Vintage set of playing cards depicting Jewish women’s folk costumes from around the world. The countries, fro right to left, are as follows:

First row: Turkey, Bulgaria, Hodu (India), Yazan (Wiesen; could be Switzerland, Austria, or Bavaria, apparently)

Second row: Hungaria, Holland, Turkmenistan, Israel

Third row: Russia, Serbia (fun fact: for a second I misread it as Siberia), Teiman (Yemen), Italy

Fourth row: Poland, (This one I can’t entirely read, but I think it says Paras, or Persia. Interestingly, it looks more like Uzbek clothing), Kavkaz (the Caucasus), Romania

anonymous asked:

I've heard a few times that Sephardim are less LGBT-friendly than Ashkenazim, but in my admittedly limited experience, I don't find this to be true. Do you think this idea holds water? Also, I was wondering: do we have any historical data on how people that would today be construed as "LGBT" were considered and treated in Sephardic communities (whether in North-Africa, the Middle-East, Medieval Spain...)? Or even anecdotal stories?

I can’t speak to the first part of your question — I don’t think you can generalize any large group of the Jewish community to hold any particular ideology or another. I have encountered other LGBTQ Jews of every ethnic and cultural background, and luckily many of them have welcoming and supportive communities, and unfortunately some still don’t.

But to your second question, there are absolutely a lot of amazing sources! Here are a few stories I’ve featured on Tumblr before:

And here are some other areas to investigate:

So the short answer is, we always existed! In Jewish communities, like in their surrounding non-Jewish communities, there were people who chose to express or act on non-heterosexual desires. They were usually tolerated, occasionally punished, and sometimes even celebrated. Beyond that generalization, we’d have to look at specific contexts to get a better idea of what’s going on in any particular circumstance.

And just as a treat, here is my all-time favourite homoerotic Hebrew poem, by Shmu’el haNagid (993-1056), as translated by Jerome Rothenberg and Harris Lenowitz:

I’d sell my soul for that fawn
of a boy — night walker
to sound of the ‘ud & flute playing
who saw the glass in my hand — said
“drink the wine from between my lips” &
the moon was a yod drawn on
the cover of dawn in gold ink…

There is so much richness in our heritage — feel free to go through my queerkeit tag for more. And let me know if I can help with anything else!


Mizrahi/Sephardic Jews sing middle eastern/north African Shabbat songs

Mizrahi/Sephardic Jews are the indigenous Jewish communities of the middle east & north Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Kurdistan, Uzbekistan etc.

TV Show Concept: The Goyim Are Coming

A show about a MoDox Jewish family (mixed Ashkenazi and Sephardi, and it comes up) living in Brooklyn.  They’re working poor and just trying to survive, but then…gentrification starts, and they get new, rich yuppie goyish neighbors.

Simultaneously, it cuts to parallel stories set in 1491-1492 Spain and 1880s Poland/Russia/Ukraine with their ancestors (perhaps played by the same actors) dealing with the goyim showing up and being horrible.

The drama is obvious, the comedy mostly comes from

  • Treating the Jewish family like you’d treat other TV show characters
  • Jewish sarcasm/fatalistic humor
  • Some Aryan looking neighbor who THINKS they understand everything about Judaism but really, REALLY don’t, and the family gets to roll their eyes and explain things properly…except one of the kids, an 8 year old girl, who deliberately teaches the goyish neighbor incorrect things to mess with them (this is in all three parts of the show, the snarky kid is always there)

So, I’m planning to post some recipes from time to time of Sephardi food, I’ll start with Fijuelas, also known as deblas or fazuelos ( פזואלוס‎‎). They are traditional Sephardi pastries

Prepare yourself for a sweet taste of honey and cinammon


3 eggs

2 half egg shells of oil

1 half egg shell of warm water

400 gms of flour *

Juice of half a lemon

A teaspoon of baking poder

A little bit of salt

(*) You’ll need a little more to put on the base where the mass will be stretched


1 cup of water

2 cups of sugar

1 lemon ( chopped into four pieces)

8 spoonfuls of honey

A Little bit of cinammon


Mix the eggs, the oil, the water and the lemon juice and incorporate the flour  and knead it until it forms a homogeneous mass.

Stretch the dough several times with a roller adding flour ( the mass must have a hard consistency) stretch  until the dough is as thin as posible.

Cut the dough into thin strips (4-5 cms x 30 cms). Now with the help of a fork you have to introduce the strips in the hot oil and the other hand must be holding the end of the strip and turning the fork to get the shape of a flower.

For the syrup:

Put all the ingredients except the honey and the cinnamon in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar melts completely, cook over medium heat and dont remove (if you start removing the syrup will get dark).
When the syrup begins to boil you must add honey.
Removeaway  from the fire.

