Tag Archives: Jews

WORDS MATTER, THE WORLD MATTERS‏, HOPE MATTERS – LIKEWISE YOUR WORLD MATTERS; STAY IN FOR THE RIDE!!



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“We spend our years as a tale that is told..” – Psalms

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They tell me that words and differences  often do not  matter, and that actions only do.. They tell me that stories and tales do not matter either, and that only reality does.. Others do say  that words are only words and not always have a meaning…

They forget then that actions follow words (often on differences) , and that the way we approach differences are often the extensions of our attitude and that attitude follows mindset.. A certain mindset on which words do follow…Just repeat this if you wish, … And don’t forget that tales at times carry both hope and inspiration if the last is based on the mindset which makes someone tick the right direction.

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Words carry weight. Words carry sometimes a burden as due to created perceptions of fear. Tales, words and hope do matter… Many of us are brought up with stories and tales. Stories about the family, tales about people. Just name it! Almost everyone has examples, either at school or at home or at work or elsewhere. We live  in a world with role models, film stars, sport heroes, leading men and women and all the others on which we may relate some way or the other. It is what they say, what they send in their energies. And all those people are so different, what they say is different and what they do is different. Likewise what politicians say, based on mindset, context, and their attitude. Name it different if you wish, but what they say has an impact, as for sure it is not rarely followed by action.

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Do you agree?..To be exceptional and to make a difference in our inequality, – words carry gravity. Some more than others..-. In our separateness,  only our distinctive actions as a result of those words make the difference between “captivating people” or boring them, – making splendid the beauty of this world or unimpressive the drawbacks of our actions.  A world full of imperfections, full of major challenges. A world full of efforts, repellent at times as a result of hateful quarrels. All based on words, based either on hope or despair, based either on the perception that the wider context matters or that the bigger picture is  trivial.

The wider context, – the world, and the challenges we face?

One may ask: “Where does this leave us”? – I will get back on that one a bit later..

Speaking on the larger picture at the different level, we noticed this for instance when Turkey shot down a Russian plane in the common fight against ISIS. And the words of the Turkish President were only inflicting more tension between Russia and Turkey… The point was: ..a Russian pilot made a genuine error. The Turkey’s command systems fired a missile to this plane and the words being spoken then worked like “missiles” and increased tensions, – and not the mutual recognition that something went wrong.. Something which could have been prevented perhaps.. And people in Turkey then went on the street full of hate words against Russia… The propaganda of words… And the Turkish Parliament applauded then the Turkish President.. All this in a climate with already existing tensions in Europe with a possible Russian’s desire for further expansion. Also the possibility Russia may use nuclear weapons against ISIS, options which were raised earlier in a different context. So why inflicting tensions with words at this level?

Lets forget about this particular example as there are too many!

But If in this world for instance the leaders of Turkey would bring down a second Russian plane due to genuine pilot error, who makes e.g. the bend in the air just 2 seconds too late, and Russia would retaliate due to a non-apologetic Turkish behaviour, – we get tit for tat and potentially an escalation of events leading to war in Europe, or elsewhere.

What a potential stupidity and power lies in the use of words as well,.. and how senseless the conceivable actions of leaders lacking insight and proper judgment… European leaders in such case being blind-folded by a NATO contract  that one attack to one country is an attack to all countries.  As such, you know, the most controversial action may impose the most untamed reaction. Britain’s nuclear subs already on a level of increased alertness.

Do you know that if e.g. the UK would get destroyed, in part, and the command system of some of those subs are not able to be in contact with the British government anymore, – that there is a large full scale mission to carry out?

History is full of it. Missions based on actions and words. The secret box in one of those subs to be opened carries instructions from the British  PM. Words to be carried out. Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister got pale when he signed again the “last instructions”. Let that ever be prevented, both by actions and for sure by words of reconciliation and coöperation, the last where this is possible and desired within reason.

However, history is full of leaders lacking balance and insight, apart from the few good ones who inspired to believe again in the universal potential we all have as a people and brought it to action. But the balance is very fragile at international stage.

Still the question: “Where does this leave us”? – Just hang on..

It is factual that speeches not always solve problems, but what is true is that we can inspire trust and coöperation.  Even amidst our differences and errors. Even at the level of international politics. And it all falls back on the use of proper words, based on the bigger picture in mind, based on the right mindset and attitude as well. Words either full of prejudice or fairness. Those words, you know, transmit energy of goodwill or hostility, wisdom or ignorance, reconciliation or conflict. And this applies to us as well!

Words do matter and differences do matter as in our difference   lays the opportunity to reach out and find better connections than before, both at home in our household and in the world. In the moment of truth or danger we need to recognise the potential menace, but also recognize and pursue the opportunity for keeping peace. All being part of making real and genuine connections. And this applies to us as well!

We hold those truths to be self evident that all men are created equal – just words?

Does this apply to us?

Are we fearful to make real connections with those who surround us or are we slowly losing our ability to relate to each other as we live in a world more divided against itself. People more disconnected due to the variety of challenges we face in our communities where the blessings of technical progress are often translated in the curse of regression of our fruitful energies. The last including the potential to connect at our most fundamental human levels.

