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 members to the huge four. The four largest religions are: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Judaism is the precursor of both Islam and Christianity.
The Hebrew Bible recounts the history of the world and the tale 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 offspring 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 mode of life has evolved from this period in the Tenth Century before Christ.
The sacred writings of the Hebrew Bible or Masorah are divided into twenty-four books. But, the same writings are divided up into thirty-nine books in the Chirtian Bible’s Ancient Testament. The Torah or The Law was being composed 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 oldest 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 made a covenant with His people to take care of them for ever as long as they remained devoted solely to him.
In the Jewish faith, sin is the unashamed disrespect of God’s will and that is punishable by God in a similar fashion to the Buddhist belief in karma.. The objective of following God’s Law is being welcomed into His Kingdom.
Jews worship in synagogues in congregations led by Rabbis who are considered Teachers or Masters (as in the ancient 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.
The doctrines of Islam were passed down to humankind through Mohammed who is widely thought of as the last, so far, in the line of Middle Eastern prophets. The first was Abraham of Judaism renown, then there was Jesus for Christianity and then came Mohammed. Mohammed was born in around 570 AD in Mecca, western Saudi Arabia and died 62 years later in 632 in Medina.
The Koran, or the ‘Recitation’ in English, consists of 144 chapters and was revealed to Mohammed by God. These doctrines were written down by his secretaries during the course of 23 years.
Like its predecessor religions, Islam is a monotheistic religion and its narrative includes tales or references to Abraham, Moses (and the Ten Commandments) and Jesus, but does not accept Christianity’s declaration of his divinity.
Another major difference from the Middle Eastern religions before it, is that Jews trace their lineage through Abraham’s son Isaac, whereas Muslims trace their history through Abraham’s son Ishmael by another wife.
The root of the word Islam – ‘s-l-m’ – means ‘peace’ and ‘submission’ (to God). A Muslim’s association with God is determined by the ‘Five Pillars of Islam’. These five pillars are: Shahadah (profession of faith); public and collective prayer five times every day; charity to the poor; fasting during the holy month of Ramadan and a pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest of places to Muslims, at least once in their lifetime.
Islam has stringent dietary laws, notably with regard to eating pork, and prohibitions against promiscuity, stealing, gambling and lying. Muslims worship in Mosques and the services are led by Imams. The most critical time to pray is at midday on a Friday, which is the Muslim Sabbath.
The vast majority of Muslims are Sunnites, who are the traditionalists, and the rest are Shi’ites or ‘partisans’. This could roughly be compared with the relationship between Judaism and Christianity. The variances between the two sects in the both religions have caused untold misery over the centuries and there is no sign of it stopping any time soon.
There is significantly more known of Mohammed than about Jesus. Mohammed was brought up by his uncle and at the age of 25 he was a trader. At the age of 40, in 610, an angel instructed him to proclaim the word of God. He was not welcomed in Mecca but the authorities invited him to quell the city of Medina in 622, which he accomplished.
His condition for accepting this task was that the people accept the word of God. This they did – this go is called the Hegim and it is the date from which Muslims record contemporary history – like the Western world uses the birth of Jesus.
By 632 Mohammed was dead, but by then the vast majority of Arabs were Muslims. For one reason or another, Islam spread east and west from Saudi Arabia taken usually by Arab traders nearly certainly. Islam never really got a foothold in Europe (except Spain) but it did go East honestly extensively.
Chocolate candy must be the most well loved sort of candy in the world. It certainly is in Europe and America. We eat tons and tons of Mars, Cadburys, Lindt and Nestle chocolate candy every year. The depressing thing is that most of the people who admit to liking chocolate have never tasted a decent bar of chocolate in their lives.
To a connoisseur, chocolate candy can come from anywhere in the world although Belgium, Switzerland and France are the countries, whose names spring to mind first. Despite that, excellent chocolate candy is also made in Fantastic Britain, Spain, the USA and some areas of Latin America.
