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~~~ Introduction ~~~
Libraries . . . what fascinating places they are. My wife and I are members of the Jacob Gitlin Jewish library in Cape Town. We travel there in order to renew our books every five to six weeks. As one would expect, pretty much all the books in this library has something or other to do with the Jewish people, their origins, history, culture, land, language, etc., etc.
Both my wife and I are very interested in just about anything Jewish, mostly so, I think, because we are believers in the Elohim (G-d) of The Scriptures (Bible, if you like), who has chosen this people out of all the nations of the world to be the carriers of His message to a lost world, whether they like it or not. Sadly, more often than not, even more so today than at any previous time, they don't like it, at all. Believe me, I understand why, but it still remains the saddest thing to me.
Anyway, on one such visit to said library, a couple of months ago, to date, as I was searching for my next batch of books to read, my eye fell on this, rather, thick book entitled "Too Many Men", which I am now reviewing here. I recalled that I have noticed this book on the shelf on two or three occasions, before, during previous visits to the library, but every time I thought that the title was just "too weird" and the book also seemed way to thick to me, who is really not a fast reader.
On this particular day, however, I just had the strangest feeling that I should take this book out, which I, subsequently, did, and although it took me ages to finish reading it (for the reason mentioned above, not ever because I didn't thoroughly enjoy it), I have to say that it was a highly rewarding experience for me.
~~~ Narrative ~~~
Ruth Rothwax is a successful, middle aged, single modern Jewish woman who lives in New York. She is also the owner of a successful business, called Rothwax Correspondence, so she has no shortage of money. Other problems abound, however, problems like, a highly strung personality, the inability to form lasting relationships, especially with members of the opposite sex, scores of hang ups, ridiculous little habits and superstitions, various obsessions and the like, all of which makes her an extremely eccentric, bordering on dysfunctional, person. Someone who did a review of this same book on Amazon.com described Ruth as follows . . . (This is such an apt description of her that I just have to quote it here)
Begin quote < Ruth is a symphonic collection of tics, habits, rituals and agonies, an emotional land mine, filled with unanswered questions . . . > End quote
The interesting thing is that, unlike the majority of her kind, she not only realizes that she has serious issues, but readily admits it to herself. She also, correctly, discerns that these behavioral problems of hers are rooted in her childhood, growing up with an extremely traumatized and dysfunctional mother and a father who, al- though he loved her, never spoke a word about his or her mother's past. As a young adult she also had to deal with the trauma of her mother, Rooshka's, sudden death and with it the realization that she would now, very likely, never get to the bottom of her family's past and with the latter, a better understanding of who she really is. After she became financially independent, her father, Edek, with whom she actually gets on very well, moved to Australia where he still lives.
Although her parents never talked about it, in the end they were unable to hide the fact that they both survived the living hell that was the Natzi holocaust. As a thirty something Jewish woman living in New York, Ruth becomes convinced that this sole piece of information is, in fact, the key to unlocking every issue of her life. She spends almost every free moment she has to educate herself about the Natzis who were at the helm of Hitler's "Third Reich" and all the atrocities they committed, especially those who were involved in the so called "Final Solution" of Europe's Jewry.
She also goes on a trip to explore the old country, i.e. Poland, where her parents grew up and where entire generations of Jewish people, amounting to hundreds of thousands of beings, were systematically slaughtered by the Natzis between the years 1942 and 1945. She, however, soon realizes the impossibility of learning anything in this strange country and its people (the latter, especially, whom she dislikes from the start) without having her dad there with her, and so decides to return home fairly quickly.
Ruth is, however, determined to discover her family's past and so she plans another visit to the old country, this time inviting her dad to join her there on an all expenses paid holiday. The Jew in him quickly recognizes this offer as the bargain of a lifetime, although he tells her, outright, that he can think of much better holiday destinations than Poland. What he doesn't realize however, is just what she plans to get out of this deal, that she is on the quest of a lifetime to find out who she is and where she came from and that nothing is going to stop her, least of all the loss of even a considerable portion of her material wealth.
Will this trip with her dad bring her the answers she, so desperately, seeks? Will it bring her the healing in her life which she, inadvertently, yearns for? Well, this is now the place where I tell you that if you want to know the answers to these questions, you will just have to read the book for yourself. I'm sorry . . .
~~~ About the author ~~~
Lilly Brett was born in Germany and since 1948 she lived in Melbourne with her parents for some time. She married the Australian painter David Rankin and today they live in New York. Besides her books of fiction she also writes beautiful poetry, both genres, for which she have received major awards, like the New South Wales Premier's Award for fiction for her book "Just Like That" and the 1987 Victorian Premier's Award for poetry for her first book, "The Auschwitz Poems".
~~~ Writing style ~~~
Lilly Brett has an easy, uncomplicated and believable style of writing which, as far as I am concerned, leaves little or no room for any ambiguities, misunderstandings, uncertainties and the like in the text. Her writing is simplistic, but it is also extremely profound (in the sense of deep and meaningful), all at the same time. I thought it expedient to give you, the reader, a little taste of it by quoting the following excerpt from the book under review, i.e. . .
Begin quote < She got out another fifty Zlotys and gave it to the woman. The woman smiled. If she hadn't had so many teeth missing, it would have been a very sweet smile. The woman said something to her. "Nie mówie dobrze po polsku", Ruth said. Ruth could say "Nie mówie dobrze po polsku", I don't speak Polish very well, very well. It confused people. 'You have a perfect accent', several people said to her. If only she could say more in this perfect accent it would be useful.
The woman repeated what she said. Ruth shrugged her shoulders and shook her head. She had no idea what the woman was saying. The woman repeated herself, slowly enunciating each word. It means "too many men", a young man passing by said to Ruth. She is saying to you, you have too many men in your life. Ruth laughed. Too many men . . . She didn't have any men in her life. The gypsy woman looked agitated. She stabbed the air with her finger and repeated what she had said.
'She says that you have too many men in your life', the young man said. 'These gypsies are psychic', he said. They have a God-given psychic power.' Ruth was irritated. Why were Poles so fixated with God? 'God-given?' she said. 'If there is a G-d, He could have given them food and shelter.' > End quote
~~~ My thoughts on this book ~~~
The characters Lilly Brett uses in this book are real and true to life. They were created for the narrative, to give life to the latter, so to speak. There is no overload of them either (as is the case in some books), so that the reader can, easily, keep track of them all, so to speak. They are also beautifully developed within the nar- rative as the latter moves to its consummation.
I absolutely loved the character of Ruth's father, Edek. Even as I was busy reading the book, I was saying to my wife . . . "You just have to read this, my love, because Edek is exactly like Brian", (her ex husband), whom we still see, fairly regularly, and who is a Jew (a Levite, to be more precise) with exactly the same man- nerisms as Edek. It is almost unreal in its reality, if this makes sense to you, at all.
The author's excellent ability, within the text, to, almost subtly, emphasize the healing her main character (Ruth) needs, so badly, and yearns for, so desperately, reminded me of just how frail human life really is and how much we all need the Creator's healing touch in our lives. It, specifically, reminded me of the scripture in Hoshea (Hosea) 6:1 which says:
"Come, let us return to the LORD (YHVH in Hebrew, the Personal Name of the King of the Universe), for He has torn us, but He will heal us, He has injured us, but He will bind up our wounds.",
which, at the time when Elohim first spoke it, applied to the Jewish people, only, but today applies to all His people, everywhere, because of scriptures like Romans 11:17, 19 etc.
Suffice to say that I loved "Too Many Men" by Lilly Brett and think that it is, quite simply, an extra-ordinary reading experience. I heartily recommend it to anyone who can lay their hands on it. For a rating I feel obliged to give it a perfect 5/5, for stunning.
~~~ Other Details ~~~
Title: Too Many Men
Author: Lily Brett
First published in 1999 in Picador by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd, St Martin's Tower, 31 Market Street, Sydney.
Printed in Australia by McPherson's Printing Group
The book is available from www.amazon.co.uk at £ 9.99 for a new paperback copy. When I last checked on the Net (on the 30th June 2011) they had only 2 more copies in stock. I do not know if it is available in digital format; I cannot see why not.
~~~ Personal Comment ~~~
A couple of years ago, to date, I took some private Modern Hebrew classes with a Polish Jewess by the name of Judith, who lived in Cape Town, at the time, and also taught the language there at a the big Jewish Middle School. She told our class that her mother, who also lived in the city, at the time, was an inmate in one of the Nazi camps (Treblinka, if I can remember correctly), which she miraculously survived.
Every five days or so, she picked her mother up to go and do her shopping at the supermarket. This is where things got really weird. Her mum would absolutely insist on buying two of everything she had on her shop- ping list, which was all the more aggravated by the fact that Judith had to foot the bill. She apparently tried a couple of times to change her mum's mind about this compulsion of hers, in the supermarket, which led to some terrible outbursts, there and then. Can you imagine such a thing? Can you just imagine it? I felt such compassion for Judith on the day she told us this . . .
Woman like Judith and Ruth in our book "Too Many Men" are called "second generation holocaust survivors". Judith told our group of Hebrew students that the modern State of Israel now recognises that it is as vital for said second generation survivors (of which there are thousands living in that country today) to receive government sponsored counselling as it is for the actual survivors of the Natzi death camps. The former need the counselling in order to "handle" the actual survivors correctly, because incorrect handling of them, will, more often than not, lead to some kind of unacceptable social behaviour, just like the public outbursts mentioned above.
Unfortunately for dear Judith there is no such thing as government sponsored counselling for actual holo- caust survivors in South Africa, never mind second generation survivors like herself and there was no way she could afford private counselling for herself. I am not sure if she managed, in the end, to scrape enough resources together to afford private counselling for her mum, but it was clear to me, at the time, that she desperately desired it for her.
Thank you for having taken the time to read this review of mine through. I trust that you have benefitted somewhat from it.
Hi everyone . . .
~~~ Introduction ~~~
Being the cricket lover that I am I have had the game on my mind "kol ha-z'man" (all the time) during the last couple of months while the Indian cricket team toured our country, and, if I am completely honest with myself, my cricket fever is only, ever, rising as the 2011 ICC (International Cricket Council) Cricket World Cup Tournament is, now, rapidly, approaching.
Today I would like to review my all time favourite ODI (One Day International) cricket player, i.e. South Africa's Johan Botha. If you do not know what Johan Botha looks like, but would like to know, you can access a nice photograph of him by doing the following:
a) Copy the URL: http://wallpapers99.com, paste it into the address bar of your Internet Explorer and press Go/Enter.
b) When the above website opens up, type "Johan Botha" into the little "search" rectangle located at the top, right, of the webpage and click on the "search" button to the right of said rectangle.
c) The next page opening up will reveal a number of Google search results. Click on the top one.
d) The next page will reveal a small photo of him on the bottom left hand side. If you would like to view bigger sizes of this photo you can click on the small 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768 magnification numbers directly on the right hand side of the photo.
I can almost hear the cricket experts among you thinking . . . What is so special about Johan Botha that he even deserves a mention on a ODI cricket supporter's all time favourite list? Well, this is now my opportunity to tell you why this player is such a great prize in South Africa's current as well as its future ODI cricket set up. Let me begin by proving to you that he, certainly, belongs in the company of the world's, current, best spin bowlers.
~~~ Johan Botha - one of several very good ODI spin bowlers ~~~
Johan Botha is a spin bowler, more specifically a right arm off break bowler. Every modern cricket side in the world has one to three spin bowlers in their side and one and all of them are good players. When one considers the best ODI spin bowlers in the world, it is hardly necessary to look further than India's Harbhajan Singh, Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan, Pakistan's Shahid Afridi, Bangladesh's Abdur Razzak (who bears no relation to the similarly named Pakistani all rounder), New Zealand's Daniel Vittori, England's Graeme Swann and, of course, the player under discussion, South Africa's Johan Botha.
In order to show you that there is very little to choose between the above spin bowlers (all of whom are currently playing and all of whom will be in action during the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup to be played in India, Sri-Lanka and Bangladesh) I have drawn their latest statistics off the www.espncricketinfo.com website. I have included their batting statistics, because during the last couple of decades the batting performances of lower order batsman, just like these spin bowlers, have proven to be a critical factor in the outcome of not a few ODI cricket matches.
I will compare the above 6 spin bowlers under the following categories:
1) Number of ODI matches played
2) No. of wickets taken
3) Bowling Strike Rate (the number of balls it takes, on average, for the bowler to take a wicket This is,
possibly, the most critical statistic of them all for any bowler in an ODI match),
4) Economy per over of 6 balls (the number of runs, on average, the bowler concedes per over),
5) Batting average (the average number of runs the batsman acquires per innings/match)
6) Batting Strike Rate, i.e. the average rate at which a batsman scores his runs.
The latter has become another all important factor in modern ODI matches, because a batsman with a particularly high batting S/R (Strike Rate), who stays in (bats, without getting out) for a specified length of time, can, literally, win an ODI game for his side, all on his own. Let us quickly consider what an ODI S/R of, say, 113.30 amounts to, in real terms. Well, it simply means that a batsman with this S/R scores 113 runs, on average, for every 100 balls he faces.
As we shall see, below, this is Shahid Afridi's ODI batting S/R. Only a select few specialist ODI batsman, worldwide, has a better batting S/R than this. It is nothing less than incredible. As a bowler this is the last player on earth you want to see walking to the batting crease at a time when the fielding side should be doing everything in its power to stem the usual flow of runs at the latter end of its opponent's innings. The best thing for a bowler to do in this kind of situation is to remain very calm and hope that S K Afridi has one of his bad days, the latter of which he, seemingly, has had more than his fair share, in his international cricket career up till now.
On one of his good days he will, on his own, and in super quick time, literally destroy, the very best ODI bowling attacks in the world, exactly like he did to South Africa in the semi-final of the ICC World Twenty 20 Tournament in England, in 2009. I remember this, particular, South African cricket tragedy so clearly, as if it happened only yesterday. First Shahid Afridi clean bowled two of the Proteas' top order batsman for a paltry 16 runs in his allotted 4 overs, which was more than enough to restrict South Africa to a below average 142/5, and thereafter he smashed 51 runs from 34 balls to, pretty much, single handedly, win the match for Pakistan.
Ok, so here we go . . .
Harbhijan Singh (India): 1) 217 2) 246 3) 46.1 4) 4.3 5) 13.23 6) 81.58
Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka): 1) 340 2) 517 3) 35.4 4) 3.92 5) 6.8 6) 77.10
Shahid Afridi (Pakistan): 1) 311 2) 292 3) 45.5 4) 4.64 5) 23.86 6) 113.68
Abdur Razzak (Bangladesh): 1) 111 2) 162 3) 36.3 4) 4.44 5) 13.73 6) 70.63
Daniel Vittori (New Zealand): 1) 266 2) 279 3) 45.3 4) 4.13 5) 17.24 6) 81.46
Graeme Swann (England): 1) 44 2) 60 3) 32.7 4) 4.51 5) 12.45 6) 79.52
Johan Botha (South Africa): 1) 69 2) 65 3) 51.9 4) 4.65 5) 18.46 6) 84.06
As one can see from these comparisons, Johan Botha is right up there with the best in the business as far as physical bowling and batting are concerned. Many pages can be written about the above comparisons, alone (Just look at Graeme Swann's bowling S/R of 32.7, for example. Isn't it simply magnificent? What about Muttiah Muralitharan's 517 ODI wickets and his, quite incredible, bowling economy of only 3.92?), which I would dearly love to do, but which really falls outside the scope of this particular review.
~~~ So what is it then that makes Johan Botha more valuable than the rest, in my eyes? ~~~
All of the above players have the ability to think on their feet (i.e. to assess bowling and batting situations, in which they are directly involved, as they arise in the course of the game, and then to, quickly, work out the most effective way to deal with it), but only Johan Botha, Daniel Vittori and Shahid Afridi, of the seven players, above, have, really, got the ability to see further, i.e. that uncanny ability in cricket to sense what lies 10, 15 or 20 overs ahead. Put slightly differently . . . they can, to a significant degree, read how the game will unfold ahead of time.
The select few players in the world with this ability to "read the game" are often match winners on their own, in the sense that they can, literally, begin to plan, on the spot, what to do next in order to give their side the best chance of winning an ODI match. It goes without saying that if said players are also the captains of their sides it will give them the opportunity to implement those changes they sense will give their teams the winning edge, at any given time, without any opposition. If they, however, do not captain their sides and the actual captains of their sides should disagree with their assessment of the game, it can cause said players a lot of frustration and even cause them to underperform, significantly.
It is just as well, then that Daniel Vittori captains the New Zealand ODI side, and because of him, especially, an opposing side will underestimate this team to its, certain, peril. I have just found out that he will retire from international cricket after the 2011 Cricket World Cup. You don't just replace an ODI captain like him in a hurry. He will leave a huge vacuum in the New Zealand ODI side, not only as a classy spin bowler, but especially as the captain of his team.
For those of you who do not know this, I will educate you quickly . . . No player in an ODI cricket side is as important and as crucial as the captain, even if the former can be likened to Shane Warne at the height of his career. Not a few cricket lovers the world over have no understanding, whatsoever, of this fact. I will quickly prove the latter to you . . . Mahendra Singh Dhoni of India is one of the best current ODI cricket captains in the world, if not the very best.
Just because he has had a lean season or two with the bat, in recent times, lots of Indian cricket supporters, especially, are now calling for him to be dropped from the Indian ODI side. If this kind of comment is not so downright absurd (ridiculous if you like), it could actually be funny. Hopefully Cricket India will have no more than a good chuckle about these comments. Everything else being equal, a good ODI cricket captain will (man alone) win more matches for his side than what he will lose and exactly the reverse will apply for a bad captain.
Graham Smith will, likewise, retire as captain of the Protea ODI team after the 2011 ICC World Cup. The fact that the South African cricket selectors have, already, appointed Johan Botha to, permanently, take over the ODI reins from him after said World Cup, really instills me with a lot of confidence for the future health of South African cricket. If Graham Smith is a good ODI captain (which he, undoubtedly, is), Johan Botha is better.
When Graham Smith got injured just before the commencement of the 7 match ODI series during Cricket South Africa's last tour "Down Under", Johan Botha was selected as the stand in captain for that series. The Proteas' shocking 5 - 2 series win against a strong Australian ODI team, at the time, was such a big cricket miracle that the South African cricket selectors immediately began to investigate the reasons for it.
Fortunately, it didn't take them long, at all, to attribute the Proteas' new ODI successes against the Ausies, mainly, to Johan Botha's captaincy of the side. My prediction is that when he becomes South Africa's new ODI captain, in the near future, that his personal statistics, above, will absolutely explode for the better and that it will become extremely difficult to beat our ODI team, no matter who the opposition is or what the playing conditions on the day may be like.
It, furthermore, makes all the sense in the world to me that a calm inward as well as outward demeanor will only enhance the overall effectiveness of the player who possesses this "game reading" ability. The thing is that, in by far the majority of cases, calmness will enhance this kind of player's ability to think clearly, especially in very tense match situations, of which there are a great many in ODI cricket. It is right here that, I believe, Shahid Afridi, who, seemingly, still captains the Pakistani ODI side, falls miles short of Johan Botha and Daniel Vittori.
Shahid Afridi has got the most incredible abilities with both cricket ball and bat and he can read a game, but his, often, impulsive and erratic behaviour, on and off the playing field, makes him a poor choice for the position of captain of the Pakistani ODI outfit, in my humble opinion. The Shahid Afridi story is, sadly, really one of wasted talent. If their captain is utterly impetuous, bordering on rogue, the Pakistani ODI team, as a whole, is all the more so.
They are, easily, the most unpredictable and inconsistent of all the big teams in world cricket, who will go down against cricket minnows like Holland, Afghanistan or Scotland on one day and almost the very next day blast the lean, mean Australian cricket machine out of the water. The Pakistanis add an unpredictable and, to a certain extent, exiting element to any tournament they participate in, but in the end the team must, on a regular basis, bitterly frustrate and disappoint their own supporters and leave cricket lovers, everywhere, with nothing more than a bitter taste in their mouths for what could have been . . .
In the end there is really very little to choose between Daniel Vittori and Johan Botha (save, of course, for the former's massive ODI match experience compared to that of the latter, something which Botha will, very quickly, catch up with in the next decade or so), with regard to their extra - ordinary abilities as current captain and captain to be of their respective ODI teams. I am, however, a South African and not a New Zealand cricket supporter, and therefore it should come as no surprise that I favour Johan Botha over the former.
As far as I am concerned Johan Botha can make a massive difference to South Africa's 5 day test prospects, as well, as Graham Smith's deputy, if the selectors will just get to the point of selecting him again. He has already played in 5 five day test matches and said selectors are long ago convinced of his marvelous abilities, so there must be other reasons why he has not been part of the test scene in recent years.
Perhaps they believe that he will become less focused, and as a direct consequence of the latter, less effective in his career as future South African ODI captain if he plays 5 - day test cricket as well. There is no way for the likes of me to say for sure. We can, really, only wait and see if the selectors will, indeed, include him in the side for the test series, against Australia, in South Africa, later this year, and if so, at the expense of which, fairly regular, player.
Well, I can write several pages more about this very able and exciting cricket player, called Johan Botha, but save for some personal details and a few more comments and observations, I will leave it at that, also for the sake of those of you who don't like this marvelous game, but feel obliged to read and rate this review because I have done so to one or more of your reviews.
~~~ Some other relevant facts about Johan Botha ~~~
Johan Botha was born in Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, South Africa on the 2nd May 1982, which will make him 28 years and 9 months old when the 2011 Cricket World Cup kicks off on the 19th of February this year. He started his first class cricket career as a medium paced bowler (his bowling speed was in the region of 125 km's/h) for the Eastern Cape's "Warrior" franchise. One day the former Proteas' coach, Mickey Arthur, noticed something or other in Johan's bowling after which he suggested to the latter that he would be better suited to spin bowling.
