idk I think it would be kinda cool if we (Jewish folks on here) could do a song sharing thing where we choose a song, for example lecha dodi, and record our voice singing it the way our shul / community / family does it. and just have a cool zemirot sharing thing. because I love hearing all the different variations and jewish music is beautiful!

jta.org
Jewish transgender man gives birth and embraces life as a single ‘abba’
(JTA) — When Rafi Daugherty went to the hospital for the birth of his first child, he posted a sign on the delivery room door.

Here’s your Sunday #goodread to wrap up the weekend: 

Meet Rafi Daugherty, a Jewish trans man who recently gave birth to a new baby, Ettie Rose. This profile is the lovely story of Rafi navigating coming out to a religious community, giving birth, (single) parenthood, and keeping his Jewish faith as a trans man. Here’s how the article starts:

When Rafi Daugherty went to the hospital for the birth of his first child, he posted a sign on the delivery room door.

“I am a single transgender man having my first baby,” it read. “I use he/him/his pronouns and will be called ‘Abba’ (Hebrew for father) by the baby. Papa, Dad, Daddy, Father … are also ok.”

“I didn’t want them to assume that I identified as female because I was having a baby,” he said.

After eight hours of labor, Rafi was holding his 7-pound, 10-ounce daughter: Ettie Rose, named, in the Jewish tradition, for Rafi’s maternal grandmother and great-grandmother.

Rafi, 33, wanted hospital staff to be prepared for what they were about to see: a man laboring in bed.

The story is gorgeous and gives a small snippet of Rafi’s incredible journey. Amazing, truly. Congratulations to this beautiful family. 

gawker.com
Powerful: Oregon Militiamen Upload Video of Themselves Blowing "Battle Trumpets" (?)
You may know the shofar as a musical instrument of Jewish antiquity, traditionally blown in synagogues during Rosh Hashanah—but did you know that right now, in the frozen hinterland of the Pacific Northwest, the Oregon militiamen are blowing the HORNS OF FREEDOM as we speak?
By Sam Biddle

Or that time the Oregon Miltiamen rebel group culturally appropriated Judaism for NO DESCRIBABLE REASON.

Seriously, what the fuck is this?

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This shit pisses me off so much. This is a Christian bible being passed off as a Jewish Bible in the Jewish section of Books-A-Million. Less than three feet away was a section filled with at least 30 different kinds of Christian bibles. Meanwhile half of the meager shelf of Jewish books have something to do with Christianity, or were just Christian books about how to incorporate Jewish practices into Christianity. Why do Christians always feel the need to convert Jews using these dishonest tactics, or to appropriate Judaism for themselves? Seriously, this is nothing more than a lie. Christians just need to step off.

youtube

How Honest Are Israelis?

How would you react if a “blind man” mistakenly gave you more money than he intended? 

Similar social experiments (both real and staged) have been circulated online, showing how members of the public in the US and Australia react when asked for change of a 5 or 10 dollar bill by a “blind man”, who then offers them a much greater sum “by accident.” The results tend to be mixed – while many quickly explain his mistake, others are seemingly happy take advantage of the situation.

Now watch what happens in Israel.

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Beautiful synagogues from around the world

  1. Dohány Street Synagogue, Budapest
  2. Grand Choral Synagogue, St. Petersburg
  3. Grand Synagogue of Edirne, Edirne, Turkey
  4. Hurva Synagogue, Jerusalem
  5. Eldridge Street Synagogue, New York
  6. Great Synagogue of Rome, Rome
  7. Ohr Torah Synagogue, Acco, Israel
  8. Great Synagogue of Sydney, Sydney
  9. Rykestrasse Synagogue, Berlin
  10. Szeged Synagogue, Szeged, Hungary
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“Why survive at all if you want to be is sad, angry and hurting?”

81-year-old Eva Kor is an extraordinary woman. She not only survived the hell we know as Auschwitz, but she also found in her an unimaginable amount of forgiveness for one of her tormentors in the camp: A murderer called Oskar Groening who was responsible for over 300,000 deaths. When she was 10, Eva and her twin sister fell victim to notorious ‘Angel of Death’ Josef Mengele. He performed painful experiments on the sisters, and injected them with chemicals to turn them into zombies. Eva vividly remembers that, once, Doctor Mengele stood over her caged bed and announced that she had two weeks to live after injecting a mysterious substance into her bloodstream. He was wrong however, and Eva grew up to controversially forgive the Nazis. The above photo shows Eva embracing 94-year-old Groening in court. She said he was immensely compassionate and had tears in his eyes, thanking her forgiveness. The decision to forgive such a callous killer has caused uproar in the Jewish community, particularly with other Holocaust survivors. Eva feels triumphant though, and wants others to follow suit and to spread forgiveness.

