hi! when it comes to world building, what would do you do when you have something that affects the whole world but is problematic for a specific subset of people? for instance a virus that turns people into vampirism: would you say its better to find an alternate way for Muslim characters not to drink blood and say so explicitly, have them be immune to it, remove Muslim characters altogether so you don't face that problem, or smth else? thanks!
Vampires, Virus that affects whole world, & how Muslim [and Jewish] people factor into that
In the case of Muslims, it is tricky. Blood is absolutely forbidden. In extreme situations in which there is no other thing to eat, it becomes permissible, but only for survival reasons, which in this case does not apply. There is the possibility that you give your vampires a few things they may feed in, not just blood; for example, a chemical substance that would kill any ordinary being, or even oil, if you prefer a thick liquid.
The other complicated concept is vampirism. Now, death has a huge significance in Islam; death and the dead are sacred. There is no coming back from it; and the classical vampire is a, basically, living dead. In the story I am writing, I have creatures that are similar in almost every aspect to vampires, but since there is this point, I erased the part that they are living dead and just made up a different process for people to become vampire.
Also, since living forever is, in Islam, one of Allah’s attributes, it can’t be a thing for any other living being. This, unless you give them an expiring date. And I mean – we believe that many Prophets, and subsequently, the people coexisting in their times, lived a lot of years. For example, Prophet Noah lived 900 years. And the life span of djinns (unseen creatures) is also much longer than that of humans. Your Muslim vampires can live 500 years if you want, just give an expiring date.
After all this, I am in no authority to tell you what to do with your story, but in this situation, you can choose between removing your Muslim characters (which would be sad since there is almost no representation in that sub-genre) or make them have a different process of turning vampire, being “vegan” vampires and having an expiring date.
[Mod team note, we wanted to add a Jewish POV since its relevant here too]
From a Jewish perspective (since we also can't consume blood), this is a sticky one. On the one hand, it can be frustrating to be constantly left out of post-apocalyptic fiction, or sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction... literature, romance... really all of it. On the other hand, consumption of blood is forbidden religiously, often avoided culturally, and particularly tricky when you consider the long, violent history of blood-libel accusations (and the murders they often bring).
Covering this, at least for Jewish people, would require an incredibly delicate approach, and with the world's history with blood libel it probably would be inadvisable to try to tackle this as an outsider. Finding a way for us to not drink blood might be able to work, but you will want to be sure you don't step on other tropes to do it (government control, theft, being non-human etc), and get sensitivity readers during, and after writing.
in the form of the fruit, vigorously chased with etrog and foliage, embossed and engraved inscriptions with the dedication to a rabbi from his pupil, gilt interior.
The Hebrew inscriptions read on the top of the cover: "And you shall take... the fruit of goodly trees" (Leviticus 23:40); on the rim of the cover: "In honour of my teacher Rabbi Joseph Pollack, May he live L[ong] g[ood] years, H[ead of the] r[abbinical] c[ourt] of the H[oly] C[ongregation] of Verpelét (Hungary), from his admirer Samuel Gross, 696 (1936)."
*Personal - please don’t reblog*
This week's Parsha is called Lech L'cha (Lekh Lekha) which literally means "go for you" or "leave". It holds a special place in my heart. It's a big reason I'm Baalat Teshuva today.
It was this time almost 5 years ago that I was struggling with my faith. I had spent so long looking to understand the Universe and my place within it and was exhausted. I had reached a place where I just kept learning more and more about Judaism and was falling in love. Everything made sense to me, and questions I had or didn’t know I had were answered completely. I felt that this is was the path HaShem was leading me down, but I had a lot of fear about what other’s would think, and also the consequences of abandoning other faiths (”what if I go to hell?” etc).
The commitment and complete lifestyle change embracing Torah would require of me also scared me. I loved Judaism deeply but felt lost and confused and was uncertain of what I believed HaShem wanted for me. I spent 13 years at Catholic school and my main understanding of the Tanakh was through a Catholic lens.
I had already read a large portion of the Torah Shebichitav, but felt like I should go back and follow the Parsha cycle, as well as actually read the teachings of our Rabbis and Sages.
I was gaining more and more connection, but growing more and more confused, and finally reached a boiling point; then a new week began and with it Parsha Lech L'cha.
Lech L’cha covers (Abram) Avraham and Sarai’s acceptance of G-d’s call and to join in covenant with HaShem.
I don’t believe it is a coincidence that this was the Parsha at the very moment I needed guidance as to whether or not to accept G-d’s call and join in covenant. I really believe it was HaShem’s way of telling me, “leave” what I didn’t need anymore and “go” to Him.
For that reasons, it’s one of my favourite Parshot to read. I will always be grateful to HaShem for the Torah, and I will always be grateful to HaShem for guiding me to Torah.
God, as somebody that grew up in a largely jewish community, holocaust denial is like... so fucking weird.
Because I don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t terrified of swastika’s, including when I was so young that I didn’t even know what a swastika was.
Because it’s such a strangely specific feeling to be born in the wake of a tragedy so massive that you can still feel it’s reverberations and were born with a weird sense of survivors guilt that will shadow you forever
Because when we were younger and our parents refused to tell us exactly what the holocaust was, we would trade our grandparents horrific experiences like they were scary stories across the camp fire, repeating them over and over to ourselves and eachother so we could figure out what it all meant.
