jewish symbol

characters like magneto, like wanda and pietro, who’s jewishness is so integral to who they are as characters, being stripped of it and not only that but being portrayed as nazis and as willing participants in nazi regimes is such a huge slap in the face like y’all it fucking hurts

also the fact that joss whedon thinks jews could “volunteer” as wanda and pietro supposedly did in his mind when jews were literally forcefully objected to experimentation, mutilation, and sterilization among the many other horrors of the nazi regime

that nick spencer thinks it’s subversive to make characters like captain america, created by jewish men as a symbol of hope, and magneto, a literal fucking holocaust survivor, faces of a nazi organization when since january alone there have been over 80 bomb threats against jewish centers and nazis are still out here doing their shit today

like this isn’t good writing, it’s not groundbreaking or new or fresh, it’s rehashing the antisemitism we see everywhere all the time and it’s fucking gross

anonymous asked:

I saw this disgusting image of Cap being used as neo-nazi propaganda so do you have any that focus on anti-fascist steve?

oh boy. I always wonder with images like that, like do they have any idea that cap was created by two jewish man, packed with jewish symbolism with the goal of being extremely anti fascist? Like are they willfully ignoring every single thing about steve other than that hes a white boy? and thirdly what the fucking hell are they doing being so full of hate? Where do they get off being such disgusting examples of humans?

Anyways

Enjoy anfi-fascist Steve

A Historical Relic and a History Professor Walk into a Bar- (series) by thecommodore_squid

Steve narrowed his eyes. “I’m beginning to suspect I’ve been set up.”

“I would never,” Natasha said, feigning shock.

Steve sighed.

“God fucking dammit,” he heard someone say and looked up.

AKA
An AU in which Steve is still Captain America and Bucky is the unfortunate history professor selected to help him understand those references.

All The Angels and The Saints by Speranza

In which Steve Rogers loses God and finds God and loses God, and also: Bucky.

Anti-Fascist Avengers by edgarallanrose

Unapologetic anti-Trump fic. Less a linear story, and more a series of vignettes featuring the Avengers reacting to the political situation in America and standing up for our rights. To be updated whenever more shit goes down in this country (that is to say, frequently).

Are These The Men With Which I Am To Defend America? by Gothams_Only_Wolf

Steve Rogers knows the signs. It starts off quiet, it starts off with thunderous applause.

If he gets to punch Hitler, he gets to punch other fascists too.

family means no one gets left behind or forgotten by cosmicocean

“Why did you think I wouldn’t like you for being gay?” Steve asks gently.

“You’re Captain America.” Eli’s got his teeth clenched and is resolutely looking ahead. “You stand for truth and justice and the American way. You stand for American morals. You stand for…” he shrugs awkwardly. “Not people like me.”

Steve blows the air out of his cheeks slowly, trying to figure out how to keep the anger out of his voice so Eli doesn’t think it’s at him.

Or, Steve comes to terms with his new world, and gains some children in the process.

Not Easily Conquered-series by  dropdeaddream, WhatAreFears 

In 1945, Steve Rogers jumps from a nosediving plane and swims through miles of Arctic Ocean to a frozen shore.
In 1947, Steve Rogers marries Peggy Carter.
In 1966, the New York Times finds the lost letters of Sergeant James Buchanan Barnes.

Steve Rogers: PR Disaster by idiopathicsmile

“Wait,” says Sam, “you had a publicist?”
“For my first five months at S.H.I.E.L.D,” says Steve. “Then she quit. Uh, decisively.”
The Story of Steve “Walking PR Nightmare” Rogers, and How For a Short While He Single-Handedly Destroyed the Emotional Health of Eva Laura Ortiz, His Now Ex-Publicist

To The End, Against Odds Uncounted by RosaLui

Sarah Rogers was three months pregnant when she donned trousers and stood on a cold Manhattan sidewalk with a sign that read Mr. President, Give Women the Vote! while street urchins threw pebbles at her to the encouragement of the police.
Or: Steve is familiar with the concept of rebellion.

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Ketubbah from Kerala in Kochi, India.

This ketubbah blends visual motifs found across the Jewish Diaspora—a crown, symbolizing the Torah, and the rampant lions of Judah—with the depiction of ten parrots, birds celebrated in southern Indian poetry and folklore.