Where you choose to mark the beginning of history is actually just a huge marker of your own privilege

A lot of very savvy and sophisticated left-of-center professional writers had quite the snarkfest over Obama’s claim in last week’s SOTU address regarding the longstanding roots of Middle Eastern conflicts.  A very few representative samples:  

The Washington Post:  “Obama ridiculed for saying conflicts in the Middle East ‘date back for millennia’ (Some don’t date back a decade)”

The Daily Mail:  “Obama rewrites the history books; sparks Twitter backlash for suggesting Middle East conflicts ‘date back for millennia’”

Al-Jazeera:  “Obama schooled on Twitter about Middle East history”

Mic:  “No, President Obama, Middle East conflict doesn’t ‘date back millennia’”

Vox:  “Obama’s cringe-worthy line claiming Middle East conflicts ‘date back for millennia’”

Buzzfeed:  “People really aren’t happy with Obama’s version of Middle Eastern history”

If you read the links, you’ll see that the primary response is just barefaced disbelief, and the second most common is to specifically assert that this all started within the last 100 years.  That specific timeline and sentiment - that the conflicts we see in the Middle East today ACTUALLY began 100 years ago or less, with a lot of the blame on the Arab-Israeli conflict - is mentioned in every single article / Twitter cross-section.  

And it’s bullshit.  

100 years ago, the area in question was ruled by the Ottoman Empire - which had just instigated the Armenian Genocide, which in immediately preceding decades had committed the Hamadan Massacre, and which routinely throughout the 19th, 18th, 17th centuries and further had oppressed and ethnically cleansed Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, Yezidis, Jews, and other minority groups.  When people say “the last 100 years,” are they including the Ottoman ethnic cleansing of Tel Aviv in 1917, which completely depopulated it to a ghost town and saw over 1,500 Jews perish in a death march?  Probably the most famous landmark in Turkey is the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, which had been a Byzantine Christian church until the Ottomans sacked it and annihilated the Christian community and repurposed the old church as a mosque literally over the Christians’ dead bodies.

Why is that part of history no longer up for consideration?  On whose say-so do all of these op-ed writers and clickbaity websites rule them out of bounds?  I weary of reciting the chronology of pre-Israel and pre-Zionist antisemitic massacres in the Middle East, but it’s clear many of our opinion-leaders have never heard of the concept in the first place.  They normalize the right of power of the Ottoman Empire and its 600+ years of brutal oppression and racist imperialism.  Why?  Well, it was there before they started looking and THEN things changed. Yet somehow if the topic of conversation were, say, American racism and white supremacism, I rather doubt the same op-ed authors and Twitterers would find Christopher Columbus to be completely and totally irrelevant.      

Outside of the Ottoman borders, I can absolutely accept the notion that U.S. / Iran tensions were primarily triggered by the CIA-backed coup in the 1950s; but if you de-Americanize the discussion and just look at if anyone was persecuting and ethnically cleansing anybody else, you find that, yep, even in pre-1950s (and pre-1850s) Persia, that was still going on.  Typically with Jews on the receiving end.  But again - that doesn’t count, because if you’ve never had a problem in your life until recently, then the people who suffered before you sure don’t need to be counted, do they?    

It is a monumental act of un-selfconscious privilege to try to pin down where “normal” history began - the spot in the Middle East where things started to “matter,” everything beforehand as distant and irrelevant as Nebuchadnezzar (to quote one tweet). Chances are, it will end up dating a time when a one-sided massacre was turned into a two-sided war.  

It is the chronological equivalent of 19th century empires arbitrarily drawing new world maps based on what they saw as most worth owning.  

jta.org
Western Wall prayer fight ends with historic compromise
The deal puts to rest the decades-long fight between Women of the Wall and the haredi Orthodox religious establishment by making concessions to both sides.

Israel is now working on an egalitarian part of the kotel where men and women can daven together, finally allowing a greater acceptance of a wide range of Jews. THIS IS HUGE, and its trending on facebook too!