The best ways to Expand African American Natural Hair Long – The 4 Keys To Success

I never ever truly thought of going natural up until I started my mission for waistline length hair. At the time I just intended to have actually relaxed waistline size hair, I tried numerous methods to keep my hair solid and also for it to expand at it’s complete capacity. One of these techniques was stretching my relaxer; December 2006 I stretched my relaxer for six months. That was the lengthiest that I had actually ever before do without a relaxer and also my hair was not unrestrainable whatsoever. Actually I was consumed with the appearance and look of my new growth. I had hand in hair syndrome. The thought of being natural interested me. So I began my research study. I was on every natural hair friendly board on the WWW and I would certainly track the hair cds of natural women. Then eventually I simply took the dive …

” I’m going to go all-natural.”

I am 3 years in my natural hair trip and have bra-strap length hair.

It has not been a very easy one at that as well as this will certainly be my third effort at it. I have learned a pair points that have actually enabled the transition to be a whole lot smoother and also simpler then my initial as well as 2nd effort.

Water is your close friend: Water is the paradise of all creams. I damp my hair every day and it has been a life saver. All-natural hair could get exceptionally dry and the fact that my hair is colored creates it to obtain also drier. My hair is never thirsty and also I’ve even observed boosted development when applying water to my hair daily.

Warm is your opponent: Well not necessarily your enemy, but also much heat is bad– loosened up, transitioning, or natural. I select not to make use of warm a lot more then once a week because I do not wish to shed my crinkle meaning– by continually using it. When I do utilize warm, a warmth protectant is made use of prior to the iron touching my hair.

Safety Styling is queen: Protecting my hair with specific styles has actually helped my process substantially. I no much longer need to fret about managing the 2 or even more textures or what I am mosting likely to do with my hair. Buns, pigtails, weaves, twists, spin outs, cornrows, wigs– are all instances of safety designs

Block the Haters Out: Do not share your all-natural journey with individuals who are mosting growing black hair likely to dissuade you. No one needs to understand– other than those that will certainly offer positive support. When I started my trip, I was lucky to have supportive individuals like my mom who was natural at the time, so I never ever truly needed to handle it in your home. However my (ex-spouse) man at the time was a various tale. Excuse me?, exactly how does my hair affect your well being?

Exactly how to Get Evergreen Sap Out of Clothing

Pine tree sap is the kind of compound you could never consider up until it hops on your garments, resting bag or outside furnishings cushions. While this gooey mess seems to stick to whatever, you can eliminate it from fabric. Eliminating it is a little bit like removing chewing gum tissue– initially, attempt to make it tough as well as breakable to break it away, then melt or dissolve the rest to the point that it massages straight off the fabric.

1. Location the material product, if small sufficient to fit, in the fridge freezer for 1 or 2 hours or till the want sap is fragile. If the item is as well big for the fridge freezer, cover the sap with a piece of wax paper, then set a cold pack or zippered sandwich bag packed with ice cubes atop the wax paper up until the sap hardens. Shake the material under the sap back and also forth, or push down on it to break the sap. Scratch off the sap with a plastic blade. Wrap an item of product packaging tape over your fingers sticky-side out as well as swab it over the remaining sap to remove it.

2. Apply a percentage of a citrus-based goo eliminator, such as the kind used to get rid of sticker label residue, over the sap, permitting it to take in for a number of minutes. Wipe the sap as well as goo remover away with a moist how to remove pine sap from clothes towel.

3. Put some scrubing alcohol onto an edge of a white soft fabric; making use of white makes sure that no dye transfers over to the sap-ridden fabric. Swab the alcohol over the sap up until the sap comes off. Add a little mild meal soap to another edge of the fabric dampened with water. Clean the material to get rid of any type of remaining residue. Wash the white cloth, then clean the formerly absurd location as soon as again. Enable to air dry.

4. Mix a tbsp of powdered non-bleach laundry detergent with just sufficient water to develop a paste-like uniformity making use of a spoon. Use the detergent paste over any continuing to be sap discolorations and permit it to sit for Thirty Minutes. Clean away the paste with a damp sponge. Enable the fabric to air dry.

purchase your personal PERSONAL ORGANIZER Hand Held

This brief article was address a great deal of the most generally asked questions on this subject. I wish you discover all this info helpful.

So you have chosen that you desire to buy a pda. Congratulations!

You are going to be buying a kind of technology that will help you get your life prepared! Nonetheless, if this is mosting likely to be your really initial pda purchase you may find that you will gain from some pda buying suggestions. Allow’s have a look at some pda buying ideas listed here.

PDA acquiring guideline primary: Specifically what do you intend to invest? Get a PERSONAL ORGANIZER at a price that you could spend for. Now do not go bananas when you purchase a PERSONAL ORGANIZER, keep in mind even more cash does not constantly suggest a much better PDA. If you aren’t sure concerning precisely what PDA deserves the loan you are planning to pay, then checked out a variety of PERSONAL ORGANIZER reviews to see exactly just what others think about the item. Actually, PERSONAL ORGANIZER reviews can assist you to successfully determine which PERSONAL ORGANIZER will certainly accomplish any kind of and all of your requirements.

