Why Did The Creator Choose the Jews?

Discussions about the Bible, and any issues raised by Scripture.
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Why Did The Creator Choose the Jews?

#1

Post by johnt » Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:50 pm

This question has bothered me for sometime now. Out of all of mankind why the Jews? They were a very small population on all accounts and had not built great civilizations like the Egyptians, Chinese, Myans. Norse Men and etc.. They were lead out of Egypt but at the time Egypt controlled the land up through Syria. They lived in Egypt by being invited by Joseph( as it is said) as there was a great famine going on ( as guests), then after being enslaved (why and according to who?) and then after being guided out they later returned and prospered during the first centuries A.D. while under Roman rule which by the way had great influence over Egypt at the time. I just don't get it. As far as giving a name for the pharo of the time prior to and during the exodus they do not name him. As powerful a person as a pharo was why didn't they record his name? Why didn't the Egytians record the events and their suffering. Could they have been just disgruntiled workers that were not able to attain higher authority in a land that was not theirs to begin with and so decided to hand down their dissatisfaction with authority to future generations with stories? Had G-d known this was going to happen to them why did He allow a famine to strike the land for them to move or was it just a lesson when they went to Egypt in the first place? Why didn't they make the Egyptians leave? Could they have been in the "promised Land" all along but just under Egyptian rule? Soloman and David were great kings and their empires as descibed should have lasted for sometime but didn't. Being "the Chosen People" with all the help from G-d it sure doesn't add up.

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Re: Why Did The Creator Choose the Jews?

#2

Post by B. W. » Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:38 am

johnt wrote:This question has bothered me for sometime now. Out of all of mankind why the Jews? They were a very small population on all accounts and had not built great civilizations like the Egyptians, Chinese, Myans. Norse Men and etc.. They were lead out of Egypt but at the time Egypt controlled the land up through Syria. They lived in Egypt by being invited by Joseph( as it is said) as there was a great famine going on ( as guests), then after being enslaved (why and according to who?) and then after being guided out they later returned and prospered during the first centuries A.D. while under Roman rule which by the way had great influence over Egypt at the time. I just don't get it. As far as giving a name for the pharo of the time prior to and during the exodus they do not name him. As powerful a person as a pharo was why didn't they record his name? Why didn't the Egytians record the events and their suffering. Could they have been just disgruntiled workers that were not able to attain higher authority in a land that was not theirs to begin with and so decided to hand down their dissatisfaction with authority to future generations with stories? Had G-d known this was going to happen to them why did He allow a famine to strike the land for them to move or was it just a lesson when they went to Egypt in the first place? Why didn't they make the Egyptians leave? Could they have been in the "promised Land" all along but just under Egyptian rule? Soloman and David were great kings and their empires as descibed should have lasted for sometime but didn't. Being "the Chosen People" with all the help from G-d it sure doesn't add up.

Deu 7:7-8, "It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt."ESV

Gen 15:6, "And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness." ESV

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Re: Why Did The Creator Choose the Jews?

#3

Post by Furstentum Liechtenstein » Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:19 am

I have two questions for you johnt:

Why do you write God, G-d?...are you Jewish?

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Re: Why Did The Creator Choose the Jews?

#4

Post by johnt » Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:01 pm

F.L., The reasons I do write His name as "G-d" I had explained in a previous discussion so I went ahead and pasted it for you. No I'm not Jewish but came from an area where I grew up that was rich in both Catholic and Jewish custom and we were educated on both religious cultures. Understanding other beliefs and customs is a great learning experience and to this day I continue to do the same. My hobby so to speak is the reading and the study of all ancient and modern cultures to include religious doctrine. I find it a great way to relax and flex my mind so to speak.

B.W., The question I asked was why certain significant names and places were left out in both historical records. Prior to and during the time of Moses the Egyptian influence covered a great amount of territory. Their social and economic systems involved many different cultures. Abraham existed long before Moses, begot Ishmael through an Egyptian servant Hagar, driven out to the wilderness when an angel took care of both of them and told them of things to come. Ishmael symbolizes being of the bondwoman (not free) and Isaac of a free woman Sarah and Abraham the father of all Israel. Could have this caused the enslavement of the Israelites by the Egyptians for a past deed or just hatred for each other? Throughout the Old Testament we read about big brother-little brother scenarios which have implications in every facet of life from the family to the world political scene throughout history. Are the writings examples of human behaviour both good and bad? In both Deuteronomy and Genesis yes it is so written of the legacy but is there any other writings from any other ancient cultures that co-existed at the time confirms this thought? That is what I'm trying to get an answer for.



quote="johnt"]Jen, Just the way I was taught. I pasted the reference below. It is more out of respect then anything else.


