns against Iranian nuclear armament proje

Roee Nahmias

Jordanian Prince Hassan Bin Talal, who was the Jordanian heir apparent until Abdullah was crowned as king, launched a sharp verbal attack against the leaders of Arab countries during a Kyoto conference.

"The Arab leaders stole billions of dollars from the
Arab people and spent it on weapons to fight Israel, which they will never defeat, instead of using the money for health and education purposes to aid their people," he stated.

Speaking at the world conference of the interfaith group "Religions for Peace", Prince Hassan also attacked the Iranian nuclear development program. Hassan spoke against nuclear armament, especially on Iran's part, and said that it needs to be made sure that the nuclear
project in Iran does not reach the stage of nuclear weapons. Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami was present at the conference.

Prince Hassan, like Khatami, arrived together with more than 800 religious leaders to the Kyoto conference. One of the conference's aims this year is to formulate an ethical code that will be implemented in cases of violent conflicts across the globe. Representatives from countries like
Israel, Iran, Iraq, Sudan and North Korea are taking part in the event.

One of the Israeli delegates in the conference, Rabbi David Rosen, had met with Khatami during the event. He said that "Former President Khatami was extremely polite, he shook my hand and did not mention Israel in his speech at all."

Several debates between Israeli rabbis and Palestinian clerics are set to take place in coming days in a bid to establish a mechanism that would enable cooperation between religious leaders. The Palestinian delegation is headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' representative and head of the sharia court, Tayer Tamimi, along with Catholic Patriarch Michel Sabbah.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Better, better, make it better, O Hashem
Replace love with love
Replace the hole with whole
Wholly holy
A light I do not know now
A warmth I don't feel
Cold like steel
Smash it with my awakening, O Hashem
Spark me, G-d
Send sparks through my body and soul, my G-d
Like a brain, full of activity
Sparks flying and muscles flailing
Saving one from the death of knowledgeness
Like You did in the days of fore
Send my salivation for your Torah and my sick stomach towards the digustingness
Let the season make its presence felt upon me
Let it turn like a rubber band in my stomach; the feelings of life You bestow upon us
To explore the untouched areas is what I want G-d
Lead me to what I need
May my desires be my need
May my fears crumble before you, Hashem
Like weakly-made bread, Hashem
Crumbs on the floor blown off the table, no more
Only solidity and light in front of me, Hashem
Like Your Pillar of Fire before me and like Your Cloud of Smoke behind
Let me grasp, please, what my hands cannot reach and what my eyes cannot see
Let me grasp the thing I need; direct my hand like that of Moshe's to where You want it
Show my fingers where to go to coil around my need
Sometimes I get lost and I run in all directions like a hunted deer
Illuminate the path, Hashem, or just me please steer
May You be my mind when I cannot place my finger on it
And with You will find it
Thank for loving me and being my Shield
I love You so much!
Hashem; wake us shake us from our slumber!
You are the One Whom never slumbers!
May we gather brick and lumber!
Hashem, the One Whom never sleeps nor slumbers!
The One, Whom unlike me, needs no alarm clock to awaken and rise
Eyes cloudy in the morning I can barely get it together
I move slowly through a river of thick air
Lethargic like a sloth
Oh, but You are not like me, You, my Awesome G-d, are always sharp and quick
Move my heart with waves, may I hear their beautiful rustle and crashing
Toss it when You take it, my Everything G-d, You will not break it
Splashing on the shore or thrashing on the canvas
That early morning feeling rising on the shores of your coastal towns
I am lost, lost, lost - found in the glory of Your creations - found only in You!
Sand everywhere imaginable - like the children of Your Promise, which You by Your Awesomeness kept forever
Like them it got everywhere - unite the grains here on this beach where earth meets water
May we rise to the sky like a pillar of salt for the memory of the wife of Lot
So that Babylon we will blot
And may the Dead Sea be Living
With fish swimming because of Your Giving
Oh, how we love Your children, Your prophets
Our fathers and mothers - the shoulders we cried on, and our neighbors, our arms and legs
It is just a fraction of a measure all put together of our love for You!
And what weight can Your Shoulder not hold?
You hold it like a marble on Your Scruff!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Torah is not the Qur'an

A Muslim aquaintance of mine told me that the Qur'an permits the consumption of shrimp and camel. The Torah prohibits its consumptions for Jews. Herein lies my question;

Muslims believe the Q'uran to be the rectification of an earlier corrupted form of the Torah.

This means that the Qur'an as it is today is identical to the uncorrupted form of Torah.

How do we explain the incongruency between the Torah's prohibition of shrimp and camel related to the Qur'an's permission of shrimp and camel?

We would have to assume that the "original Torah" permitted the consumption of shrimp and camel but that (unnamed Jews) added a stringency to prohibit it.

Corruption usually takes form in the addition of a leniency, not a stringency, so how should we understand the Torah's prohibition of shrimp and camel vs. the Qur'an's permission of shrimp and camel?

I am an observant (Orthodox) Jew -- if I "reverted" to Islam would I be allowed to eat shrimp and camel?


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

1-Kings 8:41-43

I was driving and thinking about this and figured I'd run a concept or two here.

Imagine that a person speaks to an Orthodox Jew about G-d, religion, spirituality, how to relate to G-d, how to make the world G-dly, etc... Then the next week the same person goes to a religious Muslim and speaks to him about the same things and finds the answers to be consistent, even if that Jew and Muslim never met. What this means is that the Source of truth is present in both religious systems. This would be a "Kiddush Hashem" in Hebrew, or a "sanctification of G-d's Name," because it is upon the people who know that G-d is real to bring Word of Him into this world, and therefore His Presence.

Now imagine that the person got relatively inconsistent responses about the topics from both the Jews and the Muslim; this would be "Khilul Hashem," a desecration of G-d's Name, and takes G-d out of this world.

I am realizing more and more that as long as the general population of nations of the world, in all their uncontrollable variety, are covering the very basic laws of G-d, then humanity is on the right path. Jewish tradition (in Gensis) explains that this correct path for the nations of the world are the Noachide Laws and there are seven, although their application concludes to a bit more than that. Now it seems, and I don't know for sure if I am right or wrong yet, that any religion following them is a Noachide religion, i.e., it follows the Noachide Laws, the last of which is for them to set up their own courts to administer these laws. Islam seems to follow all of the Noachide Laws.

this isn't just about Islam. It's about every religious and spiritual movement that clings to the truth of G-dliness (of which the original revelation is the Torah), i.e., every "nation" of people whom cling to that truth and make it the center of their being. I used to think that it was my duty to try to change the way they think, but what I see more and more is that as long as they believe in the One G-d and follow those seven commandments, it's OK. Rastafari's for example, believe in the Kingdom of David and cling to the Torah and G-d through him, believing that the 225th descendant of King Solomon and his (African) wife Sheba was the emperor of Ethiopia; Haile Selassie I . A problem with them is that they believe that Haile Selassie was G-d and the reincarnate of Jesus, but I would have to confirm that. In other words, variety shouldn't scare the believer, only idolatry (or any other violation of the Seven Laws of Noah).

This brings me to Judaism and Islam. Islam seems to fall into the category of a religion that follows all of the Noachide Laws (it even takes it upon itself to follow more, which I don't think is necessarily a problem). If for the sake of the argument we can consider Islam a Noachide religion (if indeed this is an accurate understanding on my part of the laws) if there is a problem with Islam it is only that it is a Noachide religion that does not accept that its predecessor religion (Judaism) has a role to play in the world. In other words, Islam sees the relationship between Judaism and Islam that either one or the other is right; it does not believe that both can be perfectly valid G-dly religions drawing from a common Source of G-dliness, i.e., G-d's Instruction.

I think that this creates an unnecessary (psychological) stress on Muslims because they feel it is their duty to bring Islam to the entire world. But if you look at Judaism for a second (and put aside the biases), believing Jews don't want the world to be Jewish, they want the world to be G-dly, i.e., adherents to G-d's Word - this allows for a harmony between the entire humanity with itself and between the entirety of humanity with G-d. It is a commonality rooted in specific G-d-given commandments but which allows for national variety. The "Mumbutus" of Africa can jump up and down and scream in their rituals as long as they are doing it to the One G-d (and following the Seven Laws of Noah). The stress caused between Islam and other peoples in the world (both religious and not) is that Islam believes that the only commonality in the world is Islam and nothing else.

Judaism believes that the commonality has its Source in something coming before Judaism (i.e., before the 613 commandments given to Moses); Islam believes that the commonality came as Islam, i.e., and not in the universal sense of the word (submission), but in the strict and narrow sense of an adherent to the religion of Islam. It seems to be that what Judaism calls "Noachide," Islam calls "Islam." In other words, and very loosely speaking, the Noachide Laws and "submission" are two different labels for the same thing, a common G-dly Law for the entire world. The only difference is that the Noachide Laws allow for the nations of the world to embroider the Seven Laws onto their societies in light of their cultural differences, while Islam demands the adoption of Islam as a religion. Most people would recognize this as a full-scale societal or political conversion to Islam. However, Islam uses the word "reversion," a clear indication that Islam, like Judaism, believes that there was a state beforehand, in "primeval" times, in which there was a G-d-based religious and spiritual commonality. Because there is One G-d, an absolute truth, there can (and can only) be separate manifestations of the Law of G-d as long as it is fully in line with those Laws. For there to be one Law is not the same as The One G-d and is the dangerous folly of man that leads to Hitlerian totalitarian regimes - this applies to Christiandom at certain historical points as well. This would explain the ideological and theological similarities between Hezba-llah warriors and Nazi's.

