The Challenges of Faith

Faith assumes a commitment to a cause, an individual, a nation. Faith, however, turns dangerous when granted blindly. To me, being faithful means accepting the wrongs of the entity to which you are so intricately tied as malleable and destined to change. It reasonably follows that when we speak of being faithful, the first step is often taking a “leap” of faith. Faith is henceforth not something that we just decide to do, but rather it is a risk that individuals commit to taking. But to be “always faithful” extends far beyond this first great bound. “Always faithful” ensures active renewal of this initial commitment.

Being always faithful is a principle that consequentially resides upon trust. The entity in which you so devotedly believe will surely reveal its flaws, just as you most believe in it. Others may question your commitment to this entity in spite of these flaws, causing your faith to waver. Being always faithful means that, despite this questioning, you remember your commitment. You took that leap and now you must renew your vow of faith, and it is at this moment that trust enters the equation. In the question of faith, trust is multifaceted. You must trust that the entity to which you are faithful is ultimately good and reflects your values, and you must trust your initial judgment in having chosen to be faithful in the first place. It is my understanding that being “always faithful” is only achieved once trust has been instilled.

I often find myself questioning this notion of continual faith in my long-standing relationship with the state of Israel. I was raised in a Zionist family that proudly the supports and is dedicated to the notion of a Jewish homeland. My parents also raised me with an unwavering commitment to helping others. As a young child, I attended a Jewish day school and unquestioningly embraced the lessons that taught students to support Israel unwaveringly. When I spent a year in Israel exploring, studying and volunteering before college, I pledged to be always faithful to the land and the people that had given me so much. In retrospect, it was this pledge that signified my first leap of faith, for it was only then that the decision to henceforth support Israel was a personal choice.

But, as aforementioned, support should not be blind. Nor should trust should not be built in the absence of questions. Since beginning my university career, I have been exposed to the narratives of Palestinian students whose families suffered in the creation of the Jewish state and whose families consequentially continue to suffer today. These are narratives that were often excluded in the initial teachings of my Zionist beliefs. The notion that the creation of the Jewish state was built at the price of silencing others is impossible to swallow. I largely owe my Jewish identity to the existence of Israel and am sickened to think that others feel they cannot fully connect to their identities because of my own. Some students question my decision to still support a country that has led to the oppression of so many individuals. My commitment remains as a result of the vow to be always faithful.

Why? Because to love something is to challenge it to be its best. I remain faithful to Israel as I challenge it to be better. I am faithful to Israel by engaging in dialogues about the future of the region with my fellow students. I want to be part of a generation that creates a state for the Palestinian people by Israel’s side so that, one day, there can be two nation states for two peoples. Hope is what perpetuates this faith. I remain always faithful because I so closely align with the values upon which Israel was built, primarily the notions of democracy and freedom for its citizens. Most of all, it is upon the Jewish value of tikkun olam (repairing the world), instilled in me by my parents, that allows me to be always faithful as I challenge and help Israel be the best nation it can be. Thus to be always faithful, to me, is to actively pursue a commitment to that in which you believe.


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Parris Island

The United States Marine Corps teach their recruits from the beginning they enter Parris Island in South Carolina, they teach them “Semper Fidelis.” This Latin phrase that means “Always faithful” but what does this mean? There are a lot of things in this world that we can do on our own, but there are even greater opportunities the moment we rely and trust others. What I mean by this is that phrase means always staying true to your brothers and sisters in arms. For me this phrase means being there for a friend, protecting your brother and sister in arms, and lastly to stay faithful to the relationships you have built in the Marine Corps.

It means to be a friend because the moments young Marines enter that recruiting office and go to MEPS then head to Parris Island. Those young Marines created a bond with each other that they will have in common; they all enlisted working towards the same goal. That is why when those Marines meet each other most of the time; they will become friends with each other. They have to because that brotherhood bond will last them a lifetime, not even, it could last generations to come.

Those relationships become so faithful even after those Marines become retired; they still keep in contact and stay friends for life. The relationship that is built through hardship is the most faithful one of them all. I can relate I am not a Marine but I am a soldier in the United States Army. In the Army we have a phrase that says, “I will never leave a fallen comrade.” That is from the Warrior Ethos and for me that means almost the same as Semper Fidelis in the Marine Corps. That is how I relate them, for me it means having a relationship with a friend that you will never abandon ever. Either in the battle field or just a casual day around work, that relationship that is built will never be broken or compromised.

