Friday, August 30, 2013

Fact-Checking

This thread is going to be iffy for the next month.  Wednesday night begins the Jewish New Year and I won't be posting on the High Holy Days.  If the calendar allows, I'll post earlier in the week.

Fact-checking Torah, like fact-checking any other urban legend, means going back to the source.  Besides finding the source, you have to read the source.

You thought I was going to ask the question this time but I want to explain one more part of the process to you before we get into any discussions.

Remember I said that the things I learn or experience contribute to my understanding of things that I read, so that when I re-read them, they mean more to me.

They also mean something different.

I predict that if you keep reading this thread on the blog, what Torah means to you may be different from what it means now.

I’m trying to manage your expectations.

I am not going to show that your urban legends have some truth in them because I already said, I don’t care what those urban legends say.  They aren’t the source.  The source is Torah.

I am going to tell you things that you didn’t know before.

When you decide to QUESTION ME!! Part of the time you will be upset because I’m telling you something you didn’t know before.  And that’s when you’re going to tell me one of the urban legends that you already were sure of.  Since it’s an urban legend, you won’t be able to tell me the source.

And I’m going to tell you that it’s an urban legend and since you can’t give me the source, I won’t take your question into account.

If you have absolutely no intention of learning anything that says something different from the urban legends you were sure of, then this thread is going to constantly upset you and you will be constantly frustrated because I won’t pay attention to your objections based on your urban legends.

Then you will try to make me feel guilty by saying that I am trying to brainwash you or convert you.  It won’t work. 

It won’t work because I am telling you now, that you have the right to believe what you want.

That means you don’t have to read this thread at all.  I never intended to come around and hold a pistol to people’s heads to make them read this.

It’s up to you.  If you’re happy with your urban legends, you don’t need to read this thread. 

If you read this thread, you may learn things that will make you re-think your urban legends.

You may decide you don’t agree with your urban legends any more.

You may decide you don’t agree any more with the people who told you those urban legends.

Don’t tell them that.  They have the same right you do to keep believing those urban legends.

I’m not here to interfere with your right to believe what you want. 

I’m here to tell you that if you already have started not to believe the urban legends, you may have the same questions as dozens of other people who posted those questions to the discussion group.  I’m here to tell you what the answers to their questions were. 

And then it will be up to you to learn how I got those answers, and try to use those methods to answer the questions I don’t answer.

So while you are meditating on Exodus 21:24-25, you have time to think what you really want from reading this thread, and if you realize you want to hear confirmation of your urban legends, you have another choice to make.

You can change what you want.  Or you can decide not to read the rest of the thread.

I know how much information is ahead because I’ve drafted the rest of the thread, and at one post a week, it will take about 3 years to post all the information.  I’ll say more about that next week.

If you don't have a Bible and don't read Hebrew, you can go here and get a copy in English.


You can learn about fallacies and how to find them here.


Hebrew language: (two parts)

            http://www.archive.org/details/hebrewgrammarwi01kaligoog

            http://www.archive.org/details/hebrewgrammarwi00kaligoog

Aramaic language (for Talmud):

http://www.archive.org/details/AramaicLanguagehebrewDialectOfTheBabylonianTalmudByMargolis

Jewish Bible read out loud (mostly in Hebrew):

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/ptmp3prq.htm

Babylonian Talmud audio and text

             http://www.dafyomi.org/       

Jerusalem Talmud audio

             http://www.yerushalmionline.org/    

Texts:  

Tannakh, Talmuds, Midrash Halakhah    http://www.mechon-mamre.org/index.htm 

Midrash Aggadah                                      http://www.tsel.org/torah/midrashraba/index.html  

Talmud in PDF                                          http://www.hebrewbooks.com/                    

There are audio lectures at the following sites which use a medieval commentary, famous among Jews, by Rabbi Shelomo ben Yitschaq, AKA Rashi.

Beta.chabad.org – find Rabbi Yehoshua Gordon’s Torah video lessons

www.dafyomi.org – find R. David Grossman’s Torah audio lessons

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mendel Beilis -- Stage 2 investigation

The investigation in the Mendel Beilis case began with what the government viewed as a failure that directed attention toward Andrey’s relatives, but eventually showed that they were not guilty.  The next stage began with a fresh broom.

Chaplinsky, with the agreement of the Black Hundreds, brought in a Kievite detective with a good reputation based on work done in another city.  This was Nikolay Krasovsky.  He struck sparks initially with Chief Mishchuk, who was relieved of responsibility for the case in Krasovsky’s favor.  Upon receiving the case files, Krasovsky decided the initial investigation had been botched, and he was right.  At trial it came out that on March 20, 1911, after the body was found, the police who reported to the scene not only did not preserve it in its then state, they altered it and they failed to document the physical evidence adequately before the scene was disturbed.  Also, on orders from their superiors, the police not only swept snow away from the entrance to the grotto, they dug away at the grotto entrance.  The bailiff who was supposed to write the initial police report was too fat to get inside the grotto, and his subordinates made things easy on him rather than preserve the crime scene.
Krasovsky went to work by the middle of May, 1911, first repeating the prior work and interviewing the same people in Lukyanovka where Vera Cheberyak lived.  It is not clear that he interviewed people in Plossky, where Andrey’s body was found, except for people living on the Zaitsev factory grounds like Mendel Beilis and a man named Yukhrikov.  Vera and her son Zhenya, Andrey’s best friend, gave depositions, on the basis of which Krasovsky went after Andrey’s relatives.  Krasovsky staged the “masquerade” with Andrey’s stepfather.

When it didn’t pan out, he followed up on suggestions from Golubev and another Black Hundreds member, Rozmitalsky, looking at the factory and the Jews who owned it and lived there.  He quickly crossed them off his list; the only two pieces of physical evidence in that connection also didn’t pan out.
There was one other alternative.  About June, a woman named Malitskaya came to the police with a vague story about Vera Cheberyak.  Krasovsky put this together with the fact that Vera had directed attention away from herself, and hauled her and her family in for new depositions.  Vera and her husband were caught telling their son Zhenya to commit perjury to Lt. Col. Ivanov.  The bailiff who brought them to the interrogation made them shut up, but Zhenya’s deposition not only was false, it repudiated information in his two previous depositions that Andrey had been at his house on March 12.  Krasovsky followed where the clues led and by the end of July, 1911, was convinced that Vera and her gang of thieves had something to do with the murder.