Because I’d see those books with grey photos of Auschtwitz prisoners on the cover and feel like they were looking straight fucking at me.
Because every single Yom HaShoah you’d hear grade school children get up and say “my grandmother was the only one left of her family” or “they barely got out before it started” or “they managed to hide in an attic for months on end” or “my great grandmother managed to jump off one of the trains with her daughter in her arms” or “my grandfather has numbers on his arms but he won’t talk about it” or “my great aunt was shot just before the liberation so she couldn’t get out,” like it was normal.
Because we were always taught to run if we were in a group of non-jews that started making nazi jokes, to laugh along and then take the fuck off to stay safe.
Because the question always lingered over our heads, “what if it happens again? what if it happens to us?”
.... and them some stupid fucking college age white trash dickhead stands up and says “it didn’t happen” or “it wasn’t that bad” and I just can’t... fathom that? Like how the fuck wasn’t this part of your life? How is this not etched into your bones?
And its because it’s not. Like people didn’t grow up with this shit, some people can afford to deny the holocaust and deny antisemitism because it won’t hurt them.
Christians (specifically Protestants): we have little versions of our sacred text that we carry around in our pockets to pull out if we encounter something and want guidance. The version used during sermons and in church are the same ones that we carry with us
Jews: you can read the torah and Tanakh in a normal book if you want. But if you want a torah you can use as a congregation? *cracks knuckles* you must prepare paper made from the skin of a kosher animal and special ink and a quill made from a turkey feather and you must use no metal in the preparation process because metal is used in the creation of weapons for war and before you even think about actually started to write you must take The Holy Bath to purify yourself and ritually blot out the name of Amalek, the sworn enemy of the Jewish people and every time you write the name of god on the scroll you must say it out loud and recite a special prayer and if you mess up one letter you have to start over and when the scroll is finished you must wrap it in tapestries and pretty cloth and shit and then put little crowns on the end and then put it in a Super Special Box in the synagogue so every time it’s time to read it you can open the Super Special Box and everyone can gawk at the Ultra Big Boy Important Text and the words of god within the scroll. this entire process takes about a year to complete and is done by special sofer’s that devote their lives to making Torah’s specifically and when you read from the torah you must use a little tiny pointer in the shape of a hand so your hands don’t mess up the paper. Oh, you think I kid? You think I jest?
(rb encouraged for everyone. Share the sacred baby hands with the goyim. Everyone deserves to know about the sacred baby hands)
The fact that thousands of Jewish families across the United States are being forced to decide whether to send their children to their first day of school or observe their religious practices is just more proof that antisemitism is culturally Ingrained and that westerners never cared about diversity or considering religious and ethnic minorities. Having one of the most important school days on one of the most important Jewish holidays (Rosh Hashanah) is so tone deaf, especially with the increasing amount of antisemitism and violence against America’s Jewish community this year.
the openwork backplate modeled as a pair of lions holding an oval framed menorah below a baldachin, lacks servant light.
2. Middle-Eastern brass small Hanukah lamp
The scene depicts the Maccabees cleansing the Temple. The central figure is the Kohen Gadol, the high priest. The Hebrew inscription reads: "For the commandment is a lamp and the Torah is a light" (Proverbs 6:23).
normalize not celebrating xmas. like every single piece of media involving xmas in any way shape or form has everyone celebrating it like no matter their religion they just like do it for the spirit or the holiday or whatever and if they originally don't it ends w them giving in out of consideration and being guilted. like if you love xmas, that's great. i love bubble tea and i love rosh hashanah, but i don't expect everyone to love them or even experience them. it's not sad for me if someone doesn't enjoy them bc i'm not a self obsessed prick who assumes everyone else enjoys and celebrates the same things i do. pls be respectful this year, pls acknowledge xmas IS NOT a secular holiday, please do not other and exclude those who do not celebrate it. and btw this goes beyond inclusive language.
(goyim and christians/atheists can rb and add if you want but do not clown i am begging you)
...what things are antisemitic that gentiles don’t usually pick up on?
I was talking to my wife the other day and the word “cabal” came up, and also following some folks who practice Jewish mysticism, I was like “wait a minute...I bet money that this word has antisemitic roots” and sure enough, gentiles took it from the term “Kabbalah” and now it means cult or secret political group. Yikes.
If I was able to pick up on that, I was wondering what kinda stuff flies under my brain’s Hate Detection Radar all the time.
Hi friend! Such an important question, and thanks so much for asking it.
Because antisemitism is one of the world’s oldest prejudices, it is absolutely baked into our language (particularly in the west, but thanks to western imperialism it is a global problem as well). Cabal is a great example of a word that is steeped in antisemitism but that many people do not realize is antisemitic in origin. Here’s some other words/phrases that I hear used uncritically by people and that are steeped in antisemitism:
- New world order/NWO
- Global elites/cosmopolitan elites/coastal elites
- “Jew down”/“jewed”
- lizard people
And some dog whistles that are more pointedly antisemitic, but that the uninitiated may not realize are antisemitic code:
- Zionist organized government/ZOG
- kosher tax
- “the goyim know”
There’s plenty more (sadly), but these are the ones I see floating around unchallenged the most often, so I thought I’d highlight them. Thanks again for such a good and helpful question!