I wonder what Islam would look like if it laid to rest its insistencies that Judaism should bleed into Islam and in doing so become Islam. Judaism, obviously, lacks nothing - every theological concept in Judaism has its Muslim paralle - search if you want, you will find that nothing in Islam is original. Mind you, this is not an attack on Islam; it is the dream of every believing Jew that the world be turned to the Truth of G-d - Muslims, despite some serious problems, have done that especially well. The only problem, and this is the really annoying part, is Islam's interpretation of the narrative in the Torah which says that Isaac was the chosen son. The Torah says that Ishmael was chosen for his own specific purpose, a positive purpose in G-dliness, so the grievance that Muslims have towards the Torah and towards Judaism is baseless. I wonder what Islam would look like if it allowed Jews to take care of their religious observances in Jerusalem and to live in Israel without interference. That would be a great world and it is a possible one if only people made proper use of their free will.

King David, in 1 Kings 8:41-43 says, "Also a gentile who is not of your people Israel, but will come from a distant land, for Your Name's sake - for they will hear of Your great Name and Your strong hand and Your outstretched arm - and will come and pray toward this Temple - may Your hear from Heaven, the foundation of Your abode, and act according to all that the gentile calls out to You, so that all the peoples of the world may know Your Name, to fear You as [does] Your people Israel, and to know that Your Name is proclaimed upon this Temple that I have built."

It is one of the ironies of ironies that a memorial to intolerance was erected on top of the house of tolerance by those acting in the name of universality; is this not an insult to King David (whom Muslims label "Muslim")? The political strategy is to populate it as thoroughly as possible in order to make it impossible to be open to Jews. Is not an insult to G-d?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Text of UN Security Council resolution 1701 adopted Friday (8/11/06)

PP=Preamble, OP=Operative Paragraphs

The Security Council,

PP1. Recalling all its previous resolutions on Lebanon, in particular resolutions 425 (1978), 426 (1978), 520 (1982), 1559 (2004), 1655 (2006) 1680 (2006) and 1697 (2006), as well as the statements of its President on the situation in Lebanon, in particular the statements of 18 June 2000 (S/PRST/2000/21), of 19 October 2004 (S/PRST/2004/36), of 4 May 2005 (S/PRST/2005/17) of 23 January 2006 (S/PRST/2006/3) and of 30 July 2006 (S/PRST/2006/35),

PP2. Expressing its utmost concern at the continuing escalation of hostilities in Lebanon and in Israel since Hezbollahs attack on Israel on 12 July 2006, which has already caused hundreds of deaths and injuries on both sides, extensive damage to civilian infrastructure and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons,

PP3. Emphasizing the need for an end of violence, but at the same time emphasizing the need to address urgently the causes that have given rise to the current crisis, including by the unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers,

PP4: Mindful of the sensitivity of the issue of prisoners and encouraging the efforts aimed at urgently settling the issue of the Lebanese prisoners detained in Israel,

PP5. Welcoming the efforts of the Lebanese Prime Minister and the commitment of the government of Lebanon, in its seven-point plan, to extend its authority over its territory, through its own legitimate armed forces, such that there will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon, welcoming also its commitment to a UN force that is supplemented and enhanced in numbers, equipment, mandate and scope of operation, and bearing in mind its request in this plan for an immediate withdrawal of the Israeli forces from Southern Lebanon,

PP6. Determined to act for this withdrawal to happen at the earliest,

PP7. Taking due note of the proposals made in the seven-point plan regarding the Chebaa farms area,

PP8. Welcoming the unanimous decision by the government of Lebanon on 7 August 2006 to deploy a Lebanese armed force of 15,000 troops in South Lebanon as the Israeli army withdraws behind the Blue Line and to request the assistance of additional forces from UNIFIL as needed, to facilitate the entry of the Lebanese armed forces into the region and to restate its intention to strengthen the Lebanese armed forces with material as needed to enable it to perform its duties,

PP9. Aware of its responsibilities to help secure a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution to the conflict,

PP10. Determining that the situation in Lebanon constitutes a threat to international peace and security,

OP1. Calls for a full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations;

OP2. Upon full cessation of hostilities, calls upon the government of Lebanon and UNIFIL as authorized by paragraph 11 to deploy their forces together throughout the South and calls upon the government of Israel, as that deployment begins, to withdraw all of its forces from Southern Lebanon in parallel;

OP3. Emphasizes the importance of the extension of the control of the government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1559 (2004) and resolution 1680 (2006), and of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, for it to exercise its full sovereignty, so that there will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon;

OP4. Reiterates its strong support for full respect for the Blue Line;

OP5. Also reiterates its strong support, as recalled in all its previous relevant resolutions, for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders, as contemplated by the Israeli-Lebanese General Armistice Agreement of 23 March 1949;

OP6. Calls on the international community to take immediate steps to extend its financial and humanitarian assistance to the Lebanese people, including through facilitating the safe return of displaced persons and, under the authority of the Government of Lebanon, reopening airports and harbours, consistent with paragraphs 14 and 15, and calls on it also to consider further assistance in the future to contribute to the reconstruction and development of Lebanon;

OP7. Affirms that all parties are responsible for ensuring that no action is taken contrary to paragraph 1 that might adversely affect the search for a long-term solution, humanitarian access to civilian populations, including safe passage for humanitarian convoys, or the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons, and calls on all parties to comply with this responsibility and to cooperate with the Security Council;

OP8. Calls for Israel and Lebanon to support a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution based on the following principles and elements:

· full respect for the Blue Line by both parties,

· security arrangements to prevent the resumption of hostilities, including the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani river of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11, deployed in this area,

· full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of July 27, 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state,

· no foreign forces in Lebanon without the consent of its government,

· no sales or supply of arms and related materiel to Lebanon except as authorized by its government,

· provision to the United Nations of all remaining maps of land mines in Lebanon in Israels possession;

OP9. Invites the Secretary General to support efforts to secure as soon as possible agreements in principle from the Government of Lebanon and the Government of Israel to the principles and elements for a long-term solution as set forth in paragraph 8, and expresses its intention to be actively involved;

OP10. Requests the Secretary General to develop, in liaison with relevant international actors and the concerned parties, proposals to implement the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), including disarmament, and for delineation of the international borders of Lebanon, especially in those areas where the border is disputed or uncertain, including by dealing with the Chebaa farms area, and to present to the Security Council those proposals within thirty days;

OP11. Decides, in order to supplement and enhance the force in numbers, equipment, mandate and scope of operations, to authorize an increase in the force strength of UNIFIL to a maximum of 15,000 troops, and that the force shall, in addition to carrying out its mandate under resolutions 425 and 426 (1978):

· a. Monitor the cessation of hostilities;

· b. Accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy throughout the South, including along the Blue Line, as Israel withdraws its armed forces from Lebanon as provided in paragraph 2;

· c. Coordinate its activities related to paragraph 11 (b) with the Government of Lebanon and the Government of Israel;

· d. Extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons;

· e. Assist the Lebanese armed forces in taking steps towards the establishment of the area as referred to in paragraph 8;

· f. Assist the government of Lebanon, at its request, to implement paragraph 14;

OP12. Acting in support of a request from the government of Lebanon to deploy an international force to assist it to exercise its authority throughout the territory, authorizes UNIFIL to take all necessary action in areas of deployment of its forces and as it deems within its capabilities, to ensure that its area of operations is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind, to resist attempts by forceful means to prevent it from discharging its duties under the mandate of the Security Council, and to protect United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment, ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel, humanitarian workers, and, without prejudice to the responsibility of the government of Lebanon, to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence;

OP13. Requests the Secretary General urgently to put in place measures to ensure UNIFIL is able to carry out the functions envisaged in this resolution, urges Member States to consider making appropriate contributions to UNIFIL and to respond positively to requests for assistance from the Force, and expresses its strong appreciation to those who have contributed to UNIFIL in the past;

OP14. Calls upon the Government of Lebanon to secure its borders and other entry points to prevent the entry in Lebanon without its consent of arms or related materiel and requests UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11 to assist the Government of Lebanon at its request;

OP15. Decides further that all states shall take the necessary measures to prevent, by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft,

(a) the sale or supply to any entity or individual in Lebanon of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, whether or not originating in their territories, and

(b) the provision to any entity or individual in Lebanon of any technical training or assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of the items listed in subparagraph (a) above, except that these prohibitions shall not apply to arms, related material, training or assistance authorized by the Government of Lebanon or by UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11;

OP16. Decides to extend the mandate of UNIFIL until 31 August 2007, and expresses its intention to consider in a later resolution further enhancements to the mandate and other steps to contribute to the implementation of a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution;

OP17. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council within one week on the implementation of this resolution and subsequently on a regular basis;

OP18. Stresses the importance of, and the need to achieve, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all its relevant resolutions including its resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973;

OP19. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

*A petition as “A Call to the UN to Provide Reparations To Israel Too for the Hezbollah War.”*

Parts one, two, and three of the Wallace-Ahmadinejad interview are found here. Get the popcorn.

Majorly Pissed Off!!!!!

Yitz said:

I don't know whether this is more appropri8 here or on Jew Is Beautiful. Unfortunately your blog comment (at the bottom, date - August 14th, 2006) made me think you have fallen into the same trap that I'm designing much of my blog to get Jewish people out of. Posts on MySpace Jews called "how do you feel about radical fascist Islam" and articles online with titles like "Islam is the Problem" with Jewish authors disturb me. Why? Because this is bigotry. Next perhaps only to apikorsus, bigotry I think is the most disgusting midah any human could possibly possess. It's the zenith of ga'ava. I'll actually go further than that. Show me anywhere in Torah or Chaza"l where there is an intrinsic value to being Jewish. What is a Jew? A "child of Avraham, Yitzchak & Ya'akov", who should be "bashful, merciful, and bestowing of kindnesses." If a person does not have those 3 qualities, the halacha says to check after the person's lineage. The Mishnah says that Eretz Yisra'el gets its kedusha from the mitzvos we do there. These things aren't intrinsic. Were these things totally intrinsic we wouldn't have a Chaza"l like the above. Connection to the Torah (am t'lita'ei), connection to G-d, this is what the chashivus of the title "Jew" comes from. I'm not being "apologetic" toward any ethnic group. And, you already see that on I call Ahmadinejad the "worst president ever" and I have no qualms about calling Nasrallah a rasha. Do I have some chiyuv to diss Islam to the best of my semantic ability? And this "terrorism built into Islam" thing. You can't see the ignorance that surrounds a statement like that? I mean, what makes the sayer of a statement like that different than the "Talmud Unmasked" ppl, pe'ulah-wise? The action is the same -- taking quotes out of someone else's holy book to prove what you already think about them. That's not kedusha.

