Zion doesn’t love you


title credit

Esther assimilates because Uncle Mordecai tells her to.

Esther assimilates because it is safer.

Esther assimilates because the courtesans are sweet.

Esther assimilates because suddenly she’s rich.

Esther assimilates because her parents are a distant memory.

Esther assimilates because the girls back home were nasty.

Esther assimilates because the prayers took too long.

Esther assimilates because non-kosher wine tastes better.

Esther assimilates because the forefathers are a fairy tale.

Esther assimilates because her Hebrew sounds awful.

Esther assimilates because she is stunning with straight hair.

Esther assimilates because she wants to.

It is not Hadassah who saves the Jews.  It is Esther, who hasn’t seen them in years.   Esther, who doesn’t know them any more. Esther, who never knew them.   Esther, who didn’t try.

(Hadassah stayed home and married poor and lived next door and raised poor sons who chanted ancient verses and died with her family by the Persian sword.)

Esther is a Queen, and Esther is a heroine, and Esther’s hair frizzes at night without the oils, and Esther hides her tears beneath scented silks.  Esther lifts her chin higher than the harem whispers.  Esther sees Haman pale and shivering in her dreams.

Esther sinks back into her canopy of spices and jewels and waits once more for her husband’s outstretched scepter.

Waits, and aches for what it means to be Chosen.”


take heart

In times of sorrow, take heart, even

though you stand at deaths door: the

candle flares up before it dies,

and wounded lions roar.

  • Samuel Ibn Naghrila/ Samuel haNagid

Notable Indian Jews:


“Carmit Delman, author

Solomon Sopher, community leader

Eli Ben-Menachem, Israeli politician

Liutenant-General JFR Jacob, Indian general

Liel Kolet, singer

Esther David, author and artist

Nissim Ezekiel, poet, critic

Gerry Judah, artist

Ruby Daniel…what didn’t this woman do? She was the first Jewish woman in the Indian armed forces, wrote a book, was an ethnographer, made aliyah in 1951 and was a kibbutznik.”

“Six recognized genders in Old Israel”

Zachar: Usually translated as “male” in English.
Nekevah: Usually translated as “female” in English.
Androgynos: A person who has both “male” and “female” sexual characteristics. [Source: 149 references in Mishna and Talmud (1st-8th Centuries CE); 350 in classical midrash and Jewish law codes (2nd -16th Centuries CE).]
Tumtum: A person whose sexual characteristics are indeterminate or obscured. [Source: 181 references in Mishna and Talmud; 335 in classical midrash and Jewish law codes.]
Ay’lonit: A person who is identified as “female” at birth but develops “male” characteristics at puberty and is infertile. [Source: 80 references in Mishna and Talmud; 40 in classical midrash and Jewish law codes.]
Saris: A person who is identified as “male” at birth but develops “female” characteristics as puberty and/or is lacking a penis. A saris can be “naturally” a saris (saris hamah), or become one through human intervention (saris adam).  [Source: 156 references in mishna and Talmud; 379 in
classical midrash and Jewish law codes.]

Source:  Classical Jewish Terms for Gender Diversity by Rabbi Elliot Kukla, 2006

Our Sages non-judgmentally explore the role of intersex people in regards to many facets of ritual and civil law such as circumcision, redemption, oath-taking and menstruation.

The midrash, in Bereshit Rabah, posits that Adam, the first human being, was actually an androgynos. While in the Babylonian Talmud (Yevamot 64a-64b) the radical claim is made that Abraham and Sarah were tumtumim, gender non-conforming people. According to our tradition the first human being and the first Jews were gender outlaws. This teaches us that it is those that transgress the apparently rigid lines of Judaism that have caused the tradition to grow.

Rabbi Elliot Kukla, Parashat Vayechi: Beyond Stick Figures

nativepeopleproblems.tumblr.com: “Like look, the first man was intersex. The first Jews were intersex. Fuck people who say religions are transphobic and intersexist when they really mean that western christianity is transphobic and intersexist.”

National Museum of American Jewish History – LGBT Stories: a Collecting Project


What is this for?

Have you witnessed same sex friends as they stood under a huppah together?

Has your family added an orange to their Seder plate?

Do you have handbills, pins, letters, posters, t-shirts, banners, ritual objects, or other things related to the experience of LGBT Jews in America?

Please share your story with the National Museum of American Jewish History.

NMAJH is seeking to document the personal stories of LGBT Jewish Americans, and to connect visitors with LGBT Jews’ stories of courage, community, and traditions old, new, and renewed. This Tumblr was created in the summer of 2014 as a way to share stories about American Jewish LGBT life. We encourage visitors to this page to post and share stories and images of their Jewish American and LGBT experiences here. Museum curators may contact you in the future as they prepare exhibitions and other projects.

What are you looking for?

NMAJH is always looking for personal and community stories to deepen the Museum’s presentation. We really hope to learn about a wide range of objects and stories related to Jewish LGBT Americans including – but definitely not limited to – the following things:

  • Photographs
  • Ritual objects/Judaica related to any of the different branches of Judaism
  • Diaries, letters, and other personal writings
  • Printed materials and tools related to the movement for LGBT equality: Handbills, Brochures, Tickets, Newsletters, Books and booklets, Typewriters, Megaphones, Tape recorders, Cameras, Clipboards, Petitions, Banners and picket signs from parades or rallies, Clothing & personal gear – t-shirts, buttons, kippot, patches, conference tote bags
  • Artifacts related to Stonewall or reactions to those events
  • Material from the 1980s, reactions to the AIDS crisis
  • Material related to Day without Art and World AIDS Day
  • Material related to key political and government figures (personal or public artifacts like campaign ephemera related to Harvey Milk, Frank Kameny)
  • Material related to commitment ceremonies and marriages in the current battle for equality in marriage, and from legislators/lobbyists working for gay marriage rights
  • Children’s books & other materials related to same-sex parents
  • Material from gay-friendly clubs/bars and other hang-outs
  • Concert programs/movie tickets and other cultural ephemera
  • Ritual artifacts that incorporate established or reinvented
  • Jewish traditions”

Book review: The Yemenite tragedy

#to read

Seth J. Frantzman - author - analyst

Review of The “Magic Carpet” Exodus of Yemenite Jewry: An Israeli Formative Myth, by Esther Meir-Glitzenstein Sussex Academic Press, £67.50 / $89.95, published in The Jerusalem Post Magazine January 10


Yemenite Jews in a camp in Israel Yemenite Jews in a camp in Israel

In 1949 they came from all over Yemen, from 1,000 villages, often traveling on foot to reach camp. “It was a desert place without any sign of vegetation. Refugees living in matted huts, like sardines, living a base, primitive life. The camp has 4,000 people and babies are born every day,” recalled Ethel Slonim, a nurse who had arrived in Aden, now Yemen, in 1948. Many died en route, and in the camp.

Yet even more than half a century later, the traumatic immigration is thought of as a miracle. Why has the myth of the Yemenite migration not been fully understood for what it was: a massive tragedy in…

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#‎goyim education‬:

did u know that before the term antisemitism was created, anti-jewish sentiment had a name in German, judenhaas: Jew hatred?

did u know that the term antisemitism was created specifically in order to legitimise the concept of judenhaas, as it was in turn used as a scientific basis for ha shoah (holocaust), bc the Jewish race was considered inferior and abhorrent and a threat to the white aryan race?

did u know that this is why the term antisemitism applies to Jews and Jews only, even though other Semitic peoples exist?