PDA buying suggestion number two: Now these handheld Personal organizers been available in various dimensions as well as you should discover one that you will be comfy in dealing with on a regular basis. Truth, some are very small while there are others that are smaller sized compared to a laptop computer, nonetheless still thought of large. If you feel you will discover a small gadget comfortable then get a small device, nonetheless if you have had a carpal tunnel syndrome or if you have an issue with your terrific electric motor skills, a small PERSONAL ORGANIZER might not be the greatest choice for you and also you could wish to think about acquiring a larger PDA.

PERSONAL ORGANIZER buying recommendation number three: Merely to reemphasize, your PERSONAL ORGANIZER size and its keyboard is vital. A PDA key-board that has keys created as well close together or are small and hard to utilize could be exceptionally frustrating and also no one suches as to be aggravated. This is specifically real for those that have issues with terrific electric motor capacities or have a recurring activity injury. So, thoroughly check out the use of a PERSONAL ORGANIZER’s keyboard before you make your choice.

PDA acquiring guideline number 4: If you are preparing to utilize your PERSONAL ORGANIZER for net access to, then buy a PDA that uses wireless web get to. Nevertheless rationale in enjoying using your PERSONAL ORGANIZER is the portability that this item products and utilizing cell phone dial up, even though it is more safe and secure, is no HandHeld Shop much less more economical compared to cordless get to.

Checked pair Graham’s all-natural products – Full review

We first identified Graham’s Natural Alternatives skincare variety, which is made for those with eczema and also psoriasis, at the All-natural and also Organic Products Show in the Spring, and also have been restless for its launch right into the UK since. Finally, this Australian brand has gotten here on UK shores, and we recruited four of our normal testers to put the variety via its speeds. Here’s just what they had to state.

Hannah as well as her two children (aged 1 as well as 3) all have eczema. They checked the All-natural Kids Eczema Cream (21.99$ , 75g).

” All of us get very patchy dry, itchy skin as our eczema flares up as well as we utilized the lotion early morning and evening in order to help it.

” The cream smells all-natural as well as does not have much of an aroma to it, which I suched as. The shea butter implies it uses easily and also feels light but reliable in its coverage. It soaks up quickly as well as is cooling down as well as relaxing on itchy skin, appearing to obtain to function right now. The absorption price is very important with youngsters so that it does not come off on clothes prior to it has an opportunity to work. It worked properly on the youngsters’s little completely dry and flaking spots of skin. It was actually great at comforting my scratchy legs, something that very few creams are able to do, and one application would last.

” I liked the rather all-natural active ingredients, such as the shea, and the olive oil, though I was a little concerned to see cetyl alcohol on the listing as some eczema sufferers could respond to this, although we do not. I liked the packaging, I really felt that it was simple and also clear to check out, and that the directions were clear as well. The cap made it very easy to dispense the correct amount.

” The lotion is various from the lotion we would normally get because its water based and the one we normally acquire is oil based, nevertheless because this cream has shea butter and also olive oil in it I assume that’s why it functions where various other water based lotions have not in the past. I would certainly advise it and also I would certainly buy it again both for myself and my children.”.

Anoushka has persistent dermatitis and very sensitive skin. She attempted the Body Laundry (16.50$, 250ml), Soap (8.50$, 100g) and Sooth-it-Balm (20.99$, 120g).

” The Bodywash is thinner than most, however it provides a great lather which remains on your body a lot more effectively than a basic shower gel. It feels charming and moisturising as you utilize it – like some type of oil making a silky shroud over your skin. I moisturised as regular after that, yet some might not have to. There’s a charming moisturising impact if you clean your legs after cutting them!

I suched as that it had Manuka as this is supposed to have healthiness impacts. There was no stinging or itching as well as it did not give me any kind of places – all of these are reactions I often have with bodywashes and shower gels. My skin did not really feel dry after my shower, which it normally does. Altogether it left my skin sensation really soft as well as comfortable as well as it was a satisfaction to utilize. I found the bodywash made my skin much less completely dry and itchy gradually and left my skin soft, comfy and also smooth. I would utilize this again!”.

” The soap allows and also beefy, and gives little soap, however appeared to clean up simply fine. The soap is meant for completely dry, scratchy skin and to be appropriate for dermatitis – it is colourless and scent free.

I am susceptible to hand dermatitis, although this was not energetic while I was using the soap. Unlike several comparable products, the soap did not make my skin irritated, impulse or sting. It made my hands less completely dry compared to a basic soap, however still drier compared to my regular handwash. I loved the size, and also suched as that it contained Manuka.”.