Erasure of Jewish Identity and Culture in Marvel

(Not including X-Men films: I’m not up to discussing the tragedy of the X-Men movies and the complete erasure of all Jewish characters besides Magneto, the villain, today.)


Honestly, as a Jewish person in America this ongoing erasure of Jewish identity and culture Marvel is committing doesn’t even surprise me. This sort of subtle anti-Semitism that Marvel is participating in is par for the course. The erasure of Jewish identity and culture is so common most people don’t even pause to consider it, and if they do they don’t consider it anti-Semitic. After all, they don’t hate Jews, they don’t insult Jews, they don’t attack Jews, they don’t think Jews are bad or evil, so OF COURSE it isn’t anti-Semitism if you just pretend that Jews don’t exist and destroy Jewish character’s identities. It’s just a change of backstory, after all!


The erasure of Jewish characters and the destruction of characters created by Jews is not a change of backstory, Marvel, it is anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is defined as hostility, prejudice or discrimination against Jews. By erasing Jewish characters you are discriminating, or participating in unjust treatment, against them on account of their religion. By ignoring the huge contributions of Jewish writers and artists who gave life to so many comics characters you are being prejudiced. Your hostility, or unfriendliness and opposition, to the inclusion of Jewish characters and the defamation of characters created as allegories by Jews are anti-Semitism, Marvel.


Ignoring, or ret-conning, the fact that Wanda and Pietro Maximoff are ethnically half Jewish and Roma, and always have been, is anti-Semitic and racist. Their heritage may not have played a significant plot point, but it certainly influenced their decisions and motivations. Turning Jewish-Roma Wanda and Pietro Maximoff into volunteers for the fascist-Hydra organization headed by von Strucker, a Nazi, to conduct illegal medical experiments on, is wrong.



Turning Steve Rogers, who has always stood as an allegorical shield for the Jewish people against the Nazi’s and fascism in general, into a fascist Hydra member, is disgusting. Turning Steve Rogers’ who served as Erskine’s (a Jewish scientist’s) golem, his creation and stand-in, to defeat the Nazi’s into a member of Hydra, is revolting.


Fun fact: Captain America’s iconic shield is an allegory in and of itself. What in English is called the Jewish Star or Star of David, one of the most recognizable Jewish symbols in the world, is in Hebrew called the Magen David (Yiddish the Mogein Dovid) which translates to the Shield of David. Steve’s shield with the star on it, used to protect him as he fought Hitler and the Nazi’s in the early comics, was an allegory to a powerful and well known Jewish symbol that the Nazi’s were corrupting. It was a ‘spit in your eye, fuck you’ to the Nazi’s and Jack Kirby and Joe Simon knew that their Jewish readers, desperate for news that the Nazi’s would be stopped and their families were safe, would recognize it.



I’ve seen comments on the Jewish actors in the MCU not being allowed to play Jewish characters. I feel that if in canon the characters are actively shown not to be Jewish, or it’s heavily implied at least, then it’s appropriate for the Jewish actors to portray that character as Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Atheist, or whatever that character religiously identifies as. However, for a character like Darcy Lewis, who is not a canon character in the comics at all, how hard would it be to have her say a throwaway line about her Bat Mitzvah? Or to have Jane Foster (whose religion is never mentioned in the comics) mention her Bubbe (grandmother) in a ‘my Bubbe always said’ way?


I have to wonder what would happen if Marvel suddenly decided that Sam Wilson wasn’t black? What if they thought Wakanda would be better served as a European nation? What if Kamala Khan was found to support a fascist regime? Why is it okay to erase and ignore Jews as both characters and creators? Why are Marvel’s actions not being called out as the anti-Semitism it is?



It doesn’t matter what reason Marvel gives for their choice to make Steve Rogers’ a fascist, a Nazi. It doesn’t matter if it’s a plot twist, a time-change, a clone, a triple agent or a cry for attention. Marvel has taken a character that has stood for freedom and doing the right thing, a hero and a symbol of hope not only to Jews but to people around the world that there are people who have the courage to fight back against oppression, and they have destroyed him. They can never take this back, there is no ‘oops’ here. Even if they retcon this arc in the future, like they did with William Burnside, they have destroyed the legacy of Captain America.


