שמע ישראל

22 01 2009

i am still so angry. angry and sad. perhaps still too much of both to really craft the words and feelings i’m stumbling between tonight. and for many nights.

tonight i went to the kick-off event for the interfaith coalition for transgender equality. it’s an interfaith group working to pass “an act relative to gender-based discrimination and hate crimes” to include gender identity and gender expression in the protected categories in massachusetts’ hate crimes and discrimination laws.

there were some meaningful words said, and it felt good to come together. i didn’t feel particularly a part of the community, it lacked familiarity. but that’s mostly on me.

but, i noticed that despite a good showing across christian denomenations and the jews, there were no muslim speakers or groups highlighted. (or any other faiths, for that matter.) masala was included in the list of supporting organizations, and i’d presume that they have some muslim members, but they aren’t explicitly a religious group.

so i left wondering why. i probably should have asked someone, but M* wasn’t feeling well, so we just left.

there’s a transition here, but i can’t put it into words. i drove home from the event, and was absorbed in thought.

i’ve been feeling disconnected, in many many ways. so i davened tonight. ma’ariv. facing ירושלים. and gaza. hoping that it would bring me some moments of contemplation. and i wrapped my tallis around my shoulders because even though it might not be halachically required, the warmth and smell of the threads are both keva and kavannah. there were moments, and i’m holding on to them.

and then i saw this page of photos from gaza, and my heart kept breaking. and i felt the anger rising.

because dammit, israel is making it harder for me to be a jew. harder to abide identifying myself with that umbrella and those actions on my behalf. i refuse to concede that THIS is judaism. refuse to concede that judaism can ever justify such disregard for life and growth and love. because that is not a judaism i have ever known. but dammit, this still isn’t okay on so many levels and i know there’s a ceasefire but it’s not done or over because people still don’t have food or medical supplies and their children and mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and lovers and friends and teachers and nurtures are dead or dying in hospitals without enough beds or bandages. and the borders are still closed. and we still have the audacity to control their *every* movement. this is abhorrent. this is wrong. for jewish reasons, and for reasons that transcend religious teachings and are about basic f’ing human decency.

if these actions are symbolized by those letters and that land in that space – then that’s not a direction i want to be praying toward.

dear israel, give me back my faith.

שמע ישראל

hear, o israel

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