Archive for July, 2008

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§202 Your horoscope for today

July 30, 2008

This post is dedicated to anyone who believes in horoscopes. Especially Amber.
“Your horoscope for today” by Weird Al Yancovic.

Aquarius
There’s travel in your future when your tongue freezes to the back of a speeding bus
Fill that void in your pathetic life by playing Whack-A-Mole seventeen hours a day

Pisces
Try to avoid any Virgos or Leos with the Ebola virus
You are the true Lord of the Dance, no matter what those idiots at work say

Aries
The look on your face will be priceless when you find that forty pound watermelon in your colon
Trade toothbrushes with an albino dwarf, then give a hickey to Meryl Streep

Taurus
You will never find true happiness – what you gonna do, cry about it?
The stars predict tomorrow you’ll wake up, do a bunch of stuff, and then go back to sleep

That’s your horoscope for today-yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
That’s your horoscope for today
That’s your horoscope for today-yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
That’s your horoscope for today

Gemini
Your birthday party will be ruined once again by your explosive flatulence
Your love life will run into trouble when your fiancé hurls a javelin through your chest

Cancer
The position of Jupiter says you should spend the rest of the week face down in the mud
Try not to shove a roll of duct tape up your nose while taking your driver’s test

Leo
Now is not a good time to photocopy your butt and staple it to your boss’s face, oh no
Eat a bucket of tuna-flavored pudding, then wash it down with a gallon of strawberry Quik

Virgo
All Virgos are extremely friendly and intelligent – except for you
Expect a big surprise today when you wind up with your head impaled upon a stake

That’s your horoscope for today-yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
That’s your horoscope for today
That’s your horoscope for today-yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
That’s your horoscope for today

Now you may find it inconceivable or at the very least a bit unlikely that the relative position of the planets and the stars could have a special deep significance or meaning that exclusively applies to only you, but let me give you my assurance that these forecasts and predictions are all based on solid, scientific, documented evidence, so you would have to be some kind of moron not to realize that every single one of them is absolutely true.

Where was I?

Libra
A big promotion is just around the corner for someone much more talented than you
Laughter is the very best medicine, remember that when your appendix bursts next week

Scorpio
Get ready for an unexpected trip when you fall screaming from an open window
Work a little bit harder on improving your low self-esteem, you stupid freak

Sagittarius
All your friends are laughing behind your back (kill them)
Take down all those naked pictures of Ernest Borgnine you’ve got hanging in your den

Capricorn
The stars say that you’re an exciting and wonderful person, but you know they’re lying
If I were you, I’d lock my doors and windows and never never never never never leave my house again

That’s your horoscope for today-yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
That’s your horoscope for today
That’s your horoscope for today-yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
That’s your horoscope for today

That’s your horoscope for today-yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
That’s your horoscope for today
That’s your horoscope for today-yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
That’s your horoscope for today

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§201 Religious hip hop and rap

July 29, 2008

It’s time for some cool religious music in English. All three have messages I agree with. All three represent different beliefs. I am closer to some, further away from some. I don’t fully agree with anyone. I do fully agree with the messages of all songs. Almost. Mostly important – all these talented artists sing to give glory to God, not to themselves!

The first one is Christian. It’s from 1992, and it’s Carman. Carman is awesome. Of all the three this is the one I relate most to. One reason is because I digged it when it was new and I was 10 years old. Another reason is that this belief is the one that is closest to my own belief. This is Carman with “Addicted to Jesus”

The second is the Jewish one. It’s actually a chabad lubavitch. I don’t agree with their teachings about who the Messiah is, nor about the authority of chazal, but they are really cool. They are part of my beloved people, and unlike most Christians, they do practice the holy commandments that God has given us. This is Ta Shma with “Shine”

The last one is muslim. This is the one furthest away from my faith, but this song is really good, with a great message. I believe that if all people who call themselves muslims were like this we would have world peace. I don’t agree with the thought that small good deeds may bring forgiveness for bad deeds in the past. This should not be the reason we do good deeds. The reason should rather be Love and compassion, and not selfish thriving after forgiveness. Besides that, great song.