This is not unanticipated as chocolate first made its debut among the Mayans of Central America in at least 300 BC and maybe even as far back as 3000 BC. In 300 AD it was a special drink reserved for royalty and was very bitter. It was so special that it had to be drunk from a golden chalice and that chalice could be used for that intention only one time.
In those days, far more herbs and spices were added to the royal drink called xocoatl. It was also a lot purer in terms of cacao content than nearly anything you can buy on the shelves in the shop today as well. The nearest we have to that purity is gourmet chocolate.
Gourmet chocolate will normally have been made by a chocolatier, which is similar to what a chef is to cuisine. These manufacturers of chocolate candy are the best in the world, highly skilled and head-hunted by the best chocolate makers. They can demand large salaries and become world well-known among the connoisseurs of fine chocolate candy.
Fine chocolate candy must have a high chocolate content. That sounds as if it should go without saying, doesn’t it? But, to be called chocolate in the US, candy only has to contain 15% authentic chocolate and ‘bakers’ chocolate’ often does not have any at all. In Europe that figure is 35%, which is why most Americans reckon that European chocolate candy is luxurious.
Excellent chocolate candy should break cleanly with an audible ‘snap’ and ought to have a shiny surface. The chocolate candy most liable to have a high cacao content is dark chocolate, which is also often somewhat bitter, evocative of the actual taste of cacao before most manufacturers place sugar into the mixture. Purer chocolate candy also melts on the tongue and produces a mild euphoria.
Purer forms of chocolate candy have had various reputations over the centuries. It has the reputation of being a stimulant and had the reputation of being an aphrodisiac, in all probability for the same reason. This is due to a chemical naturally present in the bean called Theobromine. Theobromine has effects on other animals as well. For example, it is a proscribed substance for racing horse because it has an exaggerated effect on horses and chocolate should never be given to cats or dogs because it is toxic to them.
Theobromine and another chemical present, phenethylamine, have been linked with the production of seratonin, which is stimulated by prescribed drugs to ward off depression.
Owen Jones, the writer of this piece, writes on many topics, but is currently involved with Gourmet Chocolate Candy. If you have an interest in romantic gifts, please go over to our website now at Romantic Gifts Thoughts
If you are holding a large wedding, that is one with a lot of guests, the cost of wedding favours can be quite significant, if you do not set a strict budget. One immediate method you could use to cut the cost of your wedding favours is to give one to each couple or single, rather than one to everybody who comes. The first judgment to take is how much can you afford in total and then divide that by the number of guests in total and then divide it by the quantity of couples and singles.
This method will make it simpler for you to choose what you are going to do: buy for everybody; buy for couples and singles and keep the rest for something else or give to couples and singles but buy more elaborate gifts. If you still find that there is not a lot of money to go around, you will need to look for lower-priced wedding favours. I will give you a few thoughts below to get you going.
Candles can be very effective, low-cost wedding favours. If you buy in bulk, you can get some really lovely candles at very reasonable prices. You could get scented candles, maybe with the same smell as the bouquet the bride carried. You could also consider buying personalized ribbons to tie pretty bows around the candles and the ribbons could have your names and the wedding date on them.
Candy or chocolate is another type of low-cost wedding favour. There are many ways to go down this route. You could have the wrappers of well loved candy bars custom-made; you could buy quite expensive chocolate in bulk and wrap it up in a special way yourself or you could buy small boxes of connoisseur chocolate.
Giving packets of flower or vegetable seeds is also an inexpensive way of giving a useful wedding favour. Again, you could give seed packets of the flowers in the bride’s bouquet. The seed packets could be wrapped or boxed with your own special logo, names and wedding date. You could present them in a pot or tray too in order to make it even simpler to sow the seeds.
A pen or pen and pencil set is also a honestly economical way of giving wedding favours. These pens can also bear your wedding details such as names and date.
