September 24th, 2017 - 4th of Tishrei, 5778

Today is the Fast of Gedaliah, typically observed the day after Rosh Hashanah, but postponed this year so as not to fall on Shabbat.

The Fast of Gedaliah is a dawn to sunset fast to commemorate the death of the governor of Judah, whose assassination ended Jewish prospects in the region of Judea after the destruction of the first temple.

Today is the fourth of the Ten Days of Return.

anonymous asked:

what is the difference between reconstructionist, reform, and conservative?

Hi there!

Although there are some fantastic articles written on the subject (posted below), it’s important to understand some of the basic, fundamental differences and similarities:

Differences:

  • Theologically, Conservative Jews hold that a liberal adaptation of Halacha (Jewish law) as binding and Reform and Reconstructionist Jews do not.
  • More Conservative Jews than Reform Jews will often observe Shabbat and festivals in a traditional manner.  But, in Conservative communities, those that observe traditionally are extremely limited and often only include the rabbi and cantor. I am not sure the statistics in Reconstructionist communities.
  • The Reform Movement is much larger than the Conservative Movement.  Beyond having more shuls and camps, the Reform seminary ordains more rabbis and cantors in each of its four campuses (NY, LA, Cincinnati, and Jerusalem) each year than the Conservative seminary.  The Reconstructionist seminary is the smallest.
  • Slightly different cultures exist within the three movements.  Often the Conservative Movement has a stronger “Ashkenazi bent” and is slightly more traditional in its language where the Reform and Reconstructionist Movements choose to more often speak closer to Hebrew than Yiddish. 
  • A Conservative service infrequently includes music or microphones, where Reform and Reconstructionist Jews specifically use music to enhance their services.
  • A Conservative prayer service often includes A LOT of Hebrew and traditional liturgy, where the Reform Movement often has a mix of English with Hebrew and a bit more creativity. Reconstructionist Judaism often includes more Hebrew than in the Reform Movement. 
  • The Reform Movement is more often outspoken against the Israeli Occupation than the Conservative Movement.  I am not sure where Reconstructionism falls here.

Similarities:

  • Theologically, all three do not believe that Moses received the Torah from Sinai in its completion and therefore hold a more liberal understanding of Jewish practice.
  • All three celebrate all of the major holidays and festivals, major lifecycle events/services, have similar goals in religious schools etc.
  • All three movements are very proud of their egalitarian spaces in which women (and people of all genders) are ordained as clergy and are all equal.  A minyan (traditional ten Jewish men) in both Movements is 10 Jewish adults.  Women and men wear talitot, wrap tefillin, and wear kippot.
  • All three Movements are extremely attracted to social justice issues and are involved in activity that condemns racism, islamophobia, and antisemitism.  Both ordain LGBT clergy, marry same-sex couples, and have official programs and statements that promote transgender, gender non-conforming, genderqueer and other gendered folks.  The Reform Movement has their own social justice lobbying organization (the Religious Action Center) in Washington D.C.
  • All three moveemnts face the same discrimination in Israel regarding weddings, rights for converts, issues with the Western Wall etc.

Articles:  X X

I would love to help you out as much as you might need!  Feel free to shoot me a message.

PJ

An impoverished widow once came to the beit din (courthouse) of the great sage Rabbi Yehoshua of Kutna. Weeping bitter tears, she begged him to summon to the court a man she accused of having wronged her.

Rabbi Yehoshua summoned the man to appear before the court, but referred the case to another rabbi, refusing to preside over it himself. “The Torah forbids the taking of bribes,” he explained. “Do you think that a bribe is only a gift of money? Tears can also be a bribe that ‘blinds the clear-sighted’—especially the tears of a poor widow.”

—  Maayanah Shel Torah

My grandparents left their home country as children when they heard the whispering of antisemitism starting in their home town. They got out and fled to America so I and future generations could be safe from persecution and mass murder. Only 2 generations ago.

And now America is becoming that country that they probably would have fled.

If you are not resisting, you are part of the problem.

And yes, I want non-Jews to reblog

For anyone planning any type of school/community/club/activist event, or for any teachers/professors planning important in-class activities, here is the schedule of Jewish holidays this fall (2017):

Rosh Hashanah:  Evening of Wed 9/20, days of Thurs 9/21 and Fri 9/22

Yom Kippur:  Evening of Fri 9/29 and day of Sat 9/30

Most Jews won’t be able to attend events or classes on those holidays.  They’re the most important days of our year.  Please avoid scheduling important events or activities on them, just as it would be inappropriate to schedule important events or class activities on Christmas.

Please reblog, even if you’re not Jewish yourself!  Thank you <3 

PSA: the main reason that Britain never had a European-style mass fascist movement in the 1930s is because socialists, Jews, trade unionists, black folk and queer people physically dismantled the Blackshirt movement in its infancy by disrupting meetings, toppling stages and assaulting prominent fascists. This meant it never reached critical mass as a street gang capable of controlling public space and providing a pole of attraction for white, working-class youth - a fundamental precondition for the exercise of political power independent of the state by fascist Parties.

“we need to spread love”