After Nearly A Century, American Judaism STILL Can’t Be Bothered With The Difference

Hi, I’m MaNishtana, and right now I am seriously, seriously, seriously annoyed.

Yet again, in an amazing show of irresponsible journalism and a masterful tapestry interweaving falsehoods, half-truths, emotional pandering, and guilt-baiting, the latest article from Tablet Magazine reads “Black Jewish Congregations Get Their Own Prayer Book, After Nearly a Century”, with a heartstring-tugging subtitle of “Mainstream Judaism doesn’t recognize their temples or their rabbis. In a new siddur, Black Jews tell their community’s story.”

Look, I don’t know how, many, times I have to tell you, but this IS NOT BLACK JUDAISM. IT IS NOT BLACK JEWRY. IT IS NOT THE BLACK JEWISH COMMUNITY.

“West African Jewish” liturgy and traditions? Really? Do the Igbo know about this? The Sefwi? Because I’m willing to bet they’d be hella surprised that apparently there’s some Jewish tradition that apparently they should be following, since, y’know, THEY’RE ACTUALLY WEST AFRICAN JEWS.

I’m really not understanding why I have to keep reiterating this point. ESPECIALLY since you’ve already demonstrated that you understand the concept.

What am I talking about?

Well this article right here from–shockingly enough–Tablet Magazine.

In it, it describes a group of Christians–White Christians–who have taken on Jewish practices. Orthodox practices even, such as getting circumcised, laying tefillin, keeping kosher, keeping Shabbat and holidays, and growing peyot.

However, does Tablet say these folk are “Jews who mainstream Judaism doesn’t recognize”? That they are part of “American Jewry”?


In fact, how does Tablet describe this group? Well, let’s see:

“Many of the thousand-plus people who attended Revive 2013, a religious conference held at the Dallas Sheraton last June, wear tzitzit. Many keep kosher and observe the Sabbath and Jewish holidays. Some of the men have beards and peyos. Some have even undergone adult circumcision and/or have circumcised their children. They learn Hebrew, Chumash, even Talmud, and travel whenever they can to Israel. All of them truly, deeply love Hashem.

Yet I’m fairly certain I was the only Jewish person there.”

“a movement of—for lack of a better term—Torah-observant gentiles. These are non-Jews who have no intention of converting to Judaism yet follow laws, customs, beliefs, and practices commonly associated with Judaism.

“Between classes I visited a small conference room on the second floor that acted as a makeshift day care. Most of the 20 or so children were wearing tzitzit, and some had yarmulkes—which are a rabbinic, not a biblical, precept. They listened as the counselors spoke about Hashem, forefathers, prayers, and Israel. When the children would get a little rowdy, the counselor would say a Hebrew prayer call-and-response: “Barchu es Ad-nai hamevorach!” And the kids would shout back, “Baruch Ad-nai hamevorach l’olam va’ed!”

“And many are fulfilling mitzvot that aren’t explicitly stated or detailed in the Torah, such as praying the rabbinic liturgy and observing Hanukkah. Some put on kosher tefillin every morning, and I met a number of Hebrew Roots followers who do not touch money on the Sabbath—which many of them call “Shabbos,” in the style of contemporary ultra-Orthodox Jews.
The unprecedented accessibility of Orthodox texts and ideas online has helped facilitate this appropriation.

“I asked Camero, as I asked everyone else I met, why he doesn’t simply convert to Judaism.

So…wait, you do get it Tablet and everyone else? You do get that just because a group of non-Jews has taken on Jewish and even Orthodox practices doesn’t mean that they are Jews?

For all those in the “Well I consider [these “Black Jews”] to be Jews” camp, do you also consider this group to be Jews, too?

So why is it when the group in question is Black, all of a sudden the group is a put-upon oppressed segment of Jews who aren’t being recognized by Big Judaism?

The discrepancy must only mean that, for all your enlightened, socially justified, forward-thinking, let’s-heal-the-world liberalism…you just don’t care.

