Friday, July 01, 2022

In better news, we went to a New Moon Rising concert in person!

In better news, which we can certainly use, we saw the wonderful June 28, 2022 wonderful New Moon Rising concert!
The only time we'd ever seen Elana Arian in person before had been when she'd led a Kabbalat Shabbat service on January 3, 2020 at what I can only describe as a "Reform shtieble," the late lamented Beloved Brooklyn (one of the earlier institutional victims of the COVID pandemic). Of course, we'd also seen her in dozens of online performances since then, but it was such a delight to seen her in person again! 🙂
We'd seen Deborah Sacks Mintz many times in person before the pandemic, and, of course, many times online since March 2020, but the most recent time we saw her in person before this concert. . . well, that's a funny story. There we were at a Nava Tehila Yom HaAtzmaut concert on May 4, 2022, when I saw this familiar-looking woman sitting about two rows in front of us. I thought to myself, "Sure, it's possible, but what are the odds?" Ten minutes later, my husband leaned over and whispered, "Doesn't that woman in front of us look like Deborah?" I guess the odds were better than I thought. 🙂 This was the first time we've ever seen her play the cello in person, though. Rav todot, Rav. 🙂
The only time we'd met Chava Mirel in person was when she sang in a Nava Tehila concert in February 2020--that was the last concert that we attended in person before the pandemic. But early in the pandemic, Chava teamed up with her good friend and sister singer/songwriter Eliana Light to co-lead a weekly Zoom called "Music, Silence, Love: Evening Practice," which was based loosely on Arvit/Maariv/Evening Service. I found out about it in late June 2020, and joined their little "minyan." They used to livestream the Zoom on Facebook, but after they turned off the livestream, we would all unmute and gab. This gathering continued weekly until about February 2021, and sporadically after that, until June 2021, when enough folks were vaccinated that Eliana flew out to Seattle so that she and Chava could do their last MSL Zoom in the same real-life room. So I feel as if I've known Chava practically forever, even though this is just the second time that I've seen her in person. What a delight to be able to give her a real hug without a computer screen in the way! 🙂 Also, I was so tickled that she sang "Stand Up"--I love all her songs, but I get a particular kick out of hearing her in "rocker mode," 'cause she's so good at it. 🙂
If you have an opportunity to hear New Moon Rising, or any of its members, run, do not walk! In the meantime, they released their first recording as a group, so enjoy!

Thursday, June 30, 2022

"The Supreme Court will come for your Social Security. Count on it"

"Is the radical, Trump-packed U.S. Supreme Court going to be satisfied it has owned the libs once it has done away with contraception, abortion, marriage equality, voting rights, and the federal government’s ability to regulate anything to protect citizens from guns to baby food to air and water? In a word, no. Their list of grievances against 20th-century progress isn’t going to stop with our private lives. Not when their twin bugbears of the New Deal and Great Society still stand. Not until they’ve completed the Great Regression. Elected officials haven’t been able to get it done, so the unelected Supreme Court will take on the job."
 
See this Daily Kos post.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

SCOTUS is a murderous court

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/supreme-court-gun-law-new-york-second-amendment/

 

In a 6-3 ruling [dated June 23, 2023, regarding a Second-Amendment case], the Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision upholding New York's 108-year-old law limiting who can obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun in public. Proponents of the measure warned that a ruling from the high court invalidating it could threaten gun restrictions in several states and lead to more firearms on city streets.

 

https://apnews.com/article/abortion-supreme-court-decision-854f60302f21c2c35129e58cf8d8a7b0

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Friday [June 24, 2022] stripped away women’s constitutional protections for abortion, a fundamental and deeply personal change for Americans’ lives after nearly a half-century under Roe v. Wade. The court’s overturning of the landmark court ruling is likely to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.

 

From a meme posted by Ken Levy on Facebook on June 24, 2022:  America: where life begins at conception, and ends in Elementary School.

 

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/capital-punishment

 

Mishnah Makkot 1:10: "A Sanhedrin that puts a man to death once in seven years is called a murderous one. R. Eleazar ben Azariah says 'Or even once in 70 years.' R. Tarfon and R. Akiva said, 'If we had been in the Sanhedrin no death sentence would ever have been passed';

 

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled, in the same week, that laws designed to prevent criminals from carrying concealed guns in public were unconstitutional and that a previous decision intended to protect a woman’s right to control her own body was also unconstitutional.  So now, millions of women in the United States will die due to dangerous pregnancies, or will have their lives changed against their will by being forced to bear babies even when they’re not psychologically or fiscally prepared to raise children, or, in some states, even if the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.  Not only have women been reduced to baby breeders, we’re breeding babies for target practice.  If those two decisions don’t make SCOTUS a murderous court, I don’t know what does.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Roe V. Wade "cancelled?" What a surprise--not. :(

As I posted here in 2019, "". . . it doesn't matter how long ago you gained your rights--the "ruling" male class can always take them away, or so constrict them by passing subsequent laws that, for all practical purposes, they no longer exist." 😡

Friday, June 24, 2022

I'm a sucker for harmony. 🙂 Isn't this gorgeous? Thank you, Rabbi Micah Shapiro.

Ki Ki Me'olam 

Hear more here.

Friday, June 17, 2022

New Moon Rising concert--enjoy!

In case you missed this wonderful concert, have a listen to Elana Arian, Deborah Sacks Mintz, and Chava Mirel, collectively known as New Moon Rising. ♥️ 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ_y67VGlTk&ab_channel=LowellMilkenCenter-MAJE

Kol hakavod (respect!) to Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor for filing this lawsuit

The Light Lab podcast

I've been listening to fascinating discussions about Jewish liturgy, prayers, and pray-ers by Eliana Light and friends (Ellen Dreskin and Josh Warshawsky, plus interviews), and I recently become a Light Lab member. Hear here, or here, or wherever you listen to podcasts! 

