jewish tragedy

so i might be stepping out of line making this post but i feel it needs to be made so yolo i guess.

i know a lot of millenials have a sort of knee-jerk negative reaction towards abrahamic religions (really mostly christianity and judaism) and i understand. really, i get it. my dad is a pastor, and he used his religon to abuse, demean, and control me at every opportunity. he regularly tells my sisters that he’s “so sad im going to hell” and other sundry passive aggressive nonsense, so trust me i get it. i understand how a certain religion can be triggering to someone.

but there is a very important point here, and i really hope you understand this.

you cannot let it make you prejudiced, and, let me be clear here, im talking specifically about antisemitism.

i know exactly whats going on in your head, because for a long time it was what was going on in my head. you hear the word “judaism” and you have flashbacks to sunday school and the old testament and all the times you sat in a church and felt personally attacked, and you associate that with judaism and jewish people because most of the things that upset you were in the old testament. 

you can have your triggers, but you can’t let those triggers become an excuse to further marginalize a minority thats already attacked from literally every position of power there is. every major religion has leaders who are antisemitic, every country has a history of marginalizing jewish people, every person on the planet grows up in an inherently antisemitic world and has to unlearn that sort of toxic mindset.

and maybe this post should have been made by a jewish person, or somebody with more education on the subject than me but i think its really important that people don’t let their personal experiences with organized religion turn them into the kind of prejudiced person that hurt them in the first place. 

as a romni i have a shared tragedy with jewish people, so i feel like it was easier for me to step back and be like “woah, your thought process here is super toxic and you need to stop” but i feel like a lot of white christian-raised people don’t really have that touchstone and need somebody to be like “wake up, what you are doing is wrong”

This Shabbat, immediately following Tisha B'Av, is called Shabbat Nachamu - the Sabbath of Comforting - after the beginning of the prophetic passage (Isaiah 11:1-26) that is read, “Nachamu, nachamu, ami - Comfort you, comfort you, my people.” It is the first of seven Shabbatot of comforting haftarahs that climb from the depths of Tisha B'Av to the renewal of Rosh HaShanah … It takes us seven weeks to move from the deathday of the whole people (Tisha B'Av) to the birthday of the human race (Rosh Hashanah). In these seven weeks we complete the circle of the year, moving from the burning sun of summer to the first cool breeze of autumn. From the hot and thirsty fast of Tisha B'Av to the wellsprings of Hagar and Abraham, and our own visit to the river for Tashlich. We complete the circle, from exhaustion to new life.

Rabbi Arthur Waskow

for people not as familiar with the terms: 

 Tisha B’Av = a holiday of mourning for the Jewish people over historical tragedi(es) on which there is a major fast.

Rosh HaShanah = the new year, one of the holiest holidays of the Jewish calendar.

Tashlich = a ritual taking place during Rosh HaShanah in which our wrongdoings and regrets are “cast off” and we start anew - often in the form of throwing scraps of bread or similar symbolically into the river. 

anonymous asked:

Awhile ago you mentioned you were reading quite a bit, would you mind listing the books you've been reading?

yeah definitely! idk how to put it under the cut on an ask, so sorry if this gets long, but here are the books i have finished since january 1st:

