Wednesday, January 27, 2021

 TU BISHVAT-VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST 

Genesis, Chapter 42, Verse 35

When they were emptying their sacks, there in each one’s sack was his moneybag! At the sight of their moneybags, they and their father were AFRAID. 

Why was Jacob (Israel) and Joseph’s brothers afraid? As I pondered this thought it occurred to me that they were afraid because they had no compassion in them. Yes, even Jacob; for was it not Jacob who cheated his brother out of his birthright and stole Esau’s dying blessing from his own father Isaac. 

These men were hard. Yet, God still loved them and blessed them. Finding the money sacks still in with the grain meant to them that now they would have to pay for the grain with their lives-for nothing is free! 

This act of compassion from Joseph unsettled them. It upset their world; it toppled their assumptions of the world and they would never be the same. They were by this simple gesture being asked to radically change. To think in a new way: that is to realize that the dignity and loyalty that men seek; is not a birthright given to the firstborn or something to be gained taken by being the most powerful of men. That dignity and loyalty are the birthright of all persons; however, they can be lost by unbridled selfishness. 

Wisdom teaches us that in order to retain our dignity and the loyalty of others we must be persons of character and that we must lose our absorption with ourselves to contemplate and develop a sincere love for others. 

Life First[1] 9 Days for Life 

9 Days for Life is a "digital pilgrimage" of prayer and action focused on cherishing the gift of every person's life. A multi-faceted novena highlighting a different intention each day provides reflections, bonus information, and suggested actions. Join to receive the novena through the 9 Days for Life app, daily emails, or daily texts. See below for information on how else you can get involved! #9DaysforLife #OurPrayersMatter

 

Day Six: 

Intercession: May all victims and survivors of human trafficking find freedom, refuge, and healing. 

Prayers: Our Father, 3 Hail Mary’s, Glory Be 

Reflection: Those who are vulnerable are most at risk for being lured into situations where they are trafficked. Migrants and refugees often face increased risk factors like changes to language and culture, lack of support systems, and the burden of poverty. Young people on the margins, especially runaway and homeless youth, are targeted for sex trafficking and may subsequently be forced to have abortions. Easily tempted by the false promises of traffickers, victims often find themselves enslaved with no means of escape. Christ came “to bring good news to the afflicted, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives” (Is 61:1, cf. Luke 4:18). May all who are trapped in situations of slavery be released from their chains of captivity and find freedom, refuge, safety, and healing in Christ and His Church. 

Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)

 

·         Give up sleeping on your pillow tonight. Allow this small sacrifice to remind you of the sufferings endured by those in our world who are enslaved.
 

·         St. Josephine Bakhita, who was born in Sudan and sold into slavery, has become known as the patron saint of human trafficking victims. Pray for victims and survivors of human trafficking, asking the intercession of St. Josephine Bakhita.
 

·         Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.

 

Tu Bishvat[2]

Tu Bishvat (Hebrew: ט״ו בשבט, literally: the 15th of the Lunar Month of Shevat) is the New Year for trees (similar to Arbor Day).  It falls in January or February each year, typically when almond blossom is seen in Israel.  It is one of the four New Years in the Jewish Calendar. According to the Jewish Law (Halachah), the 'New Year for trees' defines the beginning of the year for separating tithes for the poor and Levite. Tithes are 10% portions of a product, which are allocated as charity to either the Levites or the poor. Torah Law requires, that when the Holy Temple was standing, these tithes would be removed from the produce, before it was 'fit for consumption'. There was a seven-year cycle, culminating in the Shimittah year, when fields lay fallow. After every seven seven-year cycles, a Jubilee, 50th year was celebrated.

Tu Bishvat Facts & Quotes

·         It is customary on Tu Bishvat to eat fruits of the Land of Israel, particularly those of the Biblical verse A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey (Deuteronomy 8:8).  The honey in this verse refers to date honey, according to tradition.  Another custom is to plant trees in Israel.

·         On Tu Bishvat, we remember that Man is a Tree of the Field (Deuteronomy 20:19).   It explains that we may not cut down trees during the siege of a city.  The tree of the field is man's life to be used in and after the siege.

·         The Code of Jewish Law states that on Tu B'Shevat fasting and eulogies are forbidden, and all penitential prayers are omitted. One of the most important authorities, the Magen Avraham, adds (131:16): It is the custom to eat many different kinds of fruit.  The Arizal suggested the eating of fifteen kinds of fruit (on the fifteenth of the month).

·         It should be noted that all Jewish holidays begin at sundown one the eve before the Gregorian date specified for the holiday.

 

Tu Bishvat Top Events and Things to Do

·         Make a Tu Bishvat Fruit Plate.  Magen Avraham, a leading Jewish authority suggested the eating of fifteen kinds of fruit (on the fifteenth of the month).

