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YERUSHALAYIM, Israelite Tribal Territories of Judah and Benjamin, Kingdom of David and Solomon, United Israelite Kingdom of Judah and Joseph, 28th Day, Hebrew Month of Elul, 5769; Yom Chamishi (Fifth Day of Week/"Thurs"-day, September 17, 2009), Root and Branch Information Services mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Sunday, March 29, 2009, Temple Beth Abraham, the Reform Jewish synagogue in Tarrytown, New York, of which my family has been a member since the late 1950s, had a guest speaker for the Sunday morning lox and bagels guest speaker series: Ambassador (Ret.) Philip C. Wilcox, Jr., President of the Washington, D.C. based Foundation for Middle East Peace [www.fmep.org].
I had originally intended to hear the Ambassador's speech as an observer, and to restrain myself from taking the opportunity to make a statement ("ask a question") before a captive audience. However, just in case I changed my mind, I attended armed with my Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary by Professor Abdullah Yusuf Ali (1872-1953) [http://www.koranusa.org/yusufalihardcover.htm] (Elmhurst: Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an, Inc., U.S. Edition, 2005, exact reprint of 1938 Third Edition).
As the Ambassador began to outline his Piece ("peace") Foundation's Final Solution for the Jewish State in the Land of Israel, my rage level (I now consider myself a Reformed Anger-holic-in-Training, but this was Pre-Reformation me) began to rise. The Ambassador, ghoulishly grinning like an anorexic (as in "Anorexia nervosa") jack-o-lantern throughout his talk, concluded speaking. He invited questions. My hand went up. I got recognized first, stood up, opened my Qur'an and began to recite.
What, I asked the Ambassador, who saw Jewish settlement in historic Eretz Yisrael (Judea and Samaria/"West Bank") as the root of all global, inter-galactic and cosmic evil, was the basis for Arab (or his) objections to Jewish settlement anywhere throughout entire the Land of Israel when the Qur'an itself, and as interpreted by the traditional Muslim commentators themselves, unequivocally stated that God gave the Land of Israel exclusively to the Children of Israel?
I then began to recite Sura A'raf ("The Heights"), chapter seven, verse 137, along with Professor Ali's verbatim commentary, telling the Ambassador, and the audience, that Professor Ali was perhaps the most respected Muslim English translator of the Qur'an in the Twentieth Century, and held in high regard today by Muslims worldwide (a simple Internet search with Professor Ali's name will confirm this, try it!).
Then I closed my Qu'ran and sat down.
It was very quiet. All eyes were on the Ambassador.
To his credit, the Ambassador made no attempt to interrupt me while I asked my question (made my speech). He seemed to listen respectfully, and then responded courteously when I was done.
The Ambassador's response went something like this:
Smooth, very smooth, I thought. Exactly as I would have expected from a Silk Stocking WASP, which the Ambassador is.
Only at the very end, after his talk had concluded and people were leaving, did the Ambassador betray his real feelings, and then only briefly.
We met and shook hands. He gave me his card (which I requested). Then he said, "Hope I was not too abrupt".
ABRUPT? The Ambassador was anything but abrupt! He was the soul of graciousness and courtesy. Translation from State Department WASP-ese into Standard English Usage: "Hope I was not too ANGRY".
Why might our Ambassador have been angry?
Because he had never heard anything like that before, and HE HAD NO ANSWER. As there IS no answer. And every Muslim, who knows his Qur'an, knows that what I am saying is true. They only do not understand -- and Muslims have told me this themselves repeatedly -- why Jews and Israelis never utilize Muslim sacred texts and commentaries in discussions and debates. Especially as the conflict/dispute is fundamentally a religious conflict and dispute.
WHY this is the case (and it IS the case, and I DO have an opinion on that subject), I will not comment on now.
Meanwhile, I hope that YOU, Dear Readers, WILL utilize the texts and commentaries that I will now start sending you periodically, as the date for the release of Cracking the Qur'an Code: God's Land, Torah and People Covenants with Israel in the Qur'an and Islamic Tradition draws near (let's keep the exact date of release a surprise, for the moment. Don't you like surprises?).
My book (my first!) is based on, and in honor of, the teachings of Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi and Dr. Asher Eder, Co-Founders (1997) and Co-Chairmen of the Islam-Israel Fellowship of the Root and Branch Association, Ltd. In writing this book, I have merely played the Boswell to these two modern Dr. Johnsons. That's not false modesty (it's against my personal religion: Lowell Galllin-ism). That's the way it is!