At this point the government stepped in again.  Whether Vera was in tight with the Black Hundreds was irrelevant.  None of this was going to get the government its Jew for trial, let alone support Golubev’s claim that the Jew was Mendel Beilis.  The government went looking for witnesses, and they found Kazimir Shakhovsky and his wife Ulyana.
Andrey’s mother had played matchmaker between these two before she and her family moved from Lukyanovka to Nikolskaya Slobodka on the east bank of the Dnepr River.  The Shakhovskys were lamplighters in Lukyanovka.  Beilis had caught Kazimir stealing wood from the Zaitsev factory.  Kazimir carried a grudge.  Vera’s neighbor Mikhail Nakonechny knew about it, and told the police that Kazimir’s grudge was his own fault for stealing.

In July 1911, Krasovsky’s hand-picked assistants, Adam Polishchuk and A.V. Vygranov, started visiting the Shakhovskys.  They got them drunk and got them to sign depositions.  The depositions were forged and accused Beilis of Andrey’s murder.  They cited to information on the same point by Anna “Volkivna” Zakharova, a friend of Ulyana’s.  The depositions were quoted from in both of the indictments used to arraign Beilis in 1912 and 1913. At trial, all three recanted these depositions.
This forgery coincided with the last two times Vera was arrested under the auspices of prosecutor Nikolay Brandorf, who did not support the ritual murder charge.  Chaplinsky ordered the police to release Vera and not to touch her again without his express permission.

Chaplinsky ordered the local chief of the security division, Kolyabko, to put Beilis under arrest.  In fact, both Beilis and his 10-year-old son David were taken into custody, although David was released relatively soon after.  Then Chaplinsky went to work on Fenenko to write up the charges against Beilis.  Fenenko stood out for four days and only caved when Chaplinsky put the order into writing.  Fenenko knew as well as Krasovsky and Brandorf that Beilis was not involved in the murder, and agreed with the other two that Vera probably was involved if not personally a participant in the death.
Now the government had its Jew.

On August 16, 1911, Vera’s husband Vasily deposed to a story that said “Beilis and his two sons” dragged Andrey away after catching him on the factory grounds, but what happened to Andrey then, Vasily didn’t know.  The two sons who would be tried for this would have to be Pinchas and David, the latter of whom was 10 in 1911; the third son, Tevye, was younger than David.
On August 18, 1911, Krasovsky performed a search on the grounds of the Zaitsev factory during which a bloody knife turned up near the hut of Yukhrikov and a bloody rag in the “upper” kiln, so-called because it was on the high ground of the factory.  He also confiscated tools left in a structure near the stables, which included stabbing or punching tools called shvaiki.  These tools had been left by a harness maker named Berko Gulko who had been at the factory at the end of April, left for a few days, and never came back.  At trial, Gulko said he had worked after leaving the factory, but had not needed his own tools.  A temporary worker, he abandoned tools worth a day’s rental of a hotel room.  Nobody at the trial believed this, but his new boss had not been summonsed to appear in the case and there was no way to discredit his story.

On August 25, 1911, a stool pigeon convinced Chief Mishchuk to go to Yurkovsky Hill and check out some items in a hole in the ground.  These included Gulko’s shvaiki, which were identified at trial by a co-worker, pieces of a pair of pants that had been burned, and suspenders.  Mishchuk was cashiered and tried for planting this evidence.  Krasovsky and others agree that it was planted.  Krasovsky and Arnold Margolin agree that Mishchuk didn’t plant it.  They agree this was done by a thief named Kushnir who, providentially, testified to that at Mishchuk’s trial.  Kushnir was assisted by police agents in planting the items.  One of the police agents who was present when this find was made was Adam Polishchuk, and he informed Krasovsky about the find after Mishchuk made him leave the scene.
Another was Evgeny Kirichenko.  Krasovsky could see the writing on the wall.  He quit and named Kirichenko as his replacement.  That didn’t happen; Lukyanovka Bailiff Vyshinsky was named to the job and Kirichenko worked for him.  In 1912, Kirichenko was still an officer in good standing with the Kiev police and worked for Lt. Col. Ivanov.

Records in the Tsarist archives show that Polishchuk was in the pay of the Black Hundreds leader, Opanasenko, who wrote a letter on this subject to Chaplinsky in 1912.
In November, 1911, Beilis was still in jail.  The investigation was considered to be on-going so he had not been able to see an attorney yet; Arnold Margolin, an attorney admitted to practice at the bar, explained to Mendel’s brother and Mrs. Beilis that this was impossible until an actual indictment was handed down.  On November 23, a cellmate named Kozachenko came back from a court hearing with the news that he was going to be released.  Beilis asked him to take a note to Mrs. Beilis and he agreed.  The police had taken Beilis’ glasses, so another cellmate did the actual writing.  Kozachenko insisted Beilis sign the note.  It was read at trial on day 7, a brief and affectionate letter which also complained that “nobody is stirring themselves in the case.”

This followed the reading of another letter which said two people had testified against Beilis and deserved revenge.  The letter named an attorney who was a friend of Margolin’s and gave his address.  The complaint "nobody is trying to help" was repeated three times, although the letter also said "allies" would help Kozachenko with the poisoning.  Kozachenko’s deposition claimed he had been promised 500 rubles for using strychnine from the hospital founded by the Zaitsevs, against Shakhovsky and Mikhail Nakonechny.  The letter had what purported to be Beilis’ signature.  Kozachenko testified only by deposition, which the law permitted in Tsarist times.  The cellmate whose handwriting was on the real letter also testified only by deposition; the handwriting on the letters was never authenticated.
At trial, on day 19, Lt. Col. Ivanov testified that Kozachenko was a police agent, and this same information turned up when Kozachenko was later tried on a separate slander charge.

On December 20, 1911, Vasily Cheberyak signed an accusation against Beilis in the murder of Andrey Yushchinsky.  This paperwork allowed the government to file an indictment, and it meant that Vasily would testify at trial in support of the government case.  Now the government had its Jew, and the evidence to indict him, and could probably put him in jail for the attempt on Shakhovsky and Nakonechny, even if the murder charge for Andrey's death failed to stand up in court.

Investigation -- stage 3
© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hearing Another Message

We are still hearing the message of 50 years ago, while all about us people are trying to deny that it means anything any more.

They still try to tell us we can only have what they will allow us to have, and they are trying to prevent us from having anything. 

They believe they have talked us into defining "anything" and "having" by the toys in our closets or the technology in our hands.

We're listening to a different message that says we will not be limited by their selfish, power-tripping illusions. 

"Anything" also means what is in our hearts and in our minds.  They think they can cut funding to libraries and cripple our brains, but they can't stop us from learning from the great works posted on the Internet or from SNOPES or other busters of urban legends and they can't stop us from learning about the fallacies in their arguments, the falsehoods in their pronouncements, and the failures in their morality which comes from the weakness of their hearts and minds.

