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View Full Version : Also posted in the Pagan section: Pagans in Israel



StephanieFox
03-26-2009, 01:30 AM
http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1072829.html

Interesting, eh? I actually know four of these folks personally.

Prawn
03-26-2009, 07:17 AM
How did you get to know Israeli Pagans?

StephanieFox
03-26-2009, 09:37 PM
I found two them on Witchvox.com and started corresponding on the internet. When I was in Israel, we met for a lovely lunch. I met one here. I met the forth through the Pagan I met here.

There's a small underground community there. They meet once in a while for rituals and they told me that they do the rituals in English because it's 'exotic.' They said that they can't be too out there, but when I asked about a bumper sticker "The changes everything she touches" I was told that that was OK because no one would know what that means unless they were also Pagan. A lot of what they do is advertised as New Age, which is big there.

I was also told about Pagans in Lebanon who are so fearful and underground that they have never met each other in person. Israel might be a bit of a dangerous place for Pagans, but in Lebanon, it would be fatal.

By the way, one of these women published an introduction to Paganism book in Hebrew.

We are everywhere!

Prawn
03-27-2009, 05:38 AM
It's a small world! Do they have a name for themselves like Hebragan? I wonder if they keep kosher.

StephanieFox
03-27-2009, 07:19 PM
I think they are secular as Jews, so they don't keep Kosher. I dont' know the Hebrew for what they call themselves because the only Hebrew I know is hello/goodbye, good morning, good evening, thank you and most important, "Beer, please."

I'll try to find out.

Smiling Ted
03-28-2009, 04:19 AM
We are everywhere!

"Upon every high mountain and under every leafy tree," eh?;)

donroc
03-28-2009, 05:21 AM
Baalists?

Prawn
03-28-2009, 03:27 PM
Jewbaals? That sounds wrong.

StephanieFox
03-29-2009, 12:18 AM
Baalists?

Asharah! Goddess worshippers. Maybe a secondary Baal. Even Caananite Pagans get some of their ides from Gardener.

indiriverflow
03-29-2009, 04:17 AM
http://www.blues4kali.com/SHALLOHM.gif

(Pronounced "SH"--"ALL" --"OM")

StephanieFox
04-01-2009, 12:51 AM
Oh my gawd, I could actually read that. That is soooo cool.

indiriverflow
04-01-2009, 12:53 AM
I call it the "Trigrammaton". It is intended as a multilinguistic symbolic representation of the Goddess who is Peace.

semilargeintestine
04-29-2009, 06:02 AM
Thanks for posting an anti-Jewish article in the Jewish forum. I'm confused as to why you felt the need to share this. There are so many things wrong with the things said in that article that I don't even know where to begin.

Prawn
04-29-2009, 06:17 AM
Thanks for posting an anti-Jewish article in the Jewish forum. I'm confused as to why you felt the need to share this. There are so many things wrong with the things said in that article that I don't even know where to begin.

Are you referring to the article the OP posted about Paganism? I thought it was interesting, and I for one was not offended. It seems perfectly appropriate to post in this forum.

semilargeintestine
04-29-2009, 06:53 AM
For one, it makes it seem like everyone in Israel is Jewish and that it's required by law. "Kobets agrees. 'There is a problem with Judaism. Judaism contradicts paganism. Judaism has only one god, and if you do not believe in him, you will be driven off with stones.'" That's complete BS. Nowhere is it required that anyone in Israel be Jewish, even for citizenship. And more importantly, no one gives a crap what your religion is. I mean really, come on.

It also makes it seem like Jewish parents would kill you or disown you if you revealed that you were not Jewish. I'm sure some would be very shocked and upset, but that is no different than any other parents of any religion.

This quote also seemed very strange to me:

"Judaism is a religion, it's something imposed and artificial"

I don't even know how to address that. Like seriously. I'm just shocked that someone--especially someone from a Jewish background--could say something like that about probably the most un-imposed (word?) and organic religion.

The whole article just smacked of anti-Judaism trying to make it seem like some dictating regime trying to crush any threatening religions in the nation.

Williebee
04-29-2009, 07:25 AM
The whole article just smacked of anti-Judaism

I didn't get that Semi. Granted, I'm not Jewish, but what the article does is give the opinions of several people, two of which made the comments you referenced.

Please, be careful with "makes it seem". You certainly have the right to feel that way, but just like the opinions expressed, realize that it is subjective.

And, this (the 'Cooler) is a place where differing opinions are welcome.

It is interesting to me to see some evidence that the rise in Pagan religious practices is showing up in such diverse cultures.

It also interested me to note that her research was based on the religion's "online presence" in Israel.

