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Jewish Vampires

Jewish Vampires

The concept for the Jewish vampire book came from Beth-Ann’s mom while she was in the shower. She said something to Beth-Ann who mentioned it to me and I thought “what fun let’s do this together.”

Jewish #vampires: blood can’t be kosher… can it? (tweet this)

In 2013-2014 Tri Destiny Publishing should be releasing a major rewrite of The Jewish Vamp & the Confused Slayer that was originally published in The Gage Project.  This short insisted on being written. Every time I sat down to write the book this crazy comedy version tried to get out.  When I heard about The Gage Project I thought what a great way to let the story out and have it do good. I am learning a lot through the writing of the short story about where my writing flaws are and look forward to improving my skills with the rewrites and then getting serious about the real novel.

Jewish #vampires: Crosses & holy water won’t hurt me whatcha gonna try next? (tweet this)

atmb add book 70x25 Jewish Vampires

Jewish #vampires: We turn into cats not bats bwaaahaha. (tweet this)

I might write additional short stories as various rebellions by the characters of the book have certain characters that insisting on “their story” being written. We will see.

Jewish #vampires: Garlic? As a weapon? No its a spice silly human. (tweet this)

I hope but make no promises that in 2014 (or later) Tri Destiny will be releasing The Satmar Vampire being co-written with author Beth-Ann Mason. Below is the cover by  Covadonga Palacio Perez.

SatmarVampireThumbnail New Jewish Vampires

Satmar Vampire ebook cover by Covadonga Palacio Perez

Jewish #vampires: Starve me to death? Seriously? Then what? (tweet this)

I hope this page will be one of discussion about Jewish Vampires. You ask questions and I’ll answer… as much as I can without giving it all away.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://tasha-turner.com/jewish-vampires/

  • http://www.thefatandtheskinnyonwellness.com/ Carole Di Tosti (@mercedeskat45)

    Tasha, I cannot resist and I’ll be the one to ask. How are Jewish vampires different from other vampires? (How is this night (darkness) different from all the rest?)

    • http://www.facebook.com/TashaTurnerAuthor Tasha Turner

      LOL love the reference to the passover seder and 4 questions. Holy water, crosses, and garlic don’t work. Nor do they die in the normal manner. Not going to answer that one in hopes that more people comment and ask – I really want to see some discussion here.

    • Bruce Freeman

      Pardon me for chiming in here, but WOW! Awesome, that is a really great reference. I am not sure I would want to be at a vampire seder when they got to the “pour out your wrath. portion though.

      This does raise a question for me. How do we as Jewish writers deal with writing about Jewish Vampires and reconcile the “Blood Libel” hatred that caused the death of so many of our people? Passover/Easter was a very dangerous time for Jews in Europe because of this libel. It really hits one in the kishkes so to speak. It’s not like this vile lie is not still around. I don;t even mean from splinter crazies like the KKK. One only has to read Egyptian mainstream newspapers to see cartoons depicting us as blood suckers.

      What do you think?

      • http://tasha-turner.com/ Tasha Turner

        Somehow I missed this comment on blood libel. I don’t think their is anything to do about that. If someone reads fictional Jewish vamp stories and it reinforces their blood libel illusions they need psychiatric help. I can see a guide might need to be written to go along with the book dealing with some of these issues or at the back of each story a list of resources that includes books that refute misconceptions about Jews that have led to us being murdered throughout the ages.

        • Bruce Freeman

          Agreed, about the person who’s blood libel issues are reinforced by reading fiction. At the very least they would need a good reality check on how immature it would be to let fiction of any kind be a guide for their knowledge/belief base. (Ok that might sound nasty to Scientologists. I apologize in advance. :-) ) I do not think we, as writers, need worry about every nuance of how an audience might take one of our stories. I would imagine Jonathon Kellerman does not think he is writing a how to manual for serial killers. Having said that, I do think we need to be cognizant of them (audience reactions to our work) and deal with them in some way. Otherwise, I think, we run the risk of trivializing our own work.

