A Brief History Of Judaism

It has been worked out that around 80% of the world’s population believe in one religion or another (and there are lots of them), but about 70% of those are adherents to the big four. The four biggest religions are: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Judaism is the forerunner of both Islam and Christianity.

The Hebrew Bible recounts the history of the world and the story of the journey of the people from creation, all through the flood to the arrival in the Promised Land, or from Mesopotamia to Canaan, led by Abraham.

The descendants of Abraham and his people were enslaved by the Egyptians and did not manage to escape until Moses led them out of captivity. During this journey, Moses was given the Ten Commandments from God and they went on to be the bedrock of Jewish law and custom although there is no doubt that the Jewish way of life has developed from this period in the Tenth Century before Christ.

The sacred writings of the Hebrew Bible or Masorah are separated into twenty-four books. However, the same texts are divided up into thirty-nine books in the Chirtian Bible’s Old Testament. The Torah or The Law was being written at this time but it was altered and updated between the Tenth and Fifth Centuries before Christ.

In addition to the Hebrew scriptures, there is a rich tradition of ancient oral commentary known as the Talmud, which is a huge compilation of the Oral Law. The Talmud is the accepted authority for Orthodox Jews.

Judaism is the most ancient monotheistic religion known to the West. Jews believed in one God whilst all of the known world believed in pantheism or many gods like the Ancient Greeks. The name of God in the Jewish language is Yahweh and they believe that Yahweh agreed a covenant with His people to take care of them for ever as long as they were devoted exclusively to him.

In the Jewish belief, sin is the unashamed disregard of God’s will and that is punishable by God in a comparable fashion to the Buddhist belief in karma.. The purpose of following God’s Law is being welcomed into His Kingdom.

Jews worship in synagogues in congregations led by Rabbis who are thought of as Teachers or Masters (as in the old style of calling teachers, ‘masters’) rather than as monks or vicars. The Jewish Sabbath is not the Sunday as in Christianity, but is observed from sunset Friday until sunset Saturday night.

The most significant holidays or holy days in the Jewish calendar are: Rosh Hashanah (New Year); Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement); Hanukah (Festival of Lights) and Pesach (Passover). The Jewish nation does not celebrate Christmas because they believe that the Son of God is still yet to be born. They see Jesus as a prophet in the same manner as the Muslims do.

There are three predominant branches of modern Judaism which are: Orthodox Judaism; Reform Judaism and Conservative Judaism. Some of these branches of Judaism are more prevalent in some countries than others.

Owen Jones, the writer of this piece writes on many subjects but is currently concerned with Easter.If you would like to read more, please go over to our web site entitled Celebrating Easter

The Wonders Of Hot Tubs

It is lovely to soak in a hot tub, is it not? After a long day at the hamster wheel or sorting the family out - driving the kids to and from school and then to the scouts, sports club or music lessons. Being stuck in traffic on the way home or waiting in the queue at the supermarket, a long soak in a hot tub helps wash it all away.

Imagine then what a hot tub spa or Jacuzzi could do? Sitting in a hot spa tub with a long cool drink whilst half a dozen jets are blasting hot water and bubbles at you, massaging you gently, taking the stresses of the day away.

You could place one in the garden or in the bathroom. You could even buy a portable hot spa tub and move it into the garden in the summer and back inside in the winter. If you ask most individuals what they want to have in the way of home improvement, a swimming pool would probably be number one and a Jacuzzi number two.

There again, a lot of people do not have the room for a swimming pool and a Jacuzzi is a lot cheaper than a swimming pool as well. Water has a calming influence on people. Maybe it is a primordial memory of when we came out of the sea millions of years ago or perhaps it is a more recent memory of being in the womb.

Whatever the reason or even mixture of reasons, individuals like to be in, around or on water, it calms and revitalizes us. And frothing, bubbling water is even more soothing and even more invigorating. Hence the popularity of hot tub spas.

Another reason might be gravity. All day long we are lumbering around, each foot step sending shock waves into our body and gravity pulling down on so that we feel each ounce of our weight, but once we are in water, we are buoyed up and the effects of our weight and of gravity are experienced far less.