"Having" means our relationships with family and friends.  They think they can isolate us in fear or envy of each other by pretending that what they refuse to give us is going to somebody else with a fatter wallet or bigger voting block.  They can't stop us from looking at our families and friends and seeing the colors of the rainbow and all kinds of love.  They can't stop us from understanding that they falsely believe we all dream their own delirious dreams of hatreds and envies and fears.

We will listen to a bigger, better message that helps us grow and love and live.

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

DIY

This week's DIY projects are three.  Four if you count the pastrami.

Say what?

I had 6 or 7 Roma tomatoes.  Cut them in half, put them cut side down in a pan in a 150 degree oven for 10 hours.  It really should be longer, like overnight.  At $1.79 a pound for the tomatoes, this is still half price compared to what you buy in the foil pouch or plastic box or whatever.  You don't have to skin or seed Roma tomatoes and besides, they're the ones you really should use in cooking.  You spend money on a slicing tomato, you should slice it on a sandwich or in a salad.

I bought 3 pieces of deckel at the kosher butcher's, about 2.5 lbs each.  One I cut in half.  Half is in the freezer for the next time I make cholent.

The other half I rubbed with a mixture of kosher salt, sugar, and potassium nitrate (not sodium nitrate, have to watch my BP) and it's curing in a glass baking dish.  In a week I'll soak out some of the salt and smoke it with hickory shavings in my hot smoker, just for flavor.  (Hot smoking does NOT preserve meat, you need a cold smoker for that)  It will be about half the price of the kosher smoked cured thin-sliced beef that the store also sells.  The recipe for the curing mix is on-line.

The other two pieces are pickling in the fridge.  In 2 weeks, when they're done, I'll boil them both to tenderness.  Then I'll cut one into packages for the freezer.  The other I'll rub with a mix of coriander and pepper and smoke with alder shavings for pastrami, and package for the freezer.

This will save me $5 a pound over the deli counter corned beef and pastrami, so about $25.

Good food for less money, that's what DYI is about!

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Monday, August 26, 2013

The World is Coming to a Beginning!

In ten days the world will begin all over again!!!  Are YOU ready?

Actually, every single day the world begins all over again as soon as we open our eyes.  If you're reading this, you've been through it thousands of times.

What about doing it just a little differently?  What about wiping away everything you've done in the past, every negative thing everybody said to you, and just starting over.

It's not just forgiving yourself.  You can forgive yourself for anything without starting over.  The news stories are full of people who forgave themselves for something, and then did it again, or did something worse.  What's that word?  For doing something, getting a bad result, and doing it again expecting different results?

Not you.  Not this time.  The world is beginning, and you're going to begin with it!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

EVEN SO

I've been fighting insomnia for a couple of decades and winning most of the time.  Last night was not a win but it wasn't my fault.

1.  Cut caffeine.  Coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, you have to read the package to see if it has caffeine in it.  Just go to the natural stuff -- zero calorie water, 2% milk, fruit juice (not fruit juice cocktail).

2.  Cut alcohol.  Just 5 oz of wine or 12 oz beer or 2 oz hard liquor, nothing more. 

3.  Exercise.  Half an hour of moving around besides whatever you have to do at work.

4.  Eat at the right time.  Eat breakfast.  You won't binge at night and it won't all go straight to fat.

5.  Eat your carbs.  Ignore the people who tell you not to.  Carbs open the channel for the natural sleep drug tryptophan to get into your brain.  If you don't eat your carbs, all the turkey in the world won't help you sleep.  One slice of bread will do it.  Make it whole grain bread.  With 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon sugar.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-antidepressant-diet/201008/serotonin-what-it-is-and-why-its-important-weight-loss

6.  Move all the technology out of the bedroom.  Except whatever you use for an alarm clock.  No TV no video games no computer no tablet.  Your bedroom is for sleeping, not for gaming.

7.  Turn all the technology off for half an hour before you go to bed.  It generates blue light that wakes your brain up.  The red light of sunset is there for a reason.  No, I know.  It's the other way around.  Our brains evolved to think "red light -- time to sleep."  Computers and TVs give us blue light.

8.  Do something else for that half hour.  Tidy the living room, do the dishes, read -- what a shocking idea!  -- but DON'T use the computer.

9.  ALWAYS go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time, even on weekends and holidays.  This is for hard-core insomniacs.  You need to train your brain -- oh, there are the dishes done, must be near bedtime, now it's 9:30, must be bedtime.

10.  NO NAPS unless you have flu or some other serious illness that's exhausting.  Like, I've been through cancer so I know you get exhausted, so nap!  But when you're well again, stop napping.  If you've had a bout of insomnia the previous night, do a spell of meditation.  I've done it; it works.  You only need 20 minutes and you'll feel fresher.  But a 20 minute nap won't get you the REM sleep which is what you're missing with insomnia.

11.  Develop a routine you go through when you have trouble getting to sleep.  I tell myself stories.  I have one story that puts me to sleep before chapter 2.  Or I count to four over and over.  Or I self-hypnotize by imagine my feet, my shins, my knees, and so on falling asleep.

12.  Coddle your problems.  I like my feet and head cool but I need to keep my arthritis locations warm.  So even on hot summer nights I will sometimes put the sheets or even the blankets over my hips.  But I never put the pillows over my head.  If the night insects are too noisy, I crowd the pillows against my ears.

There are things you can't do anything about.  Like the Porsche owner in my neighborhood where the speed limit is 25 who takes the car out for a walk at 2:30 a.m., round and round and round...  Or the bikers who go past my house on their way to the highway -- no, not Schwins, Harleys.  Or the volunteer fire department going past on their way to a wreck of which we have oh, maybe 50 a day.  Or it seems that way.  Last night?  All of the above.

Control what you can, learn to ignore what you can't.

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 23, 2013

FACT-CHECKING

Fact-checking Torah, like fact-checking any other urban legend, means going back to the source.  That’s why, in the last blog, I told you that when you want to QUESTION ME!!, I wanted you to tell me the source of your information.

If I don’t know the source, I’m going by YOUR urban legend about what that source said.  This blog thread is all about stopping the urban legends.

After we both look at the same source, we can discuss what it said. 

But your source may be in a library somewhere that I can’t get at it.

Or it may not be in a library.  It might be something somebody said based on urban legends back through time and I can’t ever talk to the person who originally said it.

That is why I want you to get the book and read it yourself.

Then we will start from the same source, which happens to also be the source all the urban legends are based on, and then I can show you how what you heard might have come from quoting out of context.

It’s not that I think you are lying, or the person you heard it from is lying, or anything. 

It’s that I know people don’t have infinite memory or total recall. 