If we inspire hope in our words, wisdom in our actions, compassion and justice in our accomplishments, we may find that words and difference do matter. As in all of this it is mind over matter. In all of this it is consciousness over the elements of events, whether it is at home or at the highest political stage of the world.  Keeping the bigger picture in mind is getting far more important and it requires courage and determination to separate the weed from the chaff, to get straight to the point in crucial matters. Crucial matters within the world surrounding us and within the world of ourselves. And the last applies to us in person!

A world both in ourselves, – reflected in the outside world, – where we have to watch that what we have “in us” is not getting more and more superficial. The last despite technical progress, despite e.g. the accelerations in the communications industry and many others, which may give hindrances of various other nature as well if not properly used..

So for all of us, wherever we may be:

Let wisdom ring from the Rockies of Colorado  to the Blue Mountains in New South Wales..

Let compassion being shown on the borders of the Ukraine and in Russia.

Let mind over matter rain at the stage where important decisions are made.

The last with the reality awareness, the reality on the risk of war where people use their words and differences “to make matters evolving”, –  making matters worse as an excuse to decide matter over mind, to escalate words to the propaganda of war.. We have seen this after 9/11… And once more war has started it is hard to stop again, as events then are only of an escalating nature where the mindset in such case has reached a point of “no return”…

Is hope a dream only?

No, it is a reality we have to put our mind on. We have to dream and say why not. We need to set our goals and say why not. We need to reach out and say why not. We need to show compassion where it might be hard and say why not.. And besides this, we need to be open on what is still possible to explore both the sea and the sky, to bring out the best of our human endeavours, to combat the dangers of our time and say: ” Why not?”

This is what we can do together. Together we can spend our years as tales being told through words of wisdom and compassion, and in this we may lay together the foundation of greater understanding and a better future. We are allowed though to be somewhat pessimistic in our world view as long as the optimistic music in ourselves remains the driving force of both our words and actions.

Does this apply to us??… YES, .. THIS APPLIES TO ALL OF US!

So let it be known in every village and hamlet that despite the agonies of this world there is still hope for a better future, that Muslims and Christians can live together, that Jews and Palestinians are not necessarily eternal enemies and that both Iran and Israel are able to escape from old dogmatic principles. The last based on the assurance that they are no threat to each other and accept each other as partners in common enemies we all face as a people in the future. The impact of climate change. The impact of more dangerous and hard to control terrorism. The importance to manage a world with stronger countries desiring to broaden their level of influence at a cost of others…And all the other things, on which words, mindset and the world does matter, – now and in the future.

It all depends on the words and actions being used, the actions as a result of those words, the words as a result of a certain mindset. I have to repeat this..

Mindset – you know is everything, but it grows on the environment of words, either words of hope or words of suspicion and hatred. It grows in the environment of our families and schools, in the environment of the street at times where youngsters get lost or killed during the gun violence e.g.in the backyards of Chicago. People killed or getting violent as a result of the ICE epidemic within Australia the greater influx in the north and Melbourne perhaps, with crime syndicates and drug dealers often having an easy escape… We easy could go over the world with all both the positive things and the awful and flawed precedence or examples.

But it is not important here…. What is important here?

There is a twinkling in the lifetime of any generation where the spirit of hope on a broader mindset may come through. Where we are capable to ask ourselves what we are able to do. What we are worthy to do to make more gentle the life of this world, and not asking what others can do for us this way..

And this is the spirit, – not of what “I” can do, –  but what “we” can do together, to sustain the responsiveness of free man in a more complicated world, both at home and around us.

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This is a dream and a hope which may last through the storms of generations and will endure.

This is a dream and a hope which will endure our time and all times.

Times where words and differences will always be around but where we may find the means perhaps, through cultural transition,  to set up the realistic awareness  that we are all inhabitants of this only one world, all residents of this only one tiny planet. And that we have to rise up together and challenge collected the dangers for humanity, from east to west, from all corners of the world, – at times against all odds.

That is hope you know… To believe things which are not there as yet, rewarded by seeing what we believed and hoped for. Not empty hope which will be thrown in our hands but hope which is out in the open through the works of our hands, day in and day out.. Not that we will see perhaps what we believe, but that the music of not seeing but still yet believing,… remains the hope in our heart..

For sure, God willing, we can do this, we can make this.  And if organized  we may do that at the same level of imagination, and many of us at the same level of feeling and even more of us on the similar level of unloading the affirmative actions – regardless the barriers and regardless the resistance and regardless even the hatred we may meet on our ways.

People may die but the dream for a better world lives on. Lives on as a tale being told in the years we have to spend… In the years where we are allowed to be receptive to both words of wisdom and justice.