But, I am Welsh and so my favourite wedding favours are like spoons in miniature, say four inches long. Like spoons were given in Wales by a suitor to his beloved for hundreds of years and many like spoon carvers will make mini versions by hand for a small sum of money. These like spoon wedding favours can also be inscribed with the wedding details as they are typically made out of wood.
Another lovely touch is to insert a stamped, self addressed envelope to your wedding favour present, with a small note asking the recipient to get in touch with you soon, so that you do not let too much water go under the bridge.
Some people do not like being alone on St. Valentine’s Day. Younger women in particular consider that being alone on St. Valentine’s Day carries a stigma, which makes them feel depressed and lonely. But just because someone is not in a relationship, it does not mean they cannot have a excellent time. I will give a couple of suggestions below to help you have a time to remember.
1] Call up all your single girlfriends and go clubbing. Many young men like to dance every now and again or to their favourite songs, but they do not want to dance non-stop. On the other hand, young women often do like to dance non-stop, so you may have a better time without a boyfriend in a club.
2] Another first-class thought for single girls on Valentine’s Day is to give a movie night at your home. You can invite over all of your single friends and hire a few comedies. Instead of being gloomy and depressed, you and your friends can watch the movies and take the mickey out of the characters in the movie.
Hire a few horror movies too for an extra special night. Lots of young people like horror films. They like to have a scream and hide their faces behind their friends’ backs. Treat the evening like a proper night at the movies and get popcorn, snacks, ice cream and cola, etc in.
3] You could hold a singles party. Invite all of your single friends and tell them they have to bring a friend of the opposite sex. Buy or borrow some of those games that make you answer personal questions like ‘Forfeits’ and ‘Twister’, where you have to place your hands and feet on different coloured spots on a plastic mat.
‘Mr and Mrs’ is another game where you question one half of a ‘couple’ questions about the other in his absence. He has to corroborate the answers when he is called back into the room. The answers could be hilarious, because the people will not know each other well.
3] Hire a table in a non-romantic restaurant and get eight or more girlfriends to go out for a meal. Once the atmosphere starts building, it can become fantastic fun and you could go dancing later.
4] You could organize a visit to the theatre and have a meal afterwards. Most people do not go to the theatre every year, so going with your friends on St. Valentine’s Day would make the day truly unforgettable.
5] You could make up a basket of your favourite things. Include some really special items like gourmet chocolate or other gourmet candy. Get something luxurious to drink that is appropriate to your age. Then you can pig out on your favourite foods and drink and watch a few films on your own or with your sister or other family member like a favourite cousin.
There are many things you can do to delight in Valentine’s Day as a single girl, there’s no need to mope around feeling sorry for yourself at all.
Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with Gourmet Chocolate Candy. If you have an interest in romantic gifts, please go over to our website now at Romantic Gifts Thoughts
Most people use of one kind or another, whether its function is to cover up possible body odour or just for fun. When I say ‘fun’, I mean ‘pleasure’ or to be a magnet for admirers, whether you aim to do anything about them or not. There are literally thousands of scents to pick from and they are priced from cheap to exorbitantly expensive. So, when there are so many choices, how do you know which ones are suitable for you?
There are a few rules of thumb that you can use as guiding principles to help you choose which scent is appropriate for you. Firstly, you will have to know a small about the basic varieties of scent on hand, before you can find out which brand of perfume will suit you the best.
So, you can start by taking a look at the ingredients on the bottle. From these ingredients you can determine what type of fragrance is in the bottle. The basic varieties of scent are: light musk, natural scent, loud fragrance, floral fragrance, warm fragrance, bright cheerful scent and a few others.
You should get a small note book and make notes when you test perfumes in various department stores. Perhaps you will find musk too overwhelming for you or perhaps you do not want to smell like a garden flower. It is all very individual and personal. No one can say that you are right or incorrect.
One’s body chemistry plays a huge part in why a perfume will smell lovely on your friend, but not so well on you. It is just a fact, that you cannot go by what smells excellent on someone else.
