Revelations through Apologetics…

April 26, 2010 2 comments

Many good resources exist that too few people are aware of. The following are some of the best sources, to my knowledge, that deal with some of the toughest questions in a plain & forthright way. Feel free to share apologetics sources you know of in the comment area.

Suggested organizations that publish or host good apologetics resources: (click links on image below)

Categories: Apologetics Tags:

Protected: The Practical Impossibility of Atheism

February 27, 2012 Enter your password to view comments.

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Categories: Uncategorized

Yom Kippur – Where is the Atonement in 2011?

October 8, 2011 Leave a comment

The following prayer from the Talmud:

When R. Sheshet would sit fasting, after he had said his prayer, he would say this: “Lord of the ages, it is perfectly obvious to you that, when the house of the sanctuary stood, a person who had sinned would make an offering. And of that offering the priests would offer up only the fat and blood, yet atonement would be attained for that person. Now I have sat in a fast, and so my fat and blood have become less. May it be pleasing before you that my fat and blood that have become less be received as if I had offered them up before you on the altar and so be reconciled with me.

The Babylonian Talmud: Berakoth 17A

…and also the following:

As has been taught on Tannaite authority:
“And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him” (Lev. 1:4): does the atonement come about in consequence of the laying on of hands? And is it not the fact that the atonement comes about only because of the blood rite, as it is said, “For it is the blood that makes atonement by reason of the life” (Lev. 17:11)? So what purpose is served when Scripture states, “And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him” (Lev. 1:4)? It is to show that if the owner regarded the laying on of hands as the mere afterthought of the religious duty of making the offering, Scripture regards him as though he did not make atonement, even though he did make atonement [Sifra VI.V.4].

The Babylonian Talmud: Yoma 5A

How often it is said, by anti-missionary Jews these days, that Leviticus 17:11 is not applicable to atonement since its immediate context relates to dietary laws, but here, and in many other cases, we can see that the Talmud agrees with this interpretation. It is also clear from Rabbi Sheshet’s prayer that 1) atonement was through sacrifice and 2) there is but only a (faint) hope that fasting could serve the same purpose due to the decrease in body fat & blood during this time.

Notice also how some of the most orthodox Jews (also particularly popular among Kabbalist Jews) realise the need for sacrificial atonement – as made clear by the practice called Kapparot. The last picture is also interesting in terms of “original sin” … which is not typically a traditional Jewish view – why is atonement necessary for the baby then?

Kapparot:

A Jewish ritual practised by some Jews on the eve of Yom Kippur. The person swings a live chicken over one’s head three times, symbolically transferring one’s sins to the chicken. The chicken is then slaughtered and donated to the poor for consumption at the pre-fast meal.

The following quite from Chabad.org, an authoritative site, in the opinion of most religious Jews today, that doesn’t want to fully commit to the practice, but doesn’t fully condemn it either. Note the highlights – the fact that sacrifices are really only a symbol or shadow, as taught in the B’rit Hadasha – more typically known as the New Testament (actually ‘New Covenant’) scriptures. The emphasis on teshuvah (repentance), is obviously true & fully shared & underlined in the New Covenant scriptures as well.

The Mystical Origins

The origins of kapores are unclear. The influence of Kabbalah gave the custom much of its mystical aura. There is some opinion that kapores is related to the use of a scapegoat in Temple times on which the High Priest (Kohen Gadol) placed the sins of the Children of Israel before sending the goat out to its death. The reality is that there is no magic in kapores which transfers a person’s sins to the chicken. Even in the days of the Temple, sins were not magically transferred to an animal. The entire purpose of kapores is to create an experience that inspires a person to teshuvah , that is to return to G-d and to repent. All the sacrifices — and chickens — in the world will not result in forgiveness, unless teshuvah takes place.

The death of the righteous atones!

“Really? No, that’s just a Christian teaching”, you say. Not so. Dig deeper, and you’ll see that it is a thoroughly Jewish concept. For more info on this (and a bigger view on the image below) see this site.


Are you prepared to reject the death of the only righteous
person that ever lived & can atone for your sin?

Israel In Statistics

May 12, 2011 2 comments

Geography:

  • Israel is only 1/6 of 1% of the landmass of the Middle East.
  • Israel is roughly half the size of Lake Michigan.
  • The Sea of Galilee, at 695 ft. below sea level, is the lowest freshwater lake in the world.
  • The Dead Sea is the lowest surface point on earth, at about 1,373 feet below sea level.
  • Israel is the only nation in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees.
  • Jericho is the oldest continuously inhabited town in the world.
  • The Mount of Olives in Jerusalem is the oldest, continually used cemetery in the world.

Demographics:

  • Israel’s population is half the size of Metro New York City.
  • Israel has only 2% of the population of the Middle East.
  • Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees per capita in the world.
  • Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation in the world – by a large margin.
  • Israel has the highest number of scientists and technicians per capita in the world – by a large margin.
  • Israel has the highest number of engineers per capita in the world.
  • Israel has the highest number of PhD’s per capita in the world.
  • Israel has the highest number of physicians per capita in the world.
  • Israel has the largest percentage of its workforce employed in technical professions in the world.
  • Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation in the world, per capita.
  • Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the Christian population has grown over the last 50 years.
  • Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Christians, Muslims and Jews are all free to vote.
  • Israel is the only country in the Middle East where women enjoy full political rights.

