By The Librarian
Abraham[a] (né Abram) is the common patriarch of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and other religions. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the covenant of the pieces, the special relationship between the Jewish people and God; in Christianity, he is the prototype of all believers, Jewish or Gentile; and in Islam he is seen as a link in the chain of prophets that begins with Adam and culminates in Muhammad.
The narrative in the Book of Genesis revolves around the themes of posterity and land. Abraham is called by God to leave the house of his father Terah and settle in the land originally given to Canaan but which God now promises to Abraham and his progeny. Various candidates are put forward who might inherit the land after Abraham; and, while promises are made to Ishmael about founding a great nation, Isaac, Abraham's son by his half-sister Sarah, inherits God's promises to Abraham. Abraham purchases a tomb (the Cave of the Patriarchs) at Hebron to be Sarah's grave, thus establishing his right to the land; and, in the second generation, his heir Isaac is married to a woman from his own kin, thus ruling the Canaanites out of any inheritance. Abraham later marries Keturah and has six more sons; but, on his death, when he is buried beside Sarah, it is Isaac who receives "all Abraham's goods", while the other sons receive only "gifts" (Genesis 25:5–8).
The Abraham story cannot be definitively related to any specific time, and it is widely agreed that the patriarchal age, along with the exodus and the period of the judges, is a late literary construct that does not relate to any period in actual history. A common hypothesis among scholars is that it was composed in the early Persian period (late 6th century BCE) as a result of tensions between Jewish landowners who had stayed in Judah during the Babylonian captivity and traced their right to the land through their "father Abraham", and the returning exiles who based their counter-claim on Moses and the Exodus tradition.
Origins and calling
Terah, the ninth in descent from Noah, was the father of three sons: Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran was the father of Lot (who was thus Abram's nephew), and died in his native city, Ur of the Chaldees. Abram marriedÂ Sarah (Sarai), who was barren. Terah, with Abram, Sarai, and Lot, then departed for Canaan, but settled in a place namedÂ Haran, where Terah died at the age of 205.[Genesis 11:27–32] God had told Abram to leave his country and kindred and go to a land that he would show him, and promised to make of him a great nation, bless him, make his name great, bless them that bless him, and curse them who may curse him.[Genesis 12:1–3] Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and the substance and souls that they had acquired, and traveled to Shechem in Canaan.[Genesis 12:4–6]
There was a severe famine in the land of Canaan, so that Abram and Lot and their households, traveled to Egypt. On the way Abram told Sarai to say that she was his sister, so that the Egyptians would not kill him.[Genesis 12:10–13] When they entered Egypt, the Pharaoh's officials praised Sarai's beauty to Pharaoh, and they took her into the palace and gave Abram goods in exchange. God afflicted Pharaoh and his household with plagues, which led Pharaoh to try to find out what was wrong.[Genesis 12:14–17] Upon discovering that Sarai was a married woman, Pharaoh demanded that Abram and Sarai leave.[Genesis 12:18–20]
Abram and Lot separate
When they came back to the Bethel and Hai area, Abram's and Lot's sizable herds occupied the same pastures. This became a problem for the herdsmen who were assigned to each family's cattle. The conflicts between herdsmen had become so troublesome that Abram suggested that Lot choose a separate area, either on the left hand or on the right hand, that there be no conflict amongst brethren. Lot chose to go eastward to the plain of Jordan where the land was well watered everywhere as far as Zoar, and he dwelled in the cities of the plain toward Sodom. Abram went south to Hebron and settled in the plain of Mamre, where he built another altar to worship God.
