I came across this video and thought it was such a terrific discussion on how people react to a woman who wears a tichel to cover her hair. I absolutely love her vlogs and am so inspired!
Beauty in Modesty
Some of us ladies feel a deep spiritual calling to cover our hair. Women from all walks of life and religions desire this righteous and holy action. This blog post is dedicated to all the people, women and men, who cover, veil or cap their head/hair for religious/spiritual purposes. For years I've worn head coverings off and on and feel it is time to do a head covering challenge where I wear a Tichel or pretied head covering for six months or so and see how I feel. I initially felt like people thought I was weird and I would remove it but really I think that if I wear it with confidence others will not think it's so odd. And if they do then oh well, right?
For information on different styles of headscarf wraps please visit The Style Underground Blog or for a study from the Jewish perspective see the Path of Abraham (Modesty). Thoseheadcoverings blog offers many links for various types of head coverings and this head coverings article from Blogalini highlights head covering across oceans of time and spiritual faith.
This woman shares a beautiful story as to why she likes to wear scarves....
The next video is an inter-religious discussion regarding head covering from a modesty perspective in different religious walks. I lived in Egypt for two years while in high school and I often asked the Muslim girls why they like to cover their hair. They told me it's because it is a beautiful action to do it. As a girl from California I had a hard time understanding why a woman would want to be oppressed. What I would learn 25 years later is that a woman with a head covering is not being oppressed she is liberated. Women who do not wear head coverings are not as free as they think. We are bound by fashion and pressure to make our hair beautiful and pleasant for others. If we are a free society, women and men should be allowed to express their religious and personal beliefs even if it means that they do not dress like the standard Western protocol.
The feminist movement says that women are liberated from male oppression because we are now able to be pressured into being undressed. We have the freedom to walk around revealing the sacredness of our bodies so that men can enjoy seeing it when they work with us, when we walk down the street or when a woman is used to sell products using her sexuality. I find it odd that a woman with a head covering or clothing that is modest and not showing her breasts or bum that she is seen as a threat to the feminist movement. If anything feminists should encourage a woman's right to express her desire to keep her spiritual self protected in this physical world. I am very grateful that there are other women out there on a deep spiritual path and encourage us to have the bravery to express our spirituality in individual ways.
The Yidgal Jewish Prayer in Song
The Yidgal is a traditional Jewish prayer based on the 13 Principals of Faith by Moses ben Maimon. Enjoy!
Jewish Conversion Discussion by OneShul
Please go check out this discussion by OneShul about conversion where certain questions that you might be afraid to ask are answered.
Forgiveness Without Human Sacrifice!
As an ex-Christian one of the things that kept bothering me during my years in Christianity was the notion of God required a human sacrifice for forgiveness of sin. Why would God require the blood of a human to be spilled to forgive my mistakes?
The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers; every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
Keep this verse in mind while reading the rest and even come back to it when you have finished this long blog post. It is commanded by God that each person pays for his/her sins directly and that no one else is to pay for them.
In fact there are several places in the Tanakh that denounce human sacrifice so why would God change His mind and require this on a pagan torture device no less? If you think about it really carefully and just be brave enough for a moment to question the ludicrous you can actually see that not only was Jesus a human and NOT a lamb, he died in pain and not on the alter! For a sacrifice to be acceptable to HaShem, it should not have suffered too much. The other point here that I would like to highlight in case you missed it, is simply the fact that Jesus was a human and NOT a lamb. If you refer to him symbolically as a lamb that is one thing but people take it literally when they say he was the passover lamb of offering for sin.
However, the passover lamb is NOT for atonement of sin! The passover lamb was for the Israelites to be protected from the wrath of God as the spirit of death moved through Egypt to take the firstborn of every household. Additionally, Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son as a test to his loyalty to God. Does he allow him to kill his son on a stone? NO! He obviously does NOT want human sacrifice!
I think it is possible that someone took this verse out of context to say that God makes Himself a sacrifice in the form of a lamb
And Abraham said: 'God will provide Himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son.' So they went both of them together.
However, in context it means that he will bring it by His own will not that He will become a lamb/man for slaughter.
And he said: 'Lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him; for now I know that thou art a God-fearing man, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from Me.' And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt-offering in the stead of his son.
In the story of Abraham you see clearly that the sacrifice of a son is not what is desired but was a test of obedience. What's more, there is no drinking of blood or eating the boy's flesh! The child was never meant to be killed and is why the ram was stuck in the bushes just near them.
Read these verses if you think that you must drink the blood of a human (even symbolically) to make up for your mistakes.