Words and dreams then, which may fall drop by drop upon the heart until we are able to express ourselves through the gentle grace of God, – and as such … becoming the tale that should be told… A tale in which both hope and the world matters.. A tale being part of an eternal flame…. A flame which can’t be extinguished anymore, despite our own despair and pains… A flame which carries on through the generations, as words do matter, … as the world still matters,  ..and as hope always matters for bringing change and to make a difference. And all of this finally, is in our own hands and in the world of our own minds and hearts, where our mindset and attitude finds the words to create realities, – some reversible others irreversible.

Those , able to carry and send out their own story of hope and compassion, – their own icon of understanding as to the needs for their fellow human beings, may warm the earth, – as a new tale being repeatedly told during the years we spend on this planet… A tale asking for ongoing inspiration and action. A tale and an urgent truth: to make more gentle the life of this world.

The belief, the work and the efforts being done  may be not be enough to appreciate or to see clearly. Our destiny will be shaped on the platform of all human activity, by those willing to dedicate their mind and their heart to the task, – whatever this may suit us within our own family,  ..duty.. work .. or outside work activities.

And lets so spend our years on earth as the best possible history  being told! 

Does this apply to us?… Yes, – it does!!

Indeed:    WORDS  MATTER,  THE  WORLD  MATTERS‏,  HOPE MATTERS – and  LIKEWISE   YOUR  WORLD  MATTERS!

Therefore:  … STAY IN FOR THE RIDE!! 

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Thank you so much!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/the-question-as-how-to-serve/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/rest-well-golden-eagle-in-memory-of-nelson-mandela/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/we-dream-of-things-that-never-were-and-say-why-not/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/peace/

Challenges of our times and generation

WE SHALL OVERCOME


Related image“A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labours of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.” – Albert Einstein

“Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which can’t be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little.”
Plutarch

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”
Melody Beattie

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You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
 You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise. –  Maya Angelou

 

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We shall overcome one day in ourselves, with gratitude to our past, our present and our future. Gratitude to those who made our life and circumstances possible. Gratitude to our friends and opponents who made us what we are now or what we have been, – who shaped our response, – those who were “our teachers” in both the right and the wrong things.

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We may overcome ourselves within the things we cherish, within the positives amidst negatives, – the last being different for all of us. Different for us as individuals, different for us as a class or group as well, whether we are part of a city, state or country.

The Freedom Fighters in the US shaped the future for equal rights among black and whites. This shaping of the future was not without violence and cruelty. Non-violent struggle did overcome racial segregation, like it did overcome apartheid in South Africa with similar forces in action elsewhere many years later.  Again however, not without violence and cruelty.  People beaten, shot, disappearing, often at young age, – by their opponents. But they did overcome, marching up to freedom. Freedom land as a way of achieving, not the final goal, but a way. A way with violence to be avoided, – where possible. At least by not provoking this violence.  What we give we tend to receive. If we answer all violence with violence it makes us all blind and there are smarter ways, – ways being less destructive and more effective to bend sweltering injustice into a strapping justice of different sorts. It is the way of violence to be avoided within all reasonable dimensions.

Image: Julian BondJulian Bond, civil rights activist

Like the US was trying to control the status quo in the 196o ties,  South Africa was trying to defend the rights of minorities by compromising the rights of majorities. Many countries are still doing the same. But the non-violence movement has been neither restricted to the US nor South Africa. And still we benefit from such a movement, and the movement needs to grow as it is the only way forward to overcome man made institutional and other dangers being difficult to control. If man made dangers can’t be controlled by reason anymore, we are at risk of being controlled by defeatist perceptions regarding  those dangers, with the risk those perceptions take over at a cost of man made opportunities we have. The power of a non violence movement need to be able then to show greater leverage than the power of senseless massacres or decisions to go this direction.

Where the choice is made to make peaceful revolution impossible, the alternative however of a violent uprising is inevitable.

Peaceful change with the least possible violence is the way to overcome. A movement which should grow from Syria to North Korea, from oppressive regimes in South America to similar regimes in Asian countries. But the means by which the movement for change now tries to break through is by no means the same or fitting the Gandhi/Martin Luther King or Mandela legacy, – seems to evolve more dangerous even and perhaps more deadly. Often leaders now responsible for venom being injected to paralyze it’s people in fear, and not to speak out anymore.

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Bloodshed and massacres do not seem to stop and the question is what sort of good may come out of all of this and what sort of “reason” people or countries may come up with , without making situations at various places more explosive.  Whilst some people may feel gratitude for both the past, the present and the future, the question as well what sort of “gratitude” people may have at places in the most difficult circumstance one can imagine,  – situations like we can only recognize from war’s we have been able to leave behind. The gratitude to live for some might be replaced by the gratitude to die for others, which is the worst of all gratitude as the last gratitude we should have is the gratitude to live. And this is the preferred gratitude we should be able to share and to contribute to, if at all possible.

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The last is what we may think. But people are able to take this away from other people by the venom of hate, by the brutality of their violence, by the starvation of people. Some of them will “overcome” but not all of them. Some of them may see the new day but not all of them. Some of them may feel peace but others may have lost all peace, all gratitude, and don’t feel human anymore as their humanity has been compromised and violated on the altar of merciless torture and abuse.