” The Balm feels very oily on the skin, like Vaseline, but it does sink Calendulis Plus Cream in fairly rapidly. I suched as the resilient moisturising effect of this, yet however might not endure the lanolin.

When I did utilize it I observed it made all over I used it really feel soft and also moisturised as well as this sensation proceeded right into the morning when I had used it the night before. It did not trigger any itchy, painful or spots which I normally obtain with a great deal of products, so it may well be a great product for any person who is not conscious lanolin.”.

Torah – Will you carry me?

torah… our journey captain asked me. “Exactly what would be included?” I questioned aloud, considering the gravity of transferring, securing, and really bring an obtained Sefer Torah in an army problem duffel through 4 South African nations over I 0 days.

The word of G-d, offered to the Jewish Individuals, and transferred over the generations because Mount Sinai– in this very type, without modification– it existed, with me, all the time. I did not stop thinking of it, that Torah scroll, and its significance.

Throughout this summertime’s Safari experience and expedition of the spectacular and remote of this world, the Torah resided in my hotel closet. I made sure to close the door, so it would not undergo the physical and ordinary of hotel occasions. It likewise rested on a rack above

my bed in another location. Constantly there, it appeared to request for the much better me.


There were just I 0 couples on this journey, that included among the fantastic Rabbis of our time. We had our Minyan, though the holy Rabbi mentioned at the start, “We require everybody.” The Rabbi was speaking like my caring Grandpa, his words stating


on a more international message for possibly everyone. My pals there admired my effort, though my workout just sustained a desire to find out more about the leaders of Israel that brought this really Torah in the desert throughout scriptural times, through the centuries of Jewish accomplishment

and difficulty, and now in our present day.


Well, “everybody” in this group consisted of various elements of achievement. This living Sefer Torah on my shoulder was constantly on the minds of my travel partners, too. Alacrity to do Mitzvot was specified for me, as I saw the take care of the Torah throughout its preparation for prayers and its go back to the duffel. I was personally secured at every action, through various airport, migration, and custom-mades examine points. There was not one misstep in every encounter with people of other countries. Luggage porters using aid to bring


this duffel appeared to comprehend without concern that I would be great to manage this product myself. My travel partners made sure that the Torah would fly in very first class plane compartments, and were clear where this Torah, our physical connect to the Almighty, was positioned at all times. That Sefer Torah was as important to us as the air we were breathing. It appeared to bring itself.


As I reflect to those I 0 days, I now ask myself for the much better me. On the last morning of our trek, it was a time for the Torah to be checked out. Our Safari Guide carne to the hut with his high powered rifle, as defense from the surrounding animal kingdom as we strolled to the location where the Minyan would state early morning prayers.


With the duffel over my shoulder, bring the word of G-d in the Sefer Torah, I looked


at the guide in front of me, lugging his weapon and stated, “Hein, you’re not going to require that today.” I had all the defense I required right with me.

Jewish Suffering – The Myth

jewish sufferingYears of limitless propaganda have actually led Jews and Westerns alike to think that Jewish suffering is “special,” which the Holocaust is essentially inexpressible. In reality, even comparing Jewish suffering to that of others is corresponded with belittling Jewish suffering.
However is it truly real? Is Jewish suffering actually even worse than exactly what other groups have needed to withstand? The late teacher Israel Shahak summed up the Jewish existence in Europe as “by and big toleration.” Shahak took the city of Rome as an example:

There has been a continuous Jewish presence in Rome for the past 2,000 years—praying in Synagogues were always allowed—yet Protestantism were banned in the city. [1]


Compare this to the treatment other spiritual groups and minorities dealt with– they were not even allowed Europe. So the Jews were really a fortunate minority. This is a lot more apparent when you take a look at exactly what occurred in the nests: the locals were transformed to Christianity by force, as well as after the christening they were still being dealt with like sub-human. It is seldom pointed out that Jews were active in the servant trade market [2], which provides a concept of the status delighted in by Jews compared with the colonised individuals.
A century earlier, while other groups were prohibited from Europe, the elites in some European nations were mainly Jewish. Hungary is a fine example:


“In the mid-1800s, Hungary’s middle class consisted of a small number of German and Jewish merchants and workshop owners who employed a few craftsmen. By the turn of the century, however, the middle class had grown in size and complexity and had become predominantly Jewish. In fact, Jews created the modern economy that supported Tisza’s bureaucratic machine. In return, Tisza not only denounced anti-Semitism but also used his political machine to check the growth of an anti-Semitic party. In 1896 his successors passed legislation securing the Jews’ final emancipation. By 1910 about 900,000 Jews made up approximately 5 percent of the population and about 23 percent of Budapest’s citizenry. Jews accounted for 54 percent of commercial business owners, 85 percent of financial institution directors and owners, and 62 percent of all employees in commerce.” [3]


Further, Shahid Alam notes:


