I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Mixed or Mutiple Identity: A Hebrew Catholic Reflection

 Miriam Margolyes

I was watching an old panel discussion on Q and A in which Miriam Margolyes the British Jewish actress was promoting a return to Dickens and Shakespeare to Australian schools. I don't normally agree with Miriam as she is an extremely left-wing, anti-Israel, Lesbian activist but on this point I certainly agreed with her and the Australians Germaine Greer and Barry Humphreys who were also supporting this.  As an English and History teacher and of Anglo-Jewish and Anglo-Gaelic ancestry I certainly think Australian school children should learn the great classics of English literature and British history which have formed our culture.

This caused me to reflect on multiple or mixed identities. I primarily saw myself as a traditional Anglo-Australian with deep roots in Australian history and culture.  However unlike some other Australians I saw no conflict with also feeling a great attachment to British culture and history and feeling a deep connection to the cultures of my English, Irish and Scottish ancestors. However through my Anglo-Jewish ancestry I felt also a very deep connection to not only Anglo-Jewry and its culture and way of life but through that to all Jewish cultures and to a great love of Israel and the Israelis. I am like a modern day Australian version of Daniel Deronda. 

As I relate to Dickens and Shakespeare and the other greats of English literature I feel an attachment to Arthurian literature as I do to Biblical and Jewish literature. I have a great love and devotion to the British Royal Family and the Queen but I also have a similar feeling towards the Czars of Russia and Russian culture and literature. I also have some kind of attraction to all things Sefardi and through my Spanish Jewish ancestry to all things Spanish. While I love Norse, Greek and Roman mythology I do not feel such a connection with their modern versions in Scandinavia, Greece and Italy. Why? Why does a Russian Orthodox service touch my heart in a way the Greek Orthodox service doesn't? Is it in our genes these tendencies or is it environment? Or a mixture?

 Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill

All I know is that I have these multiple identities which seem to work for me just as such multiple identities work for others.  At the age of 24 I became a Catholic and in a sense a whole new identity was brought into formation within me. I can see elements of my spiritual identity as being drawn from Anglican, Catholic, Jewish, Russian Orthodox and Evangelical and Charismatic sources. Am I mixed up and confused? Probably but I am now so used to it that I have integrated it all which makes up the person I am today. Probably more confusing to others than myself. 

 Banjo Paterson

I can enjoy reading the Zohar or Rebbe Nachman of Breslov in the morning and then reading the poetry of Lord Byron or Banjo Paterson in the afternoon and then the Dark Night of the Soul by St John of the Cross in the evening. Is this being all things to all men as advocated by St Paul? Paul or Rabbi Shaul certainly had some mixed identity as a devout Pharisee Jew, a Christian apostle and a Roman citizen who was obviously well educated in Jewish, Roman and Greek culture and literature. Even those who identify as Hebrew Catholics or Catholic Jews have our own unique mix as background and foreground identities. Will this lead to multiple personalities like in the "Threes faces of Eve" or the "United States of Tara"? I hope not!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Location of the Jewish Temple and the Via Dolorosa: A Hebrew Catholic Opinion

Location of the Temple according to the 5th theory

Today there are five major theories circulating about the location of the Jewish Temple. The first theory, which was also believed by some Jewish and Christian authorities of the past, is that the Temple and the Holy of Holies was located where the present Muslim mosque of the Dome of The Rock stands. The second theory, which also had the support of some Jewish and Christian authorities of the past, is that the Temple and the Holy of Holies were in the area of the Al Kas fountain between the Dome of the  Rock and the Al Aqsa mosque. At this location the Al Kas fountain could be today on the spot of the Holy of Holies or the Bronze Sea (or Laver) or the Altar of Sacrifice.

The Temple Mount today showing the Dome of the Rock an the Al Aqsa Mosque. The red numbers represent the location of the Jewish Temple according to the five theories.

