10:15AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
11:00AM THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors
12:30PM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet for lunch
Private Dining Room
2:00PM THE PRESIDENT delivers speech on the Administration’s counterterrorism policy
National Defense University, Washington, DC Remarks
Bill 124, Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019
The Bill enacts the Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019. The purpose of the Act is to ensure that increases in public sector compensation reflect the fiscal situation of the Province, are consistent with the principles of responsible fiscal management and protect the sustainability of public services.
The Act establishes different three-year moderation periods for represented and non-represented employees. During the applicable moderation period, salary increases are limited to one per cent for each 12-month period of the moderation period. During the applicable moderation period, incremental increases to existing compensation entitlements and new compensation entitlements, including salary increases, are also limited to a total of one per cent on average for all employees subject to the moderation period, for each 12-month period of the moderation period. Certain exceptions are provided for.
Directives may be issued by the Management Board of Cabinet requiring employers and employers’ organizations to provide certain information relating to collective bargaining and compensation for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the Act.
The Minister is given the authority to make regulations specifying that the Act does not apply to an employer, or to employees or classes of employees. The Minister may also exempt a collective agreement from the application of the Act by regulation. In addition, the Minister may make an order declaring that a collective agreement or an arbitration award is inconsistent with the Act, and the Act sets out the rules that apply if such an order is made.
Complementary amendments are made to the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and the Employment Standards Act, 2000.
History, And The Opening Scenes Of "Breaking Bad"
This post is the first of three additional posts regarding "Breaking Bad" location-related subjects (last updated January 22, 2020).
- Eight "Breaking Bad" filming location posts
- Three additional posts regarding "Breaking Bad" related subjects
- Seven "Better Call Saul" filming location posts
- Two additional posts regarding "Better Call Saul" related subjects
- One post regarding "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie"
- Three links to OldeSaultie's Google maps of "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul" filming location sites. These are the best filming location maps on the Web! The KML files available at these addresses are particularly useful for importing locations into GPS-equipped devices.
To avoid unnecessary friction, I have redacted the addresses of all single-family homes in these books. (These addresses are still available in these blog posts, however.)
The pictures in the print edition are black-and-white, in order to keep costs down. Pictures in the Kindle edition are in color.
"A Guidebook To 'Breaking Bad' Filming Locations: Albuquerque as Physical Setting and Indispensable Character"
/>The Fifth Edition (Publication date November 3, 2018 375 pages) of the book, updated through Season 4 of "Better Call Saul," is now available and can be ordered at these links:
“‘Breaking Bad’ Signs and Symbols: Reading Meaning into Sets, Props, and Filming Locations”
The First Edition (Publication date November 3, 2018 290 pages) of this book can be ordered at these links:
This book delves into some of the symbolism in AMC's hit television series "Breaking Bad." Toxic modernity is symbolized by architectural elements derived from Chicago. Indeed, Albuquerque is used as a kind of stand-in for the City of Chicago. Like many cities in America’s Great Plains and Mountain West, Albuquerque obtained much of its architecture directly from the Windy City via the AT&SF railroad and Highway 66.
The creative team is interested in telling stories about the legacies and corruptions of modernity, particularly Chicago’s “Century of Progress” (1833-1932). In particular, Chicago-derived daylighting innovations (the practice of passive window design to help illuminate the interiors of large buildings) are featured: Glass Block Windows, Luxfer Prismatic Tile Windows, and Plate Glass Windows. Once the backgrounds of scenes are encoded with meaning, a variety of stories can be told there.
A series of tables are presented - for example: Parallel Beams in the Ceiling Twinned Features Five-Pointed Stars Octagons Monkeys Horses Cats Moth Orchids and Skulls.
Certain symbols advance the plot: Native-American symbols Foreshadowing symbols like Pueblo Deco arches Danger symbols like bells, stagger symbols, and desk lamps plus Earth Art.
Featured stories as told in television-scene backgrounds include: The Legacy of El Chapo Tributes to Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” The Badger Comes To Entrap The Five Apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe The legacy of London's Crystal Palace and Homages to Patrick McGoohan's “The Prisoner.”
I was pleased to see the eye-catching opening scenes of the TV series take place in To'hajiilee (formerly Cañoncito), the outlier Navajo reservation northwest of Albuquerque.
I always felt a little bit puzzled by the choice of To'hajiilee as a filming location. There are a number of sound practical and cinematic reasons to film in To'hajiilee, but there is also a deeper history to the area. I wondered if the writers of TV show were trying to make a deeper statement about "Breaking Bad", perhaps by using the history of To'hajiilee as a form of foreshadowing about the show's conclusion at the end of Season 5. The tragic history of To’hajiilee establishes a "Miasma" (a classical Greek term ) – the brooding atmosphere that prefigures the opening of the story.
In a way, despite its modernity, "Breaking Bad" is a parable about the Old West. Like William Faulkner said: "The past is never dead. It's not even past."
First, the practical reasons why To'hajiilee makes sense as a filming location.
The closest approach of the Colorado Plateau to the city of Albuquerque, where "Breaking Bad" is filmed, is the area around To'hajiilee, and so if you want to incorporate that classic, panoramic red-sandstone-mesa look of the Southwest's Colorado Plateau into your TV show, and still minimize travel distance and thus remain on-budget, To'hajiilee is an obvious place you would want to film.
Still, there is that deeper layer of history.
Pekka Hämäläinen's book, "The Comanche Empire" (Yale University Press, New Haven, 2008), opens a new way to understand Spanish approaches to and attitudes towards Native Americans. The Spanish were in a position of considerable weakness in regards to the tribes of North America, and did their utmost to leverage their access to European technology to manipulate and control the menacing neighboring tribes, in particular, the Comanche, and then the Navajo.
Here are some extended quotes from Hämäläinen's book:
[pp. 118-119] called together four consecutive councils to discuss details of peace talks and, having reached an agreement with the other chiefs, sent Chiquíto and two Comanche envoys to inform Anza that he would be arriving shortly in Santa Fe.
The announcement electrified the Southwest, where news traveled quickly.
Word of the forthcoming Comanche-Spanish negotiations also reached the Utes, who were outraged by the new Spanish policy. Having nurtured a stable and mutually beneficial alliance with New Mexico since mid-century - an alliance that had been sustained by common dread of the Comanches - they now feared that Comanche-Spanish rapprochement would leave them marginalized and exposed to Comanche violence. They met with Anza and "heatedly declared against the attempted peace, advancing the most vindictive and even insulting and barbarous arguments against it, even stating to the chief, Anza, that he preferred frequent, unfaithful rebels to friends always obedient and faithful."
The Spanish appointed Don Carlos of the Cebolleta branch of the Navajo as "chief of the Navajos" was in 1786 - likely at this very meeting. Despite his rank, the other Navajo leaders did not submit to Don Carlos as their leader. The Navajos were more-atomized and politically not as well-organized as the Comanches. Ecueracapa, through incessant travel and diplomatic activities all across Comanchería, had achieved a first-among-equals sort of rank among Comanches, and could speak broadly for most of them, but Don Carlos wasn’t in such a position.
Still, the 1786 meeting was the start of a process whereby the Diné ‘Ana’í slowly came to identify their interests more-closely with the Spanish than with their fellow Navajo, which culminated with Joaquín's separation of the Cebolleta band from the rest of the Navajo in order to negotiate a separate peace, in about 1818. One can imagine that hastening trade with the Americans, eastward, across what would become the Santa Fe Trail, made good relations with the Spaniards more important than ever to sustain. And the vulnerable Cebolleta band was located on the eastern flanks of what was to become Mt. Taylor, squarely between the Spanish and the rest of the Navajo.
And so, what was the Spanish method to induce compliance? Hämäläinen continues:
[p. 132] Rather than trying to incorporate or contain indigenous societies, the new objective was to transform them into an entity that Spanish agents could understand, manage, and control. . Bourbon officials had initially thought that more authoritative Comanche leaders were needed to unite unruly Indians behind peace treaties, but once the treaties were formalized, the officials reconceived political centralization as a means to subdue their new allies. Inspired by pragmatic visions of a consolidated New Spain, the Bourbon officials had concluded that they never could bring the empire to Comanchería. Instead, they resolved to bring the Comanches into the empire.
Bourbon officials applied the centralizing pressure most systematically on the western Comanches, whose continued loyalty they considered critical for the survival of New Mexico and, by extension, the silver provinces of northern New Spain. The policy was first articulated by Anza in 1786 when he argued that by elevating Ecueracapa "above the rest of his class" Spaniards could reduce the entire Comanche nation to vassalage. The idea was to create a well-defined hierarchical structure extending from the principal chiefs to the bottom of Comanche society through strategic distribution of political gifts. Accordingly, Spanish officials in New Mexico and Texas funneled vast amounts of gifts among the Comanches through Ecueracapa and other head chiefs, hoping to originate a downward flow of presents from Spanish authorities to principal chiefs, local band leaders, and commoners and, conversely, an upward-converging dependency network on top of which stood the king of Spain. The institution of principal chieftainship, as Pedro Garrido explained was "the most appropriate instrument that we could desire for the new arrangement of peace, not only to assure the continuance of the peace of the peace celebrated, but also to subject the warlike Comanche nation to the dominion of the king."
In the end, the Spanish were mostly-happy with their compact with the Comanche, and how well they controlled the Comanche. On the part, the Comanche were also happy with the compact, and with how well they controlled the Spanish. Nevertheless, the Spanish policy was never successful in reducing the Comanches to actual dependency. The Spanish simply needed the Comanche more than the Comanche needed the Spanish.
Most of the Navajos were also resistant to dependency. It was only the portions of the Navajo nation that were physically closest to the Spaniards that eventually did succumb.
There is an excellent book regarding the Navajo (also known as the Diné), portions of which are available online by Google Books for purchase: Spider Woman Walks This Land: Traditional Cultural Properties and the Navajo , by Kelli Carmean.
I quote below from specific specific passages, starting with a general overview of the Navajo, starting in the late 1700's:
Even though the Spanish largely ignored the Navajo, it does not mean the Navajo were spared from conflict. Throughout this time the Navajo were victims of slave raids from Utes, Comanches, Kiowas and Spaniards acting outside of official Spanish law. Although Spain had forbidden the enslavement of Indians, Spanish colonists felt free to ignore a mandate handed down from far across the Atlantic. Political leaders in the colonies supported the slave trade and the majority even actively participated. Sometimes the leaders kept the Indian captives in their own households, other times they gave the slaves away to gain political favors or to strengthen friendships. Although slave raiding was endemic to much of pre-contact Indian society, it increased greatly with the arrival of the Spanish, as they were ever-willing buyers and required vast numbers of slaves to work the silver mines of Mexico (McNitt 1972). To complicate the picture even more, periods of friendly trade relations beneficial to all existed as intervals of peace alternated with raiding. Thus, life in the southwest was hardly peaceful or predictable from anyone’s perspective.
Before European contact and indeed well into the 1800s, there was no political entity that could be described as the Navajo “tribe.” The highest degree of political unity that occurred was a periodic, regional assembly of local leaders, called the Naachid (Wilkins 1999). This gathering was a combination of ceremony – dancing and prayers for good crops – and political discussions, attesting to the interwoven nature of religion and politics. Women could speak freely at these gatherings and Naachid decisions were not binding on anyone present. The last Naachid was reportedly held in the 1850s or 1860s, before Navajo removal to Bosque Redondo. The overall lack of political unity can best be seen in raiding patterns: Navajos were just as likely to raid other Navajos as they were to raid Pueblos or other Indians (who were equally likely to raid the Navajo). Although all Navajo people shared a common language and culture, they were not politically unified and thus did not act as one group until the reservation era.
Coming from a stratified society where leadership was based either on heredity or formal appointment, the Spanish, Mexicans, and later the Americans were unwilling to accept the uncertainties of the egalitarian Navajo political system. The colonists wanted Indian leaders who could speak for the entire tribe, make treaties, enforce decisions, and punish those individuals who did not abide by the treaties. In an optimistic but futile effort to change the Navajo political system, first the Spanish and later the Americans simply appointed political leaders for the Navajo. Not surprisingly, the colonists appointed those individual Navajo headmen who were amenable to Spanish demands.
In 1786, the Spanish appointed Don Carlos, the first in a long line of appointed Navajo “chiefs” (Acrey 2000). Don Carlos was a headman from the Cebolleta area of New Mexico – which was much closer to the major Spanish settlements of Albuquerque and Santa Fe than were the majority of Navajo – who by this time had moved west into northeastern Arizona, in part to escape repeated slave raids. Due to the proximity of the Cebolleta band to the Spanish settlements, Don Carlos, as well as subsequently appointed “chiefs,” firmly believed that the Spanish were too strong a force to fight and that the only hope the Navajo had for survival was to forge a peace with them. Living closer to the Spaniards, it is likely that this group bore the brunt of Spanish retaliatory raids. Not surprisingly, the appointment of Don Carlos as “chief” was not recognized by the main body of Navajo.
By 1818, while the Mexicans struggled to gain their independence from Spain, the Navajo’s internal schism was solidified when Joaquin, also of the Cebolleta band, was appointed “chief.” From this point on, Joaquin separated his band from the rest of the Navajo in order to independently negotiate a peace. His band even fought alongside the Spanish, and later the Mexicans, against other Navajos. Bitter over this betrayal, the Navajo gave Joaquin and his band the name Diné ‘Ana’í (Enemy Navajo). The motives of the Diné ‘Ana’í are often debated (McNitt 1972 Trafzer 1982). Some scholars argue that the Enemy Navajo sued for peace because they considered fighting the Spanish fruitless others contend that Joaquin and his followers aligned themselves with the Spanish for self-gain, profiting from increased access to livestock and slaves. Under several different leaders, the Diné ‘Ana’í served as scouts and soldiers for the Spanish, and after 1821, for the Mexicans. They would also fight with the next group to seek control of the Southwest, the Americans, thus contributing to the final military defeat of the Navajo.
The Diné ‘Ana’í were hardly the only people in history to discover that they had certain interests more in common with their neighbors than with their more-remote relatives, and they suffered much abuse for acting upon this discovery. Perhaps to the rest of the Navajo, the Diné ‘Ana’í had 'broken bad,' but the reasons were understandable.
Nevertheless, some people tried harder than others to exploit the possibilities provided by the new system of power: particularly a fellow named Sandoval, who strikes me as a sort of Heisenberg of the Southwest, who used his leadership position to push harder than ever for advantages for his band, just as Walter White uses his chemistry skills and his control over Jesse in "Breaking Bad" to gain more and more command over the underground drug realm.
One of the most important events in the troubled history of Navajo/American relations had a Diné ‘Ana’í angle. There is another excellent book regarding the Navajo, portions of which are available online by Google Books for purchase: Canyon de Chelly, Its People and Rock Art , by Campbell Grant. The Google Reader is here: I quote below from specific passages regarding the Calhoun/Washington expedition of 1849 to the Navajo chief Narbona:
The expedition left Santa Fe August 16, and during the wait at Jemez for the rest of the party, Simpson and Edward Kern saw the Pueblo Green Corn Dance. Several days later Washington’s force of roughly 500 men began their movement west toward the Chuska Mountains. The chief guide for the movement into the Navajo heartland was Antonio Sandoval, chief leader of the Diné ‘Ana’í, or enemy Navajo. Their route took them through Chaco Canyon, a difficult route for the artillery and dragoons. The ruins in the canyon fascinated Simpson, who described them in great detail in his report. He also noted hieroglyphics (petroglyphs) on large sandstone boulders.
On August 30, contact was made with numbers of the Navajo in the Tunicha Valley, and the following day Washington began talks with some of the headmen. Among them was the venerable Narbona, a much respected leader, whom the Anglos mistook for the “head chief of the Navajo,” and two other prominent men, Jose Largo and Archuleta, both of whom had been signers of the Doniphan treaty. Colonel Washington and Agent Calhoun asked the chiefs to assemble the leading men of the tribe at the mouth of Canyon de Chelly, where a lasting treaty of peace could be signed. All were agreeable to this, and the meeting was about to break up when an incredible incident occurred.
A Pueblo Indian irregular claimed to have spotted one of his horses in the Navajo party. On hearing this, Colonel Washington demanded that the animal immediately be returned or he would order his troops to fire on the Navajo. After receiving this hostile ultimatum, the Diné began to ride off, receiving rifle and cannon fire as they fled. The result of this unbelievably stupid move on Washington’s part was that six Navajo warriors were mortally wounded and the headman Narbona was killed. From that moment, the Navajo put no further trust in the Anglo-Americans, considering them as treacherous as their ancient enemies, the Mexicans.
I just think Sandoval was pushing his luck by getting mixed up with this expedition. In part through his efforts, Sandoval got Narbona killed, a case of overreach that may be analogous to how Walt gets Gus killed in "Breaking Bad". (It's interesting about the coincidence of names too: the Navajo headman Archuleta, and the janitor in Walt's school, Mr. Archuleta, whose job and freedom Walt sacrifices without a moment's hesitation).
