Our Lady of the Rosary
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Lost Tribes of Israel?
Mass other then in Latin?
"From age to age...."
The Depression (Continued)
LOST TRIBES OF ISRAEL?
Question: I received a map that claims to
trace “the migrations of the twelve tribes of Israel (The Caucasians)” via
the Caucasus mountains to the Anglo Saxon, German, and Scandinavian lands, and
then on to the United States and Canada. The implication seems to be to
portray Americans as God’s chosen people. Is there any truth to this?
Answer: Usually the “lost tribes of Israel
are said to number ten, not twelve. But let us digress. The tribes
of Israel are the descendants of the Old Testament patriarch Jacob, whom God
renamed “Israel—the champion of God.” Genesis 35 lists Israel’s
The sons of Lia: Ruben the first born, and Simeon, and
Levi, and Juda, and Issachar, and Zabulon. The sons of Rachel: Joseph and
Benjamin. The sons of Bala, Rachel's handmaid: Dan and Nephtali. The
sons of Zelpha, Lia's handmaid: Gad and Aser.
Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manassas replaced their
father as tribal heads, making thirteen tribes in all. After the Exodus
from Egypt and the conquest of Chanaan (c. 1400 B.C.) each tribe was
assigned its own proper area within the promised land. The Levites,
however were to serve the Temple in Jerusalem and be supported through the
efforts of the other twelve tribes. Rather than receiving a tribal
territory, the Levites received only individual cities, some of which were to be
towns of asylum for those who had unintentionally killed another (Numbers 35,
With the death of King Solomon in 932 B.C. the kingdom
split into two unequal parts, the northern tribes under Jeroboam I came to
be called the Kingdom of Israel, and the Southern tribes (Juda, part of
Benjamin, and the near-landless Levites) under Roboam came to be called the
Kingdom of Juda (Cf. 3 Kings 12).
In 722 B.C. the northern tribes were taken into
captivity by the Assyrians (Cf. 4 Kings 17). The Assyrians
settled foreign people in the land of Samaria, roughly the southern half of the
northern kingdom. Even though the Samaritans adopted Jewish customs they
were resented as outsiders. They worshipped at their own temple on Mount
Gerizim, instead of with the Jews at Jerusalem. The idea of a “good
Samaritan” was quite an innovation for the Jews of our Lord’s time.
The southern kingdom under King Sedecias (607 B.C.)
was taken into captivity by the Babylonians (modern Iraq), but the Babylonians
were overthrown by Persia (modern Iran), and the southern tribes were allowed to
return in 536 B.C.
What became of the northern tribes is highly conjectural.
The Samaritans occupied a significant portion of the north. The New
Testament finds Mary and Joseph, and undoubtedly others of the southern tribe of
Juda living north yet of the Samaritans.
A marvelous Jewish legend holds that the lost tribes were
exiled beyond a most violent river known as the Sambation. The
river is not crossable for six days of the week—extremely rough rapids
churn up rocks—but comes to a rest on the Sabbath—and of course the
religious Jew will not undertake a journey on the Sabbath, so they remain in
There are a surprising number of groups claiming decent
from the lost tribes of Israel. Some do so seeking to gain religious
legitimacy—the map our questioner received (there are a number of others)
tries to connect the tribes with the Protestant countries of northern Europe
whose settlers populated North America. A similar map is used by White
Supremacists. The Mormon Church claims that the descendents of the tribes
settled in the American West, and were visited by our Lord after His
Some claimants to lost tribe status are from impoverished
or war torn countries, and are interested in exercising modern Israel’s
“right of return” in order to take up residence and citizenship in that
country. Among such refugee groups are the Beth Israel Jews,
airlifted from Ethiopia in the 1970s and 80s. Other claimants are simply
proud to be Jewish, in spite of coming from places not generally associated with
that religion—South Africa, the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and Japan for
example. The Spanish settlers of the Americas suspected that the
indigenous people were descendents of the lost tribes.
Maps can be drawn, claiming to represent the migrations of
the lost tribes, but arrows on a map prove extremely little. Even when
they represent actual patterns of migration they generally fail to prove the
migration of a single unitary body—the peoples moving out of a particular
territory are often evicted by the different people moving into it. And
migration is often known to take place in response to the climate changes the
earth has experienced over the past centuries. Climate change—warming
and cooling—is not a post industrial phenomenon. The barbarian
invasions, for example, were triggered by cooling in the Scandinavian and
Germanic countries, whose people moved south into the Roman Empire and northern
Africa in force, seeking warmer climates with their more productive agriculture.
A medieval warm period allowed farming in extreme northern countries for a
while, but then came the “Little Ice Age” from about 1650-1850 AD.