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§200 Biblical thoughts – for a penny

July 28, 2008

My wife is apparently ready to offer a penny for my thoughts

So here, to honor my 200th post, are some thoughts I wrote in 2005 when I was studying academic Bible research (Old Testament only), and struggled in my head in how to be able take a scientific approach to something that is so important to my faith. I am not saying this is what I pondered on when that picture was taken… it looks more like I’m thinking “I wish my wife was naked right now” or something. Anyway, here are the ponderings I wrote down 2½ years ago:

My starting point is that the Bible is 100% divine and 100% human. God doesn’t take control of the author’s pen, he uses the personality of the author. It’s not by chance that Jeremiah, who grew up in Anatot in the desert, always use parables about God as the Living Water, and this is only one example.
Now the key questions are:
What can I accept of the academic theories on the Bible, and what can I not accept?
How far can I go without making compromises with my faith?
What IS considered part of my faith?
Is it significant for my personal religious life if Salomo gave or received 20 towns to/from the Lebanese king?
Is my faith untrue if Moses didn’t write the entire Torah (Pentateuch)?
Can I accept the scholars’ doubt regarding the historical authenticy of the Exodus?
Must I believe that homosexuality is a sin in order to call my self a Believer in the Bible?
Must I be against evolution in order to call my self a Believer in the Bible?
How much of the authority of the Bible can I deny without shaking the foundation of my faith? Because I MUST deny some parts, since it does include contradicitons and inconsequentialnesses
How large part of the Bible can I see as “untrue” and still be a Believer in the Bible?

How to reach a solution:
-Remember what is significant for my faith and what isn’t
-Avoid “ignoring the problems and hope they’ll go away”. (Also known as the “The-Bible-is-true-because-it’s-true-theory”)
-Don’t let anyhting lead to compromises with my faith
-Remember that the Bible is not a book of History, Astronomy, Geology or Anthropology
-Try to understand how the author understood the text he wrote, and study his cultural and political background.

With these guidelines one has to reach an answer for each of the above questions. The big Question here is where to draw the line. I personally don’t think it matters to my personal faith who received towns, or whether Moses wrote the entire Pentateuch or not. But I do think that it would be to go to far to accept the scholars’ doubt regarding the historical authenticy of the Exodus.
Regarding evolution, I have all the reasons not to accept it, since it goes against the nature of the God I believe in. My God is good, and I refuse to believe that he has created the world through the method of “whoever doesn’t fit in must die”. Since the evolution is not and can not be proved by science (mostly since the method of experiments is impossible) I see no reason to accept it. On the other hand, I understand and accept that people who do not believe in my God can and will accept this theory, and I see no reason to try to convince them otherwise, and I find no sense in trying to find scientific support for the stories related in the bible. I believe it because it’s in the bible, that is what we call faith. Why do I need scientific support for that?
Homosexuality is also a question I can’t compromise with. This is because now we’re no longer talking about history, anthropology, geology or astronomy – subjects that are insignificant from the Bible’s viewpoint, and that are only mentioned incidentally. No, this is about way of life, and what is considered sin and not. This is the essence in the message of the Bible, and if I start to doubt even the smallest part of it, my entire faith is undermined. This is regarding everything, whether it’s prohibition to eat pork, sanctify the Shabbat, celebrate the Lord’s Feasts, not celebrating pagan holidays, loving your neighbor as yourself, seek righteousness, avoid homosexuality and sex before marriage, always do everything in my might to live a holy life and keep all 613 commandents.

Clarification needed – I am not saying that “whoever disagreees is an idiot”, and I don’t hate people that practice selfishness, homosexuality, sex before marriage, pork eating or christmas celebration. I see it as my way to judge myself and my life. The insight of others into the truths of the Bible is between them and God. I am also aware that others may have insights in things I don’t have.

