The doctrine of original sin is totally unacceptable to Jews (as it is to Christian sects such as Baptists and Assemblies of G-d). Jews believe that man enters the world free of sin, with a soul that is pure and innocent and untainted. While there were some Jewish teachers in Talmudic times who believed that death was a punishment brought upon mankind on account of Adam’s sin, the dominant view by far was that man sins because he is not a perfect being, and not, as Christianity teaches, because he is inherently sinful.
—  Alfred J Kolatch
July 21st, 2017 - 27th of Tammuz, 5777

No, today is not a Jewish holiday.

Today is, however, the (Jewish calendar) anniversary of when we started doing this blog daily. Over the last year we’ve posted over 700 times, and grown to over 3,000 followers.

We couldn’t have done it without your support! Thank you all, and have a wonderful year!

-Noah and Anna

Shabbat begins at sundown.

Giving Tzedakah before Shabbat.

He is acting out the very words written behind him. They say, loosely translated, that being a mentsch (Yiddish for a “good” person) comes before keeping the Torah.

Before one can truly understand the Torah and its secrets one must work on refining one’s character.

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But in all seriousness please go see Wonder Woman

It’s a movie about a pretty much canonically Bisexual woman, with her team of a French-Moroccan (who talks about how he can’t be an actor because of his color), Native American (who talks about how he doesn’t have a side because white people already fucked up everything for him), Scotsman with PTSD (ok look it’s not the biggest issue out there but Thick Scottish Accents are like the White Whale of english-speaking accents in things just trust me), and token White Anglo Saxon Protestant, 

Saving the world through the principle of tikkun olam 

And coming to realize that humanity isn’t evil, but rather, that evil arises because humans have free will 

this is the most Jewish Super Hero movie I’ve ever seen please go see it

Donald Trump at Yad Vashem leaves a bizarrely chipper note for posterity

President Trump visited Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust memorial museum on the edge of Jerusalem, on Tuesday morning. Flanked by Israeli and American flags, the president spoke gravely of the “millions of innocent, wonderful, and beautiful lives, men, women, and children … extinguished as part of a systematic attempt to eliminate the Jewish people.”

And, when he left, he signed the guest book: “It is a great honor to be here with all of my friends — so amazing and will never forget!”

Many tweeters juxtaposed Trump’s note against the sober message left by Barack Obama when he visited Yad Vashem in July 2008, while he was still a senator.

Read the full story here

An incredible 2,700 year-old Papyrus bearing the oldest known mention of Jerusalem in Hebrew.

This fragile piece of Jewish history was plundered from a cave in the Judean desert and then recovered by the Israel Antiquities Authority. The full Hebrew text reads : “From the female servant of the King, from Naharata (near Jericho) two wineskins to Jerusalem.” This is from the time of the First Temple.

The UN has just passed two outrageous resolutions claiming that there is no link between the Temple Mount, the most sacred site in Judaism ( which they have now renamed Al Haram Al Sharif ) and the Jewish people.

Some things that make me feel unsafe in public

- being asked if I’m Jewish because of the way my hair looks
- being interrogated about my personal political beliefs because I am identifiably Jewish
- being expected to denounce and apologize for Israel every time I want to be Jewish in public
- being told “I don’t hate Jews, but I’m pro-Palestine” in response to my Jewishness
- being told I’m going to hell for being Jewish
- non-Jews dictating to me what does and does not constitute antisemitism
- people who are not me and who don’t look like me engaging in endless debate about what “race” I belong to
- white supremacists telling me that I “control the world” and “should go back to Germany” while folks on the left tell me I benefit from white supremacy
- having to make a choice between queerness and Judaism

Noticeably absent from this list:
- seeing others’ religious symbols on display in public

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ISIS Attack in Egypt 26th May 2017: 28 people, including many children, were killed when masked gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Coptic Christians.