Modern research has made use of DNA testing to determine
the similarities (or lack thereof) of lost tribe claimants to those of known
Jewish stock. The Lemba tribe of South Africa, and particularly its Buba
clan carry Y‑chromosomes with genes that match those of known Jews and
particularly Jews of the hereditary priestly family of the Cohanim. For
both groups the gene occurs in ten percent of the entire population, and in
fifty percent of the priestly clans, Cohanim and Buba.
The NOVA web pages referenced in the footnotes make interesting reading indeed.
Perhaps future research will help to distinguish fact from fiction with respect
to the lost tribes.
Mass other than latin?
Question: In the “good ole days” was Mass
ever said in any language but Latin? (A.H., New York)
Answer: From our perspective, we still live in
the “good ole days” of Catholic worship. A variety of languages are
employed by the various rites of the Catholic Church. But, generally
speaking, the language of Western Rite Catholics has been Latin for many
centuries. A significant exception is the permission, confirmed by Pope
Urban VIII in 1631, for Roman Rite Catholics living along the cost of the
Adriatic in Dalmatia and Croatia to offer the Mass and Office in the Old
The Slavic language used in the Roman Rite is the same
language used by the Russians and Ukrainians in their Byzantine Rite liturgy,
but written in Glagolitic letters instead of Cyrillic. Glagolitic
resembles Cyrillic in some of its letters, but others are wildly different.
There is even some significant difference between the forms of Glagolitic—the
“round form” is used for Church Slavonic and a newer “square form” is
used for Croatian. Here is the (modern) Cyrillic:
А Б В Г Д Е Ж
З И Й К Л М Н О П Р
С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Ъ
Ы Ь Э Ю Я
а б в г д е ё ж з и
й к л м н о п р с т
у ф х ц ч ш щ ъ ы ь
э ю я
And here is the “round” form of Glagolitic.
The Dominican Rite is Western but not Roman, strictly
speaking. In 1356 Pope Innocent VI approved an order of Friars of Saint
Gregory the Illuminator to use the Rite in the old Armenian Language in Armenia,
Persia, and Georgia—they were absorbed into the Dominican Order in the 18th
century. In 1398 Pope Boniface IX authorized the Rite’s use in
Greek for a single monastery. Old Armenian was used in parts of
Transylvania before the Communist revolution.
If memory serves, there are also places in Southern Italy
where the Roman Liturgy is offered in Greek, and a few instances where Hebrew is
From age to age you gather a people to
Question: In the Novus Ordo there is a
prayer that says: “From age to age you gather a people to yourself, so that
from east to west a perfect offering may be made to the glory of your name.”
Are the people thus gathered the “perfect offering”? Shouldn’t it by
Jesus Christ instead of the people? (A.H., New York)
Answer: The prayer quoted from the Novus
Ordo is from Prex III, which is the most synthetic of the four
Eucharistic Prayers. I, II, and IV are based on ancient sources—often
abominably translated or mistranslated. But III is the work of the
Of course I see conspiracy in everything modern, but it
looks to me that the phrase was made deliberately ambiguous in the ICEL “translation”(below
at right). The phrase in Prex III “ut a
solis ortu usque ad occásum oblátio munda offerátur nómini tuo.”
corresponds to the “clean oblation” mentioned in Malachy 1: 11 “For from the rising of the sun even to the going
down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is
sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation:
for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts.” In
Latin, anyone with a knowledge of the Bible would recognize that the “perfect
offering” is the one predicted of Jesus Christ—in the English it is easier
to envision the congregation worshipping itself. No doubt you have heard NovusOrdoites
use the phrase “we are the body of Christ.”
Vere Sanctus es, Dómine, et mérito te laudat omnis
a te cóndita creatúra, quia per Fílium tuum, Dóminum nostrum Iesum
Christum, Spíritus Sancti operánte virtúte,
vivíficas et sanctíficas univérsa, et pópulum tibi congregáre non désinis,
ut a solis ortu usque ad occásum oblátio munda offerátur nómini tuo.
Father, you are holy indeed, and all creation rightly
gives you praise. All life, all holiness comes from you through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord, by the working of the Holy Spirit. From age to age
you gather a people to yourself, so that from east to west a perfect
offering may be made to the glory of your name.
Perhaps substituting “from east to west” for “from
the rising of the sun even to the going down,” is part of the obsession with
brevity. Or maybe they don’t expect government school grads to know
where the sun rises and where it sets!
The Great Depression
Question: Were there moral aspects of the
Great Depression? A lot of people
suffered for well over a decade. Shouldn’t someone be held responsible?
and Fallacies ●
dominated education gives most Americans the idea that the Great Depression was
caused by an inherent weakness in free enterprise, that Herbert Hoover failed to
exercise enough government intervention to keep the economy from contracting
after the decade of prosperity nicknamed “the roaring twenties,” and that
only the massive government spending programs of Franklin D. Roosevelt pulled
the United States out of the Depression. We have seen that the first two
of these ideas are manifestly false. But before we have a look at the
Roosevelt years, it will be useful to examine some of the fallacies underlying
the economic policies that contributed to the Depression, and the facts that
Aggregation Fallacies ●
indubitable “common good” of every person on the planet is eternal
salvation. “For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole
world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?”