It is this almost complex manifestation in nature as well, that life often comes at a cost of other life, –  whilst as human beings by nature we have the gift by choice. The last in general to change the dynamics of hate and destruction into the dynamics of a reasonable peace. Not an ideal peace perhaps. However, combined with more justice, at least the most desired option within the reasoning of our human options.  As long as we have such a desire and imagine the implications in the best possible ways, – we may attract positive outcomes if those ripples of hope are shared at the best possible frequencies of our human dimensions. With this shared gift we can change and “overcome”.

Liberation is only possible by ordinary people doing extra ordinary things by non-violence. The power of ordinary people can keep a dream alive, can move governments if so required, is able to resolve some of the dangers of war and all-out violence. Is even able to “move” people who lost their dreams as due to even an overload of prosperity. The other way around, – so to say, as people can “sleep in” through prosperity, being blind for what is going around.  However, whilst the broader movement of non-violent action resisting what persists along the lines of injustice of various kind, the question is whether the non violent approach as a starting  point is always possible to be continued under all circumstances as part of the process of liberation?

If we look at history the answer is simply: No!  Without violence it was not possible to remove Hitler and his followers. Without violence it was not possible e.g during WW2 to protect the Jews in various countries like e.g. the Netherlands, where resistance groups had to target Gestapo Officers responsible for the transportation of Jews to concentration camps, and likewise had to target collaborators who worked with the Gestapo. Without the perseverance of Brittain and the support of the US Hitler’s “Third Reich” would have had free play.  It is just an example. And there are far more and other examples as well. However non-violent action to bring required change is the most favorable and most honorable way to add to peaceful dynamics which may last. Perseverance is more prevailing than persistent violence

Let’s be grateful that despite tears, pain, hardship and even death, – history showed the growing seeds of forces turning against evil and overcome destructive powers. Therefore, still we can say “we shall overcome” even if we are not allowed to see the promised land, – we shall overcome.

Even with our confined days on this earth we have the choice to try to reduce destruction and improve life and the circumstances of those who needless suffer as due to the choices of evil powers, the last which should not to be tolerated in our times. Powers which are due to be eliminated as due to the risks they impose on humanity.

Time is slow for those in need. Time is slower for those who are desperate and time stands still  almost when people lose their loved one’s in ongoing violence. Violence  eg in Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Gaza and other areas…

Protecting of self-interest when under threat as a country is one thing. However, this should be reasonable and within proportions.  Being the captives of perceived national security threats and not being able to reach out to the voices of crippled people under the brutal forces of any military powers or secret police at times, – is hard to tolerate in a world which has been faced with so much pathological violence before. And whilst time may be slow, here  time is of the essence to resist this,  as morbid powers are not allowed to take over.

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History did teach us many lessons in what works and also things which do not work, and we can be grateful for this.  However the highest appreciation is not utter words only but to live by those lessons, to live the gratitude for those lessons and to pay tribute to those in history who did contribute to more justice and gratitude and peace for our times and all times, – even when there are still areas on this planet where this is not felt at all.

Our obligation is not an obligation to pay lip service only.

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We live in a world with increasing injustice, the last even within institutions,  – a venom if not eradicated!

Though we are limited in our endeavours, we shall overcome one day, .  as long as our dreams do last, .  as long as our unaffected efforts do not rest, .   as long as our mind conceives and believes, our gratitude does not cease, and we as people are able to fulfil, . in a way which lifts the burdens in and around us and makes us free.
Let us raise again in this dream, as to never forget, …as this is the reality of life where all men are created equal, – but most being surely more unequal through the far stretching differences and circumstances of life,  – the last for certain not always by choice.
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Therefore, –  again, and more than ever before: resist in truth what is wrong,  and persist in truth what is good  whilst protecting live as worthy as possible.
We may have fallen with our feet trodden beneath the dust, but we shall rise up again. Reminding ourselves that our lives depend on the labour of others and that we have to give in the same measure as we received, taking things day by day and step by step, – knowing that endurance is more powerful  than ferocity.
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Knowing as well that there is a place and time for the fullness of real gratitude,  and that amidst the corners of history’s shame we shall overcome one day,  as the wall’s of hatred and prejudice have been broken then, –  and mercy may prevail for our time and all times!
Thanks!

Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

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Remember Good Friday


 

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Good Friday, the historical day  of the memory of  the crucification and death of Jesus Christ.

The day which coincides with the Jewish Passover commemoration, – but not being the same!  Not being the same as it goes back so long in Jewish history and tradition for various reasons.