As a general rule of thumb, practicing Jews do not write the name God because of the laws delivered by Moses which are found in Deuteronomy 12:3-12:4. In this passage, the Jews are instructed to destroy anything and everything associated with their rival's gods, and they are not to let this happen to their own God. Writing G-d instead of God is one way to prevent others from destroying the name of God.

Jews interpret the law given by Moses as a prohibition against transcribing the name of God, because they feel that if God is recorded onto a piece of paper, there is the possibility that the name will be disrespected or destroyed in some way. The general concern with writing G-d in its true form is that it might be erased, defaced by being crossed out or scribbled upon, torn, thrown in the trash, or ravaged in some other way. Writing G-d instead of God communicates the writer's idea effectively, but since G-d is incomplete, there is no risk of defacement. The Jews have other names for their creator besides G-d, including Hashem, YHVH, Elohim, and El Shaddai, which are also not written in their complete form.

There are, however, exceptions to the prohibition of writing God rather than G-d. The Jews believe that on occasion, it is acceptable to write God when there is no likelihood that the written word will be defaced. This includes the written form of God in the Torah, which is the Hebrew Bible, also found in the first five books of the Christian Bible. Writing the name of God is not prohibited when it is done carefully, with foresight and respect.

Due to the advent of technology, namely computers, which were obviously not around when this law was written, The Jewish community under careful deliberation has decided that it is acceptable to write the name of G-d on a computer as long as it is not printed to a permanent form. Rabbis have decided that deleting the name G-d on a computer, though not encouraged, is not in violation of the commandment not to write the name of G-d.[/quote]

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Re: Why Did The Creator Choose the Jews?

#5

Post by Gman » Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:25 pm

johnt wrote: Ishmael symbolizes being of the bondwoman (not free) and Isaac of a free woman Sarah and Abraham the father of all Israel. Could have this caused the enslavement of the Israelites by the Egyptians for a past deed or just hatred for each other? Throughout the Old Testament we read about big brother-little brother scenarios which have implications in every facet of life from the family to the world political scene throughout history. Are the writings examples of human behaviour both good and bad? In both Deuteronomy and Genesis yes it is so written of the legacy but is there any other writings from any other ancient cultures that co-existed at the time confirms this thought? That is what I'm trying to get an answer for.
There is a predominate belief among Jews and Muslims that one group claims to be descendants of Isaac and the other Ishmael. I don't know if you could categorize this between good and bad behavior, but there appears to be a belief from both groups of this rift. When you say other ancient cultures do you mean outside of Judaism and Islam?
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Re: Why Did The Creator Choose the Jews?

#6

Post by johnt » Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:45 pm

Yes I do. Islam wasn't a factor in those times. You had different idol worship going on which did include the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and such. The Jews also had there hand in idol worship also which is referenced in the Old Testament. I think the drift of the writings had alot to do with who was in charge at the time. The Israelites had only a brief history of being in charge according to the Old Testament after they were released from bondage only to fall again not into bondage but control of their society by other conquerers or political divisions.
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Re: Why Did The Creator Choose the Jews?

#7

Post by Gman » Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:19 pm

johnt wrote:Yes I do. Islam wasn't a factor in those times. You had different idol worship going on which did include the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and such. The Jews also had there hand in idol worship also which is referenced in the Old Testament. I think the drift of the writings had alot to do with who was in charge at the time. The Israelites had only a brief history of being in charge according to the Old Testament after they were released from bondage only to fall again not into bondage but control of their society by other other conquerers.
Islam may not have existed back them, but Muslim tradition has been claiming to be a direct descendant of Ishmael...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishmael

Are you referring to the Hyksos? There is some conformation that these were a Semitic people (living in Egypt) at least by Josephus...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_origins_of_the_Hyksos
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyksos
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

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Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: Why Did The Creator Choose the Jews?

