Today is Sunday December 7, 2014

Archive for December, 2014


Judaism OnlineJudaismOnline

I’ve often wondered this, so looked for answers, and this was the most popular. I’m sure Christian biblical scholars have something to say about this,

Why Jews do not believe in Jesus.


What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? The Bible says that he will:

A. Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).

B. Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).

C. Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)

D. Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: “God will be King over all the world—on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One” (Zechariah 14:9).

The historical fact is that Jesus fulfilled none of these messianic prophecies.

Christians counter that Jesus will fulfill these in the Second Coming, but Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright, and no concept of a second coming exists.

How can we hasten the coming of the Messiah? The best way is to love all humanity generously, to keep the mitzvot of the Torah (as best we can), and to encourage others to do so as well.

Despite the gloom, the world does seem headed toward redemption. One apparent sign is that the Jewish people have returned to the Land of Israel and made it bloom again. Additionally, a major movement is afoot of young Jews returning to Torah tradition.

The Messiah can come at any moment, and it all depends on our actions. God is ready when we are. For as King David says: “Redemption will come today—if you hearken to His voice.”

by Rabbi Shraga Simmons
Largely adapted from

What book did you recently read that satisfied you so much that you just HAD to recommend it to your friends who read?
My answer is “The Bottoms” by Joe R Lansdale
A thriller with echoes of William Faulkner and Harper Lee, The Bottoms is classic American storytelling in its truest, darkest, and more affecting form.
Its 1933 in East Texas and the Depression lingers in the air like a slow moving storm. When a young Harry Collins and his little sister stumble across the body of a black woman who has been savagely mutilated and left to die in the bottoms of the Sabine River, their small town is instantly charged with tension. When a second body turns up, this time of a white woman, there is little Harry can do from stopping his Klan neighbors from lynching an innocent black man. Together with his younger sister, Harry sets out to discover who the real killer is, and to do so they will search for a truth that resides far deeper than any river or skin color.


This movie was really good, but we thought we’d read this in bookclub. Well, there’s no way. This movie has Hanley kidnapping Deveraux’s daughter, few scenes with Alexa, no mental hospital with Hanley locked up, and Weinstein is a total psychopath bureaucrat. The credits say “based on the novel ‘There are no Spies’ but that phrase is never uttered. There are I believe seven books in the series, and they’ve enjoyed commercial success, and deservedly so. Anyway, see the movie — you won’t be disappointed unless you want to see the story that we read about.

BAD PARENTS Appalling parents abound in The Goldfinch – particularly fathers. Larry Decker and Mr Pavlikovsky compete for the worst father award, both beating their sons whilst failing to nurture or even feed them. Hobie’s father is a sadistic bully who forces his son to work for him without pay. Welty’s father abandons his son and his daughter as one is disabled and the other illegitimate.
Note: Miserable families have distinct strains, often caused by bad fathers. Tartt gets it!  Tolstoy recognized that happy families are much alike, but miserable ones have distinct factors that give rise to and exacerbate the misery.

You won’t believe some of the language Truman uses. Cant print what’s in the snippet below.. Funny how Amazon let a typo get by.

“Soon after we were married, I discovered there was a fine reason why her eyes had such a marvelous moronic serenity. She was a moron. Or damn near. Certainly she wasn’t playing with a full deck. Good old humorless hulking Hulga, yet so dainty and mincingly clean—housewifey.”

Hilarious! Truman’s wit & sharp tongue make this a fun read.Kitty has claws!

“I wish I could dash downstairs and find a bus, the Magic Mushroom Express, a chartered torpedo that would rocket me to the end of the line, zoom me all the way to that halcyon discotheque: Father Flanagan’s Nigger Queen Kosher Café.”

Another quote I like “”A blond, and how!—his skin had the golden oleo gleam that comes from long Cherry Grove weekends. Yet, overall, he seemed decidedly moldy—a sort of suntanned Uriah Heep. “Yes?” he inquired in a voice that crawled coolly through the air like an exhalation of mentholated smoke.”
I finished it and gave it three stars out of four. If you don’t know these celebrities, it isn’t engaging, but I stuck it out because I like his style of writing, and he can sure read people! I did look up the identities of the characters (Wikipedia), and it made a lot more sense, but most of these people are long dead and not too relevant today.


What inspired Donna Tartt to write “The Goldfinch.

The Inspiration for The Goldfinch   Tartt’s initial idea to begin her novel with an explosion in an art gallery was inspired by a terrorist attack in 2000. The destruction of sixth century Buddhist carvings at Bamiyan in Afghanistan by Islamic fundamentalists prompted the idea of writing about terrorism and the destruction of art.

You simply must read “The Goldfinch.” Vanity Fair doesn’t speak for all of us

Then, there are some serious critics who just plain don’t like “The Goldfinch.”


I finally read the first of the 28 Tom Swift novels that I bought from Amazon for Kindle in 2012. “Tom Swift and His Motor Cycle.” It takes you back in time to the ’30s, and has everything a boy could want in a story. Action, adventure, villains, plots, conspiracies, etc.
I recommend this if, like me, you grew up after Tom Swift books were popular. I grew up on the Hardy Boys and Bamba the Jungle Boy.
Thanks to my good friend Drew Hevle for recommending this fine collection.
Included in this 2,401 page collection (for Kindle) are:
Tom Swift and His Motor Cycle
Tom Swift and His Motor Boat
Tom Swift and His Airship
Tom Swift and His Submarine Boat
Tom Swift and His Electric Runabout
Tom Swift and His Wireless Message
Tom Swift Among the Diamond Makers
Tom Swift in the Caves of Ice
Tom Swift and His Sky Racer
Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle
Tom Swift in the City of Gold
Tom Swift and His Air Glider
Tom Swift in Captivity
Tom Swift and His Wizard Camera
Tom Swift and His Great Searchlight
Tom Swift and His Giant Cannon
Tom Swift and His Photo Telephone
Tom Swift and His Aerial Warship
Tom Swift and His Big Tunnel
Tom Swift In the Land of Wonders
Tom Swift and His War Tank
Tom Swift and His Air Scout
Tom Swift and His Undersea Search
Tom Swift Among the Fire Fighters
Tom Swift and His Electric Locomotive
Tom Swift and His Giant Telescope
Tom Swift and the Electronic Hydrolung
Tom Swift and the Visitor from Planet X