Wasn’t it enough to erase Wanda and Pietro Maximoff’s past? Why do you have to ruin Captain America too?


Jack Kirby and Joe Simon received death threats for creating Steve Rogers, Captain America, in a time when many Americans were either Nazi sympathizers or content to keep their head in the sand. It was a time when Jewish families checked their mailboxes every day praying for a letter from their parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins still in Europe. It was a time when the US turned away boatloads of Jewish refugees fleeing Europe.  It was a time when the Third Reich steadily gained more and more land and more and more power, and while many European nations fought back against the rise of fascism the US refused to involve itself in Europe’s war despite knowing the threat Hitler posed. Kirby and Simon were surrounded by this environment of fear, because no one knew what was truly happening in Europe, but knew they had to do something about it. It is an insult to the memories of Jack Kirby and Joe Simon.  It is morally repugnant to make Captain America into a Nazi.



Marvel has erased Jewish identities of characters in both the comics and the films. That was bad enough. But now? Marvel has taken a hero I love, and have loved since I was a child, and perverted it. They have taken Captain America and twisted him around into a parody of all that he has ever stood for. They have taken a character that was literally created by two Jews to stand against the Nazi’s and say ‘screw you’ to Hitler for all the Jews who couldn’t, and made him into a Nazi. As a Jew and a fan of comics for most of my life I feel like I have been spat on and kicked while I’m down. 

The Star of David is allied with Jewish mysticism and still holds to the original representation of the star tetrahedron also known as the Merkaba.  

The upward pointing star represents the sun, fire and masculine energy.  The downward pointing star represents the moon, water and feminine energy.  As always, when the symbol is placed within a circle we see the trinity.

In the Kabbalistic tradition the hexagon symbolizes the six directions of space, the divine union of male and female and the four elements.

Excuse me for breathing but I find it mighty suspicious when DC thinks it’s edgy and cool to have a fascist organization target Superman, a Jewish symbol, and have that organization be called The Crusaders

while at the same time Marvel is over here taking Captain America, a militant Jewish symbol, and making him forget his origins and become a member of HYDRA, a well-known expy for Nazism.

just mighty suspicious how the two biggest characters in an art medium founded by Jewish-American immigrants are being directly targeted by fascistic storylines.

3

According to Jewish folklore, Lilith was the first wife of Adam. She was banished from the Garden of Eden when she refused to make herself subservient to Adam. When she was cast out, she was made into a demon figure, and Adam was given a second wife, Eve, who was fashioned from his rib to ensure her obedience to her man. Lilith would not return to the Garden of Eden after she had coupled with the archangel Samael, and with him she created a host of demon children.
Other folktales describe of how Lilith captured Jewish babies in the night and ate them, and how she led young girls and young husbands astray. Although Lilith was demonised by early Jewish culture as a symbol of promiscuity and disobedience, many modern Jewish feminists see Lilith as a positive figure, a model of woman as equal to man in the creation story.

Thought I would post this picture on Jewish symbols! Many people think that the Magen David/Star of David is the only Jewish symbol, but this is not true! While it definitely is the most popular symbol, there are many Jewish symbols, mainly these four. While they were originally used in their own communities (with the exception of the Menorah which is an umbrella symbol due to its popularization before the diaspora), the founding of the State of Israel made it so that all Jews can and do use all four symbols. 

The Magen David is featured on the flag of Israel, and the Menorah is on Israel’s coat of arms. 

anonymous asked:

Auntie Z, I'm kinda worried that the current shitty Cap storyline and Marvel's shitty behaviour will turn so many people away from who Steve Rogers is meant to be that the shitty neo-nazis will 'win', claiming him as theirs because people stopped fighting for him. I know he's just a character, but he's a symbol as well and I don't want them to be able to say he's theirs. Am I being stupid about this?

I will start by validating you, Non: you are not being stupid!

The thing about this awful storyline/event/whatever is that it is basically, in real life, One Year. It will end at the end of the summer, hopefully. There will be aftershocks and repercussions, but the Big Two have “turned the universe on its head” so many times that both the main DC universe and the 616 are perpetually doing cartwheels at this point.