Yaniv said:

No, clearly not. Fair 'nuff. First, I don't think that we are in any particular trap at all, I actually think that we are emerging and waking up from a previous trap, across the board liberalism on the merit of our being Jews. It's no secret that rightwingism has also dealt us a bad hand and there is a certain resentment and vigilance that we need to reserve for them. I think that the phrase "Islam is the problem" needs to be used with wisdom and caution, but I think that there is a certain truth there. I'm sure you had discussions with Muslims before, the problem that causes Jews and Muslims to war with each other is buried in the fibers of the Muslim religion; their stated belief is that Islam is the replacement, both practical and existential, of Judaism, Jews, our land, our people, everything we are, from under the Heaven. They took our soldiers right?! They took JEWS right? They took them because those dogs don't even think that we have the right to our bodies; we are worthless pieces of shit in their eyes, and I hate them for it. It IS a cosmic struggle that they are waging and we need to realize that, it is the battle for our soul, and on top of that, it's also the battle for our G-d-given task to make this world better - they DON'T want us to do it. The fire that they have can be enough to draw lost Jews into the Islam because those Jews will not see it in Judaism. We need to fight that.

The Muslims are an interesting set of goyim, and most goyim mostly want us to worship G-d (even if they want us to worship Him THEIR way, i.e., Christians). Muslims, however, don't want us to do our task because they believe with all their hearts and their souls and their mights (and their hearts are FIERY!) that there "revelation" is the FINAL revelation, totally and utterly nullifying ours, giving us no place to live, again, both in the existential realm and in the physical one. I think that bigotry towards Muslims is existent and maybe even prevalent, but the hatred that I have towards that SPECIFIC ideological and theological element of Islam which I just discussed exists because we have to continue existing (not for our sake but for the sake of our job, for G-d's sake), but Muslims think that G-d burned the Torah. How many Jews are willing to lean over and spread 'em? Heck, not me, I know where this is going.

That is why we can't have our Kedosh Kedoshim, or our Bet Hamikdash or Jerusalem, or Haifa, or Tel Aviv, or Acco, Ashkelon, or Be'er Sheva, or any place in Israel (or Seattle?!). That is why they live in Jerusalem and tell us where we can and cannot go within OUR Holy City, and we have to "skootch over." That is why Mecca is incontestably Muslim and nobody else can step foot there (except Christians, but not to live and not in Mecca, but only Saudi Arabia). That's why Muslims think that Abraham went to Mecca to sacrifice Ishmael and not to Jerusalem to sacrifice Isaac, because they think that we are cheating, scamming, hell-gauranteed idolaters. Nevermind that Muhammad had to change the qiblah from Jerusalem to Mecca --- nearly after 4,000 years of that city being the world's center of monotheism PROVES beyond a reasonable doubt that Abraham took Isaac there, but the Muslims make up the worst lie ever and Muhammad corrupted the new text and changed history for the sake of creating a religion.

THAT, my friend, is Babylon! It is a status quo that I will not tolerate - I can't find it in my soul to tolerate it, and if THAT makes me a racist, for that IS the source of my anger with Muslims, then they better deal with that because I'm that makes me a racist mofo! Christianity tries to take our soul, but Islam tries to take our soul AND our body! This is not the extremists, because where are the moderates or the lefties?! Like Cypress Hill says, "Look, but don't make your eyes strain." They aren't there, man, or they exist in silent, helpless, stigmatized quantities and have to leave Islam to fix Islam and be labeled "kufirun." Muslims have the CHUTZPAH (!) to show pictures of Neturei Karta, posting them all over their hell-ridden MySpace blogs and write, "Even Jews hate Israel." Who knows how to criticize the Jewish People LIKE THE JEWISH PEOPLE?! If Islam had that gift, they really WOULD be a religion of peace.

All of the Prophets, whom Muslims steal and label "Muslims," were all Jews speaking against the corruption of Jews. Taken out of context (which is what Muslim thought does), makes them "good guys" and JEWS the bad guys.
And the converts to Islam, oh those stupid passive-aggressive white boys and those black "back to Africa Marcus Garvey-ites," who think that Islam is G-d's gift to the world, find themselves compelled to make a big picture of a Palestinian flag with a kaffiyah-ed boy their page's center of attention, as if the decrepid problems in the Arab world are overshadowed by an obsessive "destroy Israel" complex at the price of tens of thousands of Palestinian lives and conveniently ignore the corruption and inhuman barbarism that has spread all over the Arab world- yet Israel's disexitence is their central concern. WHO CARES about Palestinian blood!? I can't when MY blood is being spilled and MY soul is being snatched from me. Hillel said, "If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?" The Torah says that Ishmael became an accomplished archer, indeed he has. I wanna break his bow and snap his arrows in half.

And then you have Yosef Cohen
(AKA, Yusuf Al-Khattab, Wahabbi meshuga), the ex-Satmar Ba'al Tshuva ex-yeshiva student Jew-hater from the inside who is hell-bent on destroying Judaism because of some emotional instability issues and bad experiences he had in Ocean Parkway with some Satmars with bad hygiene. Gave up Judaism just like that after discussing Islam with a Muslim over the Internet for two years, his Jewish Moroccan wife converted with him and their three children. I've had a few short discussions with him through e-mail, which he discontinued; suffice it to say that he does not like me.

The Torah says to be compassionate, agreed in absolution, but it also does not say to be pacifists taken over by our enemies. We can defend ourselves AND maintain our compassion, but that is not the deal with our enemies, and yes, they are our enemies. People say, "Oh, that's not REAL Islam." If they are right, then Islam has died and gone away, there are no real Muslims anywhere in the world. Note, we KNOW that there is room for them, but they are constantly saying "This world aint big enough for the two of us." We have the Noachide Laws for them, we believe there is room for Muslims to exist, but they believe that the harmony of our Torah is a product of our "shaky relativist idolatrous" values and our corruption. They make a mockery of absolute truth and of G-d. ME defending THEM?! You GOT to be out your mind, we have our OWN to worry about. That is Jewish! I love G-d and I love my people, and if those folks would let us love them, BE SURE that we would. Until then, I have nothing but a large glass of resentment for them. The day I stop loving what we are, I will defend those people.

By the way, Ahmedinajad is much worse than the worse president ever. I saw an INTERVIEW with him the other night, with Mike Wallace. Ahmedinajad is Hitler, and I kid you not; he has all the characteristic profiles of an egomaniacal, narcassistic, nutjob who wants to replace the world with a Muslim government. Esav, then Ishmael, then Mashiach, in my opinion at least. Or is Ahmedinajad some form of Persia? I don't know, some Haman maybe? We can't know these things.

Parts one, two, and three of the Wallace-Ahmadinejad interview are found here. Get the popcorn.

Peace, Yaniv...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Psychological Roots Of Islamic Rage

By: Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D., Nancy H. Kobrin, Ph.D.

Islamic terrorists routinely kidnap the most vulnerable civilians and hold them hostage. Hamas and Hizbullah, like Arafat’s PLO, hold their own people hostage as well, and hide both themselves and their weapons among Muslim civilians.

For years, Hizbullah held the village of Kana hostage. When Israel finally fought back against Hizbullah’s shelling of Israeli civilians, the Jewish state reaped a whirlwind of condemnation. Israel mourned these civilian deaths even as many Islamists celebrated these deaths as a great propaganda victory.

Just as Hizbullah hid behind women and children in Kana, using them as human shields, so too does Muslim culturehonor-murder” its own women and girls.

Since we are now one world connected by cell phones, the Internet, and satellite television programs – as well as by Muslim immigration to the West, similar behavior can and has erupted against American civilians, both at home and abroad. In the recent past, Muslim Islamists have shot and killed Jewish-American males – e.g. Leon Klinghoffer (1985), Rabbi Meir Kahane (1990), Ari Halberstam (1994), Daniel Pearl (beheading video – GRAPHIC!!!) (2002) and Nicholas Berg (beheading video – GRAPHIC!!!) (2004).

Rabbi Meir Kahane

on Kliffhonger

In 1968, Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian, murdered Senator Robert Kennedy because Kennedy’s pro-Israel stand enraged him.

may now have reached a turning point of sorts. On July 28, 30-year-old Naveed Afsal Haq, a supposedly lone and mentally ill Muslim-American of Pakistani origin (he had been diagnosed as bipolar and was on lithium and depacote), took a 13 year-old American girl hostage in order to gain entry to the Jewish Federation Building in Seattle.

(We must note that many mentally ill people are functioning, non-violent members of society and that many criminals, including dictators, have never been psychiatrically diagnosed or denigrated.)

Haq declared that he was “angry with Israel” and announced that it was a “hostage” situation. He began shooting women, including one who was pregnant. Five Jewish- and Christian-American women were wounded and one, 58-year-old Pam Waechter, was murdered. Haq shot several of the women in the abdomen.

Perhaps Haq’s crime is not only the product of his bipolar mental illness. It may also reflect an Islamic culture that denigrates women in general and a jihadist culture that denigrates all life, including Muslim life, and which seeks to oppress and destroy all living beings. For example, many Islamic suicide killers will purposely target pregnant women or women with small children before they blow themselves up.

Further, both in the past and in general, Jews have been seen as “female” or “feminine” because they were not allowed to bear arms and preferred a non-violent resolution of conflict for both ethical and practical reasons.

Islamic culture is a shame-and-honor-culture. What this means is that child socialization involves shaming and humiliation. Many adults reared this way are especially sensitive to slights that tend to be experienced as extremely humiliating.