In any event, this political system based on infighting eventually shattered when the Navajo were brought under the ethnic-cleansing sway of fanatical General Carleton by his able assistant, the former Mountain Man, Kit Carson. All Diné were crushed, whatever their association with the Americans.
Above: Brig. Gen. James Henry Carleton, who presided for a time as New Mexico's virtual dictator, and whose Utopian visions for the Navajo ended up decimating the tribe.
In his book about Kit Carson, "Blood and Thunder: The epic story of Kit Carson and the conquest of the American West", Hampton Sides writes about Brig. Gen. James Henry Carleton:
On October 31, 1862, Congress authorized the creation of Fort Sumner. General James Henry Carleton initially justified the fort as offering protection to settlers in the Pecos River valley from the Mescalero Apaches, Kiowa, and Comanche. He also created the Bosque Redondo reservation, a 40-square-mile (100 km2) area where over 9,000 Navajo and Mescalero Apaches were forced to live because of accusations raiding white settlements near their respective homelands. The fort was named for General Edmond Vose Sumner.
The stated purpose of the reservation was for it to be self-sufficient, while teaching Mescalero Apaches and Navajos how to be modern farmers. General Edward Canby, whom Carleton replaced, first suggested that the Navajo people be moved to a series of reservations and be taught new skills. Some in Washington, D.C. thought that the Navajos did not need to be moved and a reservation should be created on their land. Some New Mexico citizens encouraged death or at least complete removal of the Navajo off their lands. The 1865 and 1866 corn production was sufficient, but in 1867 it was a total failure. Army officers and Indian Agents realized that the Bosque Redondo was a failure, offering poor water and too little firewood for the numbers of people who were there. The Mescaleros soon ran away the Navajos stayed longer, but in May 1868 were permitted to return to Navajo lands.
Gen. Carleton ordered Col. Christopher "Kit" Carson to do whatever necessary to bring first the Mescaleros and then the Navajos to the Bosque Redondo. All of the Mescalero Apache were there by the end of 1862, but the Navajo did not get there in large numbers until early 1864. The Navajos refer to the journey from Navajo land to the Bosque Redondo as the Long Walk. While a bitter memory to many Navajo, one who was there reports as follows: “By slow stages we traveled eastward by present Gallup and Shushbito, Bear spring, which is now called Fort Wingate. You ask how they treated us? If there was room the soldiers put the women and children on the wagons. Some even let them ride behind them on their horses. I have never been able to understand a people who killed you one day and on the next played with your children. "
There were about 8,500 Navajo and 500 Mescalero Apaches interned at Bosque Redondo in April 1865. The Army had only anticipated 5,000 would be there, so food was an issue from the start. The Navajo and Mescalero Apache had long been enemies and now that they were in forced proximity to each other, fighting often broke out. The environmental situation got worse. The interned people had no clean water, it was full of alkaline and there was no firewood to cook with. The water from the nearby Pecos River caused severe intestinal problems and disease quickly spread throughout the camp. Food was also in short supply because of crop failures, Army and Indian Agent bungling, and criminal activities. In 1865, the Mescalero Apaches, or those strong enough to travel, managed to escape. The Navajo were not allowed to leave until May, 1868 when it was agreed by the U.S. Army that Fort Sumner and the Bosque Redondo reservation was a failure.
A treaty was negotiated with the Navajos and they were allowed to return to their homeland, to a "new reservation." There they were joined by the thousands of Navajo who had been hiding out in the Arizona hinterlands. This experience resulted in a more determined Navajo, and never again were they surprise raiders of the Rio Grande valley. In subsequent years they have expanded the "new reservation" into well over 16 million acres (65,000 km²), far larger than Yellowstone National Park with 2 million acres (8,000 km²).
Between 1864 and 1868, just over 8,000 Navajos were taken to Bosque Redondo. This number was much greater than the military had expected their resources were overwhelmed and their facilities incapable of dealing with so many people, especially a people already worn down both physically and psychologically from Kit Carson’s campaigns and the Long Walk. Although Carleton’s plan was to have the Navajo build irrigation canals and grow their own food, this plan was never successful and the crop failed each year. Completely dependent on the government for food, Navajo rations were tight. Local Anglo merchants, knowing they had a monopoly for government supplies in isolated eastern New Mexico, price-gouged the Army, providing a minimum quantity of food for maximum prices. Navajo oral histories tell of eating flour crawling with bugs and boiling shoe leather for meat because they had no choice.
As can be imagined, many problems existed at Bosque Redondo. The Navajo joined an estimated four hundred Mescalero Apaches, traditional enemies of the Navajo, also confined to the reservation. The Diné ‘Ana’í were also there indeed, since they put up no resistance, they were the first to go to the Bosque. Thus, it was difficult to sort out who were the worst enemies – likewise incarcerated Indians or the U.S. Army. Slave raiding against the Navajo continued and any Navajo that wandered just a little too far in search of firewood was picked up by Kiowas and Comanches lying in wait. The Navajo, of course, were weaponless.
After the June 1 signing of the treaty of 1868, the Navajo prepared to return to their homeland. They returned to Navajoland just as they had departed – walking. On June 18, the first and largest return group moved slowly out of Fort Sumner, a column stretching ten miles long.
As the column neared Fort Wingate, near present-day Gallup, New Mexico, three small but important groups split off from the main return party. Two of these groups were composed of the Diné ‘Ana’í. Even during the four-year stay at Fort Sumner, these internal divisions did not heal, and these Navajo split off from the main body and went to live on their own, eventually becoming known as the Cañoncito Band. Another group of Diné ‘Ana’í spilt off and headed south, eventually becoming known as the Alamo Band. The Ramah Band also emerged at this time, as other returning Navajo went to join relatives who had escaped from Bosque Redondo some time earlier. Today, the Navajo reservation still includes these three Navajo enclaves removed from the main reservation. Although the Treaty of 1868 did not allow for such splintering and occupation of nonreservation lands, nothing was done to stop it. It was not until the 1940s and early 1950s that the land occupied by these three geographically isolated groups was converted into reservation land.
And today, Cañoncito is known as To'hajiilee.
Presumably, after 140 years, these tensions among the Navajo have been resolved. Cultural unity is ultimately much-more important than any political division exploited for temporary gain.
Still, it's interesting history. Fanatical visions imposed from above eventually destroyed the temporary advantages of treachery from within. "The past is never dead. It's not even past." And one must remember, To'hajiilee is literally the very ground from which "Breaking Bad" starts.
As Season 5 of "Breaking Bad" starts (the final season), what treachery from within might we expect between Walt and Jesse, and what might eventually shatter the temporary peace reached at the end of Season 4? Will there be a physical separation? Will Skyler take the baby and flee to Colorado, as foretold by her flipping coin (Season 4, episode 6, 'Cornered')? Is there a fanatical drug lord out there who will arrive to impose his will on Walt and Jesse perhaps even one of the "cod liver-oil dispensing, this-is-for-your-own-good variety"? Or is Hank, Walt's dogged brother-in-law, the true fanatic, the man who will destroy all in his efforts to set all things right?
May 23, 2013 Day 124 of the Fifth Year - History
I don’t get it, what’s the significance of The List being flipped over?
The List lists all those (animate and inanimate) Sydney will one day dismember in humerous (to her) and painful (to them) ways, The Anti-List are those who will be spared as potential breeding stock/table-top gaming players (or both, at the same time), hence Maxi’s warning :D
Basically anything or person that really pisses her off in in the front and anything or person she really likes goes in the back. I imagine a few rare cases are in both.
That’s probably waaaay less rare than you’d think.
I guess I have to take your word on that. :)
I’d imagine that the orbs themselves probably feature prominently on both sides of “The List”
I think that EVERYTHING has been on one of the sides of The List!
if you know what I mean >w>
Oh my Gawd Guesticus (or whoever you are behind the hidden name bwahahaha) I nearly fell out of the chair laughing when you mentioned the reason for the “The List” book and the possible reasons for the “flipside” of the book…I cried/laughed at the “potential breeding stock/and or gamers” It just sounded exactly how it would have been worded in Sydney’s head!
Were it an option I’d buy a “The List” notebook.
you could always buy a blank cover notebook and write (The List) on it.
Actually i would buy a notebook with “the list” written on it if it was avaliable as merchandice for this comic, or even better if i could buy this comic in print and get a “The List” notebook included in some premium version of it… :o
Me too. It’d make a great incentive for a Kickstarter pledge.
Awe looks like Sydney has another crush (noting the blush) hehehe
Actually I think that is just where she banged her head to reset her brain.
Yeah, took me a second readthrough, but I noticed the blush as well.
Dude, I’m not surprised. The a match made in geeky heaven!
But, sadly, if you look at Leon’s bio in cast u see that he has a thing for red-heads. :( sadness
Just because someone has a ‘thing’ for a type, doesn’t mean they can’t (or won’t) fall for someone else
I love this comic. Sydney is a hoot and as random as the Doctor from Doctor Who. Just one question. What do you think the inside of Sydney’s List book looks like? Scribbles and doodles or alphabetized by whatever upsets her or joys her the most?
No need to guess for at least one page. Initially linked by DaveB above in his opening comments about the List.
Pretty sure the most prominent feature will be a chronological list of things that are so annoying they will be “dealt with” at a later date. The reverse of the List being other stuff, including doodles. Some speculation already in the previous comments.
The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. The handling editor declared a past co-authorship with the authors RR, AC, and AF.
Rossella Cannarella (Catania), Rosita A. Condorelli (Catania), Alessandro Dal Lago (Rome), Paolo Facondo (Brescia), Arianna Novellis (Bologna), Letizia Pezzaioli (Brescia), Giulia Stincardini (Pavia), Lara Tiranini (Pavia), Margherita Vergine (Catanzaro).
3 Results and Discussions
 In the following sections, we first present the results of our tests, as listed in section 2.2.2 (steps 1–5) and the tests performed to quantify the total analytical uncertainty. This leads us to the description of the criteria used to select new and old measurements as well as the uncertainties attributed to each measurement. Then, we show our new δ 13 C record in ice and compare it to firn and atmospheric measurements.
3.1 Precision and Uncertainty
3.1.1 Grater Testing and “Blank” Correction
 Of the three graters used in this study, grater 6 has been extensively tested with 106 tests performed. Grater 1 had already been tested for the Etheridge et al. [ 1996 ], the F99, and the MacFarling Meure et al. [ 2006 ] studies, and in this study, we have found results very similar to those previously reported. Table 2summarizes the results obtained for the two graters when bubble-free ice (BFI, defined as ice containing no visible bubbles) tests were performed under the same conditions as when real ice samples were crushed (n= 15 for grater 6 and n= 4 for grater 1). Grater 7 showed results very similar to grater 6. We omit grater 7 from Table 2because the small number of tests performed with it was not sufficiently constraining.
|Grater Number||Crushed Ice (%)||Air Released||ΔCO2 (ppm)||Δδ 13 C-CO2 (‰)||Δδ 18 O-CO2 (‰)||ΔCH4 (ppb)||ΔCO (ppb)||ΔN2O (ppb)|
|(mL kg )||(mL kg )|
|1||84 (4)||85 (6)||71 (3)||−0.1 (0.9)||−0.05 (0.02)||0.5 (0.2)||5 (2)||6 (3)||0.6 (1.1)|
|6||73 (11)||99 (21)||71 (14)||1.3 (1.2)||−0.11 (0.10)||1.5 (1.4)||10 (7)||18 (10)||1.8 (0.7)|
- a The air released is expressed as either milliliter of air released over the mass of crushed ice (column 3, mL kg) or milliliter of air released per kg of initial mass of ice (column 4, mL kg). The values in parentheses in columns 2–4 are the standard deviations over 33 crushed samples for grater 1 and 70 crushed samples for grater 6. ΔCO2 (or Δδ 13 CO2 or ΔCH4, etc.) represents the difference between the mean measured and the expected CO2 (or δ 13 CO2 or CH4, etc.) value for BFI tests. The values in parentheses in columns 5–10 are the standard deviations over n= 4 BFI tests for grater 1 and n= 15 BFI tests for grater 6.
 The two ice graters compared in Table 2showed different crushing efficiency. Most of an ice sample is crushed into chips, but a small amount (100–300 g) of ice remains intact. Grater 1 shows higher crushing efficiency (expressed as a percentage of crushed ice in Table 2) probably because, thanks to the larger volume available, the chips do not fill the entire volume. On the other hand, because it has bigger holes than grater 6, grater 1 produces larger chips so that grater 6 shows higher amount (mL) of air extracted per kg of crushed ice (Table 2). As a result of these two competing effects, the amount of air extracted from samples of the same size (mL of air per kg of initial mass of ice in Table 2) is on average the same for the two graters.
 We define a “blank” correction as the difference between the expected and the measured CO2 concentration and δ 13 C when running BFI tests (Table 2). The BFI tests showed that blank corrections should be applied independently for each grater. Grater 1 showed the smallest and generally least variable blank for all measured species.
 When corrected for their respective blanks, the three graters gave consistent (within uncertainty) CO2 and δ 13 C results for ice cores (Figure 2).
 The error bars attributed to each measured sample shown in Figure 2 are estimated based on the standard deviations listed in Table 2. Thus, according to Table 2, the samples extracted with grater 1 (open circles in Figure 2) generally have the smallest δ 13 C uncertainty (0.02‰). Just four of those measurements show large uncertainty (0.13‰). They were performed in a period when high variability was found when running BFI tests, traced to the aged indium seals used in grater 1. To improve reproducibility, the indium seals were completely replaced after each set of four extractions (corresponding to 1 day, as mentioned at step 4 in section 2.2.2).
3.1.2 Trap Storage
 When running BFI tests, we found that the difference between the expected and measured δ 46 CO2 ratio depended on the time elapsed between extraction and analysis (see section A5). This affected the measured δ 13 C as well (see Figure A1). To minimize the effect, we reduced the storage time by measuring each sample straight after extraction (typically, less than 1 h for the GCs and less than 12 h for the IRMS analysis). This resulted in keeping the alteration of the δ 18 O as low as 0.5‰ and reproducible within 0.2‰, which should have a negligible influence (less than 0.02‰) on the measured δ 13 C.
 We also dried and evacuated the −100°C water trap after each extraction (as mentioned at step 3 in section 2.2.2) to try to maximize the amount of water removed from the air sample.
3.1.3 Quantifying Uncertainty
Comparing two to three air samples extracted from ice collected at the same depth (only possible for the large diameter DE08 core). This allowed us to estimate the variability due to the combination of horizontal heterogeneity of an ice core, and extraction and analysis of air from one ice core. We found an average reproducibility (measured as the pooled standard deviation over two or three replicates) of 0.03‰ for δ 13 C and of 0.2‰ for δ 18 O over n= 3 (three depths × two replicates for each depth) extracted with grater 1 and of 0.06‰ for δ 13 C and of 0.7‰ for δ 18 O over n= 5 (three depths × two replicates + two depths × three replicates) extracted with grater 6.
Collecting and analyzing air of known composition injected in the grater before (and kept in it while) crushing BFI. Three differently produced BFI were tested (details of the BFI used and the results obtained are given in section A6 and Figure A2). This was our best way of estimating the precision and accuracy of our extraction procedure by simulating the extraction of our reference air from ice (see values in parentheses in Table 2). The similarity of the precision obtained when simulating the extraction process with BFI to the replicates-based precision (described at step 1) gives us confidence that the assumption of horizontal homogeneity in the ice core at any given depth is valid and that our estimated reproducibility primarily reflects the characteristics of our extraction and analysis procedure (with no major influence from the ice sampling and storage). On the basis of these results, the analytical uncertainty attributed to each sample was estimated from the reproducibility measured for BFI tests (as in Table 2), over periods of time when no significant change in the extraction procedure occurred.
Finally, the variability associated with different cores sampled at the same or at different sites was estimated by measuring the scatter of the results obtained from ice of similar age, confirmed by the χ 2 (chi-squared) statistics of the Kalman filter double deconvolution [Trudinger et al., 2002b ]. We found that variability (1.2 ppm for CO2 concentration and 0.05‰ for δ 13 C) to be higher than the sum of the analytical uncertainty plus the uncertainty associated with gravity and diffusion correction for most samples. The variability associated with different cores was selected as the minimum uncertainty to be used in the Kalman filter double deconvolution when estimating sinks and sources of atmospheric CO2 (see section 3.4).
3.2 Results Selection
 The selection of the data plays an important role in the production of a reliable and accurate data set. It has been especially important in the current study, because measurements carried out over a period of 20 years have been compared and combined into one data set. Old and new measurements were selected according to the same selection criteria.
A pairwise agreement criteria between flasks of air sampled at the same depth: measurements of pairs of flasks sampled at the same depth were rejected if different by more than 0.1‰ in δ 13 C.
Development of a consistent set of rules to judge the reliability of the analysis: measurements with σ> 0.04‰ for δ 13 C and σ> 0.08‰ for δ 18 O were rejected (where σis the standard deviation over eight acquisitions performed on one sample at the IRMS). This threshold for rejection was chosen based on the typical reproducibility of our IRMS over eight acquisitions: 0.02‰ for δ 13 C and 0.04‰ for δ 18 O, with 2× larger tolerance to account for the variability introduced by the sampling procedure.
