Wednesday, September 28, 2011

After Troy Davis' Execution, Before Rosh Hashanah

I haven't updated about the Troy Davis execution/murder-lynching because I just... have no energy to write about it. Troy Davis was killed Wednesday, September 21, 2011. I wish my thoughts could go more towards compassion than vengeance. I know an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.

I was going to write this detailed post about how Jewish Law mandates this or that...instead, I'm going to leave you with a list of links to various Jewish opinions about Troy's case. I wanted to put the case in a Jewish context (after all, this is, at least somewhat, a Jewish blog). I hope they are of interest to you.

Even though I'm upset about Troy Davis being killed, I am relieved and strengthened to know that I am not alone in my feelings. All over the world, over a million people, perhaps millions together are grieving - not to mention Troy Davis' family, whose grief is probably greatest. We lost a light, but we tried. We tried and we made an effort, and hopefully this will be what turns the tide to abolish the death penalty in the U.S. and to turn the tide of wrongful convictions based on sham evidence and other misconduct. I know my efforts weren't in vain, I wasn't responsible for his execution, and I am not alone. And I think he was well aware he wasn't just one more nameless Black man going down. He knew he had support - he knew people tried, and he was loved. He still is, wherever he may be.

Speaking of Rosh Hashanah, which is a holiday in which we 'coronate' God as 'king', I've been affirming my faith in my Higher/Deeper/Greater Power lately. I'm reminded of the kadish and other Jewish prayers which emphasize God's greatness - "to you it is fitting to give praise". Worshipping my God/dess isn't about bowing and scraping and power plays - it is about worshipping a gentle, loving, righteous One. And to Her/Him it is fititng to give praise. In my prayers, I sometimes just vocally affirm my belief and faith in this Power.

I still don't like the King metaphor, because that doesn't work. I guess because of the way kingship is connected to sacrifice, Jesus would be the king, and the infinite Love would be the master. I hope I can finally crown my beloved as king/queen/master this year, make peace with this walk with my Greater Power, and get on with the business of doing the work I'm here to do... I also just might mean it this year when I eat the simanim (ritual foods) at the Rosh Hashanah table and ask that my enemies might be removed.

For what it's worth, Shana Tova. God/dess is Great, and Her/His love and power are everywhere, even in my troubled heart.

Jewish Reflections on the Troy Davis Case, by Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel

Troy Davis Was Murdered Last Night - Black Jewish Experience Blog

Clemency For Troy Davis - Hey That's My Hummus Blog/Podcast

Prison on the Eve of the Jewish New Year - Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Non-Violence

Queering Jew - A Still, Thin Sound

A Grievous Injustice - Failed Messiah

Morality and Redemption - Beit Tshuvah

Where's The Humanity - Tikkun Daily

Bearing Witness - Rabbi Brant Rosen

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