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

I believe in God.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Really, Really Special

My (Hebrew) birthday is coming up in exactly a week, and it is going to be really, really special. First, for dinner the night before (because Jewish days really begin the evening before), I am going to have sushi.  Second, as my birthday gift this year, I am getting a bisexual pride kippah: a celebration of who I am, in all the complexities that God created me.

Third, most importantly, I have reached my current tzedakah donation goal, and I will take the money to the bank  on my birthday! "Tzedakah" is usually translated "charity," but that doesn't quite do justice to the Hebrew, which carries with it a sense of justice and obligation.  I got a tzedakah box (box in which to collect tzedakah) as a super-early Hannukah gift in September 2015.

When I started collecting tzedakah, I knew I couldn't possibly donate to every organization out there. I picked three, between which I would rotate: Lev Lalev, Reece's Rainbow, and Heifer International.  Lev Lalev is a girls' orphanage in Israel; they are Orthodox-run, and I disapprove, but they have a million causes to which one can donate individually and I don't have to support the religious ones.  My first box of money, $43.01, went to their mental health fund, to treat their girls with PTSD; my fourth box of money, the next one I fill, will go to their higher education fund.  I made a donation to Reece's Rainbow recently, meaning I am now up to Heifer International, who give farm animals to needy families around the world.

Heifer International was also the first charitable organization I ever knew existed; I found out about them when I was roughly seven or eight years old.  That means I've wanted to donate to them for 16 or 17 years.  This time around, I decided to give honeybees, one of their cheaper animals, for 30 dollars.

Why am I waiting to go on my birthday, instead of going to the bank today? First, I am in pain and exhausted; tonight is a bisexuals group night, and I want to save my energy.  Second, I'm not sure my birthday gift will come by my birthday, and I want to have something special to do if it doesn't. Third, I only get to make a tzedakah donation two to three times per calendar year; I want to savor the anticipation.

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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!