Scents that are manufactured from natural substances such as flowers, herbs or spices and even fruit tend to smell warm and soft. Examples of this type or fragrance are gardenia and lily of the valley. Musk, but, may be made to produce a delicate bouquet that swirls softly around you, but it can be strong and heady too.
You may find that you like a scent, but that it is just too overpowering for you. If that is the situation, you may be able to get it in Eau de Cologne or Toilet Water, which are weaker in concentration. Other than that, you could use less or dab it on the underneath of your clothing where it might not be subject to so much body heat and so will not disperse quite so quickly.
If you go about selecting the right perfume for yourself methodically, it could take quite some time to come across something that is ‘Essence De You’, but it is well worth it. What is a year, when you can wear the perfume for forty years? This is why I recommended getting a small note pad to keep in your bag before doing the rounds of the free trial counters in the department stores.
The salesgirls won’t mind, they will be pleased to show off their knowledge and be pleased that someone is taking a real interest in their merchandise. Then, once you have one, you could start all over again, if you loved finding the first perfume, but next time you will have a notebook full of pointers.
Owen Jones, the author of this piece, writes on many topics, but is currently involved with men’s perfume. If you have an interest in romantic gifts, please go over to our website now at Romantic Gifts: Thoughts
Nowadays, everyone is very aware of the benefits of eating properly and the penalty of excess. This is one of the reasons why a healthy gift basket is a fantastic thought for a present. Going ‘healthy’ does not mean that the gift basket cannot be fun, personal and gorgeous. If your loved one likes nuts, then buy nuts, but unsalted ones in their shells. You see? It only takes a small lateral thinking.
Children may appear to be hard to please on the topic of healthy gift baskets, because children like sweets and sugar, but there are many healthy snacks, which have a small less sugar. For example, jam-filled biscuits contain sugar, but they also contain fruit. The same goes for oatmeal raisin cookies.
Place in a few energy bars from the health food shop made from grains, fruit, honey, raisins and nuts and you may not have cut down on the calories, but you have increased the goodness of the foodstuff. An uncommon fruit from the Indian Supermarket, like a passion fruit, a star fruit or a papaya may go down well too and provide extra vitamins.
If you are looking at giving a healthy gift basket to a teenager, you may do well to remember that teens worry about their appearance. The get spots and spots. So you could prepare a healthy gift basket which contained fresh fruit, pimple cream and skin cleanser with rose-scented bath bags for girls, and shaving kits for boys (or vice versa).
If you are giving a healthy gift basket to an elderly person, then bear in mind that many older people often suffer with dietary problems and aches and pains, so the older you get, the more you value healthy treats. Gourmet chocolate, fine quality drinking chocolate, bath salts and peppermints would certainly be appreciated. Single leaf tea is also an thought, say, Lapsong Suchong.
If you are thinking about giving a healthy gift basket to your parents, why not? Mum may well be grateful for a selection of anti-wrinkle skin creams, cocoa butter or glycerin soap and bath salts. Many stores supply oils beneficial to mature skin. Gourmet chocolate will also be appreciated as will rarer nuts and fruits. Rose water is a excellent addition as well.
And Dad? Well, you know him best. Is he athletic and health orientated or is he into work and recreation? Does he delight in fishing or golf? Does he like bar-b-queing? Does he like expensive, single malt whisky – the non-guzzling kind? Does he like the occasional beer? If so, you could get him a few foreign beers that he has never tried before. Chocolate liqueurs are frequently a firm favourite as well. Stem ginger is a well loved luxury with those men who are aware of its existence.
Perhaps a few magazines on his favourite subject (no, not Penthouse) or a couple of tickets to a game. A joint basket for Mum and Dad is probably simpler and then you can send them to the theatre or/and a restaurant too. A healthy one, naturally.
