Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

December 10 is the 66th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted by the UN General Assembly. The horror of WWII is credited for inspiring, if you will, this first ever global expression of inherent personal rights. It came in the wake of the declaration of a Jewish State seven months earlier.

In this light, reactions to the planet’s only Jewish entity’s efforts to defend itself from existential threats are shocking. Violent attacks have been carried out against it, relentlessly, since its birth on May 15, 1948.

Universal Declaration of Human RightsRather than support the citizens of Israel’s democracy, world opinion denies equal access to the Human Rights which their suffering helped inspire. The most tragic, and ironic aspect of this, in this writer’s opinion, is that even inside the UN Human Rights Council the planet’s sole Jewish State is singled out for persecution.

In selecting a Virtues card to frame this blog, Mercy came up.  How appropriate!  But since that card was just used for Syrian refugees I drew again – and was presented with a more challenging lens.  Contentment – “A trusting that life provides us what we need, when we need it.”

Here goes… Israel’s Jews can enjoy contentment given what they have, and have achieved.  Many, including this writer, believe events began in 1844 to fulfill the prophetic sequences which were initiated thousands of years ago.  This view holds that God is the force behind an in-gathering that began prior to and increased in momentum after WWII.  The selection of the Real Estate in Palestine for a modern Israel was predestined as were all the challenges inherent in that choice.

Though the entire planet be aligned against it, at this time, the Jews can be content with the messages in their Holy Writings – that God will infuse with eventual success all global efforts, including those of Israel, toward beating swords into plowshares and transforming deserts into rose-gardens.  However imperfect those efforts may be.

The verses below proclaim hope for the future. Our potential for contentment is great, when we trust in God to fulfill His promises.

Swords into PloughsharesIsaiah 2:1-4 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord‘s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Israeli desert blossomIsaiah 35:1-4 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.  Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.  Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

Great contentment comes from trusting in the promise of a better future, as foretold by the Jewish Prophet Isaiah.  Shalom to you all.

Lamb lies down with the lion and the little child leading them

Isaiah 11:9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.


Would you settle for Compassion?

Would you settle for Compassion?

This linked article discussing the legality of Jewish claims in Judea and Samaria inspired today’s blog, filtered by Compassion (the random Virtues card I pulled as a focal point).  Jewish Religious law, i.e. the Torah, has its Genesis in Compassion, as indicated by this story.


Compassion, as indicated by this story

Exodus 2:2-5 “And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him. And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”

The mother sent this baby down the river to protect him from Pharaoh’s evil edict.  Pharaoh’s daughter then named this child  Moses, the same Moses who later freed the people Pharaoh was oppressing.  The same Moses who still later carried the tablets of Divine Law, written with the Finger of God, down from Mount Sinai. This law was given to educate and protect the entire Nation from the misery they had, and would again, experience.  It was a Compassionate law, designed to secure permanent peace and freedom.

And compassion was prophesied, towards the tribes who would unfortunately fail to live according to that Divine Law.  A prophesied period of 2,520 years of suffering was to follow, after which God would show His Divine Compassion in a very specific way.

Deuteronomy 30:1-5 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.

Which brings us back to the question of Jewish Legal Claims.  Many would claim that compassion requires the Jews to refrain from assuming the rights they have been granted in modern times.  Many today withhold the compassion that led to these rulings in the first place, during a time when rabid antisemitism was destroying the entire ethnic grouping known as “Jews”.  Many deny that Jewish Society is more compassionate than those societies around it, which still, today, seek to destroy the Jews.  The same societies which oppress their own people’s mercilessly, in the name of intolerance, hate, and without any shred of compassion.

flame of Compassion

Light the right flame with your compassion!

Reports are currently out that the White House is considering sanctions against Israel for building settlements in these areas which they believe they have a legal right to.  Such sanctions are portrayed as somehow being compassionate towards Palestinians who also live in those areas.  Aside from whether a logical, rational analysis of the actual situation on the ground supports such a view, the Virtue of Compassion, like any other Virtue, must be used in conjunction with them all, including Truth and Justice.

Compassion is a virtuous reaction, but the action of compassion must be in alignment with reality.  It should help those who are actually hurt, in some way.  One doesn’t need to look far for opportunities to extend compassion in the Middle East.  There are many examples of people who, today, like the Jews historically, are hated and hunted.

Those impacted negatively, in some way, by Jewish settlements are not the ones I am referring to.



No Mercy for Syria

No Mercy for Syria

God Protects Syria

The Sign says God Protects Syria

Foreign Policy’s Middle East Daily report Brief reports that “The United Nations World Food Program on Monday suspended its food voucher program to 1.7 million Syrian refugees due to a severe funding crisis.” even though the United States gave the WFP $125 million last week.   The crisis is huge “Over 3.2 million people have fled Syria since the conflict began in 2011, and about 7.2 million others have been displaced within the country.” Despite the size of the problem, why this lack of funds when $5.4B in aid promised to “rebuild” Gaza?

I pulled a random Virtues Card to use as a lens from which to view this topic, and Mercy came up.  The affirmation reads “I show mercy to others.  I put myself in their shoes and do what I can to be helpful.  I give others another chance when they make a mistake.  I listen to my heart.”

My heart asks, why is there no mercy for Syria?  Is it possible that hate and hypocrisy are still trumping mercy and compassion?

Mercy for SyriaIf we purify our hearts from bias and bigotry, perhaps we would be able to view the world situation with objectivity.  We might find that there is enough humanitarian aid available to assist those truly in need.  And perhaps we would have the wisdom to withhold it from those who will use it to wreak havoc and inflict misery upon others.