When they pass things along, they always forget the exact words used by the person who passed the information to them, so they substitute something that seems right to them.  So does the next person.  So does the next person.  And that’s how urban legends are born.

You quote out of context.

What I’m going to tell you over and over again when I give you the answers used on the discussion group, is that the person asking the question didn’t read the source.  I’ll point out what the source said that would have answered the question, if the person had read it.

But reading isn’t just running your eyes over the page, and I’ll discuss that in the next post.  By the time I’m done, you’ll understand what I say when I get to the real fact-checking, and why I say it.

If you don't have a Bible and don't read Hebrew, you can go here and get a copy in English.
www.sacred-texts.com

You can learn about fallacies and how to find them here.
www.fallacyfiles.org

Hebrew language: (two parts)
            http://www.archive.org/details/hebrewgrammarwi01kaligoog
            http://www.archive.org/details/hebrewgrammarwi00kaligoog

Aramaic language (for Talmud):
http://www.archive.org/details/AramaicLanguagehebrewDialectOfTheBabylonianTalmudByMargolis

Jewish Bible read out loud (mostly in Hebrew):
            http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/ptmp3prq.htm

Babylonian Talmud audio and text
             http://www.dafyomi.org/       

Jerusalem Talmud audio
             http://www.yerushalmionline.org/    

Texts:  
Tannakh, Talmuds, Midrash Halakhah    http://www.mechon-mamre.org/index.htm 
Midrash Aggadah                                     http://www.tsel.org/torah/midrashraba/index.html  
Talmud in PDF                                         http://www.hebrewbooks.com/                    

There are audio lectures at the following sites which use a medieval commentary, famous among Jews, by Rabbi Shelomo ben Yitschaq, AKA Rashi.
          Beta.chabad.org – find Rabbi Yehoshua Gordon’s Torah video lessons
          www.dafyomi.org – find R. David Grossman’s Torah audio lessons

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, August 22, 2013

MENDEL BEILIS

The investigation in the Mendel Beilis case fell into three basic sections.  All three were driven by government influences for government purposes, not by a search for the truth of who committed the murder.  Quite the contrary.
The first stage in the investigation opened in Kiev with operatives of the Kiev authorities.  These were Evgeny Mishchuk, chief of detectives; Vasily Fenenko, forensic investigator; and Pavel Ivanov, Lt. Col. of the Gendarmes (who performed secret investigations).  The initial theory in the case was that Andrey’s relatives believed that Andrey was heir to 300 rubles in the form of a bill of indebtedness, and the relatives murdered him to become next in line to inherit.

Because there were no checks and balances in the Russian form of government, what the police did had no redress.  Even if no orders came down for committing abuse, no theory of government said there was a way to get the government to pay damages for ruined property. 
Another issue is that Tsarist Russia operated by the principle “guilty until proven innocent”.  One official involved in the case explicitly told a journalist, “once there is suspicion, there is no such thing as an illegal arrest.”  And the transcripts show that “suspicion” might rest on rumor or the spleen of a friendship or love affair gone bad.

Between March 21 when they knew who the boy was, and March 27, the day of his funeral, the police swarmed into the homes of Andrey’s relatives – his mother, his aunt, and his uncle Fyodor – and literally tore the places apart looking for evidence of the murder.  They put Andrey’s mother in jail.  It was common in Russia to put people in jail while checking out their papers, to see if they really lived at the claimed address.  In this case, the government wanted Alexandra where they could find her while they checked into the rumors about the inheritance.  These turned out to be false.  Andrey, who was illegitimate, could not automatically inherit under Russian law from his biological father.  Second, the father had explicitly willed the money to his own brother.  Third, the father had gotten the sum paid out to him in dribs and drabs over time, and then stopped writing to the debtor when the whole debt had been paid.  There was nothing to inherit.
Nevertheless, a detective relied on claims of a man about seeing one of the possible murderers on the street on the morning of March 12, 1911.  The detective arrested Andrey’s stepfather, had him shaved and his hair dyed to match the description, and showed this man to the witness, who denied a resemblance. Then the stepfather was left to wash up the best he could in cold water with no soap.  When he cried under this abuse, he got verbal abuse including threats of sending him to Siberia.  Nobody in the police force was disciplined for this farce.  At trial in 1913, testimony showed that two of the actual murderers matched the description, but when they fell under suspicion in 1911, they were not presented to the witness for identification.

I already said that as soon as Andrey’s body was identified, anti-Semites in the government began talking about ritual murder.  The only possible murderer, therefore, had to be one of the 5,000 Jews of Kiev, a city of over 500,000.  At Andrey’s funeral, flyers were distributed which directly blamed his murder on the Jews.  A man was held in this case, but released for insufficient evidence.
At trial there were arguments about who this man was and whether he was part of the anti-Semitic Black Hundreds organization.  The parties also discussed official police information suggesting that Vera Cheberyak helped distribute the flyers.  There are hints in Tager’s work, based on Tsarist archives, that Vera herself was a member in good standing of the Black Hundreds.  But although his name and address were supplied in court, the man suspected of distributing the flyers was not the prime mover in bringing Beilis to trial.

From March 22 on, the Black Hundreds exerted more and more energy to bring a Jew to trial.  The investigation at one point was put into the hands of a St. Petersburg detective named Kuntsevich, who had solved crimes in Russia and abroad.  The Black Hundreds were not happy with his work.  It went in all directions, a phrase that occurs more than once in the transcript.  It didn’t concentrate on the Jews.
Finally, the Minister of Justice, Shcheglovitov, decided he needed somebody in place to make sure things went the right way.  He sent Georgy Chaplinsky to Kiev to take over the case from prosecutor Nikolay Brandorf, who was allowing Mishchuk to fritter away his time on the relatives and other unsatisfactory suspects.  Chaplinsky arrived and went to work on April 18, 1911.  Lt. Col. Ivanov had under arrest a man named Ivan Latyshev.  Chaplinsky made Ivanov release him.  Remember the name Latyshev.

Chaplinsky went to the prosectors who had performed the second autopsy on Andrey’s body.  Yes, there were two autopsies.  The results of the first one were unsatisfactory to the government because they were unsatisfactory to the Black Hundreds.  Andrey’s body had been prepared for his funeral, but on March 26, the day before, two new prosectors were assigned to a do-over on the autopsy.  The report on this second autopsy suggested a murder out of revenge; still not good enough.   When Chaplinsky arrived, he brought the satisfactory text of the autopsy report, and by April 25 he had the prosectors’ signatures on it.  This report did not directly say “ritual murder,” but it emphasized features of the injuries which could be so interpreted by the right person.
The Black Hundreds published the medical report Chaplinsky brought with him, in an edition of the newspaper Zemshchina that hit the newsstands April 9.  Look back at Chaplinsky’s arrival date.  There is no mistake.  The dates are documented in the Tsarist archives.  The government wrote the medical report and its details were leaked to the press before the prosectors even signed it. 

