While nobody has to care about theology, there are a lot of misconceptions about what the field is like and what theologians have to believe. What if people talked about other fields the same way they did about theology?

“I basically understand the study of Italian cooking because I’ve been to Olive Garden.”

“I don’t like science and engineering because they’ve been responsible for so many deaths over the course of human history.”

“I just don’t care for economics as a whole field because I don’t like supply-side economics.”

“I don’t like legal studies because I don’t think there’s only one way to read the Constitution.”

“I just don’t like classical mythology because so many of the texts were written by sexist authors, and I just can’t enjoy a field that insists men are better than women.”

“I don’t like environmental studies because I think climate change is real and am concerned about it, but some people don’t think it is.”

In light of recent encounters

I have decided to shed some light on my culture after years of sitting back and not saying anything. So sit back, shut up, and let me tell you what you’ve been doing wrong.

So there’s this thing called a Chamsa (alternate spelling: Hamsa). You may know what it looks like, usually a hand with or without an eye in the middle of it. It’s a beautiful symbol and it stands for many things.

It has come to my attention that many companies have thought it socially acceptable to make jewelry and clothing based on the idea of this Chamsa, and I am here to tell you why you should stop.

First off, I’ll give you some background on this lovely little symbol. In Hindu and Judaism religions, the Chamsa is used as a protector, a symbol of protection and peace. (And if I’m wrong on anything please correct me, as I am only Jewish, not Hindu) In Hinduism it is more used to represent the five chakras in your body (aka the five fingers of the hand) and is equated with spirituality. In Judaism, however, it is seen as a protection from evil, and that the “all seeing eye” of G/d is what protects you when you wear it. I myself have boughten many a pair of earrings where the place I bought them from admitted to having no clue what the symbol meant when I asked them.
This is what I’m talking about.

So many companies are using this symbol as a fancy trend, a cool symbol to get tattooed on your body, while they are simultaneously erasing the decades worth of history and meaning behind it. I cannot speak for the Hindu population, but on behalf of the Jewish community, I am extremely upset at the ignorance and cultural appropriation these companies are showing.

This is just the same as wearing a Bindi if you are not Indian, or wearing a Hijab if you are not Muslim, and it needs to be stopped. When you buy these Chamsas in the store and wear them on your ears and wrists without even a thought of what it could mean, you are erasing my culture. I am a part of a people who have already been erased by the mankind of history, and I will not stand to be erased any more.

This is my culture, and my culture only. It is not trendy, or hipster, or cool or anything else you may think. It is ignorant and it is erasure.

Please remember this the next time you think about buying that cute little necklace or those beautifully breathtaking earrings with the hand on them.

Please think about the history.

anonymous asked:

can you be born and raised jewish but also believe that if g-d really does exist (very neutral about their existence), that other gods and goddesses from other religions could exist too?

you can be jewish and believe anything. judaism doesn’t force you to do or believe certain things (like, according to jewish law you are obligated to do things, but you aren’t literally forced). and judaism isn’t conditional. either you are, or you aren’t, and there’s nothing you can really do to change that (short of converting, if you aren’t jewish)

I’m here standing at the memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe. Right in the heart of Berlin, practically next to the gates of Brandenburg and right in front of the American embassy, this 17,000 square meters monument was not without controversy. But the campaigners of it Lea Rosh and Eberhard Jäckel (neither one Jewish), decided that Germany needed to honor the Jews killed in the nazi holocaust. On 10 May 2005 it was completed at the cost of 25 million Euros. The Jewish community at the time thought it was not necessary they thought there were other ways to honor the Jews dead in the holocaust. However according to Peter Eisenman, the monument is designed to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere, and the whole sculpture aims to represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason. The truth is there is no way for us to properly do anything about the devastation caused by wars but to avoid them. For that we need politicians less compromised by corporate values and more dedicated to the people that voted them in office. The monument is a labyrinth and one will certainly have that feeling. When coming to Berlin take some time to check it out. There is also an underground chamber with the names of all Jewish victims of the holocaust provided by the Yad Vashem in Israel. Have a wonderful afternoon everyone! #adamasztalos #fashion #editorial #holocaustmemorial #berlin #germany #deutschland #model #malemodel #abs #muscle #muscles #blond #mustache #beard #blondhair #hairyarms #bighands #mensstyle #mensfashion #menswear #2xist @official2xist shirt #ralphlauren @ralphlauren belt #levis @levis @levis_germany #jeans #holocaust #wwII #judaism #yadvashem #neverforget (at Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe)

Learning Jewish Languages

So, Jewish languages other than Hebrew are all endangered, and even Hebrew many of us don’t speak. So, in honor of Preservation Day, I’ve gathered a bunch of language resources, and hopefully we’ll be able to learn our heritage languages more easily, as well as Hebrew, both biblical for the Torah, and modern for trips (or flight, as necessary) to Israel.