During the rebellion of the Jordan River cities against Elam,[Genesis 14:1–9] Abram's nephew, Lot, was taken prisoner along with his entire household by the invading Elamite forces. The Elamite army came to collect the spoils of war, after having just defeated the king of Sodom's armies.[Genesis 14:8–12] Lot and his family, at the time, were settled on the outskirts of theÂ Kingdom of SodomÂ which made them a visible target.[Genesis 13:12]
One person who escaped capture came and told Abram what happened. Once Abram received this news, he immediately assembled 318 trained servants. Abram's force headed north in pursuit of the Elamite army, who were already worn down from the Battle of Siddim. When they caught up with them at Dan, Abram devised a battle plan by splitting his group into more than one unit, and launched a night raid. Not only were they able to free the captives, Abram's unit chased and slaughtered the Elamite King Chedorlaomer at Hobah, just north of Damascus. They freed Lot, as well as his household and possessions, and recovered all of the goods from Sodom that had been taken.[Genesis 14:13–16]
Upon Abram's return, Sodom's king came out to meet with him in the Valley of Shaveh, the "king's dale". Also, Melchizedek king of Salem (Jerusalem), a priest of God Most High, brought out bread and wine and blessed Abram and God. Abram then gave Melchizedek aÂ tenthÂ of everything. The king of Sodom then offered to let Abram keep all the possessions if he would merely return his people. Abram refused any deal from the king of Sodom, other than the share to which his allies were entitled.[Genesis 14:17–24]
Covenant of the pieces
The voice of the Lord came to Abram in a vision and repeated the promise of the land and descendants as numerous as the stars. Abram and God made a covenant ceremony, and God told of the future bondage of Israel in Egypt. God described to Abram the land that his offspring would claim: the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaims, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.[Genesis 15:1–21]
Abram and Sarai tried to make sense of how he would become a progenitor of nations, because after 10 years of living in Canaan, no child had been born. Sarai then offered her Egyptian handmaiden,Â Hagar, to Abram with the intention that she would bear him a son. After Hagar found she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress, Sarai. Therefore, Sarai mistreated Hagar, and Hagar fled away. En route an angel spoke with Hagar at the fountain in the way toÂ Shur. He instructed her to return and that her son would be "a wild ass of a man; his hand shall be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the face of all his brethren." She was told to call her sonÂ Ishmael. Hagar then called God who spoke to her "El-roi", ("Thou God seest me:" KJV). From that day, the well was called Beer-lahai-roi, ("The well of him that liveth and seeth me." KJV margin). She then did as she was instructed by returning to her mistress in order to have her child. Abram was eighty-six years of age when Ishmael was born.[Genesis 16:4–16]
Thirteen years later, when Abram was ninety-nine years of age, God declared Abram's new name: "Abraham" – "a father of many nations".[Genesis 17:5] Abraham then received the instructions for the covenant, of whichÂ circumcisionÂ was to be the sign.[Genesis 17:10–14] Then God declared Sarai's new name: "Sarah" and blessed her and told Abraham, "I will give thee a son also of her".[Genesis 17:15–16] But Abraham laughed, and "said in his heart, 'Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?'"[Genesis 17:17] Immediately after Abraham's encounter with God, he had his entire household of men, including himself (age 99) and Ishmael (age 13), circumcised.[Genesis 17:22–27]
Not long afterward, during the heat of the day, Abraham had been sitting at the entrance of his tent by the terebinths of Mamre. He looked up and saw three men in the presence of God. Then he ran and bowed to the ground to welcome them. Abraham then offered to wash their feet and fetch them a morsel of bread, to which they assented. Abraham rushed to Sarah's tent to order cakes made from choice flour, then he ordered a servant-boy to prepare a choice calf. When all was prepared, he set curds, milk and the calf before them, waiting on them, under a tree, as they ate.[Genesis 18:1–8]
One of the visitors told Abraham that upon his return next year, Sarah would have a son. While at the tent entrance, Sarah overheard what was said and she laughed to herself about the prospect of having a child at their ages. The visitor inquired of Abraham why Sarah laughed at bearing a child at her age, as nothing is too hard for God. Frightened, Sarah denied laughing.
