jewish sect

Vegetarianism, Veganism, and Sant Mat, by James Bean, Plus a Compilation of Veg Quotes of the East & West

It’s hard to reach more subtle states of tranquility in meditation on an animal flesh diet based on the suffering of other beings.

“I must point out that animal food, even if a single particle is eaten, is detrimental to spiritual progress.” (Huzur Baba Sawan Singh)

The Way of the Saints and Mystics, Getting Back to Eden: “And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.’” (Hebrew Bible, Genesis 1:29, New International Version)

Master Kirpal Singh speaking about Rumi and the other most advanced Murshids (spiritual masters) of Sufi mysticism once said: “Those who take up the practices concerning the lower centers in the body, do take meat – the Mohammedans and people of other religions also. But those who are anxious to rise above body consciousness and go into the Beyond have of necessity to eschew all that. This is the Path I have put before you. Liberation or salvation is something which starts only when you rise above body consciousness. For that reason, vegetarianism is the first essential.” (The Night is a Jungle, published by Ruhani Satsang)

The harshest words that Guru Kabir ever spoke were directed against the slaughter or consumption of innocent animals: “The man who eats meat is a demon in human form. Keep away from him – his company will ruin your meditation.”

Ahimsa (Non-Violence) and Diet

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” (Albert Einstein)

The following, on the reason why we in Santmat advocate following the vegetarian diet, is by Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj from the book, The Harmony of All Religions (Sarvadharma Samanvy), published by Maharshi Mehi Ashram:

“The saints have addressed the sin of violence with particular attention to the foods which are eaten. Foods which are produced by killing living beings, as well as foods which are not pure and fresh, are considered tamasic. Consumption of these is prohibited by the teachings of the saints. This includes animal products such as meat, fish, and eggs. These foods inhibit the clarity of the mind and the health of the body. There is an old saying: 'Whatever kind of food we take in, its properties will also fill our mind.’ A parallel saying is, 'Whatever we eat, just so will our breath smell [indicates the visible effect of food].’

Further, Kabir Sahab says: 'The kind of food and drink which we consume directly influences how our mind will become. Even the quality of water which we drink will influence our speech.’ These words of Kabir Sahib are not merely rhetorical conjecture, but represent direct experience…

"A great yogi named Bhupendranath Ji Sanyal has said: 'It is preferable to always avoid the consumption of flesh and fish. This is because in the very cells of these animals there might be bad diseases. But even more significantly, the natural vibration of these creatures is absorbed into the blood. This can create agitation and even sickness, and will destroy the natural calmness of the mind. Also, one must not take intoxicants, as this is a great breach of the spiritual path and natural duty (dharma). [Under the influence of intoxicants people are unable to discern the right path of action].’

"Therefore, we must be disciplined in what we eat and drink, and by being disciplined, our wealth and spiritual path are protected. This world becomes agreeable, and so does the next world, since we won’t be incurring the karmas from killing other living beings.” (Beloved Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj, Sant Mat, the Path of the Masters)

All past and present Masters of Sant Mat, the most advanced Saints of Inner Light and Sound, advocate following the vegetarian diet. In fact, being vegetarian is a requirement in order to be initiated into the meditation practice of Sant Mat, Surat Shabd Yoga, Meditation upon the inner Light and Sound of God.

Sant Mat is a vegetarian Path for mystical, spiritual, ethical and theological reasons. The Masters teach that foods are of three kinds: Satvik, Rajsik, and Tamsik. This last category of foods, which includes all flesh foods, is to be completely avoided. Satvik (pure foods), the first category, includes: grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts. Satvik foods are considered by Mystics to promote relaxation, meditation, and spiritual experience.

The bad karma and other negative effects of flesh-eating darkens one’s vision of inner Light, interfering with concentration and meditation. It’s interesting to notice that the Satvik diet of Sant Mat, of Hinduism and the Yoga Philosophy of India is also: the life-extension diet, the anti-cancer diet, the diet for antioxidants and most of the other plant-based nutrients, AND the diet of the Light & Sound mystics, East and West.

A Young Kirpal Singh Meditating at an Early Age

“Kirpal began meditating at the age of four. When other boys and girls of his age were busy playing, he would be busy meditating. He never wasted his time with sports. He would sit quiet with eyes closed. He would see spiritual sights within and would traverse on spiritual planes. He would remain lost in ecstasy. But whenever this absorption in meditation would break after intervals of 2 to 3 months, he would feel very restless. His spiritual flights would, however, start again shortly afterwards.

Abstinence from Meat

"His family was non-vegetarian But he was averse to taking meat even as a child. While his brothers and sisters would ask for more, he would have none at all. He was content with bread and vegetables. His father asked, 'Pal, why don’t you take meat? It will do you good.’ He sweetly replied, 'It is very well, father, but is not meat dead flesh, and would you have me make a burial ground of my body?’ The father could only smile and the child had his own way.” (The Beloved Master – Some Glimpses from the Life of Sant Kirpal Singh, by Bhadra Sena)

The notion that vegetarianism is “cultural” and confined mostly to India is the inaccurate assumption of some new age or esoteric teachers in the West. It is true that many conventional world religions condone flesh-eating, but if you do some comparative mysticism you’ll soon discover that the serious esoteric traditions which have practiced Light mysticism, Sound mysticism, and Ascension mysticism through higher planes of heavens are all in agreement about the need for contemplative mystics to abstain from the flesh. The list of Western vegetarian paths includes: Pythagoreans, followers of the Hermetic philosophy of Egypt, the Sethian Gnostics, Theraputae, Essenes (and other Light-mystics within Judaism), the original Jewish Christians called Ebionites (see The Gospel of Jesus – In Search of His Original Teachings, by John Davidson), the Gnostic religions, Manichaeans, some Catholic monasteries, monasteries of the Orthodox Church – including the great mystery school atop Mount Athos in Greece, and the Sufi mystics of Islam who practice Zikhr of the Spirit, Light, and Sound. Most every path that advocates a present-tense spirituality about reentering Paradise or going Back to Eden during this life teaches vegetarianism.