In fact, up to 30% less. Additionally, we are ninety-odd percent water, so no wonder we feel tranquil in a hot tub. But that is not all that a soak in a hot tub does. It warms you right through, through to the marrow and that relieves minor aches and pains. The reduction in gravity is also said to be a relief to sufferers of arthritis.

There are possibly other reasons too why individuals feel more relaxed in a tub of hot water, especially a whirlpool type spa tub, but one for me is that I will not get out of the tub for anything except to get another drink. Once I am in there, I do not take any notice if the phone rings or the door bell goes. The house would have to be on fire to get be me out before my skin looks like a wrinkled old prune.

Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on a variety of subjects, but is now involved with second hand hot tubs. If you would like to know more, please visit our site at Hot Springs Spa Parts

Choose Your Wedding Ring Wisely

There is a very large number of wedding rings available in the shops these days. In fact, you have the world of wedding rings to choose from. The high street shops in a large town have a very good selection, but the Internet lays the best jewellers and the best styles out for your inspection.

So, it is very important that you take your time when selecting one. Maybe the enormous choice of wedding rings makes that more difficult not easier. Diamond wedding rings have been the most popular since ordinary working people could afford them, before that a plain band of gold had to be enough, for people who could afford that much.

Nowadays, Western people have become more adventurous and they are choosing other stones like the stunningly beautiful blue sapphire. Some even deciding not to have a stone at all, going back to tradition, so to speak. However, there are plenty of examples of not so simple bands of gold too.

There is the Irish Claddagh ring with its distinctive two hands holding a crowned heart symbolizing love, friendship and loyalty; and there is the Celtic Knot with its intricately interwoven strands twisting and turning without end, standing for eternity and eternal love despite the twists and turns and difficulties of daily life.

So, choosing a wedding ring is not just a question of choosing a beautiful wedding ring, you should be selecting one that says what you want it to say. You could look up on the Internet what the different metals and various stones indicate traditionally. If you cannot find a ring that says what you want, consider having one made. It is not as expensive as you might think.

Tradition is a good thing when it comes to wedding rings. After all, you want your ring to express your everlasting love and devotion for the person you are giving it to and your marriage could last fifty or sixty years, especially with people living longer these days. With a bit of luck, you will wear this ring for the rest of your life, so pick a style that seems timeless to you.

Picking a wedding ring is not as easy as it looks, because you are going to be wearing your ring every day for the rest of your life, so it should be something that you will not get tired of in a couple years. You should look at and try on many rings in order to get one that feels good. You will want a ring that does not look out of date in ten years time. The easiest method of doing that is to go for a traditional style, because those styles have already stood the test of time.

One last piece of advice is to ask the jeweller to verify the total carat weight of the stones in the ring and the weight of each individual stone and the quality and weight of the metal (although it should be hallmarked) on paper, then if it gets lost or stolen you have something to show the insurance company.

Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on many topics, but is currently involved with the Celtic knot wedding ring. If you have an interest in gold rings, please go to our website now at White Gold Claddagh Ring

A Brief History Of Buddhism

Buddhism was started by the followers of Siddhartha Gautama (circa 563-483 BC). He was born into a Hindu family of the kshatriya caste in what is now known as Nepal. At the age of 29, he abandoned his wife and young son and went in search of enlightenment.

He achieved enlightenment some time later while sitting under a bodhi tree near Patna. After 49 days of rapture and resisting temptations (Mara), He, now known as Buddha, formed an order of monks and went forth to teach the word. After 45 years of teaching their philosophy of enlightenment Buddha died and reached Nirvana, the state in which ‘ideas and consciousness cease to exist’.

One of the most important concepts to Buddhists is the Tipitaka (the ‘Three Baskets’), which is a record of the Buddha’s doctrines as set down by His early followers after his death. The writings in these ‘three baskets’ tell the story of Buddha’s life (Buddha); record his laws (Dharma); and his guidelines for establishing and maintaining a monastic order (Sangha).

