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

I believe in God.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Negative Answer, a Vestige of Hope

My mother has always told me that "God always answers, but sometimes the answer is no."  That's what happened in the case of "Sandra's" mother.

I am sad to announce that "Sandra's" mother passed away two days ago from liver cancer.  Here's the thing, though: I know for a fact that God heard our prayers because I could literally feel them being listened to.  There was a special connection between my prayers and God's ear--and therefore, I'm assuming, everyone else's prayers and God's ear--this time around.  I know that God listened, and I know that we were heard.  The fact that God's answer was "no" does not contradict this.

Prayers are always worth the effort, because God is always listening, and we never know when a "no" will become a "yes".  In this case, however, even though God said "no", we can take comfort in the fact that God exists, is really real, and is aware of the situation.

Please continue to pray for "Sandra" and family in their grief.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sh'va Asar B'Tammuz

Today is Sh'va Asar B'Tammuz, the seventeenth day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, a day of fasting in memory of the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem and the beginning of the three weeks of traditional mourning before Tisha B'Av, another fast day commemorating the destruction of the Holy Temples.  This is one example of my Jewish practice being more traditional than that of my family: I am the only one in my family who fasts on Sh'va Asar B'Tammuz OR Tisha B'Av.

And I have nothing in particular left to say.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Prayers Needed Urgently

I have a friend, whom I will here call "Sandra."  (She's the friend I mentioned in my last post.)  "Sandra" has a brother called "Mark," a mother called "Jane," and a Grandmother.  Her Grandfather passed away this past year.

Nine years ago, "Jane" was diagnosed with breast cancer and given a three-to-six-month prognosis.  Following a double mastectomy, she defied the odds and lived on.  Now, however, the cancer has spread to her liver; the doctors say there is nothing else they can do.

"Mark" is getting married on May 25, 2014.  "Sandra" requests prayers that her mother live, and especially that she survive until the wedding.

In Judaism, it is traditional to say psalms in the name of one who is ill as a way to pray for their healing.  I have taken up psalm 90.  Please join me in my prayers.  Thank you.

A Jewish Adult

I am a Jewish adult.  Period, end of story.  I am a woman, but before all that, I am an adult.

So I wear a kippah, tallis, and tefillin.  So I (attempt to) pray three times a day.  So I revel in and grow my relationship with God.  This is not the Orthodox way, but it is my way, and I will not let anyone take it away from me.

Also, I have a new and very critical prayer need.  I cannot share because it involves a friend and I want her permission first, but this one is huge and serious.

Thank you to all those who read this blog, the public journal of one young lesbian Jew.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Emily's" Wedding

This past weekend I went to my former roommate "Emily's" wedding.  I stayed with a couple who were generosity itself--except that they were very Orthodox (Jewishly) and kept criticizing my kippah, tallit, tefillin, desire to be a Rabbi one day, etc. etc. etc.

The wedding itself was beautiful, if one could get past the Orthodoxy, but that was a big if.  At a Jewish wedding, there is a document called the ketubah that details the responsibilities that the couple has towards one another.  I know for a fact that at my parents' wedding, both were in the room while the ketubah was being signed.  Not so at "Emily's" wedding the other day.  At "Emily's" wedding, her groom was in the room watching the ketubah get signed; "Emily" was in a separate room greeting guests and looking pretty.

When I mentioned to people that the above scenario bothered me, I got the following sexist responses:

"It tells his responsibilities to her; it has nothing to do with her anyway, so why should she have to be in the room?"

"What does it matter? He gives it to her under the chuppah (wedding canopy); she'll get to see it later."

"...she has her job to do and he has his." (As someone to whom I told this story asked, since when is sitting there looking pretty a job?)

So I am pretty pissed off right now.  Orthodox Judaism pisses me off.


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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!