A Western Master of Sound & Light by the name of Pythagoras once said, “Our Earth has abundance of such pure and harmless foods and there is no need for us to partake of meals for which blood has to be shed and innocent life sacrificed.”

Pythagoras also said: “As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”

Just like the Pythagoreas gathered together at sunrise, so did members of a Jewish sect of antiquity known as the Therapeutae, and like the Essene branch of Judaism, they were vegetarians. Josephus and Philo wrote about the Essenes and Therapeutae. Philo of Alexandria describes meals at a Therapeutae monastic community in Alexandria: “…And the table, too, is kept clear of animal flesh, nothing which has blood, but there is placed upon it bread for food and salt for seasoning, to which also hyssop is sometimes added…”

John the Baptist Ate Locust (Carob) BEANS, NOT BUGS

“John the Baptist belonged to a group of ascetics who believed in repentance and in leading an austere lifestyle. The carob bean was seen as the diet of the lower class who normally endured hardship and exploitation from the priestly class. So we can conclude that JTB ate (locust plant) seed from the carob tree.” (Wiki Answers Website) Also according to the Gospel of the Ebionites, John the Baptist ate carob beans, bread or cakes made from carob bean (locust bean) flour.

In recent years some of us have noticed the vegetarianism and even veganism present in the original teachings of Jesus and Original Jesus Movement or Hebrew Christians (Ebionites, Nasoreans) found in the Gospel of the Hebrews, Aramaic texts, and other scriptures once used during the early centuries.  

Vegetarian Sayings of the Historic Jesus and His Spiritual Successors (Apostles) in the Original Jesus Movement (Ebionites of Israel)

“Be on guard, so that your hearts do not become heavy with the eating of flesh and with the intoxication of wine and with the anxiety of the world, and that day come upon you suddenly; for as a snare it will come upon all who dwell upon the surface of the earth.” (Jesus, Luke 21:34, Evangelion Da-Mepharreshe — Old Syriac-Aramaic Manuscript of the Gospel of Luke)

Like the Essenes, Jesus, his family, and the original followers were also vegetarians and opposed to all sacrifice of animals in the Jewish temple.

“I am come to do away with sacrifices, and if you cease not sacrificing, the wrath of God will not cease from you.” (saying of Jesus in the Gospel of the Hebrews)

Stopping Animal Sacrifice in the Temple of Jerusalem

During the First Century AD, the Essenes were one of the three main branches of Judaism. They were opposed to animal sacrifices being made in the Jewish temple and they were also known to be vegetarians. The Essenes were the group that Jesus and the first Christians, the Ebionites, were closest to, sharing with them many of the same values and sacred texts. Unlike the Sadducees and Pharisees, the Essenes are never criticized in the New Testament.

“When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords and drove all from the Temple, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said: 'Get out of here.’ (John 2:13-16)

According to the Gospel of the Ebionites, Jesus also rejected the Passover meal:

"Where wilt Thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the Passover?”

To which he replied:

“I have no desire to eat the flesh of this Paschal Lamb with you.”

The first followers of Jesus, also known as Ebionites or Nasoreans, were not only kosher, but also strictly adhered to a vegetarian diet. The largest surviving collection of Ebionite scriptures is the Clementine Homilies and the Recognitions of Clement, which are vegetarian gospels that condemn animal sacrifice in any form. For example, the Book of Homilies states that God does not want animals killed at all (3.45), and condemns those who eat meat (7.4, 7.8). And the passages below also show that the diet of the Original Jesus Movement was vegan – plant-based (no eggs, no dairy, and no animal products), as plants are the only foods mentioned in all the texts!

Peter said, “I live on olives and bread, to which I rarely only add vegetables.” (Clementine Homilies 12,6; also see, Recognitions 7,6)

“And happiness is found in the practice of virtue. Accordingly, the Apostle Matthew partook of seeds, and nuts, hard-shelled fruits, and vegetables, without flesh.” (Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, Book 2, Chapter 1)

“John never ate meat.” (Church historian Hegesipp according to Eusebius, History of the Church II 2:3)

“James, the brother of the Lord, lived on seeds and plants and touched neither meat nor wine.” (Epistulae ad Faustum XXII, 3)

“James, the brother of the Lord was holy from his mothers womb; and he drank no wine nor strong drink, nor did he eat flesh.” (Hegesippus, quoted in The Church History of Eusebius, book 2, chapter 23)

“James was a vegetarian.” (Biblical scholar Dr. Robert Eisenman, author of, “James, the Brother of Jesus”)

The following passage is from the Recognitions of Clement, another “Book of Acts”, an important scripture of early Christianity. This Ebionite Christian author has very nice things to say about those in India who worship One God, follow peaceful customs and laws, and are vegetarian or vegan, seeing parallels between his own religion and that of his brothers and sisters “in the Indian countries” of two thousand years ago:

“There are likewise amongst the Bactrians,
in the Indian countries,
immense multitudes of Brahmans,
who also themselves,
from the tradition of their ancestors,
and peaceful customs and laws,
neither commit murder nor adultery,
nor worship idols,
nor have the practice of eating animal food,
are never drunk,
never do anything maliciously,
but always revere God.”

(Recognitions of Clement, Book 9, Chapter 22, Brahmans, Volume Eight, in a New Testament Apocrypha Section of, “The Ante-Nicene Fathers”)

“The consumption of animal flesh was unknown up until the great flood. But since the great flood, we have had animal flesh stuffed into our mouths. Jesus, the Christ, who appeared when the time was fulfilled, again joined the end to the beginning, so that we are now no longer allowed to eat animal flesh.” (pro-vegetarian early church father Hieronymus)

Gnostic Vegetarianism and the Vegetarian Prayer of Thanksgiving in the Nag Hammadi Library (Gnostic Gospels)

The ethics of Jewish and Christian Gnostic sects of antiquity included vegetarianism. The Prayer of Thanksgiving, one of the Nag Hammadi scriptures unearthed in Egypt, describes a vegetarian communal meal as being part of Gnostic worship. The Manichaean Gnostics were known to be vegetarians. The Prophet Mani’s parents were followers of the Elkasites, which was a Jewish-Christian sect related to the Ebionites and Essenes. They were veg. Mani was the founder of Manichaean Gnosis and was vegetarian, and his inner circle of followers or initiates were as well. A group in China known as the Church of the Light , related to the Manichaeans and Syriac-Aramaic branch of Eastern Christianity, were vegetarians. Their beautiful scriptures are known as the Jesus Sutras.