After eating, Abraham and the three visitors got up. They walked over to the peak that overlooked the 'cities of the plain' to discuss the fate ofÂ Sodom and GomorrahÂ for their detestable sins that were so great, it moved God to action. Because Abraham's nephew was living in Sodom, God revealed plans to confirm and judge these cities. At this point, the two other visitors left for Sodom. Then Abraham turned to God and pleaded decrementally with Him (from fifty persons to less) that "if there were at least ten righteous men found in the city, would not God spare the city?" For the sake of ten righteous people, God declared that he would not destroy the city.[Genesis 18:17–33]
When the two visitors got to Sodom to conduct their report, they planned on staying in the city square. However, Abraham's nephew, Lot, met with them and strongly insisted that these two "men" stay at his house for the night. A rally of men stood outside of Lot's home and demanded that they bring out his guests so that they may "know" (v.5) them. However, Lot objected and offered his virgin daughters who had not "known" (v.8) man to the rally of men instead. They rejected that notion and sought to break down Lot's door to get to his male guests,[Genesis 19:1–9]Â thus confirming the wickedness of the city and portending their imminent destruction.[Genesis 19:12–13]
Early the next morning, Abraham went to the place where he stood before God. He "looked out toward Sodom and Gomorrah" and saw what became of the cities of the plain, where not even "ten righteous" (v.18:32) had been found, as "the smoke of the land went up as the smoke of a furnace."[Genesis 19:27–29]
Abraham settled betweenÂ KadeshÂ andÂ ShurÂ in the land of theÂ Philistines. While he was living inÂ Gerar, Abraham openly claimed that Sarah was his sister. Upon discovering this news, KingÂ AbimelechÂ had her brought to him. God then came to Abimelech in a dream and declared that taking her would result in death because she was a man's wife. Abimelech had not laid hands on her, so he inquired if he would also slay a righteous nation, especially since Abraham had claimed that he and Sarah were siblings. In response, God told Abimelech that he did indeed have a blameless heart and that is why he continued to exist. However, should he not return the wife of Abraham back to him, God would surely destroy Abimelech and his entire household. Abimelech was informed that Abraham was a prophet who would pray for him.[Genesis 20:1–7]
Early next morning, Abimelech informed his servants of his dream and approached Abraham inquiring as to why he had brought such great guilt upon his kingdom. Abraham stated that he thought there was no fear of God in that place, and that they might kill him for his wife. Then Abraham defended what he had said as not being a lie at all: "And yet indeedÂ she isÂ my sister; sheÂ isÂ the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife."[Genesis 20:12]Â Abimelech returned Sarah to Abraham, and gave him gifts of sheep, oxen, and servants; and invited him to settle wherever he pleased in Abimelech's lands. Further, Abimelech gave Abraham a thousand pieces of silver to serve as Sarah's vindication before all. Abraham then prayed for Abimelech and his household, since God had stricken the women with infertility because of the taking of Sarah.[Genesis 20:8–18]
After living for some time in the land of the Philistines,Â AbimelechÂ andÂ Phicol, the chief of his troops, approached Abraham because of a dispute that resulted in a violent confrontation at a well. Abraham then reproached Abimelech due to his Philistine servant's aggressive attacks and the seizing ofÂ Abraham's well. Abimelech claimed ignorance of the incident. Then Abraham offered a pact by providing sheep and oxen to Abimelech. Further, to attest that Abraham was the one who dug the well, he also gave Abimelech seven ewes for proof. Because of this sworn oath, they called the place of this well:Â Beersheba. After Abimelech and Phicol headed back toÂ Philistia, Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba and called upon "the name of the LORD, the everlasting God."[Genesis 21:22–34]
As had been prophesied in Mamre the previous year,[Genesis 17:21]Â Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham, on the first anniversary of the covenant of circumcision. Abraham was "an hundred years old", when his son whom he named Isaac was born; and he circumcised him when he was eight days old.[Genesis] For Sarah, the thought of giving birth and nursing a child, at such an old age, also brought her much laughter, as she declared, "God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me."[Genesis] Isaac continued to grow and on the day he was weaned, Abraham held a great feast to honor the occasion. During the celebration, however, Sarah found Ishmael mocking; an observation that would begin to clarify the birthright of Isaac.[Genesis 21:8–13]