#8

Post by johnt » Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:17 pm

Adam was considered the one who built the Ka'aba and Abraham along with Ishmael rebuilt it together from the foundation. The first step of stone into the Ka'aba is said to have the imprints of Abraham's feet.The Hykos could be, as it is thought they left Egypt after being expelled from lower Egypt in the 18th dynasty after attacking Thebes. Prior to this happening there were two Egypts a lower and upper and not until around 3150 b.c. had they formed into one civilization or political entity under the first pharaoh. Very sketchy though because being from the north they could have been assimulated into the unified Egypt. Assyrians could be another or the Elamites and Arameans. There were many different players at the time.One thing for sure is that Islam shares identical roots with Judaism in which the twist comes depending on who is telling their side. I think writing things down was not done by many of them. If you look at both Hebrew and Egyptian writings having a bad day so to speak (defeat or losing control) was not written about in detail if not at all. If you were victorious Katie bar the door. Needless to say discoveries are still being made and maybe more light will be shed on these subjects in the future.

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Re: Why Did The Creator Choose the Jews?

#9

Post by B. W. » Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:49 am

johnt wrote:..There are, however, exceptions to the prohibition of writing God rather than G-d. The Jews believe that on occasion, it is acceptable to write God when there is no likelihood that the written word will be defaced. This includes the written form of God in the Torah, which is the Hebrew Bible, also found in the first five books of the Christian Bible. Writing the name of God is not prohibited when it is done carefully, with foresight and respect.

Due to the advent of technology, namely computers, which were obviously not around when this law was written, The Jewish community under careful deliberation has decided that it is acceptable to write the name of G-d on a computer as long as it is not printed to a permanent form. Rabbis have decided that deleting the name G-d on a computer, though not encouraged, is not in violation of the commandment not to write the name of G-d.
Johnt - where does it say it is a violation of the commandment not to write the name of G-d?
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Re: Why Did The Creator Choose the Jews?

#10

Post by johnt » Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:22 pm

Speaking and writing can be one of the same. They are both forms of communication of what one is thinking, instructing or feeling. If you reference the third commandment this is where you have to take a deeper look and the important meanings of the wording. Communicated in vain if then written and erased, scribbled upon, thrown out etc. would fall under the term "in vain". His name can be written in full form if guarded and secure so to speak. I provided a short commentary and the definition of vain in the pastes below. Read my reason once again which I said "out of respect" then read below. It is what I believe is part of the third commandment meaning. It does not say you can't write it but in how it it used in text and taken care of afterwards.

Writing the Name of God
Jews do not casually write any Name of God. This practice does not come from the commandment not to take the Lord's Name in vain, as many suppose. In Jewish thought, that commandment refers solely to oath-taking, and is a prohibition against swearing by God's Name falsely or frivolously (the word normally translated as "in vain" literally means "for falsehood").

Judaism does not prohibit writing the Name of God per se; it prohibits only erasing or defacing a Name of God. However, observant Jews avoid writing any Name of God casually because of the risk that the written Name might later be defaced, obliterated or destroyed accidentally or by one who does not know better.

The commandment not to erase or deface the name of God comes from Deut. 12:3. In that passage, the people are commanded that when they take over the promised land, they should destroy all things related to the idolatrous religions of that region, and should utterly destroy the names of the local deities. Immediately afterwards, we are commanded not to do the same to our God. From this, the rabbis inferred that we are commanded not to destroy any holy thing, and not to erase or deface a Name of God.

It is worth noting that this prohibition against erasing or defacing Names of God applies only to Names that are written in some kind of permanent form, and recent rabbinical decisions have held that writing on a computer is not a permanent form, thus it is not a violation to type God's Name into a computer and then backspace over it or cut and paste it, or copy and delete files with God's Name in them. However, once you print the document out, it becomes a permanent form. That is why observant Jews avoid writing a Name of God on web sites like this one or in BBS messages: because there is a risk that someone else will print it out and deface it.

Normally, we avoid writing the Name by substituting letters or syllables, for example, writing "G-d" instead of "God." In addition, the number 15, which would ordinarily be written in Hebrew as Yod-Heh (10-5), is normally written as Tet-Vav (9-6), because Yod-Heh is a Name. See Hebrew Alphabet for more information about using letters as numerals.

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
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(thing) by Quizro (1.3 mon) (print) ? I like it! Fri Jan 21 2000 at 19:17:48


The Third Commandment spoken by God to Moses on Mount Sinai as recorded in Exodus 20. (If you're Catholic or of certain Protestant traditions, it is the Second.) The name of God is holy, and "holiness" means something that is set apart and consecrated for special use. One ought to be conscious of what one is invoking whenever it is used; and to be conscious of God is to be fearful. Using God's name in vain is like lobbing a hand grenade. We tend to think of this commandment in terms of swearing, which hardly means what it used to anymore, swearing an oath on something. The idea way back then was that "swearing" upon the Lord in vain was to call upon God's almighty person to back up some misguided or selfish wish or half-baked plan of your own. This is a Bad Idea.