The Gnostic and Hermetic Prayer of Thanksgiving in the Nag Hammadi Library, also a text found in the Corpus Hermetica of Egypt, describes a vegetarian communal meal or Gnostic love feast. At the end of the prayer the final verse reads:

“When they had said these things in the prayer, they embraced each other and they went to eat their holy food, which has no blood in it.”*

* “Vegetarian food” — footnote from the Marvin Meyer’s translation of this in, “The Gnostic Scriptures”.

* A vegetarian meal. This passage is also found in the Epilogue of Asclepius, in “HERMETICA,” translated by Sir Walter Scott: “Having prayed thus, let us betake ourselves to a meal unpolluted by flesh [animalia] of living things.”

* The G.R.S. Mead translation of the same passage: “With this desire we now betake us to our pure and fleshless meal.”

* “With such hopes we turn to a pure meal that includes no living thing.” (Asclepius, translated in “Hermetica”, Brian Copenhaver, Cambridge University Press)

The Vegan Evolution of Humanity: Vegetarianism is Going Vegan

Traditionally, Santmat and the yoga philosophy have advocated the lacto-vegetarian diet: abstinence from meat, fish, fowl, and eggs, but allowed dairy. Vegan means complete abstinence from all animal products and strictly adhering to a plant-based diet: no dairy, eggs, or meat of any kind, or products made from animals. Based on the current cruel practices of the dairy industry in India and around the world that violate the principle of ahimsa or non-violence, plus all the scores of medical studies showing that dairy consumption adversely affects our health and well-being, I believe if they were here today, the classic Saints such as Mahavira, Guru Kabir, Guru Nanak, Tukarama, Ravidas, Tulsi Das, Namdev, Dariya Sahib, etc…  would not only be advocating a vegetarian diet, but a vegan diet. These days, many are making this transition to vegan, including a growing percentage of those following Sant Mat. This is the compassionate direction that the vegetarian movement is headed in. Vegetarianism is going vegan.

For the medical, human health aspects of veganism, see the research of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of, “The China Study”, and Dr. Michael Greger, author of, “How Not To Die”, and creator of the NutritionFacts dot ORG website, a great online resource.

The Reality of Dairy Cruelty – the Final Destination of Dairy Cows is the Slaughterhouse

The following is excerpted from a document called, “My Visit to a Dairy Farm”, published by Pravin K. Shah of the Jaina Education Committee of Jainism (the vegan Jain movement), Jain e-Library, and the Jain Study Center:

“I visited a dairy farm located on Route 2 north of Burlington, Vermont (USA) in May of 1995. The dairy owns approximately 150 cows. All of its milk production is used to make ice cream.

"Here is the summary of what I saw and learnt:

"It was milking time (5:00 PM) and the cows were being milked in 3.5 minutes each by a machine. This is done without regard to how hard it is on the cow. It was extremely difficult to watch the cows’ sufferings during the milking. The machine has no feeling. To extract the last drop of milk sometimes traces of blood get mixed with the milk.

"Since cows produce the most milk after pregnancy, they are kept pregnant for their entire fertile life through artificial insemination.

"Every morning hormones or drugs are injected into the cows. They are also fed a diet geared toward high production of milk. The dairy cow produces about 8 times the amount of milk a cow on the traditional family farm produces.

"The gestation period of cow is 9 months same as human does. If a male calf, of no use to the dairy industry, is born, he is shipped to the veal industry within two or three days of birth. The evening I was there, the farm was shipping three baby calves in a truck to a veal factory. The mother cows were crying when their babies were separated from them. I cannot forget the scene and can still hear the cries of the mother cows.

"The veal industry is the most cruel meat industry in the world. It produces very tender meat that is considered a delicacy. The baby calves are raised in darkness in a very confining crate, which allows practically no movements. They are fed an iron-deficient diet. This way the meat gets very tender and properly textured. They slaughter the baby calves after six months. There is much literature available about cruelty in the veal industry.

"Within two months of delivery, the cows are impregnated again. I did not have the stamina to watch the process of artificial insemination that the farm was showing off.

"About four to five times a year, this farm would take the cows outside for a walk. Otherwise, the cows are tied in one place and they have no choice but to defecate where they are confined. It badly stunk when I was there; the farm would wash the confinement areas once or twice a day, and the remaining times the cows would live in their own waste.

"The life expectancy of cows is about 15 to 20 years. However, after about 4 to 5 years, their milk production capacity drops significantly so these cows are sent to the slaughterhouse for cheap meat which is used in fast food restaurants, hot dog filler, dog & cat food and a variety of other 'foodstuffs’. The rest of the body material (by products) turns up in the products like floor wax, pet-food, medicines, insulin, gelatin, footwear, upholstery, taco filling, cosmetics, candles, and soaps.”

“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” (Jiddu Krishnamurti)

Compassionate Vegan and Vegetarian Quotes From Supreme Master Ching Hai, and Buddhism

“A true vegetarian diet is vegan: Most of the milk production causes suffering, first of all because the babies of the mother cows are taken away at birth. Deprived from mother’s milk and mother’s love, they’ll be killed as soon as they’re taken away. Then, the mother is forcefully hooked up to a machine that can cause tormenting pain along with illness, just so that humans can take her milk.”

“This killing of other beings must be stopped for humanity to evolve as a civilization.”

“Making a vegan choice is thus a true advancement in the evolution and goodness of our humanity. And then we also know that like attracts like, goodness attracts more goodness. As we share this compassionate truth with others, not only will our own humanity be further uplifted, so will the world’s.”

“It’s the high time that the human race should rise to a higher level of consciousness. They should be noble, kind and compassionate. Go veg, be green, do good, is not just for the planet, it’s for the whole human race ennobling, spiritual merit and quality. They should do it, just for the sake of being noble.”

