FeedBurner – the Ultimate RSS Generator

FeedBurner – the Ultimate RSS Generator

WOW! There is a fantastic new website out there, FeedBurner, which not only easily generates an RSS or ATOM feed but also converts between the two platforms and offers a host of other futuristic features. The feeds are free. Thank you to Blogger for this one, who refer to the FeedBurner site in their settings instructions.

The Lost Ark of the Law, the Mishnayot, the Talmud and the Tosefta

The Lost Ark of the Law, the Mishnayot, the Talmud and the Tosefta

The Mishnayot is the historical document which recounts the hiding of the Ark of the Law (the Ark of the Covenant). Read the Mishnayot.

Any theory about the Ark of the Covenant must mesh with this document since it has since been confirmed by other sources as follows (see “Vendyl Jones and the Ark of the Covenant” by Gerard Robins, which was published as a series of articles in the Jewish Herald Voice Newspaper, Houston, Texas, May 2000):

Verifying Sources – Dead Sea Scrolls (Qumran Scrolls)

The first of the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in modern times, i.e. in 1947.

Qumran Scrolls – The Copper Scroll

One of the Dead Sea Scrolls found at Qumran is the famed Copper Scroll – made of pure copper – which was found at Qumran in 1952. The Copper Scroll is the inventory – written in Hebrew – of the holy treasures of Solomon’s First Temple, treasures which were hidden by the Hebrews before the destruction of that temple by the Babylonians (Assyrians). These treasures have (allegedly) not been seen since.

The Copper Scroll tells us that a silver (in our opinion a mistranslation for alabaster) chest, the vestments of the Cohen Gadol (Hebrew High Priest), gold and silver in great quantities, the Tabernacle of the Lord (the Mishkan) and many treasures were hidden in a desolate valley under a hill – on its east side, forty stones deep. The Mishkan was a “portable” Temple for the Ark of the Covenant.

Qumran Scrolls – The Copper Scroll

The writings in the Copper Scroll were confirmed 40 years later in the 1990s through an ancient text found in the introduction to Emeq HaMelekh (“Valley of the King(s)”), a book published in 1648 in Amsterdam, Holland, by Rabbi Naftali Hertz Ben Ya’acov Elchanon. The book’s introduction included ancient records which Rabbi Hertz called the “Mishnayot”. Hertz used the term Mishnayot, since the text of the Mishnayot is missing from the Mishnah (Mishna), which is the first section of the Talmud, a collection of ancient Rabbinic writings including also the Gemara, “the summary”, and containing the Jewish religious law.

Qumran Scrolls – The Massakhet Keilim

The “missing” Mishnaic text in the Mishnayot is called the ‘Massakhet Keilim’, written in twelve chapters. Each chapter of the Mishnayot describes vessels which were hidden under the direction of Jeremiah the Prophet by five holy men (Shimor HaLevi, Chizkiah, Tzidkiyahu, Haggai the Prophet and Zechariah the Prophet), seven years prior to the destruction of Solomon’s First Temple, because the dangers of Babylonian conquest were imminent. The Mishnayot – which describes this hiding – was then allegedly written in Babylon during the Babylonian Captivity.

The Marble Tablets of Beirut

In 1952 two large marble tablets were found in the basement of a museum in Beirut, stating they were the words of Shimor HaLevi, the servant of HaShem, and the writing on the tablets is the entire missing text of “Massakhet Keilim” (Mishnayot) including reference to the Copper Scroll.

The Mishnayot and the Hiding of the Lost Ark

The first chapter of the Mishnayot describes the vessels that were hidden – including the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle of the Lord, i.e. the Mishkan, the Tablets of Moses, the altar (with cherubs) for the daily and seasonal sacrifices (the ushebtis), the Menorah (candelabra), the Qalal (copper urn) containing the Ashes of the Red Heifer (ashes from a red cow sacrificed under Moses, necessary for ritual purification of the priests), and numerous vessels of the Kohanim (priests).

The second chapter of the Mishnayot states that a list of these treasures was inscribed upon a copper tablet. This is the Copper Scroll found at Qumran.