Ishmael was fourteen years old when Abraham's son Isaac was born to Sarah. When she found Ishmael teasing Isaac, Sarah told Abraham to send both Ishmael and Hagar away. She declared that Ishmael would not share in Isaac's inheritance. Abraham was greatly distressed by his wife's words and sought the advice of his God. God told Abraham not to be distressed but to do as his wife commanded. God reassured Abraham that "in Isaac shall seed be called to thee."[Genesis 21:12] He also said that Ishmael would make a nation, "because he is thy seed".[Genesis 21:9–13]
Early the next morning, Abraham brought Hagar and Ishmael out together. He gave her bread and water and sent them away. The two wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba until her bottle of water was completely consumed. In a moment of despair, she burst into tears. After God heard the boy's voice, anÂ angel of the Lord confirmed to Hagar that he would become a great nation, and will be "living on his sword". A well of water then appeared so that it saved their lives. As the boy grew, he became a skilled archer living in the wilderness of Paran. Eventually his mother found a wife for Ishmael from her home country, the land of Egypt.[Genesis 21:14–21]
Binding of Isaac
At some point in Isaac's youth, Abraham was commanded by God to offer his son up as a sacrifice in the land of Moriah. The patriarch traveled three days until he came to the mount that God told him of. He then commanded the servants to remain while he and Isaac proceeded alone into the mount. Isaac carried the wood upon which he would be sacrificed. Along the way, Isaac asked his father where the animal for the burnt offering was, to which Abraham replied "God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering". Just as Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, he was interrupted by the angel of the Lord, and he saw behind him a "ram caught in a thicket by his horns", which he sacrificed instead of his son. For his obedience he received another promise of numerous descendants and abundant prosperity. After this event, Abraham went to Beersheba.[Genesis 22:1–19]
Sarah died, and Abraham buried her in the Cave of the Patriarchs (the "cave of Machpelah"), near Hebron which he had purchased along with the adjoining field from Ephron the Hittite.[Genesis 23:1–20] After the death of Sarah, Abraham took another wife, a concubine named Keturah, by whom he had six sons: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.[Genesis 25:1–6] According to the Bible, reflecting the change of his name to "Abraham" meaning "a father of many nations", Abraham is considered to be the progenitor of many nations mentioned in the Bible, among others the Israelites, Ishmaelites,[Genesis 25:12Â–18] Edomites,[Genesis 36:1–43]) Amalekites,[Genesis 36:12–16] Kenizzites,[Genesis 36:9–16]Â Midianites and Assyrians,[Genesis 25:1–5] and through his nephew Lot he was also related to the Moabites and Ammonites.[Genesis 19:35–38]Â Abraham lived to see his son marry Rebekah, (and to see the birth of his twin grandsons Jacob and Esau). He died at age 175, and was buried in the cave of Machpelah by his sons Isaac and Ishmael.[Genesis 25:7–10][1 Chronicles 1:32]
Abraham is given a high position of respect in three major world faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In Judaism he is the founding father of the Covenant, the special relationship between the Jewish people and God – a belief which gives the Jews a unique position as the Chosen People of God. In Christianity, the Apostle Paul taught that Abraham's faith in God – preceding the Mosaic law – made him the prototype of all believers, circumcised and uncircumcised. The Islamic prophet Muhammad claimed Abraham, whose submission to God constituted Islam as a "believer before the fact" and undercut Jewish claims to an exclusive relationship with God and the Covenant.
In Jewish tradition, Abraham is called Avraham Avinu (אברהם אבינו), "our father Abraham," signifying that he is both the biological progenitor of the Jews and the father of Judaism, the first Jew. His story is read in the weekly Torah reading portions, predominantly in the parashot: Lech-Lecha (לֶךְ-לְךָ), Vayeira (וַיֵּרָא), Chayei Sarah (חַיֵּי שָׂרָה), and Toledot (תּוֹלְדֹת).