Owen Jones, the author of this piece, writes on many topics, but is currently involved with Valentine’s Day Gift Baskets. If you have an interest in romantic gifts, please go over to our website now at Romantic Gifts Thoughts
There are not many things in the world more nerve-racking than attempting to end all of your Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve. After fighting through the crowds to pick through the sparse leftovers in dozens of shops for the perfect gift, eventually settling for a present that is “excellent enough”, and then standing in line for an hour in an attempt to pay for that present even a lobotomy may seem preferable; after all, at least they anesthetize for that!
But, because of the busy agenda of individuals these days, it is becoming more and more hard for people to get things finished ahead of the Christmas rush. After all, shops have established hours which in general inconveniently coincide with the time that most of the world’s populace has to be at work. (More than one individual has suggested that this is not, in fact, a coincidence).
Intentional or not, it is hard for a lot of people to do their shopping in a bricks-and-mortar store. For this reason, virtual shops are on the increase as individuals delight in the ability to do their shopping at any hour of the day or night from the relative comfort of their own homes.
Shopping on the Worldwide web does not, but, get rid of one of the most pressing problems facing Christmas shoppers, that is, deciding what the should buy. For years the jewellery industry has been doing its level best to provide shoppers with an opportunity to select a romantic present for that special individuals in their life, say, a ring, a necklace, a bracelet, a brooch or a tie pin. It seems as if there is always something for everybody in the world of jewellery, regardless of the individual or their personality.
But, giving the same presents year after year can become very tedious and jewelry shops have to constantly fight to stay on top of the market. They are consistently coming up with trendy new items to bring in customers and they have done it again with the introduction of silver card pendants.
Silver card pendants are pendants that attach to a card and can be worn as a necklace by the person who received them as a gift. That sounds effortless enough, does it not? The best thing is that without thought of who you are shopping for, there is a silver card pendant that is fitting for the occasion! Is your wife’s birthday coming up? Buy her a pendant with a romantic heart on it . Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and you have not even begun to reckon about what you are going to buy your beloved?
Buy her a pendant inscribed with “With All My Like Always” and give it with a card. Is your partner a new mum? Why not get her a pendant that permits her to slip in a photo of your new bundle of happiness and carry him or her with her wherever she goes?
As you can see, no matter what the situation, a silver card pendant makes the ideal gift. They can be bought from nearly any online specialty retailer; you only have to do a search.
Owen Jones, the author of this piece, writes on many topics, but is currently involved with Romantic Gifts: Thoughts. If you have an interest in romantic gifts, please go over to our website now at Romantic Gifts: Thoughts
I have a couple of questions for you first of all. Do you like chocolate? Or does it go deeper than that? Do you like chocolate are you what is called a chocoholic? And lastly, was that attitude fashioned by store-bought chocolate such as Mars Bars, Galaxy and Snickers?
I questioned all those questions because, if you like chocolate and all you have ever tasted is store-bought chocolate, you have a real surprise waiting for you one day. A really fantastic revelation. One day you will taste gourmet chocolate and it will bowl you over. It will make you regret all those days of your life that you had not known it.
Gourmet chocolate is to a Mars Bar what fillet mignon is to a ham sandwich or what champagne is to cheap plonk. It sounds as if I am running Mars Bars down and I guess I am in a way, but I do believe that they have their place in the hierarchy of the realm of chocolate, it is just not near the top and when you have tried gourmet chocolate, you will agree with me.
You will see the light and realize that maybe you used to eat store chocolate for the sugar rush and not for the chocolate, because the store type is really a very watered down copy of the real thing. If you do not believe me, look at the ingredients list on the back of the wrapper.
Dark chocolate is produced by adding stout and sugar to the cacao mixture. The U.S. Government calls this “sweet chocolate”, and demands a 15% concentration of chocolate liquor. European regulations stipulate a minimum of 35% cocoa solids. It does not sound very much, does it? (By the way, chocolate liquor is like lumpy custard and if you pulverize the lumps and remove most of the stout, you get cocoa solids).
This is why European chocolate has a better reputation than American chocolate in general, although there are brilliant gourmet chocolate makers in the USA (called chocolatiers; like a chef is to haute cuisine)..