The Tosefta

Work in the 1990s showed that in 1896, almost one hundred years previous, Solomon Schechter at Cambridge University in England had acquired 100,000 pages of ancient Hebrew texts from the Genizah (repository for aged sacred Jewish texts) of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt. A copy of the “Tosefta” (supplement to the Mishnah) was found in these texts, included among the text on Keilim (vessels). This “Tosefta” is the same text as cited by Rabbi Hertz as his source for the Mishnayot.

We thus have the hiding of the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle of the Lord verified by four separate sources:

1) the Marble Tablets of Beirut,

2) the Copper Scroll,

3) the Tosefta, i.e. ancient sacred texts of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo now at Cambridge University, England, and

4) the Mishnayot of Rabbi Hertz.

Where was the Ark of the Covenant Hidden?

Based on the Mishnayot, Andis Kaulins has developed the theory that the artefacts that were found in the alleged “tomb” of Tutankamun (actually probably the tomb originally intended for Smenkhare, a lesser untimely deceased royal) are in fact many of the objects listed in the Mishnayot, including the Ark of the Covenant and the portable Tabernacle.

See online:

Introduction

followed by these additional pages

Anubis in the Tomb of Tutankhamun

The Mercy Seat of the Tabernacle

The Consecrated Parts of Aaron (this is ADONAI at the Tabernacle, in our view ADONAI = ATON)

The Lampstand of the Tabernacle

Shrine I the Outer Shrine of the Tabernacle

Shrine II the First Inner Shrine of the Tabernacle

Shrine III the Second Inner Shrine of the Tabernacle

Shrine IV the Innermost Shrine of the Tabernacle (the above 4 large Shrines fit inside one another)

The Golden Shrine of the Psalms for the Golden Ushebtis

The Pectoral Jewels of the Hebrew High Priest Cohen Gadol

The Artists who Made the Ark and the Tabernacle – Bez Alel and Oho Liab

Moses and Exodus – Who was Moses?

The Diversity Scorecard and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP – A Short Profile and Commentary

The Diversity Scorecard and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP – A Short Profile and Commentary

Paul, Weiss just sent its alumni a reprint from the newest issue of the Minority Law Journal which features:

1) “The Diversity Scorecard“, an annual survey of minority hiring at the nation’s biggest law firms, based on statistics collected by The National Law Journal,

and

2) the article “Practicing What They Preach” by Tamara Loomis, subtitled “The lawyers of Paul, Weiss have long fought the good fight for civil rights. Now the firm is working to add color to its own ranks.”

We will add some additional insights regarding the diversity article at the end of this posting, but first, some information about Paul, Weiss might be appropriate [please note that the following remarks are those of LawPundit alone and may in no way be attributed to the firm, with whom we have no connection at the present time, except for our “alumni” status]:

Paul, Weiss – Profile of the Firm

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP [known in the trade as Paul, Weiss] is an international New York City based law firm which the Law Pundit joined, first as a summer associate in 1970, and then as an associate after graduating from Stanford Law School in 1971. Paul, Weiss had, and still has, inter alia, a strong practice mixture of corporate law, information technology law and entertainment law. See the Vault and Excite for a varying profile of the firm.

The Beginnings of Paul, Weiss

Much in the later development of Paul, Weiss can be understood from the fact that two Columbia Law School graduates and close friends, Louis Weiss, Jewish, and John Wharton, Protestant, started their own law firm because no established law firm would hire both of them. In those days, Christian and Jewish in law just did not mix. The establishment of Paul, Weiss thus marked the coming epoch of political change.

The beginnings of the firm involved Paul, Weiss clients who developed the modern entertainment branch in its infancy. Founder John Wharton was the lawyer and executor for songwriter Cole Porter, who wrote the music for Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer, the first “talking” motion picture. Since this connection to cinema came early, the firm got in on the ground floor of the entertainment business many years ago.

Based on their experience, Paul, Weiss then became attorneys for famous artists and fashion designers such as Andy Warhol and Calvin Klein, while other partners of the firm, e.g. Robert H. Montgomery served as counsel to movie stars such as Marilyn Monroe.

Some years after the Law Pundit left the firm for academia, Paul, Weiss played an important legal role in the development of the DVD standard (Digital Versatile Disc) which we use today.

This was not the only activity of the law firm in the newly developing field of digital information technology.

Indeed, Paul, Weiss represented the National Music Publishers Association and it was the NMPA with whom Napster settled in the famous Napster copyright infringement action several years ago. A new suit involving Napster and made against Bertelsmann is in progress.

