childrens jew

Thoughts on growing a beard: Judaism.

Growing a beard puts me back in line with a commandment that God gave to the Jews – namely, that you shall not shave the corners of your beard.

(Hilariously, no one is sure where “the corners of your beard” are actually located. Some people believe that this is the side-locks that you see on Orthodox Jewish men, some people just grow out their whole beards on the theory that if you don’t shave anything, you can’t shave the corners. Most people don’t care.)

Anyone who has seen me cook pork knows that I’m not exactly an observant Jew. But I do keep track of which commandments I’m following and which ones I’m not, not because I’m keeping score (which isn’t even how it works), but because I think it’s good to be conscious of it. I’m going to try to explain why.

I have a memory of a friend of mine – who in any just world would be a rabbi – explaining to me that the commandment for Jews not to shave the corners of their beard comes from a passage about not worshipping the Bael, and that it almost certainly is referring to a specific religious practice in Canaanite Polytheism.

The point of the commandment isn’t that there’s something inherently wrong with shaving whatever part of your beard “the corners” is. The point is that you should not even come close to Bael worship. It’s not enough just not to do it. You should not do anything that approaches doing it.

It’s easy to dismiss this as just excessive purity focus – and a lot of Jewish commandments are just that – but there is something else to it as well. I think about Ta-Nehisi Coates talking about (of all things) his diet. He said that it’s all very well to say “I can have ice cream in my freezer and just choose not to eat it.” But, if there is ice cream in his freezer, he will eat it. Self control, he says, is in the grocery aisle. Similarly, in the commandment to not shave the corners of your beard, self-control isn’t deciding not to go into the temple of Bael. Self control lives at the razor-blade.

Because so much of our religious culture is Jewish-derived, it can be hard to understand the place of Judaism in the ancient world. At the time that these commandments were written, it wasn’t existing in the context of other monotheism. Rather, it was a radical monotheist religious practice existing side-by-side with an ongoing polytheist tradition from which it had probably sprung. So, the choice about remaining Jewish or going to worship the Bael wasn’t some absurd thing – it was a regular choice that everyone could be expected to cope with in their daily lives. So the practices of Bael worship – even if they aren’t done in the context of actually worshipping actual gods – are forbidden. Like shaving the corners of your beard.

And like child sacrifice.


As I remember it (and I don’t care if I’m right or wrong about this), right next to the commandment not to shave the corners of your beard is the commandment “you shall not offer your children unto Bael.” Which, to be clear, isn’t any kind of symbolic baptism or something. It’s straight-up child sacrifice – killing your child in sacrifice to the gods so that they might bless you. This was a fairly common practice in Canaanite polytheism, and it lasted until at least Carthage. It’s a common practice, and also one that (very specifically), Jews don’t do. Or, at least, we’re not supposed to.

There’s little risk in me – or any other modern Jew – practicing Canaanite paganism. That particular religion is dead and buried, and good riddance to it. So, in that sense, there is little sense to the prohibition on shaving the corners of my beard. It’s not like, in my daily life, I’m going to be walking by a Canaanite temple and say “oh, sure, what the hell?” and pop in to say a quick prayer to the Bael and light some incense.

But child sacrifice is something we still do in our society. Every day, in so many ways, we sacrifice our children. Sure, we’re not cutting hearts out or burning kids alive in ritual ceremonies. But, in so many other ways, we sacrifice our children to any number of false gods – for ourselves, for our communities, to keep the peace, to keep the silence that we claim is peace, or just because we enjoy it. Every time someone tells a child “that never happened” or “we don’t talk about that” or “it’s your fault,” that is, in its own way, child sacrifice.

If the commandment to not shave the corners of my beard has any meaning to my life, then, it’s this: a reminder we do not sacrifice our children. Jews today are still bound by the commandment of God to Abraham – we do not sacrifice our children. We do not sacrifice them to false gods. We don’t sacrifice them to the true God. We do not sacrifice them to peace, or to silence, or “the community,” or to “a good man who just made a mistake.” This commandment is our primary commandment. It comes before anything else – it even comes before “I am adonai your god” and “you shall have no other gods before me.” It is who we are as a people.

(Of course, it isn’t. Of course, every day, in so many ways, Jews – secular and liberal and Orthodox and every other kind – sacrifice our children. That transgression, at least, has never gone away.)

Every day, when I shave, or when I choose not to shave, I think of this commandment. We do not shave the corners of our beards. We do not offer our children unto Bael.

Jewish girl reciting a lesson in the Jewish community school classroom in Fez (Fes), Morocco. The girl stands at front of classroom in front of a blackboard with Hebrew alphabet. The education is multilingual, including French, Arabic, and Hebrew studies, reflecting some of the cultures of the Jewish diaspora. Photograph by Nathan Benn taken February 15, 1980.

It’s that time again.

Springtime. The Paschal season. Aviv.

The season of rebirth, renewal, and too much bleeping rain.

The time of flowers blooming, bears waking, trees budding, eggs hatching, and Jews frantically cleaning their homes and screaming this crucial message into the void:

No, Christians, you should not have Passover seders.