“We have to turn back to our caring and compassionate nature inside our heart. That’s very simple. We are that. We are compassion. We are merciful; we are caring.”

“If we truly wish to see real harmony born between humans and animals and nature and Heaven, we must be the harmony, we must live in harmony and act also in harmony, which includes the act of eating harmoniously each time we come to the table.”

“Even if the world reduces greenhouse gas emissions, the planet will take time to recover from the gases already in the atmosphere. This is why it is necessary to focus on short-lived gases, namely methane. Organic vegan will produce a beneficial, cooling effect as it will cut down methane and other greenhouse gases which are fatal to our survival.”

Change the World by Changing Ourselves: “It begins with us. Since time immemorial, evolution always begins with the individual. If we want to change the world, we change ourselves first. Now, even if the government forbids smoking or drinking or drugs, but if people individually continue, then we have not made much difference. So now, we have to change.“

“The more people who eliminate meat and, indeed, all animal products from their lives, the more we have a chance to save the planet and not only that, to actually restore our earthly home to her original grace and beauty and even more so, more than what we have known, more beautiful, more abundant, more peace, more gladness than what we have known up to now.”

– Quotes above are from Supreme Master Ching Hai, SMCH Association, from the online book: “From Crisis To Peace: The Organic Vegan Way is the Answer”

“The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion.” (The Buddha, “Mahaparinirvana Sutra”)

“Veganism is simply letting compassion guide our choice of food. As such, it is a basic Buddhist practice that ought to be expected of everyone who takes refuge vows.” (Norm Phelps, “The Great Compassion: Buddhism & Animal Rights”)

“The Buddha’s teaching leads us to the realization that we must always strive to harm no sentient being, human or nonhuman, whether or not it is in our selfish interest to do so.” (Norm Phelps, “The Great Compassion: Buddhism & Animal Rights”)

“Meat eating and a compassionate religion do not go hand in hand.” (Bodo Balsys, “Ahimsa: Buddhism and the Vegetarian Ideal”)

Vegetarian Diet, Guru Nanak, Guru Kabir, Other Sikh Gurus and Scriptures

Nanak abstained from animal food and enjoined against cruelty to animals: “Having prohibited his disciples to drink wine and eat pork, he (Nanak) himself abstained from eating flesh and ordered not to hurt any living being.” (the Persian historian Mohsin Fani, DABISTAN-E-MAZAHIB)

“To take what rightfully belongs to another, is like a Muslim eating pork, or a Hindu eating beef. Our Guru, our Spiritual Guide, stands by us if we do not eat those carcasses. By mere talk, people do not earn Liberation. Salvation only comes from the practice of truth. By adding spices to forbidden foods, they are not made acceptable. O Nanak, from false talk, only falsehood is obtained”. (Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 141)

“Countless are the cutthroats who trade in violence. Countless are sinners who keep on sinning. Countless are liars, wandering lost in their lies. Countless are the impious who live on unwholesome food.” (Guru Nanak, Jap Ji, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 4)

“Living by neglect and greed, the world eats dead carcasses. Like a goblin or a beast, they kill and eat the forbidden carcasses of meat. Control your urges, or else you will be thrown into the tortures of hell.” (Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 723).

“Kabeer says, the dinner of beans and rice is excellent when flavored with salt. Who would cut throats to have meat with his bread?” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1374)

“Kabeer: for those who consume marijuana, fish and wine, no matter what pilgrimages, fasts and rituals they follow, they will all be consigned to hell”. (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1377)

“You keep your fasts to please Allah, while you murder other beings for pleasure. You look after your own interests, and so not see the interests of others. What good is your word? O Qazi, the One Lord is within you, but you do not think or contemplation on Him. You do not care for others, you are mad about religion, this is why your life is wasting away.” (Kabir, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 483)

“You kill living beings, and call it a righteous action. Tell me, brother, what would you call an unrighteous action? You call yourself the excellent sage; then whom would you call a butcher?” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1103).      

Bhai Gurdaas Ji said: “They eat meat by cutting throats, what will their own condition be?” (Vaar 24, Pauree 17)

“One who does not steal, commit adultery, slander anyone, gamble, eat meat or drink wine will be liberated in this very life (i.e. Jeewan Mukt)”. (Guru Gobind Singh, 10th Sikh Guru, “Sudharam Marag Granth”)

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Members of Kahal Kadash She'erit Yisrael celebrate Shabbat in Putti synagogue.

Kahal Kadash She'erit Yisrael is a group of 123 Orthodox Jews based in eastern Uganda and part of the wider Abayudaya Jewish community The Abayudaya Jewish sect in Uganda was formed in the 1920’s by military leader Semei Kakungulu and slowly gained knowledge of Judaism and it’s practices through Jewish travelers. By the 1970’s there were as many as 3000 members of the Abayudaya, but persecutions by the Idi Amin regime forced many to convert to Christianity or Islam. Today there are approximately 700 members and 5 synagogues based around the town of Mbale in eastern Uganda, with the majority of followers practicing Conservative Judaism.

anonymous asked:

How do I explain to my friend that her church holding a dinner that explains the traditions of Passover (her words) is cultural appropriation (to me it feels that way) or something like that. She also said that it's like "hey come rediscover your Jewish roots" and that is "part of our past too. Just not as closely linked" and "we believe in all of it too". I don't know how to explain this to her. Thank you for your help.

Paul separated Christianity from Judaism 2,000 years ago. The clock doesn’t turn backwards on that. After his actions, Christianity ceased to be a Jewish Messianic Sect and became its own thing. From that point there have been 2,000 years of divergent theology and peoplehood. The shape of the Seder as we do it in the present day comes with over 2,000 years of rabbinic arguing, shifts and changes in how to celebrate the Holiday. Passover as it was celebrated in Jesus’s time is something different than what it is today. That is a simple fact.

But to go further, Passover isn’t just the Holiday that commemorates the Exodus. It is “Chag H’aviv” the Holiday of Spring. It is meant to be celebrated as one of three “regalim” or season festivals based on stages of the harvest cycle. The other two are Shavuot, which comes seven weeks after Passover and Sukkot, which comes in the Fall immediately after Yom Kippur. Celebrating Passover without the other two doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. 

