Today is Rosh Hodesh Tammuz, the beginning of the Hebrew month of Tammuz. That means that the seventeenth of Tammuz, a day of fasting in commemoration of the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem en route to the destruction of the Second Temple, is coming up in just over two weeks. I can't wait. (sarcasm) No one likes to fast, but I think it is important to remember collective tragedies by doing something; in Judaism that something is fasting.
On another topic, while I was praying today the most extraordinary thing happened! I was muttering the words of the Amidah, or Standing Prayer, central to the musaf ("additional") service for Rosh Hodesh, when all of a sudden I felt the most amazing kavana. Kavana is a word that's very hard to translate, but I think the two best attempts I've seen are "intention" and "concentration." It's something like a mix of those two. Anyway, I suddenly felt connected to all Jews before and after me, "back and back and back" as Jonas and the Giver say in Lois Lowry's The Giver, but forwards too.
Historically and traditionally, Rosh Hodesh is considered a women's holiday. I don't really know the details, and I'm a little fuzzy on how it got to be that way, but I think that's very cool.
I close with some very important prayers.
First I plead with God to bring back the kidnapped Israeli boys, using their Hebrew names, in no particular order:
Dearest God in Heaven Above and Earth Below, please move Heaven and Earth--whatever it takes--to return Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim (Gilad), Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah (Naftali), and Eyal ben Iris Teshurah (Eyal) to their proper homes and families, whole and healthy and strong, ASAP. You can do this, God; yes, I am begging for a miracle.
Second, I beg You, God, to find a home for "Jacob." Little "Jacob" just turned four; it's not too late but it soon will be. Come on, God, please find "Jacob's" parents!
And, of course...a picture of "Jacob":
"Don't tell God how big your storm is; tell your storm how big your God is."
I believe in God.
I believe in God.
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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!