Saturday, December 21, 2013

All this happened!
A modern orthodox rabbi "comes out" in support of gay rights.

Gay marriage becomes a possibility in Utah

and in New Mexico

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Moth

Great clip from The Moth.

"The G-d that we believe in can be present in a gay relationship just as much as He can be present in a straight relationship."

Sunday, October 13, 2013

That dream

Have you ever had one of those mornings where, while waking up, you desperately try to cling to those last few minutes of sleep and those final moments of your dream because it was so . . . majestic?

This morning I did not want to get out of bed.  The golden autumn sun was streaming through my window and all I wanted was another opportunity to experience the dream that, by my reckoning, had not yet finished.  It wasn't a dream of wealth, luxury, or great adventures; it was a dream of friendship and love.  The scene calling me back to slumber was simple.  In it, I was surrounded by my friends and my husband was heading out for the day.  He leaned over and gave me a peck on the cheek, gracing me with love as he headed out the door.  That was it, that was the dream.  I thought I would write about it because that same dream--perhaps not in the actual visual, but in the underlying concept--is what prompted me to name this blog.  I do not have grandiose dreams for myself and I have no desire to thrust my personal life into the public sphere.  All I want for myself and my friends is to experience the joy of a love untainted by social bigotry.  That's my dream, and it is the one I will cling to until it is realized. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Last Year's Mazal

Suzanne Curchod, the 18th Century Parisian salonist, is attributed with having said that "fortune does not change men, it unmasks them."

Had you asked me a year ago where I would be today or what changes I would undergo in the past year, never in a million years would I have predicted this future.  The past twelve months have been a roller coaster.  Each unexpected turn was followed with an equally unanticipated drop.  I learned to follow the flow of  life, to stop attempting to control my roll with the punches.

On numerous occasions over the past few months, I began writing a new post, only to discard the draft as inadequate.  I found myself unable to relay my emotional state and my experience--often because I was not sure exactly what those were.

There were a few months during which I lost touch with G-d.  I was facing a number of personal hardships--a broken heart and dashed dreams--and felt that my life was out of control.  It all began when I met the man of my dreams.  On paper, he was everything I could ever want and, in short time, I realized that he was both the man of my dreams and completely toxic for me.  Immediately thereafter I tried to explain my religious, personal, and political hopes and desires as a gay Orthodox Jew [to my parents].  Though willing to tolerate me and hopeful that I would witness those dreams coming to fruition, they could not bring themselves to try and see the world through my eyes or care about the things I prioritize.  To top it all off, I got rejected from my dream job.  The combination of these three events in such a short period of time knocked me off my path...I was devastated and felt abandoned by G-d.  Try as I might, I could not connect to G-d in the way I used to.  Every "trick" I previously used to find spiritual comfort ended in failure.  Prayer, meditation, etc...they all left me feeling stopped up-like I was suffering from a religious form of writers' block.

Finally, after months of desperation, I realized that I had begun traveling on a different path; I began approaching G-d from a new vantage-point and that I needed to find new ways to express this new relationship.  I also realized that I would need to relax into this relationship and let time guide me and my spiritual expression.

I'm glad to be done with last year's fortune.  Last year was incredibly difficult and I'm still picking up the pieces.  I'm grateful that I had the chance to experience such a challenging period--I'm certainly stronger for it--But I hope this coming year is calmer and easier. 

Minor edit in brackets, October 3rd, 2013.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Five people who made me understand my faith.

As I'm sure you're all well aware, last week five members of the United States Supreme Court found that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional.  Five of the justices, a simple majority of the court, ruled that the federal government may not discriminate against marriages recognized by individual states.  Wow.  A huge victory for the gay rights moment. 
On Wednesday afternoon, less than ten hours after the ruling was announced, I found myself in New York's Greenwich Village, celebrating at a rally in front of the famous Stonewall Inn.  Despite the hot weather, I felt chills as it dawned on me that the federal government would no longer be able to discriminate against me* and as I realized that I was actually taking part in history.  I found myself beaming as the rabbi of a local community spoke about the role Jews played in this monumental achievement.  For once these two aspects of my identity wove seamlessly together.  These are the times that will come to fill the pages of history books as civil rights and equality become undeniable fact and not mere aspirations.
The next day I sent a message to a friend of mine telling him that I appreciated spending that significant moment with him by my side.  When he responded by expressing how he looked forward to sharing the story with his future children, chills again ran down my spine as I realized that the sentiment he expressed is precisely what we are supposed to feel daily (and especially at Pesach) as we recall the Exodus from Egypt.  Though not bound in slavery like Moses and his peers, this decision certainly was an unshackling and I consider myself blessed to have partaken, if only as a bystander.  I don't plan on having children of my own, but I too look forward to sharing the story with future generations.  I thank G-d for providing the LGBT community with this gift and I'm incredibly glad that I can relate this experience with my faith.

P.S.  I'm sorry I haven't written in a long time.  Life has kept me far busier than I would like and I find myself forced to place blogging on a side burner.  This, however, I needed to express. 

*There's still a lot of areas, such as employment rights, that this did not rectify and it only protects those marriages recognized in states like New York and Massachusetts that specifically permit gay marriage; the decision doesn't affect states like Texas or North Dakota where marriage is still limited to one man and one woman. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Attention Parents and Family Members

Though I'm super busy and don't have time to write, other people are very active.  For those of you who are parents or other family members of LGBT Jews, be sure to attend the event listed in the flyer below.