(Ascending Jacob’s Ladder: Jewish Views of Angels, Demons, and Evil Spirits, Ronald Isaacs)

You might think that this is a contradiction. After all, six does not equal four.

However, as you may have guessed, The Jews Got There First:


y-como-es-el asked:

Anti Semitism is not even that wide spread because there's not even that many so called jews.

That … actually makes no sense whatsoever.

The size of the population of Jews in a given area actually has very little do with the amount of antisemitism that community experiences. Many places with only a small number of Jews have high levels of antisemitic sentiment.

For example, at my liberal university of 50,000 students, our Hillel has a pretty small core membership and there just aren’t many Jewish students here to begin with. Despite this, we also have to deal with things like people walking around with signs that say “fuck the Jews,” verbal assaults for wearing kippot, and people coming to our events to heckle our speakers with off-topic questions and take pictures of the Jewish students there to Photoshop and post on social media. We have to inform the police of our events and most of the local synagogues have dedicated security guards in place.

And “so-called Jews?” What exactly do you think a Jew is? Jews are part of an ethnoreligious group that has spanned thousands of years and millions of people with a diaspora the size of the globe.

A Jew is a Jew no matter what part of the world they hail from, what they look like, or whether or not they’re a convert or the descendant of converts.

My journey from Zionism to Palestine solidarity

I grew up in the suburbs outside Philadelphia in a conservative Jewish household (conservative in both the religious and political sense). Although I never went to Israel while growing up it certainly played a large part of the political discussion around the house—entirely in support of Israel. One example of the milieu I grew up in: each year at Halloween the teachers at my elementary school handed out boxes for kids to collect pennies for UNICEF as they went trick-or-treating, but I was not allowed to because my father said the money would support Palestinians. Looking back I find that shocking, but at the time it felt like common sense in the community I grew up in.

As I got older I started to become more politically aware and active, and once I went to college I started reading on my own about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As soon as I read Edward Said and Noam Chomsky it was clear there was another side to the story I had been raised with. And once my eyes were open to the realities of Israel’s history and the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people, it was clear to me which side I was on.

I finally visited Israel/Palestine for the first time in 2005, and it was a transformative experience. Although I had been active on the issue for several years at that point, including receiving a Master’s Degree in Near East Studies and working in activist groups and NGOs, nothing fully prepared me for the emotional shock of seeing the occupation and inequality in person. Visiting Hebron for the first time was overwhelming, seeing the visceral hate the settlers and Israeli military hold for the Palestinians whose city they have taken.

Later in 2007 I had a chance to lead a delegation of Americans to help with the Palestinian olive harvest in the West Bank and stayed in the village of ‘Anin, a small farming community penned in by the Separation Wall. During this trip I had the incredible opportunity to experience Palestinian hospitality. My hosts knew I was from the U.S. and assumed I was Christian. When I told them I was Jewish they were surprised. At this point the only Jews they had met were settlers or soldiers, but surprise quickly turned to fascination and we talked for hours. I was embraced by a community literally under siege by a government said to be operating in my name. I was thankful, humbled and infuriated to the point of tears. I came away knowing that I wanted to share the stories of the people that I met, and the realities of life under Israeli occupation.

Adam at Yad Vashem looking out at the remains of the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin which was destroyed by Zionist forces during the Nakba.

Although I always had an interest in writing, and published some articles while in graduate school, Mondoweiss is my first job in journalism. Working at Mondoweiss has been an incredible privilege. More than anything I appreciate the opportunity to work with all the site’s amazing writers. When I started with Phil in 2008, he and I wrote everything. Now, we’ve published over 1,000 authors—from the U.S., Palestine, Israel and around the world—and are finding wonderful new voices all the time. This has been one of the most rewarding parts as we play our part in shifting the discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

I’m motivated to continue my work with Mondoweiss—to continue documenting and analyzing the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people—because I believe it is essential work towards reaching a just and peaceful outcome in Israel/Palestine. Reporting the unreported news from Palestine, covering the growing grassroots BDS movement, and highlighting voices, experiences and analysis frequently kept out of the mainstream discourse forward are our contribution to this broader movement.

I come to this work primarily as someone concerned with supporting and defending Palestinian human rights. At the same time I also recognize that I have a stake in this outcome as a Jew as well. As long as Israel conflates the meanings of Zionism as a political project and Judaism as a religion and faith community, I feel as though I am implicated in all we report on.

I look forward to a day when Israel/Palestine is free. This will hopefully mean not only long-overdue justice to the generations of Palestinians who have been dispossessed in the name of Israel, but also a chance for the Jewish community to chart a different path forward, away from nationalism, and towards a more just future.

actualreptilefaulkner asked:

Um, sorry to bother you, but uh... "Less refuting religious homophobic arguments by making fun of obscure mitzvot in the Torah that many Jews actually follow and find spiritually meaningful" <= What is that referring to? I'm just really confused because I've never heard of anything like that before sorry sorry. ^^;

Hi! Never worry about bothering me.

