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"I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking of me… all I ask is that you respect me as a human being."- Jackie Robinson


"I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking of me… all I ask is that you respect me as a human being."- Jackie Robinson


West Virginia Is Home To “Man Eating Hillbillies”?

Some yahoo posted the following comment to a Facebook post (seen below)….

"What would happen if the over 350 million Americans [were] pulled into the middle east? Including those man eating hill billies from mountains of West Virginia. Palestinians should be happy they only got israel on thier border to deal with."

WTF dude. (?????)


I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science.
Wernher Von BraunWernher Von Braun


Pennsylvania Home Finance Agency

Important links for first-time PA home buyers

116 Notes


How was your ride home from work? #IsraelUnderFire

For hundreds of Israelis, this is how their drive home from work went, courtesy of Hamas rockets. This has to stop.

1659 Notes

Oh this makes me smile :-)

Oh this makes me smile :-)


Research on Media Bias

1 Notes

A Potential Convert to Judaism’s Guide to Jewish Denominations - II


For many reasons, conversion to Judaism in the Orthodox community is the most difficult. This is because of the steep learning curve from living as a non-Jew to living as an Orthodox Jew, and also because of the social structure that a successful convert-to-be must assimilate to and hopefully become accepted in.

Synagogue & Ritual: Services in Orthodox Jewish congregations all are in Hebrew, However many Modern Orthodox congregations, or other congregations who have a lot of baalei teshuva (non-Orthodox born Jews who became Orthodox later in life) may offer instructions during the service in English. All holidays and services (including weekday) are conducted. To convert, you will be expected to attend synagogue regularly (even if many others in the congregation do not), become familiar with Hebrew, conduct Jewish rituals at home, adhere to the proper mode of dress, keep kosher at all times, and live within walking distance to the synagogue (preferably within the eruv if your community has one).

The People: It can vary greatly; however the majority of Orthodox Jewish communities consist of traditional family units (a husband, wife and children) who are knowledgeable and observant of Jewish ritual. Because conversion within Orthodox Judaism is not common, it may take some time to feel welcomed by the congregation. If the majority of the children in the congregation attend Jewish day school full-time, then they may have very limited contact with non-Jews; setting the stage for some awkwardness. Also there is always some degree of separation between the sexes. If you are single, casual friendships with the opposite sex are discouraged. Dating (even if you are dating another Orthodox Jew) is also a big ‘no-no’.

Pros: Orthodox conversions are just about universally accepted by non-Orthodox Jews. On the rare occasion, you may have an Orthodox conversion called into question by another Orthodox community. This is especially the case in Israel for Orthodox conversions performed abroad. Due to the all-encompassing nature of Orthodox Jewish lifestyle, a convert to Orthodox Judaism ends up being very knowledgeable and very committed to Judaism. Orthodox Judaism suits those who are looking for a very deep, transformative conversion experience.

Cons: Many factors, some out of the potential convert’s control, can make you ineligible for an Orthodox Jewish conversion. For example, there is no leniency to allow you to convert if you are intermarried, have a job that prevents you from fully observing the Sabbath and holidays, unable to relocate to live within the Jewish community, or if you have any issues with accepting any one of the mitzvot (commandments) required of Jews. Additionally a potential convert must, for the most part, change their entire lifestyle, which can alienate family, friends, and professional colleagues. The conversion process can take years to complete as well. And finally it can be difficult to connect with an Orthodox rabbi for conversion. Not all will sponsor them or assist with them.


Reconstructionist / Humanistic / Renewal

These Jewish congregations only make up a small fraction of the Jewish community, and usually are only found in urban areas with sizable Jewish populations. The exact rules and theology of these movements can be hard to define and can vary greatly. However they are also tolerant of each Jew’s/individual’s desire to deviate from their tenets. 

Synagogue & Ritual: Reconstructionist Jewish services can contain a good amount of Hebrew (perhaps just as much as Conservative) and communal ritual. However they often are creative with its execution. Sometimes you’ll see the incorporation of non-Jewish sources and material…which can be comforting to non-Jews.

The People: While these congregations openly embrace Jewish ritual and Hebrew, they officially see them as just folkways that unify the Jewish nation. Theologically and spiritually, they are very liberal…even to the point of being agnostic for some members. Alternative lifestyles are welcomed, so many LGBT, interfaith, secular Jews are drawn to these movement.