  • Ten masked gunmen opened fire on buses carrying Coptic Christians  in Egypt
  • At least 28 killed and more injured when attackers sprayed bullets at the convoy  
  • Worshipers were heading to St Samuel Monastery to pray when gunmen struck
  • Egyptian bombers have hit ‘terror training camps’ in Libya in retaliation
  • President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi vowed Egypt will fight back against attacks
  • He also called for Donald Trump to take the lead in the fight against terror
  • ISIS has claimed responsibility for recent deadly attacks on churches in Egypt

    Read more
    :
Antisemitism on the Left

Gentiles (AKA non-Jewish people) who talk about social justice seem to be confused or completely oblivious to what antisemitism is.

It’s not just calling for Jewish people to die or being a literal neo-nazi.

I regularly see Leftist/Liberal/Progressive/Social Justice gentiles that claim to be against antisemitism/nazis act incredibly antisemitic, so here’s a helpful list! 

And if you’re wondering WHY something on this list is antisemitic, Google is free!

  • Saying you hate X group of Jews (white Jews, Israeli Jews, etc)
  • Accusing a random Jew (ex: Gal Gadot) of killing children/being a war criminal with absolutely nothing to back up your claims.
  • Calling Jewish people murderers, child-killers, etc. in general
  • Calling Israel a white supremacist state.
  • Celebrating the deaths of Jewish people (yes EVEN if they’re Israeli!)
  • Holding all Jewish people (EVEN Israeli Jews) accountable for the actions of the Israeli government
  • Asking Jewish people their stance on Israel out of any context.
  • Dismissing any group of Jews as “white” (note: this does not include holding white-passing Jews accountable for their conditional white privilege/racism)
  • Ignoring the fact that Jewish people can be of any ethnicity
  • Dismissing the fact that Jewish people are an ethno-religious group
  • Dismissing our connection to Israel
  • Calling a Jewish person you don’t know a reptile/lizard person/goblin (example: The FineBros)
  • Comparing acts of racism/genocides to the Holocaust (there are certain situations in which this is appropriate, but that’s up to Jewish people to decide)
  • Acting like antisemitism isn’t only about discrimination against Jews and includes ALL semites.
  • Acting like Jewish people are privileged for being Jewish (even if they’re white-passing!)
  • Using anything involving Israelis/non-government related Israel events to Discourse about Israel.
  • Bringing up the actions of the Israeli government in response to antisemitism.
  • Acting as if antisemitism is deserved because of the actions of the Israeli government.
  • Giving antisemitic gentiles a pass because they do other kinds of activism.
  • “But Jews voted for Trump!”
  • Inserting yourself into Jewish-only discussions.

Non-Jews are absolutely encouraged to reblog! But this is not an invitation to argue these points!

Jewish people are encouraged to add on!

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Pick-up Stix - Matot and Masei

Rabbi Benny’s Weekly Torah Thought - keeping it short, contemporary and meaningful

So Trump is in Israel right now playing diplomat and even objectively factual statements from various media sources (such as “Trump touches down in Tel Aviv” or “Goes to Western Wall”) are getting horrifically anti-Semitic comments from both far left and right.

It’s ok if you don’t support Israeli statehood (I personally disagree but it’s ok if you don’t).
It’s ok if you condemn Israel’s treatment of Palestinians (which you absolutely fucking should).

But here are some things to keep in mind about these issues in general:

•Not all Jews are Israeli.
•Not all Israelis are Jews.
•Not all Israelis support the actions of Israel.
•Not all Jews support the actions of Israel.
•The current administration does not speak for all of Judaism or even accurately for all of Israel.
•The current administration of Israel is very controversial even within its party and the more liberal parts of the country are furious and protesting frequently.
•Military service is legally mandated, which forces young people to enforce policies many of them oppose.
•Israel’s awful treatment of Palestinians is a reflection of Netanyahu’s shitty reign and his close circle of conservative, racist, Islamaphobic dickheads. It is not a reflection of Israel’s core values, or the values of its people, or the values of Judaism.

And most importantly:
•Whatever your stance on Israel’s statehood, whatever your stance on Trump, whatever your stance on Netanyahu, ANTI-SEMITISM IS NEVER OK