  1. Aly, Gotz. Hitler’s Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War, and the Nazi Welfare State. Picador, 2008.
  2. Baranowski, Shelley. Nazi Empire: German Colonialism and Imperialism from Bismarck to Hitler. Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  3. Beinart, Peter. The Crisis of Zionism. Picador, 2013.
  4. Biale, David. Eros and the Jews: From Biblical Israel to Contemporary America. University of California Press, 1997.
  5. Boyarin, Daniel. Unheroic Conduct: The Rise of Heterosexuality and the Invention of the Jewish Man. University of California Press, 1997.
  6. Brossat, Alain, and Sylvia Klingberg. Revolutionary Yiddishland: A History of Jewish Radicalism. Verso, 2016.
  7. Buber, Martin. A Land of Two Peoples: Martin Buber on Jews and Arabs. University of Chicago Press, 2005.
  8. Budnitskii, Oleg. Russian Jews Between the Reds and the Whites, 1917-1920. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.
  9. Cohen, Hillel. Year Zero of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: 1929. Brandeis, 2015.
  10. Cohen, Jack J. Democratizing Judaism. Academic Studies Press, 2010.
  11. David-Fox, Michael, Peter Holquist, and Alexander M. Martin, ed. Fascination and Enmity: Russia and Germany as Entangled Histories, 1914–1945. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012.
  12. Dekel-Chen, Jonathan L. Farming the Red Land: Jewish Agricultural Colonization and Local Soviet Power, 1924–1941. Yale University Press, 2005.
  13. Deutscher, Isaac. The Prophet Armed: Trotsky 1879-1921. Verso, 2015.
  14. Deutscher, Isaac. The Prophet Outcast: Trotsky 1929-1940. Verso, 2015.
  15. Deutscher, Isaac. The Prophet Unarmed: Trotsky 1921-1929. Verso, 2015.
  16. Dupont, Monsieur. Nihilist Communism. Online.
  17. Ferguson, Niall. Paper and Iron: Hamburg Business and German Politics in the Era of Inflation, 1897-1927. Cambridge University Press, 1995.
  18. Fitzpatrick, Sheila, and Michael Geyer, ed. Beyond Totalitarianism: Stalinism and Nazism Compared. Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  19. Fitzpatrick, Sheila. Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s. Oxford University Press, 2000.
  20. Fitzpatrick, Sheila, Alexander Rabinowitch, and Richard Stites, ed. Russia in the Era of NEP: Explorations in Soviet Society and Culture. Indiana University Press, 1991.
  21. Fitzpatrick, Sheila. The Russian Revolution. Oxford University Press, 2008.
  22. Gessen, Masha. Where the Jews Aren’t: The Sad and Absurd Story of Birobidzhan, Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region. Schocken, 2016.
  23. Gitelman, Zvi. A Century of Ambivalence: The Jews of Russia and the Soviet Union, 1881 to the Present. Indiana University Press, 2001.
  24. Gitelman, Zvi. Jewish Nationality and Soviet Politics: The Jewish Sections of the CPSU, 1917-1930. Princeton University Press, 2015.
  25. Gorny, Yosef. Zionism and the Arabs, 1882-1948: A Study of Ideology. Clarendon Press, 1987.
  26. Gross, Jan. Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland. Penguin Books, 2002.
  27. von Hagen, Mark. Soldiers in the Proletarian Dictatorship: The Red Army and the Soviet Socialist State, 1917-1930. Cornell University Press, 1993.
  28. Halpern, Ben, and Jehuda Reinharz. Zionism and the Creation of a New Society. Oxford University Press, 1998.
  29. Heller, Joseph. The Stern Gang: Ideology, Politics and Terror, 1940-1949. Routledge, 2015.
  30. Hertzberg, Arthur, ed. The Zionist Idea: A Historical Analysis and Reader. The Jewish Publication Society, 1997.
  31. Hirsch, Francine. Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union. Cornell University Press, 2005.
  32. Hochschild, Adam. King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa. Houghton Mifflin, 1999.
  33. Kaplan, Eran. The Jewish Radical Right: Revisionist Zionism and Its Ideological Legacy. University of Wisconsin Press, 2005.
  34. Kaplan, Mordecai M. The Future of the American Jew. Reconstructionist Press, 1981.
  35. Karp, Matthew. This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy. Harvard University Press, 2016.
  36. Kershaw, Ian, and Moshe Lewin, ed. Stalinism and Nazism: Dictatorships in Comparison. Cambridge University Press, 1997.
  37. Khalidi, Rashid. Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness. Columbia University Press, 2009.
  38. Kieser, Hans-Lukas, and Dominik J. Schaller, ed. Der Völkermord an den Armeniern und die Shoah. Chronos Verlag, 2002.
  39. Kimmerling, Baruch. The Invention and Decline of Israeliness: State, Society, and the Military. University of California Press, 2005.
  40. Kotkin, Stephen. Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization. University of California Press, 1997.
  41. Kotkin, Stephen. Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928. Penguin Books, 2015.
  42. Laqeuer, Walter. A History of Zionism: From the French Revolution to the Establishment of the State of Israel. Schocken, 2003.
  43. Liulevicius, Vejas G. The German Myth of the East: 1800 to the Present. Oxford University Press, 2010.
  44. Lockman, Zachary. Comrades and Enemies: Arab and Jewish Workers in Palestine, 1906-1948. University of California Press, 1996.
  45. Lower, Wendy. Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields. Mariner Books, 2014.
  46. Lower, Wendy. Nazi Empire-Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine. University of North Carolina Press, 2006.
  47. Mandel, David. The Petrograd Workers and the Fall of the Old Regime: From the February Revolution to the July Days, 1917. Palgrave Macmillan, 1983.
  48. Mandel, David. The Petrograd Workers and the Soviet Seizure of Power. Palgrave Macmillan, 1984.
  49. Martin, Terry. The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923–1939. Cornell University Press, 2001.
  50. Mazower, Mark. Hitler’s Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe. Penguin Books, 2009.
  51. McMeekin, Sean. The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany’s Bid for World Power. Belknap Press, 2012.