In Jewish legend, God created heaven and earth for the sake of the merits of Abraham. After the deluge, Abraham was the only one among the pious who solemnly swear never forsaking God, and studied in house of Noah and Shem to learn about "Ways of God," and continuing the line of High Priest from Noah and Shem, then he descended the office to Levi and his seeds forever. Before leaving his fathers' land, Abraham was miraculously saved from the fiery furnace of Nimrod following his brave action of breaking the idols of the Chaldeans into pieces. During his sojourning in Canaan, Abraham was accustomed to extend hospitality to travelers and strangers and taught how to praise God also knowledge of God to those who had received his kindness.
Besides Isaac and Jacob, he is the one whose name would appear united with God, asÂ God in Judaism was called Elohei Abraham, Elohei Yitzchak ve Elohei Ya`aqob ("God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob") and never the God of any one else. He was also mentioned as the father of thirty nations.
Abraham does not loom so large in Christianity as he does in Judaism and Islam. It is Jesus as the Jewish Messiah who is central to Christianity, and the idea of a divine Messiah is what separates Christianity from the other two religions. In Romans 4, Abraham's merit is less his obedience to the divine will than his faith in God's ultimate grace; this faith provides him the merit for God having chosen him for the covenant, and the covenant becomes one of faith, not obedience.
The Roman Catholic Church calls Abraham "our father in Faith" in the Eucharistic prayer of the Roman Canon, recited during the Mass (see Abraham in the Catholic liturgy). He is also commemorated in the calendars of saints of several denominations: on 20 August by the Maronite Church, 28 August in the Coptic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East (with the full office for the latter), and on 9 October by the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. In the introduction to his 15th-century translation of the Golden Legend's account of Abraham, William Caxton noted that this patriarch's life was read in church on Quinquagesima Sunday. He is the patron saint of those in the hospitality industry.[page needed] The Eastern Orthodox Church commemorates him as the "Righteous Forefather Abraham", with two feast days in its liturgical calendar. The first time is on 9 October (for those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, 9 October falls on 22 October of the modern Gregorian Calendar), where he is commemorated together with his nephew "Righteous Lot". The other is on the "Sunday of the Forefathers" (two Sundays before Christmas), when he is commemorated together with other ancestors of Jesus. Abraham is also mentioned in the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great, just before the Anaphora, and Abraham and Sarah are invoked in the prayers said by the priest over a newly married couple.
Islam regards Abraham as a link in the chain of prophets that begins with Adam and culminates in Muhammad. Ibrāhīm is mentioned in 35 chapters of the Quran, more often than any other biblical personage apart from Moses. He is called both a hanif (monotheist) and muslim (one who submits), and Muslims regard him as a prophet and patriarch, the archetype of the perfect Muslim, and the revered reformer of the Kaaba in Mecca. Islamic traditions consider Ibrāhīm (Abraham) the first Pioneer of Islam (which is also called millat Ibrahim, the "religion of Abraham"), and that his purpose and mission throughout his life was to proclaim the Oneness of God. In Islam, Abraham holds an exalted position among the major prophets and he is referred to as "Ibrahim Khalilullah", meaning "Abraham the Beloved of Allah".
Besides Ishaq and Yaqub, Ibrahim is among the most honorable and the most excellent men in sight of God. Ibrahim was also mentioned in Quran as "Father of Muslims" and the role model for the community.