But outside of Passover’s placed in the larger cycle of Jewish Holidays, appropriating it is wrong because Christian normative society places an undue burden on Jews to celebrate our own holidays. You know how I mentioned Shavuout and Sukkot in that previous paragraph? Gentile employers don’t give Jews time off to celebrate them. I’ve had to take personal days just to celebrate Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. There are other days when Jews aren’t supposed to work either that we get pressured into working by Christian Normative society. For example, Days of Mourning like Yom HaShoah and Tisha B’Av. 

Most Christians aren’t descended from the Israelites by blood or by tradition. Jewish holidays aren’t simply of the Jewish faith but of the Jewish people. Christians aren’t Jews. Again, Paul made that split explicit. It is not their holiday. It is not part of their roots. If they want to respect the Jewish history of Christianity it needs to include more respect for Jews.

And don’t get me started on the past and present of Christian antisemitism. It could take all day. 

SPOILERS FOR WOLFENSTEIN THE NEW ORDER

one of the late game plot twists is that the Nazis actually blatantly stole their superscience from an ancient Jewish superscience sect.

It’s very entertaining seeing nazi apologia and /pol/ tier dumbasses that obviously haven’t played or looked into the the game and the alternative history put forward by the series

(also as an additional note, the protagonist BJ Blazkowitz is heavily HEAVILY implied to be at least part Jewish)

daydreamingofdragons  asked:

Do you have any recommendations for books on early Christianity and the formation of the Church? Thanks.

My perennial favorite is The Rise of Christianity by Rodney Starkit’s a nice popular read, and he does a great job of describing the sociological factors that contributed to the Catholic Church going from “small persecuted Jewish sect” to “major force within the Roman world”

Bart Ehrman is a big name in this field, his work focuses mostly on New Testament textual interpretation. I don’t always agree with him on every topic he addresses but The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture is a powerful look at  how heresy and orthodoxy effected the way documents were transmitted in the early church, and therefore what debates they had and how they framed themselves. I also recommend his Lost Christianities. which is also a good look at the early heresies and diversity of Christian beliefs.

I’ve only read a couple of Peter Brown’s books, but he is a powerhouse in the field of Late Antiquity and Christianity. I highly recommend his Ransom of the Soul, which is about Christianity’s relationship between wealth and the afterlife in the 2nd century on.

………you can read Reza Aslan’s Zealot if you really want? but I find its depiction of the early Church as solely split between the Jewish Petrine and the Hellenistic Pauline very simplistic, and Aslan is too credulous for my taste when it comes to certain parts of the Acts of the Apostles. Honestly, he relies on some outdated scholarship to make his points, and you can see it in the conclusion he draws.

If you’re in the mood for something more academic, I swear by Pelikan’s The Christian Tradition 5-volume set on the development of the Catholic Church. The first volume covers 100 AD to 600 AD, and it’s very readable, with excellent primary sources. It does a nice job of breaking down how different doctrines arose, and the historical context for that.

anonymous asked:

white people don't have culture. stop pretending you dumb white cunt.

This blog has been active for five years and this is the first hate I’ve ever gotten on here. And it isn’t even creative. Shame.

Sure, there’s no single monolithic “white culture”, just as there’s no singularly monolithic Mexican culture, or black culture, or Jewish culture, or Native American culture, because all of these clumped-together descriptors are comprised of hundreds of individual, thriving, vibrant cultures. Did you know there are over 68 recognized indigenous languages in Mexico? And I’m presuming you’re intelligent enough to understand that someone who identifies as African American in the United States has a vastly different cultural understanding than a Haitian migrant living in the Dominican Republic. In the United States alone, there are 562 federally recognized indigenous nations and all of them are ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse. And I’m not even going to start into Judaism, because then we’d have to take into account the various historical diasporas, Jewish sects during the Second Temple period, and modern ethnic and cultural divisions, including (but absolutely 1000% not limited to Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Mizrahi Jews, and the millions of B’nei Anusism across the world).

There’s no one “white people culture”, but you better believe there are thriving ethnic cultures all across the globe of people who fit the US-centric definition of “white”. But buddy, I’ve seen fights break out over whether or not Irish or Scottish bagpipes are better. 

The world is so much bigger than your keyboard and so much bigger than your 15 second ~*~tumblr discourse~*~

Also, for the record, pal, I’m not white.

A few reasons you shouldn’t worry about apocalypse predictions.

66–70 CE Simon bar Giora, Essenes, The Essene sect of Jewish ascetics saw the Jewish revolt against the Romans in 66–70 as the final end-time battle. By the authority of Simon, coins were minted declaring the redemption of Zion. 
365 CE Hilary of Poitiers, Announced that the end would happen that year. 
375–400 CE Martin of Tours, Stated that the world would end before 400, writing, “There is no doubt that the Antichrist has already been born. Firmly established already in his early years, he will, after reaching maturity, achieve supreme power." 
500 CE Hippolytus of Rome, Sextus Julius Africanus, Irenaeus, All three predicted Jesus would return in the year 500. One prediction was based on the dimensions of Noah’s ark. 
793 Apr 6 Beatus of Liébana, The Spanish monk prophesied the second coming of Christ and the end of the world on that day to a crowd of people. 
800 Sextus Julius Africanus, Sextus Julius Africanus revised the date of Doomsday to 800.
799–806 Gregory of Tours, Calculated the End occurring between 799 and 806. 
848 Thiota, Declared that the world would end during that year. 
992–995 Various Christians, Good Friday coincided with the Feast of the Annunciation; this had long been believed to be the event that would bring forth the Antichrist, and thus the end-times, within 3 years. 
1000 Jan 1 Pope Sylvester II, The Millennium Apocalypse at the end of the Christian Millennium. Various Christian clerics predicted the end of the world on this date, including Pope Sylvester II. Riots occurred in Europe and pilgrims headed east to Jerusalem.
1033 Various Christians, Following the failure of the January 1, 1000 prediction, some theorists proposed that the end would occur 1000 years after Jesus’ death, instead of his birth. 