Put it into perspective in the long term: Steve Rogers has been Captain America, Jewish golem and symbol of the American commitment to justice, for seventy-five years. One Year out of three quarters of a century of Steve being mangled to near-unrecognizable by poor editorial and writing decisions will not undo Seventy-Five Years of legacy if we don’t allow it.

This brings up a very interesting question, though, about the nature of intellectual property and who owns the canon.

In a very real, financial sense, Disney and Marvel own Captain America, and they can do whatever they want with it. However.

Consider Sherlock Holmes.

Consider The Wizard of Oz.

Any idea, or character, or fiction beautiful and needful enough to embed itself in the minds and hearts of hundreds and thousands and hundred thousands of fans eventually slips out of their unknowing hands, and becomes a shared creation that belongs as much to the audience as to the copyright holder, and this can be true of any fictional thing of any dimensions.

Consider Sailormoon.

Consider Harry Potter.

The boycott of @nickspencerly‘s ugly story seems like a shout in the dark.

ACD wanted to quit writing SH and move on. The fans were merciless. His hand was forced.

Baum wrote a great deal of his non-Ozian, non-fantasy work under a feminine pen name, because his own name was so tightly bound to that for which he was famous.

Takeuchi tried to kill the senshi at the end of every arc, and the publishers made her bring them back, because the fans clamored so loudly they could not be ignored.

Would we still remember HP as fondly if we had not had the budding internet and Rowling’s blessing for our transformative works?

Consider Homestuck.

Consider twelve entire seasons of Supernatural.

If we, the fans, love something so much that we are become incapable of being ignored, we will, however gradually, move the needle. It won’t always be in the right direction-

Consider Agent Carter.

-but we will move it nonetheless.

It may seem Sisyphean, honestly. It certainly feels it. Today a graphic of the sales for CA:SR went across my dash, and the graph went inexorably down. So far, so good. But standing across from us are the fans who want this awful garbage to continue as an “experiment,” who say that they invest more money in this franchise than we do and so their voices matter more.

Do they actually invest more money? Debatable!

I don’t spend most of my CA money on comics, because I slipped back into reading comics in 2014 after a seven year hiatus where I read nothing but manga, and the storylines since I came back have felt like one “event” after another, with far too much cross-contamination of books that made it difficult to pick up a story. From me, Disney/Marvel mostly gets merch money, and I know a lot of the fans that I associate with are the same. (They also get BP/MGDD money, but I’m not going down the digression highway tonight, I have a point to get to eventually.)

So when we, the SJ!Cap fans, say “We’re boycotting,” to be sure, sales are plummeting. But there’s no way to prove the sales are plummeting because of us, and even smaller sales are still selling. The curative fans are some of the loudest Spencer defenders, sadly, which makes it hard to tell them from the alt-right, neo-Nazi HydraCap fans. They can protest that all they like, but it looks the same from the outside. The damage done is certainly the same.

On the surface, also, there are still people in transformative fandom doing HydraCap art from their own AUs or other fandom generated properties whose enthusiasm cannot be differentiated from those supporting Spencer’s vomit. To my fellow transformative fans I would make a humble request: if you don’t support Spencer’s HydraCap, please refrain from sharing your HydraCap art until the ugly has passed as a sort of “art boycott.”

(I know full well that I can’t make artists stop doing art. I’m just an academically trained pop culture analyst- ask me about that some other time- who can point to various times when art has been influential to the culture as well as influenced by it. It’s a request, not an expectation.)

Other than boycotting, what can we do? We can write editorials explaining why this is not okay. We can create transformative works, including t-shirts and such, for ourselves that reclaim our Steve as the real Steve, and we can keep up the letter writing, telephoning, and social media deluge to let Disney know how badly Marvel Comics is hurting the Captain America brand and damaging the Captain America legacy. We can introduce the character ourselves, show who we know Steve to be, present our evidence, discredit the HydraCap faithful.

We can try to hold the line, essentially.