  52. Mieville, China. October: The Story of the Russian Revolution. Verso, 2017.
  53. Morris, Benny. 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War. Yale University Press, 2008.
  54. Morris, Benny. The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949. Cambridge University Press, 1989.
  55. Morris, Benny. Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001. Vintage, 2001.
  56. Moss, Kenneth B. Jewish Renaissance in the Russian Revolution. Harvard University Press, 2009.
  57. Neumann, Boaz. Land and Desire in Early Zionism. Brandeis, 2011.
  58. Nietzsche, Friedrich. Basic Writings of Nietzsche. Modern Library, 200.
  59. Nur, Ofer N. Eros and Tragedy: Jewish Male Fantasies and the Masculine Revolution of Zionism. Academic Studies Press, 2014.
  60. Pappe, Ilan. A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples. Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  61. Petrovsky-Shtern, Yohanan. The Golden Age Shtetl: A New History of Jewish Life in East Europe. Princeton University Press, 2014.
  62. Pinkus, Benjamin. The Jews of the Soviet Union: The History of a National Minority. Cambridge University Press, 1990.
  63. Rabinowitch, Alexander. The Bolsheviks Come to Power: The Revolution of 1917 in Petrograd. Haymarket Books, 2017.
  64. Rabinowitch, Alexander. The Bolsheviks in Power: The First Year of Soviet Rule in Petrograd. Indiana University Press, 2008.
  65. Rabinowitch, Alexander. Prelude to Revolution: The Petrograd Bolsheviks and the July 1917 Uprising. Indiana University Press, 1991.
  66. Reynolds, Michael A. Shattering Empires: The Clash and Collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires, 1908-1918. Cambridge University Press, 2011.
  67. Rubenstein, Sondra M. The Communist Movement in Palestine and Israel, 1919-1984. Westview Press, 1985.
  68. Saposnik, Arieh B. Becoming Hebrew: The Creation of a Jewish National Culture in Ottoman Palestine. Oxford University Press, 2008.
  69. Schopenhauer, Arthur. The Essential Schopenhauer: Key Selections from The World As Will and Representation and Other Writings. Harper Perennial, 2010.
  70. Schulman, Faye. A Partisan’s Memoir: Woman of the Holocaust. Second Story Press, 1995.
  71. Scult, Mel. The Radical American Judaism of Mordecai M. Kaplan. Indiana University Press, 2015.
  72. Segev, Tom. One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate. Picador, 2001.
  73. Shafir, Gershon. Land, Labor and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 1882-1914. University of California Press, 1996.
  74. Shapira, Anita. Land and Power: The Zionist Resort to Force, 1881-1948. Stanford University Press, 1999.
  75. Shapiro, Yonathan. The Formative Years of the Israeli Labour Party: The Organization of Power, 1919-1930. Sage Publications, 1976.
  76. Shapiro, Yonathan. The Road to Power: Herut Party in Israel. SUNY Press, 1991.
  77. Shavit, Ari. My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. Spiegel & Grau, 2015.
  78. Shavit, Yaacov. Jabotinsky and the Revisionist Movement, 1925-1948. Routledge, 1988.
  79. Shindler, Colin. The Land Beyond Promise: Israel, Likud and the Zionist Dream. I.B. Tauris, 2002.
  80. Shindler, Colin. The Triumph of Military Zionism: Nationalism and the Origins of the Israeli Right. I.B. Tauris, 2009.
  81. Shneer, David. Yiddish and the Creation of Soviet Jewish Culture: 1918-1930. Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  82. Shlaim, Avi. The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World. W. W. Norton & Company, 2014.
  83. Shternshis, Anna. Soviet and Kosher: Jewish Popular Culture in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939. Indiana University Press, 2006.
  84. Smith, S.A. Red Petrograd: Revolution in the Factories, 1917-1918. Haymarket Books, 2017.
  85. Snyder, Timothy. Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning. Tim Duggan Books, 2015.
  86. Snyder, Timothy. Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. Basic Books, 2012.
  87. Stalin, Josef. Marxism and the National and Colonial Question. Online.
  88. Stanislawski, Michael. Zionism and the Fin de Siècle: Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism from Nordau to Jabotinsky. University of California Press, 2001.
  89. Sternhell, Ze'ev. The Founding Myths of Israel: Nationalism, Socialism, and the Making of the Jewish State. Princeton University Press, 1997.
  90. Suny, Ronald G. The Baku Commune, 1917-1918: Class and Nationality in the Russian Revolution. Princeton University Press, 1972.
  91. Suny, Ronald G., and Lewis H. Siegelbaum, ed. Making Workers Soviet: Power, Culture, and Identity. Cornell University Press, 1994.
  92. Suny, Ronald G., Diane P. Koenker, and William G. Rosenberg, ed. Party, State, and Society in the Russian Civil War: Explorations in Social History. Indiana University Press, 1989.
  93. Suny, Ronald G., Fatma M. Gocek, and Norman M. Naimark, ed. A Question of Genocide: Armenians and Turks at the End of the Ottoman Empire. Oxford University Press, 2011.
  94. Suny, Ronald G., and Terry Martin, ed. A State of Nations: Empire and Nation-making in the Age of Lenin and Stalin. Oxford University Press, 2001.
  95. Suny, Ronald G. “They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else”: A History of the Armenian Genocide. Princeton University Press, 2015.
  96. Troen, S. Ilan. Imagining Zion: Dreams, Designs, and Realities in a Century of Jewish Settlement. Yale University Press, 2003.
  97. Troen, S. Ilan, and Maoz Azaryahu, ed. Tel-Aviv, the First Century: Visions, Designs, Actualities. Indiana University Press, 2011.
  98. Ullrich, Volker. Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939. Knopf, 2016.
  99. Veidlinger, Jeffrey. In the Shadow of the Shtetl: Small-Town Jewish Life in Soviet Ukraine. Indiana University Press, 2013.
  100. Weiner, Amir, ed. Landscaping the Human Garden: Twentieth-Century Population Management in a Comparative Framework. Stanford University Press, 2003.
  101. Weiner, Amir. Making Sense of War: The Second World War and the Fate of the Bolshevik Revolution. Princeton University Press, 2002.