Johan Botha made his debut as a spin bowler in the Proteas' ODI team in their match against India in Hyderabad, on the 16th November 2005. He only conceded 31 runs off his allowed 10 overs in that match, and was rewarded with the prized middle order wicket of Irfan Pathan, who can, very quickly, change the entire course of an ODI match with his explosive hitting.
This was the beginning of a new era for Johan Botha as it dawned on both Micky Arthur and Graham Smith just what a cricket gem they had in their midst; not only one of exceptional talent, but even more so, one of a fiercely competitive nature as well as an icy determination to succeed. I don't think they even realized, at that stage, Johan Botha's biggest asset of them all, i.e. his, quite excellent, leadership abilities, something which are, thankfully, undeniable, in educated South African cricket circles, today.
After having received the above, initial vote of confidence in him, from those he trusted, respected and looked up to, not even the ICC's banning him from international cricket because of a supposed faulty bowling action, soon after his 5 day test debut in Australia in January 2006, could deter him from the goals he set himself. Johan Botha's refusal to let the above setback get him under, coupled with his determination to correct his bowling action to the ICC's satisfaction, were, really, more instrumental than any other factors (those who are closest to the man will tell you . . .) in the latter organization's decision, in November of that same year, to clear his action, and in so doing, lifting the ban against him.
To this day Johan Botha is, however, still not cleared, to bowl the "doosra" (a ball that turns away from the right handed batsman, and one which the likes of Harbhijan Singh and others, often, employs in order to get batsman out), which limits his current wicket taking abilities, somewhat, but which I have no doubt he will work on until he bowls it to the satisfaction, and even the delight, of the ICC as well as all other relevant cricketing stakeholders.
If there is anything that holds true in the world of sport, in general, and no less so in the world of international cricket, it is this . . . "Talent spots talent." Allow me to briefly explain what I mean. Shane Warne (no matter how much he was loathed by non Australian cricket supporters, everywhere, for his ability as a leg spinner to rip entire, international, opposition batting line ups to shreds and in so doing providing the Australian 5 - day test team, especially, with enormous advantages to win all their matches, at the time he was playing) was, arguably, one of the most talented leg spinners of all time, if not the most talented.
These days Warny (as he is known among his team mates) captains the IPL (Indian Premier League) side, the Rajastan Royals. This is what he said on the 14th May 2009 concerning South Africa's Johan Botha:
< begin quote> Johan Botha is a sensational player and we were disappointed when he couldn't be part of our squad at the start of the tournament. It is a real boost that he can now make an impact when called upon. <end quote>
Did you notice the words ". . . can now make an impact . . . ", above? There were never any doubts in Warny's mind that Johan Botha would make an impact for his Rajastan Royals side, and neither did the latter disappoint him, at all, over the last couple of years, in this belief of his. This is a classic case of a former great cricket talent being able to, almost immediately, spot another great cricket talent.
~~~ Conclusion ~~~
Johan Botha is so much more than the next great spin bowler. He is an excellent leader who will, without a doubt, take the future South African ODI cricket squad to new cricketing heights. There is little doubt in my mind that, under his leadership, our future ODI team will (on, at least, one occasion) bring that ultimate of cricket prizes, i.e. the ICC Cricket World Cup, which have, up till now, eluded our national team like the plague, back to South Africa.
As far as the, soon to start, 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup Tournament is concerned, it is clear to me that the team who desires to be crowned 2011 Cricket World Champions, will first have to beat the Indians in their own back yard. Everyone knows just how devastating they (the Indians) can be in their own country as well as, pretty much, anywhere else on the sub continent proper. The Proteas will, certainly, be more desperate than ever, to win the cup on this occasion, but against the Indians, especially, they will have one terrific steep mountain to climb.
If South Africa can find a way to beat them in the their Group B clash in Nagpur on the 12th of March, our team will, at least, feel confident that they can beat any other team in the tournament. I also have this, almost, nagging feeling within me that Bangladesh, who also plays in Group B with India, South Africa, England etc. might just cause a couple of upsets, this time around, and qualify for the last eight. If they get this right, one of the West Indies, South Africa or England will be eliminated before the quarter finals, because I, simply, cannot see the latter happening to India. It has all the makings of an unforgettable tournament.
Lastly, Johan Botha will play in this tournament and I simply cannot wait to see him prosper! His no. 22 green, South African, ODI jersey is a sight players of opposing teams are going to remember, for sure. The ICC Cricket World Cup starts on the 19th February 2011, exactly 15 days from the date I am publishing this review. If you love cricket as much as I do, you will not miss a single moment of this electric Bollywood like entertainment on a world cricket stage.
Thank you for having taken the time to read this review through. I trust that you have benefitted, somewhat, from it.
Hello there . . . Today I would like to do a review on a compilation of Jewish short stories of a past time, which the author, Yair Weinstock, has carefully selected and which he beautifully and skillfully retells. These stories are bound in one volume and is entitled "More Tales for the Soul" . . . "More tales", because this is the sequel to his first volume, which was merely called "Tales for the Soul", and . . . "for the Soul", because it is virtually impossible for the human soul to remain unmoved, not only by the rich narrative, but indeed by the very rewarding spiritual message/s which is/are entrenched in each and every one of these tales.
Although it is nowhere stated, explicitly, the assumption is clearly that these short stories are true or that they are, at the very least, based on true events. In order to appreciate them as one really should, I feel that it is, actually, quite critical to have a better than average understanding of the wider backdrop in which most of them take place. I will endeavour to summarize the latter for you in the following paragraphs. Please take note . . . This, particular, book review approach is one which deviates, quite considerably, from the norm, here on dooyoo.
Bo-u natchil / Let us begin . . .
When the 2nd Temple (the one which was built by the evil king Herod) was destroyed in 70 AM (After Messiah) by the Romans under their commander Titus, a Jewish exile of approximately 2,000 years began. After the southern kingdom of Yahudah's first exile of 70 years to ancient Babylon, which began with the fall of Jerusalem and the subsequent destruction of the First Temple by King Nevuqadnetzer's Babylonian armies in 587 BM (Before Messiah), even the thought of a possible 2,000 year Jewish exile, the second time around, must have, literally, caused the sages of ancient Israel to become faint with despair for the future of their people.
As the spiritual leaders of the Jewish people the sages of ancient Israel, unlike the majority of the common people, were mostly fairly well off, financially. This financial ability meant that they could afford to purchase scrolls of all the available biblical text of that time, which were very expensive, because said scrolls were all meticulously hand copied by scribes from only a few originals. Even in the case where a spiritual leader of Israel might not have been able to purchase these scrolls himself, he would definitely have had access to all of them.
In ancient Israel scrolls of Biblical text never ever lay around and gathered dust in the houses of those who owned them, as is, sadly, often the case with The Scriptures in the homes of modern people, everywhere . . . No, no, no, these scrolls were read and studied on an hourly basis. Their owners spent a lot of money to make them the most beautiful wrappers of the finest material available. The scrolls were then covered in these wrappers and carefully placed inside an ark (a special enclosure, within a synagogue or other communal place of study, which was, specifically, designed as a storing place for the scrolls) for the brief periods in which they were not used. When they were retrieved from the ark, again, they were kissed and softly caressed in the manner a husband kisses and caresses the wife he loves and adores.
At numerous times of Jewish persecution during the latter 2,000 year exile of the Jewish people, scrolls were often the sole possession which these people grabbed as they fled for their lives with murderous gangs of gentiles in hot pursuit. They would cling to it as a mother would desperately cling to the infant she was trying to protect from harm, and often were slaughtered whilst still holding it in their arms.
The first small picture you will see on the top right hand side of the web page which will open after you copy the following link . . . ,
paste it into the address bar of your Internet Explorer and press enter, is an, almost, too perfect "visual summary" (if you like), of my words, above. What you are seeing here are two Russian Jews fleeing for their lives from the midst of yet another pogrom (defined by The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Fifth Edition, Oxford University Press, p.937 as . . . An organized massacre, originally or especially of Jews in Russia), in that country during the late eighteen hundreds. Later on in this review I will say more about these Russian like pogroms which occurred frequently wherever Jewish people settled in Europe (which was everywhere), but for now . . . Can you see the one article with which they are fleeing? These are their Torah scrolls, hastily wrapped in talitim (Sing. = talit: the traditional Jewish prayer shawl).
You may say . . . but this is only a painting! Yes, it is only a painting, but the thing is, artists who painted portraits in the 19th century, as a rule, didn't just put the next thing they imagined on canvass, as is, all too often, the case in our modern world. No, the subjects of their paintings were, mostly, those things which, deeply, affected their lives, or put somewhat differently . . . reality or the truth.
On one level this is, of course, a terrifically sad picture, but on another, it is, indeed, a wonderful picture of the love those Jewish people had for and the dedication they showed to the Ultimate Author (Elohim) of the sacred text which was recorded on those scrolls. May we never forget those Jewish sacrifices for the sake of The Scriptures (Bible) when we hold the latter in our hands and may it, likewise, become the most treasured possession of our lives.
Ok, so how exactly did the sages at the time of the destruction of the 2nd Temple in 70 AM come to the conclusion that the 2nd Jewish exile would last an unimaginable 2,000 odd years? Every educated Jew who lived just before the time of the first exile of the people of Yahudah (the name of the Hebrew tribe from which the English word "Jew" stems) knew that the first exile would last 70 years, because Almighty Elohim revealed this fact to the prophet Yirm'yahu (Jeremiah), for one, as we can see in Yirm'yahu 29:10(a) for example, but . . .
Nowhere in The Scriptures of that time and even in the complete Scriptures we have today is there any clear mention that the second Jewish exile would last for a period of 2,000 years, nowhere. Well, because these sages read, studied and discussed The Scriptures day and night they began to realize that the scriptures in Hosea chapter 5:14 - 6:3, and more specifically the "two days" mentioned in chapter 6:2(a), alluded, on the interpretive level of a "sod" (a mystery hidden within the text, which could be discovered through diligent study) to a 2,000 year second Jewish exile.
How did they come to this conclusion, you may ask? They linked Hosea 6:2(a) with T'hilim (Psalm) 90:4 by doing "remez" (a level of scriptural interpretation whereby the reader's understanding of a specific scripture or scriptural concept is, often, considerably broadened by the added information provided by another scripture elsewhere, in the Bible, which can, acceptably, be linked to the former because of a common word or phrase which are found in both scriptures) with the word "day", found in both the above references.
The conclusion of this particular remez . . . If 1 day = 1,000 years in Elohim's economy (T'hilim 90:4 refer), then the "2 days" (reminiscent of Israel's 2nd exile) mentioned in Hosea 6:2(a) = 2,000 years.
As I mentioned earlier, this second Jewish exile pretty much began with the destruction of the 2nd Temple in 70 AM, which means that in the Gregorian year 2011, give or take a couple of decades, it has just about reached its latter end. This fact, alone, excites me só much, but to tell you more about why this is, really, falls outside the scope of this review.
Some time or other during these 2 days (2,000 years) of bitter Jewish exile, (which, really, culminated in the Natzi holocaust), all of these tales play themselves out. Now that we have briefly looked at the timing of these short stories, we can consider the geographical setting and circumstances they occurred in, a bit closer. Let us first consider the geographical setting. Even as early as the Torah (Elohim's instruction or teaching on how to live life skillfully and abundantly, recorded for us in the first 5 books of The Scriptures), which Almighty Elohim (blessed be He) gave His people approximately 650 - 700 years before the first Jewish exile to Babylon and a staggering 1,300 odd years before their 2nd exile, the reader of these scriptures can already see what would befall the Jewish people in the future.
I dare you to read Va-yiqra (Leviticus) chapter 26, especially from verse 14 - 39. This is riveting reading, every single detail of which was literally fulfilled during Israel's two exiles, but all the more so during their 2nd exile. I wish I could, even only begin to develop the latter for you in this review, but I have to remind myself, here, that I am actually doing a book review.
In verse 36 - 38 we read . . . "And as for those of you who are left, I shall send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies and the sound of a shaken leaf shall cause them to flee. And they shall flee as though retreating from a sword, and they shall fall when no one pursues. And they shall stumble over one another, as from before a sword, when no one pursues. And you shall be unable to stand before your enemies. And you shall perish among the gentiles, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up, . . ."
I, personally, cannot think of a better description of the Nazi holocaust than verse 38, above.
In verse 36, above, we read the words "in the lands of their enemies". You see, during the second exile Elohim scattered His people from ancient Israel and Babylon, pretty much, first to all regions of the Middle East, outside of ancient Israel, of course, to North Africa and to Spain, thereafter throughout the entire Europe and Russia and finally to every corner of the globe. By far the majority of the events described in "More Tales for the Soul" play themselves out on the greater continent of Europe. With regard to the events which are so expertly described within the pages of this book by the man Yair Weinstock, the entire Europe and to a much lesser extent North Africa, then, are the playground (or much more appropriately, perhaps, . . . the bitter persecution and subsequent desperate struggle for survival ground) and "the land of their (the Jews') enemies".
Now that we have dealt, to some extent, anyway, with the timing and the geographical setting of these narratives, we can consider the quite critical aspect, in my opinion, of the social, political and economic circumstances (specifically for the Jewish people), in which, just about, all of them take place.
I want you to imagine the following scene if you can, because this was the scene in every Jewish community, all over Europe, if not straight away, then certainly not more than a few decades after the Jews first arrived in a new country, city or town (with the possible exception, only, of their reign in Spain before everything went horribly bad for them there, first with the 1492 decree of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain ordering all the Jews out of their country and, almost immediately, in its wake, the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition) after fleeing for their lives from wherever they stayed previously.
The scene (more often than not) is . . .
A Jewish ghetto, often situated on the outskirts of a big European city and all too frequently the exact spot which the native born of that area or city considered to be the most disgusting place to stay for any number of reasons. The ghetto was usually also just far enough from the city to make the latter inaccessible, on a regular basis, for the majority of Jews, because they had to get there by foot or not at all, but it was not too far away, at all, for drunken hoards of financially able locals to go to the ghetto to slaughter tens, if not hundreds, of Jews for a bit of fun, every so often. (Refer to painting of the two fleeing Jews, above)
These native born citizens thought nothing of murdering Jews one moment and the very next day finding themselves in church, dressed in their finest apparel and singing praises to Elohim (G-d). I know, as someone who grew up in the Christian faith, I also refused to believe this stuff - that was before I began to research the history of the Jews and through the latter learned about the, quite horrific, history of the Christian Church. After my studies I simply knew the truth.
As you can well imagine, the living conditions within most of these European ghettos were absolutely appalling, mainly because of the abject poverty of all but a select few of it's, usually, huge Jewish populations. These "select few" were mainly Jews who collaborated, in one way or another, with the native citizens against their own people. The 16th century Jewish ghetto on the outskirts of the city of Prague is an all too perfect example of the scene described above, and that which follows below.
Imagine further the Jewish synagogue, the building of which was the very first priority of a newly established Jewish community, no matter how poor, after individual families secured their own dwelling places, and of course . . . the local Rabbi, who, save for Almighty Elohim alone, was the single most revered entity in any Jewish community of its time. Even though time, space and circumstances may vary, significantly, from one story to another, within the wider backdrop discussed above, we have now, finally arrived at the one, all important (critical, if you like) constant in nine out of ten of these tales, i.e. the Rabbi.
The Jewish Rabbis of the 2nd exile were, as a rule, not rich men, even though by far the majority of them could have been if they had kept anything more than the barest minimum, for their and their families' physical needs, of all the money the Jewish community poured into their households. The first priority of one and all of these holy men was the study of Elohim's Word, i.e. both the Written and the Oral Torah.
The latter was an oral tradition which was transmitted to Moses from On High at the same time The Almighty gave him the words of the Written Torah at Mount Sinai, and was then carefully transmitted from one Hebrew generation to the next, throughout the centuries, until a great sage by the name of Yahudah ha-Nasi, head of the Rabbinic academy in Tzippori (Sepphoris), in the upper Galilean region of ancient Israel, finally, around the years 200 - 220 AM, decided to record it all in one volume, which was called the "Mishnah". The latter, with many additions and commentaries by well respected sages (not just any old one!) over many more centuries, eventually evolved in what came to be known as the "Talmud". Most Jewish libraries around the world, today, should have a copy of the complete Talmud, consisting of not a few volumes, in either Hebrew or English or both.
From the diligent study of the above mentioned books, besides not a few others, written by exceptionally gifted Jewish sages throughout the ages, the Rabbis of the 2nd exile learned the Creator's priorities and desires for the crown of His creation (i.e. human beings) rather than being led by the so-called wisdom of created man. The King of the Universe, who knows every human heart like a well read book, saw their love for and devotion to Him and reciprocated, among other ways, in the manner recorded for us in Mishlay (Proverbs) 8:17, i.e.
"I love those who love me, and those who earnestly seek me do find me."
Elohim, moreover, gave these Rabbis of the 2nd exile such great wisdom that they had to hire personal house servants for the express purpose of regulating the crowds of people from their communities, of every social standing, who, on a daily basis, were gathered outside their houses in order, only, to get the briefest of audiences with them.
The Rabbis were the undisputed leaders of every Jewish community in the 2nd exile. They were righteous men and everyone in and, often, far outside, their communities knew it. They were given the power from On High to accomplish extraordinary (supernatural, if you like) things, to solve any problem and to settle every dispute, which is, exactly, what they did, on a daily basis. If someone or other from the community would have been só foolish as to expect "the average Jew" to solve any issue of the magnitude only these holy men could, possibly, handle, the former would, very quickly, have received a response like . . . "Am I G-d that you now suddenly expect me to perform miracles?"
I have extracted the following two paragraphs from the tale entitled "A Question of Gratitude" [p. 133], which is included in the book under review, in order to give you a little sample of what I have been talking about in the last seven paragraphs.
< begin quote > Chaim Mendel's voice grew choked and a sob burst from his throat. "Holy Rebbe (My insert: the Yiddish equivalent of the Hebrew Rabi; Eng. = Rabbi), today you are famous. Jews from all over the land come to you and are helped. But where is the gratitude? Didn't I take care of you for several years? Didn't I make your name renowned at a time when none recognized your personality? Now I have reached bottom and have come to you for help, and you act as if you don't know me? How can this be?"
Reb (My insert: short for Rebbe) Nottele's face glowed. "I've been waiting to hear that," he said happily. "Know then, that at the time I came to you, a bitter decree of dreadful poverty had been made against you. Though I tried everything I could to have the decree lifted, nothing helped. I couldn't find anything to do for you but this: to wait for you to come with an honest, sincere complaint - 'Where is the gratitude?' Now that you have screamed out, your complaints have pierced The Heavens and annulled the decree. From now on, you shall rise higher and higher." < end quote >
The above, then, is my attempt to explain something of the background of the stories you will find within "Tales for the Soul" by Yair Weinstock. I trust that it will stand you in good stead if you should decide to get hold of this book and read it. I couldn't find any information about the author on the back or inside covers or even in the introductory pages of this book, so I decided to do an Internet search to see what I could, perhaps, learn about him, from there.
Well, what is immediately evident on the Net is that this man is known and not a little bit popular, but with regard to finding out anything personal about him, like where he lives, if he is married and if so, how big his family is (only in the rarest of cases married religious Jews won't have big families), etc., I got nowhere, slowly. I, pretty much, discovered only one personal fact about him, which is . . . that he is a Rabbi as well. Something which is all over the Net, however, is just how many other books he wrote, some of which I have read, already, and enjoyed immensely.
That Yair Weinstock's is a master story teller, is certain. The characters in all his stories are alive and real (authentic), and the interaction between them, within the narrative, utterly believable and loaded with expectation for what lies just behind the next corner. The narrative always moves along at a fast pace which does not afford the reader a moment of boredom. Even if boredom could, somehow, inexplicably, set in, it wouldn't last long with an average 4 - 5 page length per tale. Often there are many twists and turns in the narrative before the climax is reached at, approximately, the 93 - 97% mark of the readable content.
As you have, surely, already surmised, I am very fond of this author and have, literally, devoured all 37 tales, which are recorded in this book, within a ridiculously short space of time. I heartily recommend "More Tales for the Soul" to anyone who loves good stories. If you, moreover, have a love and/or appreciation for the Jewish people and, even more so, for the Creator of the Universe (who chose to reveal Himself, first, to this nation), in your life, you will absolutely adore every page of this book.
Here is some additional information on "More Tales for the Soul" by Yair Weinstock:
Published by Mesorah Publications, Ltd (1st Edition, 2000)
Hard Cover - 246 pages
ISBN: 1-57819-569 -1
Available from www.amazon.co.uk at . . . £ 34.75 for a used, hard cover copy, in good condition.
I have to admit that I find the above price for this 246 page book outrageous; I really do, never mind how much I love it, and to top it all . . . it is not even new! I am, therefore, going to suggest that, if you would like to purchase this book, that you will give amazon.co.uk a miss. I am positive that somewhere or other in the UK (perhaps at a second hand book store or the like) you will be able to acquire it for much, much less than the above, exorbitant price, or perhaps you should just be content to borrow it from a Jewish library in your area, exactly as I have done.
The sole complaint that I have against this book is that the author uses a lot of Yiddish and, to a lesser extent, some Hebrew, within the narrative, without marking such words and phrases and then explaining its meaning in footnotes at the bottom of each page or even in an appendix at the back of the book, for English readers with little or no knowledge of these languages. I feel compelled to deduct one star from my rating for the latter.
My rating for this book is, therefore, 4/5 for . . . stunning, with only the one significant flaw, above.
Thank you so much for having taken the time to read this review through. I trust that you have benefitted somewhat from it.
~~~ Note to the reader ~~~
I am doing the following review on our Stihl FE 55 electric brush cutter, which was manufactured by Stihl Ltd. in the USA from domestic and foreign components, exported to South Africa and was also purchased in this country. This, particular, model is, however, not listed under the product range of the company's UK website at www.stihl.co.uk There can be several explanations for the latter, but the one that makes the most sense to me is that the Stihl company manufactures slightly different versions of the same kind of machine in the different countries where it has manufacturing facilities. If I am right in this assumption, there can, literally, be tens of reasons why the company does this, like different consumer preferences, climactic considerations, electricity output levels etc., etc. in these different countries.