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However,  the Jewish Passover reminds us of the Jewish liberation more than 3000 years ago by God from the suppression in ancient Egypt. The Jews at that stage ruled by the Pharaohs. It became the birth of a nation under the leadership of Moses. A nation with a promise and a destiny as long it did meet God’s will amidsts all adoptions to be made.
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Since Jacob’s travels and settlement in ancient Egypt things were far from perfect and the Jews often did displease God’s intentions and requirements, hence some of the slavery brought on them as the implications of bad behaviour.
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But God had always compassion for his people if self inflicted suffering took too long. Often with the “power of one” He tried to guide them back into the right direction, as He does not give up. As He does not give up on what He created and the promise He made.
In some ways the exodus for all of us is still going on as still through centuries we seek liberation from slavery and dark powers. The dark powers not always around us but the dark powers within us.
That’s the story of Jesus.  Again the “power of One”.
Doorposts marked with blood of a slaughtered spring lamb in those early days in ancient Egypt, – gave way to the spirit of God to leave the first born in these homes alive, – whilst punishing the households of the oppressors in Egypt. If required the spirit of God to use force to protect His people or to give them an escape under nasty predicaments. And finally after 10 plagues Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves after the death of all the Egyptian first-born.
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As we know, through history Israel crossed different pathways and despite warnings from various prophets the direction of this ever embattled country has not always been the right one.
The timing of certain Christian and Jewish celebrations might be different for some. The journey of Christian faith through centuries gone past took on some issues however different directions, but for our Father in Heaven alone the timing of our celebrations is not that important. More important is what we carry in our hearts out of those yearly celebrations as a yearly reminder of what once happened so many years ago. This applies to both Jesus birth, his death and resurrection.