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Happy 45th Anniversary to us!

It's been quite a ride.

Here's the back-story. :)

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

A weird Shavuot

My husband reminded me that I first learned to lein the third chapter of Megillat Ruth (the Book of Ruth) when we were members of the SAJ, so I’ve known it for at least 30 years.  But this year, I didn’t get a chance to lein it, because one of our co-congregants protested that it wouldn’t be fair for me to chant the chapter in Hebrew when they, an Israeli-American, would be the only congregant who would understand it.  Everyone else has been willing to read along in the translation all these years.  Why this became an issue this year is an interesting question.  In any case, I guess there’s no point in me practicing leining Megillat Ruth anymore.😢

It gets better, quoth she sarcastically.

The good news is that we actually had a minyan by the time we were ready to do the Torah reading, which isn’t a given, these days—we have to read the Torah reading from a Chumash roughly half the time.  The bad news is that my husband, who's the acting rabbi, couldn’t get a single soul to carry the second scroll.  So, for lack of an alternative, I had to do the job myself despite the fact that I’m still in physical therapy from having injured both knees last September.  So there we were, a 73-year-old with bad knees carrying a 25-pound scroll and an 80-year-old carrying a 35-pound scroll.  (We haven’t attended an in-person Simchat Torah celebration since Fall 2019, so I haven’t carried a scroll in literally two and a half years, and I’d forgotten what a challenge that is.)

And, of course, since my husband couldn’t get anyone else to *carry* the second scroll, he couldn’t get anyone else to *lift* it, either, so he ended up being the magbiah for both scrolls, too.  Yep, in our shul, 80-year-olds do the heavy lifting.  😠

And lest you think that there’s such a thing as rest for the weary, he had to chant the haftarah, as well. 

By the end of the service, we felt as if we were carrying the weight of the shul on our shoulders.  Overworked and underappreciated:  that's us.

We were rescued by the Parks Department, of all people.  While we were taking an afternoon walk, we noticed that a giant movie screen had been set up in the local park—it turned out that they were doing a free public screening of “Encanto.”  So we ended our Shavuot outdoors under the stars watching a movie.  That was the most fun we’d had all day.  What a way to end a holiday.

Thursday, June 02, 2022

Tragic repost :(

From my May 29, 2020 at 10:37 AM Facebook post regarding the mass murder at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas:

"Lest anyone think that we don't make sacrifices to Molech anymore . . . 😡https://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/.../10937-moloch-molech"

I was looking on my blog for a different post, and found American Akeidah. This post is dated Tuesday, August 06, 2019--apparently, I've been thinking about the Molech connection for years.  😢

Wednesday, June 01, 2022

The other mass-shooting victims

Copied from Facebook:

There are a lot more than 21 victims in Uvalde.
The media seems to gloss over the fact that fifteen victims were hospitalized, as if the fact that they survived is some kind of exhale, a happy ending.
My brother survived and has lived with a bullet in his brain since he was shot at seven years old. He can’t hold a job, can’t leave the house, suffers from severe PTSD and traumatic brain injury.
My best friend Dani survived and lives with PTSD and a body full of shrapnel from being shot five times at close range with hollow point bullets.
I have two friends who survived Columbine and now are confined to wheelchairs for the rest of their lives, dealing with the many medical complications that come from living with paralysis. They are also plagued by pyscho Columbine killer fans who stalk them, and gun nuts who accuse them of being crisis actors.
Pat, a boy I dated in high school, was an EMT who airlifted kids out of Columbine. The trauma from that day destroyed him. He suffered terrible PTSD and lost his career. He was in a tailspin for years.
We often hear about the 45,000 Americans killed by guns every year, but rarely do we hear about the more than 100,000 gunshot victims who survive, and the family members whose lives are shattered.
We don’t hear about the grueling trials, medical bills, the lifelong physical and emotional complications, the inability to work.
We don’t hear about those who survive the loss of a loved one; the grieving parents, widows, and children left behind.
The media rarely reports on the trauma experienced by the witnesses, the EMTs, the police, the people who clean up the blood and the mess.
We don’t hear about the marriages that crumble in the aftermath, the parents who die of heart attack or cancer, or suicide, after the loss of a child.
We don’t hear about the mothers who give up their own lives and lose their careers so they can care for an incapacitated child, or the community members whose sense of safety and justice has been forever shattered.
The victims of Uvalde are countless. Think of the children and teachers who witnessed the deaths, the ones who attended the dying, who attempted and failed to save lives. Most, if not all of them, will live with PTSD, nightmares, and depression. Most of them will likely never feel safe in school or at any public event again. It will affect their work lives, their relationships, the way they raise their children.
Gun violence is a monster with vile tentacles that reach far and wide. It is a public health crisis of epic proportion to which our nation’s GOP legislators have turned a blind eye, while offering nothing but hollow “thoughts and prayers.”
So what can you do?
I am begging you to VOTE in every election. Every single one.
To SPEAK UP against this sick gun culture, even when it’s uncomfortable.
To hound your Senators to pass sensible gun reform.
Put this number for Congress in your cell phone (202) 224-3121. Use it often. You will be able to reach your two Senators and your member of Congress. Tell them to pass Universal Background Checks. To ban assault weapons (we did it before, we can do it again). To pass Ethan’s Law (Safe Storage).
And lastly, do not give up hope. We fought the tobacco lobby and eventually overcame. We fought the religious lobby and eventually passed marriage equality.
We can topple the gun lobby, but it will take all of us. We can’t afford for anyone to sit on the sidelines.
At the scene of every mass shooting, witnesses say, “I never thought it could happen here.”
It can.
It will.
Get involved.
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