Happy hunting the next time you go out to battle for Israel on the Internet, in person, in meetings, at conferences, on campus. More spiritual weaponry on the way. Please get used to starting with this.
After you have successfully gotten started, we can say, as Obi Wan Kenobi says to Luke Skywalker when he starts learning to use his light saber, "You have taken your first step into a larger world".
May your first steps be steady steps (as the Zen Masters say, "If you run, run. If you walk, walk. Whatever you do, don't wobble").
And may the Force be with you!
Note: Should you want to consult with and/or buy a copy of the Abdullah Yusuf Ali Qur'an translation and commentary, it is VERY IMPORTANT that your edition, wherever you buy it, be published by Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an, Inc. [http://www.koranusa.org/yusufalihardcover.htm]. This is the ONLY edition we have found so far that is an EXACT reproduction of the original 1938 third edition. This fact is VITALLY important as the "Saudi" Arabians have, through various "Saudi" Wahhabi funded front publishing houses, published their own "editions" of the Ali translation and commentary, modified (as the old Jewish joke used to go about Yiddish translations of Shakespeare, "Verteutscht und Verbessert" -- translated into Yiddish, and IMPROVED). You want to see a REAL Ali translation and commentary, uncontaminated by Wahhabi spiritual filth and pollution. By the way, Wahhabis, as they are called by Sunnis and Shi'ites, call themselves "Salafis". Wahhabism, not Islam, is the state religion of "Saudi" Arabia, a criminal "state" established by the al Saud tribe of Najd after their conquest of Mecca and Medina in 1926, followed by their conquest of the Arabian Peninsula and proclamation of their "kingdom" in 1933. Another time we will discuss why Wahhabis are NOT Sunnis. This is one of many facts you probably do not know, and which will be embarrassing to Western and Israeli "experts" on Islam who are so ignorant that they do not know the difference.
(7:137) "And We [God] made a people [Children of Israel] considered weak (and of no account) inheritors of lands in both East and West [east and west banks of the Jordan], lands whereon We sent down Our blessings. The fair promise of thy [Muhammad's and Muslims'] Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, because they had patience and constancy, and We leveled to the ground the great Works and fine buildings which Pharaoh and his people [Egyptians] erected (with such pride)".
Qur'an, Sura A'raf ("The Heights"), 7:137 (Ali translation, pages 379-380)
Published by Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an, Inc. http://www.koranusa.org/yusufalihardcover.htm
Professor Abdullah Yusuf Ali Commentary (Note 1096, Ali commentary page 380) -- "Israel, which was despised, became a great and glorious nation under Solomon. He had goodly territory, and was doubly blest. His land and people were prosperous, and he was blest from God. His sway and his fame spread east and west. And thus God's promise to Israel was fulfilled. Note that Syria and Palestine had once been under the sway of Egypt. At the same time the proud and rebellious Pharaoh and his people were brought low. The splendid monuments which they had erected with so much skill and pride were mingled with the dust. Their great cities -- Thebes (or No Ammon), Memphis (or Noph, sacred to the Bull of Osiris), and the other splendid cities, became as if they had not existed, and archaeologists have had to dig up their ruins from the sands. The splendid monuments -- temples, palaces, tombs, statues, columns, and stately structures of all kinds -- were buried in the sands. Even monuments like the Great Sphinx, which seem to defy the ages, were partly buried in the sands, and owe their rescue to the comparatively recent researches of archaeologists. As late as 1743 Richard Pococke in his Travels in Egypt (page 41) , remarked: 'Most of those pyramids are very much ruined'".
Endorsements for Cracking the Qur'an Code:
“My congratulations to all involved in this important breaktrhough effort. The disturbed nature of the world today, exacerbated by those who would pervert and misuse the message of every religion, makes such endeavors critical to the moral as well as the physical well-being of decent men and women everywhere. We must give the Root and Branch Association a warm round of applause for reaching out in so innovative and helpful a manner. This is a small victory for all humankind let us hope it will lead to great victories for peace, faith and civilization”.
Ralph Peters, Author, The War After Armageddon
“Every once in a while, a seminal text appears in Islamic-Judeo relations. Cracking the Qur'an Code is such a book. Based on the teachings of the prominent Sufi Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, perhaps the leading Sunni Muslim cleric in Italy, if not all Europe; and an Israeli educator, Dr. Asher Eder, it breaks new ground. More accurately, it reminds us all that we once stood upon the old common ground, where Christians, Jews and Muslims respected each other as Peoples of the Book. This is a book worth reading”.
John J. Loftus, Esq., Author, The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People