Now Chaplinsky selected a representative from among the Kiev Black Hundreds members, who could be counted on to know what Jew to offer up for a victim.  The man: Golubev, a student.  In his autobiography, Beilis says that Golubev was an embarrassment to his father, a well-respected university professor, who told Beilis personally that he didn’t know why his son had taken such a wrong turn.  Mishchuk and Kuntsevich wouldn’t listen to anything Golubev said.  They called him “unreliable.”  They had good reason.  At trial, Golubev testified to impossible things and contradicted himself more than once.
But Golubev had contacts with Georgy Zamyslovsky, a powerful rightist Duma member, who was in solid with the Black Hundreds.  When Chaplinsky got to Kiev, he found Golubev agitating for pogroms.  That would involve the national police department.  Chaplinsky had his mentor, Shcheglovitov, send in the vice-director of the police department, a man named Lyadov.  Lyadov stroked Golubev’s ego by sharing with him information that not everybody had yet: the Tsar was planning a trip to Kiev at the end of August.  A pogrom would embarrass the city and the Tsar, even if it took place months before the trip.  Golubev was flattered and impressed and promised to stop agitating.

Before Lyadov went back to St. Petersburg, Golubev had dropped in his ear the fatal name: there was a Jew, Mendel, who lived on the grounds of the Zaitsev factory, close to where Andrey’s body was found.  Golubev himself, as he said on the witness stand, had surveyed the location and found places in the fence around the Zaitsev factory grounds where new boards had been put in, suggesting that a body could have been dragged from the factory to the place where Andrey’s body was found.  Golubev gave this same information to Chaplinsky, who put it into his next report.  Shcheglovitov read the report to the Tsar; it was in the archives docketed with a note about the reading.
Rumor was the way Beilis’ name first came up as the suspect in Andrey’s murder. 

Investigation stage 2
 
© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

GARDEN

You don't need time, sun, or good soil to garden.

If you pick the right plants you can still have flowers, herbs, even veggies.

Of course, if you have a cat you'll want to grow catnip in one corner to keep the curious animal away from the flowers in the other, and if you have a dog you'll want to put it up high where you keep your breakables.  I grew up with dogs, I know how they are.  Any dog can do anything their human does.  That's how they think.

I have a 1/8 acre or smaller plot with some sunny spots and some shady ones, with horrible Maryland Piedmont clay -- you can't really call it soil because it really is just like the clay in your high school art class.

A young relative has a nice-sized plot with some sunny and some shady spots, and she has horrible coastal sand -- you can't really call it soil because it has had almost no improvement.

She wants to grow something and her tomatoes punked out in 2012 in the miserable heat of June.

I've been able to grow a bunch of stuff -- vegetables, flowers, things that attract birds and bees and butterflies.

If you've been laid off or paid to retire or something like that, and you haven't tried gardening yet, try some things.  And if you have a black thumb instead of a green one, maybe I can help you change your luck.

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

DIY

I'm having half price lox this week.

No, it' s not close to expiration date or something.  Just the opposite.  I bought a three pound slab of raw salmon and turned it into lox.  The recipe is here.
http://www.myjewishlearning.com/culture/2/Food/american_jewish_cooking/making-lox.shtml

I leave out the dill.

During the three days that the lox cures I do other stuff like work on the Mendel Beilis thread.

When the curing is done, I put a couple of tablespoons of alder shavings in my stovetop hot smoker and smoke the fish. 

Then I pull off the skin and trash it, cut the salmon into four wrapped packages and put three in the freezer.

I will be baking bagels from scratch today and spreading them with onion-flavored yogurt cheese made from homemade yogurt.  Yogurt cheese is somewhere between sour cream and cream cheese in texture and it also makes a fabulous potato chip and veggie dip.

Who said living well is the best revenge!!!

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Monday, August 19, 2013

OB and Internet Ads

So my home page shows the Dear Abby column and the web site threw up an ad about what women do that ruin relationships.

Now you know the OB isn't going to sit still for that.

So, men.  Pay attention.

1.  Never bring up the V word the first time you talk to a woman.  Never bring up any sex word.  You don't know her that well and if you're both drunk, this is going to be a case of coyote ugly.  Just walk away.

2.  Never talk about how a woman looks if you don't know her name.  If she hasn't told you her name, she a) is not interested or b) has already decided you have no chance.  You will just come across as creepy and she will hide from you as much as she can until she thinks you have forgotten about her.

3.  Alanis Morissette had a really good line in one of her songs: "Enough about me, let's talk about you for a while; enough about you, let's talk about life for a while."  Let her talk for a change instead of trying to impress her with you.  The more you talk, the less impressed she'll be.

4.  When she's talking, LISTEN.  Make mental notes of what she says.  Look at her.  Anybody with half a brain can tell when you're not really listening, and she'll never talk to you again.  Or anything else.  Wipe that bored look off your face.  If you're really that bored, walk away.

5.  When she's finished talking, DON'T come back with a criticism or a suggestion.  That means you only let her talk long enough to find something wrong with her, and now you're trying to prove your superiority by telling her about it.  That's never going to be a relationship, that's going to be a mentally or emotionally abusive situation.

6.  When she's finished talking, that's not permission for you to now take over and say all the things you would have said anyway.  At the very least, ask her to say more about one thing she just talked about.  Can't remember anything?  You broke rule 4.

7.  When you're with her, DON'T look at other women or talk about them.  Later in the relationship, if there is one, this rule still holds but heck, you're a man not a machine.  After you look, say "I was trying to figure out why she thinks she's so special when you're around."  Or something like that.

8.  DON'T phub.  The man  who can't not play with his toys when he's supposed to be starting a relationship, possibly, isn't going to have any relationships.  Same for your big screen TV or your hot car.  Did I say "man"?  Only boys have irresistible toys.  Only boys can't resist showing off their toys.

9.  Don't tell her about everything that's wrong in your life.  That doesn't say "fix me," that says "loser".  You're supposed to be an adult.  You're supposed to either fix yourself or take it like a man.  Later, if there's a relationship, she may be able to help you with some of those things.

10.  If you ask her a question, don't argue with the answer.  This goes back to rule 5.  I used to work for lawyers and learned from them never to ask a question I didn't really want an answer to.  Arguing with the answer is proof you didn't really want an answer, so you really weren't interested in having a conversation.  Having conversations is necessary in any relationship and arguing with the answers to questions is just more proof you don't want one or you're not ready for one.