In order to review the FE 55 machine, I first searched for the closest equivalent of the former (specification wise) on the Stihl company's UK website (see above). The machine I identified there as the one which resembles the FE 55 the closest, is the FSE 60 electric brush cutter (I incorrectly called this machine a "grass trimmer" in my review application, but it should really be a "brush cutter". So sorry . . . ). You can see a comparison of the basic specifications of these 2 machines under the heading "Basic Machine Specifications", below. If you, like me, are satisfied with the assumption (which, I believe, is reasonable) that whatever the FE 55 machine is in the USA and those countries it is exported to (like South Africa, where our machine was purchased), the FSE 60 machine, pretty much, is in the UK, I will, immediately, get on with reviewing our FE 55 machine.
~~~ Introduction ~~~
Shalom to you, dear dooyoo friends! Today I would like to review an electric, heavy duty brush cutter (We call these machines "Weed Eaters", in my country), i.e. the Stihl FE 55.
My wife and I are living in a small, one bedroom house, in Gordon's Bay, on the south coast of South Africa, approximately 60 km's from Cape Town. The property does not belong to us; we are only renting it from the owner. The latter used to live in a much bigger property next to us, but when her husband passed away, she decided that it was all too much for her and she, subsequently, moved to an old age home.
The above mentioned weed eater really belongs to her, but she kind of "gave" it to me, as a gift (This is how I take it, anyway, since I did not pay her anything for it), when she left, maybe because she knew I only had a lawn mower and nothing, at all, to really deal, effectively, with those nasty, long, thick and unwanted grass etc. growing up against permanent fixtures like walls, fences, hedges etc. You see, our home might be small, but there is a lot of grass around here as well as not a little bit of that other unpleasant reality which is part and parcel of any lawn, i.e. weeds.
Since I hate mowing lawns with a passion (just like Clint Eastwood, apparently, who said as much to his female co star in a movie he, himself, directed . . . When I heard this, I told my wife . . . "Here is just another reason why this guy is my favourite actor of all time."), I often leave it until it really gets out of control, by which time it is no small challenge for our lawnmower, even on a fairly high setting, to cut through it, never mind exhausting me who has to push said lawnmower around.
This is where the Stihl FE 55 Electric Weed Eater shows its true potential, and boy oh boy, this highly efficient grass "Packman", certainly, does not disappoint! I will expand on the latter under the heading, "Performance", below, but let us, first, consider the less exciting, but much more pressing matters such as basic operation, safety precautions, machine specifications and the like.
~~~ Before Operation ~~~
With electric machines such as the FE 55 there is, really, only one activity (besides the safety precautions, mentioned below) to perform before use, which is to check that there is sufficient cutting cord rolled up inside the plastic cutting cord casing wheel and that the two edges of set cord protrude far enough through the two little holes in the outer casing, into which the former nicely fits, to do the desired cutting, when the outer casing is furiously rotating during operation.
If the cutting cord needs to be replaced, the latter's wheel casing will have to be removed from within the, above mentioned, outer casing. In order to do the above the hard plastic cap, at the very bottom part of the machine, which holds the outer cutting cord casing and the spring within this casing, in place, needs to be unscrewed. By unscrewing this cap the outer cord casing can easily be pulled off the latter part of the rod which is a solid steel pin, approximately 70 mm in length and 12 mm thick. A strong cable connects this steel pin, at the machine's bottom end with the electric motor at the top, the latter which causes said cable to rotate during operation.
The cutting cord which is best suited for use in the FE 55 is a 2 mm hard plastic gut. Just by handling this, quite, thick cord it is not difficult, at all, to imagine what damage it can do to any kind of grass, weed or undergrowth when it knocks against the latter at the extreme speed the machine's electrically driven motor causes its casing to rotate. It is not difficult to replace the cutting cord. Most men will, instinctively, know how to do it, but for those who are clueless, it should all be explained in the machine's operating manual. After the cord is replaced and its casing securely fitted back into place, (The holes in the centre of the actual cutting cord casing wheel as well as the outer casing into which the latter fits, allows these moving parts to easily slide through the rod, into place), care must be taken to screw the cap, which holds the outer casing fast, all the way back. Failure to do so will hamper the machine's performance during operation and if said cap should come all the way off during operation (May Almighty Elohim forbid!), the moving parts which, as a result, will shoot off the rotating rod, in a split second, at the speed of light, can cause not a bit of injury, grief etc.
~~~ Basic Operation ~~~
This machine is so easy to operate that even an 8 year old child can do it. With your purchase you should also receive a rather long extension lead. One has to connect the socket on the one end of this extension lead to the little two pronged plug, which usually protrudes from the back of the hard plastic casing surrounding the electrical motor, on the machine's upper end. On the FE 55 machine this connection is exceptionally good in that the latter little plug fits securely into the above mentioned socket, provided for it, in such a way that these two fittings will never just disconnect on its own, but is also not difficult, at all, to sever, manually. The extension lead's other end, containing either a two or three pronged plug, need to be connected to mains, nearby. Once this is done, the operator can, immediately, begin to use the machine by just pulling the trigger switch, which is located on the underside of the FE 55 machine's motor casing, upwards.
From the time I first began to use this machine, to date (which is a period of no less than 6 - 7 years, by now), I have never found its trigger mechanism to be either over or under sensitive, something which I feel is extremely important with regard to these machines. I will quickly explain . . . If the trigger is too sensitive the operator may find that the machine will switch on with only the slightest touch, brush or knock against the trigger, and, in certain cases, without the latter being touched, at all. This is, clearly, an intolerable, never mind a downright dangerous, situation. If, on the other hand, the trigger is not sensitive enough, the machine's operator may, at times, pull it without the machine jumping to life, which can lead to endless frustration.
This is it, really. Make the necessary connections, squeeze the trigger and off you go . . .
~~~ Safety Precautions ~~~
It is quite vital that the operator of this kind of heavy duty, electric brush cutter (weed eater) should strictly and consistently implement the safety precautions which are, specifically, applicable to these machines. Failure to do so will, simply, even sooner than later, lead to serious and/or permanent injuries and in certain cases, even death.
I have decided to only mention, here, what I consider to be the four most crucial safety precautions with regard to these machines. Here goes . . .
1. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS wear protective goggles (glasses) over your eyes when operating any weed eater, never mind a heavy duty one like the Stihl FE 55. I cannot emphasize this enough. You know, human nature is a funny thing. How utterly careful a good 9 out of 10 people are not when they first start driving, but if they are not involved in any memorable, negative road incidents, over an extended period of time, it seems to, definitely, reduce their sense of, shall we call it . . . road vigilance.
The above scenario plays itself out in every sphere of life and it is no different in the "lawn moving business". Perhaps you have been operating these machines "goggleless" for some time, already, without any misfortune, but I will tell you, straight . . . You are walking on dangerously thin ice with regard to functional eyesight in the near future. On the more "challenged" sections of your lawn (if you get my drift), the cutting cord protruding from its, electrically driven, furiously rotating outer casing, at the bottom cutting end of these machines, will pick up pieces of dirt and even much bigger particles and project it in every direction, at the speed of light. If one or more of these particles should enter your unprotected eyes at the right angle, it can cause blindness, in a moment of time.
Most of the new weed eaters are manufactured with a protective shell of hard plastic built around the outer cutting cord casing (at least a third of the way around) for the express purpose of preventing most dirt particles from freely shooting out in all directions when the cutting cord bangs against it at that furious speed. The emphasis, here, is, of course, on the word "most". These protective shells are by no means full proof, simply because none of them are manufactured to go all the way around the outer cutting cord casing. At the very most the former will enclose the outer casing approximately two thirds of the way. It is, moreover, only logical that the further said protective shells are built around the outer cutting cord casings of these machines, the less effective the latter will be in doing the work which they are designed to do.
Another problem with these protective shells is that they, actually, eat up a lot more of the cutting cord than would otherwise (if there is no protective shell) be the case, because sometimes, during operation, the spinning cutting cord casing will release more cord than is necessary to do the job at hand, the ends of which would then, at that tremendous speed, bang against the side of the protective shell and, immediately, break off. In order, therefore, to utilize these machines at optimum capacity, so that the job at hand can be completed as quickly, efficiently, effortlessly and, not least of all, as economically as possible, not a few of its regular operators, like myself, actually prefer to remove the outer protective shells completely, which, if this is done, makes the wearing of protective goggles over one's eyes all the more critical.
2. Sometimes it will be necessary to adjust the cutting cord manually, if, for some or other reason, it is not properly released through the two little holes in the outer cutting cord casing, when the latter is spinning while the machine is being used. If this is the case, the operator must, at all times, remember to sever the electrical connection between the machine and the extension cord, the other end of the latter which will still be plugged into electrical mains, nearby. Failure to do so can activate the machine while its operator performs the above manual operation, which can lead to all manner of disasters, small and big.
3. Don't use the electrical versions of these machines, like the Stihl FE 55 on wet grass. It is a bad idea, for the simple reason that some of the, quite, significant amounts of water, which this machine will kick up during use, may well penetrate the open air vents in the casing housing the electrical motor at the top, back end of the machine. This can not only cause said motor to burn out, but give its operator a very unwelcome electron boost in the process (if you know what I mean), which can even prove to be fatal.
Covering the air vents in the casing surrounding the motor, in order to prevent the above from happening, is also no good, because the former are there for a very good reason, i.e. to allow air to circulate through said casing while the motor is running. This continual air circulation through the motor casing prevents the motor from overheating, and as a consequence of the latter, eventually, giving up the ghost.
4. This machine should not have too much of a problem to cut through dense, Amazon type grass jungles, given that the machine's operator does not try to perform this ultimate of challenges all in one go. This will be too much, even for a heavy weight like the Stihl FE 55. When the plastic casing surrounding the motor feels hot to the touch, the machine's operator should realize that the machine needs a breather. Ignoring the above can not only cause the motor to burn out, but also cause injuries to its operator.
~~~ Basic Machine Specifications ~~~
Since the FE 55 weed eater was, kind of, given to me, I have never had its operating instructions manual, in which one will find all this kind of information. I have, however, learned some of its specifications, like its 600 W motor driven by 220 -240 V's of electric current. Without having, physically, measured and weighed the FE 55 machine, I cannot imagine that these figures differ too much from that of the FSE 60's 1.53 m's and 3.9 kg's, respectively. The latter machine has a 540 W electric motor (which, closely, resembles the FE 55's 600 W motor), which is powered by 230 V of electric power.
~~~ Why I believe bigger is better with regard to these machines ~~~
Look, the truth of the matter is simply . . . . The bigger the machine (measured in size of motor), the easier it will handle just about any "grass" challenge you may choose to give it. Unless it is an out and out question of not being able to afford a heavy duty machine like the FE 55 or its FSE 60 English equivalent, I will, personally, not even consider purchasing the smaller type edge trimmer. With the latter you will ever, only, be able to trim your lawn's edges, nil else. Rather sooner than later the owners of these little edge trimmers, in my country, anyway, try to employ them in what the English seem to call "brush cutting". This is a big mistake, which will burn their little motors out, for sure. I have, personally, seen the evidence of the latter on more than a couple of rubbish heaps in my country.
Almighty Elohim (G-d) of Set-apart Scripture (The Bible) has ordered it so that the crown of His creation (human beings) cannot know what will happen tomorrow. Perhaps you have a beautiful little lawn today which hardly needs the attentions of a tiny edge trimmer, never mind an aggressive brush cutter, but sometime in the future you may just move to a place where the grass etc. is so long and/or unmanageable that nothing but a powerful brush cutter, such as the FE 55 will, at all, do to bring it under control.
The moral of the story is this . . . Rather invest in a decent brush cutter than in a small edge trimmer. A brush cutter can always do the work of an edge trimmer, but the latter can, under no circumstances, do the former's job.
~~~ Which is better, petrol or electric? ~~~
I will, just about, always prefer the electric rather than the petrol versions of most machines, never mind this specific one. In my personal experience I have, at times, found petrol machines to have a lot of "hang-ups", with regard to break-downs and maintenance, alone, whereas, with their electrical counterparts these kinds of problems seems to be non-existent.
Most petrol versions of machines like these also require a very specific fuel: oil ratio, as fuel, the latter, which, for the likes of me (who will be upset, already, that the d . . . lawns need mowing, again, after I had done it only yesterday!), is a downright nuisance to go and purchase, in the first place, never mind then having to carefully mix it in the exact ratio required for use in the machine and thereafter to find a secure spot in the garage, store room or the like where I can store it.
I have heard that some people find the extension leads on electrical gardening machines like lawn mowers and machines like the one under review a real nuisance to deal with, during use, but this, compared to the above, is a complete non-issue as far as I am concerned. It is a small matter for me to ensure that the extension lead is behind me, wherever I am busy working, or otherwise to be conscious of, exactly, where it is. Even if it should, somehow, get entangled with the working parts of these machines, it is not nearly as dangerous as in the case of an electric lawnmower, in full flight, for example, being pushed over its extension cord.
If the above should happen while you are working with your brush cutter, just take your finger off the trigger, sever the connection between the machine and the extension lead and then proceed to untangle that section of the latter which has become entangled with the machine. It will take you all of 3-5 seconds.
For the reasons above the electric, rather than the petrol brush cutter, " works for me", as Clint Eastwood would say.
~~~ Performance ~~~
If I say that this, specific, weed eater absolutely destroys any unwanted grass, I am by no means exaggerating. For me it is sheer pleasure to see the latter "dissolve" before my very eyes, at double quick speed, because it only means that I won't have to do this hated job for another, approx. 3 weeks, in my estimation, and, probably much closer to, about, 13 days in the eyes of my English wife.
Our front, inner lawn is sufficiently small that I now, often, mow it, in its entirety, with the FE 55 brush cutter. It is quicker and less trouble than to employ both it and the lawnmower for the job. On the big lawns I, obviously, still use both. On the odd occasion, while working with the FE 55, I have caught myself even forgetting, for short periods of time, what I am busy doing (i.e. the job I loathe to do more than any other), which tells me everything I really care to remember about this machine's overall ability to delight its operator.
The motor's healthy zzzzzzz - zzzzzzzz - zzzzzzzzz - zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz sound as it does its work, is music in my ears. It is almost as if the machine speaks to me, saying . . . "Is this all you've got for me? Come on, I dare you to give me something more challenging to do, please." The FE 55, as is the case with its English equivalent, I am sure, is a classy machine that will always perform exceptionally well, no matter what job one gives it to do.
~~~ Ease of use ~~~
The machine's operator will, very quickly, learn the most effective and comfortable way to hold and handle the machine for the specific job at hand. Just below the machine's long, thin aluminium shaft (cable) casing is a strong and convenient handle which the operator will usually grip with his/her weakest hand (Because I am right handed, I take hold of this handle with my left hand) so that the latter can easily manoeuvre the machine in any direction and at any angle he/she may choose.
Most of these machines also come with a strong strap, one end of which is clipped onto the shaft casing and the other which the operator can fasten around his/her shoulder so that the machine's weight is carried by the upper body and not merely the arms of the former. I am not really conscious of the approx. 4 kg's of machine weight on my arms when using our machine (which does not have this strap) for 10 - 15 minute bursts at a time, but for someone much lighter than I the shoulder strap might be a very useful tool, in that it will help its user to preserve his/her energy levels better and thus not become overly tired.
All in all the Stihl FE 55 brush cutter is nothing less than a pleasure to use.
~~~ Price and Availability ~~~
The retail price of the FSE 60 electric brush cutter, as from February 2010, as it is listed on the Stihl company's UK website (see website address under the heading "Note", above), is £ 129 which, for me, is a steal. The potential purchaser of this machine will have to obtain the information about its availability, in the UK, from the above mentioned website, as well.
~~~ Overall Impression ~~~
The FE 55 brush cutter is a beautiful machine which does its work efficiently and in double quick time. It is extremely well made by a big, respected company who has been a major player in the international garden machinery business for much longer than a couple of years. If the machine is handled correctly it can last a lifetime, without breaking once or needing any kind of maintenance. It is complex German engineering at its very best, yet, at the same time, ridiculously easy to operate. If, as a woman, you either have to, (May Elohim forbid!) or, hopefully, would like to operate this kind of machine, yourself, I cannot think of even one reason why you shouldn't, and even enjoy the experience, all at the same time.
One must, however, always keep in mind that this is a serious piece of machinery and not a toy. It should, at all times, be handled with respect by its operator. Failure to do so can lead to tragedy, very quickly. I have not the slightest hesitation in recommending this machine to a potential purchaser. The FE 55 or its FSE 60 English equivalent will make good on its initial, monetary investment many times over, in every possible respect, not least of all in sheer handling pleasure.
~~~ Rating ~~~
This, specific, machine deserves nothing less than a 5/5 rating, in my opinion, for . . . excellent, in every respect.
Thank you so much for having taken the time to read this review through. I trust that you have benefitted, somewhat, from it.
--- Introduction ---
Dear friends, today I will do a review on the Israeli - Palestinian conflict. Before you read this review, I council you to read the general disclaimer I have written, especially, so that you, the reader, may have a more balanced idea of who I really am with regard to the opinions I will express in a review of this nature. You will find said disclaimer in the first 2 paragraphs of my review "On the road from Nightmare to Blessing"
I can just imagine what you might be thinking at this moment . . . "You must really be crazy to do a review on this very contentious subject, Mayan." Well, I have decided to do it, nevertheless, crazy or not crazy. The views expressed in this review are subjective. Truth be told, I am unconvinced that anyone, at all, can write a 100% objective review on this subject.
You are so free to disagree with what I say in this review . . . I mean it! I ask you kindly not to get overly upset if you violently disagree with me. The latter can not be good for one's health . . . rather just give me a NU rating; it is easier and much less stressful. If you can remind yourself that what follows is only the opinion of one reviewer, out of a potential multitude, on this subject, you will have succeeded in putting things into perspective.
I apologise, in advance, for the length of this review, but I just cannot give this subject matter the justice and attention it deserves, in a shorter review.
--- The TRUTH vs the LIE ---
In the end it always comes down to this, doesn't it? What I would like to do in this section is to, clearly, tag some popular Jewish and Palestinian statements and sayings, in our day, as, either, the truth, part truth or lies as well as to provide a reason why I say so. Bo-u natchil / Let us begin . . .
1) When the Jew says . . . "The Almighty One (Blessed be He) has given our forefathers (and therefore by direct implication . . . to us, as their descendants) every square inch of this entire land of Israel. It belongs to us and no one else!"
This is partly true. Even though scriptures like B'reshit (Genesis) 28:13, among others, suggests that this statement is completely true, others like D'varim (Deuteronomy) 28:15 & 63(b), which are more prominent and frequent, clearly suggests that Elohim gave the Jewish people this entire land under the, very specific, conditions set forth in D'varim chapter 28:1, i.e. . . .
"And it shall be, if you diligently obey the voice of YHVH your Elohim, to guard to do all His commands which I (Mosheh/Moses) command you today, that YHVH your Elohim . . . "
The very fact that the Palestinian people today occupy large chunks of this land which Elohim promised to the Jewish forefathers, means only one thing . . . He is not happy with the way the descendants of His people of old (the Jewish people, today) have been living before Him, and He, Himself, has given the Palestinians all the land on which they are currently living, within the borders of the modern State of Israel.
The clear implication in scriptures like the above is that, if the Jewish people will, once again, completely, fulfil Elohim's conditions for living on this stretch of land, He will then begin to restore the fullness of the land back to them.
2) When the Palestinians say . . . "The Israelis drove us from our homes and stole our land, and as such, are the original creators of the terrible conditions in which we have now lived for decades on end."
This is a blatant lie, on three accounts! First & foremost, It is quite impossible for the Jews to steal land which was conditionally given to them, by the Al mighty One (blessed be He), Himself, from the start. Secondly, the Arabs who fled from their homes and land were, by no means, "driven out" or "forcefully removed" by the Israelis. Where the above might have occurred, such incidents were isolated and, most certainly, not sanctioned by the majority of Israelis, at the time, or by the government of the newly established State of Israel, after 14 May 1948.
The truth is rather that the Arabs discarded their land & properties for a number of reasons, among others because they feared an impending war in the wake of the approval of the Partition Plan for Palestine by the United Nations on November 29th, 1947 (which did come in the form of the War of Independence, the latter which commenced upon the termination of the British Mandate of Palestine in mid-May 1948) and because they believed the lies their own leaders told them. These were lies like . . .
"You do not have to fear losing your land and properties. The former and much more will be restored to you when the victorious Arab armies will drive the Jews into the sea during the coming war."
The "victorious Arab armies" . . . Ja, right! The fact that the Arab forces did not overcome the Jews during the above mentioned war, certainly, had nothing to do with superior military strength, because the former outnumbered the latter in the region of 310 to1! These figures suggest that this war should have been over for the Jews, before it ever began. Someone made the comment that said war reminded him of what is recorded in D'varim (Deuteronomy) 32:30. I agree, 100%.
During this time approximately 650,000 Palestinians fled their homes and land. (A census conducted by the UN showed that this number was, actually, nearer to 472,000) Surrounding Arab countries, with a combined land mass of 613 times that of tiny Israel, could easily have taken these refugees in, at that time, but they refused.
Approximately 160,000 + Arabs chose not to flee in 1948, but rather to accept the Israeli government's invitation to them to become full fledged citizens of the new State of Israel. To this day their descendants live in Israel, each and every one of them with equal rights and privileges to any Jewish citizen.
During the very same period of time approximately 820,000 Jews were forced to leave their native Arab countries where they and their forefathers had lived for centuries. Why . . . ? They were seen as potential traitors and supporters of Israel. Approximately 586,000 of these Jewish refugees fled from their Arab homelands and were, immediately, absorbed by the new nation of Israel, which was nothing less than a massive shock to its extremely brittle economy.