·         Say Blessings for new Fruit.  Two blessings are said for new fruits (which have not yet been eaten that year), namely the standard blessing for fruits ..Who created the fruits of the tree and ..Who kept us alive, and sustained us and allowed us to reach this day.

·         Attend a Tu Bishvat tisch which is popular in Hasidic communities.  A Tisch is the Yiddish word for table.  It refers to a festive meal with Holy Land fruits, wine, bread, fish and other foods.

·         Sing a Tu Bishvat Song.  There are many songs on YouTube about Tu Bishvat in both Hebrew and English.

"we will plant Trillions of Trees now"[3] 

Planting Trillions of Trees will Cancel Out Decades of CO2 Emission say Scientists. There is enough room in the world’s existing parks, forests, deserts and abandoned land to plant trillions of additional trees, which would have the CO2 storage capacity to cancel out decades of carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new analysis by ecologist Thomas Crowther and colleagues at ETH Zurich, a Swiss university. 

Trees are “our most powerful weapon in the fight against climate change,” Crowther told The Independent. Combining forest inventory data from 1.2 million locations around the world and satellite images, the scientists estimate there are 3 trillion trees on Earth — seven times more than previous estimates. and they also found that there is abundant space to restore millions of acres of additional forests, not counting urban and agricultural land. 

“There’s 400 gigatons [of CO2 stored] now in the 3 trillion trees,” Crowther said. “If we were to scale that up by Planting trillions of more trees now, because that’s in the order of hundreds of gigatons captured from the atmosphere – and anthropogenic emissions will completely be wiped out.” 

Planting Trillions of Trees will Cancel Out a Decades of CO2 Emissions, Scientists Find. How to erase 100 years of carbon emissions? Plant trees—lots of them. and there are more than 2000 species of trees with edible fruits and nuts and berries and olives and trees have medicinal properties. 

International Day of Victims of the Holocaust[4] 

Holocaust Memorial Day is a day commemorating the millions of Jews and minority groups who were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust in the 1930s and 40s. The Holocaust, a systematic and state-planned program to kill millions of Jews and other minority groups in Europe, was one of the most horrific genocides in history with an estimated 11 million lives lost. The purpose of the day is to encourage discussion of this difficult subject in order to make sure that it never happens again. In 2005, Holocaust Memorial Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly.  January 27, the remembrance date, is significant as it was the date that Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest and most infamous Nazi extermination camp in Poland, was liberated in 1945. The Holocaust is marked by many different days around the world. In Israel, the day is known as Yom HaShoah and begins when the sun sets on May 4 and finishes in the evening of May 5. 

International Day of Victims of the Holocaust Facts & Quotes 

·         Jewish people were excluded from public life on September 15th, 1935 when the Nuremberg Laws were issued, stripping German Jews of their citizenship and the right to marry Germans.

·         The mass killings of Jews and undesirables in death camps was referred to as the Final Solution by the Nazis.

·         If we bear all this suffering and if there are still Jews left, when it is over, then Jews, instead of being doomed, will be held up as an example. ― Anne Frank, well-known Holocaust victim

·         I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented” ― Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor 

Victims of the Holocaust Top Events and Things to Do 

·         Visit the largest extermination/concentration camp from the Holocaust. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, located in Poland, allows visitors to see the camp and learn more about the atrocities committed inside.

·         Join social media campaigns that promote awareness of the Holocaust, try tweeting using the hashtag #holocaustmemorial or #remembranceday.

·         Find a HMD activity near you by consulting their website. There are many different workshops and discussions held year-round. Or if there are none near you organize an activity yourself to mark HMD in your community. The HMD website has a selection of useful information on how to do this.

·         Read one of the thought provoking, gripping and saddening accounts of the Holocaust. Some choice picks include:
1)
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
2)
Maus by Art Spiegelman
3)
Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt

·         Watch a movie about the Holocaust. Some popular picks: Schindler's List (1993), Auschwitz (2011), The Boy in Striped Pajamas (2008), Life is Beautiful (1997) and The Pianist (2002). 

Question: Are the babies in the womb considered human? At the Judgement Germany will have 11 million souls to account for: -and America now has 60 million and counting to account for---think about it. 

Go Ice Fishing in Minnesota[5] 

January 30 

The Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza draws over 10,000 anglers annually who compete for more than $150,000 in prizes. All proceeds from the event are donated to local charities. 

Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph

The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.

·         Devotion to the 7 Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph

·         Do Day 24 of the Consecration to St. Joseph

·         Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.

 

Daily Devotions

·         30 Days with St. Joseph Day 10 (End on Ash Wednesday)

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary




[1]http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/january-roe-events/nine-days-of-prayer-penance-and-pilgrimage.cfm

[2]http://www.wincalendar.com/Tu-Bishvat

[3]https://www.christianforums.com/threads/trump-says-we-will-plant-trillions-of-trees-now-because.8147047/

[5]https://www.travelchannel.com/interests/travels-best/photos/awesome-things-to-do-in-january    

                                            

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