But “progressive” thinking holds that it is somehow possible to take the
myriad needs and wants of everyone in a nation; to reduce them to a few
pages defining “the common good,” or “the will of the people”; and
then to build a society that works toward that “common good” without regard
to the needs, wants, or rights of individual citizens. Invariably, this
“will of the people” is expressed in material terms—in reality, it is
dictated by a small elite pretending to speak for society while enriching itself
at the expense of everyone else.
This fallacy of
aggregation spills over into the economic thinking of those trying to plan the
society for “the common good.” It is presumed that one can measure
economic factors like supply, demand, price, interest rate, employment rate, and
so forth, and aggregate them together on a industry wide, region wide, or even
nationwide basis without losing knowledge of all the minute details active at
the level of individual transactions among real people. For example, one
can measure national unemployment, but such a figure tells us almost nothing
about why a real person was offered a job or not, why he accepted it or not, and
what part wages, benefits, working conditions, personal needs, future
expectations, and so forth played in his decision. Setting national
targets based on such aggregations will always be more wasteful than allowing
the free market among thousands or millions of people to set it own goals.
The “optimal,” “sustainable,” “desirable” levels of such things are
meaningful only at the level of the individual. Setting the levels of any
of these factors by governmental fiat will invariably cause real world
individuals to act incorrectly and to waste the resources of society.
Economic Decisions Made By Fiat ●
nor prelate can make economic decisions without regard to the laws of
economics.. Civil and moral laws are prescriptive, telling us what
we ought or must do. Economic laws are descriptive, telling us what
will happen if we do one thing or the other. Like the laws of gravity they
cannot be over-ruled except at grave peril.
“Economics ... is the science of tracing the effects of some proposed or
existing policy not only on some special interest in the short run,
but on the general interest in the long run.”
~ Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson, p.191
Subsidization Fallacies ●
motives of compassion, central economic planning makes bad times worse by
subsidizing a problem—or, much more accurately, by making people and firms in
the private sector subsidize the problem. Subsidization programs almost
always violate Hazlitt’s principle (box above). Laws requiring minimum
or maximum wages, prices, rents, hours of work, levels of production, as well as
those that “protect” some group from another, consistently work to make the
perceived problem worse, or to pass it on to some other group of people.
artificial minimums or maximums the economy will be distorted in one way or
another. Rent control will guarantee housing shortages. Minimum
wages will raise unemployment. Maximum prices will guarantee shortages;
minimum prices will leave some unable to buy even when there is surplus; and
both are likely to create a “black market.”
Paying someone not
to produce may raise the seemingly “unfair” depressed price of a commodity
to a “fair” level—but it won’t seem “fair” to the consumer who has
to pay more than the market price, or may not be able to obtain the commodity at
all—and the fellow paid not to produce at his land or factory may invest the
payment at his brother-in-law’s land or factory, altogether defeating the
control of production.
tariff may indeed keep an inefficient industry in business, wasting resources,
but the consumer will be faced with higher prices. If the tariff is
significant, foreign nations will retaliate, harming the market for our exports,
perhaps forcing the producers of goods for export to lay off workers, buy fewer
materials on the domestic market, and perhaps to go out of business altogether.
Unions, guilds, and
professional licensing structures may (or may not) guarantee product quality and
protect members from exploitation. They will generally bring higher wages
for their members, but only at the expense of those who must pay more and those
who are denied entry into the union, guild or profession.
subsidization is always paid for by someone else in the economy, either directly
or by lowering overall productivity. Consistently it adds the costs of its
own bureaucracy, and the costs of complying with the regulations produced by
that bureaucracy. It creates new areas for corruption.
Government is Productive ●
One might make the
statement that good government enables production—chiefly by
defending individuals from aggressors foreign and domestic, and by enforcing
contracts—but rarely if ever does government produce anything.
Generally government takes wealth from the private sector by means of taxes,
inflation, and costs of compliance; consumes a significant portion of that
wealth in its bureaucracy; and redistributes what is left over.
Whatever is taken from the private sector in money or manpower cannot be enjoyed
in consumption, nor invested in productive activities.
Even the claim that
“government investment” in infrastructure is productive remains dubious.
A community might prize a new road, bridge, or hospital, but have no need for
more than one or two. Some citizens and businesses are likely to be
uprooted by such projects, being told that the “common good” makes up for
their inconvenience and under-compensation.