Tonight marks the beginning of Tisha B'Av, a day of mourning and fasting in Judaism for the destruction of both temples, the sacking of Jerusalem, the expulsion of the Jews from their homeland by invading empires, and other Jewish tragedies which coincidentally fell on this day. It’s traditional to read the book of Lamentations in remembrance of these national tragedies and the lives that were lost.
Most modern non-Orthodox Jews don’t observe this fast-day, but if you are, I hope you have an easy fast.

Just some clarification because I’ve seen certain confused posts in the tags today: 

Yom HaShoah (the Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Day for Jewish victims, also observed by some outside of that country, observed the 27th of Nissan) 

is different from 

International Holocaust Remembrance Day (day observed for all victims, internationally, on January 27) 

is different from

the Jewish fast days pre-dating the Holocaust on which Jewish victims of the Holocaust and other tragedies throughout Jewish history are traditionally remembered in a religious Jewish context.


Okayyyy so I’ve always gotten SO MANY qs surrounding the GAMSAT I’ve decided to explain section 2 - the essay section that I scored highest (77) in. 

Also a part of me really misses tutoring already :)

This was soooo hard to explain. I’m so used to writing on paper while talking omg.

There are two parts to doing well in essay writing. 

  1. One part is having command of the language (sophisticated vocabulary, linking phrases for smooth writing etc).
  2. The other part is dominating in your ideas.