I’m totally with you in feeling that the fact we even have to do this at all is gross. It hurts my head, as a pop culture specialist, and it hurts my heart as a fan. #catws ruined my life is meant to be an ironic hashtag: in 2014, I found Steve Rogers again the way some people find religion. I wrote about it in my mental health tag, how I decided I can’t give up on myself because Steve would never give up on Bucky. Steve has been my mental health recovery inspiration, and Spencer and his cadre of tasteless, vile Dementors can pry him from my fat little cold dead hands. Until I’m on the conveyor belt for the crematorium and they’ve snapped my fingers off with their Hydra-insignia stamped crowbars, I’m gonna plant myself like a tree beside the river of truth and keep spreading the story of who and what Jack Kirby and Joe Simon meant Steve Rogers and Captain America to be, and I invite you to do the same.

They can’t uproot us all. Fuck ‘em.

small things i love about judaism: our symbol is a star

Even knowing that the Star of David as a symbol for Judaism didn’t become widely used until relatively recently, I still think it’s cool that we’ve come to be associated with a star. Stars are pretty neat. Some fade and die, but for the most part they endure for thousands of years (just as we say that David, King of Israel, lives and endures). The stars aren’t going anywhere - just like us.

Another thing I like: in Hebrew, it’s not actually called the star of David. It’s called Magen David, the Shield of David. This term is mostly another fancy epithet for God, but I like to think that the symbol resembles a shield a little bit too. I can picture David using a shield with a hexagram engraved on it, chipped from use but still sparkling. There’s the sense that the same divine shield that protected David continues to protect us now.

idk. it may not be a uniquely jewish symbol, but im glad it’s what we’ve got

anonymous asked:

Um, I hope you don't mind me asking this, but what do you feel is the best way to depict a Jewish character? (I'm writing a story right now, and I thought it'd be best to ask you because you're Jewish yourself.) By the way, I really love your blog!

Whew, okay, this is a complicated question.  First off, I would caution you away from writing about Judaism or struggles of Jewish identity if it is not your religion or culture because no matter how much research you do, you will never truly be able to understand what that’s like with the level of depth required for a satisfying story. It might sound harsh, but it’s true.  If that's not the case and you just want to write a story that features a diverse range of characters: WELL DONE and thank you for asking a Jewish person about how to proceed.  

I’d say, first off, avoid stereotypes:

  • Do not write a Jewish character that is money grubbing, greedy, and miserly. 
  • Please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t write a skinny, nerdy, Jewish boy that’s terrible at sports and is terrified of girls
  • Don’t write Jewish men that are emasculated by their wives or pushy, aggressive, ugly women that bully their partners
  • Don’t write overly sexualized Jewish women
  • If I have to read/hear “Oh you’re really pretty/handsome for a Jew” one more time, I’m going to break something.
  • Avoid physical descriptors like: short, large-nosed, beady eyed, curly haired, olive skinned, and dark haired. Yes, some Jewish people look like that, but most of us don’t.  If you’re writing a Jewish character and they somehow end up looking like Macklemore at this concert, you’ve done something very wrong.
  • Some Jewish people are trying to reclaim slurs like “k*ke” or antiquated terms like “Jewess,” but a lot of us don’t like those words and you, as a non-Jewish person, definitely shouldn’t use them. Do, however, feel free to use the Monty Python coined term “Red Sea Pedestrian” because it is hilarious.

Then, don’t make your character’s Judaism coincidental to their character.  Being Jewish has an impact on one’s life and your writing should reflect that. There are more holidays than Hannukah and other important Jewish life events than B'Nai Mitzvot.  Jewish people are guided by certain values and no, they are NOT the same as Christianity. Do your research. Use reputable sources. I’d be happy to recommend a few and I’m sure the rest of Jewish tumblr would be happy to help on that score as well.  But, in the end, you should think of your potential Jewish character the way you’d think about any character. We’re people, after all, and for the most part, we live ordinary lives. We’re not sainted victims or martyrs. We’re not villains. We’re people. A beautiful people, of which I am proud to belong, but people nonetheless. 

Thank you for asking me respectfully and thanks for enjoying my blog!

