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Yom Hashoah 2013
6 million Jews and 5 millions other souls were tortured and killed by the Nazis.
Today, we remember them all and vow to never forget.
“asocial”, lesbians, mentally ill, prostitutes, addicts (drugs, alcohol), Gypsies (Romani), homeless (beggars), and others ETA: disabled
non-Jewish political prisoners
Poles Jewish and non-Jewish, those who were married to, or helped, the Jews survive, interracial couples, and many more I know I’m forgetting - and I apologize for that.
The Oppressor Class
Phoebe Maltz nails it, discussing the creation of a late 19th century German colony established, in part, to keep good Aryans away from those meddlesome Jews:
Anti-Semites weren’t - aren’t - just people who think they’re better than Jews. They’re people who think they’re being oppressed by Jews.
This is part of the reason why anti-Semitism so easily finds footing among certain branches of the far-left. To be sure, it’s also why anti-Semitism finds footing among the far-right — the right certainly has no trouble imagining untrustworthy aliens who threaten Our Way of Life. But the left’s rhetoric of opposing “oppression” and “hierarchy” can easily incorporate anti-Semitic prejudices insofar as they buy into popular narratives of Jews and the quintessential oppressing class.
This also relates to some popular prescriptions of how Jews can end anti-Semitism (much like ending rape or ending racism, this is of course typically presented as the obligation of the victim rather than the perpetrator). Jews will cease being hated when they cease possessing power, whether it be social (control of Hollywood), political (“the Jewish lobby”), national (Israel), or what have you. See, for example, this piece of work (proof that finding yourself on a Google Book Search isn’t always a happy day). A Jew who has the temerity to succeed (and in particular, succeed at persuading others) is a Jew who is playing to stereotype. A polity where Jews are successfully convincing non-Jews to adopt policies Jews find amenable is a polity that clearly,clearly, has been damaged or diseased in some way. How else could Jews possibly win but by dirty pool?
The corollary is that Jews have a normative obligation to be weak, to be at the sufferance of others. It is wrong for Jews to win, and it is extra wrong for Jews to win based on their own decisions and determinations (as opposed to being gifted a privilege by the benevolent majority). Jewish power is always taken to be Jewish oppression; hence, the bare fact that Jews sometimes are in a position where they don’t have to answer to the Gentile world is itself an outrage. This is why so much of the “critical” (so to speak) assault on Jewish institutions focuses not on what they do, but the fact of their continued existence. That Jews have institutions which can make decisions which impact the world without —gasp— gentile permission; this is the anathema. The problem is when Jews are subjects — actors who have the ability to influence the world around them. The solution is to make them subjects — subjugated and controlled by others who know best.
Cultural Appropriation vs. Appreciation: a guide for non-Jews
It’s 3:30AM, and this anon annoyed me. Here is a guide for goyim on how to appreciate rather than appropriate Judaism. Please note that this is based on my own personal opinion, and that it is 3:30AM. Like everything else in Judaism, other Jews may disagree. Fellow Jews, feel free to add in your thoughts!
“Judaism is such a beautiful culture!”
- Appropriation: wearing tzitzit or a kippa or putting a mezuzah on your doorway or wearing a Magen David.
- Appreciation: buying Jewish art, reading books on Judaism and the Jewish people
“I love Chanukah! It’s a beautiful holiday!
- Appropriation: buying a chanukiah (menorah) and lighting it
- Appreciation: asking a Jewish friend or neighbor if you can attend their celebrations
“Hebrew is a beautiful language!”
- Appropriation: tattooing it on your body when you don’t speak it/read it/understand it
- Appreciation: learn to read/speak/write Hebrew
“I believe in the G-d of the Old Testament!”
- Appropriation: tattooing YHWH on your body
- Appreciation: not tattooing the most sacred name of G-d on your body
“I believe in Jesus Christ but I love Judaism.”
- Appropriation: “Messianic Jews,” “Jews for Jesus”
- Appreciation: accepting that your faith in Christ is incompatible with Judaism and appreciating the religion/culture in other ways.
”I believe in Judaism.”
- Appropriation: calling yourself a Jew without having undergone/being in the process of conversion??
- Appreciation: exploring the option of conversion!
in response to the shitstorm of comments from my fellow white(passing(?)) Jews:
note: I’m not saying anything here that hasn’t been said first and better by the Black bloggers I follow, but I felt the need to tack this on because of the backlash from a lot of my posts last week.
and this is why, fellow white Jews, we need to fucking reexamine how we talk about all of this shit that’s been going around. I had a whole response typed out and it got lost so sit tight:
I’ve been accused by some folks on here of ignoring/forgiving antisemitism by Black folks, and for somehow perpetuating antisemitism myself by using the term “white Jews.” But here’s the thing. Regardless of the ways in which we as Jews may have been denied whiteness, those of us who are white (and even if this whiteness is conditional or only recognized in the US, lbr) function as white as a DIRECT result of a conscious effort to distance ourselves from Black people (&, lest we forget, all of the other POC affected by the holocaust that we are often so reluctant to acknowledge, and similarly eager to distance ourselves from). Like, that is historically how ANY group has gone from non-white to white, by stepping on Black people. And I absolutely acknowledge that not all Jews are white — to assert otherwise would be absolutely fucking ridiculous. But many of us are, and calling us as much (esp when this identification comes from Black people) isn’t some affront to our history of oppression, but an effort to acknowledge the fact that white Jews have achieved whiteness in a way that continues to further oppress Black people in the United States.
and yeah, there have been some Black folks saying some fucked up, antisemitic things. But again, how much structural power does that antisemitism hold? Yes, these are Black gentiles perpetuating antisemitism — but this is antisemitism from a group WHOLLY regarded as non-white to a group that is (even conditionally but again, function as white and therefore largely BEING white?) regarded as at least partially white?
anti-semitism affects ALL Jews, including Black Jews. and Anti-Blackness affects ALL Black folks, including Black Jews. & thisisnotjewish did a much better writeup than me on a lot of this. but for these conversations to happen and for white Jews to immediately steer the conversation into a place where it’s about dodging (sometimes conditional) white privilege instead of focusing on the ways in which we can truly support Black Jews and create communities in which we ourselves are not perpetuating anti-Blackness is irresponsible.