It is not a stretch, by any means, to conclude that, if said Arab countries had absorbed the above mentioned Palestinian refugees in fairly equal numbers, it would not have placed even the slightest strain on either their economies or available land space. What these Arab leaders did, instead, was to confiscate the above mentioned Jewish houses in their respective countries and to place the Arab refugees in refugee camps, where 80% of them still live today, being provided for by the United Nations.
. . . And so, thirdly, the terrible conditions in which the Palestinian people live, today, within as well as outside the wider borders of Israel, was created, first and foremost, by Arab governments who refused the Palestinian refugees entry into their countries, in 1948 and afterwards, as well as by the deliberate lies (see above) Arab leaders told their own people, at that time, all of which the latter, unfortunately, believed and . . . if you can actually comprehend this, not only believe to this day, but diligently teach it to their offspring. The Jewish government and people can, therefore, never, legitimately, be held responsible for the original creation of the Palestinian squatter camps! The above mentioned facts are ridiculously easy to verify, in our modern day and age, if one is after the truth, that is.
3) When the modern Palestinian leadership (I am speaking here of the Fatah leadership, specifically. I will, briefly, comment on the other Palestinian faction in Gaza, i.e. Chamas, in square parenthesis, 5 paragraphs down.) make the following kinds of statements, the world over . . .
"The Jews have been the aggressors, every time, after relatively short stretches of peace or negotiated cease fire periods, in the long history of conflict between our two peoples. As for us, we only want peace with our Jewish neighbours."
This entire statement is a lie, on two accounts. I will, first, prove to you that the latter part of this statement is a deliberate lie and thereafter I will endeavour to show you that the Jews have nothing and the Palestinian leadership everything to gain by a renewal of hostilities, after relatively short stretches of peace or negotiated cease fire periods. The following is a word by word quote of Article 19 in Fatah's charter; I leave it to you to decide if these are the words of leaders who . . . "only want peace with their Jewish neighbours".
"Armed struggle is strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People's armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated."
Question: Is it possible to call for the annihilation of the Jewish people and desire to live in peace with them, all at the same time? or put slightly differently, . . . "Why on earth would Fatah President, Mahmoud Abbas and certain other Fatah leaders, who are, obviously, quite satisfied with the above Article in their organization's charter (If they are not, what is it still doing there, then?), want peace with their Jewish neighbours?" Why?
Conclusion 1: The leadership of this party (if someone can actually determine exactly who they are at a given time) is definitely not interested in any true peace. Any sane Israeli peace negotiator will only reach the same conclusion, in no time, whatsoever.
[By now some of you might have wondered why I only make mention of the Fatah faction of the Palestinian people in this review, and not its counterpart in Gaza, i.e. Chamas. The simple answer to this question is that Chamas has become nothing more than a political non entity in our world, in the year 2010. This is no small wonder when one considers that this new Gaza authority's main contribution to the skills development of their young people, especially, is to teach them the most effective ways to kill and maim as many Jewish people as they possibly can in their lifetimes.
The truth of the matter is that the Gaza Government (which is, almost, perfectly synonymous with the Chamas leadership) causes such a stink, worldwide, on a regular basis, that it's well respected (in the Islamic world) "relative" in the south, i.e. Egypt , just cannot avoid catching a significant and unwelcome whiff of it, on a regular basis.
Every once in a decade or so (perhaps somewhat more frequent than this, to be honest) Chamas makes the Egyptians so thoroughly mad that the latter "get up off their buts", so to speak, to give this little murderous bastard of a "faith relative" of theirs a proper "blood nose", as a very present reminder, to the latter, of, just, who it is (and by clear implication who it isn't and will never be) who "calls Islam's shots", in this region of the Middle East. "Big brother" does the latter by destroying the hundreds of tunnels (bombing them still seems to be the easiest way), which he knows all too well his offensive "neighbour" digs, uses and maintains beneath their respective borders, so that the latter's operatives can smuggle the missiles etc., with which they bombard nearby Israeli towns, on a daily basis, through it.
Egyptian military actions, like the above mentioned, against Chamas, allows the inhabitants of Israeli towns, like S'dorot and others a brief moment of relief from the incessant missile attacks from Gaza, but a bloody nose and even the humiliating memory of exactly who gave it to them, of course, lasts only so long in the seared minds of these terrorists and then it is back to "business as usual" for them. If either Egypt, or Israel, herself (on a much more regular basis than the former), specifically, targets and destroys said tunnels (in the most expedient manner at a given time), the Chamas leadership, very soon, think of other ways [which they make sure looks very "kasher" (acceptable, if you like) to an unsuspecting and mostly misinformed world], to import what is necessary to continue "their struggle with Israel", into Gaza.
The total collapse of the Chamas administration in Gaza can not happen too quickly for the likes of me. If (or dare I say . . . when) this happens, I can only pray that Gaza's Palestinian population will have the presence of mind, the next time around, to elect a government who will actually serve them, as a people, rather than, systematically, over a very short space of time "choke them to death", as is presently the case.]
The truth is that no such thing as a Palestinian "right of return" has existed, in the eyes of the Israeli government, since the very day those first Palestinian refugees, in 1948, chose to believe the lie I mentioned under statement 2, paragraph 4, above. Put another way, . . . As far as the Israeli government is concerned, the original refugees, and by direct implication, their descendants, forfeited any right to become Israeli citizens, after they had made the decision to vacate their land and to flee, in 1948.
Very few people in the world understand the above better than the Fatah leadership themselves, but how, on earth, does one, just suddenly, tell your people, one day, that the rallying cry from the Koran [i.e., "And He (Alah) made you heirs to their land and their dwellings and their property (In this case, that of the Jews)." (Sura 33:27)], with which their fathers went to war against the Jews, sixty years earlier, is nil else than a gigantic lie?
The very fact that the Arabs lost the War of Independence and since that time has failed, on several occasions, to regain it, militarily, tells me everything I ever need to know about the "authenticity" of the Koran, Islam's most holy book. Think about the following for just a moment . . . "What is the only possible way for Palestinian leaders, today, to deny a sixty year old reality and insist, to their people, that the words of the Koran are true?
The only way out for them is the continual renewal of hostilities with Israel. Why? If there is continual conflict, there is always the slightest of chances that the Palestinians might prevail against the Jewish State. If they get this right, even after more than 6 decades, well . . . then they will have proven that the above mentioned Sura and other similar words in the Koran are true. Moreover, they will have safeguarded their own leadership positions among their people, which will fly out of the window, in record time, should they ever be so brave (or stupid) as to negotiate a lasting peace with Israel.
Perhaps you are reading this and telling yourself . . . "I just can not believe that these leaders will tell and then entrench lies of this magnitude, over such a long period of time." Perhaps you can remember the 1973 Yom Kippur (the most holy day in the Jewish calendar) War, which the Israelis, miraculously, won, once again, against staggering Arab odds, and which, in the end, can only be described as a miracle from Above. Do you know that many Arabs, today, actually celebrate this bitter defeat of theirs as the . . . "October Victory"? I kid you not! In October 2010 this particular lie will celebrate its 37th birthday in the wider Arab world.
Conclusion 2: The statement 2, paragraph 4 or Sura 33:27 lie and the Palestinian armed struggle against Israel is inextricably linked . . . the former as well as those who have carefully cultivated it over 60 odd years, until this very day, will be exposed if the latter should, somehow, come to an end, resulting in lasting peace with Israel. Stated differently, the latter must be maintained, unabatedly, or else Arabs, everywhere, will begin to doubt the authenticity of their faith's most holy book, the Koran, and, by direct implication, all those who expound it, not a few of whom are very powerful men in a country called Iran.
--- Is peace possible between these two peoples? ---
Millions of Palestinian people, today, charge the Israeli government with holding them captive (a state without freedom) in the most terrible conditions, imaginable. Right at the beginning of this review I said . . .
"Everything, eventually, comes down to the truth." Perhaps you can guess where I have learned this? Well, I learned it from The Scriptures, The Bible, if you like. Where in The Scriptures? Look at the scripture in Yahuchanan (John) 8:32. Even outside of its original context, in this chapter, it still makes perfect sense, i.e.
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
You see, it is the LIE which holds the Palestinian people captive, not the Israeli government and people. It is the TRUTH which will make them free. The Word of Elohim says so, and I believe every punctuation mark in this Book.
On 17 March 1992 the National Party, in my country conducted a referendum in which all White people, who were eligible to vote, at the time, were asked if we desired change in South Africa. Black people had no say and no vote in South Africa before or at this time. For those of you who are interested, I will type out the exact question we were asked and to which we had to answer either YES or NO, i.e. . . .
''Do you support continuation of the reform process which the State President began on February 2, 1990 and which is aimed at a new constitution through negotiation?
I remember it so vividly, as if it happened only yesterday. I answered yes, and so did 68.6% of the 85% of White people in this country, who made this decision, on that day. By saying yes to change, the majority of White people, in effect, said no to the lie of Apartheid, and by implication, admitted that we kept a racist Apartheid government in power for 44 years, in our country.
For, at least, a significant percentage of these 44 years, White people, just like me, convinced ourselves that the Apartheid system in our country was not all that bad, and we simply ignored its terrible injustices which stared us in the face, each and every day. Perhaps we even believed that we were free, but the truth is rather that the lie kept all of us in deep bondage.
Only on the day we made a firm decision for the truth, as an entire White people, did our freedom, truly begin. I am talking about the freedom, for not a few White South Africans, including myself, to view Black people as human beings, for the very first time in our lives. Today I view the Black people of South Africa as its single biggest treasure, without which the nation of South Africa, for me, is an "altogether criminal (illegal) entity" or a horrific prison from which I would long to escape, every day of my life". I mean it!
As far as I am concerned there will be no freedom for the Palestinian people before they, as a people, grow tired of the lie and desire the truth. For them the lie (see above) has only generated bitterness and hatred towards the Jewish people. They are in deep spiritual bondage, exactly like the White people in South Africa had been between the years 1948 and 1992.
Isn't it, almost weird, that the White South African as well as the Palestinian lie started in exactly the same year, i.e. 1948, but ours ended in 1992, after 44 years? Even though Apartheid is officially dead in South Africa, the damage this lie has done in our country was immense, and, as a new nation, we will still be paying for it for decades to come. The Palestinian lie is not over yet . . . It is now more than 6 decades old, and one can not but wonder how long it will still hold an entire people in its, almost, demonic grip.
So, in answer to my question, above . . . "Is peace possible between these two peoples?" my answer is as follows: "Yes . . . , if the Palestinian people will refuse to believe the lie and embrace the truth. The latter will set them free, and once there is freedom, peace is only a handbreadth away.
Do I see the above happening within the next couple of years? If I am honest with myself, I just can not see it happening, which makes me terrifically sad for both the Palestinian and Jewish people, but even much more so for the former.
--- What about the Jews? ---
Up till this very point I have said almost nothing about the Jewish government and people. Very, very few, if any, matters in this life is completely one sided, and this conflict, under discussion, is no exception. So, what part have they played in this 60 year tragedy?
Six decades of the worst kind of Palestinian terror, imaginable, against the Jewish nation and people, from within the wider borders of the modern State of Israel, southern Lebanon etc., which have, only, ever, resulted in death, mayhem and untold misery for modern Israelis, coupled with the constant anxiety and tension of where and when the next attack, against them, will take place, has made the majority of Jews living in Israel, today, a hard, cynical and security crazy people. Perhaps you will agree with me after having read the following . . .
In 1996 I set off to work in a guest House in Jerusalem Israel. At Ben Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv, I was arrested, kept in the airport's lock-up for 3½ days and, afterwards, deported back to South Africa on a return El Al flight. Although this was a terribly painful experience for me, at the time, I know today that the Almighty One (blessed be He), Himself, orchestrated this entire affair to accomplish the work He wanted to do, in my life, at that time. This was Elohim's doing, not that of the Israelis.
About the treatment I received from the Israeli Airport Security Personnel for the duration of my brief 3½ day stint in the relatively small airport lock-up, I have no complaints. I was treated fairly and with respect. I even had a couple of Romanians, an Englishman and a Malawian to keep me company in the lock-up . . . Elohim is so gracious, isn't He, even though I didn't want to see or know it, at the time.
What was, however, completely unacceptable to me, started, already, some time before my departure from Oliver Tambo International Airport, in Johannesburg, South Africa. For my trip to this unique country I chose to fly with EL AL, the official carrier of the State of Israel, because I just wanted to show my support for this country, its government and its people, and bless it.
For this blessing I paid, all right. First of all, you pay approx. R 2,000 (approx. $ 166) more for your ticket than what most other airlines will charge you (This was, at least, the situation in 1996 and 1998. Perhaps things have changed after that time, although I cannot see why it should have), for security that is completely unnecessary and "over the top". I will explain . . .
Before you can, ever, proceed to the counters where your luggage are weighed and handed in, you are, thoroughly, interviewed about even the smallest detail of your reasons for visiting the land of Israel as well as your itinerary there, and the Almighty forbid if said EL AL interviewer finds anything he/she does not like in your answers. If the latter should happen, you will, pretty much, be ordered to start unpacking your suitcases, item for item, in the presence of the security personnel and, afterwards, packing it all back.
This is exactly what happened to me in 1996. It is really humiliating and something which I will always remember as one of the "lesser" experiences of my life. Please don't misunderstand me here . . . I understand strict aircraft security, but what exactly a person's itinerary in the Land of Israel has to do with securing a physical EL AL aircraft, I still, have to figure out, to this day.
In 1998, with the "Entry Denied" stamp still in my passport, I set out for Israel again, this time on an organized tour with a tour leader whom I, personally, know and respect very much, but who only uses EL AL Airlines for all his tours to Israel. I cannot say that I was "over the moon" with excitement about the latter prospect, specifically, given my 1996 experience with this airline, but our tour leader and not a few other people furiously prayed that Almighty Elohim would just, supernaturally, give me, even, unmerited favour, everywhere I go, and He, certainly, heard and answered all their prayers.
I enjoyed every minute of our 14 day tour in this incredible country called Israel, but with regard to the majority of Jewish people, especially those in positions of authority, what I wrote down five paragraphs up, was noticeable, everywhere.
I will mention one more example, here, of the behaviour of Israeli security personnel, which, in my humble opinion is utterly unacceptable. Even though this is not firsthand experience, I know for sure, that every word of it is true. Almost a year ago, to date, a dear friend of mine, in his late twenties, went to Israel with his family, just to visit the country again . . .
You see, 25 odd years ago this family lived in Israel, for a period of approximately 3 years. My friend and his two brothers were nothing more than little boys at the time. They lived in the Old City of Jerusalem where they, soon, made good friends and regularly played with some Arab boys who lived nearby. On this visit my friend Gareth made his way to the flat they stayed in all those years ago, as soon as possible, and also enquired, of course, about these Arab friends they made, at that time. Amazingly he could trace one of them and, I believe, they had a wonderful reunion in their old flat.
His Arab friend, who might or might not, at all, have had some dealings with the Fatah faction of the PLO, in the interim (There is, for sure, no way Gareth would have known, unless his old friend told him so, explicitly, something which would have been very unlikely, in the first place, and in fact, did not happen) gave Gareth a T-shirt with some Hebrew writing on it, which he, certainly, did not understand. It was such a precious gift to Gareth that he put it on, straight away, and unfortunately, for him, also proudly wore on the day of their departure from Israel.
He was spotted by an Israeli airport security official who ordered him to one side, and very soon afterwards a whole host of security personnel were interrogating him in an interview room, for Elohim (G-d) only knows how long, about matters which all but the thickest of them must have known, in no time, at all, he knew absolutely nothing about!
I can understand the Israeli airport security official's initial suspicion when he saw the T-shirt in question, but after having established that Gareth was outbound (leaving Israel), rather than inbound (entering the country), a fact which should have, and very likely had, taken all these "capable" Israeli security officials no more than 5 minutes, if, at all, so long, to verify, my friend should have been released, immediately. I am so sorry, but everything which transpired here, after that very first enquiry, unfortunately amounts to much more than typical Israeli "heavy handedness". In my book, this is a classic example of serious harassment of a foreign visitor.
If the above are examples of the unacceptable ways in which Israeli security personnel treated two white South African citizens, outside and within the borders of Israel, in the past, why should the world then not believe the proclamations of not a few Palestinian people who, regularly, claim that their people are, often, ill treated by official Israeli security personnel wherever these two parties meet in everyday life, which is often. With regard to the latter one can, almost immediately, think of a Palestinian taxi driver, who, on a daily basis, and sometimes several times per day, need to cross the heavily guarded (by Israeli soldiers) border posts between Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
My firm belief is that FEAR lies at the very root of various, really unacceptable, modern day Israeli behavioural patterns, like deep rooted anger and bitterness, a very noticeable, offensive kind of abruptness in dealing with people, deliberate ill treatment of people, like taking an hour or more to establish the simplest of facts or conduct the most rudimentary of searches, the absence of common decency, kindness etc. etc. In my opinion there is only ONE WAY to pull this ugly "FEAR" root out, in the life of an individual Israeli, never mind the entire Jewish nation, so that no traces of it is left, only ONE SOLUTION . . .
The Jewish people, as a nation, is not quite ready to accept this ONE SOLUTION, yet, but if the Elohim of Set-apart Scripture (blessed be He) has anything to do with it (. . . and fortunately, for them as well as for all the people of the world , He has everything to do with it!), they will accept "it" in the near future. Here is the answer for you, if you are interested to know . . . Z'charyah (Zechariah) 12:9 - 13:1, especially chapter 12 and verse 10.
Occurrences like the ones described above can not and will not do Israel's case in this conflict or in the world, at large, any good, whatsoever. Having said this, I do not, at all, believe that there is a humanistic rationale to this conflict. It is, rather, abundantly, clear to me that what we are dealing with here, are gigantic spiritual issues. For starters, I believe this conflict to be the epicentre of a "war" (a very physical war in the Middle East and a spiritual war, for the most part, in the rest of the world) between the true adherents of The Bible and that of the Koran.
I will quickly mention only two examples, out of many, to prove my point. The Bible states, unequivocally, that Yitzchaq (Isaac), son of Sarah, is the "son of the promise" (i.e. that Elohim will fulfil His purposes in this world through Yitzchaq and his descendants, the Jews). The Koran says that Yishma-el (Ishmael), son of Hegar, Sarah's Egyptian "slave woman", according to The Bible, is the "son of the promise". Either Yitzchaq is the "son of the promise", or Yishma-el is . . . both cannot be, therefore this account in either the Bible or the Koran is false.
Secondly, as we have seen, above . . . the Koran insists that its true adherents can/will not, ultimately, lose a war and that its true adherents will possess the entire land of Israel, and more specifically, its capital, Jerusalem, in the foreseeable future. Not only have the "Armies of Islam" lost several wars in history, a couple of them against the very Jews who, supposedly, cannot "ever defeat Islam", but The Bible, in passages like Z'charyah (Zecherayah) chapter 14 clearly paints a picture of a future Jewish (with the help of Almighty Elohim) and not an Arab controlled Jerusalem.
Either the adherents of Islam will control Jerusalem in the future, as Iran's militant president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and various other parties in the Islamic world, insist, or the Jews will, exactly like they are doing at this time . . . Both entities won't, and, therefore, what is written in either The Scriptures (Bible) or The Koran, with regard to said "control", must be false, and deliberately so, at that!
It is so utterly clear, even, only from the two examples, above, that, at least, significant portions of either The Bible or The Koran contains nil else than very deliberate falsities and lies. Since I believe The Bible to contain, only, "absolute truth", the book containing lies, for me, is, clearly, The Koran . . .
The day will arrive, soon enough, when every human being, who has ever lived, will know the truth, whether, according to The Bible, it will be in time for a specific individual, or not. I say . . . "soon enough", because even the uninformed, in our day, perceive (suspect, if you like) that the world, as we know it, just can not survive even one more century, for reasons which have become all too obvious.
If you would like to read up some more about this particular conflict as well as many other issues related to the Israeli nation and people, I highly recommend the following website: www.carolineglick.com
Thank you so much for having taken the time to read this long review through. I hope that you have benefitted somewhat from it, and if you have not, I ask you kindly to just relax, please . . .
Shalom, new dooyoo friends. So many outstanding reviews have been written on this particular subject that I have to wonder, from the outset, if I can really make a useful contribution, here. I have, quite deliberately, not looked at any other review in this category before writing my few pennies worth of advice down for you, because I believe there is a sense in which the above can/might detract from the uniqueness (originality, if you like) and the relevance of the advice given in one's own review.
With so many other reviews on this subject, it is very likely that a significant percentage of the advice I will offer you, here, has, indeed, already been suggested by not a few other, much more experienced dooyoo members. I ask you, kindly, therefore, not to judge "this effort of mine" negatively, solely on the basis of having seen the same advice in several other reviews. Bo-u natchil / Let us begin . . .
--- Ha-etzah sheli / My counsel ---
My very first piece of advice to brand new members is, simply, this . . . Before you write, even, one review, read hundreds! Try to read several from this, specific, category! I didn't do either of the above when I joined dooyoo a couple of years ago, to date, and the result was not only predictable, but very noticeable, i.e. below average reviews. Only people who have, successfully, done similar review writing, elsewhere, before joining dooyoo, can, safely, skip this step, but if you are not one of these (which is true of most new members) and completely ignore good advice, the chances are high that you will start off exactly as I did . . . below par.
Reading many reviews, before attempting your own, will show you, in no time, which tools and skills you will have to acquire in order to write a decent (good) review. Please take my word for it . . . to learn to write, even, only a couple of decent reviews, every so often, and then to see other dooyoo members' appreciation for your efforts, is a much more satisfying experience than churning out one mediocre review after another, which, in the end, will bring you nothing more than mediocre rewards.
Please remember that you don't have to be a brilliant writer, at all, in order to write a decent consumer review. If I could learn to write a fairly decent review, I tell you now, you can do the same, and better!