The first part comes easy to people who have read a lot of different books in various genres. If you are not one of those people, don’t worry. I’ll get to this later. The second part is the easier of the two to work on (and to be honest the most fun!) 


Unique + Specific

…is what your ideas need to be. This is the single most important piece of advice, I think. Unique and specific ideas are the base of both essays. How do you get them? Anywhere: current affairs, history, film, literature, making things up. 

Need an example about the plights of war? Don’t talk about how terrrrrible WW2 was. Everyone knows this. The markers have seen this example countless times. Talk about the tragedy of Jewish scientist Fritz Haber who produced Zyklon B for Germany which was ultimately used to kill millions of his own people in gas chambers. Talk about his wife who committed suicide after arguing with him over the weapons he was creating. This shows a more “personal/specific” angle to WW2. 

Essay 1

[Choose one of the quotes only, that’s more preferable, but you could/should “cover” all of them by parallel/connected ideas]

Your first essay could/should be structured like this:


Obvious? Yes. Now, each of these is a little essay on it’s own. What do I mean by that?

Paragraph 1 for example: You need a topic sentence (“intro”) which explains concisely what you’ll be talking about in this paragraph - your main point. Next you will have 2-3 main sub-points (“paragraphs”). Finally you will have a philosophical sounding concluding sentence (“conclusion”). 

When deciding on your points for the body paragraphs, you’re going to need to break down the main idea into components. If the topic is about say, revolution, how can you break this down into 3 main points that will explore revolution. Example:

  • Topic: “No matter how oppressive a government, violent revolution is never justified." 
  • Components:
  • Cause of the revolution - does it justify the violence?
  • Method of revolution - are there alternatives to violence?
  • Cost and consequence of revolution -  If the cost of the revolution is greater than the positive consequence it can be logically concluded that the violence and the resultant collateral death of innocents is not justified.

Another example:

  • Topic: “If you are going through hell, keep going.” So it’s about persistence/perseverance.
  • Components:
  • Do you ‘keep going’ if it’s persistence regarding moral outcomes
  • Do you 'keep going’ if it’s persistence regarding evil outcomes
  • Some people are persistent in the impossible -> reality vs. delusion.

Essay 2

HAVE A VOICE. This essay is all about your “voice.” Be passionate, be controversial, be snide and sarcastic if you can and where you can. Or maybe you want to elicit different emotions. This can also be an essay with tones that are nostalgic, melancholy, reflective. The first time, I did this essay in the same way I did essay 1. I later changed to this formula and scored significantly higher:

Example topic - significance of art

Start with an anecdote, or a short reflective paragraph. I started with a creative-style anecdote where I was in Sarajevo with my aunt. I set a scene of cobblestone paths, my aunt’s incessant smoking, and her nostalgic reflections of the war in Bosnia as she explained Sarajevo Roses. The Sarajevo Roses were my “art” that I had chosen to talk about here in this intro. Why? Because I literally know nothing about classical, modern, or contemporary art haha. That was my first paragraph. It was short, creative, anecdotal, hopefully interesting because of it’s unique setting and my aunt’s dominating character. I then introduced paragraph 2 with a linking phrase [“In the same way the Sarajevo roses on the intertwining city paths were physical representations of my aunt’s past, art has illustrated the history of man for centuries…”] And then in that paragraph #2 I talked about art + history. [Think Statue of Liberty, paintings of revolutions like the Chartist gathering etc.] My next paragraph #3 I talked about art + emotions. I ran out of time since I only had about 15-20 minutes to write this essay and I just ended it there with no conclusion. Ideally, you might want to include a conclusion or at least a final line. Here, you can allude to your earlier anecdote.


Planning is everything. Without a plan you will, I promise, have a terrible or sub-par essay (at least for essay 1).

You start by writing all the points you can think of out. Even if they seem trivial. You now have a list of points you’ll be talking about. You then group these points into 3 connected themes/ideas. (Some you might cross out bc you find they’re useless). These will be the points in your 3 paragraphs. Or however many paragraphs you choose to have.

This should take 5 minutes (take your time early on when you’re practicing though).


AC Graylings books, especially The Meaning of Things

Other people’s essays from pagingdr etc.