Haq has been described as short (he is 5 ‘4 and wore elevator soles). He has also been described as bald, socially inept, a loner, and, despite a degree in engineering, unemployed. The ideologies of extreme hatred often attract highly dysfunctional followers, some of whom are capable of violence.

Haq’s crime took place on a Friday – a day when devout Muslims often hear sermons excoriating Israel, Jews, and America. In Israel, many Jews have been stabbed by Muslims on a Friday. In our opinion, however, this may not have been the case here. Haq had been charged with “lewd conduct” for having exposed himself in a public place. His humiliation was about to escalate. He snapped – but in a particular kind of way.

Like the 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta, who wanted no pregnant women to approach his imagined corpse, Haq apparently had no interest (or ability) to relate to women. People refuse to understand that the “occupation” that jihadists rant about is really how they themselves have been “occupied” by childhood shaming and punishing techniques. When such cruelty turns them crazy or when they are psychologically vulnerable, they may act out in the only socially approved ways allowed, namely, they first scapegoat the intimate enemy which is female and then the outsider enemy: Jews, Israelis, Zionists, and Americans.

Haq’s act is chillingly reminiscent of the Montreal Massacre that took place on December 6, 1989
. Marc Lepine entered the engineering school at the University of Montreal and killed fourteen women while wounding fifteen others. Lepine, who had been rejected by both the Canadian Army and the engineering school at the University of Montreal, said in his suicide note that he was after the “feminist viragos” who had ruined his life.

The Canadian police saw this as an isolated act of a madman (as American police had once viewed Ted Bundy’s bloody trail of femicide). What the Canadian police failed to understand was the importance of certain biographical and childhood factors. For example, Lepine was born Gamile Rodrigue Gharbi to an Algerian Muslim father and a French-Canadian mother who had formerly been a nun. Lepine’s father, Liess Gharbi, physically and psychologically brutalized both his son and his wife. He probably taught his son that women are chattel – property – who deserve to be beaten even when they are obedient and perhaps murdered when they are not.

What is important to note is that Gharbi/Lepine blamed women for the considerable crimes of his father, whose culture was Islamic and Algerian.

As Dr. Chesler recounts in her book, The Death of Feminism, in 2001 an angry mob of 300 Algerian men conducted a three-day pogrom against Algerian women in which they tortured, stabbed, mutilated, gang-raped, buried alive and murdered women in Hassi Messaoud.

In Dr. Chesler’s 1978 book, “About Men,” she posited that the paternal abandonment of, and cruelty toward, sons may be a crucial component in mother- and woman-hating. Dr. Nancy Kobrin, in her forthcoming book The Sheik’s New Clothes: The Naked Truth About Islamic Suicide Terrorism, suggests that the absolute degradation of Arab and Muslim women by a shame- and honor-society means that sons must perpetually rid themselves of the “contamination” that contact with women represents; and that sons must psychologically abandon their mothers even as they experience abandonment by their mothers. Many such sons are trained to mistrust, police, routinely batter, and sometimes even murder their female relatives.

Dr. Kobrin believes that such psychological dynamics may play a crucial role in contemporary Islamic terrorism.

While girl-and woman-battering and honor murders are increasingly normalized in Islamic culture, the enemy-outsider, who must also be scapegoated, has been increasingly eroticized. Israel-hatred and Jew-hatred have achieved a level of political-erotic obsession among jihadists that may even surpass that of the Nazi era. Israel is no longer “feminine” and for some, this is its great, existential crime. Israel refuses to absorb the hatred and violence or to forever turn the other cheek.

Individual Jewish women, though, may present a particularly tempting target to mentally ill and violent Muslims in a jihadic era. The “Jewess” is the most denigrated female in Islamic ideology. Zaynab bint Al-Harith, the Khaybar “Jewess,” is the woman who was falsely accused of having poisoned the prophet Muhammed after having witnessed the beheading of her entire male community in the Battle of Khaybar. Not coincidentally, Hizbullah currently calls its missiles “Khaybar.” We have also been told that a new Iranian television station is known as “Khaybar.”

Israeli civilians are at the greatest risk as they endure a slow Holocaust-like bleed of civilians. American civilians, both here and abroad, including in Europe, are also at great risk. All those who currently work for Jewish organizations in America are perhaps especially vulnerable to this eroticized Jew-hatred that permeates the very air we breathe.

We hope that Americans, both male and female, especially those who believe their politically correct and pro-jihadic views will protect them from jihadic violence, will now begin to wrestle with the tragedy in Seattle. We hope they do not blame Israel for what Haq did. His crime is a complicated mix of mental illness, woman-hatred, and Jew- and Israel-hatred. Perhaps all the propaganda against Israel and the Jews propelled Haq, a lost soul, to cling to the illusion that his criminal action could redeem his lost honor.

A Jewish woman who knew the murdered Pam Waechter told us that Waechter, who was born a Lutheran and converted to Judaism, “was a better Jew than I or most of us could ever be.” Jewish tradition believes that messianic redemption will enter the world through the good deeds of women converts to Judaism, beginning with Ruth, the ancestor of King David. Let us learn the necessary lessons about redemption from Pam Waechter’s martyrdom.

Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D, is the author of thirteen books including “The New Anti-Semitism” and the forthcoming “The Islamization of America.” She is a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press. She may be reached through her website,

Nancy Kobrin, Ph.D, is a psychoanalyst and affiliate professor at the University of Haifa.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

World-known People at the Kotel (Western Wall) in Yerushalayim


Friday, August 11, 2006

What Does it Mean to be a Religion of Peace?

The problem is cognitive dissonance; the problem is self-imposed delusions and illusions for the sake of one’s own well being; the problem is evil. I can’t forget the words from “One Love,” one of Bob Marley’s songs. In it he says, “Is there a place for all those hopeless sinners who have hurt all mankind just to save their own sole beliefs?”

Islam is not a religion of peace, at least not right now. I truly believe that the ideal and values to which Islam strives is that genuine peace that they talk about. However, there are people who use that phrase as a defense against the critics of terrorism, those critics whom realize the essential and unquestionable association between terrorism and Islam. Therefore, for a person to say “Islam is a religion of peace,” a true statement, is to offer a seriously dangerous whitewashing of something which cannot be justified by any stretch of the moral and theological imagination. It is a despicable poison of humanity’s conscious to use a truth for the sake of manipulation and sheltering one’s self from (much-needed) criticism. Muslims (and other people) who try to separately categorize Islam and terrorism are a dime a dozen, but either they are guilty of spreading a grandiose and damaging illusion, believe it themselves, or a combination of both. This is a lie and it is dishonest; sometimes even the innocent ignoramus has to be blamed for his lack of knowledge for he should be paying attention when the walls of the world are being shaken around him, threatening to crush him; he should wake up.

Islam is by far not a monolithic religion, meaning that it has a variety of different expressions and opinions coming from different schools of thought. However, Islam as a religion and theology has an established lexicon, as do most religious “entities,” and the words used in Islamic thought are rich in their own contextual and conceptual definitions. This is the root of Islam’s tension with the “Western” secular world/civilization; there, religion and religious thought have long been extracted, filtered, and separated from the daily life and paradigm of the average individual- you go to a house of worship to be religious and when you go home you are you again. This is horrible and tragic; a thick and invisible wall is erected between religiosity and “normalcy,” which is why society believes that religiosity is not normal. To people who are truly a religious people, the topic of this essay being Muslims, such a segregation is kin to the destruction of the world – the separation of “Church and State” is the separation of “absolute truth and daily living,” it is the separation of “morality and legislation.” It is the American thing to say, “Don’t legislate my morality,” in the words from the song titled “Marijuana” by the band “Phish.” But yes, morality needs to be legislated lest it completely deteriorate. If one cares about morality, he should legislate it, if one cares about absolute truth, he should live with it daily, if one cares about “Church,” it should be associated with the State.

The fact that “the Western world” has almost totally institutionalized this separation and “Islamic civilization” has not, renders two different philosophical paradigms in the collective mind of each. The word “peace” for example has a different definition in each of these civilizations, and without going into what those definitions are, suffice it to say that they are relatively incompatible with each other (although not absolutely). Right after 9/11, I remember a local Imam from a mosque here in Tucson stand in front of a large crowd at my university and proclaim that Islam was a religion of peace. That was the first time in the next following years that I heard that being said. After he gave a short speech, a Jewish guy that I knew sang a song of peace with a guitar in his hands; this was supposed to be a show of solidarity for the fallen of 9/11 and to show that Muslims cannot be blamed. In that it was both true and false; Muslims cannot be blamed, but Islam must.

You see, “Islam is a religion of peace” means one thing to Americans and something else to Muslims. To an American, it means that there is a violent brand of Islam and there is a peaceful brand, the true Islam, and that the extremist minority has hijacked it and taken it captive; peace was the result of democratic ideals and the separation of religion from the sphere of politics. Even if this categorization was true, it failed miserably in explaining why nobody put pressure on "the true Muslims" to speak out against and alienate the "false Muslim." Eventually this hodgepodge of silent approval revealed an even uglier face of Islam, that the majority of Muslims agreed with the violence, and those whom did not were the silenced minority. It was very reminiscent of Nazi Germany or America's Confederate South.

“Islam is a religion of peace” was a flawed argument that American Arab Muslims have helped propagate in order to save themselves both from harm and public humility in the face of the events of 9/11 and was adopted by liberal ideologues as a philosophy. Every time after 9/11 when another Islam-related terrorist attack took place, the by now professional (and brainwashed) apologists, both secular Westerners and religious Muslims, had efficiently capitalized on the “Islam is a religion of peace” argument. To use that phrase was a wild card in any argument in which a person held feelings of resentment towards Islam; it was used to short circuit the train of thought that realized the empirical and real-world connection between Islam and terrorism; the argument tried to gloss over the secular mind with the notion that there were truly two separate categories. It was a form of hypnosis, or a lobotomy. To disagree with it was to be a racist or a bigot, and to be sure, there were surely some despicable racists and bigots, but not everybody who realized the association of Islam and terrorism qualified.