Another post of keeping Steven tied to his Jewish roots - Lion could be a callback to the Lion of Judah. Judah had been the one to convince his brothers that instead of killing Joseph, they should sell him into Egyptian slavery. But when Joseph attempts to teach his brothers a lesson and imprison Benjamin, it is Judah who offers himself as a slave in the place of Benjamin, out of fealty to his father and guilt for what happened to Joseph. This moves Joseph to come forward, and Judah’s repentance is what reunites the family. And when the patriarch Jacob died, he passed his oldest son Reuben to lead the family, as well as Simeon and Levi, and instead blessed Judah:

“You, O Judah, your brothers shall praise

Your hand shall be on the nape of your foes;

Your father’s sons shall bow low to you.

Judah is a lion’s whelp;

On prey, my son, have you grown.

He crouches, lies down like a lion,

Like the king of beats - who dare rouse him?” (The Torah/ Genesis 49)

Since then the Lion of Judah became a major symbol in Jewish history. It came to represent the commitment to the mitzvot of tzedakah (the act of moral obligation to justness and charity) and tikkun olam (the act of repairing the world through tzedakah). 

In the show, Lion is connected to and is a symbol of Rose, and a secret one at that; not even Pearl know Rose had lions. Lions, of course, are also a symbol of power. Rose Quartz is a soldier, and a leader, someone the Crystal Gems followed and Homeworld feared. Like Judah, Rose has done misdeeds for which she feels guilt over, and she left them in Lion in hopes that perhaps he might one day later right them: the most obvious example being the bubbling of Bismuth. She also tries to repair the damage done by the war in what ways she can; her tears cannot heal corruption, but she can try to raise an Amethyst, tho she had just spent an entire war killing Amethysts’ sisters.

Lion is also Steven’s companion. And Steven is a boy with very strong righteous convictions. He tries to do good not just because of benevolence and generosity, but because he treats it like a moral obligation (which is why he might sometimes seem to overstep his boundaries). He wants to do good because he loves the Earth and wants to protect, and because he is a Crystal Gem. And Lion is his connection to his past - to his mother - and also represents tzedakah and tikkun olam.

In 1941, Jews throughout the Third Reich were forced to wear a yellow Star of David. That same year, the first gassing experiments were conducted at Auschwitz and 33,771 Jews were killed by Germans and Ukrainians at Babi Yar outside Kiev. At the beginning of the war, the U.S. media rarely reported on or even knew about these horrific events, but word of Jewish suffering at the hands of Nazis trickled down to Kirby, Simon, and other Diaspora Jews in the form of wrenching letters from relatives trapped in the old country. Simon and Kirby used Captain America to strike back and boost American morale while proudly alluding to their religious faith. In a later issue, Steve Rogers watches newsreels depicting Nazi atrocities — newsreels Kirby and Simon surely must have watched as well.

Captain America’s weapon of choice was a strange one — not a machine gun, but a shield. The shield is a famous Jewish symbol, the Magen David, which means the “Shield of David.” (It’s also known as the “Star of David” because the Magen David is a hexagram.) The term “shield” in Jewish prayer denotes the closeness and protection of God. In a sad twist of fate, Captain America’s costume featured a star at the same time that Simon and Kirby’s European brethren were being forced to wear a star of a very different kind.

—  Simcha Weinstein, Up, Up, and Oy Vey! How Jewish History, Culture, and Values Shaped the Comic Book Superhero (x)

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster: *write Superman as an immigrant character with Jewish motifs and allusions in his backstory and code of ethics*

Hollywood: Okay but how can we shit all over that?

Hollywood: *Make Superman into Jesus*

Hollywood: Not enough

Hollywood: *Make Superman into Jesus, again*

Hollywood: Not quite insulting enough, though.

Hollywood: *Make Superman into Hitler*

Hollywood: There.

As #JewishComicsDay draws to a close, I want to urge you all to extend your interest and your caring beyond the world of superheroes and comic books. Anti-Semitism is a real thing that effects real people. It is at an all time high in Europe. The Yemeni Jewish population currently stands at 51 people. Anti semitism on American college campuses is downright shameful. A day of awareness is great but a life of action is better. When Jewish bloggers talk about their experiences of anti-Semitism in fandom or otherwise: listen. Do what you can to amplify our voices and step up for us where you can. Anti-Semitism has become particularly insidious in leftist, “social justice” communities and that’s what tumblr is. Remember that anti-Semitism is and should always be a part of our conversation when we talk about anti-racism. TL;DR- be a buddy.