Podcasts!! So great for finding out about history/random events. Radiolab, This American Life, Stuffyoushouldknow (my fave).

Wikipedia. Look up various revolutions (French, Chartists, Sufragettes, Lenin, Gandhi, Yuppies, Che/Cuban, Arab Spring), interesting people, cults, serial killers, war criminals, people who escaped from North Korea…lol I researched/studied in uni anything that I found to be interesting. These things translate well into MANY GAMSAT topics and can almost always be used as solid unique examples. 

Current events 

| I’m spent. Feel free to ask qs about anything you guys need. Part 2 will come later.
How the Anne Frank Center Became an Anti-Trump Attack Group
The organization has a flair for attracting media attention, but lacks a mass membership or scholarly expertise—and its connection to its famed namesake isn’t what it claims.
By Emma Green

“The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect and Understanding may not be a Holocaust organization, a Jewish organization, or one founded by Anne Frank’s father. Its may not have leaders with a scholarly background, a mass membership, or institutional standing among Jewish groups and Holocaust museums. But because it talks a big game and wields the name of Anne Frank, the media has awarded it authority it never earned.”

This isn’t about Trump.  Fuck Trump.  This is about misappropriating and astroturfing the name and symbolism of Anne Frank, so that the one or two people who actually “work” for this “group” can more easily get on TV.  It’s exploiting Jewish tragedy as a way of skipping the hard work of real activism and organization-building.  They disgust me.  


[Image description: A crocheted doll with brown skin wearing purple clothing; the first picture has her posed next to a book with a yellow-orange cover for size comparison]

In honor of Jewish Comics Day, I would like to present Shulamit bat Noach, Queen of Perach! She’s one of the main characters of @shiraglassman‘s Mangoverse, the first book of which, The Second Mango, can be seen in the first photo. Shulamit took a little while to find her footing as queen, but she now rules with peace and justice in her heart and mind. It’s not a series of comics, but it is by and about Jewish people without focusing on either historical Jewish tragedies or dripping with queer angst. If you’re looking for books with LGBTQIAP+ Jewish characters, you could do a lot worse than the Mangoverse!

Shulamit’s outfit here is based on an amalgam of a lot of the stuff she wears in the official art. It’s all in purple, because purple is Shulamit’s favorite color. It’s hard to tell in the pictures, but her hair is braided and curled up (and held in place by hot glue, because I like to avoid actual sewing whenever I can); she also has two strands of chain stitch around her hairline to resemble the smaller braids in much of the art. Her skin is also a little darker than it’s usually depicted, but it’s hard to find good shades of brown yarn, and I thought it would be better to err on the side of darker than lighter. I had been hoping to have her sweetheart done as well, but Shulamit took longer than I thought, so Aviva will have to wait. Anyway, all in all, I’m pretty pleased with how Shulamit turned out.

I hope Ubisoft never sets a game during WWII, I can’t imagine how they wouldn’t mess it up.  As a jew who who comes from a family of Holocaust survivors, I’m sick of seeing video games and movies and television shows where the main characters are non-jewish, non-rromani, almost always white americans, going off to fight overseas for glory.  

[continued below]

Keep reading

trenchcoatfullofferns  asked:

hey that post about messianic Jews being Christians playing dress up kind of bothered me 'cause I know some people who are messianic who felt really strongly to make the religious choices they made but didn't want to have to give up their entire Jewish culture and heritage and identity and assimilate into mainstream Christianity. idk man I just feel like if Jews of other religions or no religion at all don't have to give up their Jewishness why should these people have to?

Because they joined a movement that predominately consists of gentiles who appropriate Judaism expressly in order to convert Jews to a Christian belief system.

If an ethnic Jew becomes a Catholic, though their choice makes me profoundly sad, I don’t really see it as the concern of the entire Jewish community. However, if they become a Messianic, that does concern us all, because they are giving credence to people bastardizing and defiling our traditions, while also throwing the Jewish community to the wolves in terms of their church’s conversion efforts. When a Jew leaves the Jewish community, it’s a tragedy. When a Jew leaves the Jewish community and tries to take the rest of us down with them, it’s a fucking shanda.

