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

I believe in God.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Going to Church

This morning, bright and early, my Comparative Religions class headed out into the world to visit and observe a Pentecostal church service. It was the second most amazing religious ceremony I have ever watched. (See post "An Amazing Scene" for a description of the most amazing religious ceremony I have ever seen.) Everyone was involved in the service, waving their hands and clapping in time to the music, loudly agreeing with the Pastor's sermon, and just being fully present in the moment. The nicest part of all was when the Pastor (or the Elder, I forget which) announced, "We will now greet our guests," and practically the entire congregation got out of their seats and came over to welcome us. I think if I were Christian I would be Pentecostal...that's how amazing it was.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rosh Hodesh Heshvan

Tonight begins the two-day observance of Rosh Hodesh Heshvan (pronounced CHESH [clear your throat]-vahn). Heshvan is the only month on the Hebrew calendar without at least one holiday. In fact, Heshvan is often called "Mar Heshvan", which literally means "Bitter Heshvan".

Still, I would like to use this month for something Jewish: some soul searching perhaps, or a new way to help the world. With the schoolwork and what not that I have that may not happen, but I can dream.

If anyone (and I do mean anyone) has any ideas for making Heshvan more special, do please let me know. I would love to hear them.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Tonight...I have everything to say and nothing to say.

Tonight...despite the descrepancies, issues, etc. I have with Jewish texts, the proof that they have changed, and the reinterpretation I am constantly weaving, I want to believe everything literally, as written and transmitted through time.

Tonight...I feel rocked to sleep by God.

Tonight...is very special.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

An Amazing Scene

Anytime someone in a congregation is honored with an aliyah (Torah portion read in his/her name; the number available varies depending on the occasion), there is a great fuss and fanfare. The person is called up by her or his full Hebrew name, recites the blessing, and then holds the Torah roller as the portion is read. This is followed up with a final blessing at the end.

The two biggest honors of the year are Chatan/Kallat Torah (Groom/Bride of the Torah) and Kallat/Chatan Bereishit (Bride/Groom of Bereishit), the last and first aliyot in the Torah, respectively. These happen on Simchat Torah after all the dancing. In either case, the honoree is a well-respected and very special member of the congregation. A speech is made explaining why the honor has been given to this person. Rather than just calling him or her up, the gabbai begins by asking permission from God to honor this person. The honoree walks up under a canopy made of two tallitot sewn together. Everybody stands as the person approaches the bimah (sort of like a stage) and the Torah portion is read. During Chatan/Kallat Bereishit, singing and clapping for joy follow each verse of the aliyah.

And the whole thing is just amazing.


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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!