To the Muslim, however, peace meant something radically different, and perhaps he did not realize that the American had an entirely different definition. After all, peace is translated “salaam,” so “salaam” means “peace.” Doesn’t it transcend and unify the universal human understanding of the word? Absolutely not! To a Muslim, peace was the social product of the domination of Islam, so when and if Islam finally dominated a place or a society, there would be peace, until then however there would be war. So yes, the values and ideals of a Muslim society are truly egalitarian and ethical, but in order for that society to be established, the current society needs to be overthrown and replaced with a Muslim one – only then will the peaceful side of Islam emerge. It is not a lie to say that “Islam is a religion of peace,” but that is the final product of the domination of the Muslim value system in society; it was misused to get people to think that there were two distinctly categorized classes of Islam: terrorists on one hand and true Muslims on the other. Little did society understand that to a Muslim, war and peace are two sides of the same coin – there is war, victory, then peace. The meaning of the word “peace” in Western and Muslim civilizations is almost paradoxically different. Westerners said "terrorism," but Muslims said "a justified form of warfare." Eventually a handful of individualist intellectualist Muslims began to say that terrorism as warfare violated Islamic concepts of just war. I say “peace” and you say “peace.” I say “tomato,” you say “tomahto.”

Islam might very well be a religion of peace, but most Muslims are not of peace.

This opens up to a discussion of Christian and Muslim concepts and application of theocracy, which I will add here when I am finished with it. I also want to conclude with the Jewish (or Judaic) concept and application of theocracy.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ishmael/Isma'il (AS) in the Bible and the Qur'an.

by Bilal Ayyub McDaniel.

(The link to Bilal Ayyub McDaniel’s blog is here)

Before I begin explaining my theory, first I feel I should clear up that Muslims, we as an article of faith, believe in the Prophethood and righteousness of Abraham (AS), Isma'il (AS), AND Isaac (AS). Some misinformed people (especially fundamentalist Christians) are under the mistaken impression that (or at least spread untrue rumors that) we do not honor Prophet Ishaq (AS) and his descendents. This is completely false. To insult any Prophet is a grave sin within Islam, and we would never insult Prophets Ibrahim (AS), Isma'il (AS), Ishaq (AS), Yakub (AS), Yusuf (AS), or any of the Prophets born from the ranks of the Tribes of Isra'il. In the Qur'an, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, addressing the Muslim community, says:

2:136. Say ye: "We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to Allah (in Islam)."

Though having been corrupted with the intention of lessening the position of Isma'il (AS), there still exists much evidence showing the special position of Isma'il in the Torah. Genesis 17:20 says, "And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation." All these Prophecies have undoubtedly come true. Isma'il is the father of the Arab peoples, who today number over 323 million, so certainly he has been made fruitful and been multiplied exceedingly. The Twelve Princes are none other than the Twelve Imams, the successors of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), from Amirul Momineen Ali ibn Abu Talib (AS) to Imam Muhammad ibn Hasan al-Mahdi (AS), our current Imam. The great Nation is the Ummah, the word given for the worldwide Muslim community, which literally means "Nation" itself.

When Hajar (RA) and Isma'il (AS) are "exiled" by Ibrahim (AS) in the Torah, Isma'il is portrayed as a very young child. Genesis 21:15-16 say, "And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept." Yet, we're told earlier in the Torah that Isma'il (AS) was with Ibrahim (AS) when he was circumcised, at age thirteen (Gen. 17:25)! Obviously if he were thirteen he could not just be lied under the brush (He could have easily got up and walked back to his mother), nor would his mother have been carrying him to begin with. In verse 18 of the same chapter, God supposedly tells Hajar (RA) to lift up her son. Again, it would be unneccessary to pick him up if he were over the age of thirteen.

One point Christians and Jews often dwell on, regarding the differences in belief between Muslims and themselves, is that we Muslims believe that it was Isma'il (AS) who was almost sacrificed by Ibrahim (AS), and not Ishaq (AS). Honestly, in my experience, this has not been a difference that Muslims themselves tend to dwell on, focusing more on much more important differences such as the righteousness of the Prophets and the absolute Tawhid, or Unity, of Allah. However, this story has a huge and obvious hole in it. Perhaps the most famous verse in the Bible with regard to this story is Genesis 22:2, "And he said, Take now thy son, thine ONLY SON ISAAC, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of." There is no time during Ishaq's (AS) lifetime when he would have been Ibrahim's (AS) only son. Some would argue that at this point Isma'il (AS) was no longer considered as Ibrahim's (AS) son, but both before and after his supposed "exile", Isma'il (AS) is referred to as the son of Ibrahim (AS) in the Torah. In Genesis 25:9, it says, "And his SONS Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre;" This verse (Gen. 22:2) has obviously been corrupted, and Isma'il's (AS) name has obviously been replaced with Ishaq's (AS).

This next part is mostly a distinct theory that I have mostly come up with on my own, though I'd be surprised if someone else hadn't also said the same things: Now I will skip forward in a manner that must seem quite abrupt, several thousand years, to the time of Prophet Isa al-Masih (AS), or Jesus the Christ. From an Islamic perspective, we believe that Isa (AS) was the last Prophet from among the Bani Isra'il, the Children of Israel, who are, from their very name, the descendents of Prophet Yakub (AS), Jacob, who was also known as Isra'il, himself the son of Prophet Ishaq (AS). In the book of Matthew chapter 21, Isa (AS), as was often the case, is giving a sermon on the Pharisees (P'rushim in Hebrew). He ends his sermon by first quoting from Psalms 118:22-23. His words, in Matthew 21:42, are, "Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?" He then continues by giving an explanation of this verse in verse 43: "Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a Nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." This is, according to my interpretation, yet another reference to the Muslim Ummah, or Nation. The Stone which the builders rejected was Prophet Isma'il (AS), whose role was lessened by the Builders, the "lying pens of the Scribes", which are mentioned in Jeremiah 8:8 (when translated literally). In a sense, Prophet Isma'il (AS), by fathering the lineage of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) and his Ahlul Bayt (People of the House; His close chosen family), functions as the head cornerstone of the fully completed religion of Islam as taught in the Qur'an and Sunnah and as preserved in the teachings of the Ahlul Bayt. Isa (AS) continues further by issuing a warning. Verse 21:44 proclaims, "And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder." This is a warning and a prophecy given to discourage any from making themselves the enemies of Islam, whom, if they attack the Ummah will be broken, and whom, if the Ummah attacks them (in self-defense), will be crushed. Verse 45 says, "And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them." This is important itself, because the meaning of this is that the Priests and Pharisees acknowledged that Isa (AS) was accusing them of perverting the religion, and warning them that the preferred Prophecy would depart from the Bani Isra'il and go to the another Nation, which shall bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom of God, and that to stand against this Nation will bring injury at the least, and destruction at the most. Remember also what Ibrahim (AS) and Isma'il (AS) built, and that this building has just about the most famous cornerstone in the world, the Black Stone.

Ibrahim (AS) was doubly blessed, having fathered Ishaq (AS), through whom the great Hebrew Prophets come, and through which were revealed were the Torah, the Psalms, Solomon's (AS) book of Wisdom, the Injeel (Lost Gospel of Jesus Christ [AS]), and more, and having fathered Isma'il, the father of a great multitude, the Arab peoples, and also of the fourteen Masoomeen (i.e., Muhammad [SAWS], his daughter Fatima [AS], and the 12 Imams, or 12 Princes, mentioned specifically in the Torah), the last and greatest Scripture, the Qur'an, having been revealed to Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). Both have an undeniably important role in the history of Abrahamic religion, having passed and taught monotheism down to their respective peoples (even if at times those people all but abandoned it until new Prophets came). May God bless Muhammad (SAWS) and his family the way he has blessed Ibrahim (AS) and his family. Amin.

Yaniv said:

Hey Bilal, you knew that I was going to respond to this. Very interesting reading and I thought it was thoughtful and written well.

The verse (Genesis 21:18) in the Hebrew is “Kumi, se’ee et ha’na’ar ve’hachaziki et-yadech bo ki l’goy gadol asimenu.” The translation is, “Arise, lift up the youth and grasp your hand upon him, for I will make a great nation of him.” The translation you found makes it seem like Hagar was holding Ishmael in her arms as does a woman an infant, but that is not necessarily implied in the Hebrew. The verb “se’ee” is a feminine command meaning “lift up,” and you can use it that if I make you get up, I am “lifting you up.” However, the verse says just before this, “Vayilchu ha’mayim min-ha’chemet va’tashlech et ha’yeled tachat achat ha’sichim,” which means, “When the water of the skin was consumed, she cast off the boy beneath one of the trees,” which indeed makes it seem like she lifted him and set him down as does a mother with a child.

I have a theory though of what this means and I’ll ask a Rabbi I know tomorrow. The Torah has Talmud, very much like the Qur’an has Hadith, and it reveals events that are not explicitly mentioned in the text yet occurred so I’ll see what it says about this. My theory is that Hagar set (thirteen year-old) Ishmael down underneath a tree because he was dying of dehydration (the verse says “When the water was consumed, she cast off the boy beneath one of the trees”) and then distanced herself from him to save herself the painful experience of witnessing his death. In other words, Hagar lifted Ishmael, the boy, who was thirteen, and thirteen year-old boys are not very heavy. The interesting thing is that the verse does not say whether Ishmael was conscious or not, and we can assume that he was ill due to the heat and lack of water; if he was ill, he would not have gotten up. The translation you found makes it seem like he was an infant, and that is the source for the reason you say the text was corrupted, but maybe it is the TRANSLATION that is “corrupted,” i.e., not accurate. It was at this point when she “lifted her voice, and wept.” Psalms, written by King David, says, “G-d is close to those who call Him, to all those who truly call,” and since Hagar let out a genuine cry, and this is in line with Jewish tradition, G-d was moved to mercy and saved Ishmael. This also has to mean that G-d had the intent of having Ishmael live from beforehand. By the way, if the Jews corrupted the Torah, don't you think that they would have been blatantly mean to Ishmael and Hagar? The Torah says that a great nation will be made from him and that he was an accomplished archer and that, yeah, Ishmael and Isaac buried Abraham together. It also says that Abraham had a hard time expelling Ishmael because he loved him so, but G-d told him to listen to Sarah. I can't help but to think that maybe this is just the way it all really went down.

