Friday, August 13, 2010

So Much Happens In A Week...

So I was so determined to put up the second part of my book review of Bruce Chilton's "Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography" within a few days. And now a week has passed. I decided to go back to that synagogue for Kabbalat Shabbat. Then I decided no to because, Goddammit, I'm Christian. Then I decided to go. The people there were very sweet. I was welcomed. One woman asked me if I was a convert because, she said, she had thought she heard me say I was or something to that effect. But she was so nice I couldn't get mad at her. I was invited to Shabbat dinner, but I declined with embarrassment because I was going to celebrate a friend's anniversary.

It was so weird, all the passionate dancing, the faces of reverence from some women behind the neck-high mechitza (gender-segregation partition), and the looks of boredom and irritation from others. It was a Carelebach Kabbalat Shabbat. Shlomo Carlebach was a great revitalizer of neo-chassidism, and helped elevate the experience of many Jews in niggunim and prayer. He was also an alleged child molester. The people were so nice and sweet. And I'll tell you something. I could understand why many communities, Jewish and otherwise, keep sexual abuse victims silent. They maintain secrecy because it's embarrassing, and it's uncomfortable.

Take a friend I have. Now this person had intercourse with someone else in an act that some might call rape. The sort-of victim said it had been rape but then said it hadn't, and didn't report it. Some might say it's rape, others might not. It wouldn't be prosecutable in a court of law. And I've been saying since my teens that I would always support the woman who was hurt, not befriend and comfort the man who had hurt her. But she wasn't that nice to me. I was like a high school outcast around her. And he smiled and said hello all the time. So I hung out with him because I wanted to be loved. Am I no different than those at the Carlebach group?

I don't know how long I'll be able to keep calling this a "Jewish" blog. I was reading a book with daily meditations for the reflective month of Elul the other day, and I was like, "I don't give a fuck about Elul." I don't give a fuck about Elul. I don't give a damn about the Rosh Chodesh Elul Reconstructionist/Renewal/Pagan women's ritual I've been telling people is happening Sunday. I have no ritual planned. I don't care much about the edgy Renewalist Rosh Chodesh book, "Miriam's Well", by Penina V. Adleman, which I had coveted for months at a used bookstore before finally shelling out for it two weeks ago. I don't give a shit about Rosh Hashana.

And ... I did some really cool things this week too, yada yada yada. But I did, really.

Shabbat Shalom.

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