Similarly, in a recent peer-to-peer file sharing copyright infringement case, Paul, Weiss represented the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) in a legal action involving Grokster and Kazaa, both of the latter serving as file-sharing platforms.

Paul, Weiss has also represented the EMI Group and EMI Music.

Moreover, Paul, Weiss has a long-standing relationship to AOL Time Warner, the largest communications company in the world, a relationship formed over decades in part by the efforts of Paul, Weiss lawyers, such as Peter Haje, who became Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Time Warner and thereafter Counsellor to AOL Time Warner.

Essentially, the law firm helped to make the music, movie and entertainment industry what it is today.

Yet, politically, Paul, Weiss has always been known to be among the most “liberal” of all the so-called major US law firms. Ordinarily, this would not be at all expected, but it makes sense given the history of the firm.

The ranks of Paul, Weiss law firm partners included Adlai Ewing Stevenson, Lloyd Kirkham Garrison, Ramsey Clark, Morris B. Abram, Arthur Goldberg, Edward N. Costikyan, Theodore Sorensen (today, of counsel to the firm), and Judge Simon H. Rifkind, lawyer inter alia to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and to Charles H. Revson of Revlon. Judge Rifkind was the last “patriarch” of the firm in the old tradition.

Follow the above links for a stunning display of one law firm’s “legal diversity”.

The emphasis on new technology, glamour, entertainment and politics thus has a long law firm tradition at Paul, Weiss. This flair was also combined with a foresight toward coming societal and legal developments.

For example, to my knowledge, Paul, Weiss was the first major law firm in New York City to move out of crowded Wall Street into Midtown Manhattan, signalling a move followed by many other major New York City law firms.

Paul, Weiss was also the first major law firm to hire a black lawyer – William Coleman, Jr. – who finished first in his class at Harvard Law School in 1946 and who commuted to Paul, Weiss in New York City from Philadelphia, his home town, because no major law firm in Philadelphia would hire him. For the full story see William Coleman, Jr.

[Recall that this is less than a mere 60 years ago.]

Paul, Weiss was also among the first major law firms to elect a woman as partner.

All commentators have pointed out that Paul, Weiss is “different” than all other big law firms, but defining that difference has not been easy. Perhaps the core of the difference was reflected in Judge Rifkind’s repeated policy statement “that a law firm is a profession and not a business organization,” quoted by Michael Orey, in Paul, Weiss: Profits and Principle, The American Lawyer, June, 1987. The Law Pundit certainly agreed in his younger days, when the firm Paul, Weiss was selected over many other firms for its “Renaissance” atmosphere. These were the brightest of the bright. Indeed, even those who were not of the same political persuasion as the Paul, Weiss lawyers knew who the best litigators in the country were – e.g. then U.S. Vice-President Spiro Agnew (who WAS effectively represented … by Paul, Weiss).

At the time that the LawPundit selected Paul, Weiss, it was – in his opinion – the best law firm in the country, and it still may be, but that is for others to judge.

Paul, Weiss – The Diversity Issue

The Minority Law Journal “Diversity Scorecard” now shows that Paul, Weiss ranks first among large New York law firms and second nationally in the percentage of minority attorneys (partners & nonpartners).

This is not surprising as such. What IS surprising is that this is a RECENT development. Prior to that, the staunch “liberals” at the firm were apparently not practicing what they were preaching. Their first black partner was elected only in 1994. Tamara Loomis goes into this issue in depth in her article, which is definitely a “must read” for anyone interested in minority diversity trends in law in the United States.

Our Recollection of Events

The Law Pundit is surprised that one name does not appear in Loomis’s article, Leroy Bobbitt, now of Santa Monica, recently chosen among the top black lawyers in America by Black Enterprise Magazine.

In the early 1970’s, the Law Pundit had adjoining offices at Paul, Weiss, with another associate, Leroy Bobbitt, a Stanford Law graduate, and, as one says today – a man of “color”, who was not only highly respected as an attorney but was one of the most flamboyant, best-dressed (his trademark) and well-liked lawyers in the entire firm. When Bobbitt left Paul, Weiss, nearly everyone came to the party. He was that well liked.