Keep reading

‘Jewish Christian’ groups, whose theology is centered upon the figure of Jesus but whose worship and religious observance are characterized by numerous practices adopted from Jewish tradition, pose a special problem. Unlike the established Christian churches, these groups present their religion as a form of Judaism. Moreover, while most other Christian denominations no longer actively seek to proselytize the Jews, 'Jewish Christian’ sects often approach Jews with aggressive missionary zeal. Their doctrine seems aimed primarily at Jews in search of spiritual fulfillment yet reluctant to abandon their Jewish heritage or to convert in a formal way to Christianity. “You need not change your religion to join us,” they say, “for our faith is truly Judaism at its best, a Judaism fulfilled by the acceptance of Jesus, the 'Jewish messiah.’” As a community which has been the target of so much conversionary activity over the centuries, we resent this tactic; we find this deceptive message to be confusing and dangerous to our people.
For the sake of clarity, therefore, we should state in no uncertain terms that the religion of these 'Jewish Christian’ groups is not Judaism but Christianity and that a Jew who adopts their doctrine becomes an apostate. We should do everything in our power to correct the misapprehensions they preach and to maintain a strict separation from them. 'Jewish Christians’ should not be accorded membership in the [synagogue] or treated in any way which makes them appear as though they are part of the Jewish community. We should refrain from officiating at marriages involving them, and we may refuse to bury them in our cemeteries. We should offer no support to their religious activities. Our synagogue gift shops, for example, may refuse to sell religious implements to them. Should refusal to serve them be construed as a violation of civil law, the staff of the gift shop may attempt to discourage members of these groups from purchasing Jewish religious articles.
—  Jewish Living: A Guide to Contemporary Reform Jewish Practice by Mark Washofsky

Luke 10:38-42

Mary and Martha were sisters who invited Jesus into their home.

Jesus began teaching and Martha bustled around serving those who came to hear Jesus teach.

Mary sat at Jesus’ feet (the place of a disciple) to listen and learn.

Martha complained to Jesus that Mary was sitting around and letting her do all of the work and Jesus replied with the verse above.

Jesus encouraged Mary to listen to his teachings and learn more about the word of God. Many Jewish sects of the day did not encourage this privilege for women and it certainly wasn’t a common practice for middle eastern women. Jesus protects Mary’s right to sit at his feet.

Martha was troubled about little things: Other people’s comfort and good opinions of her, fairness, and doing the “right thing.”

When Mary chooses the good portion, Jesus is talking about her choice to live a life near God. This is her inheritance. She chose it, God protects it, and it will be hers throughout eternity.

What is your inheritance? Will you be busy with many things today? Will you work for the approval of others? Will you work to fit in with those around you? Will you sit at the feet of Jesus and seek right knowledge of God and closeness to him?

Open Letter to Curvesincolor

I posted this to curvesincolor, but I doubt it will ever see the light of day there, so I am posting it here.  For some background, curvesincolor is a black social justice blogger who made a tweet that played oppression olympics between slavery and the Holocaust.  When called out on it, instead of apologizing, or heck, just ignoring it, curvesincolor attempted to justify the tweet and the sentiments behind it with wild antisemetic lies straight out of Mein Kampf, including saying that the Jewish people brought the Holocaust on ourselves.

Dear Curvesincolor,

In spite of the hatefulness of your comments to my fellow Jewish people, I am doing my best to assume that you hold your positions sincerely and out of honest ignorance.  Please take this information with that in mind.  The first and perhaps least important point I wish to address is that Jewish Holocaust survivors and the families of victims received compensation for the Holocaust.  They did not.  Some survivors and victims’ families were able after the war to recover property the Nazis had stolen from them, usually after long and costly legal battles.  Most survivors and victims’ families were not nearly so lucky however.  They left the camps penniless, every trace of their old life gone.  Many tried to return home, only to find their gentile neighbors owning their old homes and property, or worse still, facing new pogroms from neighbors who were disappointed to find that they had survived.

The second thing I want to address is the idea that the Holocaust was a genocide against white people.  Firstly, There were two groups targeted by the Nazis for complete annihilation in the Holocaust, the Jews, and the Roma and the Sinti, the latter two more commonly known by the racial slur, G*psy.  The Roma and the Sinti are Diasporic peoples from subcontinental India, and are absolutely nonwhite.  Some Roma and Sinti people are white passing, due in large part to the same factors that have made some African Americans white passing, the rape of their ancestors by white people.  Jewish people likewise are a Diasporic people from the Middle East.  Not all of the Jewish people who died in the Holocaust had any ties to Europe at all, for example, many North African Jews died at the hands of the Nazis as well.  Even Ashkenazi Jews, the Jews of much of the European Diaspora, are only half European by genetic heritage, with the other half of our genes coming from the Lavant.  This means that some Ashkenazi Jews look very Middle Eastern indeed, while some have blue eyes and blonde hair.  Whiteness, and race in general is a social construct.  It is determined by the meanings we assign to features, skin tone, and other markers of heritage.  Ashkenazi Jewish people, as a Diasporic population, often had different physical features as well as different customs, dress, beliefs, and language from the Christian populations they found themselves living amongst.  These features, and white European prejudice against the Jews was racialized long before the Holocaust.  As such, at the time of the Holocaust, we were not considered white.  Indeed, the term “antisemetic” was invented by antisemites, who, after the Enlightenment, and in the throes of “scientific” race theory, wanted a more scientific sounding word for the racialized hatred of Jews to replace the older term, Judenhass, or Jew-hate.  The reason the Holocaust is so well remembered today is not that Holocaust victims are more regarded by the white establishment, or because they were white victims.  It is because it gives America a chance to play the hero.  Consequently, the Holocaust is extremely poorly taught and poorly understood by the world at large.