Genesis 22:2 says, “And He said, ‘Please take your son, your only one, who you love – Isaac – and go to the land of Moriah; bring him up there as an offering upon of the mountains which I shall tell you.’” G-d tells Abraham to take Isaac to Moriah, which is in Jerusalem and can be visited today. If the Jews really DID corrupt the text, what it means is that they didn’t just change “Ishmael” to “Isaac,” they also changed “Mecca” to “Jerusalem” because Muslims believe that Abraham actually was going to sacrifice Ishmael at the Q’aba in Mecca. So perhaps the “original and uncorrupted Torah” said that Abraham took Ishmael to Mecca, but there is no place anywhere in the entire Tanakh (“Jewish Bible”) where there is mention of Mecca. Even in the Prophets, near the end of the Tanakh where it mentions Arabs, Mecca is not referred to at all. If we hold that the Jews have corrupted the Tanakh, it means that they went through the entire thing and edited out Mecca, and quite well I might add. What an undertaking.

The other option is that Jerusalem was actually the site where Abraham took Ishmael to be sacrificed, not Mecca. I am aware that Islam says that Jews corrupted parts of the original Tanakh, but is this one of those parts, and if it is, why have I never heard that argument being made? If Abraham really took Ishmael to Jerusalem to be sacrificed, it sets Jerusalem smack dab in the middle of Muslim theology, specifically, above Mecca, i.e., Mecca is secondary to Jerusalem. Why then during the 7th Century did the Muslim tradition try to place Mecca as the establishing point of Islam? Why did Islam say that Abraham took Ishmael to Mecca? Why did Muhammad change the Qibla from Jerusalem to Mecca? If Abraham took Ishmael to Jerusalem, Jerusalem would have been the establishing point of Islam. It seems that something changed here, the text was changed, and the only people in this scenario who could have changed that text were the Muslims in the 7th Century because only they had a vested interest in Mecca, the Jews did not. The corruption charge applies now to those Muslims.

A quick question: if the Qur’an is really the completion of the Torah, and assuming that Muslims believe that the section of the Torah where G-d gives the commandments (mitzvoth) to the Jewish people through Moshe has not been corrupted, aren’t professed Muslims required to keep the 613 commandments which G-d gave to the Jews at Sinai? Assuming that the Jews really have lost G-d’s favor due to some unforgivable sins and that He then passed on the (uncorrupted) Torah on to the Christians and then the Muslims, aren’t Muslims supposed to be keeping and adhering to those commandments in the way that JEWS do today? If I am correct, Islam only recognizes a handful or so of the commandments in the Torah and only keeps some of them, and not even in the same way. Why is that? Has G-d changed? If a Jew is ever going to accede that the Qur’an is truly the final religion of G-d, i.e., the final revelation, that Jew better be sure that G-d actually changed His mind about the Torah lest the Jew breaks G-d’s Word. This, by the way, is why the Jews rejected Jesus and Muhammad. It was not supposed to be a declaration of war by the Jews in rejecting Muhammad; it was a declaration of loyalty to G-d. If anybody in the world should respect and understand that, it should be the Muslims but apparently they missed the point.

D’varim (Deuteronomy) 13:4-6 says, “If there should stand up in your midst a prophet or a dreamer of a dream and he will produce to you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes about, of which he spoke to you, saying, “Let us follow gods of others that you did not know and we shall worship them!” -- do not hearken to the words of that prophet or to that dreamer of a dream, for Hashem, your G-d, is testing you to know whether you love Hashem, your G-d, with all your heart and with all your soul. Hashem, your G-d, shall you follow and Him shall you fear; HIS COMMANDMENTS SHALL YOU OBSERVE and to His voice shall you hearken; His shall you serve and to Him shall you cleave. And that prophet and that dreamer of a dream shall be put to death, for he had spoken perversion against Hashem, your G-d – Who takes you out of the land of Egypt, and Who redeems you from the house of slavery – to make you stray from the path on which Hashem, your G-d, has commanded you to go; and you shall destroy the evil from your midst.” How much clearer can it be? Is this a corrupted text or a pure one?

Bilal said:

Hey bro. Yes, I was hoping you'd comment, because if anyone on my friends' list could give a good counterargument, it would be you, definitely. You're probably correct about 21:18 being mistranslated, which Christians do tend to do. It's also perfectly plausible that, like you said, Ishmael (AS) was unconscious when his mother laid him under the tree. As to why the Scribes left Ishmael (AS) in at all, I wouldn't know. Perhaps they saw no reason to take him out at all once they'd turned him into a very minor figure? Perhaps there had some other justification that was only valid at that time. I don't blame you for trusting what the Torah says on this: You're a Jew. This essay really isn't an attempt to convince Jews and Christians, so much as an theory on my part to try to explain, and give some evidence for, the differences. God knows, and He guides whom He will, but I'd actually be extremely surprised if this essay won over any Jew or Christian to Islam.

I don't see how the changing from Mecca to Jerusalem in the Torah is any more different than any of the other corruptions of the text. No one said the Scribes weren't reasonably thorough. I'm not sure if Mecca is ever mentioned in the Torah, in its modern form, but if it were, the name "Mecca" would probably not be the one used. No offense, but this in particular just doesn't seem like as good as argument as you seem to think.

Can you explain why the text would call Isaac (AS) Abraham's (AS) only son?
Also, a bit leading, but can you provide me with an accurate translation of Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah) 8:8, from the Hebrew?


Yaniv said:

I was pretty sure that you would bring up that (second to) last point. I think the reason, after having demonstrated (successfully or not) that the Torah records the accounts accurately without any "ancient spin" that Isaac was the chosen, explains why the Torah refers to him as the only son.

At the height of the determining event, the binding of Isaac (Akeidat Yitzchak), the Torah focuses in on him directly and then after this event and Ishmael is returned the Torah "zooms out" again and refers to both of them. Consider it like a camera panning; it focuses the attention where it needs to be.

I have another theory. G-d tested Abraham with Isaac, that's for sure. I think we can deem the event with Ishmael a test as well, and it was through tests that G-d established Isaac as the father of a great nation. Likewise, He established Ishmael in the same way. You see, in the verse when Abraham is headed up to Moriah with Isaac and the two young men, he says to them, "Stay here, Isaac and I will go and prostrate ourselves and return (this is the translation off the top of my head)." The Midrash asks (Talmud), if Abraham knew that he was going to sacrifice his son (and he believed he was going to), why did he say "WE will return" and not "I will return?" The Midrash answers that he KNEW that G-d wouldn't allow it, that He would intervene on something that Abraham was SURE he was going to do, and G-d did of course. In the same way, I think, we see in the text that when Abraham told Hagar to leave, he gave her a skin of water. That would seem like a fairly natural thing to do when sending somebody away in a desert, but, as Ishmael was dying (my theory), Hagar prayed and G-d answered and made her perceive a well and then she used that skin to rehydrate Ishmael and to save his life. It seems that this is the way that G-d saved Ishmael's life in the same manner that He saved Isaac's. In other words, He wanted Ishmael to live and through Abraham, like he did with Isaac, Ishmael lived. In a matter of speaking, and this is very subtle, Abraham sent Ishmael to his death as well but through his mercy Ishmael lived. It was not through Abraham's mercy through which Isaac lived, because Abraham was committed to carrying out G-d's Word, but an angel told Abraham to stop. The difference in the events accounts for the differences in the relationship that both Isaac and Ishmael (and therefore their descendants) have with G-d and the differences in their roles in the world.

Jeremiah 8:8 in the Hebrew reads, "Eicha tomru chachamim anachnu ve'torat Hashem itanu achen hineh lasheker asa et sheker sofrim." "How can you say, 'We are wise, and Hashem's Torah is with us'? Indeed, they made the quill for falsehood, the scribes are false.’"

Peace, Yaniv...

Bilal said:

If Muslims can indeed be charged with corruption, does this mean you acknowledge we received a revelation to begin with? If Muhammad (SAWS) was a Prophet, then why would he change the qiblah had it not been God's Will? Arab nationalism would have been completely against his character, by any means, and he never showed anything but the highest respect for the Hebrew Prophets. Why would Jerusalem be so important to Muslims even now if we had downgraded its role to uplift the role of Mecca? Why then do we, and have we always, cared so much about our beautiful city of Quds? It just makes no sense why a Muslim would change Jerusalem to Mecca in this particular story. However, it's pretty easy to see why Jewish scribes would change Mecca to Jerusalem. What does Mecca mean to Jews? Nothing. For Jewish people, how much deep meaning would it have if Abraham (AS) had almost sacrificed his son in the middle of some desert on what, from their perspective, was the Nowheresville Peninsula?

Firstly, we don't claim that all 613 Mitzvot are uncorrupted. Secondly, we believe the Torah was given to the Hebrews. Moses (AS) and Aaron (AS) were Prophets sent specifically to the Hebrew people. Infact, every Prophet before Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was sent primarily to a particular nation or tribe. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was the first universal Prophet, and the Qur'an, in taking a universal role, supercedes all previous religious scripture. Therefore, even if we had an uncorrupted Torah, there would still be differences in fiqh. For example, the Sabbath; In the Qur'an, 16:124 says, "The Sabbath was only made (strict) for those who disagreed (as to its observance); But Allah will judge between them on the Day of Judgment, as to their differences.", and 7:163 says, "Ask them concerning the town standing close by the sea. Behold! they transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath. For on the day of their Sabbath their fish did come to them, openly holding up their heads, but on the day they had no Sabbath, they came not: thus did We make a trial of them, for they were given to transgression."