In Judaism, this idea developed into a belief that even speaking God's holy name (YHVH) was taboo. In the modern era one finds some reverent Jews refusing to even write the word "God", instead spelling it G-d.


Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This
vain /veɪn/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[veyn] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation,
—adjective, -er, -est. 1. excessively proud of or concerned about one's own appearance, qualities, achievements, etc.; conceited: a vain dandy.
2. proceeding from or showing personal vanity: vain remarks.
3. ineffectual or unsuccessful; futile: a vain effort.
4. without real significance, value, or importance; baseless or worthless: vain pageantry; vain display.
5. Archaic. senseless or foolish.
—Idiom6. in vain, a. without effect or avail; to no purpose: to apologize in vain.
b. in an improper or irreverent manner: to take God's name in vain.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Origin: 1250—1300; ME < OF < L vānus empty, vain]

—Related forms
vainly, adverb
vainness, noun


—Synonyms 1. egotistical, self-complacent, vainglorious, proud, arrogant, overweening. 3. fruitless, unavailing. 4. unimportant, trivial, trifling, nugatory. See useless.
—Antonyms 1. humble. 3. useful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This vain (vān) Pronunciation Key
adj. vain·er, vain·est

Not yielding the desired outcome; fruitless: a vain attempt.
Lacking substance or worth: vain talk.
Excessively proud of one's appearance or accomplishments; conceited.
Archaic Foolish.


[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin vānus, empty; see euə- in Indo-European roots.]

vain'ly adv., vain'ness n.

Synonyms: These adjectives mean lacking value or substance: vain regrets; empty pleasures; hollow threats; idle dreams; nugatory commentaries; an otiose belief in alchemy. See Also Synonyms at futile.

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Re: Why Did The Creator Choose the Jews?

#11

Post by frankbaginski » Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:41 pm

Thanks johnt for the info. I have often wondered about this but never bothered to look it up.

By choosing Abraham God set the dominos in place for the history we now have. Each intervention of God in scripture has multiple reasons, but one I am sure of is to reset His will over man's history. The exact reason He has chosen the Jews for His people is beyond me. It may be so the world at all stages maintains its focus on Israel, the Holy Land. One could make the case that to be jewish is not a blessing. They of course have their fair share experiencing the brutality of man. Just as Christ took on unjust punishment the jew has received this as well. The whole jewish nation may be a type of Christ. I do not know.

One of the ways you can measure your faith in God is by seeing how you feel about the jews.
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Re: Why Did The Creator Choose the Jews?

#12

Post by B. W. » Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:59 pm

+
Great post johnt !

Now with all do respect to the Jewish reverence regarding the Lord's name — the scriptures in fact tell us to declare it and make his name known. God wants his name known, especially in the latter days for his own reason and purposes. Below are just a few scriptures that bring this point out:

Isaiah 12:4,”And you will say in that day: "Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. “

Exodus 9:16, “And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.”KJV

Deuteronomy 32:3, “For I will proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God! “

Psalms 9:10, “And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.”

Psalms 20:1, “To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!”

Psalms 83:16, “Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek your name, O LORD. “

Psalms 86:9, "All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name."

Psalms 105:1-3, “Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! 2 Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! 3 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! “

Isaiah 52:6-7,”Therefore my people shall know my name. Therefore in that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here am I." 7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns."

Malachi 2:1-2, "And now, O priests, this command is for you. 2 If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the LORD of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart.”


Please note what happened historically to the Jewish people then ask if what the Jewish leaders taught about the name concerning not declaring God's name was in fact in itself an act of taking God's name in vain? That is a point to ponder. The conclusion leads to repentance.

You might regard doing your own study on declaring and exalting the name of the Lord...

How can his own people take refuge in his name if they are not permitted to know it?

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Re: Why Did The Creator Choose the Jews?

#13

Post by frankbaginski » Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:17 pm

Many times God said to write what He said in a book. Since we only know His name from books it makes sense to me that His name would be whole. The practice of extending the law by jewish tradition was not acceptable. I place this writing of G-d in this fashion as tradition. I still respect it and see no issue with the practice.

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Re: Why Did The Creator Choose the Jews?