The Bible is a mirror through which I can see how sinful I am. Only the Bible can teach me about sin, and since no one is free from sin (including me), it’s rather a mirror than an “instruction book for life”. This mirror helps me to find out where I stand, and what I need to change in my life in order to become holier. It’s impossible to fully keep the Mitsva of “You shall be holy, for I am holy”. But it’s possible to keep trying.

The Bible is no history, astronomy, geology or anthropology book. It’s a guide for life that helps us to live our lifes according to God’s will. Inaccuracies may occur in historical, astronomical, geological or anthropological details. But I can never ever compromise with the rules for life, nor the moral of the historic stories that are told. Because these, and not unimportant historic details, are the foundation of my faith.

So why are there inaccuracies? We can search for the answer to that question by studying the cultural and political background of the author, and try to understand how the author understood the writings he wrote. Then the historic details are important, and I must decide what can be seen as historic facts in the Bible and what can’t, and compare to archeological findings etc.

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§199 Nothing special

July 28, 2008

Just a short blog to show you that I still exist.

I am learning a lot of stuff. Who knew there were so many useful unused functions in Word and Excel? I thought that I would just yadda-yadda through this course, but this is stuff that’ll actually be helpful.

And, yes, I might partly write it because I wrote the address of my blog on the discussion forum of the course, so my teachers are bound to check it…

By the way, this construction work that is going on in Jerusalem, building a railroad for a “light train”, is coming to my work. We just received an information thing that they will start digging up the road outside our office this week. So… from tomorrow I’ll be able to see any truck terrorism from my office window.

(I needed that – joking about serious matters is the only way to live normally).

Finally more time with my wife. Every evening we sit and see 2 episodes of “Friends” with the coffee. We’ve seen all episodes twice noe I think, and started over not too long ago. We’re in season 2 now. Ross and Rachel are together.

Anyway, if I may get a little political… I am getting seriously scared of our incompetent government. May there be elections soon. Anything is better than these. This fear is apparently shared by Yaakov Kirschen, so I’m in good company. Below cartoons reflect pretty well both my concern for the situation, but also the need to laugh at the most serious things – otherwise you can’t live.

 

 

 

 

And also – this man is brilliant. Finally someone speaking out!

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§198 Another terror attack

July 22, 2008

I’m in my office. The last two hours I’ve heard ambulances. A lot of ambulances.

Apparently, another tractor went crazy on king david street. Another terror attack. It’s too early for any details. The news on the internet are still very vauge. A tractor went crazy, at least one person is injured, the terrorist has been shot by an armed civilian.

Judging by all the ambulances, I think there are more than only one injured person.

Well, what did you expect? We have showed them that we have no problems releasing ruthless murderers from jai and that we are fine with having a few towns daily bombed with kassams.

I hereby place a huge virtual sign on my country with “Leader wanted”.

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§197 I’m back and I’m free!

July 17, 2008

I think that’s gonna be the title every time I finish the last exam of a semester (had the same title 5 months ago). Lots of stuff has been going on. I’ve been too busy, but I think (and hope) I might be back now. Need to check my RSS again… it was 200 unread last time, and that was like a month ago…

So of my 3 exams, I already got the results for the differential and integral math – 95% correct answers. Yes! The day before yesterday I did the exam in industrial economy and today macroeconomy A. I have enlisted for the fall with Basic Accounting, MacroEconomy B and Price Theory A.

This summer I’m taking a basic course in computerology, which I’m forced to take. Level of “Here’s a computer. Press the button to start it”. Maybe I can just give them the address of my blog and they’ll pass me. Or they won’t because I just mocked them. Oh, well.

I’ll have a bachelor in Economy by 2011 by my calculations. Next year I’ll be starting taking advanced courses (insert *ooooooh* sound). But before I can take that I will have to pass an exam in English, in order to prove that I know English… maybe I’ll just give them the address of my blog and they’ll pass me…?

I love my job. It’s a bit overwhelming, and a lot to learn, but I love it. It’s definitelly a place to stay in till retirement. I work Sunday through Wednesday, and on Thursdays I have accounting class, paid by the company, unrelated to the university studies.