Buddhists believe in reincarnation and the wheel of life in a comparable fashion to Hindus. They also believe that this cycle of life, death and rebirth can be broken by attaining enlightenment. Enlightenment can be achieved by adherence to the Four Noble Truths.

Life is transient despite the cycle of life, death and rebirth and can only create suffering (dukka) because of the pursuit of mortal desires. Suffering and desire can just be overcome by achieving Nirvana, which can be achieved by following the Eightfold Path, otherwise called the ‘Middle Way’.

The Middle Way consists of: correct belief, thought, speech, action, livelihood, work, mindfulness and concentration. These make up the nucleus of Buddhist ethics.

A characteristic of Buddhism is the monastic order. Men can become monks for a couple of years or for life. There is also a female monastic order. In some sects, boys go into the monastery for a period of between a few weeks and a few months as part of their passage into adulthood. Boys in Thailand are expected to become monks for a number of weeks before they eventually get married.

Monks live an ascetic life in monasteries or temples. Each village has a temple in much the same way as western villages have a church, but each temple tries to uphold a population of at least nine monks, which is considered the ideal number for some of their duties like blessing a house or performing a wedding ceremony.

Buddhist monks live on charity given by the local villagers. In Thailand the novice monks walk the streets in the early morning collecting donations of food, which has to be eaten before noon, after which they may not eat. Monks are not allowed any contact with women at all. They may not even sit next to them on a bus or hand the fare to a female bus conductress.

Buddhist temples are primarily for personal contemplation and meditation. They are open to anyone twenty-four hours a day and people use them to gain respite from the hustle and bustle of every day life. Group prayer meetings are far less common a trait of Buddhism than they are in Judaism, Christianity, Islam or even Hinduism.

Owen Jones, the writer of this article writes on many subjects but is at present involved with Easter.If you would like to read more, please go over to our web site entitled Celebrating Easter

Health Advantages Of Hot Tubs

Most individuals feel happy whilst they are in or around water. Swimming baths and the seaside are happy places with smiling faces and children running around laughing. We all feel better for soaking in a bath or taking a shower. There is something about water, particularly warm water that elevates our mood. There are a few believable ideas why this is so ranging from the fact that we came from the sea, which was warm then to the fact that we gestated in a fluid in our mother’s warm womb.

We can reproduce whichever of these reasons for feeling glad in warm water by relaxing in a warm spa or hot tub as it is known in America. Lying in a hot tub is a fantastic way of de-stressing after a hectic day and it is also a great method of cleansing the skin of the daily pollution it is subject to.

Health care professionals tend to agree, although not so many would say that the massaging impact of the bubbles does you any physical good. Nobody would say that it does any harm either and the bubbling, churning water certainly has a useful psychological effect.

One of the most conspicuous effects of being in a hot tub is the decrease of the effect of gravity due to the buoyancy of the water. While we are in water the effects of gravity on our bodies are decreased by 20%-30%. We feel a lot lighter and that in itself is a nice feeling.

When the body is under less gravitational stress, the pressure is off a number of parts of the body that normally bear our weight. This gives those parts like feet, knees hips and back a chance to rest. In fact, the whole skeletal system gets a chance to relax and with it the heart as well, because you are not moving around. The warm water warms the body and this permits the blood to flow more easily giving the heart even more opportunity to rest.

The warm water in a hot tub will also ease tired muscles, aching joints, cramps, knotted muscles and some types of arthritis. Breathing in warm water vapour will also be a treat for your nasal passages alleviating any possible congestion there. You could also add aromatherapy oils to the water to give precise effects. Bath salts will also be beneficial for your skin and joints and the smells might also help you relax.

If you usually have trouble sleeping, sleep normally comes simple after a soak in a hot tub, so you may find that you have not enjoyed so many consecutive good nights’ sleep in years. A home spa system is a good investment in your family’s well-being if you have the room and money for one.

It will make bathing fun for the kids and it will provide much needed relaxation for their parents, besides providing an enjoyable manner to get clean and take the weight off your feet.