“In the early twentieth century, the stock exchange in Vienna and Budapest consisted mostly of Jews, 70 and 88 percent respectively. Jewish preponderance in finance carried over to industry as well, since banks during this period financed and controlled investments in heavy industries in several European countries. Not surprisingly, these developments translated into a strong Jewish presence among Europe’s wealthy elite. The Jews had also established a visible presence in the newly emerging professional classes, including lawyers, accountants, doctors, academics, scientists, and artists. In Vienna, for instance, around 1900, “62 percent of the lawyers, half the doctors and dentists, 45 percent of the medical faculty, and one-fourth of the total faculty were Jews, as were between 51.5 and 63.2 percent of professional journalists.” Finally, according to Steven Beller, “in an age when the press was the only mass medium, cultural or otherwise, the liberal press [in Europe] was largely a Jewish press.”” [4]


In 1919 Hungary experienced a short-term communist federal government. The Hungarian Soviet Republic was led by a Jewish male, Béla Kun, and of the 48 individuals’s commissars in the federal government, 30 were Jewish. In overall, 161 from its 202 greatest authorities were Jews. [5]

Jewish power was a truth. That’s why the British federal government struck a handle the Zionist leaders throughout the First World War:


Lobby America into the war, and will give you a Jewish state in Palestine. The deal resulted in the Balfour Declaration. [6]


Can you image Muslims, Hindus, Blacks, or other minority group for that matter, controling financing, media, and federal government in Europe? Simply the idea of it is absurd. Jews got prominent mainly since they were exempt to the exact same degree of discrimination as other groups.
School kids are not taught about King Leopold II of Belgium eliminating 10 million Congolese. [7] Other genocides performed in the nests are dealt with like dust. It is since the Jewish Holocaust is the only ‘genuine’ genocide.
Western leaders appear pleased to play along as they are then totally free to disregard to the vicious criminal activities they have actually devoted– and continue to dedicate– in other parts of the world. Hitler’s huge criminal offenses weren’t that he attacked nations and eradicated lots of countless individuals (that was carried out in the nests all the time, naturally with a ‘God-given’ right). No, his criminal activities was to attack European nations and to devote genocide in Europe. However the much more essential factor regarding why Jewish suffering is depicted as special is that Jews still today are extremely prominent in the media and in politics. They have to captivate the misconception of Jewish suffer in order to sustain their criminal job in Palestine.




Sir G.G. Scott: Midland Hotel and St. Pancras Station

The Spirit of Gothic: The Gothic Aesthetic in Diverse Media Introduction


The term gothic as used here refers to that aesthetic quality of which I have written in “A Gothic Manifesto”. It is not necessarily identical to the usual uses of the term in art history. The purpose of this section is to investigate what is meant by the term gothic as it is used in art history, and distill, from these various usages, a refined understanding of the “gothic spirit”.


Dean and Woodward: Natural History Museum, Oxford (1855)

Dean and Woodward: Natural History Museum
(Credit: A Digital Archive of Architecture, Prof. Jeffery Howe)

Although controversy abounds, one prominent opinion on the defining characteristics of gothic architecture is its dissolution of wall boundaries, allowing a transparency and penetration of light. This was made possible by technical advancements in structural design, such as the flying buttress, that permitted a thinness and elevation of structure which could never have been achieved using classical construction. As Charles H. Moore writes in “Development and Character of Gothic Architecture”:

“the whole scheme of the building is determined by, and its whole strength is made to reside in a finely organized and frankly confessed framework rather than in walls. This framework, made up of piers, arches and buttresses, is freed from every unnecessary incumbrance of wall and is rendered as light in all its parts as is compatible with strength — the stability of the building depending not upon inert massiveness, except in the outermost abutment of active parts whose opposing forces neutralize each other and produce a perfect equilibrium. It is thus a system of balanced thrusts in contradistinction to the ancient system of inert stability. Gothic architecture is such a system carried out in a finely artistic spirit.”

This concept of stability as an equilibrium between opposing forces rather than monolithic mass, in which “balanced thrusts” can raise an otherwise insubstantial structure to vast size and height, is a gothic leitmotif which pervades not just the conceptualization of architecture, but defines the gothic view on the nature of life in general and of Man in particular- see the excerpt from “Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde ” and my commentary there. The accompanying photo of the interior of the Oxford Natural History Museum demonstrates this nicely. Its pointed arches are of such gossamer structure it’s a wonder they support anything at all, much less the huge transparent ceiling. The effect is of course rendered all the more cryptic by the dinosaur skeletons on display.