The last meaning it has in my life would be showing the younger Marines how that everlasting faithfulness will last generations of Marines. It will last from the oldest to the youngest. Even if the Marine has passed away from this world, young Marines will still be faithful to the memory he had on defending the country and his family. By showing young Marines Semper Fidelis from the beginning of their training, they will learn to stay true and faithful not only to Marines from their generation, but to the older one, and also to the ones younger than them.

Those three things are what Semper Fidelis means to me. Living next to an Marine base has taught me a lot of that phrase and actually enlisting in the military has shown me a lot more. Also one of my best friends is in the Marines and he has taught me what that phrase means to him.

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The Most Incredible Military Victory in the 20th Century

The Most Incredible Military Victory in the 20th Century

History has recorded many great military victories in the Twentieth Century. Some of the known military victories occurred in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War. These well-known wars lasted for long periods of time; in fact, some were fought for over six years before they ended.

However, one brief war that defined an important place in history occurred in 1967 in the Middle East—a part of the world has been one of the most volatile regions because of the numerous conflicts—between the Arabs and Israelis. Interestingly, in Israel and most countries in the West, it is known as the Six-Day War. In the Arab countries, it is identified as the June War of 1967. This lightning-paced war amazed world leaders and military personnel regarding the success of how a small Middle Eastern nation of only two million people could achieve such devastating military success in only six days, from June 5, 1967, to June 10, 1967. Rarely in modern times has there been a war that has been so short and localized—yet has had such prolonged consequences.

The Timeline of the Events That Precluded the June 1967 War

This short but fierce war featured the young nation of Israel against the countries of the Arab Defense Pact—Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the Sudan. However, most of the fighting involved the Arab nations of Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon who were poised to annihilate Israel. In order to gain an understanding of why this war occurred, some of the major events that that precipitated the war are discussed below. The events that led up to the war are important in the understanding the on-going conflicts between Israel and the Arab nations:

  1. During the Mid-Nineteenth Century and continuing into the Twentieth Century, thousands of Jews from Europe and elsewhere began migrating to the Middle East to a place known as Palestine. This began to ignite resentment by the Arabs who viewed the continual arrival of the Jewish settlers as illegal.

  2. In 1948 in order to initiate a peaceful solution to the growing tension between the Arabs and the Jewish settlers, the United Nations endorsed the creation of two side-by-side states in Palestine—one state would be a designated state for the Jews and one designated state for the Arab population. This proposal was immediately rejected by the Arabs because they wanted sovereignty over all of Palestine, including any new Jewish state.

  3. On May 14, 1948, the United Nations formally recognized Israel, and a Jewish state came into existence.

  4. From 1948 to 1967, frequent Arab and Israeli conflicts remained an immutable fixture of life in the Middle East.

Ever since Israel became a country in 1948, its neighbors were hostile because Israel was located in the area that they had previously had as their homeland.In 1967, tensions escalated to a war in the Middle East. Egypt’s President, Abdul Nasser, publicly stated that he would exterminate Israel. In May of 1967, his intentions became known when he began moving 80,000 Egyptian troops, 400 aircraft, and 900 tanks into the Egyptian-owned Sinai Desert, which shares a border with Israel. When the military numbers of the combined Arab nation forces were revealed, their armies totaled 465,000 troops, 2800 tanks and 800 aircraft—greatly outnumbering Israel’s forces.

The Surprise Attack

Israeli intelligence forces were well aware of the Egyptian military maneuvers, along with the troop and military movements of the other neighboring Arab countries.Rather than waiting to be attacked, Israel launched a devastating surprise attack. In the early morning of June 5, Israel launched its pre-emptive strike.They destroyed 400 Egyptian airplanes in a morning attack on June 5, 1967, while the Egyptian pilots were having breakfast. By the end of day one, Israel’s air force had destroyed the air forces of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq. In addition, the outnumbered Israeli ground forces were successful in driving the Egyptian ground forces across the Sinai Desert to the Suez Canal.

In battle after battle, the Arab alliance was defeated by Israel’s quick military tactics. Thus, the Six-Day War was a disaster for the Arab world: five strong Arab nations were defeated by one small nation in just six days. The cost to Israel included 777 members of its army who were killed, plus 2,586 who were wounded. The death toll on the Arab side included 15,000Egyptians, 2,500 Syrians and 800 Jordanians.

