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

I believe in God.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

"Beauty from the Ashes": A New Prayer Warrior Assignment

I believe that God and the fate of the world are like a river flowing along, and our prayers and actions are rocks we throw in to change the direction and force of the current.  A while back, Russia banned most American adoptions from their country, which is where "Rheann" is living.  Still, I prayed for "Rheann" to make it out.  Yesterday, however, I read that they had tightened restrictions still further and that Reece's Rainbow was reallocating the grant funds from their Russian children to others who had a better chance of finding families.

I knew that if Reece's Rainbow was reallocating funds, the "river" in Russia had really dried up.  It doesn't do any good to throw stones at dry land.  With a heavy heart, I "gave up" on "Rheann."  She will always be in my heart--how could she not be?--and I will pray for her when I have strength for multiple people, but I requested a new "prayer warrior assignment."

It is therefore with joyful heart and open arms that I welcome "my" new child, "Isabella." "Isabella" is a six-year-old girl with Down Syndrome living in Asia.  See picture below:


Tuesday, April 23, 2013


This past weekend I attended an NUJLS (National Union of Jewish LGBTQ Students) conference held at my university.  What can I say? It was awesome.  Great people, good food, intense learning sessions.

Though no one there was quite doing Judaism the way I do it (some did "more", some "less"), seeing other LGBTQ Jews being both Jewish and Queer reassured me that it can be done, that I needn't shut the door on either part of my identity. I can be a proud Jew, and a proud lesbian, and a proud Jewish lesbian.

The coolest moment of the conference was when someone stopped me to double check my gender identity.  I was wearing a pink polo, dress pants, red flowered clogs and a pink kippah.  I was talking about being a Jewish adult woman, and someone stopped me to ask, "Wait, you identify as female, right?" I just said yes and the conversation kept going.  I didn't think anything of it at the time, but looking back, it was infinitely cool, both that it happened and how it happened.  I felt very validated, both because someone thought to ask and because the other answer would have been OK with her.

I also recently came out to a friend to whom I was in, hiding because I was afraid of her reaction.  She was accepting, however, and now I don't have to worry about that relationship anymore!

I am a lesbian Jew, and a Jewish lesbian, and I am proud.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Another One

So we all know about the explosions in Boston yesterday.  I wish I could care, but I mostly really can't.

Also, yesterday was Israel's independence day.  I wish I could care, but I mostly really can't.

Why can't I care about the world? Because I am having another bipolar episode.  Yes, another one.  No, I don't know why.  And it sucks and I'm mad and I refuse to feel guilty for not caring about the world when I am going through so much myself.  Sometimes we get to be selfish.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Rosh Hodesh Iyyar

Today and tomorrow mark rosh hodesh Iyyar, the beginning of the new Hebrew month of Iyyar.  Israel's independence day is coming up, and we are two weeks into the Omer.

 I have ordered a rainbow kippah (for gay pride) and I have decided that no matter where I plan to be that day, I will wear it the day after it arrives.  I have also purchased a new kippah by Israeli artist Yair Emauel because his work is beautiful.

I am changing my major to Jewish studies.  Judaism is my passion, my obsession, and my joy; everything I do that's unrelated simply feels like a waste of time.  So happy rosh hodesh, everyone; here's to new beginnings!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Yom Hashoah

Today (or possibly yesterday, someone's calendar is off) is Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.  Though previous Yom Hashoah posts of mine have been rather short, I have swirling feelings this year, so this one may be rather long.

Firstly, there is a severe dearth of proper Yom Hashoah reactions within the Jewish community.  It is customary to burn a yellow 24-hour candle (similar to the white ones burned in memory of relatives on the anniversaries of their deaths), and some synagogues put together a memorial program, but that is all.  One author I was reading a few years ago (it might have been David Hartman) claimed that the lack of rituals reflects the lack of understanding of how to react.  We are still in such turmoil from the catastrophe that we have yet to get back on our feet, look back, and figure out how to deal.

As a lesbian Jew I would have been doubly abhorrent to the Nazis, and I know that there are people today (some still Nazis) to whom I am doubly abhorrent.  More concerning to me, however, is the lack of full acceptance that I would face if I came out to the Jewish community.  I want to ask what the H*ll these people think they are doing, judging in the way that they were judged.  Can they not see that judgment leads to separation, which leads to apathy, which leads to death?

To quote Eli Wiesel, "The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference."  We must not be indifferent to the plight of those around us.  We must fight to be accepted and to help others gain acceptance.  The message that I want to get across to you this Yom Hashoah is the importance of the fight for acceptance, for all people everywhere.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

They Exist.

Monday and Tuesday this week were a holiday, and Rutgers Hillel's conservative Jewish community organized a walking group into town to join one of the local synagogues for services and lunch.  And I discovered something truly special: a synagogue where I felt like I belonged.

In this synagogue, everyone sits together, and most of the women cover their heads.  The service alternates weeks men-only and women-inclusive, and the congregation splits for Torah reading.  The prayers following the Torah reading are led by the official leader (not the Rabbi), who happens to be a man.  (I'm not sure if that was deliberate or not.)  In short, this is a synagogue calling itself conservative, with an orthodox-style service that includes women.  Perfect!

Oh, and there is a national union of LGBT Jews, and they are holding their annual conference at my college this year! I am so going. 

Also, I got myself a new book called Torah Queeries, with commentary by queer Jewish authors on the weekly Torah portions.  I am going to make reading the weekly commentary part of my getting ready for the sabbath routine.

I refuse to choose between my lesbianism and my Judaism.  I am learning and growing in both.


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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!