America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

18 March 2006

Sharon, Hussein, Ocalan, and Arafat, spell SHOA


I was thinking about Ariel Sharon and a sudden revelation struck me like lightning (okay more like static electricity from a door knob): take the first letter of the last name of the above named men, and you can spell the word "SHOA".

What other distinction do the four of them share? Well, it seems to me that all of them are accused of terrorism - and/or tyranny - or even genocide. The short answer, they are all considered [by many] to be bad to the bone.

You know what else they have in common? Death. They are either dead, dying or face a possible death penalty. Is this a little bit weird? What goes around, comes around.

It can be argued that Slobodan Milosovic should replace Ariel Sharon in this wicked acronym. It's true, but the significance might seem a little bit diminished if we mix first and last names. Either way, this all seems like a strange coincidence to me.

Here's the 411 on the roots of the words 'holocaust' and 'shoa':

The word holocaust originally derived from the Greek word holokauston, meaning
"a completely (holos) burnt (kaustos) sacrificial offering", or "a burnt sacrifice offered to God". In Greek and Roman pagan rites, gods of the earth and underworld received dark animals, which were offered by night and burnt in full. Holocaust was later used to refer to a sacrifice Jews were required to make by the Torah. But since the mid-19th century, the word has been used by a large variety of authors to reference large catastrophes and massacres.

The biblical word Shoa (שואה), also spelled Shoah and Sho'ah, meaning "calamity" in Hebrew (and also used to refer to "destruction" since the Middle Ages), became
the standard Hebrew term for the Holocaust as early as the early 1940s. Churban Europa, meaning "European Destruction" in Hebrew (as opposed to simply Churban, the destruction of the Second Temple), is also used. Many Roma (or 'Gypsy') people, who were also targeted during the Holocaust, use the word Porajmos, meaning "devouring".

Shoa is preferred by many Jews and a growing number of Christians and other people due to the theologically offensive nature of the original meaning of the word holocaust as a reference to a sacrifice to God and also due to scholarly insistence that this largely archaic meaning somehow tilts the present meanings. There is also concern that the particular significance of the Holocaust would be lessened as use of the term becomes increasingly widespread in the latter half of the 20th century to refer generically to any mass killings such as the Rwandan Genocide and the actions of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia as 'holocausts'. The Armenians have long used the term in reference to their persecution by the Ottoman empire
during World War I.


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