Selection of ice samples of good quality for air storage and extraction: ice samples were carefully scrutinized prior to extraction and only samples free from melt layers were selected also, ice samples near close off were selected only from ice layers formed from winter snow because summer layers are known to have significantly higher open porosity and summer ice samples from shallow depths may not be fully closed off.
Satisfying the minimum requirements of the extraction of air from ice procedure in terms of pressure measured in the extraction line, temperatures of the ice sample, water trap and sample trap, and time elapsed between extraction and analysis. Samples that had remained in the sample trap for more than 24 h between extraction and analysis were rejected, based on the results shown in Figure A1. Most of the samples used in the F99 study were analyzed immediately after extraction (<12 h).
Development of a consistent set of rules to judge the reliability of the analysis: measurements with σ> 0.06‰ for δ 13 C and σ> 0.12‰ for δ 18 O were all rejected (where σis the standard deviation over eight acquisitions performed on one sample at the IRMS). The threshold for rejection was chosen based on the results of Δδ 13 C-CO2 shown in Table 2, with 3× larger tolerance, to account for variability introduced by the sampling and extraction procedures most measurements rejected according to this criterion corresponded to samples of the F99 data set that were found to be contaminated (in the F99 paper, the contaminant was tentatively identified with a contribution in the IRMS to mass 45, 46, and 44 coming from the ethanol used to cool down the water trap of the extraction line, which was inadvertently stored in the ICELAB cold room).
 As for the F99 record, a δ 13 C measurement was rejected if the amount of extracted air was insufficient to provide a signal of at least 6 nA (corresponding to 2 V at 3 × 10 8 Ω) in the cup measuring mass 44 of the MAT252, and analyses with a sample to standard voltage ratio outside of the selection range of 0.9 ± 0.1 were rejected (see section A7 for details).
 Finally, the measured CH4, N2O, and CO concentrations were used as checks of the reliability of the sampling/extraction/analysis procedure. This was done by comparing the measured CH4, N2O, and CO concentration to the value of the spline fit to all selected data, corresponding to the age of each sample. Values clearly different from the spline were flagged, and the measured δ 13 C rejected when the cause for the difference could be identified. In particular, high CO concentrations were caused by contamination with organic material (i.e., drilling fluid, which can possibly also affect the δ 13 C, due to the production of isobaric molecules to CO2, in the ion source of the IRMS). Low values of both CO2 and N2O were generally associated with warming to near melting point of the ice after drilling (CO2 and N2O being the most soluble among the measured gases). Ice samples near close off with significant open porosity often showed unrealistically high values for more than one species, including CH4.
 Out of a total of 194 samples measured for δ 13 C since ice core measurements began at CSIRO in 1993, only 69 δ 13 C measurements have been retained using these selection criteria, reflecting the difficulty of making these analyses precisely and accurately. Of the 125 δ 13 C rejected measurements, 63 among 99 measurements were from the F99 study, whereas 62 among 95 measurements were from the current study. The highest number of rejections (28) are due to the organic contamination described in F99, attributed to the ethanol used to cool down the water trap. Almost as many measurements (27) have been rejected due to long storage time in the sample trap between extraction of air from ice and analysis, affecting the δ 46 CO2 (most of those measurements were from the current study). The third most significant cause of rejections (22) was due to the small signal produced during the IRMS analysis, related to the small amount of air extracted or residual after GC analysis. Many samples (18) showed unrealistically high CO concentration, suggesting a leak or contaminated core. A lower number of measurements have been rejected because of evidence of leaking during extraction (9), post coring melting (4), or an unbalanced sample to standard ratio during IRMS analysis that caused an unacceptable bias (3). Finally, 14 measurements have been rejected based on unrealistically high CO2 when compared to the results from samples of same or similar age, which would imply implausible atmospheric signals, especially given the smoothing of the air age by diffusion and bubble formation.
 The same selection criteria applied to the BFI tests allowed an accurate quantification of the blank correction to be applied to old and new δ 13 C measurements. Of the 129 BFI tests measured for δ 13 C, 9 were rejected because of problems during the extraction procedure (four leaked, three technical issues, and three contaminated BFI) and 31 were rejected because of issues regarding the IRMS analysis (22 high storage time, 2 low voltage, and 7 poor reproducibility of replicated acquisition on the IRMS). Generally, issues with BFI tests caused a difference from the target value to be more than 0.1‰. The blank correction was found to be much smaller (0.03‰) than the one applied in the F99 study (0.11‰). This is the main contributor to the difference (on average 0.17‰) between the previous and the revised Law Dome data sets.
3.3 The New δ 13 C Record
 When the F99 data set was published, it represented the only high precision published data set of δ 13 C from ice cores over the last 1000 years that could be compared to firn and direct atmospheric measurements. The overlap between ice and firn was used to show that the ice record was compatible with direct atmospheric measurements. The overlap between firn and direct atmospheric measurements from Cape Grim covered a significant number of years (1980–1993 A.D.). The overlap between ice and firn measurements from Law Dome in F99 was based on a much smaller number of points. Trudinger [ 2000 , p. 108] showed that there was a significant discrepancy between the F99 data set and the firn δ 13 C record from the firn campaign performed at the South Pole in 1995, with the F99 measured values being 0.1–0.2‰ higher than the values measured in South Pole firn air. Even though a number of possible causes were offered, no convincing explanation was found.
 Figure 3 shows the comparison of our new ice core data set with firn measurements from DE08-2, DSSW20K and South Pole, and the Cape Grim atmospheric record.
 When δ 13 C is plotted versus effective age of samples from different sites, the new ice measurements are compatible (within uncertainties) with the firn record from South Pole. Each site has a different age distribution—South Pole firn air has a spread in age that is 4 times that of DE08 and DE08-2 and 2–3 times that of DSS and DSSW20K, for CO2 dated 1940 A.D. (see Table 1), and this will lead to some differences in δ 13 C of the same age from different sites.
 Only a few δ 13 C measurements of shallow ice (corresponding to the period 1965–1975 A.D.) are not consistent with the firn record within their uncertainties. Ice near close off could have significant open porosity which, when brought to the surface, could trap significant amounts of air from modern atmosphere, thus lowering the measured δ 13 C [Aydin et al., 2010 ]. Figure 3 shows the overlap of firn and direct atmospheric samples from Cape Grim (inset).
 As an independent test of the robustness of the inferred atmospheric histories of δ 13 C, we employed a separate set of δ 13 C firn air measurements, along with the Bowdoin firn air model (see section 2.4 above). In this test, we used our inferred histories to drive both the Bowdoin and the CSIRO firn model forward in time and compared the model predictions of the depth profile of firn air composition with a set of flasks collected from firn at the South Pole in 2001. The flasks analyzed at INSTAAR were corrected for 0.08‰ scale offset measured between CSIRO and INSTAAR. The models were independently calibrated to match measurements of CO2, CH4, and δ 15 N of N2 at South Pole 2001. South Pole firn measurements were not used to construct the atmospheric histories driving the firn model. Results of this test are shown in Figure 4.
δ 13 C measurements from ice and firn sampled at different sites.
δ 13 C measurements from different laboratories, when scales offsets are allowed for.
Different models used to simulate the diffusion of air in firn.
 Finally, Figure 5 shows the revised record of CO2 concentration and the new record of δ 13 C over the last 1000 years, with Figure 6 presenting the details of the record after 1840 A.D.
 The main features of the previously published CO2 and δ 13 C records [Etheridge et al., 1996 Francey et al., 1999 MacFarling Meure et al., 2006 ] remain essentially unchanged. However, the higher sample density in the twentieth century provides more certainty on the data (Figure 6). A recent study using ice from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) has confirmed the main features of the Law Dome CO2 record but has shown a smoother decrease of the CO2 concentration around 1600 A.D., possibly caused by a higher degree of signal smoothing in WAIS ice during bubble close off compared to Law Dome [Ahn et al., 2012 ]. Furthermore, the mean CO2 LPIH level has been found to be, on average, 3 ppm higher at WAIS, which could point toward significant (even though small) in situ production of CO2 [Tschumi and Stauffer, 2000 ] in the ice at WAIS.
 Data from Dome Fuji firn air and direct atmospheric measurements from Syowa station [Sugawara et al., 2003 ] show a flattening of δ 13 C between 1990 and 1997/1998 which is not in agreement with the annual (seasonality suppressed) Cape Grim record which decreases from 1992 to 1999. However, the Cape Grim record is extremely closely matched (seasonally and annually) over the period with four Antarctic and sub-Antarctic sites (South Pole, Casey, Macquarie Island, and Mawson) [Francey et al., 2013 ]. Additionally, from 1992 through to 2012, same air flask comparisons involving flasks filled at Cape Grim and analyzed by both CSIRO and NOAA laboratories [Masarie et al., 2001 ] give closely similar results all show the same decreasing annual mean δ 13 C from 1992 to 1999. Given the weight of this independent evidence, we accept the Cape Grim record as more representative of Antarctic air.
3.4 Implications for the Interpretation of the Global C Cycle
 We used a KFDD [Trudinger et al., 2002b ] of the new data sets shown in Figure 5 to attribute the CO2 and δ 13 C variations to land and ocean fluxes. All the main features found from the KFDD of the previous records are confirmed and are described in the following sections.
 Between 1000 and 1600 A.D., the CO2 concentration varies between 278 and 284 ppm. At the same time, between 1000 and 1500 A.D., the δ 13 C stayed relatively constant around −6.55‰. Around 1600 A.D., the Law Dome CO2 ice core record shows a prominent decrease in concentration. Currently, there are no reliable δ 13 C measurements in the Law Dome ice core record for this time. We can therefore estimate the total fluxes of carbon well, but not the partition between ocean and land. Although the KFDD gives an estimate for δ 13 C around 1600 A.D., this is based simply on correlations in the covariance matrix and should not be interpreted as a real signal. CO2 subsequently increases a little to 1650 A.D. but stays low until about 1750 A.D. This period of low CO2 coincides with high δ 13 C interpreted by the KFDD as terrestrial uptake, which could be caused by a decrease of the Northern Hemispheric or global surface temperature [Mann et al., 2008 Oppo et al., 2009 ] during the Little Ice Age. Trudinger et al. [ 1999 ] suggested that the lower temperature reduced both the release of CO2 (soil respiration) and the uptake (photosynthesis) of CO2 by the terrestrial biosphere, with the respiration reduction dominating, causing the terrestrial biosphere to accumulate carbon. Lower atmospheric CH4 was found to be a likely result of land surface cooling during that period [Etheridge et al., 1998 Ferretti et al. 2006 Mitchell et al., 2011 ].
 The preindustrial level of δ 13 C in our record is −6.50‰, on average 0.17‰ lower than in F99. This change is around 10% of the δ 13 C decrease from the preindustrial to the present (Figure 5). Models of the carbon cycle that have been used to estimate C fluxes from the δ 13 C and CO2 variation over decades to centuries [e.g., Joos et al., 1999 Trudinger et al., 2002b ] have uncertainty in a number of their model parameters that can change the modeled LPIH-to-contemporary δ 13 C by a similar amount without changing recent net uptake by the land and oceans. These parameters include the residence times of both the terrestrial and ocean reservoirs, including the gas exchange coefficient for exchange between the atmosphere and ocean, variation in global isotopic fractionation due to temperature or the conversion of C3 to C4 ecosystems due to change in tropical land use [Joos and Bruno, 1998 Ciais et al., 1999 Trudinger et al., 1999 ]. Therefore, the reduced mean LPIH δ 13 C level is unlikely to lead to any significant change in estimated C fluxes but is expected to require different combinations of these model parameters that match the observed CO2 and δ 13 C. It may, however, have implications for studies like Krakauer et al. [ 2006 ] or similar, which use the preindustrial atmospheric δ 13 C to learn about this parameters.
 We emphasize that δ 13 C measurements are much sparser than CO2 measurements during the LPIH (see Figure 5). A higher sample density survey is underway for the LPIH to be able to infer the sources and sinks of CO2 during this important time with higher confidence and time resolution. Our major future objective is to increase the time resolution of δ 13 C data points around 1600 A.D. to explain the cause of this prolonged event of rapid C uptake.
 During the Industrial Period, two distinct slopes of CO2 growth (and corresponding δ 13 C decrease) can be distinguished (Figure 6) before and after 1960 A.D. due to an acceleration of the release of anthropogenically derived CO2 with the postwar economic boom [Rafelski et al., 2009 ].
 The ocean and the terrestrial biosphere carbon fluxes were significantly larger in the Industrial Period than during the LPIH. Ocean and land both became strong sinks of CO2 because of the effect of the increasing atmospheric CO2 on those carbon pools.
 A flattening of the atmospheric CO2 concentration around 1940 A.D. (1935–1950 A.D.) was highlighted in the Etheridge et al. [ 1996 ] and MacFarling Meure et al. [ 2006 ] papers. The F99 record showed a flattening in δ 13 C starting well before the one seen in the CO2 concentration record. Our new record confirms the significant flattening of δ 13 C during the period 1915–1950 A.D. (Figure 6). Trudinger [ 2000 , section 6.4] and Trudinger et al. [ 2002b ] looked in detail at the 1940s flattening in CO2 and the simultaneous δ 13 C variation. Taking into account the effect of firn diffusion and bubble trapping, they concluded that these CO2 and δ 13 C variations required almost 3 GtC/yr uptake around 1945–1948 that was mostly oceanic, but could have been up to one third biospheric. Note that the firn processes not only smooth atmospheric variations but also cause a shift in the effective age when the atmospheric growth rate departs rapidly from linear [Trudinger et al., 2002a ] for the 1940s flattening, we believe that the atmospheric event probably occurred around 5 years later than is indicated in the ice core record dated with constant gas-age/ice-age difference.
 The double deconvolution applied to the new record also suggests a major role for ocean uptake at this time. This is in contrast with the analysis of Rafelski et al. [ 2009 ], whose single deconvolution attributed this feature mostly to land processes. However, the lack of increase in δ 13 C during the 1940s implies that land uptake or underestimated fuel emissions were not the dominant cause of the CO2 flattening. Trudinger et al. [ 2002b ] concluded that more δ 13 C measurements with improved precision were needed to confirm the ocean as a significant sink in the 1940s. Around 1940, our new δ 13 C record has similar scatter and uncertainty to the F99 record, so provides a similar constraint. Reduction in uncertainty in δ 13 C at this time is still needed to confirm our conclusion. The role of the ocean in the 1940s is rather interesting since the terrestrial biosphere is usually thought to be responsible for short-term (decadal) atmospheric CO2 variations, and will require further investigation in the future to understand the cause of the increased ocean uptake (biochemical causes such as the dust peak measured in Antarctic ice (J. McConnell, personal communication, 2012) or physical causes such as ocean circulation).
 Further analysis of these CO2 and δ 13 C variations would ideally use age distributions to represent the firn processes, which would allow consideration of smoothing as well as time shifts of growth rate variations. The KFDD does not take into account climatic and land use change effects on isotopic discrimination by the terrestrial biosphere [Randerson et al., 2002 Scholze et al., 2003 , 2008 ]. We tuned the carbon cycle model to match the latest GCP (Global Carbon Project) net fluxes for recent decades, so this omission is not expected to be a significant problem for the long-term (i.e., preindustrial to modern) change in net fluxes. However, it could contribute to errors in our estimated fluxes on decadal timescales, particularly if changes in discrimination due to climate cause significant variability in δ 13 C but not CO2. Also, any biases in the assumed fossil fuel emissions over the last 20–40 years [Francey et al., 2013 ] could alter the inferred partitioning.
17. The Lord’s Appointed Times (Leviticus 23)
“Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord’s appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations—My appointed times are these:’” (Leviticus 23:2).
The Lord’s appointed times are festivals and holy days that commemorate significant times and events in Israel’s history. I had the unique privilege of attending Beth Hallel, a Messianic Jewish congregation, from 1988 through 1994. During these six years I joined with my Messianic Jewish friends in celebrating these holidays. They were a rich experience. In the fall of 1992, I was teaching through the Book of Revelation. As I heard the shofars blowing in the synagogue, I began thinking of the seven trumpet judgments. I asked myself what the association might be between these shofars and the trumpets in Revelation. This paper, in part, is what I discovered.
How do you learn best? Do you prefer to hear a lecture or read a book? Do you get more out of a documentary movie or studying the printed page? Can you learn about something abstractly, or do you need hands-on experience? As with many other things, the Lord has given each of us different learning styles. Therefore, it should not surprise us that the Lord communicates His truth in diverse ways. This is, at its core, what Leviticus 23 and related scriptures have to tell us. We not only have His written word, but we have commemorative holy days to transmit truth to the young and the old, the literate and the illiterate alike. The holy days tell and show the great truths of God’s salvation, His love, and His plans. They contain things to hear, see, taste, build, and do, and they appeal to everybody. They are “holy days,” but that really means that they are holidays.
The celebrations are fun, mostly, but they also teach us about eternal things. From a New Testament perspective, these holidays take on a meaning much richer than the Old Testament saints could have dreamed of. As Paul wrote to the Colossian church:
Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—things which are a mere shadow of what is to come but the substance belongs to Christ (Colossians 2:16-17).