Thirdly, Ashkenazi Jews, the only Jews who can conceivably be seen as white, are around 70% of the world’s Jewish population, and this number includes Ashkenazi people of mixed race, unequivocally nonwhite background, a not uncommon phenomenon.  The remaining 30% of the Jewish population is made up of Sephardi, or Hispanic Jews, Mizrahi, or Middle Eastern Jews, African Jewish groups such as Beta Israel of Ethiopia, Indian Jewish groups, and other smaller Diasporic branches of the Jewish people.  Even if you were to hold up the entire 70% of the Jewish population that is Ashkenazi to be white, 30% is nothing to sneeze at, and your assertion that the overwhelming majority of Jews are white erases them and their experiences as Jewish people of color.  I want to note that the bulk of this post is about Ashkenazi Jews and Ashkenazi experiences of antisemitism.  There are a few reasons for this, not the least of which is that I am Ashkenazi Jewish, but also including the fact that most of the antisemitic ideas you absorbed and have been propagating grew out of a specifically Christian and European antisemitism, the antisemitism faced by the Jews of the Ashkenaz.  However, I do not want you to come away with the idea that this is the only kind of antisemitism in the world, or that other branches of the Jewish Diaspora that did not live among white people didn’t face their own horrible manifestations of antisemitism.  Please do not allow an essay written about an Ashkenazi Jew about primarily Ashkenazi history to further convince you that Ashkenazi Jewish experience is the one true Jewish experience.  Jews who are not Ashkenazi get enough of that from Ashkenazim.

Fourthly, you said: “If a Rabbi was part of this discussion, they would emphatically insist that one could only be considered ‘Jewish’ by practicing the faith and living by the words and the beliefs of Judaism.”  I’m sorry, but this is incredibly incorrect.  Even the most liberal Jewish sects require a long and involved conversion process before someone born a gentile can be considered Jewish.  This conversion process functions as the adoption of an individual into Jewish culture and tribal identity, and so is much more than someone merely professing or observing Jewish faith.  Jews are an ethnoreligious group.  The religion of the group is Judaism.  There are many Jewish nonbelievers and atheists, who remain fully Jewish by Rabbinical law, and who identify as such and are considered part of the Jewish community.

Lastly, I want to talk about two ideas you have expressed that are historically intertwined.  As Christianity was establishing itself as a distinct religion, early Christian leaders felt a strong need to separate their newborn faith from Judaism.  The ways in which they did this formed the ideological framework for the later systematic subjugation of the Jewish people in European Christendom.  In Medieval Europe, Jews were legally the property of the head of state.  They were forbidden to fight or own weapons, forbidden to travel, forbidden to farm or own land, forbidden to marry without permission, were often restricted to locked Jewish quarters and under strict curfew, and forbidden from almost all professions.  One of the few professions allowed to Jewish people was money-lending.  Jewish money-lenders had to pay exorbitant taxes to their owners, which in turn meant that they had to charge equally exorbitant interest just to get by and feed their families.  Needless to say, this didn’t make the people who borrowed from them like them very much.  The Christian aristocracy loved this system though, because they got the money, and the Jews got the hatred and resentment of the peasants in their stead.  They often outright washed their hands of the suffering of the peasants, claiming it was all the Jews’ fault.  This use of the Jewish people as shields against peasant hatred also inspired many Christian aristocrats to force Jews to be their tax collectors.  This tactic worked extremely well, and in spite of the fact that only a tiny number of Jews ever prospered under this system, and most were poor and starving, Christian peasants began to hate the Jewish people for political as well as religious reasons.

Jewish money-lenders didn’t just lend to peasants.  They lent money to the aristocracy too, often at sword point.  When their debts become too high, or when the peasants’ resentment rose to possible revolt, the Jewish people as the property of the head of state could perform a last useful function.  They could die.  At times Christian heads of state chose to liquidate their human Jewish property on the forms of pogroms.  Not only would the murder of the hated Jews often pacify the peasantry, and any debts the aristocracy had owed Jewish money-lenders be canceled by their deaths, but they could then seize the property of the dead Jews.  Sometimes kinder owners would simply seize Jewish property and expel their Jews instead of murdering them.  It’s this horrible and painful history that the stereotype of the greedy, parasitic, deceitful Jewish banker, who is the secret hand behind world power was born, it it is this history that you invoke when you talk about the Jews bringing the Holocaust on ourselves with shady deals.  You are right about one thing.  The Nazis themselves used this rhetoric, blaming the loss of World War I and the poverty of post-war Germany on German Jews stabbing them in the back, and on a conspiracy of Jewish bankers, draining Germany’s rightful wealth.  This was a complete fiction, but it resonated because of the historical use of the Jews as a scapegoat for aristocratic greed.

A great turning point in Christian/Jewish relations came right about the same time as the “Age of Exploration” began.  After the monarchs of Spain and Portugal managed to expel the last of the Muslim kingdoms from the Iberian Peninsula, they decided to unify their countries religiously by expelling their Jewish populations, the Sephardi.  This meant the murder or enslavement of Jews who were unable to find passage out of the country.  Many Sephardi Jews converted nominally to Christianity in order to be spared, but practiced their faith secretly.  The Spanish inquisition was created to root them out.  That so many Jews did “convert” only to “backslide” into Judaism led to the idea that maybe Judaism was in the blood.  This idea spread like wildfire throughout Europe.  This was the beginning of the racialization of Jewish ethnic identity and hatred of the Jewish people.  Meanwhile, more “compassionate” Christians argued that the Jews could be converted, and that slavery on plantations run by Christians was a way to do this.  A key feature of this process was baptizing Jewish children and sending them away from their parents to be enslaved on separate sides of the world.  The Jews were always too few in the Iberian Peninsula to satisfy the labor demands of a real colonial empire and after the Spanish and the Portuguese landed on the shores of the New World, they quickly moved on to the Native Americans.  After they began to die in huge numbers from European diseases, they brought in kidnapped Africans.  You might say that colonialism began at home, and that the brutality the White European gentiles inflicted on your ancestors, they first perfected on Jews.  I would like to note that aside from African American and Afro-Caribbean Jewish people, for whom plantation slavery is very much a part of their history and Jewish experience, the Jewish experience with plantation slavery was limited to small pockets of Sephardi Jews. This does not however change the fact that the systematic exploitation and periodic murder of Jews by white European Christians did not begin or end with the Holocaust.  It was not eleven years, but two thousand.  It has indelibly shaped my people, and I cannot get away from it.  I hear it in the languages we speak, and the languages we don’t.  I taste it in our food, sing it in our prayers, feel it in the land I live, in the stares of my gentile neighbors, and the haunted smiles of my fellow Jews. I see it in my own face when I look in the mirror and see a mix of Middle Eastern and European features, my lovely large Jewish nose, my thick dark eyebrows and hair, my pale skin and round green eyes.  Somehow I think you know this feeling, when you look in the mirror, or you wouldn’t have chosen to run this blog.

anonymous asked:

Have you ever seen this thing of Catholics wearing Stars of David. Like there are whole sections of the church that wear them (like in Spain for example, during Holy Week and people wear them daily, have them in their yards, even tattooed. Am I the only one that finds this incredibly sickening. - Jewish young adult still trying to figure out what does appropriation of my culture look like.

