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

I believe in God.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Yom Ha'Atzma'ut and Pain

Firstly, please note that I will still be taking questions via the comment box on the "YOUR Questions, MY Answers!" post.

With that announcement made, I am once again merging two topics into one blog post for the sake of, well, only writing one blog post.

To get the bad news out of the way...

My RND has taken another turn for the worse. I have not been to the gym in months for various reasons, so this is partially my fault. Still, it is now worse than worse.

To the casual observer, there is nothing wrong with me. A slightly more careful observer might notice something on my bad days--the fact that I lean on the left-hand banister going up and down the stairs, or the way I step carefully down off step stools etc. left foot first--or maybe not. With rare (if any) exception, however, nobody comes close to knowing how bad this feels until I tell them, and that's the way I like it.

That said, let's move on.

Today is Israel's independence day! The country is still young, at only 64 years old! I was there in 2009, folks; Israel is BEAUTIFUL. Let the celebrations ensue!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

YOUR Questions, MY Answers!

Let's try this! Ask a (polite, civil, respectful) question via the comment box and I will answer! Answers will be given when I have time in the order in which the questions are received. Ready...set...GO!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

God as our Guest and Holocaust Remembrance Day

Firstly, the other day I had a new idea about God. When we pray, we are inviting God in, creating an environment for interaction, inviting God to meet with us as much as the other way around (us meeting with God). In my humble experience, encounters with God can happen both in this world and the Other. In Hallel, the songs of praise recited on holidays, we say "Hashamaim shamaim l'Adonai, v'ha'aretz natan lv'nai Adam." This means "The Heavens, the Heavens belong to God, and the Land He has given to people." In other words, when we pray while inside our physical bodies, GOD IS OUR GUEST!

This being the case, it is important to find or create the right environment for prayer. Open a window; clean up your floor; go outside to a forest, creek, or meadow during nice weather. Also, pick up litter throughout your day. Go the extra mile to make God welcome in our world!

On a more sober note, today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. I honestly had forgotten until I saw my facebook friends' statuses. Some say "never again" means building memorials. I say "never again" means speaking out against injustice, wherever we see it.

On this day, I especially remember the Dafners, 20-something relatives of mine from Wolbrum, Poland who were murdered by the Nazis. I mourn by Baron/Baran/Barron/etc. relatives as well, but I saw so many Baron/Baran/Barron/etc.s on the Warsaw ghetto records that it is truly impossible to know who were my relatives and who were not...and that's Warsaw alone.

The college in my hometown holds a 24-hour, nonstop, out loud name-reading vigil. (I'm fairly sure they use the Auschwitz death lists but I'm not certain.) My elementary/middle school always took the middle school students to that vigil to take their turn reading names. When I was in seventh or eighth grade, I peeked over the shoulder of the reader before me and saw a name: Ruth Dafner. I use her full name here because she deserves to be remembered and because it just feels right. So Ruth Dafner, wherever, whenever, whatever you currently are, I am thinking of you today and hold you in loving memory!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

In honor of my classmate...

...I wrote the following poem. I've written better in my time, but that is not the point.

I sat to write a poem; I wanted it to come.
Sat down to write a poem. I waited, feeling numb.

My words were gone; my faith was gone; I did not understand
What kind of world we're living in, if this was God's command.

Some say it's better this way, and that this was God's call;
I say it would be better without happening at all.

I read it once; I read it twice; the news did not sink in;
One thing I know for certain: he was innocent of sin.

When it all finally sank in, I knew that he had died;
When the news finally sank in, I crumpled up and cried.

[...], this is for you; you were held very dear.
[...], this is for you, and we'll always be near.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No True Judge

Remember that boy in my high school graduating class? The one who was diagnosed with leukemia?

He died last night.

I cannot believe it. On an irrational level, I kind of want to see the body just for proof.

The traditional Jewish thing to say when somebody dies is "Baruch dayan ha'emet." Referring to God, it means "Blessed is the True Judge."

So baruch dayan ha'emet, God, and I hope it makes you happy. You are no True Judge in my mind.

In Judaism we wrestle with God. According to a book by Neil Gillman (The Way Into Encountering God in Judaism), God welcomed Abraham's challenge when God proposed His plan to wipe out Sodom and Gomorrah, and God welcomes our challenges today. What we are not permitted to do is disengage.

So I will continue my daily prayers, completion of mitzvot, and everything else. But never will I understand the death of an innocent 19 (I think) year old.

Baruch dayan ha'emet. It may not be true, but what else can I say?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

You know you are all too familiar with two worlds when you can say, "Getting close to God is not on my agenda for today; I have an exam tonight."

Seriously, though, frequently now my "channels" so to speak are gaping-wide open. If I took steps in that direction, I could probably be having visions etc. again. Certainly several days in a row now, while praying, I have felt that I could put out my hand, touch God, and play with Her energy.

Sometimes I wonder just how many "worlds" there are. I know there are at least two, this one and one other, but then the demons come up. Are they from the same world as the visions? Does putting them in yet a third world make both of the others too two-dimensional?

And are demons the creation of God, or are they something else again? I *think* I believe that God created everything, in every world.

My mother remarked last night that wonderful as some of this may be, she thinks she is glad she can't do it. Sometimes I, too, wish I couldn't do it. I know all of this is connected to my bipolar disorder. It is not a bipolar symptom. (For the record, hallucinations as a symptom of bipolar disorder are very rare.) It is not a direct cause of episodes. All we know is that I have both, and to be open to one seems to leave me open to the other as well.

Also, continue your prayers for "Erin" and for Reece's Rainbow.


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About Me

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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!