The third theory is that the Temple and the Holy of Holies was to the north of the Dome of the Rock where the Dome of Spirits is today. The fourth theory is that the Temple and Holy Holies were not on the Temple Mount but to the south over the Gihon Spring. This forth theory believes that the whole Temple Mount was the Antonia Fortress which they believed was a city that housed a legion of 6,000 Roman soldiers. The fifth theory is that the Temple was where the Al Aqsa mosque is today and that the Temple platform extended further south than the present Temple Mount. This theory is proposed by Norma Robertson.

 The location of the Temple and the Antonia Fortress according to the 1st theory

Location of the Temple with the Altar in the area of the Al Kas fountain according to the 2nd theory

Location of the Temple  in Red with the Holy of Holies over the Al Kas fountain according to the 2nd theory

After examining the evidence of all five theories I believe the second one to be the correct one but I also think the fifth theory has alot going for it especially in regards to the aqueduct and water sources which is also a strength for the 2nd theory. According to the Book of Acts the Antonia Fortress was a barracks where St Paul preached not the city complex that the fourth theory proposes. In fact it was a barracks for 600 Roman soldiers not 6,000. We know that the original Temple had been a threshing floor which would also make theory four incorrect as it would not be built over the Gihon Spring as it would pollute the water source. Theory one is also wrong as threshing floors are built in valleys not on hilltops.

 The Location of the Temple according to the 4th theory

The fortress Antonia was also south of the moat so the present so-called Antonia Fortress at the school at beginning of the traditional Via Dolorossa could not have been the location of the Roman Antonia Fortress. Theory three would seem to be impossible as it borders right on the moat and leaves no room for the Antonia Fortress. Between the Western Wall (Kotel) and the Temple was a beautiful Rose Garden which would best fit the area of trees today seen near the Al Kas fountain area.

Location of the Temple according to the 2nd theory

Location of the Temple according to the 3rd theory

The Dome of the Rock  and the Al Aqsa Mosque are built on the foundations of the Roman Temple to Jupiter build by the Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century very similar to the Temple of Jupiter in Lebanon. It is believed that the statue of Hadrian on a horse once stood where the Al Kas Fountain is today (or nearby) which was believed to be the Holy of Holies of the Jewish Temple (Abomination of Desolation?). Is this the source of the legend of Mohammed ascending to Heaven on his horse from the Temple Mount? For Jews and Judeo-Christians it invoked the image of the false Messiah of Dan who was visualized as a rider on a horse with a serpent at his heels (Genesis 49:17).

The location of the Temple according to the fifth theory

The original Via Dolorosa may have started at the Garden of Gethsemane and Jesus was taken across the Kedron Valley to the south side of the Temple to the House of Annas, then the House of Caiaphas, then to Pilate's residence at the Antonia Fortress, then to Herod's residence. These places are all located in the west (except the Antonia Fortress) in the area known as the Upper City. They are located in today's Jewish and Armenian Quarters. It also possible that Pilate was resident in Herod the Great's Palace and that Herod was resident in the Hasmonean Palace (near Shonei Halakhot and haSheshelet streets) which is about half way from Herod's Palace and the Antonia Fortress (Dome of the Rock location). In this case the soldiers would have taken Jesus away to the Antonia fortress for his flagellation and after Pilate's judgment they returned there with Jesus to collect his Cross. If the Gabbatha was in the Armenian quarter Parking lot area then that was a 17 -18 minute walk to the Dome of the Rock location of the Antonia Fortress.

From Herod then Jesus was taken back to Pilate at the Antonia Fortress (Dome of the Rock). This is possibly the real location of the First Station of the Cross and Jesus was led out of the western gate of the Antonia Fortress compound heading up a street that parallels today's Baruq Street (but probably 20 feet down below the present street) and the ancient Western Wall. Some believe that the gate here is the Iron Gate near the Little Kotel (possibly the real second station of the Cross). This street heads towards the north-west until the 4th station that is under the Church of the Spasm. From there it joined a street heading back towards the south-east before turning up a street heading west for the Ephraim Gate on the Wall of Second Temple Jerusalem and then outside the city to Golgotha. Thus the traditional Stations are roughly correct from the 4th station onwards but 20 feet under the ground.