Let’s hope that more people embrace Good Friday and Easter for what it really means and that the yearly reminders and celebrations may deepen the faith for those being receptive. That’s the purpose of reminding the crucifixion of Jesus and why it was due to happen.
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As we know amidst the Roman oppression Jesus was born,  however with a different mission to seek liberation from the kind of slavery neither being related with the Romans nor being related with any other nation on earth. The liberation was closely related with the pending Kingdom of God for which people in those days needed to prepare. But the message by far most of people was differently perceived. They did neither understand the signs of their times nor did they really understood the message so long being proclaimed in Jewish history, as God’s people had a purpose and were not allowed to compromise the basics, as they did.
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Jesus did not come “out of the blue”, he came by means of God’s intervention again as things in those days were in a dire shape. Not of God’s liking, however with some foresight that it would happen. God knew the nature of His people and it has been an ongoing pain for Him. One may wonder why He did create us as it seems to be  a most frustrating business. Also the way His son was treated here on earth….Jesus became despised by both the rulers and the Jews. Rejected for what he had to say and still tries to say on behalf of God.
The colours of the  language being used by Jesus did somehow not stick, – as for many  people applied that he was painting on a wet wall, – people not being receptive for his message. People with different expectations, anticipating perhaps liberation from the Roman Empire but for certain not a return to the ways God expected people to live by simply listening and returning His call.
Was it so difficult?
History proved it was the hardest thing for people to stick to God’s most basic instructions.
In the long history of the Jews many prophets have been sent to change the hearts of people. Not all of them did survive.
For most people it was on deaf ears and blind hearts,  as often still applies with the last person being sent to earth, – this time as the human manifestation of God’s will.
Jesus grew up and tried to picture the Kingdom of God in the hearts of people, hoping that his followers would find his footprints providing direction where it comes to in life, – to be reunited with God in ways as originally intended. Also to bear fruits of this spirit to change humanity, as so often it proved that human nature failed time after time by making the wrong choices and taking the wrong directions against God’s will.
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His message was not only for the Jews in his days, his message was intended for the world and he claimed to represent God’s will. With this he embarrassed the status quo of his times and infuriated the leaders of the Jewish tradition, besides creating fear among the Roman establishment as it was not sure how this new movement of people would grow as a force. However, in those days it was not seen by most that this force had nothing else to do than creating a new culture of the heart directed to God, – as generation after generation failed to do this and people were enslaved not only by the Romans but more by their own bad habits driven away from what God wanted to see in His people. God created people with a free choice as a birthright, a gift, –  but this birth right was abused for both the wrong reasons and the wrong directions with an outcome which we could label as being enslaved by the soul.
Not the slavery of bad powers like Egypt in the olden days, but the imprisonment of people in their own inflicted perceptions and cultural traditions at the wrong footing of God’s will. Compassionate as God is he did sent his own son to treat people with the same compassion, to save people from otherwise  being lost. Lost souls doing what they want to do with neither the right direction nor purpose. Lost as well when further plaques are due to come as Christ knew that history would be an ongoing struggle with increasing divisions.
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Still it seems humanity needs to go through even far larger and self-inflicted plaques than those in Egypt to open eyes and to deliver us from evil and darkness, – however through senseless pain and agony. Jesus was rejected and despised and His crucification and dying, in essence for all of us, – gave hope as well for those who believed him and continued to belief in him by free choice.
Good Friday as such is not grief for things long gone, but hope for things still to come. Liberation from collective slavery and guilt. Freedom from the bleeding manifestations of human choices with worse to come, – the last  because expansion of knowledge did not go together with both respect for God and human life in the way God intended people to return to His will through Jesus. Christ was God’s most important gift to people to reconcile their human nature with God’s purpose and direction. The last in line what human creation was intended to be by God giving people a free choice to do the right thing. God has never been a dictator, but the aim of free choice is to challenge people to get the best out of their human nature and leave behind the obstacles for a meaningful life with purpose and direction.  Life which is fruitful with the combination of love and compassion, work and endurance, – all in the spirit of the most simple and provided principles of putting His will first amidst refraining from violence and improving the lot of others.
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Basic this is what Jesus did and He created through the centuries great following of various denominations, also with different aims and not rarely with short-sighted views.
It almost seems as if human nature is deeply and hopeless divided in itself, against the will of God.
Jesus message was not the antidote for the deep-rooted venom in far too many cultures, – like once at smaller scale with the poison of both Roman oppressors and people representing the Jewish traditions in his days. True respect for both God and human life are almost forgotten identities at nearly global scale, – where more sinister forces seem to get stronger. Conditions where the heat is on for those who still want to do God’s will.
Jesus being rejected and often still rejected. However hope not forgotten but still to come. Not senseless grief but grief with sense through his dying and his promise that he left His spirit for those willing to meet this spirit, – to save those who belief in him from the agony of times, even if this agony eg implies atomic warfare as one of the plaques in modern times. But those who are marked with the soul and spirit of Jesus, despite all imperfections, – will live. Even  if life takes an end….
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In this way doorposts marked with blood of a slaughtered spring lamb within the Jewish tradition, have close similarities with Jesus blood during his crucification.  Not being forgotten, – but marked in the hearts and souls of people who seek Him still alive. Who seek him for what he has to tell us today, with the knowledge that we live in a time of transition, – still with purpose and direction.
And so it happened:
Coming before the crowd for the last time, Pilate declared Jesus innocent and washed his hands in water to show he had no part in what was going to happen. Preventing as such a riot and making sure he kept his job…  Jesus was carried to Golgotha, the place of the execution on the cross along with two criminals. The pain and agony lasted for 6 hours. During the last 3 hours darkness fell over the area and with a loud cry he gave up his human spirit. At almost the same time there was an earthquake, certain graves broke open and the Temple curtain was completely torn. The guards who saw what happened declared that “this was truly God’s Son!”
Pilate asked for confirmation whether Jesus was dead and a soldier pierced the side of Jesus with a lance causing blood and fluid to flow out and Pilate got the message that Jesus was dead.
The body of Jesus was wrapped in linen after he was taken from the cross by Joseph of Arimathea.  He was placed afterwards in a newly carved tomb in a rock.
On the 3rd day after his death on Sunday (Pascha), – Jesus rose from the dead, as he told the Pharisees this would happen.
With this His existence took a new identity and those who search Him will find him, – like those who found him before.
At some stage He will come back as part of the Kingdom of God, which we may carry already in some form as a lifeline amidst all imperfections but with an obligation though to stay true to His words and give meaning in the way we perceive those words, using our talents as little seeds to grow in wisdom and compassion for the pending harvest. There is not much more we can do.
The harvest up the mountain where pain will not last, where tears will be wiped away. The mountain where suffering will end and where our human destiny gets ready for the eternal transition. A transition where words do not speak the words they did, where fruitless actions don’t have the impact which they had before.  The harvest of those who kept God’s will at heart regardless the circumstances. The harvest of those who kept Jesus alive in their own faith and actions, regardless the circumstances with those who were against it. That is where the real exodus starts, the transition of people trying to do God’s will into the Kingdom of God, after the last plaques on earth. But God’s people will be protected with the marks of Jesus in their heart like the Jews were protected in the days their doorposts were marked with the blood of a slaughtered spring lamb, allowing God’s hand to make the distinction between those who were with him and those who were against him. It is this transition where every valley shall be exalted and where the poor get bread. A transition where it will be somehow always Easter and where we may always rejoice being God’s harvest, – in Jesus presence.
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That’s the promise, even if we don’t see it.
And therefore as long as we are allowed to stay on this earth let us remember Good Friday, – and let’s  keep Good Friday at heart as a mark on our own soul to be protected in whatever we have to endure ourselves, – to stay strong and have courage and determination with the promise that we will live.

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

Bach – Komm oh Tod du Schlafes Bruder:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSzSNdK18zs

 

For those who are left behind…


English: The Anne Frank House alongside the Pr...
English: The Anne Frank House alongside the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Nederlands: Het Anne Frank Huis aan de Prinsengracht in Amsterdam, Nederland. Français : La maison d’Anne Frank sur Prinsengracht à Amsterdam, Pays-Bas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My dad’s story is like many untold stories anywhere in  the world. It includes my mum as well, as she was involved as well. This story in which they revealed something special to me,  is what I value so much in them long after they have gone. It happened at one particular stage in their lives.

The story where people at some stage stood up against what was evil and wrong in their times. The story of people  trying to protect the right of others and their own fellow countryman against the pressures of their oppressor’s.

It’s the kind of story still happening in day-to-day life  anywhere on this world, where people are shot perhaps or wounded by powers not having  justice at heart. People at the wrong side often being used as well as  puppets for those groups or powers preying on their victims, – those not being able to make the right distinctions between right or wrong, – but at least responsible for what they did.