“But why?” comes the eternal reply. “The Old Testament is part of our tradition too! Jesus celebrated Passover! Why can’t we?”

Read on, and I’ll tell you.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

You know what's gonna happen don't you? In 10-20 years when Trump is super fucking discredited, people in the left are gonna always bring up the fact that Jared and Ivanka are Jewish, I mean I keep seeing right wing assholes push the idea that Milo (long hard to spell fake Greek last name) is "Jewish" as a reason why he just CANT be a Nazi, so in 10 years when the alt-right is dead everyone will make sure to mention he's Jewish, like the right always does with Marx and Trotsky

Yes, this is a major risk. People are going to be “counting noses” in the Trump Admin / movement for years, when it comes to payback. It has already begun.

Milo Yiannopoulos’ mother’s mother was Jewish; that means that halachically both his mother and him are Jews, though they both were raised Catholic. There is no Jewish observance or culture in his upbringing. Now - TO BE CLEAR - the children of Jews are Jews and are deserving of a welcome as such. Anyone from an interfaith background should bear that in mind for the next few sentences:

Milo has rejected Judaism. Explicitly. Violently. He only ever mentions his background in order to misappropriate innocence and Jew-wash his antisemitism. There were plenty of Nazi troops who had the same degree of ancestry as he did. He describes himself as a “warrior for Christ,” trafficks in Nazi memes and iconography, and says Krystallnacht made him happy because Jews are vipers and the synagogue of Satan.

We would have welcomed him. But he doesn’t want us. He seeks our destruction.

None of that matters, they will indeed just count him as a Jew to clear his name and use him against us.

I am… uncomfortable with the amount of fanart and fanfics that depict Erik Lehnsherr as a demon. like, I’m not calling out any one individual, because I know it’s one of those fandom tropes, you know? I don’t think someone who participates in it is intentionally perpetuating anti-semitism, and there are many people creating these fanworks, not just one person. but… portraying Jews (individually or as a group) as demons/devils/Satan is literally one of the oldest anti-semitic tropes in history. the New Testament calls Pharisee Jews the children of the devil, it was an extremely popular artistic trope in medieval Christianity, Martin Luther perpetuated the idea, it survived up until the 20th century, and even now Jews are frequently conflated with the devil. Jewish children are often bullied and taunted with the idea that they have horns.

I know it’s just meant to be a fun trope to play with, and yes, Erik is a darker and more morally ambiguous character than Charles in a lot of ways, but… it’s not simple fun. there’s a much longer and more painful history behind the fic/art, and I think it’s also important to know that–and, also, to ask why Erik is the ONLY CHARACTER in X-Men (the recent reboot, that is) to be seen actively participating in religion (lighting a menorah with his mother), and yet a lot of demon/angel fics make Charles deeply religious. like, why are people so willingly to discard Erik’s Judaism but perfectly fine with foisting Christianity on Charles? this is very much not a neutral act; it unfortunately, unintentionally perpetuates this anti-semitic myth.

again, I’m not trying to make any individual feel bad, I’m not saying that anyone who creates or enjoys fanworks with this trope is a bad person or that they must take it down, I just very strongly urge individuals who work with Jewish characters, like Erik Lehnsherr, whose Jewishness is so central to his character, to educate themselves about Judaism and anti-semitism and consider how their unintentional biases may affect others. being Jewish is more than lighting a menorah, there’s a lot of culture and history that people might not be familiar with.

but on that note, Happy Hanukkah y’all.


There is more to this holiday than just having a good time. On Purim there are four main commandments or Mitzvot: Megillah (reading the story of Purim), Mishloach Manot (gift baskets sent  to friends and family), Matanot L'Evyonim (money we give to the poor) and having a Seudah (a meal with family and friends). 

This painting in our collection says it all. There are family member’s and friends, food and drink, and music. All the prominent parts of the holiday wrapped into one fine work of art. 

Whats your favorite aspect of this festive day?

Wishing all a great Puirm Sameach! 

Title: Purim Creator: Arthur Szyk Creation Date: 1948 Obeject Origin: USA Medium: Colored Tempera, Ink Category: Art Subject: Purim, Food Accession No.: 1970.005  Respository: YUM 


Jews of today can trace their roots to אברהם, יצחק, ויעקב (Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya’akov), our forefathers, who all lived in present-day Israel. The great-grandsons of אברהם (Avraham), the 12 sons of יעקּב (Ya’akov, later having his name changed to ישראל by ה׳) developed into the עם יהודי (Jewish nation), stemming from the name of the fourth son, יהודה (Yehuda).

אברהם was born around 1800 BCE, and his children, the Jews, formed the nation of Israel (בנ׳׳י) at around 1300 BCE, after יציאת מצרים (the leaving of Egypt) and before entering into the Land of Israel after 400 years of exile. The Jews (exiled Israelis in Egypt) were freed, led into the desert by משה (Moshe), and later became the Jewish People there when משה descended from הר סיני (Har Sinai) and gave them the תורה (Torah). After 40 years in the desert, *משה leads the Jews into the Land of Israel, the land ה׳ (Hashem) promised to our forefathers as mentioned in the תורה.