These holidays look back, in time, to miracles that God performed for the world and for the Israelites. They also look forward, in time, to the work of Jesus Christ. Occurring during the spring and fall harvests, they speak of God’s continuous provisions. Together they promise God’s eternal care for His people.
This paper tells the story of these events on three levels. The first level discusses how the holidays have been celebrated through the centuries. The second level discusses the sensory elements and how they teach the truth in non-verbal ways. The third level discusses how Jesus Christ fulfilled or will fulfill the substance of each celebration.
The Jewish Calendar
Having invited you to the fun, I must ask you to pause to consider the calendar through which these celebrations flow. This is because the Jewish Calendar is very different from ours. There is no January or February to be found. Instead, the Bible refers to “the first month,” “the seventh month,” or names like Abib and Ethanim. There is no quick way to say that, for a particular year, the 15 th of Abib occurs on the 6 th of April. Also, most of you know that October is in the fall, but do you know what season Ethanim occupies? Do you know that the Bible has another name for the month of Abib? I hope that you find this section useful for this and other studies that you do.
As I have already stated, the Lord’s “appointed times” occur through the year. The Jews, because they celebrate them every year, can and do anticipate each one in its season. They are a part of their culture. A Jew knows that the Feast of Tabernacles occurs in the fall as readily as we know that Easter occurs in the spring. The placement of these festivals through the year has prophetic significance. To be specific, Jesus’ death and resurrection are the substance of the spring holidays. His return and the establishment of His kingdom are the substance of the fall holidays. In between, there is the summer season of church history.
Our calendar, known officially as the Gregorian Calendar, is based on the relative motion of the sun through the heavens. For this reason, it is sometimes called a solar calendar. It takes 365.2524 days to complete the year. To keep the start of spring from shifting into February and then January, we insert a leap day every four years. This keeps the calendar and the seasons together. Consequently, the vernal and autumnal equinoxes always occur in March and September respectively. 122
The Jewish Calendar, however, is based on the relative motion of both the moon and the sun. It is, therefore, called a luni-solar calendar. Since it is based on the moon, the first of every month coincides with a new moon and the fifteenth of every month coincides with a full moon. In other words, each month is defined by the phases of the moon. The Jewish Calendar keeps the months and their respective seasons together by the insertion of leap months. This means that most years have twelve months, but some have thirteen. The whole system has a nineteen-year cycle. It is more accurate than our solar calendar, but it’s more difficult to follow. The Jewish calendar does not mark the first day of spring, summer, fall, or winter. The primary markers in the Jewish Calendar are the holidays.
The modern Jewish Calendar has its secular and religious forms. The secular calendar begins with the month of Ethanim. The religious calendar begins with the month of Abib. The Bible consistently uses the religious form i.e., the first month is always Abib. Ethanim and Abib are ancient Canaanite names for the first and seventh months respectively. However, beginning with the Babylonian exile, the Jews began using the Babylonian names for the months. Consequently, the post-exilic Biblical authors, Nehemiah and the author of Esther, used the Babylonian names. Today’s Jewish Calendar also uses the Babylonian names.
The following table presents these essential ideas:
Passover Feast of Unleavened Bread Wave Offering of First Fruits
Trumpets Day of Atonement Feast of Tabernacles
Although these technical details may sound dry, they have important implications in certain passages of scripture. For example, Passover begins on the fourteenth day of the month of Abib. Since the months, in the Jewish Calendar, follow the phases of the moon, we know that this must be a full moon. The darkness that fell over the earth when Jesus was crucified could not, therefore, have been an eclipse of the sun. It had to be, therefore, of supernatural origin.
The important thing for us to note for this study of Leviticus 23 is that the first month, Abib, occurs sometime during March or April and the seventh month, Ethanim, occurs sometime during September or October. To get back to the study at hand, Leviticus 23 tells us first about a weekly celebration, the Sabbath. It then describes several spring celebrations (Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Wave Offering of First Fruits, and Pentecost). It then moves on to describe several fall celebrations (Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles).
The Weekly Holy Day
Sabbath (Shabbat 124 )
“For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a Sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work it is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwellings” (Leviticus 23:3).
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made (Genesis 2:1-3).
Sabbath means “rest.” The Sabbath celebration, spoken of in Leviticus 23, has its roots in the very creation of the world. God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. That is, he separated it from the others in kind and character. He made it holy. Because He rested after six days of labor, He enjoins His people to do likewise. Thus, the Sabbath becomes a weekly reminder that God is the creator of all things. Whenever I read of God resting on the seventh day, I imagine Him reflecting on and enjoying the work that He had done. Obviously, this is an anthropomorphic sentiment, but it helps me understand the intended purpose of this day. As it was for God, so it can be for our children and for us. It is a day of rest from the fast pace of the week. It is a day to reflect on God and His creation. It is a day to reflect on the week’s activities. It is a day to worship and express thanks. It is a day to do good to our neighbors.
The Jewish Sabbath liturgy invokes images of not only the creation, but also the moment by moment sustaining of it by God’s almighty hand. As Colossians says, “in Him all things hold together.”
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who at your word brings on the evening twilight, with wisdom opens the gates of the heavens, and with understanding changes time and varies the seasons, and arranges the stars in their watches in the sky, according to your will. You create day and night you roll away the light from before the darkness, and the darkness from before the light you make the day to pass and the night to approach, and divide the day from the night. The Lord of hosts is your name a God living and enduring continually. May you reign over us for ever and ever. Blessed are you, O Lord, who brings on the evening twilight. 125
Common Christian culture, until recent times, observed Sunday as a special day. It, too, was to be different from other days. Given the Sabbath’s roots in the creation rather than the Law, this seems appropriate. The day of rest was always intended to bless mankind, and, according to Isaiah, the Sabbath will continue, for all mankind, into the New Heavens and the New Earth:
Isaiah 66:22-23 “For just as the new heavens and the new earth which I make will endure before Me,” declares the Lord, “So your offspring and your name will endure. And it shall be from new moon to new moon and from Sabbath to Sabbath , all mankind will come to bow down before Me,” says the Lord.
For Christians, the Sabbath also speaks of our future rest in the Lord:
Hebrews 4:9-11 So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.
What continues to wreck the concept of Sabbath is legalism. Time and again it infiltrates the practice of a weekly rest and turns it into dull affair. God set aside a day for us to rest, to enjoy Him and His creation, and to do good deeds to others. Without such an appointed time, we would work seven days a week 365 days a year. If we did not set aside the time, we could let our relationship with God slip away. Unfortunately, the legalists cannot be comfortable until “work” is defined in detail. By the time they are done, the blessing and joy are gone. The day starts to speak of the sternness of God, rather than His loving-kindness. It loses sight of its roots in creation, rest, and fellowship with God. Instead, it becomes one more illustration of His awesome commands and our responsibility to obey them at all costs. It was true in Jesus’ day and it has often been true in Church practice. I am reminded of the story told by Laura Ingalls Wilder in her series Little House on the Prairie.
When Grandpa was a little boy, Laura, Sunday did not begin on Sunday morning, as it does now. It began at sundown on Saturday night. 126 Then everyone stopped every kind of work or play.
Supper was solemn. After supper, Grandpa’s father read aloud a chapter of the Bible, while everyone sat straight and still in his chair. Then they all knelt down, and their father said a long prayer. When he said, ‘Amen.’ They got up from their knees and each took a candle and went to bed. They must go straight to bed, with no playing, laughing or even talking.
Sunday morning they ate a cold breakfast, because nothing could be cooked on Sunday. Then they all dressed in their best clothes and walked to church. They walked, because hitching up the horses was work, and no work could be done on Sunday.
They must walk slowly and solemnly looking straight ahead. They must not joke or laugh, or even smile. Grandpa and his two brothers walked ahead, and their father and mother walked behind them.
In church, Grandpa and his brothers must sit perfectly still for two long hours and listen to the sermon. They dared not fidget on the hard bench. They dared not swing their feet. They dared not even turn their heads to look at the windows or the walls or the ceiling of the church. They must sit perfectly motionless and never for one instant take their eyes from the preacher.
When church was over, they walked slowly home. They might talk on the way, but they must not talk loudly and they must never laugh or smile. At home they ate a cold dinner, which had been cooked the day before. Then all the long afternoon they must sit in a row on a bench and study their catechism, until at last the sun went down and Sunday was over. 127
This same attitude was present in Jesus’ day. A distorted view of the Sabbath, held firmly by the Jewish leadership, inhibited them from recognizing Him as the Messiah. Sabbath controversies occupy all four of the gospels. In each, the controversy hinges on Jesus’ practice of healing on the Sabbath. To the Jewish leadership, healing was work and should not take place on the Sabbath. Besides, the joy expressed by those Jesus healed “disrupted” the sanctity of the Sabbath. Then, as in Laura’s day, the observance of the Sabbath was strictly constrained by tradition. Jesus’ comments about the Sabbath speak more of blessing and service than cold soup.
“But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this means, ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:6-8).
“How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:12).
Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath ( Mark 2:27).
But the synagogue official, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, “There are six days in which work should be done so come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead him away to water him? And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?” (Luke 13:14-16).
So, it is okay to show compassion on the Sabbath rather than rest. It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath. Even those who accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath attended to the comfort of their own animals on that day. They just could not extend the concept to people. At creation, God rested and enjoyed the work of His hands. He gave mankind a day for rest and fellowship. He gave mankind a day when it was possible to do good deeds, because during the rest of the week finding the time to do such things is harder. It should reflect love and joy. It should take on the characteristics of a holiday.
To close this section, I want to relate the story of someone whose life showed a balanced concept of the Sabbath for the Christian. That man was Eric Liddel. The movie, Chariots of Fire, told the story about his giving up an Olympic medal opportunity, because a qualifying heat, for his race, was to be run on Sunday. At that time, Eric Liddel rightly chose God’s glory over his own. Less known is an incident that occurred shortly before he died, of a brain tumor, in a Japanese internment camp during WWII. The camp conditions were crowded and the young children were constantly at loose ends. There simply was nothing to do. Eric Liddel organized soccer games for the young people. Guess what? They played on Sunday! Perhaps he had a change of theology, but I think that he found the balance between two scriptures. The first, Isaiah 58:13, tells us to “turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day.” The second, Matthew 12:12, says, “It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
The Spring Holy Days
“In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover” (Leviticus 23:5).
Now the Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you it is to be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household. Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails. And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire. Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand and you shall eat it in haste—it is the Lord’s Passover. For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments—I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance’” (Exodus 12:1-14).
The first month is Abib. In Hebrew, “abib” means green. It suggests the singular expression of spring: the re-greening, or re-birth, of the earth. For Israel, Passover means their birth as a nation. For this reason, although Leviticus gives only a few words to this holy day, Passover is the king of them all. It is by reason of Passover that Abib marks the beginning of the sacred Jewish Calendar. As the Lord told Moses, “This month … is to be the first month of the year to you.” This is fitting, because Passover marks the beginning of the nation of Israel. When Moses commanded the congregation of Israel concerning this first Passover, they were still the slaves of the Egyptians. The day following this Passover meal, they were free.
The story’s elements are familiar: The Lord’s call to Moses from out of the burning bush Moses before Pharaoh crying, “Let my people go” the ten plagues and the parting of the sea. Passover is the holiday for remembering these things. The Jewish celebration combines sights, words, songs, and tastes to communicate the story. The telling of the story surrounds a festive meal and contains these basic elements:
Four Cups of Wine
Although not mentioned in Exodus 12, the Passover in modern times and the time of Jesus included drinking four cups of wine. These cups stand for the four-fold deliverance spoken by God in Exodus.
“Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. Then I will take you for My people , and I will be your God and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians’” (Exodus 6:6, 7).
The first cup speaks of our “being brought out.” The second speaks of our “deliverance from bondage.” The third speaks of our “redemption.” The fourth speaks of our “belonging.” The Gospel of Luke records the use of the first and third cups during the Last Supper:
And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood (Luke 22:15-20).
I understand this as meaning that Jesus did not inaugurate something new when He established communion, but rather identified and extended an existing tradition to communicate truth about Himself. The cup immediately after the meal was the “cup of redemption.” To Jesus and to us, it symbolizes the new covenant and our redemption, by His blood, from slavery to sin.
In the Exodus story, there was no time to let the bread rise before the Israelites had to leave Egypt. Unleavened bread represents the speed of their salvation. It also speaks of sinlessness. I will have more to say about this in the next section, which is about the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
One interesting practice during the Passover celebration is the breaking of one of three pieces of unleavened bread. The first half is used immediately, but the second is wrapped in a cloth and hidden until after the meal. This is the bread that Jesus broke during the Last Supper. It speaks of His sinless perfection. The second piece wrapped, hidden, and resurrected speaks of Jesus death, burial, and resurrection.
Tasting the bitter herbs, i.e. horseradish, is an experience to bring tears to the eyes and a dramatic reminder of the bitterness of slavery. It was eaten on the broken unleavened bread, so it can also speak of the bitter tears of Jesus in Gethsemane and the bitterness of His coming death for mankind’s sin.
Since the destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70 AD, the Jews do not eat roasted lamb during Passover. Instead they commemorate the lamb with the roasted shank-bone of a lamb. The lamb represents protection against the last plague that befell the Egyptians. It seems that the Angel of Death would also have slain the first born of the Israelites, were it not for the blood of the Passover lamb on the doorposts. On seeing the blood, the Angel of Death passed over the house. From this the celebration gets its name.
There are other elements in the Passover celebration. There is a mixture of apples, wine, nuts, and honey called “Charoseth.” The apples are grated and left exposed to turn brown. Consequently the mixture looks a little bit like the mud the Israelites used to make bricks.
There is some green vegetable like parsley or celery to speak of spring and hope. There is salt water to represent tears. There are 10 drops of wine dripped from the second cup to represent the 10 plagues on the Egyptians. The 10 drops lower the volume of wine in the cups and indicate that the suffering of the Egyptians reduces our joy.
Sweet, bitter, and salty tastes for the mouth dripped wine broken bread and so forth are devices to teach the deliverance of God in a unique way. As I said before, it appeals to all ages.
Jesus and Passover
During the Last Supper, Jesus appropriated elements of the Jewish Passover. That is, He endowed them with new meaning, and that meaning was tied to Himself. Instead of having meaning restricted to God’s past redemption, these elements now symbolize the redemption of Jesus Christ as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” by His death at Calvary. At Passover, the Old and New Covenants meet. He is the lamb without defect. He is the broken bread. He is the cup of Redemption. As He said in Luke, He will not partake of Passover again, until He can share it with us in the coming Kingdom. The hand of God delivered from slavery in the past. On the cross, He delivered us from slavery to sin.
The early church clearly identified Jesus with Passover. Paul says,
Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough ? Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (1 Corinthians 5:6-8).
Leaven represents sin. Allowing sin in our lives and the church has a corrupting influence. But we are unleavened, because Christ our Passover has been sacrificed. Thus we see that Jesus completes the promise of Passover.
Note the suggestion in Paul’s words, “Let us celebrate the feast.” This implies that the early Christians celebrated Passover for some time. Some would argue that Paul is simply referring to Communion. That ignores Paul’s Jewish upbringing. Does not Exodus 12:14 call Passover “a feast?” Why would Paul use the term “feast” and intend an ambiguous reading of it? Along these lines note also Acts 20:6, “We sailed from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread.” The least that can be said is that the early church marked a Jewish Calendar. In any case, the observance of Passover is today growing among the churches. This is a good thing. It is a celebration of the salvation of God from slavery in Egypt and slavery to sin. To the young ones in our families, it provides an opportunity to present the gospel to our children at a very early age.
Feast of Unleavened Bread
“Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation you shall not do any laborious work. But for seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord. On the seventh day is a holy convocation you shall not do any laborious work” (Leviticus 23:6-8).
“Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses for whoever eats anything leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. On the first day you shall have a holy assembly, and another holy assembly on the seventh day no work at all shall be done on them, except what must be eaten by every person, that alone may be prepared by you. You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses for whoever eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is an alien or a native of the land. You shall not eat anything leavened in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread” (Exodus 12:15-20).
“You shall tell your son on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth for with a powerful hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt” (Exodus 13:8, 9).
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is an extension of Passover. The celebration is simple. Before it begins, you pass through your entire house to clear out all leavening agents and foods made with leaven. Leavening agents are things like yeast, baking powder, baking soda, and sour dough. Leaven makes bread and rolls rise and become soft and fluffy.
For centuries the Jews have made a special event in the evening of this day. Crumbs of bread and other things are planted throughout the house. In the evening, the father leads the children through the house with a feather and dish to search for the last traces of leaven. When they find them, the father swishes them into the dish with the feather. After all remaining traces are swept away, they are taken outside and burned.
For the next seven days, all food is unleavened, but the recipes are incredibly creative. Whipped egg whites can add sponginess to cake recipes. Unleavened flour is made into “matzo balls” and used in soups. Nevertheless, for seven days the diet reminds the household and the children that God delivered the Israelites from slavery.