Sir G.G. Scott: Midland Hotel and St. Pancras Station, London

Sir G.G. Scott: Midland Hotel and St. Pancras Station

Sir G.G. Scott: Midland Hotel and St. Pancras Station
(Credit: A Digital Archive of Architecture, Prof. Jeffery Howe)

Another characteristic of gothic architecture is its attention to detail and its penchant for ornamental complexity, as opposed to the simple form and plain surfaces of classical design. The Midland Hotel / St. Pancras Station certainly demonstrates this aspect. In the three accompanying photos, notice how the visual complexity and fine detail is in no way diminished as one zooms in on the buildings facade. On the contrary, each close up shot reveals at least as much detail as the prior. In fact, the ornamental complexity is virtually fractal in nature, with the same patterns repeating themselves in microcosm no matter how closely one looks. This exhaustive detailing mimics nature’s infinite complexity of form, and is the same naturalism mentioned in connection with the gothic style in painting.


Jewish Vampirology

Jewish Vampirology

bela lugosi
Bela Lugosi
(with Star of David and Kiddush Cup)
mesmerizes Renfield in the 1931 Universal production of Dracula.

The Blood Is The Life Deuteronomy 12:23

HaDam Hu HaNefesh

“The blood is the life”, states the Torah, and also declares “the life-force of all creatures resides in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11). Eating blood is strictly forbidden by the Torah. Yet if one were to do so, he would acquire some measure of the semi-spiritual nature of the demons. They are not truly spiritual, since they must eat blood to live; yet they are not strictly bound to physical matter, insofar as they possess the power of invisibility, and the ability to travel great distances quickly. These are precisely the attributes ascribed to vampires! As the Sforno explains (Leviticus 17:7):

Regarding the demons…[in the Talmud, our Sages of blessed memory] mention the fact that they eat, drink, reproduce and die… they can see but are not visible! Now this cannot be understood unless they are composed of an extremely fine substance which is invisible. And since they eat and drink, it follows that their food must be a substance composed of something extremely fine which is assimilated into the organism consuming it. Now there are no compounds known to us which are more refined than the vapour of blood from which the spirit, which carries the life force, exists. This force being carried is the soul of life through which every creature lives, and since this force cannot be without this carrier, at times it is called life as it is said, “the blood is the life”. Since [blood] is the food of demons, he who offers them blood, which is the source of their substance and which they are powerless to take on their own… will gain their love, and he who eats it will aquire a temperament which tends toward their nature and thus they will long for his company. Now, since many desired the companionship of demons and their love, so that they would assist them in acquiring vain pleasures, …they would bring an offering of blood to the demons and eat it themselves in order to join with them.
…they desire their companionship so that the demons will be their servants and assist them in their affairs, or as messengers to be sent to a distant land, as [the Sages] mention concerning Joseph the Demon (Eruvin 43a) and the demon that frequented the house of Rav Ashi (Chullin 105b).

The Jewish Vampire

(Artist Unknown)
The prototypical Jewish vampire is female, and has long unkempt hair and wings. She has the ability to change her form into that of an animal, often a black cat, and she flies about by night as an owl or bat. Her preferred prey are newborn babes and their mothers, but she is also known to attack men, seducing them in their sleep.

The most common terms used for vampires in Jewish tradition are lilith, estrie, and striga.
The Hebrew term lilith is of uncertain etymology, but may be related to the word lilah, night. The plural forms “lilim” (Hebrew) and “lilin” (Aramaic) are found in Talmudic and Kabbalistic literature with the meaning “night-spirits.” The word lilith is sometimes used as a term for an owl, and indeed some Bible versions translate it as “night-owl”. Jewish tradition also asserts a special connection between tempests and evil spirits. Indeed, the term lilith is sometimes understood as “wind-spirit”, and in Hebrew, the word for “spirit” (ruach) also means “wind”. This may relate to Lilith’s power of flight. (A rich mythology surrounds this term, which will be further explored in the section on Jewish Demonology. Here we are concerned only with the vampiric aspects.)
Lilith is described in the Talmud as a wild haired, winged creature, with nymphomaniac tendencies (Eruvin 100b; Niddah 24b; Shabbos 151b). The great commentator Rashi writes, “Lilin, which are possessed of human forms, also have wings.” Lilith was also reputed to be very beautiful, and to have sharp black hairs on her legs. King Solomon reportedly suspected the Queen of Sheva of being Lilith because of her hairy legs.
The fact that Lilith preys upon newly delivered mothers and their babes is recorded in the Midrash and is well known amongst the Jewish people; amulets for protection against Lilith are still available in any traditional Jewish bookstore, although the proprietors sometimes profess ignorance of the significance of these “decorations”; if the customer does not already understand their meaning, she should not ask to have it explained.
Numerous passages in the Zohar and Midrash Rabbah describe how Lilith consorted with Adam, giving rise to demonic progeny. In this capacity, Lilith acts a succubus, a spirit who seduces men in their sleep. (In Jungian psychology this term refers to the repressed, socially unacceptable feminine aspects of a man’s character). Although the predations of a succubus are often fatal to her victim, she may instead bear him children as she did with Adam, who fathered a horde of demon vampiresses. In this case, the man’s nocturnal emissions give rise to demonic children, who gather round the man’s bed at his death and hail him as their father. The traditional Jewish final confession (still in use only amongst the Orthodox) contains an explicit ban on these demonic progeny:

“I hereby pronounce a ban and excommunication upon the evil spirits and destructive forces created by the drops of seminal emission and my wasted seed – all of them are included in the ban. May they not touch me, my bier, nor my clothes, nor accompany me to the grave.”