I’ll start with a request for help from the people who DO know these languages: the website duolingo has both Yiddish and Hebrew projects that need people to help them work.  It seems like a very effective language learning site, and it would help us preserve our languages.  And if someone capable of doing so started up a Ladino project, or any of the various Judeo-Arabic languages (I apologize, I know basically nothing about them) it would be great!

Next up is My Language Exchange.  This is a very versatile site that seems mostly to be about matching up people learning each others’ languages as pen pals.  There’s a little bit more structure, but it’s only available for the biggest languages.  However, and this is a BIG plus, it has people who speak Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino all, and I’ve had trouble finding any websites that even acknowledge Ladino.

Ancient Hebrew

So, for all that I know nothing about Judeo-Arabic and little about Ladino, Ancient/Biblical Hebrew is pretty mysterious to me.  I never went to Hebrew school, so anything here is good.  Right now, the only thing I have is a couple of posts from an old, abandoned tumblr (to an extent, it’s been replaced by tumblrs like littlegoythings, returnofthejudai and jewish-privilege)

So, here’s a post about how Hebrew was written and pronounced in ancient times compared to today, and another on German’s influence on Hebrew pronunciation, that might fit better in the next section.

Modern Hebrew

Now, Modern Hebrew, being the language of an actual, geopolitically important country is the easiest to find resources for.  In addition to Rosetta Stone, which is quite expensive (though my Dad swears by it, in six months he’s reading Israeli newspapers) there’s a free site run by them, Live Mocha, which includes Hebrew.

Thanks to all the resources available, Hebrew language learning resources have already been collected.  A couple of places that do that are Omniglot, Fluent Forever, and Ecott.  And then there’s the online parts of the Hebrew programs at UT Austin and Yale.

And then there’s Surface Languages and Transparent, for just straight up language learning.

Yiddish

And now, into the Diaspora! There are tons of Diaspora languages, but not all of them have their own names.  The biggest one, though, is Judeo-German, better known now as Yiddish.  It’s been a very active language, and had a cultural golden age in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  

The Yiddish Academy collects Yiddish resources that will be helpful whatever path to learning the language you take.  For learning, there’s some traditional web courses at eTeacherYiddish, Surface Languages and Transparent.

And then, of course, there’s YiddishPop! I haven’t looked in detail at it, but YiddishPop seems to be all about learning Yiddish in a fun online environmentm, with lots of games and stuff.

Ladino

Ladino, unfortunately, doesn’t have nearly the support that Hebrew and Yiddish do.  Fortunately, while I was looking for resources, @concentratedridiculousness responded to me and made a nice big post about Ladino, though most of the resources aren’t online.

@JEWS ON TUMBLR

You might want to ‘ignore’ (in Settings) shower-anon so that they cannot send you messages (so, especially relevant if you often post in the jewish tags). They sent me pictures of our dead. 

Please reblog to get the word out if you know you have Jewish followers.

Selected News Stories About Antisemitism and Antisemitic Violence from the Past Year:

Information and Opinions on Yom HaShoah:

Information about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (the date of Yom HaShoah was chosen for its proximity to the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising):

Last Year’s Post on Yom HaShoah

May the memories of all we have lost be for a blessing.

Superheroes: Another thing we wouldn’t have if not for Jewish people
  • Stan Lee: A Romanian Jew, born Stanley Lieber, founder of Marvel Comics
  • Jack Kirby: Born Jacob Kurtzberg to Austrian Jewish immigrants on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He worked with…
  • Joe Simon: Born Hymie Simon

and

  • Steve Ditko: A first generation American of Slovak descent who studied with…
  • Jerry Robinson: Batman artist and American Jew
  • Jerry Siegel: The co-creator of Superman and an Jew of Lithuanian descent
  • Joe Schuster: The co-creator of Superman and a Jew of Dutch descent
  • Will Eisner: Author of The Spirit and comic publishing giant. You may have heard of a little thing called  the Eisner Awards.

So again…you’re welcome

Hey y'all, I was thinking and I know a lot of you don’t have a lot of knowledge about judaism, and that much of the knowledge you have may have came from biased or unreliable sources. Even if you think you know a good deal about Judaism, there’s always more to learn.

That’s why I’m starting Askthejews (x), a blog dedicated to answer any questions you have on Judaism. 

I would really appreciate it if you all would support this project by following, sharing this and asking questions. 

UGH, all over fucking Tumblr, everyone’s like “Remember the 6 million Jews today…but you know who else died?” and then talks about all the other groups.

Today is not for everyone.  It is for us.  There are days out there for everyone.  Some of the other groups, I believe, have their own days that they chose and set aside to mourn their own loss.

But today, Yom haShoah, is about the Jews who were brutalized, tortured, experimented on, and murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators.

Trying to make today about other groups, especially if you’re not Jewish, is antisemitic.  It is telling us that we don’t have a right to a day of mourning.  It is minimizing Jewish suffering, as well as the suffering of the others who died, because you’re using them as a cheap weapon against Jews.

In conclusion:

But you don’t HAVE to be.  Be better, and respect others.  Now get the fuck out of our tags for ONE FUCKING DAY.