and judaism

The history of Western civilization is the history of the attempt to replace Judaism – and it has not worked
Christianity tried to replace Judaism. There is a reason why Jews don’t like the term “Old Testament.” It is a Christian term. It implies that Judaism is like your one year old IPhone – or like your operating system, which waiting for you to download as your special Rosh Ha Shanah gift to yourself.
Judaism needed an upgrade – or, so Christian theology thought.
The apostle Paul said:
The mitzvot are gone. All you have to do is to believe in the risen Christ, who died for your sins.
The Church believed that God had abandoned the divine promise to the Jewish people. The Church believed that it was the new Israel, the new people of God.
Islam tried to replace Judaism. Islam taught that Mohammed was the final prophet, the greatest prophet.
Islam tried to re-write Jewish history. Why do you think that Palestinian leaders say that the ancient Temple did not really exist?
They are saying: your claim to the Land of Israel is a false claim.
Communism tried to replace Judaism.
Why was Communism so attractive to Jews?
Communism took the idea of tikkun olam, and it perverted that idea into a radical and negation of society. Communism wanted to create heaven on earth – and it succeeded in creating a hell.
Some Jews have also wanted to replace Judaism.
When people say “I’m not religious, but I am spiritual,” they are trying to replace Judaism, as a religion — with inward feeling – at the expense of everything else. That replacement for Judaism is unsustainable. It cannot last.
When people say “I’m not religious, but I am a cultural Jew,” they are trying to replace Judaism, as a religion – with vague ethnic memories, humor, attitude, and a ritualized viewing of Seinfeld re-runs. This, too, is unsustainable. It cannot last.
I worry about anti-Semitism. I worry about anti-Semitism—both from the Right, and from the left, where it tries to masquerade itself as anti-Zionism and anti-Israelism.
But, we have to be more than anti-anti-Semites.
We have to be pro-Judaism.
What is the Judaism that I want you to affirm?

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A Jewish atheist studying Torah and Talmud: *studies Torah and Talmud to better understand the writers and the original audience as well as glean lessons that could be applied to modern day* 



Said Jewish atheist: Deuteronomy says the Torah is not in heaven so leave me the hell alone to my studies.

The midrash Yalkut Shimoni (Torah, no. 76) quotes God telling Moshe that He does not show favoritism among humans. Neither, the midrash says, between Jew and gentile nor between man and woman. Any person who performs a mitzvah receives the appropriate reward.

J. D. Eisenstein

anonymous asked:

Hello! You're very open about your Jewish identity, so I hope this isn't too rude to ask, but what denomination are you? I'm looking into converting. I'm bi, nb, tattooed, and just... seemingly not a picture of what a "good Jew" should be. I know you aren't a rabbi or anything, but it's a little less scary if I ask a "normal" practicing Jew on anon....

Yo! I am also bi, tattooed (shhh, don’t tell my mom!) and while definitely female, know a number of non-binary and trans Jews and coordinate our city’s monthly Jewish/LBGTQ coffee group. Believe me, there are congregations where you’d fit right in. <3 

For myself, I grew up Modern Orthodox in a city with a very large Jewish community, and at one point considered entering the Rabbinate (Conservative, because female). I didn’t end up doing that, mostly because I intermarried (to a practicing Presbyterian). Interestingly, my brother also considered becoming a Rabbi, but didn’t, and he is also now intermarried (to a phenomenal woman from a Hindu background). 

Now we go to a Conservative shul, mostly because we live in a small town where we have three choices – Chabad (no. very nice people, but no.), Orthodox, and Conservative/Everyone Else. If I were single I might go to the Orthodox shul, but because my better half doesn’t have much Hebrew, it’s nicer for the family to be able to sit together rather than be segregated by gender, and have a service that involves a little more English. 

My main minhags (traditions) are still reasonably Orthodox, despite the fact that our congregation is not. Many, many women in our shul wear tallit and kippahs, we have a female Rabbi, and women daven and read alongside men. And I made and wore my own tallis for Rosh Hashana this year for the very first time… 12 years after joining the congregation. And I said a shehecheyanu for it (a prayer to celebrate doing something for the first time). 

It felt very odd to wear a kippah and a tallis rather than a hat - the traditional headcovering for married women in my home congregation - but I haven’t been hit by any lightning bolts yet! 

We still keep kosher despite that being very much a minority choice in the community here, I’ll wash and bench when it feels appropriate, and don’t wear leather on Yom Kippur… but my theology is much more along the lines of the Conservative council, even if I still stumble over the rhythm of the tune when adding the four foremothers in the repetition of the Amidah. (Rather than just the three forefathers. I feel bad that it’s not more natural for me, and I’m getting there, but that’s a lot of extra syllables!)

I have no idea if I’m a good Jew by Orthodox standards anymore, but I’m a learning and questioning and growing Jew, with a practice and intention that’s evolving as I go, and that feels pretty decently Jewish to me. 

My grandparents left their home country as children when they heard the whispering of antisemitism starting in their home town. They got out and fled to America so I and future generations could be safe from persecution and mass murder. Only 2 generations ago.

And now America is becoming that country that they probably would have fled.

If you are not resisting, you are part of the problem.

And yes, I want non-Jews to reblog

For anyone planning any type of school/community/club/activist event, or for any teachers/professors planning important in-class activities, here is the schedule of Jewish holidays this fall (2017):

Rosh Hashanah:  Evening of Wed 9/20, days of Thurs 9/21 and Fri 9/22

Yom Kippur:  Evening of Fri 9/29 and day of Sat 9/30

Most Jews won’t be able to attend events or classes on those holidays.  They’re the most important days of our year.  Please avoid scheduling important events or activities on them, just as it would be inappropriate to schedule important events or class activities on Christmas.

Please reblog, even if you’re not Jewish yourself!  Thank you <3 

PSA: the main reason that Britain never had a European-style mass fascist movement in the 1930s is because socialists, Jews, trade unionists, black folk and queer people physically dismantled the Blackshirt movement in its infancy by disrupting meetings, toppling stages and assaulting prominent fascists. This meant it never reached critical mass as a street gang capable of controlling public space and providing a pole of attraction for white, working-class youth - a fundamental precondition for the exercise of political power independent of the state by fascist Parties.