          What do you all think?

          As for the other part, how to deal with this, isn’t this analogous to Blacks writing about slavery? Like, can a Black author write a story about a slave who likes being a slave? I mean, of course they can, but what are the ramifications of that? How does one juggle the issues? Can one juggle the thematic issues within the story or does one have to append a guide at the end? How might one thematically juggle this issue? As I noted in a post above, there was a story that I remember from reading somewhere about a Vampire that made Orthodox Jews into Vampires just to torture them as blood is not kosher. So certainly the blood libel could be worked in similarly. Non-Jewish Vampire causing Jews to have to live the libel? It certainly has lots of dramatic power in my opinion.

          Just some food for further thought,

          Bruce

          • http://tasha-turner.com/ Tasha Turner

            I’m writing fiction about Jewish vampires I’m not sure how seriously I can take it.

            Stephen King did pull a book he wrote, I’m not sure of all the details, after hearing it might have played a part in a school shooting. I’m never quite sure where writers responsibilities fall.

            As too the vampire story of torturing Orthodox Jews by turning them – the author was ignorant of the laws or held they lost their souls but at the loss of soul they’d no longer be held by Jewish law. So no matter how you twist that story those turned Orthodox Jews could drink human blood and should know that from studying the most basic of laws.

            The struggle comes in forcing yourself to do something so long forbidden and dealing with the possible good feelings that come from drinking blood. Any story written on the topic has to deal with the issue of how blood is usually forbidden but once turned it’s permitted but killing is still forbidden. At least in my world killing people by drinking their blood is how a vampire goes mad and becomes out of control evil.

            • Bruce Freeman

              Yeah, I think that was a actually the point of the story; the orthodox Jews were forced to do something aberrant to them. Analogous to the Nazis (yishmach shmam) tattooing numbers on our arms. Of-course it is allowed to save a life, but tattooing is general forbidden. The insult is double fold. We also hold that one can’t count people, or Jews in particular. “Your seed will be without number, like the stars in the sky.” So in our schul we never counted people, only how many siddurs we would need that day. :-) At any rate, I mean that the tattooing of numbers was a double aveyra on orthodox Jews. So would an Orthodox Jew be happy about having to drink blood?

              I agree with you on the one hand that these are just fiction stories. I don’t want to take my stories too seriously either, or I think they will get boring and pedantic. But I don’t want to write just mindless drivel either. Ya know? I guess I see a huge potential for really dramatic events based on Jewish Vampires that non-Jewish Vampires would not have.

              Have you ever watched the Buffy series? I think that is an AWESOME example of how writers can deal with some pretty difficult and very serious issues, and yet retain comedic distance.

              • http://tasha-turner.com/ Tasha Turner

                Yes I watched Buffy. I preferred the Angel spinoff.

                In “the Satmar Vampire” the outline has the blood issue dealt with early on. My vamps follow a very famous rebbe and camp survivor from his escape to his building of the Satmar community. So from day one if being turned into vamps they have a learned rebbe to light and guide there way.

                In the short stories the vampires are in different stages and the blood issue bothers them less as they have more knowledge and don’t find it as repugnant as a modern day Jew would. I use the blood of humans as a metaphor for drug abuse.

                I’m not sure a see more/less issues for Jewish vamps than non-Jewish vamps. Just different issues.

                • Bruce Freeman

                  Yeah I agree, not necessarily more, just different issues. Sorry if I misstated.
                  I like Angel a lot as well. Both series are well thought out and show character growth. I am not a big fan of shows where the characters remain static and never learn.
                  I also love how both series employed novel and very creative devices to forward the plots. The musical episode in Buffy and the Karaoke bar in Angel are totally awesome. And somewhat gutsy. I mean, not a lot of actors want to sing badly in public. Ruins the image. But using song to learn motivation… what a great idea. Music is such a powerful tool in Judaism (as well as many other religions). I try to incorporate that in my stories as well.
                  So I would love to get your feed back on one of my stories. The one that I am blending Sumerian with Jewish narratives. It is not very far along yet. And I can not afford to pay you. but if you are interested let me know. I will send it to you. My e-mail address that I use for stories is brucebenhorin@yahoo.com

