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

I believe in God.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

He Said YES!

No, this is not a romantic post.  This is a post to tell you  that I heard back from the Rabbi in Uganda, and he said YES!  I get to go study at his Yeshiva (Rabbinical school) post college.  There are many details left to be worked out, but for now, what is important is that he said YES!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Less Than a Month...

Less than a month until Tu b'Shevat (New Year for the trees), and I am trying to plan a celebration.  At the bare minimum, I will be buying two "new" fruits (that is, fruits that I have not eaten in the past thirty days) and eating them, with both the blessing over fruit and the blessing over something new.  I'd like to plan out a whole Tu b'Shevat seder, and if enough people around me are interested, I might, but that takes real planning and I have too much other stuff to do this break.  So...new fruits it is!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Where is God?

So recently the roof of the building containing my family's synagogue--if we had one, that is; it's more complicated than I'd like to get into on a public blog--and the community day school, collapsed due to snowfall.

Read that again.  The roof of a building containing two necessary Jewish institutions collapsed due to snowfall.

My initial, gut reaction was glee.  That school did me a world of hurt; to know that it is disabled--if only for a time--felt good.

But then I thought again.

Where is God?

Where is God when a community loses one of its synagogues and its only day school? Because my hometown is very small, and we don't have multiple day schools.  That one was the only one.  And it may have been bad, but we had it.

And now we don't have a Conservative synagogue either.  And that is a problem too.  Because all Jews should have a place to worship, a place where they feel comfortable, and now something like a third of the community is out of luck.  Oh, there will be services at the local JCC and all, but it's not the same when you're not in your home.  People start to feel at home in their synagogues.

So this is all sad.  Just sad.  And hey, God, if You're reading this--where are You?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lesbianism (There, right in the title!)

In response to a conversation I had earlier with a friend (Yes, you, you are still my friend for sure! My feelings may be hurt to the point where I need to express them but YOU ARE STILL MY FRIEND!) I feel compelled to blog the following.

Lesbianism is NOT:

Lesbianism is NOT a sin, at least not in my book.

It is NOT a phase.

It does NOT diminish my value in society.

It canNOT be "fixed."

It does NOT make me who I am.

Lesbianism IS:

Lesbianism IS beautiful.

It IS natural.

It IS a PART of who I am.

And oh by the way? God DOES love me, and I love myself.  So there.

Just For Fun...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


I really want to blog tonight, feeling the need to express myself, but I don't really have any big topic prepared, so I'm just going to...go!

First of all, more reflections on taharat mishpahah.  I think I am having such a hard time accepting my Rabbi's ruling that it does not apply in lesbian relationships because when I was growing up, in my home it was always "A Jewish adult does x," regardless of gender.  Both my mother and my father put on tallis and tefillin; when I as a child briefly got into lighting a Sabbath candle, my brothers did too.  It is therefore difficult for me to accept a ruling that a law only applies in heterosexual relationships because I--well, OK, almost--feel devalued as a woman.  I'm just going to say this straight up: although practically speaking it's a good thing these laws do not apply to me, a large part of me wishes that they would.

On another topic, I have decided that next year for Hannukkah I am getting my own good quality menorah, and I have picked out one that I like! (Yes I may be getting ahead of myself.)  It is by--you guessed it--Yair Emanuel.  The link is here: http://www.emanuel-judaica.com/store/hanukkah/menorahs/anodize_aluminum_hanukkah_menorah_frame_blue .  I am aware of the cost, and may talk my parents into getting it for me as a combined Hannukkah-birthday present.

Also, next year I hope to be living in the gender neutral special interest housing here at my school.  I will complete the application over winter break.  I am so excited to fully and finally be me.  Even if they won't let me light Sabbath or havdalah candles and I have to use electric ones, for that one year I think it will be worth it.  I will wear my rainbow, gay-pride kippah on move-in day.

I am in the midst of finals weeks, but I keep finishing everything early! For tomorrow, for example, I know that I am as studied as I can be or information will start leaving my head! Just wish me luck!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

And...Drumroll Please...

The laws of Taharat Mishpahah do not apply to lesbian relationships! My Rabbi actually hunted down a real, live lesbian Rabbi to ask about this, so I trust her ruling.

How I feel about the ruling is another matter.  On the one hand, it is much more practical to not have to worry about two people's impure periods (no pun intended), mikva (ritual bath) nights, etc.  On the other hand, however, I feel somehow delegitimated, as if my marriage someday will not be a real marriage without mikva.

My father, who is also a Rabbi, says that a marriage is a marriage if there is huppah (wedding canopy) and kedushin (not sure what that is, sorry!), and everything else is extra.  Good to know.

As I navigate the sticky waters of being an observant lesbian Jew, that is good to know.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Taharat Mishpahah

I have recently "discovered" an area of Jewish law which I was previously perfectly happy ignoring.  Taharat Mishpahah, or Family Purity, refers to a grouping of laws governing what a man and his wife may or may not do when she is menstruating and for seven days afterward.  I am aware that I am lesbian, and that in their strictest interpretation, these laws do not apply to me and will not apply to my household one day.  And yet a deep part of me wants them to apply, as if their application legitimates me and my (future) marriage.

I am very fortunate to have a female Rabbi working for the Hillel at my school, and to have a good relationship with her.  She has taken it upon herself to investigate this for me and find out whether or not these laws apply to me.  If not, not; and if they do, I will take them on as I have taken on everything else--wholeheartedly, and trying my best.


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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!