#14

Post by johnt » Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:46 pm

I believe we are all in agreement on the subject. Using his name in the correct context, telling all of His greatness and power with respect and admiration is exactly what He does want us to do. He is the Holy of the Holies and in this regard we must be very careful not to deface it nor through it around without careful thought. One night after tossing and turning for several hours and not able to fall asleep, I got out of bed and fired up this computer. It was about 2 A.M. or so, typed in for no reason at all "What is Gods name" and came up with a link that I will provide at the end of this post. You will have to understand that this was a spur of the moment act. In other words it was in no way premeditated.I was in a very good frame of mind and had been for sometime but just couldn't sleep that evening. I read all the texts after following the link which took about a week and continued to read them over and over for months. While I read I noticed that my frame of mind started to change somewhat. I was more relaxed more then I had been in many years. The more I read the stronger and more confident I became. I dove into the Bible once again, the written Torah, Quran etc. and have not stopped since. For the past few weeks I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about the last ice age. It has generated a whole new set of questions and answers whirling inside of my tiny head. By reading these articles the old testament is making more and more sense to me everyday. The gaps are being filled in and the answers I have been seeking are coming at me left and right. This is truly amazing how everthing is linked and intertwined. The use of fire, tools, aquaculture, agriculture, cooking, hunting and on and on. The forementioned were learned skills and no matter were in the world people were located these skills were developed around the same time frame in all cultures. This to me puts human beings in one place which yes could have been in the vicinity of the Garden long ago. There is one very specific belief of all men of the time no matter what there location nor how isolated they may have become and that is there was a sole creator. Not a handful that worked together but one being who put it all together. Diversification came later on (who controlled what i.e the sun or moon) depending on each particular culture but the fact remains that all men believed there was only one in the beginning and He will reign forever. This thinking occured not several thousand years ago but more like 150,000 years ago.The Knowledge and beliefs have stayed with them ever since and throughout the start of the migration some 50,000 years ago to present. Science and discovery are great tools and if you use a level head Genesis is truly the greatest outline ever written. You just have to put it all together. I do believe although I wasn't there that Christ not only told His disciples the secrets of the Heavens, what the future holds for men but also of there beginnings and how it was so important for them to let all men know who He was and that He had come to the world He created in the flesh to save them. We all started in one place long ago and have progressed through technology to all be in one place again (worldwide communication and travel). This world is getting smaller and smaller everyday.

B.W., You are correct and I fully agree. I have taken it a step further. I think if you would take a look at this link personally you will understand more about where I'm coming from. The way my mind works I do have to take Scripture and make it fit into everything I think about, my general surroundings and my daily life. Not trying to be selfish or self centered. We as humans are the greatest feat of the creation. Unlike the stars, sun, moon and earth or the universe itself we as mankind can change direction, invent, fix, solve problems at any given moment very quickly since we have free will and intellect. We are unlike anything else except for our Creator for He made us in His image and likeness. That is very powerful in itself.



http://www.yhwh.com/GINGN/gingn.htm
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Re: Why Did The Creator Choose the Jews?

#15

Post by johnt » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:28 am

Frank,B.W., I do understand exactly what you are talking about. All men worldwide suffer at the hands of their brothers. Cain and Able is a excellant reference point but Cain got to see many more sunsets and rises then Able so where is the justice. Why did G-d not kill Cain where he stood immediately and destroyed his soul as a warning to all men who commit such acts? Since Homo Erectus almost a half a million years ago, men, women and children have been slaughtered needlessly. Even after the holocaust in World War II, what was to be kept a secret was let out not just by word of mouth. Newspapers, news reels, radio, photographs and through the television media reached millions upon millions of people. Yet to this day there are still those in denial! I'm not just talking about the fellow in Iran but there are people all over the world that just don't believe it ever happened no matter what proof they are shown. The senseless killings have not ended either nor will they ever end. Cambodia, laos, Angola, Zimbabwe, Eastern Europe and Nigeria just to name a few. All in the name of "Ethnic Cleansing". Those who deny it are precisely the ones who would support it and are capable of carrying out such acts of cruelty. I cannot imagine what would be going through a persons mind that is being chased down by a group of men yeilding machetes and being hacked to pieces while still standing! I don't think the "Great Abyss" and "Lake of Fire" are enough for these people as they do it to innocent women and children also. Mass Graves being uncovered and the people that live by just stand there with a dumb founded look on their faces proclaiming they had no idea! Rapid gunfire has a very distinct sound and will send chills through your bones no matter what side of the muzzle you are on. I wonder what G-d has planned for them????

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