From the start of יהושע’s (Yehoshua) success since entering the land with בנ׳׳י at around 1250 BCE until the fall of the *kingdoms—the last king of מלכות ישראל (the Kingdom of Israel) being מלך הושע (King Hosha), ruling until 724/3 BCE and the last king of מלכות יהודה (the Kingdom of Yehuda) being מלך צדקיהו (King Tzedkayahu), ruling until 587 BCE— the Jewish People flourished in Israel. Their downfall was indulgence in “non-Jewish” influences and sinning, eventually leading to the capturing of ירושלים (Jerusalem), destruction of the first בית המקדש (The Temple), built by שלומו המלך from 970 to 931 BCE, by Nevuchadnezzar, and the second Jewish expulsion to בבל (Babylon) in 587 BCE.

The year 587 BCE was the start of foreign rule in Israel but the expelled Jews in Babylon retuned and began reconstructing the second בית המקדש (built 520-515 BCE) under the Persian Empire. Fast forward 600 years, the Roman Empire overthrew the Hellenistic Greeks in 63 BCE, acquiring control over the land. King Titus captured ירושלים and destroyed the second בית or Temple in 70 AD, forcing the Jews once again into exile and further Diaspora.

Diaspora led to the many different sects and ethnic identities of Jews: ספרדים (Sephardim), מזרחים (Mizrahim), אשכנזים (Ashkenazim), and אתיופים (Ethiopian). The Spanish Inquisition (1492 AD) is the direct cause of these sects as Jews were expelled from Spain and forced to integrate into new places (MENA countries) where they were also persecuted and discriminated against.

Jews throughout Diaspora always hoped to return to their homeland and with the rise of Zionism, the wanting of a Jewish state, their hope was restored. Participation in any form of Zionistic acts was illegal and considered a crime in MENA countries, risking punishments such as imprisonment and death. 

When Israel was established and declared independence on May 14, 1948, its government created operations to rescue and transport Jews from MENA countries. The first one being Operation On Wings of Eagles AKA Operation Magic Carpet (1949-1950), which airlifted around 50,000 Yemenite Jews to Israel. And the last being Operation Yachin (1961-1964), which secretly transported Moroccan Jews to Israel.

We Jews have managed to preserve our religion, culture, traditions, and history for more than 3000 years, despite the exiles and Diasporas, inquisitions and expulsions, and overall discrimination, persecution, and oppression. Our ancestors endured so much for us to still be here today and we take extreme pride in all of it.

*it was’t משה who led בנ׳׳י (the Jewish nation) into Israel, it was יהושע, his “sidekick,” because ה׳ didn’t allow משה to enter the land since he sinned. *the Kingdom of Israel split after the death of מלך שלומו (King Shlomo) when the ten tribes refused to be ruled under his son, רחובם (Rechovam), and revolted.

But they are just kids!

nothing like a mother’s love-mother prepares her child for a suicide attack, she must be proud of her little shahid son.

having fun in the kindergarten:)

who needs hello kitty when you have the HAMAS(a terror organtization) ribbon?

must love summer camps^^

born to be a leader!


now you are probably asking, how? why? 

in my childhood I used to play football/watch tv/playing outside..

well..this is why

Hamas to kids: Shoot all the Jews

Hamas’ Children TV with a Terrorist Jew-Eating Rabbit

Hamas Mickey Mouse Farfour teaches Palestinian children Islamic world domination

Farfour “martyred” by Israelis in final episode

In Israel I used to watch fairly odd parents, spongebob, Arthur and anime shows in my childhood. but maybe it’s just a cultural thing…

 I’ve faced this thing called terror when I was twelve. 

rockets launched by  Hezbollah hit my city. I stayed the whole summer in a shelter with my grandfather and read him “puss in boots” in russian. 

the mirrors’ store in the middle of my citty got hit.

and that house which I used to pass in my way to the library.

It was weird to see those building ruined, I never thought I would have to see it .

now, in sderot, the citizents suffer much worse then I did and I can’t even imagine their fear and stress. 

15 Seconds: Not Enough Time

Three Israelis killed in the explosion of a rocket fired from Gaza-even the soldiers cry

people in sderot have about 15 seconds to enter a shelter.

today about 30 rockets hit, two days ago more than 40.

the video says that gaza terrorists have fired more than 100 rockets at Israel during the past three weeks.

the video was uploaded 4 days ago and every day there are more and more rockets. 

the citizents have an app called tzeva adom/צבע אדום(red light), you can uplouad it to get a view on how it feels. (sometimes it actually warns you about the rocket on it’s way)-to wake up your childern in the middle of the night and run with them to the shelter-remember-you have only 15 seconds!


my pro israel blog :


Jewish Bakery in the Rue des Rosiers, a street that lies at the center of the Jewish quarter of Paris unofficially called Pletzl  (Yiddish for “little place”). The area is characterized by its butchers, Jewish delicatessens, synagogues, and falafel vendors, which provide a social and cultural fabric for its inhabitants. Photos by Gueorgui Pinkhassov.