I have started to publish some of my puppet scripts that I’ve written for shabat school on http://www.puppetresources.com and got great feedback, which is cool.

I have been thinking if I should translate to English the document I wrote in Swedish in 2005 when I studied academic Bible studies – about how to relate to the scholar theories when you also believe in it as your personal faith. Maybe that’s a summer project.

The move went great. Our new place is beautiful. We haven’t quite finished unpacking (bunch of kids running around during the day and a husband (which is me) who is at work most of the day), but we’re getting there. We have a garden with a lemon tree and a pear tree! My wife made lemon cake the other day with lemons from the garden! The kids love running around there, and today we gave them an inflatable pool. They just loved it!

So, anyway, my life is getting better and better. It’s sort of euphoric and utopic actually. Okay, so my days are pretty busy (but less now during the summer), but in all – I can just say that God has been good to us. I really really don’t deserve it. Thinking of some things I’ve done in the past, I would rather deserve to be depraved of everything and be thrown out on the street. God is merciful. Sort of awesome, really.

A message to the reader would be – if your life is good, do you believe you deserve it? (You don’t). Look to Him who gave it to you. And if your life is not good at the moment, then I can say that I reached this after years of barely making the ends meet, every day a struggle, every day a fight. We even reached the point of actually considering emigration. If I had only looked at the waves around, like Peter did, I would have sunk for sure. But as long as we keep our eyes fixed on Him, we can do the impossible, and we can see the invisible.

Wow, I wasn’t prepared for that – I guess I threw in a little preaching in there for you. Oh well. Enjoy.

During a ceremony I was at in the univerity the other day (receiving scholarships) there was a lecture by someone who was in the past the head of the southern IDF forces about Hamas and the Kassams and “how to get out of it”. He mentioned that at some point during the 90:s negotiations with the Palestinians he had mentioned to the Prime Minister that he envied the Palestinians. They have exact goals, they know exactly what they want, and they have specific demands. We israelis have no specific demands, we have no plan, and we change government every Tuesday. He also said that both sides “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity” which must be the best summary I’ve heard regarding the Conflict. He said that the biggest most stupid mistake we made in 2005 was to leave the border between the Gaza strip and Egypt (the Philadelphi line). Someone else gave the reasons why we left it. One – too many soldiers would be killed by snipers on that thin line between two enemy areas. Two – in order to secure it we would have to widen it, which would force us to demolish houses in Rafah. Three – World opinion would say that we imprison the Palestinians. Four – We can avoid smuggling by diplomatic means and put pressure on Egypt to prevent it. The lecturer did not agree because One – IDF is here to protect Israeli civilians, and not its own soldiers. If a ten to twenty soldiers must be killed there in order to prevent a rain of rockets on Beer Sheva, Ashdod, Ashkelon and Sderot, it’s worth it (the lecturer has children in the army). Two – the families from the demolished houses could be transferred to the houses in the evacuated israeli settlements. But no, we had to destroy those homes that we built with our own hands. So what that “arabs are going to live in homes that jews built”. Don’t we live in arab houses in Haifa and Lod? Three – The world doesnt care that much about us. When they’ve finished watching the news, they keep shopping in their big malls and Champs Elysees. And they are saying that we inprison them in any case so whats the differen? We can’t let fear of world opinion cost human lives, which is happening now. Four – No diplomatic pressure has helped so far, has it? The lecturer said that two years ago people laughed at him for saying that this decision would lead to rockets over Ashkelon. He also claimed that no Palestinian negotiator, no matter how extreme they were, ever thought of the idea that Israel would NOT keep the Philadelphi line. How to get out of the problems there – get back in there and take back the Philadephi line and widen it. If we don’t, we will soon enough see rocket rains over Beer Sheva and Ashdod.

Well that was a little politics. I’ll tack about the prisoner swap and the Iranian threat another time.

Goodnight.