For everyone in southern California please be safe. There has been an increase in antisemitism taught in churches, my grandmother, who’s a rabbi has been receiving death threats and some people have even been attacked by anti semitists.
Stay safe, don’t be alone.

…venomous beasts, vipers, disgusting scum, candors, devils incarnate. Their private houses must be destroyed and devastated, they could be lodged in stables. Let the magistrates burn their synagogues and let whatever escapes be covered with sand and mud. Let them force to work, and if this avails nothing, we will be compelled to expel them like dogs in order not to expose ourselves to incurring divine wrath and eternal damnation from the Jews and their lies.
—  Martin Luther, “The Jews and Their Lies” (1543)
  • Atheists:Christians are so dumb lol. To think anyone could believe there is a god.
  • Christian:Bruh you're being a dick and you disrespect literally everyone with faith.
  • Atheist:lol no you christians are the ones who believe stupid things like god.
  • Hindu, muslim, jew, buddhist:sup.
Parashat Beshalach

This week we have a special drasha for you: my friend danaoffthedancefloor (aka Dana) has written about the parasha, and I’ve taken up the haftara. We both talk about perspectives, but we each chose to say very different things about it (almost like we have different perspectives - get it? ha. ha.).

As usual, you can find the Torah portion in Shmot (Exodus), we’re up to 13;17-17;16. You can read it online here. The haftara, for Ashkenazim, is Shoftim (Judges) 4;4-5;31. For many others, it is only 5;1-5;31, but I suggest you read the story (included in the Ashkenazi haftara) too, so you can understand this drasha better. You can find it online here.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Hi, I'm coming from diversitycrosscheck where I saw your profile. Anyway, I was wondering if you could give me any information on what a Reform Jewish Shabbat is like? I've done a bit of research already and I gathered they're held Saturday mornings and people stand during the reading of the Torah. Do they also stand during the blessings before and after the reading? What else goes on during the service?

Ahh, an ask about Judaism!! You made my day, anon! I don’t know how much you know about Judaism, so I’m going to assume you know very little and over-explain things just in case.

(This is all from my own experience as a Reform Jew; I’ve gone to one synagogue my whole life, but I’ve been to Shabbat services at other synagogues on occasion. There’s lots of variation depending on the size and general culture of a synagogue, so my experience might not match up to all Reform Jews’ experiences.)

Services for Shabbat, the day of rest that concludes the week, take place on Friday evening, Saturday morning, and Saturday evening. (All Jewish holidays start at sundown the night before, so Shabbat starts at sundown on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday.) The Friday night service welcomes Shabbat in; the Saturday morning service is the long, main one; the Saturday night service, known as Havdalah, ends Shabbat and ushers in the new week. Havdalah is a short but beautiful service and one of my favorite Jewish rituals. The Friday night and Saturday morning services, though, are usually the most well-attended. I’ll talk about the Saturday morning service since that’s what you asked about.

The service is divided into four main parts: Sh’ma and its blessings, Amidah, the Torah service, and concluding prayers. 

  1. The Sh’ma is the affirmation of Jewish faith: “Hear, O Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is one.” The first part of the service, after the Barchu, which is the call to prayer, focuses on the Sh’ma and a bunch of related blessings. There’s a focus on loving and praising God and moving into a mindset of prayer.
  2. The Amidah is the central, most serious part of the service. People stand during various prayers throughout the service, but the Amidah involves the most standing. The Amidah focuses on praising God’s power, remembering our ancestors, and praying for peace.
  3. Then you get to the Torah service! Everyone stands while the rabbi takes the Torah out of the ark (fancy Torah case) and carries it around the sanctuary; once the rabbi returns to the bimah (the raised front part of the sanctuary), everyone sits down for the actual Torah blessings and chanting. There’s also usually a thematically relevant Haftarah portion, which is a reading from the books of the Prophets, following the Torah portion. Concluding blessings; everyone stands as the Torah is returned to the ark. Often there’s a sermon at this point.
  4. Concluding prayers are brief. One of the important ones is the Mourner’s Kaddish. At my synagogue, at least, the rabbi gestures out to the congregation, moving her hand slowly from one side of the sanctuary to the other, and when the rabbi’s hand is pointing in your general direction, you can stand up and say the name of a loved one if they passed away recently or if it’s the anniversary of their death. Then the whole congregation stands, to show support for the mourners, and recites the Mourner’s Kaddish together.