This means when someone says “Homosexuality is against god’s law!” not to refute it by saying something like, “So is wearing mixed fibers! So is touching pigskin!” Because there are many people practicing Judaism who do follow those commandments from the Torah. 

Instead of acting like rules from a religion one doesn’t follow are something to mock, regardless of what they are, it is better to point out that no one should have to follow the laws of a religion that they don’t belong to, and none of those religious laws should be codified into government law.

anonymous asked:

hey speaking of movements, how should a person planning to convert pick a movement? right now i'm leaning towards Reconstructionist purely for logistical reasons, i.e. that's the community i live closest to, but i don't know much about how the movements differ from each other and haven't found a good concise resource on it

I’d probably take a quick glance at this article and realize that it’s an extremely basic primer. Every congregation is very different even within specific Jewish movements.

Inner Peace.

The world is a place of constant change and unrest. Each point in time is distinct from the point before and the point after. Every point in space is its own world, with its own conditions and state of being. It is a world of fragments constantly rushing like traffic in anarchy.

Look at your own life: You do so many different things, one after the other without any apparent connection between them.

Inner peace is when every part of you and every facet of your day is moving in the same direction.

When you have purpose, you have peace.

- From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory.

so i already know im gettin חי on my arm/shoulder, but i think im interested in getting a hebrew phrase on my ribs

i didnt grow up with a lot of hebrew, only what was said in synagouge, so i dont have anything special or close to my heart or w/e

so i think i want some kind of proverb or an excerpt from a prayer or song. i can find the last to on my own but it would be cool if anyone could suggest like. jewish proverbs/hebrew proverbs ? just ones that you think are cool/nice


Thoughtful Thursday


I love pairing neutral colored patterns with bright solids for a fun summer look! Paired with a pair of scrappy heels, a pink lip and a blonde bob, it’s all you need to make a statement!
Top: Ann Taylor Loft
Necklace: Fossil
Watch: Fossil
Heels: Anthropologie
The shoes I actual wore to run around town: White and blue polka dot Keds


Love and shomer kisses,

Fashionably Frum

radicalaliens asked:

hey so i am ethnically jewish (when i say ethnically i mean my mothers side completely, there is one jew on my dads) but i dont practice. i want to become a practicing jew, but i dont know where to start, especially because my dad is very opposed to judaism. i am partially educated on aspects of the religion, especially our history of being oppressed. how can i start practicing? *

*I cant really go to temple, the only holiday we celebrate is chanukah (which my dad gets really uncomfortable during) and my mom stopped going to temple in her early teens? i feel disconnected with my heritage and it really hurts me, so is there any way to be fully connected? sorry if this is rambly

That’s a really tricky situation, especially with a parent who is actively opposed to the idea. I took a brief scan of your blog, but I’m unsure of a few details about your background. Your blog says you’re 14, but, based on what you’ve said I’m guessing you haven’t had a bat mitzvah. You might want to inquire to your mother about that, especially if she had one herself.

You might also want to look into extracurricular activities that are organized with Jewish groups, assuming they are available. Do you have any Jewish friends in the area? They might give you an excuse to get involved with Jewish youth organizations like USY or BBYO. Feel free to ask us more questions because more information would be helpful. 

Keep in mind that, while you’re still a teenager, your teenage years won’t last forever. At some point you will be able to make your own choices no matter what your parents think. I also realize that this is easier said than done considering I had a supportive and practicing Jewish family. 

Again, let us know if you have more questions and any followers who have been in similar situations can give advice via reblog.

Synagogedienst ter gelegenheid van het 300-jarig bestaan van de hoogduitse Gemeente in Amsterdam, in 1935. Martin Monnickendam (1874-1943), pastel en gouache; 1935 / Synagogue service commemorating the 300th anniversary of the Ashkenazic Community of Amsterdam, in 1935. Martin Monnickendam (1874-1943), pastel and gouache; 1935

For more images, visit the William A. Rosenthall Postcards and Prints & Photographs collections in the Lowcountry Digital Library. Click here for more information on Rosenthall.

A Synagogue A Day is also on Twitter.

London neo-Nazi rally moved after outcry from Jewish leaders and MPs
Police confine ‘anti-Jewification’ demonstration to one hour in central London rather than in 40% Jewish Golders Green
By Harriet Sherwood

We have been asked by Kahn-Harris to clarify that he was not speaking on behalf of the UK Jewish community and that not all UK Jews share these concerns.

We have been asked to clarify that Jews have opinions.