Ethnic Jews who join the Messianic movement will always be ethnic Jews, but beyond that, they’re burning the bridge behind them. You can’t betray your own people to that high a degree and get a pass, nor can you attempt to redefine Judaism by Christian beliefs and standards without expecting blowback.

Like, either shit for Jesus or get off the pot—you don’t get to hover halfway between and subject us all to the stench.

Bethany House’s Statement, Rewritten

I thought I was finished rewriting statements that are literally nothing but bullshit, but here we are. Again.

“Bethany House Publishers is saddened by the offense some have taken at the novel For Such a Time by Kate Breslin. We respect and honor the Jewish faith, and this novel, inspired by the redemptive theme of the biblical book of Esther, was intended to draw on our common faith heritage.

Breslin reframes the Esther story in a Nazi transit camp during the Holocaust and portrays a courageous Jewish woman who by God’s strength saved fellow Jews from death, and in so doing awakened the conscience of a man thought to be beyond redemption. She wrote this carefully researched story with respect for the Jewish people and their history. It was neither the author nor publisher’s wish to offend, but rather to depict how one person can choose to put the lives of others ahead of her own and shine God’s light into darkness.

For Such a Time has garnered favorable reviews from readers in many markets. The book was a finalist for several literary awards including two in the Romance Writers of America RITA® awards for “best first book” and “inspirational romance” categories.

Bethany House Publishers supports Kate Breslin and her writing. We have heard from many readers who are moved by this portrayal of courage, and we hope it continues to provide inspiration to others in the spirit of the author’s intent.

Jim Parrish”

Well, then.

Let’s try again. 

Here at Bethany House, we give literally no shits about offending people when we published For Such A Time. We will continue to use the Jewish people and the tragedies they have gone through as a vehicle to promote our evangelical agenda. We will also continue to twist the Bible into stories that are nothing like they actually are, but are what we want them to be so we can insert our version of Jesus everywhere.

Kate Breslin ignored the Book of Esther, and used her own anti-Semitic thoughts to write a story about a Jewish girl and the Nazi Kommandent who fell in love. We know that such a thing could not have actually happened, but we don’t care.

We see nothing wrong with Jesus-ing a story that could not have ever happened, and we will continue to ignore the fact that Jesus himself would have actually been killed in the concentration camps, being that he was Middle Eastern and Jewish. We will continue to romanticize genocide,and we honestly don’t give a fuck if you’re offended.

Also, we think it’s great that other people love this book! We LOVE that people don’t understand why something like this is horribly offensive and triggering for millions of people! And we love Jesus, too. 

But not the Jesus who would never be okay with something like this. Our own version of Jesus who would somehow be okay with us trying to make Nazi heads of concentration camps redeemable love interests, while killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people, both Jewish and non-Jewish. 

Jesus can save you, too, offended Jewish reader. He died for your sins, you know?

Jim Parrish”

The Holocaust is an unparalleled human tragedy and an act of evil unique in history and it is for these reasons that we must always remember it and honour its Jewish victims – and the Nazis’ other victims.

But Holocaust Memorial Day is not just a memorial to those six million innocent Jewish men, women and children – it is also universal because the Jews in this story represent all of us.

That is why the Holocaust is not just a Jewish tragedy, nor merely a dark page from the Second World War, but a warning and a lesson to all of us of all faiths in all times. The memory of this suffering and the unspeakable, yet almost incredible, details of the Nazis’ diabolical enterprise can help future generations, wherever they may be, understand not just what happened across Europe, but how this came to happen. And why similar terrible things have happened in places such as Bosnia and Rwanda. It should also help us reflect on how we should respond to other dreadful events in the Middle East today.

We still often fail to stop these tragedies in time because the circumstances are always different – but this only makes Holocaust Memorial Day more important and relevant than ever, for it enables us to rally together, to recognize the workings of wickedness, to exercise vigilance and, hopefully, to stop such atrocities in the future. I could have read from the writings of those like Anne Frank, who wrote so touchingly about their experiences, but what I find so deeply poignant and powerful are the three lines scratched anonymously into a wall by a victim of the Holocaust, which read:

“I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining.

I believe in love even when I don’t feel it.

I believe in God even when He is silent”.

—   A speech by HRH The Prince of Wales at the Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony 2015