Bobbitt surely would have made partner at Paul, Weiss in the late 1970’s, but he was on a seven to eight-year track for partnership. That was apparently simply too long. If the Law Pundit recalls correctly, and it would be up to Bobbitt to confirm or amend this recollection, Bobbitt stated that he only left Paul, Weiss because Loeb & Loeb in Los Angeles had made him a better offer both in terms of the shorter time it would take to become partner and also in terms of the more individual leadership opportunities open to him in entertainment law on the West Coast. Besides, I think he missed California, where I was invited to visit him and his family in Culver City some years later and where he was prospering. Hollywood had called, and he went. As far as I know, his leaving had very little to do with the internal policies of Paul, Weiss, but, then again, one would have to ask Bobbitt and the partners specifically about that to be sure.

In any case, as the current black partner Theodore (Ted) Wells, Jr. is quoted as saying:

“On a relative basis, it [Paul, Weiss] is significantly ahead of many of its peer firms….

and this was also the case in the days when I was an associate at the firm.

In the Beginning…

Reposted in part from Civilization Pundit

In the Beginning…

GENESIS – FROM “NOT KNOWING” TO “KNOWING”

     According to mankind’s first book – which we today know as the Bible God created Heaven and Earth, placing a Firmament of Stars above, together with the Sun, Moon and Planets. Thereafter, he populated the Earth with beasts, fish and fowl – and us.

     From that point on – and this is the sense of the story of Adam and Eve – if we define civilization as the “development” of mankind – then Man’s path has been the road from “not knowing” to “knowing”.  Eve bit into the apple of knowledge and Man became a “knowing” being.

COSMOLOGY – HOW THE WORLD CAME TO BE

     It is no coincidence that the Bible – in Genesis – begins with a “cosmology” of the universe – that is, an explanation – through the eyes of the ancients – of how the world came to be. We humans need to know where we are and how and why we are here, and this desire is one of the foundations of human civilization and technological advancement.

     A cosmology of some kind is at the bottom of all human behavior and is the – often subliminal – driving motive force for human action – even in our modern world, where believers from various religions compete with each other for the rightfulness of their view of “Creation”. We require an understanding of our lives – of what the world is. We often think this is “philosophy”, but philosophy is rightly the question of “how” one should live. Cosmology asks the question of what does it mean to live at all? Or, as Giordano Bruno wrote,

     “If the world has no beginning and no end, then WHERE are we?”

     That is a question of cosmology and not of philosophy.

WHAT DID MAN KNOW?

      At the beginning of man’s sojourn on Earth, as also today, mankind’s cosmology was limited by what Man knew – in his era, in his part of the world. He formed his cosmology in the image of the world around him. He included the heavens, the visible stars, the planets, the Sun and the Moon, and the manner of procreation he saw on Earth. 

     That was the hermetic principle: As on Earth, So in Heaven.

MAN’S ACCOUNT OF GOD’s CREATION : CONTENT

     When the Bible speaks of God’s creation of the “beasts”, for example, we can presume that the modernly discovered dinosaurs – unknown in Biblical days – were not included in God’s Biblical group of “beasts”, nor is there any mention of dinosaurs in the human account of Noah’s Ark.

     Man could only define the origin of his world from the perspective of his knowledge at any given time and place. His cosmology (and religion) was limited by his knowledge. The level of Man’s civilization was thus always a question of knowing or not knowing. What did Man know?

     Hence, the beasts we find named in Bible are the beasts known to man in the corresponding Biblical era and region. Animals from other eras and other regions of the world were simply not included, and we will thus not find kangaroos from Australia or walruses from Scandinavia or penguins from Antarctica mentioned in ancient books from the ancient Near East. People in this region simply did not know of these animals.

     However, since God allegedly created all the beasts on Earth and thus knew of their existence, it is arguable that if the religious works claimed as God’s work are actually HIS works, then HE would have mentioned such animals as well, but HE did not. In fact, all the alleged holy books that we know – which are written in “human language” – are demonstrably limited in scope by their writer’s location and incomplete knowledge. We find time and again that the all-encompassing knowledge of God is missing from man’s written religious works. Man does not know enough.

     The cosmology of our ancestors was thus “human” in its conception and presentation. Some believers claim their prophets were “divinely inspired” but their writing is human nevertheless.