Economics:

  • Israel has the largest number of startup companies per capita in the world.
  • Israel is the world’s largest wholesale diamond center, finally surpassing Antwerp in the 1970’s. Most of the cut & polished diamonds in the world come from Israel.
  • Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies outside of the US and Canada.
  • Israel was the first country to have a free trade agreement with the United States.
  • Apart from the Silicon Valley, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world.
  • The cell phone was developed in Israel at Motorola’s largest development center.
  • The Voice Mail technology was developed in Israel.
  • In the early 80’s, IBM chose an Israeli-designed computer chip as the brains for its first personal computers.
  • The first anti-virus software for computers was developed in Israel in 1979.
  • Most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed in Israel by Microsoft.
  • Both the Pentium-4 and Centrino processors were entirely designed, developed and produced in Israel.
  • The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel.
  • Israel has the highest number of home computers per capita in the world.
  • The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ was developed in 1996 by 4 young Israelis.
  • Israel was the first Middle Eastern country to launch a satellite, the Ofek 1, on September 19, 1988.

Culture:

  • Hebrew is the only case of a dead national language being revived in all of world history. Hebrew had not been spoken as a native tongue by anyone for centuries. Today it is the native tongue of millions of people.
  • Israel has more museums per capita than any other nation in the world.
  • Israel has more orchestras per capita than any other nation in the world.
  • Israel publishes more books per capita than any other nation in the world.
  • Israel publishes more books translated from other languages than any other nation in the world.
  • Israel reads more books per capita than any other nation in the world.
  • The most independent and free Arabic press in the Middle East is in Israel.

Military/Security:

  • Israel has the largest fleet of F-16 aircraft outside of the US.
  • Israel has the world’s most impenetrable airline security.
  • Israel spends more money per capita on its own protection than any country in the world.

Other:

  • Israel’s dairy cows are the most productive dairy cows in the world. They average 25,432 pounds of milk per cow per year, compared to just 18,747 pounds from American cows; 17,085 from Canadian cows; 13,778 from European Union cows; 10,207 from Australian cows; and 6,600 from Chinese cows.
  • Israel has more in-vitro fertilization per capita than anywhere in the world, and it’s free.
  • Israelis, per capita, are the world’s biggest consumers of fruits and vegetables.
  • Of the 175 UN Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel. Of the 690 UN General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.
Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Israeli Economy Surging: Tel Aviv stock exchange hits record high

April 22, 2011 Leave a comment

The Israeli economy and stock market are surging, despite growing regional tension and instability. On Wednesday, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange closed one point below a record high. Today, the market formally hit a new record and is up 130% since November 2008 and 11% for the year.  “The Israeli economy grew by 7.8% in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to figures released Sunday by the Central Bureau of Statistics,” reports Ynet News. “This is … Read More

via Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Categories: News Tags: ,

Israel – Good or Evil? Is the world confused?

April 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Could Israel become oil production leader?

April 6, 2011 Leave a comment

With second largest oil shale deposits in the world, some believe it’s very possible.

 

According to Dr. Vinegar, Israel has the second-biggest oil shale deposits in the world, outside the United States. “We estimate that there are the equivalent of 250 billion barrels of oil there. To put that in context, there are proven reserves of 260 billion barrels of oil in Saudi Arabia.” he told The Times.

The punch line to a joke that’s been told by generation of Jews soon will need to be changed.

“Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!” This joke was made famous by Golda Meir, the former prime minister of Israel, and for many years held a lot of truth. The lack of oil and natural gas is seen as one of the main reasons Israel has become one of the world’s leaders in technology, green energy and health science.

But with the recent findings of the Tamar and Leviathan natural gas reserves off its waters, Israel has a future as an energy independent country. By why stop there? Some believe that Israel could become one of the world’s leading oil producers.

Such is the plan of Harold Vinegar and his colleagues. Dr. Vinegar, the former chief scientist of Royal Dutch Shell, and current chief scientist at Israel Energy Initiatives (IEI), believes that with Israel’s oil shale deposits, this could be reality.

IEI is working on an ambitious project to extract oil and natural gas from oil shale from a 238 sq km area off the Shfela Basin, southwest of Jerusalem.

As the price of conventional sources of petroleum has risen, oil shale has gained attention as an energy source, and as a way for some areas to secure independence from external suppliers of energy. However, oil shale mining does raise a number of environmental concerns due to it being very water intensive, and a high producer of greenhouse gas emissions. China has a well established oil shale industry and Brazil, Germany and Russia also utilize oil shale.

IEI claims that its technique will be cleaner than those currently being used because the oil will be separated from the shale rock up to 300 meters beneath the ground, therefore greatly minimizing the amount of water being consumed.

According to Dr. Vinegar, Israel has the second-biggest oil shale deposits in the world, outside the United States. “We estimate that there are the equivalent of 250 billion barrels of oil there. To put that in context, there are proven reserves of 260 billion barrels of oil in Saudi Arabia.” he told The Times.

Once operational, IEI estimates that the cost of production of shale oil would be between $34-40 per barrel. This would make it comparable to the current price of $30-40 per barrel for deepwater oilfield and cheaper than Canadian sand oil and crude oil extracted from the Arctic.

The expectations of Tamar and Leviathan have already given Israel a very positive outlook. Should IEI’s claims turn to reality, Israel would become one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

From ynetnews.

Categories: News, Science Tags: , ,

Try out the new ‘sister site’ : Society Stacktrace

April 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Try the new site http://societystacktrace.wordpress.com. It is mainly an audio blog & includes podcast capability & will be updated more often than ‘Apologetics Etc’.

Categories: Uncategorized
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: