The Jewish Community Stands Together Against Hate Crimes

The Jewish People Aren't Going Anywhere

Despite the latest hate crime, the Jewish community still stands together.

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To say I am still in disbelief on what happened on Saturday does not even come close to describe my emotions. Saturday is the day of worship for people, a day where we can forget all the daily stresses of our lives and spend it with the ones we love. Growing up my dad always looked forward to Saturday and my siblings and I did too because it was a day we could spend with our dad doing the things we all wanted. We would start off the day with Shabbas services, have lunch and then spend the rest of our day with our parents playing games or watching movies.

This was our routine for every Saturday of my life and every Saturday went the way I wanted it, until this past Saturday.

For this to happen on Shabbas scares me but for it to happen during a ceremony to celebrate a new life makes me sick to my stomach. One of the eleven victims survived the Holocaust, the deadliest massacre of not just the Jewish people but people in general. The shooter screamed "all Jews must die" when he attacked the synagogue. Antisemitism still exists and while there may be doubts this is an example that there is so much to be addressed in the US.

I grew up spending every Saturday at synagogue but not when I mention synagogue this image will pop into my mind. Not my Bar Mitzvah, not my dad calling me up for an Aliyah or to have another honor but a synagogue with the name life in it being the end of people's lives. People like me who were Jewish and proud.

Judaism is one of the most important things in my life. I grew up in a Jewish household and went to a Jewish camp. I wear a necklace with the Hebrew word for life and helped restart a Jewish fraternity on my campus. This villain wanted Jews to die but he didn't realize that the Jewish people do not go so easily. People have come up to me and asked: "If the Jews are God's chosen people why have they been through so many hardships?"

I do not know the answer to this question but I do know that the Jewish people are some of the strongest people in history.

When Israel was conquered by different religions and empires the Jews kept their faith and did not take the easy way out. This could have cost them their lives but the Jews would rather have died Jewish instead of changing their faith. So fast forward to today where people are grieving for the eleven people lost but these eleven people will always be with me. They were bright souls in the community and people that could make the room beam with their presence. They will not be forgotten but most importantly they inspire us. They inspire us to make a change, to come together and of course to keep fighting for our faith. Judaism may have to deal with some obstacles but it is not going anywhere.

To be a Jew is to be strong with a strength that has outlived persecutions. It is to be wise against ignorance, honest against piracy, harmless against evil, kind against cruelty. Today, I was lucky enough to observe a beautiful moment where a vigil to remember the lost lives was overflowing with people. Whether they were Jewish or not they cared about what happened and are here to help. There might be people who want Judaism to end but there are even more people who want it to grow.

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A Letter From God To Help You Finish The Semester

God sees your struggles and He's here to give you strength and motivation.
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My Child,

The lack of motivation towards the end of the semester is normal. You are mentally and physically tired, but you are almost at the end. Don’t stop walking down the perfect path I have for you. When you’re going along and you come upon a speedbump, I want you to go over it and keep driving. The paper you have to write and the test you have to study for are just small speedbumps I have given you to make you wiser. You can write that paper and you can gain motivation to study for that test. I am here to give you strength, and am here to open up your mind and give you motivation.

You are so loved. You have such a beautiful mind. The light of Jesus shines through your eyes and your smile brings comfort to the world. There’ll be times you feel like you’re carrying a heavy load. There’ll be times you feel like the task I have given you is impossible to perform. But remember this: I would never put anything upon your shoulders that you cannot carry. If I put you in a certain situation, it’s because I know you are strong enough to go through it.

When you feel like crying, cry to me. When you feel like a failure, remember how much I love you. You are not a failure and you are not going to give up. I will hold your hand through every second of your life. I will seek your heart through your darkest moments. I see you, I see your heart, and I see your burdens. And remember that I have your heart which means I also have your burdens. Follow my footsteps and you will be free from the doubt. Remember Mark 4:40-41: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” I have the power to calm any storm and wave. I have the power to calm YOUR storms and waves. Set your doubt, anger, and tiredness in my hands and simply be patient.

Romans 8:14-15 says,“For those who are led by the spirit of God are the children of God. The spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again, rather the spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.” Nothing can separate you from my love. Not even your lack of motivation. You have no motivation because you do not feel good enough. You are more than good enough. You were perfectly made by me and when I look down at you, I think of how proud I am of your heart.

Throughout the last few weeks of this semester, you will stumble upon speedbumps. But hold the hand of my son Jesus and you will be able to go over that speedbump with ease. Go write that paper, go study for that test, and go get an A in that class. I know you can because I have given you power.

Love,

God

Cover Image Credit: Margaret Carnes

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23 Celebrity NJBs You Can Take Home to Your Bubbe

They're nice, Jewish, and famous???

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If you've ever heard a Jewish girl go on and on about wanting to find an "NJB," she's referring to the term, "nice Jewish boy." It has become a Jewish stereotype that really isn't the worst thing Jewish men have been associated with, but in today's culture, it's turning into a phenomenon. There's even an NJB Calendar complete with photos and short bios.

What exactly makes a Jewish boy an NJB, though? Well, first off, they have to be Jewish. They don't necessarily have to be full-Jewish, but they should at least be 1/8 Jewish, having descended from at least one Jewish great-grandparent. They also have to be kind and respectful. Joe Goldberg from Netflix's "YOU," not an NJB. Literally, anyone who isn't a jerk, sociopath, or murderer: most likely NJB.

I have compiled a list, either taken from a Google search of male Jewish celebrities or asking around to my Jewish girlfriends, of their favorite celebrity NJBs. They are listed in no particular order.

1. Logan Lerman

Whether you love him from his role of Percy Jackson in The Lightning Thief or Charlie in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, your Bubbe will definitely approve of this one!

2. Nick Kroll

Nick Kroll is the #1 NJB in my book. It's not all about the looks, ladies and gents! This man also is hilarious and has a personality!

3. Andy Samberg

The dorkiness just makes him all the more cuter. Nine-Nine!

4. Daniel Radcliffe

Yer Jewish, Harry! That's right! While not a practicing Jew, Daniel's mother is Jewish, and he's pretty proud of his Jewish heritage.

5. Jeff Golblum

I mean... who doesn't love Jeff Goldblum? This man ages like fine wine. He remains an icon from his role in Jurassic Park (those leather pants, amiright?) to becoming The Master in Thor: Ragnorak.

6. Harrison Ford

Following Adam Sandler's "Hanukkah Song," Harrison Ford is a 1/4 Jew! Another man who still looks good to this day (and was my first celebrity crush as a child).

9. Max Greenfield

Greenfield's character Schmidt on New Girl is still one of my Jewish icons!

10. Adam Sandler

I just couldn't compile this list without including Adam Sandler!

11. Troye Sivan

Here's one for the boys!

12. Paul Rudd

Okay, but like, go and look at the cast of I Love You, Man and look how many Jewish actors/actresses are in that movie!

15. Seth Rogan

Have you seen Seth Rogan's "Hilarity for Charity" on Netflix? If you haven't, go watch it.

16. Zac Efron

While Zefron is playing the not-at-all nice boy, Ted Bundy in his upcoming movie, "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile," he himself is, in fact, an NJB

18. Timothée Chalamet

This young man (and his perfect bone structure) has been quite on the come-up lately

19. Dan Avidan

Almost forgot about this nerdastical gamer from Game Grumps on YouTube!

20. Jake Gyllenhaal

He's both cute and nice, but his last name is definitely a woozy when it comes to spelling

22. Ben Platt

Remember when he played that really awkward guy in Pitch Perfect? Now look at him. He's am award-winning Broadway star, and he's got an album coming out!

Now, there are dozens of more celebrity NJBs out there. These are just a few. I definitely left out a few, either because the list would go on and on, or you really shouldn't bring them home to your Bubbe anyway.

For example, Adam Levine, as cute and talented as he may be, is 1. married, and 2. covered in tattoos. I've personally got nothing against tattoos, but I can't say the same for your Bubbe.

I'm only looking out for you, girlfriend.

While we may fantasize about not only having an NJB, but they also happening to be famous, life is not always perfect and doesn't follow our plans. Non-Jewish men are nice too. Non-celebrity men are also nice, just not famous.

If you can not obtain any of the preceding men, please consult your local synagogue to find the NJB of your dreams.

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