Secondly, I find the dooyoo Premier Review's minimum 150 word requirement to be a, somewhat, confusing issue for new members. Please take note that the latter was never meant to be seen as a guideline for the acceptable length of the average review. In my humble opinion a reviewer can hardly write a decent review, on anything, whatsoever, in under 320 odd words, never mind 150. Your review topic should, perhaps, be the main criteria that will determine the length of your review, in the end. If you are reviewing the simplest of chocolate bars, for example, I suppose it is possible, for most people, to write something decent in 350 - 400 odd words, but I can not imagine that anyone can write a decent review of, even, twice as many words (i.e., 800) on a subject such as the Israeli - Palestinian conflict.
Some people find it difficult to write a review they are perfectly satisfied with on their very first attempt. If you, like me, fall in this category, I would like you to consider the following: Doesn't it make much more sense to, first, write your entire review in a word processor, inclusive, even, of title and summary, and edit and re-edit it until you are completely satisfied with it, before publishing it? This works for me, as Clint Eastwood says in his movies. Come, let me tell you exactly why I say so . . .
If you do it this way, before publishing it, no one will read the "lesser" version of your review before the "edited" version is available. Everyone will only read your very best effort. If you, however, write your review straight into the dooyoo review rectangle and immediately publish it, you will have no time to edit it to something better, before the biggest number of people, who will ever read your review at any given time, will read it.
Your very best effort will also earn you more as well as better ratings than any lesser effort ever will, initially, as well as afterwards. I have done the latter, worn that T-shirt, and I tell you straight, the former is not only the better way, but it is much more rewarding, in every respect.
By using a word processor, first, you can, moreover, completely eliminate grammar and spelling mistakes from your review, because any decent modern day word processor will underline such errors, until it is corrected. (Microsoft Word 2007, which I use, underlines grammar mistakes with a green and spelling mistakes with a red zig-zag line.) If you write your review directly in the dooyoo review rectangle, the chances are high that you will make, at least, a couple of these mistakes, which can, even severely, spoil an, otherwise, decent review. The moral of the story . . . Using a word processor, first, is the smart option.
Fourthly, in this review community we have what is called "guides". A dooyoo guide has the word "guide" printed directly beneath his/her identification logo, at exactly the same spot where the words "new member" appears for everyone who join the dooyoo community for the first time. These guides have been recognized by the dooyoo community, as a whole, as possessing a good knowledge of a certain product or subject category (like make-up or electrical appliances, for example) and, afterwards, they have been appointed, by the dooyoo management, to "oversee" such a category. Said guides truly earn their appointments, most of them only being appointed after several years of faithful and dedicated service to this community and, in many cases, with a few hundred very useful reviews behind them.
Please don't get upset, annoyed etc. when one of these make a less than flattering comment about one or more of your reviews. These guides will never do so because they just, suddenly, "feel like it". Why, on earth, would they do that? A guide will only do this when he/she notices something in your review which, obviously, disturbs him/her and which he/she would like to see corrected. They are here to "guide" us, so that we can reach our best review writing potential, over time.
Just recently I did a review on the topic of Religion. A number of dooyoo members, including a certain guide, who read the review, were, simply, not impressed and told me so in the comment column, but it was said guide who articulated the specific reasons for her dissatisfaction, the best, in my opinion. Well, suffice it to say, even though I recognized the other criticisms, I, most certainly, took immediate note of this lady guide's comment and re-read my review again.
Even though it was somewhat painful to admit it, she was spot on in what she had said. I wrote her a message, in which I thanked her for telling me "the truth in love", something which, I believe, she appreciated very much. Now came the hard part, i.e. what to do next with this, shall we call it, "tarnished", review. In the end I re-wrote the entire review. I had to re-think the subject matter, which was a tedious experience and after that I had to re-write the review to my own satisfaction, which was even more tedious.
Was it worth the effort, you ask? My answer is an unreserved, YES. I will mention only 2, out of several, benefits I received from doing the above, for you. Almost immediately after I pasted my new review in the old one's place, I noticed a change in the comments from mainly negative to very positive, and since that very time there has also been a steady increase in the number of ratings for this, specific, review. The bottom line is this: Listen to the guides. They know what they are doing. They know the ingredients of an acceptable (never mind, decent) review, and if there is something "seriously wrong" with your review, as with the one I mentioned above, they will sniff it out a mile away and tell you so.
An English lady I know, who has a most excellent command of the English language and an even better vocabulary, shared the following with me one day as I was telling her that I had just joined the English dooyoo review community and that I was a bit worried about the fact that I have a fairly limited English vocabulary. For my fifth morsel of advice to new members, I will, quickly, share with you what she had told me that day, i.e. . . .
''You know, Mayan, when you are just starting to write articles, reviews etc. in the English language, a limited vocabulary can, actually, be a blessing in disguise. I must have given her a fairly inquisitive look, so she, immediately continued in, more or less, the following vein: "It is much more important to learn to write the spoken language. People always find the quickest and easiest way to say something. You need to learn to do likewise in your writing, because this will make reading your material an easy and enjoyable experience rather than an effort, which is, exactly, what your goal as a writer should be. This kind of writing can, moreover, be achieved with the barest minimum of vocabulary. A good vocabulary will only become important once you have mastered this basic skill." Well, there you have it. Perhaps the above can be summed up in the words . . . "Keep it as simple an uncomplicated as possible."
Lastly, I would like to say something about plagiarism. I can almost hear some of you saying . . . "Surely you could have come up with something more original than this, quite, obvious no-no with which to conclude your review, Mayan." Well, the thing is that plagiarism, amongst the younger generation, especially, these days, is, clearly, not such an obvious wrong as it used to be, in decades gone by. If it was, why is it then happening, today, and why has it happened in this very community?
Today we live in a society, where the dividing line between what is right and what is wrong is, already, extremely seared. In this kind of environment, crimes, exactly like plagiarism, very quickly, get "seared up" to something which, at the very least, is not too serious, and at most, quite acceptable. The above state of affairs, simply, necessitates that what was, once, nothing less than common knowledge, should be stated, quite emphatically, today, so let us, now, do just that, i.e. . . . Plagiarism is nil else than theft of another person's property. It is W-R-O-N-G and it is I-L-L-E-G-A-L. It will not, under any circumstances, be tolerated in the dooyoo review community, ever! Please, don't commit this offence. It will catch up with you, even sooner than later.
Thank you so much for having taken the time to read this review through. I trust that you have benefitted, somewhat, from it.
--- Introduction ---
Dear friends, today I would like to review a music album called "Worthy", by the artist, Kevin Knott. As the title suggests, the songs on this album are, ultimately, dedicated to the Almighty Creator of the Universe, the One and Only Elohim of Set-apart Scripture (The Bible, if you like).
Since this is my very first attempt at reviewing a music album, I couldn't but wonder about the best way, for me, to do it. It was then that I remembered the way in which my dooyoo friend, Ben Lloyd, goes about writing reviews of this nature. It is, always done so professionally, in every possible respect. So, dear friend, if you don't mind too much, I am, at least, going to try to adopt something of "the way you do it" in this review of mine.
--- About the musician, Kevin Knott ---
Kevin Knott and his wife, Diane, lives on a small holding, approximately halfway between the towns of Somerset West and Stellenbosh, in the Western Cape, South Africa. They have three sons, Brendon, Gareth and David. Brendon and Gareth, the latter, who is married to a lovely Colombian lady by the name of Ursula, live close by their parents, in Cape Town and Stellenbosh, respectively. The youngest son, David, who is also married, lives in Germany.
At present Kevin is the leader (Pastor, if you like) of his own fellowship called "Apples of Gold Ministries" [This name originates from the scripture in Proverbs 25:11, i.e. "A word aptly spoken, is like apples of gold in settings of silver."] in the Strand, a couple of minutes' drive from where my wife and I live. In this endeavour he is, really, brilliantly, supported by his wife, Diane, whom he just adores (I won't mention here how I know this), his son, Gareth, and his daughter in law, Ursula.
Save for the help of only one, regular, support singer by the name of Marie Midcalf (see short write-up on her under the next heading), Kevin Knott is, pretty much, a "one man band" who offers every grain of his musical talent up to the ONE (blessed be He) who gave it all to him, in the first place, as he proclaims, at all times and everywhere he goes . . .
"You are worthy, Oh my Elohim, to receive glory and honour and the highest praises, forever and ever and ever . . . "
He is, exactly, the kind of man Elohim (blessed be He) is searching for, to accomplish His purposes in this age. In his life and through his music (which also includes 2 previous, equally praiseworthy albums, i.e. "Apples of Gold" and "Door of Hope", respectively) Kevin Knott is doing just that. It is a privilege to know him and to attend a fellowship where his music, especially, but also the authority he has in Elohim, the ministry I receive there, etc. etc. takes me to spiritual places where I feel so much closer to my Creator . . .
Kevin's instrument, which he plays with such confidence and enthusiasm, in both this album and the "Apples of Gold" band, every Sunday, is the acoustic guitar. I was amazed when I found out that he doesn't read any music. He just listens to a new tune and then he plays it, soon, afterwards. I know . . . , I know . . . ; it all seems terribly unfair, doesn't it?
--- Three other multi talented artists featuring on the Worthy album ---
The first of these is Marie Midcalf who has been singing with Kevin for years and, therefore, knows him and his music very well. Marie studied film editing at AFDA (African Film Drama Arts) in Cape Town, where she obtained a degree in Motion Picture Medium.
Among other interests, such as acting (she plays a part in a small South African theatrical production for children, called "The Jungle Book" and she also performs on the big stage in Europe, in the musical production known as "The Show Boat") tourism and wildlife, she runs her own film editing business, called Pure Liquid Productions, these days, with the help of her younger brother, Nathan. Even though the company's website is not quite ready for publication on the Internet, yet, the domain name, i.e. www.pureliquid.co.za, is already registered.
She has her very own track on this album, called "Be Still" (See my comments on it under Track 9, below), which, shows me just how highly Kevin esteems her as a person as well as an excellent musician, in her own right.
The second person featuring on this album, who is also a well known, recognized international musician, these days, is Even Rogers. As an old and good friend of Kevin Knott, who knows the latter and his music, very well, Even is the original creator of the lyrics and the music of no less than 5 of the 11 tracks on the "Worthy" album. Even though Even is a South African, he is much better known for his music in Europe, these days, than in his own country, almost something like the South African born, but now, very English cricket star, KP (Kevin Petersen).
The song that has, no doubt, made Even Rogers famous in the UK, alone, is called "The Party Song", which, some time ago, was sung in the Royal Albert Hall in London by a massive choir. Praise Almighty Elohim that someone had the presence of mind to make a DVD recording of this wonderful event and afterwards uploaded it to www.youtube.com from where it can be accessed by searching for "The Party Song - Even Rogers".
The one thing about this little DVD clip, which just remains with me, is how much those who participated in the singing enjoyed it. With regard to this talented man, I will quote for you what Kevin, himself, wrote concerning him in the "Thank You" section of his album's cover, i.e. . . .
"Even Rogers - you are definitely a master musician and producer, always on the cutting edge. You have a wonderful way of bringing out the best in people. Thank you for the songs you wrote for this album. I will miss the fellowship we had while producing it."
Lastly, as one listens to the various tracks on this album, it is impossible to miss the beautiful sound of the violin. Many, many people in our world, today, play this unique instrument, but only a few ever get to play it with the skill of an Elinor Speirs. This is one exceptionally talented lady, but if you are not conscious of this fact before you meet her, face to face, you will never know it.
Elinor knows Kevin Knott and his family very well and she is dearly loved by all of them. She has been part of Kevin's band, especially as it operated within the "Apples of Gold" fellowship, for many years. She has also produced a CD of her own called "Eli", which, in the original Hebrew, means "my Elohim". Not a few people, we know, are, eagerly, awaiting its release, in the near future. The latter is, definitely, going to be my next music purchase, and afterwards I will also review it here, on dooyoo.
--- Track 1: In the Presence of the Lord ---
Sung by Kevin Knott
Music and Lyrics by Evan Rogers
© 2009, Here We Are Music
This is, exactly, the right song to begin this album with. From the outset the listener is invited to enter into the presence of this Elohim and, there, to experience a joy that this age (world) knows nothing about. The melody is, likewise, joyous and lively, emphasising the fact that the children of Elohim do not enter His Presence to fall asleep there, but rather to rejoice, abundantly, in dancing, the clapping of hands and singing before "Melech ha-m'lachim / The King of Kings." [Rev. 19:16(a)]
. . . And so, almost out of nowhere, you feel your limbs (even old and creaking limbs) beginning to respond to the rhythm as your ears open to the words . . .
"In the Presence of the Lord there is fullness of joy
And His joy has set my feet to dancing / my hands to clapping / my soul to singing . . . "
From the moment this first track begins to play, our two Yorkshire Terriers, Benjamin and Toby, start to jump up and down and they make funny little moaning noises, and do not relent, until we pick them up in our arms and dance with them. If we, moreover, dare to put them down, even a moment, before the very last note of this track is sung, they are not, at all, impressed with us.
Running time: 2:59
--- Track 2: His Love Endures ---
Sung by Kevin Knott
Music and Lyrics by Evan Rogers
© 2009, Here We Are Music
Now that the listener have experienced something of the, really, indescribable joy that is available to Elohim's children, all the more so, when they earnestly desire to worship Him, there is a shift of focus in this second song. Here Kevin sings about some of the incredible matters this Awesome King of the Universe has accomplished on behalf of His blood bought children, on an easy and, somewhat, unique tune. In no time, at all, one picks up the tune and begin to sing along . . .
"All Your enemies, principalities, You have conquered, You are our King
You have overcome by the blood You shed, Your love has brought us peace . . ."
This is a beautiful song that reminds the listener of The Creator's infinite and everlasting love for His creation, a love that human beings, simply, can not, fully, comprehend . . .
Running time: 3:34
--- Track 3: Through the Door ---
Sung by Kevin Knott
Music and Lyrics by Evan Rogers
© 2009, Here We Are Music
The moment we come "under the blood of the Lamb" [i.e. realize that we can only be in a right standing with Elohim by accepting what His Son, Yahushua (Jesus), did on our behalf], we are given immediate access to the most incredible benefits, from Above. These are the very benefits Kevin sings about in this song, on music that suits and complements this, particular, theme, very well.
In the fusion of music and lyrics Kevin manages, here, to create an atmosphere of assurance, in Almighty Elohim, that has the potential to shatter, even, the worst depression.
"I have found freedom, freedom in the Lord
My sins and my transgressions; He will remember them no more . . . ",
Running time: 3:10
--- Track 4: Adonai ---
Sung by Kevin Knott
Music and Lyrics by Lee Black, Steve Merkel and Paul Wilbur
© 2005, Integrity's Hosanna Music
With "Adonai" (a Jewish circumlocution for Elohim's Personal Name, YHVH, which is not pronounced in Judaism) it is time for a redeemed Zion (Lit. Tzi-on, a collective name for the people of Israel and, more specifically, Jerusalem) to praise their Creator and cry out to Him to hasten His coming, in the words . . .
"Come with Your wisdom and power, clothed in Your honour and strength
Lord, hear the cry of our hearts, Come, O Conquering King!", and again . . .
"Here Jerusalem waits, praises lifted on high
Here the beautiful gates long to see You arise"
In this song it is, almost, as if Kevin is "standing in the gap" (a scriptural term meaning . . . to earnestly intercede for another party, before Elohim) for all of Tzi-on until the latter is completely ready to speak or, even, sing the words. . .
"Baruch ha-ba b'shem Adonai / Blessed is he who comes in the Name of The Almighty", to their Elohim.
From Matthew 23:39 we know that the Jews will speak the above words, only, once they (as a nation, not individuals), are able to acknowledge that Yahushua is, indeed, their Messiah, something which will surely happen in the near future, but is not yet the case. This is, yet again, an easy melody which starts off fairly slowly, but builds up to a beautiful climax in the words . . .
"You are Lord over all the Earth . . . " x 9
Running time: 4:14
--- Track 5: The Eyes of the Lord ---
Sung by Kevin Knott
Music and Lyrics by Kevin Knott
© 2009, Here We Are Music
I just love it when I become conscious that a musician is singing the Words of his/her Creator back to Him. The latter is exactly what Kevin is doing in this song. I believe that the latter drew the lyrics for his song from, mainly, 3 scriptures, i.e. 2 Chronicles 16:9 as well as T'hilim ( Psalms) 34:15 and 37:4 - 5(a).
Kevin has managed, very well, to make the necessary adjustments to the wording of the above scriptures (without diminishing its inherent power or meaning), so that it blends in, quite beautifully, with a melody which is both moving and original. These are eternal truths, beautifully expressed in music. Here is a short excerpt . . .
"The eyes of the Lord are on the Righteous Ones, His ears attend to their prayers
Supporting hearts fully His, those whose hearts are fully His . . ."
Marie and Nathan Midcalf's "Pure Liquid Productions" made a DVD clip of this song which can be viewed on you tube. To do the latter, just go to www.youtube.com and type "The Eyes of the Lord by Kevin Knott" into the search bar. If this, somehow, doesn't work, you can use the following link . . .
in order to get you directly to the clip.
Running time: 3:43
--- Track 6: Worthy is the Lord ---
Sung by Kevin Knott
Music and Lyrics by Kevin Knott
© 2009, Here We Are Music
The eternal Word of Almighty Elohim (The Bible, if you like) is, once again, the source material for the words of this song. With only minute changes to the exact wording of T'hilim 95:1 & 6, in order that said words would fit in, nicely, with a simple, but very "singable" tune, the Set-apart Breath of Elohim (more commonly referred to as the Holy Spirit) can certainly use this song to transform lives. Kevin succeeds, brilliantly, in my humble opinion, in creating an atmosphere of true worship as he sings the words of this song, with such complete abandon and devotion, in honour of his First Love.
With "Worthy is the Lord" Kevin gives the listener a glimpse into a Kingdom which is not of this world, a spiritual place which is found within (some translations - "among" or "in the midst of") those who are truly His, at this time [Luke 17:21(b)], but will translate to a physical Kingdom, for the latter, in the "Olam ha-Ba" (the World to Come or Eternity).
"Come let us sing for joy to the Lord, shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation
Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lord / Ra-oui, ra-oui, ra-oui hu ha-Elohim
Come let us worship, bow down to our King, kneel before Him our G-d and our Maker
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord / Qadosh, qadosh, qadosh hu ha-Elohim"
Running time: 4:10
--- Track 7: Oh How Lovely ---
Sung by Kevin Knott
Music and Lyrics by Even Rogers
© 2009, Here We Are Music
Almighty Elohim (blessed be He) chose to dwell in His former Temples (in the Temple of Solomon and afterwards the 2nd Temple) on Temple Mount, in the city of Jerusalem, before He decided to withdrew His Presence from there, because of the sin of His people of old. There has been no Temple on Temple Mount for close to 2000 years, to date, but there is good news . . . His House (Temple) will be rebuilt in perfect fulfilment of the prophesies in Y'shayahu (Isaiah) 2:2-3, Michah 4:1-2 and others, and His Presence will, certainly, be found there, once again.
For the above mentioned, almost, 2000 years the Ru-ach of Amighty Elohim (blessed be He) has indwelled those people, everywhere, who are truly His. In the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 3:16 & 17, 6:19 & 2 Cor. 6:16(a), the latter are, all, like "little" (my word) Temples of Elohim in which He chooses to put His Spirit.
This song is all about Elohim's Dwelling Place (Temple), whether we think, here, of His two Temples of old, which stood on Temple Mount, in Jerusalem or His 3rd and 4th Temples, which will stand there again, in the near future, or countless numbers of His blood bought people, everywhere, billions of these, who have already passed away and are awaiting the resurrection of the righteous, and millions more who are still alive, as I write these words.
It is, moreover, about the beauty of His Dwelling Place. What does Almighty Elohim know about you? Will you welcome Him into your life so that His Ru-ach can transform you into a stunningly beautiful Temple, for His Glory? I perceive that this is Kevin's heartbeat for you, the listener, as he sings the words of this song (the ultimate source of which is, once again, Set-apart Scripture, more specifically, T'hilim 84) on a kind of reassuring and, at the same time, very moving, melody i.e. . .
"Oh how lovely is Your Dwelling Place
Lord, I long to see Your lovely face . . .
I love to be with You, all the days of my life
Ever praising You, dwelling in Your House, Oh Lord . . . "
Running time: 4:43
--- Track 8: When I am Weak ---
Sung by Kevin Knott
Music and Lyrics by Even Rogers
© 2009, Here We Are Music
This is my favourite song on the Worthy album. Every time I hear it, My being is stirred within me and I experience Almighty Elohim's incredible love, even for a sinner such as I. Even Rogers must have been so inspired by the "Ru-ach" (Breath / Spirit) of Almighty Elohim (blessed be He) as he composed the lyrics and music of this song, because Elohim's presence is so palpable (to me, anyway) wherever and whenever it is sung. It is almost as if He, the Set-apart One, decided beforehand . . .
that He is going to entrench something of who He is in this song, and make the latter available to those who will not be satisfied listening to it for its entertainment value, alone, but, rather, long for its words to become a reality in their lives . . . Kevin does a wonderful job of singing these inspired words (see below) on an old and trusted melody, which is just perfect for this, specific, song.
"When I am weak, then You are strong . . .
When I am poor, then You are rich . . .
When I am lost, You show the way . . .
When I'm alone, I know You're there . . . "
Running time: 4:07
--- Track 9: Be Still ---
Sung by Marie Midcalf
Music and Lyrics by Marie Midcalf
© 2009, Here We Are Music
How can one even begin to summarise this utterly beautiful song? The combination of Marie Midcalf's fresh, clear voice, the moving and intimate melody and the words which are reminiscent of the deepest relationship between the Bridegroom (Elohim, blessed be He) and His bride (those who have been redeemed by His blood and who have prepared themselves, thoroughly, to consummate their union with Him], transports the listener to a place in the spirit where the intensity of Elohim's love for His children is, physically, felt.