A rough outline of the original Via Dolorosa on a modern map

Locations according to the 2nd theory in black letters and the different theories for the location of the Temple in red numbers

Rough outline of the Temple location according to the 2nd theory with the Bronze Sea or Laver at the spot of the Al Kas fountain

Until further archeological digs are allowed on the Temple Mount then the question is open about where the actual Temple and the Holy of Holies stood. If the second theory is correct then the Kotel (Western or Wailing Wall) is very close to the Holy of Holies and would explain the intense holiness and presence one feels when resting one's head on its stones. 

 Alternative 6th theory of the location of the Temple on Mt Zion

There is also another sixth possible location of the Temple and Antonia Fortress which would need more research. The Temple Mount may have been Herod the Great's Palace and the residence of Pilate. The Antonia Fortress may have been in the present Armenian Quarter and the Jewish Temple to its South on the area of Mt Zion and the valley between it and the eastern Hill may have been the original Kedron Valley and the eastern Hill the Mt of Olives. The Cenacle may have been in the area that was once part of Solomon's Palace. The Temple and the city of Jerusalem were said to be totally raised except for Herod's Palace which could be why so-much is still standing in the area of the Temple Mount.

According to the visions of  Blessed Anne Catharine Emmerich both Annas and Caiaphas's houses were on Mt Zion 300 paces apart (she was often very incorrect at judging distances). It would seem that the site known as Annas' House today may have been in fact the House of Caiaphas and the so-called House of Caiaphas in the Armenian quarter the House of Annas. In the time of Jesus a diagonal road ran between the House of Caiaphas and the House of Annas. She speaks of the area called Ophel (before one reaches Mt Zion in the west) being on a hill south of the Temple and surrounded by their own walls. She also places the palace and tribunal of Pilate on the north-west side of the Temple Mount and north of the moat. Opposite or adjoining Pilate's residence was the great forum or market place to the north of Pilate's residence but separated from the forum by a courtyard. This forum would seem to be where the school is that many claim was the location of the Antonia fortress. There was a Guard house with an open court which under it was a small prison. On the forum in front of the guardhouse was the Gabbatha. 

Emmerich clearly states that the Antonia Fortress was built on the projecting rock (ie the Dome of the Rock) which gives support for the 2nd theory as well as the 5th theory. She also states that King Herod's residence was not far from Pilate's residence and the forum in what she calls the new city in the north. If Blessed Emmerich's location of the Forum where Jesus was scourged and trialed by Pilate was near the Omariya School then the traditional 1st station of the Cross is roughly correct too. The 2nd Station would probably be south of the present traditional 2nd station near the present Baruq St.

 However I think at this stage of research that the 2nd theory is probably the correct one in regards to the Temple and the Antonia Fortress. There is of course much traditional support that is in favour of the Dome of the Rock location of the 1st theory and is believed by many Jews and Christians today. Until further archeological discovery or Divine Revelation should definitively prove the point we all need to keep an open mind to all theories and the possibility that our choice of theory could be incorrect
Which Location for the Temple do you think is most likely?
1 Dome of the Rock location
2 Al Kas fountain location
3 Dome of the Spirits location
4 Gihon Spring location
5 Al Aqsa location
6 Mount Zion location
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Different Worldview: Poking My Tongue Out at Conformist Evolutionists

As a sanguine choleric I am interested in the bigger picture of History and over the years I have developed a rather large and wide ranging insight into world history that differs from that accepted by modern academia. For me the Messiah Yeshua and his people the Jews or Israelites are at the centre of History but this is not an insular history but a world encompassing history. I am also sick of people who are believers in evolution being aghast that anyone but an Appalachian hill billy could question the evolutionary mythology. Get over it! There are plenty of well educated people who question this theory even if they don't do it publicly for fear of losing their jobs and positions. There is such elitism and pride in modern academia- maybe the Appalachian hill billies are right anyway.