Unleavened bread relates two aspects of God’s deliverance. The first is the simple fact that the Israelites left Egypt in such a hurry that they did not have time to let their bread rise. The second is that the first several days saw them hurrying away, so that there still was not enough time to let bread rise. There would be no safety until there was enough distance between them and those who would come after them. Then they came to the Red Sea. In this sense the Feast of Unleavened Bread marks the very first stage of the journey. It was a time of hurry and danger, and then the trap.
We know, of course, that the Lord parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites could cross over. When Pharaoh’s armies followed, the sea came together again and destroyed them. This celebration is an effective reminder of God’s faithfulness. Exodus 13:8 says, “You shall tell you son on that day …” The Bible anticipates that children will ask what the change of diet is about. When they do, you can tell them the whole story. Besides, young children get to pretend what it must have been like, at least as far as food goes, to live during those first days after leaving Egypt.
Given that leaven also symbolizes sin, this feast is an object lesson in righteousness. As the family cleans the house and searches for all leaven, they play out the process of sanctification. It is a reminder of God’s righteousness. For those of us who are Christians, this Feast of Unleavened Bread reminds us of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit as He searches out and frees us from the sin that inhabits our house. As Psalm 139 says,
Search me, O God, and know my heart Try me and know my anxious thoughts and see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way (Psalm 139:23-24).
Wave Offering of First Fruits
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord for you to be accepted on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. Now on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb one year old without defect for a burnt offering to the Lord. Its grain offering shall then be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering by fire to the Lord for a soothing aroma, with its drink offering, a fourth of a hin of wine. Until this same day, until you have brought in the offering of your God, you shall eat neither bread nor roasted grain nor new growth. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places’” (Leviticus 23:9-14).
One of the days during the Feast of Unleavened Bread will be a Sabbath. The day following this Sabbath is the celebration of First Fruits 128 . On this day, the first sheaf of harvested barley is brought to the Lord and waved before Him. The grain is then left for the priest and for the poor. This is an act of thanksgiving for the Lord’s provision and bounty. No one is to eat from the new harvest until the wave offering is made.
There is no direct Jewish Celebration of this today. However, given its placement between Passover and Pentecost and its emphasis on the Lord’s provision, I see it as a reminder of the manna in the desert, which began shortly after the crossing of the Red Sea.
In terms of Christianity, it is worth noting that the resurrection of Jesus Christ occurred the day following the Sabbath. His resurrection corresponds to this wave offering. He is, Himself, a first fruits offering. As Paul says,
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death (1 Corinthians 15:20-26).
Jesus’ resurrection is the assurance of our resurrection. It is the promise that we will not see eternal death, but share in eternal life. When He rose from the dead, we became able to share in the new harvest, which I believe is the Holy Spirit.
First Fruits is such a simple holiday, and, yet, it has such significant meaning to us in the Church. Passover is our redemption, Unleavened Bread is our sanctification, First Fruits is our promise of eternal life and resurrection.
I have a personal First Fruits story to tell. I have for years looked upon the Old Testament as containing principles of righteousness living. This is not to be confused with legalism. It should rather be viewed as an attempt to view the Law as Paul did (see 1 Corinthians 9:9, 1 Timothy 5:18, and 1 Timothy 1:8). Anyway, I began meditating about the First Fruits offering and how someone who is not a farmer might participate. In my heart, I committed to a special practice to celebrate the event whenever I got a raise. The gross net increase of the first paycheck containing the raise would be a First Fruits offering to the Lord. This was not to gain approval or special status. It was simply to say thanks and acknowledge that He provides for me every day.
Following this heart commitment, not a month went by before my manager at IBM came to me and said, “I am giving you a raise. It is early and out of grid.” The translation of these words are, “IBM policy says it’s too early to give you a raise, but I am giving you one anyway. IBM says that your next raise should not be more than such-and-such, but I am giving you more than that.” At the time this occurred, my wife and I had custody of my three nieces. IBM benefits did not cover them. My manager had worked out the raise to help our situation.
‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering there shall be seven complete Sabbaths 129 . You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord. You shall bring in from your dwelling places two loaves of bread for a wave offering made of two-tenths of an ephah they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to the Lord. Along with the bread you shall present seven one year old male lambs without defect, and a bull of the herd and two rams they are to be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the Lord. You shall also offer one male goat for a sin offering and two male lambs one-year-old for a sacrifice of peace offerings. The priest shall then wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering with two lambs before the Lord they are to be holy to the Lord for the priest. On this same day you shall make a proclamation as well you are to have a holy convocation. You shall do no laborious work. It is to be a perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations. When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field nor gather the gleaning of your harvest you are to leave them for the needy and the alien. I am the Lord your God’ (Leviticus 23:15-22).
In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. When they set out from Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and camped in the wilderness and there Israel camped in front of the mountain (Exodus 19:1, 2).
Pentecost gets its name from the counting of fifty days from the Sabbath following Passover. This places the holiday in the third month (Sivan) of the Jewish Calendar. It coincides with the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai, which is what the holiday celebrates. The most unique aspect of this celebration in the temple was the waving of two leavened loaves of bread before the Lord. This was the only leavened offering made in the temple! These loaves, like the earlier wave offering, are also declared to be a First Fruits offering. Perhaps the loaves were to look like the two tablets of the Law.
The Jewish celebration of Pentecost often begins by staying up all night to read Torah. They emphasize the Ten Commandments. In this way they remember the events that took place at Mount Sinai. Also, because of its association with the spring harvest, the Jews will read the Book of Ruth. And because Mount Sinai also looks forward to the time when Israel would enter the “land flowing with milk and honey,” the foods of Pentecost are rich with milk, cream, and honey. This is the season for the cheese blintzes and apples dipped in honey. I should add that the honey also speaks of the sweetness of God’s word.
Pentecost completes the Exodus story. Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread tell of the escape from Egypt. The First Fruits speaks of manna and God’s provision in the desert. Pentecost speaks of the giving of the Law, which is some respects became the Constitution for Israel, the nation.
In Christianity, Pentecost marks the giving of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1). Perhaps Paul was even thinking of the wave offering of the two loaves when he wrote,
For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit , even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body (Romans 8:19-23).
Today’s Messianic Jews 130 have an interesting view of the two leavened loaves of bread offered in the temple during Pentecost. Since leaven is a symbol for sin, why is this offering different from all other grain offerings by specifying the inclusion of leaven? It is this: Because of the atonement brought about by Jesus, the Holy Spirit can indwell us and we are able to “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace.” Though we still contain leaven, we can get help in time of need. They see in the loaves the Jewish and Gentile believers offered before the Lord as first fruits of what is to come. The Church is not complete without the Jews and the Gentiles. I find the argument compelling. To me, it is just one more example of the prophetic core in the appointed times. In this light, the practice of reading Ruth also foreshadowed the unity of the Jewish and Gentile believers.
Jesus and the Spring Holy Days
The flow of Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost mark the timings of two stories of real history. The first story is that of deliverance from slavery in Egypt and the giving of Law. The second story is that of deliverance from slavery to sin and the giving of the Holy Spirit. Two stories with different emphasis and meanings. It should be noted, however, that there is no hint that the older meanings were either discarded or demeaned. In fact, the older meanings are essential to the new meanings. In any case, the following table succinctly shows the relationships:
Moses the mediator
Jesus the mediator
Feast of Unleavened Bread
Redemption from slavery in Egypt
Redemption from slavery to sin
Wave Offering of First Fruits
Bread of life
Fire on the mountain
Giving of the Law
Law written on stone
Two leavened loaves
Birth of a nation
Fire on the believers
Giving of the Holy Spirit
Law written in the heart
Jews and Gentiles
Birth of the Church
The Fall Holy Days
Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah Rosh Hashannah)
Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord’” (Leviticus 23:23-25).
Leviticus 23:23 begins with the words “Again the Lord spoke to Moses …” and, therefore, indicates the start of a new section. Following this verse are the commands concerning the holidays of the fall season.
The first of these occurs on the first day of the seventh month of the religious calendar. To the ancient Hebrew authors this was the month of Ethanim. In the modern calendar, the month is called Tishri. The holy day is designated as “a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets.” The phrase “blowing of trumpets” translates the Hebrew word “teruah.” The word is loosely like the English word “fanfare.” Like “fanfare,” “teruah” has an association with the sound of a trumpet, but really means those things for which we might sound a trumpet: to alert, to call to battle, to announce the arrival of a king, etc. In the case of this holiday, the trumpets announce the coming of the holidays to follow. The holidays that follow, therefore, are incredibly important. Perhaps, it is better to say that you did not want to be found unprepared when their day arrived. As the Boy Scouts say, “Be prepared!”
The Jews begin blowing ram’s horns (shofars) in their synagogues in the sixth month (Elul) and continue up to the Day of Atonement. The trumpets remind the people that the Day of Atonement is approaching. It is a time to reflect on the year and the state of your character and your relationship to God. Then, on the first day of the seventh month (Rosh Hashanah), there is a special service that features an elaborate ceremony of trumpet blowing.
The trumpets remind the Jews of at least eight things 131 :
1. To prepare for the coming Day of Atonement by examining the life you have lived this past year.
2. To celebrate the creation with God as its King. This is because, according to Jewish tradition, creation began on the first day of the seventh month.
3. To remember that the Lord descended upon Mount Sinai with the loud blast of a shofar (Exodus 19:16-19).
4. To imagine the sound of the heavenly shepherd recalling those who have strayed from Israel’s fold.
5. To rejoice in freedom from slavery. In the past, slaves were freed at the blast of a shofar.
6. To rejoice in restoration. Property was returned at the blast of the shofar at the Jubilee Year (Leviticus 25:9).
7. To remember Abraham’s obedience when he offered his son Isaac. When Abraham sacrificed Isaac, a ram was caught in the thicket by its horns.
8. To look forward to the coming of Messiah’s kingdom, which the blast of the shofar will bring in.
As the spring holy days spoke of the first coming of Messiah, so we can begin to see that the fall holidays speak of His return. This is seen by the consistent imagery of trumpets in the New Testament.
And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other (Matthew 24:31).
… in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed (1 Corinthians 15:52).
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them (Revelation 8:6).
The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts (Revelation 9:20, 21).
The first three verses above have direct correspondence to the final trumpet sounded on the eve of the Day of Atonement. The next two (Revelation 8:6 and 9:20, 21) have clear association with the trumpets announcing the coming of the Day. Like the trumpets that announce the Lord as King over His creation, so trumpets announce the coming of Messiah as King. Like the trumpets that announce the Jubilee Year and freedom to slaves, so trumpets announce the translation of our corruptible flesh into incorruptible new bodies. As the trumpets sounded before the Day of Atonement call the Jews to repentance, so these trumpets call all of mankind to repent before the terrible Day of the Lord. The seven trumpets in Revelation, like the shofars that sound in the synagogues, are a call to the earth to repent. Consequently, we have the significance of Revelation 9:20, 21: The trumpets have sounded and the world has not repented. The Bowl Judgments, containing the Wrath of God, may now be poured on the earth.
In short, the trumpets announce the coming of the King. As such, they call for the people of God to prepare their hearts for His coming. As Jesus has said, He wants to come and find us at our posts. For the lost, the trumpets call for repentance. Failing repentance, the trumpets announce the coming Judgment of God. Consequently, the next holy day will be, for each person, either a Day of Atonement or the Day of Judgment.
Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the Lord. You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the Lord your God. If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people. As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. It is to be a Sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your Sabbath” (Leviticus 23:26-32).
“He shall take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the doorway of the tent of meeting. Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat. Then Aaron shall offer the goat on which the lot for the Lord fell, and make it a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot for the scapegoat fell shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make atonement upon it, to send it into the wilderness as the scapegoat. … for it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you you will be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It is to be a Sabbath of solemn rest for you, that you may humble your souls it is a permanent statute. So the priest who is anointed and ordained to serve as priest in his father’s place shall make atonement: he shall thus put on the linen garments, the holy garments, and make atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tent of meeting and for the altar. He shall also make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. Now you shall have this as a permanent statute, to make atonement for the sons of Israel for all their sins once every year.” And just as the Lord had commanded Moses, so he did (Leviticus 16:7-10 30-34).
The Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, represents the day when the priest puts on special clothes and makes offerings to atone, or cleanse, the holy sanctuary, the temple, and the altar. He then makes atonement for the priests and the people. The day is solemn and serious. It is a day of complete rest and fasting with a goal of humbling the soul. As a holy day, it serves to remind us of the gravity and offense of sin. The eve of the Day of Atonement begins with the blast of a shofar. Afterwards, the shofars are silent until next year.
Yom Kippur begins in the evening of the ninth day of the seventh month. In modern Judaism there is an important liturgical chant sung on this evening. It is called Kol Nidre, which in Hebrew means “All Vows.” It is a rescinding of vows: a cleansing of vows that were made, but remain unfulfilled and un-fulfillable. Kol Nidre originated in seventh century Spain, where Jews were tortured or burned unless they bound themselves, by oath, to cease from Jewish religious expression. Those Jews, whose constitutions could not rise to suffering an excruciating and fearful death, renounced their Judaism. When better days came along, the Kol Nidre was created to absolve them of their rash vows and re-open full fellowship in the community. To me it catches the spirit of Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son. It is the full expression of forgiveness to one who forsook the community, but later came to his senses.
If Kol Nidre is the open door to renewed fellowship for the repentant apostate, those who treat the day lightly stand in the path of destruction. As the Lord says, “As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people.” Those who would work on the day when sin is to be confronted, fail to understand the seriousness of sin. It is to say, by my actions, that sin is not a problem for me.
Before the destruction of the temple, the atonement of the people involved two goats. By casting lots the priest chose between the goats. One was chosen for the Lord ( hwhyl , l’yhvw) the other was chosen for Azazel ( lzazul , l’azazel) (usually translated as scapegoat). The priest transferred the sins of the people onto the scapegoat and then it was driven into the wilderness. The first goat paid the penalty of the people’s sin, the second took the sin away. The ancient Jews considered the two goats to be two halves of a single sacrifice. Therefore, they would select two goats that very closely resembled each other.
The reference to Azazel only appears in Leviticus 16. It appears no where else in the scriptures. Although it is typically translated as “scapegoat,” the actual language suggests a being for which this goat is chosen. As one goat is chosen “for (to) the Lord,” so the other is chosen “for (to) Azazel.” Who or what is Azazel?
There is only one extra-biblical reference to him: the Book of Enoch. It identifies him as one of the angels (as hinted by Genesis 6) who corrupted the earth. An intriguing connection to the Day of Atonement occurs in Enoch chapter 10.
“And again the Lord said to Raphael: ‘Bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert, which is in Dudael, and cast him therein. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there forever, and cover his face that he may not see light. And on the day of the great judgment he shall be cast into the fire.’”
How reliable might this reference be? This is a hard question. The Book of Enoch does not have the antiquity it claims, but it is still thousands of years closer to the meaning of Azazel than we have anywhere else. The fact that Jude quotes from it (Jude 14, 15), at least, attests to its cultural pertinence. On the other hand, the Septuagint translation of Azazel, avpopompaiw| (“a carrying away”), is closer to the spirit of a “scapegoat.”
Nevertheless, the Enoch picture is intriguing. The goat “for (to) Azazel” is sent to the domain of Azazel in the wilderness. We have a picture of Israel’s sins taken away and cast into the abyss to await the final judgment.
Although the Day of Atonement is about the payment and removal of the sins of the nation for a year, it also looks forward to the day of Israel’s salvation. Note the thematic connections in the following verses.
BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen (Revelation 1:7).
“I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10).
“I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed (Daniel 7:13, 14).
And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other (Matthew 24:30, 31).
For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in and so all Israel will be saved just as it is written, “THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB. THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS” (Romans 11:25-27).
First, Revelation 1:7 links two Old Testament Messianic prophecies: Zechariah 12:10 and Daniel 7:13, 14. That is, the day the Lord returns is the day that Israel receives “the Spirit of grace and supplication” and finds national salvation. Second, Matthew links these events to the blowing of a great trumpet (or shofar) that begins the Day of Atonement. Third, it is the day to which Paul, in Romans 11:25-27, looked ahead. As the goat chosen for Azazel takes away the sin from Israel, so according to Paul the coming of the Lord will take away the sins of Israel. The meaning of all this is that the future fulfillment of the Day of Atonement is the second coming of Jesus Christ on the earth and the salvation of Israel.
Feast of Tabernacles (Succoth)
Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the Lord. On the first day is a holy convocation you shall do no laborious work of any kind. For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to the Lord it is an assembly. You shall do no laborious work. These are the appointed times of the Lord which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, to present offerings by fire to the Lord—burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each day’s matter on its own day—besides those of the Sabbaths of the Lord, and besides your gifts and besides all your vows and freewill offerings, which you give to the Lord. On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day. Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall live in booths for seven days all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God’” (Leviticus 23:33-43).
