Carried in His Hands

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"Don't tell God how big your storm is; tell your storm how big your God is."

I believe in God.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

I Am a Mystic

For years now, my parents have been calling me a mystic.  It was not a title that I wanted to take for myself because it just felt too...pretentious, or something.

Then...well, then, this past Rosh HaShanah (Jewish New Year) happened, and Oh. My. Goodness.

On the first day, I fended off a demon and glimpsed the angels.

On the second day, I spent time sitting with the angels.  I learned that they are formless by default and take forms when necessary.

Oh, and they left me a handle to tug on to take myself back to them.  It doesn't always work; I'm still learning how to use it.

But I would like to say that now I am a mystic.  Like, for real.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I KNOW

Over the past few weeks, through all the darkness and uncertainty, I have found comfort in clinging to all that I KNOW.  Here is a list:

I KNOW that God is with me.

I KNOW that God will not abandon me.

I KNOW that even if there is no light at the end of the tunnel, there is meaning in the moment, and that is enough.

I KNOW that I have friends who love me.

I KNOW that I have family who love me.

I KNOW that one day, if only in the World to Come or following the coming of the Messiah, my suffering will be ended.

I KNOW that I am walking this road with as much dignity as possible, and I KNOW I can be proud of myself for that.

All of the above, I KNOW.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

"Dawn?"

Here is another poem about my disability, written today.  Its title is "Dawn?".

"Dawn?"
My heart pounds with my effort.
I swear to God I'm trying.

I do not swear easily,
Nor do I take God's name in vain.

My stomach churns.
My brain is spinning.
I cannot see the light of day.

Reeling, I try to comprehend
My new reality.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"Disabled Sweetness"

I have been thinking for a while now about the best way to do this post, a post on what being disabled means to me.  I finally decided to just let a poem I wrote today, "Disabled Sweetness," speak for itself.

"Disabled Sweetness"
Bending to the forces of a disability,
To the hand that shoves you down
And will not let you back up.

Asking for the help you need,
Always scared that they'll say no.

Learning to fall with dignity,
And--tearless--rise up again.

Bending--
Asking--
Learning--
Sweet lessons of life.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sabbath Lamp

This nifty little contraption is a Sabbath lamp, designed for those who do not change the state of electronics on the Sabbath, but still wish to have the convenience of a light.  It is a system of two cylinders, one inside the other, with a fluorescent light bulb in the center of all that.  Each cylinder has a window, as shown.  Match up the windows, and the light shines through; twist the top so the windows do not match up, and the lamp goes dark.

 This lamp alone does not make it bright enough in my room for me to read on my bed--I need a bigger light on a timer for that--but it does ensure that I can get ready for bed with ease at whatever hour I choose. 

This adorable lamp (I feel like an advertisement) comes in about a dozen different colors--I have a blue one for my room at school--and costs around forty five dollars.  The price did make me cringe a little, but seeing this in person, I can honestly say it may be one of the best Judaica purchases I have ever made.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Penitnetial Season

Last night kicked off the "Penitential Season," as one of my prayer books calls it: The Hebrew month of Elul leading up to the New Year and Day of Atonement.  It is at this time of year that we as Jews really contemplate life: our deeds and our relationship with God, where we were this year and where we'd like to be next year, and the changes we must make in order to get there.

This is also the only time of year when I allow myself to play my favorite Youtube recording of U'n'taneh Tokef.  U'n'taneh Tokef is my favorite part of the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) liturgy.  It talks about how we are nothing but dust and ashes, how we never really know our fate, and how on this day we all pass before God so God can decide what will happen to us--perhaps even how we will die--in the coming year.  No one is exempt from God's judgement; but repentance, prayer, and charity can mitigate the evil decree.

This part of the service is so special to me that I save my favorite recording of it for this time of year, but for these few weeks, it becomes the background music to my life.  I have already played it once last night and three or four times today.

Somewhere in my house is a book about the New Year and Yom Kippur called "This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared."  I want to read it at some point.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Building my Jewish Home

I have recently decided to use every opportunity to acquire the things I need for my own Jewish home, which I just might have starting next year.  For Hannukah this year, I am getting my own fancy-but-usable (it's made of metal) menorah, and for my birthday I am probably getting full-size candlesticks.

Maybe I should explain about the candlesticks.  You see, for years now, whenever I light Sabbath or holiday candles, I have used little candlesticks, as befits a girl in her mother's home.  However, as my mother pointed out to me, in the societies where that is the norm, I would be married and in my own home, perhaps with children, by now.  I would definitely be lighting using full-size candlesticks.  I will be 22 this coming birthday; I'm fairly certain that that makes me an adult.  It is time for tall candlesticks.

The pair I want comes from the Emanuel Judaica site.  (Are you surprised?) They are made of metal, six-and-a-half inches tall, and they are pink! They cost $39.00 for the pair, which I think is a pretty good deal! Then, if I get money from my grandparents, which I usually do, I will buy a pretty hand washing cup and towel for when I do ritual hand washing in the morning.

So excited!

And posting "Jacob's" picture again, just in case:

Jacob sm

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I am a bipolar, Jewish teen who also suffers from RND. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. When I grow up, I think I might like to be a Rabbi. Scratch that; I AM going to be a Rabbi! Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!