History is not always what one has been taught to believe has happened in the past. Emmanuel Velikovsky demonstrated this point convincingly in his numerous works. Australia’s history before British colonisation is a case in point. Overcoming the blindness engendered by the scientific errors of uniformitarian and Darwinian evolution opens up a whole new way of looking at the past. The theories of uniformitarianism and Darwinian evolution masquerades as science, they are in reality science fantasies. Using the faculty dating methodologies based on evolutionary assumptions, that see change as very slow and gradual, causes problems of immense proportions. This has led to an overly critical approach to many literary and historical sources. Emmanuel Velikovsky’s writings have led to a revival in some quarters of the older form of understanding geology –that of Catastrophism.

Thus I do not accept the subjective and circular dating methodologies used by modernist scientists and historians. I have thus had to set out on a herculean task of dating archeological discoveries and genetic evidence using a different paradigm which is perceived through the idea that mankind and his history is no more than about 6,000 years and a population bottleneck occurred about 4,500 years ago with the Deluges of both Earth and Mars and the restarting of civilisation from almost scratch.

I was amazed to discover that the last great Catastrophe occurred about 500 years ago around 1530 and that the world and its populations were very different especially in the southern hemisphere before 1530. Also around 1606 certain Catastrophic geological events occurred in some portions of the earth. The evidence is there hidden in our histories and I discovered a whole new world when reading Marco Polo, Benjamin of Tudela, Friar Odoric, Sir John de Mandeville and others. I found past historians proved to be much more accurate than they had previously been credited by our modernist scholars.

I am still learning and discovering evidence hidden in plain sight about the true history of man and of the Israelites. It is an exciting journey and many are unable or unwilling to look at other possibilities. Some of the conclusions I have arrived at are indeed hard to believe unless one looks at the overall view which then fits together like a jigsaw. A new Catholic generation of scholars and scientists are needed that are ready to challenge the modernist academia of our times and look at history through the eyes of faith in the Messiah and the infallible nature of Scripture. Instead of doubting Scripture first, give the doubt to historical or scientific stories that differ from Scripture. It is not the "facts" or evidence that is the problem but the evolutionary and atheistic interpretations or stories that one creates from the evidence that has led moderns astray in their perception of the world and its history. Unfortunately we have had Catholics in recent decades bending over backwards to fit in and be accepted by modern academia rather than forging their own paths. Some of the most intolerant of evolutionists are Catholics. Believe in Darwinian evolution if you want but stop trying to force your viewpoint on others as the Catholic one. The Church actually leaves the individual Catholic to decide on what view they take on science and evolution within certain parameters outlined in Humani Generis. 

A new day will dawn when our present civilisation finally crashes and burns from its own decadence and rot from within and after a period of tribulation and chastisement a new way of thinking will occur and the sciences and the arts as well as theology and philosophy will reach a new and fresh summit that draws on the best and true of the past generations purified from the modernist errors of perception. So I gleefully poke my tongue out and bare my buttocks like a monkey at all those conformist evolutionists that can't stand anyone having a different worldview to them!


Note: I hold that man's history is no more than 6,000 years but that does not mean I interpret the seven days of Genesis 1 in a literalistic manner. However while I am fairly convinced that the earth and solar system is not much older than 10,000 years old, I am still open to the rest of the Universe to being a lot older than that. Nor am I opposed to some form of the Big Bang theory for the start of Creation. I also do not believe God waved a magic wand and popped Man's body or animals and plants out of the air but that he formed them from preexisting elements which had been previously created via ex nihilo. Whatever process the Creator used was according to his Divine Will hidden in all created things and was under God's watchful care. And yes I do believe in natural selection and environmental adaption within certain limits (kinds or families). Instead of evolution there is a kind of devolution as mutations are a loss of information and less adaptability over time. For example all cats today come from the common ancestors of the Felidae family who were preserved on Noah's Ark (end of the Permian). At the time of the catastrophic events of the Tower of Babel and the splitting of the Continents around 4,250 years ago (what evolutionists call the start of the Tertiary or Paleogene period which was probably synonymous with the Jurassic period) there was rapid speciation of Felidae into 8 different cat lineages according to recent genetic studies. Further rapid speciation occurred in the time of Abraham (Eocene) and Jacob (Pliocene). 

Geologic Time Scale From a Creationist Perspective