Consequences of the War

While some long-fought wars fade into obscurity, the Six-Day War remains as relevant in 2014 as it did in 1967—because many of the main issues that caused the 1967 war have not been resolved in the 47 years since the war ended. The region is still in the grip of turmoil with familiar terror and counterstrikes occurring frequently, mostly between Palestinian terrorist groups such as Hamas that operate out of the Gaza Strip. Nevertheless, some progress has occurred; there have been occasional peace considerations and treaties that were signed between Egypt and Israel in 1979 and between Jordan and Israel in 1994.

This war demonstrates how a small, highly trained, and disciplined Israeli military force that was fighting for its survival overcame great odds to achieve victory. Even though the conflict has not ended, the military victory has given Israel the strength and confidence to survive in the Middle East for the past 47 years. Israel–with miraculous speed in the Six-Day War—survived as a country.

Another important result of the war is that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict became very important to the Middle East region and to the world. Israel now is considered a regional military power. Jews experienced great pride because of Israel’s military victory. Israel initially tripled its size and gained sovereignty over an Arab populationof approximately one million. Israel had captured the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria. Israel has since returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, and the Gaza Strip is under the leadership of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Regardless of what the future brings to the Middle East, the Six-Day War changed the dynamics in that area.Israel’s swift victory gained it not only regional importance, but gained it a new position as the region’s powerful ally of the United States. Because of its power in the Six-Day War, Israel has, thus, gained international importance, too.

Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2013.
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Oren, Michael B. Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002. Print.
Six-Day War.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Apr. 2013. Web.
“Why History Matters: The 1967 Six-day War.” The World Post. N.p., n.d. Web.

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Paulo Coelho

Being faithful is a characteristic that is greatly valued in society; thus, forming part of our United States Marine Corps. The United States Marine Corps motto is Semper Fidelis which in Latin is translated to “always faithful”. Subsequently, one can conclude that the idea to always be faithful as being central to our nation and societal values. To me the motto signifies being faithful to oneself, family, comrades and above all nation despite the circumstances. If one is faithful objectives will be accomplished and the enemies will be defeated due to the will of being faithful leading to rewarding one.

“If I must be faithful to someone or something, I have, first of all, have to be faithful to myself” (Paulo Coelho); in order for the marines to be faithful to their family, comrades and nation they must first of all truly be faithful to themselves. As the motto states always faithful; if one is always faithful to one’s self then they will be able to analyze how faithful they are staying to others without falsifying their perceptions. A marine’s faithfulness to oneself is essential in order for their survival, the nation’s survival, and for the mission to be accomplished. Successively, a marine’s family should be just as faithful to the marine as the marine should be to the family in order to thrive in the United States Marine Corps. The family’s faithfulness to the marines is power to them. If the marine can trust that their family is staying truthful and faithful to them then he can stay focused on the mission without having to worry about his or her family’s faithfulness and support. A family’s faithfulness to a marine can be seen as their motor; it is what keeps them going and fighting in order to defend the nation and protect interest abroad. Consequently, the marine should in return stay faithful to his or her family. A marine’s faithfulness to their family is essential in order for the marine to be at peace with himself and prioritize his main goal in the Marine Corps which it is to accomplish his mission.

The United Sates Marine Corps mission cannot be accomplished without always staying faithful to ones comrades and nation.  And this is something marines are aware of and value by saluting each other as a form of expressing trust. They must stay faithful to each other in order for them all be faithful to the nation as a whole. Marine’s faithfulness to each other signifies support in every aspect in order to reach the nations mission. Faithfulness will lead to preventing betrayal to the nation. If one can always stay faithful to the nation then the United States Marine Corps mission will succeed and their efforts will be rewarded.

Semper Fidelis or “always faithful” is highly important motto in society, but more so in the United states Marine Corps. “Always faithful” means sacrificing and prioritizing in order to succeed in the mission and learn skills that will contribute to defending the nation and protecting the interest abroad. One must always stay faithful to oneself, family, and comrades in order to stay faithful to the most important thing which it’s our nation. Always staying faithful will succeed to many victories in our nation which we get to participate in by saying true and faithful.

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Always Faithful

Whether it be on the battlefield, workplace, or with friends and families, “Always Faithful” should be a motto and an ideology one should live by to have a strong relationship with their loved ones. Being faithful is essential in order to progress through life successfully.