Five days after the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Booths (or Tabernacles) begins. The principle element of this celebration is “living in booths” for a week. The actual practice among the Jews consists of building a “hut” in the backyard or on the porch. They make the hut by tying branches together, because it is not to be nailed or constructed in any way that suggests permanence. In fact, the properly made hut will leak. This virtue permits the occupants to see the stars. Although the Jews do not actually live in these things, they will share meals in them and sometimes spend at least one night camping out. I know of a Jewish family that sometimes takes a backpacking trip during this time.
I like to call the Feast of Tabernacles, “The holiday of the manifest presence of God.” Here is why. Leviticus says, “Israel shall live in booths, so that your generations may know that the sons of Israel lived in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt.” The hut lets children pretend to be Israelites in the wilderness. So, what was it like in those days? The twelve tribes had their camps on the north, south, east, and west. In the center stood the tabernacle. Over the tabernacle appeared the manifested presence of the Lord.
The Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst? I will smite them with pestilence and dispossess them, and I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they.
But Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear of it, for by Your strength You brought up this people from their midst, and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, O Lord, are in the midst of this people, for You, O Lord, are seen eye to eye, while Your cloud stands over them and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. Now if You slay this people as one man, then the nations who have heard of Your fame will say, ‘Because the Lord could not bring this people into the land which He promised them by oath, therefore He slaughtered them in the wilderness.’ But now, I pray, let the power of the Lord be great, just as You have declared, ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations. ’ Pardon, I pray, the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness, just as You also have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”
So the Lord said, “I have pardoned them according to your word but indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord” (Numbers 14:11-21).
What an incredible sight to see everyday. “They have heard that You, O Lord, are in the midst of this people, for You, O Lord, are seen eye to eye, while Your cloud stands over them and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night.” When the Lord wanted them to move, the pillars moved. When the Lord wanted them to stay, the pillars stayed. This is the tale parents can tell their children during the dinner meal in the hut. When the sky gets dark and you can gaze at the stars, the parents can tell their children how the universe manifests the presence of God. It is a good time to read Psalm 19.
The Feast of Tabernacles also looks ahead to the Messianic Kingdom. It looks ahead to the time when the presence of God, through the reign of His son, is as manifest on the earth as it was in the days of the wilderness travels. In fact, according to Zechariah, the Feast of Tabernacles will be an international celebration during the Kingdom.
And the Lord will be king over all the earth in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one. … Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them. If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them it will be the plague with which the Lord smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths (Zechariah 14:9, 16-19).
It should be clear, by now, how the fall holidays of Leviticus track the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The blowing of trumpets speak of the warnings and shaking on the earth to call all mankind to repent. The Day of Atonement speaks of the day that Jesus will physically return and the day that Israel as a nation will find salvation. The Feast of Tabernacles speaks of the Millennial Kingdom.
60 Lives, 30 Kidneys, All Linked
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Rick Ruzzamenti admits to being a tad impulsive. He traded his Catholicism for Buddhism in a revelatory flash. He married a Vietnamese woman he had only just met. And then a year ago, he decided in an instant to donate his left kidney to a stranger.
In February 2011, the desk clerk at Mr. Ruzzamenti’s yoga studio told him she had recently donated a kidney to an ailing friend she had bumped into at Target. Mr. Ruzzamenti, 44, had never even donated blood, but the story so captivated him that two days later he called Riverside Community Hospital to ask how he might do the same thing.
Halfway across the country, in Joliet, Ill., Donald C. Terry Jr. needed a kidney in the worst way. Since receiving a diagnosis of diabetes-related renal disease in his mid-40s, he had endured the burning and bloating and dismal tedium of dialysis for nearly a year. With nobody in his family willing or able to give him a kidney, his doctors warned that it might take five years to crawl up the waiting list for an organ from a deceased donor.
“It was like being sentenced to prison,” Mr. Terry recalled, “like I had done something wrong in my life and this was the outcome.”
As a dawn chill broke over Chicago on Dec. 20, Mr. Terry received a plump pink kidney in a transplant at Loyola University Medical Center. He did not get it from Mr. Ruzzamenti, at least not directly, but the two men will forever share a connection: they were the first and last patients in the longest chain of kidney transplants ever constructed, linking 30 people who were willing to give up an organ with 30 who might have died without one.
What made the domino chain of 60 operations possible was the willingness of a Good Samaritan, Mr. Ruzzamenti, to give the initial kidney, expecting nothing in return. Its momentum was then fueled by a mix of selflessness and self-interest among donors who gave a kidney to a stranger after learning they could not donate to a loved one because of incompatible blood types or antibodies. Their loved ones, in turn, were offered compatible kidneys as part of the exchange.
Chain 124, as it was labeled by the nonprofit National Kidney Registry, required lock-step coordination over four months among 17 hospitals in 11 states. It was born of innovations in computer matching, surgical technique and organ shipping, as well as the determination of a Long Island businessman named Garet Hil, who was inspired by his own daughter’s illness to supercharge the notion of “paying it forward.”
Dr. Robert A. Montgomery, a pioneering transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, which was not involved in the chain, called it a “momentous feat” that demonstrated the potential for kidney exchanges to transform the field. “We are realizing the dream of extending the miracle of transplantation to thousands of additional patients each year,” he said.
The chain began with an algorithm and an altruist. Over the months it fractured time and again, suspending the fates of those down the line until Mr. Hil could repair the breach. Eventually, he succeeded in finding needle-in-a-haystack matches for patients whose antibodies would have caused them to reject organs from most donors.
Until now, few of the donors and recipients have known one another’s names. But 59 of the 60 participants consented to be identified by The New York Times and to tell the stories, each with distinct shadings, that ultimately connected them.
Despite an intensely bitter breakup, a Michigan man agreed to donate a kidney for his former girlfriend for the sake of their 2-year-old daughter. A woman from Toronto donated for her fifth cousin from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, after meeting him by chance in Italy and then staying in touch mostly by text messages.
Children donated for parents, husbands for wives, sisters for brothers. A 26-year-old student from Texas gave a kidney for a 44-year-old uncle in California whom he rarely saw. In San Francisco, a 62-year-old survivor of Stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma donated for her son-in-law.
On Aug. 15, Mr. Ruzzamenti’s kidney flew east on a Continental red-eye from Los Angeles to Newark and was rushed to Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, N.J. There it was stitched into the abdomen of a 66-year-old man.
The man’s niece, a 34-year-old nurse, had wanted to give him her kidney, but her Type A blood clashed with his Type O. So in exchange for Mr. Ruzzamenti’s gift, she agreed to have her kidney shipped to the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison for Brooke R. Kitzman’s transplant. It was Ms. Kitzman’s former boyfriend, David Madosh, who agreed to donate a kidney on her behalf despite their acrimonious split.
Mr. Madosh’s kidney flew to Pittsburgh for Janna Daniels, a clerical supervisor, who got her transplant at Allegheny General Hospital. And her husband, Shaun, a mechanic, sent his kidney to Mustafa Parks, a young father of two at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego.
On and on the chain extended, with kidneys flying from coast to coast, iced down in cardboard boxes equipped with GPS devices and stowed on commercial aircraft.
In a system built on trust, one leap of faith followed another. The burdens of scheduling operations all across the country — so donors would not have to travel — meant that operations were not always simultaneous, or even sequential. The most worrisome risk was that donors would renege once their loved ones received kidneys.
After John A. Clark of Sarasota, Fla., got a transplant on Sept. 28 at Tampa General Hospital, his wife, Rebecca, faced a 68-day wait before it was her turn to keep the chain going. Ms. Clark said that it crossed her mind to back out, but that she swatted away the temptation.
“I believe in karma,” Ms. Clark said, “and that would have been some really bad karma. There was somebody out there who needed my kidney.”
An Organ to Spare
It is considered a quirk of evolution that humans have two kidneys when they need only one to filter waste and remove excess fluid from the body. Yet when kidneys fail, whether from diabetes or high blood pressure or genetic disorders, they tend to fail in tandem.
Death can arrive in a matter of weeks for many renal patients if they do not have their blood cleansed through dialysis. The process takes almost four hours, three times a week, and leaves many too drained to work. Only half of dialysis patients survive more than three years.
Many of the 400,000 Americans who are tethered to dialysis dream of a transplant as their pathway back to normal. But with the demand for kidneys rising faster than the number of donors, the waits have grown longer. While about 90,000 people are lined up for kidneys, fewer than 17,000 receive one each year, and about 4,500 die waiting, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing, which maintains the wait list for the government.
Only a third of transplanted kidneys come from living donors, but they are coveted because they typically last longer than cadaver kidneys. For kidneys transplanted in 1999, 60 percent of organs from live donors were still functioning after 10 years, compared with 43 percent of organs from deceased donors.
Although other living tissue can be transplanted — slices of pancreas, liver and intestine, bone marrow and lobes of lung — kidneys are uniquely suited because donors have a spare and the operations are almost always successful.
A reason there are not more live kidney donations, however, is that about a third of transplant candidates with a willing donor find that they are immunologically incompatible. Some, because of previous transplants, blood transfusions or pregnancies, may have developed antibodies that make them highly likely to reject a new kidney.
Using a blood-filtering technique known as plasmapheresis, doctors can now lower the odds that a recipient will reject an incompatible kidney. But the procedures are taxing and expensive.
Domino chains, which were first attempted in 2005 at Johns Hopkins, seek to increase the number of people who can be helped by living donors. In 2010, chains and other forms of paired exchanges resulted in 429 transplants. Computer models suggest that an additional 2,000 to 4,000 transplants could be achieved each year if Americans knew more about such programs and if there were a nationwide pool of all eligible donors and recipients.
Such transplants ultimately save money as well as lives. The federal Medicare program, which pays most treatment costs for chronic kidney disease, saves an estimated $500,000 to $1 million each time a patient is removed from dialysis through a live donor transplant (the operations typically cost $100,000 to $200,000). Coverage for kidney disease costs the government more than $30 billion a year, about 6 percent of the Medicare budget.
Dialysis, which in the United States is almost always administered in outpatient clinics, saps the productivity of caregivers as well as of patients. Nearly two years ago, Kent Bowen, 47, of Austin, Tex., gave up his job hanging gutters, and much of his freedom, so he could provide dialysis at home to his mother, Mary Jane Wilson.
Before donating a kidney for her as part of the chain on Dec. 7 at Methodist Hospital in Houston, Mr. Bowen said he looked forward not only to helping his mother, but also to a long-deferred fishing trip.
“In all actuality,” he said, “giving a kidney is a small price to pay for getting my life back.”
Understanding the Pain
Garet Hil and his wife, Jan, may never fully recover from the snowy night in February 2007 when they took their 10-year-old daughter in with flu symptoms and emerged with a shocking diagnosis of nephronophthisis, a genetic kidney-wasting disease. They could not imagine sacrificing her youth to dialysis.
Because Mr. Hil and his daughter shared the same blood type, he assumed he would be able to give her one of his kidneys. But two days before surgery, doctors canceled the operations after discovering that his daughter had developed antibodies that would most likely cause rejection.
Jan Hil and six other family members volunteered but were also ruled out. Mr. Hil and his daughter joined several of the registries that had started to arrange kidney exchanges, but the pools were small and they never found a match. Fortunately, one of Mr. Hil’s nephews then was tested and was able to donate.
After the successful transplant, Mr. Hil, a veteran business executive, could not shake his frustration that a more effective registry for paired kidney donation did not exist. “The exchange systems out there weren’t industrial strength,” he said.
By the end of 2007, the Hils had formed the National Kidney Registry and rented office space in an old clapboard house in Babylon, N.Y. The couple invested about $300,000 to start it, and Mr. Hil, who is now 49, ran the registry without a salary.
“The goal was very simple: get everybody transplanted in under six months if you had a living donor,” he said. “One of the things that drove us was the enormity of the problem. The other thing that drove us was that we understood the pain of being in that situation.”
Mr. Hil turned out to be the right person to infuse the budding science of kidney exchange with an entrepreneurial spark. A former Marine reconnaissance ranger with an M.B.A. from the Wharton School, he had managed a series of data and logistics companies in Boston and New York and understood the worlds of both computing and finance.
He had made his money and could step off the career track to give the registry his time and the resources of his software-consulting firm. He had a background in quantitative math and enough drive to plow through medical texts about organ compatibility. Over time, he led a team in designing sophisticated software that evolved to build ever-longer chains.
Disney-hero handsome, with a cleft chin and thick wavy hair, Mr. Hil marketed his registry to hospitals with PowerPoints and passion. The transplant world initially regarded him as an interloper. But he has now persuaded 58 of the country’s 236 kidney transplant centers, including many of the largest, to feed his database with information about pairs of transplant candidates and their incompatible donors.
Starting at 5 a.m. each workday, Mr. Hil manipulates several hundred pairs into transplant chains with a few clicks of a mouse. Last year, he arranged 175 transplants this way, including the 30 in Chain 124, more than any other registry. On average, patients received transplants about a year after being listed.
The same year that Mr. Hil’s daughter got sick, Congress amended the National Organ Transplant Act to clarify that paired exchanges do not violate federal laws against selling organs. The blessing from Washington broke down resistance in many hospitals just as the National Kidney Registry was opening for business.
The Evolving Chain
Although the first live kidney was transplanted in 1954 in Boston, three decades passed before a Stony Brook University surgeon named Felix T. Rapaport first theorized about kidney swaps in a 1986 journal article. Korean surgeons completed the first exchanges in 1991, but they were not successfully attempted in the United States for nearly another decade.
Simple swaps among two pairs, with the operations performed at the same hospital on the same day, quickly evolved into complex exchanges among three pairs and then four and then six.
Then in 2007, a transplant surgeon at the University of Toledo Medical Center, Dr. Michael A. Rees, had a forehead-slapping insight. If an exchange began with a Good Samaritan who donated to a stranger, and if the operations did not have to be simultaneous, a chain could theoretically keep growing, limited only by the pool of available donors and recipients. Dr. Rees reported in 2009 that he had strung together a chain of 10 transplants.
Mr. Hil seized on the idea and set out to build an algorithm that would enable even more transplants. Nowadays, his pool typically consists of 200 to 350 donor-recipient pairs. That is enough to generate roughly a googol — 10 to the 100th power — of possible chains of up to 20 transplants if all of the pairs are compatible, said Rich Marta, the registry’s senior software designer.
The program quickly eliminates matches that will not work because of incompatible blood types or antibodies, or because a transplant candidate insists that a donor be under a certain age or a close immunological match. It then assembles up to a million viable combinations at a rate of 8,000 per second.
The algorithm ranks the possible combinations by the number of transplants they would enable, with weight given to chains that find kidneys for hard-to-match patients and those who have waited a long time.
There are several registries like Mr. Hil’s, each with a distinct approach. Largely unregulated by government, they invite sensitive questions about oversight and ethics, including how kidneys are allocated. A number of medical societies are convening in March to seek consensus on that and other issues related to paired exchanges.
Mr. Hil knows the patients in his pool only by code names and leaves all personal interactions to the hospitals. He keeps several chains running at a time, and says tending to them is like playing three-dimensional chess.
Chain 124 even included one pair that was immunologically compatible. Josephine Bonventre, a 40-year-old real estate agent from Toronto with Type O blood, could have donated a kidney directly to a fifth cousin, Cesare Bonventre, a 27-year-old tile worker from Brooklyn with Type B.
But a second level of matching requires the synching of six antigens, a series of proteins that determine compatibility. By joining the chain and donating down the line, on Dec. 6 at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Josephine enabled Cesare to get a stronger match — three antigens instead of one. Her donation as a valued Type O then set off the final 11 transplants.
The registry did not charge transplant centers for its services until 2010, when Mr. Hil imposed fees to help cover costs. Hospitals now pay membership dues and a charge of $3,000 per transplant that is reimbursed by many private insurers but not by Medicare. The transplant recipients must be insured.
Each year, the registry’s chains have grown longer, with Chain 124 topping the previous record by seven transplants. “We’ve just scratched the surface,” said Mr. Hil, who wears gold kidney-shaped cufflinks.
Long transplant chains save more lives than short chains. But they come with trade-offs because the longer they grow, the higher the risk that a donor will renege or that a link will break for other reasons.
The record-breaking chain survived its share of logistical setbacks. On Aug. 29, after the first five transplants, Mr. Hil lost a link because a donor could not take the necessary two to four weeks away from work. Later that day, he lost another when a transplant coordinator informed him that a potential recipient was an illegal immigrant and therefore could not be covered by Medicare.
In late October, an entire segment fell apart when a donor at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco backed out for unexplained “personal reasons.” It was as if one domino had fallen short of the next, leaving those still standing frozen in place.
“This makes us all sick,” Dr. Steven Katznelson e-mailed Mr. Hil. “We did not see this coming.”
“Wow,” Mr. Hil wrote back. The donor “just put 23 patients at risk.”
The dependency of each link on the others kept patients on edge. “Things can happen,” Candice Ryan fretted a few days before her Dec. 5 transplant at Massachusetts General Hospital. “You just pray that everything goes well. I can’t relax until I’m asleep and on the table.”
Depending on the makeup of his registry at any moment, Mr. Hil likes to stretch his chains as long as reasonable and then end them if a donor is difficult to match or if one chain is draining others of potential transplants.