When the syrup is cooled  it will slightly thicken

The syrup is poured over the fijuelas and then the cinnamon can be sprinkled all over.

Espero k gozen kon este savor de boka, dulce lo vivas toda la vida.


… I read that Sephardic synagogues are not very open to converts, (I don’t know how true that is) so I’m not even sure if I can convert under the direction of a Sephardic rabbi… 

Sephardic and Mizrahi Rabbis are sponsoring Rabbis to a number of Orthodox conversion candidates, and our esnogas often have a quite a few converts (if conversion is possible in the country) — both my old and current (especially the current) esnogas have a large number of converts. Back where I was born, though, there weren’t gerim to be found anywhere in the community, but there was also not the possibility of conversion due to the lack of a beit din le'giyur in the country.

Converting under the auspices of a Sephardic or Mizrahi Rabbi isn’t very common unless you’re from a place with a larger Sephardic/Mizrahi population, but it’s doable if there is a community present. Another contributing factor for the small number of candidates seeking a Sephardic or Mizrahi community is that some people will straight up pass on Sephardic and Mizrahi Rabbis and communities for conversion, because they may come with preconceived notions and stereotypes about what’s “legit” Jewish, and we don’t make the cut.

With the exception of Syrian communities, which have a ban on conversions (another contributing factor for the belief that Sephardim/Mizrahim across the board don’t accept converts — most do, even if those communities in particular don’t), Sephardim and Mizrahim don’t tend to have worse attitudes towards conversion. Are there some awful people? Definitely — unfortunately this is a reality, and it’s not restricted to a Jewish group or another. But you also might find a wonderful community which will welcome you with open arms.

You have made your decision concerning community and sponsoring Rabbi — to which I wish you all the best. Should you choose in the future to join a Sephardic synagogue, you’ll be very much welcome.

Yusef Abad Synagogue (کنیسه یوسف آباد‎‎ בית הכנסת יוסף-אבד) - Tehran, Iran

One of the largest synagogues in Iran, it was built in 1965 & officially opened on Rosh Hashanah (Jewish new year). The synagogue is located on Palestine street in Yusef Abad neighbourhood, north Tehran.

In November 2003 the then president, Mohammad Khatami, visited the synagogue becoming the first president of Iran to visit a synagogue since the Islamic revolution. Chief Rabbi Yosef Hamadani Cohen recited prayers & led the opening of the Torah scroll ark

So, Why Are There “White“ Jews?

There are Jews, whos skin tone is lighter, and who are more genetically distant than their counterparts. Ashkanaziim have a roughly 50% leventine match, compared to sephardim and mizrachim’s ~75% and 80%.

Why is this?

Anti semites, usually antisemitic LEFTISTS, will claim that this is because white people (polish, german, russian, ukrainian, ect) have infiltrated and corrupted Judaism. They claim ashkanaziim are the descendants of the Khazars.

They are wrong, or atleast they are not correct.

The existences the Khazars is a widely disputed topic. If they did exist, it is unclear if they were founded by Jews, converted in, or if mearly the rulers converted.

so: claim 1. Ashkanaziim are descended from converts, who are not “real jews“, and thus have infiltrated Judaism.

debunkment: Converts are concidered real Jews by judaism. If the claim that a great rabbi convinced the King to convert and his nation followed suite is true, then theya re all VALID converts.

Claim 2: Khazars were white in the first place

debunkment: Given the geographical area at the time, they most likely weren’t. If they existed, I supped they could technically be qualified as true Caucasians or possibly Russian. They were most likely from the same group as Armenians, Georgians, chechnyns, ect. They might have also possible have been ethnic Slavs, which I’d like to kinda remind tumblr, have never been considered white. Even if they all are to be considered white NOW, certainly they wouldn’t have been so at the time.

claim 3: “white“ Jews are white, because converts.

debunkment: most jews who are white passing are white passing because of the cossacks, or because eastern europian pogroms that occured later on.

claim 4: “white” Jews.

Ashkanazim come in all colors. Sephardim come in all colors. They are culture identifiers. Jews, by definition, CANNOT be white. “White“ is a social construct wich emerged during the colonialist era, and jews were not part of it. Jews ability to whitepass is directly related to those individuals will to hide their jewish-ness. It is conditional. Traditional jewish wear is middle eastern. If I wore my traditional garb, which I intend to do somewhat when I’m older, It would be a headscarf or a turban if a man.

- a “white passing” Sephardi woman who intends on going Hijabi when shes older.