McCarter 2000, p.Â 8. Levenson 2012, p.Â 8. Ska 2009, pp.Â 26Â–31. McNutt 1999, pp.Â 41Â–42. Ska 2006, pp.Â 227Â–28, 260. Abram and Lot Separate", Chabad.org Moore & Kelle 2011, pp.Â 18Â–19. Dever 2002, p.Â 98 and fn.2. Thompson 2002, pp.Â 23Â–24. Pitard 2001, p.Â 27. Ska 2009, p.Â 260. Enns 2012, p.Â 26. Ska 2006, pp.Â 217, 227Â–28. Carr & Conway 2010, p.Â 193. Ska 2009, p.Â 43. Ska 2009, p.Â 44. Peters 2010, pp.Â 170Â–71. Levenson 2012, p.Â 3. Ginzberg, Louis (1909).Â The Legends of the Jews Vol. IÂ : The Wicked GenerationsÂ (Translated by Henrietta Szold) Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society. Ginzberg, Louis (1909).Â The Legends of the Jews Vol. IÂ : In the Fiery FurnaceÂ (Translated by Henrietta Szold) Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society. Samuel, Moses, 1840,Â Book of JasherÂ (Sefer Hayashar) Referred to in Joshua and Second SamuelÂ Chapter 9: 5-6] Ginzberg, Louis (1909).Â The Legends of the Jews Vol. IÂ : In the Fiery FurnaceÂ (Translated by Henrietta Szold) Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society. Ginzberg, Louis (1909).Â The Legends of the Jews Vol. IÂ : The Covenant with AbimelechÂ (Translated by Henrietta Szold) Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society. Ginzberg, Louis (1909).Â The Legends of the Jews Vol. IÂ : Joy And Sorrow in the House Of JacobÂ (Translated by Henrietta Szold) Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society. Ginzberg, Louis (1909).Â The Legends of the Jews Vol. IÂ : The Birth Of Esau And JacobÂ (Translated by Henrietta Szold) Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society. Peters 2010, p.Â 171. Firestone, Reuven.Â "Abraham."Â Encyclopedia of World History. Caxton, William.Â "Abraham".Â The Golden Legend. Internet Medieval Source Book. RetrievedÂ 3 AprilÂ 2014. Holweck 1924. Levenson 2012, p.Â PA8. Peters 2003, p.Â PA9. Levenson 2012, p.Â PA200. Mecca, Martin Lings, c. 2004 Quran (chapter Shaad) 38:45-47 Maulana, Mohammad, 2006,Â Encyclopaedia Of Quranic StudiesÂ p. 104 Quran (chapter Al-Hajj) 22:78 Quran (chapter Al-Mumtahanah) 60:4-6 For a very thorough online collection of links to artwork about Abraham see:Â Artwork Depicting Scenes from Abraham's Life. Retrieved 25 March 2011 Exum 2007, p.Â 135. Journal of Early Christian Studies, Leonard Victor Rutgers,Â The Iconography of the Sarcophagus of Junius BassusÂ (review of Malbon book), Volume 1, Number 1, Spring 1993, pp. 94Â–96; for Janson it is also the "finest Early Christian sarcophagus". or 1595, see Elsner, p. 86n. Abraham's Farewell to Ishmael.Â George Segal.Â Miami Art Museum. Collections: Recent Acquisitions.. Retrieved 10 September 2014. "Abraham the Patriarch in Art Â– Iconography and Literature". Christian Iconography Â– a project ofÂ Georgia Regents University. RetrievedÂ 2014-04-18. Boguslawski, Alexander.Â "The Holy Trinity". Rollins.edu. RetrievedÂ 3 AprilÂ 2014. Â Kierkegaard 1980, pp.Â 155Â–56. "Highway 61 Revisited". Retrieved 25 March 2011. "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Archived fromÂ the originalÂ on 13 September 2008. RetrievedÂ 8 AugustÂ 2008. - Wikipedia
Abram or Abraham?
By Deaf Hear USA
You dear older family and friends are not alone in your trials. Aged servants of Jehovah in Bible times faced similar challenges. For example, Isaac, Jacob, and Ahijah lost their eyesight. (Gen. 27:1; 48:10; 1 Ki. 14:4) Sarah felt “worn out.” (Gen. 18:11, 12) King David “could not get warm.” (1 Ki. 1:1) Wealthy Barzillai could no longer enjoy the taste of food or the sounds of music. (2 Sam. 19:32-35) Abraham and Naomi each had to cope with the loss of a marriage mate.—Gen. 23:1, 2; Ruth 1:3, 12.
By Jack Ryan
...and yet you talk to this invisible friend several times a day even though the friend has never talked back to you?
By Guest Nicole
Despite warnings from experts, older people are using
more anti-anxiety and sleep medications, putting
them at risk of serious side effects and even overdoses.