He does so by arranging for the final kidney to go to a fortunate transplant candidate like Mr. Terry who does not have a willing donor.
The Initial Link
Until recently, hospitals regularly turned away Good Samaritan donors on the working assumption that they were unstable. That has changed somewhat with experience. But when Rick Ruzzamenti showed up at Riverside Community Hospital asking to give a kidney to anyone in need, he still underwent rounds of psychological screening as well as medical tests.
The doctors and social workers did not know what to make of Mr. Ruzzamenti at first. He had a flat affect and an arid wit, and did not open up right away. As the hospital’s transplant coordinator, Shannon White, pressed him about his motivations and expectations, he explained that his decision seemed rather obvious.
“People think it’s so odd that I’m donating a kidney,” Mr. Ruzzamenti told her. “I think it’s so odd that they think it’s so odd.”
The hospital wanted to make sure that he was not expecting glory, or even gratitude. Mr. Ruzzamenti stressed that no one should mistake him for a saint.
He had, after all, been a heavy drinker in his youth and had caroused his way through the Navy. He could be an unsmiling presence at work, where he helped manage a family electrical contracting business. He admitted that he did not visit his parents or grandmother enough.
Despite his occasional surliness, Mr. Ruzzamenti said he felt driven to help others when possible. And as he considered the relative risks and benefits of organ donation, particularly to relieve a whole chain of suffering, it just made so much sense. “It causes a shift in the world,” he said.
Perhaps, he said, there was some influence from a Tibetan meditation he had practiced when he was first drawn to Buddhism six years ago. It is known as Tonglen. “You think of the pain someone’s in, and imagine you take it from them and give them back good,” he said.
Mr. Ruzzamenti said he was in a position to donate only because the economy had dried up so much of his work. He was essentially unemployed and could take time off to recuperate. The 30 kidney recipients, he observed dryly, could “all thank the recession.”
When Mr. Ruzzamenti told his wife, My Nhanh, about his plans, she made it abundantly clear, despite her rudimentary English, that she would leave him and return to Vietnam if he followed through. She had immigrated only eight months before, after a marriage largely arranged by the Buddhist temple where Mr. Ruzzamenti volunteered as a groundskeeper. If he died on the table, she demanded, how would she get by in a country where she felt so out of place?
“I wanted to scare him,” Ms. Ruzzamenti, who is known as Lucy, said as she combed her husband’s close-cropped hair with her fingers. “And to tell him that it scares me.”
Mr. Ruzzamenti was impressed by his petite wife’s ferocity — “She’s a bully,” he said — but he disregarded her threat. He knew research showed that the risk of death from kidney retrieval surgery was 3 in 10,000 and that people with one kidney live as long as those with two. To him, there was little doubt that any good he created would far outweigh any temporary discomfort to him or his wife.
As it happened, Mr. Ruzzamenti experienced an unusual level of pain during his recuperation at Riverside. It sometimes left him balled up in agony, and the Demerol only made him hallucinate. He did not really want company. But when the pain stirred him awake at night, he could see Lucy sleeping in the hospital bed beside his.
Acts of Devotion
There were other love stories along the way.
Gregory Person and Zenovia Duke, both now 38, had been junior high prom dates in 1987 in Astoria, Queens. They lost touch and then reconnected on Facebook after each had divorced. They saw each other occasionally, but he lived in Queens and she near Albany, so the relationship never got serious.
Not long after they reconnected, Mr. Person’s half-sister died of kidney failure and he pledged to help someone else beat the disease if ever given the chance. Then Ms. Duke learned that she needed a transplant.
On Aug. 31, Ms. Duke received a kidney from a woman in California and Mr. Person sent his to Ohio. As they recuperated at NewYork-Presbyterian, Mr. Person found himself regularly hobbling down to her room. Once they were both back on their feet, they started dating more regularly.
“I’ve never had any person in my life actually do what they say they’re going to do,” Ms. Duke said, “especially men. It spoke volumes that he was a man of his word.”
It was a different kind of devotion that led David Madosh, 47, to donate a kidney for Brooke Kitzman, 30. Their four-year relationship, which had produced a 2-year-old daughter, soured just as he was getting tested as a potential donor. The breakup, caused partly by the strains of her illness, was ugly enough that when Ms. Kitzman later matched to become part of the chain, she put the odds at no better than 50-50 that Mr. Madosh would still donate.
But Mr. Madosh, who lost his mother when he was 5, did not want his daughter, Elsie, to lose hers.
The youngest of 12 children, he said he had been passed from one foster home to the next, eight in all, some that he described as little more than labor camps. “I don’t want my daughter to have to experience that,” said Mr. Madosh, a tree cutter by trade. “No matter what it takes, a daughter needs her mother.”
Ms. Kitzman said she was grateful for Mr. Madosh’s kidney, and had told him so when they visited in a hospital corridor. But both made it clear that his act of charity had barely eased the tension between them.
Mr. Madosh said he took satisfaction enough from seeing Elsie at play with her re-energized mother. “When her mama comes to get her, and she gives her hugs and kisses, that’s it right there,” he said.
A Wish Come True
On Dec. 19, Chain 124 hurtled toward its conclusion with a final flurry of procedures at Ronald Reagan U.C.L.A. Medical Center in Los Angeles. Between dawn and dusk, three kidneys were removed and three were transplanted in neighboring operating rooms. One flew in from San Francisco. The last took off for O’Hare.
At the end of the cluster were Keith Zimmerman, 53, a bearish, good-humored man with a billy-goat’s beard, and his older sister, Sherry Gluchowski, 59. She had recently moved from California to Texas but returned to donate her kidney.
The siblings had always been close, although family members marveled at their ability to bicker for 15 minutes over the proper way to construct a peanut butter sandwich. Their mother, Elsa Rickards, remembered teaching them as children “that they might not have their mommy and daddy all the time, but they will always have each other.”
Mr. Zimmerman, who runs a repossession firm with his wife in Santa Clarita, had been given a diagnosis of kidney disease 25 years ago. With the help of a nutritionist, he had managed to avoid dialysis until the very last day before his transplant, when his doctor said the procedure was needed to clear his body of excess fluid.
In his hospital room before surgery, with seven family members shoehorned into every nook, Mr. Zimmerman calmed his nerves by listening to Aaron Neville on his iPod. He said he considered himself “the lottery winner” in the chain because his kidney would be coming from a healthy 28-year-old, Conor Bidelspach of Bend, Ore.
The surgery to remove a kidney, known as a nephrectomy, is remarkably bloodless these days. With Mr. Bidelspach on the table, Dr. Peter G. Schulam cut four dime-sized incisions on the left side of the abdomen. Through tubes inserted in the openings, the surgeon and his team maneuvered their cauterizing scalpels and a laparoscopic camera, which relayed images of Mr. Bidelspach’s insides to monitors overhead.
The scalpel’s superheated pincers clamped down like crab claws, searing the kidney from surrounding tissue. There was no need to cut any muscle.
Once the kidney was free of connective tissue, Dr. Schulam clamped and snipped the renal artery and vein and ureter. He captured the kidney in a plastic bag, cinched it shut, and withdrew it quickly through a finger-length incision along the pelvic line.
The doctor poured the kidney into a bowl of ice and drained it of remaining blood. The slush in the blue bowl turned fruit-punch pink.
As others stitched up Mr. Bidelspach, Dr. Schulam wheeled the kidney on a cart into an adjoining operating room, where Mr. Zimmerman was already anesthetized. After stretching a hole in Mr. Zimmerman’s midsection with a metal retractor, Dr. Jeffrey L. Veale lowered the kidney into place and sewed in the renal artery and vein. As soon as he unclamped them, the kidney pinked up with blood flow. Before attaching the ureter to the bladder, he gently massaged the tip of the narrow tube between two fingers and watched it spurt a few drops of urine.
“No more dialysis for Mr. Zimmerman,” Dr. Veale declared. “This total stranger’s kidney is making him pee.” He left Mr. Zimmerman’s own kidneys to shrivel harmlessly in place (removing them would add to surgical risk).
Meanwhile, Dr. Schulam was in yet another operating room removing Ms. Gluchowski’s kidney. He placed it in a plastic bag filled with a preservative solution and knotted it shut, like a goldfish brought home from the pet store. It was packed in a plastic tub, topped with ice, and loaded into a cardboard box marked “Left Kidney — Donated Human Organ/Tissue for Transplant — Keep Upright.”
A courier in one of Quick International’s big red vans drove Sherry Gluchowski’s kidney through stop-and-go traffic on Interstate 405 to the Los Angeles airport. Cynthia Goff, an operations supervisor for the courier company who had volunteered to accompany the kidney to Chicago, rolled the box into the terminal strapped atop her carry-on with a bungee cord. A pit bull, waiting to be placed in its travel kennel, strolled by and sniffed.
After security agents checked the box with a desktop scanner, Ms. Goff rolled the kidney down the concourse, past a currency exchange and a store selling Elmo dolls for Christmas. Escorted onto United 564, an overnight flight that would land in Chicago at 5 a.m., she stowed the box in the business-class closet, next to a flight attendant’s overcoat.
Airplanes carrying donor organs are granted special status, allowing them to move to the front of takeoff lines and ahead of air traffic. Mr. Hil, who tries to avoid routing kidneys on connecting flights and always schedules backups, said none of his registry’s transplants had been held up by transportation problems.
By the time Ms. Gluchowski’s kidney made it to Loyola and was transplanted into Mr. Terry, it had been cold for almost 12 hours. Early studies have found no evidence that shipping live kidneys such distances affects their immediate function.
Chain 124 ended at Loyola because Mr. Hil had arranged for the final kidney to go to a hospital that had produced a Good Samaritan donor to start a chain in the past, thus closing a loop. Dr. John Milner, a transplant surgeon at Loyola, said he then selected Mr. Terry to receive the kidney because he was the best immunological match on the hospital’s wait list.
When Dr. Milner called with the news in early December, Mr. Terry was floored at his remarkable good fortune. Having felt unfairly condemned when he was first placed on dialysis, he now wondered what he had done to deserve a gift that 90,000 others needed just as much.
As it sank in that his would be the last of 30 interconnected transplants, Mr. Terry began to feel guilty that he would be ending the chain. “Is it going to continue?” he asked Dr. Milner. “I don’t want to be the reason to stop anything.”
“No, no, no,” the doctor reassured him. “This chain ends, but another one begins.”
Translator: J. M. NealeJohn M. Neale's life is a study in contrasts: born into an evangelical home, he had sympathies toward Rome in perpetual ill health, he was incredibly productive of scholarly temperament, he devoted much time to improving social conditions in his area often ignored or despised by his contemporaries, he is lauded today for his contributions to the church and hymnody. Neale's gifts came to expression early–he won the Seatonian prize for religious poetry eleven times while a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, England. He was ordained in the Church of England in 1842, but ill health and his strong support of the Oxford Movement kept him from ordinary parish ministry. So Neale spent the years between 1846 and 1866 as a warden of Sackvi&hellip Go to person page >
Essential Hypertension: An Approach to Its Etiology and Neurogenic Pathophysiology
Essential hypertension, a rise in blood pressure of undetermined cause, includes 90% of all hypertensive cases and is a highly important public health challenge that remains, however, a major modifiable cause of morbidity and mortality. This review emphasizes that, from an evolutionary point of view, we are adapted to ingest and excrete <1 g of sodium (2.5 g of salt) per day and that essential hypertension develops when the kidneys become unable to excrete the amount of sodium ingested, unless blood pressure is increased. The renal-mean arterial pressure set-point model is briefly described to explain that a shift of the pressure natriuresis relationship toward abnormally high pressure levels is a pathophysiological characteristic of essential hypertension. Evidence indicating that this anomaly in the pressure natriuresis relationship arises from a sympathetic nervous system dysfunction is briefly formulated, and the most widely accepted pathophysiologic proposal to explain the development of this sympathetic dysfunction is described, with commentaries about novel action mechanisms of some drugs currently used in essential hypertension treatment.
Hypertension, defined as a systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg and/or a diastolic pressure ≥90 mmHg, is one of the most common chronic diseases. The overall hypertension prevalence among the adult population was estimated at 26.4% in 2000  moreover it has been reported that this prevalence increased from 23.9%, in 1994, to 29.0%, in 2008, in the USA  from 25.0%, in 1993, to 43.2%, in 2006, in Mexico  and from 15.3%, in 1995, to 24.5%, in 2005, in Canada  among other countries. From this prevalence, it is evident that hypertension is a very important public health challenge because its complications, including cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and renal diseases, are mayor causes of morbidity and mortality. Reducing blood pressure in individuals with hypertension prevents or attenuates these complications [5, 6].
Hypertension is due to specific causes in a small fraction of cases, but in the vast majority of individuals (≈90%), its etiology cannot be determined therefore, the essential hypertension term is employed [5, 7]. Essential hypertension is currently understood as a multifactorial disease arising from the combined action of many genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors. Given the multifactorial nature of blood pressure homeostasis, any change in blood pressure as, for example, one due to a mutation, is likely to be compensated by feedback, complementary action, or change, in some other control mechanisms, in an effort to return blood pressure to normal. It is only when the balance between the factor(s) that tend to increase the blood pressure and those that try to normalize it is sufficiently disturbed, when the compensatory mechanisms fail to counteract the perturbation, that essential hypertension results . A century of epidemiological, clinical, and physiological research in humans and animals has provided remarkable insights on the relationships existing between dietary salt (sodium chloride), renal sodium handling, and blood pressure. The evidence points to a causal link between a chronically high salt intake and the development of hypertension, when the kidneys are unable to excrete the ingested amount of sodium unless blood pressure is increased [9–11]. In conjunction with this primary causal factor, a number of adjunctive factors, such as obesity, diabetes, aging, emotional stress, sedentary life style, and low potassium intake, may increase the probability of developing hypertension [10, 12]. Hence, on a similar dietary salt, some individuals develop hypertension while others do not and the probability to develop hypertension depends on the individual’s weight of the hypertension’s adjunctive factors.
2. Control of Blood Pressure by the Kidneys
The relative stability of arterial blood pressure leads to the conclusion that it is a highly controlled variable. Arterial pressure is maintained at the level satisfactory to ensure an adequate tissue perfusion. Baroreflexes and vasoactive hormones produce tight regulation over relatively short time spans . Long-term regulation is, most generally, thought to be achieved through the renal fluid volume regulation mechanism. Regulation of mean arterial pressure (MAP) requires integrated actions of the physiological systems affecting its major determinants (Figure 1(a)). In the simplest formulation, determinants of MAP are approximated by Ohm’s law modified for fluid dynamics (pressure = flow × resistance). Blood flow depends on cardiac output and blood volume, whereas resistance is primarily determined (as total peripheral resistance) by the contractile state of small arteries and arterioles throughout the body, which is itself determined by the tissues blood flow autoregulation mechanism. Blood volume depends on extracellular fluid volume (ECFV), which itself is determined by the total body sodium content. The latter depends on the balance (sodium equilibrium) between sodium intake and urinary sodium excretion (natriuresis the main route of body sodium loss). Natriuresis is itself determined by the kidney’s perfusion pressure, therefore the application of the pressure-natriuresis concept [8, 13–15]. For the purpose of the following discussion the term “normal sodium intake” refers to the current usual sodium intake (see Section 3, to realize to what extent this sodium intake is normal).
Long-term regulation of MAP is intimately associated with ECFV homeostasis. Sodium equilibrium is critical to ECFV, and the kidneys, as the principal route through which sodium is eliminated from the body, are therefore central to the long-term stability of MAP. This concept was expressed quantitatively in a systems analysis approach that predicts that the kidney acts as an overriding regulator of arterial pressure through a “renal-body fluid feedback” mechanism. A key component of this feedback is the pressure natriuresis or the effect of arterial pressure on renal sodium and water excretion, exemplified in acute and chronic renal function curves (Figure 1(b) thin and thick curves, resp.). Arterial pressure is set at the level required by the kidney to allow sodium and water excretion to match the intake (point A, Figure 1(b)). Basal-acute and normal-chronic renal function curves (curves 1 and I, resp.) coincide at this pressure level. Kidney perfusion studies show that, in the absence of a change in sodium intake, a rise in MAP (or renal perfusion pressure) is matched by increased renal sodium excretion (point B sodium excretion exceeds intake), or pressure natriuresis, which reduces ECFV and cardiac output and returns MAP to normal. Therefore, disturbances that tend to increase arterial pressure, such as increased peripheral vascular resistance, would cause only a transient increase in arterial pressure, because they would also provoke increased renal sodium excretion. Conversely, if MAP falls below the control level, a reduced renal sodium excretion (antinatriuresis) increases ECFV and MAP. Hence, the kidney strives to protect against perturbation from the sodium equilibrium set point, and sodium balance and MAP are maintained by a feedback system displaying infinite gain. That infinite gain is invoked to explain the fact that when sodium intake is increased, renal sodium excretion is similarly increased (point C), in response to a very small increase (if any) in MAP, to attain sodium equilibrium. Again, acute and chronic renal function curves (curves 2 and I, resp.) coincide at the new pressure level, because acute renal function curve 2 corresponds to the kidney function influenced by all the regulatory mechanisms triggered by the increased sodium intake (regulatory mechanisms acting to decrease renal tubular sodium reabsorption) and also because the normal-chronic renal function curve I corresponds to the pressure natriuresis relationship observed after all regulatory mechanisms acting at any sodium intake level have influenced the kidney function. When sodium intake is decreased, renal sodium excretion is similarly decreased (point D), in response to a very small decrease in MAP. As expected, acute renal function curve 3 (regulatory mechanisms acting to increase renal tubular sodium reabsorption) and normal-chronic renal function curve I coincide at the slightly decreased MAP level. If this feedback mechanism is valid, hypertension results from a shift in the renal-pressure natriuresis function to the right (chronic renal function curve II), so that a higher pressure is required to attain sodium balance on a normal sodium intake (point E). In this condition, the acute renal function curve 3 and the abnormal-chronic renal function curve II coincide at a hypertensive MAP level. Hence, the acute renal function curve 3 (which corresponds to a situation with regulatory mechanisms acting to increase renal tubular sodium reabsorption) is operative, even when sodium intake is normal. In the presence of hypertension, if sodium intake is increased, a higher than normal MAP increase is necessary to obtain sodium balance (point F) [8, 13–15]. With the intrinsic kidney function being normal, in the early stage of essential hypertension, an abnormal pressure natriuresis relationship can only result from an abnormal regulation of the kidney function.