Owen Jones, the writer of this piece, writes on a number of subjects, but is now concerned with second hand hot tubs. If you would like to know more, please visit our site at Hot Springs Spa Parts

Archery Suppliers On Line

Do you have a leisure pursuit that you like to carry out out of doors or are you permanently glued to the seat in front of your computer? If you never get out, then that is a shame and you ought to take that common piece of guidance and get out more often .

And do what? - you may inquire. Yes, well that is your concern, is it not? But there are hundreds if not thousands of things that you can do in the open air and they are all healthier than sitting down in front of your computer no matter what you are doing with your PC.

I will confess that I spend too much time at my desk, although, in my defense, I will say that that is how I make my living. However, I do like to get out-of-doors sometimes too. I live in a country where foreigners, such as myself, are not allowed to own or carry anything that might be construed as a weapon. This includes penknives as well.

When I go out into the glorious countryside it is only to stroll with my wife and look for animals - mostly snakes and birds.. However, I have had a lifelong fascination for archery.

Something inside me wants to be able to strike a target from a long distance. I do not want to kill anything, but I am alright with people who do so long as it is for a good reason.

It would be fantastic to manufacture a bow and the arrows to accompany it. I am Welsh and have always wanted a Welsh longbow, although it takes a lot of strength to pull a longbow. The minimum draw weight in medieval days used to be 160 lbs for a war bow, for hunting it was 100 lbs, but these days it is more like 60 lbs.

However, this is still pretty heavy for modern man, who does not usually pick up anything weightier than a pint of beer.

There are some fantastic archery dealers, but if you do not live near one, you should go on line and either place an order from there or have a catalogue sent to you. Two good places to start are ‘Footed Shaft’ and ‘Three Rivers’ archery suppliers.

Both of these companies will send you your desired items through the post and they have every type of archery supplies that you may require. For instance, they have finished goods such as bows and arrows, but they also supply nocks, feathers, arrow shafts and points so that you can create your own arrows.

Do you want to make your own bow as well? No problem. You can either purchase a kit with all the bits and instructions or you can buy a book or DVD and buy the parts yourself.

These and other on line archery equipment dealers provide good value for money and have very comprehensive stocks of archery products. Their catalogues and web sites are easy to navigate and use as well.

Owen Jones, the writer of this piece writes on several topics, but is currently involved with archery recurve bows. If you would like to know more or for special offers, please go to our website at Kids Archery Set.

One Of A Kind Wedding Rings

The practice of giving and wearing a wedding ring dates back thousands of years. A wedding ring represents fidelity and love between two people and are given on the day of a couple joining forces. Before the time that the skill of how to work metal became widely known, people used such things as plants, grass and even hair to ‘tie the knot’, which is what I think a wedding ring stands for.

These days a normal wedding ring might be made from valuable metals such as gold, titanium, platinum or even white gold. Women’s wedding rings often contain a diamond, although sapphires are rapidly becoming more prevalent. Men’s wedding rings are frequently just a simple band of gold. There are many distinctive styles of wedding rings, but the most popular for men is unquestionably the plain gold band.

For those who want something a bit more flamboyant, there are plenty of examples on the market. A man might want a more ostentatious wedding ring, because it is often the only piece of jewellery that a man wears. Some alternatives to the plain band of gold are the Celtic Knot and the Claddagh gold rings.

It is essential for men’s wedding rings to be made from a robust alloy of gold. Most men do physical labour of one sort or another, even if it is only gardening, so it is a lot to ask of a pure gold wedding ring to last thirty or forty years.

A 14 or 18 carat gold ring will probably manage it, but a 22 carat ring would not. It would just wear away because it is too pure and consequently too soft. Platinum or titanium are much harder, although most people have a preference for gold.

In most countries tradition dictates that people wear their wedding ring on their left hand, although in a couple of countries such as Germany, Russia and Norway, people wear their wedding ring on the right hand.

Some couples would rather have a unique wedding ring and that is not so difficult to achieve as it might first appear to be. The easiest way to personalize your ring is to have an inscription like names and a date engraved on it.

