calling gentile allies

I’ve seen multiple posts on my dash just today about the JCC bomb threats and how they’re affecting the Jewish community, and I thought of an idea that gentile allies can help to alleviate some of the heightened anxiety and isolation that a lot of people are feeling right now. Raising awareness is great, but you know what’s also great? Getting to know your neighbors.

So here’s an idea: if you aren’t Jewish, look up whether there is a JCC or synagogue near you. Then keep an eye out for it in local and national news. If you see that it has received threats recently, take a few minutes out of your day and fill out a postcard or a card, and send it to the main office.

I want to emphasize that it’s best if you focus on local institutions rather than ones that are in another state, because it makes it much more personal. The anonymity of the recent threats is one of the reasons they cause so much fear; no one knows if it’s from someone across the street or across the country. Know that there’s someone nearby who is on your side can help balance out that anxiety. I also think cards are better than, say, phone calls, because it strikes me as potentially nerve-wracking if synagogues and JCCs end up with a rash of unexpected calls after getting a phoned-in bomb threat. And cards are very tangible; you can keep them in the office, put them on a bulletin board, point to them when people are having doubts about whether their community cares.

As for what to include in your message, you can really say anything you want in support and solidarity, but here are some things that might be especially nice for them to hear:

  • “Shabbat Shalom!” (if you think the letter will arrive on a Thursday or Friday; this is the Hebrew for “a peaceful Sabbath,” the traditional greeting in many communities)
  • “Happy Purim” or “Chag sameach!” (Purim is a holiday, happening Saturday March 11 and Sunday March 12 this year–in general, look up a Hebrew calendar and see if there’s a holiday around the time you’re sending the letter. Tisha B’Av and Yom Kippur are “the ones you can’t say Happy [holiday] on.”)
  • some communities are holding rallies after receiving threats–I know there was one in Springfield, MA–so if your community did, and you attended, definitely mention that!
  • “I am a member of [faith organization], and I think it is important for us to stand with you in these times. My organization has participated/hopes to participate in multifaith activities with the Jewish community.”
  • “I have a friend who went to school at her JCC and she always spoke about how much it meant to her, so I want to show my support.”/“My child has a classmate who attends your programs, and they were very concerned about making sure their friend felt safe.”
  • “I read an article your president wrote in the paper, or I heard about a community-wide event that you lead recently. It sounded great and in the future I hope to engage more with my Jewish friends and neighbors.”
  • ***nothing proselytize-y and nothing political beyond the immediate issue. there’s no need to bring Jesus or Israel into this conversation.***

Obviously there’s more to do beyond this. Educate yourself about antisemitism. Combat it in YOUR OWN SPACES, not just when it comes from your enemies. Show up to events organized by Jewish activists. Show up to multifaith events even if they’re not activist spaces–if your local synagogue is pairing up with a church or a mosque/masjid to run a toy drive, watch a movie, eat pancakes, whatever, grab a friend, find someone new, and introduce yourself.

But still, these things can be difficult. They can require spoons, time, transportation, etc. Writing a postcard only requires a writing surface, a writing utensil, a stamp, and two minutes of your time,  and it, too, helps build your community. Even if you don’t have a local Jewish org to support, please reblog and share the ahavah.


Ofra Haza: Love Song [Song of Songs 8:6-7]

simeni kahotam al libecha {set me as a seal upon thine heart,}
simeni kahotam al zroecha {as a seal upon thine arm:}
ki azah ka'mavet ahavah (x2) {for love is strong as death;}
kashah kishol kina'ah {jealousy is cruel as the grave:}
reshfha reshpe yesh {the coals thereof are coals of fire,}
esh shalhevet yah {which hath a most vehement flame.}
mayim rabim lo yuchlu {many waters cannot}
lechabot et ha'ahavah {quench love,}
vuneharot lo yishtefuha {neither can the floods drown it:}
im-yiten eysh {if a man would give}
et kol-hon beyto ba'ahavah {all the substance of his house for love,}
boz yavuzu lo {it would utterly be condemned.}

Nihiye k’Ephrayim u’Menashe, k’Sarah u’k’Leah v’niten shalom b’chol ma’aseinu u’b’chol darcheinu. Navi et ha’ruach ha’yehudit beyneynu im kabbalah, p’tichut v’ahavah.

May we be like Ephraim and Menashe, like Sarah and Leah, and bring peace in all that we do and in all the paths that we take. May we carry the Jewish spirit of acceptance, openness and love amongst us. Amen.

Kehillat Kolenu, Melbourne, Australia


!יום אהבה שמח 
Happy Valentine’s Day!

(יום אהבה שמח = Yom ahavah sameach.

Israel has its own holiday of love too - Tu B’av, August 18/19 this year.
Interestingly, while Valentine’s Day is about chaste love, Tu B’av doesn’t solely celebrate love, but sexuality as well. There’ll be more on that in the future!