3. Salt Intake
If the start of human evolution is arbitrarily set at the beginning of the Paleolithic, during 3 million years, the ancestors of humans, like all other mammals, ate a diet containing little sodium and much potassium: some 0.6 g and 7 g per day, respectively, a Na + /K + relationship close to 0.09 . In the Stone Age, the average life span was approximately 30 years. During these times, traits that worked to increase blood pressure with increasing stress would be favorable for survival: people who could easily elevate their blood pressure to provide sufficient blood to skeletal muscles and major organs would have a survival advantage when attacked by enemies or wild animals. Thus, the ability to easily increase blood pressure is a characteristic that might have conferred an evolutionary advantage until modern times . Blood pressure is directly proportional to total body sodium content. As sodium intake is limited in natural foods, physiological mechanisms to promote sodium ingestion and to prevent sodium loss into urine would have been established early in human evolution . To promote sodium ingestion, sodium appetite is a motivated behavioral state, arising in response to sodium deficiency that drives humans to seek and ingest food and fluids containing sodium . To prevent sodium loss, the most powerful mechanism is the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), which controls kidney’s tubular sodium reabsorption and which is maximally activated in people with a minimal sodium intake . In addition, sodium depletion or emotional stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, which, acts mainly via stimulation of the RAAS and further prevents urinary sodium loss [25, 26]. Besides sodium appetite, evolution has provided humans with a pleasant liking of salt taste, which motivates man to ingest sodium in excesse of need, when it is available .
About 8000 years ago, humans discovered that salt could be used to preserve food and developed sophisticated techniques for salt production [27, 28]. Humans then satisfied their innate taste for salt and have been adding it to food ever since [27, 29]. Salt then became of great economic importance as it made it possible to preserve food, allowing the development of cities. Salt was the most taxed and traded commodity in the world [30, 31]. Romans in the first century AD used salt as money “salarium” and considered it synonymous of health “salus”, “salubritas” and more necessary than gold [27, 29]. Hence, due to its use in food preservation, salt consumption was high in historical times, some 10–50 g/day per person, in Europe in the 18th century, mainly from cured meat and salted fish and meat (implying that salt might be partially discarded with the cooking water) . However, with the invention of the deep freezer and the refrigerator (at the end of the 19th century), salt was no longer required as a preservative. Salt intake had been declining, but with the recent large increase in consumption of highly salted (and potassium poor) processed food, salt intake is now increasing towards levels similar to those of the 18th century and is approximately 9–12 g/day (3.6–4.8 g of sodium, that is, 6 to 8 times more than our evolutionary sodium intake), with a sodium/potassium intake ratio >2 (more than 20 times our evolutionary ratio), in most countries in the world [22, 31, 32].
Although preference for salty-tasting food and prevention of sodium loss may once have conferred an evolutionary advantage, ingestion of excessive amounts of sodium now results in chronic hypertension [10, 11, 24]. Many large observational epidemiological investigations conducted worldwide link high salt intake and hypertension [30, 33]. In one of the first global studies on sodium intake [32, 34], 24 h urine sodium and urinary sodium/potassium relationship were positively associated with blood pressure as well as the increase in blood pressure with age. Furthermore, populations with low average daily sodium intake (some tribal societies which do not add salt to the food) had relatively low blood pressure and very little or no increase in blood pressure with age . Hypertension was fairly uncommon in these societies, but individual’s blood pressure rose after migration to an urban environment. However, migration involves more change than just a change in salt intake, because other factors, such as mental stress and changes in physical activity and diet, may contribute to the rise in blood pressure . Figure 2(a) shows that in acculturated populations (as the Mexican population), which add salt to the food, systolic and diastolic blood pressure increase with age and that this increase does not occur in nonacculturated populations. In the same way, in acculturated populations (as those of Canada, Mexico, and USA), hypertension prevalence increases with age (Figure 2(b)) [3, 17, 18]. However, blood pressure increase with age is higher in urban than in rural environments, reflecting the environmental influence on blood pressure . On the other hand, in two clinical studies performed on some 200 individuals in which, within their usual diet, dietary sodium intake was randomly and sequentially adjusted at low (1.15 g/day), intermediate (2.30 g/day), and high (3.45 g/day) levels, during three 30-day periods, a positive relationship was found between blood pressure and sodium ingestion, supporting the conclusions of the population studies described above [36, 37].
In contrast to sodium, potassium was abundant in the fresh food that made up the stone age diet but, in modern times, diets have shifted drastically to processed foods, reducing potassium intake [22, 31]. A low potassium diet induces sodium retention and increases blood pressure . On the contrary, potassium supplementation promotes natriuresis and decreases blood pressure .
Epidemiological studies worldwide suggest that the optimal daily intake of salt is 5-6 g  and some 3.5 g of potassium , roughly half and twice of the current average intake of sodium and potassium, respectively. However, because humans have evolved with sodium deficiency for a long time, we have developed a powerful hedonistic taste for salt. This innate desire for salty foods, to which cultural and social habits have superimposed, makes it very hard to drastically reduce sodium intake [10, 42]. Nonetheless, we must realize that the human body is not equipped to handle the unnatural amount of sodium present in our current diet hence, hypertension, to some extent, may be classified as a disease of “affluence” [11, 42].
4. Abnormal Regulation of the Kidney Function
At the end of the 19th century, the renal sympathetic nerves were known to contain fibers which upon stimulation decreased renal blood flow and urinary flow rate. It was also known that renal blood flow and urinary flow rate increased after renal sympathetic nerves transection . In the early decades of the 20th century, faced with the high mortality of severe hypertension and the absence of effective pharmacological therapy, a number of operations on the sympathetic nervous system, such as radical splanchnicectomy, were devised in an attempt to lower blood pressure. By the late 1960s, most of the available antihypertensives, which by then had been developed, antagonized the sympathetic nervous system. The potency and clinical usefulness of these drugs helped to sustain the argument that the sympathetic nervous system was important in the pathogenesis of essential hypertension .
The sympathetic nervous system exerts a basal excitatory activity over the kidney. Increases in this activity result in (1) increase in renin secretion, (2) increase in renal tubular sodium reabsorption, and (3) renal vasoconstriction. Experimental studies established the concept that subvasoconstrictor levels of renal sympathetic nerve activity can produce increased renin secretion and increased tubular sodium reabsorption (without changes in renal blood flow and glomerular filtration rate), which result in a shift in the renal-pressure natriuresis function to the right, so that a higher than normal arterial pressure is required to attain sodium balance . There is now convincing evidence that sympathetic nervous system activity is increased in patients with essential hypertension [12, 43]. Within this evidence is the finding that normotensive young men with a family history of hypertension have a higher sympathetic nerves activity than those without a family history . During mental stress, sympathetic nerves activity and blood pressure increase in normotensive offspring of parents with essential hypertension, but do not increase in those with normotensive parents [46, 47]. One-third of patients with borderline hypertension display so-called hyperkinetic circulation, characterized by an elevation in resting heart rate combined with a high cardiac output and an increase in the circulating plasma level of the adrenergic neurotransmitter norepinephrine . In the same way, renal sympathetic nerve activity is augmented two- to threefold (on average) in young patients (<45 years) with essential hypertension [48, 49]. These patients also show an increased renin release and plasma renin activity. On the other hand, in patients with resistant hypertension, responding inadequately to concurrent treatment with multiple antihypertensive drug classes, radiofrequency ablation of the renal sympathetic nerves lowers blood pressure remarkably . Nowadays, it is deemed that a neurogenic origin (sympathetic activation) of essential hypertension could account for up to 50% of all cases of high blood pressure . However, increased sympathetic nerves activity is most clearly expressed in the early stages of hypertension development and is less consistent as the time passes [48, 50]. Once chronic hypertension is installed, and after the early stages of essential hypertension, hypertensive blood pressure levels may be maintained, even in the absence of an increased renal sympathetic nerve activity, mainly by a secondary kidney disease, characterized by glomerulosclerosis, interstitial fibrosis and proteinuria [51, 52].
5. Origins of Sympathetic Nervous System Activation in Essential Hypertension
The specific causes of the increased sympathetic activity in essential hypertension are only partially known. Genetic influences (a family history) are evident, and behavioral (as salty food preference), psychosocial (as mental stress) and lifestyle (as physical inactivity) factors appear to be involved [12, 50]. Of prime importance, no doubt, is obesity. The prevalence of hypertension in middle-age obese subjects is 40–50%. Obesity increases the sympathetic (including the renal sympathetic) nervous system activity through the high sodium intake-related mechanisms that will be discussed below and through other mechanisms, such as hyperleptinemia, that will not be reviewed in this paper [53, 54]. Likewise, although the prevalence of hypertension increases with aging and 60% of all adults aged 60–69 years are hypertensive, owing to the pathogenic factors associated with an increased sympathetic nervous system activity in the elderly, such as high dietary sodium intake and increasing obesity, and only the former will be discussed here [55, 56]. On the other hand, clinical and epidemiological studies indicate the importance of chronic mental stress in the pathogenesis of essential hypertension [25, 57]. Hypertensive subjects may decrease their blood pressure with a meditation program [58, 59]. Psychosocial stress can increase the activity of the sympathetic nervous system by potentiating the neural mechanisms activated by a high salt intake . Race and ethnicity may also influence the predisposition to the sensitivity of blood pressure to salt. Black Africans have a higher prevalence of hypertension and more frequent severe hypertension they also have a greater blood pressure sensitivity to salt intake than do people of other ethnic origins [25, 61]. Physical inactivity also appears to be important . Aerobic fitness and physical activity are each inversely related to the development of hypertension . Aerobic exercise training in sedentary normotensive and hypertensive people reduces blood pressure and renal and muscle sympathetic nerves activity [63, 64].
In hypertensive individuals with their usual salt intake (9–18 g/day) the concentrations of plasma sodium
and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) sodium
are slightly increased (by 0.5–3 mM), as compared with values observed in the same individual on a low (3-4 g/day) salt intake. The same variation on (and probably in in normotensive individuals is observed in the same circumstance [65, 66]. Similar changes in and in are observed in animal models of hypertension, on a high sodium diet [67, 68]. Studies performed in animal models allow proposing that these increased and/or activate brain’s sodium/osmoreceptors, located mainly at the hypothalamic lamina terminalis, to trigger sympathoexcitation [67, 69]. These osmoreceptors do not appear to reset significantly with prolonged change in osmolality and therefore can provide a sustained signal to chronically increase sympathetic tone . Similarly, water deprivation-induced increases in osmolality act, at least in part, in the brain to promote sympathoexcitation and support blood pressure [70, 71]. The lamina terminalis comprises three structures aligned in the anteroventral region of the third ventricle. Two of them, the subfornical organ (SFO) and the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT) are located outside the blood-brain barrier and are sensitive to humoral factors, such as Na + and angiotensin II (Ang II). The third structure, the median preoptic nucleus (MnPO), located within the blood barrier, has reciprocal connections with the two other structures and integrates the humoral sensory information raised in the SFO and OVLT [72–74]. SFO and OVLT increase their activity in response to an increase in and/or , as well as to an increase in plasma and/or CSF Ang II concentration
and , resp.) [50, 67, 71, 72, 75]. Diverse studies have shown that SFO and OVLT express Na + conducting nonselective cationic channels (which serve as extracellular Na + -levels sensors) and the Ang II type 1 receptor (AT1 receptor), whose expression is enhanced by a high sodium diet and by blood-borne Ang II [73, 76–82]. The latter may explain, at least partially, the antihypertensive and sympathoinhibitory actions of systemic AT1 receptor blockers, such as losartan or valsartan [83–86]. From the SFO and OVLT, perhaps after integration in the MnPO, signals are conveyed from the lamina terminalis to the presympathetic hypothalamic parvocellular neurons of the paraventricular nucleus (pPVN), mainly through Ang II-AT1 receptor mediated synapses, though some participation of glutamatergic synapses at the pPVN level has been described (Figure 3, left) [73, 87–90]. The angiotensinergic nature of most synapses involved in this conduction may explain, at least partially, the antihypertensive and sympathoinhibitory actions of systemic angiotensin-converting enzyme type 1 (ACE1) inhibitors, such as enalapril or captopril [70, 85, 91–93]. At this point, it is necessary to mention that all known components of the RAAS, including the precursor and enzymes required for the production and metabolism of angiotensin peptides and specific AT1 and AT2 receptors, as well as aldosterone (Aldo, which may even cross the blood-brain barrier) and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), have been identified in the brain [94–97]. It is thought that the direct SFO-, OVLT-pPVN pathway described above participates mainly in rapid sympathetic responses to changes in or or or and in cardiovascular reflexes or acute psychogenic stress response [73, 74, 98, 99] however, in generating the chronic sympathoexcitation observed in essential hypertension, another indirect or neuromodulatory SFO-, OVLT-pPVN pathway is involved (Figure 3, right) [10, 19–21, 94]. This neuromodulatory pathway is characteristically dependent on protein phosphorylation and changes in protein expression, and its activation promotes increases in renin, ACE1, AT1 receptors, Aldo synthase, and NADPH oxidase and decrease in neuronal nitric oxide (NO) synthase in the hypothalamus [100–104]. This polysynaptic pathway is slowly activated (days or weeks) by a chronic increase in and/or or in and/or [10, 19–21, 105] and may be inhibited by the systemic ACE1 inhibitors and AT1 receptor blockers, mentioned above, as well as by systemic spironolactone, an Aldo antagonist [77, 85, 93, 106, 107]. This neuromodulatory pathway appears to rise from SFO and OVLT projections directed to the magnocellular neurons of the paraventricular and supraoptic nucleus of the hypothalamus, but its exact anatomical location is uncertain [21, 77, 94, 108]. Angiotensinergic conduction, involving Ang II and AT1 receptors, is present at least at the beginning (SFO and OVLT) and end (pPVN) of this pathway [108–111], but it involves the sequential participation of diverse neuromodulatory agents, receptors, and ion transport mechanisms, such as Aldo, MR, benzamil-blockable epithelial Na + channels (ENaC), endogenous ouabain-like compounds (ouabain), and ouabain-sensitive Na + -K + -ATPase [10, 19–21, 101, 104, 105]. The activity of this pathway is regulated by the balance between the inhibitory influence of NO and the stimulatory influence of reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as superoxide and peroxynitrite however, as a consequence of the activation of this pathway by the factors mentioned above, production of Ang II and Aldo increases, and this increase, by promoting ROS generation and inhibiting NO synthesis, shifts the NO/ROS balance to an enhanced excitation [10, 101, 105, 112–114]. This abnormal balance may be corrected, at least to some extent, by chronic systemic administration of the gradually, and long-acting dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers azelnidipine, cilnidipine, and amlodipine and the antidyslipidemic agents simvastatin and pravastatin (chronic peripheral administration of both kind of drugs appears to result in gradual access of drug to the central nervous system) and by regular exercise training each of them increases NO and decreases ROS, in the brain, thereby partially explaining the antisympathetic and antihypertensive actions of these therapeutics and life style agents [115–124]. The activity of the neuromodulatory pathway maintains an enhanced activity of the pPVN neurons, which increase the sympathetic nerve activity through a direct pathway, mainly vasopressinergic, to the sympathetic preganglionic neurons located at the intermediolateral (IML) cell column of the spinal cord, and through an indirect pathway (vasopressinergic, angiotensinergic, and glutamatergic) to the presympathetic neurons in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) [50, 74, 125–128]. In turn, the presympathetic neurons in the RVLM activate the IML sympathetic preganglionic cells through a glutamatergic pathway [129–131]. Hence, activation of the neuromodulatory pathway maintains an increased activity of the pPVN, the RVLM, and the IML presympathetic and sympathetic neurons, leading to sympathoexcitation and hypertension.