Those are  story’s as they still unfold  in many countries, where people sense the evils of their times and want to change it, – where people see  what is wrong and try to make it right. Whatever they do in other areas of life, –  the measure of their character is what they did  when times were not comfortable  or easy anymore , what they did at times of pressure when the risks were high. The times when they showed ‘grace under pressure”, when their inner voice asked to do what they had to do.

Those examples still show ripples of hope to break the walls of oppression, for those suffering the implications of this oppression, – wherever they may live.

Often those story’s as they do occur are not heard, and often people disappear in e.g. the “chambers of hell”, being tortured in countries like e.g Libia  (as we watched on television), – but also in many other countries.

The stories are endless and often tragic, – and still it seems that despite the beauties of this world, the many positives and the many opportunities, – the burdens of human kind are as clear as they always have been, – and still human rights at a large-scale are allowed to be obstructed or compromised by those nations allowing to do so.

This is one of those many stories, – as it happened during the 2nd world war, in a place somewhere in that small country called the Netherlands.

Being the youngest with 3 older sisters and 1 older brother, my dad was born in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.  He grew up in a family with very different characters. His parents being well grounded in their beliefs and religion. Though I have not known granddad in person as he died before my time, the stories about him made me think he was the “pioneer” of  the family. He had a  good character as well, with a strong sense of justice.

Image result for nijmegen op de kaart van nederland

One of my dad’s sisters (Sophia)  was born in Canada and spent  some years in Canada before the family moved back to the Netherlands, being used to the Canadian style of life, – including horse riding.

Dad’s health at young age was not that great and at the age of 7  he had mild TB. For this reason he had prolonged in-treatment and could not attend primary school until he was a bit older. Other members of the family sustained other ailments and setbacks in those years between 1920 and 1930. When my dad spoke later in life at times about his youth, his family and other events, – he always spoke with a degree of respect for his parents.  He had to smile on the memory of his own mum (Louise Ploos van Amstel), who once did knit adapted underwear  and a bra for a naked little female statue, which he received from some of his friends whilst being a student in Amsterdam. The generations were different and dad was clearly the youngest. Grandma was lovely though, always kind  besides being sensitive.

Dad’s older brother Elias died suddenly in 1934, which obviously had a profound impact on the family. It drove grandma actually to total devastation and she needed a long time to recover. After my dad did finish secondary school (“gymnasium”),  he decided to study Law in Amsterdam at the V.U.

The 2nd world war however broke out which obviously disrupted his studies, as he decided to join an increasingly active resistance group, operating  mainly in both Amsterdam and Bussum. Quite a number of young students were involved. He worked close with Joop Kemper, who started this group called “The Flying Brigade” (FB).

Johan Louis KEMPERJoop Kemper

http://www.eerebegraafplaatsbloemendaal.eu/Dbase/Biografie_K/Johan_Louis_KEMPER.html

Dad and Joop Kemper became the leaders of the FB. One of the previous members of resistance group CS-6 joined the FB as well, though FB and CS-6 were not the same. FB worked together with CS-6, the “OD”, “Group X” and Professor Oranje.

The first aim of the group was to give shelter and money for Jews, to prevent them from being arrested and moved to the various concentration camps in Germany. For this purpose they tended to meet in the youth chapel in Bussum to discuss strategies and tactics. Besides this they collected information on defence material on coastal areas north of Amsterdam and in the county of Zeeland. Photo’s about harbours and other strategic points were sent to England by couriers. It proved however that providing shelter for Jews was not enough as dangerous Gestapo officers and collaborators compromised the safety of Jews.Many of the last were shot or put on transport to Germany. This was the reason the group (FB) decided to target the most dangerous Gestapo officers and collaborators as well, and they were able to collect weapons from other cooperating resistance groups.

Obviously the Gestapo became quite anxious to discover “the where about” of FB as a number sabotage targets and assassinations became succesful and damming for the Gestapo itself. —

One day FB was planning to liquidate a dangerous traitor called Somer but the Gestapo became aware of the plan and prepared an ambush via infiltrators.

On the 9th of September 1943 the group (FB) decided to meet again in the youth chapel on the Meent weg (Meentway) in Bussum, to discuss the assassination on Somer  the next day. Somer was as far as the archives concerned a dangerous spy and traitor, but the Gestapo was already fully prepared.