There’s an increasing trend of Christians of many different sects appropriating Jewish symbols and ceremonies and I tend to find them deeply uncomfortable at best. Often it’s done with the best of intentions to show affection to the Jewish roots of their religion and Jewish identity of Jesus himself, but it’s appropriation all the same. 

anonymous asked:

Hi! I was wondering what you think of Sabriel. Honestly, it's one of the ships I really dislike (only JohnDean beats it) because I always say Gabriel as being very sadistical (not in the kinky way) due to the episode Tall Tales.

I feel that Gabriel gets an undue amount of hate for this because people are judging him by modern standards and forgetting that he’s been around for millennia. The majority of his life was during times when people lived by the eye for an eye rule and in Tall Tales 2.15 the trickster’s lessons all follow that rule. Historically this wasn’t seen as sadism, it was considered fair punishment. Gabriel’s morals haven’t caught up to modern times but that doesn’t make him evil, a couple thousand years ago his way of thinking was the norm. If you look at lore, the role of tricksters was to teach lessons and pull pranks that would benefit humans. In Tall Tales 2.15 he targeted a teacher that preys on his female students, a frat guy that took pleasure in beating and humiliating pledges, and a scientist who did animal testing. These are all things that most modern humans are against, Gabriel targeting these individuals benefited humanity but he used methods of punishment that are no longer deemed acceptable. Gabriel is trying to keep up with modern times but his way of thinking has been shaped by the thousands of years when society’s rules were different. 

We should also take into consideration how his life as an archangel would have shaped him. Gabriel is known as the messenger of God so many people envision him as popping around delivering news to people but Gabriel also had a bloodier role in scripture. Many Jewish sects believe that Gabriel is the angel who was sent to destroy Jerusalem in the book of Ezekiel. In the Book of Enoch he was sent to slaughter all of the children that had been born as a result of angels fornicating with humans. Performing God sanctioned killings was part of Gabriel’s life. He’s a lot like the Winchesters in this way, they were raised killing monsters and being told by their father that it’s morally right because those monsters deserved to die. Gabriel was ordered by his father to kill humans and half-humans, he probably views it as acceptable the same way the Winchesters view killing a vampire as acceptable. The key difference is that the Winchesters do it because they were taught to save lives but Gabriel does it to teach lessons. Jerusalem was destroyed because they disobeyed God, doing this taught a lesson. The nephilim were destroyed because they were causing trouble but it also taught a lesson against angels marrying humans. Gabriel’s father taught him that taking lives can be an appropriate way to teach a lesson. 

I do like the ship Sabriel and canon has shown us that Gabriel has a soft spot for the Winchesters, he just doesn’t show it the way modern humans do. Let’s look at Mystery Spot 3.11 because I’ve seen people say that it proves Gabriel hates Sam but really it proves the exact opposite. Gabriel did that to help Sam, many fans will say it was a sadistic way to help him but normal methods wouldn’t have worked. Dean and Bobby had been telling Sam all season that he needed to prepare himself for the possibility of Dean dying but he refused. Sam kept telling himself that they would find a way to get Dean out of his deal and his brother would be fine. Look what happened in Mystery Spot when Sam had  to go six months without Dean, he became a revenge obsessed soldier, he became John Winchester. That happened because he wasn’t prepared for Dean’s death which made the grief and anger so overwhelming that it could only be satisfied by revenge. Dean wouldn’t want Sam to live like that, Sam wasn’t happy living like that, but that is what Sam would have become after Dean went to hell if Mystery Spot had never happened. People had tried telling Sam that he needed to prepare for Dean’s death, he wouldn’t listen, the only thing that got through to him was Gabriel showing him what it would be like to lose Dean. Gabriel helped Sam in Mystery Spot, his methods weren’t the kindest but maybe harsh lessons are the only way he knows how to teach. For most of Gabriel’s existence harsh lessons were the norm. An added bonus: Sam was only supposed to get a year with Dean before he died but because of Mystery Spot he got over a hundred extra days. They weren’t the happiest days, he had to suffer through watching Dean die over and over, but if Gabriel had shown up after Dean was dragged to hell and offered to wipe those memories from Sam’s mind do you really think he would have said yes? Happy memories or not, that was time he got to spend with his brother and I’m sure he’d want to hold on to them. 

sphere-sounds-deactivated201609  asked:

For a long time now I've had the idea for a space opera novel set mainly on a giant starship which doubles as a sort of nomadic community, called "Elohim". I chose the name mainly because I like its sound and it's a holdover from my evangelical Christian upbringing. I understand using the word for aesthetic quality alone could count as appropriative, but do you think it could still work if done carefully? (Say if the ship was originally commissioned by a space-Jewish sect or something?) 1/2

It may not be on the same level as my naming the ship after the Tetragrammaton or something, but how highly is the word “Elohim” held by modern-day Jews? Is it more than just the colloquial Hebrew equivalent of the English “God”?

It’s not the colloquial equivalent. Elokim (the unmodified name, with the H after the O and before the I) is one of the names of God, hence commonly modifying it (the one I used here) when using it outside of prayers.

I understand using the word for aesthetic quality alone could count as appropriative, but do you think it could still work if done carefully?” — you already answered your question that “it’s a holdover from [your] evangelical Christian upbringing.” It’s not appropriate. 

Additionally, a giant starship named one of God’s holy names for Jews may be understood as engaging in the antisemitic conspiracy that Jews are aliens.