In theory, the new
road, bridge, or whatever is an asset to the community—in reality it is
a liability. It will never be sold at a profit, and must be
maintained at considerable expense, even long after the central government has
lost interest. Money raised through tolls or taxes on the use of the
infrastructure might be used to pay for the maintenance, but governments are
sorely tempted to spend such monies on more glamorous and politically promising
projects. (Replacing rivets and painting a fresh coat of dull color on a
bridge never got anyone re-elected.)
The Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) of any nation is overstated by adding the costs of
government to the total amount of private productivity instead of subtracting
it. GDP figures during wartime are particularly deceptive in that they
include large outlays for material and manpower that are destructive
rather than productive. But, of course, we know who publishes the GDP
describe government spending during an economic downturn as “pump priming,”
“jump starting,” or “recovery stimulus.” While government may
employ people who would otherwise be without work, it will be far less
productive of real goods than would be the private sector, and will divert
manpower and capital away from already suffering productive enterprises.
It will dig its hole deeper and deeper until war, revolution, or general
collapse bring it to an end.
More Money = Greater Wealth ●
Money is not
wealth, especially if it has no intrinsic value. Wealth includes things
like food, clothing, shelter, luxuries, and the means to defend one’s
community, family, and property. Wealth is produced only by making use of
the resources of nature and society. “Printing”—in quotes because
most money today is in the form of bank ledger entries and not
currency—“printing” additional money does not add to the wealth of society
and, in fact, defrauds those who have been holding money with the expectation
that it can be redeemed for tangible wealth when needed. The inability to
reliably store wealth as money decreases savings, investments, and consequent
Inflation is Caused By Greed ●
This fallacy holds
that people bid up the prices of goods because they have given themselves over
to unbridled wants. In a market economy such a thing is impossible.
Given hard currency, market based interest rates, and lenders who will be forced
out of business if they make many bad loans, there is no way to consume more
than one possesses. Inflation is caused by the “printing” of more
money. As no new wealth has been produced, more dollars will chase the
same number of goods. New money takes some time to make its way through
the economy, being spent into circulation by government at full value;
reaching the well connected first, while its value is still close to what it was
before; reaching the poor last of all, when it has fallen to its new value
(q.v. “Cantillon effect”).
money is spent into existence on government programs which often decrease
productivity, lead to scarcity and higher prices.
Easy Credit = Greater Wealth ●
If the Federal
Reserve or other central banks lower interest rates below market levels it gives
investors the false impression that great profits can be made by
borrowing and investing in productive enterprises. Low rates may trigger a
temporary boom (e.g. the “roaring 20s”), but ultimately it becomes clear
that enterprises have grown beyond the desire or ability of consumers to buy
their goods. When this does become clear, all but the efficient firms must
go out of business, often selling their assets at fire-sale prices (e.g.
“Black Thursday,” 1929).
You Can’t Redistribute What is Not Produced ●
cruelest, nor the most benevolent, dictator can redistribute the wheat that has
not been planted, grown, and harvested; nor the flour that has not been
milled; nor the bread that has not been baked. Nor can the dictator
redistribute what has not been invented and brought to production by someone who
has seen its need and taken the risks to fulfill that need.
Depression is Caused by Lower Wages ●
Quite the opposite:
lower wages and “under-consumption” are caused by failure of the market to
remain productive. A productive economy produces more wealth and
purchasing power for everyone involved. The chief enemies of productivity
are irresponsible monetary and fiscal policies, over-regulation, and
cartelization of industry—war and pestilence may have similar effects but are
usually temporary rather than permanent factors in the economy. When a
downturn in the economy is experienced, additional tinkering with the economy
will only delay the process of market reorganization of productive resources,
prolonging the misery for most.
Free Enterprise Must Be Government Controlled and Subsidized ●
cartels cannot form or last in free enterprise. Anyone who attempts to
“corner the market” and raise prices will lose to firms willing to charge
lower prices. Historically, the only free market monopolies have been
those firms that were so efficient that they could afford to sell, even in the
long term, at prices below those of their competitors—but such a happy state
of affairs does not last forever, and eventually new firms take the lead in
selling high quality at low cost.
monopolies and cartels can form only with the aid of government. Usually
this comes about through regulation, often lobbied for by the larger firms which
are capable of profiting from patent holdings, exploitation of political issues
(e.g. global “warming”), and the sheer size necessary to cope with the
legal, accounting, and bureaucratic requirements—requirements that will sink
smaller firms; even firms more efficient in the absence of political influence.
American history is
filled with free market firms that succeeded at enormous enterprises that many
people assume could be successful only with government subsidy—including
turnpikes, canals, transcontinental railroads, shipping firms, refineries and
chemical works, automobile and airplane makers . Only when politicians
perceived the power that could be derived from subsidizing such enterprises did
they become less efficient while simultaneously driving out more efficient
[To be continued]