Oh and one more thing.  Being rude doesn't prove you're a man, being rude proves you're a bully.  You can get a copy of Emily Post free on-line.  Get it.  Use it.

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, August 18, 2013

OB and the Lazy Day

It's raining.  That means I don't need to water the veggies I grow -- organically -- in my back yard.

It means I can't mow.  You don't mow wet grass and besides, my push mower wouldn't do it.  Yeah, I use a good old Scott push mower, even though I'm over 55 and asthmatic and arthritic and have a slight heart problem.  I've lost 5 pounds since I bought it and the exercise is good for all that stuff.

Plus the grass looks better, it doesn't have those white edges where the power mower scrapes them.

Plus I have the blade set high, and that limits how much ground ivy can grow.  It also defeats Japanese beetles from laying their eggs.  My neighbors have Japanese beetles and I've seen the starlings on their lawns gobbling the grubs down.

Plus I've been getting rid of the crabgrass with corn meal gluten.  Put it on spring and autumn and it suppresses crabgrass seed from sprouting.  Since the actual crabgrass plants die every year, keeping the seed from sprouting means you don't get new crabgrass.  Then your normal grass can spread out and take over.

I got all this from the garden guru who has a spot on Fridays on my local news/talk radio station.  He's into NOT poisoning your pets and kids and the wildlife while still having nice grass and other plants.  I plant my veggies in compost on his advice, and it avoids wrestling with my horrible Maryland piedmont clay as well as getting good growth. 

I put in old-fashioned self-seeding annuals for the bees and butterflies, and I also get hummingbirds at the hollyhock and Indian Blanket flowers.  The catbirds and cardinals and mockingbirds and robins have been all over the pokeweed that I let grow, eating the berries.  The magenta trumpets of the morning glories bloom from vines that rise from a green drape over the fence through which the tickseed pokes its orange flowers.  The goldfinches perch inside the wide meshes of the fence in the afternoon to pick at the ripe seeds of the cosmos.  Wrens are everywhere, rasping when they lose their tempers, which happens a lot.  The ageratum flowers blue, the okra creamy yellow, and the tomatoes are starting to fruit.

Life is good.

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 16, 2013

FACT-CHECKING

SNOPES is safe.  This thread on the blog is about fact-checking what the Bible says.  To be more exact, it’s about fact-checking the urban legends about the Pentateuch, which from now on I’m going to call Torah because later I will use Pentateuch for something specific and different.

You know what an urban legend is.  It’s something somebody tells you and you don’t know where they got it.

You’re going to object: But A said that University X did a study on it.

The last time I heard that one, first I googled with no result, and then I went to SNOPES.  They had a topic on that exact subject referring to that exact university.  IT WAS FALSE.

My motto for 30 years has been QUESTION AUTHORITY.

It doesn’t matter who says it.  It might not be true.  There are lots of reasons for that, but what it comes down to is, unless you know information, first-hand, for yourself, from the same material the speaker is using, you are hearing an urban legend.  People cannot keep themselves from adding to, subtracting from, or otherwise changing what they have heard when they pass it on.  Toward the end of this part of the blog, I will show how and why that happens, but don’t place blame.  You do it too.  You’re human, that’s how I know.

So I gave you some links at the end of the previous post that will help you become an authority.  They’re at the bottom of this post too.  Then when you’re an authority, you can QUESTION ME!! 

But you’re going to question me before you become an authority.  I know you are.  I know that, because you’ve been hearing the urban legends and now you’re questioning them.  And instead of becoming an authority before this, you’re coming to somebody else who, by definition, is going to give you more urban legends. 

Don’t get discouraged.  What I’m going to try to teach you with these posts is basic principles behind being an authority.  When you think you get it, you can take off on your own and work out your own answers and then you can come back and QUESTION ME!!

Both for now and also for then, here is what I expect when you QUESTION ME!!

You have to provide me with your sources.  Otherwise you’re just spreading more urban legends.  Not just the name of the book and its author, but all the information that led you to accept that it wasn’t just another urban legend. 

That includes why your source doesn’t use fallacies.

I’ve told a rabbi, a very learned man, and now I’m telling you.  The single thing that supports urban legends best is fallacies.  And understanding Torah always – ALWAYS – suffers from accepting fallacies.   The biggest fallacy in the bunch is called quoting out of context, and in the next post in this thread I’ll show why it’s the biggest fallacy in the bunch.

If you don't have a Bible and don't read Hebrew, you can go here and get a copy in English.
www.sacred-texts.com

You can learn about fallacies and how to find them here.
www.fallacyfiles.org

Hebrew language: (two parts)
            http://www.archive.org/details/hebrewgrammarwi01kaligoog
            http://www.archive.org/details/hebrewgrammarwi00kaligoog

Aramaic language (for Talmud):
http://www.archive.org/details/AramaicLanguagehebrewDialectOfTheBabylonianTalmudByMargolis

Jewish Bible read out loud (mostly in Hebrew):
http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/ptmp3prq.htm

Babylonian Talmud audio and text
             http://www.dafyomi.org/       

Jerusalem Talmud audio
             http://www.yerushalmionline.org/    

Texts:  
Tannakh, Talmuds, Midrash Halakhah    http://www.mechon-mamre.org/index.htm 
Midrash Aggadah                            http://www.tsel.org/torah/midrashraba/index.html  
Talmud in PDF                                         http://www.hebrewbooks.com/                    

There are audio lectures at the following sites which use a medieval commentary, famous among Jews, by Rabbi Shelomo ben Yitschaq, AKA Rashi.

Beta.chabad.org – find Rabbi Yehoshua Gordon’s Torah video lessons
www.dafyomi.org – find R. David Grossman’s Torah audio lessons

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Outdoors

THEY'RE HEEERE

All day today the Boreal chickadees and Carolina chickadees have been calling, and I saw one of the latter in the branches of the sassafrass tree it lived in last year.

The cold front that came in from the north brought them along, and they are now setting up their winter turf in our area.

I will see them all winter at my feeder, along with their buddies the Tufted Titmouse and Black-crested Titmouse.  They travel in crowds.

But it's only August!!

This must be what the crickets warned me about 6 weeks ago.  The earlier the crickets try to get into my house, the earlier will be the first cold spell.  The bigger the number of crickets that try to get into my house, the more cold days there will be.  So the invasion only lasted a week.  So that means as mild a winter as we've had a mild summer -- and it really has been mild, especially compared to 2012.

My local meteorologist, if he's reading this, is shaking his head.

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Mendel Beilis -- Violating the Law

Russian law was violated to enable trying Mendel Beilis for murder and ritual murder.  The trial transcript shows that the prosecution understood basic legal principles, which were violated by the government to avoid derailing the process.
Two fundamental legal rules that applied in Russia at the time were violated in the Beilis trial.

