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

I believe in God.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

An Appalling Deal-Breaker, and Tisha B'Av 2016

Friday night, at dinner at the Rabbi's house, one of his sons mixed up the definitions of rape victim and prostitute...in English.  I know that in Hebrew, they are the same word.  (Anyone who has sex with a non-Jew gets called by that word.)  I get that if you only have one word, you can only have one legal category.  Here's the thing, though: I refuse to be part of a world where I am reduced to a legal category...outright refuse.

Yes, Friday evening, better believe I leaned across the table and shouted at the guy who said those things.  I was the only one in the room protesting, and at least one person (the Rabbi) looked surprised that I would.  It may not have been socially acceptable, but I was so angry, I didn't care.  I remember that I had to do it twice.

It's taken me a long time to piece that memory back together.  Friday night, when it happened, I was just about literally blinded by anger; I got the first inklings of memory on the walk home.  I only remembered today which person actually said what made me so angry.

Refusing to travel in that world does require some sacrifices on my part.  I am majorly cutting down my synagogue attendance because I can't walk 16 blocks every time I feel like it, the way I could five blocks.  Also, I will have to go back to eating Friday night dinner alone.  Still, alone is better than in that household...anything's better than in that household.

New topic: today we observe Tisha B'Av (it was really yesterday, but except for Yom Kippur, we don't fast on the Sabbath), the day of national mourning for the destruction of the Temples.  I am having a very meaningful day, though a very difficult fast.  In order to observe the day, I am doing the following:

  • Fasting, except for water (and, in this weather, gatorade as needed), which I need because of my medications
  • Putting on tallit katan without the blessing this morning, and deferring tallis and tefillin till this afternoon
  • Not studying cheerful Jewish texts (I read Lamentations--which was read in synagogue last night--this morning, and this afternoon, when fasting gets hardest and I need something to do, I will read Job)
  • Wearing my special kippah saved for serious/sad days
There are all sorts of Tisha B'Av customs not on that list.  Here's the thing, though: in my entire life, I have not managed to keep Tisha B'Av two years running.  I figure I need to manage that before I take on more customs.

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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!