This song does not only reveal Marie's longing for intimacy with her Heavenly Husband, but, even more so, confirms the fact that she is already enjoying this intimacy with Him. For proof of the latter, one needs to look no further than the words she wrote and sings with such love and devotion, i.e. . .
"Be still, my darling, I'll never leave you
Trust Me, I know the way . . .
Come into My Secret Place, feel the warmth of My embrace
Fear not, my child . . .
In My arms you'll find refuge, water for your soul
Your deepest longings I'll fulfil
Be still, my darling, be still, be still
I'm here . . . "
Running time: 3:36
--- Track 10: Be unto Your Name ---
Sung by Kevin Knott
Music and Lyrics by Gary Sadler, Lynn de Shazo / Bridge Lyrics by Kevin Knott
© 2009, Here We Are Music
As mere sinful mortals Elohim's children forget two critical matters in this life, almost on an hourly basis. Which matters are these, you may ask? The answer . . . Firstly we forget who we are and secondly we lose sight of who our Elohim is. The opening lyrics of this song address the above issue, straight away, in the words . . .
"We are a moment, You are forever
Lord of the ages, G-d before time
We are a vapour, You are eternal
Love everlasting, Reigning on high",
just so that we can, once again, refresh our memories. There is a sense in which true worship of Almighty Elohim can/will flow much more freely and we will be able to soar ever higher in our pursuit to "touch" Him in our worship, when we are utterly conscious of these, above mentioned, essential truths.
The above is exactly what I believe Kevin attempts as I listen to him singing the words of this song on a slow and devout tune, the latter which, in my opinion, beautifully, emphasizes those qualities of worship which are entrenched in the song.
''Holy, holy, Lord G-d Almighty, Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Highest praises, honour and glory, be unto Your Name
You are the love song that we'll sing forever
Bowing before You, we are blessing Your Name . . ."
Running time: 5:00
--- Track 11: All Hail the Lamb ---
Sung by Kevin Knott
Bridge Lyrics by Kevin Knott
© 2009, Here We Are Music
Every time I hear or sing this old hymn, it, immediately, reminds me of the well known passage of scripture we find in Phil. 2:5-9, i.e. . . .
"For let this mind be in you which was also in Messiah Yahushua (Jesus),
who being in the form of Elohim, did not regard equality with Elohim a matter to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, and came to be in the likeness of men.
And having been found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, death even of a stake.
Elohim, therefore, has highly exalted Him and given Him the Name which is above every (other) name. . . "
[Passage was drawn from the Bible translation called . . . "The Scriptures",
Published & distributed by Institute For Scripture Research (Pty) Ltd, P.O. Box 1830, Northriding 2162, South Africa.
Internet Web Page: http://www.messianic.co.za
As I sit here at my PC writing these words I can almost hear Kevin as he sings these beloved and well known words on that old familiar tune . . .
"All hail the Lamb, enthroned on high
His praise shall be our battle cry
He reigns victorious, forever glorious
His Name is Jesus, He is the Lord . . . "
Running time: 3:30
--- Other details ---
a) Kevin Knott's "Worthy" album was nominated for a SAMA (South African Music Award) in the category "Best Contemporary Christian Album for 2009". Even though Kevin did not walk away with the SAMA for this album, in the end, I can tell you confidently that it is not just any old music album that is nominated for this award; it has to be something very special.
b) You can listen to every track on this album by visiting . . .
c) The "Worthy" album can be purchased from Integrity Media Africa for R 99.95. [approx. ₤9], which is a gift, for this music.
d) The cover for the "Worthy" album shows a full length picture of Kevin standing with his guitar at his side. This simple, yet very striking, design is the handy work of the very talented Gareth Knott, who has his own graphic design business, called "Life Time Designs". His business website is www.lifetimedesigns.co.za
--- Conclusion ---
There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that Elohim (blessed be He) is The One who inspired all the music on this album. He has moved very ordinary people (albeit men and women with exceptional musical talent), to create music and song that has the ability to draw the lost, the desperate and hopeless, the backslidden etc. back to Him who created them and loves them like no one else, ever will.
My overall rating for this music album is 5/5 for . . . "utterly worthy".
Thank you so much for having taken the time to read this review through. I trust that you have benefitted, somewhat, from it.
--- Introduction ---
Oh, but I am naughty, aren't I? You want to know, of course, what on earth "l'vivot t'-imot" means. Well, it is simply a Modern Hebrew way of saying . . . delicious pancakes.
Yes, dear friends, today I will give you a ridiculously easy recipe for really delicious pancakes. It is so easy, in fact that you will remember all the ingredients and what to do, offhand, after making it only a couple of times.
I can, almost guarantee you that you will become quite popular amongst friends and family once it become known that you have been making these pancakes, so be warned . . . your friends can easily begin to abuse you!
--- Ingredients ---
The following ingredients will make 18 pancakes, give or take 1 or 2. If you want or need to make half or double the amount of pancakes, you can easily halve or double the ingredients, below.
3 level teaspoons of salt
3 x 250 ml. cups of milk
3 x 250 ml. cups of water
3 x 250 ml. cups of cake flour
6 level desert spoons of butter
Sunflower oil [You can also use olive oil.]
Note: It is very important that you do not substitute the butter, above, with margarine. Even though I can not speak from experience, it makes perfect sense to me that the end result will be "lesser", in every respect, if said substitution is made. The butter, in a very real sense, is what distinguishes this recipe from many, many other pancake recipes.
--- What to do ---
Beat eggs, well. Add salt, milk and water and beat again. Beat the flour in until the mixture is completely smooth. Melt the butter and stir it into the mixture. Do not beat the mixture after the butter is added. Cover the mixture and let it stand for approximately an hour, but if you can not do the latter, it is not critical, at all.
The best pan to use, I find, is one of these modern non stick, teflon coated pans, but if you do not have one of these, any fairly shallow pan will do. Pour just enough oil into the pan so that when you tilt the latter from side to side, its whole surface is covered with a thin film of the former.
Our stove has 6 heat levels of which I use no. 5 when making these pancakes. With regard to the heat level, the most important thing to remember is that the pan, with the thin layer of oil in its base, must be hot before you pour the mixture, for the first pancake, into the pan. If the pan is not hot enough, you will find it hard to turn the pancakes (the first couple, especially, but also subsequent ones) over, without it breaking into pieces, and if the heat is too high, the oil will not only splash all over the place, but you will almost, certainly, burn your pancakes.
If the heat is right, you should have no problem turning the pancakes over, without it breaking, at all. You might have one or two failures, anyway, before you will get the heat setting exactly right, so do not despair.
I use approximately 125 ml's of mixture (½ a standard cup) for each pancake I make in our, rather, big pan. I use a std. size soup ladle (which holds slightly more than 125 ml's of liquid) to, first of all, draw the mixture for each pancake out of its original container, after stirring it once or twice, and then pour it into the hot pan with its thin layer of oil, the latter which must be poured into the pan before every new pancake is made. Immediately after the mixture is poured into the hot pan, the pan must be tilted from side to side, so that said mixture covers the entire surface of the pan.
You will quickly see when the pancake is ready to be turned over. With our teflon coated pan I use a plastic fish slice, so as not to damage the coating when I turn the pancakes over. You can use the fish slice to loosen the edges of the emerging pancake, somewhat, around the pan, and then just wriggle the former underneath the pancake and quickly turn it over. When the other side is ready (this should take all of approx. 10 seconds), you can slide it out of the pan onto a plate covered with a thin layer of sugar mixed with cinnamon, from where it can then be rolled up with a fork and eaten.
--- To conclude ---
It is the easiest thing in the world to make enough of these pancakes at a time when it suits you and then to just refrigerate it (for up to, even, 3 weeks) until you decide to use it for a meal or a treat. In such a case you can just heat it again and it will be ready immediately. My wife and I normally make 18 at a time, which takes us approximately 50 odd minutes. I find that it works best to work as a team when making pancakes; the one making it while the partner does everything else. The latter works for me, as Clint Eastwood says in his movies.
I love lemon juice and whipped cream over my pancakes, but there are many other toppings one can use. If you can imagine it, you can have it. I sincerely hope that you will try this pancake recipe of mine out. I promise you, you won't be sorry!
Thank you so much for having taken the time to read this review through. Until I write my next review or rate some of yours (I am sure the latter will happen first), I say shalom.
--- Introduction ---
Shalom, dear dooyoo friends. Today I will do a Room 101 review. Before reading this review, you might want to read the disclaimer I have specifically created for very subjective reviews, such as this one. You will find the disclaimer in the first 2 paragraphs of my review . . . "On the road from Nightmare to Blessing".
This is supposedly all about objects, services or, even, concepts which one would like to see removed from everyday life. Well, here is . . .
--- My eight ---
Arrogance is, definitely, number one on my list. Arrogant people, somehow, believe that our world can not, or will not function, properly, without them, around. It is, simply, a fact that no one in our world is, ever, indispensable, not one! It is only a matter of time before the arrogant person will find the latter out, and it is, almost, a given that this discovery will be a painful one. Pride is what lies at the root of arrogance . . . It is not for nothing that Set-apart Scripture, in Proverbs 16:18, warns the reader . . .
"Before destruction comes pride, and before a fall a haughty spirit!"
The world will, certainly be a better place without this trait. It is the trait which I would like to see removed; never the person displaying the trait, because all of us have the seed of arrogance within us . . . In some it is just more visible than in others.
Number two on my list is manipulation. What we have here is one horrific vice. I believe manipulation to be one of the biggest causes of divorce in our day, if not for all time. Almighty Elohim (God) has, graciously, given every single person on the face of the earth what can be called "a free will". If one person tries to force or bend another person's free will in a direction, other than what the former desires (more often than not, said bending is done quite subtly) . . . we have manipulation of the latter by the former.
The cruellest form of manipulation, in my book, at least, happens when the manipulator is an adult and the manipulated, a child. There are various forms of the latter, but perhaps the most common in our world today is that of the sexual manipulation of little girls by adult men, although young boys have not escaped this terrible crime.
One just have to think back, a little, to the time when, adult men, the world over, began to reveal what was really happening behind the closed doors of not a few Roman Catholic church buildings, when the former were no more than young boys. Manipulation, in one form or another, is involved in every case of sexual abuse. Our world will, undoubtedly, be a better place without this terrible vice.
Cruelty, of any kind, really, is number three on my list. Just as I was busy writing down these, very words, one of the free local newspapers of our area (it is called the "Bolander") arrived at our front gate. As I turned the first page of the paper, I read about a pregnant dog that was tied to some railway tracks, a couple of days ago, not a huge distance from where my wife and I live. She was, obviously, killed. The author of this short article, one Carolyn Frost, who is also the editor of the paper, writes:
"It defies comprehension that a person could take (presumably) a pet, and try to solve an unwanted pregnancy in this heinous manner."
This kind of deed is cruelty in action, and, simply, unforgivable! If the above was, moreover, the very worst kind of cruelty our world has seen or will still see, there would, truly, be cause for celebration, but we know differently, don't we? If you are, somehow, not quite convinced of unimaginable levels of human on human cruelty in our, very, modern world, you can, perhaps, try to lay your hands on and watch the documentary "Welcome to Sarajewo". It will convince you in no time, at all, guaranteed! Warning: This is not pleasant viewing.
If I could, somehow, remove cruelty from our world, I would do so, immediately.
Number four, for me, is the rich exploiting the poor. For the sake of this, specific, category, we can define "the rich" as anyone who is both mentally and financially able to plan and execute exploitation of this nature. What makes the latter such a terrible crime, in the eyes of Almighty Elohim (The latter can be proven from The Scriptures, in no time. I will do it, shortly, for you.), is the fact that the rich of this world are, usually, educated people, while the poor are uneducated people, for the most part.
The perfect logic of Elohim (blessed be He), clearly, suggests that no one should, really, know better than the educated that it is wickedness to exploit uneducated, poor and powerless people. It makes perfect sense to my finite mind. Let us look at a scripture or two:
"Do not rob the poor because he is poor, and oppress not the afflicted at the gate, for YHVH (the 4 Hebrew letters, making up the Personal Name of The Almighty) pleads their cause, and shall plunder those who plunder
them." [Proverbs 22:22-23]
". . . YHVH, who is like You, delivering the poor from one stronger than he, and the poor and the needy from him who robs him?" [T'hilim (Psalms) 35:10]
Unscrupulous building contractors who use inferior building materials in the construction of low cost houses, intended for the poor, in order to inflate their own profits, is an, almost, perfect example of the rich robbing the, utterly poor and helpless in my country. This has, already, happened on a couple of occasions, in my country, in the recent past, and it is debatable if this wicked practice has, at all, been rooted out, completely.
When this kind of practice goes on, no single entity loses more than the poor man who has to pay off a home loan, every month, for a house that, literally, crumbles to pieces, around him and his family. I am, to a certain degree, almost, sorry for the person who exploits the poor like this, because if such a one has, even, the slightest idea of Elohim's retribution against such wickedness, he/she would never entertain, even, the thought of it.
It is just as well that the poor and defenceless have an All Seeing and All Hearing "Shomer" (Guard), who protects them against those who would, otherwise, "swallow them alive", because, without Him their lives, in
this world, will be unbearable.
Unreasonable, unexplained and unexpected anger/rage is number five. This is one seriously destructive trait, which is, often, found in men. Here is a question for all you ladies . . . Have you found yourself in a situation where you have just made a comment to your boyfriend or husband, to which you, perhaps, only, expect some kind of reasonable response, but what you receive, instead, is a tidal wave of anger that, just, completely "floors" you?
If the man, displaying the above behaviour, is your husband, and if said behaviour, moreover, occurs on a, fairly, regular basis (May Elohim forbid!), well . . . suffice it to say, you have one HUGE problem on your hands.
If the former is, however, still, only your boyfriend, I will give you some good and completely free advice. Here goes . . . Discontinue the relationship, immediately, until he not only agrees to see a counsellor, but, moreover, until you can see a decisive improvement in him, with regard to this issue. You can count yourself extremely fortunate if you discover that your man friend is healed from this sickness in, say, a week, but I would say that you need to give yourself a couple of months, at least, to find out the truth.
I am not saying that the following is full proof, at all, but it might just give you a better than average idea if your man's anger is truly resolved or not, over a very short period of time, if you just can not bear to wait for months on end in order to find out. I am a bit loathe to suggest it here (. . . but I will, nevertheless do it), because you will have to employ some (albeit, you may argue, the bare minimum) of vice number 2, above, in order to be in the know, as they say.
What am I talking about? Most men love driving. Ask your man to drive you somewhere or other during the very busiest time of the day. It is only going to be a matter of a short time, in these kinds of circumstances, before someone (driver, pedestrian, child, destitute person etc.) will do something silly, irritating or illegal in your direct path or in its vicinity. If your man's reaction is reasonable in the specific circumstance, you might have your answer, and if it is completely "over the top", you might, unfortunately, also have your answer.
Unreasonable, unexplained and, often, unexpected anger in a person, is no joke. It must be dealt with, preferably by a professional psychologist, counsellor or the like, and this, rather sooner than later, or it will cause untold misery for, and often, serious injury to those standing in the way of its very destructive path.
My list will not be complete without number six, which is boasting. At some point in our lives all of us have boasted or will boast about something or other, but what I am referring to, here, is a kind of "boasting spirit", or an inability, if you like, to, really, stop boasting.
Elohim (blessed be He) pretty much sums this, particular, trait, in the lives of people, up in the following words:
"Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth - a stranger and not you own lips." [Proverbs 27:2]
The one who suffers from this, very, disturbing trait, very likely, needs professional counselling, as soon as possible, but I don't, particularly, envy the one on whom it will fall to make this fact known to the former. I have no doubt in my mind that our world will be healthier (spiritually healthier, if you like) without this, particular, trait around.
Number seven, I would have to say, is . . . the refusal to admit a wrong and to ask forgiveness. In the latter we have behaviour that, truly, has the potential to destroy lives. No lasting relationship between, imperfect, people is possible, at all, when the words . . . "I am sorry." & "Please forgive me." are not heard and put into practice.
Most important of all . . . if the people of Elohim (blessed be He), somehow, fail to repent, before Him, of their wrongs and turn away from it, He will also turn away from them (He says so in His Word), and for the former there can be NO bigger disaster than this, in their lives.
The person who stubbornly refuses to admit when he/she is wrong and to ask forgiveness, will, not only, ruin relationships, but, ultimately, destroy lives.
Last, for me, is what I call the "I know that . . ." people. This type of person, somehow, just know things and a high percentage of this supposed "knowing" has to do with future events. When I hear this kind of talk, I often, have the urge to say . . . "Wow!, are you God that you have this unique ability to know that?", but I just can not seem to do it. I don't say a word! I prefer to think of the latter as the better choice in these circumstances; many others would call it the actions of a coward.
Just to the north of my country lies another country by the name of Zimbabwe. It is an awesome place, but I hardly have to tell anyone, here, what has befallen this place in the last decade or so. It is, basically, the story of one despot (once an extremely able and well educated leader) who has, systematically, destroyed his country over a short period of time.
Some, especially White people, who have been looking for some kind of legitimate excuse to justify their leaving South Africa for Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK etc. etc., all of a sudden, one day, also become these "I know that . . ." people. I am not kidding you . . . Instead of just speaking the truth about their dislike of South Africa's new series of Black ANC governments, they say things like . . .
"We just know that this country will go down the same old track as Zimbabwe. We are out of here! "
By the way, before they could use Zimbabwe as the "scapegoat" in this kind of "I know that . . ." statement, they used any African country in trouble, or, even, the continent as a whole. After a renewed flurry of
emigrations to whoever knows where, some 8 or 9 months ago, in which the emigrants just could not resist the opportunity, afforded them by some journalists, to let everybody, whosoever, know just why they "knew" this country will go down the drain, among other issues, some Black cabinet minister, responded thus:
"If this lot want to leave our country, so desperately, why waste any more precious time in this terrible place, talking about it? Why don't they just take the first plane out of here?"
The above was not his exact words, but it, pretty much, sums up what he said. This is what I heard him say, between the lines, so to speak, i.e. "Time will soon tell if they are so indispensable to South Africa as they,
obviously, think they are and if the place they are immigrating to, will, in the end, prove to be so much better for them than the South Africa they are leaving behind."
It put a smile on my face, anyway, because, even though my skin is very white, the kind of White South Africa this kind of "I know that . . . " White South African would, very likely, like to see emerging here (or perhaps it is not so inappropriate, at all, to say . . . "emerging here, AGAIN") will
certainly . . . get me on the first plane out of here.
Even though the, almost arrogant kind of, "I know that . . ." attitude, is missing in the following little story (which I have also included in my "On the road from Nightmare to Blessing" review), it nevertheless does a good job of showing the stupidity behind human beings making statements of fact with regard to anything they can simply not be sure of.
There was this Jewish Rabbi who had a very good friend, but a time came when the latter moved away and so their ways parted. Years later the Rabbi was walking down the street in which he lived, and thought he recognized his old friend approaching from the other direction. "Is that you, my old friend", he asked? "It is, indeed, I", his friend answered. "I have just recently moved back to our town. So, how are you, friend?", the Rabbi asked him.
"I am fairly well, but it would not hurt if I was a bit richer", the friend answered. The Rabbi answered him thus: "How do you know it will not hurt, perhaps it will hurt."
Can you see what is going on here? What is the Rabbi's friend saying to him? Well, he is, quite clearly, saying that . . . it will be better for him, if he was richer. What is the Rabbi saying, in response to his friend's answer? Well? Between the lines of his actual words he is saying that . . .
There is no way on earth that his friend can know this for sure! Know what? . . . That he will not, somehow, get hurt by having more money or possessions, of course, and by implication, he is, definitely, also saying that . . . NO human being can know the future, but ONLY Elohim (God).
Thank you so much for having taken the time to read this review through. I trust that you have benefitted, somewhat, from it.
[Note to the reader: This is a lengthy review, and it would have been lengthier, had I not made a concerted effort to say much less than I could have, about, quite, a number of things. It is supposed to be a review on the FIFA Football World Cup Tournament, in general, but you will be forgiven for thinking that it contains too much content, which pertains, specifically, to the forthcoming tournament which will be held in South Africa, during the months of June - July 2010. If you truly feel this way, you can always rate the review as of little or no value, but I, so hope, that you will enjoy reading it, nevertheless!
Maybe you can understand why I, just, had to do it this way. You see, as a South African, I am so very, very excited about this prestigious tournament, finally, making its way to Africa, never mind my own, South Africa. I trust that you will, therefore, forgive me for those, above mentioned, quite lengthy, sections of this review, which, clearly, fall outside the words "in general", found in the review category. To all you very precious dooyoo reviewers, whom I have come to value, so highly . . . I have done this review, especially, for you . . . just to say "Todah kol kach m'od harbeh l'hakol!"/Thank you, so very, very much, for everything! [Mayan Viljoen]
--- Introduction ---
Even though my favourite sport is cricket, not football, there is no ignoring the sheer magnitude and popularity of "the beautiful game" in our modern world. As an international sport it is, just about, 20, perhaps even 30 times, bigger than cricket, rugby and the like, and the ultimate international football spectacle, in our day, is, undoubtedly, the FIFA World Cup.
I feel compelled to do a review on this tournament, at this time, because, as you will know, the next event is just around the corner, in June - July of 2010. If this was all, however, I would, probably, not have done this review, but it is NOT all. This time around the tournament will be held in South Africa, where I was born and still live. This is the very first time that this tournament will be hosted on the continent of Africa, and I can tell you, confidently that . . .
It is, almost, impossible to describe the excitement and expectation among South Africans, in general, but, especially, among the black population, where football is, by far, the most popular sport. It is electrifying. It simply ignites everything and everyone in its path. No one can escape it. Even if it is not specifically mentioned in conversation, it is out there, in the air, to such an extent that it is, literally, palpable.
