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

I believe in God.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Odds and Ends

Recently (and I heard this from my mother, so I don't have sources, but I can contact her and ask if anyone wants me too) the Jewish genotype was tested by scientists. The test results showed that all Jews, regardless of appearance--even Ashkenazi Jews, who are much more recently from Europe--are genetically far closer to being Middle Easterners than anything else. This backs up a distinction on which I have been insisting for months now: Jews aren't white!!! (Just to clarify, no I do not think there is anything wrong with being white, but Jews aren't.)

This blue-eyed blonde is genetically Middle Eastern:

And so are the hazel-eyed redhead and brown-eyed brunette shown here:

And so are the three brown-eyed brunettes and blue-eyed blonde shown here:

Isn't that fascinating? Watch me, henceforth, mark Middle Eastern on anything that asks ethnicity. (Not nationality, that for me is American, just ethnicity/race.)
On a more serious note...
God has recently shown me that I am absolutely meant to go on my upcoming class trip to Israel (as if I wouldn't!) and also that I am meant to study at Pardes, a post-college; pluralistic; text-based Yeshiva that sounds just awesome, for a year when the time comes. Not only that, if I am interpreting God's message correctly, that may not be the end of my time in Israel; perhaps I am meant to make aliyah and live there. This was not in my plans prior to this summer, but since I go where God sends me--Ready or not, Israel, here I come!
I close with a quote from my new favorite Israeli band, HaDag Nahash: "שלום, שלאם, פיס, אפשרי גם כאן!" ("Shalom, Salaam, Peace, it's also possible here [Israel]!)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Brother's Bar Mitzvah

Yesterday was my younger brother's bar mitzvah. As a former pulpit rabbi's daughter, I have seen many Bnai Mitzvah in my life; as a Jewishly knowledgeable student at a high school with students of varying backgrounds, I have even participated in a few. My brother's was one of the nicest I have ever seen, and not just because he's my brother. Jewish life cycle events are always meaningful, but they are even more meaningful when the people involved are Jewishly committed before, after, and forever. Jewish living is like beautiful music: each single note is gorgeous, but together they make a symphony.

Here is a picture of my two brothers and me on the Friday afternoon before the Bar Mitzvah.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Anecdotes of Summer

Over the summer, I spent six weeks in Kansas with a group of Jewish teens from around the country. Through the American Jewish Society for Service, we had the opportunity to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. In many ways it was an amazing experience; in many ways it was a very challenging experience. It is both something I'm glad I did and something I never want to do again (not the volunteeer work, just this kind of trip).

Three times on this trip I had major visions--three times in six weeks! I have not blogged about it before because I didn't quite know what to say or how to say it. How can I begin to describe the wonders I have seen and the depth of my connection to God?

There are a few stories that I would like to share here.

Our group was housed at a Conservative synagogue, Congregation Ohev Shalom, in Prairie Village. On most weekends, however, we traveled. One weekend--the fourth, I think--we were hosted by families within walking distance of the area's Orthodox synagogue (Beth Israel Abraham and Voliner) and traditional synagogue (Kehilath Israel).

It was Friday evening, and we were walking to BIAV for services. I was walking near the front of the group next to one of our directors, and we were talking about purple being her favorite color and her need to have purple in her life. Suddenly, I looked up at her and found myself saying, "I think if you could see God, for you He would be purple."

That night, I experienced two new colors in my visions: purple and gold. Previously, I had visioned in red, blue, white, black, yellow, orange, and green, but never purple or gold. Knowing this woman added colors to my visions.

On that trip, I had many more amazing experiences. I got to play with and bathe in the energy of the universe. I began to know God as Mother and as Fear. I once reached out my hand to God and found it resting on my chest. I learned how to live in both the physical and spiritual worlds at the same time.

...And then I neglected to pray for about two weeks, and I haven't been very close since. I'll get it back though; I know I will.

It's interesting to me to see where I have limited myself to stay within acceptable Jewish constraints. One Shabbat on my trip, I was talking with some of the other girls about my visions and the "supernatural" things I've seen and done. One of them asked me, "Do you believe in Wicca?"

Of course I said, "No."

She asked why not, pointing out that a lot of what I've experienced sounds like Wicca, and I answered, "Because Judaism doesn't allow me to."

Judaism absolutely forbids sorcery, declaring sorcerers Hayyev Mitah: liable for the death penalty from God. I have seen and fought demons; I believe it is possible to side with them. I believe we all have powers inside that some of us could use for evil. I believe it is possible to curse someone and change his or her life. But all of this is forbidden in Judaism, so I will not go down that path.

It's not that I don't think sorcery is real; I most certainly do. Just as I believe that Christianity, for instance, is a legitimate path to God, just not my path; so too sorcery is real, but absolutely not for me.
I am a Jew, first and foremost. Judaism is my path to God.


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I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. 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. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!