Buy Thoughts From A Unicorn: 100% Black. 100% Jewish. 0% Safe.

An Open So-Called Letter

dear hebrew-israelites,

there are some things we all think you should know.  firstly, us black jews [us REAL ones: ortho, reform, conserv, what have you] would like to deeply thank you for f*cking the term “hebrew” up for all of us and for making a general mockery of our existence. thanks ever so.  no really. that’s not being sarcastic at all.  to say us and the rest of judaism are following a “false religion” is extremely funny coming from a cult-like group that follows a judaism-christian hybrid which neither side acknowledges. seriously guys. you make “sacrifices” on barbeque pits in the middle of the sidewalk.  that sound you hear is 2009 knocking on the door trying to get in.  or maybe its reality.  i can never tell.

dear israelites, what is your perseveration in saying that we are slaves to a “white” book? [i.e., the talmud…the fact notwithstanding that you follow the new testament…which was orignally written in greek…and canonized by a roman emperor…so yeah, do the math there…]

dear israelites, even if the talmud is a “white” book [which would be highly unlikely, it having been composed in babylon and israel]. so what?  is there anything inherently “white” about saying “you can start prayer in the morning when the light is strong enough to distinguish between blue and green”?  or about saying “this is how you make tzitzit.  not just some graduation tassels attached to your jeans”?  or “hey don’t go wandering around at weird hours alone”?  or “to save a life is to save the entire world”?  its just helpful guidance, man.  do you not use light because thomas edison invented the lightbulb and he’s white?  or you don’t drive cars because they were invented by white henry ford? and i KNOW y’all wear cotton.  that’s a whole bag of slavery-filled worms in itself.

and by the way, we get it. hell a lot of us even agree: the original jews were black.  that having been said, so what?  what’s the point of standing on the corner on your loudspeaker on Shabbat telling us how black the first jews were when, y’know, YOU’RE STANDING ON THE CORNER ON YOUR LOUDSPEAKER ON SHABBAT??  that’s like a homeless guy talking about his rich his parents are.  what’s the point?  either actually be about it or shut up.  we’re really not interested in the out of context scriptures you’re hive-mind chanting at us anyway.

and speaking of scripture, please direct me to where it says “behold, and thou shalt dress in a manner as if thou art the bastard offspring of a threesome between the power rangers, the village people, and lawrence of arabia.”

dear  israelites, if the rumors are true, why do you pay white people to play dumb so you can defeat them with your dubious logic?  b/c by all rights your arguments should go down something like this:

“the so-called white jews are pretenders. that’s why they’re jew-ish!  what does reddish mean? not really red, right?  what does bluish mean? kinda blue, right? so they’re jew-ish.  not really jews, but kinda.”

“…so if I’m irish, does that mean I’m almost from ireland?”

[dumb look]

see?  why would someone not make that normal logical progression unless they were being paid not to?  tricksy, tricksy israelites, you.

i’m almost baffled at how you’re able to recruit, what with you fighting white ppl, condescending on black ppl, suppressing women and collecting wives like pokemon.

but i gotta admit i’m a lil bit jealous. you guys have got your schools and “temples” and communities and such.  even a website.  that’s more than us JOCs have.  if only there were a way to harness your power.

and, y’know, not have the crazy rub off.

[now, before anyone thinks this is a free for all: the main purpose of this post is to give a voice to jocs who feel israelites  cause  their existence to be ridiculed  and to clarify the difference to regular black folk the difference between black jews and hebrew israelites, and more importantly that black jews are not stephen fletchit uncle tom’s blindly following “white ppl” around.  something actually goes on in our heads.  no this isn’t an opportunity for all the closet racists to slink out of the closet and begin racially charged tirades thinly veiled as indignation. im not for you, im against them. that “enemy of my enemy” deal doesn’t fly with me.  you guys come from the same chasm of ignorance and racism. also, im not insinuating that anyone posting a comment here who happens to be white is one of the aforementioned closet racists. but if you are, you have been put on notice.  that is all.]


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