What to do with fragments?

It’s a question I’ve grappled with for years. I’ve got a few more-or-less complete manuscript Hebrew books, but also a bundle of manuscript fragments, or severely damaged manuscript books. Their monetary value is minimal, but they’re still interesting to look at. Especially the older ones.

I’ve been thinking that some people might be willing to buy individual pages. They can have them framed and hang them on their wall. It would make a unique piece of art, or conversation piece. I would charge from maybe $2 – $5 a page plus shipping (which would be essentially the price of a postage stamp and a suitable envelope in the US.

It’s not so much that I need the money; it’s disrespectful to throw them away, and other people might value them more than I.

Here are a few samples. Please tell me what you think.

This one’s probably from Morocco. It looks like some prayers for Yom Kippur, and I’d guess it was written some time in the 19th century.



From Yemen. A page from the laws of oaths and vows.


From Yemen. A page from the “Taj:” The Arabic translation of the Torah by R. Sa’adyah Ga’on.


Confessions to be recited on Yom Kippur. Probably from North Africa. Maybe 100 years old.


The poetic conclusion of a (unknown) book. From Yemen.


A fairly recent Yemenite prayer for Yom Kippur.


The final page of a book on the laws of Priestly gifts. Yemen.


From Yemen. Opening page from a volume on the laws of ritual slaughter, with the commentary “Zebhah Todah.”


A random page from the Laws of Ritual Slaughter. Yemen.


Yemen. Another couple of pages from the Laws of Ritual Slaughter.


Yemen. Prayers for the night of Yom Kippur.



Posted in Jewish stuff and Israel | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Is mental illness a “social construct?”

If I wrote about every example of leftist stupidity I encountered, I’d have to spend all my time publishing new posts to this blog. I do have better things to do, but once in a while, I see one that’s so exceedingly ridiculous I simply can’t resist.

Lam Vo, of Vox Magazine, believes that changing nomenclature, and categorization policies, are proof that race is a “social construct.” It never occurs to him that race is a valid biological concept, but ethnicity is fluid, and often overlaps with race. Hence, the term race can have more than one meaning.

Let’s apply Vo’s reasoning to mental illness. Now one of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders, ADHD wasn’t even officially recognized until the 1960’s. A person with those symptoms might have been diagnosed with “hyperkinetic impulse disorder” prior to that.

If you were gay prior to 1974, your sexuality would have been considered a mental illness. The term “gay” for “homosexual” didn’t even catch on until fairly recently. According to Wikipedia:

In English, some terms in widespread use have been sodomite, Sapphic, Uranian, homophile, lesbian, gay, two-spirit, same-sex attracted and homosexual. Some of these words are specific to women, some to men, and some can be used of either. Gay people may also be identified under the umbrella terms queer and LGBT.

Not all of the terms that have been used to describe same-sex sexuality are synonyms for the modern term homosexuality. The word homosexual itself had different connotations for those who used it 100 years ago to what it does today…

Kleptomania, wasn’t recognized as a bona fide mental disorder until the 19th century. Also, according to Wikipedia:

By 1890, a large body of case material on kleptomania had been developed. Hysteria, imbecility, cerebral defect, and menopause were advanced as theories to explain these seemingly nonsensical behaviors, and many linked kleptomania to immaturity, given the inclination of young children to take whatever they want. These French and German observations later became central to psychoanalytic explanations of kleptomania.

A 2013 article by Market Watch lists 15 newly recognized mental disorders for that year. We’re told:

The DSM-5, which informs the way psychiatrists prescribe drugs, comes with 15 new diagnoses—including hoarding and cannabis withdrawal—while eliminating and combining others. “Sexual aversion disorder,” for example, has been redacted from legitimate diagnoses because of “rare use and lack of supporting research,” according to the APA. (Until the 1970s, the manual listed homosexuality as a disorder.)

The nomenclature, and methodology, of psychology is more dynamic than that of racial science. If Mr. Vo considers race to be a “social construct” due to government’s, and society’s, ever changing attitudes toward it, then mental illness should definitely be a “social construct.” See above for “proof.”

Since Vox is only interested in lecturing us, not in real dialog, there is no comment option for the original article.

Posted in Aspergers and health, examples of propaganda, Race science | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Even OMSI is Afrocentric now

My daughter and grandson have been in town visiting, and I found myself taking care of the little one so that my daughter could have a break from him. We ended up at OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry). With a few exceptions, I’ve never been fond of the place; it might be amusing to 10 year-olds, but there’s not much of interest for adults.

Since the planetarium has always been an interesting place to spend half an hour or so, I bought tickets for that show – without even paying attention to what it was going, specifically, to be about. As we waited in line, a movie was playing in a loop. It featured a black man rapping about the cosmos. After we got in, it soon became apparent that the show was nothing more than a short presentation by… you guessed it: A black man. He told us about the constellations and planets. He explained that some of the fainter stars are “unvisible” from our backyards, and how next year’s solar eclipse will travel through “Illi-noise.”