--- My summary of the tournament's history ---
The global governing body for football, i.e. The "Fédération Internationale de Football" (FIFA) was founded in1904, in Zurich, Switzerland, where it is headquartered, to this day. The FIFA Congress, which is the organization's supreme and legislative body, is made up of 1 representative from every footballing nation who is a member of the organization. In 1904 it only had 7 members, but today a whopping 208 nations are represented in the FIFA Congress. The representative of each nation has 1 vote in this body.
As early as 1906, in Switzerland, there were, already, attempts by FIFA, to stage an international football tournament, between nations, outside of the Olympic framework. These attempts, however, only produced fruit on the 28th of May 1928, at the FIFA Congress in Amsterdam, where it was, formally, decided (the then FIFA President, Jules Rimet, being the driving force behind this decision) to stage a world football championship, organized by FIFA.
The latter came about in 1930, with Uruguay as the host nation. Only 13 nations took part in this inaugural World Cup Tournament and the host nation walked away as the winners. Inclusive of the first, 18 tournaments have been staged, successfully, every 4 years, to date, except in 1942 and 1946, when the devastation caused by World War 2, made it impossible.
--- How does the tournament work? ---
The 4 years break between the successive tournaments give the ever increasing number of FIFA member nations the opportunity to conduct "play offs" among themselves, in each of the FIFA determined world regions (today there are 6 of these) for a place in the last 31 nations (the host nation qualifying, automatically, making the total 32 nations) who would qualify to play in the next tournament.
According to the December 2009 issue of the City (Cape Town) News, page 3, "5,602 football players, from 200 countries, across (the above mentioned) 6 regions, played in 853 matches (more than ever before) to determine which 31 teams would compete" in the 2010 World Cup tournament, in South Africa.
Since the days when 32 teams contested the tournament (This was not the case from the very earliest days. See above.), the former would be arranged in 8 groups (A - H) of 4 teams each. During a special event, on the soil of the host nation, approximately 6 months prior to the commencement of the tournament, a draw takes place to determine which teams would face each other in each of these 8 groups, during the tournament's first round.
The first round is, commonly, referred to as the "group stages", simply because no games take place, across different groups, at all, during this stage of the tournament. Some time before the above mentioned draw takes place, FIFA seeds 8 of these 32 qualifying teams, inclusive of the host nation (according to a formula based on the particular team's FIFA world ranking). According to the FIFA tournament rules these 8 teams are not allowed to play against one another during the first round, which, only, means (as per, above, tournament ruling) that each one of them have to be placed in a different one of the 8 groups, A - H, at the time of the draw.
The 4 teams in each group battle it out for the top 2 places within that, specific, group. The latter, within each group, then qualifies for the 2nd round, whereas the 2 teams, at the bottom of the group, are disqualified from further participation in the tournament. In this way, the teams, who qualify for the 2nd round, are reduced to 16, i.e. 2 within each of the groups A - H.
At this stage, the 2nd round of the tournament [also known as the "knockout" stage, because a team is, immediately, disqualified ("knocked out", if you insist) from any further participation, if it should lose any match from this point, onwards] commences. The winner of each group plays the runner up of another group (In 2010, the team finishing first in group A, i.e. A1, will face the team who will be runner up in group B, i.e. B2, B1 will face A2, C1 will play D2, D1 will play C2, and the same with regard to the 4 teams in groups E & F and F & G, respectively.) which reduces the number of remaining teams to 8.
The last 8 teams now play in the quarter finals, after which stage only 4 teams remain. The semi-finals follows after this and the 2 teams who emerge as winners, from here, contest the finals. The team of the country who wins the final match, is crowned FIFA World Cup Football champion.
--- The host country ---
The FIFA Football World Cup is not just another football tournament, but it is the most prestigious sporting event in the modern world. In 2010, there will, very likely, be, in excess of, 80 million spectators, who will watch the different matches, on television, world wide. A massive number of people also descend on the country who hosts this event, every 4 years.
FIFA, naturally, wants to make the tournament a big success, for everyone, whosoever, that is involved, but especially, I believe, for the millions upon millions of spectators around the globe, both those who are able to attend the event, as well as, by far, the bulk, who can not, physically, attend.
It is for this, and many more reasons, that FIFA has laid down not a few requirements which the host country must satisfy/adhere to, for it to, even, be considered as a host for this tournament. Right at the top of this list of requirements, I am sure, one will find all the infrastructure requirements [to name but a, minute, few . . . sufficient FIFA approved stadiums (at least 8 of them), with all the necessary communication technology to go with the latter, in order to transmit the matches to above mentioned spectator base around the globe, sufficient, efficient and affordable transport infrastructure, the necessary airport and harbour infrastructure, housing infrastructure, etc., etc.]
FIFA will also want sufficient guarantees from the host country with regard to its ability to efficiently secure the safety of players, media, spectators (dignitaries and others) as well as everyone else involved, at match venues, especially. FIFA will also need to be satisfied that each World Cup venue has the technology, facilities, trained personnel etc. in place, to handle, just about, any emergency, imaginable. We can continue in this vein, but I am sure that you've got the picture . . .
As far as South Africa's ability to host a successful Football World Cup, is concerned . . . the current FIFA president, Joseph "Sepp" Blatter, could hardly have given the host country a better thumbs up, than in his own words, during a recent interview with him, here, in our beloved South Africa:
"Nothing, I say again, nothing, will, now, stop the World Cup from happening in South Africa, except the Almighty One, alone."
Being who I am, in Elohim, I, particularly, appreciated the last part of the FIFA chairman's statement.
--- Some other, interesting matters, more related to the, forthcoming, 2010 event ---
The International English football star, David Beckham, appeared on stage, during the recent World Cup draw, in Cape Town, donning a mohican hair style. I wonder if he will keep it for the actual matches?
England are drawn in group C with Algeria, Slovenia and the USA. These are the countries they will face during the First Round (Group Stages). David Beckham seemed, on stage, anyway, to be quietly confident about this draw, but when he was asked to comment on it, he, explicitly, stated . . .
"There will be no easy games during the World Cup."
South Africa's national football team is called "Bafana Bafana", meaning "The (Little) Boys" in the Nguni language. It is, currently, ranked 86 in FIFA's latest World Cup rankings. It will contest the First Round, in group A, against the no. 15th, 19th and 12th ranked teams, i.e. Mexico, Uruguay and France, respectively.
When the current captain of our National Rugby Team (The Springboks), John Smit, who was also a participant in the World Cup Draw, was asked about what he thought Bafana Bafana's chances were in this "Draw from Hell" (as one prominent South African newspaper termed it, in big bold print, on its front page, the day after the draw) he, calmly, said, with a smile on his face . . . .
"Oh, you know, Bafana will use these group games as warm-up matches for when they will hit the quarter and semi-finals."
I am sure this comment pleased every South African, who would soooooooo want to believe that something like this can, actually, happen. Well, stranger things (bigger miracles, if you like) have happened!
Bafana Bafana defender, Matthew Booth, when he was asked to comment on the teams he and his team mates will have to face in their group matches, said something to the effect of . . .
"Well, I am, actually, quite sorry for the Mexican team, who, besides us, will have to face about 90,000 vuvuzelas in that World Cup opening game, at Soccer City, in Johannesburg, on the 11th June 2010."
If you do not know what a vuvuzela is, yet, I will quickly tell you. It is an instrument which looks something like a funnel with an extended, thin, middle section and, of course, a very basic mouthpiece. Even the poorest of football fans (of which there are, literally, hundreds of thousands, in South Africa), can afford one. How come? Well, because it is manufactured, en mass, from a very affordable kind of plastic.
When the vuvuzela is blown, it makes the most awful sound, imaginable. It is a coarse (unrefined, if you like), almost vulgar sound. Many people agree that it makes a high pitched, blasting sound, like that of a horn on a big truck, and yet others that a couple of thousand of these vuvuzelas sound like the constant humming of millions upon millions of bees. Some would insist that the sound is nil else than a noise. My English wife, Celia, says . . . "It sounds like thousands of people, all blowing their noses, as loudly as possible, at the very same time." I know, it's a disgusting thought, isn't it?
I asked a friend of my wife and I, a very refined English man, who is quite elderly and completely blind, these days, but whose mental faculties, still, functions quite well, in my opinion: "Martin, please describe the sound of the vuvuzela for me, in one word." He was dead quiet for about 80, odd, seconds, then, suddenly said . . . "diabolical". Well, there you have it . . .
One thing is certain though, the hundreds of thousands of owners of these, shall we dare call them, "instruments", will be utterly shocked and offended if they should discover, that the sound their beloved vuvuzelas make, when blown, can, ever be thought of as . . . "atrociously cruel or wicked". [Def. of diabolical in The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Fifth Edition, Oxford University Press, page 336]
If you should, however, point at these "instruments" and say . . . "I know what those "thingies" are called", wait a couple of seconds, for effect, and then give its' owners the answer, they will be very happy and extremely impressed with you. If you would, moreover, dare to go one step further, lie and say . . . "I just love the sound it (i.e. the vuvuzela) makes, you will have made lifelong friends, in Africa, guaranteed, but then you will, of course, have to endure this "beautiful" sound whenever and wherever you will meet your newly acquired friends, in the future. There is also the very real possibility that you would be expected to purchase a vuvuzela, yourself, and, of course, learn to blow it. Although I have not tried the latter myself, I can't imagine that it would take too much skill to do it . . .
On occasion, I have heard (on the TV speakers, only, with the sound turned down, significantly), what approximately 15,000, odd, of these vuvuzelas sound like, in unison. Believe me, if you have not heard it before, you will not get used to it, any time soon. When 70,000 + of these vuvuzelas are blown, simultaneously (something which South African supporters will, most definitely, do, at above mentioned opening game, in order to put the Mexican team and their supporters at a disadvantage,) the noise will be nothing less than deafening . . .
I, absolutely, have to say something about this stadium called "Soccer City" (also referred to as . . . "The Melting Pot") here, because, this venue is "Africa", personified. In a very real sense, it is World Cup 2010, as far as I am concerned. I almost want to say . . . "I forbid you to come to the tournament, if you do not plan to see, at least, one match, played, right here." As far as the game of football on the African continent is concerned, I sincerely doubt if you will, ever again, experience what you will, undoubtedly, experience when you purchase a ticket to watch a World Cup fixture, at this, particular, venue.
It is really outside the scope of this review to provide you with information on this, uniquely African, structural and technological wonder, but I, just, can not resist these 2 titbits, i.e.
Design: The "Calabash" or African pot
Stadium's total spectator capacity: 94,700 (This is, by far, the biggest stadium on the African continent)
For more, you can, easily, do many more Internet searches under, for example, "Soccer City", "Soccer City, Johannesburg", etc., but, if you can afford it, and is, moreover, strong/brave enough to endure "that sound" (You remember, "that sound" I mentioned, above.) for 90 + minutes, you will hardly find better value for your money, anywhere, than to find yourself inside "The Melting Pot", come June - July 2010.
Lastly, with regard to this section . . . Everywhere Bafana Bafana's coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira goes, in our country, everywhere, the people recognize him, immediately, and they say, over and over and over again . . . "Make us proud, coach . . . Please, make us proud."
--- What will be the real legacy of the FIFA World Cup 2010, for South Africa? ---
South Africa is a very poor country, if, in any way, compared to, just about, any developed Western European country, like the UK, for example. Every single economist, around here, as well as those further afield, is in agreement . . . the FIFA World Cup 2010 will not change the per capita income of the average, poor, South African household, which is, still, approximately 80% Black, but which is, definitely, growing among the Whites. As depressing as the former may be, the awarding of this tournament to South Africa has, already, made a huge, positive, impact on the overall infrastructure and related industries in this country.
By far the biggest impact this tournament will have, in our land, in my opinion, will be the positive, hopeful and invigorated psyche (even if the latter lasts only a couple of months) it will create among the poorest of the poor of South African football supporters. At the appointed time, literally tens of thousands of these will exchange their last, minute amount of money, for the month, for some vuvuzelas, some food and drink, and the cost of getting themselves to the nearest, public viewing facility (which the South African government will, especially set up for them, at certain, main, centres around our country) to watch their national team play, and, hopefully, afterwards, to get them back home again, in one peace.
The expectation and sheer excitement this tournament has already created, 6 months before the event, in the lives of these very lowly (in the sense of financial ability, only) people, especially, can not, ever, be measured in financial terms. This, for me, at least, will be the real and lasting legacy of FIFA World Cup 2010, in South Africa.
--- Personal notes ---
If any one of dooyooers will find yourself in South Africa at the time of the 2010 tournament, I ask you kindly to not leave here before you pay my wife and I a visit at our home in Gordon's Bay, near Cape Town. It is a very small and humble home, but it is full of love. Even though I will not be able to offer you much more than a cup of tea, you will be so very welcome here. It will, truly, be wonderful for me to meet you face to face. If you would like my physical address and/or phone numbers, please contact me via my e-mail address at firstname.lastname@example.org Please do not forget!
If, in the end, you decide not to make the trip to South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Tournament, this South African implores you to do so, only, for reasons other than that of perceived security concerns. If you still have serious doubts concerning the latter, you can, perhaps, take note of the following:
My wife and I know a lovely English lady by the name of Barbara Ware (Her e-mail address is: email@example.com), who has lived in the Western Cape for years, before she decided to return to the UK, for good. She currently owns her own property, in Fishoek, near Cape Town and regularly comes over here, for holidays. Why not contact her and ask her about all the realities (especially that of personal safety) of our beautiful country. She knows it just as well, or even better, than any South African.
--- Very last thoughts ---
Well, are you exhausted, now? If you are, think of how I must feel, after composing this lot! Thank you so much for having read this review through. I hope that you have benefitted, somewhat, from it . . .
[Note to the reader - GillMN, Cutecandy, GentleGenius, anwar7 and a couple of other dooyoo members were, simply, unconvinced with some, perhaps even most, of the conclusions I came to, in my previous review, on this subject matter.
Before I forget to do it, I want to, publicly, thank them for their honesty. I appreciate it so much! After having read their comments, I decided to, carefully, re-read my review, and I came to the very same conclusions they did.
First I thought . . . I will, simply, edit my review in order to remove that which is incorrect and superfluous and add what seems to be lacking, which I, subsequently, did.
The thing is, I was still not happy with the review, at all . . . In the end, I decided to rewrite the entire review, I think, because other ideas began to take shape in my mind as I was mulling the subject matter, which is a very complicated one, over and over and over in my mind. The review which follows, below, is the end result of this, above mentioned, process. I trust that it will make more sense to you than my first attempt. Mayan Viljoen]
--- Introduction ---
My dear dooyoo friends . . . If you are not already familiar with it, I ask you kindly to read the disclaimer I have written, especially, for reviews of this nature, before you proceed, any further, in reading this, specific, review. The disclaimer can be found in the first 2 paragraphs of my review "On the road from Nightmare to Blessing".
Please take note! . . . This is a lengthy review.
--- The source material ---
As I was wrestling with this subject matter, I turned, once again, to the passage in B'reshit (Genesis) 4:1-8. I read and re-read this passage, several times, and became more and more convinced that some of the answers (at least), with regard to this issue of religion, can be found right here. For the sake of convenience I decided to type the passage out, exactly as it is found in The Bible.
And Adam knew (my insert: "knew" - An ancient Hebrew way of saying . . . "had sexual intercourse with . . .") Chavah (Eve) his wife, and she conceived and bore Qayin (Cain), and said, "I have gained a man from YHVH." (my insert: YHVH - the 4 Hebrew letters, making up the Personal Name of The Almighty)
2 And again, she gave birth to his brother Hevel (Abel). And Hevel became a keeper of sheep, but Qayin became a tiller of the ground.
3 And it came to be, in the course of time that Qayin brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to YHVH.
4 And Hevel also brought (my insert: an offering, by implication) of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And YHVH looked to (my insert: accepted) Hevel and his offering,
5 But He did not look to Qayin and his offering. And Qayin was very wroth and his face fell (my insert: "his face fell" = his face was downcast).
6 And YHVH said to Qayin, "Why are you wroth, and why is your face fallen?
7 If you do well, is there not acceptance? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you should master it.
8 And Qayin told Hevel his brother. And it came to be when they were in the field that Qayin rose up against Hevel his brother and killed him.
[Passage was drawn from the Bible translation called . . . "The Scriptures",
Published & distributed by Institute For Scripture Research (Pty) Ltd, P.O. Box 1830, Northriding, 2162, South Africa.
Internet Web Page: http://www.messianic.co.za
Let us now begin to analyse this passage of Set-apart Scripture, with regard to our subject matter, by first looking for that which is written "on the lines" (i.e., that which is, obviously, there).
We see that both the brothers have a desire to worship (express their thankfulness to . . .) Elohim (God) and that both of them, subsequently, do just that.
We see that the Almighty One (blessed be He) accepts Hevel's sacrifice (or system or religion of worship), but that, for some or other reason, He rejects Qayin's worship of Him.
We see that, as a result of the above occurrence, Qayin, eventually, becomes wroth to the extent that he overcomes and murders his brother.
To summarise this section, we can say . . . Here we have two systems of worship (or religions). One is accepted by the Creator and one is rejected by Him. I am going to call the former true worship and the latter false worship or, simply, religion.
--- Some destinations of religion ---
I specifically, equate Qayin's worship, and not his brother's, with modern day religion, because I recognize a couple of strikingly familiar similarities between where Qayin, eventually, ended up (verse 8, above) and some noticeable characteristics of a few religions of our time. Let us name a couple of these by name.
The end result of Qayin's worship is murder. History tells us that physical murder was one of the overriding"activities", if you like, of the Christian Church, for centuries on end. I am so sorry to disillusion you, if you did not know this, but it is a well known fact and very easy to prove, today.
In the above account we see that Qayin became very angry when he saw that Elohim (blessed be He) rejected his, particular, brand of worship. Anger and hatred towards the Jews, first & foremost, but also against any entity, whosoever, who dares to support the Jews (financially, militarily or otherwise) are, very distinguishable and visible characteristics of the religion of Islam, today.
If you read the above account a little further, you will, soon discover, yet another by product, so to speak, of Cain's religion, which is total indifference towards the murder he has just committed. Elohim asks him where his brother, Hevel, is. We do not see any indifference in the first part of his answer, i.e. "I do not know", even though it is, of course, a blatant lie. He finds it necessary, however, to add a second part, i.e. "Am I my brother's keeper?", to the first. It is right here where we notice the indifference. [B'reshit 4:9(b)]
Indifference is nothing new to modern day religions. The Al Qaydah leadership could care less about how many people died during the 9/11 attacks in Manhatten, New York, in their relentless pursuit of the, supposed, goals of the Islamic religion. If we continue in this vain, I am sure we will find more similarities than these.
--- The core issue ---
Are you thinking what I am thinking at this point? If we can only find out WHY Elohim (blessed be He) rejected Qayin's sacrifice (worship), we will be able to identify at least one (perhaps more), major, distinguishing
characteristic of religion, which is, really, my objective with this review.
In this, we do, however, have a problem. The critical words of verse 7, above, i.e. "Ha-lo im taytiv s'et . . .", meaning . . . "Will you not be accepted if you do well? simply does not give us enough information to discover, with any certainty, at all, WHY Elohim rejected Qayin's particular brand of worship.
Even though we can agree that we can not know the reason, for sure, from the text, there is nothing to stop us from speculating about it, and this is what I would like to do here, with your permission. This is exactly what scriptural commentators do in cases like these. Why can't we do it? What makes them so special?
There are several different opinions amongst scholars about why Elohim rejected Qayin's religion, but the one that still makes the most sense to me is the one that suggests that the latter's heart attitude towards his Creator was not right. You see, the Creator of the Universe has a unique ability to look deep into the hearts of human beings. He sees everything!
What did He see when He regarded Qayin's worship? Did He perhaps detect Qayin just going through the motions? Did he see resentment in that worship, or was it something totally different? I am as convinced as I can be that heart attitude lies at the very core of this issue. The fact that Elohim does not provide us with enough information to identify Qayin's specific heart attitude, toward Him, from the text, should, perhaps, tell us that this is not critical for us to know.
--- A closer look at the difference between Qayin and Hevel's religions ---
What was the critical difference between the religions of Qayin & Hevel, and for that matter, between true and false worship today? I have suggested, above, that it was, and is, to this day, primarily, a difference in heart attitude.
Hevel wanted to please Elohim (blessed be He) with everything in Him; with his whole being and no one knew this better than Elohim Himself. Hevel understood, exactly, whom he was worshipping, that it was the King of the Universe, the Creator of everything that is. Hevel feared the Almighty One and fully understood that the former would be satisfied with nothing less than the very best he could give.
He selected an offering . . .
". . . of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat." [verse 4(b) of our passage, above]
These words suggest to me that Hevel took meticulous care, in selecting the very best lamb or sheep in his flock for his offering to Elohim. He took the time, he made the effort and his entire being was utterly sold for the object of his devotion and worship.
Qayin must have thought . . . "What a nuisance is this now? Can Elohim not see that I am busy earning a living here? Oh well, if it must be, it must be . . . Let me see where I can squeeze a moment out of my busy schedule to concoct some kind of sacrifice to offer up to Him, just to keep Him satisfied." Perhaps he even thought . . . "Who will really know that my sacrifice is, in any way, different from the one that crazy brother of mine is preparing? What an idiot he is, going to all that trouble for an unseen God, who might, very likely, not even notice it, never mind reward him."
Oh my goodness . . . How familiar does this, suddenly, sound? I remember days when this is exactly how I felt about the Elohim of the Bible, and the thing is . . . If we are not deadly serious about our relationship with our Elohim and are not working out our salvation with fear and trembling before Him [Phil 2:12(b)], on a continual basis, this kind of attitude, not only can, but certainly will make a comeback in our lives. The latter will, often, happen without us even being aware of it, before it, of course, becomes blatantly obvious. I say the latter out of bitter experience.
Once I used to be quite content with Qayin's kind of religion. These were days in which I cried out to Him . . . "Oh my Elohim, don't you see my worship? Why do you then withhold Your blessing from me?" Today I only understand, too well, why He avoided me. I don't, ever, want the separation from Elohim, which Qayin's religion causes, back in my life, again, not even for all the money in the world.