Some other details worth noting:

  • There’s tons of music! At almost every temple I’ve been to, services are full of music. This ranges from the cantor singing beautiful solos to the entire congregation joining in on a folk tune. The prayers themselves are almost all chanted to traditional melodies that everyone knows.
  • If there’s a Bar or Bat Mitzvah that day, the thirteen-year-old will lead some of the prayers, read from the Torah, and, often, give the sermon.
  • At Reform services, the rabbi leads the entire congregation in chanting the prayers in unison. I’ve been to a few Conservative services where everyone kind of reads the prayers under their breath at their own pace; not sure if that’s a typical feature of Conservative services or not, but it certainly gave the services a very different feel.
  • Shabbat is a very joyous holiday. There’s a celebratory atmosphere. 
  • People do dress up in formal clothes for services, of course; many people, especially men, choose to wear kippot (skull caps) and/or tallit (prayer shawls), but they’re not required in Reform synagogues.

And to answer your question from the other ask, yes, Reform Jews use the terms “temple” and “synagogue” interchangeably. Orthodox Judaism emphasizes waiting for the messiah to come, at which point the “real” Temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt; Reform Judaism emphasizes making the world a better place right now, with no need to wait for a messiah. I don’t remember where Conservative Judaism falls in that debate. 

I hope that was helpful! Here are some more resources: 

http://www.reformjudaism.org/what-expect-reform-shabbat-service

http://www.reformjudaism.org/shabbat-worship-services

Feel free to come ask more specific questions if you have them!!

anonymous asked:

I'll never understand why people have laid their hopes for representation on this particular show. You can meta all you want, but ultimately status quo and stability is what you (the studio) want in a show going into it's 11th season. Add to the fact that from Jensen at Jibcon to Singer on the red carpet for the 200th episode, people connected to the show have stated that canon and fanon are two separate things. Neither bad, but they are not the same story. People missed the point of the 200th.

I understand it, though. even if I don’t think like that. I can get it. I know people who joined the fandom shipping dean and cas and not even thinking about representation thing but only wanting a good story, and then the rep’ came in and it became (for them) also important. 

I saw the 200th episode as you did, for me it was a nice gest to the shipper, to say ‘we know you’re there, we appreciate you and we love you’ w/o making it canon. andi thought it was a nice gest. 

Some people read it differently, that’s okay too. 

Most of the meta writers I know are constantly telling their followers to be cautious with hope. even when they’re positive. because everyone should decide for themselves. 

Still, for everything you say, they can say why they see it differently, and I can see that. 

It’s the media, we interpret media all the time, and there are so many ways to read the same line. 

(as I’ve said before, this notion of reading something in so many ways is something that as a Jewish kid I grew up on. there is one of the most quoted saying in judaism '70 faces to the Torah [the most important part of the bible]’ I’ve known that saying since the day we started learning different interpretations to the Torah, which is, around second grade? and even earlier at home. we've learned what one says, and then we've learned that another one says something completely different. we also read and learned about (in the Gmarah) their arguments of different interpretation. and friend, those arguments aregooood. so I think this is one of the reason I can see that there can be couple of truths, and they are all valid. and even if I disagree with something strognly, which in judaism I do, quite often, I learned to know it’s only one interpretation I simply don’t have to take home with me) 

If I had the power, I would add an 11th commandment to the already existing 10: “You should never be a bystander”.
—  Roman Kent, Holocaust survivor, in his speech on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. January 27, 2015.