Some inexpensive chocolates are even blended with wax and most bakery chocolate products have very small, if any, real chocolate in them! They contain mostly sugar of one kind or another and “partially hydrogenated palm oil.” On the other hand, gourmet chocolate will echo the quality of the ingredients, which includes high quality cocoa beans, no preserving agents or vegetable fats (other than cocoa butter) and sugar, which is also a preserving agent, should only be used in moderation.
Some chocolate is made from only one variety of bean, just like some wine is made from one kind of gape and some whisky is single malt, but most is made from a blend of several kinds of beans again lust like the cheaper wines and whiskeys. Gourmet chocolate has a far greater percentage of cocoa butter, and will be more extensively refined.
Aficionados of gourmet chocolate are like connoisseurs of fine wines and single malt whiskies, they appreciate the object of their attention. In time, they can talk about the advantages of one bean or process over another. If you want to go down this route, you could join one of the many excellent gourmet chocolate clubs on the Internet
Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with Gourmet Chocolate Gifts. If you have an interest in romantic gifts, please go over to our website now at Romantic Gifts Thoughts
The occasion of a wedding is a very special day for everyone. Just being questioned to one can bring about real exhilaration. It is always a pleasure to see someone walk down the aisle with the promise of right like and life long happiness. Picking out a wedding gift can be a lot of fun too. There are thousands of presents that you can buy online or in retail stores.
Personalized gifts is a common trend in weddings presents. Bespoke gifts bring out your creativity because you can determine the style, design and message you want to be printed on them. Products range from photo frames, mugs and clocks, among many others.
When buying presents, always keep in mind your budget but be sure to get the look you want on the goods you buy. Here are some gift thoughts that would certainly be a hit:
Tapestry – It is nice to commemorate the wedding day, but how best to do this? Personalize everyday belongings by printing the couple’s portrait on them. You can have it printed on pillows, blankets or bags.
Have them printed on a tapestry wall hanging and they can be kept as heirlooms. Different coloured cotton threads can make your pictures come to life just like the photo itself.
Photo Frames – Keep your best pictures in exclusive photo frames. You can add romantic messages like ‘lovers forever” or “ideal couple”. Romantic lines from songs or poems are recommended too. You can choose from the different frames obtainable like natural wood, quality resin, or metal steel.
Personal messages are mostly engraved by laser or cut out of wood. The couple would like putting there favorite wedding photos in such frames to remind them of the happiness of their special day.
T-shirts – Show your own personality and thoughts by having them printed on comfortable tees. Many couples want to demonstrate their like for each other on cute shirts. The most common of the slogans on these shirts is the letter “I” followed by a huge red heart and then name of the groom or bride.
You could tell the world how you feel towards a person with such a personalized tee. If you want to be more intimate, you could even print romantic messages on lingerie or underwear.
Accessories – Women like accessories. Bracelets are perfect items for personalization. You could choose sterling silver or even 9 carat – 22 carat gold. This depends on your finances, of course. But remember, it is the thought that counts.
Common themes that are place on bracelets are the date of your wedding or your anniversary or the couple’s name. You can personalize rings and necklaces in the same way too.
Tankards – Tankards are very useful. If you are giving a gift to the groom, customizing his beer mug or wine glass would certainly be appreciated. Choose a beer mug that is not embarrassing. Pewter or glass look nice and the personal message would stand out clearly.
Clocks – You could buy a wall clock or personal watches. Either way, you can be certain that the recipient would find them very useful. Engraving one’s name on a metal steel sports watch is an eye catcher too. A pocket watch would be just as appreciated.
Looking for wedding gifts can be very pleasing. Personalizing your gifts would add a special touch to each present. No matter the value of the gift, remember that it is always the thought that matters most.
Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with Romantic Gifts: Thoughts. If you have an interest in romantic gifts, please go over to our website now at Romantic Gifts: Thoughts