@jewish-privilege @antisemitic @marcoboat @returnofthejudai @antisemisogyny @antisemitism-eu

traditional Ashkenazi Jewish music genres

-A Verse From the Torah/Talmud/Pirkei Avot/Shulchan Aruch/Zohar/etc, But Put To Music And Made Incredibly Catchy And You Will Never Be Able To Stop Singing It

-Our Hometown Has Been Completely Destroyed, But It Will Live Forever In Our Hearts

-This Love Song Is So Sweet And Gentle And Wait Both Of These Lovers Are Dead

-Hooray, We Made It To <Holiday> Without Being Slaughtered

-It’s Time For Atheist Socialist Secular Revolution, But In Yiddish

- ya na nai nai nai nAI NAI NAI NAI

-Get Fucked Nazis (A Soviet Jewish Partisan Song)

-Get Fucked Commies (The Same Partisans, Four Years Later)


-ba bum ba ba bum (bu du dum)

-This Is What A Love Song Sounds Like At Triple Speed And In Yiddish

-Save Us, O G-d, From <Insert Tyrant Here>


anonymous asked:

Do you have anything on Spanish Jewish henna?


Miriam and Israelite women holding hennaed drums, in the Golden Haggadah

Henna was grown and used in medieval Spain by Muslims, Christians, and Jews. It was a medicine and hair dye, and also used to adorn skin for weddings, holidays, and other special occasions. As seen above, it seems that it was used to decorate drums, as was done in later periods in North Africa. It is mentioned in several medieval Judeo-Arabic medical prescriptions and dictionaries as part of plasters or ointments, and in recipes to darken the hair.

Henna in a Judeo-Arabic medical encyclopedia, from the Cairo Geniza

Maimonides explains in one of his responsa that “the dye with which women dye their hands for adornment, known in Arabic as al-hinna” is acceptable for use and does not constitute a barrier for ritual immersion in the miqva (and a number of other Spanish rabbis rule similarly, including Shlomo ben Aderet and Menahem Me’iri); but elsewhere he criticizes the practice of having grooms wear henna for their wedding, and young boy dancers performing with henna and women’s adornments, even “in public, in the synagogues, in the midst of the congregation and community of Israel,” which he sees as violating the biblical prohibition on cross-dressing. 

Henna appears in Hebrew and Arabic poetry as a symbol of the beloved’s beauty, and sometimes even symbolizes their cruelty — their red hennaed fingers seem stained from the blood of the lovers they are ignoring. Interestingly, both boys and girls are described in these poems as having hennaed fingers.

Unfortunately after the expulsion from Spain in 1492 henna fell under the purview of the Inquisition, and was strongly discouraged as a symbol of Muslim or Jewish identity. The Sephardi Jews who fled to North Africa or the Ottoman Empire continued to use henna, and they continued to use the Old Spanish name for it, alhenya

See here, here, here, and here for some more discussion. Let me know if you have more questions!

A Espania

A ti, Espania bienquerida
nosotros “madre” te llamamos
y, mientras toda nuestra vida, 
tu dulce lingua no dejamos.

Aunque tú nos desterraste
como madrastra de tu seno,
no estancamos de amarte
como santísimo terreno.

En que dejaron nuestros padres
a sus parientes enterrados
y las cenizas de millares
de tormentados y quemados.

Por tí nosotros conservamos
amor filial, país glorioso
por consiguiente te mandamos
nuestro saludo caluroso.

Abraham Aharon Kappon 

(Poema tradicional sefardí/Traditional Sephardic poem)

Index of Religions

After a couple of hours, the list of every religion/tradition on this blog has been edited and reorganized alphabetically and geographically (excluding Abrahamic & Dharmic religions). If you have any corrections or would like to see a tradition that is not listed here, please feel free to ask! (And if it’s a correction, please be polite.)

The official blog page can be found here!

Abrahamic Religions:

  • Judaism
    -Orthodox (Hasidic)
    -Kabbalah (Mysticism)
    -{Abayudaya, Afghani, Amazigh, Ashkenazi, Bukharian, Cochin, Eritrean, Ethiopian, Igbo, Iranian, Iraqi, Japanese, Kaifeng, Moroccan, Sephardi, Tunisian, Yemeni}

  • Christianity
    -Eastern Orthodox (Ethiopian, Eritrean, Russian, Romanian, Greek, Coptic, Oriental)
    -Catholicism (Ambrosian, Armenian, Chaldean, Chinese, Coptic, Ge'ez, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Maronite, Melkite, Syro-Malabar; Nueva Jerusalen “cult”)
    -Jehovah’s Witnesses
    -Mormonism (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
    -Quakers (Religious Society of Friends)

  • Islam
    -Sunni {Hanabali, Hanafi, Maliki, Shafai'i}
    -Shi'a {Alawites, Alevism, Ismaili, Twelver, Zaidi Muslims}
    -Ibadi Muslims
    -Ahmadi Muslims
    -{Sufism; Chinese, Mexican}

  • Druze
  • Babism
  • Baha'i
  • Samaritanism

Dharmic/Indian Religions:

  • Hinduism
    -ISCKON (Hare Krishna)

  • Buddhism
    -Vajrayana (Tibetan Buddhism)
    -Zen (Chinese, Japanese)

  • Jainism

  • Sikhism

African/African diaspora traditions (Spirit Religions):

  • Ancient Egyptian
  • Atenism (Ancient Egyptian monotheism)
  • Candomble (Brazilian- diaspora)
  • Hoodoo
  • Kemeticism (Egyptian revivalist)
  • Rastafarianism (Jamaican)
  • Santeria (Cuban- diaspora)
  • Umbanda (Brazilian- diaspora)
  • Voodoo(Vodoun) (Haitian, Benin)
  • Yoruba (Nigerian)
  • {Ibibi, Luba, Zulu}

Asian Religions:

  • Bon Po (Indigenous Tibetan religion)
  • Caodaism (Vietnamese)
  • Chinese Popular (Folk) Religion
  • Confucianism (Chinese)
  • Phillipines: Indigenous  
  • Sanshin (Korean)
  • Sarnaism (Indian)
  • Shinto (Japanese)
  • Taoism (Wu Wei)
  • Tengriism
  • Vedic Religion (ancient Indian)
  • Vietnamese Folk Religion
  • Wuism (Chinese)
  • Yiguandao (Chinese)

Australian (People):

  • Aborigine Australians

European Religions, Mythology, & People:

  • Arthurian mythology
  • Asatru (Nordic)
  • Baltic mythology
  • Celtic mythology (Irish, Scottish, Welsh)
  • Church of the Last Testament (Russian cult)
  • Druidism (Neo-druidry)
  • Finnish mythology
  • Hellenism (Ancient & revivalist Greek & Roman religions)
  • Icelandic mythology
  • Mari (Russian indigenous)
  • Minoan (ancient Crete)
  • Mithraism (ancient Roman cult)
  • Norse mythology (Nordic)
  • Rodnovery (Slavic: Russian, Ukrainian, Polish)
  • Roman mythology
  • Romani

North American (People & Cultures):

  • Aleut
  • Apache
  • Cherokee
  • Comanche
  • Hopi
  • Inuit
  • Iroquois
  • Kiowa
  • Lakota
  • Mohawk
  • Native American Church
  • Navajo
  • Ojibwe
  • Peyote
  • Pueblo
  • Seminole
  • Sioux
  • Ute

South/Latin American Religions:

  • Aztec mythology
  • Incan mythology
  • Mayan mythology
  • Santo Daime

Middle Eastern Religions & People:

  • Ashurism (ancient Sumerian)
  • Babylonian mythology
  • Canaanite mythology
  • Kalash
  • Mandaeism
  • Manichaeism (ancient Gnostic Persian religion)
  • Ugaritic (ancient Syria)
  • Yazdanism (Kurdish: Yarsanism)
  • Yezidi/Yazidi (religion/culture)
  • Zoroastrianism (Persian & Parsi [India])

Polynesian Religions & People:

  • Hawaii'an
  • New Zealand
  • Phillipines
  • Polynesian mythology


  • Atheism
  • Gnosticism
  • Humanism
  • Luciferianism
  • Paganism (Neo paganism)
  • Satanism
  • Shamanism
  • Unitarian Universalist
  • Wicca

really cool video of the history of Sephardi Jews

the last minute is the best part

There are definitely Jews at Hogwarts.
  • They hold Shabbat services every week, and they get together on each holiday and celebrate together 
  • When Chanukah comes around they enchant the chanukiah to always stay lit 
  • They have a small shul hidden away in one of the unused classrooms, and the Ner Tamid gets the same treatment 
  • Someone charms everyone’s watches to beep at sundown and then again when there are three stars in the sky on Shabbat and other holidays 
  • A group having to go on Yom Kippur to explain to the house elves that the food is perfectly fine, they just needed to fast that day for religious reasons 
  • Every other day of the year, there are always kosher options somewhere on each house table 
  • A particularly kitchen-savvy student teaches the house elves traditional recipes from both Ashkenazi and Sephardi traditions 
  • Years when Pesach doesn’t fall on Easter break, which is most years, they set up their own separate table in the corner of the Great Hall to eat together, so they are able to stay kosher for Pesach without separating themselves from the rest of the school 
  • On seder nights, they all gather in another unused classroom and one of the sixth or seventh years leads 
  • First, second and third year students being tutored by the older ones so they don’t fall behind on training for their B’nei Mitzvah, and some purebloods who don’t have to worry about inviting nonmagical relatives even elect to have their B’nei Mitzvah services at the school 
  • Jewish Geography gets super weird when muggleborns and purebloods still manage to have loads of friends in common from back home
  • Just, Jews at Hogwarts.

feel free to add to this because I am so into these headcanons