At first, the pills helped her feel so much better.
Jessica Falstein, an artist living in the East Village in Manhattan, learned she had an anxiety disorder in 1992. It led to panic attacks, a racing pulse, sleeplessness. “Whenever there was too much stress, the anxiety would become almost intolerable, like acid in the veins,” she recalled.
When a psychopharmacologist prescribed the drug Klonopin, everything brightened. “It just leveled me out,” Ms. Falstein said. “I had more energy. And it helped me sleep, which I was desperate for.”
After several months, however, the horrible symptoms returned. “My body became accustomed to half a milligram, and the drug stopped working,” she said. “So then I was up to one milligram. And then two.” Her doctor kept increasing the dosage and added Ativan to the mix.
Now 67, with her health and stamina in decline, Ms. Falstein has been diligently working to wean herself from both medications, part of the class called benzodiazepines that is widely prescribed for insomnia and anxiety. “They turn on you,” she said.
For years, geriatricians and researchers have sounded the alarm about the use of benzodiazepines among older adults. Often called “benzos,” the problem drugs include Valium (diazepam), Klonopin (clonazepam), Xanax (alprazolam) and Ativan (lorazepam).
The cautions have had scant effect: Use of the drugs has risen among older people, even though they are particularly vulnerable to the drugs’ ill effects. Like Ms. Falstein, many patients take them for years, though they’re recommended only for short periods. The chemically related “z-drugs” — Ambien, Sonata and Lunesta — present similar risks.
Now the opioid epidemic has generated fresh warnings, because pain relievers like Vicodin (hydrocodone with Tylenol) and OxyContin (oxycodone) are also frequently prescribed for older people. When patients take both, they’re at risk for overdosing.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/16/health/elderly-drugs-addiction.html
By Guest Nicole
Dan King says he was hit over the head with own crutch after asking a doorknocker to leave.
An elderly, disabled Whangarei man is warning people to be careful who they answer the door to after allegedly being attacked with his own crutch following an altercation with a door knocker.
Dan King, 75, says the man, claiming to be a Jehovah Witness, had called at his place twice prior to the altercation. Each time the man was alone and King found it difficult to get the man to leave.
"I told him I was not interested and asked him not to come back again. In spite of that he returned three times in close succession."
King says he received these bumps and abrasions after being hit with own crutch.
King called 111 and reported the attack to the police and has since filed a formal statement with the Whangarei Police who have advised they are investigating the incident.
On Wednesday,Â RodÂ Spinks, media spokesperson for Jehovah's Witnesses in Australasia, says they we were unaware of the allegation and had since initiated a request to determine whether anything is known of the allegation locally.
"The local congregation would not encourage members to call on a householder who had requested they not call.
"We fully support the efforts of the police to protect the community and would always recommend that any such concerns be immediately reported to the police."
KIng who walks with the aid of crutches or uses a mobility scooter, has a sign on his door asking salespeople not to call and a sign on the gate saying 'private property no entry'. He says he finds it difficult to get to the door and doesn't want to be bothered unnecessarily.Â The door knocker returned again on November 3.
"I was annoyed when he returned the third time after being asked not to. On this occasion I asked him five times to leave The debate then got rather heated and he grabbed the crutch and hit me over the head. I had to grab the verandah rail to stop from falling onto the ground."
King says the man is intimidating and has heard he is using the same approach with others in the area.
He says he is speaking out in the interests of public safety.
Read more:Â https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/northland/whangarei-leader/99371411/Elderly-disabled-man-hit-over-head-by-door-knocker
By Guest Nicole
MIAMI (WSVN) - A South Florida family is speaking out days after an 83-year-old, wheelchair-bound woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver on her way to church in Miami.
Margaret Ruiz’s loved ones are seeking solace in their faith. “You can’t avoid these things that happen in life, but we have to believe, and we have to have trust and love and faith,” said Lucy Ruiz, the victim’s sister.
Lucy, 73, said she is still in shock over how her older sister was killed. “It’s very upsetting to hear that. So sudden,” she said.