Not that I expect perfect English from everyone, but if somebody is getting paid to present to the public, his English should be pretty darn close to perfect. This guy definitely didn’t fit the bill, though I wouldn’t characterize his speech as “Ebonics.”

After the show, as we wandered around, I saw a poster featuring four or five black inventors and scientists.

It was quite obvious to me that OMSI is trying to paint a black face on science. It’s their own version of “blackface,” and I didn’t find it very funny. If notable scientists happen to be black, then by all means, give them their due. If a black musician writes a particularly catchy song about the cosmos, then by all means, let us hear it. If the best person they could find to give the presentation at the planetarium happens to be black, then so be it.

But the scientists featured in the poster were no more noteworthy than hundreds of other scientists. The rap song about the cosmos wasn’t in the least bit exceptional. As for the presenter at the planetarium, it’s obvious that his job prospects were greatly increased due to the fact that he’s black.

I, for one, am sick and tired of this science affirmative action. If OMSI is so intent on promoting blacks, rather than focusing on actual science, maybe it should move to Milwaukee.

Posted in Africa and blacks, examples of propaganda, shenanigans of the Left and of non-white activists | Tagged | 11 Comments

Update on Michael Strickland

When I took my concealed carry class recently, I also became a member of the Oregon Firearms Federation. Hence, I receive regular news articles from them. One of them concerns a matter I’ve already written about: The plight of Michael Strickland.

The Oregon Firearms Federation, and its supporters, have been defending Mr. Strickland, and have taken up a collection for his legal bills.

When journalist and Second Amendment activist Mike Strickland was attacked by a large and dangerous mob on the streets of Portland, he did what many of us would have done. He drew his lawfully concealed handgun, warned his attackers to stay back and made every effort to withdraw.
He was quickly arrested by Portland Police who were sufficiently concerned about the mob that they were in riot gear.
The mainstream and far left media were quick to pounce on the story calling Michael everything from a “counter protestor” to a “racist” to a “Trump supporter.”
The cascade of lies has not slowed down.
Strickland was initially charged with menacing and released. The following day Strickland arrived in court for an arraignment with lawyers provided by the Oregon Firearms Federation…
There, the Multnomah County DA charged him with multiple felonies and Michael was hauled off to jail with a quarter of a million dollar bail placed on him.
There is no question that his treatment by the DA and the outrageous bail were a direct result of Multnomah County realizing that they had in their custody, a person who had, for years, exposed leftist politicians for the hypocrites they are…
Because of a generous anonymous donor, Michael was released on bond, but his battle is just beginning . He has been indicted on 21 charges including multiple felonies.
His legal bills will be staggering.
Michael Strickland did nothing wrong. His actions were those of a person who legitimately feared for his life and did what any responsible person would do to defend themselves. The fact is, after being victimized by thugs on the streets of Portland, he is now being victimized by the political elite who protect thugs in Portland.
Last year, Strickland was attacked, assaulted, seriously injured and robbed by an anti-gun, left wing activist named Skye Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald made a name for himself by lying to people about an anti-gun film project he was working on claiming it would be an unbiased “documentary.” When Strickland exposed Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald attacked Strickland and assaulted him and stole his cameras.

I hope that those of y’all who can do so will contribute to this fund. I’ve already done so.

Posted in activism, guns and gun-control | 12 Comments

MSN lying by omission?

I don’t claim to know the motivations of the Munich mass-murderer Ali Sonboly. People from Muslim countries can be deranged, depressed or at their breaking point just like the rest of us.

But this much is clear: The media is in damage control/propaganda overdrive mode. MSN interviewed a witness, one  Huseyin Bayri, who tried to help the wounded. It’s obvious that they’re going out of their way to interview innocent bystanders who, specifically, are of Muslim origin. This is a known media tactic.

But look closely at the video, also found here, at second 16-17. You’ll notice that they clipped something out. Other sources state that the gunman shouted “Allahu akbar!”

Could it be that Huseyin Bayri told the reporter of this, but that portion was cut out? It wouldn’t surprise me at all.

As this endless bloodshed continues in Europe, it becomes ever more evident that the so-called “media” does not consider its job to be the disseminating of information, but rather to stem the flow of information when possible, and if not, to spin it according to their own narrative.

The German government has even gone a step further, and now prosecutes people for voicing dissent against the government’s immigration policies.

“Diversity” and freedom of speech cannot coexist for long.