                  • http://tasha-turner.com/ Tasha Turner

                    Sent you email. :)

  • http://nadiakilrick@blogspot.com Nadia (J)

    I am curious too. If not Holy water, crosses or garlic. I cannot imagine what would scare them away or kill them. Maybe silver bullets like werewolves? Maybe they are not meant to die (well, again) because they are going to take over the earth…That could be fun. ;-)

    • http://www.facebook.com/TashaTurnerAuthor Tasha Turner

      The only way to kill them is to starve them to death. The more they have fed on human blood the longer it takes for them to die. But they also seem to have some sort of manners/can be bound by oaths of sorts to stop/hold them for time periods. I really need to give the citation #s and the books to my rabbi to translate in detail for me ASAP.

    • http://www.facebook.com/TashaTurnerAuthor Tasha Turner

      BTW thanks for stopping by. I love the idea of them taking over the world. How they make new vampires is a problem… I’m taking liberties in the book on that one.

  • http://aurorathenerd.blogspot.com Aurora

    I love that you share it with your Rabbi. It makes it more appealing because I know it will be a story worth reading without the normal junk! Thanks so much for making these stories, Tasha.

  • http://theredshoereview.blogspot.com Nanci Maynard

    This is such a great idea! I can’t wait to read the book!

    • http://www.facebook.com/TashaTurnerAuthor Tasha Turner

      Thanks nanci.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TashaTurnerAuthor Tasha Turner

    Jewish vampires confuse vampire slayers around the world and across the ages. Jewish vamps struggle with many moral dilemmas.

  • http://www.akandrew.com A.K.Andrew

    Wow – sounds like a fantastic concept! Let us all know when it’s coming out. I haven’t read a vamp book since Anne Rice, but watched True Blood & loved it. But Jewish vamps – now that’s something altogether diff. Will have to let my JWF group know when it’s out. Hope it works well for you & congrats on getting it published.

    • http://www.facebook.com/TashaTurnerAuthor Tasha Turner

      Thanks. I also hope it works out well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TashaTurnerAuthor Tasha Turner

    The short story is taking on depth and new direction. It’s fascinating how editing a story can change it so it barely resembles the 1st draft.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TashaTurnerAuthor Tasha Turner

    Did you know Jewish vampires turn into cats rather than bats? And that they prefer to look like old hags rather than look beautiful.

    • http://www.akandrew.com A.K.Andrew

      well cats are far more sociable than bats! Are Jewish Vampires more of a friendly lot than their counterparts? Is your fiction based on information from Sefer Chasidim or Jewish myth/history? I’m really trying to ask how much are you making up – because after all that is the fun part, even though you are basing it on some ‘facts’. All history is in the interpretation I think.

      • http://www.facebook.com/TashaTurnerAuthor Tasha Turner

        Parts are based on Sefer chassidim because it’s so little known and so fun to play with. But then Sefer chassidim only has about 4-5 paragraphs and their is much arguement as to what it means so I’m using it as a base and going my own way. Just like I’m working with a rabbi on questions about halachic implications of blood… Is there a more kosher blood for vamps to drink? Or a way to drink it that is more kosher? But once I have my answer I decide how my characters will deal with it.

        I did find that there are a few Jewish vamp books out there and I’ve read and will be reviewing a few of them. Some had too much foul language/sex for me to read the book so those will get a short mention only.

    • Bruce Freeman

      Yes, the estrie. In fact there is a story about a man who was attacked by a cat. He cut its front arm badly. The cat ran off. Later that day a woman with a broken arm came to him and asked for some bread with salt on it. This would have cured her. Interesting that we salt our bread a bit for hamotzee. We do so in memory of the destruction of the temple. Interesting no?