The Estrie is described as a fearsome female spirit, a vampire, living among humanity in order to satisfy its appetite for blood. Children were its favorite prey, although men and women were attacked as well. It could change its appearance at will but reverted to its demonic shape while flying about at night. If an estrie is wounded by a human being, she must die unless she can obtain some of his bread and salt. According to one medieval Jewish account, a man who was attacked by an estrie in the form of a cat, and managed to beat her off, was approached by her in human form the next day and asked for some of his bread and salt.
The striga is described as a female witch, who transforms herself into a crow and drinks human blood. The term is likely related to the word estrie, and also likely cognate with the term strigoii, the most common type of undead Romanian vampire (fem. strigoica).
Each of these characteristics of the Jewish vampire has parallels in the vampire legends of other cultures as well. In fact, a review of the folklore literature reveals that most vampires worldwide are female, and they are remarkably similar to the Jewish vampire. For example, the Hannya of Japan is described as a beautiful woman transformed into a monster, who preys on young men and infants. The Lamia is an extremely attractive female vampire, highly dangerous to males and children. The flying vampire of Malaysia, the Langsuir, is said always to be a female of stunning beauty, with long nails and long black hair, who transforms herself into an owl. The Bruxsa, a feared female vampire of Portugal, transforms herself into a large bird to hunt for the blood she must drink to survive. In the Phlippines, the Aswang is a beautiful woman by day and a flying fiend by night, who feeds on the blood of children. The Strix, a Roman blood drinking night bird sometimes translated as “screech owl,” drank the blood of young children.
And these same basic characteristics have become associated with the modern literary vampire as well. In Bram Stoker’s novel, we see the same feeding habits ascribed to the wives of Dracula:

“Are we to have nothing tonight?” said one of them, with a low laugh, as she pointed to the bag which he had thrown upon the floor, and which moved as though there were some living thing within it. For answer he nodded his head. One of the women jumped forward and opened it. If my ears did not deceive me there was a gasp and a low wail, as of a half smothered child. The women closed round, whilst I was aghast with horror; but as I looked they disappeared, and with them the dreadful bag.

After she becomes a vampire, Lucy apparently has the same dietary preferences, as described in the newspaper stories:

In all these cases the children were too young to give a proper account of themselves, but the consensus of their excuses is that they had been with a “bloofer lady.” …some of the children, indeed all who have been missed at night, have been slightly torn or wounded in the throat.

Why is there so much consistency amongst the vampire legends of such widely scattered peoples? Is it merely a matter of the ubiquity of folklore? Could fundamental issues of human psychology give rise to these similar accounts? Or is it possible that a dreadful reality, known to the ancient Israelites, and indeed, to people throughout the world, underlies them all?. artist-unknown-2
(Artist Unknown)

Reb Vampire, I Presume?

Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber
(The fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe,
Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber of blessed memory,
known as “the Rebbe Rashab”)

A striking similarity exists between accounts of vampirism and, l’havdil, certain miraculous occurrences involving renowned Sages and Rabbis. For example, everybody knows that vampires are undead, leaving their graves at night to mingle amongst the living.
Representative is the well-known case of the Serbian vampire Peter Plogojowitz, which is notable for the completeness of the official report, attested to by three officers of the Imperial Army who were summoned for the inquest. The story is also noteable here for the fact that it was included in Lettres Juives by the Marquis d’Argens, published in London, 1729, under the title The Jewish Spy:

Plogojowitz, a farmer, died in September 1725 but apparently departed his grave three days later, appearing before his son and demanding food… the widow of this Plogojowitz deposed that she herself had been visited by him since his death.

Regarding the great sage Yehuda HaNasi, compiler of the Mishnah, it is recounted that after his death he would routinely visit his family on Friday night, making Kiddush for all those present (Sefer Chassidim, cited in Likutey Sichos 4, Yud Shvat). The Rabbis of old, discussing this incident, were not in the least bit surprised about his appearance; the only thing that they felt required explanation was how a deceased person would be permitted, under Jewish law, to make Kiddush for the living!
It is also common knowledge that when the grave of a vampire is opened, the body will be found intact, and plump with blood. Such findings are attested to in numerous accounts of the exhumations of suspected vampires, of which the following is typical:

Johannes Cuntius, a citizen and alderman of Pentach, in Silesia, when about sixty years of age, died somewhat suddenly, as a result of a kick from his horse. At the moment of his death a black cat rushed into the room, jumped on to the bed, and scratched violently at his face. Both at the time of his death and that of his funeral a great tempest arose…
Eventually [after the onset of vampiric predations] it was decided to disinter the body. It was found that all the bodies buried above that of Cuntius had become putrefied and rotten, but his skin was tender and florid, his joints by no means stiff, and when a staff was put between his fingers they closed around it and held it fast in their grasp. He could open and shut his eyes, and when a vein in his leg was punctured the blood sprang out as fresh as that of a living person. (From Dr. Henry More, Antidote Against Atheism, 1652)

According to Jewish tradition, the bodies of the perfectly righteous do not decompose in the grave. Regarding Moses, Rashi states (Devarim 34.7) “his life fluids remained within him; decomposition did not affect him” and their are many examples of this in the Talmud (Shabbos 152b, concerning R’ Achai bar Yoshia; Bava Basra 58a, concerning R’ Tuvi Bar Masnah; Bava Metsia 84b, concerning R’ Eleazar; Kesubbos 103a, concerning R’ Yehuda HaNasi). Here follows a modern, well documented account of this phenomena:

Exactly twenty years after the Rebbe Rashab, the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, had been laid to rest in Rostov-on-Don in 1920, ten of his faithful chassidim risked their lives in order to exhume his body just before the old cemetery was bulldozed to make way for a Soviet housing project. They found his holy body intact, with only his tallis protecting it from the soil in which it lay, and reinterred it in its present resting place in the new cemetery in Rostov.
Their contemporary account of this episode has been preserved by Rabbi Moshe DovBer Rivkin, the late Roshe Yeshiva of Torah VaDaas, in Kuntreis Ashkavta DeRebbe (N.Y., 1953). In 1961, the editor of the present volume heard a first-person description of the episode from the mouth of one of the ten participants – the late Reb Yonah Eidelkop, one of the venerable founding fathers of Kfar Chabad in Eretz Yisrael. (From “To Live and Live Again” by Rabbi Nissan Dovid Dubov, ed. by Uri Kaploun, Sichos In English, Brooklyn, 1995)

How are we to interpret these reports, and the similarities between them? One explanation, no doubt favored by the skeptic, is that all these accounts may be accurate in their observations, but credulous in their conclusions, the latter resulting from an ignorance of necropathology, and the normal processes of death and decomposition.
A second interpretation, the one most consistent with traditional Jewish belief, is that the apparent similarities in these cases result from the parallelism between good and evil. As the Ramchal explains in Derech Hashem (III.2.8):

God decreed that the universe contain both good and evil, and therefore arranged that evil should be able to exist on every level where it possibly can…It was therefore arranged that every good concept have its counterpart in evil. This is what is meant by [King Solomon’s] statement, “God has made one opposite the other.” (Koheles 7:14).

Thus, each supernatural phenomena that proceeds from the levels of Holiness and Sanctity has its corresponding phenomena in the domain of the impure and profane.
There is also a third possibility – but it is too horrific and inconceivable to consider. For surely, no-one, least of all myself, would dare to suggest that these holy rabbis, were in fact…vampires…

Gothic Inclusiveness

A Gothic Manifesto

On the Essence of Gothic

oh no

“Oh no!” you groan, “another blockhead presuming to inflict upon me his definition of gothic.” I assure you, dear victim, such is not my intent. I only wish, acknowledging that many others have written on this topic and written well, to rephrase some of their ideas in my own words, hoping, without claim to originality, to contribute to a growing understanding, in accordance with the dictum that “if you cannot express your concept, then you have no clear concept.”
As usual, let us begin with what the term gothic does not mean. It does not refer to paganism, Satanism, or nihilism. These “isms” are specific ideologies which are given names. In fact, gothic (as we use the term) is an adjective, not a noun – Gothic, not Gothism. Gothic is a description, not an entity. It is a quality, not a state. Gothic is not a fashion statement, though fashion statements may be gothic. Body piercings, tattoos, and black clothes are neither unique to gothic nor essential to it. Since gothic is a quality, many things can be gothic – clothes, music, philosophy – without any of these things defining gothic, just as many things can be black – clothes, flowers, the night – but black is not defined by garments, plant parts, or the time of day.
It is precisely the nature of gothic as a quality that makes its definition so elusive. Try defining “beautiful” or “grotesque” to see what I mean. Yet we may identify certain themes found in that which we identify as gothic.
Gothic is preeminently aesthetic. Virtually every media has been used to express the gothic quality – from music to fashion, architecture and gardening, to poetry, painting and cinema. It is in the artistic nature of these expressions that we recognize the distinctive gothic aesthetic.
Gothic is prolifically, compulsively creative. It is this aspect of gothic that sets is apart from other, ephemeral, counterculture trends. In those trends, a few creative individuals were able to give voice to a Zeitgeist felt by a generation. But gothic does not derive from a particular Zeitgeist. It derives from the eternal realities that afflict the human condition: life and growth tend inexorably towards death and decay, giving rise to rebirth and resurrection; only instability is stable and only the inevitability of change is unchanging; the price of pleasure is the possibility of pain; sanctity and Holiness are naught but a certain approach to the carnal and profane; all explanations of meaning fail to completely satisfy; all certainty is plagued by doubt; existential angst is only temporarily set aside, and never fully laid to rest. The struggle of the human spirit with these realities produces an outpouring of creativity – art – the language of the soul – the laughter of the soul’s joy and the tears of its grief. Indeed, most if not all art comes from this source, but in the gothic the source is fully recognized and expressed directly, in all its conflict, contradiction, aspiration and pain. This is the essence of gothic.

