Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hope in a Jar

Looking for a philosophy kit? Make sure it includes the following:

"Life is a classroom. We are both student and teacher. Each day is a test. And each day we receive a passing or failing grade in one particular subject: grace. Grace is compassion, gratitude, surrender, faith, forgiveness, good manners, reverence and the list goes on. It's something money can't buy and credentials rarely produce. Being the smartest, the prettiest, the most talented, the richest or even the poorest can't help. Being a humble person can, and being a helpful person can guide you through your days with grace and gratitude."

"Purity is natural. We come into this world with all the right instincts. We are innocent and therefore perceive things as they should be rather than how they are. Our conscience is clear, our hands are clean and the world at large is truly beautiful. It is at this time we feel most blessed."

"With eyes wide open, you live your dreams."

"Hope is a spark that comes from within and lights the way for others. Where there is hope there can be faith. Where there is faith miracles can occur. If you choose to live each day in the light of what may be, you will find hope is all you need. Hope is a friend to lean on. Hope is the inner voice that whispers words of encouragement. Hope is a compass that guides you in the right direction. Hope is the force that keeps pushing you forward. Where there is hope there can be faith. Where there is faith the small challenges of today become the big wins of tomorrow."

Remember that everyday hope is hope to keep and hope to share with every body!

G.M. Grena

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Tel Aviv 37-1 Cover

After finding out about Israel Finkelstein's reference to my book in the current issue of Tel Aviv (vol. 39, #2), I purchased a paper copy for my library (& one as a keepsake for my parents). I also subscribed for 2013, & bought back-issues of 37 #1 containing the controversial article by Lipschits, Sergi, & Koch, as well as 38 #1 with their follow-up article, & 38 #2 with Ussishkin's rejoinder. Many years ago I had purchased other back-issues directly from Tel Aviv University, but they never arrived. Fortunately, a friend of mine visited Israel, & purchased an important issue for me.

I was thrilled to receive my $202.50 order last week! (Each paper copy currently costs $40.50.) Even more thrilling was getting to see the actual cover of 37 #1 since it was never published on Maney's website, nor was it part of the individual PDF article that a friend forwarded to me back in 2010. ( I don't know which issues are represented by the static thumbnails shown on Maney's & IngentaConnect's respective sites.) To ensure that everyone gets to see it, I decided to post a very hi-resolution image of it here (5 Megabytes if you click on it):

The credit page on the back of the cover states the following:

"lmlk HIIa stamp impression from Ramat Rahel. Design by Nirit Kedem and Ido Koch."

Note that the credit page also states the following:

"Copyright 2010 Friends of the Institue of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the written permission of the copyright holder."

Obviously this is the best H2U ever published, & among the most-complete LMLK impressions known, so I'm planning to add it to the Ramat Rahel & LMLK Dotcom Museum pages (when I return to that endeavor after taking care of some higher priorities). I thought it would be good to publicize it so that Kedem & Koch get the full credit they deserve for this magnificent image, including the nice line-drawings in the background.

A great Heritage Singers song for this occasion is "All the World Should Know" from their "What Is This?" album, but since it's not posted on YouTube at this time, this one will have to do:

G.M. Grena

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

10 CFPI Questions

Page 30 in the current issue (#27) of Doar Ivri, the journal of Cercle Francais Philatelique d'Israel, contains an interview with me. The format is a standard feature with only slight variations in the questions posed to each philatelist. The English version below is my translation from the French, which the editor had translated from my original English composition.

1. Who are you, Mister Grena?

I am a graduate of West Virginia University (Bachelor of Science). My profession is to conduct technical tests. I write software to control electronic equipment, collect data and analyze the results.

2. What do you collect?

In philately, I have been collecting exclusively the series of the first new year stamps, numbered 10-14 in most of the catalogs representing an ancient impression of a Royal seal, LMLK (the abbreviation of the LeMeLecK [royal] inscription reproduced on the seal), wrongly described as a flying roll on the tab from what some scholars believed in 1948. Today, one thinks rather that this seal symbolizes divinity, being the sun (worshipped by the pagans) or radiating glory of God (Deuteronomy 33:2; Psalm 50:2; Ezekiel 43:2).

3. Since when?

January 2005, when a friend, Herbert B. Stearns, spoke to me here in the United States. He also collects LMLK jar handles.

4 and 5. Why? And do you have other passions?

I am a fervent Christian. During my free time, I study the Bible and have a collection of writings from various cultures and eras. I began exhibiting objects from my collection in 1997 at public libraries near my home in southern California. In 2002, I combined all my skills to build the research site, the section on the stamps being

6. Why are you collecting?

I began collecting leaves of medieval Bibles to try to learn more about the history of its translation from the Hebrew and Greek into English, which is my native language. I feel obliged to share what I have learned while studying the objects in my collection. So far, my principal contribution to philately, is to have established that only 126,000 sheets of 10-14 were printed in total (in the first/main run), and not 126,000 sheets of each of the 5 values. I discovered this by constructing a database of serial numbers from photographs in the catalogs of sales and philatelic journals.

7 and 8. Why did you join the CFPI and do you belong to other associations?

I received an invitation from the current president of the CFPI, who had appreciated the articles that I published in the Israel Philatelist, the journal of the Society of Israel Philatelists, to which I belong also.

9. A piece to show us?

My favorite one is a First Day envelope of the series, used postally, with the 65 mils glued upside down. Although I have several other varieties and errors on First Day envelopes, I believe that this is for me the rarest and the most valuable.

10. A suggestion to improve the CFPI?

Suggestion, no! But you could encourage our members to share with me the photos of the serial numbers from their collection consisting of the stamps of this series and their varieties!

G.M. Grena