  • http://www.facebook.com/TashaTurnerAuthor Tasha Turner

    I’m pulling my information from translations done of passages out of Sefer Chasidim.

    • Bruce Freeman

      If you haven’t already come across this, you may want to check out “Jewish Magic and Superstition: A study in Folk Religion.” By Joshua Trachtenberg. Published by Atheneum and reprinted by The Jewish Publication Society of America copyright 1939.

      It is a great source book. His language is difficult at times. And he often does not translate foreign language quotes. But there is a lot of wonderful information about Jewish folk beliefs and superstitions.

      • http://tasha-turner.com/ Tasha Turner

        Looks like it was rereleased in 2012. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TashaTurnerAuthor Tasha Turner

    If you require something to live then it becomes kosher for you so the question becomes are vampires living? Yes. So they are required to drink blood in the least harmful manner possible.

    • Bruce Freeman

      Doesnt it actually become commanded to do? This is a great moral ethical point that Jewish vampires can illustrate. Nice. After all we are supposed to be vegetarian. But HaShem saw we could not handle it, we were too nasty, and after Noah , allowed meat as a way to keep us less nasty.

      The argument would be do they still have their Jewish soul? If not then they are not living. They would belong to the class of creatures created late on erev Shabbat. (The first erev Shabbat ). If they still have their soul then????

      There was a Christian vampire that “converted” Orthodox Jews to torture them with forcing them to drink blood. I forgot the source for that. But it’s analogous to the Nazis tattooing us.

      • Bruce Freeman

        Let me clarify that last bit. I meant a fictional vampire. I do not particularly think that vampires are a literally truth. Lol.

      • http://tasha-turner.com/ Tasha Turner

        Yes “commanded” is what I meant by required. So if a Jew is turned into a vampire in my fictional world they maintain their soul and therefore are commanded/required to drink blood. The moral issues this brings up are interesting to play with.

  • Pingback: Interview With Tasha Turner | quotidiandose()

  • Caryn

    Do Jewish Vampires celebrate the holidays as in lighting candles,etc?

    • http://tasha-turner.com/ Tasha Turner

      Some would some wouldn’t it would depend on their “evilness” and how much they are trying to fit into the community. The mythology I’m pulling from seems to have them attending synagogue/religious services. Great question. Thanks for stopping by Caryn.

      • Bruce Freeman

        There are stories about synagogues at night being used by ghosts for tefillot. How many ghosts are needed for a minyan? And do they have to be over thirteen? Lol. Since they would no longer be obliged to care for the home can female ghosts be counted? I am trying to be silly btw. I just think there are so many options for really great humor in Jewish paranormal fiction.

        • http://tasha-turner.com/ Tasha Turner

          I am hoping to include a fair amount of humor in my stories but as a first time author I’m finding fiction writing to be a big change from technical writing so its taking longer to get just the basics down.

          I love the ghost question. Add can vampires see ghosts? Can vampires & ghosts make up a minyan?

          Thanks for stopping by and suggesting some new twists.

          • Bruce Freeman

            Tasha, if you are Jewish (and I think you are) you won;t have to worry about humor. It will be there. It’s too much of a part of our culture for us to not be funny… at least that is my feeling on the issue. :-)

            Hmm, a vampire and a ghost go to shul together. The vampire asks: Can we serve blood for kiddish? and the ghost replies: No, just spirits.

            Hey, what do you give a vampire for their bnei mitzvah? A gift certificate for 18 units of blood from the blood bank?

            Why didn’t the Christian vampire check in at the blood bank’s registration desk? Because they would have to type and cross him.

            Honestly, I think I just came up with those. If you’ve heard them before let me know, because I don’t want to steal anyone’s jokes. I’ve been known to forget that I’ve heard something before. Comes with being 58 years old. :-) I really like that first joke though. For me, that is how creative writing works. Some one sparks a thread in my head, and I start to run with it. It sort of feels more like I am channeling a story I am hearing than a story I am actually writing. Do you feel that way?