The Jews have not committed unforgivable sins. They, as any other people, can turn to Islam. Those who truly followed the Torah and Tanakh in the times past recognized Jesus's (AS) Prophethood, and they were Muslims. Before him, they recognized all the other Prophets. If they did not recognize these Prophets, they weren't true Submitters. If they had no knowledge of those Prophets, then no blame lies on them. A person isn't better or worse because of their ethnicity. Who is a Jew? From what you say, a Jew is a person with a Jewish mother. According to your rabbis, I am a Jew. I don't mean to discount the religion of Judaism, but am I correct that a Jew who doesn't practice Judaism or even practices another religion is still a Jew, and a Gentile who believes in and practices Judaism and observes all 613 Mitzvot, but does not make a formal conversion, is not a Jew? This tells me that, in the modern definition, 'Jew' is an ethnic label, so a person can be a Jewish atheist, Jewish Judaist (for lack of a better word), Jewish Muslim, or Jewish Christian.

It's not that, before the time of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), Christianity was the correct religion, and that before the time of Prophet Jesus (AS), Judaism was the correct religion. It's that Islam (Submission) was always the correct religion, and those who followed Moses (AS) and Jesus (AS) were Muslims (Submitters). If you don't believe that Prophets Jesus (AS) or Muhammad (SAWS) were Prophets at all, then by all means, don't become a Muslim. That would be the silliest thing in the world, to follow a Prophet or a Book you don't even believe in. But a Jew who is already a Muslim (and there are some of these), will know.

Concerning the quote in Deuteronomy, I completely agree with that particular quote. But one good quote doesn't make a document uncorrupted. If Muhammad (SAWS) had asked you to worship other gods, Muhammad (SAWS) would not have been a Prophet. But if the Torah is completely uncorrupted and if it is the only Law and final word, then why did God send you Prophets after Moses (AS)?

It still doesn't explain why Isaac (AS) is referred to as the only son: Even if the Torah "zooms in", did Ishmael (AS) cease to exist at that time?

Yaniv said:

Ah, I understand. How can Islam exist if there is no mention with Abraham in the Torah that Ishmael received a revelation? It seems that the Qur’an, and I say this without bashing, please understand, explores Ishmael’s revelation from G-d given that the Torah doesn’t refer to it. This is part of the design of the Torah, it seems, every nation is supposed to connect to G-d through it, it is universal. However, in Islam's case, it does this by “rethinking” the text of the Torah; it had to place Ishmael’s events inside the Torah retroactively, which necessitated the introduction of the corruption charge. What this means is that it had to refurnish much of what the Torah said in order to make the existence of Islam make sense. This is kind of like a branch on a tree, which is good, but this branch wants to suck all the water from the trunk. However, I think it’s quite possible that Islam, the religion, did not exist until the 7th Century when Muhammad arose as a leader. As you said, “Islam/submission” refers to Judaism until the time of Christianity and then the actual religion of Islam. The Arab tribes-people that Muhammad was successful in convincing of G-d’s existence were polytheists until that time. The Torah doesn’t describe in detail step-by-step someone’s life; it refers to events that are central. For example, it talks about the birth and life of a major “figure” and then jumps to the day of their death and its significance. Here’s a possible parallel; when Abraham and Sarah left their homes the first time, the Torah says that they left “with the souls that they had made in Haran,” which the Midrash explains were the people that they converted; the Torah actually considers them to be “true humans” once they understood that G-d Alone was real. Perhaps that’s why the descendants of Ishmael were not mentioned in the Torah -- Muhammad introduced them to the concept of G-d in a very similar way that Abraham and Sarah did. Therefore, the first mention of them is the Qur’an. Ishmael himself always believed in the One True G-d, he was Abraham’s son, there is no other way that he could have been, but somewhere along the way his descendants strayed (which also happened with a number of Jews throughout the entire Tanakh). Those of his descendants that did not stray, and there were likely several, maybe are the people that the Qur’an refers to as non-Hebrew monotheists before the advent of Islam; I forgot what they are called – Sabateans?

By the way, there were several important converts in the Torah that were not Hebrew; Yitro (Jethro), who was Midianite, and Ruth, (King David’s grandmother), who was a Moabite woman, and others.

Bilal said, "If Muslims can indeed be charged with corruption, does this mean you acknowledge we received a revelation to begin with?"

No, I don’t think that there was a revelation in the form of an “uncorrupted Torah,” because the existence of it is only theoretical. Looking at it from the angle that there actually was one, however, if there was, then the place that Mecca holds in Islam is a corruption because the “true version” names Moriah, in Jerusalem. Islam would HAVE to say that the naming of Moriah is also a corruption. However, in the century that Islam was established, Muhammad had to change the qibla from Jerusalem to Mecca; this serves as THE LITMUS TEST showing us that Jerusalem had been the center of monotheism for the some 3,000 years until Islam arrived on the scene. There is evidence that Muhammad originally wanted it to also be the center of Islam, i.e., the first holiest site in Islam and Mecca and Medina being second and third, but it didn’t work out that way and it was “demoted” to third place while Mecca and Medina became number one and number two. However, my theory that Islam is guilty of falsification is also theoretical because it is based on a theoretical “pure Torah.” Instead of being “Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,” that revelation would have been “Abraham, Ishmael, ____, _____,” and so on. Instead, history has shown us “Abraham, Ishmael, skip 40 centuries, Muhammad.” Islam doesn’t even show that lineage from Ishmael to Muhammad, which that “original Torah” would have recorded, so where is it? You can’t tell me that the Jews corrupted it or destroyed it, because ISHMAEL’S descendants would have HAD and PRESERVED it!

IF that Torah existed (Ishmael, Jerusalem), then the Muslims are guilty of corruption because they changed it to say Mecca. But that Torah never existed, so the charge is irrelevant. That “original Torah” would have said that Abraham took Ishmael to Jerusalem (since Muslims only negate the son, not the location), and later the Muslims claimed that it actually said that Abraham took Ishmael to Mecca. But, since Muhammad changed the qibla from Jerusalem to Mecca, we know that Abraham took SOMEBODY to JERUSALEM. It couldn’t have been Ishmael because Muhammad would have honored that! It had to have been Isaac. The original Torah, therefore, is what we have today; we preserved it.

Muhammad was very successful in changing it: in 715 the Ummayads (a Syrian dynasty) saw it fit to bring Jerusalem back into the spiritually very significant fold of Islam, some say for political reasons. The Ummayads are the ones who built the Mosque of Omar and the Dome of the Rock there for the very reason of re-establishing Jerusalem in the heart of Islam and Muslims; they tried to re-include Jerusalem in Islam, until then it had become a backwater region. It wasn’t until that point in history where the Night Journey came to symbolize Jerusalem; until then, the “Sacred Mosque” in that verse referred to the Sacred Mosque that was in Mecca, right outside of the Q’aba (I’ve seen the pictures). Also, the verse of the Night Journey reads “Glory to He who took His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to the furthest mosque.” (Subhana allathina asra bi-‘abdihi laylatan min al-masjidi al-harami ila al-masjidi al-aqsa.) The Ummayads claimed that the furthest mosque (al-masjidi al-aqsa, Al-Aqsa Mosque) was in Jerusalem, but it was in Medina. According to an article I read by Daniel Pipes;

“When this Qur'anic passage was first revealed, in about 621, a place called the Sacred Mosque already existed in Mecca. In contrast, the ‘furthest mosque’ was a turn of phrase, not a place. Some early Muslims understood it as metaphorical or as a place in heaven.14 And if the ‘furthest mosque’ did exist on earth, Palestine would seem an unlikely location, for many reasons. Some of them:

Elsewhere in the Qur'an (30:1), Palestine is called ‘the closest land’ (adna al-ard).

Palestine had not yet been conquered by the Muslims and contained not a single mosque.

The ‘furthest mosque’ was apparently identified with places inside Arabia: either Medina15 or a town called Ji‘rana, about ten miles from Mecca, which the Prophet visited in 630.16

The earliest Muslim accounts of Jerusalem, such as the description of Caliph ‘Umar's reported visit to the city just after the Muslims conquest in 638, nowhere identify the Temple Mount with the ‘furthest mosque’ of the Qur'an.

The Qur'anic inscriptions that make up a 240-meter mosaic frieze inside the Dome of the Rock do not include Qur'an 17:1 and the story of the Night Journey, suggesting that as late as 692 the idea of Jerusalem as the lift-off for the Night Journey had not yet been established. (Indeed, the first extant inscriptions of Qur'an 17:1 in Jerusalem date from the ELEVENTH CENTURY.) [my emphasis]

Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiya (638-700), a close relative of the Prophet Muhammad, is quoted denigrating the notion that the prophet ever set foot on the Rock in Jerusalem; ‘these damned Syrians,’ by which he means the Umayyads, ‘pretend that God put His foot on the Rock in Jerusalem, though [only] one person ever put his foot on the rock, namely Abraham.’17

Bilal said, “Why would Jerusalem be so important to Muslims even now if we had downgraded its role to uplift the role of Mecca? Why then do we, and have we always, cared so much about our beautiful city of Quds? It just makes no sense why a Muslim would change Jerusalem to Mecca in this particular story.”

Because the Ummayads did a good job.

Bilal said, “However, it's pretty easy to see why Jewish scribes would change Mecca to Jerusalem.”

Everybody would have exposed the Jews as frauds if they had changed it. They also would have exposed them for frauds for claiming that the Sea of Reeds split in half if it hadn’t really. There is no evidence that the Jews changed anything, not one shred.

Bilal said, “For Jewish people, how much deep meaning would it have if Abraham (AS) had almost sacrificed his son in the middle of some desert on what, from their perspective, was the Nowheresville Peninsula?”

Hehe, good point, but take a look at a map; from Haran, where Abraham was, to Jerusalem is also “Nowheresville!”

Bilal said, “Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was the first universal Prophet, and the Qur'an, in taking a universal role, supercedes all previous religious scripture.”