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The meeting was in process but the person being hired for the assassination proved in retrospect to be a Gestapo infiltrant, who managed to get the trust of one of the group members. He was a specialist assassin and seemed to be most suitable for the job, being recommended by “friends”. It was noticed on the 9th of September that various car’s were parked around the chapel place, the last next door to the Reformed Church. It would seem that some people were walking around at the time of the meeting, keeping a close eye on the youth chapel. During the meeting in which the potential assassin was involved,  my dad raised technical reservations about certain aspects of the planning and in particular the car being used. The plan was to go ahead with the execution the next day, at a place in Amsterdam.  Dad discussed his reservations in detail whilst feeling a degree of uneasiness about the situation.  Especially when 2 people in the group, the specialist assassin included, looked at each other in a particular way, – his intuition became on the alert, but he could not pin point the danger as yet. The others were oblivious about the raised concerns. The assassin was as I said introduced by a trustworthy member of FB and  nobody appeared to have any suspicion. My dad (who felt that something was not right) decided to go out the room to discuss “some financial issues” in a next door room, and said to get back as decisions needed being made, but to give it an hour or so. He disclosed his concerns to my later mum – who was a courier for the group at the time – and both decided to go outside to discuss the matter with Wim Hille, who appeared  the most proper person to discuss the matter as he was a senior member of the group.

They sensed  they were followed. When Wim Hille appeared not to be around and dad discovered a particular blue car being parked under the trees, – he became aware of an immediate critical danger and wanted to go straight back to the youth chapel to warn his friends.

Right within the main entrance already, – a car was parked and dad tried to get back via the back yard entrance of the youth chapel, – but he was stopped in the garden by the Reverend’s wife who told him only in a few words what happened. My later mum warned my later dad not to get back in the youth chapel itself, – as it appeared that the Gestapo had fully arrived.

Both managed to escape via the back garden, followed however for a little while by some men. The Gestapo action was obviously fully concentrated on all the people inside the chapel.

With full strength they had invaded the youth chapel  and instantly arrested everybody being around. There was not even the time for an exchange in gunfire.

The house of granddad and grandma at 27 Parklaan sustained extensive searches by the police that night, the next day included as well. Dad’s sister was taken to the police station but later released.

Following extensive Gestapo interrogation and torture, – all dad’s friends were shot on the 28th of October 1943. They were accused of assassinations on people in public life including the police president in Utrecht, a police captain in Bussum, but also sabotage, – providing Jews with money and shelter, – besides maintaining close coöperation with the resistance group CS-6. The last group was responsible for both the assassinations on General Seyffardt and Minister Folkert Posthuma.

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There was a moving church service  after the death sentences were executed. CS-6 was largely liquidated as well.  – In memory of those 8 people who died for their country, – on the 6th of November 1943 this church service was held in Bussum. The church was filled with emotions and (Reverend) Ds. J.J. Louet Feiser emphasised in the eulogy on the meaning of those lives being lost, and what those 8 people had to say. They did understand the critical situation and the evils of their time and responded in the way they did, – knowing that life could take an end as result of their joint efforts (>1 Peter 5,6 and 7 < – was at the centre of his reflections).

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My dad had to seek permanent shelter until the 5th of May 1945 as he became a prime target of the Gestapo. He always carried a pill with him, which would cause instantly his own death for when he would be caught by the Gestapo.

The war had a lifelong impact on dad, – largely as due to the loss of his group. As an Attorney and staff officer (section arrest) after the war he was able to question those Gestapo officers being responsible for the executions of his friends and he got a lot of information about the 2 traitors being involved.

He started after the war a law firm with a good friend and married my future mother, who survived the war as well.

Years and years went by and after changing profession and being a school inspector for a long time in different area’s of the country, besides 2 unhappy marriages, – he died in 1995, leaving a legacy among his friends in the education system  in the area’s where he worked,  – but for sure as well within the efforts and choices he made during the 2nd world war.

My dad had his struggles, but he had his victories as well. He was for certain not perfect but looking back he was brave enough to put his life at risk for his fellow Jewish human beings, who had to face the agony of Hitler Germany. In times of  real crisis he stood up. Like my mum did in those days, long ago now.

The courage of life in most occasions is less dramatic than the courage in the very last moments of critical decisions we may face, – however it is no less a spectacular mix of both triumph and tragedy,  for those who are able to finish their lives. Dad stood up as one with others against the evil systems of oppression during the 2nd world war, – knowing as well that life could take an end.

As Corry ten Boom once said: >”The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but it’s donation.”<

My dad’s story at times of crisis in circumstances of war, is one of the many available all over the world in all its many variations, – his story however being  trivial perhaps compared with what some others had to endure, those who did not survive as he did. Nevertheless he was no bystander watching how things were evolving, without doing anything within the domain of his decisions.

Many people after the war said: “We did not know!”      Many people in Germany said this as well, and in part many indeed in Germany were not aware of the concentration camps..

In history many died in their endeavours for their own people and still many will continue to die, – either at war or in their endeavours to fight for human rights, – or bringing  liberation to those being oppressed.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; – Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them. –Let us not forget”.

Viktor E. Frankl, a famous Psychiatrist who survived the concentration camps in Germany once said: >>”Each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; – to life he can respond by being responsible. – – Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

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Let us not forget,- let us never forget!

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-ougiqwtNQ&feature=player_detailpage

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/granddad-and-grandma-wolf-rostock-mecklenburg-roots/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/further-memories/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/early-childhood-in-goes-a-memory/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/about-paul-alexander-wolf-continuer-a-essayer/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/we-dream-of-things-that-never-were-and-say-why-not/