Grainy surveillance video captured her as she traveled on her electric wheelchair down the sidewalk, near Northeast 62nd Street and Second Avenue, moments before, police said, she was struck by a four-door, dark-colored sedan, Wednesday evening.
“If she were here, I would just tell her how much I love her,” said Lucy.
Margaret, a devout Jehovah’s Witness, was heading to religious services at the time of the hit-and-run.
The surveillance footage shows the car involved in the crash fleeing from the scene.
Margaret leaves behind five children. One of her sons, Barry Pantoja, arrived to South Florida from New York with his entire family on Monday.
“She was my whole world for many years, and she loved her family very much,” he said.
Pantoja said his mother was a devoted mother and an esteemed member of her faith community. “She was loved, and she really appreciated, in so many ways, the way people extended themselves to her and her congregation,” he said.
Pantoja said Margaret moved to Florida to live with her sister. Over the years, she became isolated from her family and never returned to her home in New York.
Relatives said Margaret eventually fell on hard times and became homeless. She later moved into an affordable housing community.
Lakeisha Ware, Margaret’s case manager, helped the elderly woman transition off the streets.
“It’s hard because you have to have a mother. She is somebody’s mother. She’s somebody’s grandmother,” said Ware. How can you do that to a person and not look back?”
Amid their grief and pain, Margaret’s family hopes to see her again. “As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we believe in a resurrection, and I actually look forward to the day I see my mother again,” said Pantoja as he held back tears. “It’s the hope we all hold in our faith, and it’s the only thing that keeps us from being totally devastated.”
If you have any information on this hit-and-run, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.
By Guest Nicole
Alvin Mann and Gertrude Mokotoff exchanged vows on Aug. 5 before 50 family members and friends at Middletown City Hall in Middletown, N.Y. CreditJustin Gilliland/The New York Times
Gertrude Mokotoff and Alvin Mann were introduced eight years ago at a gym in Middletown, N.Y., where they still work out twice a week.
Â“A mutual friend said to me, Â‘IÂ’d like you to meet a very nice young lady,Â’Â” Mr. Mann recalled after chopping wood one recent morning at his mountaintop home in nearby Cuddebackville, N.Y.
On their first date, he drove her to a restaurant in Middletown called Something Sweet. Â“He was a perfect gentleman,Â” she said, and he added, Â“There was something about her that made me want to keep on talking.Â”
In a heartbeat, they became an item, talking about dreams and goals and sharing a life together.
Read more:Â https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/11/fashion/weddings/senior-citizen-older-couple-wedding.html
By Bible Speaks
"In faith all these . . . publicly declared that they were strangers and temporary residents in the land."—Heb. 11:13
From earliest times, faithful servants of Jehovah stood out as different from those in the ungodly world in which they lived. Before the Flood, Enoch and Noah “walked with the true God.” (Gen. 5:22-24; 6:9)
Both of them were courageous preachers of Jehovah’s judgments against Satan’s wicked world. (2 Pet. 2:5; Jude 14, 15)
Because they walked with God in an ungodly world, Enoch “pleased God well” and Noah “proved himself faultless among his contemporaries.” (Heb. 11:5; Gen. 6:9)
At God’s invitation, Abraham and Sarah gave up the comforts of city life in Ur of the Chaldeans and accepted the challenge of living as nomads in a foreign land. (Gen. 11:27, 28; 12:1)
The apostle Paul wrote: “By faith [Abraham] resided as an alien in the land of the promise as in a foreign land, and dwelt in tents.”—Heb. 11:8, 9. NWT
By Guest Nicole
This is brother Cross, he has served 45 years at Bethel. He was going around giving Sophia and Caleb cards to children with information about them.
By Guest Nicole
This is our dear sister Mildred Simpkin. She attended the the first School of Gilead and is currently serving at Watchtower Farms
By Guest Nicole
Visiting our sister Emily Ressel, (87). She can speak four languages: English, German, Polish and Ukrainian and has served as a pioneer more than 20 years in Germany.
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