To quote from Pirkei Avot: “You are not obligated to complete the work [of repairing the world], but neither are you free to desist from it (2:21).

hexagonal pilgrim’s jar with jewish symbol, ca. 578-636

Glass vessels such as these were made for Jews and Christians, possibly as tokens for pilgrims visiting the holy sites in Jerusalem or for use in burial rites. They appear to have been mass-produced in a single workshop, since the vessels for the two religions closely resemble each other in shape and style and differ only in the symbols decorating them. This vessel, intended for a Jewish patron, shows a menorah, a shofar, and a lulav in relief. Ritual elements used in Jewish festivals in synagogues were typically used to represent Judaism in this period rather than the Star of David, which appears much later.

The Angels of Supernatural and Their Mythological Origins:

Not all of Supernatural’s angels have canonical roots in the Bible, the Enoch, or the Kabbalah.  Many (such as Ezekiel and Metatron) are actually named after prophets, scribes, and other Biblical characters, while others are simply not referenced in Judeo Christian religions at all.  However, quite a few of Supernatural’s more prominent angels have definitive roots in religious mythology, which are surprisingly interesting and definitely worth exploring.

1.  Castiel

Castiel (also spelled Casiel or Cassiel) is the seventh archangel according to Jewish and Mesopotamian mythology, and makes several appearances in the Jewish Kabbalah.  His symbols are the dragon and the spear, and he is shown with both in most of his depictions (personally, I think that’s sort of badass).

Castiel is depicted as a largely peaceful figure – which was unique, considering most angels were considered somewhat warlike at the time – and preferred to quietly observe humanity rather than interfere (at least that much hasn’t changed).

Like his modern counterpart, Castiel is a somewhat melancholy figure.  He is the angel of tears and solitude, and according to the Kabbalah, presides over the seventh heaven.  The name Castiel translates to “Shield of God.”

2.  Gabriel

Gabriel makes appearances in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic religions. 

In Judaism, some of his most notable appearances include those of the Book of Daniel and the Book of Ezekiel (both of which were profits, whom Gabriel was sent to aid), and the Kabbalah.  In Jewish folklore, Gabriel was rumored to have presided over the death of kings and the conception of souls in the Garden of Eden.

In the Old Testament, his primary purpose appeared to be beseeching profits with the Word of the Lord, and his most note worthy task in the New Testament was informing the Virgin Mary of her divine conception.  The name Gabriel means “Strength of God,” and his symbol is the trumpet (which is thought to have originated in Byzantine mythology).

(On a side note, Supernatural’s version of Gabriel has absolutely ruined me, because I simply can’t imagine him approaching tasks this serious without causing any kind of incident).

3.  Lucifer

The concept of Lucifer actually predates Christianity, his first recorded appearance being in the Slavonic Enoch, in which it was stated that,

“Here Satanail was hurled from the height together with his angels” (2 Enoch 29:3). 

Throughout his numerous depictions in Christianity, Islam, and obviously, the modern occult, Lucifer has been depicted as a demon, a seven-headed dragon, a spirit, and most consistently, a fallen angel.

Ironically, the name Lucifer literally means “Morning Star” or “Bringer of Light.”

Aside from the traditional religious and mythological depictions, Lucifer most famously appears in Dante’s “Inferno.”  Like his modern rendition, Lucifer was said to burn COLD, not hot, and as a result, the levels of hell get progressively colder as they near its center, where he is supposedly imprisoned. 

4.  Raphael 

Raphael makes appearances in Judaism and Catholicism.  According to the Enoch, he is responsible for binding and imprisoning the demon Azazel (remember him?) under an unnamed desert in Dudael.

(Of course, in most Biblical depictions, Azazel looked something like this).

Raphael’s symbol is the staff, and his name translates to “Healer of God.”  This is fitting, considering his famous healing of a blind man.

It’s a pity that his modern counterpart couldn’t be nearly as nice – sorry, Raphael, but blowing up your siblings and causing the apocalypse just isn’t a polite thing to do.