Be Careful What You Call Abrahamic

Bar Preparing Offerings Since certain problems certain people have with Jewish people have come to light, I thought it was important to make a short note to articulate something for the benefit of other practitioners of ATR/ADTR’s. Right off the bat, we have no problem with actual Abraham as originator/founding prophet belief systems or people descended from ethnicities for whom they are traditional. They are practicing their ancestral or adopted faiths or come from cultures wherein this is the norm. They don’t demand that others do so. They are not recruiting. They do not consider the term “chosen” to mean what “white” supremacists have made it mean. Those who do take this seriously, with few exceptions that will be addressed later, interpret it as “called to a specific purpose” the same way that for us, some villages are obligated to honor specific deities in specific ways. That is exactly and all that means. It does not mean that they are better or superior to anyone else. It just means they have a way that they are supposed to do things because of their guardian deity.

A neo abrahamic system is one that is like an abrahamic system but in a more recent context. There is some debate about which of these are derivative and which developed in tandem with the Hebrew culture or before. So I wouldn’t use this term for any except those that are known derivatives or a prior system.

The ones we have an issue with are post abrahamic systems. These are “viral” in that they recruit and demand that others follow or subordinate to others following their system. They oppress and brutalize others in the name of their religion. They take the bible stories of conquest literally as examples to follow, and many stories that are cautionary in Judaism, they twist again, to be exemplary. They thought-police claiming that those who believe as they do and do whatever their leaders say will go to heaven, and those who do not will be punished for eternity. Most sects of Christianity and Islam fit in that category.

So though a lot of shorthand was used in the past to describe religions in all three categories as abrahamic, due to recent issues, I personally will stop using that term going forward. It has been hijacked as a dogwhistle for antisemites, and just in the case someone tries to twist one of my quotes, I don’t want them to find anything that doesn’t predate this latest celebrity stupidity. If you choose to use it at all, make sure you give it the proper qualifier, and don’t use the term “abrahamic” for Judaism or something that includes Judaism. Just say Judaism.

If, as I touched on before, you are talking about a sect of Judaism that does recruit, thought-police, and oppress people of different belief systems or ethnicities, that is not abrahamic. That is post abrahamic and would be considered shameful by the founders of the system and culture in which it developed.

Another thing I’d like to make clear and hope others will share in that clarity, Judaism should not be called just a “faith”. It is an ethnoreligion like Vodun, based on blood connection and/or serious devotion to the ideals of Abraham, like ours is based on blood connection and/or serious devotion to the ideals of Odudua.  Like Samaritanism or Druzeism or any number of African systems including but not limited to Yoruba Ifa/Isese and Ewe Vodun, it is the belief system of an ethnoreligious group. The people have the same kind of variety, from the firmly orthodox to the secular and atheist to those who practice other belief systems. One could not become non Jewish by simply adopting some aspects of Vodun into their practice any more than one would cease to be Yoruba by adopting aspects of Odinani. Adopting aspects of, or even wholly different beliefs, does not transport one back in time and undo their entire history and upbringing. They still have the same Ancestors. They can adopt more, but they are joining an already existing unseen squad.

Please be sensitive towards our Jewish friends and brethren in these harsh times. Yet again, U.S. culture has shown its ugly side. Antisemitism like antiblackness is the norm there, but these kinds of incidents wherein famous people endorse hatred make the terrorists more bold in their behavior because they believe they will be punished less for their violence. Let us make it clear that we understand that turning the other cheek is a colonial value that we do not adhere to.

The only thing they got right is that Judaism is African. Nobody knows where the first Hebrews came from exactly, but we know that many aspects of their culture even today came from Africans. We also know that historically due to migrations and cultural exchange, a good dose of recently African genetics flows through Israel and surrounding areas. Here in Israel, most Israelis are Mizrahi, and a significant proportion of them Moroccan, Yemenite, and Algerian, and then of course there are many Ethiopian Jews. Israel is also home to many Bedouins and Arabs of African ancestry. It’s hard to even put a continent on the Druze. They are in many places, and their own distinct group. Some are pale, and some are dark. They’re generally at least beige with wavy or curly hair though.

The people running around saying Africans are the “real Hebrews” have it backwards. Hebrews were really partly African, and also Canaanite and mixed with the various peoples they encountered in migrations, exiles, and travels. Israel has all sorts of people here of many ethnicities and of many belief systems. So don’t get caught up in the hype.


Sis. Nicole Lasher

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