Dutch Restaurant LE SOUQ places Palestine on the Map instead of “Israel”

Off the menu? Dutch restaurant wipes Israel off culinary map, outraging politician

Dutch restaurant owners have drawn fire from some diners after they replaced Israel with Palestine in a map of the Middle East at their Arabic eatery in Rotterdam. They say it’s for culinary, not political reasons.

The owners of Le Souq, a restaurant at Rotterdam’s Market Hall whose main specialty is Middle Eastern cuisine, were ask to explain their actions by a local politician, who noticed the absence of Israel on the restaurant’s placemat and its replacement with Palestine instead.

Jan Hutten, regional chairman of the right-wing Christian Democratic Appeal party, said it left a bad taste in his mouth.

“A new country in the Middle East? In Rotterdam’s Market Hall they are straightforward about Israel’s position. Bizarre,” Hutten wrote on Twitter, posting a photo of the placemat

In response, Le Souq’s owner, Nadia Afkir, told the Algemeen Dagblad daily that “our restaurant only deals with the flavors of the Middle East,” adding that a major source of the restaurant’s inspiration comes from “the ancient Palestinian kitchen, the producer of the delicious maglubi and the kunefe dishes that we are passionate about.”
She stated that the placemat only “names countries producing the dishes and products with which we work” and said the café did not expect the map would be taken from a political point of view.

Hebrew Psalter
Spain, late 15th century
MS. Opp. Add. 8° 10, fol. 119b

Micrography, the use of minute script to create designs, is a type of decoration often found in Hebrew manuscripts. Here the final verses of Psalm 149 and part of Psalm 150 are framed by interlaced bands of tiny text. The braided pattern of words, hardly discernible without a magnifying glass, comprises the “masorah” (critical notes on the biblical text). The overall effect is similar to that of richly ornamented Islamic carpet pages.

Learning Jewish Languages

So, Jewish languages other than Hebrew are all endangered, and even Hebrew many of us don’t speak. So, in honor of Preservation Day, I’ve gathered a bunch of language resources, and hopefully we’ll be able to learn our heritage languages more easily, as well as Hebrew, both biblical for the Torah, and modern for trips (or flight, as necessary) to Israel.

I’ll start with a request for help from the people who DO know these languages: the website duolingo has both Yiddish and Hebrew projects that need people to help them work.  It seems like a very effective language learning site, and it would help us preserve our languages.  And if someone capable of doing so started up a Ladino project, or any of the various Judeo-Arabic languages (I apologize, I know basically nothing about them) it would be great!

Next up is My Language Exchange.  This is a very versatile site that seems mostly to be about matching up people learning each others’ languages as pen pals.  There’s a little bit more structure, but it’s only available for the biggest languages.  However, and this is a BIG plus, it has people who speak Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino all, and I’ve had trouble finding any websites that even acknowledge Ladino.

Ancient Hebrew

So, for all that I know nothing about Judeo-Arabic and little about Ladino, Ancient/Biblical Hebrew is pretty mysterious to me.  I never went to Hebrew school, so anything here is good.  Right now, the only thing I have is a couple of posts from an old, abandoned tumblr (to an extent, it’s been replaced by tumblrs like littlegoythings, returnofthejudai and jewish-privilege)

So, here’s a post about how Hebrew was written and pronounced in ancient times compared to today, and another on German’s influence on Hebrew pronunciation, that might fit better in the next section.

Modern Hebrew

Now, Modern Hebrew, being the language of an actual, geopolitically important country is the easiest to find resources for.  In addition to Rosetta Stone, which is quite expensive (though my Dad swears by it, in six months he’s reading Israeli newspapers) there’s a free site run by them, Live Mocha, which includes Hebrew.

Thanks to all the resources available, Hebrew language learning resources have already been collected.  A couple of places that do that are Omniglot, Fluent Forever, and Ecott.  And then there’s the online parts of the Hebrew programs at UT Austin and Yale.

And then there’s Surface Languages and Transparent, for just straight up language learning.


And now, into the Diaspora! There are tons of Diaspora languages, but not all of them have their own names.  The biggest one, though, is Judeo-German, better known now as Yiddish.  It’s been a very active language, and had a cultural golden age in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  

The Yiddish Academy collects Yiddish resources that will be helpful whatever path to learning the language you take.  For learning, there’s some traditional web courses at eTeacherYiddish, Surface Languages and Transparent.

And then, of course, there’s YiddishPop! I haven’t looked in detail at it, but YiddishPop seems to be all about learning Yiddish in a fun online environmentm, with lots of games and stuff.


Ladino, unfortunately, doesn’t have nearly the support that Hebrew and Yiddish do.  Fortunately, while I was looking for resources, @concentratedridiculousness responded to me and made a nice big post about Ladino, though most of the resources aren’t online.

Superheroes: Another thing we wouldn’t have if not for Jewish people
  • Stan Lee: A Romanian Jew, born Stanley Lieber, founder of Marvel Comics
  • Jack Kirby: Born Jacob Kurtzberg to Austrian Jewish immigrants on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He worked with…
  • Joe Simon: Born Hymie Simon


  • Steve Ditko: A first generation American of Slovak descent who studied with…
  • Jerry Robinson: Batman artist and American Jew
  • Jerry Siegel: The co-creator of Superman and an Jew of Lithuanian descent
  • Joe Schuster: The co-creator of Superman and a Jew of Dutch descent
  • Will Eisner: Author of The Spirit and comic publishing giant. You may have heard of a little thing called  the Eisner Awards.