Pros: Tolerance for alternative viewpoints and lifestyles within these movements are high. If you wish to convert to Judaism, yet incorporate other aspects of non-Jewish and secular Jewish life, you can.

Cons: Conversions performed by these Rabbis may not be widely accepted. Since the “rules” of Judaism are so varied, some converts may grew frustrated with the lack of depth and commitment to classical Judaism.


3 Notes

A Potential Convert to Judaism’s Guide to Jewish Denominations

I’ve been reading a lot on Jewish conversion recently. I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s depression and my need to feel like my presence on this planet has a purpose. Anyway, I’ve come across a lot of posts and messages written from those who are thinking about converting to Judaism. Boy does my heart go out to these people!

Anyway, because this is Tumblr (and I don’t want to make this too long), let me get right to it:


Of all of the Jewish denominations, Reform Judaism is the most open and welcoming to converts. Keep in mind, the majority of conversions that occur within the Reform movement are gentiles who are married to or romantically involved with a born Jew. So if you are young, single and just looking to convert for primarily spiritual reasons, you may feel like the odd person out. That’s how I felt anyway.

Synagogue & Ritual: Reform synagogue services are relatively easy to follow along with. There is a lot of English in the service and usually a lot of congregational singing. Many congregations will let you fully participate in the service (i.e. opening the ark, lifting the Torah, being called up to the Torah) even before you convert.

The People: In my experience, Reform Jews are very diverse in terms of lifestyle. Some are more spiritual than others. Some are just there while their children are in their formative years (for Hebrew school…they’ll stop coming once they are bar/bat mitzvah). Some are very liberal socially and politically and that carries over to them being a Reform Jew. While they may say that it’s praiseworthy to study, only 20-25% of Reform Jews are very knowledgeable about Torah and halacha. Instead for them, major holiday observance and community participation comprise the bulk of Judaism.

Pros: Reform rabbis are usually very open and welcoming to potential converts. Just about any lifestyle situation is ok and will not immediately invalidate you as a conversion candidate. The conversion process itself is not too demanding and can be customized to some extent by either you or your rabbi. Reform shuls are more commonplace and there is a good chance that you already live relatively close to one.

Cons: If you are big into Jewish spirituality and learning, you may be the odd person out. The same goes if you are observant of Jewish rituals. Chances are 90% of you congregational peers will not be. Also Reform conversions are not accepted by the other Jewish denominations (generally) except for maybe Reconstructionist.



Conservative Judaism and Jews are more traditional that Reform. However it depends on the congregation just how more traditional (it can vary). Historically, Conservative Judaism didn’t do too much in regards to formally extending a welcoming hand to potential converts. However, due to the dwindling population, Conservative Rabbis are beginning to be more encouraging.

Synagogue & Ritual: Conservative services tend to have a good amount of Hebrew included. Some congregations may explain more to the congregants, others may not (making for a steep learning curve). It depends on the congregation as to whether or not there is a lot of congregational singing. Service participation is usually not offered to non-Jews, although there are certainly exceptions.

The People: Conservative Jews usually come from families with a rich Jewish heritage. Many may have had Orthodox parents and Grandparents. Since Conservative synagogues are not as quite as commonplace as Reform, so many Conservative synagogues have large memberships. This may make a convert feel marginalized and not able to connect well with the host Jewish community.

Pros: Many Conservative congregations are well-established, and provide a good community. Clergy and lay leaders promote more in regards to Jewish observance. Is more flexible than Orthodoxy in regards to personal lifestyle choices and observance level. A Conservative conversion usually contains all of the halachaic requirements to make it kosher (however don’t count on Orthodox Jews accepting your conversion, since they don’t recognize the authority of Conservative Beis Din members).

Cons: There can be a lot of variance in observance, custom, and outlook from congregation to congregation. Often times these differences are not clear to newcomers (unlike Orthodox congregations, where their history/worship style/customs are usually clearly differentiated). Conservative rabbis may be a bit elusive to converts. Some Conservative congregations are experiencing a bit of turmoil as members and/or clergy move towards tackling issues such as inclusion of the LGBT community and interfaith households.


(to be continued…)


Reggae artists real names

For some reason, this is absolutely fascinating to me!