We're seeing more and more of that, as online sources become accepted as primary sources. (except wikipedia :) )

Prawn
04-29-2009, 01:30 PM
It also makes it seem like Jewish parents would kill you or disown you if you revealed that you were not Jewish. I'm sure some would be very shocked and upset, but that is no different than any other parents of any religion.



The whole article was written with heavy hyperbole, for example,


"Some people live in fear, but I'm past hiding my faith," he said. "Some guys live with religious families. They can't tell their parents, 'I don't believe in Judaism, I'm a pagan.' They'd chop off their heads."

Have you ever heard of a beheading anyplace other than Saudi or Afghanistan?

The rest of the article contained similar hyperbole.

Paganism may have been an original religion a long time ago, but I feel that for many people it is no longer principally religion, rather it is a reaction to and rejection of some other religion.

The pagans I have known and the pagans you read about in this article don't seem to be people that talk about Baal and say, "I really feel the peace of Baal has changed my life," they say things like, "I have to hide my religion because my mom would freak out and cut off my head if she knew. Kewl!"

That isn't to say that there aren't authentic pagans who have mature versions of paganism, but newspaper reporters are more likely to write about extreme views such as those in this article.

In any event, posting the article here was great because it promoted the very discussion we are having now. This is a discussion forum after all.

semilargeintestine
04-29-2009, 08:20 PM
The whole article was written with heavy hyperbole, for example,


"Some people live in fear, but I'm past hiding my faith," he said. "Some guys live with religious families. They can't tell their parents, 'I don't believe in Judaism, I'm a pagan.' They'd chop off their heads."

Have you ever heard of a beheading anyplace other than Saudi or Afghanistan?

The rest of the article contained similar hyperbole.

Paganism may have been an original religion a long time ago, but I feel that for many people it is no longer principally religion, rather it is a reaction to and rejection of some other religion.

The pagans I have known and the pagans you read about in this article don't seem to be people that talk about Baal and say, "I really feel the peace of Baal has changed my life," they say things like, "I have to hide my religion because my mom would freak out and cut off my head if she knew. Kewl!"

That isn't to say that there aren't authentic pagans who have mature versions of paganism, but newspaper reporters are more likely to write about extreme views such as those in this article.

In any event, posting the article here was great because it promoted the very discussion we are having now. This is a discussion forum after all.

Well I think we agree on more than we disagree. I love discussion, I just wasn't sure why a thread that had nothing but bad things to say about Judaism was posted on the Jewish forum without any prompt other than "Hey! Pagans are in Israel!"

I don't know, it just put me on the defense. Maybe that's because where I live, it seems like everyone outside the Jewish community has succumb to the Palestinian propaganda and thinks Israel is a terrorist nation. I'm just used to defending my people and country.

But I agree that it seems like most of the people in the article were more excited about having a "secret" religion than actually being Pagan.

semilargeintestine
04-29-2009, 08:24 PM
I didn't get that Semi. Granted, I'm not Jewish, but what the article does is give the opinions of several people, two of which made the comments you referenced.

Please, be careful with "makes it seem". You certainly have the right to feel that way, but just like the opinions expressed, realize that it is subjective.

And, this (the 'Cooler) is a place where differing opinions are welcome.

It is interesting to me to see some evidence that the rise in Pagan religious practices is showing up in such diverse cultures.

It also interested me to note that her research was based on the religion's "online presence" in Israel.

We're seeing more and more of that, as online sources become accepted as primary sources. (except wikipedia :) )

My response to this is pretty much that same as my response to the fellow who posted after you. I'm used to being constantly challenged about being Jewish and having to constantly correct people. But, I think most Jews would get the feeling that it was anti-Jewish (not anti-Semitic, because it wasn't really about Jews being bad, just the exclusive nature of the religion--which isn't true except in radical orthodox communities that make up a small percentage of the total population)--most Jews I know anyway.

But, discussion is always good, so let's discuss Pagans in Israel. Personally, I think that their paranoia about "coming out" to their military friends is unfounded. Would they experience the same paranoia if they were in the American military or a military in a country not founded on a religion?

Adelaide
04-30-2009, 05:41 PM
I thought they were more concerned with "coming out" to their families. Though Israel is predominantly secular, Judaism has become an irrevocable part of the culture and, of course, as a source of identity. To reject Judaism, even though they maintain their Israeli identities, is a pretty big deal for some people. I don't think they are in any sort of physical danger by practicing paganism, though, even if might be seen as outcasts.

Anyway, thanks for posting this article, Stephanie. Very interesting to learn about those few in a place so dominated by monotheism.