So again…you’re welcome

Hey y'all, I was thinking and I know a lot of you don’t have a lot of knowledge about judaism, and that much of the knowledge you have may have came from biased or unreliable sources. Even if you think you know a good deal about Judaism, there’s always more to learn.

That’s why I’m starting Askthejews (x), a blog dedicated to answer any questions you have on Judaism. 

I would really appreciate it if you all would support this project by following, sharing this and asking questions. 

We are lesbian, gay, trans, and bi Jews:
“You must not go about slandering your kin.” [19:16]
We are your trans, gay, bi, and lesbian siblings:
“You shall not hate your brother or sister in your heart.” [19:17]
We are lesbian, gay, trans, and bi victims of gay-bashing and murder:
“You may not stand by idly when your neighbor’s blood is being shed.” [19:16]
We are your bi, trans, lesbian and gay parents:
“Revere your mother and your father, each one of you.” [19:3]
We are the stranger:
“You must not oppress the stranger.”
“You shall love the stranger as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” [19:34]
We are your bi, gay, trans, and lesbian neighbors:
“You must not oppress your neighbor.” [19:13]
“You must judge your neighbor justly.” [19:15]
“You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself.” [19:18]
—  Rabbi Lisa Edwards, the openly-lesbian rabbi of Los Angeles’ Congregation Beth Chayim Chadashim, the world’s first LGBT-outreach synagogue, on Vayikra/Leviticus

Ohel Moshe Synagogue &  Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum.

From 1933 to 1941, Shanghai became a modern-day “Noah’s Ark” accepting around 30,000 Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust in Europe. In the “Designated Area for Stateless Refugees” in Tilanqiao area of Shanghai, about 20,000 Jewish refugees lived harmoniously with local citizens, overcoming numerous difficulties together.

By the time the Second World War ended in 1945, most of the Jewish refugees had survived. Dr. David Kranzler, a noted Holocaust historian, called it the “Miracle of Shanghai” and commented that within the Jewry’s greatest tragedy, i.e. the Holocaust, there shone a few bright lights. Among the brightest of these is the Shanghai haven.

In the “Tilanqiao Historic Area”, the original features of the Jewish settlement are still well preserved. They are the only typical historic traces of Jewish refugee life inside China during the Second World War.

The Ohel Moshe Synagogue is one of the only two synagogues in Shanghai built by Russian Jews where the Jewish refugees gathered for religious rites during the Second World War. In 2004, it was listed among the fourth set of architectural heritage treasures of Shanghai.

Mr. Yitzhak Rabin, the former Israeli Prime Minister, commented during his visit to Shanghai, “To the people of Shanghai for unique humanitarian act of saving thousands of Jews during the Second World War, thanks in the name of the government of Israel.”

In March 2007, the People’s Government of Hongkou District budgeted special funds for a full renovation of the synagogue in accordance with the original architectural drawings found in the city archives. 

your fave is Jewish: Scarlett Johansson

Don’t let the Scandinavian last name fool you! Scarlett Johansson is Jewish, and here’s a little of how we know:

-Scarlett’s mother, Melanie Sloan, is Jewish, which automatically qualifies her as Jewish by birth. [x]

-Scarlett has actually said that she considers herself to be Jewish and is of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage in interviews. She even grew up with a little bit of Yiddish. [x]

-Not only is her mother Jewish, but Scarlett states that she grew up observing the Shabbat and Jewish holidays such as Passover and Chanukkah. [x]

Got a Jewish fave you want us to spotlight? Suggest it through our ask or submit box!

animatedamerican said: a backstory to “nice trousers”? I admit to curiosity.

a rabbi of a synagogue close to me was on a crowded train carriage earlier this year when an antisemite yelled “Jew!” at him. the rabbi politely replied “nice trousers!”
at the incredulous look on the man’s face, he explained “you complimented me; it’s only polite to return the favour.”

jewish AU of les mis though
  • so I know I advocate Jewish AUs of literally everything but hear me out here
  • the two candlesticks are the only things valjean keeps throughout his entire life. imagine valjean welcoming in every festival, every shabbat, with the candlesticks that saved his life
  • imagine jean valjean being deeply committed to tzedakah, technically a little too committed, throwing away his own livelihood to help the poor in M-s-M
  • imagine tiny cosette teaching valjean how to read hebrew after she comes home from hebrew school
  • imagine valjean declaring that cosette is the woman of the house so she should light shabbat candles
  • imagine les amis’ voices cracking as they wished each other l’chaim when they drink at the barricade, but saying it anyway because they don’t know what else to say
  • imagine the barricade was not in june, but in march.
  • imagine marius crying because they had all sat in a corner of the musain and joyously proclaimed ‘next year in jerusalem’
  • (imagine marius breaking the glass at his wedding not really for the Temple but for his friends)

This is a project a teacher is having her kids do. One of her students shared it on facebook.

A teacher at my school in Scottsdale, Arizona has been using this “game” to “teach” students about the holocaust. It is disgusting, humiliating, offensive, and insensitive. The issue of this has been brought to the attention of my administration who then proceeded to defend her and attempt to get this taken off of Twitter and Facebook. This “game” has been in use at my school for a bit now and is (hopefully) being dealt with promptly.
I am so horrified at the actions that have taken place where I spend the majority of my time.

The school administration defended the teacher who did this. Making light of the Holocaust is just another game for them.