Posted in examples of propaganda, freedom of speech issues, Muslims | 6 Comments

My apologies for not posting

Hi friends! It’s been a long time. You might have been wondering why I haven’t been posting. The answer is, besides the fact that the beautiful Oregon summer has arrived, that others, far more eloquent than I, have been doing a fine job saying pretty much all the things I like to say.

I keep finding gems on Youtube. For example, Black Pigeon Speaks. Here are a couple of examples of his amazing work:

And then there’s Acts7apologetics, who does a great job putting Islam in its place. For example:

In other news, I got my concealed carry permit today. Better late than never. Now I’ve got to start hitting the range and training myself. A few more classes are in order.

Speaking of concealed carry, there was an incident not long ago here in Portland. Amren reported on it. A conservative activist was voicing his opinions during a black lies matter protest in downtown Portland. Apparently, some of the protesters started harassing him, and attacking him. At some point, he pulled his gun, and he got arrested. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know exactly what happened. A reporter claimed the man (Michael Strickland) had pointed the gun at him – but I don’t trust such reporters.

I’ve been thinking about this incident, and whether Strickland was justified in brandishing his weapon. If his claims are accurate, and he was being attacked by the mob, then he was in imminent danger and he was justified. But my thought on the matter is that it might have been a better idea to use pepper spray. Just because you’re licensed for concealed carry doesn’t mean you gun should be your first solution. If pepper spray will do the trick, then use that first. If things escalate, and lethal force must be used, then brandish your gun.

One of the handouts I got from the required handgun class deals with “Stand Your Ground.” It announces:

On March 29 2007, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that Oregonians have no “duty to retreat” when faced with a violent confrontation.

This is not to say that it’s always a good idea to “stand your ground,” but in certain situations, this would be the best option. For example, when your assailants may be able to outrun you and attack you from behind as you retreat, or when retreating might send a bad message. In Strickland’s case (according to his account), it would send a message of cowardice and weakness vis a vis the black lies matter movement.

I would have loved to have joined Strickland on that day, but I didn’t know about it, and it was probably a workday for me anyway.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Confusion in the West Bank

I lived in Israel for 12 years, and returned to visit only twice. That was a long time ago. On one of those visits, I decided to reconnect with a close friend. He, along with his family, lived in Kiryat Arba, the largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank.

Back when I lived in Jerusalem, I’d visit this friend frequently, so Kiryat Arba was almost like a second home to me for a while. Hence, the recent news of a 13 year-old girl’s murder, in Kiryat Arba, sent shivers up my spine and gave me nightmares. How could the citizens of Kiryat Arba have let this happen? Have they allowed their security to become lax over the years?

The last time I was in Kiryat Arba, my friend had to do some shopping in nearby Hebron. Of course, this was done at the suq (Arab marketplace). When we were done, my friend had to interact with an Arab from the window of his car, and he did so with such hatred and contempt that it made me squirm. I’d seen this before from other Israelis. I couldn’t help but wonder what they hoped to accomplish through this behavior. Maybe it was to avoid any signs of what might be perceived as weakness. What we Westerners consider common courtesy and respect can be construed as an invitation to be taken advantage of in the Middle East.

But still, I could never bring myself to treat a stranger this way. For all I know, he could have been Islam al-Bayed. He and his wife stopped to rescue an Israeli family trapped in their car after a terrorist attack. What if one of the rescued children grows up, treats a random Palestinian like shit – and then finds out that the target of his disdain was the same man who saved his life years earlier? How would he feel then?

That’s why I’ve always maintained that it’s best to be nice to people (in most situations) unless you have specific reason not to be.

Blanket hatred for Arabs is the norm in the settlements, or at least it was when I was there. I know that the hatred is reciprocated by the Arabs. This is one reason I no longer call Israel “home.” I could never bring myself to hate Arabs. A couple of times I even rebelled against such hatred.

I’m not saying that such hatred doesn’t serve a purpose; it can help reduce miscegenation, and it can remind people to be wary. But there must be a middle ground, where boundaries are respected, but so are people.

Psychologically speaking, it’s a lot easier to lump all Arabs together and to hate them all. This is especially true when you’re constantly threatened by surrounding Arabs, constantly hearing Arab propaganda against you, and sometimes losing a loved one to Arab terrorism. This is why I’m not so quick to judge the Jews of Kiryat Arba. On the other hand, It’s a sad state of affairs.

These must be trying times for what remains of the family saved by Islam al-Bayed. They grieve for their husband/father. They’re angry at those who attacked them, and those who encourage such attacks. But they must also be grateful to the Arab who saved them. Their world view is now challenged*, and they can no longer be psychologically lazy. Every time they’re tempted to hate all Arabs, they’ll remember al-Bayed. Personal growth could spring from such confusion.

*Assuming, of course, that they’re like so many other Jewish settlers.

Posted in Jewish stuff and Israel | 25 Comments