First, nobody should be tried or punished for something that isn’t on the books as a crime.  This was explicitly adopted by the Tsarist judicial council, the Senate, before Andrey Yushchinsky was murdered.  It has been adopted by every country trying to run its legal system Western style since it was first explicitly included in the reform of the Bavarian penal code in 1813.
Second, a Russian law penalizing “murder on motives of religious superstition” (ritual murder) was repealed in 1906.  In 1911, there was no such crime to try Beilis on. 

The defense made two motions in court to dismiss this charge, one at the start of testimony about it, and one at the start of closing arguments, based on both issues.  The judge rejected both motions.
Why?  Because Russia was an autocracy; the only way to advance was to make the Tsar feel good.  There was no constitution.  There were no checks and balances between the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of government.  It was a monolith with the Tsar at the top.  He hated the reforms forced on him after the 1905 revolution.  The powers of the national Duma legislature depended on the Tsar’s will, and Nikolay II weakened the powers of each successive session of the national Duma on his way to repealing the reforms.  In 1910 and 1911, the plan was to get rid of the remaining reforms, and eliminate the Jewish Pale of Settlement as a step toward eliminating Jews from the country.  Getting back the crime of “murder due to religious superstition” would have helped justify that.  One step toward that was to try a Jew on that charge so that the law could be reinstated as a protection against such crimes in future.

The Minister of Justice, Shcheglovitov, and his protégés, believed they could gain the Tsar’s favor by prosecuting Beilis for ritual murder, due to the life-long anti-Semitism of Nikolay II, which is documented online with a substantial bibliography.
http://www.kingandwilson.com/AtlantisArticles/Inheritance.htm

Andrey’s body was found March 20, 1911, and identified no later than March 21.  The agitation to accuse a Jew of Andrey Yushchinsky’s murder began with a speech in the Duma on March 22, 1911 that called it “ritual murder”.  The prosector assigned to perform the autopsy on Andrey, Karpinsky, finished his work about 4 in the afternoon on March 22, while 1200 miles away in St. Petersburg, a Duma member was fully prepared to speak on the murder as “ritual” in nature, if he hadn’t already started speaking.  The fastest way to get information from Kiev to St. Petersburg was the telegraph, and that could take hours.  From the beginning, Andrey’s murder was co-opted to inflict harm on the Jews.
When I was translating the transcript of the trial, I came across a problem with the Russian legal system.  The prosecution of the case seemed to believe they were operating on principles similar to American or British law, while at the same time the history of the case ran counter to such principles. 

For example, the Russian and British systems ostensibly were alike in that the police could take people into custody on suspicions that are much less pronounced than in the American system.  People who seemed to be answering legitimate questions falsely, for example, could be taken into custody long enough to get the truth.  In America, police have to follow a stricter standard; they have to see the infraction or have reason to believe the person they arrest was involved.  The prosecution in the Beilis trial asked questions which suggest that they believed the witnesses had been treated according to the American system.  It was either witness abuse to get an admission in court, or it was ignorant, or it was disingenuous.
The prosecution seemed to understand the concept that nobody should be tried until the bulk of the evidence weighed against that person and nobody else.  Five different investigations, three of them official, pointed at Vera Cheberyak and three members of her gang as the murderers, but it didn’t stop the government from arresting Beilis or cause them to drop the charges.  None of the officials involved in the case, who were in Kiev when Andrey was murdered, believed that Beilis was guilty; they all suspected Vera and her gang.  This includes Krasovsky, a Kievite who was working outside of Kiev when Andrey was murdered. 

The prosecution behaved as if the evidence against Beilis was genuine.  Chaplinsky, a protégée of the Minister of Justice, orchestrated not only Beilis’ arrest, but also the faking of evidence against him, which was all the evidence there was against him.  I mean what I say.  Documents were forged; physical evidence was planted by the government; false alibi claims were coerced; the Cheberyaks committed perjury using tales created by the government.  Tsarist archives contained evidence supporting these conclusions, and were used in A.S. Tager’s book from 1934.
I have been around a few blocks in my time and have watched bigots crash and burn, with more or less glare, both in the history books and the newspapers.  Sometimes one gets into a position giving the opportunity to destroy a nation, such as Hitler.  The Jew-haters who forced the arrest and trial of Beilis abused every class of the Russian people they came in contact with, from the criminal world through the day laborers and small shopkeepers, to the police and city officials, through academe to the top of the business world.  Famines may only affect the poor; what Rasputin gets up to inside the palace is the Tsar’s business.  But when the entire judiciary machinery is perverted to falsify criminal charges and evidence, that threatens everybody because it means the government is not operating rationally.  For the Russians, that was underlined by the waste of lives and resources in World War I, and that is why Russia was so divided at the time of the revolution, that even the addition of foreign forces could not save the Romanovs or their government.

The Investigation

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Outdoors

I stopped using my alarm clock in the winter to see how it would go.  It went pretty well, I was still waking up within the same half hour.  I'm a morning person anyway, and I had lots of projects I was working on -- DIY, the Mendel Beilis thing, and so on.

My birds must have decided something was wrong when the lights didn't go on at the same time and breakfast was late. 

So they ganged up on me.  First the robins.  You know robins are the suburbs' equivalent of a rooster, right?  They start up about 4:30. 

But the robins' nests start to empty by the end of July, so the wrens picked up the slack.  Pipit, Pipit!  Every morning at 6.  If it isn't a hearty terWILLig terWILLig terWILLig.

This morning the wrens were silent but the jays started screaming.

And in a month or so the Carolina chickadees will take their turn.

No rest for the weary.  Oh well, I had a batch of French bread to finish anyway.

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

DIY

Sauerkraut.  Kimchi.  Sweet pickled cabbage.

What do these things have in common besides cabbage?  They're half price when you DIY.

Step one.  Cut up your cabbage and in some cases other veggies.

Step two.  Put in pickle.  The sauerkraut you salt-press; the kimchi you garlic-brine; the sweet cabbage you pickle in a vinegar sauce.

Step three.  Wait a week.

There are recipes for these things on the net.  The sauerkraut freezes very well.  The other two you pack in sterilized jars in the back of the fridge for a week and you eat them up.  The kimchi isn't nearly as stinky as you think it's going to be, because you're not burying it in the back yard for many months.  The sweet pickled cabbage -- I'm not sure you can buy that, it's an Amish recipe.  It's a great change from coleslaw as a side dish.

I said when I DIY it always has more than one benefit.  Here's one.  Look at the label of the kimchi in the store.  Does it have shellfish in it?  If you are allergic to shellfish, you have to find a brand that doesn't have that in it, and hope your store keeps carrying it.  My issue is that shellfish isn't kosher.