Consumption of blood is forbidden:
Leviticus 17:10 - 14
And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among them, that eateth any manner of blood, I will set My face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people.
(note here that EAT blood is not limited to the eating as in food but consuming: אכל, 'âkal, aw-kal' - it also means to "consume", "devour", "dine", "eat", "feed (with)", "food, eat freely")
For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that maketh atonement by reason of the life.
(this means that blood is special and if a sacrifice is offered for sin then the blood should not be consumed but should flow on the alter rather than you consume it as part of the sacrifice)
Therefore I said unto the children of Israel: No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.
And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among them, that taketh in hunting any beast or fowl that may be eaten, he shall pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust.
(so even if you go hunt an animal and it is not an offering you must still drain the blood out of it before eating it and cover that blood with dust; NOT consume it!)
For as to the life of all flesh, the blood thereof is all one with the life thereof; therefore I said unto the children of Israel: Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh; for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof; whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.
(if you consume the blood of any kind of flesh you are CUT OFF! Do you really think it is a Jewish teaching to consume the blood of a man? Also this confirms the idea of eating a man's flesh is equally repugnant!)
So how CAN we receive forgiveness? Well in the Tanakh there are some verses to describe this:
For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God rather than burnt-offerings.
(51:18) For Thou delightest not in sacrifice, else would I give it; Thou hast no pleasure in burnt-offering.
(40:7) Sacrifice and meal-offering Thou hast no delight in; mine ears hast Thou opened; burnt-offering and sin-offering hast Thou not required.
Psalms 34:18, 19
(34:19) The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, and saveth such as are of a contrite spirit. (34:20) Many are the ills of the righteous, but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
(14:3) Take with you words, and return unto the LORD; say unto Him: 'Forgive all iniquity, and accept that which is good; so will we render for bullocks the offering of our lips.
(you shall use your words as an offering with a realization and deep regret for sin)
Micah 6:6 -8
'Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before Him with burnt-offerings, with calves of a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?'
It hath been told thee, O man, what is good, and what the LORD doth require of thee: only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.
(do you see that you should NOT give your firstborn for the sin of your soul! If you shall not do that why would God do that? The question of who the "firstborn son" of God is is another discussion but here's a hint: it's Israel!)
Jeremiah 7:22, 23
For I spoke not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt-offerings or sacrifices; but this thing I commanded them, saying: 'Hearken unto My voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be My people; and walk ye in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.'
(If a blood sacrifice were most important it would have been one of the first revelations. Yet here God is reminding the people that the most important thing is to LISTEN and OBEY the Creator.)
He that covereth his transgressions shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall obtain mercy.
1 Kings 8:38, 39
what prayer and supplication soever be made by any man of all Thy people Israel, who shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house; then hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling-place, and forgive, and do, and render unto every man according to all his ways, whose heart Thou knowest - for Thou, even Thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men -
He prayeth unto God, and He is favourable unto him; so that he seeth His face with joy; and He restoreth unto man his righteousness.
Numbers 16:46 -48
(17:11) And Moses said unto Aaron: 'Take thy fire-pan, and put fire therein from off the altar, and lay incense thereon, and carry it quickly unto the congregation, and make atonement for them; for there is wrath gone out from the LORD: the plague is begun.'
(17:12) And Aaron took as Moses spoke, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people; and he put on the incense, and made atonement for the people.
(17:13) And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.
But if his means suffice not for two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, then he shall bring his offering for that wherein he hath sinned, the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin-offering; he shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put any frankincense thereon; for it is a sin-offering.
Lev 5:11 brings up two points worthy to note:
In conclusion it is impossible that Judaism would see a man as a proper sacrifice for other people's sins. Additionally we've seen why it is against the Torah, or teachings and laws, of God to try to put our sins on another person. There is one Torah and it makes us wise which is why it is a gift!
Yes, sometimes chocolate needs a conversion in order for your recipe to work! Sometimes choclate bars may include dairy and if you keep a kosher home and are preparing a dessert for after a meal of mean then the dessert should not contain dairy. You can in this case scrap the dairy chocolate bar and use cocoa powder made with a non-dairy fat like Coconut Oil (my favorite replacement for shortening) or Grapeseed Oil.
I found this site that provides conversions for all kinds of chocolate needed in various recipes. I wanted to post this immediately so that way you all can have it straight away!
For my current recipe I need to use chocolate pieces so I am going to use this formula instead of non Kosher chocolate.
"3 level tablespoons unsweetened cocoa and 1 tablespoon butter, margarine or shortening for every 1-ounce unsweetened baking chocolate."
Let me know if this resource proves helpful for you as it did me. Happy Kosher cooking, and Be'te Avon!