Says you. The first universal Prophet according to Midrash was Noach, who repopulated the entire world after the Flood. G-d gave him and his family seven laws to follow, a set of laws for the Gentile population of the Earth that they could administer to themselves in their way as long as they were fully compliant with it. They are called the Seven Noachide Laws. That Law was a general yet demanding monotheistic ethical Law for the entire nations; the Muslim religion is an extremely narrow religion requires submission to the Muslim state as a prerequisite to submission to A-llah. (By the way, I believe in theocracy, just stating a fact). It is a dominating religion. Islam seems to be a religion fully in compliance with the Noachide Laws, and under the Noachide system it is perfectly valid and actually good. The problem IS that it believes to have superceded all previous religious scripture; it should have left well enough alone and let monotheists be monotheists without having to change. Jews think that Islam is perfectly valid, but Islam has to mind their own business. As long as others are being monotheists we are perfectly happy; Islam isn’t even happy with other monotheists, and Jews are basically the only other monotheists in the world today, except for maybe B’hai’s and Sikhs.

Bilal said, “In the Qur'an, 16:124 says, "The Sabbath was only made (strict) for those who disagreed (as to its observance); But Allah will judge between them on the Day of Judgment, as to their differences."

Again, note Deuteronomy 13:4-6, we HAVE to keep the commandments of the Torah in the form that G-d gave them to us. Nobody is our arbiter on how to keep them except Moshe and then the preceding Prophets. Note, EVERY Prophet in the Torah tells the Jews to return to adherence of the mitzvot, because we had strayed; Muhammad had a whole different plan in mind for us. The Jews would have let him and his descendants be with their new monotheistic religion, but the Muslims weren’t satisfied with harmony, they wanted dominance. We have our Torah, we don’t need a Christian Bible and we don’t need the Qur’an. If we go wrong, let our Prophets and Rabbi’s correct us, not anyone that claims to be a Prophet. By the way, Prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah are OBVIOUSLY universal in scope. Isaiah says that the entire world will come and bow in Jerusalem and that that “from Zion will come instruction (Torah) and the Word of G-d from Jerusalem.” He also says that the knowledge of G-d will cover the Earth like a sea. Have Muslims ever stopped to think about what the Prophets were actually saying before deeming them Muslims? The only reason those Prophets are in there is because they didn’t say contradictory things to observance of Torah; there were self-proclaimed prophets that didn’t make it. The Jews have been mature enough to realize that Muslims are monotheists and we would support them if they didn’t want to take everything from us and/or told us what to believe and how to act.

Bilal said, “According to your rabbis, I am a Jew. I don't mean to discount the religion of Judaism, but am I correct that a Jew who doesn't practice Judaism or even practices another religion is still a Jew…”

You said it yourself, G-d gave a Prophet to every nation; ours is Moses, forever. We are a nation with a religion. It started with just the Hebrews, but if you look at Jews today they came in all shapes, colors, and sizes; it has transcended the borders of ethnicity long ago. However, we are considered a nation by our unity under G-d; so a black Jew, for example, has become like my blood-brother. It’s like he’s from the same mother, and he is, Sarah. That’s why ethnicity is irrelevant to real Judaism and the Torah has no color.

A Gentile can keep the entire Torah if he wants but he has already been given a Law so it’s extra-meritorious. If a Gentile wants to become a Jew he needs to make a profession of faith, which takes about a year of study of the essentials and basics of Judaism and then he/she needs to dip into a mikvah (ritual bath), which is like “being born again,” as a Jew. Also, a man who has not been circumcised needs to get one, and if he has (since most boys get one when born), there is a process where he gets a small poke with a needle down there.

A Jew has the ABILITY to do whatever he wants, i.e., he was endowed with free will, but he is NOT FREE from keeping the Torah, he HAS to do it! He has to submit his free will to G-d’s Will, for as the Talmud says, “He who makes G-d’s Will his own, G-d will make his will His own.” Atheist, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, whatever: all these practices and ideologies are foreign to the Torah, a Jew has to keep the Torah. Submission, right, everybody is born and dies in submission according to Islam right? Yet much of humanity does not submit to G-d. Doesn’t Islam pass down through the father? Are there not atheists with Muslim fathers? It’s the same thing.

Bilal said:

You're incorrect on this point because SOMEONE did not have to be almost sacrificed in Jerusalem for it to have been the Qiblah at all. This is an irresponsible assumption, and I don't even understand your reason for making it. So no, we do not "know that Abraham (AS) took somebody to Jerusalem". Muhammad (SAWS) had nothing but the highest honour for Isaac (AS) and would never have corrupted anything.

Jerusalem was never "the Sacred Mosque"; It was always "the Farthest Mosque", Masjid al-Aqsa. Oh, you say there was no masjid in Jerusalem? Masjid means, "place of prostration", so yes, Masjid al-Aqsa was already a masjid at that time, and Masjid al-Aqsa in the Qu'ran always referred to the masjid in Quds. To claim that this was a later invention is simply untrue, and there is no historical basis for that claim whatsoever. Daniel Pipes claim that "Masjid al-Aqsa" is a turn of phrase also has no historical basis, besides his obviously biased opinion, as anyone who knows who Daniel Pipes is, will admit. 30:1 is "Alif Lam Mim". After that, in 30:3, which is the verse being referred to, this is not even a reference to Palestine.”

Yaniv said:

It’s a very responsible assumption because 1) the Torah says it (regardless that I believe that the Torah is from G-d, Isaac is documented), and 2) something made Jerusalem the center of the monotheistic world. The Torah says that King David chose that site for the capital of the Land of Israel, i.e., the site of the Temple, based on the merit of Isaac’s near sacrifice there. There is a direct line from Mt. Moriah to Jerusalem, or in other words, from Isaac’s near sacrifice to the site of the Temple. The only way to read what you are saying is that the theocratic monarchy started by King David was a sham built on a site where nothing happened because Abraham didn’t really take Isaac there. Are you ready to concede that King David (the Muslim) was guilty of this sham himself, or perhaps that he too was fooled by “the Jews?” Are you saying that King David should have built the Temple in Mecca? Can you give me just two believable and/or documented things that would have made Jerusalem “eligible” for being the center of the entire G-d-believing world for some 3,000 years? I have no reason to believe that anything of import happened in Mecca other than the establishment of the religion of Islam in the 7th Century.

Bilal said:

No actually what I said was a denial that Islam refers to Judaism until Christianity or Christianity until the time of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). For example, there would have been many Muslims around the world who were neither Christians nor Jews, BUT the true followers of Moses (AS), Jesus (AS), and all the other Prophets, were Muslims (Submitters). Muhammad's (SAWS) complete lineage is not necessary, nor would it have necessarily been predicted in the pure version of the Torah. I personally think it's quite likely that many of the lineages given in the Jewish scriptures are a much later work, by scribes, added either maliciously or well-intentioned to the Torah. There is a lineage that scholars have pieced together for Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), but it works under the assumption that the lineages in the Torah are correct. Their motivation anyway, would be supported by the emphasis put on lineage in Judaism. There is no evidence to suggest that this was deemed AS important by the Ishmaelites. The Arab monotheists were called Hunafa (plural of Hanif). Jethro (AS), or Shuaib, was not a convert to Judaism but a Muslim from among the seed of Ishmael (AS), already both a monotheist and a Prophet before he met Moses (AS).

Yaniv said:

You’re defining Islam as a theoretical religion; there is no evidence that such a religion existed. If it did, it was Judaism, i.e., the Israelite religion, i.e., adherence to the commandments of the Torah. You said, I personally think it's quite likely that many of the lineages given in the Jewish scriptures are a much later work, by scribes, added either maliciously or well-intentioned to the Torah.” Then you said, “There is a lineage that scholars have pieced together for Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), but it works under the assumption that the lineages in the Torah are correct.” These statements are opposite. To justify them, you said, “There is no evidence to suggest that this was deemed AS important by the Ishmaelites.” If Islam was not measurable, it did not exist; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the Prophets knew that they were Jews, i.e., following in his ways. Doesn’t it make you curious why not one of them ever made any reference to Ishmael? I do believe that Islam exists today, it’s real, duh, but what you call “Islam” in the time of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and later on was Judaism. There is a place for Islam in the world, a very important place, but Islam insists that it kick Judaism out of its throne to have it. There is a real problem with that for real practical reasons, like war, and we are seeing them today. Make no mistake about it, this debate is at the center of the Middle Eastern conflict between Jews and Arabs, nothing else.

Bilal said:

“(Jeremiah 8:8 in the Hebrew reads, "Eicha tomru chachamim anachnu ve'torat Hashem itanu achen hineh lasheker asa et sheker sofrim." "How can you say, 'We are wise, and Hashem's Torah is with us'? Indeed, they made the quill for falsehood, the scribes are false.")

What is your interpretation of that verse? It seems to clearly say to the Jewish people, who are prideful because God's Torah is with them, that the scribes who copy it are liars.”

Yaniv said:

Haha, that made me laugh, that’s the Muslim interpretation, and it’s not very different from the Christian one. The Jewish interpretation is not an interpretation; it’s truth. Jeremiah, like all the other Prophets, railed the Jews for leaving the Torah and straying – unfortunately at times it got so bad that even the religious leaders of the people were guilty of it. Oh, wait a minute; that sounds familiar when I think of Islam and all the corrupted religious leaders in the Muslim Arab states, i.e., those who back terrorism. Now if only the Muslims had a Jeremiah, that’d be something else! The one constant with Jews is that they are absolute experts at criticizing their own in the Name of G-d – I don’t see that in Islam. The Prophets were expert whistle blowers against corruption - that is what G-d wanted them to say. That is the tradition that we Jews have inherited and that’s why I’m so proud to be a Jew; we expose evil wherever it is. It is central for a religious person to be able to criticize the most fundamental things about his/her role in the world. You say that the Prophets were Muslims - wrong, they were good Jews.

Peace, Yaniv…