            I appreciate being able to talk Jewish vampires, etc, with you. I hope this is ok for you as well. Please let me know if I am ever too much. My wife is always telling me I talk too much. She’s a wonderful sweetie, and correct. She is not as into supernatural stories as I am and she was not born Jewish, so I am glad for being able to bounce Yiddishe ideas off of someone who has more of a base. She is from a Hindu background originally and has given me some really great ideas from her culture.

            • http://tasha-turner.com/ Tasha Turner

              I’m a convert. I’m not sure a sense of humor came with the dip in the Mikvah.

              Love the jokes. Keep them coming.

              My characters have taken over my series. They wrote a short story that was nothing like I planned. They keep trying to kill off one of the main characters in The Satmyr Vampire. They’ve taken Lillith who was supposed to have a quick cameo in The Satmyr Vampire and created an entire series of shorts based around her. I think all I am is a poorly chosen tool to get the story down.

              I’m often told I talk too much. Feel free to share and joke here. I was really hoping this would be a place of ideas, arguments, and possibly people deciding to write their own stories.

              • Bruce Freeman

                Getting dunked in ice cold flowing water for the opportunity to become hated by people you’ve never met, and you did not see the humor?

                Well it will come Tasha, I am confident. We have our ways of making you laugh.

                I know what you mean about the characters writing the story, or at least I feel similarly about my characters. How do I get a copy of your book. I am dyeing to read it.

                • http://tasha-turner.com/ Tasha Turner

                  The short I wrote for the Gage Project can be bought at Amazon if you purchase “The Gage Project”. I wrote it for a child and part of a charity anthology. The link is in the text above. The iPad won’t let me copy the link here. I warn you that version was written in 4 hours so it’s not a masterpiece.

                  I’m writing an revised version “the Jewish Vamp & the Priest” but I have no idea when that will be available. I decided to write a series of short stories before attempting “The Satmar Vampire” when I realized how much I needed to learn about fiction writing. Publication date for “The Satmar Vampire” is TBD but won’t be for a few years

  • Bruce Freeman

    Tasha. I came across your site here as I was googling Jewish vampires. I am intrigued by your upcoming book and thoughts expressed here. I’ve felt that horror fiction has been myopically one culture’s domain for a very long time. Of course there have been occasional flashes of other traditions (DC Marvel comics, Frankenstein possibly, golem, a few other Jewish ones, Native American lore to name a few). But I’ve been disappointed by the lack of Jewish ethically or strongly thematically written “super-natural” fiction. So let me say, Kol Hakavod to you.

    I am starting to write my own supernatural story based on our tradition and ancient Sumerian influences. After re-reading that sentence I hope my actual story won’t be that dull. But I would love to share with you ideas etc.

    Looking forward to reading the Satmir Vampire. Sounds awesome.

    • http://tasha-turner.com/ Tasha Turner

      Ohh adding Sumerian influences. Sounds interesting.

      I’d love to see more paranormal/supernatural Jewish themed stories/books that address our issues. I’ve had some great debates on Facebook in the past over specific issues & how they’d work/not work. Different things to ward off the “evil eye” as well as the blood issue.

      I’ve seen some interest on Facebook and Goodreads for books/stories based on non-xian religions as well as eastern rather than western culture. Feel free to email me or friend me on FB & message me that way to talk more.

  • http://tasha-turner.com/ Tasha Turner

    I’m not worried about names as people are used to weird names in fantasy. I may follow Kevin Hearne’s example and include a brief pronunciation guide at the beginning of the book. I expect to include translations for things that I think need it for someone to follow but to have a fuller glossary at the back of the book.

    Human blood is parve so there is no issue with what the person ate from a grief/meat/dairy point of view. In my world its ideal for vampires to avoid human blood as it creates a bloodlust/madness so most vampires survive on animal blood while lusting after humans.

    Fish do not have blood. We have a kosher certified restaurant in town but nothing is required in the manner of how fish are killed or their “fluids” being drained so go eat your sushi in peace. Stay away from squid or octopus as those aren’t kosher.

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