These go out to everyone out there :p
Particularly @askmisscyprus, @ask-la-istmena, @ask-the-usa, @ask-northeastern-thailand and the others who bothered to send Raphael Valentine’s Day cards! He surely appreciates it ;)

I’m sorry for not tagging all of you in this, but you know who you are <3
I’ll reply to the cards I received in a mega post one of these days!)

“ So, mother, earlier I ask if tomorrow was a pretty big day, and you didn’t really respond, so I’m just going to tell you. It’s my birthday! TA-DA! ” 

*jazz hands* heeellooo I wasn’t actually gonna do anything but I realized you’ve all been soooo nice tooo meee lately (well you’re always nice to me but especially nice to me the last couple of weeks) and I haaaven’t been really rping all THAT much because I’ve been focusing on school and trying to figure out what my research is gonna be on and job search and blah blah blah blah but anyway anyway! I just wanted to do a quick shout out to everyone who follows me because like most of you know I don’t gaf about my follow count BUT I love YOU guys sosos much. Whether it’s 10 followers or 1.8k you all mean a TON to me right ? ? ? and like i just wanna give you all cupcakes and kisses. Don’t eeeeeeverr be afraid to talk to me  / add me on skype / kik / what have you, I’m stupidly shy but I promise I’ll neeeeever turn you down.  BE MY FRIEND. LET ME LOVE YOU.  I wish I could do a giveaway or something like that but I just don’t have the time ; u ; Maybe for New Year’s? :’D  – Also because I know someone is gonna ask. I turned 24. 

BAES: I love you nerds sososo much. Like THIS much okay and that’s a whooole lot. Whether it’s just us talking about nothing or talking about everything I just kjsjhnsbdfhbsdf >: C FIGHT ME.

travmsoldat / adellaenchanted - ababwa - soleladro / dashingrapscalliion / prydainkingourxonlyxhopeouibonnefoi - aeristheancient - sovereigncrown - ashiidanza / charismatiiic - poororphaneugene - sncwprince - xprodigium - bleedingchivalry / hedoniiistic - faceofabotticelliangel / amanofdestiny / lucythcrne / pelydryn / littledxvil / @ why are you like this there are so many cass. -  xomago - roguishorphelin / coatedblade - blacksandslord

NEAT PEOPLE: These are just the bomb af people I follow . Some of you I don’t talk to actuallyalotofyoui’venevertalkedto but I see you there. I see you. And you’re awesome. No particular order besides what I see on my follow list. B) I mean tech the lower you go on the list the longer I’ve been following them but i jumped around when I remembered people so if I missed you I’m sorry pls love me like I love you.

diraniari / iindiscriminate - bxrnqueen - princeofthesouthernisles - princeofandalasia - ofdarkmagic - oxtlawed - magichotline - petitesirenes - gentillesse / demisoeur - empiriical - vampiremcther - konigrex - cuoreartistico  - audaciia - soldierentity - corglacier - poiseandcomposure - bythedagger - ask-the-frost-guardian - maddcst - mistressmxleficent - hypnostize - edivard - twicemarked / serjaimes - streetratted - strengthism - theknightofsorrows - queenxcersei - silverswathe - serjaimes - mentcr - poohbexr - ahbutimavillain - ivegxtyou - xofanimals - nottxbe - notamcnster - thundcrs - capnrum / gunbrain - mmeserpent / wouldvebeenenough - daughterofpopx - piiratescave - piraticalwit - brightfallenstar - odxtte - ostraciized - vigoare - dxpoitiers - herunfailingkindness - amanofwarinthecloth - nimueries - galaxychord - prxncecharming - templiere - atlantiican - cxrrera - fragiliis - prinsessemelodi - faiirestofall - fairqueenofcorona - fairmaiden-ofnottingham - captainmaugrim - vvielded - leorexx - ahavahisms - weestley - truander - dancingforcoins - cainofborgia / soldatdor - spareisms - etheriumspacer- thepromiseofredemption - kingofsunshine - kingofthenorthmountain - undyingmother - thegrandpompouswindbag - kindlycourageous - charmingapprentice - i swear I forgot people the list should be longer but watch me sneakily add people as I go SHIT BUT I LOVE THEM TOO. 

To love somebody is not just a strong feeling– it is a decision, it is a judgement, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other for ever. A feeling may come and go. How can I judge that it will stay for ever, when my act does not involve judgement and decision?
—  On the Doorposts of Your House (Chaim Stern) ,page 321

anonymous asked:

I'm worried about men having sexual relations being forbidden in the torah. As a member of the LGBT community this scares me, do you think it is just because it was a different time and this was more considered a sin of man against his wife? That's all I could come up with, but I just can't make myself believe that G-d would condemn something as such between to married people who are in love.

Hi there,

You have an extremely valid concern.  I believe that a literary analysis of the material can help to illuminate why “the two verses” exist in the text and how we can better understand them as contemporary Jews.  The most quoted verses of the Tanakh which aim to indignity LGBT+ folks are Lev. 18:22 and 20:13 (”man shalt does not lie with man”) and Deut. 22:5 (“a man shalt not wear women’s clothing”).  I apologize in advanced for the massive amount of text present, but it is all important in order to validate and illuminate your concerns.

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