Today my only desire is that my religion, will be pure and pleasing to The One (blessed be He) who gave me life and everything good with it. I desire only Hevel's pure worship in my life.
--- Some conclusions ---
Even though we can not say, for sure, what it was which offended Elohim to such an extent that He rejectedQayin's religion, we can conclude, with a fair amount of certainty, that the most the latter was willing to offer up
to Him, was his second best.
If we learn nothing else from His Word, may it be that we will learn this lesson. The Elohim of The Scriptures (The Bible) is NOT, and will never be, the "left over" or "spare time" Elohim that Qayin wanted to reduce Him to,
and neither will He, ever, accept this kind of worship from us. This is the clear message of B'reshit 4:1-8.
He is the Almighty King of the Universe! Sometimes we can forget just how BIG He is . . . He stands completely outside of the Universe He created . . . a universe scientists, from all over the world, now agree, to
be millions upon millions of light years wide. In this entire span of the universe only the most powerful of telescopes in the world, like the Hubble, are able to find the planet on which we live, and this only, if the
telescope in question is pointed in exactly the right direction.
A light year, for those of you who have never heard of this concept, is the distance light travels in one year. Light travels in the region of 300,000 km's p/s (per second). Only the light year can be employed to measure
any kind of distance in Elohim's universe . . . to even think in terms of km's is a laughable matter.
In this unimaginable large universe there are hundreds of thousands of galaxies, each of them containing, among other heavenly bodies, billions among billions of stars. This is what is written in His Word, in T'hilim
(Psalm) 147:4 . . .
"He appoints the number of the stars and gives names to all of them."
Sure, you can take all the time you need to consider what you have, just, read . . . and then we can move on.
--- . . . But there is even more ---
What, on earth, is that, you may ask? Well, even though Elohim accepts only one of the two religions (i.e., that of Hevel), He is, clearly in total command of both. In fact, it is not a stretch to say that He sees this domain of religion as His property, so to speak. The latter being the case, there is, yet, another very important twist in this tale . . .
What is it? There is not even the slightest suggestion, anywhere in our text, above, that Qayin was ordered by anyone, at all, to bring a sacrifice to Almighty Elohim. There is nothing in the text to suggest that he did not
have every freedom in the world to say . . . "Blow this God, all that He is, all that He stands for and all that He, supposedly, wants from me, in this world."
Conclusion . . . Elohim did not involve Himself with Qayin . . . Qayin involved Himself with Elohim; morespecifically, he involved himself with that which pertains to the latter, i.e. religion.
Dear friends, I want to suggest to you that exactly the same thing happens today. People involve themselves with Elohim, all the time. I will quickly prove this to you. Where does the word "Armageddon" (Heb. - Har Megiddo = the Mountain of Megiddo) come from? Answer: It comes from the book of Revelation. Revelation is the last book of His Bible.
If man now produces a movie with the title "Armageddon", the former has, clearly, involved himself in Elohim's domain. Elohim has now got every right (Not that He needs to earn the right to involve Himself in any aspect of His creation, but He may choose to do it this way) to involve Himself in any aspect, whatsoever, of this movie.
After Qayin involved himself in Elohim's domain of worship, got it wrong, and was judged for it, the latter (having known, already, ages ago what, exactly, Qayin was busy planning in his mind) gave him some good
advice, i.e. . . .
". . . sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you should master it." [verse 7(b)]
When people involve themselves in His domain of religion, today, He, likewise, gives them some good advice,perhaps something like the following . . .
"I am now involved in your life, because you have been playing around with religion, which is My domain. Religion is very explosive stuff! Please stop, right away, to dabble around in it and rather learn what is
acceptable worship of me, or I will judge your religion to such an extent that you will feel it! (With regard to the latter, see Revelation 3:15-18)
If you are not interested in Me or that which pertains to me, I do not know why you involved yourself in My domain in the first place. Please make haste to completely sever any ties you have with that which clearly belongs to me. In this way neither of us will be confused as to where we stand with one another."
--- Final conclusion ---
If we want the Elohim of The Scriptures to bless us in our lives, we will have to learn (preferably as soon as possible) to serve him as Hevel did. If we don't, He will certainly judge our religion, just like He did Qayin's.
Those who don't want anything to do with Him, will have to make sure that they don't involve themselves with something He, obviously, views as His domain. If they get this right, He will very likely also leave them alone.
If they, however, don't get it right, they will, in effect, grant Him the permission to have a say in their lives, which He might or might not accept.
Thank you so much for having taken the time to read this review through. I trust that you have benefitted from it, somewhat.
--- Introduction ---
My dear fellow dooyooers,
I have missed each and every one of you so very much in my time of absence from the site. I miss reading your reviews and writing the odd one myself. My absence is due to the fact that I am somewhat pressed for time, at the moment, but I certainly will be back!
I want to quickly tell you, however, of a really worthwhile little website which I have discovered, that can actually earn you quite a substantial income over time, even though you will litterally start with nothing more than a couple of pennies . . . humble beginnings, indeed. (I will explain a little later exactly what I mean by the latter.) The thing which impresses me the most about this little PTC (Paid To Click) site, called clixsense.com is the fact that everything is just so easy to understand . . . If even I can "get it", it will certainly not be a problem for just about anyone else to understand how things work here . . .
--- First impressions ---
First impressions of anyone or anything, really, are so important, isn't it? When I first opened the clixsense.com website, it just looked like the real deal, and when PTC Investigations.com later confirmed the site's legitimacy (see below), I was very pleased. All the tabs work well, the information given under each tab is concise and easy to understand and the site has an overall "light and uncomplicated" feel to it. My first impressions were, indeed, good . . .
--- How does it all work? ---
Like I said above, it is a PTC site. PTC sites, as a rule, have several different usages, but in this write-up I will only concentrate on the immediate earning potential of the site for someone who will join up, because this is the very first thing most people are interested in. As far as the latter is concerned, clixsense.com provides its members with a couple of 30 second adverts, every so often, for each of which it will pay you 1 American sent for viewing it.
This is the humble beginnings I mentioned earlier. If you conclude from the above that it will take, just about, forever to earn only a couple of US Dollars, this way, you will be so right, . . . if this was the end of the story, but fortunately it isn't.
Each new person who registers to become a member of the site, is given a unique link, just like the one I received when I became a member, some time ago. Every time a new person joins clixsense.com by means of your unique link, you will also be credited for each clixsense.com advert such a one reads. The above system works 5 levels deep, i.e. just say that someone clicks on your unique link, and sign up to become a member of clixsense, you will also be paid for each advert this person reads . . . I believe it is 0.005 cent per advert.
If the latter should recruit someone else, you will be paid, once again, for the ClixSense advertisements the latter reads, etc., until this process reaches 5 levels, from where you will not be credited any more. This is all explained, very well, on the home page of website itself. You can work out, for yourself, just how quickly these cents and half cents can begin to add up to a quite substantial sum of money, over time.
--- Some other valuable information ---
It is completely free to join clixsense.com and it is actually one of a select few PTC sites which is not a scam, i.e. it will pay you for the adverts you have viewed as well as for those viewed by your downline (those people who will join under you). I know that clixsense is not a scam, because it has been declared legitimate by those who run a website called PTC Investigations.com Their complete URL is http://ptc-investigations.blogspot.com
These people make it their daily business to investigate every and any PTC site, and only those sites who are found to be legitimate by them will ever make it to PTC Investigations' list of legitimate PTC sites, never mind to their list of trusted PTC sites. clixsense.com is currently listed on their very short list of trusted PTC sites, a truly rare accomplishment if one considers the enormous amount of PTC and other similar sites in operation today.
As a free member you will only have access to a very limited number of 30 second adverts, and you will need a fairly big down line in order to earn enough money to make it all worthwhile. In this respect clixsense.com does not differ much from other legitimate PTC sites. You can, however upgrade your account to a premium account for only $10 US per year (this is only 6.10 British Pounds per year), which will provide you with a couple of additional benefits, among others . . . a significant increase in the number of adverts available for you to view.
With regard to this low upgrade charge of $10 US per year, I believe clixsense.com is miles ahead of other legitimate PTC sites, like NeoBux, for example, where it is much more expensive to upgrade to a premium account. Like most legitimate PTC sites, clixsense.com has also got a very low payout threshold. This is the minimum amount of money a member must accrue in his/her account before he/she can make a claim to be paid out.
A PTC site with a low payout threshold is, generally speaking, a sign that a particular site might be legitimate, but the people at PTC Investigations, for example, use many more criteria than just this one, in order to determine if a site is legitimate, or not.
--- Conclusion ---
From the above it must already be clear to you, the reader, that I really like this particular little PTC site, for the reasons I mentioned above, as well as for some lesser reasons, like personal preference etc. I think it is really worthwhile to join clixsense.com as a free member and afterwards, to consider an upgrade to a premium account for only $10 US per year.
The latter was one of the better investments I had ever made, and, believe me, I had my fair share of bad ones, which, unfortunately, cost me quite a bit more than $10 US. Out of a perfect 10, I award clicksense.com an 8, for . . . "very good". I definitely recommend the site to anyone who would like to earn a little income on the side. If it is managed well, you can create a good income for yourself, over time, from this source.
If you would like to get involved with this site, you can just type www.clixsense.com into the address bar of your Internet Explorer and click on enter, which will take you directly to the site, or you can send me a message and I will provide you with my clixsense.com link, which you can, likewise, use to open a new account.
Thank you so much for having taken the time to read this review through.
Note: This is NOT a Premium ReviewHi there,The below mentioned is the way I "handle" people who have fallen in this state of poverty and/or hopelessness, and feel that there is no other way for them to keep "body and soul together", save to beg in the streets . . .1) If they ask me for money and I can see or sense that they are sincere and their need is real, I will give, immediately, whatever I can.2) If I am, at all, unsure what to do, I will give . . .3) It is only in circumstances where I am as convinced as I can possibly be, that by giving them money, especially, it will be completely wasted on them, that I will not give them anything, but I will always, always still be polite to them.Thank you for reading!Mayan820.
Note: This is not a review of the website . . . www.chabad.org, per se, but rather of the type of reading matter you will find within the pages of this site. I trust that, as you read this delightful little story, that you will, indeed, get, a better than average, idea of what chabad.org is all about. Enjoy!
--- Introduction ---
Hi there. For those of you who have not yet read any of my reviews, it might be worth your while to first have a glance at the disclaimer I have written, especially, for reviews of this nature (it can be found in the first two paragraphs of my review, titled . . . "On the road from Nightmare to Blessing"), before continuing to read this review, further.
Today I would like to re-tell you precious dooyoo people a quite ancient, memorable, little Jewish story, that has been in my mind ever since the day I first heard it. I will attempt to re-tell it entirely from memory. It is powerful, and its message is really applicable to every generation, so listen carefully. Come, come with me on this quite unique journey into the mind of the ancient and righteous Jewish sage . . .
--- The story of the fox and the fish . . . retold by me ---
In the days when the ancient leg of the Roman Empire ruled the entire known world, there lived in the land of Israel (an area where there was no shortage of the, once, mighty Roman legions), a Rav (Rabbi) by the name of Aqiva ben Yosef (Aqiva, son of Joseph). In Jewish literature he is known as "Rosh la-chachamim"/Head of all the sages.
The Roman leadership quickly learned that they had a much more controlled, if you like, strangle hold on the Hebrew population, as a whole, if they completely outlawed any/all activities which had anything to do with the former's Elohim (G-d). One day and acquaintance of Rav Aqiva, by the name of Pappus ben Y'hudah, saw the former openly studying Torah (Torah - lit. teaching or instruction; it is also a collective name for the first five books in The Scriptures) with his disciples in one of the public squares in the little town where they all lived.
"Aqiva", said Pappus, "Have you completely lost your mind, studying Torah here, in broad daylight? Don't you realize that the penalty for doing this will be immediate execution, without any possibility of a trial, for you and all your disciples, if you are discovered by a Roman soldier, which, can literally happen at any moment?" Rav Aqiva very calmly looked up at his friend and said . . . "Pappus ben Y'hudah, the thing is like this . . .
A fox was walking on the bank of a river. He was hungry, so he was looking for something to eat. In the water he saw some fish, which was frantically swimming here and there, to and fro, so he asked them . . . Tell me, please . . . Why do you swim around so frantically? The fish answered him thus . . . Because we are afraid of the fisherman, that they will catch us. The fox then said to the fish . . . Why don't you come up, out of the water, onto dry land, onto the river bank, with me, and then we shall live in harmony, you and I, just like our forefathers did, once upon a time?
The fish laughed at the fox and said . . . Everyone say that you are so clever, but the truth is, rather, that you are a fool, for if we are already afraid when we are in our natural element (i.e. the water), how much more afraid will we be when we are outside the water, on dry land!" Rav Aqiva looked Pappus straight in the face and said . . . "So, exactly, is it with us, dear friend.
"If we are already afraid of what the Romans can do to us at the time we do study Torah (Expl. note - Torah . . . which is, for us, nil else than our very life and the length of our days, i.e. our natural element, in which alone we truly live), how much more afraid should we be when we neglect to study His Torah/Word (Expl. note - . . . a state in which we shall certainly perish), at a time like this?", and with these words he (Rav Aqiva), once again, calmly returned to his studies.
--- Conclusion ---
I believe that Rav Aqivah is truly the author of this short, but very powerful, story. This is the way the Jewish sages of old taught their "talmidim"/students or followers, i.e. by means of short stories, exactly like this one, which, mainly, contained one central, crucial message, otherwise known as parables. The latter is also the way . . . "One, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times" [Michah 5:2(b) refer], even the Messiah Yahushua/Jesus Himself, taught (Mark 4:34 refer) when He, in bodily form dwelt among men, for a little while.
Teachers like Rav Aqivah, and the Messiah, of course, knew nothing about teaching anything to their followers, which they, themselves, did not live out, to the full, in their every day life. Would'nt it be a turn up for the books, if all of us could be more like this? Imagine in what a wonderful world we would live, if our leaders, today, lived like this?
Because of Rav Aqiva's absolute determination to continue to study and teach Torah, even on the pain of death, it was only a matter of, a short, time before he was caught by the Romans, doing exactly that. He was immediately declared a criminal by the latter, who, literally, tortured him to death. Just before he died, he apparently, called out, joyfully . . .
''All my life I've been waiting to fulfil the concept . . . 'You shall love Hashem (meaning . . . The Name . . . in Hebrew, a Jewish circumlocution for the Almighty One's Ineffable Name, to this day), your Elohim, with all your heart (our cognitive, rational functions), with all your being/soul (our feelings or emotions) and with all your resources . . .' (D'varim/ Deuteronomy 6: 5, a section of the passage known in Hebrew as the . . . Sh'ma), and now I finally have the chance."
Thank you so much for reading this review through. I hope that it was meaningful to you.
Hi there all you precious dooyoo people.
--- Introduction ---
Today I would like to tell you about a testimony I heard, one evening, a couple of years ago, which, I truly believe, changed my life quite significantly, for the good.
On the evening in question my wife and I went to a kind of "presentation" of the New York Jews for Jesus branch in Cape Town, which is approximately 55 odd km's from the town we used to live in, at that time, and are, actually, still living in, today. We had only the vaguest of ideas what we might possibly encounter at this presentation, but I just had the strangest sense that I, specifically, had to be there. I can not remember any longer if I shared the latter impression with my wife, or not . . . Perhaps she just saw my determination to go, or really also wanted to go herself . . . point is, we went.
--- A little background on the Jews for Jesus organization ---
The founder of this organization is a Jew by the name of Mosheh Rosen, whose life was dramatically changed when he realized that . . . "The Cursed One" (the way in which Yahushua/Jesus is known in many Jewish circles to this very day . . . let us be extremely careful to judge the Jewish people for this!) was indeed none other than the TRUE Messiah, of Jew and Gentile alike.
Some time after this incident, Almighty Elohim (G-d) laid it on his heart, so to speak, to go out and proclaim this TRUTH to, especially, his own people, but secondly also, to everyone, whosoever, who wanted to hear. Thus the organisation was born.
Today Jews for Jesus is a huge organization with its headquarters in New York (the place where Mosheh and his wife, Ruth now live, after having immigrated there some time after their liberation from the concentration camp they had spent the last years of the war in). The organization's order of business, today, is basically to identify cities in our world, which have populations of 25 000 or more Jewish people living within its borders. Once a city, which falls in this category, is identified, the Jews for Jesus staff then make preparations to visit said city with one or more of their witness teams.
These teams would first go to, either their organisation's local branch in that city, or, if the latter does not yet exist there, to a friendly local church, who are very supportive of their ministry and/or cause, to first re-group there, before moving out to minister in the city. Their usual method of operation is to just go out into the city streets and to begin to hand out pre-printed tracts, to Jewish people, first and foremost, but also to everyone else who might be interested, about their organization, its objectives, goals etc., but mostly about the way to salvation through the Messiah, Yahushua/Jesus, using the testimonies of, especially, Jewish people who have already come to faith.
An outreach like this might last for 2 - 3 weeks, after which the international contingent of the outreach team will return to their headquarters in New York. During such an outreach the team might often decide to do a special Jews for Jesus program for any local people, who might be interested to see it. It as at a meeting like this my wife and I found ourselves at, that evening.
--- The presentation ---
It was a fabulous evening, in every respect . . . There were a number of testimonies of younger Jews for Jesus members, who testified how and why they joined the organisation and how this impacted their lives since they had joined, there were some beautiful dancing and then . . . a middle aged man (I am so sorry, but, by this time, I have forgotten his name), who was a senior member of the organization, by that time, stepped forward and just began to speak . . . This was his testimony . . . Never shall I forget it! I will write it down for you, exactly as I remember it, to this day, in the first person, i.e. . . .
--- The testimony ---
Hello there. My name is . . . I have been a member of Jews for Jesus for a couple of years, now, . . . but there was a time when I was on the very brink of resigning. This evening I would like to share with you, if I may, those events that led up to, and those just after this critical time in my life. Well, by now, you know exactly what we do here, in Jews for Jesus (my comment: see the latter part of . . . A little background on the Jews for Jesus organization, above), so I will not cover this ground again, but get straight to the point.
I was fast getting to a point where I was getting extremely tense during the days preceding a major Jews for Jesus outreach. The reason for this, I am convinced, was because our outreach team usually experienced an extremely hostile reaction from, especially, the Orthodox Jewish population in, just about, every city where we witnessed. Some of these people, as well as other non Jewish people, would become verbally abusive wherever they encountered us, on the streets, some of them even going to the extreme of spitting at us and even physically attacking us.
One day, approximately a week before a major Jews for Jesus outreach, in one of New York city's Orthodox heartlands, I just could not take the tension in me, any more, and began to desperately pray to Almighty Elohim, to just excuse me, so to speak, from this job, for Him. I told Him that I was planning to resign, soon. I poured out my heart to Him . . . telling Him that the people, whom I only reach out to, in love, just hate me, and that it was impossible for me to live like this, any longer. After only 2 days, these prayers exhausted me to such an extent, that I became extremely tired that second evening, and decided to retire to bed fairly early.
That night I had a dream . . . I was dreaming that I was standing on the corner of a busy street in a big city. In my hands I had my Bible and the Jews for Jesus tracts. As I was handing the latter out to some people and showing another a scripture in my Bible, some others approached me and began to verbally abuse me, spitting on me and calling me all kinds of terrible names. Some time during the night I woke up in a cold sweat, and realizing that this was only a dream, relaxed somewhat, but soon afterwards began to complain bitterly to the Almighty in the words . . .
"Did you see that, Heavenly Father? Did you see how they hate me? What on earth did I ever do to these people, for them to treat me like this? This is exactly the picture I described to you in my prayers. O, my Father, is it not enough that I have to endure this when I do an outreach? Must I now be tortured with these images while I am sleeping, as well?"
Being even more exhausted, after this dream, than I had been when I first went to bed, I fell asleep, once more. Once more I dreamt . . . This time I was standing on exactly the same street corner, apparently doing exactly the same thing . . . , but wait, something was very different, this time around. People were literally streaming towards me, from every side, pleading with me to also give them some of it . . . Being completely bewildered, almost shocked, as to what on earth was transpiring here, I did not immediately notice my hands, but now I saw it clearly. In it I did not hold the Jews for Jesus tracts and my Bible, but rather . . . not a few U.S. $ 100 bills!
Well, as you can see with your own eyes, here, this evening, I most certainly did not resign from Jews for Jesus after I had this second dream, that night, mainly because I understood 2 things clearly . . . I new that Elohim heard my desperate plea for help and that He answered me in this 2 phase of my dream, and I understood the message which He tried to convey to me in the dreams, i.e. . . . "it is not you the people hate, it is rather Me (Elohim/Yahushua) and my Word they hate. Your testimony about me and My Book (i.e. The Bible) in your hands, is the real reason why people cursed you and spat on you, exactly as it is recorded in Mark 13:13(a) and other, similar, passages in the Gospels."
From this moment, onwards I had the confidence to do outreaches for Him and for the sake of His Name and His Kingdom in the most hostile of environments, without, even, the slightest hesitation or reservation.
--- Conclusion ---
I had to be at this meeting that evening to hear this very testimony, because I, Mayan Viljoen, had been struggling with exactly the same issues this child of Elohim testified about, although, at that time, I was still very far away from the line of fire the former experienced on, an almost, daily basis. These days, however, I am very much in the firing line, because I work for Elohim, first and foremost (which, simply, means that I get more than my fair share of hate mail, so to speak, in this life . . . at the very least it means that I am extremely unpopular with most people, beginning with my own extended family, exactly in accordance with scriptures like Luke 6:22), but I have, literally, NO time to sit and feel sorry for myself.
I had to hear this testimony, though, because, I believe, it provided me with the vital "spititual equipment", if you like, to do my current job for Almighty Elohim and for The Temple Institute, to the very best of my ability.
Thank you so much for having taken the time to read this review through.