To me, “Always Faithful” is a motto that is a key aspect of my life, especially when it comes to family. Around the world, there are many families that are destroyed because of the lack of trust and the keeping of one’s word. For example, in marriage, the two people involved who swore to each other that they would love and care for each become distant of each other because of demons that tare friendships and families apart, which we all know as lies. As a growing young adult, staying faithful to my parents is imperative, especially if I want to show my parents that I am a trustworthy and responsible. Now that I am moving miles away from home to continue my education, it is essential that I maintain a strong relationship with my parents. Despite some troubles that exist within my family, we stay true to each other and look over one another. Not only have I been faithful to my family, but my parents have been faithful to me as well. They have been reliable to my siblings and me. As a result of their hard work as parents, I am going to be the first in my family to attend and graduate college.

Not only is always being faithful crucial in family matters, but it is also necessary in relationships you built with friends. Friends are an enormous part of life, and to have a strong relationship will further develop your circle of people, who you can turn to in bad situations. My group of friends and me have known each other since middle school, and thanks to trust, we have not had any discords among each other. We are loyal to each other and we have developed a strong bond with each other. Together, we have volunteered in our community and have given back to our school by fundraising through school clubs. “Always Faithful” in terms of friendship, to me, means giving helpful advice. Before making a huge decision, we make sure we get suggestions from each other in order to make the smartest decision. It is said that you are successful as those who you surround yourself with, and I find that to be true because my friends and me are supportive of each other, and we encourage each other to pursue whatever it is that makes us happy.

Most important, it is crucial that I am “Always Faithful” to myself. If it is to be it is up to me. No one is going to help me or encourage me to pursue my goals, if I do not believe and stay true to myself. I will never change in order to satisfy another person, or let an obstacle change how I am. The only change that will occur is the change to become a greater individual and be more loyal to myself. “Always Faithful” to me, means having respect for myself, my family, and friends, and it is the reason why I have had great relationships with those around me and it will be reason behind my future success.

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Guardians of the Galaxy is the Top Film this Summer

“Guardians of the Galaxy”, produced by Disney, just became the top film this summer as far as summer earnings are concerned. This is buoyed by their strong performance this weekend where it was the best-grossing film. It was a strong performance especially considering the fact that they were up against some stiff competition, including three new releases.

Since the movie was released a month ago in the states, it has grossed close to $252 million. They’ve overtaken other high-grossing movies namely “Transformers: Age of Extinction” which is not far behind with gross sales of $251 million and “Maleficient” with sales of $237 million. It has also outpaced other films namely “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, “Godzilla” and “Neighbors” with their gross sales of $232 million, $201 million and $150 million respectively.

With its gross sales in the US, it’s now tagged as the number 3 movie of the year 2014.

The film started strong, opening with sales of $17.63 million. It narrowly beats cult favorite “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” with its opening of $16.8 million to arrive at a total gross domestic sales of $145.61 million. “If I Stay” is not far behind with a strong opening of $16.36 million. “Let’s Be Cops” and “When the Game Stands Tall” rounds up the top 5 with sales of $11 million and $9 million respectively.

While producers of the top 5 films are pretty happy with the sales figures, producers of “Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For” were disappointed with a weak opening of just $6.4 million.

Equally impressive is the fact that “Guardians” has grossed close to $500 million around the world since its global release. This figure is expected to increase as the film is set to be released in major markets namely China and Japan. Once the dust has settled, the film is expected to be the best film of the year for Disney.

Rory Bruer, the worldwide distribution president of Sony, is excited about the results. Bruer revealed that the film operated on a moderate budget and it was a welcome surprise that the film is performing solidly in the box office, and has even gotten A ratings from cinemas with very solid exits. Bruer also shared that “people really like the film” and he hinted that the film will be shown on theaters for many more weeks, further increasing the sales figures of the film.

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Pager App

New App Makes House Calls A Button Push Away

A brand new app let’s people summon a medical doctor directly to their house. The app, “Pager” is gaining momentum and charges the user a $300 fee for the visit. The creator of the app, Oscar Salazar, learned the app business as an engineer for the popular Uber app.

The app was initially tested in Manhattan and is now hoping to expand to Boston. With Boston having a higher than normal wait to see a doctor, the Pager app has room to grow.

Using the app is as simple as pie. You open the app, press a button and the nearest physicians that are available appear. You make your choice and within a few minutes your doctor gives you a ring. Insurance is not accepted so if you can’t afford the $300 house call you can settle for the $50 phone consultation.

Following suit with other high brow apps, Pager is currently only available for the iPhone.

This isn’t the first time entrepreneurs have tried to cash in by using technology to service patients directly. Dr. On Demand uses a Skype style app to connect with patients.

Tele-medicine as it’s known, has raised eyebrows in congress and several Senators are looking into expanding federal programs that take advantage of it.

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