Another way, would be to buy a precious stone separately and have the jeweller set it into the ring for you. The best alternative though is to find a jeweller you can trust and have him or her make up a pair of matching rings to your own design. I have done that and it is not a lot more expensive than a good ring.

Wearing matching wedding rings is a notable experience. People notice that your ring is ’something different’ and many people ask, where you got them from. It all goes to help make that special day unforgettable for ever.

Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on many topics, but is currently involved with theCeltic Knot wedding ring. If you have an interest in wedding rings too, please go to our website now at White Gold Claddagh Ring

Golden Rosaries

Have you ever seen a golden rosary? They are not items you see every day, but they are very striking and they can be found if you look around. A rosary is a symbol of your faith, a method of doing atonement and even a way of remembering who gave you your faith.

Because of the symbolic character of a rosary, it does not matter at all what it is made from. However, if you like nice things, a golden rosary could be a luxury item for you, even though there is more risk of it being stolen.

You certainly would not want to have it stolen of course, but a valuable rosary is a beautiful object to have, like a golden business card case or an expensive fountain pen. It is not so much that it shows that you can afford one, it is more that it demonstrates that it is an important item to you. Something of significance. If you like writing, you want a good pen, if you want to give a good impression, you can have a good business card case and if you love God, you can have a lovely rosary.

However, you do not have to take it to church with you, if you are worried about being flash. You could only use it at home, if that made you feel easier. After all, you are not buying a golden rosary to show off to the world’s population, just to illustrate your loyalty to yourself. The weight of a golden rosary seems to add gravity to the proceedings, but that might be a personal thing.

However, you do not necessarily have to buy a gold rosary for yourself. You might buy one for a child or godchild in order to demonstrate how much you want that they will discover or uphold the faith.

You will have to go to a professional trader who knows about gold rosaries. This is because if the beads are too heavy for the chain, the chain might not last long. The constant moving of the beads could either wear the gold chain thin too quickly or just snap it.

That would be a real shame, because you might lose one or more of your beads too and the beads on a gold rosary would necessarily be quite classy too. Replacing one or more beads might be difficult or even impossible years down the line.

A gold rosary would probably become a family heirloom and be passed down for generations even hundreds of years. It would be a great incentive for a young person to contemplate the important things in life.

Your church could give you pointers about where to purchase a gold rosary from someone that actually knows what the proportions of the beads to the chain should be. They will also offer you different purities of gold, usually 9, 14 or 18 carat gold and the beads could be anything from glass to pearls.

If you do go in for a gold rosary, get the retailer to attest to the materials used in its manufacture and the various weights so that if you have a problem, you have proof to show the insurance company.

Owen Jones, the writer of this piece, writes on many topics, but is currently involved with Clogau Welsh gold. If you have an interest in gold rings, please go to our website now at White Gold Claddagh Ring

Bow Hunting For Town-Dwellers

Bow hunting or bowhunting is one of those sports that you either love or you hate - a bit like fox hunting in the United Kingdom. Town people hate it and anybody concerned with it and country people see it necessary to cull wild animals that could otherwise become a nuisance.

Despite its macho image, which was encouraged by the film the Deer Hunter, there are increasing quantities of women who go bowhunting. The big difference between hunting with a rifle and hunting with a bow is distance. A hunting rifle with telescopic sights can provide enough punch at 600 yards to take down a deer with a single shot almost wherever it is shot in the chest.

On the other hand, a hunter using a bow with a fifty pound draw weight will need to get to within about forty yards to be able to deliver the same sort of lethal punch, if the shot is accurate to the heart.

This means that if you severely injure an animal from 600 yards, it will probably be dead by the time you get there, clambering over fallen trees and rocks, but if you severely wound a deer from forty yards you see its pain.

This has a sobering effect on most bow hunters. The overwhelming majority of bow hunters do not want to see this and they do not want the animal to suffer either, so they wait for the perfect shot. If it is not there, they do not shoot.

A hunting bow needs to have a draw weight of at least fifty pounds to hunt large game and that used to mean quite a sturdy recurve or longbow, but the compound bow was developed in 1966.

