Bits n Pieces
Asteroid Destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah?
An Assyrian planisphere, or star chart, from about 700 B.C.
which may depict events recounted by Sumerians from around 3123
A clay tablet that has baffled scientists for 150 years has
been identified as a witness's account of the asteroid
suspected of being behind the destruction of Sodom and
Researchers who cracked the cuneiform symbols on the
Planisphere tablet believe that it recorded an asteroid thought
to have been more than half a mile across. The tablet, found by
Henry Layard in the remains of the library in the royal place at
Nineveh in the mid-19th century, is thought to be a 700 B.C. copy
of notes made by a Sumerian astronomer watching the night sky. He
referred to the asteroid as a "white stone bowl
approaching" and recorded it as it "vigorously swept
Using computers to recreate the night sky thousands of years
ago, scientists have pinpointed his sighting to shortly before
dawn on June 29 in the year 3123 B.C.
About half the symbols on the tablet have survived and half of
those refer to the asteroid. The other symbols record the
positions of clouds and constellations. In the past 150 years
scientists have made five unsuccessful attempts to translate the
Fire and Brimstone
Mark Hempsell, one of the researchers from Bristol University
who cracked the tablet's code, said: "It's a
wonderful piece of observation, an absolutely perfect piece of
He said the size and route of the asteroid meant that it was
likely to have crashed into the Austrian Alps at Köfels. As
it traveled close to the ground it would have left a trail of
destruction from supersonic shock waves and then slammed into the
Earth with a cataclysmic impact.
Debris consisting of up to two-thirds of the asteroid would
have been hurled back along its route and a flash reaching
temperatures of 400 Centigrade (752 Fahrenheit) would have been
created, killing anyone in its path. About one million sq
kilometers (386,000 sq miles) would have been devastated and the
impact would have been equivalent to more than 1,000 tons of TNT
Dr Hempsall said that at least 20 ancient myths record
devastation of the type and on the scale of the asteroid's
impact, including the Old Testament tale of the destruction of
Sodom and Gomorrah and the ancient Greek myth of how Phaeton, son
of Helios, fell into the River Eridanus after losing control of
his father's sun chariot. The findings of Dr. Hempsall and
Alan Bond, of Reaction Engines Ltd., are published in a book,
"A Sumerian Observation of the Köfels Impact
The researchers say that the asteroid's impact would
explain why at Köfels there is evidence of an ancient
landslide 3 miles wide and a quarter of a mile thick.
Tale of devastation "Then the Lord
rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out
of Heaven; and he overthrew those cities and all the valley, and
all the inhabitants of the cities ... [Abraham] looked down
toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley,
and beheld, and lo, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke
of a furnace."
Source: Genesis 19:24-28
A Miracle in Israel of a Young intended abortee Saviour
WHERE THERE IS LIFE, THERE
The Efrat organization, dedicated to preventing the number one
cause of death in Israel-abortion,
continues to register successes. In the year 2004, Efrat saved
the lives of 1,658 Jewish children in Israel by providing social and financial support to mothers
who had planned to abort for socio-economic and related reasons.
The number of successes in 2003 was 1,448.
Recently, a story was publicized in a work entitled ‘Aleinu
L'Shabe'ach’ (We Must Praise) by Rabbi Zilberstein of Bnei Brak.
Though the names have been changed, the facts are accurate, as
testified to by more than one person. The incident occurred as
Yoav, a young IDF (Israeli Defense Force) soldier was stationed
in the city of Chevron. Suddenly, he was shot by an Arab sniper
and left for dead. As it was four o'clock in the morning and
no imminent attack was expected, no one was awake to hear the
shot and rush to his aid. It appeared as though Yoav was doomed
to bleed to death before anybody would ever find him. His short
life would come to a tragic silent end.
One other soldier, however, did happen to hear something. Though
not totally sure, he suspected it might be a rifle shot, so he went to investigate. He spotted
Yoav, who was lying on the ground, bleeding to death. He
immediately began to stabilize Yoav's wound and arrange for
emergency transport to a medical facility. It took time for help
to get to the scene, so he needed to apply manual pressure and
any other trick he could think of to keep Yoav alive in the
interim - he was literally holding Yoav's life in his
Eventually, Yoav arrived at a proper medical facility where he
was treated by surgeons. Yoav's parents were notified and
rushed to the hospital. The doctors told them that had it not
been for the immediate and appropriate actions of the other
soldier, their son Yoav would definitely not have survived. It
was indeed a miracle that the other soldier heard what no one
else heard and managed to locate Yoav as quickly as he did. They
went to thank him, but he had already left the hospital.
After Yoav was home recuperating, and everyone was settled, they
called the army to find out the name of the other soldier so they
could thank him personally. Unfortunately, the other
soldier's name had not been recorded in the incident report,
so they now had no way of ever contacting him.
Yoav's parents owned a makolet (small grocery store) in
Kiryat Malachi, so they put up a poster in their store,
describing the miracle that occurred and asking if anyone knew
the identity of Yoav's savior. They figured that Israel is a
small country and someone might know someone who knows something.
Months passed with no response. Finally after a year, a woman
entered the store and saw the sign. She was positive that her son
Doron had mentioned such an account. She took out her cell phone
and called Doron on the spot. Sure enough, he remembered the
incident quite well -he had saved Yoav's life.
Soon all the families gathered together for a joyful, tearful
"reunion." Doron's mother pulled Yoav's mother
aside and told her, "There is a specific reason why I came
to your store today. You don't remember me, but twenty years
ago, I was standing in your makolet feeling lost and forlorn. You
and your wonderful husband noticed how sad I looked and asked me
what the matter was. I explained that I was pregnant and was
overwhelmed. There were so many unbearable difficulties,
financially, socially and emotionally. I had decided that the
only way out was to have an abortion.
"You both stopped everything, and calmly and lovingly sat
with me. You listened to me. Then you offered so much
encouragement and support. Because of you, everything began to
look different, and I chose to keep my baby. I no longer live
around here, but I happened to be passing through and I figured
it would be nice to visit your store again to thank you once
again for all that you did for me. The name of that precious baby
was Doron." "My beloved Doron, who would not have been
born were it not for you, grew up to save your son Yoav's
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