Gothic Death

Gothic Death

It is not true that gothic must involve a fascination with death (though some individuals who identify themselves as “goths” do seem to have a preoccupation with it). Gothic simply demands that death be given its rightful place in our awareness and discourse. Certainly, it is mainstream society that is fascinated with death, yet refuses to confront it in a meaningful way, preferring to wallow in mock carnage on the TV while real carnage overwhelms the streets; disguising age and decay with plastic surgery and perfume while expelling death from the home and relegating it to huge, tomblike structures called hospitals. We routinely cover the mirrors in a house of mourning, place heavy stones on the head of the dead and wash our hands when leaving a graveyard, without any understanding of the significance of these actions. Gothic redeems death from its exile; it respects death as a part of life, and in so doing, brings the dead back to life. This is true even for physical death; how much more so for symbolic death. Gothic death, like the Death card in the Tarot deck, is not about finality and termination; it is about change. It is about letting go of the old and embracing the new; about abandoning the decrepit to its inevitable decay, and allowing its remains to fertilize new growth; it is about transformation; it is about the resurrection of the dead.

Gothic Inclusiveness

Gothic Inclusiveness

Gothic is intrinsically inclusive. Although there are certainly some expressions that do not strike one as particularly gothic – disco and baseball come to mind – it is hard to reject a particular creative expression as non-gothic. This is because once rejected, it falls into the domain of that which is spurned: a misfit, outcast and taboo. And thus relegated, it becomes a legitimate focus of the integrative impulse; a legitimate focus of the gothic aesthetic. In a culture in which baseball was viewed with fear and suspicion, the sport could offer wonderful Gothic potential (disco, in my humble opinion, is irredeemable).
All this is in no way to say that values and beliefs are incompatible with the gothic perspective. The gothic outlook does not endorse evil; it merely acknowledges its existence. We do not ostracize those individuals who identify gothic with the glorification of suicide, but neither must we accept their obsession as a reflection of the gothic aesthetic – it is much more likely an expression of a mental illness. The rejection of belief is itself a belief, and the rejection of values is nihilism, which is an untenable philosophy in practice. All of us have some beliefs and some values, and these beliefs and values neither define us as gothic nor exclude us from that description. The gothic outlook only requires a grappling with life’s dark side as well as its bright; an explicit consciousness of that which others would gloss over; a vivacious experience of contradiction, ambiguity, and angst, and a need to express these through creative endeavor.

Jewish Gothic

Jewish Gothic

Whereas for the Christian, gothic expression may require a rebellion against the repression of the dark, sensual and mysterious, a jailbreak of the creative, integrative spirit from the confines of a rigid dualism, gothic for a Jew is merely the explicit celebration of that which is already acknowledged and given a legitimate, albeit deemphasized, place in the normative tradition. This is why Christian antisemitism identifies the Jew with evil; why Bela Lugosi as Dracula wears a Star of David. Not because the Christian sees the Jew as pure evil, but merely because the Jew integrates the sensual and material with the spiritual; he rejects Christian dualism. The Jewish insistence that “G-d is One” mandates an acceptance of the Divine role in all aspects of life – including death. There is no Devil in Jewish tradition to serve as a repository for darkness and instinct, leaving behind a chaste godhead devoid of any connection with uncomfortable realities such as death, evil and the lusts of our animal nature. Instead, the Jewish Bible acknowledges of G-d that, “I form light and create darkness, I make peace and create evil – I, the Eternal, do all these things” (Isaiah 45.7). According to the Zohar, the central text of the Jewish esoteric tradition, darkness was actually created before light. The Biblical “chaos and void” that preceded the decree “Let there be light” was not a preexisting state, but was itself the result of an earlier act of creation, involving the “lamp of darkness,” which is unrecounted in the exoteric tradition. For the Jewish mystic, the journey towards G-d cannot be made without traversing the domains of darkness, as it is said, “clouds and dense darkness surround Him” (Psalms 97.2). Even G-d’s helpful presence in our lives is not visualized as a winged, white-clad angel, but rather as a shadow: “G-d is the Shade by thy right hand” (Psalms 121.5). These concepts require elucidation, but this brief overview should clarify the existence of an intrinsic streak of Gothic within Judaism, and hint at the wealth of heritage that awaits exploration by the Jewish “goth.”