A compound bow makes use of pulleys to assist with the draw, which allows less beefy people to achieve a draw weight of fifty pounds, which has opened up bowhunting to women and adolescents.

Large wild animals are dangerous and some will attack without warning if they feel in danger. This creates a danger zone around wild animals. Every sort of animal has a danger zone, for a lion, that could be pretty large and for a stag less so. This danger zone is an locale outside of which you are fairly safe.

If you are hunting with a rifle, you can remain outside that danger zone easily, but with a bow and arrow, well, you often have to go inside it. This enlarged risk provides a superior rush for bow hunters - a bigger thrill. Especially if they are hunting bears or mountain lions.

In contrast to the Deer Hunter, most bow hunters go on prearranged trips these days. The hunting trip is organized with the aid of a specialized firm which will provide guided excursions into areas known to have large numbers of the animals you want to hunt.

These expert guides know how to bait areas to lure your prey; they can advise on safety aspects and they carry a big gun in case a hunter is too stupid to take their advice. Regrettably, the gun is to use on the animal, not the idiot.

Owen Jones, the author of this piece writes on several subjects, but is presently concerned with compound hunting bows. If you would like to know more or for special offers, please go to our website at Kids Archery Set.

The Various Kinds Of Archery Bows

Archery is now a very popular sport and hobby all over the planet, but once, long ago, it was even more widespread. Every army had bowmen and men hunted with bows for food. Every country or every region invented its own particular design of bow and therefore, even nowadays, there are many different styles of archery bows. Modern technology has meant that new varieties of archery bows are still being invented.

Some bows were invented by people who rode horses a lot. These bows were shorter, other bows were intended for long range shooting and these bows were longer. I will list some of the main varieties of archery bows below with a short explanation of each

The traditional Welsh or English longbow was made from a single length of yew (or other wood) at least the size of the bowman, but up to about six feet six inches (two metres). It was ‘D’ shaped in profile with the flat, bark side, facing away from the string. The curved inner side followed the natural growth rings of the branch. The timber itself was seasoned for two years.

The draw weight of a longbow was between 160-180 pounds, which is hard to accomplish by modern man. In the days of the longbow, in the Middle Ages, men and boys were obliged by law to do target practice with longbows at the village butts every Sunday. The target range for a man was to be no less than 220 yards by order of king Henry VIII.

The longbow was used to devastating effect as long range (400 yards) artillery by the British army at Crecy in 1346 and Agincourt in 1415, raining deadly three ounce, three foot long arrows down on the enemy. As the armies drew closer the longbow could be used accurately to aim at individual targets. Not long after these great victories, which can be attributed to the archers and their longbows, bows were superseded as military weapons by guns.

Flat bows, like the longbow, can be over six feet long, are not recurved and can be crafted out of a single piece of wood. However, they are rectangular in outline, not ‘D’ shaped.

Short bows are comparable to longbows or flat bows in every detail except size and because they are shorter, they do not have the potential or the distance of the other bows. Sort bows are easy to carry and easier to use in cramped situations like woods or a forest, so they were used by and large for hunting small animals.

Recurve bows are more effective that any other bow inch for inch of length. The tips of a recurve point frontward when the bow is unstrung and look odd to the uninitiated. The recurve was very common from the Mediterranean to the Far East from about 2000 BC until 1700 AD. Nowadays, the recurve is the only type of bow permitted to be used in the Olympic Games.

Compound bows use very stiff materials in their assembly so have pulleys or cams to help bend or draw the bow. This mechanical aid to drawing the bow to the best distance means less physical force on behalf of the archer, which means that the archer con concentrate on the target more.

Crossbows have the limbs mounted crossways on a length of timber and the draw string is held by mechanical means until it is released with a trigger. The arrow, or bolt, is much shorter. They are well-nigh half-way houses to guns.

Owen Jones, the writer of this piece writes on several subjects, but is presently concerned with archery recurve bows. If you would like to know more or for special deals, please go to our website at Kids Archery Set.