MAN’S ACCOUNT OF GOD’s CREATION : LANGUAGE

     Similarly – in ancient days – when men could speak only the language into which they were born, the God of THEIR creation – of course – spoke to them in THEIR tongue and THEIR prophets wrote only for and in the language of THEIR people. Men are still captives of their birth – rather than masters of their reason, which they often ignore.

     Thus, the God of the Jews spoke Hebrew and the origins of the Bible are to be found in Hebrew texts. Unsurprisingly, the God of the Muslims spoke to them in THEIR language, Arabic. Similarly, the Hindu religion of India is based on THEIR Sanskrit Vedic texts.

ALL PEOPLES HAVE THEIR OWN COSMOLOGY

         In fact, as we have discovered in cultural anthropological studies (ethnology) in our modern period, ALL of the peoples of the world did have and do have their OWN cosmology, whether this be the Manitou of the Algonkians, the Sons of God of the Sumerians and Latvians, or the Stars in the Sky of the megalith builders.  God has in fact apparently spoken in one way or the other to all men, in many places and in many eras.

     Yet, in spite of the fact that ALL human groups have had their own cosmology, and in spite of vast new modern knowledge and information about “Creation” gained through the sciences of astrophysics and genetics in recent years, the outdated dogmas of the prevailing religions are still with us – and are hampering civilization greatly.

     Major religions and their prophets or tenets are:  Christianity (monotheism, Jesus Christ), Judaism (monotheism, Hebrews), Islam (monotheism, Muhammad), Hinduism (world’s oldest organized religion), Buddhism (Siddhartha Gautama, Buddha), Sikhism (alleges there is no Hindu, no Muslim), Shinto (ancient Japanese religion), Confucianism (Confucius, ethical system of religion), Jainism (astronomical, origin in East India), Taoism (Lao-Tse, “the path”, in China), Vodun (African origin), and the Baha’i Faith (holds that ALL prophets of all religions are manifestations of God). There are many smaller religions and sects. Most men and women believe in something. But recall, belief is the absence of fact.

     Essentially, we have a world full of modern knowledge which is run in part by the contradictory motor of outdated and – by nature – primitive religions – whose basic outdated cosmological precepts are badly in need of modernization and reform. This does not mean we must do away with religion – for most of Mankind apparently needs religion – but our religions must keep pace with our knowledge, or they lose their credibility. Religion gives hope, and this hope must be believable. Otherwise, the hope becomes despair – and leads to futility and even war.

CONFLICT OF OUTDATED RELIGIONS WITH MODERN CIVILIZATION

     The daily news we see in our lifetime is marked by the chaos which has resulted from the conflict of modern knowledge with ancient belief and fantasy. Religious systems are simply out of phase with reality.

     Either the new scientific knowledge recently gained will have to give way, which is basically impossible, since knowledge seldom runs backward – or the religions will have to modernize their dogmas and their belief systems and adapt to the modern age. Otherwise, there will be no peace on this Earth in the near future.

RELIGIONS MUST BE MODERNIZED AND REFORMED

     The lesson of the history of civilization is that Man’s cosmology must fit the times – and presently it does not do so. Historically seen, whenever religion has not kept pace with the march of civilization, religion has ultimately lost, being defeated by that very same new knowledge and the newer products of that knowledge, including weapons.

     As Voltaire stated – “God is on the side of the heaviest battalions” – and there is some truth to that statement. The heaviest battalions belong to the most modern nations – the peoples that insist on living in the past can not keep pace. Civilization also means “to keep up”, “to stay in tune”, “to be state of the art”. Religion is no exception.

     In any case, cosmology is at the base of our world view and influences greatly what men do on this Earth. In fact, this was much more so in ancient days than today.

     After all, why do we think God is in heaven, and not elsewhere? There is in fact a historical reason for this belief – and this is because the ancients saw God’s abode as being marked by the immovable center of the heavens around which the stars turned at night. The ancients thus gave God a home – both in the heavens as well as in their own being. We moderns no longer have a clue as to where God’s home is, either in heaven or in our own being, and yet many claim proudly to be involved in “religious” wars for a God of unknown location. In fact, we are engaged increasingly in mindless human conflicts which mark the phenomenal stupidity of mankind, and nothing more. The ancients would laugh at us all – fighting for homeless abstract Gods and kidding ourselves that these held the keys to paradise.