DIY means you never have to worry about it.  Or chemicals.  You eat the stuff up before the chemicals of the store-bought stuff kick in.  Once you get used to making your own bread, try these.

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Monday, August 12, 2013

OB RANT

I ended yesterday's blog with "Google it".  The rant is that people who are connected have access to the greatest library and resource in the history of humanity, and most of you use it to read blogs.

Oops.  Well, onward.

My nieces get this from me all the time.  "Auntie, I have a question."  Once I hear the question, I give an answer and then I say "Google it".  Because Auntie is not going to high school or college with them and there are educational opportunities everywhere but if you don't take advantage of them you won't ever know anything but what you regurgitated on the test.

Which is far from everything there is to know on the subject.

OTOH, my nieces also take random walks through Wikipedia.  They know the information isn't reliable, but they're creating their own form of an old TV show called Connections which used to start on one side of the world and walk through the intellectual or historical or genetic relationships all over the rest of the world and find out how people and their deeds gelled.

So since the info on  Wiki articles isn't reliable, what do you do?  You use the external links at the bottom of the page.  You google the subject and when you find official or scholarly information that disagrees with the article, you go to the Talk page and give the link to it.  Then if you're really serious, you go back and use the Wiki template messages to point out that there's a possible POV issue with the article, if the author hasn't acknowledged that this other information casts serious doubt on what they wrote. 

You can even become a subject matter expert yourself and publish on a blog so that the Wiki author knows somebody is looking over their shoulder and they need to clean up their act.

But it all starts with doing the homework. 

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I AM -- A TREKKER!!!

No, not a Trekkie.  I got my first full time job before I was 21 and it meant moving 200 miles away from my family, and 20 years ago I bought my house.  I've never been to a con -- any con -- and I used my money for other things than authentic garb.  I have memorized lots of lines and I can still track performers to an extent that sometimes embarrasses my nieces -- did it two weeks ago in fact.  But as you can tell from this blog, I have a lot of other interests and always did.
 
Anyway, there's an article on Wikipedia about an episode of Deep Space Nine that did digital insertion of the characters into one of THE best classical episodes (despite the ugly green wraparound Captain's uniform) and I noticed something toward the end of the article that shows how much the world has changed.

To promote the episode, the producers left a quarter of a million tribbles on subway cars and busses.,
Luckily, that was in 1996.  The car-bombing at the World Trade Center was considered one of those crazy things that happen.

Today if some producer left a quarter of a million little things all over the country, and nobody knew of the connection with a TV series, a lot of first responders would be going nuts.  They would shut down whole cities until they thought they had collected them all, because they might be bombs.  911 is too much with us still, apologies to William Wordsworth.  (Google it)

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 9, 2013

Fact-Checking

SNOPES is safe.  I'm not going to try to compete.  What I am going to do is post the results of 15 years of intensive research based on urban legends about the Jewish Bible, starting October 3.

Starting in 1998, I got involved with an Internet discussion group and one of the things that happened on that group was that people would bring us questions about the Jewish Bible.  Well, not questions, urban legends.  What they had been hearing about what the Bible said didn't satisfy them.  So we would answer their questions.

Over and over and ....

I started saving the posts with the answers and the next time the same question came up, I would copy and paste this answer. 

Took a lot of research, and I kept track of all the information I turned up and where I found it.

I was going to submit it as an equivalent for some credits when I was getting my legal studies degrees (see Mendel Beilis posting), because the classes I was taking gave me a new perspective.

Since 1998 I've put together a 400 page plus book about the urban legends on the Pentateuch, which is usually called Torah in the Jewish Bible.  I have a 25 page bibliography, 10 page table of citations and 5 page index for it.  I call it Fact-Checking the Torah.  It's part of a trilogy. 

I will be posting an informal version of what's in the book.  If you want the actual book, contact me and we'll work something out.

In the meantime, here are links to free information on the subject.  A lot of what I say will only mean something to you if you can read the Torah in Hebrew, and there are reasons for that which I will discuss in the Fact-Checking postings.

Hebrew language: (two parts)
            http://www.archive.org/details/hebrewgrammarwi01kaligoog
            http://www.archive.org/details/hebrewgrammarwi00kaligoog

Jewish Bible read in Hebrew  http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/ptmp3prq.htm

Babylonian Talmud             http://www.dafyomi.org/        audio and text

Jerusalem Talmud             http://www.yerushalmionline.org/     audio

Texts:   http://www.mechon-mamre.org/index.htm  Tannakh, Talmuds, Midrash Halakhah
             http://www.tsel.org/torah/midrashraba/index.html   Midrash Aggadah
             http://www.hebrewbooks.com/                     Talmud in PDF

I am going to bust a lot of fallacies in these postings.  This is one of the best sites I know about fallacies.  Get familiar with it and you may find out on your own that what you think you know about the Torah is full of logical problems.

www.fallacyfiles.org
 
There are audio lectures at the following sites which use a medieval commentary, famous among Jews, by Rabbi Shelomo ben Yitschaq, AKA Rashi.

Beta.chabad.org – find Rabbi Yehoshua Gordon’s Torah video lessons
www.dafyomi.org – find R. David Grossman’s Torah audio lessons

If you don't have a Bible and don't read Hebrew, all is not lost.  You can go here and get a copy.
www.sacred-texts.com

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Old Bitch

Yeah, I'm breaking the rules again.

So here is a pet peeve.  The phone rings.  I let it ring a few times to weed out the spam calls.

When I do answer, I say hello and count to four, not very fast.  Nobody talks.

So I hang up.

If you're mad because somebody hung up just as you started to talk, get over it.  If I interrupt what I'm doing to pick up the phone, I expect you to be paying attention to the fact that I answered the call.

Then I expect you to say hello so I know you were paying attention.

Then I expect you to say who you are.  I didn't call you, and if I don't know who you are, there's no reason I should talk to you.

Only then should you ask who answered the phone or ask for the person you wanted to talk to.

Face it, if I know you, I'll recognize your voice.  If I don't, you're a stranger.  My momma told me not to talk to strangers.  If you're not willing to tell who you are, then you intend to remain a stranger.

I'm supposed to care if you're mad because I hung up?  NGHMFriend.

Somebody I know says I have to realize that cells don't have instantaneous response, the signal has to go up to the satellite and back down again.  That's what the four-count is for. 

So if you can't spend at least half a minute while I weed out the spam and you start messing with paper on your desk and you aren't ready to say Hello when I pick up, you don't really care about talking to me at all, you just care about me listening to you.  There's a difference.

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved